It was apparent that I wouldn’t be able to travel anymore
as I took on my various new roles. And even if I did, I can
assure you I wouldn’t have done my clients any favors by
showing up sleep-deprived, eyes like sunken licorice dots
with the charisma of Ben Stein on quaaludes.
As difficult as it was, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other
way (small fib). I wouldn’t have wanted to farm out my parent’s care, to have someone else make decisions about their
lives, something I knew I was uniquely qualified for. But it
came at a cost to my work, my family and probably my own
health. Often I would have to choose between leaving my son
home alone so I could stay at the doctor’s office with my
mother—not to mention the hundreds of horrid meals my
kids ate as I struggled to juggle my life.
By the way, an estimated 16 million Americans find themselves “sandwiched” between two generations. And in 25 years
there will be 60 million Americans between the age of 66 and
84, many who will need part- to full-time care. You might be
the one who needs care, or gives care. And that’s just aging!
We are all susceptible to disease or a life crisis at any age.
If you had told me years ago that today I would have a gift
company with greeting cards, a game, a fabulous blend of
coffee (shameless plug), coffee cups, notepads and t-shirts
and they would complement my new speaking programs,
well, knock me over with a feather.
IMPROV TO GREETING CARDS
I had always loved cards, I liked to write and it seemed like
something I could do while still caring for, well—everyone.
The ability to create an income stream while having a
nervous breakdown appealed to me.
So how do you keep your business running when everything
else is crumbling around you like a dry bran muffin? You
experiment. You get excited about new ideas and new directions. You learn from experiences and you grow and mature,
and as Nike says, just do it!
It takes a lot of willpower at a time you may not have
much, and ultimately it requires taking a look at your world
in a way you haven’t looked at it before and adopting a
“what if?” attitude. You need to begin to see your work in a
way that would have been totally foreign to you before your
life changed. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll find yourself
beginning something that you have thought of before but
were afraid to do. Maybe, just maybe, you will create something that gives you joy and yes—income—while you deal
with your hellish life.