January 13, 2019
Nonsense. Or, I will find out that twenty books and MBA theses have already been written on the topic of “Corporate Entrepreneurship.”
Eh. (I would insert shoulder shrug here, but that’s not really my style.) I pause. Okay.
I mailed $215, the application for reinstatement, the declaration of the number of outstanding shares of stock (really?), a statement of the declaration of change in ‘registered agent’ from an unknown agent in Green Bay to me, and the annual report for the company. (What is a registered agent and why do I need one? Please insert side research, but in short, a registered agent of a business is the legal agent who would receive notifications on behalf of the company. In the beginning, the registered agent seemed insignificant and a detail. I had paid a legal online entity to take care of such matters. I am an art gallery and a real estate owner. I am not a manufacturer. Surely I do not need a registered agent). I mailed the entire package to the state department of financial institutions so that officially my company would exist and not appear as ‘administratively dissolved’ since 2016.
This ‘status’ had seemed to be one of those sidebar, pointless items of conducting business until a person tries to change any banking in the name of a corporation. Regularly filing income taxes did not mean the company was okay. Refiling with the state department of revenue did not mean the company was okay. The key was the department of financial institutions. When my mortgage note matured on my Esther Building, the bank who held the note, had themselves gone through a change in ownership and now needed the dissolution undissolved.
My December marked family times with an unexpected homecoming of my brother and gatherings of family members who had every reason to tear out each others hearts, but chose not to. Every single one of them chose peace.
Between working long hours and stretches of long days, the month trudged along with no complaints from me other than a persistent exhaustion and a scrambling of my usual routine which I had abandoned some time ago. December seemed to pronounce that deviation even greater with disguises of bright lights and merriment.
But I had family. I had togetherness. Sure I also had exhaustion, but all seemed correct. Please – do not wait for the shoe to drop. There was no shoe dropping in this story. And maybe that is the best lesson I have had since I last wrote.
No drop of the shoe.
I had prepared writings of Hanukkah which I never published. I had written cleverly with quip galore, but I did not feel worthy of any wit. And I learned a long time ago that I certainly am not funny or clever. Would I be honest if I wrote as such? Would I be honest in such an attempt? How honest would I have been to write and post pictures of Hanukkah candles which I managed to light in the windows of the gallery-to-be, yet at home I managed only two and a half candles on the menorah. How honest is that?
I worked my hours. My son returned home from his first semester at college. Both he and my ex-husband decorated the outdoor lights at my home while I prepared the building. The holiday season was upon us and I never quite dug out the Dickens Village pieces, but I had family together and we were happy with red and white lights, Christmas trees and a quarter lit menorah.
I am fifty-three. What happened to that old year, its energy, the memories, the lessons? Waves. Those 2018 waves which rushed through me are the same waves which now pull with fresh energy to embark. Perhaps it is with age that I dream of bravery and an attempt at a sense of confidence. Just as years tumble, wave rolling upon wave, new upon old, I tumble with wondering thoughts of dreams and my realities. My buildings, my dreams of the business of the gallery, and my dreams of my own creatives pursuits scare the creativity into me. My family, my life and my career in a very corporate world scare the reality into me.
I am fifty-three loving a demanding management career in a corporate world. In that world, I am a speck. Not even a speck. I am a spec of a speck. I could be spit out at a moments notice. I could and will probably make no significant impact upon the corporate culture. Yet, I love it.
From a corporation, I have learned new lessons and remembered old lessons. At first I thought I was too old for such experiences. No amount of “it is never too late” sayings could have convinced me otherwise. I must admit that stayed in my craw as I toyed with the possibility that I am behind and past due.
But there was something about seeing Winds & Paradox being listed as ‘administratively dissolved’ on the state department’s website. I had come so far. While I had been busy through the years fighting to save a building or fighting for understanding of all what had happened to me or fighting myself to understand my life, I neglected something so rudimentary as the status of my business.
“My business”. My creation. My Winds Paradox. The memories spun the logic of ownership through me. Winds Paradox was me. No, it was not me. Yes, yes it was. Yes, it is a piece of me. Yes, it is an important piece of me.
And as I snapped some photos I allowed my heart and my head to engage as I attached the name, Winds Paradox. It mattered. It matters.
I filed the paperwork. Well, truthfully, first I called the department. (I might have called them four or five times because the first time I thought refiling with the department of revenue would reinstate the company. I mean, I regularly pay my taxes, right? Of course I do. I called the department of revenue, called the department of revenue again, then checked with my accountant who was filing an amendment to my taxes because we had made a mistake. He instructed me to call the department of financial institutions. Which I did. Four or five times. To get it correct. To understand, of course.)
Now, you may think I am joking but I am serious. I barraged them with calls because I really did not understand. They explained and they explained again. I understood a little more with each phone call. And I filed the paperwork, on my own, the end of December 2018.
The check was cashed on Friday, January 4. I checked the department website. No status change.
“Give us five working days.”
Wednesday I could wait no longer. I know, I know. My head does know mathematics and true, it was only three working days, but I was anxious. Every time I checked, the status remained at “Administratively dissolved”. I could feel my heart dropping. I calibrated my own desire. One lesson of these past few years is that I trust the human capacity for desire. If a person desires, really wants, then a person will act. I have learned that lesson in the most clumsy of fashions with my own excuses. And I must confess I do not like them.
Wednesday marked my first day of my first five day vacation. I really did not believe that in my first year on the job in corporate nirvana I would have any claim to personal days but I did. And I took them to coincide with my son’s winter break between semesters. Wednesday I began to recover from months of scrambling.
Another of my excuses. Ugh. Yuck and double yuck. At fifty-three I had made my life so unmanageable and so scrambled…. Ugh! Excuses breed more excuses. Boo hoo, Steph, get on with the story! (I love rough talking myself. Grrr.)
As he looked over my paperwork, the department’s agent explained that they would be meeting on the corporate filings that Wednesday afternoon. He looked at my filing then proceeded to help me change wording which would have prevented it from approval. I could not believe I was so close! Three hours I would reach a goal!
Later that afternoon my phone rang with a number I knew from my four or five times calling. The agent apologized. He had missed that I had filed in 2018 but we were now in 2019. I owed another $25 for the current year. I would not be approved that afternoon. I could, however, refile. He emailed me my paperwork with department receipt stamps, a copy of his letter and instructions on how to expedite. I was so close, I could feel the energy of success. But I was not finished. I had another step. In a world of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ or ‘success’ and ‘failure’, I was still, well, a ‘no’. How could one be so close yet not accomplished at all?
“Administratively dissolved” is one of those phrases which means nothing until it means everything.
No excuses. Even in my small town, a person can mail a letter for overnight express delivery. I needed to mail the forms and twenty-five dollars as soon as I could. I suppose I could have waited, but that phrase hummed through my head. The department would receive the letter by three in the afternoon on Thursday. I mailed my submission. I emailed the agent. I checked the website on Thursday. Still dissolved.
But on Friday, January 11th, after three in the afternoon, upon waking from a vacation midday nap, my company, Winds & Paradox Incorporated (dba Winds Paradox – but the state department does not, for financial purposes, concern itself with ‘dba’ …whew…) – my company, Winds & Paradox, was “Restored to Good Standing.”
I have wasted, unfortunately, $240, on many things in my life. But not this. I stare at the status no longer excusing myself. But the status change cannot be a status. I cannot stand. I have to proceed. No excuses.
Mistakes. Gulp. I look at that beautiful company status with worries of more mistakes to come and possible mistakes that will make me shake with deep fears of unveiling my supreme obvious stupidity and blatant, blind egotism and misguided notions of creative artistic abilities.
Excuses. No, Steph.
Mistakes? Yes, Steph. I will make mistakes. And then, I will make more.
For 2019, I urge you: Make mistakes!
Gosh, I love you.
ps. Deserves repeating: Please, go make mistakes…. I promise you I will be making them too..
Oh, and… I am writing again. I am writing..