Saturday, June 30, 2012

What do you need?

Being an only child, occasionally I go through some fairly serious bouts of needing loner time, even though I'm an incredibly social person.  It tends to freak out people who are close to me because I'll drop off the map momentarily.  I use this time to recharge my battery, self-reflect, daydream and ponder.

My kids were gone for 10 days - which was crazy for me.  My house was soooo quiet, and I found myself being really sad.  It spiraled into assessing everything in my life.  Many of my close girlfriends were either out of town or busy with their own lives, and my only "family" here is my surrogate community family (who are some of the most amazing people on the planet) - and of course my Z urchins.  So I cocooned and let my feelings and thoughts lead the way, knowing that whenever I come out of one of these periods it is with renewed passion, conviction and strength.  This is one of the things I really do love about getting older.  We learn how to be better roller coaster riders and recognize what we have control over - and what we do not...

My business is tied into my being.  I've let it evolve and diversify and feed my soul.  Being a true idealist, when I was a little girl, I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders.  I felt like I was part of the soul and pulse of everything around me.  The energy of what surrounded me flowed in and out of my body - good or bad.  I didn't know how to control it.  I hadn't studied the importance of attitude.  I didn't know how to recognize signs, or say no without feeling horrible, or take the time to recharge my battery.  These are things I'm still learning.  Aun aprendo.  I am a student of life.

So part of my reflection last week was the need to once again re-balance my necessity to make money with my desire to do good.  We lead a fairly simple life at this point, and I honestly prefer the treasure hunt of a thrift store versus the zombie consumerism of a mall.  I drive a messy mom Toyota Rav with 200,000+ miles and appreciate the little things.  But I still have two birds to feed...

As I said, I've learned how to tie profit and my idealistic (though logical) views of the world together pretty well at this point, and will only work with clients who have passion + purpose.  I like to help great people kick ass.  I like to fight for the "underdogs," which is apparent in my community activism.  I like to remind people that everyone's voice counts.

But being self-employed is very feast or famine, and having done it for 8+ years now, sometimes the famine periods get a wee bit stressful.  So when I got a phone call from Wayne Rainey, owner of monOrchid (one of my most favorite buildings in downtown Phoenix) this week, inviting me to set up shop in his building to get away from my home office, I took it as a sign.  It wasn't that hard of a choice really, because the moment he called I was doing a load of laundry and I realized I'd been wearing track shorts that say "Greece" across the ass and a Spam Museum t-shirt for the past two days.  And I hadn't showered either.  An easy "yes" if ever there was one...

After I got off the phone, I looked around and thought about my attitude and momentary pity party.  The "Put your big girls panties on and deal with it" sign in my office (that will move to my new office home next week) jumped out at me.  My attitude immediately shifted.  And just like that, the phone began to ring - and hasn't stopped.  So I went back to being thankful and thinking about all of the things and people I love, as well as the simple things that bring me joy.

The bank account went up slightly.  Not a ton, but enough to keep me from being momentarily stressed out about providing for the Z urchins.  So this afternoon, Zoe and I stopped at Walgreens so I could buy some deodorant.  I can't very well be smelly next week in my new office "home"!  There was a young, pretty girl outside who approached me and was trying to sell jewelry she had made.  She was soft-spoken and polite.  The jewelry was in a large ziplock baggie, and as she pulled each piece out, she told me about the stones she'd used as she gently turned them through her fingers.
"This is coral and real turquoise." 
I looked at her and asked her what she needed.  Why was she selling the jewelry?
"Honestly, I'm just trying to buy diapers and wipes for my baby.  I moved here not that long ago and still haven't been able to find a job."
I asked her what size diapers her baby wore, and bought those two items when I went in the store.  It was about $13.  When I came out and handed them to her she was extremely grateful.  As I was getting Zoe settled into her seat, I heard her say to herself "They're even the expensive brand."  It was the highlight of my week.  It was my moment to try to help shift the attitude of a fellow human.  A fellow mama.

There are always people so much worse off than even our lowest lows, and this was my gentle reminder to give when I am able to give, just because it's the right thing to do.  Just because I would want someone to do the same thing for me.  Sometimes it's important to remember to ask ourselves and others one simple question: "What do you need?"

If we don't experience the lows, we can't experience the highs.

Nobody would ever pay to ride a straight roller coaster...

Love and laughter,

Msss. Champion

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.” -Charles R. Swindoll


  1. Wow. I refer to periods like this as "being up in my attic." Yes, referring to the brain. Sometimes it sucks, but as you point out, sometimes it actually leads to a purge and reorganization of attitude, of rationale and, eventually, to some peace.