Breathe – Floral Desktop Wallpaper

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May 2015 Wallpaper 1024 x 774

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I spent last week in Atlanta enjoying some much needed time away from the city and work. My sister and brother-in-law were so kind to put me up for the week. Twenty-four hours in and I had nearly used up all of their hot water.

I took three baths in less than 24 hours (three!).

My private bathroom had a garden tub that literally called my name over and over and OVER again. The funny part is I am not a bath person. In fact I can only stay put for 9 1/2 minutes before I am reaching for the shower then my towel.

My insane bathing routine had little to do with how clean I felt and more to do with the incessant conversation going on in my head – my day job life vs. my dream job life.

Ever have those sorts of conversations? Ever feel bothered by what you do for a living and why you have to do it for a living in the first place? Ever want to just quit and go do that OTHER thing that makes you happier?

Yeah me too.

No amount of stress-reducing eucalyptus body wash helped (and I used nearly half the bottle). What did help were countless conversations with my bestie and my God. One asked What do you want? The other said, Breathe. Everything is working out.

Both were right on time. And hopefully my sharing with you is too. 

Make May beautiful. 

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MAKING IT: Dance With Me

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After last week’s realization that rushing to do everything was getting me exactly 0% closer to my goals, I took a moment, a whole weekend actually, to just exist. I caught up with friends, drank delicious libations, and got a massage. I actively chose not to work and didn’t even bother to wash the dishes. I spent 2 cozy nights in my overheated bedroom and for once shared my sheets with a rich, old, white man. Frank Underwood got it like that.

But of all the things I did for myself to restore my shine, none was more important than salsa dancing.

When there’s nothing but strip malls and chain restaurants to keep you company, extracurriculars are a Southern girl’s best friend. Whether it was swimming, cheerleading, or jv soccer, I was always keeping active. Movement to me is freedom and there was never anything more liberating than putting on pink tights, or an African turban, or jazz shoes to really get me to my primal self. Even as an adult, after the classes had ended, you could find me in my 4 inch stilettos breaking it down until the break of dawn.

So when my fave guy friend asked me out to dance, I didn’t understand why I felt such dread and trepidation. Then it dawned on me…

I don’t remember dancing, I mean really dancing, in the last 5 years. 

The funny thing is that once you have tasted something good, you never forget it. My authentic self quenches my thirst for a better life. I have no choice but to drink up.

Preferably after a sweaty night on the dancefloor.

 

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,
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