DEAR A BUSY LADY . . . Your Questions, My Answers!


Hi Busy Lady! What do I do if I’m so sick of working my 9-5 supporting the job’s goals instead of my own, but have to support myself/have any money to put into my own goals and dreams?

I have a great job and no major complaints; I just want to wake up and work on my dreams. I’m honestly so sick of dealing with everyone at work and staying in the little bubble everyone else is in. But again, need the job for financial stability.

Any advice would help…thanks!



Dear Anonymous,

This one hit home with me – I’ve SO been there. Not only that, but I also find myself still there at times.

First, I want to celebrate with you that you have goals and dreams. Some people spend their entire lives not thinking past their present situation or are afraid to speak their goals out loud for fear others might think they’re crazy, tell them it’s impossible, etc. You’ve got to fight for your dreams! Having them, sharing them, writing them down – that’s all a start.

A wise person once told me the key to success is to focus on what you can control and not on the things you can’t. You might not be able to control your current boss, co-workers, or work demands, but you can control other things. For example, you can control how you start your day (I try to always start with fresh air, prayer, or at least five minutes of quiet), you can develop a financial plan (to help set aside funds for those dreams), and make a date with yourself, each day, to spend at least fifteen minutes on accomplishing something towards your dreams. You will be surprised to see how much you can accomplish in just 15 minutes a day, consistently. For example, one day you might just write a list of ideas, the next you might narrow down your goals, the next you might read a blog or connect with a contact that can help. Success is one small step at a time.

Of course, I understand how frustrating it all is in the meantime. Especially today as things are so expensive, it’s easy to get yourself stuck in a trap. When I was starting out, I was barely nineteen supporting myself while working full time. I lived in a tiny trailer with a hole in the bathroom floor (I could really see the grass through it), heat that always went out on the coldest nights (so slept in winter hats and coats), a car that often wouldn’t start and literally, my kitchen cabinet doors sometimes fell off the hinges when I’d open them. Some mornings, I had all I could do to get myself out the door and to work successfully (think 5 a.m., 45-minute commute one way) to my full-time job, and then college all night. Weekends, of course, didn’t exist (because well, homework). It was hard to find the time to go after my real passions (writing, for one). All this plus the other things that came along with poverty – sickness, stress, anxiety . . . it was well, A LOT.

What I learned was this – even the jobs that weren’t my favorite all taught me important lessons. More than that, I met so many people who ended up inspiring me and helping me on my journey (you don’t see how the dots connect until the end of the journey, but trust me, even that annoying co-worker you wish you’d never see again might just be the key to the next lesson you need to learn before moving on).

It also helps to remind yourself that your situation is temporary. It might not feel like it right now, but it is. Ask yourself, what is this situation here to teach me? What can I learn from it?

So, in “short,” my advice is:

1.         Write down your goals. Post them on your wall. Read them daily. Writing them down makes them real and helps keep you focused.

2.         Break down your goals into smaller steps. For example, if your goal is to get a degree, break down the steps of that degree, i.e. applying to school, signing up for classes, and each class’s tasks. Once you start working on the smaller goals stay focused on them. Of course, always remember your bigger dream, but try to stay in the moment. So, in my school example, you would focus on the semester first. Then reevaluate at the end of the semester what’s next to get closer to finishing.

3.         Do one thing every day towards your goals. Even if it is something very small. Small acts build over time. The time is going to pass anyway, and you’ll feel better going to bed each night knowing you did at least one thing towards your dream.

4.         Do your best to manage your finances, eat healthy, relax, etc. The stronger you are financially, the better your health – it all helps support you to be able to accomplish the things you dream about. And taking care of health means finding time for family and friends too. Connection is important.

5.         Be easy on yourself. There are going to be days you can’t get it all done. Remember, everything looks better after a good night’s sleep. If the sky fell today, sometimes it’s better to let it go and start fresh the next day. Your body and your mind will be better for it. And your future self will thank you.

Also, remember, your current frustration is not necessarily with your job or the people there (though if the job is toxic, no harm in looking for another one!) but is more likely because you aren’t quite at the place you want to be – yet. Sometimes we have to do the jobs that aren’t our favorite until we get to do what we want. The key is – you have to be willing to put in the time and effort to get to the place you want to be. That’s why even doing something just 15 minutes a day will inspire you. Before you know it, you’ll be so energized as things start to build that before long, you’ll be moving on from that job to your next venture!

Last, don’t forget – many successful people held jobs at one time or another that they needed financially before they were able to achieve their dreams. Some to note . . .. Elvis Presley was a truck driver, Rachel McAdams worked at McDonald’s, and Johnny Depp was a pen salesman. . . (see more examples here

Everyone starts somewhere. Don’t give up!


A Busy Lady


Dear A Busy Lady,

How can I get over something I just can’t get over?

Signed – Holding a Grudge

person holding red balloon

Dear Holding a Grudge,

All of us one time or another (or several times) have faced challenges, disappointments, hurt, betrayal, etc. As I’ve said before in this Substack, our adversity makes us stronger. Still, it sucks when you are going through it. Even when it’s over, you might reminisce on the terrible memory as a plethora of feelings wash over you all over again. Sometimes, our memories are our biggest opponents.

 So, you want to know how to let go? First, I want you to imagine whatever it is you are holding onto. Imagine the memory is a helium balloon. Picture yourself holding that balloon, then picture letting it go. Watch it float up to the sky, perhaps disappearing into the sunset. As it fades from your view, center yourself on how you feel seeing it gone. Do you feel peace? Sometimes just visualizing ourselves letting go helps us understand the peace and contentment we can find on the other side if we’re willing to set free the things that tie us down.

Now that you know how it might feel to let it go, set out to let go for real. So how do you do that?

The key is acceptance. As hard as it is, sometimes you just have to accept things. Think of it like this—this happened, that happened, and now it’s done. What do I have to learn from the experience? How did it shape who I am? Where do I go from here?

The other key is forgiveness. Remember—everyone does the best they can at any given time, taking into consideration their own traumas and where they are in life. This doesn’t mean you are saying it was okay for that person to hurt you and it certainly doesn’t mean you are going to be a doormat and let them walk over you again and again. You are NOT condoning or accepting the behavior. You are simply moving past it.

Forgiveness is about recognition that no human being is perfect, including you. Give someone the grace you would want. It’s helpful to remember that we are also  someone else’s opponent. That’s a hard lesson to learn. We think a lot about how people hurt us, but cannot see how the things we do that may hurt others, even when we didn’t mean to.

By forgiving, you are letting go. You empower yourself by breaking the ties that bind you to that resentment, keeping you stuck in place.

When you accept and forgive, you move away from being a victim to a victor. You rise above the situation and the person who did you wrong.

There is no straightforward answer here. Moving on can take some of us years. The best thing I can say is ask yourself, which story of your life to you want to live? The victim or the victor? Empower yourself. Give grace. Accept, forgive, move on, and carry the lesson with you. As Maya Angelou once said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” You can’t make people change and you can’t change the past. But you can learn from it and move forward.

 You will never rise to the next level of understanding in this life until you let go of the past.

Here’s to letting go!



AKA A Busy Lady