Too bad you didn’t fail

Failure

What does your mind conjure up when you see the word?
You failed. 

You. Failed. Period.

Maybe you see the little kid ashamed of themselves for not studyuling more for a test. Maybe that kid is you.

Maybe you see an athlete that didn’t make the cut, and entrepreneur that had a business go belly up.

#failblogs everywhere. 

What is Failure? Why is it so bad?

I don’t use failure in my vernacular for the most part. The kids are not privvy to the concept. Yet. 

As a society we are groomed to pass tests, to fit the curriculum of a particular established institution. 

An institution that is falling apart, and incapable of producing the critical thinkers and revolutionaries that we so desperately need in the eleventh hour of our current incarnation of civilization. 

The system is designed to create workers for consumerism. And we are marching into a post consumer automated society at best, or a zombie apocalypse at worst. Likely though for the next few decades something in the middle. 

Unless we reevaluate the concept of failure. We watch our tiny people grow up and don’t chastise them for toddli g or making mistakes or being incapable of doing high order math at 3 years old. We allow the to fail and they learn and grow. 

Then they turn 5 years old. The magic number where us acceptable to destroy their very core of learning and growth, and shame them for not living up to some sort of generalized expectation. 

Memorize and regurgitate. Show the work. Or you fail. 

And failure is bad. 

And then they slowly lose their spark, or become the habitual failure and are ostracized, and slowly kicked out of the system with no where to go. 

But they can somehow figure out how to change a tire or a diaper, cook swell food, read, write, do applied math, research, and do all that critical thinking that the institutions that boot them so desperately need. 

And although it generally happens later in life, they tend to have more life satisfaction. 

And their obedient “successful ” counterparts, rarely actually reach that feeling of success they were told to go for, they’re secure, but not happy. 
Risk and failure are best buddies, and if looked at as opportunity to grow, can be the most exhilarating experience to be had, and the most effective way to grow and feel fulfilled. 
So go out. Take risks. Fail. Learn. Repeat. 

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The untapped labor market

Dear employers;

There isa massive untapped labor market that is willing and capable of working long hard hours, is resourceful, educated, tech savvy, willing and able to learn, modest, and driven to succeed and in turn help your business succeed.

But it comes with a catch.

You have to offer flexible hours and options to telecommute.

This above mentioned group is the millenial stay at home parent. The amount of posts I see on miscellaneous online forums, asking, “How can I legitimately make money as a stay at home parent?” is tremendous. The amount of MLMs targeting those same people is absurd. The women who try out the MLMs are persistent and amazing and if their abilities were to actually be harnessed in the actual job world, there could be doors opened that most businesses had no idea even existed.

Data entry, digital assistants, client care reps, design, book keeping, writing and editing, scheduling are just some of the examples of services that these people can offer. And many of them would be willing and able to wear different hats.

With the advent of remote desktop software, cloud services, team based apps for pc/tablet/phone many of them are connected over a broad range of devices and depending on the time of day and activity they are in can do small amounts of work herre and there with large blocks in the early morning, nap times, and evening.

With remote serrvices it would be quite easy as an emplyer to set up a login tracker if it isn’t alreadt incorporated into your business management software. You can track time logged and pay accordingly.

The bonus of telecommuting is less office overhead, being able to pay less as well (many people are willing to take a pay cut to be at home with flexible hours, and those same employees tend to use their time more productively, are in better moods which shows in a client care situation as well as interoffice relationships.

There may have to be a learning curve at the beginning, and there are always obstacles, but as with any business, finding ways to work together as a team to find solutions, overcome hurdles and keep the business moving forward is just how it goes.

Having children shouldn’t be a liability. Children grow up to be part of the same community that businesses serve, and will either be clients or workers in those businesses providing they keep up with the trends that the economy is facing.

Yes, things are becoming automated, and eventually most of the positions listed above will be gone, but it’s a good way to get used to not having a human sitting at a desk. The automation happens to still be a person that is elsewhere.

Okay maybe with that last statement I’m grasping at straws.

All that said, “How do I make money as a stay at home parent?”

Cheers!

Living with Purpose (1)

As a misfit, I’ve spent most of my 38 years on earth looking for my purpose in life.

I was raised Lutheran, and although I had a few moments of feeling like part of the church community, I always pushed for change. The church was very antiquated, had no youth programs outside of Sunday school, had an ageing congregation that spent more time preparing for their passage to heaven, or playing politics than really doing anything in the community at large.

Lutherans aren’t evangelical, they’re generally moderate protestant and follow a more apostolic doctrine th and what is shown with other Christian denominations on the media. 

I wasn’t evangelical, but I was thoroughly convinced that the reason I couldn’t engage and being is because there was nothing there for me. 

So I made a proposal to the church pastor for a youth group. He wasn’t keen. He also wasn’t a nice man. But I persisted, I asked I bugged, and badgered. For almost a year every Sunday I asked, I mentioned the idea to elders and was generally a thorn in the side of the church hierarchy. 

Along came the youth group leader. He was and probably still is fantastic, families started coming on more often, his youthful vibrance was contagious, there was youth performances in music and reverence renewed. 

Then the pastor had a falling out with an elder who’s daughter had a child out of wedlock. He refused to baptize the infant. There was uproar people leaving and so on. Then his wife showed up one day to church with a fist sized bruise on her cheek. 

I saw it. I saw the angry swollen skin that she must have painstaking caked makeup over while choking back tears. I was horrified, I felt so bad for her, and so angry at the pastor. 

A lot changed after that. The youth leader knew a young pastor with a young family, and many things changed. 

Including me.

I had questions, and even with a whole new church, there were never answers and I still never quite fit in. 

This was the first social change I’d made, and it’s been a continual trend.

What does this all have to do with purpose you might ask. 

I’m apostate at this point in my life, but I see that church even for the faithless has an important role in some people’s lives. The sense of community and belonging, the predictability and routine all can offer a sense of security. Community service and programs can help with the need for a sense of purpose in individuals.
I’ve always envied the people that I meet that knew what they were going to be early on in life, and somehow remained steadfast in that drive, and have accomplished their goals.

I envy it, because nothing ever clicked for long, and it’s taken years of personality tests and forums to compare experiences to understand that, by nature I’m not actually inclined for a singular Purpose, and it’s okay. 

So what does this mean? It means looking at the long term consistent activities in my life, even if there are lengthy stints and breaks.

Looking at things that may have seemed trivial or irrelevant (such as the above situation) and seeing my role in what happened in it objectively. 

That little fight to create change, and my persistence and fearlessness is a key to my purpose. Maybe my purpose is to find small things in life that could use improvement, persist until that thing is complete hand it off to the doers and people with the sense of purpose that fits, and then move to another thing. 

This is of course anecdotal, and each person is different. But for anyone sitting at home in their late thirties still wondering what they should be when they grow up, or what their purpose is, maybe it’s hiding in your earliest passions. 

Stalled

Everyone needs a hobby, or in my case several. 

With the chaotic mundanity of being a stay at home parent with twin toddlers the doesnt sleep enough, I decided a couple of months ago to try my hand at carving wood pendants.  

In my previous pre-parent life, I carved stone sculptures, and for a tome had done antique furniture repair, so the skill set is similar enough.

A local jewelry maker was selling her inventory out and had a bunch of wood cut into little discs and I bought a handful for a couple bucks, and started experimenting with my dremel. The next thing I knew, I bought the rest (about 100 pieces) and was motoring away at them averaging 4 pendants a day. 

So, what to do with all these little trinkets? I decide early on to maybe try to sell them on etsy or through farmers markets or craft stalls. 

Great! A little micro business i can do from home that is a healthy outlet, that won’t take from other hobbies in the future.

Cue going non stop for 18 hours a day or more with the kids/house/life/carving for almost two months straight (A few days downtime carving for appointments and illness etc. ) and I have a tidy amount of stock. So I’m prepared to open am online store!

And here I sit.

After doing all that hard work, inspired to keep carving, etsy account made, postal information on hand, and all I need to do is take pictures, write a description for each piece, post, shamelessly share it and cross my fingers.. or maybe toes because hands are handy.

The great machine has stalled.

It’s not the first time either… And there’s no answer as to why I do this to myself, but this time I’m admitting and addressing the silliness that it is.

Is it that I don’t like doing fiddly things? I obviously can commit to a point, know full well this isn’t a career and it’s more just for enjoyment with maybe some extra coin on the side. Worst case all my lived ones get pendants for Christmas, and I still got to carve stuff instead of cleaning and cooking and rearing children. 

It’s not like carving stops when I do the store thing, or it’s that much extra responsibility to mail stuff off to customers. So… why?

This is the conundrum of my day, if anyone reads this and has suggestions, I’m open to them 🙂