Posted on Dec, 03. 2013 Category in my journal Tags
For the past three years I have put together a blogging series every December with a daily writing prompt and accompanying essay or project here on my blog. I encouraged readers to follow along by participating on their own websites, and had many wonderful guest writers who shared their own reflections on each day’s theme. Some of you might have noticed that it’s now December third and I have not mentioned my plans yet for Radvent 2013. I went back and forth on the decision a lot this year, and then December came up fast and I felt much more comfortable making the right call.
Reasons I decided not to do Radvent in 2013:
- It takes a lot of emotional strength that I can’t find on a daily basis right now
- The daily time commitment would pull too much attention away from my job and my daughter
- I didn’t want to attempt it anyway and then give up or let the quality of content decline
- I don’t feel wise
- It feels good to wake up every morning during the holiday season and not have to immediately figure out when I can schedule time in front of the computer
- There are lots of AMAZING old Radvent posts to revisit (so it’s okay)
Things I am planning to do instead, and will write/share all about here:
- Contribute to a new book by project design goddess Jenny Doh
- Speak at the University of Nebraska-Omaha to the Mass Communication class I think?
- Take Alice to a holiday party at the Joslyn Art Museum
- Finish a billion bouquets for these three different brides (oh I’m nervous about getting these done)
- Work on making a home and take a break from hosting on Airbnb
- Speak about Hello Holiday at Omaha and Lincoln’s 1 Million Cups series
- Participate in Omahype’s annual Rock N Shop event at The Slowdown
- Make a DIY snowflake wreath out of white yarn for my dang apartment door
- Go to every Christmas and holiday party I can
If you want to look at posts from previous Radvent years, here they are! Or start with one of my favorites:
Yesterday you and Dad and I met Aunt Sarah and Uncle Matt for lunch, and it was so fun to be all crammed into a booth together eating french fries and sandwiches, making jokes, talking over each other. You positively revel in the attention from everyone in your child-raising sphere of influence, and your dad and I are so thankful for the community of love that surrounds you every day. From your teachers and friends at school to my business partner and customers, to your dad’s coworkers and friends, we see love surrounding you from so many extra special people. No matter what you do or say in your life, your dad and I will always love you more than anyone. But you should know that it’s important to have good friends, too. Learn to care and keep your friends, because you will always need a friend. Sometimes your friends will feel like parents. Or like siblings. They are your chosen family–there’s nothing like a really dependable good friend. Nothing. And your dad and I understand that. We look forward to seeing you make years and years of friends.
Here’s what else is new with you, three-and-a-half year old party girl.
- You’re in your second year of Montessori school and you can write your name, “mom,” and “dad,” and you write them on EVERYTHING. Once you said “Here are the names of everyone in my family.” You can also write the alphabet and you’re learning new words every day. (We’re working on the “-at” family now.)
- Building things is your favorite activity. You can spend over an hour working on one structure, and you always strive to use up every single building block.
- You’ve got sort of a preoccupation with dead things. At your school one day, a dead robin was found in the yard and your teacher held an impromptu funeral for it. Your class buried the bird and sang some songs, and talked about robins and the life cycle. You aren’t worried by death–though it’s a hard concept to understand maybe. You play dead sometimes, and you assure me that your stuffed animals “aren’t dead, they’re just sleeping.”
- Good segue into another observation–you aren’t grossed out by anything. You love bugs, witches, rats, playing dead. You asked Santa to bring you a “live spider” this year. Santa will be missing that memo. I’m not as brave as you about some things.
- You love wearing pinback buttons.
- You think that “mail is a decoration for your porch.” Your dad doesn’t pick up the mail much.
- You love to draw. Every night before bed at my house, we draw or paint something together. I’ve been trying to take you to more art things in the community–we went to a Playlab event at the Sweatshop Gallery, we go to the family nights at the Joslyn Art Museum, and the art talks at the Bemis. Last week we walked through the new Emily Fisher Landau collection at the Joslyn, and your fast favorite was a popular Warhol painting called “Myths.” You said it made you feel happy. You looked at it for a long time, calmly, quietly. I just loved you so much then. And always.
- You split equal time between your dad’s house and my apartment each week, and we like that situation because then you aren’t transitioning back and forth too often. You can kind of settle in each week to each place. It’s been about six months of that now.
- You love to send and receive mail. You have your own stationery, which we use.
- Puns and rhymes are the most hilarious things to you, and you are smart about using them in your jokes. My favorite was “Lunchbox, more like fun-chbox.”
- You started taking selfies.
Last night when you and dad and I were at dinner together–pizza–you made a common request: “Let’s have a family hug.” Dad got up from his seat and came around the table to you and me and squeezed us both, as I wrapped my arms around your little waist.
Today is Thanksgiving. I’m grateful for you, Alice. You make me a better woman. You make me love the world more. You make me love other women more. You make me love your father more. You make me criticize myself less. You inspire me to represent the kind of woman I would be proud for you to become. I love the world I get to live in because you are in it. Grateful, thank you, more please.
Posted on Nov, 23. 2013 Category questions from you Tags
Q: What are some of the low points you’ve experienced as a woman entrepreneur? What institutional hurdles do you think women in particular face? (From Hillary)
A: A thousand. A hundred thousand. And they’re all different for everybody based on their context and experience. One problem that comes to mind presently is that women businessowners are easily stereotyped. Women start companies in such diverse industries–obviously–but in the media we are often pigeon-holed into stories about startups that are aimed at women–as if women only care about fashion and parenting. There’s definitely some “women should focus on what they know best” messaging.
I also realize that I’m very lucky to be so connected, because I feel like I’ve come up through the entrepreneurship community playing the game. I’m lucky to know the rules, and I’m lucky to decide whether or not I’m gonna play by them. I realize my privilege in that even if I’m the only woman in the room, I’m more likely to look like the majority of people around me. So as much as I try to advocate for myself as a woman entrepreneur, I can’t advocate for all people to pursue their entrepreneurial goals unless I stay vigilant about my blind spots as a person of privilege.
Q: If you could “have it all,” what would that look like to you? (From Mike)
A: “Having it all” is a manipulative, shitty marketing slogan designed to plant seeds of doubt and guilt in women. The implication of that question is that by having a career we are sacrificing something else that is assumed to be equally fulfilling, which is a sexist expectation. Ambition can’t be taught, but it can be crushed, and the debate about the possibility of “having it all” is ambition-crushing. Girls (and boys!) should NEVER reel back the ambition. Girls in particular need to hear that happiness is possible. That liking your career is possible. There is a valuable independence in the audacity of pursuing your own happiness. “Can I have it all?” is a worry, not a real question. You only have so much time, so work! Love! Share. Talk. Use the time. And I’ll spoil the ending: NO one has EVER “had it all.”
I am really happy. I have a lot of things I have wanted for a long time and never thought I’d get (though a little more income would lessen some worry and a little more free time would lessen some stress). I have a fantastic first husband co-parenting partner who is a great drinking buddy and supporter. I’m enjoying my independence in the world. I live in an adorable place and I’m working my dream job with my best friend. My daughter is perfect. I’m healthy. I get to get out of town here and there. I have a book coming out!
I want success in my career, I want to be in love, and I want to always have a trip to look forward to. That’s my “all.” That’s a lot. Which brings me to…
Q: How do you define success? (From Carrie Anne)
A: Success for me right now is about growing something large enough to support my lifestyle, fit with my values, and let me have the resources and freedom to enjoy and discover the world. And to be brave enough to be totally unfiltered.
Q: How has your perspective as a business owner changed from CAMP to Hello Holiday? (From Malinda)
A: Well, Hello Holiday is a lot more revenue-focused than CAMP was. I started Camp Coworking in North Downtown primarily because I needed an office space for my expanding business, but also to share a collaborative work day with other people in the community. Artists, musicians, startups, freelancers–all kinds of people came through the doors of CAMP to set up shop and sort of do their own thing in this community atmosphere. I didn’t have the passion or interest to be a manager of a workspace and that led to its closing about a year and a half ago. Hello Holiday is more deliberate, strategic, it’s something really big.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 25 years? (From Elizabeth)
A: Angel investing.
Q: What was it like being raised Mormon? (From Ryan)
A: Despite what Google suggests, I am not Mormon. I know that may come as a shock.
Photo by Bill Sitzmann