I’ve written about this before. But, in each year we have 525,600 minutes.
It’s a lot right? Yes! The thing is… what do we choose to do with those minutes?
My lament of 2020 was allowing 2020 to happen to me rather than being consistently and effectively in the drivers seat. Part of “Decide to Rise” is to thoughtfully consider what I am going to do with the 2021 allotment of minutes.
My friend Nancy introduced me to the Panda Planner in 2019. It’s a great way to plan your life in bite sized pieces, the benefit of course is to build a series of smaller goals into larger more meaningful goals. Today, I spent time with my PP and 2020 outcomes to build a plan for moving forward in 2021. http://panda planner.com
Check. 20% seems like the low end of the goal setting, I should be able to knock it out of the park. It’s a $31,075.00/month, which breaks down in to roughly $7,769.00/week, which further breaks down to about $388.45/day in sales, $49.00/hour in sales, and then down to minutes… $0.82/minute and finally, $.0136.
Math is funny isn’t it?
Looking at $373,000 ish in a year seems a bit scary, challenging… how will I EVER get there? Like ever? And so you just break it down.
The weekly number in sales made me feel way better prepared to be successful, daily, Ha! Should literally be able to do this standing on my head. Dare say with one hand tied behind my back. But when I break it down to hours, and then minutes, and then seconds… well by the time I get to seconds it feels like maybe the goal, the bar, isn’t set high enough.
I feel better.
I feel like tomorrow, the first Monday of 2021 is met with a plan. A good plan. A plan I can successfully navigate and win. Thanks Nancy for introducing me to Panda Planner. Thanks Denise to introducing me to 525,600 minutes. Both are great tools and reminders that we get to choose how we spend our time.
I started writing this yesterday, and felt like I was on a going no where rant. I guess it’s like that sometimes.
It’s January 1, 2021.
2020 is officially in the rearview. For most of us it was a year that was full of challenge, fear, anxiety, desperation, depression, loss, and likely a million other feelings on the spectrum of BAD. For me, it was no different. As I look back at 2020, I felt I was doing okay and could handle anything that was thrown my way until December 11, 2020, when my friend Deb, who was also my assistant, chaos coordinator, lifter upper, cheerleader and consummate hope generator lost her battle with Covid 19.
I will never be the same. Never. Not Ever. It is as painful for me today when I woke up realizing I am embarking on 2021 without her as it was on the 11th when I lost her. My heart still aches, so for that, Fuck You 2020. Fuck You Covid 19. Fuck. You.
But, I know better.
I know that Deb continues to cheer, believe, and lift up from her perch in heaven. I also know that her belief in me would have me pick-up, dust-off, and kick ass. It’s how she is. Honoring her in ALL things is so important to me.
So… in looking at all of that. And much consideration yesterday, I’ve decided on my OLW for 2021, the word I will use to be the focus of my life and pursuits in 2021.
1. move from a lower position to a higher one; come or go up.”the tiny aircraft rose from the ground”
I have chosen the verb part of speech, because I love ACTION. And more truth, my life needs some action right now.
We have a choice to make, both individually, and collectively.
We can continue to sit in the abyss that is left in the remnants of 2020 or we can RISE. Make no mistake about it, what we do with 2021 is a choice. Rise.
On the third day, HE rose.
Think on that, I have. After the three darkest days in recorded history HE rose. What a powerful demonstration of leaving darkness behind.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”Matthew 28:5-6
Decide to Rise.
I am working on my business, finding the help I need that Deb was chief in charge of. I think I have. Getting my business to $500,000.00 in revenue, a mark that if not for a pandemic I think I would have reached. Rise to the challenge to lose the last 40 pounds I need to shed, more on that to follow. Rise to the challenge of working on myself, self-care, but not the bubble bath kind, the being a stronger person kind, emotional intelligence, responding to stressors, making decisions daily create the space to Rise.
There are things that no matter the preparation or lack of you’re just not ready to live, to feel, and to be in.
#Covid19 and #2020 have been that way for me. And, honestly, I don’t know that I’ve ever had a harder year in my life.
Not in 1981 when my parents got divorced and our family seemed to split in two overnight.
Not in 1987 when my family lost my grandmother Ruby…
My first, yes, first divorce, not the loss of my grandmother Carolina. The struggles of addiction in my family… The loss of my Aunt Diana, which is really the most painful until 2020.
I started The Mktg Dept in 2019, started building my business, things were moving right along. Enter March… Covid.
I spent literally from March 9th until say May, basically quarantined. Keeping a small business running I missed only one payroll during that time. Our little business received PPP still waiting to see how that get’s taken care of… we received an SBA EIDL loan.
We managed to keep going.
In May, my second marriage imploded. Like literally imploded. It may have in any case, but the lockdown certainly was no help and it’s amazing to feel lonely when you’re in the same room as your family… It’s a mind fuck really.
So we move on… and I moved on.
There was a little let down of the lock down and things were maybe looking a little upward. In September, I was able to visit friends in Fargo, and that felt almost normal, not withstanding the masks on the flight….
In October, we were able to participate in a “hybrid” trade show… That was the last time I saw Deb, my friend, right hand, and chaos coordinator. Deb and I go back pretty far… she was my customer service rep when I was in sales with One Touch Point. She was my rep when she went to Royal Printing Solutions and when she was ready to retire in October ish November ish of 2019 we talked about her part timing with me to help my little business that was growing and give her enough to do to keep from being utterly board and/or getting in trouble.
And so she did.
Seriously… there is no better fit for me than Deb. She’s everything I’m not, and knows me for all of the good and the not so good.
Andy, her husband had recently been sick with Covid, and of course Deb nursed him back to wellness.
Deb got Covid.
The last I really heard from her was November 12th, 13th… I knew she had been to the emergency room, and then after that, I knew she had been admitted in to the hospital. But the silence from her was deafening. And then I heard from Andy November 27th… Deb was still in the hospital and had been on a ventilator for about a week. On December 3rd we got some good news, they were able to turn her ventilator down a bit… she was doing a little bit better. Cautiously optimistic but warned that it would continue to be a roller coaster, Covid is like that. December 9th, things turned worse, no good news and her care providers warned they did not believe she’d survive. I still don’t understand how we went from turning it down a little bit to not believing she’d pull through. I’m selfish, and my prayers were centered around Deb finding her stubbornness, her will to live, to take another cruise, and to golf another round. On Friday, the 11th, Andy texted again to continue to ask for our prayers for my friend Deb… that they were going to wean her from the ventilator. We’d get the miracle of her survival or the miracle of her going home to be with Jesus.
At 7:40 pm on Friday, I got the message from Andy that our sweet Deb had gone home. I am grateful that Andy was able to be with his love when she needed him most, and that she did not die alone, that he was able to hold her hand and spend her precious few last moments together.
And that brings me to today… there are 15 days left in 2020 and I believe we’ve collectively never been more ready for a year to end, to turn the page, and to pray for better days in 2021.
I don’t know what I’ll do without Deb, and honestly, in talking to my dad, we talked about how for me it really would have been “easier” and I know that’s not the right word, but “easier” just the same to have lost him… we think about and consider the loss of our parents as we get older, as our parents get older. We don’t often think about losing our friends, our right hands, our chaos coordinators. I just wasn’t ready to lose Deb…
My heart is completely broken. I am just not ready for this. I am not ready to consider what The Mktg Dept looks like without her. I am not ready to be without my friend. I am not ready for this… Grief sucks. Losing Deb sucks. Covid sucks.
Today is November 26, 2020, Thanksgiving. So I thought I might take a minute, since I’ve not written since MARCH. It may seem difficult to find things to give thanks for. This year has certainly been a struggle, and truth, today is no different.
Since March and the start of Covid and lock down, and safe at home and safer at home and back to safe at home so much has changed. Mostly for the good, though I need to dig deep to find it.
I spent today alone.
By choice. As I look back at 2020, I am outright amazed at just how much selling myself out I’ve done. And I’ve done a lot. It’s embarrassing, it’s painful, and it’s raw. I got divorced this year, moved into a place of my own where everything is self-chosen, self-directed. I thought that I’d made the break. Broken away from people pleasing, from taking the back seat, second fiddle. I thought I’d made the choice to finally, finally, put myself first.
Not. So. Fast.
Dating. I started dating and I fell hard and fast for someone. I love him. I do. But over the past several months I am seeing my old people pleasing behaviors come back to haunt and taunt me. There is so much I love in this person… but then there’s also so much I don’t. Things I don’t agree with and find in huge conflict with my moral compass. And so it flares up and I stand up for what I want only to find myself weakening again. Allowing less of myself than I’d ever encourage of any of my girl gang peers.
So it happened again…
Yesterday. I chose myself. And today I chose to not participate in planned Thanksgiving events. Instead, I binged on Star Trek and I cried. A lot. The tears today are different. I am sad over this person and for a relationship I know good and well isn’t the right place for me. But I cried for being alone. Truth, I think I could have called any number of friends and found a place to be today, but today I chose to be alone. It’s hard, and it hurts, but I think it’s necessary. I don’t know the last time I had this kind of cry, the kind where your heart and gut really hurt, and it does.
I’m sure I’m not done with the cry today. There are more than 365 days of hurt to unpack and deal with. One ugly box at a time. So today, it’s peanut butter and jelly and gratitude for this moment of being strong, even when you don’t think you can.
It’s hard to believe today is March 1st. Today we start Women’s History Month. I really didn’t even know we had such a thing until just yesterday. So I think about the amazing women in history and ponder how they’ve contributed collectively to HERstory.
For the next 31 days, on 5280 Women, a Facebook page I manage with some amazing women, we’ll be looking at the women who have influenced our story.
Women and possibility.
Without these women, where would our story be? They have challenged the status quo, they’ve demonstrated their grit, their grace, their intelligence, and their sheer will power all in the name of possibility for women. These women gave us the right to vote, they’ve given women of color the ability to sit wherever she wants on public transportation. They’ve given us the possibility to carry our own credit cards.
Have paved the way for us to go to space, to work for NASA, to run for president. They’ve given rise to our power in the courtroom, entrepreneurship, the ability to find happiness and success as moms and career women.
Remember this month to thank a woman for helping you believe in what is possible!
My gift for the amazing women in my tribe, and with the thanks to Devon Bawlit…
The Power of
She was warned, she was given an explanation,
yet she persisted.
She chews each stone twenty times twenty,
and when her own teeth fail,
borrows more. She claws her way up
the sides of the pit,
and when they raise the walls, reaches
for the next handhold,
leaving fingernails and skin. Tell her
she is too much,
tell her to go home, tell her that her efforts
impress no one.
She might sob, but she will laugh with the same
Her laughter might be bitter, but persisting,
it will suffice.
There is seldom a time when shopping I manage to make it out for less than $300.00. I am sure there is a brilliant marketing strategy in there somewhere. But, I digress.
I was at my local Target last week to pick up my contact lenses scope out the clearance rack, buy some bronzer and of course new cosmetic brushes… They’re A-mazing! On my way out, I usually consider stopping at the Starbucks there, I typically don’t, it doesn’t feel “real” to me. So I’d rather hit the drive through across the street.
But this day… I did.
And… I don’t know why, but I also felt the push to buy the coffee for the customer behind me, you know the pay it forward thing? So this little coffee… a tall London Fog to be exact, which is really tea… nearly brought the recipient to tears. You see, she told me she’s an HR administrator and just spent the day working on severance packages for employees being let go from their job.
What an im-Possibly hard day!
I honestly can’t imagine having to do be the person orchestrating severance packages knowing the effect it would have on someone having an otherwise good day.
So what does this have to do with possibility?
Well, the way I see it… we have a choice, every. single. day. The choice to realize our actions carry infinite possibility, both good and bad. Sometimes we can use our actions to the benefit of others with the possibility of being a day saver or life changer. We can choose actions resulting in the possibility of damage, hurt, or heartache. When we get the choice… I hope we choose the possibility of making someone smile.
The type that drop you to your knees and leave you questioning absolutely EVERYTHING. Maybe it’s something that happened with your partner, or your child, or a friend… or a coworker. Maybe it’s something you’re just facing that you’re just facing. Maybe it’s work… or health.
The truth is, it’s unavoidable.
We have those moments, days, weeks, I hope they’re not months or years, but… if it is, I hope you find your way in to possibility.
In. Those. Moments.
Always look up for possibility…
I recently had one. Like days ago recently. And in the moment, I went from zero to sixty in less than 2.5 seconds. I went from being a the top of my game to the very bottom, questioning every single choice. I emailed my coach letting her know that not only was “the honeymoon over” in my new business and I was knee deep in perturbation, but I wondered how I’d ever get through a few really tough hours.
And somehow… I did.
It wasn’t easy. Nor was it fun. But, pain, struggle, and even failure give rise the the opportunity to be better. The opportunity to be better is possibility, plain and simple.
When next you have that moment, remember when you are back flat on the ground, or feel like you’re just hanging by a thread… all you need to do is open your eyes, look up and find the possibility.
If you believe anything is… it will be. Is it impossible? If you believe it is, it will be. Is it improbable? If you believe it is, it will be. Is it unlikely, if you believe it is… it will be.
What happens when you believe that anything is possible?
This week I had lunch with Darius. I’ve known him for a few years now. We met while I was mentoring with Colorado Youth at Risk, oh 2012, maybe 2013. He was in the first cohort that I participated in. What struck me about this young man… his kindness, humility, desire to work, and drive to see possibility. We stayed connected through his high school career. As a senior, he reached out to me after being recruited by BHSU (Black Hills State University) to play football. Darius very much wanted to visit the campus to see if BHSU was a good fit, but lacked the necessary resources to make the trip happen.
We went to work.
Using our connections, we were able to secure his flight on a friend’s airline miles. Another dear friend put pocket money in his hands. I also had a girlfriend that I graduated with that made Rapid City home, so he had a just in case mom no more than twenty minutes away.
Believing in what is possible, Darius made the trip. He graduated this December with a degree in sports journalism. Because he dare to dream about what is possible. I’ve loved our lunches when he’s been home on break, keeping up with what he’s up to, and being able to witness the relentless pursuit of possibility.
What is possible? Whatever we decide is possible. The Mktg Dept is three months old this month… because someone (me) dared to consider possibility.
There is just something about a new day, a new week, month, or year that just causes your heart to beat an extra beat, to feel perhaps a bit more hopeful than you were the day before.
Today, I am starting over.
Last year my OLW (One Little Word) was Consistency.
I blew it. At least from a blogging perspective. Like all things, the year starts with new hope and expectations. We make resolutions to lose ten pounds, to go to the gym more, to be kinder, to change jobs, change directions. There is always so much to look forward to.
We find ourselves three days in, three weeks in, three months in and something has changed. Our hope and excitement has left and then we get in to the everyday routine of life, missing the excitement we had.
I am forgiving myself.
There is no beating myself up for things that I have or have not done. There is no shaming myself, nor anyone else for that matter.
As it turns out, we have endless supplies of possibility.Feel safe in knowing that we get another chance, and then another, and then another yet should we need it. Feel free to take all of the possibility you need, because there is more!
2019 was good to me. 2019 was great! I saw possibility and started my new business. I saw possibilityand saw my doctor and started making new strides in losing weight, getting healthier, and I saw real possibility in my ability to help lift women in the pursuit of dreams, intentions, and plans. 2019 was a gift.
January 2020, The Mktg Dept. is three months old. We are self-sustaining, I am going on my own payroll on the 15th and I’ve even hired a part time assistant to give me ten hours a week of support in growing my business.
Possibility is everywhere.
On September 10, 2019, if you had asked what’s possible, I don’t know honestly that I would have had a good answer for that. Today, I do.
It’s a work in progress. I am a work in progress. There is only one way to get there and that’s by starting right now. I made a date with myself to blog once a week. And I realize it’s so much about accepting that life is a made of a series of successes and failures carefully woven in to consistent effort.
I missed my date with myself and my blog yesterday. Rather than waiting until next Sunday, my normal date day, I chose NOW to get back to it. Consistency is so much more than arriving at perfection, it is the progress the journey will take me on. Of course, this seems to be an enormous cliché, yet, true and truer, every day.
So it goes.
We’re given the choice every day.
Today, I choose the former. Realize starting now is the best time to pursue steadfast actions, one upon another eyes aware of the destination, but not losing sight of the steps along the way.