Five on Friday: Keeping organized

Today’s Five on Friday brought to you by the August NaBloPoMo prompt: What tools do you use to keep organized so things on your to-do list don’t slip through the cracks?

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1. A good old-fashioned written to do list. There’s just something about writing out a to do list that I love. It helps me really organize my day, and its so very satisfying to mark something off the list by hand. Besides, I can doodle in the corners when I’m on the phone or when I need to think!

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2. Post it notes! It never fails. I’m going to bed, and I realize there’s something I forgot to do. Usually I’m just too tired to do it right then. So what do I do? I write it on a Post-it note, and stick it to my computer monitor. The way our house is set up, I walk right by it every morning. So something needs to be done? Post it on the computer screen.

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3. A good calendar. I use a business calendar app on my cell phone to keep up with what needs to be done when. I love it, because I can pull my calendar, my husband’s calendar, and the calendars of various other things that I am a part of all into one place. Now I can’t promise I won’t miss something. But as long as it’s on my calendar, those chances are very slim.

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4. I text myself. It’s not unusual for me to send myself a text message to my email to remind myself to do something. For example, a friend may remind me that I forgot to print out something important that they need. I won’t remember when I get home to do take dare of it, so I send myself a text message to my email, so when I get home and check my email there’s a reminder! It works really well.

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5. Google keep. I know this doesn’t benefit iPhone users. But if you’re an Android user, and you’re not using Google Keep, it’s time to download it now. I love this app. It’s like having Post-it notes on the go. And the best part? It syncs with your Google account, so you can access the same notes on your desktop. It even transferred all my notes from my old cell phone to my new cell phone. I seriously don’t know what I do without it these days.

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NaBloPoMo August 2014

Five on Friday: Important happenings right now

My jaw hurt all day yesterday. I eventually realized it was tension and stress related, because the pain faded the closer I got to Texas and much-needed weekend AWAY from Nashville…

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1. back#SavePrintersAlley — This endeavor has taken on a life all its own. I’m amazed by the support its gotten from people around the world, and the people who are behind us as we fight to save our home-away-from-home. I’ve not been as active in this as I would really and truly like to be, simply because I have SO MUCH already on my plate. But this has taken a high, high precedence over almost everything else because it means so very much to me. I even went on TV for an interview with the local FOX affiliate! I’d never been on TV before! But I couldn’t imagine a better cause to speak out about, and I’m really proud of myself for doing it.

What can YOU do to help? Go like our Facebook page. Order t-shirts off SavePrintersAlley.com. And FOLLOW me on Facebook where I too will share updates and what events are planned to bring awareness to the Alley’s fight.

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2. #CASAgolf The 8th Annual ACC vs SEC Alumni Golf Tournament benefiting CASA Nashville will be held at Gaylord Springs Golf Links on Friday, August 8, 2014. I don’t know a damn thing about golf, but I know this tournament has become VERY near and dear to my heart since last year. I love everyone I work with on this tournament. I love the cause. Now I just want to see it be super successful and have lots of Aggies attend. I’m not too concerned about the first, but not sure the last will happen. But I keep trying and hoping maybe we’ll have a good showing. I guess I’ll find out on August 8th.

How can YOU help? Come sign up to play! Or perhaps you have a business willing to sponsor the event. Or at least come for dinner! All the details are available on the event website at http://accsecnashville.com/

280: CASA golf
The 2013 Tournament Dinner

 

3. Aggie Family Picnic. We’re holding our first ever Aggie Family Picnic in a few weeks. I’m super excited about this, but due to all I have on my plate I’ve had to step back and be somewhat hands-off on the planning. Well, at least in theory I’ve been. But I’m too wrapped up in the club and it means too much to me to be completely, “Hey I’m just going to show up. Y’all figure it out.”  I’m super excited about it, but also super stressed about it going well.

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4. Finances. I’m working on getting all our ducks in a row to get a pre-approved for a mortgage to finally buy our own house. It’s been a long time coming and I finally feel confident and comfortable with making this happen. But since so much of my income is cash-basis its a stressful and daunting task and could take awhile. But I am up for it now that I know what they need from me.

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5. Tour season. My husband is SUPER busy touring right now, which makes me more determined to stay extra active with Road Widows. We’ve slowed down a bit — we’re ALL busy — but its so very, very important to me to see this blog and community thrive no matter how crazy our individual lives get. Because we all need each other!

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Honorable mention: I finally got below 160 lbs this week! I’ve only been shooting for that since June. Now on to the new goal of 150 lbs. I can do it much better and with more knowledge thanks to my Fitbit! I had no idea I was so sedentary… now I focus on moving around more and its really starting to make a difference!

 

Printer’s Alley

Seven and a half years ago I married my husband. Around that same time I found myself in another love affair: with Printer’s Alley.

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I began going down to the Alley with my husband, who played a regular jam night on Tuesday nights in one of the bars there. I quickly made many friends and it didn’t take long for me to declare it my “home away from home.” Especially once I started working in the bar myself.

Soon I knew more people at the bar and in the Alley than my husband did, and he had been going there for over 10 years!

Happy New Year 2011!

We briefly considered buying a bar in the Alley ourselves. We had a business plan and my husband even went to meet with investors in Vegas. It was during that time that I really delved into the history of the Printer’s Alley. I spent hours on end at the Nashville Public Library trying to figure out what had made up the whole of Printer’s Alley through the decades. I went as far back as I could without having to going to microfilm.

It was fascinating to me. What was once printing shops and furniture stores eventually turned into speakeasies and bars and dinner theaters. Prohibition happened but the alcohol continued to flow.  There were dancing girls and so much neon that some called it the Vegas strip of the South. The sordid history of Printer’s Alley excited me. Presidents walked alongside the mafia. Rumors of Jesse James hiding out made me sit glassy eyed, trying to imagine those days. (I once talked about to writing a book about the history of Printer’s Alley, as I don’t believe one exists at all.)

Printer's Alley Christmas

I soon felt that as an employee in the Alley, I had joined some sort of a special club. A club that carried a little bit of mystique, and a whole lot of family-like support. The most amazing thing to me about Printer’s Alley is how everyone looks out for each other.

It angered me — it still angers me today — how people try to say the Alley is dangerous. When I hear of people telling others, “Oh don’t go there, its dangerous.” it makes my blood boil. I’ll take Printer’s Alley over Broadway any day of the week. I feel so safe there, as the door people and the regulars all look out for each other as well as for our guests. Oh that’s not to say that we haven’t had our share of crime! But the Alley always comes back. Always. It has a resiliency that I find inspiring.

Yesterday, though, the Tennessean ran an article about how a boutique hotel is planning to come in and take out over half of what is today Printer’s Alley. The Alley is already half the size it was back in it’s golden days. And to take out half of what’s left might as well be the final stab in the heart. That final blow. Printer’s Alley will really be no more than a footnote in a history book. Maybe a historical marker some day.

Printer's Alley Under Construction

I have had plenty of time to process this. And part of me wonders if it’s not just time. Time to start the new chapter in life, whatever that may be. Change is inevitable, and deep down there’s a part of me that’s excited to see what is to come. Like I said, that area used to be print shops and furniture stores. Perhaps it’s time for it to turn into a hotel. Its sins will be washed away in billions of dollars of “progress.” The Alley family will move on to other things. Perhaps it’s just time…

…but even as I say that, and I look ahead towards other adventures of my future, I feel this deep, deep sadness in my heart. I looked through old pictures of the alley in the 60’s and 70’s and I read about it’s history from 30’s and 40’s, my heart aches a little. Because even as its sins are washed away, its history will be too. Printer’s Alley will no longer exist. Not really.

Printer's Alley

I can’t say that I believe in reincarnation, but if I did or if it does exist, I sometimes wonder if I didn’t previously walk the Alley. In what form, I have no idea. But I feel this crazy connection with that little piece of Music City. I find myself grieving the thought of it’s loss like it’s an old friend.

Progress is inevitable. And in many cases I welcome it. But I have a deep fear that the Nashville that I have grown to love so much is starting to disappear. The small-town feel and heart is being lost to money, under the guise of growth. For every list we make the top of — the “It” city they say — we lose a little bit of our uniqueness. Because as exciting as it is to be seen for the amazing city that we are, we feel the need to step up and do even better and even bigger. In this race to stay at the top, we’re starting to lose our soul. We’re starting to lose our history.

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A page has been started on Facebook to try to gather people to fight this change that could potentially be coming to the Alley soon. As I pointed out in several cases online, everything right now is “under contract” and not “closed”. For anyone who has bought and sold property in the last year, you know how vastly different those two statements are. This is NOT a done deal.

No matter what happens, I am grateful for the time I’ve had in Printer’s Alley. The friendships I made there will without a doubt last for years to come — many for the rest of my life. Every person has left a mark on my heart.

365: The end

I have learned a lot in my time in Printer’s Alley. I met countless people from all around the world. I learned about different cultures and human nature. I learned how to think faster on my feet and to figure change in my head versus using a calculator. I learned every job is worth doing well, and that no job is too small. But more than anything, I learned more about myself. Maybe I will still write that book about the Alley some day. We will see. But I do know that I have grown so much in the last 7 years, and THAT is something no boutique hotel can take from me.

The wife of a touring musician tells it like she sees it…