Friday, August 04, 2006

Potentially Great Ideas

I've sunk back into blog world anonymity, and I feel much safer! I did enjoy the comments from people that I had never "talked" with before, and I even learned of an additional site to visit when I am doing my rounds. You ever run into someone in person who you only know through the blog world? That happened to me twice at Family Camp - one person I recognized right away and introduced myself, one person I found out later who she was. To describe my feeling when running into these two, I can only explain it like this - ever see the Seinfeld episode where George's "worlds are colliding?" I think it was his friends and his love life, can't remember for sure, but I remember it was hilarious, and I have used the phrase more than once since seeing it on Seinfeld. That's the feeling I had.

And after Jason read my Infomercial Mania post, he reminded me of two other products that we had the privilege of testing out - the Vacuum Pak (probably on the thumbs up list, the only problem is I don't take the time to use it) and Super Paint Stripper (terrible - regular paint thinner at Lowes works just as good if not better.) Okay, onto today's post...

I have a tendency to come up with "great" ideas, plans, schemes, whatever you want to call them, and then they never come to fruition. There are several reasons why these great ideas remain in the planning stages - time, resources, practibility, lack of effort, and sometimes I just talk myself out of it minutes after coming up with the idea. Today was one such incidence. I was reading in the paper that the Cincinatti Reds, despite being a playoff contender, are having trouble selling their tickets, and to promote sales, they are offering half price tickets during their series with St. Louis next week. Being the deal seeker I am, the wheels started turning. We haven't been to a Major League game since Elizabeth was 2 (ironically it was St. Louis playing,) Anna has never been to a game, and what other great attraction is in Cincinatti besides the Reds...KINGS ISLAND! So the plans in my mind began - we could go to an evening game for practically nothing (the hot dogs are even on sale for only a buck), stay all night in a hotel I will tell you about in the next sentence, and then get up early the next morning for a fun filled day at Kings Island. The hotel - we purchased the rights to a suite at the Marriot in Cincinnati through the IWU telesale last spring. If you have never seen the IWU telesale, just a word of warning if you decide to tune in next year - if you are a competitive person, beware. Once you start bidding on an item, and you see the price rising on the screen, your competitive nature kicks in and you feel you must "win." The problem with winning in this case is that it will cost you the money you bid for that winning feeling. That wasn't the case with the Marriot, though. We thought it was for two nights, not one (the retail price was $250.oo, guess we're naive hotel price people,) and we thought a min-vacation to the Cincinnati area sometime would be fun. So back to the story - then I even thought why not share the fun with other members of the family. I reached for the phone and called my brother's house. He is a huge St. Louis Cardinal fan, his family enjoys theme parks as much as my family does, and our families have a lot of fun together when we go on trips like this. Unfortunately, no answer. Then I thought, why stop the invitation there? I should call my parents to see if they would want to go. My dad is a huge sports fan (my parents went to Cincinnati Reds games on their honeymoon) and my mom is a huge roller coaster fan. Then reality started kicking in. First, I unofficially start work next Wednesday, and I was hoping to get into the office either Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. A trip to Cincinnati would really make the week full. Second, Jason has been out of the office quite a bit the last month due to Holiday World, Family Camp, and his business trip earlier in the week - he probably wouldn't want to miss another day. Third, my brother and Kismet probably have a lot to do to prepare for the school year - not only preparing their own classrooms, but getting their 4 kids ready, too. Fourth, my parents won't be around part of next week. Fifth, money. The list could go on, but after 5 barriers, the trip seem unfeasible. Another great idea down the drain.

I have had many of these brainstorm bombs this summer. Let me just list a few:

1. Three or four of us would set dates to rotate to each other's houses to complete a project of the home owner's choice. Projects are tons more fun with help, and they get done lots faster, too. Major barrier - effort. We never collaborated to set the dates.

2. I was going to strip the wallpaper in the playroom and repaint. Major barrier - brainstorm bomb #1 didn't happen.

3. We could paint tennis court lines on our newly asphalted driveway and make a tennis court - Major Barrier - my husband and money.

4. A mother from our community tennis association tennis lessons in the spring gave me her number and asked if I gave private lessons. I said no, but I was planning on taking Elizabeth out several times this summer, and she and her six year old could meet us out there and then Elizabeth would have a friend to practice with. Number of times I called - zero. Number of times Elizabeth and I played tennis - zero. Major barrier - effort.

5. My family went camping with my college roommate's family last summer at a Jellystone park and had a blast. We decided to make it an annual trip (she lives in Michigan - we see them maybe once or twice a year.) Did we plan the trip for this Major barrier - effort and time. By the time we decided on a date, there were no campsites available.

To end this post on a positive note, I am going to list a few brainstorm successes I've had in the last year:

1. The triathlon. I guess I can't officially count this as a success until after September 9, but unless an unforeseen obstacle comes up, it will happen. This could have easily been a brainstorm bomb, but having another person join me pushed me over the commitment edge.

2. Last winter, Jason and I looked at each other during a Colts game (it was boring, they were killing the other team) and said we should remodel our study - it was full of junk at the time. We went home that night and started clearing things out, and today I am sitting in our newly remodeled study/turned half kids' music, art, science center room typing this post. I just ordered the curtains last night, and after they come and are hung, the room is finished. YEAH!
Why did this idea happen - Jason's help.

3. My garden. In theory having a garden is such a great idea on so many levels. Then when the time came for digging up the ground (by shovel - this was before I had the tiller) raking the dirt and getting the rocks/grass out, I almost threw in the towel. Each year when the time comes to till the dirt and prepare the garden, I ask myself if I want to put forth the effort one more year. Why do I keep going - originally it was my grandpa's help and encouragement, now Jason runs the tiller for me and is a huge help.

4. A fall break family vacation. This is the first year our school system is giving us a full week off in October for fall break. What a great time to take a family vacation! Next fall break (2007) we are going to go to Disneyworld, thinking that will be the perfect time due to weather and crowds. This year we are heading to the beach in Florida. Why is this idea working - my dad is very generous in giving us "vacation points" to stay in a condo for free (thanks, Dad!) and Jason giving the go ahead and being willing to take off work.

After typing my brainstorm successes, I see a common denominator in why these ideas panned 0ut - the help/support/encouragement of other people to give me that extra push, either to get started or to get over the finish line. Doesn't feel great when you are the person to give that extra push?

Triathlon Training Update - yesterday we swam 30 minutes and ran 20 minutes. I was pleased with the run - 2 miles in just under the 20 minutes. I was pleased with my swim - 500 yards after 15 minutes- until I went to get my hair cut yesterday afternoon. The hairdresser next to mine overheard me talking about the training to my hairdresser, and she asked how far was the swim. When I told her 500 yards, she said that is what her daughter swam in high school or college, not for sure. She said her times were somewhere in the 6 minute range. Wow.


Blogger Hummel Family said...

...glad to hear of all your accomplishments thus far...and glad to hear my brother is quite the helper!! Jason running a tiller?!?!Go Bubby!

August 04, 2006 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

You forgot to mention the great cottage/paint idea! Motivation for this and other major home improvements--IWU experience on paint crew gave you much skill and confidence!

August 04, 2006 2:21 PM  
Blogger Jim and Jaena said...

And she didn't have to come up with an idea for an anniversary gift. :)

I wish we could have collaborated on the project idea...maybe we can still do it this fall: just each of us pick one project and use Saturday mornings.

August 04, 2006 3:01 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

Hey Deb (and Jaena) -- I have some friends who do a version of your bomb #1, and they say it works out great. They have a group of people who rotate houses and help each other out. The one downside, I guess, is that there are like six families involved, so your turn doesn't come around quite as often as you'd like. But I say go for it! Maybe I'll try to put together a small group here in Columbus.

August 04, 2006 4:58 PM  

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