Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Interesting conversations

Today I was told in therapy that I have a conscious marriage. 

I really like how that sounds.

I'm also really tired so I'm shamelessly posting this as a teaser and also as my blog post for the day.

Startup Weekend Youth wore me out. I'm behind on my posts for #NaBloPoMo and I didn't want to add another day.

Good night all.   See you tomorrow

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Day 1.5 at SWDYouth

We're deep into things here at Startup Weekend Detroit Youth.  #SWDYouth

The day started off a little crazy.  There was a parade on Jefferson and Battle of the Bands at Ford Field.  Parents were calling to let us know that they were sitting on the off ramp trying to get to the gate.  Kids, organizers, coaches and about a thousand band kids and parents were trying to make their way into the building.

Even though we got off to a late start, the kids are doing amazing things and amazing things are happening to the kids.

There was one person who was so mad that her mom dropped her off she wouldn't talk to anyone. There were shady looks and plenty of pouting. By the end of the night she was all smiles and gladly admitted she was wrong.  Another parent came up to one of the organizers and thanked her profusely. He said that the kid who came out the door last night was a totally different kid from the one he dropped off. Today, she's being sought out for her design skills.

The kids have been encouraging and supportive. They recognize others' talents and bring them out with cheers and smiles.  It's free love without the drugs, sex and rock n' roll.  Well, there is music. And books. And washing machines. And toys. And paint.

The businesses that these kids have come up with are amazing.  They are working together to make an idea that started at around 11:00 AM this morning to take shape. They are throwing words around like validation, market research and revenue streams as if they were seasoned executives.  People are making phone calls to companies, surveying possible customers and creating prototypes.  And it's only 5:30 PM.

Stay tuned for more updates.  It's going to be great.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Day One SWDYouth

Just to let you know,  this is going to be short.
I missed last night's post because I had to get up for a two AM conference call.
Today,  it's almost two AM and I know I'm running on fumes.
This was the first day of Startup Weekend Detroit's Youth(#swdyouth) program. It went really well. We got kids from all over and even a family that flew in from Minnesota!

The kids began arriving at 3:30 PM on the dot and didn't stop until 7:00 PM. They came with all sorts of reactions: mad,  anxious,  nervous,  happy and some with a chip on their shoulder. 
By the end of day one,  they all seemed to be on the same page. 
They're excited to come up with an idea.  Excited to dream.  Excited to know that they have the power to execute that dream.  And,  I'm sure, that the prizes have no role in adding to that excitement
I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

All you got and it's not a lot

It is supposed to rain tomorrow.

Lately, that's the kiss of death.

The dropping barometric pressure gives me a horrible migraine that usually doesn't let up until the rain starts.  Don't get me wrong, it's better than it used to be.  At least with the new preventative I'm on I can manage the pain.

The sick kid tried to go to school today and ended up calling home within the first hour.  Since this was her third day home, I decided to go the doc's.  We hopped in the car so we could make it to walk-in hours.

Kid:  Do you have a migraine?

Me: I don't think so.

Kid:  You're breathing really heavy, like when you have a migraine.

Me:  Then I must be getting one.  Thanks for telling me.

That might seem like a weird conversation to share.  But for me, it's really important.  My husband and daughter are no so attuned to my signs that they often catch my migraines before I do.  I'm so used to living with pain that I don't figure it out until its too late. Then I'm just screwed for the day.

And today, I got really lucky.

If the kid wasn't home, no one would have noticed my oncoming migraine.  I took a pill as soon as I got to the doctor's office.  After we got her diagnosis, a small stomach virus, we both came home and went to bed.

I got up around 3:30 and went to some appointments.  I looked like a rock star!  Well, I looked like a hungover rock star wearing sunglasses indoors and that don't-put-food-near-me-or-I'll-puke-on-it look.

You know what they say, "Showing up is half the battle."

I made it.  It wasn't pretty, but I got there.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Twist of Love

It is 11:24 PM and it's been a hell of a day.  I'm just sitting down to write my blog.  The whole day seems like it started out with blue eyes peeking through my door this morning and nothing has been right since then.

I actually have no kids of my own.  I just borrow a bunch of them.  There are two that my husband brought from his previous marriage.  Then there are four others from two different high school friends.  Finally, there are three more from a college friend.  When people ask me if I have kids, I always tell them anywhere from two to nine. It just depends on the day.

Now, things are different, everyone is in some sort of school.  From preschool to high school.  These days, I tend to plan my time around work.  I'm trying to save a company, create another company and move a third one forward.  That is, between eating bon bons and watching telenovelas.

What's that saying about the best laid plans?

I tend to stay up late. My husband gets up early and does the morning shift with the kids and I wake up around 8.  I start my day slow because I find that if I don't jump right into computer work, I can usually make it all day without a migraine.  So, here I am this morning, planning out my day via the old fashioned pen and paper and...

Very timid voice says, "Amimi? (that's pronounced Ah-mee-mee)

I say, "Yeeeeeeeeeeees?"

Very timid voice says. "Can I come sit with you and watch cheesy Christmas movies?"

And this was the beginning of my own personal shadow all day long.  This sick, home from school, thirteen year old child somehow morphed into a toddler underfoot today.  If was on the computer, she had her head in front of it (literally.) If I went downstairs, she went downstairs. If I sat in the kitchen, she sat in the kitchen. There was A LOT of whining. All. Day. Long.

And while I'm really grateful for the almost peace and quiet that I am currently experiencing, (there is a big man snoring loudly next to me,) I can't deny that I love it that she loves me so much.  I love spending time with her, teaching her things and being annoyed that she is so much better than me at any craft I try.  I love hearing (most of) her stories and knowing that she will confide in me.  I love knowing that she thinks I'm safe and loves snuggling up and tucking in.

I'm not quite sure how to tie this all up in a neat ribbon, but I think I'm trying to say that I just love being loved by her and loving her back.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

I Love Fall

I love Fall.  When I say love, I mean love, love, LOVE Fall. I'm not sure if it's the leaves changing color or the crisp air that almost smells like snow.

Maybe it's that I can break out all my sweaters or maybe that it's sweatshirt weather in the morning and I can enjoy my coffee all wrapped up.  It could be daylight savings.  I like that extra hour of dark in the morning. (I know, I know, I'm the only one.) Whatever it is, I L.O.V.E. Fall.

And in the Fall, my mindset changes.  I think I'm a better parent.  A better parent in the June Cleaver kind of way.

I'm super involved with my kids and their activities at school.  I was geeky excited to join the PTO and this Wed I'm participating in my first official bake sale!  Not my first.  My first OFFICIAL bake sale.  As in, I'm a member of the crazy mamas of the PTO and I'm in the bake sale...Get it?

I'm helping plan the senior party.  Which I just learned is like a wedding with no bride and groom. The budget is astronomical and I'm not even exaggerating.

I'm meal planning and making mini quiches so that the kids start with protein instead of starch.  I make sure I'm home when they get here so they can tell me all about their days. I buy a balance of nutritional and junk snacks so that they can pick and choose.  And when the junk is gone, they are stuck with the nutrition.

I know that Spring is supposed to be rebirth, but all it means to me are nasty allergies.  Summer is hot and sticky and it stands for boob sweat and mosquitoes.

But Fall is the most awesomest time of the year. I can sleep with the window open at night and huddle under heavy covers with my nose all cold and peaking out to breathe.  I feel like with that muggy, summer air gone I can clear the cobwebs and think.  I can take stock of what's important and concentrate on family and friends. Maybe the reason I love Fall so much is that it's actually about letting go. I'm letting go of all the expectations from before, I'm letting go of the little girl who is turning into a young lady and I'm letting go the the boy that will soon legally be a man.  I'm letting go so I can make room for all the good things to come.  Fall is about dying, but sometimes you have to let dreams die so that you can make room for new ones.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Latina Fabulous 2.0

The good news is, I don't feel like I'm floundering any more.

I went to Blissdom Canada (#BlissdomCA) about two weeks ago and it helped me solidify my purpose.

In case you didn't know, I was sick from March until the end of July.  I finally feel better, Not great.  Not super but better. And I'll take it. After months of chronic migraine and a bout of pneumonia to top it off, I'll take okay any day.

I've been giving what I want to do a lot of thought.  What I want to do, what I am doing now and how it all fits in together.  I've been mulling it over and really trying to create a mission/purpose statement to help me follow my path.

I had conversations with a variety of people and it seems like each bit of shared information led me to the next piece of the puzzle.  I spoke with Alex Hillman  (@alexhillman) from Indy hall in September at a coworking conference in Toronto. (#GCUCCanada.)  We talked at length and I realized that what I was envisioning all along, Alex was already doing.  While we spoke I could see my idea taking shape.  I sat down after we talked and I started to write down all the things that were important to me.

There was a month between GCUC Canada and Blissdom.  I thought about how I wanted to bring all my loves together.  During every quiet moment I would take out my retro pen and paper and add things, cross them out, write new key words and create shapes that illustrated what I was picturing.

Last year was my first year at Blissdom and I was in awe of all these confident women.  I felt pretty intimidated and like a fraud. Who was I kidding?  I was not running a successful blog, I was not big in the social media world and I certainly wasn't able to compete.  I learned plenty, but I don't think I got nearly as much as I gave.

This year I took a different approach.  I decided that if I was going to spend all my hard earned money going to conference, I was going to enjoy it and make the most of it.  And I did.

One of the last sessions that I attended was with Christine Tremoulet (@christineBPC.) She talked about being bold.  She said you should be you and not apologize for it. Behave how you want to behave and don't be afraid to express yourself.

And that was it. That was the last straw.  I was able to piece together all the parts and send them off to fiverr  Below is what I came up with. It's all going to work together.  It all represents me. It may not always be in complete balance; however, I figure this infographic will act like the bumper lanes in a bowling alley and when I get off course, it will kick me back in line.

You might think it's cheesy; but that's okay, because I'm kind of cheesy.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

Latina Floundering

I feel like my fabulocity (fabulousness?) has taken a hike.

I have had a hard six months and I'm trying to find my way back to me.  It's more difficult than it sounds.

If any of you have been chronically ill, you'll get it.  And I've done a really good job of managing my illness, at least I think I have.

I will spend all day resting for whatever I have to do. Then I'll go to the the event, appointment, meeting, dinner and be ON. I'll smile and say the right things.  I'll make excuses for the other events I've missed and the social events I'm not caught up on.  Immediately afterwards, I'll come home and collapse.  At one point I was down to one thing a day.  One meeting, one picking up the house, one trip to the grocery, one task on the computer.

One. Thing.

Life pretty much stops when you are at one thing.  And you're in so much pain that there's not a whole lot of self reflection going on.  There's a haze, a vegetable state that takes over. Seriously, I sometimes feel like I'm going to turn into a chameleon that just blends into the couch.

 And now, there's fear, and if I'm honest, a little bit of old fashioned plain pissed off.

These past few weeks  I've been doing better.  I'm up to four things (Woo-Hoo!  FOUR things.)  Or maybe it's four hours out.  And then today, I'm back down to one thing.  It's so deflating!

Here I thought I was on my way!  My husband took a job he hates so that we could have health insurance.  So I thought, I'm getting better!  I'll get a job!  I started looking but I'm worried.  What if I get sick again?  Can I handle a job?

Or I think that I'll concentrate on the social media campaigns for the various companies I'm involved with.  I'll really give them that boost that they need.  I'll do great!  (I'm pretty good when I set my mind to it.) And then a day like today happens where I have to limit my screen time just to survive the pain.

Or I could get more piano students, or I could work harder at monetizing my monthly entrepreneur event, or I could...I'm sure you get the idea.  I have plenty of options to get things moving but I get stuck.  I get stuck in a virtual cesspool of swirling cement that drags all of my good intentions right down the drain and then locks them in tight.  They don't even really go any where. They sit at my feet taunting me.  And if I could just get one foot out, I could head in a direction.  And I was, I was moving forward and at least starting to explore the possibilities.  Until today, when I'm back to one thing.