Unconventional? Me? Oh yeah!
Earlier this week I was hit with a text that left me pondering the words written in the message. The text read, “We have unconventional lives/schedules. Maybe we need to be more unconventional about our dates.” That message came from my partner, Alyssa. She was trying to get me to understand that it is ok to not always have date nights or completely quiet evenings where we can re-connect from the chaos of our lives, but instead seek to be unconventional in our attempt to spend more time together. Her text came after we had snuck away during the middle of the day to see a movie together. No kids. No work. Just us. Together. Maybe normal for some, but completely unconventional for us and our busy lives.
So what was so profound about that text? To me, it was the word unconventional. Even though she and I are in a same sex relationship with two kids from my previous marriage and a dog from her previous life, I was still stopped in my tracks at that word. That word led me to this blog.
In the moment that I read those words, I knew she was right. I am unconventional. We are unconventional. But then I thought, is that a bad thing? Or something to be extremely proud of? And what does unconventional truly mean? To me, it means that I choose to not conform to what is typically done or believed. It means that I beat to my own drum. That thought alone had me remembering all the times that my Mama told me that very thing; “be proud of who you are and always be you, regardless of how different you may be.”
But furthermore, it led me to think of other things in my life- my business. Am I unconventional in the way that I do business? Is that a good thing? Should I try to conform more to what other agents are doing? My immediate response was, “heck no!” And then I smiled. If you know me well, you know that I don’t typically color inside the lines when it comes to following a developed model for success or try to mirror what other agents are doing. I am me. I want to be different. I want my brand to stand out and be noticed for more than the numbers on a piece of paper. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to crunch numbers, but I know that isn’t what my business is all about. It’s a small portion of my business. My heart, determination and commitment to doing business different is what my business is about. And the people. Yes, the people are my business. The smiling faces. The warm hugs. The thank you’s. Those things make my heart happy.
Look, I don’t want to be the biggest Realtor in the area or become so overwhelmed with life that I can’t take an afternoon to enjoy a little time with the ones I love. And I never want to look left or right to help me form my own opinion in fear of being different. I want to be me- unconventional and happy. So I challenge you to color outside the lines, take a walk when you should be working, love whoever makes you happy, beat to your own drum and don’t ever be scared to be unconventional.
How I managed to find what I lost.
Joy is defined as the emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires; a state of happiness; a source or cause of delight.
Where do you find your joy? Does it come in a warm Starbucks cup? Or maybe it comes when you sink your toes into a sandy beach overlooking beautiful blue water. What about last minute Christmas shopping in search of the toy of the year? If that’s your joy- you’re hired to shop for me next year!
Regardless of where you find your joy or how often you experience joy, to me, the most important thing is that you never lose your constant need for joy in your life. If you lose that thirst for joy, you ultimately lose the ability to see the glass half full. Someone once said that if you focus on everyone else’s joy and forget about your own joy that you start to drift to an empty place. When you’re at that empty place, you cannot pour into others. You have to stay focused on your joy, to provide others with joy.
Why do I write this? Because I learned this very lesson this year. 2016 was a great year professionally, but personally, it was a struggle. After losing my mom unexpectedly, I poured from an empty glass and almost an empty soul. This is hard to write, but I thought if I provided everyone else with joy, it would allow me to be filled with joy. It didn’t. I ended up realizing that when your glass is empty, you often have to look to others to fill it for you. I, Lynn Johnson, had to ask for help! If you know me, you know that I wear my Super Mom cape tucked underneath my clothes daily and the “I can do it all” badge is always snug in my handbag. Well, not this year. I had to not only ask, but accept help from others to restore what I lost on February 29, 2016.
What I was blown away with was the love and support that I received from friends, family and those that I didn’t even know. They all took joy in restoring me to the person I had buried under all the sadness. Am I fully restored? Not completely, but I have realized that I was so blessed to be my mother’s daughter and no one can ever take that or the memories from me. But, more importantly I realized that I am not alone. Nor will I ever be, not even in the bathroom, thanks to the kids!
This year has taught me to never lose sight of the shore. Thanks to my wonderful circle, I am looking towards 2017 with a joyful heart and eagerness to do the things I love! I am so thankful for everyone that took the time to reach out to me, spend time with me, talk with me, work with me and be a part of my 2016 journey. Here’s to 2017 and all it has in store! Let’s do this!
Does drop-off mean work time, you time, DIY time or nap time?
For me, this year marks the first year that both of my kids have been on the same schedule for school. No more preschool hours. No more multiple drop-offs. We are in the big leagues now - elementary school. And both kids! Did I hit the jackpot? You mean I can actually work during the day without having to persuade a five year old that showing a house or writing an offer is fun?! Praise Jesus and thank you teachers!
So, one of the first things I wanted to do was reach out to other parents to see what they do after they send their kids off to school or drop them off. I wanted to share stories, dreams and aspirations. What I received back was far better than I had hoped for and it left me realizing that no matter what, we are all the same- tired and in need of “me” time!
For a little background on the “crowd” that I polled - 55% have elementary-age kids and 64% use carpool as their method of transportation (that’s why those lines are so long!) Of those I asked; 18% work from home, 55% work in an office setting and 27% are stay-at-home parents. When I asked what these parents do when their kid(s) go to school, most said they go to work; whether that is at home or an office. In addition, some visit the gym, run errands and even go back home to sleep (so jealous!).
When asked “when do you find your ‘me/you’ time?,” I was comforted by the fact that over 50% said they didn’t know what that was. Fellow Bamboo agent and father of five kids, Ryan Bokros said, “I rarely have me time, but I am not wishing for them to grow up quickly.” On the flip side of that coin, Jessica Edwards has one daughter and works full time, but “I make time for me on Sunday afternoons when I am able to listen to music and dream of my next DIY project of painting my kitchen table and chairs.”
That leads me to wondering when do you make time for DIY projects around your house? Stephanie Fox, mom of 4, all under the age of 10, says that she “Never gets around to tackling those projects, but I spend my day focusing on a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus!” Whether you have one child or four, I’m sure there are things on your to-do list around your home. Joya Austin, mom of one, says that she “already has ideas for Fall decorating on her mind.”
Whether your idea of Fall decorating is cleaning your house, organizing your basement or browsing through Pinterest, make the time. Do the things that you really want to do. Or enjoy some “you time” like Jeff and Beth Bradley, who say they enjoy “going fishing or playing golf on the weekends.” Take a break from the craziness that life brings and focus on the moment, keeping in mind that your kids will eventually be old enough to drive themselves to school and you will have even more time for yourself as Sean Carpenter puts it, “It's really cool to have one kid who can drive and the other kid in the same school, it’s nice to have carpool taken care of.” Do you hear angels singing hallelujah yet? You will be there. Don’t rush it. Enjoy it. But make time for you. And tune in to #CarpoolChronicles for a look inside my craziness! It’s worth watching!
Love you all!
It's almost back to school time and I find myself wondering what tunes I will jam to in my car this school year. As I sit in the long and winding carpool line, I always have to make sure that what I’m listening to doesn’t put me to sleep- and cause me to be carpool roadkill. You know what that is- the people that are so exhausted that they fall asleep in the carpool line and end up getting honked at or worse, passed by other cars only to stand out like a drag queen in a church. Yep, carpool roadkill. Don’t be that person this school year. Make it a goal to jam out while you’re counting down the minutes until little voices are requesting what music rings through the car. Here’s a great list of songs to get you started and keep you awake!
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