Of puppies and planning

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My sis got my mom a puppy. It’s gorgeous.

I know, seriously cute!

It’s also driving my mom insane.

Cassie’s heart was in the right place, but it’s just not working out. My mom is not stable at the moment. It’s the sleep deprivation, mostly. And her guilt, because Major—her VERY old dog—has become a neurotic mess. My mom feels she owes Major a quiet retirement and the introduction of the puppy has thrown the previously quiet routine into complete disarray. Major now wants (begs, whines, pleads) to sleep in the car. A few nights ago, my mom slept out there with him. I don’t know if this was just guilt, or a desperate attempt to get one night of uninterrupted sleep.

The Puppy Problem, coupled with the fact that my mom is now exclusively cleaning bathrooms at Bed, Bath & Beyond, has made her life a bit overwhelming lately. She’s been in a grand funk for a few weeks, now. Which is totally noticeable with my mom, who is normally the picture of upbeat, bouncy vitality. In short, she’s a mess.

Which would explain why our meeting yesterday was also a mess. Or at least it started that way. Because I had an agenda, and my mom was having none of it. Let me give some background.

Denette has been a bit miffed at all the non-money-producing hours I’m spending in front of the laptop. A few days ago we had a serious (iPhones OFF) discussion about whether this project, which is taking increasing amounts of my time, has any chance of being successful from a financial perspective. She wanted to know:

  • What does HitF have to offer?
  • Where does the money come from?

Some of the angst around HitF is related to angst about money in general as my consulting business feels the effects of the downturn. (Although this has had positive effects, too). I’m probably going to have to a) devote more time to developing my consulting gig or b) pick up a part-time something to make ends meet. I’d prefer option (b) because option (a) is a big time investment with no promised returns. Either way, I need to become more diligent about my time management with the HitF project. And, as Denette helped me clarify, my mom and I needed to develop some clear business goals for HitF. But talking about operational goals and marketing strategy is not nearly as exciting as filming segments of me interviewing local farmers or Logan and Kaia chasing lizards.

So the session did not start off well. My mom had her own agenda. I could feel my energy and enthusiasm draining as we argued back and forth about middling things, circling around the topics I wanted to cover. Denette, who had joined us at my request to help with the financial brainstorming, disappeared into a book. Finally, after a wasted two hours, I started to get some traction and cover my topics. When my mom started to stray, I dragged her back to the topic, ensuring that we actually closed the topics before moving on. Ironically, I was basically doing the kind of project management work with my mom what I do with my clients in my consulting business. it’s all interconnected.

We actually got a lot done yesterday: we created a mission statement; we started putting together guiding principles; we defined about a dozen potential sources of income; and we set several long-term goals. But the most important thing I managed to do was shift the perspective and highlight all the things we’ve managed to accomplish in just 3 months—the short time that has elapsed since we launched the blog and released the first video. We have done a lot, especially considering our relative newbie status to filmmaking and all. Things were better when she left.

Now there’s just the Puppy Problem to solve…

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