Happy and Fulfilling Times

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I think in a way it was to actualize the fun things happening right now. Do you remember as a kid not quickly sharing something exciting to keep from jinxing it and to make sure it was still going to happen?

I got a good raise.

A few weeks ago we had reviews at work and I walked out of that meeting with a generous raise. It wasn’t impressive in a moving-up-a-tax-bracket way, but it meant a lot to me. In the meeting my boss praised me for my attitude, commitment to detail, and professionalism. Not only that, be he was excited to do my review first because he was most excited for it. He told me that he wants me to be a vital part of this company and fill bigger shoes with a more managerial role. Essentially, be the marketing director in the making.

Not only that, but I figured out the extra income I’d make with the raise and God specifically answered a request with it. I have a large electronic purchase to make, in the thousands range, and numbers nearly matched. That is a huge praise. I know that after taxes it won’t completely cover the device, but I believe that pre-taxes amount matching is from God.

I am doing a bigger part for the non-profit.

This year I didn’t get to be print chair. I got to be publicity assistant. But I’ve done a lot of stretching and contacting and making connections that I think will benefit our cause in the future. And that, despite some stress and extra time, is super empowering for me. I connected our executive director with the president of a county-wide Autism organization and she said she’d like to partner with us to give foster kids with Autism a bigger voice. I kickstarted a PSA process so that we can spread the news of our event via broadcasting from now on. I reached out to bloggers and advertisers and built up my sense of brave.

I’m helping out my brother and sister-in-law.

It’s been seven months and my brother is still dealing with a lot of pain and the concussion has not improved noticeably. With all the medical bills post accident, my sister-in-law is working hard trying to break even while working, driving my brother to specialists, and exclusively nursing their 6 month old son. It’s been tough to keep it together with the financial and emotional strain coupled with the lack of sleep a baby brings. She is so strong and I admire her so much. My brother is such a trooper too. I don’t know how he is coping with so much pain. On Friday or Saturday I’ve been spending the night and helping with my nephew so my brother can rest and my SIL can do the paperwork side of her job/catch up on housework. I try to get the dishes and other little chores out of the way when my nephew naps to help them out.

It’s a very busy but fulfilling season of life, and I’m filled with gratefulness.

Regret on Repeat

This year so far has gone very well for mental health and well being. I feel balanced, positive, and have been good as far as being present and taking things one day at a time. Last Friday, however, I felt like I blew it.

Work has been a bit awkward lately as we tackle extra projects and everyone is waist-deep in their work. This meant less communication and a monthly meeting being delayed for nearly two months. In that period of time, I did my best to seek out and persistently take on what I could but communication was more minimal that usual. I kept telling myself this next meeting I’d finally get everything straight.

The meeting came around, my portion was rushed in about 10 minutes, and the flurry of other information caught me off guard. Anxiety crept up and I realized but couldn’t control the onslaught of nervous and not-nearly-effective questions I contributed and I felt compulsive and incompetent for the group discussion. It was just not a good meeting. In the end the moderator asked if next group some of us felt comfortable leaving figures in a small sector’s hands and I hastily volunteered to sit that meeting out. I felt like I made such a mess.

That night my head spun and the feelings of regret and replays of the meeting flooded my head. It took a lot of effort to finally fall asleep. You win some, you lose some. I’m glad the next day was filled with fun at a theme park with cousins so I could destress.

What I couldn’t take into consideration  was that at that meeting, it was pointed out that the ads I designed were top scoring for the publication. And yes, that is a team effort to put together, but also equally my merit and design work as the graphic designer. I might have felt like a failure and even seemed awkward to my peers, but the proof is in the pudding that I am able to contribute to the company and our efforts.

This evening, now that my mind is clear, I think I’ll pour myself a big cup of coffee and untangle the emotions and try to come to terms with both the positives and negatives. The positives to encourage me, the negatives to mental prepare for how I can perform better next meeting.

Healthy Fear is Fuel for Future Fearlessness

Healthy Fear is Fuel for Future Fearlessness

Try saying that ten times fast. I’m always in my head, trying to sort things out or sometimes just babble for my sanity. Today’s lasting thought is that healthy fear helps to create future fearlessness.

If I look back on good career moves and personal growth, I see fear. I see fear of the unknown, fear of full potential, fear of knowing what to do. It made it kind of scary but also very thrilling. And as I conquered or overcame them, that became a sense of pride. Fear becomes fearlessness in the end. It becomes a reminder that we did hard things and kicked butt and can do it again. 

In examining life right now, I’ve noticed I don’t have enough fear fueling me in the right way. My fears borderline unhealthy and say stay put, don’t overdo it, don’t risk what you don’t know. Am I talking huge things like quitting my job or moving 10,000 miles away? Heck no. But I am thinking it’s time to fan those flames in my favor towards something scary and exciting.

What fearful things am I thinking?

New friendships – I need a sense of community and sisterhood locally. I need to diligently do my part to meet new people and kindle something. It needs to specifically be someone with ambitious dreams so we can feed off each other’s encouragement.

Planning for my future – Really sitting down and going over financial numbers, what I desire and need to work on in my relationship, and thinking hard about where I want to be in the next year, five years, and decade.

Ministry – Braving bigger roles and practicing some lacking faithfulness and diligence that has made me feel kind of crummy lately. Digging deeper and knowing I’m not just a volunteer.

I need to keep reminding me I’m not scared of being scared. I need some fear, good fear, to help me continue to evolve into a better person. I’ve done it before, I can do it again. And again. And again. 🙂

Hacks for Ladies on the Go

Are you a frequent flyer, over scheduled parent, or career gal? All of these situations call for long days and limited access to items for freshening up. I’m going to throw what knowledge I have from traveling and being a career gal your way in case it helps you out.

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Toilet Seat Protecters – Oil Blotters on the Go

Please use discretion with this hack. If you’re in a stinky gas station bathroom that looks run down and dirty, I would not suggest this. But, if you’re in a reputable place, one that looks clean, take a sheet out of the dispenser, blot with the part that goes towards the rear of the seat in a light pressing or tapping motion, and then go ahead and use it to do your business or throw it in the toilet and flush. You’ll be surprised at how efficiently it grabs oil and excess makeup. I’m always wowed. Maybe not conventional? But pretty darn cool! Instant refresh!


Hair tie/Rubber Band – Waist Band Expander

Feeling bloated or just need to feel more comfy? Take a hair tie (preferred) or thicker rubber band and pull it halfway through your button loop on your pants. Take both ends and hook it over your button, if you want to tighten it more, loop it around twice. Zip up and you should have a little more room. This may not work for pants that have a fussy zipper that likes to descend all by itself, but I’d say it works for 90% of my pants.

 

Tiny Finger Taps – Eye Refresher

Take both hands and use tips of your fingers to gently tap across the eye area. Imagine how you tap your fingers against a table when bored, but more gently and under your eyes. This tapping motion helps improve lymphatic movement and blood flow to the area to help with dark circles and puffiness. You only need to do this for 30-60 seconds. It’s a good exercise to do daily and it doesn’t cost a thing. Click here to see a short video of it.


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Hand Lotion – Hair Tamer

I learned this hack from my friend Joelle. She applies hand lotion and then uses her moisturized hands to sweep the top of her hair or the unruly strands that like to do their own thing. You aren’t applying it like hair gel, just to be clear. You’re just using that little bit that doesn’t fully absorb into your skin to help with fly-aways.

 

Purell

Hand Sanitizer – Your Deo in a Pinch

18 hour flight? Forgot to pack deodorant? Ran out of the house and forgot to apply some deodorant first? You can temporarily keep odor at bay with hand sanitizer. I don’t recommend this often, but you gotta do what you gotta do, right? This will help rid the bacteria and it’s the bacteria with sweat that makes pits stink.


Wash your bangs – Overall Hair Refresh

Maybe humidity got you really sweaty or you thought your hair could go one more day without shampooing and it’s just looking limp or greasy. If you have bangs, hold/tie back your hair and take some hand soap and rinse your bangs clean. You might look a little crazy doing this in a public bathroom, so wait until the bathroom is clear. After washing, “wring” what you can and then use paper towels to dry those bangs. On the occasion I’ve had to do this, it takes maybe a minute or two for my bangs to look completely dry. I usually wash my hair every other day, so on my off day, I start my morning routine by washing just my bangs in the sink with a shampoo bar. It really makes a difference in the overall appearance especially for people like me who have oily T zones.

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Small Muslin Drawstring Bag – Money Stash

This is the most effective thing I think I’ve ever thought up for travel or going out and not wanting to have a lot of money on hand. Take your money and fold it to fit the drawstring bag, if you have a larger drawstring you could theoretically put a credit card or gift card in there too. Draw the strings so the bag is closed. In front of a mirror, take the bag and place it above the cup of your bra in the strap area and pass the bag through both strings and pull to tighten it around your bra strap. Tuck the bag portion in your bra cup, close to where your arm hits it. This works best for more structured and larger bra cups, but it should work for any lady. For guys or ladies with very small cups or very fitted tops, you can try this method on a belt loop of your pants and tuck the bag inside your pants. It’s important to not put metal items in your drawstring bag if you’re going through the airport security line, but I’ve never had a problem using this method with cash and going through the body scanners.

Millennials…are we lazy?

Guy with Question Mark

You’ve probably heard it out of someone’s mouth (if not your parent’s or grandparent’s.) We’re a “lazy” and “entitled” bunch. We’re slow to establish ourselves as adults and in our careers. We are bombarded with complaints and comparisons of “back in my day…” Continue reading