International Women’s Day

On this day, and every day, I celebrate the accomplishments of those who came before me that opened doors for my generation and reminded us that we deserve a seat at the table. I also celebrate the accomplishments of those women who are right here and now breaking down barriers and shattering glass ceilings just through their existence. Real change has been happening in my lifetime and I am so damn proud of that. I’m also hopeful for the next generation of women, that they’ll grow up into a world where they don’t have to fight so hard for things like freedom of choice, the right to their own bodies, the right to vote, the right to drive (because that’s still illegal for women in many countries), the right to be treated as an equal. Progress has happened, yes. But we can’t get stagnant now, there is still so much more to be accomplished.

I want my nieces to grow up in a world where they don’t have to question their value because people of authority, men and women, have long since treated males as superior.

Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we raise them, may we be them.

Facepalm.

I really need to edit my posts before I hit publish.

I write and then I hit publish. Then a few hours or days later, I’ll actually read what I wrote and I get extremely embarrassed about the simple, stupid mistakes I forgot to fix.

I know the difference between to, too and two. I know the difference between there, their and they’re. I know that ‘a lot’ is always two words. I know that it’s subtle and subtly, not subtley. I know that ‘I’ is always capitalized. You wouldn’t be able to tell any of this from reading my blog. If I just edited, I could save myself a lot of embarrassment after the fact.

I’m too stubborn.

EDIT. EDIT. EDIT. Maybe if I yell at myself enough, I’ll get it.

Then again, after two years of this, even if I yell at myself, I’ll probably come up with more excuses as to not do it.

Edit, Vee. EDIT!

The one where I rant about Marketing

So, I’m sitting in a conference virtual session this morning, and I’m listening to a woman spew absolute bullshit about marketing that is infuriating.

The ticket to this conference costs $500. My work is paying $500 for me to be at this conference, and they’re also still paying my salary while I’m not ‘in the office’ doing office things for the next two days, which is another bunch of money. So, we’re invested.

The lesson this woman is teaching: to grow online, follow as many people as you possibly can, wait a few days and then unfollow anyone who didn’t follow you back.

This isn’t marketing. This is fucking stupid. Don’t do this, people. Don’t play the ‘how many people can follow me back’ game. Just don’t do it. We’re not in high school. We’re not trying to get people to sit with us at lunch. Marketing is about real-world engagement. I know people typically roll their eyes at me when I tell them that, but it’s true.

The goal with marketing is not to get 100,000 followers. Sure, 100,000 followers sounds great in theory, but if 99,600 of them don’t give a rats ass about what you’re doing, then what’s the point in them following you? The goal is to find people who resonate with your content, your products or what you’re trying to share. If you run a small store that sells candles, you want people who like to buy candles following you. If people don’t buy candles but they follow you, they’re not contributing to you, your business or your marketing efforts. If you run a blog about parenting, you want moms and dads to follow you. If people following you are 16 year old kids who don’t read your content, or even remotely pay attention to your blog, you’re essentially speaking into the void. Marketing is about finding your people, your niche and your space on the internet. Marketing has absolutely nothing to do with quantity of followers, and everything to do with quality of followers.

If you’re good at marketing, it won’t matter if 50 people read your blog or 50,000 people read your blog. They’re all going to pay attention because they care about what you have to say. What’s the point in having 50,000 following you if only 50 of them actually read your blog? There isn’t a point.

Marketing is about appealing to people.

Marketing is about resonating.

Marketing is about creating messaging that matters. Telling a story that’s worthy of being listened to.

Marketing IS NOT adding as many people as you can to try and get them to follow you back to that you can look popular. Looking popular doesn’t translate to real interaction.

If you’re using digital platforms to try and make friends, you don’t need 100,000 friends. You won’t ever have 100,000 friends. So even still, playing ‘how many people can I get to follow me back’ is ridiculous.

Real growth online is slow. It’s calculated. It takes effort. It takes communication. It’s thoughtful. It’s garnering an audience who is exactly who you would wish for your content to reach. If you sell candles, it’s building an audience of candle lovers. If you write about parenting, it’s building an audience of people who care about parenting. It’s not going after the entire population of the planet…

I’m pretty sure this isn’t coherent due to my having been ranting so long. I’m going to end this here.

Batteries Depleting

I’m tired.

I’m so tired.

I would love it if someone could/would make me dinner tonight. If they could come over with a bottle of wine, too… well that would just make my entire year. I’d just relax on the couch, put some music on and watch someone else do all of the work.

A girl can dream.

Oh and a massage. Yeah, I’m dreaming about a massage right now.

People who are filled with energy, what’s your secret? I feel like I’ve been running on Red Bull and Mane Brain for days now and all I want to do is go to sleep for a week. I still have a lot of work to do and I have a conference for the next two days.

Baby Harry is doing okay. The doctors have notified my brother and sister-in-law that he’ll need to stay at Children’s Hospital for another 8-12 weeks. Poor little guy… his stay gets extended, every day. He’s had more machines hooked up to him in the past week then a lot of people deal with in their lifetime.

Okay, I am rambling and I really should get my butt back to work.

Two Factor Authentication

This past week there were multiple failed attempts to get into both my blog as well as my email address associated with this blog. I do not know who it was, I just know the region their IP address is from.

I’m not really sure why this happened. I’m not sure if I pissed someone off, or if I was just a random person selected. That being said, I do have two-factor authentication on my accounts, which means in order to log in, I need to approve it from my cell phone. While I denied the log-in attempts, whomever did this attempted to do so enough times for me to get temporarily locked out of my accounts… which was a giant pain in the ass.

The reason I’m sharing this story is because you really don’t know who has what motivations. Do your own due diligence and use two factor authentication. It’s a 2 second time commitment for logging into your accounts and it can just provide your own peace of mind to ensure your personal information and data are safe.

He’s doing okay.

Baby Harry is in the NICU at Children’s Hospital being treated. He’s been responding to medications well thus far, and the doctor’s are hopeful he will continue to be that way. They’ve given my brother and sister-in-law the estimate they’re expecting to keep him for a full four weeks as to ensure he properly heals from his condition, at which time he’ll likely be sent to a hospital closer to home to be monitored/quarantined.

He looks pretty rough right now. They’ve got a PICC inserted into him to keep him medicated, and because he’s a baby, they’ve had to wrap all of his limbs to ensure he doesn’t pull it out. Through this I learned that babies blood vessels are so small and underdeveloped that you have to use a PICC because an IV line like they would put in adults isn’t do-able in a baby.

My brother was pretty distraught for a few days but now he understands that he’s in the right place and that Children’s Hospital with doctors who specialize in treating newborns is exactly the kind of place that he needs to be, and should be, right now. I think that he and my sister-in-law, while still stressed their baby is sick, are feeling much calmer now that he’s been responding to medication. They joked ‘this is going to be one hell of a story to tell him when he’s older’, which was a great sign to hear.

Anxious.

In a turn of events that no one could’ve ever seen coming, my three week old nephew is being air-lifted to Children’s Hospital tonight.

In a matter of three hours the diagnosis went from ‘oh it’s just a cough’ to ‘we don’t have the ability to treat him at this hospital and we need him to be around specialists that can treat this condition’.

He’s three weeks old.

So small. So helpless. So powerless.

This is just… worst nightmare scenario right here. And no one can do anything about it.

What a week

I’m really not sure where the past week of my life went. Actually, I do know. I’ve been pulling double duty and work due to the shit show that happened in Texas and my coworkers being off-the-map for several days. Luckily the clients were understanding of the fact that our Texas crew was unavailable and I don’t have a biochemistry degree like each of them have. We made due.

Speaking of what happened in Texas – holy shit balls. I feel so deeply for everyone who’s had their lives turned upside down by the aftermath of that winter storm. It’s going to cost hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars and take years to recover from that storm. A storm which I think pointed out a fatal flaw in Texas infrastructure in that, it’s not prepared for weather fluctuations. Luckily, for each of my coworkers on our Texas crew, they’re relatively well-off (financially speaking). I can’t imagine what people are going through who live pay cheque to pay cheque. This must be their worst nightmare come to fruition.

I know there are a few people who read this blog who are from Texas. I hope that you’re safe, warm and staying as sane as possible amidst the cleanup from this winter-storm.

Some days

Some days I wander around this earth waiting for the rug to be pulled from beneath my feet. Some days all I do is wait for the other shoe to drop. Some days, I say. Some days.

There are days when I am confident, when not a thing in this world can touch me. There are days when the smile on my face is genuine. There are days when I don’t have to worry. There are days.

These days I worry a lot. These days I’m sad a lot. These days I’m very lonely. These days I don’t know what to do. These days I’m afraid to be honest with people because everyone always says ‘Oh but you have so much’. It’s true, I do have a lot in my life. Things don’t always equal fulfillment, though. Things are just things. Fulfillment comes from within. These days…

One day I’ll figure out what exactly it is that I am chasing. One day I’ll feel as though I finally fit in this world, somewhere. One day I’ll have all of the answers. One day.

Until then, I don’t have the answers… just a lot of questions.