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Record Keeping

Record Keeping

​My daughters periodically ask me to tell them stories about themselves when they were younger.

I have a few favorites, like when we came home from a camping trip and Ivy, having grown accustomed to peeing in the wild, dropped her pants to urinate on our front lawn.

Then there was the time Emilia came home from school looking very sad. I asked her what was wrong.

“I’m sad because George Washington died before I had a chance to meet him.”

Sometimes I’ll bring forth stories that no one else in the family remembers. At first, they question if it really happened, but then concede that I must be right.

Why am I right?

It’s not that I have a better memory. Or that I think I’m always right. (I know how to be tremendously wrong).

I’m right because I’m the one who wrote it down. I’ve recorded these memories after they happened. I not only have written records, but the act of writing about things cements the memories into my brain.

Some of these stories are recorded in books that I’ve published and some in private journals. We can’t hold onto everything and we shouldn’t want to – it’s not about living in the past. But keeping some of the gems from being forgotten makes a difference.

Humans have a really arrogant knack for being sure that we’ll remember something. But later comes… and it’s gone. It could be a memory or task or where the car keys are or why we walked into the other room. The mind isn’t as dependable as we’d like it to be.

When it comes to memories, the really good stuff, like a child squatting on the front lawn, or her sister lamenting a death that occurred 208 years before she was born, it’s worth taking a moment to write it down.

It doesn’t matter how we record the memories, in books or journals, on video or audio, but if we take the time to preserve them, they’re not lost forever. And one day, our children just might thank us.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. Us@BusinessofUs.com

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

Veterans Day, 2019

Veterans Day, 2019

I thought about writing about my father today. He was a Veteran, though he died earlier this year and so now I guess I should be thinking about him on Memorial Day. But it’s not Memorial Day. It’s Veterans Day.

And here’s the thing on that…

In the past I’ve seen people get very upset when the two holidays are confused. But once a Veteran, always a Veteran. So even if they’ve passed, it’s okay to honor them on Veteran’s Day.

In fact, it’s okay to honor them every day of the year.

And if someone mistakenly thanks a Veteran on Memorial Day, well I think that’s okay too. Their heart is in the right place.

At the same time we should be cognizant that some Veterans, thought they might appreciate you not saving your gratitude until after they’re gone, will feel uncomfortable being thanked on a day when they’re thinking of their friends who didn’t make it home. This is where the distinction between the holidays is important. But that shouldn’t mean we confine our thanks to a single day of the year.

In fact, it’s okay to honor them every day of the year.

There’s no need to limit gratitude. It’s not like you have a finite supply. In fact, the more gratitude you give, the more you’ll have.

My dad never spoke to me of his service as an Army medic. I didn’t get the impression that it was painful for him to speak of, just that it was something in the past. He didn’t carry the military with him as part of his identity after that period of his life as much as some.

He was, however, fiercely patriotic. It was not uncommon to see him decked out in red, white, and blue. American flag hat, American flag shirt. He stopped short of the American flag shorts. At least, as far as I know.

I didn’t see much of my dad in the last twenty years, though we kept in loose contact in writerly fashion. We played Words with Friends for a few years. There was also a period of time when we emailed back and forth, but the rule was you had to communicate entirely in haiku.

On the 4th of July, he was in his final days. My sister and I later learned that we’d both been hoping he would pass then, because he probably would’ve wanted it that way. He lasted one more week.

Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and the 4th of July all remind me of my father. And each day is a reminder to us all of what we have and our duty to honor those who serve(d) on our behalf.

Memorial Day has an additional significance for me. My first child was born on Memorial Day. She brings it all full circle (cue The Lion King theme); she’s the evidence that remembering those who’ve gone is not closing the book of their lives, but seeing their legacy carry through, one generation at a time.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. Us@BusinessofUs.com

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

Letters to My Daughters

Letters to My Daughters

For the past twelve years, I’ve been working on a journal filled with entries from me to Emilia. I’ve been doing the same in a second journal for the past decade with entries to Ivy.

For me, this is a form of legacy. It takes very little of my time (I average about one entry in each, per month) to create something in which they may find great value.

Could you ever put a price on a book filled with letters that one of your parents wrote, specifically to you, for the first 15 years of your life?

I made a Facebook Live video about these journals in The Sweet Life group, because I wanted to share not only what they are, but also show what they look like and the various treasures I hide in the pages (a letter to Santa, a note from a teacher, a drawing).

Legacy is one of the things that Mike and I make an effort to talk about – to consider. Legacy is more than making sure someone doesn’t go into debt handling your affairs after you die. It’s about the connections we create and difference we make in the lives of those around us.

I’m not sure when I’ll give the girls their journals. When they graduate high school? When they’re twenty-five? At what age or stage is a person able to appreciate a parent’s chronicle?

They’ll read stories they know well and stories they’ve never heard before. They’ll read of their developing personalities, and struggles I’ve gone through along the way. They’ll be reminded of adventures we’ve had which otherwise might have remained forgotten.

As their mother, we’ll likely go through many times when they don’t like me very much. That’s okay. Regardless, they’ll each have a book of my honest thoughts in my own handwriting – about us, our relationship, and our lives.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. Us@BusinessofUs.com

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

Scrappy and Proud

Scrappy and Proud

My 7th grade daughter just won 6th place in the city-wide tennis tournament.

To say I’m proud is an understatement. Here’s why.

6th place was frustrating to Emilia because she lost two very close matches.

But what she failed to see was how much of an underdog she was in this tournament.

In 7th grade tennis, most kids are playing for the first time, as true beginners, and this is the case for Emilia as well. She just started playing tennis, but because she was often matched with other beginners in the sport this season, she won more matches than she lost.

But there was something about this tournament that really brought out the fighter in Emilia.

In the tournament, her matches got progressively harder as the talent and experience of the other players improved.

It would be quite evident to Amanda and me that her opponent was more experienced with their first serve of the game.

Many of her opponents had great form, polished backhands, and level swings of their rackets, illustrating that they had either been playing for some time or they were very well-coached.

Meanwhile, it was apparent from Emilia’s lack of form and unorthodox ways of hitting the ball that she was indeed a beginner.

But even though Emilia was often outmatched in skills and talent, she found a way to compete in every game. The best way to describe it is she played hard and scrappy.

When I wrestled in high school, some of the best wrestlers were labeled “scrappy.”

Scrappy in this context meant these wrestlers didn’t give up; they kept fighting hard even when it looked like there was no way to escape or avoid being scored against. This trait made them dangerous and hard to beat.

And that’s what Emilia was in this tournament. She was hard to beat.

She would lose points by not serving well or by making rookie mistakes, but she would gain them back by not giving up on difficult rallies.

The girls she would play against often hit the ball harder and with more accuracy, but Emilia would find a way to get the ball back over the net time and time again.

Her persistent style was challenging for her to keep up through the long tournament, but she hung in there and ended up 6th out of 60+ girls.

She didn’t want to talk to us for close to an hour after her last match, because she was so frustrated that she lost. That’s how much fight she had in her.

Emilia is 12. She hasn’t been interested in playing sports until recently. In fact, she almost didn’t sign up for tennis, but her aunt talked her into it right before the season started.

I hope Emilia can see what I see. She is a fighter.

I hope she’s learning that she doesn’t need to be the best player on the court to win; she needs to be the toughest player who doesn’t give up.

The very next day after the tournament, basketball season started with the first week entirely dedicated to tryouts.

Emilia is basically a beginner here too compared to many of the girls trying out, but she told me this morning she’s going to fight as hard she can to make the team.

I hope her coach sees the value in having a scrappy player like Emilia on his squad. But regardless of the outcome of tryouts, I’m watching her once again fight for it.

And all I can think to say about that is, “That’s my girl… keep fighting. I’m proud of you.”

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. Us@BusinessofUs.com

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

Mindset & What Truly Matters

Mindset & What Truly Matters

As an aspiring writer, I was constantly consumed with goals. What would lead to publication? What would bring in money? Would fame follow if I wrote a space opera werewolf romance?

It’s easy to get caught up in this mindset, especially in the beginning. I wasn’t thinking about my writing in a long-term context. Of what it might mean and to whom.

Until one day in early 2007 when I purchased a blank, hardbound journal. I decided then that I would spend the next decade or so writing for an audience of one. I would fill the book with entries from me to my daughter.

I’ve been writing this book for over twelve years. When her sister came along, I purchased another blank journal, in which I’ve been writing for just over a decade.

I remember when I sat down to make my first entry. What pen would I use? Should I wait and research to find the perfect pen? Would I write in print or cursive? I looked over at Emilia, an infant barricaded by pillows on one end of the couch, sleeping, drooling, and occasionally farting.

Would my writing even matter? No one would read it anytime soon. When would I give it to her? When she was sixteen? Eighteen? Twenty-five? What did I have to say, anyway?

All of the demons and doubts grew from my desire for instant gratification. There would be no reward, not then and maybe not ever, for my efforts. If words are written and go unread, do they still exist?

Anyone who keeps a regular journal will tell you that yes, they absolutely do exist and they have meaning. Which is why aspiring writers are so often encouraged to journal. This breaks the mindset of continually looking for the gain (publication or paycheck). You cannot improve if you do not write. And you will not write if you are all-consumed with what you’re going to get for your efforts.

I told myself two words: Just Begin.

I knew very little about my audience of one. I had no inclination as to how her humor, her personality, or temperament might evolve. I stopped worrying about it, focusing instead on what I felt and wanted to communicate. One sentence led to the next. A page turned into two. A year’s worth of entries. Then five years. Now twelve.

When Tony Doerr wrote All the Light We Cannot See (on which he spent over a decade), did he approach each chapter with the mindset of, “I’m going to write this so that I can win a Pulitzer”? I’m thinking not.

When we allocate our efforts, we have a choice:

#1. I’m doing this for the short-term, feel good, or superficial gain.

#2. I’m in it for the long haul in pursuit of improvement, meaningful connection, to better the world around me, or to create positive and lasting legacy.

Whichever mindset we adopt from the start will have huge impact on the work we produce.

This doesn’t just apply to writing, but to everything:

• Are you working out just to cross it off the list (short-term, feel good), or are you truly pushing yourself in pursuit of greater health?

• Are you churning out the space opera werewolf romance because you heard it’s the latest trend (superficial gain), or are you working on creating meaningful connection?

• Are you fighting for what you really believe in (better the world around you), or joining a cause for the sake of appearance?

Before my genre-loving friends snap their #2 pencils in half, YES, I believe a well-crafted space opera werewolf romance can create meaningful connection. But make sure that it’s what you truly feel called to create, rather than grasping for the latest fad.

I connected with readers through my first humor series. It worked. But by the time the series was finished, I KNEW it was finished. I’d moved from the mindset of checking goals off my to-do list (Publish! Publish! Publish!) and leaned into the mindset of what truly matters (improvement, meaningful connection, better the world around me, create positive and lasting legacy).

When I think now about what matters, sometimes it’s as simple as writing for an audience of one.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

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