Accepting Reality

I had a business meeting yesterday morning that did not go as well as I had hoped. I don’t often write about the water company that we own and operate – it’s not really my happy place. But I realized last night as I was trying to laugh off a bad day with Peter, I’ve been managing this company for 6 year. Whoa. It hadn’t really dawn on me that it had been that long. And while Peter was was making my laugh by comparing the time to a prison sentence, I realized that it might be time to embrace accept it. To stop calling it “the stupid water company” as I usually refer to it. To give it the attention it demands. To recognize that I spend a lot of time running a business and that while I may not love it, I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I’ve learned a lot and together with my mom, we’ve turned a regulated business from solidly in the red to being in the black. It’s time to acknowledge our work and start to find the bright spot in the business.

As I dropped the kiddos off at their schools yesterday, Baylor knew something was up because I was wearing heels. When I told her that I had an important meeting, she responded with “I’ll say a prayer for you today”. The second word out of her mouth when I picked her up was “how was your meeting??”. When I told her that it wasn’t great, she told me that not only had she said a prayer for me, she asked her whole class to pray too and then the other class during religion to do the same.

I realized that no matter how unsatisfied I am with this business, there aren’t many things as amazing as being able to send our kiddo to a fantastic school and to have 35 six year olds saying prayers for you. And if I had to choose between an always amazing business or a six year old with a heart of gold, I’ll take that little lady every time.

Life is good.

I always worry that I’m not doing enough for the kids. Not reading enough. Not playing enough. Not being patient enough. And that I’m going to give them permanent issues because they are sharing a room. Worry worry worry. You want the best for your kids so you work to give them the moon…but sometimes the moon isn’t totally necessary.

When my sister was in kindergarten, she was sent to the nurse for a bump or bruise. She came home from school that day enamored by the fact that the nurse had “made” ice. She begged my mom to ask the nurse for the recipe. Perplexed, my mom agreed. She realized later that the nurse used ice-cube trays – we had an ice maker so Ali had never seen a tray before.

My niece Madi used to beg my step sister to please turn on the “normal” radio in the car coming home from school. Her friends didn’t have satellite radio so she wanted to listen to the free radio that her friends were listening to.

The other night while getting Baylor out of the tub, she told me how she had been in the bathroom at a friend’s house recently and how she thought they had a HUGE window in the bathroom. But when she pulled back the curtain, she found it was actually the bathtub. Better yet, the bathtub HAD A SHOWER IN IT!! The look of pure joy on her face over the idea of a bathtub and shower together was priceless. This as I’m pulling her out of the claw foot tub that took weeks to get, was installed incorrectly, had to be removed and then put back into place and cost a small fortune…if I had only known she would have been more impressed by a tub shower.

The moral that I need to remember is this: no matter what the gift is, the box is most likely going to be more fun. And that’s a good thing. They are going to enjoy the fact that Baylor used to climb into Auggie’s crib in the morning to play and that they used to wake each other up in the middle of the night. They will laugh about how they put stickers all over each other behind me as I scrambled to get a few things done in the office (hell, they do that now).

At the very least, this will all be good things to talk about at therapy some day. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.

Take Your Daughter To Work Day

Baylor came with me to a site inspection for the water company. It had just rained and there was mud everywhere. She quietly asked me if she could stomp around and I said yes. Mid sentence, the inspector looked over my shoulder. When I turned around I saw B sitting in the mud. I quickly realized she was laughing – her feet were stuck in the thick mud and she fell over. It made my heart happy to see her laughing while sitting in the mud rather than freaking out. Gotta love a kid who likes to get dirty.


My Assistant

I was desperate for an hour’s worth of work time late yesterday. I asked B if she could work on her computer too so I could get a few things done. She agreed so I dialed in and tuned out anything that wasn’t a “I’ve critically injured myself!!” scream.

An hour of work, dinner, bath, dinner for PW and I, another 1.5 hours of work and I caught a glimpse of this in the mirror:

I knew she had been playing with my shirt, I just didn’t know I was a canvas for her new stickers. And I like that PW never asked why I had 100+ stickers across my back. When I pointed out this fact his response was “it’s impressive how straight she made the line”.

A Spot of Tea

For the readers who don’t know, my mom and I own and manage a water company in Southern Arizona. Why? It’s a long story…

As we close in on the end of the month, I am scrambling to finish up deposits and customer changes and prep my documents to go read meters. It’s not complicated, but it does require some form of concentration. I.E. it is very difficult to do when my “assistant” is shuffling papers off the printer, climbing up my chair and simultaneously trying to draw on my documents.

I have perfected the art of Baylor entertainment so that I can steal a few minutes to and check items off my to do list. She has her own keyboard which she pretends to type emails, narrating her messages as she creates them. She gets a pad of paper and a pen. A coloring book and also my deposit stamps to play with. However Saturday morning the usual things weren’t keeping her busy. Trying to keep my frustration level to a minimum, I suggested she go brush her doll’s teeth (endlessly fascinating to a 2 year old) and then make some “tea”. We love tea parties and have them often. Bay happily ran off leaving me a few more precious moments to complete my tasks.

A few minutes later, a headband clad kiddo (making tea requires  Bene Hana style head wear) came running into the office with a cup of tea and a saucer for me. She then ran back to her room to get the tea-pot, filled up my cup with air,  shouted “KISS!!”, gave me a peck and was off again.

It’s hard to remember sometimes what’s important. It’s easy to get caught up in the grind of work, the endless to do list, and the stress of getting it all done. But all we need is a little cup of tea to remind us why we work like we do and also why it’s good to shut off the computer and go make some tea.

Where Time Meets Creativity

When creative energy meets a quite space of time, it produces great blog posts, chapters in a book I hope to complete some day and many things checked off of my work to do list.

Getting these two things in the same place at the same time is not only tricky, it’s damn near impossible it seems these days. The result? Painstakingly painful posts requiring much more work than what the result would lead one to believe. No work done on a book other than dreams of what I will wear to the book signing and raised anxiety levels over the fact that my list is growing rather than shrinking.

My new goals? Sleep less, push to make the most of nap time and find an additional hour a day where I encourage the kiddo to play quietly while I get a few things done. Prioritize my to do list for life, for work and for myself and stick to it and not freak out when it doesn’t all get done some days (ha. I laughed when I wrote that one. But writing is the first step, yes?). Carve out more structured play time/learning time with Bay and not feel like a horrible mother when her big activities for the day are a trip to the grocery and vacuuming. And to take a deep breath.

iiiiiinnnnnnn aaaaaaannnnnndddddd oooooouuuutttttt