Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: work

Recently (February 2015)

finishing editing meeting minutes for a big deal meeting. this is much harder than I anticipated.

rolling with doing work when I have the energy, ignoring time and day of the week

going to so.many.places, starting with Austin next week.

updating the blog, moving it to a new home with a new look. Stay tuned!

watching Fargo (my Martin Freeman crush is deep). Walking Dead. Hockey. Can’t wait to binge-watch House of Cards.

reading Station 11. Just finished The Bone Clocks and Me Talk Pretty One Day.

remembering being read to as a kid, especially Charlotte’s Web at school and Little Women by my grandmother at home.

quitting alcohol, going on 3 weeks

thinking about creating a podcast

celebrating my birthday

loving H’s support, and how he’s obsessed with listening to a book on tape.

drinking hot chocolate with coffee

dreaming of babies #notpregnant

wearing a random assortment of pajama-like clothing

missing Stephanie

listening to Book Riot, Raise Your Hand Say Yes, Dabbles vs Doers and the Nerdist podcasts.

planning many, many trips

embracing the next few months are not what I thought they’d be, including 6 flights, but it should all still be pretty awesome.

spending less money, despite said trip planning travels.

wishing I could read in the bathtub all day, everyday. Actually, wishing for a better tub in general. (Birthday gift?)

feeling grateful this post-event season feels easier than other years

obsessed with Marcel The Shell With Shoes On (you’re welcome)

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Living For The Love

Life is moving at lightening speed, with work event hosting and planning, trying to get as much work done as possible in the few business days before the Christmas vacation.

And yet, days goes slowly. My energy is low again, the darker evenings bring on a sleepiness I can’t battle, and I feel like tucking in – to needlepoint, to books, to hockey on TV, to bed with flannel sheets and night walks with the dog.

This morning, I read Yes by Jillian at The Noisy Plume:

…life is short.  It becomes more and more apparent to me as I watch my grandparents in the twilight of their wonderful lives, as I watch my parents age, as I see our siblings and friends having babies and growing the next generation, as I see the lines of a life well lived begin to pepper my face.  I’m not going to live forever.  Neither are you.  I am concerned that when I lay in the quiet of a failing heartbeat on my deathbed that I will regret how much time I spent worrying, how much time I spent on my computer hitting a “like” button, how many days I sacrificed making memories with the people I love on the land I adore for a small job I didn’t pour my heart and soul into.  When I realized all of this, I decided to say yes as often as possible to the people closest to me, even if there were 100 unanswered and festering emails in my inbox, even if I was straddling a deadline in the studio, even if I was running late on photo submissions for freelance work — I started setting those things aside and doing a better job of living for love, living for the love of life, living for the love of experiences.

Her words wrap around the feelings I have about the panic that sets in about events, unanswered emails, the general piles of stuff that spring up around the house and the to-do lists. In the end, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the time I’ve spent with people “living for the love of experiences”.

———

Rest keeps coming up for me too, from tweets, to blog posts, to friend’s emails. Like, OK Universe, I hear you.

November saw me travel to Boston, to Denver, to Joshua Tree. I haven’t blogged about any of it yet, and I’m not sure why. I know there is some type of flow that happens between living / experiencing life the writing / reflecting I do… and I think I may need to do even more of that to really grasp what that flow is. To articulate it to you in words.

It’s so hard to revel in this season when everything seems to be so busy busy busy. I am taking time out each day to post a photo for December Reflections. I turn the Christmas lights on at night. I’m sipping a lot of hot chocolate and letting the holiday music blast through speakers while I work. The to-do list is focused, albeit shorter and shorter to cope with my lack of energy, but even in my weariness, things are getting done.

And then this by David Whyte:

To rest is to give up on worrying and fretting and the sense that there is something wrong with the world unless we are there to put it right; to rest is to fall back literally or figuratively from outer targets and shift the goal not to an inner bulls eye, an imagined state of perfect stillness, but to an inner state of natural exchange.

Again – to move from a place of outward productivity to a place of inward enjoyment. Reflection. A different type of giving and receiving. Especially being open to receiving.

If that’s what I focus on in the the next few weeks – receiving – I should be able to sing sink* right into the holiday spirit.

*Originally I wrote sing which I thought was a wonderful slip as music seems to move me much more lately, and singing is an excellent way to move into the holiday spirit. xo

Welcoming December

November was a month full of travel – leaving home for work once and fun twice.

December is home-bound all the way.

We got back from our Thanksgiving trip to Joshua Tree yesterday afternoon – driving home in the rain that visited SoCal (gosh, we need it). We spent the later afternoon reading (me) and napping (H & Carter Cash). It was a very active, fun, adventurous weekend. I plan on writing more about it this week.

This morning I welcomed in December with a quick trip to Starbucks to write out all of the swirling ToDos in my head. Getting things down on paper is not only a relief, but also gives me a solid way to keep track of the next thing I want to / need to work on.

The season of red cups, Christmas music and gift-list making is upon us. We have family visiting in T-2.5 weeks and we’re hosting everyone for Christmas, officially, for the first time this year.

After work I am going to pack up the Thanksgiving decorations and pull out the Christmas ones. The weather plus end of daylight savings time has made the evenings dark and long. I think it’s 6pm when it’s only 4pm. I think it’s time for bed around 7pm. We’re asleep most night by 9:30pm, and sleep 8hrs straight. We wake before the sunrise, moving through the dark apartment by 5:30am.

But it’s part of the season, part of the change, part of the flow. I can’t believe we’re in the last month of 2014, I’m holding on to every last bit of it as the days go by.

The photo above is for day 1 of December Reflections, hosted by Susannah Conway. I don’t plan on sharing the photos here in that exact capacity, but feel free to follow / join over on Instagram.

And lastly, a happy 50th birthday to my awesome MIL who embodies the spirit of the (Sagittarius) with her enthusiasm for life. xo

Post-Travel Grounding

Back home.

Here is how I get grounded after returning from a (work) trip:

I do not schedule anything for my first full day back. Traveling is fun and exhausting. I usually need quiet, slowing down time to feel back at home. Like jumping off a merry-go-round – you hit the ground running before you can slow to a stop.

I unpack – putting things away, sorting dirty clothes and storing the suitcase (so it doesn’t live in front of my dresser, blocking drawers) really helps the travel feel done.

I return to my normal morning activities (aka rituals) – the dog and I go out for a walk or bike ride, I write morning pages, I make the bed and eat my favorite foods (H was wonderful to pick up eggs and milk so I’d have groceries to make my own breakfast my first day back at home #itsthelittlethings).

I take it slow – I don’t expect too much of myself, I don’t pressure myself to get “to dos” done, I listen to podcasts, straighten up around the apartment, and nap. Napping is important, especially if I’ve overloaded myself with information and conversations, like the return from a work trip.

I find quality time with my husband – so much of feeling untethered in our relationship for me comes from a lack of quality time. He picked me up from the airport, we slept in on Saturday, we went out to dinner Friday night. We spent time together and that makes me feel even more comforted and grounded.

I indulge – this time, I’m being even more self-indulgent and taking a 4 day weekend after traveling for work 4 days. But I’m learning more and more that my all-or-nothing personality functions well when I’ve rested enough. If I take an entire day to do what I want to do, or even more so, to do nothing productive at all, then I bounce back with tons of energy the next day. It’s a rubber-band sling-shot type of balance that seems to suit me.

How do you ground yourself after travel?

Busy, Simple Boston Trip

Another trip to Boston for work is in the books.

This trip was quick and dirty – flew in on Monday after the weekend in Joshua Tree and seeing Jimmy Eat World again – worked all the hours Tuesday through Thursday, and flew home Thursday night.

Glad I went to sit in on a few important meetings, connect with colleagues and bounce ideas around. It was gray, dark and chilly – it poured the last day.

Highlight was getting to meet Lindsey of A Design So Vast in person – yay for meeting people from the Internet. She was just as engaging, kind and thoughtful as her writing portrays her to be. So thankful she made the time for me.

I broke out the puffy coat for the cold, did HIIT exercises in my hotel room, tramped around in my new maroon boots, and made sure I ate a bagel with lox. I consumed many chai lattes, didn’t drink too much this time and ate seared Ahi tuna steaks at more than one meal. I stopped at a Dunkin Donuts for a glazed donut and hot tea, sipped french onion soup and spoke to 5 student groups. I had dinner with one of my best friends and heard about her wedding plans and hung out with her puppy for a few minutes. I got to hug my two favorite colleagues. I had deep conversations with people I consider mentors and friends.

My flights felt long, but were as easy as flying across the country can get.

I stayed up too late and didn’t get enough sleep.

Once student event had a small number of people show up and my presentation wasn’t working – so I decided to improvise. The the fire alarm went off, forcing us to change locations. Somehow, we all reconvened and the students who stuck around said they really enjoyed the entire event. Proud of myself for going with the flow.

And lastly, when I tried to catch a cab in the rain to the airport, there were no cabs to be found. A women, my age or younger, was also waiting. She said she was going to call an Uber and that I could tag along with her. I didn’t get her name or info but I’d like to send her a thank you for that ride – which was quick, warm and got me to the airport with plenty of time.

Life is so simple and easy at times, just going with the flow.

Piqued

Twas a good week, finally. Yay.

Steph was back in town – we walked the neighborhood, watched Elizabeth Gilbert on Super Soul Sunday (highly recommend) and took selfies with Carter Cash.

Balance to the Universe restored.

I booked a flight, pretty much on a whim, to visit my friend Chelsea in Denver. Hi Chels!

We still have absolutely ZERO plans for Halloween. Maybe b/c we have to be up at 6am the day after.

And I’m getting some quality home alone time while H is at a math conference with his best friend.

Here are a few links for you this weekend:

7 Strange Questions That Help Your Find Your Life Purpose. While I’m so over the self-help culture and how it’s exploded into a black hole of lists to make you feel bad about how you’re living your life, these questions are funny and thought-provoking. Enjoy.

Found Shoestring Adventures (total weekend warrior porn) because they interviewed on of my fav bloggers ever Jillian Lukiski. She’s a metalsmith, blogger and photographer who lives and breathes nature, takes amazing photos and writes like a banshee.

“I make what I make because I live in the interior West and this space has carved my spirit and my life. This is the land I know by heart. These are the mountains I hike and run and ski. These are the trees I know by name. These are the wild animals I watch and cherish and hunt and fish and witness and take into my own life cycle on a daily basis.”

My college roommate and I knew this, but coloring is soooooo relaxing. I can just smell the crayons now.

Some straight office/productivity advice: don’t answer emails that lack questions.

And a little combo of hippy and good advice – do it anyway.

“At one point, she (Cheryl Strayed) was talking about uncertainty, about how to keep going when you don’t know how, when you aren’t sure of the outcome, about how to take that step when the deck is stacked against you: she said that you have to say a prayer to the god of doing it anyway.  You have to take a deep breath and go for it even though you have no idea how it will all turn out.  You have to find that teeny bit of faith so that you can take the very next step.”

I usually don’t link to funny videos, but H and I couldn’t stop laughing at this kid:

 

#30daysofdresses – day 16

The 14 hour work day…

Last week when I pulled this dress out of my closet, I was preparing for a full day of meetings. Higher ups were in town and my colleague planned a tour of LA from breakfast to bedtime.

It was a long, long, long day.

It was productive though. Because I’m a remote employee, I don’t get to experience the conversations that pan out between other people, the information sharing, the collaboration. I learned so much just riding in the car between meetings. It was a nice professional boost to attend these appointments.

At one point, a higher-up was asking me questions, feeling me out about my career goals. I said I believed we needed more leadership and maturity – and she asked about me.

Me?

I said I didn’t feel like I had enough experience yet… again, maturity, etc… and she cut me off, and said in a very direct but gentle way, “That’s a female thing. No man your age would say that.”

Oh.

Hello imposter syndrome: a situation where someone feels like an impostor or fraud because they think that their accomplishments are nowhere near as good as those of the people around them. Usually, their accomplishments are just as good, and the person is applying an unfairly high standard to themselves (and not to others).

The whole day got me thinking about where I’m at, what I want to do next, and circling back over this topic of having the authority over my own life.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to participate.

#30daysofdresses – day 15

Finally, a normal day.

Drove to work blasting It’s Blitz by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Listen to Zero and rock out.

Got to work early, answered emails, attended a meeting that wasn’t a complete waste of time, finished a project, had another meeting. A full day at the office and not one instance of drama.

Gosh, it’s been a while.

Maybe it was / is Mercury Retrograde or my own sensitivity… but I finally feel better (at least, I feel good as I’m writing this).

I liked the blazer over this dress, love the length and material of this dress, and overall felt super comfy all day.

Also, I’m growing my hair out some and it’s in a weird stage where I have to bobby pin it on one side.

That is all.

#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 😉

#30daysofdresses – day 11

In where I’m finally feeling better. Ah, relief…

When I woke up on this day, I could tell something had shifted. I still felt anxious but I didn’t feel crushed under the weight of a dark cloud.

Got up, wrote morning pages, ran 2m with Carter, vacuumed the house (again, the fleas) and had one more good cry. Still no idea where the flood of emotions is coming from, but finally showered and out the door, I felt pretty good.

Work was easy – I had to drive really far to pick up some rentals for the work event Friday night and then went to the office. I did work in quiet, alone, listening to Jimmy Eat World and drinking a grande whole milk chai tea latte (these are my weakness lately – not so great for the calories, but wonderful for the comfort).

And I noticed that I felt… fine. Not crazy, not upset, not angry. Just totally me. Normal.

Awesome.

H had to work late, so I took Carter out for a bike ride as the sun was going down. The air was cool, it felt a little grey and chilly, and I was happy. Riding a bike, the dog trotting next to me, the sun light fading – whatever had been dragging me down seemed to dissipate and I could enjoy my life again.

That afternoon, as I waited for my Starbucks, a barrista blew by and said, “I love your dress, it’s so cute!”. Now, after 10 days of dresses, I know this dress is cute, but it’s not the cutest one I’ve worn. Nope. I’m thinking that I finally looked cute – like someone who was happy to compliment, giving off good vibes, and feeling good in my skin.

With H not home, I took full advantage and started watching Girls. Cooked myself a random dinner (whenever H isn’t home, I eat the weirdest combo of things. This night it was broccoli, Italian sausage, black beans and cheddar cheese). And just relaxed. Like, actually felt like I was relaxed.

So yeah – no fast and easy quick, no 10 Ways To Stop Losing Your Shit here… just what my friend Katie wrote in the comments on day 9: “…we’re like waves floating around; sometimes the water gets a little rough but it always passes and we float along again, rocking back and forth. Embrace whatever the water is doing, “just keep swimming” and know soon enough, the water will calm down”

Wise words. Happy Sunday xo.

Dress is Forever 21, belt is off a dress from Kohl’s and sandals are Kohl’s.