Put the ac in the window. Read the directions. Who writes these fucking things, seriously is the diagram really intended for the laywoman? The single female homeowner who only until recently bought a drill for the first time in her life? What is that noise in the kitchen? Ruh Roh, the coffee pot is gurgling bad. Forgot to put the coffee pot under the filter after pouring water into the said coffee pot. Clean filter light blinking. Coffee liquid everywhere. Clean pot, start again. Go to the basement and find the wood pieces from the ac installation last year that this laywoman paid someone to put in the windows.

So happy to have saved it in one organized place. Good thinking. It’s awfully quiet down here. Ac in business turned way down for weekend. Check. Third floor Ac turned off until Michael’s return tomorrow. Check. Why is it so quiet? Ahh. The dehumidifier is not on. But the dehumidifier is connected to the pipe for 24/7 drainage. Arg. Empty dehumidifier bucket in sink. Clean filter as blinking light instructs, (learning last time that there is no filter replacement, but instead just a filter that comes out and gets washed under faucet. Progress). Water does not go down the pipe. Oy Vey. Perhaps staring at it for a few extra moments will make it move. How about tapping the pipe a bit shaking some likely sediment out of the pipe? Try to disconnect the tube that is connected from said dehumidifier to pipe for said 24/7 drainage. Nope. Super tight, no can do. Mmmm. Is a plumber call really necessary here? Wait, what’s this? Some little contraption lying right next to the faucets of the sink some kind soul left the last time this happened. Probably the fifty dollar an hour handyman formerly hired on a regular basis BDC (before drill purchase) left it either accidentally or intentionally. Take contraption and stick it down the drain hole and wiggle it a bit. Oh my, water is draining. Just saved about $150. Back to the AC. Not going to lie here, awesome boyfriend is helping with this one. Thank you awesome boyfriend. What? No yelling? Calm teamwork? Is this even possible? No annoyance, no eye rolling, no under the breath commentary? Who knew that a man and a woman who spend lots of time together, pretty much most of their time, could actually work as a team to get a project done with no yelling or fighting? Foreign concept for sure. But this man is the love of my life and the example of what a healthy normal relationship is supposed to be. No offense to previous twenty year marriage, but you just learn more the second time around and the learn more part is you tolerate less of the raised voice and more of the calm ones. Measure the inserts he says calmly, words filled with the understanding of capablility in their sounds. Must be the credibility gained from figuring out the problem with the television last night.

For about three months Channel 12, the go to station of weekend golf, had only limited sound. The odd thing was that the tv in the kitchen worked fine and the thought of having to call someone to fix this bizarre issue was cause for blood curdling. Does the tv need to be replaced, repaired? It is a four year young Sony, highly doubtful. Unplug everything and replug as former husband suggested. Nope. Does the TV need one of those lengthy updates that comes up right when you are getting ready to sit down and watch a movie. You know the one that you hit “skip” and it goes into the do it later list? Looking for the button on the TV that allows for a manual update is clearly something that requires a degree from MIT. Let’s try asking the Google bar the specific question. Voila. Though the answer didn’t come up for this exact situation, it did give enough information for some other possibilities, one being that maybe it was the actual COX box that was malfunctioning. Only one way to find out. Go to the tv in the kitchen and trade out boxes. Disconnect three wires from each box, trade the box and reconnect. Turn to Channel 12. Will it work? Did this laywoman who when married couldn’t even figure out the fucking remote control figure this out with zero male help, zero call the maintenance guy, call the tv guy? Yes. PURE EMPOWERMENT. How ridiculous. But today when all of the shit happened, there was unique calmness that allowed peace instead of overwhelming frustration, (well there was that feeling first). This is just an example of one less than twenty four hour day in the life of owning my own 3900 square foot 150 year old magic palace. This is a huge exercise in self satisfaction. Traipsing around this beautiful place, looking at everything that always needs to be done trying to replace the overwhelming anxiety of never finishing the checklist is an exercise in perpetual gratitude. PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION is one of the many helpful ALANON slogans that have become a part of my daily mantra. Just like ONE DAY AT A TIME, PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION is that lovely pause that allows the breath and the calm attitude. It allows the insert of gratitude when the main component of the thoughts are despair and frustration and fear.

What next? This is a typical auto pilot response when just one more thing seems to break or cease to work, one more thing to add to the list. Carpenter ants, bats in the attic, dishwasher not draining, weed the driveway, cutting back the wisteria that has an energy of growth that any bald man would appreciate on the top of his head, dividing iris that have taken over huge amounts of real estate in the garden, replacing the front porch railing, reorganizing the barn and the basement after the Jay’s Junk removal, paperwork, filing, staying organized after a full week of working, add to this the emotional drain when you find out a former employee wasn’t completely upfront about their leave, but then realizing that in the end it is always for the best. At the end of the business owning day, I have learned that anytime someone leaves, it is always for the best. Sometimes though it snakes its way into my heart as personal and this is usually not helpful. After all I am human, but I love owning my own business, the ups and the downs and usually if I find a feeling of disappointment, it is more often work I have to do in my own heart that allows me the freedom and growth of yet one more business and life lesson. One more Ann button push that I get to release from the work I continue to do.

Holy Shit. How can life get easier? So the question I ask myself as I have asked many people I have led in vision board workshops, If I could do anything I wanted without any barriers, money, time, anything, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

The first answer that comes to me is often sell everything and live way more simply. Then my pragmatic and grandfather voice kicks in as I love my home and my business and know that these thoughts are normal when you own a business and have a big house like this so then thought # 2 is to is to get rid of all technology. Is this even possible when one owns a business? I look at my glorious neighbor Dottie, who is approaching or already 84. Her only technology is Direct TV. No cell phone, no SONOS, no internet. Her telephone is still a wall phone hardwired old school. She doesn’t even have a car anymore. She is my go to superchick for any house question. Ants all over my back barndoor and don’t have any ant insecticide and it is 5:30 in the morning on July 4th in Bristol? Boil hot water and pour it directly on them. Check. Don’t want to use Roundup for the never ending weeds in the pretty gravel driveway? Vinegar, salt and water and spray, that will kill them. Check. Her never ending helpful list could have written a helpful hint from Dottie book for all single female homeowners who formally allowed their husbands to do all of “that stuff.”

As I contemplate my life, I get to do this with a view of a garden that my two hands have cared for this summer after another bout with cancer. I get to do this on my apple laptop while I sit in the shade of my back deck with my outdoor speakers playing Deva Premal, causing one bad ass deep appreciative sigh. Life coming at me is how I am a strong and kind woman, and a really good businesswoman. I learn from my mistakes. I forgive myself. I am appreciative of the days on the earth that I get to continue to learn. I am happiest with my inner circle of friends and the service I have been honored to provide for the successful business I have created. These are all good problems and the more I live in PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION, the more patience I have with the times that don’t always feel bright and sunny. It is in those darker times where the light is so much better because of its contrast to the dark when I come out of it.

God I love to write. It always brings me back to the light. So grateful for PROGRESS. It will never be perfect, but my life is pretty glorious and I wouldn’t change a thing (until I can get my Airstream that is.)

writing in my garden as i sort through the bullshit of my brain.

A self proclaimed lover of all things beauty, business + lifestyle, and a typewriter enthusiast, I write because it feels good.