There Are no Children in America

My Man brought up an interesting topic last night, that of the eerie lack of children playing outdoors. Now, I understand it's Winter time, but remembering my childhood in upstate New York, snow meant snow-forts. And snow-forts meant snow-wars between my siblings and I, sometimes involving 2 or 3 neighbor kids taking sides and letting the snowballs fly. This entire Winter season, I am sorry to say that the only snowball I've seen was the one my guy threw in my face while we picked out Christmas trees (ho ho ho.)

So where are they? Where are the kids? I remember one of the first things I said while first driving down a Missoula street last Summer, "This place makes me want to have a baby!" It was nothing but pristine, the tree-lined streets, the amazing downtown with carousel and giant wooden maze of a playground. Nothing much has changed since then, except the streets have always seemed so void of play. No basketballs, street hockey, or games of tag were seen that Summer, and none since. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but you shouldn't really have to look.

One thing I share in common with Robin is that he and I define our childhood by the outdoors. For me, it was running through the pines with my little brother and sister, hunting fairies and other imaginary creatures, big piles of leaves to jump in, and giant snow slides my Dad made for us every Winter. For Robin, it was general mischief with neighborhood friends, water balloon fights, piling up the Las Vegas desert rocks to serve as forts, and Winters in NY full of hockey and sledding.

So what's in store for the children of today? I'm worried that there has been a cultural shift, and we are witnessing the first silent Spring of our Country's youth, the kids that went indoors- and never came out.

Has the Wii actually replaced all childhood games and sports? Have the Nation's children finally been devoured by the relentlessly blaring television and countless online RPG subcultures? Have America's parents, self-absorbed and self-sufficient, drawn their social circles so tiny that they exclude their own neighbors from their interactions?

What kind of people will these children be, having never stretched their legs and tested the limits of their glorious, short-lived youth? I really don't want to know them, they will be like aliens that scowl at the sun and think that grass is only for cutting, leaves are only for raking, and snow is only for plowing. Somebody, save the children! From what I've seen, there are no children in America.

I cordially invite you join me in detesting these frighteningly ironic items:
The Sims 3 Outdoor Living
Wii Active Life Outdoor Challenge
Family Party: 30 Great Games Outdoor Fun (for Nintendo Wii)

Signing off! ~Laura

Montana Women in Business!

Lately, my job has taken me all over town meeting so many great small business owners, and I can't wait to share what I'm seeing and learning along the way! So... where to start?

I recently joined to Missoula Businesswoman's Network and have gained so much valuable business and networking knowledge from their annual symposium. MBN has been good to me, they covered the cost of my admission to the event in the form of a scholarship! Not only was I able to spread the word about my company, I also gained plenty of inspiration from the presenters.

Coming up, I will share my notes from the following presentations:
Karen Loye Porter  from Impact Online Marketing, on "Growing Your Business Online"
Ris Higgins from Leadership Outfitters, "Release Your Voice Within. Reclaim You!"
Jane Foster from Foster and Foster Financial Services, "Face to Face Networking? Are You Kidding?"
Varju Lucento from Global Office Partners, Inc. "7 Steps to Small Business Marketing Success"
I also had a very special meeting with Lois McElravy from Lessons from Lois, see her website here.

Related reading:
Networking Like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections
Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide
Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day

So, stay tuned for valuable insights from these amazing women!

Missoulian’s Lament

This one goes out to all the Missoula drivers. Something's been on my mind. I think it's been on yours too. This is about... POTHOLES!

Missoula tempts us with Spring, but we all pay a price
The water expands and turns into ice
Between cracks and crevices under our feet
and it all does a number on Missoula streets.
Potholes! They’re everywhere, if you haven’t seen,
So big you can barely drive in between!
Weaving and swerving through each intersection,
Just to protect your precious suspension!
This is a cry to our lawmakers, (who must not have cars)
Or who live in a section not as bumpy as ours,
Please see the plight of Missoulian motorists,
And clean up this warzone, looks like bombs have been dropped on us!
And if you don’t hear us, I know what I’ll do,
I’ll move to the third world… where the roads are more smooth!

A Favorite Inspirational Quote

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? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

I hope you draw some wisdom from this quote. I first heard it from a friend I met in my first year of college. She told me she wanted to be the first female President of the US! A woman with that kind of ambition is a good match for a quote like this, don't you think?

So maybe I will be bold today and let you in on a little secret. Did you know I co-own a small screen-printing business?  I love giving discounts to members of MBN, SBC, and non-profits. We are the sustainable choice!

Related reading:
Quotes of Note: Brilliant Thoughts Arranged by Subject
Great Quotes From Great Women
The Smartest Words Ever Spoken: 1001 Timeless Quotes

Thanks for reading, and I would love to hear your favorite quotes!

Content by Laura Gabriele