Chandelier Story

aka: #ChandelierStory illustrates that we get what we focus on from life

Once I bought a red car.  Before that day, I hadn’t really noticed red cars but suddenly the freeways were dominated by them…then came the chandelier.

About a year into living with my future husband, and at a hard time in the USA, which was suffering from yet another recession, we found ourselves on the streets of downtown Glendale, stepping over the sleeping bags of the homeless (Yeah, it sucked.  Yeah, we bought a lot of blankets and energy bars that year).  Looking into the window of a lighting store that was going out of business, I saw the most beautiful Strauss Schonbek 32% leaded multi-tiered chandelier that my eyes had ever beheld.  Now, we were both working 12 hours days 7 days a week at a start up business and every dollar went back into that business so even thinking about a purchase like this was a complete pipe dream…and the fact that we lived in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment with ceilings about as high as the chandelier was tall was another noteworthy fact.  The problem was that once I had seen that chandelier, it became the object of my obsession.  I visualized working that damned business so hard and well that we would own a mansion with 30+ foot ceilings and we NEEDED that chandelier because it was going for 10% of its value and we would never pay the real price…even as future mansion dwellers.   Fearful of its possible purchase by somebody who didn’t truly and deeply love it, I shared my guilty obsession with my mate.

As u can imagine, there was a lot of laughter and sensible logic that followed…but that did not deter me.

I explained to him flatly that we NEEDED this chandelier for the future mansion that we would be owning and I would make all of the weird arrangements on how to build a virtual house around it to keep it pristine and I would personally rent a truck and beg my grandparents to give up their unused car spot in the garage to house it…but we NEEDED it and time was not our friend.

Taking it purely on faith (reason #812 that I love him)-we bought that damned chandelier…but here is where it gets weird. My OCD had not fully played out and I held a secret dream close to my chest.  See, the chandelier had a big,, beautiful cousin.  Same lines but even more monstrous.  There was about a 12’ drop and the beast was twice the price but beyond magnificent.

There were 3 days left until the store shuttered 4ever and I was growing desperate.  I considered doing a sneaky purchase but we were both completely invested in the business and it didn’t feel fair to extract capital without consensus.  I should probably explain that we both drove 10 year old cars and lived very modestly…so this was pretty much completely weird…(but I mean a $25,000 chandelier for $2,000…c’mon!)

I invited one of his best friends to dinner in our tiny city shoebox of an apartment.  This guy had moved out to an exclusive and revered gated community and hired a contractor to build him a mansion.  He was a sports loving, calloused hand giant of a man…but he was the only person I had ever met who lived in a mansion…so I had a plan.

James, of course, was chomping at the bit to share the story of how I was crazy and he was probably even crazier for going along with me.  His friend hooted and hollered in good spirit and then I broke it down for both of them…informing them that the wild ride was not quite over because we HAD to go to that store tomorrow directly after work and buy the big cousin chandelier.  I explained that our future mansion would be perfectly served by the graceful smaller chandelier that sat over our elegant dining room with its soaring 30’ ceilings…but we HAD to do something about the entry.  To my great surprise, this big, tough man was completely on my side and explained to James how very vital this purchase was.

3 years later, we were living in a small condo in that gated community for the purpose of me stalking every house with an unmowed lawn to leap upon an opportunity.  One day, we were driving down a steep street and at its base, was an architecturally stunning 3 story glass house that looked like no other.  My (now) husband turned to me and said: someday you are going to buy me a house like this…so I did.

The chandeliers had their perfect place to reside in the world and they had given me the motivation to create a laser like focus on building a successful business to produce that result.

Takeaway-NO DREAM IS TOO BIG.  Keep it in your heart and head and u will find yourself beating a path to its door.


Say NO to #Manposters

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I truly feel in my heart of hearts that nearly everyone is trying to do their best at all times. People are incredibly kind and good. We all have men in our lives who have done impossible things for our benefit.

I think about my grandfather. His nickname was “B” …short for baby.
He was the youngest in a sibling rich blended family. So yeah-he was confident and spoiled rotten. I think of him working into his 80’s so he could create opportunities for his family. He had a precision aerospace machine shop and he was hopeful that he could make a good living for his many grandchildren and great grandchildren by apprenticing them. I remember when my grandmother’s dementia kicked into high gear. She was unkind to those she love the most and that was her beloved husband “B” & myself. This happens often to the demented patient’s caregivers whom they’re the most bonded to…but it doesn’t make it any easier. “B” was so damned in love with her that none of this mattered. He just woke up every morning helped her out of bed helped her with food and medicine and hygiene with a constant love stricken grin directly below his nose. Because this is what men do.

After she passed away, he continued his daily visits to her gravesite for years. He would bring her flowers and sit on the plot of land and have a nice little conversation with her. As his own health declined in subsequent years-he refused any treatment claiming it might slow his much anticipated reunion with his beautiful bride.

After a severe stroke- he could no longer talk or walk…but he found a way to crawl from his bedroom to his back porch door and howl like an animal begging to get to his beloved wife’s gravesite for his daily visit. Shortly before his death he grabbed my hand firmly and loudly uttered “raw raw raw.” For those who don’t have the secret stroke decoder ring-that means “i love u.” Because that’s what men say.

So please believe me when I tell you that I am a lifelong fan of MEN.

That said-3% of their population consists of a hurtful and murderous contingent. These animals walk around in men’s likenesses only to take. They are the worst kind of thief and they’re not opposed to taking everything including life. It is the duty of all women to screen every man with whom they intend to share time. Social stalking, criminal background checks, credit checks, any and all due diligence is fair game.

You have probably heard many wonderful things about Australia and I will tell you that they’re all true. This is a very special place on earth but even a place with so much economic prosperity, devoid of guns and just generally inhabited by well behaved human beings sees one woman murdered by her partner every day. This just has to stop.

Besides screening-there are a couple of other things that will make a big difference-firstly and most importantly-you have a civic duty to report any crime that befalls you. It doesn’t matter how embarrassed you are it doesn’t matter how hurt or frightened you are…none of that matters. You need to timely report criminals. You owe that duty of care to your fellow women. If we start doing this-we can know the evil ones by their cv.

I have coined a word that could be used like a branding and understood by other women as shorthand. Let’s say you had the good sense to call it off when things started to get weird (TRUST your 6th sense-its the silent sum total of the more popular 5) & you have nothing to report-but you know that you were in the company of a bad human being. Let’s refer to them as #ManPosters (evil doers dressed in the skin of men. Imposter men.)

Don’t waste time with, or put yourself in harm’s way with a #manposter. Trust that quiet sense that’s whispering in your ear.


#ReleaseYourInnerShark aka: #WhatGlassCeiling

release your inner shark

Did u know that we have 154 genomes in common with a species of shark?  I mean, isn’t that totally crazy that sharks are our distant biological cousins?So, to level the business playing field, COAFSE suggests that u let loose your inner shark:

  1. “Yep.  I probably did that.”  being offended is for novices.  Your inner shark doesn’t care what some guppy has to say about her.  Neither should u.  We spend a lot of time feeling offended and defending ourselves.  Time to stop.
  2. Grow more accustomed to failure.  sharks don’t worry too  much about mistakes.  When on the hunt, they make lots of miscalculations about what they can catch and what can fit in their mouths, etc.  Unlike many other life forms-they don’t let themselves get stuck trying to fix mistakes, they just move in a forward direction towards the next opportunity.  Time for us to do the same.
  3. Have sexual energy be part of your everyday life.  its sorta like the difference between playing checkers and chess.  When u have an awareness of your sexuality, u get a lot more fun and control and interestingness out of walking around or negotiating a deal or brainstorming in a meeting.  Sex is a natural point of awareness for every homosapien and women spend a lot of time  acting more like a deer and less like a shark in the boardroom.  Don’t be prey.  Just stay in control & get your way.  Added bonus: when u r aware of your sexual energy, u can shut down transgressions in a millisecond.  “Deer” just tend to pretend they didn’t hear it. Want to wake up your inner shark?  Buy my SharkBait.  Very nice stuff.  Warning: it’s addictive.
  4. Don’t worry about  rejection.  Business rejection is a blessing.  It helps u define the shape of the deal and if there is simply no deal to be had, it lets u know to move on to bluer water.
  5. Seize on opportunity.  When there is blood in the water-OPEN WIDE and feast as that business deal gets DONE.

we are sharks-feel us bite


So, as u may have gathered-i know that women are absolutely amazing. I am fortunate to know heaps of lovely, kind, wonderful men…but c’mon-its all about women. Without us, humankind doesn’t exist. We take our jobs as women very seriously and frequently compromised our own financial futures and emotional well being to caretake others. Sometimes it requires that we voluntarily remove ourselves from the workplace to make it so. Oftentimes, the end result is that we are doing the work of two people and its time to get these nice men of ours to step up their game a bit…but since we know that the completely reliable way for change to occur is to change ourselves, here are 6 life hacks for helping to keep u sane as u make all the difference in the world to those u love.

  1. Just say “no” to the white noise.  Perhaps u are an expectant mother.  There will be a dim-witted Auntie who will be very happy to elaborate on her 30 hours of labor.  Just shut down the “dumb” quickly by sweetly asking: “Auntie, before u continue your story, consider whether or not it will be helpful or fear producing to me.”  This goes for all such…shall we loosely call it “advice”?  You will  have experts on broken bones and hernias and cancers before they have asked even a first question of u.  I’m gonna be honest here.  Your free time is about to go to zero.  U do not have time to humor thoughtless people.
  2. You are the caregiving general contractor.  There will be a lot of moving parts and your most important job is to be the project supervisor.  There will be doctors and tests and appointments and the person u r caregiving will be too sick, or young (or unborn)-so they will not be able to manage this most important bit.  Be meticulous with your record keeping.  I recommend setting up a different themed google calendar that u can share with stakeholders and also maintaining a spreadsheet with pertinent details.  Google sheets integrates nicely with all mobile devices.  Have all this information at hand for medical appointments.  Ask questions.  Research for ideas and best practices and options and be ready with those questions. Make your medical appointments a dialogue, not a monologue.
  3. Apologize to friends and loved ones in advance and solicit their help.  Explain that your time is ridiculously constrained and that will result in less interaction during this process…and ask if they can help.  Identify help that is actually useful to u and have a list of ideas for the folks best suited to the task of driving, meal prep, appointment setting, house chores, deadlines, baby sitting, dog walking…anything that lightens YOUR load. People who love u want to help.  It deepens your connections when u r able to both give AND receive from those whom u love.
  4. Take care of yourself FIRST.  Remember what  they tell u during air travel?  “Secure your own oxygen mask before attempting to help others.”  If u are too ill to assist, u have done the person u are caregiving a grave injustice.  U r cherished and if u fall ill, your dependent loved one will hurt even more and have many needs unmet.  Besides all the other stuff u have to do every day, u must sleep for at least 6 hours and take a daily shower, get half an hour of outdoor physical activity and eat healthy foods.
  5. Know when the gig is over.  Kids get older and people recover.  You have to be mindful of this and start transitioning responsibilities back to the caregiven. Being a long term caregiver is weird and we create a schedule and habits that are hard to change once we r no longer needed in that capacity.  Notice increasing skills and strength and task it with parts of your list.  Kids can make their own lunches.  A recovering ill person can organize their own medications.  Start putting the ball back in their court.
  6. We’re all here for such a short time.  Sometimes we are preceded in death.  Sometimes the person we are caregiving will not recover.  For me, this is the ultimate reason to serve another.  This depth of connection is unmatched.  The bond that is developed between a true dependent who has chosen u through nature or nurture to care for them when they cannot do as much for themselves is the highest calling.  If we are very lucky, we will find that depth of love will be returned to us in our time of need.

Now, if we are to put this in the context of working and entrepreneurism…things will probably be moving more slowly for u at this time due to time constraints.  Just make sure to be honest with your employer about the level of contribution u can make.  People are beautiful and kind.  If u choose to communicate early instead of trying to do it all and possibly fumbling the ball for your employer, u give them a chance to sort out how to meet the needs of the company and respect your situation.  Be brave and tell the truth. If u r an entrepreneur- think of this as your “thinking time.” Think about ideas in play or ways to improve upon systems  u r witnessing.  There is so much boringness during these times of intense caregiving.  Your adrenal system is wiped or u r anxious beyond measure or u r waiting for somebody to wake up or to be called for an appointment.  Anyhow-just keep half and eye open to possibilities for entrepreneurship.  One product i am developing came to fruition under these circumstances.  Every time u ask yourself why things are done a certain way- u r looking at a possible idea that can make the process better, easier, cheaper, safer, faster for the next person to walk in your shoes.

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