"Boss Lady Brain"

Over sushi with a friend, I was recalling all the stupid shit I've done because I have so much going on in my head. It's like having five hundred and fifty tabs open on your computer at all times. That's what it feels like, in the head. So, instead of "pregnancy brain", this would be the correct term for entrepreneurs--and moms-- alike. My friend is both. I don't know how she does it.

"Boss Lady Brain". Because life is chaotic and that's how the remote control ends up in the freezer.

Being a boss lady, you are making decisions all day long. While you're working on one project, five hundred To Do's pop up in your head for other projects. Your day planner is full. No white space. Post it's are on top of post-it's, which are on top of your actual To Do list, because you have no more space to write. I have NINE organizational tools/planners (digital and old-school),  just for To Do's, in different areas of my business/life/artistic endeavors.  It's messy. 

Ambition is not a bad thing. Having a lot on your plate because of ambition is a good problem. Be grateful for this problem. It means you have passion(s), which is good, even if they all come with their own amount of stress.  But, "boss lady brain" is a signal. 

This is when you know you need to slow down: 

I have bought gas, got in my car, and drove for about a half hour before I realized that I never put the gas IN the car. 

I forget to eat.

I have gone to a meeting, locked my car with my keypad on my key-chain, then lost my keys somewhere in that building. This lead to hiring someone to make a key for my car on the spot, realizing everything on that key-chain that pointed to my address-- with my house key included!, changing locks, getting new business keys, and oh yea- my key to my fire-safe is now missing. I had to get my passport for my photography business on a quick deadline, and my birth certificate was in that fire safe. Not a relaxing week for me. 

Years ago, I was watching a movie with an ex-boyfriend. Because of the five hundred tabs open in my head, I had asked him to rewind the movie because I missed something. I was scolded. (Let me just say that I feel that most of the time I can be fully present when I am with loved ones because we all need that quality time. It is essential. I have things that I do to "turn off" and be fully present.) But sometimes, you open your email when you shouldn't. Sometimes, it takes just five more minutes to "turn off".  He called me flaky, ditsy, etc. Boss ladies aren't any of those things. They are warriors. They are Boss Ladies! It is an amazing superpower to be master of all the balls in the air. Boss ladies have three million more things on the brain at any given time than the average human. If we give way to "pregnancy brain" as understandable, we can have some compassionate understanding for these warriors too.

It is assumed that everyone knows how much it takes to run the back-end of a business, to being creative, or even being a mom. They don't. They don't know the million things that are on your plate to run your business life, your creative life, your social life, your spiritual life, your healthy life, your family life, your love life. No one truly knows but you. It can be frustrating and lonely when people just don't get it. 

(Just while writing this post, I had to write down three things to learn on newsletters and site design/marketing, and four To-Do's for my business.)

Then, add creativity on top of it! The artist's mind is moving even faster. I can be watching a movie, and hear something that would make a great drawing, or a great article, etc. It never stops. In conversations, in just taking a walk... It rudely interrupts, like a disrupting toddler pulling on your shirt, screaming "Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!", that you simply cannot ignore. "Interrupting Toddler" is what I name my artistic inspirations. I am so grateful for them at the same time and I love that toddler. However, sometimes, it's such a gentle whisper and won't even finish the idea before it runs away. Those ones can't be re-called for the life of you, so you better have one of your nine tools with you to write it down before it vanishes into the black abyss. So, sometimes I have to hit rewind on the movie. But, that one minute that I took to write down an idea- that art piece was in two different art galleries this year- so I'm ok with that.

The key to "boss lady brain" is your own awareness. When you need to "turn off"-- to avoid burnout, including mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. When you find yourself with "boss lady brain," it is a signal that you haven't taken time for yourself. This is not a luxury. It is essential. You can't give to others when you are depleted. The aim is to take time for yourself regularly, even schedule it, BEFORE the burnout hits. (So, when I  drive onto expressways by habit instead of where I'm actually headed, adding more time to my already crazy schedule, I know that I am already off and I'm headed into the danger zone of burnout.) "Mindfulness"- practice everyday. Find quiet time. Get in nature. Take a bath with calming music. Exercise. Yoga. Play with children. Meditate. Say a favorite quote to shush everything to healthy perspective. Bring yourself back to the present. SLOW DOWN

I never intended to mix my business with these blogs, but this case is different. I will be sending out ways to "Overcome the Overwhelm" in my photography newsletter. I find that it helps brides and grooms, mothers, and even seniors in high school. I will be sending out many helpful tools on this topic throughout the year. Even if you only have five minutes, there are things you can do to reset your "boss lady brain".  Even if you don't have five minutes- I will give you my favorite quotes to repeat to yourself. You are welcome to subscribe here.

What silly things have you done because you had "boss lady brain"? You are not alone. I get it.
What's the #1 thing that you do to slow down and "turn off"? 
Tell us in the comments below. 

Do you know an amazing boss lady? Please share this! 
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Have a Silly Monday,



Christmas is a huge deal in my family. Growing up, I would help my mom decorate the house, which was not as dangerous, or as funny, as helping my dad put up the lights. 

Tangles, nails, ladders, non-working bulbs, freezing your ass off... It was all good fun. It was all a part of it. I even acquired his sound effects while working. We both make that airplane sound with our lips when concentrating on some chore. I don't know why. "I learned it from watching you, Dad!" We both had a lot of laughs, mostly at things that were thrown at us. Laughing at small frustrations is good practice for keeping your humor for the big frustrations in life. 

One year, I was exchanging the porch light and the garage lights for Christmassy ones. I put in the red light on the porch and my dad looks over and says, "I live with three women-- we cannot have a red light on the porch! Uh uh. Use the green ones!"  Good point. Our neighbors heard that. I think that’s why they all liked us. We always gave them a good chuckle.

No red-light district in Livonia, Michigan...

Another year, I don't remember what we were doing but something was terribly wrong with the lights/cords/etc, and I suggested an alternative that was probably a half-ass solution due to lack of motivation, and he joked very quietly, "We don't want everyone knowing we're stupid..." ;) (You can see that I got the ability to laugh at myself and this abnormal sense of confidence from my dad.) 

Things are a bit different now that I am older and I have a house of my own. I am solo on the lighting detail. I have one of those projectors that shine red and green dots all over my house. Done. Lovely. Time for a cocktail. Seriously, a brilliant invention for lazy ones who still want to be festive, and also for single gals who still don’t own a ladder...  BUT!! It took me a while to figure out that my house has no outside outlets. I gave it a couple laps around the house. My neighbors were watching. Then, the extension cord was, of course, a big fat mess. De-tangling is not in my wheelhouse of patience. It is my dad's. He loves that shit. Says it's "calming". Crazy. My neighbors got a bunch of expletives during their dinner. It would have been funny had my dad been with me. He’s two hours away, so we are both on our own now for the holiday fuss. Now... this shit sucks. Imagine a toddler shaking something up and down and then throwing it down in frustration. That was me. 

This morning, in the light of day, I saw the jumble that I left the extension cord in, and also noticed the mail lady's footsteps in the snow from days before... right through that mess. This is the first day it's been there. I hope she's looking where she's walking today- might I add, through my lawn instead of using the sidewalks and steps that I have to keep clear and salted for her... I really do have to fix it, though. Hope it's not too late. Ahh, she hates me anyway.  (If you need a reminder, this is just one reason:    https://www.hangingonbysillystring.com/blog/not-today-sucka )

Enjoy the chaos. There is always beauty in the chaos.

Have a Silly Monday and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

May the magic of the season bring out the little kid in you.