Choose a Path

Choose a path?

I wrote last week about finishing the blogging challenge and being excited about next steps. Then a myriad of things happened, least of which is that my internet is down today due to a deliberate cut in our mainline fiber of our ISPs network. But, I will not be deterred. I have a dream…a dream of working from my home or on the road, not being tied to a corporation and doing what I love. While I like what I do now, I’m getting pretty burned out.

Choose a path.

The challenge still sits in my mind with some follow-up to do. But I have three other, no wait, make that four other, books calling my name right now:

  1. The Desire Map
  2. The One Thing
  3. Money: A Love Story
  4. The Women’s Small Business Start-Up Kit

And not to mention two writing books that I’ve been reading a chapter at a time to help me craft my words into blogs and books (NaNoWriMo is closer than it seems). But where to start?

Choose a Path!

That is where this blog comes in. I think I have a plan for tackling this journey and these books while still enjoying the process. Each of these books has tasks or ideas that can be undertaken at a given point – some chronologically through the book, others I can pick and choose. I plan to undertake one section of a book at a time. For example, I am just about to finish reading and start writing in The Desire Map, so I will do a section at a time. I often like to start these great projects, work at it tirelessly for about a week, then get bored and move on. If I plan to work on smaller chunks, I feel much more confident that I will achieve the small milestones which will lead me to the larger milestones.

Path chosen.

Divergent Quote

From Four, Divergent by Veronica Roth

Shadow Hunters: The Mortal InstrumentsSome of you may say this is too much. Some may say it’s just right. Other may think I’m crazy to approach this in this manner. Excellent! For a quick bit of background, I have at least 8 books going at one time. Some will never be finished (i.e. Game of Thrones, Book 1), some I like to savor a little longer (the final Mortal Instruments book), some I get lost in and need to get out of for a bit (SoulSpace), and others I devour in two days (Divergent series.) So having this many books in progress is not unusual at all for me. What’s unusual is that I have a plan this time for making the most of this information in a manner that (I hope) will work for me.

Share.

Do you have a plan for growth? How do you handle a pile of books that you really want to get through but do not seem to have the time needed?

Next Steps

Day 15 is finally here

This challenge has changed my life in ways I never thought possible. Because Natalie Sisson took the time to put this challenge out and I bravely took up that challenge, I have written more blogs than I thought I could. I have also made connections with other amazing bloggers and entrepreneurs, people who have generously taken me into their groups and helped me along.

My favorite

Natalie wants to know what my favorite lesson was from the challenge. There were about five that really resonated with me – key tools, habits, the one thing, plan your year and outsource. I have given more thought to these since the challenges were issued and while my business is still in the incubation phase, I feel more powerful and focused than I thought I could. Like I mentioned before, I am busy – just like all of you. I like being busy, but it does mean that I don’t always achieve my goals for the day or week. But I now have a system for keeping track of what needs to be done (Asana) and it reminds me, gently, that there are tasks for me to accomplish. My over all favorite lesson was Day 8 – plan your year. I have planned big benchmarks for my business that I never dreamed of putting on paper so soon. By looking at my year, I have also realized how important it is to plan my time off. I still have a day job that requires advanced planning for vacations, and because I’m in California, I don’t lose my vacation at the end of the year like my Arizona colleagues do (they often procrastinate planning until they realize they are all going to lose their vacations in August and frantically ask for time off for August in June.) In order to ensure that I get my vacations on the books, I need to plan it out well in advance. My husband and I have taken this challenge – we recently discussed travel plans for Summer 2017! This little change has given me control over my calendar. Not only do I know what needs to be done, I know when the breaks are!

Not really over

While the official 15-day Blog Challenge is over, my challenge is just beginning. I have lofty goals, some that need to be realized before October, and I know that I have a way to make that happen. I plan to continue blogging and learning about this online world, and I hope you will join me!
Thank you, Natalie!

Next stop: Freedom Plan

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Tidying Up

Too Much Stuff

Over the years, I have accumulated stuff. Books, clothes, appliances, movies, etc. The list goes on. Recently, we bought a new house! And recently we’ve faced this stuff with newfound ruthlessness to keep only what we love.

The Art of DeCluttering

I have followed FlyLady. I’ve started The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up book. I’ve watched Clean Sweep, How Clean is Your House and Neat. I’ve given what amounts to truckloads away to charity and second hand shops. And yet, it weighs on my shoulders. I’ve always been a bit messy. My mom used to hire our neighbor a couple of times a year to help me clean my room. I know how to clean and keep a neat house, I just don’t do it sometimes. Like right now. We just got back from a trip and have been too uninspired to cook. The dishes are piling, the stuff from traveling still where we left them when we unpacked, the travel books for upcoming trips stacked up. Why can’t I do it?

Tidy Up

I know this is a simple problem. I know it takes 15 minutes a day, but when I don’t make the time, what then? Back to the book? Back to FlyLady? No. I just need to do it. And I think I know how. It takes scheduling my day. Like all of you, I have a full day every day. It’s how I like to do things. But that also means, I am surrounded by “shiny” that can distract me into hours of searching for airline tickets or dining reservations for our next trip, time that does not need to be spent there if I just structured it a little more.

Back to Paper

I plan to work on keeping my office clean and clutter free. I may have been messy, but a clean space is still key to my productivity. I tend to pile stuff on my desk. My goal for the next week is to keep it clean and clutter free. This may mean purging, packing or storing. I may need a space for the current set of reference materials. That’s all doable. What is not doable is when I cannot get to my keyboard. Below is how I want to keep it. It’s calming. It’s creative. It’s CLEAN!

Day 12

This challenge has changed so much more than my blogging. It’s changed my life. I feel confident in undertaking new projects that will release me from some of my day-to-day work and I’m damn excited about that. Thank you, Natalie Sisson!
My Desk

It’s a matter of scale

Time for Change

Well, I’ve had to rebuild my blog, at least temporarily, as my other has crashed spectacularly. Maybe it’s simply time to move on from that site and build the new one that will lead me on in my life path.

Scale

I had the wonderful opportunity, within the span of a week, to be reminded exactly what theatre is. My first moment was on a backstage tour at Mystere in Las Vegas. An old friend of mine is in the cast and toured us around their theatre. What a site! And yet, they still don’t have enough backstage space and they have an elevator (up to the dressing rooms six floors above) that doesn’t always work. They’ve had to figure out how to store those pieces efficiently and effectively – a problem many theatre people will recognize.

At the end of the at same week, I also got a personalized backstage tour (complete with a barbecue at the prop shop) of the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City. I work for a smaller company and to us, these guys are part of the “big guys” in the festival circuit. But to them, they are not the “big guys”, that’s Oregon and Stratford. (Same perception, different level.) They creatively use their storage space, so do we – just on a smaller scale. They need rehearsal space – so do we, and we find it where we can. The list goes on but the key point I came away from both of these experiences with is that no matter the size or budget, we are here to put on a show. The basic elements are the same whether you are small like us or big the the “big guys” – script, artistic staff, cast, crew and audience.

PS: I got to stand on stage at the Adams Shakespearean Theatre where moments before Brian Vaughn was rehearsing his Petruchio for this years “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Have you had an experience where someone or something you idolized helped you gain perspective and realize your place in the grand scheme? Please share.

Cedar City, UT Utah Shakespeare Festival

Adams Shakesperean Theatre
Cedar City, UT
Utah Shakespeare Festival