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I’ve been told to be my authentic self and to write using my most natural and genuine voice.  So here it goes folks – warts and all – your very first glimpse of the oh-so-complicated life and times of Ruth Zive.

I stumbled upon Steve’s blog through happenstance.  It was likely a provocative comment he left over at Adrienne Smith’s blog that drew me to visit and read about his journey.

And the truth is, while I’m intrigued by his struggles, and I want him desperately to persevere and emerge triumphant, I can’t really relate to what Steve has shared in the last year.

I am optimistic.  Determined.  Action-oriented.  I’m a problem solver.  I loathe whining.  I’m impatient and controlling.  And I’m not particularly sensitive to other people’s pain.

But I like Steve.  And I think that the Year of the Grind is a brilliant idea and should reflect the interests of several personalities.  So I’m on board.

Personally, I’ve been through my share of trial and tribulation.

I was married at 24, divorced at 29.  I had two children at the time; my first was born with Down syndrome (she rocks, by the way).  I was lucky enough to remarry a wonderful man (his first wife had passed away from breast cancer) with two amazing daughters who I feel privileged to love and adore as my own.  Together, my husband and I have a son; so we have a grand total of five children – and a rambunctious dog.  It’s a busy, messy, spirited, noisy and unpredictable household.

And I love it.

Professionally, I spent nearly 15 years working in non-profit management – mostly fundraising and marketing.  I quite liked it.  It was a challenging and rewarding career that afforded me the flexibility to put my family first.  But I never felt that it was my ‘calling’ or my true passion.  I was often restless for something more.  I had an entrepreneurial bug buzzing in my ear.

A year ago, I decided to dump my salaried gig to pursue a freelance career in corporate copywriting.  I launched The Freelance Writing Blog, started hustling as much business as I could muster, and learned everything I could about content marketing.

And so far, it’s paid off.  My business is booming (though there is still much room for growth).  I’m blissfully happy as my own boss.  And I’m excited about what the future holds.

In my spare time (and there isn’t much of it!), I enjoy a daily, traditional, Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga practice that has transformed my life in almost every possible way.  I’m obsessed with designer handbags; I’m a staunch special needs advocate and I’m trying to extend my repertoire of vegetarian cooking.  And I’m addicted to chocolate.

So if everything is pretty much blooming roses, why did I decide to join the Year of the Grind?

I suppose I feel as though I’m on the verge of big things and I’m concerned about staying focused and sustaining my momentum.  I’m great at setting lofty, long-term goals; but not as skilled at mapping out an actionable plan to see them through to the end.  And I can be a bit myopic – I know that there is always room to learn and grow and I want to challenge myself to remove the blinders and extend my frame of reference.

In particular, I know that I’ve become a lot less social and outgoing in recent years as I’ve retreated to focus on work and family.  That sucks.  I’m also not especially spontaneous or inclined to take risks. Leaving my job was a big deal in that regard.  I would like to be more of an adventurer and get a little bit outside of my comfort zone.  I’m also a mess when it comes to money and finances.  I always defer to my husband; I spend more than I should and I rarely assert myself when it comes to financial decision-making.

I hope that this year is filled with surmountable challenges, constructive feedback, learning opportunities and increased exposure to the boundless possibilities that exist for me in work, love and life.

Thank you Steve for inviting me to participate, and to all of you who will be joining us along the way!  I can’t wait!

 

Ruth Zive is a freelance copywriter, content marketing specialist, Mom to 5, wife, Ashtanga yoga devotee, designer handbag enthusiast, special needs advocate & vegetarian chocoholic.  In her spare time, she blogs at The Freelance Writing Blog.

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