Stress and Telling Myself it is Okay…

18 Mar

By no means has this been an easy week. In fact, I feel very much like that girl up there, I just want to put my head in my hands and let everything go for a little while.  In truth, nothing is wrong. I’m reasonably healthy, work is going well, my relationship is wonderful.

Somehow, I am just not feeling it this week. I’ve been working hard, but it seems like everything is screaming at me to just stop. Typically, I can complete 7 to 8 articles in a work day, with ease. This week, I feel as if everything has taken twice as long.

I know my body is telling me I need a break. I need to unwind for a few days. I want to relax. I want to spend an afternoon running through a wildflower field.

All that bloom and color makes me feel like I deserve to unwind. I know that I do deserve, but I’m on this path to make my life better. To become more financially stable, to become healthier. Those goals make me feel like I have to push, push, push…all the time.

I feel guilty taking a day off. I feel guilty when my body tells me I need a break. I think it’s harder when you freelance. If you do not get your work done, you do not get paid. Sick days and vacation time is not built in. I am working on building up that fund.

In the meantime, I have to figure out what do when my body is screaming out at me for some downtime, but my mind wants to keep pushing.

How do you balance responsibility with downtime?

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Wedding Confessions

15 Mar

copyright: PhotoXpress

I married my very best friend just about a year and a half ago in a simple, casual ceremony at a park in New Jersey. We planned it on a shoestring budget and for us, it was wonderful. What surprised me about my wedding day was that things I shunned for my day: the big, white dress, established dance floor and more formal food were things that I miss looking back on my day.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I married my best friend. That’s first and foremost, the most important thing.

I had some of the people who love me most there and present. I was missing a few others who could not make it due to circumstances they could not control. I did not realize going into my big day how much I would miss a handful of people who mean more to me than many others.

Except for a few close friends (thank you, Becky, Ashlee, Kaity, Randa and Marie), a couple family members and my wonderful sisters-in-law, I do not feel like many people took my celebration seriously. For me, that’s hard to deal with.

Some of these “downfalls” were definitely my fault, especially because I let other dramas in life overshadow my day. The truth of the matter is, I found the right person, now I want to have the right celebration.

So for now, I am dreaming of  a redux on an upcoming anniversary. Maybe, I will even get lucky enough that things will change and we can celebrate our union with the legal papers (but that’s a post for another day).

The next time around I want:

  • to give Anne more of things she has dreamed of, instead of just the colors and feelings I wanted.
  • the people who really matter in attendance
  • amazing food
  • quality music
  • time for actual posed photos
  • a feeling of celebration in the air

Things I am dreaming of:

Autumn in the Mountains

Cream and Gold

with touches of purple mixed in

An old fashioned barn dance

lit with rustic lanterns

What I Want…

9 Mar

copyright: PhotoXpress

Once again, I am taking today’s inspiration from Nikki over at the Grateful Sparrow. I just read her post about figuring out what you want out of life and just going for it. Between her post and J. Money’s insanely awesome advice at Budgets Are Sexy, I am realizing that my number one priority needs to be finding some financial stability.

Confession: I am not very good with money.

The problem is that I know how to make a budget, but sticking to it is difficult. I spend too much on unnecessary things like snacks. Rising gas prices have blown my gas budget all to hell. So, it’s time to regroup. Find some balance (does anyone else sense a recurring theme around here?)

The Plan: 

Make a new budget, a realistic one. Work with my wife to keep ourselves in check and be held accountable to that budget. Prioritize things like building a savings account and paying off some debt over unnecessary things that nickel and dime our budget, blowing holes in the side of our ship.

In other words, live up to my blog identity and make it work!  So this is the new plan. Now, I just need to implement, because we all know what they say about the best laid plans.

The saddest part of this whole story is that I work for myself. I can write as much (or as little) as I want. Its up to me to put the time, effort and energy into my career and make it pay off. Again, it’s about balance.

I am stronger than this girl who has been living paycheck to paycheck for many years, unable to get ahead. I’m smarter than that. So, I am taking control. From this point on, no more excuses.

It’s time to:

1. Pay bills on time
2. Pay myself vacation and sick time
3. Build an emergency and savings fund
4. Pay off debt
5. Find stable ground to begin rebuilding my credit.

I know none of this will be easy, but if I make it a priority in my life, it will happen. It can happen. It has to happen.

Wish me luck, I am going to need it.

Have any awesome financial advice? Please share.

Rainy Sunday Joy

6 Mar

copyright: PhotoXpress

Something about this quiet, rainy Sunday is bringing me such joy. Lately, I have been in the process of committing myself to my writing and I took on a second job as an afterschool nanny, so my work days are jam-packed. I am not complaining by any means, because I finally feel like I am finding some career balance.

Those jam-packed, crazy days make me enjoy these quiet simple ones even more. Today, I am relaxing catching up with the my blog reading and returning some emails.

Copyright: PhotoXpress

I am also spending some time crafting. As important as crafting is to me, it has gotten pushed aside for work and other things lately. I am still trying to find that balance, but its forthcoming for sure. So, I recently learned how to make granny squares and I’m working on a blanket for my nephew’s 6th birthday. I’ll share some photos soon.

I hope you’re finding some time for simple joy this Sunday.

I Have a Secret (from a stylist)

3 Mar

 

So, it should not (but probably is) be a secret that I am completely obsessed with home design shows and could pretty much spend the entire day watching HGTV if someone would let me.

Since the blog is now going to be all about things that bring me joy, I am going to share more of my favorites. So stay tuned for future posts about Curb Appeal: the Block, Income Property, Dear Genevieve and the Antonio Treatment.

For now, I am going to focus on the new show by Design Star winner, Emily Henderson called Secrets of a Stylist. On last season of Design Star, I was on Team Emily from the very beginning, despite her slow start. After the winner was crowned, I watched the preview of SOFAS with glee, and I’ve been waiting patiently for the new season to come out since that time.

So, the season began with the super cute couple Hilary and Bobby and their very empty living room.

copyright: HGTV

Emily took them through a fun little game she calls the “style diagnostic”. They had to pick fabrics for each other, glassware items and shelf display items. Then they each had to pick an inspiration outfit for the other.

Emily then took all this information and put together unique style descriptions from their “style diagnostic.”

Emily diagnoses Hillary as Hollywood Regency–defined by glitz, glamour and classic items. Bobby is given the Country Club Chic diagnoses meaning he likes things a bit more relaxed, upscale but with a weekend vibe, old world pieces and quality construction.

The makeover portion of the show begins with Emily making over the room in a Hollywood Regency style and allowing Hillary and Bobby to critique the space.

copyright: HGTV

Hilary loves the space, but does wish it had a bit more of a relaxing vibe and place to watch television. Bobby likes some things but feels the overall look is too feminine.  So, Emily goes to work adding Country Club Chic to the Hollywood base.

copyright: HGTV

Meet, Hollywood Country Club and add two satisfied clients to Miss Emily’s list.

Overall, I really enjoyed the show and while the finished space is not exactly my taste, I can see that Emily was truly able to blend their styles. I adored the honesty of the show and how Emily responded. My only compliant was that it was a little slow in places. I will definitely be tuning for the next episode.

Also, Emily blogs and she’s super cute. So, check it out.

Quest for Self-Love

2 Mar

As I mentioned in my last post, this is my year. I am determined to get through it with self-love, self-awarness and a huge, heaping dose of joy. I am completely in love with the girls over at Stratejoy. I’ve been motivated and inspired through three seasons of bloggers as well as by Molly herself. I’m also completely inspired by former Statejoy-blogger, Nikki over at the The Grateful Sparrow.

So, I am adopting the principles I have learned from these amazing women to turn this year, and this blog into a chronicle of my journey to self-discovery and self-love. I will share with you the things I am doing for myself, my family, my wife, my career. I will share the things that make me laugh, smile. The things I am just loving at the moment.

Don’t worry, I am not throwing away Erin Makes It Work staples like book reviews and recipes. After all, I find joy in the stacks at my local library and cooking in my kitchen.

Today, I share with you the face that always makes me smile.

 My super cute, always curious, sometimes bad bundle of fur. Meet Ziggy!

Also, just to put a little spring in my step, I painted my nails a bright, happy green…and I love watching my fingers fly over the keys.

Falling in Love with Myself

23 Feb

 

Often, you hear adults refer to their college years, or high school as the golden years or glory days. For me, the opposite is true. I can stand here and say that in my late twenties, I am experiencing a love affair…with myself.

As a girl whose always just been a bit outside of the realm of the popularity, a girl whose always been big boned and curvy, a girl whose always been more than a little goofy…I definitely did not always fit in. I struggled, especially through middle school and high school. I was not always a happy person, as a result I was not always a great daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend. It is difficult to give your best self to those you love, when you do not necessarily love yourself.

Love is a tricky concept. I have always found it fairly easy to love my family, friends and wife unconditionally. Even when they drive me up a wall, and with my family full of strong personalities, that happens, I love them completely. I have not always found it so easy to love me.

I am not sure when that began to change, but somewhere around 21 or 22, I began to realize that I had some toxic friends and relationships. I let those people stay around me because I’m not very good at ending things and also because I let people treat me poorly. I let people judge me and I let myself take those judgements to heart.

Things slowly began to change, and with time I began to surround myself with people that lifted me up in life. I began to develop true, deep friendships. The kind that last through distance and time. I found someone worthy of my heart, who loved me as much I should have always been loving myself.

So, this year, I am making a promise. Not to cut myself down because I still have a few extra pounds. Not to cut myself down because the idea of a conventional 9 to 5 job makes me cringe more than I can really say. This year, I am going to celebrate all the things I love about being me. I am going to take time to nurture those things and build them up. To celebrate joy at every turn. This is my year to shed the darkness.

I think I have always found the things that set me apart from the popular crowd a bit comforting. It made it easy to hide in my shell. Now, I find those things inspiring, because I am unique. I am worthy of joy..and so are you.

So here’s to….

  • being a complete and total book nerd and finding solace in the library.
  • understanding words better than people sometimes.
  • loving country music and rock belonging to the decades before I was born.
  • having amazing friends and crazy, loving family.
  • wanting to make a living being creative.
  • being completely in love with my life
  • being the kind of girl who takes her wife on dates to the park and spends hours on the playground

What makes you, you? What are you celebrating these days?