(pictured above: renting lights and laughed at the sign, photo shoot set up, Car2Go because our car has seen better days)
Life has been productive (that’s my new word instead of the word “busy”) and I’ve been trying to get a better grasp on separating my work and personal life. A lot of people who own businesses like to boast about the chaos or how they work 100+ hour weeks, but I’m not about that life. What I do for a living isn’t who I am. Sure, I love it. But my hand could get cut off tomorrow and I’d have to find a new career to occupy my days.
I’ve been setting limits with my meetings, turning down work and in turn…staying focused on our fabulous clients. Nothing crazy has changed, but we’re honestly at a point where we leave meetings with our clients feeling totally amazed at how talented and smart they really are.
(picture above: homemade grain-free gyros, I wrote a piece for Darling magazine about being a slob + how I’m changing and the making of delicious chicken lettuce wraps)
Personally, I’m making a lot more changes. For the past three weeks, we got back into the cycle of eating out ALL THE TIME. I literally didn’t buy groceries from February 17 until last weekend. Or if I did…we didn’t use them. I felt wasteful, tired and bloated and so I decided that I would do another round of Whole30 mid-March. I started working out and it felt great to get back into the kitchen.
To be totally honest, food and diet wasn’t a struggle for me until the past few years. I have a tendency to get really, really focused on things. I don’t really half-ass anything at all (thanks to the advice of Ron Swanson) so when I do something like Whole30 (or when I went gluten-free), I do it 100%. I don’t waiver. I don’t cheat. I’m almost too good at following the rules. The issue lies in coming off of these detoxes or meal plans. I don’t count calories and I eat REAL food but I still struggle with that first meal with french fries and a sugary drink. Guilt washes over me and I worry that I’ll either get sick or gain weight.
Because of this, I either am all into the “real food” world or all about that takeout. I have a hard time balancing the two and when I get overwhelmed, self-care flies right out the window. So I decided to do a few things to love myself this month:
- I will NOT be doing Whole30. I eat organic, I know what foods make me feel tired, I love to cook at home and I love spending time with friends. Instead, I plan on taking an online course called Finally Free. It’s about intuitive eating (listening to your body and not calling any sorts of foods bad or “cheat-worthy”). It’s a self-paced course so I plan on spreading it out over 12 weeks.
- I’m working out again! I’m working through a strength/cardio circuit plan for the next four months (3 times a week) and will be supplementing the other days with this yoga challenge. I took my “before” photos and maybe someday I’ll have the guts to share.
- I’ve been scheduling a “spa day” for myself every weekend. It’s not literally at a spa or for a whole day but lately I’ve been taking my Friday or Sunday night to do a little self-care. It’s relaxing and honestly makes me feel confident when my legs are shaved well and my nails aren’t chipped.
How do you handle stress? Work/life balance? Self-care? I’d love to hear how you approach it all.
Over a week ago, Adam and I went through and implemented the KonMari method. I read the book (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) back in January and then caught Adam up to speed. Honestly, we planned on doing this for about a month before we actually dove in. We were gone for most of February and were aware of how much stuff we didn’t even need (or bring with us)! For those of you who don’t know, I’m going to share the main points of the method below. So if you treat non-fiction like fiction…stop reading.
At the end of the summer of 2013, I decided to do the whole “capsule wardrobe thing.” It was starting to become more mainstream, but nothing like it is now. I originally fell in love with the concept after I discovered Into Mind. I used her approach but customized it to my needs/mindset/brain. You can read my post about how I first simplified my wardrobe here.
I transitioned into the summer of 2014 without a plan but still kept my entire wardrobe under 20 items. I am a creature of outfit habit. I can wear the same thing every day and (if it makes me feel good) not care. When I look back on last summer, however, I can’t think of a single item that I really love(d). When we went to Vegas in September, I felt even more frustrated and realized that I lacked focus. I lacked so much focus that I ended up buying floral Birkenstock-style sandals because I literally didn’t have a sandal or summer shoe of any kind. I purchased a lot of trendy crap that leaves me (now) rolling my eyes. Hard.
Currently trying to work through:
- How much time to spend with people before they become a client. 15 minutes on the phone seems too short, an hour in-person is exhausting.
- How to spend time by myself without it being centered around my phone or a bright screen. And not feeling guilty when that’s sometimes what I want to do.
- And to add to that: knowing the difference between activities that temporarily relax me and ones that actually fill me up.
- Scheduling time or days off when we schedule multiple jam sessions in one week. And remembering that I shouldn’t schedule social activities the night of a jam session. 12+ hours of socialization doesn’t work.
- That presenting design work is a form of vulnerability and can leave me feeling alive but also tired.
- Compromise with my co-worker/husband and I can’t just be a hermit. Even when it’s so cold.
Last week’s (and next week’s) food prep will be a little different for me. I’m at my parents’ house for over two weeks with my younger sister (who has 3 autoimmune diseases and is limited in her diet). Thankfully, my mom stocked up on all the ingredients we both normally use (nuts, grain-free flours, produce, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, honey, palm shortening, coconut oil, coconut aminos, etc). I also arrived to find a lot of grass-fed or organic meats in the freezer. The best surprise? An order of Capello’s grain-free pasta. It’s super expensive so I never buy it for myself but it’s always a nice treat when I spend time at home with my sister.
Adam and I started working together full-time in May of 2013. At that point, we had been married for four years and we had both been working from home. The first year was hard. Suddenly we were solely responsible for 100% of our income. We had to communicate more than ever. I’m an introvert. He’s an extrovert. He’s easily distracted. I can focus to the point where I isolate/ignore others. We had months where we made more than enough money. The next month would be really tight. We had no processes and honestly…not many goals. If your goal is just “to survive,” then it’s not specific enough.
Every year I visit my hometown to stay with my sister while my parents are in Hawaii. It’s a long visit and it seems to always come at the perfect time. I’m not sure why but I tend to flee “real life” and use this time to regroup. I have a huge kitchen, weeks without in-person meetings and we usually get snowed in.
Adam and I tried to make a list of all the reasons why we love this trip. It’s not glamorous or a vacation by any means but we found ourselves almost giddy to leave last week.
A LOT of you shared that you were interested in hearing more about healthy eating, wellness and keeping a balanced life (in midst of a chaos). I was excited because it’s something very close to my heart and easy to talk about it. In case you’re new here, you can read why I went gluten-free here. And later why I chose to cook grain-free at home.
For the past few months, I’ve been real hit or miss. Either I’m eating out 24/7 (Chipotle, french fries, salads to-go, lots of Indian food) or I’m eating pretty clean. I define “eating clean” as eating food that’s not processed and if it is…I can at least pronounce or identify its ingredients.
Starting next month, I’ll be sharing my meal prep recaps towards the end of the weeks in hopes that it’s helpful if any of you like to prep over the weekend. I figured I’d share the first one today to see what else you’d like to see/questions you have!
The other night I started watching this movie called The Women. Like I always do, I looked it up on Wikipedia and learned that it’s a remake of a film from the 1930’s. It follows a group of friends in NYC and touches on independence, infidelity, finding happiness in yourself + much more. Interestingly enough, not a single man appears in the movie. Not even an extra. It’s not a good movie, but something about it struck me. [Spoilers come next…if you care then you really need to chill out because this came out in 2008 and has a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.]
After we welcomed in the new year, I vowed to read a book per week. While I’m chuckling to myself now, I do think I’ll be able to read two books this month. It took five years to kill my attention span. I mostly blame social media. How long will it take to get it back? Hopefully not another five years.
It feels a little weird to be reading two books and neither of them are fiction. I’m usually strictly a fiction kind of person. Not just any fiction but usually dark, creep and serious fiction. So far, my thoughts on each:
- Yes Please is funny but not as funny as Tina Fey’s book (so far and my opinion) but it does make me love Amy Poehler a lot. Maybe I’ll finally binge watch Parks and Rec before winter ends. She speaks to having children a bit later and being a working, successful mom. I like that.
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is really worth all the hype. I’m excited to take the methods that Marie shares and implement them after we get done traveling next month. It’s a big committment upfront but she claims you’ll never relapse to being messy if you do it correctly. If it works for me, then pigs will also be flying.
Do you have reading goals or do you just naturally read without any needed motivation?