Careful what you wish for

I’m bossy.  You can sugar coat that and say I’m assertive.  Sheryl Sandberg would have us “Ban Bossy” but as many of you know, I am a die hard fan of the simple, unfettered, stone cold and occasionally uncomfortable truth.  And the truth is, I often think I know what is best for everyone and too often force my agendas and opinions on the people I care about the most.  I am pushy, occasionally self serving, and very bossy.  If people don’t ascribe to my ideas, schedules or plans, I can turn into a right royal P.I.T.A, and I’ve been known to pack a sad of epic proportions when things don’t pan out the way I desire.

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I’ve been encouraging (nagging) my long-suffering husband Grumpy to get back into the office for quite some time now.  Why?  He is amazing and has so much useful code rattling around in that brain of his. And he often complains about suffering from a recurring case of a big gaping empty, and when he’s busy and engaged, the empty is kept at bay.

So after four years of nagging, he’s back.  He is making huge and positive breakthroughs in his code, and I sincerely hope with his team as well.

The kicker in all of this being, I have been quite miserable and unsupportive, as he started back with regular (and full) days when our son was two weeks old.  So after several years of begging and pleading with him to march that brain of his back to his desk, he picked this point in our lives to comply with my ardent demand to do so.  Just days after I’d had our fourth child.  Awesome.  Fan-freaking-tastic even.

*Very loud and insistent interjection from Grumpy:

“YOU (expletive) MADE ME!  How can you keep complaining when the only reason I am back is because you INSISTED. (Many colourful expletives)”

I keep complaining anyway.

Where was I?

Oh yes.

When he’s not working there, he’s in the garage or his home office putting the finishing touches on a project involving a component for Electric Vehicles that he has invented and is now testing successfully.

I am genuinely proud of him and all that he’s doing.  Although we’ve had a heaped helping of stresses and trials, both in and out of our control, I haven’t seen him this happy in quite a while.  And all this contentedness is despite the fact neither of us has had more than 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a row since welcoming James into the family.

Still, I find the timing of all of this stuff quite exasperating.  And boy oh boy do I make Grumpy suffer in the wake of that exasperation.  Guess I should rein (I am always tempted to spell that reign…) that in for fear of scaring him off.  Nah, I’m a hot mess, and he knew that when he married me, so he’ll just have to handle the occasional spattering of venom while I struggle to maintain some semblance of sanity.

Meanwhile, back on planet Dee, I am bound and determined to change the face of reputation management and Public Relations by successfully unleashing a socially, environmentally and generally conscientious Social Media/PR firm that offers sound and empowering advice and support to people and organisations.

With the help of my business partner, a very dear friend (and kind of business partner) and a spectacular network of like-minded individuals, I aim to change the communications landscape of NZ and eventually the world, by sticking to a simple plan:

Encourage people to be honest and authentic – because the truth will set you free and take you exactly where you need to be.  I want people to start, engage in, and nurture conversations for good.

So, with a five-week-old baby asleep in his hammock next to me, I am furthering this epic vision and moving forward.  Thanks to the ongoing efforts and friendship of my patient and passionate partner Pauline, the momentum is fantastic, and we’re well on our way after a series of hard earned professional wins.

With all of these things coming to fruition, I ought to be seriously satisfied?

Well, I’m genuinely grateful.

I am also, undeniably exhausted and in a fairly constant state of feeling frazzled and fantastically overwhelmed.  For the most part, that’s okay, provided it feels like we’re moving forward and making a notable difference or inroads into our lofty goals of a cleaner, greener, kinder, fairer and more interesting world.

While there is magnanimous momentum in many corners of our lives, something always has to give.  It has been a rare occasion indeed that I am able to get into the kitchen and create, which has always been one of my absolute joys.  The older kids are feeling edgy and we’re having trouble staying abreast of the many spectacular dramas of childhood and pre-pubescence.

Today, for example, our eldest son had a pencil flung at him by a classmate, which left a nasty gouge on the surface of his iris and now he requires drops.  I must confess, the only reason we made it to an optometrist to get it looked at was because I brought the children to the mall in lieu of having to cook for the family because it has been such a busy day.  He’d hardly complained about it, but when I asked him how it was it became painful again, so off to the optometrist we went, “just to be on the safe side”.  You know how it goes.  It did make me stop and wonder how much regarding our bourgeoning brood we are oblivious to because of our commitments and schedules.

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And don’t even get me started on our social life.  We’ve missed so many parties and catch-ups and seen less and less of all of our favourite people.

I’m not complaining though.  Probably sounds like that, a step up from a white whine to a fully-fledged champagne complain, and that’s not what I am trying to get across at all.  I think I just want to share with you the benefit of my experience.  We all ought to be careful what we wish for.  Because we just might get it.  And when dreams start coming true and stuff you thought you wanted finally starts happening, well, that is when the real work begins.

So here we stand only a few unsteady steps into the journey to the top of the next mountain we’ve decided to climb.  And let me tell you, we’re already absolutely knackered.  Happy, but so very tired.

Writing this blog made me stop and think.  Most of us are guilty of the when syndrome.  “I’ll be happy when…”  or “I can stop worrying about this and that when…”  or “I’ll do that thing I’ve always wanted to do when…”  And you know what, I think we’d all be better off and considerably happier if we made an effort to be happy now. To do things now.  To try things, even though we could very well fail, now.  So that’s what I’ll be working on this week.  Changing my own when syndrome into a now superpower.


2 thoughts on “Careful what you wish for

  1. “Encourage people to be honest and authentic – because the truth will set you free and take you exactly where you need to be. I want people to start, engage in, and nurture conversations for good.”

    Couldn’t agree more. I find it works well in life, but never goes down too well in business though. They say they like it, but I’ve lost count of how many time they’ve wanted my honesty edited out of my writing. But I couldn’t give a crap – they should all being to worry when the honesty stops getting served with a very generous side order of diplomacy.

    Your own brand of honesty is refreshing too. I love the weaving of words to describe your life. As a sole trader, I have no office gossip or staff drama as such, so it’s like watching a soap, but in entertaining literary form, and with real people that I really like and root for.

    1. Sadly, it is a continuous conundrum… people saying that they are prepared to deal with, and/or appreciate honesty are often lying. Sad really. But the truth does set us free. And in business, being honest and concise and sharing clear and simple messages is going to get you the interest and support you need. And as far as I know, your honesty in your reviews and so forth is what has made your fan base and readership so healthy and strong. And with any level of success comes haters and lazy people that just want to buy good reviews from trusted sources or whatever. All that will bite them on the butte eventually.

      I think integrity and honesty are absolutely necessary if you’re playing the long game. Bollocks will be exposed eventually. And if you want to stay in the game and have die-hard and tried and true fans and customers, that honesty is the surest way to keep them engaged and supportive in the long run, and even when storms are brewing or disasters are being managed.

      I actually believe this.

      Pandering is necessary sometimes too, but probably best to approach that with a “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” kind of way.

      And I have to work on being honest without being mean, and truth is of course subjective in many ways. But we all have an internal moral compass that tells us in business and in life if what we are doing is right. Adhering to that compass is almost always going to work out for the best.

      Blah blah. Look at me waffle. SO much for concise messages! Hope you are well 🙂

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