Making It Happen

Every since I’ve been a mom, I’ve had two burning desires – to have my own business and to live a balanced life.  In my ideal world, I’d be able to use my skills to make a living on my own terms while balancing motherhood and family.  And every since I’ve been a mother, these two goals have seemed more elusive than world peace.The main reason that these goals were so elusive is simple.  I NEVER truly spent any time making them a reality.  Sure I’d talk about them and I’d fantasize.  I’d even toy with crafting a business plan or two.  But I really focused ALL of my energy on the 9-5 grind (which of course, was always much, much longer than 9-5).  I was a good employee, because I would give my body, mind and soul to my work.  But I was always a frustrated employee.  Frustrated because I was achieving someone else’s goals and not my own.  Frustrated because work always seemed to take precedent over my family and my sanity.  Frustrated because at the end of each long work day I had no energy left to make my dreams come true.But then life changed in April when I chose to leave my job to take care of my health and make my family a priority.  Although I knew that I made the best choice, it was a scary time for me.  Obviously it was scary dealing with a major health issue, but it was also scary to be facing unemployment.  Because no matter how frustrated I had been on the various jobs that I had, I’d always had a nice strong safety net underneath me.  And honestly, the safety net wasn’t just about money.  While I loved having my very own steady paycheck, the reality was that my husband could easily support our family.  The safety net was in knowing that my efforts resulted in something worthwhile and productive – something of value to the world.  Now for the first time I was without a safety net – just dangling over an idle sea of ”what ifs” and “hope you make its”.But I’m pleased to say that I didn’t dangle long.  Having surgery showed me how fragile life really is.  Tomorrow isn’t promised, and I want to live a life with no regrets.  After I recovered from surgery, I actually started hunting for freelance writing, editing and communications opportunities.  I ordered business cards.  I told my friends about my new business.  I outlined my target audience and started a business plan.  I even went online and inquired about opportunities with online magazines that I follow.  I actually put the time and energy into making my business a reality!

And shockingly, people responded!  Friends gave me writing leads, and I received responses back from my online inquiries.  AND I nabbed my first freelance writing opportunity!  Now that I’ve stopped fantasizing and spending my time building up someone else’s business, I’m actually on my way to having a successful business of my own!  I’m actually making it happen and I couldn’t be prouder of myself.

So what’s standing in your way?  What’s keeping you from making your dreams happen?  Are you frustrated enough to make a change?

Advertisements

Woman On The Move: Darcy Moss

This month’s “Woman On The Move” is someone that I truly admire.  Many of us make a difference in the business world or support the community, but Darcy Moss is making a big impact in both arenas.  Read on to learn more about this inspiring woman in her own words.

What makes you a “Woman On The Move”?  As a Marketing Manager living in the United States, I decided to quit my job and start designing jewelry, which I currently still do. Jewelry items can be found in a few stores locally here in Nassau, Bahamas or on our Darcy Antonia Jewelry & Accessories Facebook page.  In 2009, I began mentoring primary school children through a local church and saw that many of the kids were having a hard time keeping up academically in school.  From this the KPACE Afterschool Program was birthed!   We began our service to the children on March 15, 2010 and to date offer a full slate of programs, activities and projects.

In my opinion, I’m a woman on the move because I’m in constant motion.  Whether it is communicating with my clients, organizing events, fulfilling orders, planning activities, scheduling meetings, doing training or volunteering in varies areas — I’m always on the go.

What is your biggest challenge?  My biggest challenge is saying “no” and because I struggle in this area I also struggle with time management.  I thrive under pressure, but living on an island where everything is “laid back” doesn’t really help my time management challenges either!

How do you find balance?  Balance?  What is that?  Okay so I’m still trying to understand what that word truly means.   When I’m in full swing of a project, I have tunnel vision.  My focus is on the project…I eat little, sleep little and I make a mental note that when the project is done I’ll relax.  Unfortunately, after that there’s usually something else to work towards!

How do you get inspired?  In jewelry design I’m inspired by nature in all its glory and color.  I’m a color hog and love to mix colors to create new colors.  The little faces that light up with expectation when the volunteers and I arrive daily at the KPACE program inspire me.  It motivates me to keep going even on the worst days when fatigue sets in.

To support Darcy Moss with her efforts at KPACE Afterschool Program or to buy fabulous Darcy Antonia Jewelry visit their Facebook  pages.

If you know an inspiring “Woman On The Move,” email me at ydarville@yahoo.com.

Those pesky foxes

Have you ever been so busy dreaming about living the life of your dreams, that you didn’t realize that you were ALREADY living the life of your dreams??  Or maybe it’s just me!Well this summer, I woke and up realized how very blessed I am.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  My husband is amazing.  And I’m a parent, which was something that I worked for and prayed to be for years.  I’ve gotten a major health battle behind me.  And now I’m living the flexible work-from-home schedule that I always wanted, while launching my freelance writing business.  On top of all that, I’m surrounded by wonderful friends and the world’s best church family.

So why did it take me so long to see how great my life is?  I think it was because I’m easily distracted by the small things.  You know – those little annoying things that can suck the joy out of life if you let them? For me, these little things have come as a part of adjusting to island life.  Instead of seeing Nassau, Bahamas as a tropical paradise, this little American girl felt imprisoned by the island inconveniences that were working my nerves.  All it took was a random power outage, unreliable cell phone service or a cultural misunderstanding and my joy was gone just like that!  I was spending far too much time daydreaming about the opportunities, friends and conveniences that I missed at home.   I was spending way too much time clicking my heels and waiting for the American fairy to swoop down and take me back to my comfort zone.  By the way – the whole “clicking heels” thing only resulted in sore heels.

Somehow this summer, I woke up and realized that life was passing me by – and it was my fault.  I was focusing on the small things that don’t matter at all.  I was overlooking the beautiful beaches of Nassau and the quaint hometown feeling of everyone knowing your name.  Once I started focusing on what matters – my family, the new friends that I’m making, the direction that I wanted my career to go and most importantly, my relationship with God – my world brightened up.  It’s as if a dark veil was lifted off of my window and now the sunlight is streaming through.  It feels great to see this bright, sunny world full of possibilities.

Now I’m making a conscious effort to get over those little annoyances that seem to wait like little evil ninjas wanting to attack my joy.  I’m confident that I have what it takes to squash these little buggers and enjoy the blessings of life here in Nassau or wherever life may lead.

The Song of Solomon talks about “the little foxes that ruin the vines.”  I had let island life become a little fox ruining my blooming vine of life.  But I’m sure that I’m not the only one with a fox in the vine.

What about you?  Are you living the life of your dreams?  What are you letting hold you back?  And when will you take control of your own joy and dreams?

Quietly Remarkable

I have been blessed to know many fabulous women.  I know divas, fashion plates, and movers and shakers.  But the women I admire most are those quietly remarkable forces of nature.  You know – the ones that don’t make a big fuss but manage to do amazing things while making it look effortless.  These women seem to be driven by some invisible force to make a difference in their little piece of the world.   These aren’t your flash in the pan, one-hit-wonder type of chicks.  No—these are remarkable women who consistently show class, grace and strength even under tremendous adversity.  Whenever I feel overwhelmed or wonder if I can make a difference, I look at their lives.  I look at them and know that by persevering I can be like them.

Over the years I’ve studied these ladies (mainly because I desperately want to be one!) as I’ve tried to learn the secret to their success.  Here are a few things that I’ve learned:

  1. These ladies are consistent.  Every day they get up focused on their end result.
  2. They’re not easily shaken.  These ladies seem to understand that even though bad things happen, there will be a brighter day and the sun will come out.
  3. They’re giving.  Ever notice how selfish women usually find themselves lacking in all areas (time, money, resources, and friends)?
  4. They’re transparent.  They don’t mind you taking a peek into their lives, even at the not so glamorous parts.  After all, they know that keeping it real can strengthen someone else who is going through.
  5. They are genuine.  They genuinely care.  They genuinely love.  They genuinely make a difference.

I do want to be one of these women.  And I want my daughter to be one too.  So every day I’m working on it.  And I’ll continue working until I achieve my goal.

What characteristics in other women do you admire and aspire to?

Woman On The Move: Erin Brown

In my last post, I mentioned Erin Brown, an amazing woman I’ve met here in Nassau, Bahamas.  Her story is incredible.  And the timing for meeting her was great, because this month I’m launching a “Woman On The Move” post on my blog.  Read and be inspired!

Erin is the founder of the Erin Brown Foundation, a Bahamian based not-for-profit organization that provides assistance for people with disabilities through financial assistance, educational resources, vocational provisions and adaptive  equipment.   A mother and an amputee from bone cancer eight years ago, she is dedicated to Disability Sports, breaking stereotypes through promoting awareness, and creating opportunities for people with disabilities to enhance their community at large.  Here’s her story in her own words.

What makes you a “Woman on The Move”?  I am seemingly incapable of keeping still.  The fact that I’m driven to make a change in the future of persons with disabilities, no matter the risk, makes me a woman on the move.  What makes me stand out is the decision I made to leave the legacy ‘Being normal is overrated!’ and to always ‘Dream Big and Live in Color.’

What is your biggest challenge?  I have many challenges in my daily life. Time may just be my biggest challenge.  From mommy duties, taking care of an aging parent, training everyday and working against the grain; time is not a luxury.

How do you find balance?  Balance is a work in progress daily.  I redefine the term “balance” with every item I check on my list. To help me find balance I demand my quiet time each day, whether it is before everyone wakes in the house or when everyone is asleep!  I grab my moment and bask in it for it is dedicated to me, myself and I.

How do you get inspired?  I am easily inspired.  A smile, an item, a person, place or thing all these things inspire me.  I recharge through discussions, thoughts, ideas and anything outdoors that require movement or interaction with others. Simply put; having a dream come into reality keeps me inspired, no matter how small it is.  My dream is to be in the Paralympics 2016 in Rio De Janerio.  Pushing to make this a reality is my inspiration.

Know an inspiring woman?  Submit her story for inclusion on bahamamommyinc blog by emailing Yolanda Darville at ydarville@yahoo.com.

Bye, bye Superwoman

I had the opportunity to be a speaker at my church’s women’s conference last weekend.  While I was there I heard an amazing presentation by an even more amazing woman named Erin Brown  (ww.erinbrownconnects.org).  Her topic really slapped me in the face.  It was “I’m Not Your Superwoman.”  Can you say “Wow!”

Her presentation talked about the pressure that we put on ourselves as women to be everything to everybody.  Hearing her presentation made me reflect on my recent decision to be a stay-at-home mom.  For years I’ve been a “superwoman” juggling career, community involvement, church obligations and family.  This year the juggling act became overwhelming.  I knew that I was getting out of control when I found myself working at home ALL the time.  My 5 year old daughter began complaining that I was always in a meeting.  My husband and I were ships in the night passing on the way to our next work meetings.  I felt out of whack and unhappy.  And we all know the saying “When mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy!”

It was hard tearing myself away from a career that spanned over 15 years of nonprofit management.  But for me it was the right choice.  I’ve made a personal decision to put my family first, and for me that means staying at home, doing part-time consulting and managing the family full-time.  It’s not a decision for every working mama, but it works for me in this season of my life.  It gives me time to really be there for my family, pursue goals that I’d put on the shelf and forgotten, and most importantly take time for me.  I’m a firm believer that we women are amazingly strong.  We’re stronger than we know — but we all have our limits.  The reality is that Superwoman is a burnt-out, overloaded, crazy woman who rarely puts her needs first.

Ladies, the superwoman myth is just that – a myth.  We CAN do it all, but just not at the same time.  It’s time that we start reprioritizing and making decisions that work for us.  Forget the world’s expectations.  Life is short and at the end we all want to look back and know that we spent our time where it counts.  For me reprioritizing meant being a stay-at-home mom.  For you it may mean letting go of activities that waste your time.  Or it could mean abandoning your career to pursue your true dreams.  Or maybe it just means reserving a weekend every month just for you.  Whatever it means, it’s time to put what’s important to YOU first.

So are you ready to burn the S on your chest and replace it with what really matters?

Motherhood is a Good Look

Yesterday was Mother’s Day – a day I truly love.  Years ago as I was battling infertility, motherhood seemed like a distant dream.  There were days where I thought I would never hear the patter of little feet or have someone call me “mommy.”

Now years later, I’m often wishing those little feet would just take a break.  And every five seconds I hear “MOMMY!!!” being screamed throughout my little house.  Even though my 5-year old sweetie pie drives me crazy, without a doubt motherhood has been one of God’s biggest gifts.  And I’m grateful.

I think I’m most grateful because motherhood has caused me to grow in ways that I could have never imagined.  I never thought that I’d be a teacher, comforter, storyteller, nutrionist, activity planner, disciplinarian, chauffer and hairstylist all in one day.  At the end of each and every day, I am totally exhausted.  The good kind of exhausted where I know that I’ve poured every fiber of my being into a little life.  The kind of exhausted where I can’t remember what in the world I did, but I know that it made a difference.

And I only have one child (she has the energy of an army, but she is only one child).  So my hat is off to you mommies with several children.  Just remember that despite how much work it is, motherhood is a good look on you and you’re making a difference.

Rock on, pretty mommy!