Sunday, April 22, 2018

Good Omens...

Could this be a good omen for our trip out to Reno for SCORE's Small Business Championship?  We're heading out west soon to meet up with and network with the other finalists in the competition.  We'll also be hearing about how to best grow our small business from industry experts and influencers, and how we can qualify for one of the grand prizes.

While I'm excited about this opportunity and grateful for the chance to represent our business on a national level, I have to admit that my stomach is a bit twisted in knots.  You would think that after meeting thousands of people at trade shows, teaching in front of groups of strangers, and being on TV, that I would have this whole meeting new people thing down.  But still... there's that little shy boy, who didn't know where to sit on the bus or was uncertain of where to have lunch.  Still there's that awkward teenager who doubted his own self worth and tried to disappear into the crowd.  Still there's that nervous young man on a bad blind date, and the feeling of snap judgements and impending rejection.  Still there's that nervous person trying to find the right words, grabbing them from thin air like playing jacks for the first time.  Sweaty palms and all.

Over the years, I've worked hard on letting go of the past and pushing myself forward.  I've developed a thicker skin and learned to love myself.  I've discovered secrets of body language and how to hold myself.  I learned to swallow down my doubts, my fears, and my apprehensions, hoping all the while that they don't balloon up and carry my words away.  But still... the echoes of my former selves linger like stains.

I've mentioned this in the past, about the nerves that I feel.  I know that when I'm in the moment, everything will be okay.  But it's the time before that brews these foreboding tummy rumblings of not being good enough.  Will they like me?  Will I make a good impression?  Will I wear the right thing?  Will I say what needs to be said?

It's in these moments that I cast my heart out like a net, searching for something that I can hold on to, looking for good omens in unexpected places.  I know it's silly to be so superstitious.  I know that a slip of paper folded up in a cookie has no sway, but still I cannot walk away from this small comfort and sign that everything will be okay.

The Drunk Season...

Like a lot of people, winter isn't my season.  While the first few days can be charming and the holidays have their own special sentimentality, the cold and snow just aren't for me.  Before my dear friends ply me with advice about full spectrum lights, vitamin D, essential oils, and anti-depressants, I'm well aware of coping mechanisms for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

For me, winter has a hunker down feeling.  I curl up inside myself.  But as the days grow longer and the light gets brighter and the days get warmer, I feel myself unfurling.  I find myself standing still, my feet in the grass, with my face turned to the sky, letting the warm rays wash over me and fill my starving eyes with color and light.  Don't worry, I'm not looking directly at the sun, as tempting as it may be.  My neighbors probably think I'm nutty, but I don't care.  There's a magic in the birds tipsily whirling around me, collecting bits of this and that for their nests.  There's a beauty in the smell of green grass and growing things.  There's a sense of peace as the rabbits hop by, playing games of chase.

It might seem strange that a self professed night owl should enjoy the growing days so much, but there's a shift that I can feel within myself.  From hunker down mode to singing silly songs, it's as though the blooming of flowers makes me drunk.  That seasonal intoxication makes all things seem possible.  Maybe it's my allergy medicine?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


I remember a time when if I didn't update the blog at least once a day, I'd get a queasy feeling of panic in my stomach.  But that was before Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest.  This was before Facebook Live and streaming videos.  Nowadays, there are so many platforms that it often times feels as though I'm being swallowed up in the weeds.  And that's social media and not the day to day tasks and urgencies.

I miss blogging.  It really did help me organize my thoughts and I think it helped with my memory as well.  I think what I really miss is the blogging community.  It was new back then and everyone was trying to figure things out and there was an electricity surrounding it.

The people who made up the community are mostly still around, but they're much more spread out than they used to be.  The content has also changed from deep introspection that you could sink your teeth into, into snippets that are rapid fire and more easily consumed.  I remember reading some posts, sometimes of content matter that was far from easy, and feeling closer to the author – as if by writing what they wrote, they grew and by me reading it, I grew too.

Part of me has a desire to get back into blogging, but part of me wonders if I haven't outgrown this path?  What once came so easily now seems harder.  What once flowed, now halts in choppy jerks.  Perhaps it is time to let go and give it to the weeds, let it get buried and forgotten.

I don't know.  And maybe that not knowing is the answer.  If I'm not absolutely positive, maybe there are a few good posts still left in me that need to be written.  If there is doubt, then maybe it should linger on a little bit longer.  Maybe that unwillingness to let go is all I need to continue.  At least for now.