Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Staycation

It seems that our economy has forced many Americans to have, what is now termed as, the "Staycation". I think it's kinda obvious what that means - you don't go anywhere and you don't get to do shit.

I haven't quite had the staycation - actually, I'm lucky enough to have had three little "getaways" so far this summer. I know that I am AMAZINGLY lucky to live in a city (and state, for that matter) that (pretty much) the entire world dreams about coming to visit.

The first was Mammoth, and we all know how that one turned out! See my post from July 4th, if you haven't read it already. Next was La Jolla - only 2 hours drive away, just north of San Diego.

Um, yah - totally gorgeous. We had many difficult choices of what to do each day - Beach? or pool? Rough, rough, rough. At this point, however, I was 0 for 2 on accidents on vacation - my DH got stung by a sting ray at this very beach you're looking at above. No, it didn't pierce his heart or anything, and he is fine. He did leave a trail of blood from the water to the lifeguard station. In the end, it really wasn't anything that five ibuprofen and two beers couldn't fix.

So, if you go swimming in the ocean in La Jolla, please shuffle your feet.

Finally, Oxnard. More difficult choices between beach and pool. No sting rays. No flat tires. Just a fantastic family adventure. During the baby's nap, I got to sit quietly on my patio, reading Eat, Pray Love.

This is the California dream. Palm trees, sunshine, blue ocean, beautiful sandy beach.See that path there? We rented a surry bike that fit all five of us and rode along the beach. The kids scooted their hearts out there. We had beautiful sunset walks there every night.

We stayed here. Highly recommend it for a family vacation. Highly DON'T recommend it for a romantic getaway. The cacaphony of children's talking and screaming at breakfast in the morning alone, will have you running faster than you thought possible. However, when that noise is somewhat drowning out the talking and screaming of your own children, it feels like a blessing that will have you smiling, and reassured about life in general.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Perfection Prevents Possibilities

There are many out there who know me well, who actually think I'm a perfectionist, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, my dad had huge problems with me growing up, where he felt that I just didn't try hard enough to do things "the right way" (i.e. the perfect way, i.e. his way). There are many out there who also know me, who constantly ask how it is that I manage to do so many things with what I have going on in my life - You mean to tell me that you have three small kids, run your own business, manage your household, AND you have a blog?? How do you do it all?

I have thought about this quite a bit. For a long time I thought the answer might be in my minimal TV watching. I was so self-rightous about how little TV I watch. But, then, I realized, that I go through spurts of no TV, and lots of TV. I like to watch movies, and those do take a while to watch.

Then, while talking to a good friend recently, she (so very kindly) says "...and you never do anything half-assed." This really piqued my interest. Besides the fact that we all crave to have others tell us positive things about ourselves, this comment really started me thinking about how I do things, and how do I manage to do so much?

At this point, I think the answer truly lies in the fact that I do like to have a day packed with lots of activities, because, to me, this is Living Each Day. And truly, I do many of these things very well, but I do many of them half-assed.

And I'm ok with that.

My kids don't always have their hair brushed. They (well, the older two at least) are responsible for dressing themselves and getting themselves ready for the day. This has caused me many a raised eyebrow, but I quickly move on, without a comment or bad look.

My car is a disaster - NEVER clean. Just ask my DH. He actually hates driving my car, or really, ever being in it. There is a definite smell of KID in there. I let them do everything, including eat ice cream in there. My DH just cringes at the thought, but, hey, life is too short not to immediately eat that McyD's ice cream cone right out the drive through!

Let's move on to bigger, more important things: I have my own business, Papier Studio, but did I have any experience running a greeting card company before? Heck no! I just started, jumped into the water! It's amazing how quickly you learn to swim when you just jump in. Did I do a little research? Sure. Just a little. But I didn't explore the industry as a whole, and three years later, I still have a lot to learn.

I don't always have milk in the frig, I don't always have the best, planned out dinners, I don't always have the best blog themes. In fact, for last month and this month, I didn't even have a giveaway item! That's after promising myself to have one every month this year! Do I stress and bite my nails over it? No way.

Would you ever think to yourself: I'm not gonna make dinner tonight, because I just don't have any tomatoes (or whatever) for the salad, so it won't be perfect, and I just won't eat. No way! But how many times have you said to yourself: "I can't start my dream because I have no idea how to do accounting or how to rent a storefront, or even where to start."

I'll tell you a secret: You don't need all the answers right away.

It sure would be nice if we could all be perfect, but perfection prevents possibility. Striving for perfection is simply a waste of time - because it is unachievable. Instead, strive for failure - a great place to learn, grow, and accomplish your goals. If nothing else, you will have actually acheived what you set out to do. Then, go out and do it again! Try it. You might be surprised at what happens!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Here's how I finished a lovely week up in Mammoth Mountain:
About six miles north of nowheresville, I heard a very strange sound coming from my car. Not good. Luckily, there was a very good place to pull off the highway, very safe. I stepped out of my nice, air-conditioned car onto the blazing Mojave Desert sand to observe my completely flat tire.
There I was.
A woman with three small children, stuck in the middle of the desert, in July.
And that is why cell phones are one of the most magnificent inventions EVER!
I had more problems when I called AAA and they didn't have me as a member on their computer - which took 45 minutes to screw their heads back on (while I was sitting alone with three kids in the middle of the desert in July).
FIVE HOURS LATER I was back on my way home. That's how long it took to deal with AAA, wait for tow truck, get spare tire put on, drive no more than 50 mph to next big town, have tire changed, make several poopy stops here and there. Be careful out there. I consider myself lucky. Cell phones, portable DVD players, air conditioning, and Costco samples were major life savers.
Remember to always have these four things on you or nearby.