What is Positively Squared Away?
Well, it’s kind of a long story. And while the content is pretty simple, it is a difficult concept to summarize in a few words. And I struggle with the use of ‘few words’ anyway, as you’ll probably learn from this first post. But stick with me…
To prove the difficulty in paring down the concept, I’ll admit I spent at least 2 months JUST debating and searching domain names. It involved sticky notes all over my office, a million random sheets of paper pulled from the printer paper tray covered with words and phrases and concepts in my various pen colors. I love colored pens. And of course, spreadsheets and word documents were involved. One word document alone has 4 pages, two columns each organized by available domains, premium domains (available but for big $$$) and not for sale domains. I’m a baseball mom, I liked the concept of ‘Bases Covered’. For a cool $39k, I could’ve had AllBasesCovered.com. And for the bargain price of $6195, the simpler BasesCovered.com could’ve been mine. I’ll pass, thanks.
But I digress, sorry, its been a journey to get here.
You know all of those things in the back of your mind that you should take care of, look into, renegotiate, cancel, or just tell your spouse to handle it? Some are big ones like wills or retirement planning, and then there a whole bunch of smaller ones from building a family calendar to automating lights when you go out of town to making and safely storing copies of important things at home to knowing exactly where your child’s immunization records are when the school needs them? Well, I’m going to cover those things and help you get them checked off the list, or make them easy to find or save you money or hassles. And then remind you again next year when it needs to be done again.
But it’s more than the things that are already keeping you up at night, it’s also the things you DIDN’T EVEN KNOW you need to do, or at least look into or talk to your husband or teenager or older parents about doing. There’s a lot of that just outside your current area of focus, trust me. And also trust me that you want to avoid situations that cause these things to come into focus without being prepared.
I’m not a certified expert in “squaring away”, there is no college degree for this, but there is a lot of life experience, and mistakes and the “I wish I knew” or “I wish I had taken care of that before” that I’ll be sharing. And research – I love to research things. I refuse to pay full price for anything, am always looking for the best deal and always have one ear opening listening for learnings from friends, and when we take trips, oh the research. Ask my husband, he just loves when I start researching <insert eye roll>. But what was that about life experience? Well I’m glad you asked.
Not Certified, Not Quite Certifiable, But Oh That Life Experience
Today, I a mom of 2 teenaged boys. They’re both high energy goofballs who make a lot of noise and cost a lot of money between their sports, lessons, tutors and shoes. My god, my younger one loves athletic shoes. And suddenly they’re into golf. Are you kidding me? That’s getting up there with equestrian in terms of cost. Time to get more than just a summer job boys.
I’ve been married to my commercial airline pilot hubby for approaching 20 years. There are ups and downs to being married to a pilot. Our travel plans are always up in the air, most of the time we just wing it. Ok, enough airplane idioms. Really, it lands on these 2 things:
First of all, he’s gone a lot. And usually gone when someone isn’t getting their homework done or late for curfew or throwing up or there is a tick on the dog. Did I say usually? I mean always, those things always happen when I’m the only one home to deal with it. Builds character, right?
The second is….we travel a lot. Or at least we did pre-COVID. And I love being able to show our boys the world. They tolerate it well most of the time, but when my Fitbit flies past 20k steps in a day, they typically hit the wall. Understandable, but hey, builds character. Right?
Before all of this married with kids fun, I worked. And I worked a lot. And traveled with my jobs a lot. Life was crazy busy, and even as a single person, it was hard to get everything done that needed to be done. And then throw in 2 kids born 16 months apart, a hubby who travels for a living and me as a partner in a thriving digital marketing agency, and it was a 24x7x365 insanity. So I got really good at getting organized and using calendars and to do lists. And this started BEFORE cell phones. And the internet. The actual stone ages of the 1990’s. With fabulous colored pens and planners and notebooks.
Around the time the boys were 7 and 8, it just became too much. Both of us traveling was making both of us and the kids miserable. The grandmas liked it though. So we debated about who should stay home. Neither of us wanted to, but the obvious answer was for me to ‘retire’. The pilot spent his whole life wanting to be a pilot, and that is an industry that you just can’t leave and go back to one day. I left the rat race and decided to just do some consulting here and there, but since I’m not actively seeking work these days, and the kids are a lot more self-sufficient, I have lot of time on my hands.
So Why Start A Website?
I read an article in late 2019 about stressed out moms. The Insight Express/Today.com survey of over 7000 moms found that 72 percent of moms saying they stress about how stressed they are. The biggest cause of stress? 60 percent said it’s lack of time to do everything that needs to get done.
I get it. I lived it. I feel like I can help.
I’m passionate about this topic of getting life squared away and earning that feeling of confidence that you’ve got things under control and you’re ready for anything. I spend an inordinate amount of time researching all things in life, and I need to share it. What types of things? Everything from protecting my family at home and on the road to saving money to saving time to being healthy and ultimately avoiding headaches. How to keep everything running smoothly. How to do it as efficiently as possible and using the right methods and gadgets. I just can’t sit here at my desk and continue to keep it all to myself.
Plus the older I get, the harder it is to rely on memory to make sure I get things done. Or recall where I put things. But if you need the lyrics to pop songs from the 80’s, I got you. So I needed to develop some fool-proof solutions. And yes, the correct wording is fool-proof. See what Urban Dictionary says:
So I’ll share some creative solutions, but I’d also love to hear what’s challenging you that I can help you research or solve. Because that’s fun for me. And the only one in my house who truly needs me, the four-legged baby, likes when I stay home and research stuff.
And as I learn and research, I will pass ideas along to the PSA readers via blog and social media posts that have been researched along with suggestions and tools for accomplishing each task.
I’ll admit it. It has taken me 6 months to launch this website. Why? Despite being in digital marketing most of my adult life, I didn’t know how to actually BUILD a website. And the amount of time it took me to finally settle on a domain name and then change it a few times is embarrassing. And then nothing is ever completely ready for primetime in my opinion. I fight every day with my procrastinating, perfectionist first born type A self. And I’m easily distracted. But I persevered despite uncertainties, road blocks, SEO algorithm changes, wordiness, inclination to research more and squirrel after squirrel.
What exactly can you expect on Positively Squared Away?
The content on the website is currently organized into these categories:
As I add more content, there will be sub-topics within some of these categories. New categories to come include:
- SOCIAL – I love planning group vacations and girls’ trips.
- GIFT IDEAS as many of the tools that I’ll recommend make great gifts to help others get squared away. Especially those hard to buy for people on your list.
- GIVING BACK – sharing and also asking for ideas for how we can all give back to our communities.
There are 8 posts out there today. If you’d like to be notified when new posts are added, you have a couple of options.
- You can subscribe to the newsletter which will highlight each new post.
- You can follow PSA on social. Starting with Facebook and Twitter, but expanding to Instagram and Pinterest soon. New posts will be highlighted on social, and then you can click through to read the whole article.
- Or both. Because you don’t want to miss a PSA!
Who Is The Audience for PSA?
If you’ve managed to read down to this point, you may have seen my nod to my digital marketing experience above. Well, I certainly couldn’t start a website without defining my target audience. Or my brand positioning. Or the tone. Or the competitive marketplace. Followed by SWOT analyses, briefs and so many spreadsheets. And to my former agency friends and clients, yes, I’ve been the Creative Director and Copywriter as well. Scary, huh?!
So who are you?
- Are you a mom with kids at home and aging parents who are starting to call on you for help? Or worse, you see that they need help before they do?
- Feeling overwhelmed with just getting the family through each day let alone getting everything taken care of and organized in life?
- Totally identifying with not being able to find the kids’ physicals or immunization records needed to sign them up for a school sport. By tomorrow.
- A bit nervous that you’ve read about 3 or 4 things here that you didn’t know needed to be done and wondering what else there could be.
- You have new drivers in your house and worry about not only them but other drivers on the road?
- Have a child approaching 18 and wonder what happens to your authority once they are considered ‘an adult’? I’m sorry, I know a lot of 18 year olds right now, and this concept of them being ‘adults’ is truly terrifying!
If you’re interested, I’d love for you to be involved. I don’t want this to be a one way “here’s how I do it blah blah”. I’m looking to start conversations and provide solutions, but I’m always open to feedback and ideas on how you’ve found even better and more efficient solutions. Or even less expensively! And with colored pens involved? Bam.
I’d love your feedback even on just this first post. You can comment below or always email me using the form at the bottom of the page in the footer. I’d put my email address right here in this post, BUT one thing I’ll post about soon is to NEVER put your email address or phone number on a website including social media and apps. Too many automated web crawlers out there scooping those up to use for spamming and scamming. But I have a solution for this, stay tuned.
Let’s Do This
I’ve been seeing this phrase quite a lot lately “Progress, Not Perfection”. And this mantra is helping me. Not just in finally launching this website, but in many things in life. I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts about launching blogs and websites, and there is consistent advice about stopping the tweaking and second-guessing and just putting it out there. So after 6 months, here it is, teeth clenched and fingers crossed.
Last but not least, let me highlight the word Positively. On top of all we have going on in our lives, let’s be positive, let’s help each other out, support each other, be kind. This will probably be more necessary to say in social media channels, but I want this to be a helpful, relaxing place to get ideas on how to get ahead of the chaos.
So let’s get positively ready for anything. Save money, save time, avoid headaches, reduce stress. Feel confident, protected and accomplished. Positively Squared Away.