The fast-pace, resilience and incredible thrill of being an entrepreneur
Sometimes in life, you find hidden treasures or places that hold a special place in your heart. New York for me is one of them, but in truth, probably every city I have ever been to is kind of the same.
Yesterday, my Australian birthday, I spent in New York. Far from the normal celebatory festivities of what would be my 45th birthday, I woke up, packed, and hot-footed it to my first meeting. As I traced all over the city with a day full of incredible people, places and experiences, I knew that this was my forever place. New York will forever be the place where I go to explore, experience and be amongst the crowds. A fitting end to the day, I flew back to Atlanta, somewhat of a home for me in the US.
On the plane was an actor who plays a role in the television series based in Atlanta, Dynasty. It had become my light binge-watching favorite mostly because it has the right amount of everything and of course the location is a city I have learned to love, Atlanta.
I wake up today in a hotel that I have stayed in on and off for 5 years - blessed. A moment to reflect gave me the gratitude needed to start the day on top of the world. Here are just a few thoughts that crossed my mind:
Stop before you start
This morning for the first time in a long time, I stopped myself from jumping out of bed and racing to the office. Being an entrepreneur for 20 years has been incredibly satisfying, but in this career, I find myself always racing around. Instead, I took ten minutes to think about life, what makes me happy, how much I appreciate those in my life and the wonderful blessings I have been given. Not once did I think about work. Instead, I thought about those who I love, experiences I have had and so on. It gave me just the right amount of time to ensure that when I got out of bed I was calm, at peace and about to walk into my 46th year.
Not everyone has the luxury of time, but that's just an excuse. I make it all the time! If someone asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I would always answer a piece of their time. That to me is the most incredible gift anyone can give you. Sometimes you need to give time to others however, the most important person you can give time to is yourself.
Make yourself feel special
That doesn't mean going out and buying a new car! It means to do something that makes you feel special. For me, it was simply taking my time getting ready for work, putting my makeup on, a little dash of perfume (which I always forget to put on), moisturizer and feeling super clean. You see, I have realized that making myself feel special doesn't cost a thing, but it does require me to remember all the things that give me that little extra boost.
Stop your routine - in its tracks
As I walked out of the hotel I thought I would grab a Starbucks. As I walked and could see it in front of me, I made a quick decision - not today. Coffee has a love-hate relationship with my body, and I have meetings all day that would require me to drink something, which for business meetings often means coffee or tea. What I don't drink enough of is water, so instead, I thought I would have a glass of water. I'm very bad because I never have a glass of water first up in the day. This change to my day ensured that I started it in the office feeling a tad more alive. Who would have thought you didn't need caffeine to start the day?
Live life without too many expectations
I use to have expectations of myself and everyone else around me, and what I found is that I was always left disappointed when something didn't meet my expectations. So, on my birthday, I now try to have no expectations and treat it like any other day of the year. A simple hello brightens up my day. I feel that now that I make a conscious effort to not have too many expectations, I am happier on the inside and that is what counts.
Do the things you always want to do but never get around to
I want to breathe more, drink more water, take it slower, create better rhythm in my day. Just the normal things that anyone in entrepreneurship wants but doesn't quite do. I also would like listen more without thinking of the next conversation I am going to have. I know you thought I would talk about an experience or trip, but really it is the simple things in life that give us the most satisfaction.
Make other people happy
Why are birthdays about the person who is having the birthday? I feel that I get more satisfaction out of making other's happy around me, so why not flip the cards and instead of expecting other's to 'celebrate' your birthday, why not celebrate them?
Love is the most important thing in life. Everyone wants to know that they have the security of love. I have it with my family and friends, but for me the most important love, and the one I am most responsible for is with my dog Pipp. I know I am sounding like the crazy dog lady but it's true. I look at her and know that she 100% relies on me for everything, and I 100% rely on her to love me unconditionally. Yep, I am a bit crazy!
Bring light into the room
Lighten the mood of a room. Have a little fun. Laugh at yourself. Make jokes. Appreciate people. Lightness is like taking all your clothes off and running into the ocean (I haven't done that - but maybe I should)
Write down what is important to you
Remind yourself what is important to you and keep a journal. It is great to look back and see how your narrative changes you, improves you and gives you a reason to try new things. Birthdays are just another day. I am not one to make too much of a deal. The days of having a party are well and truly over. However, my narrative may be a little more mature and I have realized that my pace outside of the office has slowed down considerably, but I am one happy soul, who is happy in her own skin. Can't ask for more than that!