Enjoy my photo shoot from a church campus here in southern California today...
Well, I'm not gonna lie, it was a beautiful day here in southern California. I mean beautiful. I am grateful for this weather. We lucked out weather-wise this year because we enjoyed a Minnesota summer and a southern California winter. Now I get the whole snowbird thing!
Thank you those of you who gave feedback on my fundraising challenge! It appears I have pressed a lot of buttons in our followers. What you don't see is how many people have emailed us saying they are inspired and in... and the number of emails got bigger and bigger with each passing day. Thank you to those of you who have jumped in! Thank you also to those who have considered and passed. Thank you for enduring my pledge drive! To those who have left the site, (ironic I'm writing this since they are not here to read it) thank you for coming and being a part of our life for however long that might have been.
I know I come on heavy and strong, and that should come as no surprise to any of you by now. I have never been any different. I just don't think you are used to being the subject of my writing. I don't mind making people uncomfortable. Change and transformation aren't achieved within one's comfort zone. I'm taking a stand and hoping that - even more than raising money for PUCK - some of you will take on my challenges for your own growth, expansion, and development. Fundraising is just the pathway to that. I am not asking for a single dollar of your own in this challenge. I really hope I've made that clear. Instead, I'm attempting to reach others I could never reach through you - through your connection to my family - to Bella. I thought through her life and my writing there was a stronger sense of reciprocity. Jane, I think you are right. I have been pushing to see how strong this cyber-knit thread is. Blogging is new to me. Maybe there is a code of ethics or conduct that has grown within the movement that I am ignorant of. If so, I apologize.
I really liked the person's (I wish they would have signed their name so I could at least thank them) idea about putting another tab on the blog for fundraising... much like I did with Bella's book. I was careful to move that "sales pitch" to another page on the blog so you wouldn't have to hear me pitching my book all the time. However, that page very rarely gets read, and I sold 8 books from 54,000 visits to the site in November. Not an effective way to raise $$. Polite, but ineffective.
You know what? At the end of this rant, I may have driven a few people away. That's okay. I can't be all things to all people. Just true to myself and my family. Right now in my life I am more interested in finding a cure for EB than making everyone who reads my blog happy. I can't possibly do the latter, but I can be a part of the former. I have tried to raise money through my book sales and before that my music sales. No what I noticed? People straight up donated 100 TIMES the amount I made in profits from book and CD sales. In the past 3 days (3 days out of the past 180) I've been writing about this challenge, we have 5 times the amount of $ in pledges than I have sold in books since March. Do the math, and readership actually went UP, not down.
P.S. I'll tell one on myself here... this minor backlash is nothing more than karma. I used to listen to NPR on KPCC out here in Orange County... except during their pledge drive months! LOL. I get it, Cara, I don't like listening to several paragraphs of the same pitch either, but you know what? it works! 50% of ALL sales come between the second and FIFTH request. Ouch! As soon as I would hear the pledge drive rhetoric, I would pick a different station to listen to until they were 'done with that stuff.' Then I'd go back and listen for free for the rest of the year, then complain when a pledge drive came on. Then, I'd finally contribute some money, only to complain to myself again saying, "Can members bypass the pledge drive? Don't you know I already paid?" Well, in business, the cost of finding a new customer is 7 times greater than selling to an existing customer, so, nope I'm not off the hook there, either!
But don't worry folks, this isn't the future of this blog. Remember when I was pushing everyone to come out of the woodwork and meet each other? Remember how reactive people got? People don't like to be pushed. I understand. It's a fine line out there; people love to buy, but they hate to be sold to. Whattayagonna do? We have $7,500.00 in pledges so far! Let's get that number to an even $10,000.00!
If you've been on the fence, pick a number that lets you sleep at night, then secretly play a game with yourself to see if you can beat it! That way, if you you only hit it, well, you accomplished what you pledged! Email me at email@example.com. Once we have hit $10,000.00, I will be contacting all the team members directly for weekly and monthly motivation and support, so don't worry, if you are not participating, you won't have to hear me challenging you anymore when we reach that mark! At this rate, we'll hit it in the next two days, so the end is near! :-D
In other news...
Today was Angelique's holiday office party. We had lots of fun as it was probably their best yet. They had way more outdoor activities (or so it seemed) and way more decorations! They even had a little train for the first time. That was a great touch. Inside, the small music stage they set up in the corner of the cafeteria this year was lined with "snow" and had a fireplace as a small prop on the back of the stage. This is definitely up from just the plain black stage they usually have. They have LOTS of different crafts and games for the kids. Ali made a holiday necklace, rode the train twice, decorated a cookie, made stocking full of candy, and starred in a rock video! Ali was also reunited with one of her boyfriends - Logan - and they had lots of fun together as seen in the photos. I was reunited with the incredibly long line for food, glad that only happens once a year! LOL.
In the grief world, Day 3 in Dr. Wolfelt's book, Healing a Parent's Grieving Heart, it says, "Allow for numbness." The numbness is nature's way of protecting the brain from too much trauma. The reading suggests that sometimes even simple decisions need to be made for people grieving. This is why when you know someone who has lost a loved one, bake them a lasagna or casserole for their freezer. We have needed ongoing support in dealing with food. For the first month, we were so grateful for all the help, but particularly in the area of having easy to heat, pre-made dishes on hand that we didn't even have to think about. It seems so simple, but since most people don't really know what to say, food is an essential daily task that sometimes seems impossible to manage. I know for myself even today, I was grateful there were left overs in the fridge, because for one, I barely have any appetite recently, and two, my brain is not able to fix meals without great concentration.
The other piece of grief that is walloping both Ang and I is the exhaustion. Both mental and physical. By 2 pm I am curled up in the fetal position. I maybe get 2-3 good hours of energy and productivity. The hardest thing for me right now is just the physical exhaustion. I can sit at my desk and write till the cows come home, but if I have to get up and actually do something that involves directing my body through space and time? It feels like I'm climbing a mountain. It's very strange. I took two coaching calls in the past two days on my couch lying curled up, just doubled over. Funny thing was, I was rocking it with one of my clients because we had been working together since May, but my other client, it was his second call and so I had to get to my computer and snap into gear to catch up with what we began with last week. You'd think I had to climb a hill just to sit up and walk the 20 feet to my desk. Oh well, part of the healing process. Ugh. This healing process really hurts.