It’s Friday! Friday is supposed to be a good day, the end of the week, the beginning of the weekend. But, today is hitting me as a glass half full day. Today is also Friday the 13th (of August).
I take my walk for an hour and forty minutes. A walk is always a great way to start my day. Then, I get to work. The first task is packing orders for Treasured Locks. Earlier this week I fired the tenth advertising agency that I’ve hired. They grossly underperformed for two months at $1,000 each month. The only good news is I talked them into refunding our money. But now I’m back at square one. Orders are almost non-existent at this point. I want to transition out of Treasured Locks. I’d prefer to wait until the consulting business is making money. And, it’s not making money. So I pack the few orders and remind myself the good news is I have time to focus on what I want to do, even if it doesn’t pay. I’ll work on editing a podcast this afternoon.
It’s time to get Stevie up and out for the day. When she comes out of her kennel, I am shocked to spot a large patch of missing fur from her right hind quarter. The skin is red and inflamed to the point where it looks like it could begin bleeding any second. I have no idea what has happened. She seemed fine last night. The underside of her tail is also raw. I’m going to have to take her to the vet.
I have an appointment to do a client demonstration for my part-time job that I took a few months ago. This job is with Maisie, a startup software company. That was supposed to be 15 hours a week, 60 hours a month. That would have been a very lovely part-time gig, possibly turning into something permanent. But, every month since I begin, the hours have been dwindling. I only worked two hours in July. It’s hardly worth the effort at this point. What was exciting has turned to disappointment. Since I have the appointment, I’ll have to wait to call the vet about Stevie.
I do the demo and call the vet. They think it might be fleas. Great. They agree to see me at 4:30 Friday afternoon.
Next, I have an appointment with another company that guarantees to improve our sales for Treasured Locks. I hear their pitch tell them about all the companies I’ve had to fire before and permit them to run an audit to see what they think they can do. I hear, “Blah… blah…blah…” from the sales rep making her pitch. But, I hear her out.
Treasured Locks is fading faster than I had planned. And, consulting is not taking off. I only have one paid appointment this week. This afternoon I throw myself a little pity party while I wait to take Stevie to the vet to figure out just what is going on with her.
This past Sunday, was August 8th. It was supposed to be a powerful day for manifestation. On Sunday, I got an invitation to join a start-up organization on the ground floor. This could be a huge opportunity. Maybe the person who told me about this day of manifestation was right. I spend Sunday and Monday catching up to be prepared for my first meeting on Tuesday. Long story short, this is the shortest tenure I’ve ever had anywhere as by Thursday, I get the news is it’s fallen through.
I’m seriously considering whether I should drive for Uber. Maybe I should get a job at the credit union where Tywana works. Instead, I spend a few hours setting up marketing funnels for Treasured Locks, trying to figure out how to improve things there.
It’s time to take Stevie to the vet. The vet determines Stevie’s anal glands have become impacted and infected, leading to the infection spreading to the surrounding skin. She treats the glands with internal antibiotics and sends me home with oral antibiotics, topical spray, and medication for the pain and swelling. I stop by PetSmart to get a cone of shame for Stevie to wear for the next few days while she’s on the mend.
Friday night finally arrives. It’s time to put the woes of the week behind me. I have to shift focus from what I don’t have to what I have. While the software gig hasn’t worked out the way I wanted, I made enough to pay for a nice dinner out. Treasured Locks only takes a couple of hours a day, and it’s still bringing in some income. While my entree to the startup opportunity has been delayed, it’s still possible to come to fruition someday, once the organization has gelled more. I have a paid appointment on Saturday with a new client. And, we’re OK financially for now. I don’t have to start driving for Uber yet.
Saturday morning comes around. I wake up, do my gratitude practice and take my walk. As I’m relaxing waiting for my 10:30 appointment, I’m not feeling this appointment today. But, it’s a new client, and my energy always is there to meet the client. I make my way to my office, turn on my studio lights, fire up the camera, and meet my new client, who wants me to help her reframe some challenges in her life.
This is the great thing about coaching. As I’m coaching others, I’m coaching myself as well. I relate to her what I’ve learned as I’ve been on this journey. She asks me if I have any tips for her. I give her my new acronym I’ve just come up with this week. I tell her all of this is a practice. I do it every day, whether I feel like it or not. As we’re talking about her challenges, I’m thinking of my own. I tell her the key is to get out of looking at the little picture and keep focused on the big picture. The glass half full analogy is cliche. But, cliches are cliches usually because they are profound. Both stories are equally valid, factually. When I view a glass and focus on what’s missing, I can drive myself to despair. Or, I can look at that same glass and focus on what’s there and be full of gratitude. Nothing in the circumstance has changed. What’s changed is my focus and my emotional state. By shifting my thoughts, I can choose my emotional state. After an hour of working with the client who came in telling me about her “problems”, I sense she is now focused on solutions. I have helped her make a shift, and I have made the same shift with her. She asks me if this works in the real world. Not all the time. It’s not 100%. We are still human. We still focus on the negative because we are biologically wired to do so. But, with practice, the shift becomes more accessible and more effortless.
I leave the client session grateful for what I’ve got. We’re going out with friends tonight. I’ve got lots of possibilities in front of me and just waiting to see which ones bloom. I’ve had more than one successful career. Retirement is on the horizon. I have enough for today, and that’s what I choose to focus on now.
So, I put on some Atlanta Rhythm Section and keep on keeping on.
Image by Here and now, unfortunately, ends my journey on Pixabay from Pixabay
Hi Brian. Thank you so much for sharing with such honesty. I realized after the passing of my daughter that although we have endured a great tragedy that has forever changed us we are still here in the pool of life with everyone. Meaning we don’t get a pass! Life still happens. I do see like you that if I am engaged in helping to lift someone else or bring something of value I myself lift up. It’s for me the path of purpose and the only reason that makes sense of my life that sometimes no longer makes sense to me. Just know that you make a huge difference in my life. Your podcasts have comforted me and helped me through some very low times. I thank you for all you do and I can see for you that you will continue to grow and expand both professionally and spiritually. ❤️
Thank you for your kind words.
Thanks for sharing this Brian. Last week felt “relentless” as one of my friends put it. Aside from personal challenges, everyone I know who has any sensitivity at all is feeling the effects of earthquakes, fires, politics, pandemic, and everything else. It can be so easy to focus on what makes me feel overwhelmed and unable to help, and to just want to get back in bed and pull the covers over my head. I love that you stick with your practice, whether you feel like it or not. I need some of that discipline! P.S. I hope Stevie is feeling better.
Thanks, Barbara. Stevie had a rough couple of days. But, she is bouncing back. I appreciate your concern.
Thanks for sharing and being so transparent! You really helped my husband with the consulting he received. You are great at it. You need to put yourself out there more for that I believe. It is definitely one of your callings.