MAKING IT: The Importance of Treading Water

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Treading Water
We live in a time that is increasingly go, go, go. Here in New York City, I can expect to hear a horn honk even before the light changes. Everyday I see people literally risk their lives to run in front of moving cars, just to get to their ice coffee about .45 seconds quicker. Work is no different. Americans are working longer hours than ever before. Those who are at work for long periods and seem to be constantly busy are perceived as important. From the Industrialized Revolution to 1990, if you stayed longer at work than you were supposed to, it usually indicated how inefficient and unfocused you were. The 35 hour work week is something I truly wish they would bring back from the Mad Men era. That, daytime cocktail hour, and clothes that flattered an hourglass shape.

I have come to the point of having enough. The deadlines keep popping up like whack-a-moles and the faster I hit them, the quicker another one pops up. I know the signs of exhaustion a mile away. A perpetually catatonic state. Crying at the drop of a hat. The inability to laugh. Inexplicable aches and pains. Going 4 days without lipstick.

I NEVER GO 4 DAYS WITHOUT LIPSTICK.

When I realize I am a person I can’t recognize, in true type A fashion, I create a bevy of solutions designed to make me more efficient ASAP. 1.Go to bed an hour earlier 2.Pick up frozen dinners (watch the salt) so you don’t have to cook 3.Research shows that a 15 minute cat nap can help with productivity. 4.Buy a new pack of underwear so you don’t have to wash clothes so often.

SPOILER ALERT–it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because there is no mind shift. All those strategies are designed to ultimately help me in the very thing that is doing me in–going faster, better, stronger, harder.

But where I am going exactly? What do I gain by getting an impossible amount done in very little time? And how is getting this report done/signing my boyfriend up for health insurance/lending someone my last dollar/saying yes when I want to say no actually reaffirming my values of joy, creativity, and authenticity? I can tell you how! It isn’t.

I can’t magically transport myself to a place where the pace of life is slower and I am not trying to build my career. If that was true, I would snap my fingers like I Dream of Jeannie and be in the Carolinas or on a Caribbean island married to a (hot) millionaire in no time flat. 

The last time I did this, in all honesty, was as a child. I could sit in a white room with some crayons and be entertained by my own thoughts. I was fully alive in my body and in my life whether I was on the dance floor, at the dinner table, or in the pool. Especially in the pool. God, I miss being a Southerner with unlimited access to a pool, lake, or water park anytime the temperature is over 75 degrees. From the time I was 8 to 15, my summers were spent in lessons where I learned to race from one side of an Olympic-sized pool to the other. But before I could even do that, I had to learn to tread water. You don’t learn how to backstroke or how to dive for rings on your first try. You have to learn to be in one spot until you are uncomfortable with the choppiness of the water, until can deal with the wave. That’s the importance of treading water.

Staying still where you are and being ok with it is sometimes the only way to protect yourself. It’s the only way to ensure, when things get rough, that you will not drown.

 xoxo,
kel daroe sig

Five Free Desktop + iPhone Wallpapers

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If I could bundle up all the pretty in the world and give it to you, I would. In fact, I dream of bundling up pretty and giving it away almost daily.  I steal minutes to scribble, doodle or audio record each new dream I have for this blog and business of mine with the hope that the blocks of time I tell myself I need to create will materialize tomorrow or the next day or on the weekend.

My day job is eating my dream job alive. 

I did have a come-to-Jesus-moment a few days ago though and here is some #truth #forabeautifullife for the both us.

(and my addendum) Do all you can. With the time you have.  

The conditions for making your dreams a reality will NEVER EVER be perfect so you might as well flesh out those scribbles and doodles and roll back that tape. I am.

Find a few moments.
Steal a few moments.
Put those precious minutes in a vice grip if you have too. 
Do what it takes.
You and your beautiful dreams are worth it.

Let’s not let our day jobs eat our dreams jobs alive this week K. And if you’re in that blessed number of folk who are already dream-job-ing-it. Hugs and Hi5s. Share your stories. We need them.

Take these five free desktop + iPhone wallpapers and let them inspire you to keep on keeping on because your dreams are valid and valuable.

Five Free Desktop + iPhones Wallpapers

Seven Free Desktop Wallpapers_two _inspired by Beatrice Clay

Seven Free Desktop Wallpapers_four_inspired by Beatrice Clay Seven Free Desktop Wallpapers_three _inspired by Beatrice Clay  Seven Free Desktop Wallpapers_one _inspired by Beatrice Clay Seven Free Desktop Wallpapers_five_inspired by Beatrice Clay

 Can you guess which one I am gonna use on FRI-YAY!!!!? I swear I haven’t met a polka didn’t I la-la-la-LOVE!

//Download your pretty desktop + iPhone wallpapers here 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 //

xoxo,
bc sig black NEW

MAKING IT: Treat Yourself

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making it_treat yourself
In my inaugural post here on Making It, I delved into my commitment to supporting and nurturing the relationships I have with my lady friends who have been a constant virtually since childhood.

My friendships are of the upmost importance to me, but every once in a while, after a hectic week of work, an awfully bad date, or a new edition of family drama, calls to my girls don’t get quickly returned and a request for a brunch meetup can feel like walking the plank.

It’s at these times that I need to breathe deeply, take a moment, and focus on loving myself. 

It’s at these times that I need to breathe deeply, take a moment, and focus on loving myself. True to my brown girl ancestry, I will make it a point to give out all my affection, attention, and energy to those around me, not thinking twice about it until a subtle wave of melancholy becomes the eardrum-splitting siren of exhaustion. So when my inner bank of emotional wellness writes a check to my boss, my friends, or my bf that comes back marked INSUFFICIENT FUNDS, I know it’s time to stop everything…and treat myself.

Cue your inner Donna Meagle.

I don’t have the presence of mind to listen to Deepak Chopra, hike for 30 miles, or spend 2 hours with my butt in the air practicing hot yoga. Ideally treating myself would include a first-class 10-day trip to the Maldives, complete with massage, personal chef, and shopping spree. I wish! My bank account is a *little* short for that right now, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t treat myself on a budget. I always find that small, habitual treats are what keep sails afloat and my well filled and ultimately prevent me from the blind shopping rage that follows a hysterical meltdown.

As the month of love winds down, I am instituting some small habits that are my idea of a sincere thank you to me, from me:

  • Manicure Mondays. For the cost of $13, I can start my week off right.
  • Craft time. There is nothing more relaxing than crocheting something for a loved one or myself. The repetitive motion sooths me and clears my mind.
  • Catch up on a good book! I read all the time, but it’s now always related to work, productivity, or the latest fad diet. I am planning on taking some time out to reconnect with myself intellectually and emotionally. Fiction has my heart as do romance novels. Sometimes a racy scene can make the subway ride seem faster.
  • Date nights (with myself). It’s cuffing season and I tend to let myself go this time of year. Once a week, I am aiming to do for myself what I would do for a cutie patootie—shave my legs, put on some lipstick, and make myself a meal.
  • Treat yo self surprise. I read this article from LearnVest and it completely rocked my world. Think about writing all the small things that make you happy on pieces of paper in a mason jar. Once you accomplished one of your goals, shake up the jar, reach in and pick your treat!

Find me on Twitter and Instagram at @KelDaroe. I want to hear from you!

xo,
kel daroe sig

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