Saturday, December 21, 2013

When life doesn't make sense

Which is a lot of the time so I guess I should have said when life is down right confusing and no one can figure out why on earth something happens...I do know this:  It's a far from perfect world we live in when children are killing children.  And it makes me very sad.  I really do think that this is our trial, this is our road less traveled.  When we leave this place for good, we go home.  We feel only happiness and see only beauty.  Peace is finally upon us and we take what we have learned to the next journey.  Our souls never die they are free.  Claire, I don't know you and now I never will but I think you must have been brave and selfless.  May your time here not be forgotten and your time away from here be free from the burdens of this life.  I truly understand the meaning of take it one day at a time because you have to...life is hard and death is harder for those of us that didn't die.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Take the leap

"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure" 
-Bill Cosby

Well, aint that the truth?  My 14 year old son posted this on Facebook last night.  My kids never stop making me proud.  I hope I've had an influence on them in this regard.  I have always feared failure and I have always made the leap of faith in hopes I would reach my goals.  Sometimes I have and sometimes I haven't.  My children know my story and I share everything with them because I want them to know that life aint easy but you don't give up.  I think we all have a desire for success, it's just how we act on that desire that sets us apart.  To my kids I say this:  Go out there and give it all you've got, if you fail...so be it.  Repeat until you get the desired results.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Words of Wisdom

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again” — Nelson Mandela

I saw this post on Facebook this morning.  It's always heartbreaking when the world loses someone who has contributed so many good things and made the world a better place.  When I read this, it made me think about success and why it is that we judge each other by it.  I do it.  You do it.  Why?  Mostly, I judge myself by my successes.  I try not to...I really do.  My ass hurts from falling down so much but I get back up every time.  It reminds me of my one and only snowboarding adventure, but I digress.  It hurts each time I hit the ground but I keep going like the energizer bunny.  That's life though isn't it?  I've been in a place so low I did not want to get back up so I stayed down for a while making the decision as to whether or not I was done.  That was a really hard shove but eventually I made it back up.  It's always a conscious decision and a difficult one as to whether or not you get back on your feet after a blow.  Life is full of hard decisions and it's easier to quit than it is not to, ask anyone that has anything they consider important.  So what's success?  That's the question I always come back to.  It's getting off your ass when you get a big shove.  I have heard of and met people that have gotten back up so many times I'm amazed.  In my head and my heart I think "wow, that person is really strong" and I have the greatest respect for them.  It's inspiring...kinda like Nelson Mandela.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Their last kiss

I can't go to an airport now without thinking about it.  How I was there and didn't realize at the time how important that day would be.  We were leaving and he was staying.  He drove us to the airport and hugged me and then he kissed her goodbye.  I turned to look over my shoulder to wait for her and I saw what would be their last kiss.  I didn't think anything of it at the time but afterwards it was all I could think of.  I still do.  I spoke to him once after that fleetingly over the phone to ask a quick question and never heard his voice again.  My point is that you never know when it's going to be "the last" something so don't take life for granted.  My dad died 3 days after he left us at the airport.  I took my step mom home for his funeral and ever since then, I can't go to the airport without remembering him and their last kiss.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

When I grow up

When I grow up I want to be a lawyer and protect the underdog from the nasty people.  I want to be a Veterinarian and save all the animals.  I'd like to be in law enforcement and get rid of the bad guys.  I want to be a teacher and help young people reach their goals.  I want to own a busy boutique and sell beautiful things that I can play with all day:)  I want to be famous and wealthy so someone can make me dinner for a change.  I want to write a runaway best seller and go all over the country to book signings.  In reality I am a dentist with a ton of experience and talent and I sell discarded unwanted items to people who actually want them.  I'm a mom, and I'm important to at least 4 people and they are very important to me.  So, I may never get to be what I want when I grow up but I am what I am and it has to be good enough.  Why doesn't it feel like it is?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Pretty Committee

My daughter came home from school today and told me about one of her classmates starting a club called the pretty committee.  She said this girl would let you be in the club if you are 1) pretty
2) popular and 3) have friends that are guys....first of all, who gives a shit?  and second of all...who wants friends that are guys??!  That girl has a thing or two to learn about life.  Pretty and popular is not always good and friends that are guys are almost never good;)  Anyhow, Hope was upset because she didn't want anyone to get hurt because of some stupid chick being...well, stupid.  She's a good gal my Hope is, I do love her so much.  We let the right people know so that they could nip that crap in the bud but I have a question for ya....I'm starting a Pretty Committee and you have to be genuine, honest and loyal to be in it, you girls interested?  First meeting is at my house and you can only come if you bring wine.

Friday, August 30, 2013

you will be automatically redirected....

Naturally, I'm trying a new thing.  I can't seem to stop myself.  I'm being an entrepreneur the cheapo way and I love it!  Buying and selling on Amazon is a new venture for me.  Every time I enter a new item I get the message "you will be automatically redirected to..." and yesterday I thought it said "you will be automatically rejected..." LOL!  Ya know, I get down on myself for constantly trying new things and never quite reaching 100% success.  I guess I think I can always do better.  Doc Popcorn was a major blow to my self esteem and I struggle with that.  It's a battle every day and a never ending nightmare (I know there's an ending I just wish it would come faster).   I've tried doing other things too and enjoyed them but I wanted more.  Sometimes I feel stupid for continually trying and think "Just do the laundry, pick up the dog poop, clean the pool, buy the groceries, make dinner, drop off the kids, pick up the kids, get the mail, take out the trash, pick up the clutter, buy school supplies, buy your kid a new cup for football, paint your nails, go to book club and just be happy with that"..but I'm not.  I want to do something that makes me happy and makes me money.  So, I might be automatically rejected but I'm gonna keep trying and fighting...then, I saw this quote on facebook this morning (yes, it's 4am):

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.- Theodore Roosevelt

and I thought...yea...I know how it feels to be checkered by failure but I know how it feels to enjoy life too, and for me I'm doing what I need to do.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

You Know What I Like?

I like the pitter patter of my dogs feet on my wood floors.  I like nail polish.  I like it when someone else changes the toilet paper.  I like wearing perfume.  I like coach purses.  I like sitting and looking at my flowers on the patio.  I like finding a good deal.  I like feeling like I've accomplished something.  I like listening to my kids laugh.  I like watching movies at home.  I like Starbucks.  I like staying in my jammies all day.  I like peace and quiet.  I like Disney World.  I like martinis.  I like the summer.  I like books.  I like old things.  I like feeling like I have a purpose in life.  I like sticking my feet in the pool.  I like kissing my dog on the lips.  I like the Broncos.  I like movie theater popcorn.  I like happy endings.

Monday, August 26, 2013

daily miracles?

Miracles happen every day, be ready and willing.  I read this on facebook this morning by Dr. Wayne Dyer...I'm wondering if he really lives by all of the wisdom he imparts on the world?  I love his sayings and his thought process I just seem to lose the feeling 5 minutes after I read it.  I could use a miracle today that's for sure (who couldn't?)...my journey continues with the dilemma I've been dealing with since last Fall.  A miracle would come in handy.  Taking deep breaths and trying to keep a positive outlook but as you all know, it's easier said than done.  The anger and the fear seem to well up in me constantly so I try to keep myself busy while I fight the good fight, I'm not giving up.   That's all...just wondering if Wayne Dyer leads the perfect life of no fear and miracles occurring constantly in his life or if he's human like the rest of us?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

press play, don't press pause

Again, lyrics I tuned into while driving my kids all over gods green earth.  Good advice though.  Sometimes you have to let go of stuff and move on even though it's difficult.  Things that are out of our control can keep us pressing the pause button on life in hopes that we can somehow fix it or change it...not gonna happen.  Sure, make an effort to change something you don't like or don't agree with but don't get stuck!  If that person, or that mistake, is causing you to waste precious time and energy then let it go.  Picture a balloon that you are holding in your hand, see the person or the problem in the balloon and watch it float away as you let go of it...then start walking forward.  It may not seem like it, but it's easier to press play than it is to get stuck on pause.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Time wave

Like a wave in slow motion, time keeps rolling on.  It touches everything and everyone in its path.  You are powerless to stop it, instead you have to let it wash over you.  So much has happened in the two years since I went to visit my Dad in Baltimore.  It was the end of July 2011 that I took the kids and went to see him.  The night we all spent at Rehoboth Beach is tattooed on my brain...the boardwalk, the smell of the ocean, the meals we ate, the iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts.  I stayed with him for a week.  We talked on the porch at night, I made him key lime pie, he took us to the diner we loved and for dessert, snow balls from the stand down the block.  That trip was perfect.  It was the last time I ever saw him.  He died 2 days after I returned home.  I woke this morning missing him very much and marveling at all that has happened under the wave of time.  How my kids have grown, how my life has changed, the places I've been both physically and figuratively.  I like to think that he is with me and that he knows my pain.  Grief will crush you like a rock if you get under it.  It's a constant battle to stay present and just be.  Today, I wish I could reverse the wave of time and have it go backwards instead of forwards.  I could sit with my dad one more time on his porch, make him one more key lime pie and hug him one more time before I left.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Just one cup

Get over it.  He's not going to use just one cup.  My girlfriend told me a story about how a younger woman was annoyed with her live in boyfriend because he uses  several cups throughout the day and leaves them everywhere.  LOL...if that's the worst of it girly, you are doing great!  So she says to my girlfriend "can't he use just one cup?" and the answer is no he can't use just one cup.  He's not wired like that, honey.  Naturally, us older married forever gals got a good chuckle over  that conversation.  I remember I used to get upset because my husband never got me the right gift for my birthday or Christmas.  One year, I was 3 months pregnant with my first child and he bought me tons of clothes from Express..in a size XS...hahahaha (it's funny because I don't think I ever wore an XS, ever)...I was a little grateful that time because he apparently thought I looked like a tiny person.  The thing is, don't expect a man to be something he isn't and never will be (like the worlds best gift giver).  Get over that shit now or you will be very disappointed for a very long time.  After many years of marriage, I figured out that you accept the things you can't change and embrace the reasons you married him in the first place.  I've been married 22 years August 10th and I can't imagine life without Kevin.  Yes, there are times I want to scream and sometimes I do (well, maybe a lot of times I do) and I'm sure there are times he wishes I would disappear but a few minutes later we are helping each other out and laughing about something only we find funny.  Just an old married couple.  If you are looking for the secret to a long lasting marriage, here it is:  Pick up the cups and stop worrying about it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Something I learned today

Invest in yourself and not someone else.  don't assume that someone else has better insight than you...better visions and mastery of the idea.  If you can see it and you want it badly enough, you can do it as well as anyone else.  Hard work is best invested in yourself and your own dreams and not given away to someone else.  Don't follow on the coat tails of false hopes and delusions of grandeur...nothing is easy and if it is, it's not worth it.

I tried it

Since I said I would, I did.  I tried the meditation thing.  Choosing a guided meditation that was about 15 minutes in length was a good way to start.  Meditating is definitely something you need to do more than once to become good at...I can see that it's a great way to get rid of some stress and reconnect.  Now that I've started, I'm going to try and make it a daily practice for the next 2 weeks.  Want to join me?  go to this website "Fragrant Heart" to try guided meditation for free http://www.fragrantheart.com/cms/free-audio-meditations
let me know what you think...namaste:)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Meditation

Why not?  It certainly can't hurt right?  I've really wanted to incorporate this practice into my life.  I've read so much about the benefits of meditation and have vowed to make it happen.  It still hasn't happened.  So this morning as I was reading on my favorite news app, Zite, I came across this article called "5 things I've learned about meditation" and you can find it here http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/07/5-things-ive-learned-about-meditation-pavneet-tiwana/
After reading it, I realized that I make excuses for not meditating.  I don't know why.  Most of the time I don't even consider it and when I do, I have some reason that I can't do it.  Sitting quietly with yourself is scary perhaps?  That's a sad thought.  Really opening your mind to thought about something other than when you are going to get the laundry done or what's for dinner should be a welcome distraction.  However, I think being distracted is one of the major obstacles that keeps us from meditating in the first place.  I'm going to figure out how to meditate and see if I can come up with a plan that works for me, I'll let you know how it goes:)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

rewind please

I want a rewind button.  Is that so much to ask for in today's day and age?  I think we should certainly be able to figure out a way to rewind life.  What better way to learn from your mistakes?  You do something you don't like, something you'd like to be able to undo or redo..so you rewind and do it over.  Excellent idea don't you think?   You wouldn't ever have to say "I'm sorry" or "crap, why did I do that?" ever again...just rewind and do it over.  I like it.  I want it.  A fast forward button would be awesome too...tired of waiting? (YES!!)  then just fast forward.  Skip all the messy, ugly details and move on.  No waiting, no wondering, no sleepless nights.  Perfect.  We can talk to each other with little tiny computers we hold in our hand, we can watch 3 shows at once on a big giant screen, we can fly through the sky while relaxing with a glass of wine...so WTF?  we should be able to fast forward and rewind without a problem.  Who do I talk to about this?  I need to find a suggestion box....

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Waiting

I'm waiting for the sun to come up.  I'm waiting for the next thing life is going to send my way.  I'm waiting for answers.  I'm tired of waiting.  When you think about it, that's all life really is...hurry up and wait for the next thing to happen.  Plan if you can, hope for the outcome you expect but try not to be disappointed or even devastated when you get something altogether different.  It's a gamble...life is.  You don't get a choice if you want to play the game or not so be strategic and smart about it but know that there's always risk and you can't control it.  We think about what we want, we figure out the best way to get it, the best way to make it through with the least amount of pain or failure.  Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we don't.  But every decision we make could go either way...literally, on a daily basis.  Fear of making the wrong decision sets things into slow motion and the agony of waiting to see what will happen increases ten fold.  So now, you're waiting but it feels like years instead of days.  Awesome.  Every day is a waiting game, when we get an answer to one thing then there's another decision to be made soon after and the waiting begins again.  I hate waiting...it means you have to master patience and that's the P word.  The best way to wait for something to happen is to be in the moment.  Time becomes irrelevant as you focus on the now, you're no longer waiting...you're just enjoying.  Waiting is really a non productive activity...I'm going to do something more productive when I find myself waiting...Isn't that what the ipad mini is for??

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

simple is better

Yes, I'd rather be a simpleton than worldly.  I think you experience more of life when you focus on small successes and not excesses.  Things we think are trivial are really huge...the smell of the grill and the sound of the squirrels running up and down the trees in your back yard, sounds of rain falling and a cool breeze, your mom cooking you your favorite meal, laughter from the dinner table, getting into bed at night, soaking in a hot bath, kissing your dog (or cat) straight on the lips, watching your kids play the various sports they love and marveling at how grown up they are, going through your pictures and recalling moments otherwise forgotten, closing your eyes and smelling freshly mown grass, enjoying your first cup of coffee in the morning while everyone else is asleep, reading a book you just can't put down, hanging out with your BFF, helping someone else in their time of need.  These are just some of the simple things in life that money can't buy yet are priceless.  Don't lose sight of how important simplicity is or you'll get lost in a complicated world.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

good things

Let's see...what good things have I gotten from the last year of my life?  I know how to use Quickbooks, I know how to do payroll, I have met some really great people and I don't hate dentistry anymore.  That last one is huge because that's what I need to do for the next 15 years or so.  Anyone need a filling?  Wow, what a ride I've had...CRAZY!  Lessons have been learned (expensive ones) and experience has been gained so that's good.  I've made new friends, some of whom are along for the crazy train ride, unfortunately.  It's weird when you are happy and sad at the same time for people in your same situation, we're always telling each other "I'm sorry you have to go through this nightmare" when we ourselves are going through it too!  Happy to know you aren't alone, sad that your friend is suffering....strange.  As I'm writing, I keep thinking of the bad things and I have to remind myself "I'm writing about the good things, jackass"....but it goes to show you how easily we focus on the bad things when it's more useful to focus on the good.  My family and my friends, both old and new, have been there for me throughout this past year and I've realized how much they love me and care about me...you can't put a price on that.

Monday, June 17, 2013

love feels like a heart attack

ummm...ok?  I'm driving down the street and hear these lyrics while listening to the radio.  I'm not sure if the artist who wrote the song has ever had a heart attack but I'm doubting it.  Love is like shooting pains down your left arm?  I don't think so.  Sometimes love is a pain in the ass but I'd rather have a pain in my ass than a cardiac arrest.  Just sayin'

On second thought, I love my children and they give me multiple heart attacks on a daily basis so maybe this singer dude is on to something.  Somehow I don't think he was singing about his kids but I'm starting to relate on some level to what he's saying.  Anyone else have a son that will sleep through world war 3?  His alarm actually shakes his bed and sirens go off...gives me a heart attack every morning but he's cool with it, sleeps right through it no problem.  Trying to wake him up is like moving a downed tree that's blocking your path in the road.  My daughter's room looks like a tornado just went through the house and the eye of it was in her room...not joking.  It gives me heart palpitations to stand in the door way much less if I have to venture in for some reason.  Then there's the time Zach got a knee to the face in a game of dodge ball...never mind, I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack just thinking about this stuff.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Patience

The P word.  I don't have the patience for patience.  It's very annoying.  I am not patient, ok?  accept it and try to deal with it.  I don't know why things can't just happen quickly.  Do it, get it done, it's finished.  Easy peasy.  Once I decide to do something I would like for it to be done in the next 60 minutes.  Buying a house, selling a business, buying a business, closing a business, getting a car, applying to colleges, planning a vacation, painting a room, getting new carpet, throwing a party, figuring out the direction your life should take...etc.  There's too much time required to execute a plan.  I'm tired of thinking, researching, planning, second guessing and dissecting.  Now a days, the second guessing part is what I do most and it's trying my patience (what little bit I had in the first place).  The P word.  I'm not good at it, never have been.  Yes, I know it's a virtue...they might as well call it "hurry up and wait for something to happen."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Life is over rated...

lyrics in a song I heard on the radio.  So I started thinking about it...not sure if life is over rated but I know of a few things that are.  Expensive toilet paper is over rated.  Timeshares are over rated.   The entire Twilight series is over rated.  But life?...the alternative, I would guess, is death so I think I'm good.  Is life fun?  not always but it has its moments.  Is life easy?  Hell no.  Is it worth sharing?  absolutely.  I think the key to life is living it well, the best way you know how.  Taking risks even if it means you could fail.  Trying new things and meeting new people whenever you can, even if it makes you uncomfortable.  Because without those experiences, and a myriad of others, then life IS over rated...there's no point.  The crappy part of life takes the fun right out of it, doesn't it?  I guess it's not all about fun or even being easy.  It's the things we learn and the people we touch along the journey that make it worth it.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Decisions

I'm sick and tired of hard lessons.  I don't want anymore hard lessons for myself or anyone I care about.  I also want to win the lottery... I don't know why I didn't win that 400 million a few weeks ago, I just don't get it.  Decisions decisions decisions, that's all life is...I don't mind it unless I make the wrong decision and then it's just not okay!  enough already!  I would like to have one week where I don't have to think about what to do, when to do it, if it's the right thing to do, who I'm going to do it with, and if doing it will screw up the future for me or someone else.  It's like playing Russian roulette on a daily basis...stop the madness.  Who am I kidding?  That's the reason we are here.  Making decisions and learning lessons, hard or otherwise.  That's the point and that's how it's going to be until we are done with this life.  It's HOW we live that matters.  I don't know how some people are able to sleep at night but I guess without them, the rest of us wouldn't be learning the hard lessons.  I'm making sense to myself, I'm sorry if I'm not making sense to you:)
My friend posted on Facebook "you will never get what you truly deserve if you remain attached to what you're supposed to let go of"...it stuck with me.  What do I truly deserve?  I know what I hope I deserve but does that mean it's in my future?  I know I need to let go of fear, that's my big obstacle right now.  I'm afraid of making the wrong decision for my future and the future of my family.  It's a big load to carry around every minute of every day and I need to let it go and trust that God will guide me.  No more lessons for me right now, okay God?  I need a respite, I'm asking on paper (virtual paper still counts) so it's down for the world to see...

Isaiah 41:10  Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your god.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Son

I try to tell him that people don't always say what they mean.  Sometimes you have to read between the lines.  Unfortunately, that skill comes with age.  Humans, in their infinite wisdom, do not know how to communicate well.  Crazy to think it but it's true.  Fear comes out as anger and love comes out like disdain.  It's so much easier just to say what you mean "I love you and I'm concerned"..."I'm afraid for you".  Young adults are not wise or worldly but we can't expect them to be.  When you love a young person it can be painful and scary.  The love and need to protect are so overwhelming that at times we say the wrong things or do the wrong things in a pathetic attempt to ward off life's lessons.  It's impossible to steer the ship if you will, to chart the journey for anyone else, no matter how hard you try.  It's their journey and they are destined to take it.  We can be there when the road gets rough but we can't get rid of the bumps.  Letting go feels like you're dropping them into the abyss and turning your back but really it's the kindest thing you can do.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Perfectly perfect

There are things I don't know.  The list is shorter than you might expect because at my age life experience has taught me much (plus I just know a lot).  Let's start with the things I don't know since the list is shorter...I don't know why there are so many tax forms.  I don't know why ants are able to carry like a billion times their own body weight.  I don't know why people are such assholes.  But I do know that we can't dwell on what we don't know.  A person can drive themselves crazy dwelling and dwelling...and dwelling.  I speak from experience.  Let's see, the list of what I know is really quite long so I'll keep it brief.  Besides the aforementioned dwelling thing, I know that change is inevitable so don't bother trying to keep things the same.  I know that we are all flawed so don't try to be perfect.  I know that flawed people are annoying so we are actually all annoying.  I know we all daydream about throttling our children at some point or another and it's okay to dream about as long as we don't actually throttle them.  See?   I'm really pretty smart.  Don't be jealous.
We don't know what we don't know and that's the bitch about life.  I'd like to know everything and how to handle every situation so that the outcome is perfectly perfect.  Sadly, nothing is perfectly perfect and that's what frustrates me more than anything.  We are supposed to experience all kinds of things while we are here and learn something from each and every one.  So keep on learning and become a better person because of it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Living in the moment

You know how you think you have it so bad and then you hear someone else's story and you feel stupid?  It can always be worse.  My mother always told me that God doesn't give you anything you can't handle but a person can't help feeling like they'll never make it through sometimes.  I'm feeling stupid this morning as I checked my facebook page and a friend posted that her husband has cancer.  I woke up with a headache at 5am worrying about myself and how much money I'm going to lose on the docpopcorn fiasco, poured my required cup of coffee, took four ibuprofen and checked my facebook page.  When I read her post I started crying and thought to myself "really Kary?  You don't have too much to be worried about"...yea, I'm gonna lose a chunk of change but so what?  Money comes and goes but your family and the people you love are forever.  We can easily get lost in the day to day trivial irritations and what we perceive to be the end of the world.  Our kids don't listen well enough, there are stupid drivers on the road, too many lazy workers not giving great customer service, companies lying to us when they want our money, no one in your house changing the toilet paper except for you...blah blah blah.   Start living in the moment people before you lose out on the opportunity.  Don't ever quit fighting the good fight.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Embrace the Journey

That's the sentiment I just saw on a Brighton bracelet in their latest catalog.  I cannot stay in the popcorn business any longer because the business won't sustain itself.  I found out yesterday that the company actually withheld vital information from me so that I would sign.  Had I had the information, I never would have gone into this business venture with them.  Today I am feeling swindled and I'm really angry.  I feel pissed, scared and unsure of the future and it's not fair.  Life isn't fair, isn't that what we always tell our kids?  Well, I don't like it, in fact I hate it.  I don't want to embrace this journey...I want to rewind and pretend it never happened.  I hope God is on my side for the next several months because I'm going to need his help to push through this.  I don't know what's going to happen but I'll do my best.  Sometimes we have to be steadfast and remain strong even when life is shooting darts at us...pray for me.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hindsight is 20/20

It's truly amazing to look back on a year and all that it brings.  A year ago I started looking for a small business to buy so that I could contribute to our retirement and help pay for my children to go to college.  I had retired from dentistry but felt I was too young to do nothing.  My sister came to visit and brought with her some popcorn from Garret's in Chicago.  They are famous for their gourmet popcorn and the Chicago Mix (cheesy cheddar and caramel mixed together) and they must be doing something right because they charge a pretty penny and people wait in long lines that trail outside their door!  So, popcorn seemed like an excellent idea.  Should I do it on my own or should I buy into this popcorn franchise?  Franchises have it all figured out, right?  wrong.  Last May I started on this journey and when I think back it's amazing to me how clear it all is now.  How differently I see things...it's like black and white.  As excited and hopeful as I was then, I'm equally as discouraged and uninspired now.    Yes, I do make good popcorn.  Yes, I have learned a lot about business and trust.  I don't know what I'll be writing here a year from now but I know I'll look back with the same kind of awe at all that happened and how it changed me.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Karma, don't ya love it?


Karma is the idea that the beneficial or harmful effects one has on the world will return to oneself.  In other words, what goes around comes around.  So, I'm just going to sit back and wait to see what happens with the popcorn people.  While I'm waiting I'm going to have a few cocktails and daydream about what I'd like to see happen.  On a side note, I had a bit of very nice karma come my way and had a dear friend and her husband help me in my time of need by way of some much needed advice.  I needed that:)
If you are considering going into business for yourself or worse yet, buying a franchise...PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't let anyone tell you that a lawyer is too expensive and you don't need to have your documents looked at...just words of wisdom from someone who knows.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Cost of Fear

Many things scare me.  Fear can paralyze you if you let it.  Losing a child, health problems, aging parents, kids leaving home, failing at anything, speaking in front of large groups, losing a pet, that the economy will get even worse, that the government really doesn't have a clue, an EMP, losing Kevin, not having a job that makes money, not having enough money for retirement, and running out of coffee.  That's the short list of things I'm afraid of.  I struggle with taking one day at a time and not worrying about what will happen tomorrow.  You can let fear consume you but at what cost?  You can't feel happiness or enjoy anything if you are scared.  Think about it.  The last time you were scared,  were you happy or enjoying life?  I fight it every day but I don't want to pay for fear with my own happiness and ability to enjoy all the great things in my life.  For fear of rambling on too long I'll end on this note: Just say NO to fear!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fortunate Me

This is the day we honor our mothers.  As kids, I don't think we really understand what that means.  I know as a child I just plain loved my mom.  She did all kinds of stuff for me and I wanted to be with her all the time but I didn't truly understand the magnitude of the job.  I didn't know that there were sleepless nights and long tiring days.  I didn't know that she worried or suffered for me and my dumb decisions...or that she could feel physical pain at my own pain.  I know those things now because I have experienced them myself.  My children love me a lot...I know that.  But they won't really know what I have given to them as a mom until they are grown and are parents themselves.  This year on Mother's Day I'm going to focus on the blessing I have been given and how important I am to my kids. I think it's a great time for us all to reflect on what our mom's did for us and how much we appreciate them but I'm also going to just love my kids and enjoy them while they're still home with me.  Happy Mother's Day to all of you ladies out there who have worked hard to raise your babies and god bless.


Insanity

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  So are you insane if you do the same thing over and over and try to make it look different?  What about if you aren't aware that you are doing the same thing and it just looks different?  If you're going to tell people you are making changes for the better to help them out, don't just take what you've already done, which is lame, and change it around to look like it's new and different.  We aren't stupid...gullible maybe, too trusting perhaps, but not stupid.  Annoyed, yes.  Just a little ranting on this Saturday morning about the ridiculousness of my situation.  Thanks for listening:)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

One Good Man

I recently read something that said "if you are loved by one good man in this life consider yourself lucky and if you are loved by one good man and you love him back, then hang on with all you've got"...I am loved by a good man and reading that passage this morning got me thinking about just how blessed I am.  My husband of 21 years is an exceptional person.  He has been there for me through thick and thin, helped me through my life's trials and tribulations, made my wrongs right whenever he could, and has loved me with all of his heart.  Is he perfect?  nope.  Do I love him anyway?  yep.  Don't expect perfection in this life because you won't find it...not in your spouse, not in your kids, not in your parents or your best friend.  Love the people in your life regardless of their imperfections as Kevin loves me and you won't have any regrets.  I know I don't.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Where the wild things are

My son recently did a paper based on this children's book, however I challenge the premise that the wild things are in that book because I believe they are right here in my house.  Three kids, three dogs and one cat make things pretty wild around here!  Trying to explain to your 12 year old daughter that piles of clothes on the floor are not "cleaning up" and that if you have to walk over and step on various items to get into your bed then you need to probably clean up is like explaining the theory of quantum physics in chinese.  Not effective.  The crazy thing is that most of the time she can find her things in there.  My oldest son brings his dirty clothes up once a month and pretends like he's going to do his laundry until I finally get tired of seeing his stuff there and do it myself, then he just comes up to get something to wear in the morning so it's like our kitchen is now his personal closet.  The dogs and cat are the rulers of the kingdom though and they are spoiled (as are the kids) beyond belief but that's what happens when you love your furry beasts the way we do.  I will say that the animals are a lot easier to clean up after than the kids!  Yes, it's wild around here but I wouldn't change it for the world.  One day soon it will be all too quiet in my house and I'll be wishing that the wild things were here to make a mess and leave their stuff laying around.  Sometimes it's annoying and frustrating but isn't that the nature of the beast?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Time

They say that there are places in this universe, other dimensions that have no time.  Where time is not measured but just is.  There is no aging and no watching the clock while the minutes pass you by.   Here on earth we marvel at how time flies, where the months and years have gone...We look at our children and we no longer see the babies we tucked in at night and tickled until they giggled uncontrollably. There is a great sadness in the realization that these times have passed and the clock keeps marching on as we measure the days, the months and the years.  We ponder what will be and how our families will change from the relentless march of time.  The little people in my life are no longer little but actually really big!  Soon they will be gone on their own and time will seem to push them through there own lives as it has pushed them through mine.  I am not sorry about any of it, just wishing that some moments could stand still and not go by at all.  Wherever time takes us in the future I hope that we can truly live each moment of it and cherish all there is to experience because you cannot stop it and it rushes by like a train, sometimes so real you can feel the rush of the wind.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Popcorn Paradise

So what's so great about popcorn?  If you need to ask that question then you are one of the few who doesn't like popcorn because most people do!  That's what's so great about it...that's why I felt like it was a great business to go into (and it is if you have the right location...) because everybody loves it young and old alike.  As an added bonus, my popcorn tastes really good and is also good for you, no fake stuff and no greasy oil topping, we use real ingredients including real butter:)  So why has this venture turned out to be unsuccessful?  well, I guess that's relative to what you consider success.  It's unsuccessful if you are looking at the numbers and hoping to see a profit!  It's successful if you taste the popcorn and see the smiles on the faces of our customers.  It's a great product.  It's in the wrong place.  The mall I'm in is not busy enough and does not create the foot traffic I need to have good numbers.  This is one of the things I have learned that is priceless really...where to open and more importantly where NOT to open.  I wish I had talked to someone like me before I had agreed on my location...hind site is 20/20, is it not?  There are several important factors involved when choosing a location and negotiating a lease with a mall.  I won't bore you with those details but I'm happy to share the information with anyone interested.  Buying a franchise is something I considered doing for a long time and when I finally took the leap, it was not what I expected at all.  Be careful, when you think you know everything and you've got it all under control with gathering essential information, ask for help!  Paradise?  no, not so much...but I look at it as a learning experience and in that respect it's certainly serving it's purpose.  I am one educated fool!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Grateful

Great.  Full.  That's what my life is.  Before I go any further in my story, I want you to know that I have a great and wonderful life full of love, friends and perfect moments.  Today I had a very good friend remind me of those things.  She also told me that I am doing great things with my life and that I should not be embarrassed by what I do...ever.  She helped me to see that I have a lot to be grateful for and that I am doing things that many people do not have the chance or, in some cases, the balls to do.  I opened a small business that I started from the ground up and I run it every day.  I have gained leaps and bounds of experience that I never would have gotten otherwise and I stepped outside my box to do it all.  I guess I shouldn't be embarrassed...thanks girlfriend!  I needed to hear what you had to say to me and I did.  I suppose if I measure my success by the dollars I've made then no, I have not been successful because I have not made too many dollars.  But if I measure my success by what I have learned and how many people I am helping in some way, then I've done a good thing.  I'm not always happy about slinging popcorn, training new employees, hauling 50 pound bags of corn, or doing the books and payroll but I do it well and that's what matters.   Life is all about challenges and how you handle them.  Do you rise up and meet them head on or do you run and hide?  I can say in all honesty that I have always met them head on.  That's something to be proud of...

Monday, April 29, 2013

There are different kinds of stupid

When I first started looking into other businesses I knew I wanted to do something completely different.  I searched online for my new identity...that's one kind of stupid.  What I found was a popcorn franchise.  They have great all natural freshly popped popcorn in 9 different flavors.  I called up and talked to "a guy" aka recruiter that gets paid to bring people into the franchise.  I didn't know that.  He told me all kinds of lies that I didn't check out because I thought he was telling me the gods honest truth 100% of the time...that's another kind of stupid, it's called naive.  The more I learned about the franchise the better it seemed so I went through all the pontificating and ass kissing and was "invited" to be in the franchise.  I'm pretty sure now I would have been invited no matter what because I had the money but it looked good at the time for them to tell me not everyone gets invited to be part of their awesomeness.  The day I signed the agreement I was very nervous but assumed it was normal jitters after spending thousands of dollars and committing your life to a new venture.  Now, most people go into business to earn money and that really was my intention.  I believed the company when they told me that's what would happen...more stupid but of a different kind, the kind where the company you just bought into doesn't really know what's going on.  Sadly, I'm at the stage where I'm trying to decide if they didn't care that my location would not do well or if they really thought it would because they don't know any better.  I think I've come to the conclusion that it's both.  I have a lot of advice for anyone considering going into a franchise and if you are one of those people, feel free to contact me and I will happily fill you in on what to do and what NOT to do!  I really have learned a lot about myself as well as how to run and research small businesses.  I do not make money, I do manage the business, work in the business, do all the books for the business, do the payroll for the business and pay the taxes as well.  I have a lot of experience I did not have before and feel like I have good advice for others in my same situation.  I wish I had done so many things differently and at the time I thought I was doing everything right.  Sometimes we  find ourselves in a situation we don't like and we can't get out of...that's when you're really tested in life.  Theodore Roosevelt once said:

"To the Man in the Arena"

It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms , the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat

Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mrs. Dentist

If you've never heard the words "I hate you" spoken from the heart by a stranger then you've never truly lived.  So why did I become a dentist?  young and stupid are the words that come to mind.  I left for college when I was 17 and there's very few people who really know what they want to do in life at that age, me included.  I had some dental work done and thought "I can do this...help others and have a sweet schedule..." and that's basically how that went.  I knew absolutely nothing about what I would learn or be expected to do.  In short, I was clueless.  I did end up graduating from dental school in may 1993 and it was a great honor and certainly something to be proud of.  I do have to remind myself of that and seem to belittle it quite often.  People don't appreciate the dentist.  We are right up there with used car salesmen and plumbers trying to rip you off and charge too much at the same time.  I can't tell you how many times I was told "well, looks like I'm paying for your car" or "looks like I'm paying for your new house" etc... not "well, looks like I'm paying for your expertise so you can pay off your school loans"...nope, never heard that one.  It hurts at first, then you just turn into a hard ass with very thick skin because you have to or you won't make it through another day.  When the recession hit in 2008 it had a major negative affect on dentists.  Our world was turned upside down like so many others in America.  I prefer not to go into a lot of detail about the 2 years that followed but I will say that we sold a lot of our belongings and moved out of our home of 10 years.  To say they were "trying times" is somewhat of an understatement but that's what they were.  Since then I've tried to reinvent myself without a lot of success!  It seems that dentistry and my identity go hand in hand because I feel lost without it but loathe it at the same time...
I ponder how I ended up where I am now on a daily basis.  I'm never satisfied and I think it's because I measure success monetarily.  Are you a success when you complete 4 years of professional school and toss your cap in the air?  The answer is: only if you think you are.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Who am I?

I am a dentist.  I am a mother.  I am a wife.  I am a sister.  I am a daughter.  I am a BFF.  I am a popcorn popper (seriously, I really am), I am a problem solver.  I am a middle aged woman (it pains me deeply to say that), I am a niece, I am an aunt,  I am a mentor (at least I think I am).  These are the roles I play in my life and yet I still ask myself "who am I?"...there are many people that value me as a person and the things I do each day but I don't know that I value myself unless I can measure my own productiveness.  Being both a professional and a mom is a hard thing to balance as I'm sure many of you know.  I retired from Dentistry a year and a half ago and I was happy about it.  Since then I have   bought a franchise (I won't mention any names to protect the not so innocent but the franchise contains the word popcorn...I think it's the only popcorn franchise out there) and had very high expectations.  What a fiasco.  Now I find myself feeling worthless having gone from "Hey Doc" to "Hey housewife" to "Hey failed popcorn popper"...at least that's how I hear it in my head.  I'm embarrassed by what I do now and how unsuccessful I am.  Don't worry there will be a lot more details coming soon for those of you who like a good horror story or those of you who may just want to learn from my numerous mistakes and life lessons.  But what I really struggle with is what is success really?  How do you measure that?  Is it when your 17 year old son tells you you are "an awesome mom", or is it when you earn $200K a year?  Are you a success if you drive a nice car or when you are able to patiently teach your child to drive that car (patiently being the key word there)?  Thinking about these things is what I do best right now.  I hope you'll leave your comments about what you consider success...I'd love to hear from you.