Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Caught in the NET

Caught in the NET

It’s not just the social media, it’s the whole electronic hook-up. When is enough, enough? Online I pay my bills, write in my journal, and keep in touch with people I know and people that I used to know. I compose, create, design, draw, fix photos, put them in a scrapbook, read about everything, ( even my scriptures), find recipes, sell things, find the business, do the work, bill the client, all attached to a keyboard. The only things that I don’t do that are at least a step away from an electronic interface are exercise, gardening, grocery-shopping, personal hygiene, eating and sleeping. But I’m sure in some futuristic time, even that can be done on a computer. Aquariums and fires in fireplaces have been available electronically for a long time, and you can grow virtual gardens complete with little plants that will die if you don’t give them enough attention.
I don’t watch TV, or hardly at all, and rarely go to the movies. My entertainment consists of reading and writing to and about other people. I watch their videos, connecting in a personal, and transparent way that allows me to get to know them in what is at first somewhat superficial, but in a lightening speed fashion, never before possible. My keyboard or something like it, has almost literally become an extension of myself.
But is this really good? What would happen if everything suddenly melted down, like some old wind-up record player that has suddenly run out of power? The whole thing is a little terrifying because it has become such a huge part of my life. Would I remember how to do anything? Could I actually write with pen and paper again? It seems that the thoughts come so much easier through my fingers. It’s almost has if they each have their own tiny brains. I thought I would always enjoy curling up with a good book, but I can read so much faster online and my neck doesn’t get a crick in it.
Then social media comes along, and tying me once again to the umbilical cord of my computer. It is almost like a little placenta, feeding me constantly with knowledge, information, and now social connections. I want to know who is following me and whom I can follow. My husband is not a very verbose person, but there are actually people out there who care if my amaryllis actually blooms or if the snowfall is particularly beautiful, or whether the movie I just went to see was good or bad.
It is winter and that is part of the problem. Like butterflies, I want to cocoon. I bundle up and hunker down in my nice warm house, and I am happy to stay home, away from the cold and snow outside. But the snow can really be so lovely sometimes. What I need to remember is that life does exist beyond the computer screen. I can actually reach out and touch a human person.
Come spring, like the butterfly, I will emerge from my cocoon, spread my wings and fly. Nothing really, is more heady than the rich, warm smell of newly turned soil, ready for seed. Not even my little green Facebook garden, no matter how many plants my friends send me.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Thoughts on the New Year 2009

Learning from last year.
I am a goal-oriented person and I always write my goals at the beginning of the year. But before I make them, I figure out what I did right and wrong during the previous year and use that info to define my new goals. Failure is only bad if I don’t learn from it. I’ve heard before that you should hurry up and fail so that you can move forward to success. Figuring out what my weaknesses are and the mistakes I made during the past year, helps me be better prepared to succeed with my new goals.
One of the biggest problems I encountered in 2008 was waiting too long to do something. I don’t really see this as procrastination, but more a matter of timing. Right now we’re in kind of a nail-biting situation because I waited too long to put a commercial property on the market. Part of it was an emotional tie. I really couldn’t see anyone else taking over our jobs as landlords. We sort of feel like parents to the assortment of tenants that live there, and I didn’t want to stress them out with a new landlord. I thought that getting the guy who owns the property to extend the loan would be easy and I made some assumptions that I shouldn’t have.
I think the lesson to be learned is to work from inspiration. To think things out in a better way, and to move when I am inspired, instead of questioning the inspiration. The smart thing to have done was to put the property on the market in July. All of the good things that we had done there were done. Then we would have had the cash to put into the house that we financed for our son a year ago. And we would have been able to put his house on the market without going into debt like we did. So I got a very pointed lesson in speed and why it is important not only in real estate, but in many aspects of business, especially self-employment.
Then I see myself doing a lot of wheel spinning. But this has turned out to be productive wheel spinning if there is such a thing. Last April I decided to change the focus of my business from real estate investing and go back to my educational roots of marketing and writing. I have spent a lot of time building up that business, and I have some clients. I overcame the 10 year mind-block that I had on learning how to put up websites, and I have become much more savvy when it comes to Internet marketing. I have also found that real estate is really a passion of mine, and one that if I use a little more common sense – way more lucrative. I have decided to pay a mentor to help me get more quickly to a higher level in real estate investing. I will also be able to incorporate my newfound abilities in Internet marketing to improve my businesses even more. Over all I think that 2008 was a learning year for me, and that 2009 will definitely be an action year.