Maybe the "thousand" word is a bit of an embellishment. This picture might not tell exactly a thousand stories, but it does tell a few!
Yesterday was a big day, starting with an alarm in the 4's (where are emoticons when you need them?) I am building my business and getting up in the 4's is sometimes what it takes. I had to make it into the heart of Melbourne city for a meeting by 8.15am and I predicted (correctly) that I would be fighting every other commuter for a spot on the road. I got there on time and the meeting went well. In fairness, they did offer to dial me in, but I knew 100% that I needed to attend this meeting face to face to make the true and real human connections I believe are so important. Genuine connections with people are what I live for, and I'm glad I made the effort. It was great to connect with a team of fun people, even if the meeting was rescheduled to a VERY early time slot to work around that one demanding team member - DAVID you know who you are ;) !
To maximise the effectiveness of my travel time, I arranged a session with a business mentor Kim and we met in the suburbs. How is it that people can be looking at the same set of circumstances and see things so differently?! It was invigorating talking to Kim about my experience, history and skillset, and how she could see strategies and directions jumping out here there and everywhere, that I had not identified. I'm so glad we are all unique, because we can each bring so much to others in helping them see things from a different or new perspective.
Inspired, and with my mind moving at a thousand k's an hour (there's that thousand word again - don't exactly know how to measure the speed of brain activity?!) I tripped back across regional Victoria to Echuca to visit a special woman whom I have a dynamic relationship with. One of the things we do is schedule time for purposeful conversations in which we share our struggles and "real life" and she has asked me to impart on her some of my more experienced knowledge and perspective. I have more years under my belt than she does (insert exasperated, ageing emoticon) and it's a privilege that she sets aside time to share and wants to listen and hear from me.
As luck - or maybe misfortune? - would have it my bestie phoned me to advise she had just been admitted to hospital in Echuca. (This is not a usual occurrence!) I told her I had a piece of good news for her that she may not have been expecting; she would have an AWESOME visitor within the hour because I wasn't far away. I headed to buy her a treat to take in as a gift and sat and spent some time with her. There was plenty of laughter and it was a happy visit (she will be ok, so all is well).
By the time I drove home and walked in the door to my family at 6pm I was physically and mentally tired. One of my boys was at cricket training, my husband was about to leave for work and it was the usual happy/busy/family chaos. I phoned a trusty friend and neighbour who happily did the cricket pick up for me, so I found myself with a bit of time to sit and chat to the kids.
With my feet up on my favourite coffee table that has my favourite wooden letters on it L O V E , I figured I should take some sort of artistic photo for instagram as a means of reflecting on a busy but fruitful day. My daughter promptly informed me that the lighting wasn't good enough so took me to her bed, along with my favourite letters, and "insta-styled" the photo. My story and take on insta-styling is simple - I don't like it that much (no prizes for guessing that when you look at my insta account). I'm anti all the styling because it's not genuine to me, there's a sense of pretending that "this is how it looks". And my main message is about being real, learning to live among the mess and difficulties in life, and helping each other to navigate these. I don't like pretending! HOWEVER my business mentor (and others) have assured me if I want to grow a business and succeed with marketing I need to think differently about "styling" - not viewing it as fakeness but as genuine marketing of a genuine service that I have genuine expertise in! So here is my styled photo of me making an effort to take this advice on board.
The other hidden stories in the photo:
: don't look too closely my legs aren't recently shaved or moisturised.
: my toenail polish looks VERY shabby - I care about my appearance....somewhat.
: there is dodgy skin on my big toe which my podiatrist daughter gives me HEAPS for.
: the ugly blisters on my little toes are from some psycho walking partners - you know who you are!
In summary, this photo shows my feet up after a busy day. My feet aren't the prettiest and I am happy not to pretend that they are, but will put some "style" effort in because I care about my business, about the people I help, and offering REAL and GENUINE solutions. I enjoyed having my feet up because I felt grateful for the gamut of people in my life who I am connected with and make my life so full. I am thankful for early business meetings with genuine people, for mentors and mentees, for besties, for family, for friends and even for psycho walking partners!
However it is that you and I are connected - family, friends, business - I thankyou for the part you play in my life.