The sleepwalking Lady Macbeth

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Event: Pity Party

Where: This blog

When: Ending NOW

It’s become clear to me that lately I’ve been using this blog to throw my very own pity party. Wah, I didn’t get into grad school! Wah, I’m too scared/lazy to start my own business! Wah! Wah! Wah! And I have to say: I’m sorry!

I was originally planning today’s post after some thoughts I had while under the influence of two beers last night–and unfortunately that will often bring up pitiful emotions in me. So I’m still going to write that post this week, but I’m going to write it from an optimistic outlook.

So here’s another goal: be optimistic! I usually like to think I’m an optimistic person, but sometimes a slight fear that I’m not liked enough or that I’m not a good friend or that I’m actually quite funny-looking will pop up–these are those obstacle illusions! Every time they pop up, I feel like Lady Macbeth trying to wash her hands of blood. Out, damn spot!

This blog is supposed to be about making goals for my life to feel fulfilled and happy–and most of the time I feel that way anyway. So now I have to show it!

So here’s a question for you: What do you do to get out of a funk, or cancel the pity party? What makes you step back and look at the world through rose-colored glasses?

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

Keep smiling!

Kirsten

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Here’s a goal to add to my Life List: Win a cake decorating competition. Too bad I can’t quite cross that one off yet (or at least, I’m pretty sure I can’t since no one can tell me if I placed at all)!

This weekend was the first Celebration of Cakes cake decorating competition, sponsored by Caketini and the Cake and Sugar Arts Association in Phoenix, Arizona. The event included a Cake Walk where all the cake entries were displayed throughout stores in the mall, a live ‘Master’ competition (an idea similar to Food Network Challenge), kids’ cupcake decorating, demonstrations and classes from local bakery owners. It was quite the event!

Unfortunately it was a bit unorganized, and, being that it was the inaugural event, they definitely have some kinks to iron out for the future. I still don’t know who won any prizes. I’m guessing my cake didn’t, but maybe it did and I just don’t know!

And while I have a few more of my own critiques of the event, I’m so glad I got to participate! So now the goal for next year is to win a cake decorating contest. I’m even thinking about teaming up with some friends to do the Master Challenge.

8 months later…

(Yes, I really didn’t do anything more with my business for 8 months other than brainstorming here and there. I concentrated on getting a full-time job, which took 4 months. Other than that, I really didn’t do anything.)

3/20/11

Well this is pathetic. U of Cakes has been sitting around collecting dust for too long now. I’m surprised Child Protective Services (or rather Business Protective Services) hasn’t arrested me for severe neglect! I remember my friend Sam kind of worked on some projects for ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative a few years ago. Maybe I should look into that! I’ve always wanted to apply, but never had a business idea…until now. This is perfect!

I’ll talk to Sam about being on my team to help with marketing and design, and I’ll ask Kelly to help since she does instructional design. And Lisa obviously already knows how to run a business, so I’ll see if she’ll be our advisor. Now to get started on this business proposal…

4/3/11

U of Cakes business proposal is finally finished and officially submitted! Sam, Lisa and I worked our asses off (if only literally) these last two weeks creating the most impressive business proposal I’ve ever seen. I haven’t seen too many, but I imagine it’s perfect. I even went to the Edson office hours to have someone look at it—and they liked it even before it was done!

I worked on most of the writing—I had to since I had the most “big picture” scope of the project and had to come up with the details myself. Sam did a fantastic job on the design and doing all the numbers for me (not that I can’t do numbers, I just had so much on my plate already). And Lisa scoured the proposal to make sure it was well thought out and professional. I’ll need to buy them some drinks.

I’m so confident we’ll make it to the next round—team presentations! More than 200 teams will submit business proposals, 30 will be called to present, and 15-20 will receive the funding to launch their business. U of Cakes, here we come!

5/2/11

Well I guess it wasn’t a big mystery this would happen. Not with odds like that. We didn’t make it to the presentations. Oy.

I had gained so much momentum and confidence that I really could get this business off the ground. And now I feel like putting U of Cakes in a cupboard and letting it sit there a while longer.

But I can’t. This is exactly one thing Edson asked us to include in our business proposals. How are you going to keep this venture going, even without Edson funds? How do you keep the momentum and motivation? Where do you go for funding? What is your backup plan?

So what is my backup plan???

PART THREE coming soon…

Cover of "The Bucket List"

Cover of The Bucket List

Never have I ever…smoked a cigarette.

Have you ever played “Never have I ever”? It’s a drinking game where each person holds up anywhere between three and ten fingers (depending on where you get the rules–everyone playing holds up the same number of fingers), then they take turns saying “Never have I ever…” followed by something they have never done but something others likely have done. Whoever has done that deed puts one finger down, and takes a drink. Once a person has all fingers down, they are out of the game (and usually quite inebriated).

This is what I’m calling my “Life List” or “Bucket List”: my list of things I want to accomplish before I die.

I have enough spaces for 100 items, but I haven’t thought of that many yet. Here’s what I have so far:

1. go dog sledding (I truly believe that these dogs love what they do)

2. see the Northern Lights

3. see a volcano erupt (CHECK! I saw Mount Stromboli erupt off the coast of Italy this past summer as our cruise ship passed by it at midnight)

4. swim with dolphins

5. attend a live taping of The Daily Show

6. attend a live taping of The Ellen Show

7. snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef

8. learn to SCUBA dive

9. go parasailing

10. swim in an Iceland hot spring

11. stay in an ice hotel (I had drinks at IceBar Stockholm, but haven’t made it to an entire ice hotel yet)

12. donate a large sum of money to the ASPCA

13. get a dachshund

14. learn another language (become more fluent in Spanish, which I haven’t used in five years, or start learning a new language)

15. live in another country for a while

16. get high (nope, never have I ever)

17. go to a ball

18. go to the Arctic Circle (I’m thinking Svalbard, a territory of Norway)

19. see a NON-Christmas play every year

20. get a pet fish (I had some when I was a little girl, but I think I might appreciate them more now)

21. have a fully stocked bar in my house (so all my friends can have their favorite drink when they come over)

22. enter a short story contest

23. take stained glass classes (I’ve taken glass blowing classes, but not stained glass)

24. perfect my homemade pizza (I’m hoping to turn this quest into a short series on this blog)

25. learn to paint “faux” brick (So that I can make a wall look like it’s made of brick–I’ve always loved “exposed” architecture)

26. design pegboard hooks specifically for women’s closets (I promise I’ll do a post on my magnificent closet–and how you can spruce up your closet on the cheap, too!)

27. develop an original recipe

28. go on a hot air balloon ride

29. get my dad to wear a seat belt because he wants to, not because we nag him

30. paint a bulb of garlic on a wall

31. live in Kennebunkport, ME for a short while (just to see what small-town living is all about)

32. buy a Barcelona chair

33. build a dog house

34. go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show (and participate–even if I have to be a part of the “virgin sacrifice”!)

35. keep a book club going for 12 months straight

36. successfully complete 52 books in 52 weeks

That’s all I have so far, but I add to it all the time. I will post each time I complete an item on my list (as well as posts about other times, of course). If anyone knows anyone who knows anyone who can help me easily (and inexpensively) complete an item on my Never Have I Ever List, please let me know!

So what things are on your Life List, Bucket List, Never Have I Ever List, 30 Before 30 List, etc.? I could always use more ideas, or maybe I could even help you out completing yours!

Kirsten

P.S. No, I never have smoked a cigarette, and I never intend to do so.

7/7/10

I’m stoked! I finally started my own business doing something I love! I get to teach cake decorating, and won’t have to deal with all the red tape and sever scheduling mix-ups and low support from teaching classes at Michaels. THANK GOODNESS!

It’s a little scary “launching” it on Facebook for all my friends and family to see—and already some of them don’t get what I’m doing. They think I’m starting a bakery or something. Does it not say right on the home page that they are cake decorating classes? I’m pretty sure that’s clearly stated.

Oh well! As long as my customers know. I’ll have to give up a lot of my weekends which is disappointing, but before I know it this thing will pick up and I’ll be teaching classes all the time—and then I can even hire another instructor to take the weekend schedule or something.

This is going to be so exciting. I won’t even have to worry about getting a full-time job since I just graduated. I won’t have to worry about what graduate program to go into—or maybe I’ll end up with an MBA one day so I can run my Fortune 500 company. Yeah, that’s it.

I’ve got biz cards, advertising, aprons, etc. I’m having a “pilot” class this weekend. I’m all set to go!

7/10/11

The pilot class went great! I think everyone had fun, even though obviously decorating isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to do. But I just wanted beginners, whether they were truly interested or not, so that I could get feedback on the level of the material I taught.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a big enough table to put everyone in the same place so I went back and forth between the two groups, but that went well since everyone worked at different paces anyway and I could give individual attention.

And I’m so glad that my icing consistency was good since that doesn’t always happen. It made it so much easier to demo and show the others that theirs can be that good too. My cake came out perfectly smooth after I iced it–I finally looked like a pro!

I just feel like the pilot class went so well–I got great feedback. Hopefully this is the start of a successful venture!

Funny–everyone said in their survey that they would definitely take another U of Cakesclass, but no one signed up for one! I’m sure they will soon though…

PART TWO coming soon…

Or in my case: No Hulu for you!

Today is my first day at a new job. I just left a job that I loved because they didn’t have enough money to fund my position…at least they didn’t until I had already applied for several other positions, at which point I felt I should really consider the other jobs. I was offered two jobs, but didn’t take the latter because they contacted me too late–and I didn’t know if it would be a good fit anyway.

Anyway, I had some nasty habits at my old job when I had nothing to do–Gmail chats, Facebook, Google Reader, Netflix, Hulu. They all occupied quite a bit of my time. (Although they didn’t actually keep me from doing my job).

My new goal is to kick those bad habits at my new job.

How am I stacking up so far?

Horribly. I don’t have any work to do yet and no one is here to give me any work. In the 5 hours I’ve been at work, I’ve Facebooked, took an hour lunch, read blogs, and now I’m even writing one!

But this is a work-in-progress and I can’t count this as failed just yet. They just need to give me something to do!

Don’t give up hope!

Kirsten

I’ve tried this blogging thing before. Many times, in fact. I tried to be a food blogger, but I rarely cook. I tried to be a travel blogger, but I don’t travel that often (although it may seem like I do to my friends, I wouldn’t be able to keep new content coming). I’ve even tried to blog about my goals before, but there were too many restrictions to how I was doing it.

Those were all failed attempts, but not failures.

Luckily, I can create as many free WordPress blogs as I want, so this is just one more attempt–and hopefully it will be a successful one!

Here’s what my blog is:

  • A place to document my goals–accountability
  • A place to rant about my accomplishments–pride
  • A place to rant about my failed attempts– humility
  • A place to connect with friends, new and old, about what we want and how to go about getting those things–teamwork

For this to be even remotely successful, I’ll need to keep myself motivated to pursue my goals, but also to continue to share them with you. And honestly, that will probably be the hardest part. But clearly I’m up for a challenge or two, so let’s get started.

Tune in to the next post to hear about another failed attempt or two and how I intend to turn those around to success.

Stay optimistic,

Kirsten