Monthly Archives: October 2012

Turn. Smile. Shift. Repeat.

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Get a grip.

Not only is the title of this post a Phantom Planet song I used to play on repeat in my 1992 Geo Prizm (yup, that’s right) when I was a senior in high school, but it’s also the way I wished some things worked. The song’s lyrics refer to the daily hum drum we find ourselves falling into all too often. One morning you wake up and you realize you’ve been driving to the same job, hanging out with the same people, going to the same local establishments without even realizing it. Now that’s depressing.

But what about the things you WISH you could repeat? To either live them all over again for the pure happiness, excitement or surprise you felt, or to live them completely differently. In its most innocuous sense, I had one of these moments today. Let me set the stage for you…

I rushed home during lunch time to grab a can of soup. I didn’t want to spend money on lunch, so I figured soup from my own pantry was the best bet. I raced back to work, prepped my soup and brought it back to my desk. I picked up my phone (yup, the one I’ve had for only two weeks,) and I proceeded to drop it right into my delicious bowl of Chicken Noodle goodness.

My life with my phone as my closest companion for the past two weeks flashed before my eyes, as everything else moved in slow motion. I immediately rescued my phone and manically began to pat it dry and blowing on it (not exactly sure what I was trying to accomplish there.) It was one of those moments where all you can think is, “This is really not happening right now…” Of course my own voice echoed in my head, replaying the conversation I had with the wireless provider rep as she offered insurance on my phone. “Oh, no thank you. I’m all set.” AHHHHH!

It was one of those moments where you immediately start to get really hot, knowing your cheeks resemble those of someone who’s been out in the blazing sun for three hours without water. My throat closed up, and I couldn’t think clearly. Random thoughts raced through my head, knowing my husband was going to be less than pleased, people were going to try to get ahold of me and get my oh-so-annoying voicemail, spin, spin, spin…

But then I tried putting things into perspective, as I often times do. How could I be fretting over a stupid, replaceable phone, when thousands of people only a few hours away from me, are homeless today in the wake of Hurricane Sandy? Many have been separated from their family members, many have lost their lives, many have lost everything.

Why is it so difficult to naturally think like that? Why is the first reaction to anything a bit “havoc-like” to fly off the handle and feel as though the world is about to end? There are so many things that happen to us each and every day that in the grand scheme of things are so incredibly inconsequential.

And as for those moments we wish we could relive over and over again so we’d never have to let go of the naturally-charged high they gave us, sometimes the memories are all we need.

-Ambitioussoul

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Already breaking a sweat thinking about the holidays? Don’t worry– a stress-free holiday season is coming right up!

Two things you should know before delving into this post: 1) I LOVE the holidays. Whether it be Halloween, Christmas, 4th of July or Arbor Day, I love them all (okay, maybe not Arbor Day.) 2) I LOVE the word agita. I love it so much I know I could never adequately explain how much joy I get from using it on a daily basis. With all of this being said, I have a love-hate relationship with these two things when they come as a packaged deal.

I’m not going to start a rant about the holidays becoming so commercialized that before you know it you’re buying your 2-year-old a $60 turtle costume for Halloween and spending $150 on a brother-in-law you don’t even like for Christmas. But I AM going to talk about how the holidays have become SO STRESSFUL!

Let’s start with Halloween, since that’s the holiday that’s nearest approaching. I remember when I was little my mom would make our Halloween costumes– and they were awesome! One year I was a picnic table, another year I was a garden. My sisters had equally creative attires, including a pet shop, a tube of toothpaste and a bag of jelly beans. Going to the craft store with my mom to pick up all the essentials to bring these creations to life was the best part. I loved looking in all the magazines trying to pick out the craziest, most unique costumes. Sure there were kids in my grade who were scarecrows and ghosts and all of that, but I refused to succumb to the stereotypical get ups. And the best part of it all (especially for my mom at the time): our costumes were always super cheap.

Let’s fast forward to today. Parents bring their kids to a huge party supply or costume store, stand them in front of a gargantuan wall filled plastic bags on hooks and want them to choose what they’re going to be. WHAT?! Not only is there a glare on half of the bags from the florescent lights beating down on the sales floor, but the model kids dressed up in the enclosed costumes aren’t NEARLY as cute as your kid and are probably sewn into the costume. With all of this hoop-la aside, the costumes cost upwards of $40. Once again, WHAT?!

Now, as followers of mine know, I haven’t always been money conscious. Just two years ago I spent $70 on a Top Gun flight suit… and it didn’t even come with the aviators! So I totally understand how people get sucked in to it all. But I’m happy to say, since starting my budget and keeping track of how every dollar is spent, this girl goes to the Salvation Army to put together her costumes.

Onto Christmas, yes, the dreaded December 25 for so many. And why is it that Christmas comes with cringes and eye rolling? In my experience, it’s been because we’re pulled in a million different directions. We’re expected to be anywhere and everywhere all at the same time. By December 20, even before Christmas gets here, we’re ready to wave our white flag in surrender. Here’s a crazy statement: it shouldn’t BE that way. And if you think about it, WE’VE created it to be this manic panic, rushing around from one part of town to the other, out of the car, in the car, stop at the store, need I go on? You know the drill.

All of this is aside from the heart palpitations we give ourselves when we in good faith set an ideal gift budget for ourselves mentally and then as we stand in the serpentine-style line at Kohl’s, calculating all our last-minute purchases in our brains, realize we’ve gone over… WAY over. And by the time you reach the cashier, you don’t even remember what you bought or who you bought the items for.

So, with all of this being said, here are a few holiday challenges for yourself:

1) Holidays fall on the SAME DAY (excluding good ‘ol Turkey Day,) EVERY YEAR. Even though it’s only October, start planning for the next several holidays, both in regards to commitments and budgets.

2) Come up with a plan of attack for the last of this year’s special occasions. Once you go over it in your mind a few times (and with the rest of your family,) you’ll find it’s easier to commit to sticking to it once the actual festivities begin.

Lastly, I’d like to throw in a shameless plug for all of my CNY followers out there. A friend of mine is holding a workshop called “Secrets to a Stress-Free Holiday” in December. She will be conducting several sessions, so it’s convenient for all who’d like to attend to do so. It’s only 90 minutes, and she’s sure to provide you with the tips you need to turn your holiday season into the best one you’ve had yet 🙂 She’ll talk about ways to decompress during this crazy time and how to make it not so crazy, along with sharing ideas on how to start memorable and meaningful family traditions. To register, please call Carol Kemp at 315.395.0765.

-Ambitioussoul

Annual Agita

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Pleading the 5th

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How can I not want two of these?!

I always imagined I’d have two children. Actually, that’s a lie. For several months before my daughter was born, I thought for sure I wanted three. Being one of three girls, I wanted my kids to have exactly what I had.

Sure there were times in my life where I wish I didn’t have any siblings. Those mornings rushing around before the bus came looking for my essential hair products and the new navy sweater with the tags still on it. Those nights where I had to stay home and babysit them as they ran around and screamed like two banshees on the Discovery Channel while all my other friends were at the movies. Yea, I could have done without those. But then I think about the relationship we have now, and I could never live without that. My sisters are my best friends. They are two people I always know I can trust– and that says a lot, considering I can only count the trustworthy people in my life on one hand, a recent and scarring revelation for me come to think of it.

But I digress (what else is new…) Now that Maryn has been here for 14 months, it’s finally settling in that she’s a permanent (and welcomed) fixture in our lives. I think for several months I was in denial, thinking this whole mommy thing was just temporary. Oh no, she’s here to stay. It’s taken me quite awhile to get used to the idea, being depressed for several weeks after coming home from the hospital. I just could not get over the fact that it would never be just my husband and I again– there would always be three of us. AHHHH! How was I supposed to process all of that?! But here I am many months later, and I love being a mom. The real question: do I love it enough to be a mom of two? I’m not so sure…

…so when people ask me “When are you going to start trying for #2?,” I get this nasty pit in my stomach and my throat starts to close up. How do I tell someone I’m just not sure that I want another baby, that I may be part of the one and done club? Especially when many people surrounding me who have children the same age or even younger than Maryn are pregnant again?!!! Instead of stuttering and feeling the potential burning of tears in my eyes, I shut down. That’s right. For at least 10-20 seconds (which seems like a lifetime in “waiting for a response” land,) I don’t say a word. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!

I don’t know why I stress about letting the askers down. I mean, let’s face it, they’re not going through the physical, mental and emotional turmoil of it all. And it’s my decision, right? Maybe it’s about letting myself down. Maybe it’s about not following “the plan” I had always latched onto in my own mind.

Instead of really facing the question head on and dealing with it, I’ve decided I have an answer: I will not start thinking about having another baby until we are completely debt free. Hopefully in the listener’s mind, this will seem to be a sensible answer, skirting around all the other ancillary issues surrounding this question that sends me into death-grip mode. And I can’t say it’s all for deflection sake. Thinking about having another baby freaks me out enough on principle. Then once I start thinking about the financial implications, my skin gets blotchy, my heart starts racing, and my eyelids start to flutter, all from the sheer panic I’m enduring.

I understand the love you have and the bond you share with a child is priceless. And I wouldn’t change anything in my life for a second when it comes to Maryn and how much she’s impacted my life. But as Dave would say, it’s just not in the budget…

-Ambitioussoul

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Do What it Takes to be Envied

Click. Customize. Celebrate.

Yes, I know, I know, envy is one of the seven deadly sins. But in this case, it’s totally acceptable. When could having envy in your heart and soul be okay and almost advocated for? When you’re talking about Banner Envy of course! Let me start from the beginning…

In starting this blog several months ago, it became more and more apparent with each post I published that I needed a change. The marketing world was where I wanted to build my career, but with what I was doing and where I was, I didn’t feel like I was building a career with brick and mortar; I felt like I was digging a huge hole in attempt to start laying the foundation, but the digging seemed unending; I was running out of motivation and energy, with the goal of a perfect, satisfying career slowly dissipating each day.

I couldn’t fall to hypocrisy. After all, the majority of my posts have been dedicated to doing what you love, making your career not feel like work, and just because a job landed in your lap five years ago doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the job for you. I had to take my own advice, knowing sometimes the right thing and the hard thing are the same. With this epiphany, my search for not only a job but a CAREER was underway.

Enter Banner Envy, the perfect job opportunity, a business carved out of what people are looking for in today’s marketplace: something that makes a statement, sets itself apart from all others like it, and adds a personal touch to the year’s best party or event, making it unforgettable for all who attend. Not only do people hope and pray they are invited next year, they would do anything short of taking care of your landscaping for a summer or shoveling your driveway for a winter to be sure they remain on the guest list.

Another great thing about Banner Envy: it’s simple and easy. All you have to do is visit the site, click on the banner you like, customize it, and viola! And who doesn’t need a banner for their monumental event? Whether it’s your annual Cinco de Mayo siesta with all your neighborhood friends or your ten-year class reunion where you  evaluate who has aged well and who, ahem, hasn’t, forget the confetti and the streamers. Just get a banner.

-Ambitioussoul