Here are some actual thoughts I had this week:
"I bet I could squeeze in a blog post on my lunch break."
"Should I shower or respond to these emails before work?"
"I had six hours of sleep. Why am I tired? Maybe I have mono."
"Oh look, Target. I remember going there."
"I should be doing something more productive than straightening my hair. I wonder if I can do a podcast interview WHILE straightening my hair."
And the thing is, I didn’t think any of these were outlandish as they ran through my head. In fact, they seemed perfectly reasonable.
OH don’t you start to feel sorry for me. I know you’ve had equally crazy thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I'm a pretty busy person. But we're all busy. We have jobs and families and as women, we often have unrealistic expectations of ourselves or put on us by others to achieve all of these things without faltering.
We scroll through Instagram on the toilet, in the closet hiding from kids, or stuck in traffic and land upon that one friend. Let’s call her Harper (because I don’t actually know anyone named Harper.) Harper seems to manage an 8-hour work day, spend time with her kids making some craft from Pinterest (that even turns out like the picture!) and gets a workout in. Meanwhile you’re drowning in work, forgot to pick-up up dog food and can barely place your Postmates order. How does Harper have it all?!
Let’s throw this wrench in the story: to someone, you are Harper.
Someone out there thinks that YOU have 10 plates spinning perfectly on manicured fingers, despite the fact that you dropped eight of those plates and the only manicure you have is a vaguely peachy-red color that you brushed on hastily a week ago.
How do I know this? (Not about your manicure, that’s just a guess…not based on my own nails AT ALL...)
I know this because I am Harper, but I’m totally not. I often get asked, “oh my god, how do you do it all?” I laugh at this.
Yes, at the moment I have a lot on my plate:
A full-time job at a Fortune 50 company
Pursuing my MBA (April can't come soon enough!)
My gift service, Found & Fitted
This little project you’re reading about now, The Gift Exchange
Completely renovating my home after a tree fell on it in February (a full post on this coming soon) and living in my wonderful sister-in-law’s house
Oh, and the usual life stuff. I’m married with two rescue dogs, Smalls & Lilly. I have friends that I see on a weekly basis. I try to workout, and my husband and I travel at as often as we can.
What you don’t see is that sometimes I have to leave my job early to get home to take a call for Found & Fitted. And that I have to make up work when I could be with my friends. And that sometimes I have more glasses of wine than runs in a week. My house isn’t clean and my fingers aren’t manicured. Don’t even get me started on the home reno (FYI – Nationwide is NOT on your side…)
This is how The Gift Exchange emerged. I take great pride in taking the stress out of gift giving for people through Found & Fitted. Particularly working moms, who often want to put time and energy into picking out a thoughtful gift, but simply don’t have the time or energy left at the end of the day. I noticed that as I engaged with more of my customers, there was one thing they wanted more than anything – time.
It didn’t matter how much money they had, how flexible their career, if they had children or not. Each person I worked with was constantly and consistently looking for more hours in the day.
Time, I realized, was so precious that people were willing to pay anything for it and were constantly seeking ways to maximize it. But what dictates the time we have to spend?
I wanted to examine how some of the most successful women I know, in all areas of life, manage, balance and seemingly have it all. What was their secret and how could they share it with me? Better yet, how could they share their gifts with other like-minded women? How could these women connect to each other?
The Gift Exchange is a community for successful women to connect and exchange ideas, failures, and advice about advancing their careers, improving themselves and achieving balance in their personal and professional lives. It gives women a chance to learn valuable ways to reclaim and restructure their most precious commodity – time.
I hope to share interviews and insights that inspire you, yet also offer practical advice. If this sounds like something you might be into, please join me on my Facebook group here and let me know who I should interview first!