Thursday, October 29, 2015

My first Stitch Fix!

OK, I think I love Stitch Fix...
I got my first fix today and had no idea what to expect. Well, my stylist got me and my style REALLY well! She had access to my Pinterest clothing board and my Style Fix quiz and that's all, and she did a great job. I got medium gray pants, a bracelet, dress, blouse, and sweater. Of the pieces, the only one I didn't instantly love was the green blouse.
 Here's the red sweater with the gray pants and bracelet. Love this. The sleeves on the sweater are LONG enough! My arms are 24" long, so this is not always the case. The pants fit perfectly and are boot cut, not tapered, which is a good look for the Danskos I wear all fall and winter long.

In the picture below you can see that I've unzipped the little sweater zipper details. I like that little feature!

The third photo is the cute dress. I loved it from the waist up. Sadly, while it fits perfectly on the top, it's too small on the bottom (story of my life). I'm going to have to tell my stylist to go up a size for dresses.  I know it doesn't look horrible, but honestly, it's too tight for me. If I were willing to wear Spanx and have a super tight skirt, I could pull it off. But 1. I don't do Spanx and 2. I don't show off my booty.

Finally here we have the green blouse. I'm hesitating on it for 2 reasons. First, it's not really one of my colors. I suppose it would go with jeans, but I don't have anything this color. You can't really tell how it looks on me because the lighting is terrible (I'll fix that in my next review). Second, the blouse is just a WEE bit tight across my chest. That weird area above my bust and below my shoulders. Final decision? I'm going to model it for my hubby. If he likes it, I'll probably keep it. 

Finally, the prices. The only item that I really don't like the price of is the bracelet. It's $34, which is more than I would spend on costume jewelry, unless it was fair trade or exquisitely breathtaking. This bracelet is neither. Now, there's a discount if you buy all 5 items, so if I were keeping the 4 clothing pieces, I would totally keep the bracelet b/c it would effectively be free. But I have to return the dress, so I'm not getting the discount, which means the bracelet will likely go back too. Overall, I'm thrilled. The pants are AMAZING, as are the sweater. The dress would be PERFECT if it were just a bit bigger in the hips and butt. And the total price for all 5 pieces is definitely less than I would spend at the mall, not to mention that I didn't invest any of my time shopping!

Think it sounds good? Go ahead and try it out! If you use this link, I'll get a discount on my next Fix. And then you'll get a referral link that you can use to get your own discount. We all win!

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Gift of a Day

Being a parent is brutally hard. And to be bluntly honest, being a parent to MY child is especially hard. All the advice, all the parenting rules, all the good old tricks - all of it fails with respect to her. She is strong willed, resourceful, perfectionist, intelligent, and willing to do WHATEVER it takes to be right.

My determination to be a good mother and to use primarily positive parenting tools is part of what makes parenting so difficult. If I were willing to spank and discipline using traditional punishments, I might have an easier time, but it certainly wouldn't be any more pleasant. Instead I've chosen the path of conscious, positive parenting, which means I'm always seeking to renew and strengthen our connection and our bond.

So being a parent is exhausting.  This past weekend, I thought I couldn't take it any more. If I had to fight one more battle over the simplest thing; if I had to listen to one more whining complaint; if I had to watch one more meal be treated like a plaything; well, I was just done.

And then today we went to the State Fair. My husband took the day off from work and the 3 of us arrived at the Fair right at 9:00 AM. It was a glorious, although chilly, day. We had a blast. We bought her whatever food she wanted. For breakfast she had hot chocolate. For second breakfast she had an ice cream cone. Yes, her hands got brutally cold, but we warmed them up and she was fine. We rode rides, we ate cotton candy, we watched a milking demonstration, we checked out the crafts, etc. She requested and got a whole cob of roasted corn, which she devoured. I was delighted that my child, offered every sugary treat under the sun, wanted a vegetable! We went to a pumpkin carving demonstration that was fascinating for me, but less so for her. Yet she quietly sat and watched. Sure, she was wiggling all over the place, but she was quiet. She very quietly asked if we could leave, and when I said no, she didn't object. What an amazing kid! She generously shared her cotton candy with us. We went to the pig races and had to sit and wait for 20 minutes, during which time she was delightfully patient. It was a gift of a day.

Today was the reassurance I needed that I'm not a total failure as a parent. That all the hard work I'm putting in day and night is paying off. I have a 4 year old who was sleep deprived (she normally naps) and high on sugar and yet did not misbehave or have a tantrum once, even when we said no to leaving the carving demonstration and no to more rides. She's a good kid. Our work is not in vain.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

10 Minutes

I have 10 minutes before my daughter gets up, so here goes.
I'm feeling much better this morning. Still feel bruised and sore emotionally, but after a good night's sleep and my Reiki I have a much better mood overall.
Sleep gives so much resilience. The ability to bounce back. There's a reason that we say weeping endureth for a night but joy comes in the morning. The sunrise is a potent reminder that everything is reborn. There are always second chances.

What will happen to my business? I don't know. I'm at my wit's end, literally. I've given it over to God. Whatever God wants to happen will happen. I'm going to keep doing the parts I enjoy, but I'm not going to break my back marketing or trying new ideas, etc. I'm just going to quietly do what I'm called to do, whenever and however I can, and let the rest take care of itself. We shall see.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Writing as therapy

In my writing class, our assignment for the week is to write about either our favorite dessert or a spiritual experience. I've already written about my favorite dessert, and it made me hungry. So I'll tackle the divine.

I've had plenty of high points in my spiritual journey. My first was when I was just 9 years old, a mere 4th grader. I was sad, in bed, at night.

There I lay, alone in the darkness of my room, haunted by insomnia. I was crying to myself, feeling lonesome. It was a hard time for me. My parents were both very involved with work, and my brother was in his second year at a very demanding school, so I felt isolated from my family. My father was literally gone 4 days a week on business travel. My brother was at school an hour longer than me each day and stayed in his room to do homework all afternoon.

I prayed. I prayed a lot - praying every night was a habit of mine. I read my Bible, attended Sunday School, even attempted to memorize Bible verses. A year earlier, my mother had encouraged me to read Leviticus as a cure for insomnia. Surprisingly, I found the book absolutely fascinating, and so I was reading a lot of the Bible. It didn't cure my insomnia, but I suppose it was a good thing for my soul.

That night I prayed, crying out to God. I was sad and alone. In that dark room, I felt God's presence. The Holy Spirit told me I needed to give myself to God. How? It wasn't a voice. Not an audible one. It was just knowledge, a thought that emerged in my mind. I had not been baptized as a baby, and in Sunday School we had talked about baptism and "inviting God into your heart." The knowledge that it was time to give myself to God manifested in action as praying that prayer. I invited Jesus to live in my heart.

What was this like? I have layers of memory covering the original experience. There was the direct contact - the mystical communion between the Holy Spirit and my spirit. There was the layer of conscious thought - the encoding of the communion into words and action. There was the layer of theology - the proper response to God's call. The layer of narrative, when I chose to share the experience and come forward for public baptism. The layer of memory, as I encoded that moment into long term storage.

At the root was the mystical experience - the connection with the Divine. I heard God. I gave myself to Her.

So what, I'm a Failure

So here's the weird thing about being me. Yes, I'm sad and depressed. Yes, the thought of closing my business is heartbreaking and frustrating. Yes there's part of me that is lying on the ground crying and wailing.
But there's another part. A part that says, yeah, so what.
This is just drama. Me wailing and beating myself up about being a failure - it's just drama. I'm successful and accomplished, and I do amazing things. And that means that eventually, when this stretch of drama has played out, I'll get back to doing amazing things.
I don't know what they will be. I don't know when they will happen. I don't know anything, really, other than the fact that at my core, I am OK.

This is what all those motivational posters are talking about. This is inspiration in action. Allowing myself to feel depressed and sad. Allowing myself to cry over business failures. But also letting go of the drama because I know the TRUTH. The truth is that I am OK. I am God's daughter. As a failure, I am still beloved and precious. I have value. My life has value. Even my failures are valuable to God, because She will transform them into Her successes.

Does it give me comfort? Does it take away my tears? Does it give me the motivation to pick up and start doing stuff?

I still feel like shit.
I still feel like a failure.
I still feel sad over losing my business.
It still hurts.


It's temporary.
I can give myself grace, I can allow myself to grieve, I can shrug off the pain and not try to inspire myself because I know this will pass. I can enjoy my day because I know this is all a bunch of drama and lies. Because I am OK. I have value. God can work with me, no matter what.

I'm not happy. I'm not determined to take up my bed and walk. I'm not ready to strategize for future success. But I am able to keep putting one foot ahead of the other. I am able to take good care of my self by eating healthily, sleeping well, and doing ONLY things I enjoy doing.

I'm a Failure

There comes a point when you just have to admit it. I'm a failure.
I write, but no one wants to read it.
I coach, but no one wants to receive it.
I offer fantastic programs at amazing prices, and no one wants to buy them.
I offer great free content, and no one wants to hear it.

It's time to give up and quit. All my business has done is generate losses. Sure, I've helped people. I've helped people a LOT. But that doesn't matter. I can't make a profit. And I can help people without spending my own damn money.

Why write? I guess just as a hobby. But forget any idea of publishing. My one published book was a financial loss too. I'm really good at generating financial losses. Maybe I should be an accountant.

But no one would pay for that either.

I have two Master's degrees. I have outstanding academic records. I have accomplished a crazy amount of great things.

But my bottom line says no one wants me.

I quit. I'm done. Me Zero, Big Bad World One. Thanks to Jonathon Coulton for the words.