January starts off with such good intentions…
1. Organize the pantry.
The first day the kids went back to school after break I went to Costco to stock up. The problem is I don’t have a Costco card, so I borrowed my mom’s, only to get busted by the cashier when she asked for driver’s license (my mom’s Costco card is not signed). I realized I am not cut out for the thug life because I completely panicked when I was asked personal questions to verify the account and I fessed up that it was my mother’s card. The manager, (yes there were several people involved as I was taken over to the side area) considered letting me pay in cash if I only had a few things. Then he took a look at my cart. They had to “suspend” my sale while I got in my car and drove to my mom to bring her back into the store to use her credit card herself. We were both sweating profusely despite the snowy weather, convinced they were going to jail us for Costco fraud and put us in Costco jail (maybe they have good free samples?) This was not a good start.
2. Work on my “Brand.”
I really, really, really love my job. What I don’t like, or rather what I don’t have the patience for, is the business administration and marketing side. There is S.E.O. (search engine optimization) so people can find your business, there is Facebook (who wants you to pay for boosting your posts), Instagram (where you need to #hashtag your hashtags) and the whole “blogosphere.” I would easily get a grade C- in these areas. The overall goal is to come up with a consistent and cohesive look and feel for your business. Sounds simple enough but I set up time with some experts for a one on one consultation. The input and feedback were excellent. I was bursting with ideas and ready to clean up my website and organize my blog. Again, intentions are one thing and follow through is another. I became frozen, over analyzing each blog post and every font. The indecision was followed by fear and insecurity. The the posts and creativity decided to pack their bags and go somewhere warm where they could let their minds vegetate.
3. Expand my own personal style.
It’s cold. It’s gray. I’m tired. I spend a significant part of my time inside very cold hockey rinks for our son’s practice and games. I swore I wouldn’t do it but I caved and bought Uggs. My feet were so cold I couldn’t take it anymore. When I calculated my cost per wear it made more sense to buy these than another pair of heels. And not unlike Cinderella I will get dressed up to go to a client’s house, only to come home and immediately bee line for my beloved sweatpants. However I will say the “coaster” style pants from Athleta will make you feel like Angels from heaven spun them from their wings and dipped them in clouds. They feel that amazing and the cuffs and pocket make them slightly better looking than your average pair of sweat pants. However, expanding my style to Uggs and sweatpants wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.
4. Organize my office/closet.
A while back, after years of hounding, I convinced my husband that I had more clothes than we ever had guests so the guest room would work better as a dressing room/office for me and my business. He graciously painted and prepped the room and helped me put together shelves. The room was perfect but I was still struggling to find my rhythm when it came to getting everything functioning in a sensible matter. As I set out to organize I became distracted by hyper focusing on cleaning out my nail polish collection (which, in my defense, is kept in my office). I felt compelled to try on each and every color, look at its name, compare similar colors, etc. Does Purple Orchid look more matte than Linkin Park After Dark? All classic “let-me-do-this-so-I-don’t-have-to-deal-with-that” symptoms.Which then leads me to hop on to Google to figure out just whose job it is anyway to name these polishes. Oh and I don’t even really do my own nails. I’ve tried but it looks like a blind drunk monkey did it because I am so inept with my left hand. So truly I don’t even need these.
5. Fulfill the needs of my clients.
As my business expands so does my number of clients. This is supposed to be a good thing. But just like everything else you worry about when more can become less. I never want to make a client wait if they need me. I want to be able to find every thing they need at all times. A strapless red and pink dress in January? I’m on it. I never ever want to disappoint anyone. I am not a person motivated by numbers, at 38 years old, after going to school for Finance and working in mutual funds, I now know for sure that numbers are not what drives me. Emotions, making others feel better, that’s the win, at least for me. When a client looks in the mirror, and they stand up a little taller, and they get that smile on their face we both win. I’m learning everyday about women’s bodies, their shapes, their insecurities, their hopes. It may only be clothing but believe me there are years and years of exposure to all kinds of experiences that shape how we feel about ourselves and how comfortable we are with what we put on the outside to show to the world. It’s not always easy, not for me or for a client, especially if a true change is desired. It takes a lot of work, physically and emotionally. To truly cultivate a wardrobe filled with things that make you feel good you have to take the time to consider each and every purchase. Your closet should be a velvet rope and not just anyone can get in. The trouble is when you have to be the bouncer and consciously think about each purchase, sometimes waiting patiently for the right item, instead of filling it up with too many wrongs. I try my best to be a guide to each and every client and if I ever think they are not happy I truly lay in bed and try and think about what I can do differently. It’s like any other job, including parenting, we are constantly beating ourselves up.
And now it is February…
And just like how we start to know that winter will fade away to Spring, we can come out of that place of dwelling in our failures. It could be something small, like watching your children laughing with each other, or it could be something big, like hearing a friend get that dreaded call from a doctor with results no one wants to hear. For me it was a combination of these events, as well as reading a blog post over at Life’s Patina, make sure to check it out. I have long admired how beautiful everything looked online in that writer’s world. It still is but recently she shared a wonderful post about how we all feel so behind, with endless to do lists, she even shared pictures of her own unfinished projects and rooms. It was one of my favorite posts. We are all so much more alike than different. I have clients tell me that they think I wake up and just easily throw together something “stylish.” More than often there is a pile on my floor just like everyone else, because trust me, once you tell people this is your job they have no problem looking you up and down. I’m aware that I need to walk the walk but I don’t always feel like it. I know I can help others in their closets but helping myself requires time and patience that I don’t always possess. The phrase “hot mess” come to mind. Luckily I have learned many tricks of the trade to fake it all , then I can put on my suit of armor and do my favorite part of my job, hanging out with my clients. Sometimes I think I need them more than they need me.
*Insider Tip – Purge Now.
Many people think “Why would I work on my closet now, in winter when I am inside anyway and too cold to care what I am wearing?” Trust me, this is the BEST time. Waiting till Spring often means you become overwhelmed very quickly. In general we are busier with our social lives and kids activities. A sunny day over 60 degrees will send you looking for your Spring clothes in a mad dash, not knowing what fits or what you need. You will find yourself out at the stores just grabbing cloths here and there but not really having a plan. If you start now you can edit out what didn’t work for you during winter, even taking advantage of winter sales to stock up before you do the dreaded seasonal switch. And trust me, trying to edit your wardrobe as you do your switch is not fun. It goes to cluttered chaos all too quickly. Consider setting time aside now while you have it so that when Spring comes you will now what you need and where you will put it.
Thanks for reading!