22 June 2015

the next adventure

It seems four years is my shelf life for a job/career. First, it was political science/international relations in Washington, DC, for college. Then, it was acting in L.A. Then, it was education for my Master's degree and teaching in a correctional facility in Boston. My students told me if I really wanted to make a difference in their lives, I should give them jobs. With a criminal record, they couldn't even get jobs bagging groceries; therefore, "selling drugs was their only option." Right.

So, I opened a coffee shop/bakery and because coffee is such a democratic industry, I ended up hiring plenty of formerly incarcerated and often very creative artist types to be baristas and bakers. Because I started the business with more of a nonprofit mentality, I never cut corners and have always given my team as much as I possibly could. I'm proud of what the shop serves, its customer service, and what it stands for, and I believe all businesses should have such integrity. Starting a business was the hardest thing I had done (until I became a parent).

Now, my little coffee shop is almost four years old, and with my (business) partner, we've also started a coffee roasting company. But, the clock is ticking, and it seems my time with both the coffee shop and the coffee roasting company is also coming to an end. My partner wanted more control, and I didn't want anything other than 50/50, so I am stepping down and leaving the business altogether. It's strange to think that once all of the loose ends are tied up, I will no longer be a business owner. It's a huge mental shift, since I thought I would own this business for the rest of my life, and it never occurred to me that I could leave my "babies" to do anything else. But, it also feels right.

I'm due to have my second (human) baby in four days, my (life) partner and I are hoping to go to Europe for his sabbatical year, and I just won't be that useful to the business as we move forward. So, tick tock, life keeps going, and we just have to adapt.

Now, I just have to figure out how I can be most useful as a human being. I just read Simplicity Parenting, and one lesson that really resonated with me (i.e., that I really needed) was the reminder to use words wisely. The filter the author describes is to make sure before you speak that what you say is true, kind, and necessary.

True? Bye bye, gossip, exaggeration and opinion posing as truth.

Kind? Everything can be communicated in at least twenty different ways. It takes a great person to be able to effectively and kindly communicate things that may not be as pleasant to hear, and the home is a great place to set an example of kindness as the default setting.

Necessary? In our clutter-filled world, will what we say be an improvement upon much needed silence? As a non-filterer, this one may be my greatest challenge, but I wholeheartedly embrace it and will try my best.

So, as I venture forward, starting over professionally yet again (still hoping for the One, rather than a four-year fling), I'll at least try to do so using words more carefully.

Kind. True. Necessary.

Let's go.

09 June 2015

10 things you should do every day to improve your life

Erik Barker has great life reminders, and this one is exactly the kind of post I'm referring to. Simple, to-the-point, and research-based tips for a better life. May we all foster better habits to enjoy better lives.

What 10 Things Should You Do Every Day To Improve Your Life?

10 things that scientific research shows can help improve your life.

1) Get out in nature
You probably seriously underestimate how important this is. (Actually, there’s research that says you do.) Being in nature reduces stress, makes you more creative, improves your memory and may even make you a better person.