Supplement your supplements with say, sleep.

9:18 AM

It has been a minute. And I’m only free to jot this morning because I’ve been duh’d again.
To explain..  
I’ve been scurrying about for the last 48 hours, in order to clear a full day off from my immediate responsibilities, so I could take a required out-of-town Continuing Ed class for Real Estate, which has since been cancelled due to a lack of participation. This is the story of my life: massive preparation, followed by twist of irony, likely making said preparation totally moot. I’m not complaining, at least there’s a bit of a literary style, and honestly, I never see it coming. Even though, duh.

Here in South Mississippi, fall is having one of those minor “pay attention to me” episodes where it flares up with wintery behavior, and undoubtedly
returns to tank top weather all in the same week. Sunday, I could have worked on my tan. Monday I was scrambling to put on every pair of socks I own all at the same time. And just to be safe, I packed both my fluffiest coat and a pair of lightweight linen pants for this trip to the big city of Meridian.

(Obvious consolation prize to my class being cancelled --> I still get to spend a weekend with Drew.)

We have been playing in Hattiesburg every weekend since he returned from Knoxville, with the exception of a work weekend he had to spend in Maine. I mean, it’s October/November, and there just isn’t a vacant Friday or Saturday night to be had. And yes sometimes, even Thursday night wants to show out. Between Live @ Fives, a Generationals show (new favorite, btw), the local burlesque show, our annual Halloween party (we were Ursula and King Triton), actual Halloween (by which time I was too exhausted to have 8 legs again), post-Halloween brunches, top secret birthday brunches and Amanda’s wedding, I haven’t been still much.

Here we are at Hattiesburlesque.
Not quite sure what Drew's up to with the pink ball. 
So I’m actually quite grateful to have a dull moment with which to type a thing. It should be no coincidence that next week is Thanksgiving. My “grateful for” list has grown and swelled over the last few years, and I have found myself adoring this age I’m settling into. Though there’s much more to do and take care of than in my early 20’s, there’s a lot less overall headache, anxiety and fear. Which brings me to the title of this post..

I’ll be honest, when strangers or folks I haven’t seen in ages ask me “What do you do?”  I’m both excited and terrified to tell them. I can feel my brain actually freeze and fracture into chunks, like an iceberg whose number is up. In business school, they tell you to practice your elevator pitch. Short, sweet. You tell me how to make this short and sweet: I’m a real estate agent. I own an all-natural cleaning company. I coordinate community festivals for non-profits. I consult with small businesses on their marketing. And lately, I help out at a gym four days a week. Should I come up with an acronym?

I know that when someone asks that question, they really only want to hear what is most prominent in my life. But the answer to that could actually vary by the hour of the day. And then the poor asker wants to know how I balance it all. I usually just shrug and explain that I’m a Gemini, and “easily bored.” I know this makes me sound a little manic. Unstable. Uncommitted. Any other un-words?
But the truth is the opposite.

I recently learned, while sitting at happy hour, that it’s not uncommon to take supplements, whether prescribed or herbal, to moderate the wild ride of life’s emotions and inclinations—stress, anxiety, and of course, the usual culprit behind productivity theft, ADD.  I’m apparently in the minority on this one. All I can do to deal with my bizarre life is make sure I get proper sleep, eat well, wake up early and be prepared, regardless of whether the thing is cancelled at the last cussin’ minute.  But these little efforts build on one another. And you know they are the things your mama told you to do anyway!

In the course of the day, I’ll bounce back and forth between handling last-minute cleaning reschedules or recruiting new contractors, to auditing a local video store’s web presence, to showing a home or addressing a leaky toilet at a rental property. No, I don’t have a traditional 8-5, 9-4 or anything even close. Then there are days when I’m lucky enough to catch a glorious mid-afternoon nap, wake up, and work until it’s time for bed. My schedule and my life are super weird.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned. If you don’t allow yourself to be scared, nervous, and sometimes brimming full of trepidation when it comes to your next challenge, you’re likely going to miss out on the calm after the storm as well. If you medicate or distract your way through hurdles, the well-designed system that is your physical/mental arrangement will never ever learn to adapt. But boy is it capable. You just have to trust it and push it a little. You will cope like you’ve never coped before!

Think about learning as a little kid. At one point, you stood on the edge of a precipice, unsure of how to cross a certain scary bridge. Starring as an angel in the kindergarten play.  Cartwheels. First kiss. And then you get older. Essays. College boys. Job interviews. Breakups. Cross-country drives without killing anyone. All these things looked a bit mortifying from the outset. But by now, you’re handling them like a champ, and also knowing when to stay the heck away from the whole situation, i.e. college boys.

The same is true as a quasi-adult, the category I put myself in. Back in college, I used to obsessively read an online Canadian blog called Digs Magazine that targeted the “post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation.” (It featured cool loft apartments, long before Apartment Therapy was a dot com.) That is me, and many of my friends. We have stable income. We don’t always manage it well. We’re figuring it out. But we’re not letting tradition or expectation dictate our story. Man, I love that about us.

Like me, many of my friends are self-employed. As far as I’m concerned, it's the only way to go, but let’s face it.. being your own boss ain’t for everyone. It’s especially tricky if you do have a touch of attention-deficit. I mean, who doesn’t? Just writing this post is a major struggle for me and I’m still not sure I’ll make it through. How on earth to deal? The simplest answer is often correct. Let distraction happen. Allow yourself to come naturally back to focus when your mind is ready. This won’t always work for deadlines, but it’s pretty healthy during your normal workflow. If you suppress distraction at work, you’ll find it in other unwanted areas of your life. Like when you’re thumbing through Instagram while on a date. Ew.  

The biggest issue with self-employment is the total unknown. There’s very little “company precedent” for how to handle new situations, types of clients, etc. Recently, I was looking at my calendar from the week before with amazement. I remembered being aware of that week well in advance, of how scary it was going to be with insanely tight scheduling, new corporate clients and zero room for error. I’m pretty sure I thought I might actually die that week. Just wake up dead from stress. But that didn’t happen, and before I knew it, I was looking back thinking, ‘well, I mean really it was nothing.’ And just like that the big, nerve-racking deals go from something to nothing.  

Conclusion, my life is crazy and yours probably is too. The only thing college boys are good for is finding you a Ritalin supplier. Run away. Get enough sleep and don’t be so hard on yourself after getting lost in cat videos for like, an hour. Embrace the fear and charge it head on because if you don’t, you may never see the other of the bridge. And hey, it could look like a whole morning spent in bed typing a blog post, after all.

(Gimme a break, it’s 9 a.m.)

*This advice is not real advice. It's a major oversimplification of a complicated matter. Just do what you do if that's working for you. 

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All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure. - Mark Twain