For a busy mom (or most women in general, for that matter), epiphanies come at the most random times and are often brushed aside after the “in-the-clouds” moment passes and reality smacks you in the face again. How many times have you had the most amazing business idea at 3:25 a.m., or while you are stuffing snacks in the face of your rambunctious kids in the car after grocery shopping? Or you are staring out the window of your own planet as you wash dishes after dinner and a great book idea or other life-altering revelation hits you? I cannot even begin to list the countless times this has happened to me, particularly after I had children.
As someone who believes that your life and goals don’t end just because you give birth, I revel in these random moments of inspiration and take them as signs of the awesomeness that I have yet to achieve. Sure, I may never actually be an actress and I’m pretty certain my childhood aspirations of being a gymnast are off the table, but it is quite possible probable that the best of me is yet to come.
So what do you do to capitalize on these ideas? It may be unrealistic to think you can write a book or open a boutique when you have a newborn baby or house full of toddler triplets. However, writing down every thought, quote, notion, or idea that comes to you will help you begin to form a game plan that you can draw from when you are in a more suitable (aka. rested or controlled) time of life…which may be sooner than you think. Here are the lifelines to my dreams:
1) The Nightstand Notebook- Go to Barnes & Noble or Staples (two of my favorite places on earth…I think I just love the smell of paper) and buy yourself the first notebook/journal you see that speaks to you. Mine actually said, “Hey, there, girlfriend!” in all of its zebra-striped, hot pink glory. How could I resist? It makes me smile every time I see it, which makes it the perfect companion on my quest to the ultimate me. Put your chosen-one on your nightstand with a pen and it will be at the ready for those crazy moments of genius that hit you while you suffer through insomnia, midnight breastfeeding or a snoring spouse.
2) The Purse Paper- To capture thoughts while you are on the run, I highly recommend the mini, spiral notebooks for two reasons: 1) they have a hardcover that prevents them from getting mangled in your purse or car console, and 2) you can typically find the matching mini pen that clips right onto the spiral binding so you always have what you need. Again, I found great color choices (hot pink and black) at Staples. They even have the matching tiny pens! (Who doesn’t like stuff that is miniaturized??)
3) The Fancy Folder- I also have a folder (several, honestly) that I use to house articles and pictures from magazines, sketches, and other internet print-outs of things that inspire me. In my case, the folder has a lot of style ideas for home decorating, jewelry design, and must-have wardrobe items, as well as entrepreneurial tips, hints, apps and must-do’s. Like my notebook, I don’t just have your standard office-grade manila folders. Mine are black with a gorgeous swirling pattern that may someday be the inspiration for a handbag I’ll design.
Of course, if you are not as attached to paper and the physical presence of seeing your ideas sitting around (and you have a high risk of tiny hands sabotaging your little book of future success), then you can obviously use your phone, iPad or computer to journal your ideas as well. I have not been successful in doing this because the moment usually passes by the time I have those things accessible to me. Plus, the second my kids catch scent of technology they are begging to use it…thank you, Angry Birds.
So start jotting, writing, drawing and shopping! You want to be ready when your next moment of awesomeness hits. Sparkle and inspire, girlfriend!