I Can See Clearly Now

 

I’m not a writer.  I think that I am so worried I won’t use the appropriate punctuation or end a sentence with a preposition, or something that it keeps me from writing.  But I know that I need to start creating content in order to let people know that I am available and willing to help.  So…let the blogging finally begin.

I went off grid starting last Thursday to mourn the loss of my brother 2 years ago.  I was supposed to go home to NY to be with my Mom who lives alone since my Dad passed away in July.  Last year to distract everyone from the 1st anniversary of Kyle’s passing, I rented a house in North Carolina and took them there to get away.  Lo and behold on March 1st the very same day we were trying to escape the memory of Kyle; my Dad had to be rushed to the hospital.  So, this year as I was getting ready to head up to NY, I just couldn’t do it.  I broke down completely and decided that maybe I just needed to take care of myself for a few days.  After spending several days in yoga pants and no make-up, I felt a lot stronger and feel like I’m ready to face the world again.

So, here I am finally getting to creating that YouTube Channel, Instagram Profile and developing video content per Larry Wilner’s recommendation in December.  I got a new phone installed that I can actually hold in my hand…. I’m old school like that!  Thanks to partners I have met over the last several months, I feel like 2019 is going to be my best year yet.  And as a mentor suggested recently, maybe I’ll start some new traditions next year on March 1st.  I’m thinking Bermuda!

Check out, Subscribe, Like and Follow some of my new adventures and I’ll be sure to do the same for you!

“Open Your Eyes”

Have you observed lately how few people look up from their phones to see where they are going or observe what is around them?  Recently I was waiting for my daughter in a parking lot of a shopping center where there was a Smoothie King, Subway, Starbucks and Chipotle.  I know, it’s a great shopping center!  I counted no less than 5 people taking pictures of their food or drink, or of themselves.  Even people sitting at the tables weren’t speaking to one another; they were looking at their phones.  Do people even know how to make conversation anymore?

I have been keeping to myself the last few months.  My brother had a heart attack on March 1st and passed away.  It was a shock.  He had so much more life to live; he was only 38.  Sometimes while I’m running errands, I’ll just start to cry.  There will be something that reminds me of him or maybe someone who looks like him, and it will trigger the tears.  In fact, that happened yesterday.  Nobody noticed though, because we don’t form connections anymore; we just care about ourselves and our small little worlds filled with Starbuck selfies.

I’ve been trying to put into words the way that I’m feeling.  I stumbled upon this Ted Talk which summed up my thoughts perfectly.  As I ease back into my daily routine, I vow to make it my personal mission to foster, encourage and strengthen relationships.  If you have a few minutes, take time to watch this video and you may start to pay more attention to everything happening around you.

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Is Less More or is More Less?

While at an event for my sons school this week, I  made an observation that got me thinking.  I was in charge of purchasing, pricing and selling concessions for a fundraiser.  One of the parents pointed out that I had marked an item considerably higher than  it should have been.  We agreed to lower the price and reimburse students who paid the higher price.  At this time only a few purchases had been made.   Instead of taking the refund, one student decided he would simply have twice as many items.  It seems he didn’t feel that the price was out of line and was thrilled to have gotten twice as much for the same price.  Of course you can probably guess that the item was candy.  Although I anticipated this would happen, I was trying to encourage students to purchase healthier items at a lower price and priced candy higher hoping to discourage their selection.

So is this a case of pricing appropriately or understanding the value of money.  When do kids learn the value of money?  How do we as parents help them make that connection?  Why is it that my daughter has already spent money she hasn’t earned and my son won’t spend a single cent for fear he may never earn more?

We have never had much luck with giving our children an allowance.  We firmly believe that our household operates best when we think of it as a team effort.  We all need to contribute to chores in order to keep things running smoothly.  Both kids have savings accounts and are encouraged to contribute 1/2 of the money they receive from gifts to savings and are allowed to keep the other half for things they might want to purchase.  My daughter has a really hard time with this since the list of things she “needs” is a mile long.  It was only recently that I saw the lightbulb go off for her during a trip to Target.  I had given her $150 to redecorate her room.  In the past I would have held on to the money and we would have added things up; however, this time I gave her a Visa gift card and she was in control.  She really had to consider a $60 bed-skirt.  It was a real eye opener for me and for her too.

As we start to enter the dog-days of winter, I find myself purging closets and have made multiple trips to consignment stores, thrift shops and the dump.  I aim to focus on helping my children to realize that less is more.  Make good choices and choose well-made items that will stand the test of time.  We don’t need to have more to be happy, even if we do love a bargain.  And that space in our closets…let’s just leave it there for now.