Have you ever had a great idea and thought "Somebody should really do that"?
Sure - we all have. But so often, "somebody else" is exactly who we leave it up to. "Somebody else" might be smarter than we are and know how to make our idea work. Or Somebody has the money to do it. Or Somebody is not afraid to take the chance.
But what if WE decided to be that Somebody?
Despite the fear and despite the lack of money, and even the need to educate yourself on a few things - or a lot of things - about your idea?
What if we said "I know that I can do this because 'There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.' ( - Paula Coelho, The Alchemist) "
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? ... And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." - Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"
So right now, I give myself - and you - permission to shine. To overcome the fear that has been holding us back.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.
This is the first blog post I have ever written. This will likely be the first of many other firsts.
And no doubt there will be days when fear and self-doubt raise their big ugly heads and make me ask myself "What the heck ever made you think you could do this?!"
... No, not blogging, though there may be days when I wonder about that too.
I'm talking about Aunt BB's and everything that goes with it.
So what exactly is Aunt BB's, you may wonder. Aunt BB's is the brilliant idea that I just couldn't leave to "Somebody Else". But you see, all I have right now is this great idea. No money to bring it to fruition. No particular experience in this field - And plenty of fear that it could be so easy to fail. But it's not going to. No, no, no it's not. Do you want to know why? Well, sit right down, and let me tell you a little story.
Life sometimes has a funny way of showing us our purpose. When I was a little girl, I thought I might want to be an archeologist. Then I learned that career involved heat and dirt. Later, I thought I might want to be a writer, because my mother wrote for the local newspaper. But time passed, and I went to college and got a degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. For 33 years, I worked in various positions for the District Attorney's Office. It was a career that I loved, but I never said to myself "this is what I am meant to be doing with my life." Then, nearly three years ago, I was retired from that career. For a short time, I went to work at a private law firm, but within a few months something happened that began to set me on the course that I am traveling today.
Actually, I'm sure it began earlier than that. If I look for connections, it probably began in 2004 when I was diagnosed with Chronic Mylogenous Leukemia (CML). Or, if you believe in God, as I do, you may even say that it began before I was born and this path was chosen for me. Nevertheless, let's pick back up in 2016. That's when my niece was 8 months pregnant with her son and learned that she had a recurrence of a rare cancer, ExtraOsseous Ewings Sarcoma. This time it had metastasized to her lungs. Fast forward a couple of months, and it became my full time job to care for her infant during the times that she was receiving chemotherapy. Her son's name is Mason, and he calls me Aunt BB.
Since that time, I've also had a granddaughter named Sophie that lives here locally, and two other grandchildren, Ave Marie and Sage, that live in another state. But it was Mason that originally inspired the idea for Aunt BB's, one rainy day when his mom was at chemo and he was restless at home. I wanted to take him to an indoor playground but there were simply none in the area that catered to children his age. So an idea was born that day.
What if there were an indoor playground for preschool aged children around here? What if it had a train (because Mason loves trains and cars and trucks)? What if it had a carousel (because my mom remembered back in her day when carousels were popular in parks)? What if it had a splash pad (because we had recently visited another city that had a splash pad)? And then it just began to grow. What if "this"; what if "that". And it became an idea that I just couldn't let go of. What if it had breastfeeding suites and a musical floor or wall, and a walking track that had activities along the way where moms could push strollers. Maybe the walking track could surround the splash pad, and I could put in a wall of live or animated fish and it would be the ImaginAquarium !! Let's put in changing tables everywhere so that parents don't have to leave the play area to change their little ones. And oh! Double toilets. Yes! Double toilets. One regular size potty for mom or dad, and one toddler size potty for junior. And let's make it all bright and fun and unique, with really comfortable furniture for grown ups and whimsical lighting that both the parents and the kids will love. Let's make it a cross between Willy-Wonka style and Disney style, but on a smaller, local scale. Let's fill it with everything that parents could desire in an indoor playground and make it so nice that parent's actually want to come. And then let's make it so that every mid-size city that needs something like this can duplicate it!
But wait -- that's just a playground. What if it were also educational? What if every single ride or toy or activity actually taught something like ABCs, numbers, colors, shapes, and all that stuff? What if it were so much fun that the toddlers didn't even realize that they were learning?
And what if we had basic sign language symbols posted everywhere so that children - and their parents - would learn it by seeing it all the time? And maybe we could add braille too? And of course, we need to make it so that children in wheelchairs and other differently-enabled children can play as well.
And little children love music. Maybe the way to help them learn all these things is through song ! Yes, that's it. We need music. We need song. And hey, we really want to inspire positive values such as kindness in our little ones, so maybe we should write some books that teach and inspire also.
..... so you see .... it wasn't until I became Aunt BB that life really showed me my purpose. And Grandma. And now I know. It's Aunt BB's Imaginatarium and Aunt BB's series of books for pre-school aged children.
I know that there is a myriad of things that I will have to learn along the way. I know that it won't be easy. It probably won't be quick. There may be obstacles. But you know what else? I really contemplated this for about a year before sitting down to the computer today. I have my little notebook with ideas. I'm working on a business plan. And more than that, before anything else, I asked God if this was meant to be that He put the right people in my path to make it happen.
So what makes me think I can do this? Faith. Faith over fear, and believing that God will put the right people in my path, just like He led you to read all the way to the last line of this article. And now, I ask you to follow along with my blog as, together, we take Aunt BB's from the pages of my notebook and onto the internet. Into the pages of a storybook, in to the physical building and eventually on to franchise.
Please bear with me as I learn the ropes of blogging and everything else that comes along. I will be creating surveys to see exactly what you, as parents and grandparents, want to see both in the books and in the Imaginatarium. I know that I can't do this without your help and support, so I am thanking you in advance from the bottom of my heart.