Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: events

#30daysofdresses – day 13

Friday night I hosted an event for work and wore one of my favorite new dresses.

The little yellow belt was in play again, and I wore nude colored heels. This is also the dress I wore during the wedding weekend last month.

H picked it out for me at Forever 21 – he loves the cut of it, I love the color and texture. It feels way more expensive than a $25 dress at F21. Also, the back has an interesting opening though I don’t have a photo of that to share with you.

The event went really well – mostly b/c I made the executive decision to bump up the budget and cover everything well enough. Cutting corners is just not working for our events anymore. And I had my temp overseeing two volunteers – and the three of them rocked check-in, so I didn’t have to spend a moment dealing with the door.

It was the first time I felt like I hosted an event – instead of running around like a crazy person (but I already said that in Saturday’s post). Yay me. #levelup

Oh – and the bracelet is Alex and Ani (a trend that has yet to hit the west coast) from my awesome coworker (a thank you gift for helping her with her crazy event in June). While I’m not into super trendy things, I love that it’s from A and also that it means energy which is EXACTLY what I need when working events, and reminds me to protect my energy levels as much as possible.

Short post for a short dress ūüėČ

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Piqued

The week continued to be a doozy. It seems after the meltdown on Wednesday, things were looking up again. Thursday was quiet. Easy. Good.

Then Friday I ran around and hosted a big event. The amazing thing is that I have an assistant now and he rocks. This was the first time I felt like I was actually hosting an event and not just running around like a crazy person for 5hrs.

But back at home that night I cried and cried again – getting into an actual argument with H and melting down for the 2nd time in a few days.

What the heck?

Yes, it’s definitely hormones, but besides that, I still don’t know. And I’m not sure I’ll figure it out. But I have today to hang out with a good friend from college, tomorrow a video chat with another longtime friend and then completely free. Monday I plan to take an entire day to myself and go wander Pasadena, taking photos, sitting in cafes and exploring.

The above picture is of Cater in a large box from a hiking backpack H ordered. Carter knows tons of commands, so with a little food bribing, we can get him to do lots of cool things. Like climb into a box and lay down, b/c it’s funny… but then he stayed there! So we gave him his duckie and towel and he chilled out for a while. Proving again, he is secretly part cat. Also, animals are so weird. And the best.

So now, some links:

Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Yes, I linked to this in other posts, but I love E. Gilbert and I will watch anything she’s on.

The internet has created the Facebook engagement reveal, blog-featured wedding, and Pinterest-worthy baby’s rooms – so of course announcing a pregnancy is also swept up in this series of public displays of “my life is awesome”. A couple announced their pregnancy by creating a Wes Anderson parody and I loved everything about it.

I want to set a calendar reminder to reread A Cup of Jo’s post 10 Things I’ve Learned In My Career every month.

She also linked an article she wrote for the New York Magazine about people who only wear one color. Being almost 38% done with my #30daysofdresses challenge, I am finding it more constricting than liberating. So I’m not sure I could wear only one color, but I do love me some navy.

Elise is sharing This Is My Business Story in installments and I can’t get enough. The details, the timeline of things, the practicality and the reflection. Elise is a planner, works super hard and really values the behind-the-scenes sharing which, in my opinion, is a great use of the internet and the other side of the coin to the above paragraph about everyone’s fabulous version of their life they share online. And as someone who is considering updating her blog / changing the path of my career, I love that she’s kept every one of her posts live, all the way back to the beginning. How’s that for behind-the-scenes?

Lindsey never ceases to amaze me with her words on memories, living, time and life. Time Folds Like An Accordion made me aware of my own life again, it’s little details as I sit here typing this for you, for me – to remember – H napping on the couch, Carter napping in the chair, a vase of flowers on the table, and arrangement I made for the event on Friday night. How time slips and slides and truly does fold back on itself.

And because I saw Gone Girl last weekend and b/c Jennifer Garner is gracious and adorable while being asked about her husband’s success with the movie even though she has TWO movies of her own out (ahem)… watch her on Ellen.

Think that’s enough for now. xo

See all Piqued posts.

Remnants

It’s been a busy busy busy two weeks.

Tonight is the last night of work for both H and I for a while. Of course, I fly to Boston Saturday, but at least after tonight we get to settled back into a somewhat normal schedule for the week.

Noticing that rock climbing gives purpose to things like drinking juice (above), getting enough water, making healthy food choices and strength training. It even makes ab workouts worthwhile. Climbing for smaller ladies like myself requires mucho core strength. I’m getting stronger and that’s awesome.

I spent last week at the CaseSMC and yesterday at the YouTube Space LA. I am bursting with ideas. With all of the events I’m running and attending, there doesn’t seem enough time to think though. Hoping to get some time soon to jot down everything and sketch out plans.

I love feeling like this. Energized, excited, with objectives to focus on. It seems like a waste to go spend the evening hosting an event, but that’s what’s on my schedule.

Hope your weekend is feeling lovely. Feel free to share what you’re up to in the comments. xo

 

4 of 52, Year of Ocean

Last week was challenging. I could say “What a way to start off 2014” but it’s how I start every year – with events that are bigger than me, with more work than I can handle alone, with an abusive amount of stress and socializing.

What was different this year is that I had a team. A few coworkers that came out to attend and assist at the events that actually helped.

And after the crazy weekend, we had some time together – sipping coffee, walking Santa Monica beach, eating at Cafe Gratitude and talking for hours. Of course we were still working – one of us would step aside to take a phone call while the other two looked in shops. They took photos of the ocean while I sent important post-event emails. But it was exactly what I needed after the pressure, the exhaustion and the work.

These two gals are my support group at work, despite us working 3,000 miles apart. We vent, laugh, work, challenge and discuss so much. We call ourselves Team DAJ and one day hope to take over the world.

But I think what’s most important to mention here is that they’re kind, hard-working people with smart opinions that set very high bars for themselves. They may have traveled out here to work my event, but the whole thing would’ve sank without them.

I was offered Grammy tickets as a thank you for my hard work, but the Grammys were right after my biggest event on Sunday, and there’s no way I would’ve made it there without crying. I was able to extend the offer to these ladies and they took it with glee. It was the perfect topper for their LA trip, despite the very long day they endured.

And as they were getting ready in the bathroom at the venue, while I still had guests mingling outside, and was waiting for the rental company to come and break down all of the tables and chairs, I listened to them chatter with excitement between stalls. They.were.so.excited. And I felt like a proud older sister, ushering them along to the next Hollywood adventure. As one skipped out of her stall so I could pee, and the other asked me to zip up her dress, I felt like, for the first time in a very long time, I had girlfriends. Not individual women who I shared deep conversations with, but a tight group of girls who gossiped and joked with their own group language, full of inside jokes and shared experiences.

So for the first time ever, I came out of the eventful weekend happy with my work, and I give most of the credit to feeling like, for the first time ever, that I had a team.

Team DAJ. #loveyameanit

**See all of my Year of Ocean

A Quiet Moment

While I have 3 events in the next 7 days, I also plan to: clean my apt (relaxing for me), hike, run, see the ocean, get a mani/pedi, have dinner with awesome friends, get a massage, sleep in, cuddle Carter, drink delish coffee, kiss H and run all over LA with my awesome colleagues. Work stress or not, I only get to live these days once.
~Posted on Facebook, January 22 2014

I did indeed clean the entire apartment. I needed something productive to do with my energy. Since I worked on our MLK Monday holiday, and did a bunch of work last week, I’m caught up with the events. I just need to confirm everything one last time and pay the vendors.

To add to the “hurry up and wait”, we had another snow day at work. Since the college I work for is on the East Coast, snow days are basically a free day for me. While I check email and do work that needs attention, I know that everyone else is probably not working either.

And so, I went with the flow of it all. Saw my therapist, took myself out for a latte and some INFJ business class work, visited spent way too much at Michael’s, grocery-shopped, watched some hockey with H, cooked dinner, did some Project Life and now I’m here – writing to you.

By the time this posts, I’ll be off and running on 4 days of event-planner busyness, but right now, sitting here in the quiet, I know I did good.

I’ve learned to live my life whether or not external events are stressful or calm. I’ve learned to do what needs doing, and then to take care of myself. Or maybe it’s the opposite. To take care of myself, and then do what needs doing.

It’s so much easier this way.

I wish we could all live like this, but I know jobs and families are demanding. Not everyone has the luxuries that I have. But I wonder if, inside your busy days, you can find a quiet moment to sip a latte, to stare at the birds in the yard, to snap of photo of yourself, to jot down a few thoughts, to lay in the blue light of morning.

To create a quiet moment, to take care of yourself, and then do what needs doing. xo

 

An $8 juice, and being walked home

January is never fun for me. No matter if the holidays are crazy or restful, I feel launched, unprepared, back into a month where work is demanding and stressful. This year, this month, it’s 5 events in 19 days, four of which come in a row at the end of the month.

Tuesday night was the first event of the month, and technically also the easiest, but I spent the day ragged with anxiety. I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins, this cold and tight feeling in my chest, and my heart racing like it was experiencing a caffeine overload. For the life of me, I could not shake it.

I tried rationalizing: Nothing is wrong. I am fine. I am not in danger.  I tried deep breathing, closing my eyes and waiting, a 3m run with the dog, a hot shower and even a fancy, delicious and pricey juice.

Nothing worked.

And while that feeling didn’t leave my body until I slept it off… I wanted to leave a marker here for myself for three reasons:

1. I trusted that this was some combo of panic and pms, and that I could lay low, do what work needed to be done, and know that I would mostly likely feel better after a night of sleep (which I did).

2. That there was no rationalizing or doing to be done. No fixing. I just had to go through my self-care practices and wait it out.

3. That connection is what actually helped.

It’s the third point that makes this so awesome for me now, a few days later. I shared my anxiety on Facebook and a friend commented “Look at the sky and remember you’re a blonde monkey floating in space and none of this stuff actually matters. Works for me every time.” A phone call with a former colleague & current friend let me vent. She said, “You’re a rockstar. Your event will be amazing. The end.” Lindsey sent me a lovely comment about my one little word post on Twitter and Jamie said that my word (~flow~) sounded like the perfect approach to the day we were both having. A friend was photographing the event, and she is such a quiet presence, it’s nice to have her there when I’m talking my head off to 100+ people I don’t know. And lastly, the woman who managed the bar is snazzy, sends plates of food over to my check-in table, hands me giant bottles of water and says things like, “don’t worry mama, we got this”.

As the day went on, I could feel the love I was being sent, and I did my best to soak it in, and say yes to each offering… because striving the way we do sometimes, sets us up to feel intense panic about if we’re doing the right things and if we’re working hard enough.

This day reminded me that not only was I for sure going to rock my job, but that people like working with me. I am loved regardless if the event is a success or not.

And it reminded me of this quote… which I’m pretty sure is becoming a guiding principle for how I live my life: ‚ÄúWe’re all just walking each other home.‚ÄĚ ~Ram Dass.

On this day, I had a lot of people walking with me, and for that, I am grateful.

 

 

500th Time of Allowing Myself

Carter and I this morning during our bike ride.

What I want to tell you is this is my 500th post, and at such a milestone, I wanted to celebrate the way that bloggers do…

But I’m realizing more and more how much hustling goes on online, with word-count limits, bullet lists and productivity tricks. I mean, I knew I was avoiding that type of space, but it’s only in the past few months I’m thinking about actually creating this space, fleshing it out with my own experience and inviting you to share yours.

So instead of a give-away, top 10 list or guest posting all over the interwebs, I am here, doing my usual thing. Sharing stuff about life.

I hosted a work event last night – it went as perfectly as an annual event can, with the help of lovely volunteers and the weather knocking down the RSVP list (this is a good thing). And even though I rested beforehand and didn’t have much on my plate today, even though I had volunteers and nothing crazy happened, even though I was home and in bed before midnight and didn’t drink a single sip of alcohol – I woke up today feeling totally wiped out.

This almost always happens. The effort of planning, executing and keeping myself calm for the weeks prior and during the hours of an event, lead to some crazy post-event hangover.

I think it’s a pressure thing. I’m learning in my INFJ business class how my type is prone to over-achieving and over-extending… not to mention perfectionism.

And in honor of my INFJ-ness, I went for self-care today, but it seemed I felt worse as I tried a myriad of things: working, running errands, reading, and finally napping. Somehow even napping made me feel worse. I mean, come on.

It’s only hours later, after a walk outside in the chilly air, two Advil, a mug of hot tea, and a heat pack on my neck that I’m feeling able to do anything. Sitting here & writing is a major step up from the tears that leaked out while I changed the bed sheets.

It’s posts like Dream Time by Elizabeth that remind me it’s OK to have days like this (serendipity has her using Van Morrison too hah). It’s listening to this podcast again, Jen Lee speaking with Michael Nobbs, that remind me it’s OK to not be able to get too much done. It’s this episode of Creative Living with Jamie where they speak about honoring seasons and experiencing winter… and it’s me trying to remember where I am in the moon cycle, as maybe that’s what’s to blame for all of this.

I know a good night’s sleep will help. I know this is only temporary. And I know my body & emotions process things in ways my mind doesn’t understand… so it’s only fitting that my 500th blog post is really just me circling all of these resources and lessons again – and allowing myself to be.

xo

Keep Your Shit Together

So, how does one act like they have their shit together, when they don’t?

Is there something in the way they carry themselves, the words they use, the fingerprints they leave (or don’t) on glasses they sip from (or don’t) on tables they wipe clean (or don’t)?

You may think I have my shit together because I value self-care. Because I went for a run this morning, after I wrote in my journal, before I showed up for 3 meetings and called a few caterers for an event. The event that, every year, makes me feel like I don’t have my shit together. (Here is 2013‘s and here is 2012‘s)

And each year, I think, I’ll do better this time – and I rally the troops (it’s just me) and make lists, send emails, gathering my courage… and still, something goes wrong. Someone nit-picks and no matter how many people are in the room, how much applause there is, the response is –¬†we can do better next time. But all I hear is,¬†you will do better next time¬†which really means¬†you didn’t do good enough this time.

I’ve done enough work over the past 4 years to know that my work is not my worth. That even if this event crashes and burns, even if it is cancelled for reasons of horrible planning or no one RSVP’d, I am still worthy of love and connection. I am still worthy of being here.

But it still gets to me, y’know?

Do you know this feeling? Do you hike up your pants and strap on your highest heels and show up and smile, only to see yourself deflated post-whatever? Because you weren’t¬†good enough?

Because I’m pretty sure I have my shit together AND stuff still goes wrong. That’s the point isn’t it? Showing up and facing whatever it is because no matter how much we prepare, we don’t know until we’re in it. Like, knees deep, maybe even waist-high IN IT.

So, how do you do that?¬†Well, I can only tell you what works for me…

  • I make a list of everything involved in said issue and organize it to be tackled in a logical approach
  • I vent to people who believe I’m awesome and also understand what a shit-show this thing really is
  • I actually keep up on my self-care practices (for me: writing, running and reading)
  • I say “no” to other things that could splinter my energy even more
  • I tell big, dramatic, funny stories to people about how ridiculous it all is going / feels
  • I ask for help
  • I allow myself to feel how I feel because there are some things my logical brain can’t process
  • And I ¬†reassure myself to¬†trust –¬†because my version of the outcome is usually a small, often marginalized version of the possibilities that are out there… and if I can just use the above points as support and keep feeling my way through, the actual outcome will be so much more magical than I imagined.

I know this list won’t always be the right combination. Because just as I catch on to what works, my life changes, and I’m back to being in a new situation, learning new things. Like right now, with this big event coming up. It’s bad enough it’s a pain, but now I am completely revamping it due to the usual venue being booked.

But I digress…

I will keep you posted on this event, and how things pan out, if you will share with me what works for you. I would love to hear about it. I think it’s important we compare notes. What does it mean to you to “have your shit together”? How do you keep you keep it all together?

xo

Werkin’ It

Happy October! While I haven’t been here much, haven’t posted a September recap or welcomed in the new month, I am happy to grab this snippet of time. The good news: I’ve been busy with work, running successful events (thank goodness). I’ve had energy, felt good and am generally taking care of myself (read: working out, lowering the bar and not consuming much alcohol). The downside is that there’s only so much time in the day – while I’ve been reading, Project Life-ing and working,¬†blogging has fallen off the wagon.

Not to fear…

I miss this space. And I have plans to say hello a bit more. If you’re out there reading and want to shoot over a comment, y’know, to start the dialogue, I’m open to it. Otherwise, you can find me reading¬†Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail¬†or attempting to knit this cowl. Oh, and also enjoying that it hasn’t been the death-hotness that it was over Labor Day or last year around this time. Cooler temps make a girl happy.

 

What A Week

This week was packed and yet, doable. I am so proud of myself for handling all of it so well. So you’ll excuse me a moment if I need to list it all out to reassure myself I am pretty f-ing awesome.

  • Felt anxiety but turned to running, podcasts and good internet blogs to buoy myself
  • Watched Brene Brown on Oprah (omg!)
  • Organized an event for students visiting LA on spring break. Didn’t get home till 11pm.
  • Terrible noise from car’s rear driver side. Bring it in.
  • End up working from a Starbucks for 5+ hrs. Turns out, the need a part from the dealer and they’ll keep the car over night. Bah.
  • Manage to get a ride from a neighbor’s husband. Thank goodness for nice people.
  • Ride my bike to the grocery store for food for the next day’s event. My job should reward me for being the most resourceful & committed employee… ever.
  • Unload groceries. Walk dog. Shower & change.
  • Hitch a ride with my colleague to second event of the week. End up hosting over 150 people (biggest turn out yet for this event). Snag a ride home with an alumna.
  • Sleep less than 7 hours and get up to run events 3 & 4 this week. Hitch a ride to work with my sister. Arrive by 8:45am, which is the earliest I think I’ve ever shown up to the office since the start.
  • Run event 3 while inhaling tiny croissants, strawberries and orange juice.
  • Deal with event 4 and a student with an ego.
  • Wait for my ride home. Latest I’ve stayed at the office for no reason.
  • Go to Wurskutche with H & my sister. Needed that brat.
  • Manage to wake up and run 3m to the car place on Thursday – exercise the dog + car pick up in one. Boo-yah.
  • Meet an awesome friend for early lunch. Do more work. Finally get some rest.

And manage all of this with hardly any tears, no major panic issues, and lots of self-love. Constant reassurance that “I got this” and “I’m really not that busy“. Lots of trust in myself and in things working out just the way they should.

And that brings us to today…
Where I walked the dog, Skyped with my mom, did a bunch more work, finally ordered my Project Life photos from Persnickety Prints, and now I’m chilling on the couch with H & Carter Cash. H is just starting his spring break and I’m looking forward to the weekend together.

Hope you are yours are well xo