"What I know is, is that if you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come." Oprah
Maybe it is lame to quote Oprah, but I'm desperatly hopeful
that she's right. This blog is really to try to deter the premature insanity that was beginning to emerge while I am learning web design, and following my passions. If you have a strong stomach, and good sense of humor, or are one of my friends or family (not optional for that group) please enjoy the ride.
The story starts with post #1, and continues to present day. I will keep you posted (pun intended), with the lasted chapter daily. Also, I will share my reviews of the books I escape with along the way.
Please, read, enjoy, comment, link, or message me. I'd love the feedback, it makes it seem less like I am just talking to myself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's been one year, or Thank You Note for Tim, Anne, & Hannah

It was about a year ago that this little blog and big, huge life change started for me. If you follow the blog then you can skip this part, since you already know the story:
Otherwise here is the cliff notes version.
I was a nurse, pediatric, high tech children to be specific, for about the last 14 years. It was the back up plan for me to become a nurse, since I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. Something that is never really taught, or discussed much in the medical profession is the high emotional cost. Grief is a very expensive emotion. As apedi nurse, I tried to kid myself about the ability to compartmentalize, but that requires effort as well. Especially since I usually was caring for a child who had major medical problems in their own home. There is no clinical buffer for the nurse to lean on in pedi home care. Not to mention that it is impossible to not grieve when one of those patients dies. It was a culmination of this emotional overload, one of my beloved patients whose family had become my family, died suddenly that sparked my urgency for a career change. After that, my heart was never 100% the same.

As with all things in life, the need for change in my life brought, well change. I had a beautiful child on the way. She is amazing, and the light in my life. It was shortly after her birth that I went back to home care forpedi patients, for the last time.

I was assigned to Hannah, and her family. If ever people are sent into your life who will touch it irrevocably, Hannah and her family were sent to me. I cannot tell you what an amazing a family they are, since it would seem sappy and like I was sucking up. You will just have to take my word on this. They are amazing people! And Hannah, what a little ray of sunshine! She was a few months older than my daughter, and I was working nights, so I got to manage her care during her cutest time of the night. She was the perfect patient, and they had wirelessInternet to get me through the nights. (Yes, I know you are wondering, I did have to stay awake the whole night)

I was struggling with an infant at home, the need to sleep, postpartum depression, and trying not to bond with this beautiful baby and her amazing family. My friend suggested that I work with her as a virtual assistant. I was trying to help her grow her Internet business. Then it happened. I remember the night. I read a blog about following your passion, and that is how you know what to do with your life. I was stuck on my "passion". So I went to my book to escape, and had the light bulb. Books and reading are my passion.

It was then in those early hours at Hannah's house while I was watching her sleep and making sure she was breathing (fundamental part of my job) that the whole site, and my need to become a web developer came to me as clear as if it was all being laid out for me.

Anne (Hannah's mom) was the very first person that I told about the idea. She willingly listened, and feigned excitement. Of course, I then began to tell everyone I knew and my enthusiasm took on a life of it's own. I, of course, had no foresight, or in site to my own computer ignorance. I had always taken on the world by, "if there is something I want to know I will learn it. After all I read, and am resourceful." So, I thought, web design, no problem! Silly girl!

Well, lucky for me, and here is where the thank yous and the mushy part starts, Tim (Hannah's dad) is a computer guy. I use the term loosely, but trust me, computer guy for BIG Austin computer company, and really, really smart. He began educating me, and believe me I needed schooling, about the basics. I tormented him with endless questions and broken computer issues. He patiently fixed and answered my endless stream of "so what is a server, again?" and "so open source means free?" questions. He also introduced me to life savers like Google docs, (which I use EVERYDAY) and Mozy.com, (since I had no idea what backing up your files meant), and well even here, blogger.com.

All I was bringing to the game was them sleeping knowing their daughter was secure for the night. They were opening up a WHOLE new world for me. They humored me with looking at my sad, oh so sad first design ideas. They gave me tips and tricks, and were so supportive and friendly.

They were also amazingly understanding when I finally got the need to walk away from nursing all together and jump off the cliff of wed development and start up business owner, without notice. They have continued to be supportive, reading my newsletters, and looking at the site.

Most importantly, they have continued to include me in Hannah's updates. I have celebrated with them (virtually of course) when Hannah's trach tube was removed, when she started walking, and I still cherish reading Hannah's blog to hear about the day to day in Hannah's world.

This post was originally to commemorate the year mark of the whole about face in my life, and that light bulb that went off in my head, and my life, at Hannah's bedside a year ago. Every time I thought about what I wanted to write, all I can really remember is how much I appreciate Anne and Tim and Hannah. What am amazing profound affect they have had on me and honestly, everyone else in my life, by proxy.(little computer humor)

My life will never be the same, and I have now reached the point in my new journey that I no longer introduce myself as a nurse. I know that I will not ever have to go back to nursing, and that is a dream come true, really.

I am also so thankful that Hannah was my very last patient, and she is such a little miracle that I plan on attending her graduations, all of them! She is a special child who will undoubtedly touch every person that she encounters. She certainly touched me. I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and Hannah and her family are on that list.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Here is the first post on the blog, that begins the journey and tells the story from that point of view: the very first blog post!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Start Up Growth is a painful process.

Today I took my toddler to her second day at her new daycare. We toured the center last week, and met with the owner. She told us about how they had been renting the back part of the center for the last 3 years, and had just purchased the entire shopping center, and were in the process of renovations, and redesign. At the time, I was totally focused on my daughter's new school, not the relations of startup pain.
Then this morning, I was dropping my daughter off when her class was heading to the lunchroom for snack. That meant that they were going to walk around the building, holding their rings (on a rope to keep them together), down the step, along the rock path, and up another step. Awkward, and inefficient, but not awful. Probably more stressful on the teachers, and the kids than the center's owner realized.
As I was walking back to my car, I thought, I guess those are the growing pains of owning, and growing a business. (yes, here is the tie in) Then I realized that those are the same type of awkward inefficiencies that we have had with Ijustfinished.com. The steps, rock paths, and ring ropes until we find the best way to do something.
That is the burden of a start up, well the learning curves, and all the money, but that is a whole different post.
Tomorrow, the whole team is meeting to do a big planning meeting, finalize the redesign, and refocus. I think that is the way we cope with the learning curve. Identify what works, what doesn't and put an action plan together. Wow, I am a very long way from my comfort zone as a nurse, and despite the general discomfort, it feel pretty damn good.