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Showing posts from July, 2011

48 Days to the Work You Love: Chapter 12 Questions

Chapter 12: Conclusion

1. What action can you take in the next 48 hours to put you on the path for what you want to accomplish? I can eat well, sleep well, and smile. I can trust that God has a plan for my life and in due time that plan will become known to me. This year I have already made massive progress toward what I want to accomplish: independence of finance, body, and spirit.

2. What idea have you gotten while on the beach or mowing your yard that could be worth more than a lifetime of hard work? I don't get ideas so much as delightful turns of phrase. Now, if only I could discipline myself enough to sit down and create a narrative around the perfection of those words I'd be on my way to writing an eloquent work of fiction. (Or maybe I'll start that housesitting/petsitting business I thought of once when a friend asked if I knew anyone willing to stay at her wonderful Sam Hughes house for two weeks while she and her partner vacationed in Italy. If I could line up enou…

48 Days to the Work You Love: Chapter 11 Questions

Chapter 11: Skunks, Rags, and Candy Bars

1. Who has launched a successful business after being fired at a previous job? I don't know if he got fired, but Jack's Uncle Mike started a little business called NetMedic, which initially involved troubleshooting networking and other tech problems, but has grown to a major information exchange competitor in Chicagoland. Mike's company now handles all the networking for The Museum of Science and Industry (or is it the Natural History Museum? Like it matters. One of the well-known bastions of intellect, which I obviously am not). DH got fired from a job, too, but I wouldn't say he launched a successful business.

2. What unique skills do you have that may be the basis for a creative business (writing, drawing, building, analyzing, singing, driving, thinking, etc.)? I have several unique skills, it's just that none of them are well-developed nor do I have the confidence to apply them. I'm a good writer; I'm dependable. I…

48 Days to the Work You Love: Chapter 10 Questions

Chapter 10: Do You Have What It Takes?
1. What do you think of the word entrepreneur? "If you are a typical candidate for self-employment, you may never have been clear on what you wanted to do when you grew up." (p. 150) I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. And the word entrepreneur strikes a chord of fear deep in my heart. What if I failed? (The only time I visited San Francisco I had a sudden vision of myself as a bicycle courier there. I'd live in a tiny gabled upstairs apartment and I'd ride like a maniac over those hilly streets day in and day out, delivering documents, tissue samples, money orders. At night I would collapse on a mattress on the floor and spend the evening reading by candlelight until I drifted into oblivion. I think I interpret entrepreneur through the lens of solitude.)

2. Do you have what it takes to be on your own? Yes. But I'm mortally afraid of trusting myself with conjuring my own paycheck.

3. Are you an “accidental” entre…

48 Days to the Work You Love: Chapter 9 Questions

Chapter 9: Show Me the Money

1. Is negotiating on price uncomfortable for you? Describe 3 things for which you negotiated the purchase price. Extremely uncomfortable. I've rarely negotiated price, except to accept less than I wanted to sell something at a garage sale. I don't like to make a fuss. Negotiating price feels like making a fuss to me. Miller asserts: "But realize that negotiating salary is not a confrontational process and certainly not a win/lose proposition."

2. Have you negotiated your income in the past? Since graduating from college I've only had two "real" jobs: the first I started as an entry-level trainee, for which I did not negotiate salary because I had no background in desktop publishing and I was fresh out of college, working at a coffee shop (I loved that work but felt victimized by the predominating Old Boys' Network; passed over for management in favor of a less qualified young man). During my decade-long career I rose from …


I'm straddling a big fallen power pole on the playground at my new school. Dr. A is ministering to me with a questionable surgical implement. Dr. G approaches, a white plastic lace in his hands, the kind you make boondoggle keychains with. While Dr. A performs another procedure on my person, Dr. G tenderly winds that plastic lace around my neck.

"This is the Cord of Major Confidence." His bedside manner is impeccable. He gazes at me with sky blue eyes. We breathe in, breathe out.

He releases me.

"There," he says. "You've got your confidence back."

Thank you.

plumb tuckered

two things I've realized lately:

1) All those goals and dreams they talk about? that shit ain't so tough. I'm always thinking I need to advocate for starving children in Chad or aspire to the presidency or somesuch, but the shit they're talking about is easy. So my goal? Move to a neighborhood where there are kids for Jack to play with. My dream? A trip to the beach.

2) I like being with people. For the duration of my marriage I had to suppress this inclination for two reasons. The people DH wanted me to hang out with weren't my kind of people, and because I was there with DH I had to wait until he was ready to go (or plead, or fall asleep at the shindig). And I had to suppress myself, because that's what I did with DH, and if I couldn't be myself with my husband, then I certainly couldn't be myself with others. I spent all day away from home, first at my sisters (where BIL and I had an enlightening conversation about their proposed move) and then with lo…

lessons learned

These past two days have been tough ones. Jack's in Illinois (Iowa by now). I'm going to orientation at my new job in the mornings and working my old job in the afternoons, exposing myself to some role conflict. But overall, I'm feeling relatively healthy. Like I'm coping.

It's a good thing, too, because I got called to the office at my old job this afternoon.

My boss asked me, "Do you keep a blog other than the one you keep for school?"

I went all prickly and hot.

"Yes," I said.

She directed my attention to the computer monitor behind her, where my latest two chockablog entries were posted on the school blog.

She asked if I'd done that intentionally, which of course I hadn't. I remedied the situation and breathed a sigh of relief. Nothing too incriminating in those two posts. I'm sure she read them. Wouldn't you?


The past few days have been better. I think the increased meds are working. I've paid more attention to nourishing my body with foods that are good for me, and I've been exercising regularly. I don't feel so bereft. I know the road I walk is a bumpy one and sometimes I gotta slog through some mud puddles to get to firmer ground. Thanks for all your encouragement, my family and friends. You mean a lot to me.

48 Days to the Work You Love: Chapter 8 Questions

Chapter 8: Do They Like Me? Do I Like Them?

1. Can you clearly and easily describe your strongest areas of competence? well.... that seems like such an open-ended question. I've never been asked that in an interview. I can tailor my response to fit a more specific question. "You should be intimately familiar with your (1) skills and abilities, (2) personality tendencies, and (3) values, dreams, and passions." I'm a pleaser: I'm good at customer-service oriented jobs. I'm pretty good at smoothing ruffled feathers. I've got all those cliched skills: I'm detail-oriented, enthusiastic, dedicated, punctual. I write well. I'm organized. I know my way around a computer. I prefer honesty and integrity, in myself and others. Open communication. Personally I tend away from leadership; being a people-pleaser makes me a bad manager. Dreams and passions? I've suppressed them for so long I'm not sure they still exist.

2. Does knowing that interviewing me…


(Currently I'm listening to an audiobook recording of Jane Eyre. Charlotte Bronte uses the word "tumult" often, much as Jesus is quoted by Matthew as saying "truly I tell you".)

Truly I tell you, much has transpired over the course of the past four days. I am but a twig on the shoulders of a mighty river.


I awoke at 3:48 am to the sound of rushing outside. I thought a strong wind was blowing, but when I peaked through the blinds I saw torrential rain falling. We hadn't had rain in something like 83 days. Mother Nature's tempest took me totally by surprise in portentous fashion. In just 45 minutes I would leave the house to pick up my estranged husband so I could drop him off at the airport with my son for a 12 day trip to the Midwest. I'd never before been separated from Jack for so long. Wednesday night I eased him through a solid half hour of crying big big tears, wailing that he wants me to go with them, he doesn't want to leave me, ple…