Why the Kids Love Memory Work

Success Kid - Memory WorkLast week, I wrote a post about all the reasons I love memory work. My final reason was that the kids love it. Initially, I thought this was one of my weaker reasons. If I made all of my decisions based solely on what the kids like, our days would be full of pizza and paint and mud and water guns and….well, you get the idea.

BUT

When I step back and think about it, it makes perfect sense that my kids would love memory work.

  • We all like to do things we’re good at. Because memory work builds on a child’s natural skills and abilities, it is something my kids feel they are good at.
  • We all like to be challenged. When the kids initially look at the content they have been assigned, it can seem daunting. We break down the material and take it one step and a time, moving forward bit by bit.
  • We all like to feel the thrill of success. When the kids master new material, their confidence soars. It’s visible. Sometimes they dance or cheer or jump. They know when they’ve mastered the material, and they revel in that accomplishment.

Thinking about it from this angle only reinforces my love of memory work. And it makes perfect sense why my kiddos love it too.

 

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Life Hacks: Lay Flat to Dry

You might file this in your “Thank you, great master of the obvious.” file, but I was super thrilled to come up with this in my laundry room recently.

I have waaay too many articles of clothing that are labeled “lay flat to dry.”

I also have waaay too little space in my house to lay things flat.

“Lay flat to dry” items are the bane of my laundry-doing existence. I mean, what’s a girl with a nonexistent laundry room to do with those? If they go in the dryer, they shrink. If they get hung up, they dry in weird configurations with practically permanent hanger marks in the shoulders, making them impossible to wear.

In the past, I’ve laid these items over the side of the tub and over the shower curtain rod. That works ok – assuming you remember to flip them every now and then AND no small children cut or color the fun pieces of fabric adorning their bathroom. Also, depending on what specific items of clothing we’re talking about, this method limits you to around 6 articles of clothing: 3 on the tub and 3 on the rod.

But I have hacked my life! I have solved my problem!

2014-08-05 09.29.21

Just hang the items upside down with skirt hangers!

On some fabrics, the skirt hangers do leave little indentions. But, if they do, the marks are at your waist, which means they are not nearly as noticeable as big hanger indentions on your shoulders. For the most part, I get nicely dried, non-shrunk, non-weirdly-molded clothes. Plus, there’s more space than I usually need in just one doorway. I have the shirts in the picture above generously spaced, but hung more closely together, I can get all of my “lay flat…” items hung up and drying in my laundry room doorway, where they are safe from little hands, don’t need any rotating, and actually look nice when they are finished drying.

(insert fist pump here!)

What’s Really Holding Me Back?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what direction I want to go with my business. Since the beginning of this pregnancy was a little rough, I took some time off. I’ve still been servicing all of my existing customers but I haven’t done much to generate new business or even grow my current business. As I was cleaning out the garage today in preparation for our big move, I found myself staring at my Mary Kay nook. Since our apartment is small, I keep a lot of my stuff (not product. I’m talking about booth display stuff and shopping bags and peanuts and whatnot.) in the garage. I realized as I looked at all my stuff that I needed to make a decision. If I’m going to make this “break” a permanent one, I need to do it. Otherwise, I need to get moving again.

I just don’t even know how to make this decision. I adore both my sales director and my adopted sales director so I’m sure I’ll be spending some time on the phone with them soon, but ultimately I need to figure out what I want and what is best for my family. And really, that’s just an excuse. Working my business in no way negatively impacts my family. The boys don’t mind at all when I’m gone. They love having Josh all to themselves. And what family would complain about additional income? Especially the significant amount that comes in for the small amount of time I actually spend out of the house. So, I guess what it really boils down to is do I want to do the work?

That question really bothers me. I’m not at all a lazy person. I’m organized and get a lot done on a daily basis. But, for some reason, when it comes to getting my business moving again, it seems like laziness is exactly what my problem is. But even that doesn’t make sense. The work it takes to get moving isn’t hard at all, it’s a lot fun. I love holding parties and skin care classes. I love getting to know new women and helping them feel beautiful. I love watching other women fall in love with both Mary Kay products and the company. I love the products and the company and its so much fun to share that.

This is why I can’t make a decision. I keep going around and around with myself and I can’t even pinpoint what the problem is. So, I told myself I was going to get rid of it all. I was going to have a big going out of business sale and give away all of my supplies, training materials and other goodies. That very literally made me want to cry. I don’t want to get rid of my Mary Kay stuff. I’m a really good consultant, and, more importantly, I really enjoy it. I achieved a lot of success very quickly and then dropped the ball.

Why? The truth is, I know the answer, but I don’t like it. And I definitely don’t want to admit it. But I’ll lay it out here. Maybe if I just admit what the real problem is, I can finally make a decision and get moving.

I’m not satisfied with mediocre. I never have been. Not personally and not with my business. But in my business, I reached a point where I was going to have to stretch myself, step out of my comfort zone and overcome some personal belief barriers to keep moving. So what did I do? I froze. The truth is I froze before I even moved to Texas. Based on what I learned about my business doing my taxes, it appears I froze right before seminar last year. Then, the move and the rough start to my pregnancy were perfect excuses to watch my momentum slip away. Sad isn’t it? I was faced with an opportunity to grow, something I claim I want to continuously do, and I didn’t. I told myself I couldn’t. I just shut down.

But knowing is half the battle, right? I don’t know if that’s true or not. I know very well what the problem is, but I still haven’t faced it. I keep trying to call it another problem: a family conflict, a time conflict, and energy conflict. Deep down I know, as I’ve already mentioned, that none of those are really the problem. I guess step one is to refuse to make excuses for what the problem really is. From now on, when thinking about or talking about my business, I will be honest about the real reason I’m not working right now. Step two is to decide whether I’m going to put on my big girl panties and grow or if I’m going to stay in my comfort zone and look back fondly at the time I spend in Mary Kay.

To further complicate the problem, either choice comes with its own brand of fear. If I move forward with my business, I’m going to have to face the fears that shut me down before. Walking away from my business comes with the fear of regret for what might have been. I’ve spent far too long trying to make this decision based on which fear would be easier to deal with. (I’ll go ahead and tell you. For me, it’s the later.)

As I said, the thought of walking away from my business honestly brings tears to my eyes. I love Mary Kay, the woman, the product, the company, the women, the mission, the charity, everything. I suppose I’ve come to that crucial point that all relationships eventually reach. The point where love the feeling isn’t enough. It’s time for love to be a verb. I just have to decide if I’m going to take action.

Come Blow Your Horn!

Too many times, we don’t take the opportunity to share our accomplishments and other positive experiences. We don’t want others to think we’re bragging because for whatever reason that has such a negative connotation. Or maybe we’re lacking self-esteem and think that we don’t really deserve the success we just encountered. Whatever the reason, I think it’s foolish. If we all took a little more time to talk about the good things in our lives instead of complaining or recounting discouraging news headlines, we’d probably all be a little better off and a lot happier. To rectify this situation, even if only slightly, I’ve added a new page to my blog. Drop by and crow about your accomplishments, tell about your wonderful day, share a resolution you’ve made to improve yourself, your family, your world. Come by and tell about anything positive going on in your life. I can’t wait to start reading all the positive, uplifting and inspiring stories!!

Reasons I Will Never “Make It” As a Blogger

As I was laying awake in bed last night, I found myself pondering the reasons I’ll never “make it” in the blogging world. I was amused by my little epiphany, so in case you’ve mistakenly overestimated my potential, let me fill you in.

1. My blog doesn’t have a general topic of interest. Two of my favorite blogs to visit are about something, Conversion Diary and Young House Love. While visiting these blogs, I’ve fallen in love with the writing or perhaps the writers and thus the blog. What are these topics that keep me coming back for more? Conversion Diary is the story of a former atheist who found herself searching for meaning in her life. The blog documents her journey and she continues updating it regularly. Young House Love is about a young newlywed couple and all of their amazing home renovation projects. In both instances what originally hooked me? The topic. I don’t have one of those. I write about whatever is on my mind in no particular order. Reason number one I’ll never find fame and fortune as a blogger: I don’t have a topic or even the slightest desire to commit to a single topic. I’m just more well-rounded than that. ;)

2. I’m nobody special. Well, of course I’m special, but I’m not someone who is well-known. Patrick Madrid’s blog comes to mind. His blog is random like mine, no general topic or theme. So why do people visit his blog? Because it’s his. People have read his books or heard him speak. They’re so sold on the guy that they’ll visit his blog to see what he has to say, regardless of  the topic. Reason number two I’m not destined to have a world-famous blog: because I’m just me. Despite being a hero to my kiddos, most people don’t revere me, let alone know who I am. Thus, at present, I can’t draw readers simply because I’m awesome.

3. My life isn’t extraordinary. Some moms have been known to start a blog just to keep friends and family updated on daily happenings. Mom reasons she can write story after story about her little gems, her misadventures as a mom, and whatever else is relevant to her family without boring people to tears or clogging up their inboxes. She writes until her heart’s content, but family and friends only have to read as much as they want and only when they’re interested.

Somehow, whether it’s because this mom’s life is a step above the majority’s or perhaps she just has a knack for writing about it like it is, she starts drawing more and more readers and eventually sponsors. Before she knows it, her little blogging hobby has become a career. So why can’t I stumble into success?  Well, I suppose I could, but these moms started writing to their family and friends. I doubt my family and friends even know I have a blog, much less read it. I write to no one or some days many anonymous someones. They come to read  a specific entry, but their love for me or my kids won’t bring them back for more. Reason number three advertisers won’t be begging to pay me to keep on doing what I’m doing: I don’t have a loyal (or guilt-ridden, as the case may be) fan base to launch me into notoriety.

The good news is I didn’t start my blog to make money or gain recognition. I write my little blog as a sounding board. When lacking other adults to share my prodigious insights with or simply feeling as if making my message public could make a difference, I have a venue to give voice to my thoughts. I find this invaluable. One can only call her girlfriends so many times before they start asking, “Is Josh working 16 hours again today?” Busted. “Well, yeah he is, but I really just wanted to see what you’re up to, Jenny.” She knows better. She knows I’m bored or have a thought that’s a little above my four-year-old’s comprehension level.

Joking aside, how does one determine success? By setting goals. My goal was to have a virtual sounding board, to have a spot where I could selfishly go on and on and not have to ask about little Adam’s potty training. That’s what I have here. A returning, captive audience was never my goal. Obtaining that would indeed be some kind of success in its own right, but lacking that definitely does not mean I’m lacking success. I’m successful in that I’ve achieved exactly what I set out to achieve, and I enjoy every keystroke.