I ended the summer at a Surprise Sweet 16 — for a close friend’s daughter.

Not something I get to do on the regular, so I was incredibly honored to be included.

It was a daytime affair, complete with tea & mini-cucumber sandwiches, rompers & sundresses, and snapchatting. Enthusiasm hung heavy around the room. Excitement for summer, a new grade, different experiences, driving, sunbathing, and boys.

 

I couldn’t help but to sit there and remember my own Sweet 16 complete with pizza, a DJ and lots of shaking our rump to “Doing the Butt, Sexy, Sexy…” YES, in fact, this was a song we used to listen to way back then.

 

#40ishandfab by Rachel Blaufeld

 

I’ve been 40 for two years now. That’s 42 for you those of you who are not good at math (MYSELF included). When I started this blog I was closer to 30 than 40, my experiences were different. Take for example, if the school called a SNOW DAY, I was stuck scrambling for care. Now, I have two teenagers who mostly (I say that lightly) fend for themselves. My experiences are mine and theirs are theirs—make sense?

 

I began to think about being 40 and what it meant.

Reconnecting with me. My body, face and energy levels all changing. Sometimes for the better, often I’m not sure.

Reconnecting with my partner in meaningful ways now that our time is divided between teen stuff and more teen stuff.

Interacting with my friends who are mostly in the same boat.

Mostly, being a mom of two, who is 40+, and thinks that’s okay. Maybe even awesome.

 

So stay tuned. More to come on being 40ishandfab! 

Think of this as the mom blog column MINUS the mom part.

FOR YOU and me. ONLY.

©Rachel Blaufeld, Backngroovemom, 2017

 

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You know when you’re cleaning out your closet, and you find some treasured relic which sends you into a pen-ultimate burst of giddiness? Perhaps your prom dress? Wedding dress? Baby album? Or the skinny jeans that still fit like a second skin?

 

That’s precisely how I feel about this blog. It’s my baby album, prom dress and high-waisted mom jeans all-in-one. Recently, I made a major decision to dust it off, bring it back to life and expand a few sections. I can’t speak about what’s to come…it’s in the works…but I can talk about why I made this decision.

 

I’ve been happily seated in the women-run-business space for a long time now. I’ve shouted, “I’m a my own boss,” through multiple ventures including building a profitable blog, licensing an invention & owning a U.S. Patent, coaching women to do the same, and making a name for myself as Women’s Fiction/Romance author. If anyone tells you that authoring/writing isn’t a business, they’re daft.

 

Writing, which is my most favorite way to spend time, takes a back-burner to marketing plans, advertising courses, cover selection, going over edits, and spending time with readers.

 

In other words, you have to KNOW your marketplace before sending a book, product, widget into the world. Know it intimately. Sometimes more intimately than your husband.

As in every industry there are people who know what they’re doing and ones who only think they do.

Continued education becomes a must, keeping up with trends is crucial, and often—shutting your mouth and listening and observing. I’ve seen people do this well and others muck it up beyond belief. Coming from the mom-blog world which feels heavily regulated compared to the book world, I was shocked to see the way people treated their writing (therefore their business) less than a hobby.

 

 

BacknGrooveMom

 

WHAT IS the freaking point then? 0. Zip. Zero sum gained.

 

Anyway, I digress. Recently, I was having a conversation on current trends in business, specifically the Dry Bar and Alli Webb. I’ve covered her before so it’s nothing new. She saw a need, capitalized on it and did it best—better than everyone else. All the while, she made it look easy. No one saw the hard hours when her hair was more than likely not done. Now, Dry Bar is popping up everywhere, and I hear people wonder: WHY not in my ‘hood? We love it, want it.

Well, how many of you want it? Love it?

I tossed the words demographic out. Average income. People per square foot.

There’s a formula. Not only want in business.

 

Which I believe is at the crux of treating a business less than or equal to a hobby. We think we want it, but we don’t want to “work it.” We look at our neighbor, the person next to us in the coffee shop, or someone featured in a magazine and think I can have that easy-peasy.

 

There have been weeks, my children despise me. I work too hard. I work on Sunday. I meet at 8 p.m. with a coaching client who wants to start a business.
There are other weeks where I go to the pool on Wednesday with my family (probably because I worked all weekend). Sadly, balance is limited. Sometimes I have it by the lasso, other times it’s not even in my realm.

 

What I don’t do is ever treat anything less than a hobby.

Not with my name on it.

No, Sir.

 

 

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As your kids get older—grow into teenagers—life takes on a new speed. Admittedly, a speed that I have a hard time keeping pace with (and my husband refers to me as the Hurricane).

 

It seems as though we are literally going from 6 a.m. until it’s dark, running, driving, studying, eating, snapping, Instagramming, texting, and working. Everyone finds their own personality, their own place, and as a result, their own schedule. The sad part is they don’t always sync up, and family time is the first thing to suffer. Grades, community service, time with friends, projects, larger family commitments all start to take precedence.

 

We were able to sneak in a four night vacay as a family this past spring break, and I have to say…it was like heaven or an icing-filled doughnut.

 

I work a lot—including when we travel—so when the hubby suggested we all unplug, even I stuck my nose up in the air. I have to say: it ended up being awesome.

 

We took a four night cruise on the Disney Dream. A million people (okay, close to fifty) asked me where we were going, and my reply was: Who cares! Somewhere with sand and palm trees. And that was the honest to God truth!

 

Disney Dream ©RachelBlaufeld

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Quit your whining. #wordsofwisdom

Come close, everyone, and listen carefully.

 

Stop your fucking whining.

 

I’ve been in business for myself for close to a decade, before that I worked as an employee both in and out of the home (that’s right—stay-at-home moms work), and I have never heard as much belly-aching as of late.

The only thing worth whining over these days is the state of affairs in our nation’s capital, and I have too many words to write about that.

 

But for Pete’s fucking sake, stop whining.

 

 

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A few days ago, Daymond John posted a question on Facebook.

He wanted to know where most entrepreneurs were finding marketing success. As I scrolled through the answers, one common theme jumped out at me:

 

social media.

 

You may be saying, duh. We know advertising and promotion on social media is all the rage, but does everyone? [click to continue…]

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My kids LITERALLY keep asking when I’m going to start blogging again!

So, today, I shared my opinion on my author site.

For a preview:

 

This morning, I woke up, checked my email and opened the Post Gazette online to find my book was reviewed in the Arts & Entertainment section. It was a glowing review—one that spoke to my willingness in taking chances with my characters and tropes. For an author, this is golden. We all receive our fair share of negative reviews, so when someone “gets” my story, it’s better than winning the lottery.

HERE’s the thing though.

It may look like getting a write-up in the PG or any other small achievements I’ve made are EASY.

Listen to me: they’re not.

Most days, I still hear no or that idea won’t work or do it again.

In this day and age of everyone wanting to be an Internet celebrity, we are beginning (have begun?) to see a rash of craziness. The need to be a celeb is rampant. To want it quickly is even more rampant. Hideous shootings, people scaling buildings, and sex tapes to name a few.

Then, there is a monsoon of people wanting to be bloggers, influencers, writers or what have you…

So everyone is setting up shop in some way, seeking their five minutes of fame and somewhere in all this shtick, the amount of work needed to do anything is lost.

Read MORE here.

 

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Editor’s note: I wrote this last week, and well, quite frankly, I debated publishing it.

It’s a bit harsh and real. But you know…that’s me.

 

Tomorrow is the last day of school.

Another novella in the series of my sons’ lives coming to a close.

Ninth and seventh grade are over. Fini. Complete.

Of course, I will see ninth grade one more time with my youngest, revisiting geometry and biology for the third time in my life. My sons will not see these subjects again until they’re fathers of their very own brood.

By then, kids may be taking geometry in the fifth grade…with the need to push kids ahead (unless you’re concerned your kid will not be big enough for sports and you hold him/her back repeatedly).

It’s such a sad state of affairs these days. The pushing and pulling of kids to satiate our own need to believe our kids to be the best.

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