Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 18 or is it Day 6 - Rollin' with the Flow

Well I completely forgot about the 31 day challenge. For those of you who know me that will not surprise you. For those who are just getting to know me .... yeah, I am a bit flaky.

I didn't make a conscious choice to quit blogging. I just honestly forgot it was even going on.

That is part of what this month/time is supposed to be about. Making conscious choices. Living life on Purpose instead of just letting life happen. So when I saw a post someone put on facebook about their post for the 31 day challenge it hit me.

I haven't posted in days! Like 12 Days.

My head said "Well that was a waste."  "Started something you didn't finish... just like always"   "Why don't you just forget about it"

But that other part of me, that part that wants to live Life on Purpose, that part that wants to be the one driving this crazy train instead of just riding along said "Jump back in! If you start posting again today by the end of the month you will have posted on more days than you didn't. And you will for sure have posted more days than you would if you stopped"

My brain is so full of ideas that some days it fills like my head will explode. Yes, some of them are completely ridiculous (like being a goat farmer) but some of them are wonderful. It is hard work to separate the good ideas from the bad ideas and sometimes I lose track of what I am doing NOW while I try to sort out my ideas for the future. But when you live life on purpose you have to be aware of the now.

For me that is often easier said than done. Sometime trying to stay on track on in the here and now feels a whole lot like swimming upstream. It is so much easier to just go with the flow and let life take me where it will. But going with the flow doesn't always take me where I want to go. For me this is a constant learning process as I figure out ways to work with my natural tendencies with out letting them sweep me down stream.

Often when I am out on the water in my kayak I "Go with the flow"; however, there are many times that there are logs or rocks in the river and just going with the flow would be dangerous. That is why I carry a paddle. So I can direct my kayak around the things that block my path as I let the river carry downstream.

That is the aim of this challenge for me. To learn how to go with the flow but use a paddle to steer myself around the things that might throw me off track or block my path. To not exhaust myself paddling upstream but to direct my life as I let the natural currents provide the flow.

So today I choose to pick up my paddle and steer myself back on track. Today I choose to keep on blogging in this challenge even though I forgot. Today I choose to On Purpose finish what I started.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

His How Keeps My Wow On Track

Like so many of my online friends I have a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). A giant sized dream I am working towards.  But I don't want to wait for it. I don't want to work for it. I want it now. I have always joked that the movie character I identify with most is Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I say it jokingly but painfully honestly. I have every little patience and I want what I want, when I want it. I work very hard not to be a spoiled rotten brat every single day. 

 I have to say that I am very blessed to have a partner in life who helps me keep my inner Veruca under control. My husband is a "How" guy. I am not a "How" person. I am a "Wow" person all the way details make me crazy. Fortunately for me he is a detail guy. He has his feet planted firmly on the ground. That said, he is also the biggest supporter of my dream. How did I get so lucky, right?

Today we talked about where I am going with this dream. I made it very clear to him that while I want so very badly to quit my job and follow my dream full time that that is not my plan. We talked about the steps I need to take to get there. How to start small and build to great! What tools I need to grow in my skills. How hard it is for me to work on the detail work and improve my techniques when what I want is to create. 

This isn't the first time we have talked about this. But I think as this dream sticks, unlike the 40 before it, he needs the reminder that I am not going to go off the deep end and quit my day job until the time is right. And I need him to remind me of what I am working towards when I get impatient.

So I took the time to share what I am thinking with him so we would be on the same page. I shared with him the fact that my skills aren’t what I need them to be for this to be my day job. He had ideas and suggestions that were so valuable.  We brainstormed and we planned. He reminded me of the end goal and assured me that doing the tedious stuff would pay off in the end.  We talked about how I could move forward with purpose to make sure that I am moving in the right direction.

And today, I know I so blessed to have this man as my partner in this BHAG! Especially when Veruca rears her ugly head. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Everyday Choices

Every single day you choose the life you are going to live.

Every single day you choose to move forward or to stay stagnant.

When you choose to wake up early or to hit that off button on the alarm and go back to sleep.

When you choose to work on your dream instead of watching another episode of season 6 on Netflix.

When you choose to create the life you want using the time and resources you have instead of letting life happen to you and whining about it later.

Doing nothing is a choice just as surely as doing something is and each choice has an impact on the life you are building. It isn’t enough to want something more. It isn’t enough to dream about something more. Unless you make a choice to stop passively dreaming, get up off your duff, and start choosing to actively do, you will be no closer to your dream being a reality tomorrow than you are today. As a matter of fact, I believe you will be further away because the longer you sit still the harder it is to move.

Let me ask you a question. Do you know how much time each day you are wasting that could be used to build your dream?

I don’t want you to read this wrong. I know sometimes you just need a break. So don’t think I am implying that you have to work non-stop until you burn out and stop all together. I have traveled that road and it is no fun.

But at the same time do we really need a 2 hour break to check Facebook? Do we really need to read the whole book at once? Do we really need to watch another rerun of Naked and Afraid? According to a Neilson Report done last summer Americans spend an average of 5 hours a day watching TV. Depending on what report you use Social Media eats up between 1 and 3 hours per day.

Now, at least in my house those things tend to happen simultaneously. My 2+ hours of Facebook will happen at the same time in the same room my husband's 5+ hours of TV  happens, with both of us half watching TV and half surfing the web. Think of the time we are wasting. If I spent as much time working on my dream as I do chatting with friends about it online I would be way further along.

I am not about to get all radical here and call a Facebook Fast but I am seriously going to start thinking about how productive my time is that spend on the computer.

As they say Time one of the great equalizers. I have the very same amount of it each day as everyone else. And with each choice I make about how to spend that time I am either wasting a precious resource or creating the life I dream of.

Friday, October 3, 2014

We Found the Dress

So today I took off work and pulled Caitie out of school and we went shopping for a Homecoming dress.

Now I know you probably have two questions (if you didn’t just pretend you did)
  1.           Seriously, you pulled your daughter out of school to shop for a dress? How hard can it be to buy a dress that you need a whole day?
  2.         What does this have to do with living life on purpose?

Let me answer those questions for you. Yes, seriously we needed a whole day. I ended up having to work all 7 days last week, so our original plan of going to the mall last weekend didn’t happen and since the dance is tomorrow this was the only way to get a whole day.

You see, my daughter doesn’t wear dresses. She wore one for 8th grade graduation and that was the only time she has worn one since she was 4. She just doesn’t. She wears skinny jeans and band T-shirts. She adds a hoodie when it is cold. The end. She just doesn’t do dresses. So I knew that getting a dress she would wear was going to be a long process.

She has some “rules” for the dress. No sequins, no jewels, no glitter, not too puffy, not too short, not too long, not orange or pink. I think I got them all. If you have ever shopped for a semi-formal dress you know she just discounted 90% of everything available.

Now lets add the shoes. She said absolutely no heels. Sandals would be good. It is October ever tried to find sandals in October? Her foot is very wide so add to that ever tried to find wide width sandals in October. Just don’t.

However, we found the dress, we found the shoes, we found the jewelry, we even got her hair cut. First time in a couple years. So yes, it took all day.

Now for what does that have to do with living life on purpose? Guess what I did with my phone yesterday. I turned off the ringer. I put it in my purse. I left it there. The only time I pulled it out was when we needed to google for another shoe store. I allowed myself one Facebook post while she was in the dressing room putting her clothes back on announcing that WE FOUND THE DRESS! But aside from that I was present with her all day. I purposefully chose to just enjoy the day with my wonderful daughter without the interruptions of Facebook, twitter, text messages, and friends calling to chat.

So yes, I used a day of vacation time and yes, she missed a day of school. But it was so worth it to shop and laugh and talk with this walking talking piece of my heart. The opportunity to listen to her music and learn about what matters to her right now was for sure worth it.  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Start today with tomorrow in mind.

I have a long term dream I am striving for. I want to make a living selling my glass art and teaching classes to others.

There are a few reasons that I can’t make this happen for a few years. One is that this town is not the right venue for my dream and we are not ready to move. Another is that we are not in a financial place at this time to go months without income as I start up my business.

Those are not the main reason though. The main reason is that I am not ready.

I am not good enough at my craft yet. I don’t say that to be all pretend humble and get people to say “Oh, but I love your work”. I say it because I surround myself with people who do this for a living and I know my work is not on the same level theirs is. How could it be? I did my first glass piece in March and these people have been creating for years. I have so much to learn before I am truly an artist.

And here is where I make my stand. Here is where I choose to take a different path that what is normal for me.

Today I choose to hone my craft instead of saying I am not as good as those people so this must not be for me.

I have a long history of quitting when the going gets tough, but not this time. This time I am holding tight to my vision, even as it changes and evolves. This time I am admitting that I have some work to do. There are techniques I need to learn. Techniques I need to get better at. Business things I don’t know. Finances to get straight. I will put the time to good use and choose start today with tomorrow in mind.

I will not look at others work or business models and believe that because I am not there today that I can’t be there in the future.

Why should I think I am so special that when I first start something I should be as good as those who have practiced for years. This idea that you have to work for it should not be new to me at 43, but it is. I have just always assumed I was supposed to be great at everything and if I did not start out great then it was not for me.

But not anymore.

Today I refuse to compare my Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20.

Today I choose to live purposefully and to work on my skills until I am ready to live my dream!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Living Life on Purpose.

I am a reader. I love books of every kind and very genre. Because I read so often, I am always coming across tidbits of information that make me think. But every now and then I come across something that changes the WAY I think. Big difference there.

That happens this week as I was reading "Go Solo: How to quit the job you hate and start a small business you love!" by Kelsey Humphreys.

I have always considered myself a creative person.  A writer, an artist, a crafter, a lover of ideas. I often joke that I think I have gypsy blood because I love the idea of a new adventure, playing it kinda loose with the rules, and dreaming. But then I started Kelsey's book. She starts out by talking about Tolkien's quote "All who wander are not lost"... okay, we are doing good so far I love Tolkien and that is one of my favorite quotes. But then she says the thing that made me pause. She says

"You see, you can't reach your peak by wandering there. One does not wander into greatness. You cannot simply hope to eventually do meaningful work on your own terms."
Whoa. Wait a minute. Stop. Think. Process. I had to put down her book and just meditate on that for a day or two.

She is right. You can't wander into greatness. I am not going to wander my way into my own art studio where I can sell and teach my art. If I want to have the life I dream of I have to accept that I am not going to accidentally stumble upon it. If I want that life I am going to have to live my life on purpose.

So that is what this 31 days is all about. Starting small by making daily choices to live on purpose.

And please if you are a wanderer check out Kelsey's book. It might change the way you think as well.

31 Days To Living Life on Purpose: Landing Page

I am taking part in a blogging challenge for the month of October. We chose our own topics and will be blogging each day for all 31 days on that topic. I chose Living Life on Purpose. This page will be an index to all 31 days.

Day 1: Living Life on Purpose
Day 2: Start Today with Tomorrow in Mind.
Day 3: We Found the Dress!
Day 4: Everyday Choices
Day 5: His How Keeps My Wow on Track