Take the First Step

Admittedly, I’m kind of floundering today.  Last night, I spent several hours in the ER with my 70+ year old Mom.  She had been in a relatively minor car accident but it was on the freeway and there were three cars involved, the police came, and she was pretty shook up.  She actually called my sister (she was closer to her house) from the freeway.  My dear sister showed up at the accident scene and told my Mom she was completely fine to drive herself home!!!  My sister didn’t even follow her to make sure she got home ok and was comfortably settled.  Mom lives alone.  So, later, when Mom thinks she should be checked out . . . who does she call?  Me.  And who sits with Mom at the ER with all the coughing, vomiting, sniffly people with fevers?  Me.  I don’t at all mind needing to take Mom to the ER.  I was easily able to find the kids a ride home from Scouts (we were on our way to Scouts when Mom called) so, really, it wasn’t an inconvenience.  I’m just mad at my sister for thinking it was ok for Mom to drive home alone.  And Mom’s like, “Oh, don’t get mad at her.  She’s just on a different wavelength than  you are.”  What???

Ok, ok, I’m digressing.

And Mom’s ok.  The x-rays and CT scan all checked out fine.

So its 11:00 and I’ve literally done nothing today besides turn the minis out and get sucked into Hay Day and Facebook.  I decided to write in my journal; that helps me clear my head and get on with my day sometimes.

It led me to again think about what I want to do work-wise.  I really want to build something of my own.  I have ideas for three different on-line businesses that I keep coming back to.  I think they’re good ideas.  People I’ve run them by also think they have potential.  I’ve done some brainstorming, made some lists, put some ideas down on paper.

So . . . now what?  Because of my spectacular history of not following through on my brilliant ideas, Husband isn’t going to be supportive of spending any money on these new bright ideas.  Realistically, I could likely get at least one or two of them off the ground without any money.

So . . . now what?  I keep coming back to these ideas, which tells me I should pay attention to them.  What’s stopping me?  I’m sort of at a place in life where I could launch something new, something that’s my very own thing.  I’m smart.  I can figure stuff out.

My brainstorming keeps coming up with problems . . .  What form would the final product be in?  How would I get paid (PayPal?)?  How much do I charge?  I can’t envision the entire project or process. But that led me to remember one of my favorite quotes (which I’m likely not quoting exactly):  Faith is taking the first step when you can’t see the entire staircase.

That’s the point I’m at . . . I can’t see the entire staircase.  But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take the first step.

How Am I Going To Get Through This?

“This” is being unemployed.  And don’t read too much into the title of this post.  Its not a “How on earth am I going to get through this???” in a hysterical or depressed way.  Its more of a “Huh . . . what exactly am I going to do???”

Because, let’s face it, being unemployed with teenagers leaves a person with a whole lot of free time.  I have the sneaking suspicion that I need to structure my time and activities somehow.

My “Plan for the Day” spreadsheet is working to a point.  But since, for example, I just canceled my house cleaners, I need some scheduled housecleaning time.  My horses aren’t getting worked (again) so I need to schedule that.  I need to get my kids to do something productive this summer.  And, of course, I need to look for a job, which, according to my husband, should take up at least 4 hours of my day.

But how do you make these decisions in a vacuum?  Obviously, it doesn’t matter what day I clean the bathroom.  Looking for a job should likely take priority.  So that needs to be in the morning because otherwise, I promise you, my day will just roll on by and I’ll get involved in other, far more interesting, things.

This is hard!!!  And I don’t like it.  Not one little bit.

And what time do I get up in the morning??  During the school year, which ended yesterday, I have to roll out of bed by 6:30 at the latest to get my high schooler to school by 7:30.  I kind of loathe getting up early.  But now, the idea of having some quiet time to myself in the morning to get a few things done, is sort of appealing.  I could get up, have coffee, and do a good chunk of my 4 hours of job searching before the kids get up.  That would give me most of the day left for fun things.

Hmmm . . . that’s something to consider.

Scouts is on Wednesday, which makes the whole day feel compressed.  So maybe that’s a good day for housecleaning and not worry about getting other stuff done (besides the necessary job searching, of course).

But otherwise . . . well, I just don’t know.  I just know that I’d better come up with a plan.

Don’t Have Experience . . . Can’t Get Experience

I’ve been looking for a new job for 3 months now.  I’m finding it incredibly frustrating.  For the past 12 years, I was a court-appointed defense attorney in juvenile criminal court.  I’ve spent 12 years in front of judges, defending minors.  I’ve spent 12 years analyzing evidence.  12 years negotiating good outcomes for my clients and going to trial when necessary.  12 years dealing with difficult kids and their (sometimes) difficult families.

Apparently, all of this counts for nothing.

Why?  Because I don’t have experience in any other type of law.

So the fact that the past 12 years have given me the skills to do, admittedly, with a learning curve, other types of law, that doesn’t seem to matter.  I can’t even get an interview.

Are there just too many attorneys out there?

I’m in the midst of doing the training to be a court-appointed attorney for minors in family court.  I just learned today that there’s an experience requirement – having represented minors in six contested custody cases.  I don’t have that experience so how am I supposed to obtain it??

Sorry . . . I know I’m venting here but I’m incredibly frustrated.  I’m smart, organized, professional, good interpersonal skills, good written and verbal skills.  And I can’t find a job.

Getting It Back Together

I’ve realized that yesterday’s feeling of “its all too difficult” mostly came from doubting myself.  I’m in a better mood today and ready to tackle some things.

I sent the logo person an email, asking some questions and giving her an idea of what I want.  So, no commitment yet but some progress.  I felt like I need some more information before making a final decision.  I also recognized that my real hesitation here is that Husband will think this is a ridiculous use of money; that a logo is a completely unnecessary item.  But its important to me.  I’m not sure why, but it is.  But, I also acknowledge that its something I can do without.  So, maybe I shouldn’t spend the $100.

O.k., maybe that was a decision right there.  Maybe its something I can reward myself with after I have, say, 5 clients.

I am going to the continuing education thing this afternoon.  Actually, I have to leave here in less than an hour.  I know what I’m going to wear and I’ve painted my nails.  Whether or not I’ll actually talk to people remains to be seen.  I suppose I should make sure I have some business cards on me.

I’m going to do my best to post more frequently about my journey back to riding Slewy and teaching our two minis to drive.  Yesterday I finished the very helpful “Step-By-Step Guide To Training A Miniature Horse to Drive.”  I wish I could find a step-by-step guide to making your nutty off-the-track Thoroughbred nice.  So go see the Stori Stables section for that.

As for finding a horse to buy for my daughter . . . well, I think that’s just going to be a lengthy saga that I had better learn to have a sense of humor about.

Wish me luck on my event this afternoon . . . mostly, on looking friendly and talking to people.


Flaking on Networking

A couple of weeks ago, I had myself all psyched up to start “networking”.  I’d come to see it as a necessary evil and began to make peace with that.  My calendar says that this morning, right now actually, I’m supposed to be at my first networking “event”.

Clearly, I’m not there.

I’m sitting here at my desk at home instead.  I flaked.

Honestly, I had kind of forgotten about it.  I was slightly surprised to see it on my calendar last night.  I groaned when I saw it and quickly talked myself out of it.  But I think I have some reasonable justifications:

1. I haven’t been feeling super well.  I think I finally caught my kids’ allergy / cold / general blechiness.  Being perky, shaking people’s hands and standing up to give a 30 second “Hi! This is who I’m am . . .” spiel seemed like a lot to do.  Plus, I’d have to figure out what to wear.  At least I did my nails yesterday, but, what to wear, but, do I look more professional with my hair up or down?  . . . See where this is going???

2. I was scheduled to take the daughter to school this morning.  Husband probably could have taken her but . . . o.k., there’s not much of an excuse here.

3.  I just don’t think I’m quite ready.  The acquaintance who told me about this event said that the 30 second introduce yourself spiel is an opportunity to say what you need.  What would I say??  Yes, I  need clients for my private practice.  Introducing myself as a criminal defense attorney is easy.  But, (as per yesterday’s post), I feel like there’s a lot more.  I can easily see myself devolving into “well, I’m a criminal defense attorney but I also want to buy a business.  I need a mentor for that.  And I need clients for my private practice.  Does anyone know any criminals?   Any criminals in the room today??  Raise your hand!!!  And, maybe, I might start a tour company.  Anyone want to go on a hike??”

Yeah . . . I think I  need some focus.

I’ll put it on my calendar for next month.


Is “Everything” A Choice?

You know that song that goes, “I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now”??  That’s me the past couple of days.

Since losing my job at the end of March, I’ve considered a couple of different paths:

1) Find a new job as an employee

2) Buy and run some sort of business, like a frozen yogurt place or coffee spot

3) Start my own private practice as a criminal defense attorney

4) Start my own non-attorney business (I have a vague idea for a tour company)

Is “all of the above” a choice?

The fabulous part-time job that I discussed in my last blog post (the one about how I was busy talking myself out of it) will likely become a reality.  So, that checks off path #1.  But I don’t want to turn my back on numbers 2 through 4.

Its super hard to decide what to do with your life!

And its put me in a bit of a funky mood lately.  My “Plan for the Day” spreadsheet hasn’t been working quite as well because, well,  I’m just really tired.  I’m tired of the uncertainty and of trying to figure it all out.  There are so many things I want to do.  And there are so many things I “have” to do.  Its a lot of juggling.

I’m not whining.  I know there are a lot of other folks out there going through the same thing.  And I know I (and hopefully others too!) will get through it.

So today I’m giving myself a bit of a break.  I’m giving myself a manicure, spending some more time scrolling through Facebook, and just sitting here watching the rain and wind.

And now, I have to brave the wind and the rain to pick up kids from school.

I Can Talk Myself Out of Anything

As you know, I lost my job a couple of months ago.  While I’m working on developing my own private practice, I’m also looking for a part-time job because, well, some steady income would be super nice.

In the past couple of days, a great opportunity has come up.  Like, one of those things that just falls into your lap.  This potential job has a lot going for it:  1) Its a job I’d really enjoy; 2) It uses all of my skills (beyond just the fact that I’m an attorney); 3) Its part-time; 4) Hours are flexible and some can likely be worked from home.

Sounds perfect, right?  Until yesterday, I was really excited about it.

And now . . . I’m panicking.  I’ve never actually done this type of job before.  So I’m busy thinking up all the reasons I might fail at it and why it won’t work out.  That’s insane, right?

Like I said, this job literally fell into my lap.  It hasn’t been advertised so I don’t even have any competition!  It truly meets everything I have been looking for.  So what’s my deal?

I’m guessing its just anxiety about the unknown.  Which is reasonable, I suppose.  I’ve had the same job with basically the same people for the last 12 years.

I’m trying to walk a fine line between talking myself out of it and being overly excited and taking the first offer they make me.

This is difficult, folks!!!!  Difficult!!!  Help!!!