It felt exactly like thinking about having baby number two and remembering every detail of what having baby number one was really like.
Sleepless nights. Exhaustion. A certainty that my whole life was held together by thin threads. That all it would take for things to completely unravel would be one fragile string snapping – like having a sick child stay home from school – and my precariously balanced schedule would fall to pieces.
Writing The Well-Crafted Mom, creating the business, and then trying to figure out how to make the business viable has been hard. I went into the writing program last year thinking I knew what I needed to do to write the book but the entire process took me by surprise. I didn’t manage my time well. I didn’t manage the writing process well. I leaned so hard on my husband that our marriage crumbled a little under the weight.
Launching the business has felt like making one mistake after the other. In my good moments, I call my mistakes “windows of opportunity,” but most of the time I feel like I’m falling out of these windows, one after the other. My mentor says this is what business is, this is how you get successful, this is why many people don’t ever try or why others try and then quit. You try, you fall, you climb back into your office to another window, and try again. The landings hurt but there’s a lot to learn from them. I’ve learned even more from what it takes to get ready to try again.
There have been times in the last year, after launching wholeheartedly out of yet another window, I’ve caught a little bit of air. For a moment, it’s felt just like flying.
Those are the moments I’m grateful for. There just haven’t been a lot of them – yet.
Last week, I decided to push back the start date for writing Book Two to later this year. To when I feel more solid in my business, more trusting that what I've stitched together in my life is stronger and better able to withstand the havoc wreaked by my writing schedule, when I'm more likely to fly when I launch myself out that window.
I missed the deadline to postpone.
So, this week I’m at another window, ready to launch myself wholeheartedly into Book Two. It’s going to be a book about baby sign language, a collaborative project between my husband Bill (the baby sign language guy) and me. It’s a project that creates its own challenges. My husband is passionate about baby sign language and I’ve worked hard over the last ten or so years to not get pulled into his orbit. Many times, it would have been so easy to settle into a support role for his business, utilizing my administrative, managerial, and marketing experience, circling his bright, shiny sun. I actually did for a while after letting go of my massage therapy practice in late 2014. I wasn’t very happy.
I don’t make a very good planet.
“You teach what you most need to learn,” wrote author Richard Bach. My moms’ groups this month will be big learning opportunities for me.
In my March groups, moms will be taking a look at the hard responsibilities, the obligations that feel obligatory, the tasks that can’t be ditched or delegated. We’ll all dig deep to decide why these pieces earn a place on our schedules. Why we choose to commit our precious time to doing what doesn’t always bring us immediate joy - or happiness ever. Knowing your why can give you purpose, ignite your own passion, and keep you motivated when you need a reason that’s bigger than the task at hand.
Getting clear on my why means making this book bigger than a “how to sign with your baby” book. When I know why I’m writing this book and collaborating with Bill, I’ll be able to shower what I write with magical light. The book becomes a true collaborative project, one in which Bill and I can both shine. We can nurture the book we’re creating – two bright stars giving our new little earth exactly what it needs to flourish.
In my Life Craft Cafe moms’ groups this month, I’ll be working with moms to teach them four ways to build a better To Do List, what I call the 4Ds: ditch what can be thrown overboard, delegate what someone else can take care of, do what brings you joy, and decide the reasons why you’re keeping what’s staying on the list. Moms will create a coaching + craft project that links the new lessons with a take-home talisman that helps integrate the new ideas into their daily routines. For more information and to register, visit thewellcraftedmom.com/life-craft-cafe