Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mantra Testing

My 2015 mantra to "LET IT GO" is being challenged in a serious way.  I am so trying to roll with the flow and let life happen, but I am struggling man. The lack of control is driving me batty. I'm starting to see why people don't make new year's resolutions or intentions - once you put it out there it feels like the universe is conspiring to see how well you can play out that intention.  Perhaps I shouldn't have chosen a mantra that is also the theme song to a popular Disney movie. I mean, it didn't work out so hot for Elsa there for a while.

So what am I struggling to let go of?

Our kitchen renovation. It came to yet another screeching halt yesterday.  As a recap, the first bump came with designer #1's $6,000 design price tag. Womp womp. At which point we changed directions and found a design-build firm who only charged $500 for the design, which gets refunded back to you if you sign on with them to do your project. I've met with designer #2 over a handful of times. Measurements have been taken. Design plans drawn up. Contractors have come to the house to provide their estimates for plumbing, electrical, HVAC and flooring. All of this was supposedly coming up on budget.

Then, last week designer #2 called to tell me that we needed to increase our budget $7,000 to correct the uneven floor, or we'd have to go with laminate or some other floating floor option, which they weren't really keen on. So I asked for a meeting with the designer, the owner of the company who made this decision and also asked for a breakdown of the budget to see where all the other money was being allocated. I asked for this meeting last Wednesday, but for whatever reason they couldn't meet us until 9am Tuesday morning. Then at 8am that morning I got a call from designer #2 saying they just couldn't do the project and would refund me our money. Apparently she could not get the numbers to work the whole time, even without the $7,000 bump. I never did see a budget breakdown, so I'm still not sure what the real story is. But I took my money back, cried a tear or two of frustration and decided the husband and I can tackle being our own general contractor. This should be a fun adventure.

Then there's my j.o.b. I know, I know, ain't nobody supposed to talk publicly about their job. I get it. But the fact of the matter is that things with my legal job are totally up in the air. I'm struggling to just be chill about the whole thing. I want to know the end result. I want to know where this is going. I want to know the destination.  I am really trying to enjoy the journey, but I'm finding that difficult with all the uncertainty. And yes, there was a big thing that happened recently to shake up the uncertainty even more than it already was, but at the end of the day, I'm still employed and I still am bringing home decent money for my family. I'm trying to focus on those things and less about titles and what may transpire down the road. I know I need to let go of the fear around this and just ride it out.

I'm also trying to let go of the speed with which my Beautycounter business is growing. By all accounts I'm doing a great job. I'm only in my 2nd full month and I'm completely happy with my progress, but it's hard to not compare to the speed of some of the other consultants. I see other consultants building their team each day (we have a huge support network on facebook, so I see when someone adds a new member) and so far I haven't recruited anyone. I know in time it will happen, but it is hard to not compare and feel like your'e doing something wrong. I know they may be doing Beuatycounter as a full time job and have much more time to commit to their business than I do, but it's hard to fight off that self-doubt. I am finding that motivation is something you have to give your self on a daily basis. It comes and goes.  But I'm trying to remind myself that as long as I keep moving forward, things are good. There is no competition for growing the fastest. I know in my heart that slow and steady is the right and perfect way for me, but sometimes I lose sight of that and want it to happen now.

It's just been an emotional couple of weeks. Everyone in our house has also been sick, so I know that's not helping things. I know I'm worrying my husband - he bears the brunt of it when I collapse and flip the switch from my usual positive self to walking around under the negative dark cloud that sometimes appears. I'm grateful to have him walking beside me and holding my hand when I need it the most.  

So I'm going to just keep singing along with Elsa and let the storm rage on.  And maybe for 2016 I'll go with Hakuna Matata as my mantra.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Mother's Day Gift Idea

Mother's Day is exactly one month from today.  Instead of finding a last minute gift the day before that your wife or mom will feel ho hum about, why not plan ahead and buy her something she'll love this year?  Beautycounter has some great Mother's Day gift sets that are available until May 5th (though to ensure they get here before May 10, you may want to order early).  My favorite product is sold in the Renew & Refresh Set - and I have no doubt the special mom in your life will love our Nourishing Cleansing Balm too!  I'm not the only one who thinks it's great - check out reviews herehere and here.  It takes off all my makeup, cleanses and moisturizes my face and keeps it looking great.  This product also works great for eczema and any dry/cracked skin (I use it on my heels)!

Shop the special Mother's Day sets and all our products here.  Or contact me for helping putting together a customized set of products for your special mom!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

When the Attacks Come Back

I have to admit I've been feeling really good about myself the past few months and had actually believed the anxiety attacks were behind me. Turns out it was time for me to be knocked off my high horse. I had a panic attack Friday night at dinner and then the beginnings of another one last night before a Beautycounter social got underway.  It starts with my heart racing and then I simply panic (hence the name...) and sometimes I get it under control, yet other times it just spirals. Friday night it spiraled. Last night I reigned it in, thankfully.

Friday night we were out to dinner with my sister-in-law and her husband to my favorite restaurant in Macon (coincidentally it was the same restaurant where I had my last attack in December on our first double date with my Tuesday Morning friend). We were finishing dinner when the heart pounding began.  I tried so hard to will it away, reminding myself there was nothing to worry about. But it devolved until I found myself sitting on my bed holding the bottle of Xanax with tears streaming down my face.  The medication was there for a reason, yet I couldn't make myself take it. In the moment I felt like taking the medicine would amount to failure on my part. So I just sat there staring at the orange bottle still filled with 15 small, white pills. I couldn't calm down, yet I couldn't open the bottle. I felt so conflicted. Eventually, reason won out (along with a little hand-holding by my husband and the gentle remind that this was not my being defeated). I just wanted it to stop, so I took the pill. And it stopped, allowing me to fall into a blissful sleep.

Saturday I woke up in a fog and it didn't lift for most of the day. We had friends over for an early Easter egg hunt and I felt disconnected until late in the afternoon. I'm not sure if it was lingering effects of the Xanax, or if it was self-imposed depression for feeling like a failure. The sadness continued into Sunday.

After talking with Kajal, my awesome nutritionist, she reminded me that I had stopped taking my normal supplements earlier last week to battle some sort of sickness I'd come down with. So she wasn't surprised the panic attack and anxiety came back. On the one hand it showed me that the whole food supplements are working, but it worries me that I'll have to take those forever to keep this in check. And while I'd rather take a natural supplement over medication, I apparently could continue working on my coping mechanisms.  Yoga and meditation come to mind as something I need to get into, but continue not doing.

But I'm not sure what to think of last night's near attack.  I'm back on my regular supplement routine (although only for a day), so maybe the supplements aren't keeping it totally under control. But part of me feels it was self induced - before I even departed for Athens I realized I'd left my little orange bottle of pills at home on my nightstand instead of safely tucked away in my purse where they've lived for the past few months. I considered driving home to get them before leaving but decided against it, thinking I'd be fine. So I'm wondering if the fear of not having the pills with me in case an attack started was what brought on the heart pounding to begin with? I now sort of understand the doctor's worry about retreating into social phobia if you have panic attacks. You wonder why you even bother putting yourself in a situation where you could get anxious in front of a whole group of people.

But I was able to suppress the anxiety long enough last night to get through my presentation. I think it helps that part of my "story" involves admitting to a room of strangers that I have this anxiety problem. Once it is out there, some of the power goes away.  Which is one reason I want to keep writing about these attacks. I want to not be afraid of having an attack. I want others to know that people deal with this. I want others to know that the smiling girl next to you at a party may end the night in tears after being struck down with debilitating anxiety.

The smiling girl                                            And the anxiety
We all have our things. I was reminded of this last night in talking to a friend who's dealing with her own set of shit, which is completely different from my issue. Just remember when you're interacting with anyone that you don't walk in their shoes. You don't know what internal battle they're fighting. One of the most compassionate things you can do is to love others as you want to be loved and really try not to judge someone because you just don't know where they are on their path.  And treat yourself with the same love and kindness. This is a lesson I'm continuing to have to remind myself and one I suspect I'll continue struggling with as time goes on.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Clean it Up

So I'm really diving into this new (to me) world of trying to live a less toxic life. I'm almost finished with the book Little Changes by Kristi Marsh and it has really awakened a desire in me to clean up my whole life: from the products I use, to the food I eat, to the dishwasher detergent and laundry cleaners in my house.  It feels challenging but it also feels exciting.

So far I've researched washing my clothes with soap nuts, but haven't pulled the trigger yet, opting instead for toxin-free laundry detergent. We've stopped using the dry cleaner for the husband's dress shirts (admittedly we did that to save a few bucks each week, but are continuing now that I'm not real keen on the dry clean chemicals). I'm switching over to less toxic cleaning products and may try to make some of my own from Baking Soda and Vinegar, but haven't quite found the time for that.

The food thing is where my mind is currently swirling.  Mostly, I'm not reading anything I didn't already know about food, but it seems that the more I read, the more it keeps sinking in. (Though my eyes are more opened to what factoring farming of animals actually means.  And those growth hormones given to cows to produce more milk?  Well, I read last night that this leads to mastitis in cows! Ugh, the pain that must cause....I've experience a clogged milk duct or two in my life and I can't imagine having 4 inflamed, hard teet at once! Poor cows.) The few dollars we're saving by not switching to all USDA organic fruits/veggies, dairy and meats doesn't seem worth it now. So the husband has been instructed to only buy organic meats - he asked me if our chicken tasted better now that I knew it wasn't living its life in a cage without a beak.  He may mock me a bit, but he's on board, so I'll put up with a bit of teasing.  I do think we'll reduce the amount of meat we eat simply because it is more expensive to buy organic meat.  And my boys are really going to need to find some other fruit to eat since organic strawberries are quite pricey.  But we're going to be even more conscious of the food we put in our body than we were and I'm excited for the change.  It will be a challenge for sure, but I really feel it's important to teach the boys healthy eating habits and to actually feed them REAL FOOD, as opposed to whatever it is that makes up most processed foods.

We're even going to try our hand at a container garden this summer.  Lukas is excited to have a garden at home since he already has one at school - maybe he'll have a greener thumb than his momma. The plan is to also start a compost pile out back to help the soil in the vegetable garden. I'm thinking we might should just sign up for a CSA rather than attempt the garden, but I'm feeling adventurous (I'll just keep the CSA website handy just in case)! And I must admit the thought of backyard chickens has crossed my mind, although I'm not there yet.  Nor is the man of the house. I really should introduce things one at a time or I may risk driving him crazy!

I've stopped wearing antiperspirant and instead wear deodorant - though you have to try a few to find one that works for you!  I'm loving LaVanilla, the Healthy Deodorant (specifically, the lavender) and have heard great things about Pit Paste, but it doesn't do a thing for me.  And BO is just not going to work for me. I'm enjoying the Beautycounter products and sharing them with friends and family. I love knowing that I'm able to use great beauty products that aren't putting my health at risk!  I just saw a great article that named Beautycounter as one of the top Beauty Brands to watch out for this year!  We have new makeup launching May 1 that I'm excited about too (lip gloss, dew moisturizer with SPF and cream blushers to name a few!).  We don't have nail polish though so one of my next products to hunt down is a safe nail polish - I've heard there are a few out there, so I'm ready to find them. 

I know this is nothing new to a lot of people, but for me, it is all another step in trying to live as healthy of a life as possible.  What is most important to you in living a healthy life? Have you switched out any of your chemical filled products for safer ones?  Do you grow your own vegetables or keep chickens in your backyard?  I'd love to know what tips others have to help me get going even more!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Connecting with Others

Happy April Fool's y'all!  My mom called me this morning and proclaimed "We got an offer on our house!" and I was so excited for a hot second, until she crushed my soul (ok, not really, but still) by saying "April Fools"! I'm so gullible, but I was really hoping someone wanted to buy their house which would've meant they were that much closer to being in our town, but alas, she has a twisted sense of humor.  It seems all those I love do.  Not sure what that says about me!

Anyway, no pranks on my end today.  Just wanted to share a quick note. So this week I had a 40 minute phone call with a sorority sister who I hadn't talked to in about 10 years.  She'd read a blog post I wrote and wanted to find out more about something I'd said. It was so fun re-connecting.  I've also been emailing and facebooking with friends who I haven't seen in as much time, if not longer, and say what you will about Facebook being a time-suck, but it is such a great way to get in touch with people.  

Life really is about connecting with others. It's not about the money we make or things we have.  It's about how we feel and how we use our time and how we use our time to make others feel. It's warmed my heart to know that something I've said on this little space of the internet has resonated with someone else, which is why I will continue to overshare until the cows come home. And since I wouldn't know what to do with a cow if it did come home, you get to keep getting TMI from me.

And I'll leave you with this great little message another friend left on her facebook wall today:

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Make Me Up

One things that drew me to Beautycounter was that in addition to two great skincare lines, they also offer toxic-free makeup.  I love makeup (especially blush and eyeliner!), so finding safe makeup that is also beautiful and effective was exciting to me.  And I understand that people may be hesitant to make a big shift in their skincare regime, so our makeup can be a great place to begin.

Celebrities, style magazines and makeup artists love our makeup! Lauren Conrad (whatever you think of her, you must admit she always looks great!) keeps our Tint Skin in her makeup bag - it is light weight and hydrating like a tinted moisturizer, but can also perform like a foundation depending on how it's applied (you can layer for more coverage).   Putting the Tint Skin on is a breeze with the Retractable Complexion Coverage Brush.

We have four stunning shades of eye shadow duos and three colors of eye liner (plus brow pencils too).  We have three beautiful blush duos to choose from and two bronzers.  For Spring I am loving loving the Flamingo/Apricot blush duo.

And let's not forget about the lips!  We have flattering shades of Lip Sheers to complete your look- check them out, along with all the great makeup here!

So what's in my makeup bag?  Here's one of my favorite combinations right now!

Tint skin in Linen
Concealer Pen in Light
Blush Duo in Bloom/Tulip
Eye Duo in Shell/Malt
Eye Pencil in Black
Lip Sheer in Plum

I know you'll love this makeup if you try it!! And if you order today (March 31st) I'll reimburse you for your shipping!  What are you waiting for?  It's time to get safe, beautiful products in YOUR hands! Let me and Beautycounter help!

Monday, March 30, 2015

I Should've Known

I've been at this working mom gig for over 4 years now. I should've known better than to make such a silly declaration that I'm "OK" with my current setup. I suppose on the whole I am, but less than a week after writing that post, I had a mini-mom-meltdown and thought how much better it would be on everyone in our family if I didn't have to rush off to work every morning. I had visions of quitting and just being a mom.

This morning was a disaster. Lukas was in tears. I was in tears. And before 8am I had to sit my son down and apologize to him for getting upset with him. I had to ask him to forgive mommy for not being patient with him. And it broke my heart when he said, with tears in his eyes, "Mommy, you made me sad and mad." All I wanted to do in that moment was reverse time. I wanted a do-over. But all I could do was say I was sorry.

I hate that I rush him in the mornings because I need to get out the door. I hate that I expect things of him that I shouldn't for a 4 year old. I hate that I made him cry this morning. And I hate that I won't be the one to pick him up from school today. I hate that our week started off on such a bad note.

I know tomorrow is a new day and I can only try to have more patience going forward. But it still breaks my heart when I realize I'm not being the best mom I can be for my boys. 

And just like that, all the confidence I had in this working mom situation has gone out the window. And so it goes.