Good Reads: Primates of Park Avenue.

image via Good Reads

I have long been fascinated with New York City.  If I were told I had to pick a city to live in, it would most definitely be New York.  There is a unique kind of energy there unlike any other place I've been.  You've Got Mail is a favorite movie and Sex and the City is a favorite show just for the scenery alone.  I have gotten lost on the Humans of New York Facebook page, and even picked up a book on NYC food trucks from the library (which mostly just made me really hungry).

Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin is the story of her move to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, home of the elite-est of the elite, and the incredible situations she found herself in because of it.  Part memoir, part field guide to the ins and outs of the daily routine of the city's wealthiest residents, and part anthropological study, Primates is a fun read while giving you a glimpse into what it's really like to live on the Upper East Side, particularly the interactions between the women and the hoops they must go through to move up society's ranks.  It's highly recommended to anyone who loves the culture of the City and wonders what it's like to actually live there and raise kids there.  While the hierarchy of the Upper East Side is an extreme example of city culture, it's like getting a glimpse into the real-life Gossip Girl.

When Does Home Feel Like Home?


I realized the other day that we've been in our house almost six and a half years now, which is completely crazy to me.  We started hunting when we knew that we needed to be in a particular location for a job, and after a couple months of searching, we settled on our house.  We picked it because it had a good floor plan, even though it was a wallpaper- and popcorn-ceiling nightmare.  We knew that we could make something of it even though it wasn't perfect and even though it was on a semi-busy street, which wasn't ideal, but everything else that wasn't a dump was out of our price range.

And so for three years we chipped away at the wallpaper and the odd features of the house (there were so many useless doors in here!) and made it our own.  We crafted a cozy space for our family and have transformed so many aspects of the structure itself on our meager budget and pretty much only the two of us working on it.  There is literally no surface that we have not altered in some way.

And yet, almost four years after we finished the major renovations, I still don't know if this feels like home, as crazy as that sounds.  You always hear people talking about their "forever home" - the perfect one that they loved instantly and that they were going to spend the rest of their life in.  I don't have that overwhelming feeling about this place, though I couldn't tell you exactly why.  It's a lovely house and we are so so lucky to live here that I feel like an ass even thinking it, but I do sometimes wonder if this is where we'll stay or if there is one of those forever home for us.  Is it in this house?  In this town?  Some other place or other state?  How do you know if it's "the one"?

Sometimes I think it may just be a restless feeling of needing a new project and the excitement of starting something new.  I love starting something new and running through all the fresh possibilities - finding the place with the perfect space to entertain, the perfect space to work, the perfect space to relax.  I enjoyed going through and freshening up the house room by room - maybe I just want to renovate another one.  I could have my own show on TLC - "RenoMom"!  In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy where I'm at, though I would love to get off the busy road.

5 Things That Always Make Me Happy


I'm two posts back in and I realize that they have both been existential "what does it mean?" posts, which can make for heavy reading, but it's just the place where my mind has been lately.  I'm not quite done with those because there has been a lot weighing on me but the other day I was sitting and trying to think of things that make me happy.  And not just things that sometimes make me happy, but never fail, consistent joy-bringers.  Here are my current top five:



1. Cooking and eating fresh food.  Turning raw ingredients into something tasty and healthy is so fulfilling.



2. Walking on Sunshine.  Listen to it and try not to dance.  I dare you.



3. Looking at my kids' baby pictures.  They make me smile with the silly, remarkable, aggravating, adorable things they did, and I love remembering that moment that it happened and marvel at where we are now.



4. Fresh sheets.  Seriously, is there anything better?  They're crisp and cool and smell really good, even if you don't use scented detergent.



5. 75 degrees and sunny.  Because there is nothing quite like being outside and being warm but not too hot, with the sun on your face, and you want to just sit and be.

What would make your list of things that always make you happy?

Wantrepreneur.


I saw the term wantrepreneur used in a blog post a few weeks ago and I bookmarked it by throwing it into a draft blog post so I could come back and look more into it.  What I found is that most websites define wantrepreneur as a person who is always in the planning stage of starting a business but who never actually gets it off the ground.  In the business world, a wantrepreneur is pretty much a joke - they design a logo before they have an idea for a product.  In my own mind, though, I think of a wantrepreneur who is trying to get a business of the ground but has no idea what they're doing or where to go next.  Clearly business skills come easily to some people and not to others, and for those of us who aren't quite sure which way to go, it can turn into a frustrating mess.

As I talked about yesterday, I have been in a bit of a slump - a funk, if you will.  I have not had the drive to do anything with Milo and Molly and the idea of sitting down and trying to create something, even things I've made hundreds of times over, is overwhelming.  There is all kinds of advice out there for what to do when you're stuck - learn a new skill, take a breather, do some brainstorming; the list goes on and on.  But what happens when none of that works and you're just in an icky place? 

Right now, and for the past several month, when there has been time that should be spent working on my business, I go clean out a closet.  I bake muffins.  I organize clutter.  I read Buzzfeed articles.  I eat a snack.  What I should be doing, as someone who owns a business, is reading up on how to take better photos with my DSLR camera.  I should be listing items in my sleepy little Etsy shop.  I should be looking for information on how to better my business.  I should be testing out new products.  Something, anything to keep the business moving.

I should be using my time more effectively to help my business.

In my head, I know that a person whose business is successful is the person who puts their all into it.  They are the person who never stops thinking about it, never stops working at it, puts other things aside to build it up, the one who sacrifices in order to achieve their goal.  And then they set a new goal and start all over again.  And I know in my head that I am not currently that person - I am the wantrepreneur who needs to figure out what to do next.  Or maybe I'm not, and I just haven't quite realized it yet.

So what do you do when you have no motivation and no drive?  How do you regain the passion for what you've worked on, or how do you know when it's time to let it go?  I know that once September rolls around I will have a consistent period of uninterrupted hours every day that I will be able to devote to work.  In the interim, it would be really helpful for me to figure out what it is I want to do, what I want Milo and Molly to become, how I want to be perceived, and what I need to do to achieve that.  I'm tired of being the wantrepreneur.  I'm tired of saying, "I should..." and I want to say, "I did."

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A few weeks ago, I put out a survey asking people ten really quick questions about me and my business, and if you're reading this and can spare a minute, I would love a few more responses.

Summer Limbo.


Summer vacation has officially begun.  Gus and Greta both had their last days at school last Thursday - first grade for him, last year of preschool for her - and my excitement for putting away both the lunch bags and book bags for a few months now gives way to a new routine and the logistics of doing errands and things as a threesome again.  My quiet hours alone, the few I had during the week, are over until the end of August when we slide back into a new school routine.

Over the course of hours home, many spent (hopefully) outside in the yard, I'm hoping to work back into this space.  I have so many posts started or the subject saved, ready to be made into something, but the words just haven't been free to come.  I have been completely stuck when it comes to creativity, drive, flow for months now, feeling totally sapped for energy that requires more brain power than house chores.  The correct word for this may be "defeated" though I don't remember actively giving up - it just kind of happened over the course of the past few month.  So many things little house and family have taken precedence over my own that I feel like it's going to be hard to get back on track.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm still meant to have my own business or if I should just let it go and try to find something else to fill my time, though with what, I have no idea.

And so for now I sit in limbo, not really being able to move forward on any one thing while the kids are always home, though I hope that maybe getting myself to blog again will help unlock something that's been dormant for so long.  I just hope that some of you are still out there to read it.