Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Those Goals I Had

When I was a senior in high school my social studies teacher had us do the coolest thing. We wrote letters to ourselves five years in the future. I have no idea how seriously other people took this project, but being the weirdo I have always been, I didn't just write a note, I wrote pages and pages and pages to my future self. I had thoughts about who I would, or more importantly "should" be, and I minced no words. It bordered between being thoughtful and belligerent.

Five years later, as promised, the letter arrived. I was surprised by how judgmental I had been, disappointed by some of the goals I had not achieved, and amused at 18's naievety. There was so much I could not have known, no matter how well acquainted I believed myself to be with me.

At this point in time the writing and receiving of that letter are both distant history. In fact, last week I passed the 20th anniversary of the "epic" crash when my thirteen year old summer plans were dashed by a broken back. Life goes so quickly, and changes happen before I can even catch my breath and accept the fact that I'm not even in my twenties anymore.

Which all leads me to this post about the uncertainties of life, and the best laid plans. In January, when I was spending my days being caught up on journal writing, facebook updates, and spending hours a day writing my challenge book (which I still haven't nailed down a publishing plan for, grrr) it seemed that making a goal of reaching 100 posts this year conceivable. After all, I had never even heard of Holliday Gift Shoppe. Sure, I knew we were moving and would have to settle in and find jobs and all that sort of stuff, but I had NO clue of where life was about to take me. So now I find myself almost through June, with fewer than 30 posts, and it's clear that my bombardment of the Internet is not going so well. On the other hand, I'm a business owner now. Sounds pretty grown up, doesn't it?

I guess the question now is, what would 18 year old me think of the life I've ended up with? And what absurdities would I write to the me of the future, only to have that same future me shake her head at just how off my ideas were...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Living the Life Self-Employed

I think there is something misleading about being Self-Employed. It makes it sound as though a person is somehow in control of their destiny. It implies a certain amount of freedom and self-possession. What it really means is that suddenly EVERYTHING is upon you. The "really" fun part is having no clue what "everything" entails.

Maybe it has something to do with laziness, but I've always rather enjoyed letting someone else worry about the details. Just tell me what to do, and chances are, I can manage to do it. But leave it up to me to figure everything out, and it's almost guaranteed to be a mistake.

Sure, I can manage to travel around the world on my own. I can manage my own money, and make sure the most important details are taken care of, but this is a little beyond that. I'm not trying to complain. I'm just trying to figure out what all the hoopla is about being a self-employed business owner. Rather than feeling like I have discovered financial freedom, I've managed to reinstate a frenzied level of stress and worry that has my back tied in ridiculous knots. Sadly, I'm a long way from a Chinese or Balinese spa treatment. (sigh)

On a positive note, good things are happening all around me. Over Memorial Day weekend I was blessed to go to my friend Savana's wedding down in Seiad Valley, CA. It was amazing to be able to drive my husband down the Klamath River and introduce him to the world and some of the people from my childhood.

Then, on June first, my sister Julie had her third child. It'll be a couple months before I have the chance to give little Myrtle Lark Hopper a proper cuddling, but it's a blessing to know there's a fresh baby out there just waiting to meet her Auntie Sarah.

On Friday, my nephew Tyler rocked it on the baseball field. Not only did he score a run, he also caught three hits to right field, sending the batters straight out and helping his team take home the Oregon State Championship at the 3A level! It was so fun to be there to cheer him on, just like we cheered his little brother Jack on when his 9 and 10s little league team won state last summer.

I keep telling myself I'll post at home one of these days so I can add photos, but it keeps not happening. (sigh) At least I managed to get another round of editing done on my challenge book. Now I have to will myself to figure out how to get it out in the hands of hopefully eager readers to help boost that self-employed summer income...