I know I have talked about Festivus before... it is indeed one of my "favoritest" made up holidays ever. I make it a point to watch the Festivus episode of Seinfeld at least a couple of times each year. There are so many life lessons in Festivus lore that I could devote an entire blog methinks to it's amazing insight and human folly.
What it comes down to is, we get the family we got... crazy wonkiness and all. I think every family has those weird quirks that could either be painfully embarrassing or downright forgetable. This time of year is a tough thing for my family in that it involves a lot of traveling and very little time to do it in. The Holidays are always rushed and having a sense of gratitude and family togetherness can be well "forced" to say the least... just try getting three kids to follow suit and make the road trip without fighting, needing to go to the bathroom, or not hearing "why is it taking so long".... I told my kids that it was a right of passage and that someday, they will indeed thank me for the quirky traditions they are enduring now (afterall, they will need stories to roll their eyes at while telling their own children right?)
So, as we embark on the busiest, craziest, most commercialized and hectic time of the year, be thankful, oh so very thankful that you aren't having to do some wonky feat of strength or airing of any grievences.
So, as most of you know I have 3 very creative children who truly inspire me and make me laugh at least twice a day....everyday. Today, it was about scars. My daughter had skinned her elbows during a birthday party and they are still in that "tender to the touch" stage. My eldest son and she were talking about what could happen to those scrapes as they heal. My son said, "Well, you could have a scar or two..." My daughter followed with, "What's a scar?" My son then said, "Well, scars are things that girls don't like to have because they are ugly but, boys think they are cool 'cuz they mean they can remember the thing they did and show off that they didn't die..." " Oh, I hope I do not have a scar. If I do then I have to tell everyone that the slide attacked me."
Funny things scars are. The conversation this afternoon made me think about why scars are important to business folks. My daughter holds the belief that if people knew how you got them that they would think poorly of your choices and ultimately you. I tend to think more on the lines of my son in that, hey, we learned something and didn't die in the process. As business people, we are going to make some poor choices and some of them are going to leave marks for others to see. Right now, I have many colleagues that are seeking bankruptcy protection, are kicking themselves for taking that job that just laid them off, for putting all their proverbial eggs in one basket and relying on one source of business over others just to find that source drying up, and others who are just closing the doors and moving on due to the economic volatility and such. Does closing your doors or being forced to quit, or going broke, make you a failure? You, no. Your business, perhaps. The true failure would be if you did not pick yourself up and learn from the things that forced you into this situation in the first place.
I have scars. I have scars from broken bones, surgeries, being pregnant and even failed businesses. Some you can see, some not. The point is, if given the opportunity to make them all go away, I wouldn't (even the stretch marks I suppose) because they tell a story that I lived to tell and do not want to forget. What are the war wounds and scars that you have? What were the lessons you learned that made you a better person in the process?
After skipping the whole month of November to participate in the November National Writing Month, I have a 75,000 word "story" (I use this word lightly because it is a bit wonky in it's current form) to show for it.
One of the things NaNoWriMo did for me was to help be redefine the reasons I do what I do in my day to day activities. I write on this blog and share about how I eek by earning a living creating. Taking a break from this blog helped me re-establish and reconnect with the reasons I want to share with other's what is in my head. I think many people either feel obligated to write a blog or that perhaps what they would write (if they did) would not really be worth reading or would be deemed "uninteresting" by others. Well, I can safely admit, writing a blog is a double edged sword in my world. It is tough to be required to maintain an "online" presence but yet, not be able to share what it is I am working on in the proverbial batcave. It is tough because I sometimes say something (or folks read it as such) that irritates and gets under folks skin... that's when I get the "interesting" emails. The gist of it is, I have many people in my world that have helped me and my career. I would not have the opportunities I do had it not been for many people sharing what they know and guiding me through the landmines relatively unscathed. I thought about the importance of mentorship and the exchange of ideas and how it helps everyone take their businesses to the next level. That is why I have this blog.
Writing a "novel" forced me to not think about the difference between wants and needs, obligations and commitments, what matters and what may seem to matter but, in the scope of all eternity, isn't really that important anyhow. The point is here folks, if you want to write a novel.... do it. If you want to have a successful business... do it. If you want to travel, see the world, change the world, create a better world, share with the world what you know.... give yourself permission to do it and follow through- even when you don't want to. You never know, you may end up with 75,000 words of something you never thought possible to write.