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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

SELF CARE SUNDAY

I THINK I'VE DISCOVERED A NEW PASSION.

Everybody's heard the phrase "self care" by now. You probably rolled your eyes when you said those two words together. Social media has been saturated with the term for months now. Even I'm kind of over it. What I'm NOT over is the concept of taking care of ourselves in order to be the best we can be in this life.

A few months ago I started to become really unsettled in my life. My son was adjusting to high school life, spending more time with friends and my husband was thriving in his career and in the best shape of his life. With my family doing so well, I was really able to spend time reflecting on my own happiness. Not just the temporary fix when I had a day off and treated myself to a long walk and an overpriced coffee, but a real deep look at myself. What I saw was a woman about to turn 50 years old, working 40 hours a week at job that took more out of her than she received. Some days I would not even want to talk to my family for a solid hour after being home.

My google history search looked a lot like this:

Mid life crisis...
Career pivot...
How to be happy in your job...
Bloggers over 50 making money...
how to grow your own food...

I stumbled upon some solid advice that said, "if you're unhappy, do something nice for someone else". It made sense to me. I started to plan a get together with some friends, with the strict rule that no one was to show up with food or wine or a hostess gift. I wanted them to have a nice time focussing on themselves. Planning the theme and gathering all the supplies and little take away treat bags made me feel SO GOOD. It was on a Sunday morning, there was 7 of us and we talked about how each of us practiced (or needed to practice) self care before heading to our stations to start on our vision boards. My guests chattered away over snacks and mimosas, each creating their own little piece of art in the process.

After I said my last goodbye, I felt a sense of gratitude that I hadn't felt in a long time. With the help of my co-workers, I began to plan another "Self Care Sunday" event, this time for some customers at work. My friends at work each helped in their own way, from proofreading the invitation, to brainstorming over the details. The time leading up to the event did not even FEEL LIKE WORK, and the event was a huge success.

The best feeling was a couple of days later, when one of the guests came back in to thank me for giving her the time to hang out and create. She said she felt so great afterwards and would try to continue to take a little time for herself each week. And that's when it hit me, I needed to find a way to do this on the regular.

Thanks for reading,

Nikki










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Thursday, February 28, 2019

HOW CAN I HELP?

Something happened yesterday that sent me into a downward spiral. I was at work having an average day when I saw one of my favorite customers trying to get through the door with her 18 month old baby in his stroller. We have a lot of parents with strollers shopping daily, and although any mom can manage a door, a stroller,  a thousand bags of groceries, and a ringing cell phone simultaneously, my girl was struggling a bit. Now, the back story is, about 3 minutes before, a woman entered the store with a gift box in her hand and the need for attention in her voice. 

The front door swung open: "Hello! I need help! You can help me? You can help me!" 

The woman, let's call her "Rudina", approached me with a panicked tone. 

Me: "Sure! How can I help?" In my head there is another dialogue completely.
Me- in my head: (major eye roll) Let me guess, you're late, you're in a rush, you're the queen of the world and you need me, your humble servant, to fix everything?"



Rudina: "I need an envelope and I need you to punch a hole in it and attach it with string!"

Me- in my head: "No."

Me actually: "Let me show you what we have, I can let you borrow a hole punch and if you'd like to attach it, we have ribbon for sale."

Her: "I just need one envelope and some string? Can't I just buy one envelope and some string?!" 

Me: "Let me show you what we have."

I escorted her to the envelopes and showed her ribbon.

Rudina: "Perfect! I just have to go get something from my car!! I'll be right back! I'm in such a hurry!"

Think I'm over using exclamation marks in this story? I'm not, her situation was URGENT guys. She flew out of the store and I had that feeling in my pit of my stomach. I immediately checked the time to see how long I had before it was time to clock out.  Dang it, an hour and a half left to go. 

Me, in my head: "You got this girl, you are so fortunate to have a job, you like the people you work with, heck you even crafted today! Life is good. Don't complain, don't complain, don't complain."

When I looked up from the clock I saw my customer Dana at the door and smiled as I approached her to help.

Me- in my head: "See? Everything's fine! This lovely person and her adorable child are going to make you feel great about life."

And then,  Rudina came up behind them, put one hand on the stroller and STEPPED OVER IT.  Yes, stepped over the adorable 18 month old baby, with the mother holding the door open, struggling to enter....

Sorry, I'm back, I literally just sat back on the sofa and relived the moment. Dana and I stared at each other with our mouths open for what seemed like 15 minutes. I opened the door, and Dana came all the way through and headed straight for Rudina to let her know how incredibly rude she was.  

Rudina replied "I'm in such a rush!"
Dana: "I don't care how much of a hurry you are in! You just saw that I needed help and then stepped over my child. You had to put your hand ON the stroller to get by!!"
Rudina: "I'm sorry, but (turning to me) can you help me?!"

So. Many. Feelings.  I looked at Dana, and she gave me that understanding look that customers give to staff members when they witness bad behavior from another customer and headed to the back of the store. I gave Rudina her emergency envelopes and ribbon, and my lovely co-worker swooped in and took over for me. 

I went over to check on Dana and her son.  We chatted about what happened as her son happily played on the floor. The conversation took twists and turns as we shared our experiences living in L.A. The good, the bad, and the self involved. We talked about our lives as moms who want more out of life. We've both seen success in our creativity, but both are feeling stagnant. We connected, and it was nice. But, I couldn't help but feel sad as we said goodbye. Her son gave out a couple of hugs and I held the door open for them and watched them as they continued on their way. 

The sadness stayed with me all night, I cried a little, drank a little, and slept a little. And at 430am I woke up with questions.  Do I want to live the rest of my life helping people? Am I helping the wrong people? Do I need help?  Seriously, it's time for a change. I need to answer some hard questions and I'm scared because I don't have all the answers and I'm almost 50.  Do you think Rudina laid in bed this morning asking herself the same questions? I doubt it, but I do have to thank her for pushing me to this point. I need a solid game plan for the next 50 years.

Thanks for reading,
Nik
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