We’re buying a house.  Well, to be more accurate, I’m buying a house.

I knew where I wanted to purchase. I knew how much I wanted to spend.  I knew the “must haves” in any potential Casa de #SuperHeroMomHouse.  However, that isn’t enough detail for me.  I printed maps of the area, highlighted my “preferred zones,” overlaid school districts and their respective scores, and finished that up with additional maps of crime rates and average home prices.  Finally, I created a report card for each house so I could create a quantifiable score of each home. I had the research. I had a process. I had a plan. I was ready to go.

Then I started to look at houses.  The report card was busted after the first property. It scored a 9 out of 10.  It was a perfect candidate for my first home…but it wasn’t my forever home.  There was no quantifiable, scientific, rationale.  I could just tell it wasn’t it.  So could my kids.  By the third house, my whole procedure was out the door.  There was simply no standardized procedure for buying a house.

I will cut to the chase here. Ok, I have a contract on a house.  It is outside of my preferred zone, above the initial budget, and at best scores a 7 on my report card. It is, however, perfect. There is no way for me to explain why. There is no rational reason for it to be perfect.  It has things that were never on my initial must have list and is missing things that were “required.” With all of that, I knew it would be my home when I stepped into the backyard.

The home buying process reminded me that sometimes the best-made plans are cast asunder simply by the nature of things. Regardless of the plan, the established process, or the procedural strategy, we all need to react to what actually happens—to the real environment. I was not planning to buy a home that weekend.  In fact, I was suppose to be moving to Florida. That is not what ended up occurring.  I reacted. I adapted. I bought a house.

You may not be buying a house but the lesson is the same. When plans go awry, the most important thing to do is recognize what is happening, analyze your realistic options, and refocus your energy on the reality of the situation at hand.

There is still a lot of work to do in the home buying process.  I will inevitably develop checklists and procedures for each step, and this will inevitably drive my kiddo’s crazy and keep me sane.  It is a delicate balancing act but it’s all part of life through the eyes of an operations professional.

Best Regards,

April McManus


Dreamers, Greatness & Choices

In life we have many choices. We can choose greatness or not. We can choose this person or that person to be romantically involved with. We can choose this career or that career. We can choose to drive a Chevy or a VW. The list of choices is endless really. And we tend to judge ourselves and others, especially loved ones, by the choices we make. Even making no choice at all is a choice.

So many of us have been caught up in the ‘greatness’  charismatic movements over the last few years because we feel that we are NOT making the right choices. We are not living with great wealth. We are in a career that sucks us dry instead of fills us with joy. We are with the wrong mate for whatever reason. We are obviously failing with our choices because we don’t have the millions in the bank, the BMW, the mansion, the other properties, the……

I know, because I’ve been caught up in some of these movements, even though my heart was screaming at me to run the other way. In trying to create wealth all I did was create debt by buying all the cd’s, courses, and ‘tools’ needed to succeed. In the last few years I have realized a new meaning to success. First of all, I realized that the way success looks to each of us is as different as the faces who see it. I am a successful parent; my children are growing and are living good lives. I am a successful marketer because I can look back at my work and know I’ve done my very best. I’m a successful stay-at-home parent because I have created a home that is safe and loving. It can look very different to each person.

I believe that my life is really starting to show the results of changing some of my choices. For me success is satisfaction, joy, peace – a feeling that my life emulates what my heart strives for. One of those pieces for me was to let go of people who did not help to build me up. It is so easy to beat myself up; to see only my ‘failures’. I don’t like that word actually. I no longer believe there is such a thing as failure; just choices. Failure is a judgement call. And we all know what judgement feels like – especially self-judgement.

I am at peace today, I am so grateful for the friends I have because they do see greatness within me. I am so grateful for my children who have been my anchor over the last few years. I am so grateful for a job that allows me to express my greatness through my gifts and abilities. No, I’m not rich. No, I’m not a CEO of a mega-corporation. No I’m not what I even thought I’d be now when I look back to what I thought was greatness in my 20’s.

What I am is at peace with myself, my Creator, my surroundings, my professional life, my family and friends. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by people who see greatness in me.

What about you?