Every year, my mom, sister and I take a survey of what everyone in the family wants for Christmas. As my sister and I have gotten older, that list has obviously changed - but this year was especially weird.
“I need pens,” I said in the group text.
“What?” My sister replied. “I’m not getting you pens.”
“I have a thousand pens you can take from my junk drawer,” my mom replied.
“I also need printer paper,” I said.
“That’s too expensive to ship,” my dad replied.
“Ok, what about printer ink?”
“I”m not buying you that either,” my sister replied.
Were these sexy, fun gifts? Nope. Were they necessary? Yes. Would they relieve some of my anxiety of the daily expenses of owning a business? You bet. Sure this was all a write-off at some point, but that point had not arrived.
Christmas came and went and, alas, no pens. (No printer paper or ink cartridges either, by the way). Although I appreciated the yoga pants and cookbooks and other items that would definitely improve my life - pens made it back onto the list when my birthday rolled around in January.
“What do you want for your birthday?” my sister texted me. Before I could respond, she sent a second text, “I swear to God if you say you want pens…”
This time, I asked for a meditation pillow. She was more than happy to oblige.
It is a constant battle to separate work from life and that’s especially true if the majority of your finances go to supporting your business so you can, ultimately, make money. I have sub-contractors to pay, I have lunch and coffee meetings, and sometimes I have to swallow a few hundred dollars of my own money because a deal doesn’t go the way I had planned. So, yeah, spending that extra $5 on pens (that I really do need) seemed like a great Christmas/Birthday request.
My mom did come through. She sent me a value pack of pens from Costco for my birthday. I was legitimately excited (they’re the nice Uni-Ball gel pens, black AND blue).
These should last me for awhile, but I’m not sure if next year will be much different.
Right now, I have my eyes on a sweet Cisco 7940 office phone…