My Deepest Condolences August 25, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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I’m standing in Paper Source staring at all these cards. When it’s a birthday or an anniversary, there’s always one or two that are just right, you’ll always find a unique greeting that makes you open it to see what’s on the inside. Unlike a birthday, or an anniversary or any of occasion, none of these cards are ones I want to pick up and open, none of these cards are right at all. How do you pick out a card that says everything you’re feeling when you don’t know what to say?
When we’re younger, our parents handle the hard stuff. Sure, as kids we have feelings and emotions when people pass away, or get fired, or fall ill, but we don’t have to handle them out in real life. In my lifetime, I’ve yet to lose someone so close that it paralyzed me for a moment. I’ve never had to decide if flowers were appropriate, and then try to pick some out, or wonder if sending a card was a better idea. I’ve never had to decide if I should jump on the first flight out and go, or if I should make a phone call instead. What I’ve learned is that there is no right answer, because when you’re grieving it all feels wrong anyway.
Being a grownup sucks sometimes. I think adults give sympathy to children who find themselves in situations of death, divorce, or injury because inside it’s a way for them to deal with it, to have someone to care for, to say it out loud, “It’s going to be okay”. The part that’s different is that children are not yet complex, their lives are just beginning so they can adapt, work through the pain, become easily distracted by their world, which is so much smaller than ours. When you’re grown, and on your own, and totally having to support yourself and your life that child-like adaptability becomes more of a cold resistance. The gravity of a situation is so much more apparent because you, as an adult, understand what’s happening, you can dissect it and put it back together again and that makes you angry. You get mad when bad things happen because you can’t fix them or control them and what that does is make you feel like a child. So you feel like a child, but you have this huge responsibly to keep it together and go through life like it’s all okay…when to you, it’s not okay.
Being an adult makes you realize how you’ve been a bad person when something bad happens. You realize you didn’t make time for people, you didn’t follow your dreams, you weren’t considerate, and you aren’t successful enough. When bad things happen, grief makes you feel like you failed and now it’s too late to fix it. Grief also makes us feel guilty; why them? Why me? It’s a wave that takes over and highlights all the horrible things everywhere, it’s like you’re drowning and you want to get out but you can’t, there’s no air. Yet, you have to wake you every morning, put on your face, and walk out the door like everything you’ve worked for happened, like it’s perfect.
The truth is, the fact that I had to pick out a sympathy card at all is F’ed up. “I shouldn’t be here, in this store, doing this. All these cards suck, but I have to pick one.” It’s hard…and if you’re like me and you’ve never dealt with grief as a late twenty-something, you won’t like it. It’s odd to think it took this long to happen to me, I guess I’m lucky, but it makes me think perhaps there are people in their 30’s and 40’s who also don’t know what it’s like, or what to do, or how it feels. Even in a time where you feel so alone, you aren’t alone at all; there are a bunch of strangers doing what you’re doing, picking out a card for a family, pretending it will somehow provide some solace for their heavy hearts.
…but life goes on. It must. Just like there are births, graduations, engagements, weddings, there are deaths. Some, untimely, unimaginable, unpredictable, some not. There is one lesson to be learned from the greeting cards, and that is that we always have love. In the happy times and sad times we have to love one another, even if we can’t stand each other, because that is what will push life forward. If we have a card for even the worst occasions, then that must prove there is still kindness in humanity, and there is hope for even the most broken-hearted.
Finding Your [Original] Zen August 18, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cleanse Mind Body Spirit, Cooking, Health and Fitness, How To, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Tips and Tricks.
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We’ve all heard about finding our zen; mediation, yoga, running along the lake front. For many people “vegging” out, or finding their center means working out, dancing, going to a Bikram class or taking a singing lesson. For others, going to church or another religious institution, therapy or sitting alone and drinking tea while reading works. All these conventional methods allow an individual to take time out of their day for their mental, emotional and spiritual health. Something different works for everyone but there are so many of us out there who are still trying to find their zen activity. Running is great, but maybe it’s more work than relaxing. Some people get intimidated in a Pilates class or at the gym. Spirituality is individual, but for many, going to a church or temple isn’t something that gives them inner peace. Sitting still is also very hard, and while it’s important and healthy to just be, it isn’t something that often comes easily. Finding your zen means finding something you enjoy that also relaxes you and gratifies your soul – meaning, sitting on the couch watching TV is out, no matter how much you are trying to convince me that it “makes you emotionally healthier.”
Think about something you can do, a singular activity, that you can do without the need of other things. In example, maybe you love knitting, but you find that after ten minutes you get bored if you’re not watching a movie or TV re-runs. Find something that fulfills you on its own. Many people find cooking as a place of peace – it’s mentally interactive, focuses your attention on one thing, and it can be very cathartic. Most importantly, at the end of the process you are left with something beautiful, delicious and made from scratch! A zenful activity is one that satisfies, whether this means you have a finished end product or just a sense of accomplishment. Another great activity is painting – it’s releases the creative juices and can be very calming. Some people paint canvases, paper with watercolors, you can find a pottery painting studio or even enroll in a once a week class. Explore different kinds of art mediums like clay, ceramics, colored pencils. Other great hobbies that can be very relaxing are sewing, cross-stitching, baking, scrap-booking, building things like models or furniture, and photography or videography.
There are even daily activities that you can find to center you, they may seem ridiculous to some, but can really work for others. What about putting on makeup? Are you someone who is always looking for a new daily look or loves to mix and match eyeshadows? Taking twenty minutes, alone, and silent to do your makeup and come up with new ideas, try new things you’ve seen on others can set you up for a very good day! The same goes with picking out an outfit, for the fashionistas out there. Close the door, make some tea, and take an extra ten minutes to find something in your closet you may have never thought to put together! Driving can actually be very calming to some (I know, to others, it’s the total opposite). Try driving with something other than this weeks top hits, maybe classical, jazz, or even silently. It’s a good time to let your thoughts sort themselves out – don’t forget to pay attention though! What about organization?! Cleaning can be very cathartic, it organizes your house and your life. Making a list of to-do’s and scheduling them, writing down the “clutter” in your head will leave room for other ideas and emotions to flow free.
Get creative! Finding peace does not mean dishing out $100 a week for soul cycle (unless that works for you!). Paint your nails, take a bath with some candles, color coordinate your closet, wash the car, pray or just take a walk! Anything that gets you away from things that worry you or stress you out, and let you have at least ten minutes to yourself, no interruptions, no distractions. Keep being happy and keep being heathy!
The Fear of Taking the Red Pill – Part I August 7, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Following Your Dreams, Life Lessons/Growing Up.
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Part one: The most amazing re-post I think I have ever posted/read!
This is an absolutely incredible article by Gilbert Ross, author of The Art of Simple Living and Soul Hiker, a blog. If you have ever wanted to be something more than ordinary, follow a dream, conquer an obstacle, break away from your parent’s ideas of what your life should be like this article will inspire you, up lift you, and motivate you to take risks and be brave. For me, finding this post on Primer Magazine came at the most perfect time in my adult life, and in my twenties (don’t care if it’s a men’s magazine!).
Take the time to read it all, don’t skim, and then read it again! Then keep your eye peeled for The Fear of Taking the Red Pill – Part II!
Wedding Planning – People Will Be Mean to You August 1, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Wedding.
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Every movie you see, every reality show you watch, and everything everyone tells you makes you feel like once you’re a bride the world is all pink and fluffy and you have this impenetrable glow around you. The wedding industry is all about happiness, how can you not feel warm and cozy inside when you work with brides and grooms and you’re basically making their dreams come true? How can someone not be happy when they get to do that everyday? Well, the wedding industry gets the Oscar for best deception. I’m going to break it to you, and I’m going to break it to you hard; When you are getting married – people will be mean to you.
The Industry – Keep in mind that wedding venues, wedding cakes, wedding dresses, they are all part of an industry just like anything else. There are friendly accountants and there are rude accountants; you’ve meet really nice servers and really nasty servers; some doctors care about you and your feelings, some just care about getting you in and out the door. We have this perception that the wedding industry is somehow exempt from this kind of seesaw, but it’s a business like all other businesses. Not everyone who has a job loves it, and I know what you’re thinking, “how can you be miserable and you’re coordinating a freakin’ wedding!?”, but people are. They’re human. Most people will great you with smiles, handshakes and congratulations, but there are those who just want you to see the space, try the cake, have the meeting and then be on your way. Not everyone watches Four Weddings religiously, like you do.
The Pressure – People who are in the wedding industry deal with a lot. At any given point they are receiving multiple emails from multiple brides, phone calls and a thousand requests. They are only one person so they can only handle one thing at a time. A lot of these people just fold under the stress, so while they aren’t trying to be mean to you, personally, they’re probably just being mean to everyone that day. People who have been doing this a long time may also feel like they know better than you. When planning a wedding, it’s important you work with people who advise and guide but also hear your vision, and not try to force their opinions on you. We recently met a venue coordinator who was adamant that we get married in November, because it would be cooler out. We politely told her we had no desire or intention of getting married in November, and then reiterated our desired date. For the next twenty minutes we heard about how November would be a better choice (sorry, not everyone has hot flashes like you do, lady). When you do this day in and day out, it’s normal to have opinions, but people often forget that unsolicited advice can hurt your business, rather than help it and they end up just coming off pushy and mean.
The People – People suck. In general. You may wonder why certain individuals have certain jobs, think about the last time you had a grumpy hostess, or met a teacher who clearly didn’t tolerate children well, or even that time you called customer support because your internet went out and the guy on the other end seemed like he’d rather be eating dirty rather than helping you. People have jobs they don’t like all the time, and some people do like they’re jobs, they just don’t show it, they’re just not warm and fuzzy, people-persons. It does seem odd that someone who deals with people, brides, on a daily basis would be so annoyed with their job, but just like any other profession out there, it does happen.
You – Sometimes, people are going to be rude, because of you. No, you may not be a bridezilla, but maybe they feel like you’re making a decision that’s very out of the ordinary and could possibly hurt your wedding instead of making it amazing. Perhaps, what you’re asking of them isn’t possible, and instead of being flexible you’re being difficult. Humans can only be flowery and nice for so long before they, too, get annoyed. Sometimes, people are mean because of something you did, rather than some way you’re acting. We had been trying to get in contact with a venue event coordinator for a couple of weeks, we couldn’t reach her and hadn’t heard back, so we went to see the venue anyway. While there, we ran into an employee who asked us if he could direct us somewhere, so we explained our situation. He promptly found the contact we had been trying to reach and ushered us into her room. Unfortunately, for us, she was in the middle of a meeting and just as promptly as we were brought in, we were escorted out and told to sit in a chair and wait. The other couple in the meeting felt so uncomfortable they actually stepped out and congratulated us – it was a weird situation all around. This woman is obviously just poor at time management, it shouldn’t take two weeks to call someone back, and it should take more than five minutes to show someone a venue, but people have natural reactions to events that happen. To her, we were intruders, even though her co-worker was the one who made the mistake. Give people the benefit of the doubt every now and then.
Long story short – remember that weddings are, at the end of the day, a business too. Sure, they might be one of the more fun, interesting professions out there, but not everyone feels that way. Some people are tired, they’re old, they’re worn out, and some people just happen to have a bad attitude no matter what they do. The best advice is to be you, stick up for yourself but also don’t let other people ruin your experience. Aren’t you the happiest you’ve ever been? Good! Channel that often and always and any mean, inconsiderate, vendors will just roll off you like little beads of rain!
Here Comes The Stress July 20, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Following Your Dreams, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Wedding.
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A little over three weeks ago I made a solemn DLIH promise to be more active, post more articles, and long story short, just be better. Then I went on two back-to-back vacations and, oh yeah, got a little ring to wear on my left hand. Traveling has never stopped me from posting before, so being overseas wasn’t necessarily the issue. The problem arose when all my “free” time was now suddenly filled with wedding ideas and planning. Let me just say, I’ve watched a lot of TLC and WE in my day so I was full prepared to not be a Bridezilla and not let this wedding take over my life, I also didn’t want DLIH to become wedding central. So, with my mind on a wedding and a wedding on my mind, you can imagine all other ideas involving life and writing were few and far between.
Then something occurred to me, talking about my wedding, or any wedding, does not mean writing a nine paragraph post on how to make a doily or pick out candle wax colors. What I am realizing is that I am feeling very alone in this process, this process that has been glorified by so many people before me. In all my searches online I have found all the standard advice “Take deep breaths”, “Don’t make rash decisions”, “Do what you want to do, not what your guests want”, but I haven’t found any real advice. No one told me that getting married involves hours and hours of research, you write countless e-mails and make a series of phone calls to no avail. Half the time you have to follow-up, you get a voicemail system, or you just don’t hear the answers you want. It’s a part-time job, sometimes a full-time job, and while the end result is worth it, no one really tells you how much of your life it’s going to consumer.
I always thought I’d be that bride that was cool, calm and collected. A. I’m not spending $80,000, B. I do events for a living, this should all be second nature to me and C. I am more organized that The Container Store, yet I’ve spent more time freaking out and crying then planning and I haven’t been engaged a month yet. I never thought it would be this hard, because I didn’t know. So, I figured, there have got to be other brides out there, or girls, or guys, who really don’t know anything about weddings, just like me. My parents did not have a big wedding, I don’t have older siblings, and I’m the first out of my bridal party to be having a wedding. You can read all the articles you want, but no one is going to know how it feels expect the person the process.
I’m learning a lot, and to not share your knowledge with those who need it is just mean! I can’t say I have a lot of wisdom to impart quite yet, but I have learned one very valuable thing. When you get engaged, everyone is around to celebrate with you, and scream and shout, and cry with you. However, when you start planning, everyone is looking to you for answers, they are asking you questions and giving opinions and it can be incredibly overwhelming. Planning this has made me feel like it’s my fiancé and I against the entire world, it’s has only reaffirmed that this is the person I want to marry and spend the rest of my life with and this wedding, these napkin choices, are going to be small blemishes on the obstacles we will face in life.
The first piece of advice I would give is this: A wedding should bring you closer, it should make you happy to sleep side by side that person every night. Even when you feel like your efforts are hopeless, there is a second person in it with you, no matter what. Even if you have to get married in a paper bag next to a muddy creak, it shouldn’t matter, because they will be there, making sure that it’s the best paper bag in the world.
Repost: Make Work Life Work For You! July 1, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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Several months ago, I stumbled upon this great article by some “googlers” on what they learned working at, the famous, Google. As I read, I realized this wasn’t about Google, not really, it was about anyone’s professional life in the office and how to succeed. When stripped down, the message was about how to be successful, make good choices, be brave and make your work life work for you! As someone who is in the process of looking for that perfect job, it inspired me and I knew it would inspire others too!
I Do Not Have a White Picket Fence Family June 28, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Family, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Relationships.
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You know when you’re driving down the highway and you see a mini-van pass with those little family stick figures on the back window? Some have Mickey Mouse ears, others include pets, and then there are the cars that illustrate seven children and make you think “Ohjeez!”. I think it’s easy for us to believe what we see on TV, families who are large, and loving and perfect, or even families who are large and dysfunctional and imperfect. Whether it’s a happily married couple with five adopted children, or a recovering alcoholic single-mom and her son trying to make ends-meat, there is always an underlying lesson of “family is everything”. All these shows we watch, reality or scripted, they all end with the same theme, no matter what happens your family will be there for you, unconditionally and always.
However, I don’t have a family like that, and I know I’m not the only one. My father isn’t in jail, my brother isn’t on drugs, no one is verbally abusing me, or kicked me out of the house at sixteen, there is nothing over the top wrong with my family or it’s members, I just don’t have the kind of family you can always count on when times are tough. I didn’t grow up in a trailer park, or had a mom who had to work five jobs to keep food on the table, I had a very normal, great, middle class childhood. For many of us, not having this strong, dynamic, close-knit family is not a product of something that happened or didn’t happen, it’s just how our lives panned out. (more…)
Where’s My Time?! June 24, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up.
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If you visit DLIH often, you may have noticed a significant drop in posts as of late. There are two main excuses for this, number being I’m sorry and I’m lame. Number two, I have no time.
When I first left my 9-5 (back in April) I remember feeling a great sense of relief. There is something very magical about suddenly having complete control of your schedule. That doesn’t mean I wake up at noon and pour myself an entire bowl of ice cream before sitting on the couch until 4pm, but it does allow for more flexibility in terms of getting things done. When you work a standard 9-5, Monday through Friday, you’ve got two days to get everything you’ve been putting off completed; laundry, shopping, responding to several e-mails, picking up the dry cleaning, getting more dog food, working out. So you leave one day for couch sitting and friend seeing and the other day is one giant chore. So, when you have a day off here and there, and only work half a day on this day, you’ve got more time to spread things out while still making money.
The first month or so was incredible. I felt like I was just getting things done all over the place! I told all my friends about this new-found freedom I had for doing the dishes and cleaning my kitchen. Then May hit, between long work weeks, a family trip, arranging future travel and other responsibilities, time seemed like the one thing I never had! Which bears the question – is flexibility really better? (more…)
What is that Twenty-Somethings Really Want?! May 22, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Apartment Life, Dating, Family, Finances, Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Traveling.
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This article really resonated with me, and everything I have felt at one point or another. Take a read, and remember that you’re not the only one out there who wants the simply things – like a couch that’s not from Ikea (that you probably failed to put together…twice).
Work has been crazy over in DLIH land! But I promise, new posts, insightful articles, and more randomness coming very, very soon!!!
Simply Your Life! May 8, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Health and Fitness, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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10 ways to simply your life! An amazing story that can motivate, educate and inspire us all to tone down our lives and enjoy them so much more!