Posts from the “Me” Category

Stitch Fix (the bitching & the fixing)

Posted on September 12, 2014

There are a lot of complaints that get thrown around these days, online and in person. I am no stranger to having people question why they should have to pay for something that my company does, “But it’s just an idea, it’s not like it’s a product or something that cost you money to make.” Umm, wrong. The only reason you have the idea is because we came up with it. You didn’t walk through the doors of a public library, you came into a place of business—a place where employees come to work and earn the money that will buy their groceries and pay their rent. I get a little annoyed when people gripe about Stitch Fix and its associated costs. The model is…

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All the Flavors—sad to happy to wow

Posted on August 25, 2014

“We’re going to try and have an adventure, ok?” I gently cajoled. “Really, what is it?” They asked. I shook my head, “I want it to be a surprise.” They blurted out guesses that quickly began to make my plans for an afternoon at the county fair seem kind of lame. “Nope,” I said trying to keep my spirits up as I weaved defensively through the weekend traffic. “Mom, is it ok if I take a nippy-nap?” Finley asked quietly. “Sure, of course. Do you feel sick?” I asked worried. “Yes, do you feel sick, Fin? Are you going to throw up, because if you are we should stop,” Briar said in a mixture of fret and lecture. “No, I’m just tired.” I wondered…

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Avoiding an Idle Mind

Posted on August 24, 2014

This week was awful. My disbelief and heartache were unrelenting and compounded by Sean’s absence. I needed escape or purpose or both because everything felt hopelessly out of control. But what to do? I drew upon a combination of needing to change things and remembering that I am capable.

Our laundry room has long been the root source of my unhappiness. I mean, the laundry just never ends and the room never fit. The shelves in the cabinets were too short, too shallow, and the wrong height. The wallpaper border always made me feel like I was living in someone else’s house. I loathed the dirty blue color and the entire room came to feel like a jail cell.

I decided to redo it; all of it. I researched shelving options. I knew that I wanted to be able to store hampers and quilts. Our kitchen renovation did away with the place where I stored all the medicine and first aid supplies, so I wanted something to fit that bill too. I also needed a system for the broom and mop.

I took a big old breath of “Why the hell not?” and got to work. You can see the transformation right down there.

 

My heart still hurts and laundry is still a chore, but somehow taking control of the space and giving it touches that make me smile soothed me. Oh, and pushing past my fear and doing it myself made me feel incredible.

 

Do you have any spaces in your house that make you feel heavy? Or that make you feel light?

Day by Day

Posted on August 13, 2014

There isn’t much that calms me down, which as I get older is becoming a problem. Stress tangles inside of me, festering in knots that I can’t find my way to untie. The furrows in my brow deepen, the acid pings and gurgles from my stomach grow to a roar. My worry launches itself from the laundry piles to the greens that are going bad in the crisper, to the jumble of ill-fitting and tired underwear in my dresser, to all the things I want to do with the girls but can’t get to because I have to be at a meeting and I still have to do a grocery shop, and for-the-love-of-all-that’s-good-why-is-time moving so fast?

“You just have to lower your stress, Amanda,” Sean will say. I completely agree, but knowing how to fix it and not feeling more stress at the thought of having to reduce stress is beyond me.

Exercise charges me and clears my mind, reading can distract me from my worries, swimming offers me quiet, but the hurdle of feeling like these things are selfish trips me up.

Do it for your health, which makes you stronger for the girls and more capable of managing the rest of your day.

Do it for yourself. Just do it.

Sometimes I do, but it doesn’t exactly make me feel calm. The only thing that really lowers my shoulders and soothes me is gardening. I love the ritual of watering, the unwrapping of the hose, feeling the water surge through in that first spray, and then guiding the arc of water from my hand to little plants. I revel in the sensation of my fingers in the soil, the gritty feel of the earth in my hands, even beneath my nails. The smell of the grass nearby or of the marigolds soldiers that keep the bugs at bay, it fills me with a sense of belonging and when the chives tickle at my legs or the cucumber leaves catch on my hands, I feel capable. I made those. I will nourish my family with these.

This week the first of three bulbs that I planted sometime earlier this year finally began to bloom. I couldn’t remember what color they had been, or even the kind of flower. The excitement of seeing that something actually grew and transformed from the odd, craggy lump, to a burgeoning creature made my heart race. I checked on it every day, until this morning when I tiptoed around the curving stone stairs and it finally revealed the full blossom to me. The payoff for my patience was intoxicating and the sight of the water droplets on the petals felt as if they were cleansing me too.

 

 

I hope something new opens for you, whether it’s a fresh start, an opportunity, or a wildflower on a walk. I hope you’ll come back and share what you discovered.

You get what you pay for and other life lessons of rarely putting yourself first.

Posted on August 10, 2014

  “Damnit! Every time.” I said, not as angry as it might read, more resigned than anything. “Are those new?” Sean asked nodding toward my newly spattered with pasta sauce pants. “Yes,” I sighed looking down at the cloud blue colored sweat pants. They have a light line down the side and go to just past my knees. “They were an add on to the Gap order I made for the girls.” He rolled his eyes. “What? Do you not like them? I wanted them to be something for the colder weather that would look kind of easy, but sexy.” I said with a chagrined pout. “Yes, I like them. They are everything you wanted, but you’ll wash them once and they’ll lose their…

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