Over the past few years, I seem to hear the same story over and again...and the funny thing is that every time I hear it, the person often feels like they are the only one. I was having a conversation with someone the other day. To be honest, it was an email "conversation" with a person I have never "met". Technology is such a crazy thing!! So, this Realtor showed our house not to long ago and was professional and kind enough to send a very nice note of feedback following the showing. I was impressed with her professionalism and courtesy, so I replied. Just the other day she sent me a quick email, and I just felt like we understood each other. Funny thing...I don't have time to have local friends, but I have friends all over the country and have this weird connection (Amanda our fabulous talented photog in LA is a prime example...and Andrea our fabulously talented graphic designer)! Seriously, I could take a girls trip with these awesome ladies and have the time of my life, but I have only met them in person for a total of maybe 8 hours!! Now add on the time on email, and we have been friends for a lifetime =)
So anyway, back the Realtor....she mentioned that she is a little unsure of her career. Sound familiar?? I feel like we all face this split in the road at one point or another and sometimes the arrow sign just isn't there. Since I also left a career in real estate a few years ago to start RuffleButts, I can certainly relate. The big difference is I left when I was completely overpaid (in my opinion) for doing very little "work" back then, but I was still missing something...that big word that comes up in almost every one of these conversations...passion. I was not fulfilled. I could not image my life 20 years from now in the same career.
Is this you? Have you always dreamed of doing something different? Or maybe it's just not clear what that dream is at the moment. Maybe you never really wanted to be a doctor or a teacher, but knew that you were passionate about photographing your friends. What is it that makes you go?
I used to read book after book searching for this answer. I remember reading one book called Follow Your Dreams And The Money Will Follow, or something like that. Sounded easy enough...the tough part is my dreams weren't paying the bills and were honestly, not quite clear. I took classes, joined groups, but nothing seemed to give me my answer. So, I am going to share with you my life-changing decision. I'm not promising that this will work for you, but I know with 100% certainty that I owe my RuffleButts realization to this discovery. I committed to 5-minutes of silent prayer daily. I know sounds super committed and religious, but I am honestly not all that responsible. The reality was that I would spend 5 minutes in my car with the radio off and would have my little "conversation" with God before going into the office. It was my moment of calm before the storm that I faced daily. I would just chat with Him, explaining my dilemma and asking for a little guidance. I would also ask him to help me see the good in the nasty people that I worked for and with. After a few months of this, I finally got desperate and begged. I hated my job and the people I worked for, so I tried to make a plea with God. I promised if he would just give me the "idea", I would do everything in my power to make it work. I understood that I needed to start my own business, I just had no clue what that was supposed to be. I then quit my job, knowing with 95% confidence that this was the right step (I mean really, when you make a major decision like that leaving your career behind along with all income, do you ever really know with 100% confidence you're doing the right thing?), and decided to dedicate myself to figuring out my answer. It was when I took a step back, started volunteering a local children's hospital, took sewing classes (something I had always wanted to d0), and invested in myself, that He knew I was ready. The idea was a light bulb moment for me, and from that minute on, I knew what I was supposed to do. I can literally remember where I was standing, the color of the cell phone I was using to tell my mom about my realization, the parking lot and the corner that it is located on...it is ingrained in my memory. Don't get me wrong, it was not always easy, or super clear along the journey, but I finally figured out which direction I was supposed to be going.
If this is you, have faith that you will figure it out. I don't know how, or when, but if you search long and hard, you will find it. You can not be scared to take that leap of faith, but you also must do your part in making sure it is the right leap. You must be sure that you are committed to doing EVERYTHING in your power to do it well and do it RIGHT. I still stumble and sadly, I sometimes forget who I owe this entire journey to, but when it comes down to it, I know that He led me and I am proud of myself for listening. And if you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be here today, I would have believed you, but I wouldn't have ever imagined the journey that it took to get here.
This week is getting better by the day, and this news just takes it to a whole new level...if you read my post about a month ago titled God, You Always Know Best, you may remember those friends I mentioned. They are the most deserving people we know, and I didn't understand God's plan for them when it came to children. Well, as usual, He knew what He was doing - they are now preggo...WITH TWINS!! Congratulations Brandon and Amy...now we just have to be sure at least one of them is a girl =)
Okay here comes the honesty...last week was rough. There is no specific reason, which actually makes me feel a little worse about my attitude, but to be completely honest, I am just worn down. I feel like I am peddling a million miles and hour, and moving, but just worn out. So, late last week, I was a little bummed out and at dinner on Saturday I told Mark (my hubby) that I felt like I was lacking joy. Then, I went to church on Sunday and I think the pastor wrote the sermon just for me...it was all about putting the joy back in your life. It was invigorating, and was a reminder of my true source of joy. I realized that it was my perspective that needed a change, and so this week is my "Journey of Joy" and I am inviting you to join me.
Monday - Organization=Calm
Today I am committing to the cleaning and organization of my desk. I love organization, but I always seem to busy to stick to it. I have high hopes and good intentions, then Aubrey is down in the my office, I am running behind, I get too much mail, and all of the sudden I am working on the 1/4th of my desk that is actually cleaned off. Today, that will change. I am starting with a calm working environment.
Tuesday - Clear Mind and the Captain
Tuesday is going to be all about clearing my mind of the clutter, so I can be a good Captain. I realized that I am the leader here, and my team looks to me to know where we are going and to get us there safely. Lately, I feel like I am too busy being worn down to lead anyone, so that changes today. I have splurged and booked a massage at a local resort. When you book a service, they give you access to their steam room, whirlpool, and all that good stuff. I'm not much of a spa gal, but I'm pretty psyched about this. I am going early in the morning and will spend a few hours decluttering my mind. I will focus on me and getting back to my happy place. Then, I am taking my computer to a local cafe, will have a healthy lunch and spend the afternoon planning out our path for the next year. I am going to put together our "map" and rediscover the joy of the journey.
Wednesday - Plotting the Map
Back in the office for the day, I am going to take as much time to myself as possible and put my plan in place. We are also going to have an office organization day to get everything in its place. I often find us wasting time going from place to place looking for basic office stuff. This is not only a time-waster, but also is stressful. The goal is to eliminate as much stress and negative energy as possible. Today, I am also signing up for some type of mommy & me class. I want to spend more time with Aubrey and I need some mommy friends. I think both of these things are super important in my life and today is the day that I am putting them both on the calender.
Thursday - Spread the Joy
Today is the day of giving. It has always been a top priority to me to share our success. I committed to donate a portion of our profits, and sometimes I am so caught up in the business, I don't take the time to do the things I enjoy...like giving. So today, our company will take the time to gather a bunch of apparel to share with come local children. We are going to give a bunch of bloomers to children at a local hospital to wear under their gowns, and we are sharing a ton of apparel with a local organization that helps families get on their feet. The fabulous thing is that the joy just pours in when you open your heart to give, so I am super excited to share this with my team here at RuffleButts.
Friday - On the same page
This day, as a company, we will review the plans. We will get on the same page, share ideas, get pumped up for what's ahead, and will figure out what we each can do to help. I am also taking just a little time out of the day to plan for my family. I have learned that my joy has to be evenly distributed, and as much as I love this business and devote the majority of my time to running it, I have to commit equally to my other sources of joy. I am booking a trip with my hubby and I am silencing that little voice in my mind telling me that we just don't have the time, or shouldn't spend the money. Our marriage deserves the time and money and I am making the commitment today. Maybe just a weekend away, but we need it, and I am doing it.
Okay, so that's my plan for my personal joy journey. On top of these daily tasks, and probably the most important factor to the success of my plan, is my commitment to spend at least 5-minutes daily in prayer. I did this just before I started RuffleButts, as I was searching for an answer and knew that I had to do something differently. These 5 minutes changed my life drastically and I learned that if you don't take the time to listen, the answer may just pass you by. God doesn't ever forget about us, but he does sometimes nudge us in his own way. I think last week was my nudge and I am ready to listen.