Thursday, October 29, 2009

Small Things . . .

Anyone living in Brisbane will know how welcome the storm was on Monday night. My daughter said "the rain smells so beautiful" - and so it did! I ran around pulling pot plants out to make sure that they got the soaking that they so desperately needed. I went to bed to the sound of thunder and watched the lightening though the windows.

The next morning I awoke to find a "small" flood in my bedroom and walk-in wardrobe . . . my initial thought was to ask my children which of them had "spilt" some water - that was until I realised you could sail a small boat though the "flood". What was already a busy day (I was due to start a new TAFE course) suddenly became much busier as I spent hours on the phone with insurance and repair companies negotiating times, services and insurance policies, and then started that horribly task of "cleaning up" aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh. Anyone who knows me knows that cleaning is one of my least favourite things. While the psychs at work once diagnosed me with "clinical perfectionism" that does not mean that I enjoy cleaning - and this situation was taking on a whole new meaning of "cleaning".

My annoyance grew to a BIG angry monster when it was discovered that the cause of my flood was because an insulation installer had "forgotten" to put one of the roof tiles back when they finished my job. Just one little tile is all it took to create this huge mess that could take weeks (if not months) to rectify. Industrial dryers were installed in my bedroom (it was so noisy we couldn't sleep in any of the bedrooms); damaged installation was removed from the ceiling; ruined Christmas presents were layed out to be photographed for insurance purposes; clothes had to be found new homes as the wardrobe could no longer hold them; and "mess" got shuffled through the house from one location to the next.

I am frustrated that one little tile (or the absence thereof) is all it took . . . and the song "from little things big things grow" keeps going through my head as I avoid my bedroom and what awaits me. It got me to thinking about those "small things" that impact on us so greatly - "good" and "bad" - depending on your belief system you may see them as "challenges" or "opportunities to grow". Some days I just see them as a big pain in the rear end!

There are little things that get me through the day. A really good coffee! A bargain at the shop. A hug from my children. A phone call from a friend to check in and see how I'm doing. That order for 100 cup cakes. A new business idea. The smile from a stranger. The sharing of a special moment. Having a special moment. And the support of friends, family and work mates . . . that is what is necessary to get me through the day.

Those small annoyances also seem to grow. An order that doesn't arrive on time. A client that doesn't turn up. A rude shop assistant. The stubbed toe at the most inconvenient moment. These are the things that can stop me getting through the day . . . if I let them!

From small things, big things grow.

I hope you'll share those things that help you get through the day. What are the small things that make it possible for you to lead your FAB life? What are the things that get in the way of having a FAB life balance? Hopefully we can share some thoughts that might help us all.

I still think that the rain smells beautiful . . .

Remember, it's a FAB life . . .

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Many Hats

Today I attended a full day training course run by Tracey Leak. "The Art of Home Based Business" covered all the topics that one needs to run a small business - marketing, finances, budgeting etc. etc. Tracey is a fun, energetic, friendly, happy, generous person who makes learning fun!!! She can tell you her story much better than I can. Check her out: (under construction)

One of my favourite parts of the course was doing an Organisational Chart - kinda funny for a one (wo)man show . . . Apparently I am the "owner", "manager", "operator" and the "team" - not to mention the fact that I am also responsible for marketing, finances and sales. I'm laughing (verging on the hysterical) as I think about it!!! Of course, as a FAB (family and business owner) type person I also wear a lot of other hats . . .

Yesterday I worked in the morning (dropping the children off at a friend's place on the way as my usual babysitter wasn't available) getting home just in time to get my children and myself dressed into costumes, packing the car and then heading off to the park to do a 6th birthday party for 45 people which included 20+ witches, ghosts, ghouls and monsters (no, not their personalities - it was a Halloween party). I had spent the week making toffee apples, marshmallow ghost ice cream cones, decorated biscuits, 50 monster cakes and making various trips to the shop for yet more goodies to add to the "trick or treat" lollie bag game. Yep, I'm nuts!!!

Now I don't tell you this to blow my own "horn" - quite the contrary - because on top of all of this the party wouldn't have happened without a number of people. Not just my friends who very kindly took on unpaid babysitting duties in the morning, but also Merry-Lou who (as always) provided enough food to feed an army. Aunts and uncles who blew up balloons, took photos, entertained and watched other people's children while also assisting with cleaning up at the end of the day and helping to pack the car . . . it was a group effort and something that is necessary for any parent (single or otherwise) who is trying to raise children and run their own business at the same time.

And so that I could attend today's course and learn how to better run my business, my Mum also looked after four of her Grandchildren so that their parents (her offspring) could do what they needed to do to better provide for their families. Like I said - its a group effort . . .

So, massive thanks to all those good people who assist me while I balance my FAB life - I couldn't do it without you! How about you? Who makes it possible for you to do what you have to do?

Remember - it's a FAB life!!!


Welcome to Brisbane's FAB network - a network for people who run a Family and Business here in Brisbane.

As a small business owner I have experienced first hand the challenges that you can face when trying to balance a family and work commitments. Where do you go for help and support when funds, time and energy levels are low (or tied up) and needs are high and varied? My hope is that by meeting and associating with others in the same situation we can help and support one another through sharing our ideas, successes and challenges in a supportive, non-judgmental family friendly environment. Meetings and get togethers (both formal and informal) will cater for children - babysitting will be provided at affordable prices by qualified professionals.

My vision is to provide a site where Family and Business owners can advertise for little cost and network with other like minded people. I anticipate that while treating ourselves and each other with respect we will all benefit and find what we need to succeed. Please feel free to share your thoughts, business and activities with everyone . . . we look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Remember - it's a FAB life.