Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Business anxiety

Tonight's topic is business. Specifically mine. Having a home based business is a pleasure and a pain. It is a pleasure to share my passion with others. It is a pleasure when those others begin to understand and embrace the message. It is an even bigger pleasure when I see their creative, completed albums. The pain is finding those others to share my passion with. The pain is that I hate to call up people and basically beg them to schedule events. I need paying, consistent customers. Finding them is the problem. I am basically a shy person by nature but I am good at selling the idea of the importance of memory preservation. Our mission of preserving the past, enriching the present and inspiring hope for the future is an important one. It needs to be shared. Our products are good and will preserve those important and irreplacable memories in a way that no other products on the market can. Our company makes sure that statement is true by testing other companies products as well as our own. So these products should sell themselves right? Sure that is true, to the right clients. My issue is finding the right clients. How does one find the clients as a stay at home mom? I know, I know, the store, the post office, the whereever I happen to be and meet up with people. The problem? Refer to the statement about me being shy posted above. That is the long and the short of the issue and one I have yet to find an appropriate, working solution to. I have a goal of having 50 new customers by the end of 2007. It is almost a month into the year and I have only one new customer and she won't be a repeat one I am sure. What to do, what to do?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Medical Mysteries

Our family is dealing with some pretty weighty issues right now. DH's grandmother has lung cancer. It is metastasized renal cancer that she had years ago. Traditional chemo is not effective on this kind of cancer. There is a new drug out that is supposed to help, though it is not a cure. It is supposed help slow the growth of the cancer to prolong life. However, she has had a severe allergic reaction to the medication on the first try. The doctors took her off the medication, waited for the reaction to clear and then tried again with the addition of Prednisone to control the reaction. Unfortunately, this regimen did not help so she can't take the drug. Truthfully, I don't know what this means in terms of how long we have with her but I do know it is going to be a long road no matter how long or short it truely is. I am sad for my DH and my MIL.

In addition to this, my DH's father is dealing with memory issues. When this started almost 2 years ago he was diagnosed as having subclinical seizures that were causing gaps in his short term memory. They have tried different drug combinations to combat the seizures and hopefully arrest the memory degradation. However, the results were not what all of us had been hoping for. After a poor job review my FIL quit his job. However, MIL and the job counselor were able to get him onto long-term disability so that they have not lost his income entirely. This happened a few months ago. Fastforward to two weeks ago. FIL wore a portable EEG machine for a week to determine the frequency of the seizures. Come to find out he is NOT having seizures at all. Instead he is suffering from early onset dementia. From the research that DH has done, this type of dementia has a direct genetic link. It is carried in one of three chromosomes. This is a dominant gene. There are tests to determine if DH carries the gene. That is all well and good. There is ongoing research into new drug therapies and all that. The fact still remains that there is a 50-50 chance that DH could come down with this same affliction in as early as 15 years! Our DS will only be 17 in 15 years!!! I am terrified right now but unfortunately there is absolutely nothing I can do other than worry which leads to depression which leads to overeating which leads to possible health problems of my own.

DH is probably going to have some testing done. I am not sure about his brother and sister. Their grandmother appears to have had this same illness so it is definitely a genetic issue that needs to be at the least understood. Hopefully, there will be something that we can do about it if the eventuallity warrants it.

For now, I have to concentrate on the positives and the things I can control. The positives are that we know about this now, there are tests that can be done and there are drug protocols that can be used if needed. The things I can control are my diet, the family's diet and my own reactions to the stress. I can make weight loss a priority. I can make living in the moment and trying not to worry about the future a priority as well. For now, that is all I can do and that is what I WILL do.

Monday, January 22, 2007

First ramblings

Earlier this week I took the momentous step of starting a blog. However, it was on another site, one that requires registration so I could not include all my friends without getting them to sign up as members of the site. This seemed pointless and ridiculous so I made a decision to seek out a free, no membership required site to host this blog. My first post on that other site was one I want to keep and share so I am going to copy and post it here so it is a part of this blog.

As posted on January 19th to that other blog:

My beginning ramble
mood: contemplativeI have never been a journal writer. I always wondered how people could find enough words to fill a blog or a diary. So what drew me to LiveJournal? Truthfully I am not really sure. I guess I just decided to see if I could really do it. Can I find enough interesting things to type about? Probably not but my ramblings are my own. Others are welcome to read as much as they can stomach but this is simply and expressly for me and nobody else.I have discovered that I feel the need sometimes to just write it out. With that in mind I started this fun little blog to ramble on about whatever comes to mind. Today's ramblings revolve around weight loss and Weight Watchers. A friend on Dotties Weight Loss Zone asked a question to get us all thinking. She asked how we stop sliding backward on our good habits when we notice this happening. I rattled off an answer to her about how I have not found an answer to this problem as I am still sliding, which I am. However, as I think more on the question I wonder, is this really the whole truth? Because the fact is I have put a stop to my slide but I have not made any forward progress. Why? Oh that is simple. I am "skating" as the flylady would say. I am doing just enough to get by without really tackling the issues that are before me. I do some exercise, I sort of watch what I am eating and make a token effort to get my water in each day but I am not REALLY working the program. I am not journaling, diligently drinking all my water, getting all my fruits, vegetables or healthy oils. As a matter of fact, I am not even doing the most basic thing, eating breakfast. So am I helping myself? Sure I am. I am staying heavy. I am allowing myself to not work the program and lamenting the fact that the program is not working for me. Now I am aware. I have considered this issue thoughout the day. I will continue to consider it as I work on what I am doing right. I am starting to exercise on a more regular basis, I have cut back on the soda consumption in my diet, I am making more conscious food choices. I am aware. That is a step in the right direction.

And a post from January 20th as well:

Basketball Saturday
mood: tiredToday was all about basketball. It should have been about bunnies and basketball but the bunny field day got forgotten about until it was too late to attend so it is just basketball Saturday. First up was my daughter's game. She is a 5th grader and is playing on a recreational team. I try to stay positive because while she is supposed to be learning the skills necessary to go on to play more competetive ball, it really is just for fun. However, I get so frustrated sometimes with other parents and the volunteer refs. The parents because they are so hard on their kids and the refs because they do not make the calls that need to be made to teach the kids what is and is not acceptable within the rules of the game. I too tend to be hard on my daughter if I feel she is not living up to her committment to the team by not working hard enough or hustling when she should be but I do save the critical comments until we are in private. It makes me sad to see and hear other parents berating their kids in front of others. Now on the issue of refs.... I admit to being critical of refereeing in general. I watch a lot of college sports and feel that the refereeing in general is not what it should be. However, it is worse at this age when the kids are supposed to be learning. The ref we had today is one we have had in the past and he is so inconsistent. He will let things go and go and go and then make a call that makes no sense. In the end, despite playing well and working hard, DD's team lost by 5 points.After finishing up in the gym, we headed out to watch our favorite college team, the Oregon State Beavers, do battle on the hardwood. It was a fun, boisterous game with absolutely lousy refing, see the reference above regarding my opinion on referees in general, and the guys ended up adding another to the loss column. It is disappointing as a fan to see loss after loss after loss particularly at home but really I should be used to it considering the fact that we had 28 YEARS of losing seasons with our football team, a memory that still stings in spite of recent success. I certainly hope that our basketball program, once one of the winningest in the nation, does not suffer a similar fate. Some will wonder why I care so much, after all I don't have a personal connection to any of the players. I can't really explain it either. I guess it is a simple matter of those who can play do and those who can't, watch. I am a watcher with a secret desire to play but that will never happen. In the grand scheme of things, is it better to blow off steam at refs that can't hear me anyway for the other 3000 voices in the colousium or is it better to blow off that same steam on my driveway and then pay for the medical bills? I would rather go for the colousium full of shouting fans.

So these are just the beginnings and I am just getting used to sharing my thoughts so freely. It may take a while for any of this to make any sense... to me or to you but at least I am writing these ramblings down.