10th week update (pet projects)

This week was all about pursuing my pet projects and getting the next phase underway, which meant I had intentionally chosen to spend little time with S. Not only was I still recovering from the verbal assault in week 9 from her overly emotional episode and “slip” of using our pre established safe word ‘macaroni’ that allows a clean exit from our relationship without explanation or recourse, but I also was focused on my exciting new venture. 

Emotional break…

I’ve put thinking about S and our relationship on the back burner for this week as I’ve got to focus on my second project, which is more exciting than my first venture for 2017. The first one is a food blog which I’ve mentioned in prior postings and this second one will remain under wraps until it grows legs and actually begins moving beyond the research phase. Reason I’m keeping it quiet is more about me continuing my focus because as I tell more folks about it, there will be more opportunity of that idea being shot down which eventually leads to me being discouraged. 

Now I’m not saying people would do that intentionally, but I think our human nature kicks in and tries to protect our friends (or just people in general) from doing things that are new and not someone like me would do. It just opens up unsolicited doubts. 

In the past, I also have found in passed times when I’ve spilled the beans prematurely, people air bomb unfounded opinions based on hearsay instead of experience, and I’ll listen to that unfounded opinion. Before long I find myself with doubt and give up trying. Imagine if we had lived during the 1700s when a lot of folks thought the Earth were flat. Its a good thing Christopher Columbus didn’t listen and proved that unfounded opinion false. 

Today for me to remain focus, I ignore the helpful naysayers, and like most risk takers, I don’t say anything until I have something tangible to show and/or when I have a nice story to tell. I probably will be like this the rest of my life as I like to explore and learn new things even as I’m getting older. After all, I’m only a young 52 year old. Colonel Sanders was in his 60s when he started his franchise.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m looking for opportunities to reinvent myself and find something that would launch me into a different area and away from my comfort zone. So my second project is in the research phase of the R&D cycle. 

Finding my motivation…

To this end, I took Friday (of week 9) off from work to push myself into my next ‘unknown to me’ project. To help jump start my new venture, I found a workshop scheduled for that day in Salem, OR, which required me to actually commit to securing a hotel room near the conference which also meant that I sequestered myself away from distractions (including the very emotional life of S) and fully immerse myself into my project. 

In fact, the conference was for three days beginning on Friday and going through Sunday and focused on learning and understanding my new project from folks who have explored and discovered a world I knew nothing about. So my risk is a little minimized as there have been others who have gone before me. Like most business ventures, you get out what you put in. I was tired but excited of the new road ahead of me by the time the last day were winding down. 

Can’t talk, I have homework…

Now because the conference were three days and the days were over the weekend, there was little interaction with S and any interactions were limited to very short texts during the day and brief phone conversations at night. This was partly because the conference required homework for the next day’s sessions. It’s been years since I had actual homework and I found it tiresome yet invigorating at the same time. 

To clarify, the homework was more of things like personal introspective and the exercise of mentally committing to what lies ahead of me should I choose to continue with this project. Like with every new venture, there is rampup time to get acclimated to the process and mentally commit to the work is the most challenging. I’ve always said: “where the head goes the body follows”. Now I usually say this as I mentor someone about leadership, but it’s also psychological when you take on a project. I’m all in mind and soul. 

Let fear drive…

I’ve found (for me), fear of failing is a bigger driver than the financial outlay of getting a venture up and running. A lot of people are opposite that approach, but I figured if I did the right thing and treated people right, the money will find its way back to me. Now of course I wouldn’t take on pro bono projects as this is counterproductive to my goal of retiring younger than what most Americans do.

For me, my drive has to come from some pressure, which means I got more of my skin in the game (risk) which in turn drives inspiration and motivation. I also set time limits, which reduces if not completely eliminates this fear of failure. But that’s just me. 

Back roads to home…

On Sunday night, once the conference let out and things were wrapped up, I drove home via the direction of S’s town, as that was the most direct route to my house and it was the route that avoided the Sunday traffic on I-5 with folks returning from their weekend excursion and traveling back to Portland metropolitan area. The back roads gave me peace of mind and the irritation of being in traffic. 

Once I was on the road and closer to S’s small town, I texted her to see if she were home. I knew she would be picking up her kids from her ex around this time and I was hoping she wouldn’t be close to her house so that I could just simply squeeze through her town without stopping. 

It turned out she was minutes away from her town and we would arrive about the same time. I couldn’t lie (well I could but karma comes back and delivers a consequence I would rather not experience) so we met at her house and I stayed long enough for a quick Sunday night dinner. No argument between S and me, but there were the usual tense moments with her and her younger son, as was their normal back and forth bantering. 

I ate and left shortly afterwards. The rest of the week were back to the normal grind with work, but filled with excitement as the work day ended because I get to work on my second 2017 project at night. There were still lots of work to lay down the foundation. 

The typical weekend with kids…

The weekend of week 10 were spent with S in her life with teenage children who are active in sports. I had a hard time of not thinking about my new project as what I really wanted to do was to work on my new project so that the  momentum would continue and also because it’s exciting. 

I’m a serial entrepreneur and love the thril associated with the startup phase of projects. There’s always a ton of energy that goes along with that initial phase. 

I guess, the phase of my relationship with S is where we are settling into more of a routine in that I spend each weekend with her and her kids instead of spending of every other weekend. Now there are times (like the weekend of week 9) where that didn’t occur, but those are becoming more rare. The weekend of the 10th week was our norm. 

Let’s spend more of my money…

On Saturday, S and I had planned to return to the annual McMinnville SIP, which I wrote about last year and is a wine tasting event held at the Evergreen Flight Museum. This year, we were more prepared and sampled only the wineries to which we hadn’t been wine tasting. We also wanted to try a new food vendor as the food we ate last year from this event was not good. 

Long story short, I spent nearly $1000 (slight exaggeration as it was closer to $900) on wine, and the wine were for her wine cabinet as well as her wine cellar, also known as her under house crawl space, because it’s literally a crawl space. 

It’s not like I couldn’t afford it. It just felt that I was expected to pay. I think the total money spent on Saturday was in excess of $1200. The next day was her typical grocery shopping and I didn’t even offer to pay. Of course it wasn’t that much (under $200), but I quietly refused (by not pulling out my wallet). 

Personal thoughts…

We all go through life wondering if we made the right decisions with our relationships, careers, or what have you. I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) that sometimes life always gives us lessons as we choose paths on to which we travel. Sometimes those lessons are immediately thrusted upon us and sometimes those lessons come much later down the road selected. 

There’s not a crystal ball. But even if we had one, would we have chosen differently.  For this week’s lesson, being in a relationship is expensive especially when you’re dating an old-fashioned, yet want to be an equal rights “I’ll pay for that” feminist, who doesn’t make much money, but who likes the finer things in life…

…or maybe I’m just a tightwad. 
Until my next post, be safe online as well as offline. 

#life #lifeasithappens #lifeasiknowit

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