Guy (in his mid 20s) asked, "when should I start dating? I haven't dated anyone seriously yet."
I replied, "Are you ready to settle down?"
Guy replied, "no."
I replied, "Until you're ready to settle down and marry (you have a stable job, you can be dependable, respectable, ...) - don't date. Hang out."
Guy asks, "What do you mean settle down and marry? Of course I'm not."
I say, "Well... in most cases, you date a girl, you like her, you guys start a relationship, ... 6 months... 9 months... 1 year... very soon if not earlier than that, your lady is gonna wonder, pressure you, want the big 'M' word. Especially if you're dating in your post college years in your late 20s, 30s, 40s... The older you get, the shorter the window of dating."
Guy says, "Oh. Hmm. I think some girls don't mind not having that..."
I say, "Really? If she's being true to herself, that's a major rarity. Major edge case."
Guy agrees, "Yeah... - then what do you mean by hanging out?"
I reply, "Hanging out - like go to the movies, hang out with friends, happy hour, dance class, pottery class, hikes, ... but be very clear with each other - that what you have with her is not a relationship that's headed anywhere. Avoid getting too physical - respect her. Keep it clean. At least until you are ready to --date-- her properly."
Guy says, "okay... I can't afford to take a lady out right now anyways."
Net net of the story is, don't waste your time in either direction. Be upfront, truthful and honest with people. And... women, as awful as this may sound, we have a shelf life. Shelf life with regards to when we can have children, our youth, our beauty. It's not forever - so let's not take it for granted if you're a woman reading this. If you're a man, don't take your lady-friend for granted - treat her right or let her go. Opportunities are passing by. Time's a wasting.
So much to be thankful for - right now, having just gotten back from running errands all day preparing for my wedding, I'm so thankful to be with such an awesome, kind, generous, sweet, intelligent, thoughtful, sincere, funny, wise man. As you know since I've mentioned it here and there in my previous blog posts - we're engaged to be married! As of today, we have the venue, a date, invitations, my dress, all kinds of stuff have been coming together for our wedding. Really excited. I feel like the luckiest person ever. It's crazy to see how much has changed this past year. Crazy. Wonderful.
I'm so thankful for my mother. My mother came to town to stay with me for a week to help us with wedding preparations, spend quality time with myself, my brother, my fiance (!), my fiance's parents - and as independent as I'd like to think I am, it is just so wonderful to have my mother here with us. The first day after she arrived in Seattle, it was nonstop talking - it was like she was making up for lost time from living so apart from me and my brother. Oh, and Mochi is delighted to have her "grandma" around. They've been going running every morning together (my mother is a runner!).
I'm thankful for my brother. He's been living in Seattle these past two years - moved here to be my family here in Seattle, help me, ... humble me. We definitely clash and butt heads, probably often, but we've also been making up for time I've lived away from "home" for so long. He's thoughtful - and he's grown a lot these past couple of years. I wonder what woman he'll choose someday to marry...
I'm thankful for all of my friends in my life, my colleagues, my business partners, my support network, my social network, you, all the wonderful people that I care for and those that care for me back. I love the friends I can call after a few months and catch up - like no time as gone by at all. I love the friends that hover close by checking in on me, thinking about me... I'm so lucky. I love the friends that have had beautiful little mini's - children that call me "Auntie". I love them all.
And most importantly, I'm thankful to God who has blessed my life with such wonderful people - I'm thankful that He's provided, guided, cared, and continues to watch over me and those in my life. I honestly do believe I owe everything to Him.
Wobbling is the art of juggling. Wobbling is the art of not letting any balls drop. Wobbling is the art of life. Oh yea, there's no such thing as work-life balance - it's one big ass bucket of LIFE. <BTW - Picture bouncy rubber balls in your head>
So before I begin, I must give some credit for this concept to a man I worked for several years ago, John Humphrey. I cannot confirm how or where, but I do know that I made that mental note back then and so I want to give credit. Many people often ask me, how do you do it? How do you do so many things? Well.... partly because I'm slightly insane (joking), and mostly because I wobble. I wobble my current day job as a Manager at a local boutique consulting firm, my current consulting gig at Clarisonic as their Digital Marketing Consultant, my first startup of 2011 AllThingsWishful.com, and my most recent startup of 2011 Arry Table. I also wobble personal commitments to my dog, Mochi, my fiance, my mother and brother, my mentees and seeing my friends. I think living alone also piles on a bunch of commitments and chores, paying bills, cleaning, laundry, cooking, groceries, ... Obviously, my health endeavors such as running or yoga have fallen by the wayside now. I plan to pick that back up.... soon - I'm walking my pup in the morning in the meantime. Right now, I'm in the midst of planning a wedding which will be happening... very shortly! (Yes, update on that coming!)
Yep. My current life is a bit.... nuts.
Explain the "Wobble"? The idea behind the "Wobble" is that there is no such thing as true balance. Corporations and companies sling "work-life balance" around thinking that it means 40-45 hour work weeks then going home to do chores, hang out with family, and sleeping 8 hours a night. It's not 1970 anymore dudes. Okay - understand, that if an employee is working at one job for 60-100+ hours/week - that's messed up. If that's the case - you gotta pay that employee more, that employee is ridiculously ineffective, or you got some major resourcing issues. I'm talking outside of that. I'm talking about those that like a more fluid style of life and work. Examples of people with this fluid style of life and work are the many entrepreneurs and startup small business owners, many consultants and contractors, maybe even that over-achieving high school kid who's itching to go to Harvard.
Back in 1995, Reader's Digest did a study with a 120 "lost" wallets in 12 communities across the nation and kept track of how many were returned with the $50 cash contents intact. Our awesome city of Seattle ranked #1 back then - with 9 in 10 wallets being returned completely intact. When Reader's Digest interviewed the folks that returned the wallet, here's what they found: some people cited religion or ethics, while others were moved by the baby picture placed in each billfold.
And on a Saturday, November 5, 2011, I lost my wallet while picking up refreshments for my Arry Table Open House Thank You event to thank everyone that had helped me reach my first 100+ "Likes" on my Facebook page. I had picked up some goodies. It was a sunny day in Seattle, and I was content as I strolled my groceries to my car in the parking lot of the QFC in the University Village. I loaded up the groceries into my car. I rolled the cart back to the row of carts by the store. I hopped into my car, turned on my favorite radio station of the season (C89.5), and drove home. Got out of the car in the garage, unloaded groceries over to the elevator, grabbed my home keys... and then realized... OH NO! Where's my wallet!? I then ran back to the car, and searched frantically. I took all the groceries out of the bags. ... Then... it hit me. I HAD LEFT MY WALLET IN THE SHOPPING CART! I have no idea how someone sane does something so absent minded.... but I did. I called the QFC - the lady on the other end of the line ran to the parking lot and searched the carts and parking spaces. NO WALLET! I call my fiance - I'M SO STRESSED AND WORRIED. He works on calming me reminding me of that 1995 Reader's Digest survey about how honest Seattle's citizens are. I get in the car and drive back to the QFC in traffic in hopes of looking for it myself. Twenty minutes into my ride back to the QFC, I get a call. Someone returned my wallet to the customer service desk. Ten minutes later, I am SOOO THANKFUL and am reunited with my wallet. Everything was still there, not a single penny missing.
Yes. I love my Seattle. Yes, still today 16 years later, in Seattle, we believe in honesty as the best policy.
... Second time writing this post. Mental note... save often. Hit the save the button!
Ah... well what did I write before. Yes, I've decided I'm to write more often and with smaller blurbs, to share with you updates about this start-up business. It's literally only been a few weeks since I've hung out my shingle for my Arry Table business - and I've already learned a few things:
1. Facebook. Yea. Facebook. It seems that it's one of the ways people get a first impression - met with a pretty successful guy who upon first learning about Arry Table, went straight to Facebook. He used it like Google - did a search on Arry Table and went straight to my Facebook page. Second thing he did was say, "You only have 46 "Likes". That was 4 days ago. (keke, now thanks to my family and friends, we are up to 128 "Likes". I'm still recruiting more - please "Like" www.facebook.com/ArryTable.) I was amazed - Facebook is the new Google?
2. When I was dreaming about a couple of my favorite things, i.e. startups and Arry Table, I thought I knew exactly who would be buying the tables, interested in them... turns out, I don't. I'm learning that the target audience I thought would be the consumers of the product, may not be right. So the original plan is changing.
3. On top of that, I thought the Arry Table as it has worked out for me, would be the exact product that people want. And I think it's morphing - changing. Motto of this story? If you want to start a business - open your doors and put that shingle out as quickly as possible. Customers will tell you whether or not you're on track. Keep your eyes and ears open - and be ready to shift gears fast. Thanks to all the inquiries and requests - I'll be releasing extendible BENCHES to go with the tables soon. I'll also be releasing a couple of other accessories - one of which will hopefully ROCK your world. :) Other table models too!
That's the thing my Pathwise counselor told me - I've got a beautiful golden egg here. I've got to take care of it, nurture it, listen to it... and take extra care not to smother it or hold it too tightly. Trust and hire people that are better than me to work with me, advise me, and guide me. Listen to my customers and supporters. I'm doing my best-est.
More messages, suggestions, thoughts welcome.