Saturday, June 6, 2009

Debi: Other Things I Shouldn't Take for Granted

Well, I'll be! Stori is writing again! Hooray!

It's been a few years now that we've been friends, and I've come to recognize that, come about May, she disappears into the outdoors for the few glorious months of nice weather in her neck of the woods. The first summer of our friendship, I thought she'd just gotten tired of me, but then when the weather turned, I suddenly started getting instant messages from her again. Now, I'm used to the pattern but wasn't sure how it would bode for our blog. I've been meaning to write to her for the last couple of weeks to ask if we ought to just put a "WENT FISHING" sign up for the summer. I guess she's able to squeeze in a post here and there after all! Glad to see you back, sis!

Things around here have been a bit low for me, I'll admit. That freelance work that had started dropping off a couple of months ago still hasn't picked up, and I've had to start really hustling. While we can pay the bills comfortably on my husband's salary, little luxuries definitely disappear if I'm not bringing in any money. I'm so spoiled; I miss my mochas from the coffeeshop! I think it's less about the mocha itself and more about getting out, seeing people and chatting and feeling like I have some purpose each day. I love our house, but staying in it all day drives me, as my now-seven-year-old-daughter would put it, "cuckoo banana head."

I feel like I've been sitting around waiting for something to happen. Last week I decided to redesign my freelance website, order some new business cards, and start "networking." That means going to meetings of local businesspeople and figuring out how this town fits itself together, like a puzzle, with everyone knowing everyone else and connecting pieces that need each other to be complete. The meeting I attended yesterday included an Equal Opportunity Employment consultant, an accountant, a business coach, the marketing manager for a local coffee roaster, and me. The discussion was interesting -- more interesting than I had expected -- and made me more hopeful that I could use my own business to make a difference for other people, someday. It's hard to explain...but if I am patient, and cultivate more relationships, I think there is hope.

It occurred to me, at one point, that we were all trying to figure out a way to share the pool of money in Evanston -- I know someone who needs an accountant, and the accountant has a client whose brother-in-law is starting a business and could use a coach, and the coach has a friend who needs help with a database, etc. I had this thought in the middle of the meeting that this was a little bit ridiculous; if we all just grew our own food and shared our basic life-sustaining knowledge, we would not need to swap money for first-world-skills all the time. And then I giggled, called myself a pinko, and passed out some more business cards.

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