October 24, 2012

How Do You Work From Home?

"Well, your door is not shut," I exclaimed to Mike the other day as I had something I needed to tell him at that moment.

We are adapting to working from home, together. Our red room extends into the living room, dining room and kitchen area in a very open layout with over sized doorways (with no doors) into each room. Mike has always preferred to work on the back deck; or when it is too cold in the kitchen. I somehow overtook the desk in the red room and now use that as my office space.

I am still finding my rhythm of working from home. After the two and a half hours in the morning of getting the girls ready for school and to school, I arrive back home at 9 to start my day. By this time Mike, who took Maddie to school at 7:15 a.m., is already writing his daily blog (http://micheal-elliott.blogspot.com/).

Mondays are the hardest because everything I didn't do on the weekend, I always tell myself I can do on Monday....but...finally around noon I am ready to start doing things and it starts with lunch. Soon after that it is off to get the girls and take Cassidy to gymnastics. So work and housework never really seem to happen on Monday.

A regret filled Monday night leaves me working way past bedtime to catch up and Tuesdays begins with a great gusto of "I am ready!"

For awhile I will find my momentum and get many things done. Often as I find my groove, Mike decides it is time to come and give me a kiss. I stay focused on the computer and work as he tries to persuade me otherwise.

"Umm...didn't you see my door was closed," I often say to him as we both laugh.

I consider it a great blessing to be able to work from home running our own business
(http://www.letustellit.com/)  but it is also one of the hardest adjustments. Living five blocks from the beach doesn't help either. But who gets to do this?

Mike and I are creating a life that we both desire to have.

I am now living out my dream of working from home and being my own boss. Yet, it is scary and thrilling as most dreams-turned-into-reality are.

"The rhythm of a work routine from home will come," I tell myself as the sun bounces shadows across my desk from the palm tree dancing outside my "office" window.  The reflections on my desk make me look at my two to-do lists. The longer list being longterm items; the other today's list.

Seeing that five of eight things  are completed on today's list, I think it is time to check on Mike. Looks like his office door is open....

October 19, 2012

My Confession

There comes a point in life when you realize that no matter how hard you try for something, some things just will never be the way you imagined. I like to believe we can all really reach our dreams of work, love, family...and yet the sad reality is that we can try and fail, give and give...and still what we thought never happens.

The family you dreamt of is shattered by years of infertility and loss. The one you pledged to love fails to respect the special bond you should share. The perfect job is downsizing and your are blindsided when your name is on the list. The safety net you planned is drained by medical bills. The retirement account you established is now pulled to cover today's bills.

Our days are filled with countless disappointments.

Lately, I am trying to wrap my head around several things. Some are directly related to me; others to those I love dearly. It all just does not make sense.

For a pretty positive person, I find myself struggling to count my blessings in the midst of this all. It is hard to accept circumstances when you really thought you (or they) deserved better. It is a process of anger, shock, hurt...until a dull ache remains.

You go through the motions of each day trying to make it better than the last, only to go so far before you are reminded of it all again. Why do bad things happen to good people?

I believe though that we can all grow and change for the better in these times. The sad truth is we cannot make someone else change; even when a small change on their part would greatly alter reality for the better.

So what do we do? How do we accept what is beyond our control? How do we look on the bright side of life when we can't see it?

I know, faith.

Yet, I find that when things happen to me I draw back. I protect myself. I cannot muster even the smallest ounce of faith that things will get better.

I am learning to accept that I may never get the desires of my heart. If I am honest, I don't like it. Of all the good I try to give and love I try to spread, I deserve better, but.....in the end, maybe not having them is better.

That is hard to say. Who wants to think that loss, pain, and hurt are worth something better?

I know I will be okay; and those that I love who are hurting will be okay too..but today, well today....it is one of those times when...the ache weighs heavily in my heart. When I am trying to understand what the now will look like and accept some things just will always be.

So I share this not for sympathy, but to let others know it is okay. We all have our days when we doubt, when we question our reality over what we imagined, when the questions have no answers, when we struggle to find faith.

There is no shame in admitting that we falter. In fact I think it is healthier to admit that we struggle than to appear perfect. So I make my confession.

October 15, 2012

Monday, Days Like This

A restless night led to a slow start to this Monday and I am off-kilter this afternoon. I think to myself, "Mama said there'd be days like this..."

I tossed and turned last night forever. Nothing particular was on my mind and it had been a wonderful weekend. I just could not get comfortable. Finally at 1 a.m. I threw the blankets off of me and proceeded to finally stop sweating and eventually exhaustion hit.

Mike woke me up as I asked this morning, but I remained exhausted. I eventually stumbled out of bed. Mike was already working and had completed more on his to-do list in a few hours than I will complete all day. He was in his zone, so I decided to go and do my stuff.

I yawned through a Pilate's workout instead of a run and hopped in the shower. We had brunch with an equally tired Sam and Chelsea and then rode our bikes home.

I loathe this feeling. My tired mind makes me on edge with a thousand silly thoughts and I find myself in a state of numb. I complete tasks feeling like I am performing through an out of body experience.

I grant myself permission to have days like this. We all do. The key is not to get stuck in a repetitive pattern of off-kilter days that result in angst or unhappiness. That is all to easy of a place to end up.

So, I fumble through today. I just can't find a way to "stop the storm from rollin' in" so I will "take shelter it'll pass and then the sun is gonna shine."

October 4, 2012

Almost Ready

I started working the summer I turned 14. Eventually I began working during the school year as well and all through college. Three months after graduating from college I entered the corporate world and stopped only for six weeks of maternity leave three times and for short vacations here and there.

It was never in my realm of possibility to not work. I enjoyed getting dressed up each day and watching my professional life grow. A normal paycheck meant financial stability and benefits took care of other concerns. I was tied to the safety of what an 9-5 (which it hardly ever was just this) job offered me. It is what most of us know.

I got to work with some wonderful people whom I now count as friends. Experiences occurred that I am grateful for. I was challenged for being a woman and a mother that worked outside the house too.

For the past 10 months I have not worked. (Well, that is not true. I have worked hard in the last few months developing our next big dream into a reality. Keep watching as we are almost ready!) But, I had my first summer off since I was 14 this year and it was harder than I thought. I always believed that staying at home with kids is harder than also working outside the home. This is so true!

Taking time off for me and the girls was a blessing in so many ways. I struggled though too. Learning how not to entertain the girls all day long, believing in myself beyond the professional accolades I received, and having faith that all the bills would get paid.

Now with the girls back in school, I am trying to find the new rhythm of working from home for myself. It is a scary, yet exciting place to be. Mike is also working from home and he sits in his office on the back deck while I sit in my office at the desk in the red room and we work. We communicate through texting as Goddess and Winston, our dogs, show no interest in being the doggie express.

Yesterday I was looking at Crystal McDaniel's Facebook page. She is a friend from high school that I would  pick up for school in my teal Geo Metro and  we would sing to the Cranberries or she would listen to my latest boy woes. Crystal has been driving free for 6 years as she is now a Future Executive Senior Sales Director for Mary Kay. "I chose to work hard as hard for myself as I once did for a boss. I simply made a decision everyday to go to work to build my own future because Delaney and I deserve it," she wrote on her page beneath a photo of her new Cadillac. I am in awe of her.

With what is next just around the corner, there is part of me that still clings to the security a 9-5 job brings. We are all given different paths to choose and what is right for one person may not be right for another, but I have this opportunity to "work as hard for myself as I once did for a boss" that I just have to take.

I am (almost) ready.