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That's it, I'm Tossing in the Towel

Have you ever started a project and all of a sudden something so unexpected happens, you say to yourself, (excuse my french) what the fuck just happened? Yep, that would be me, and I know I'm not the only one feeling defeated after hours spent on writing your heart and soul out. I decided I needed a mental break. A break from technology and all social media related outlets, just to clear my head. I was so, (again, excuse my french) fucking pissed. I had researched articles, recordings, posts and commentaries on a subject matter, that I guess isn't relevant now. Was someone trying to tell me something? If so, then okay I get it, I heard you. LOUD. AND. CLEAR. Those few days off, allowed me to create more space in my life, for the things that mattered most.

Just to give you an idea, my next blog was all about how to, "practice playing nice in the playground." Over the past week, I've seen some pretty rude and passive aggressive comments, circulating all over social media about our current status of whether or not to return to work. These times have certainly brought out the ugly in people, and it's unfortunate that some of us have succumb to the degradation of each other. I had bullet points of what I wanted to share and then, GONE! Bye Felicia, it all disappeared. You better believe, I WAS FURIOUS. I slammed my computer shut, I yelled "THAT'S IT," walked into my bedroom and screamed into my pillow. I let the tears well up in my eyes, and started crying. I decided then, I needed to unplug.

I think we sometimes get so wrapped up in our emotions, that we forget to acknowledge them. My previous content was a collection of thoughts, consumed with anger, rage, and frustration. Now that I look back, I'm glad I was able to shift gears. I was off loading feelings that were both unfair and out of my integrity for this industry that I have grown to love and respect. We all are dedicated to our craft and we all have to do what's best for us.

With this in mind, I do have one valid point, I want to make very clear...WE ARE NOT LAZY. None of us are. Every single one of us who is a part of this community, is so far from the word, LAZY. I am positive that the hard work, sweat and tears we put into building our busineses, our livelihood, and our books, is anything but LAZY.

Now that settles that, on to the next. As I was sitting in front of my computer, after finally giving myself time to decompress, I tried to rationalize with myself over and over again. What the heck was I going to write about? Then it hit me after catching up on one of our educators, Tim Abney's live call through KM.TV, Friday afternoon. I did the only thing I knew would help me cope with all these emotions...recharge. Honestly, it was just the sort of jump start I needed to shift my focus and talk about, SELF-CARE. Something which I now feel, was lacking.

First check off my list: Gardening

My husband Rob and I finally finished ripping out all the shrubs and bushes in back of our house, to make room for new garden beds. I grew up watching my family grow things. My paternal grandparents were farmers, and my maternal grandparents were gardeners. So naturally, we take out both shovels and the rake, and start digging and raking the soil to frame out the flower bed. When we finished, we took a drive out to Van Wilgen's in North Branford, (which by the way is like a TJMAXX for gardeners) and spend an outrageous amount of money, (thanks to our stimulus check) on new flowering plants, potting soil, brown mulch, garden accessories and tools. We came home with a truck full of materials, and I got right to work.

I started with dragging the mulch bag across the bed of the truck, hoisted them one by one over my shoulder, and slammed every single one of our 10 bags of mulch, with force on the ground. I managed to pop a few bags, but I didn't care. It felt good to release all that tension and slam the shit out of those mulch bags. Needless to say, we finished all the gardening and laid out all the stones to frame out the garden bed. SELF-CARE #1, "I lift things up and SLAM THEM DOWN!"

Second check off the list: Reading

You know how they say reading can help reduce stress, well if anyone knows me, I love to read. So it without hesitation, after finishing, "Rising Strong," by Brene Brown, I had to purchase my own copy of "Dare to Lead." Three days in and I'm half-way through. If you're not familiar with her work, she has spent a good portion of her career studying courage, vulnerability, empathy and shame. Every time I open my book to a new chapter, I feel like she knows exactly what I'm going through at that very moment. She delivers such a powerful message, almost like she's speaking directly to me. (I know this sounds silly, but its the truth.) I highly encourage her work to anyone needing a good book to read. SELF-CARE #2, "Connection is why we're here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives."-Brene Brown.

Third check off the list: Buying Flowers

I love flowers, even more so, I love beautiful, well thought out, flower arrangements. On Friday, a friend of mine shared a post on her Facebook page, from a flower shop that's a few blocks up from the salon. Alison, the owner of "The Green Petal," located in Wallingford, CT had posted a beautiful collage of bright and vibrant, fresh cut flowers available for curb side pick up. You better believe I was all over that post! I'm all for supporting small businesses, so I decided to share Alison's talent on my page. I pre-ordered a bouquet of flowers and was excited to pick it up the next morning.

Saturday morning, I rolled out of bed around 7:00 a.m., woke the kids up around 9 a.m., made breakfast, dropped the kids off at my mother-in-law's and headed towards Wallingford. I had a few errands to run before picking up the flowers, so I did those first. When I got there, I walked up to Alison, (who by the way was super sweet) and we both exchanged our hello's. She handed me my bouquet, and oh my goodness, they were beautiful. I was totally doing a happy dance, as soon as I got into my car. She not only arranged them so gorgeously, but they smelled pretty to. SELF-CARE #3, "Make happiness a priority and be gentle with yourself in the process."-Bronnie Ware

Fourth Check off the list: Take Cali (our yellow lab) out for a walk

In my profession, very rarely do I get a Saturday off, unless I request it off. I've been fortunate to enjoy these Saturdays since start of this pandemic, and I will be sad to see them go. So I am taking advantage of the time I have left, and absorbing all of what these beautiful weekends have to offer. My week started off pretty shitty, so I decided to get some fresh air. I had just gotten back from running errands, and I had a little time to myself before I had to get the kids.

On a day when the sun is out shining and the weather, warm, I'd drag the kids out with me so we could all get some vitamin D. Of course, five minutes into our walk, I already have someone either asking me to turn around (that would be my daughter, Audri) or complaining their legs hurt and try and bum a piggy back ride (that would be my son, James). Both kids weren't home, and I had the house to myself. I had time to fit in a good 30 minutes, before the chaos would resume once again. Cali and I enjoyed our 30 minute stroll around the neighborhood, and it felt good to finally get some me time. SELF-CARE #4, "Self-Care: Doing the things that make you feel more like yourself." -Robyn Conley Downs

So in a nutshell...

I'm grateful for the time I had to reflect on the things that desperately needed my attention. My original post, like Missy Elliot's song, "one, two stepped it," outta here without a trace. In actuality, it taught me a valuable lesson in unexpected outcomes. It was a good reminder that when shit hits the fan, sometimes you gotta throw your hands up in the air, and toss in the towel, sis. It just isn't worth losing your marbles over.

Practicing SELF-CARE is not being selfish, its VITAL. We could all use a little time to ourselves anyways. Time that allows us to create space for more opportunities that inspire us. Because eventually we have to choose...we either ride along with the waves of change and keep surfing those rough waters, or get pulled by the current controlling our every stroke. I don't know about you, but I'm choosing to rise above and surf with the waves of change.

We all forget sometimes what self-care truly means. Practicing small gestures that make you feel more like yourself. Giving yourself permission to just let loose and roll with the punches. Maybe for some, it means to unplug from our digital world and be present in the moment. So I leave you with this as you begin your week, "Almost everything will work again if you unplug if for a few minutes, including yourself."

I wish all of you support and success as we start to get back into what today's "normal," will look like for a lot of us. As always, be safe, stay healthy and be kind to each other. Peace, love and virtual hugs, my friends.

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