March Inspiration

It’s almost Spring, right? Because as much as I’ve loved the snow days (and trust me, I have loved them), I ready to be rid of all of this grey. I never have really been in the winter doldrums before, but this year has been particularly tough. Particularly wonderful as well, but I think when a lot of goodness is dumped on your head out of nowhere, it’s easy to sink into a funk. Which is where I’ve been for about three months. One big funk.

About two weeks ago I decided to make a few huge changes in my life, and while I know they are for the best, they have been a difficult adjustment. I find myself wanting to sleep much more than normal (I usually sleep only four hours a night…yeah, that was obviously not a sustainable lifestyle) and the sleepy fog over my head has made it harder to write here and elsewhere. Luckily I have a few smart people in my life who have advised me to slow down, so for the foreseeable future, I’m going to be posting here a bit less. I’m hoping the break will give my body and mind a chance to heal from years of totally overdoing it in every sense of the word and before I know it, I will be back here again, flooded with ideas and inspiration.

But until then, we always have Pinterest, right? Do we follow each other over there? We totally should! You can find me @Crazybananas and find all of my boards here. Here are a few of my recent pins that make me ache for Spring. It’s happening soon, right? Did I already ask that?

Pinterest-Inspiration

Ocean Swings via Beautiful Nomad // 3D Paper Flower Collage by Ann Ten Donkelaar via Honestly WTF // Orange Bicycle via Feaverish // Today Will Be Great via Alyssa Nassner

Anything you’ve seen that has inspired you lately? I’m also loving this and this and this. I could go on forever. Pinterest is wonderful/evil.

The Remedy

Post shoveling...the snow is over my boots and my toes are cold.

Today was our third snow day in less than one week. Tomorrow will be our fourth. Tonight we got the email from the school district saying they were closing for another day to keep the kids off the roads. On Facebook, there was a lot of grumbling. Me? I don’t know…I’m okay with it.

This is the first time in my life as a mother that I’m able to just…I don’t know…be okay with it. Yes, I’m way behind on freelance work. Yes, I’m behind on my blogging. Of course, I’m behind on the day job. But for the first time, I feel really at peace with all of it. We’re all behind. Offices are shutting down all over Kansas City, and clients that aren’t located here seem quite understanding of the insane weather that’s hit our area. The pressure I usually feel about to crush me during times like these isn’t here this time…it’s faded away.

About a week ago I took a good, long look at where I’m spending my time. I felt overwhelmed and lost…unsure if I was doing the right thing with my life. My schedule was out of control, but I still constantly felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I had lunch with a fabulous local food blogger I met in Salt Lake City and described my problem. She said it was obvious I was doing too much. My sounding board and mentor, Erin, said the same. It was incredible hearing women who I admire and look up to, and who do so much themselves, say I was overextending. I knew deep down that working every night until 2 a.m. wasn’t a smart plan, but I was in a hole and couldn’t get out.

A day later we were snowed in, and since then, I haven’t feel overwhelmed. I have sledded and built snow forts and shoveled driveways and watched movies and drank wine and took naps. I have stepped back. And it has been perfect.

Building snow forts with the neighbors!

The timing hasn’t been great. I have deadlines looming and emails piling up. But the snow fell and the kids were home. So I stopped. I watched, I waited, I played…and today, I feel full again.

Love is Amazing and Also Horrible : Playlist

Valentines Playlist 2013

Don’t get me wrong, people, I am a fan of love. My favorite movies are romantic comedies where Meg Ryan kisses Tom Hanks at the end, so you could call me a connoisseur of love. Love is the best. All kinds of love. Gay love. Straight love. Puppy love. A mother’s love. I could go on forever.

But, you guys, seriously, love isn’t perfect. And though I have somehow inexplicably ended up happier in my little life that I ever imagined possible, sometimes I still want to punch love in the face. Or at least listen to some loud music about how horrible it is and purge some much needed angst. Because love is beautiful, but it can drive you f’ing crazy.

So I made you (and me, let’s be real) a little playlist full of everything. Some good love. Some sad love. Some love that needs to be punched in the face. Some people saying screw romantic love, let’s party with our friends (I love these people). Let’s soak it all in, everyone. I love you!

Love is Amazing and Also Horrible by Crazybananas on Grooveshark

Music to Remedy Your Writer’s Block

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I made a rad playlist of songs to get you over your writer’s block over at Sweet Lemon Magazine’s Zesty Digest…go check it out! I’ve found myself in quite a creative rut lately, and a few of these tunes are helping me find my way out. Enjoy, and then write away!!!

(Self portrait of me trying to write last week in the middle of the night…)

Why I Blog

Alt Summit stirred up a lot of feelings in me, some positive…some not so much. And I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out why that is. Why do I feel a giant weight of inadequacy about to crush me after I’ve left such an uplifting experience?

I was so overwhelmed with all the goodness at Alt Summit, and I think I was internalizing it in a way that was totally negative. Which, I mean, come on, right? Stop it. But I couldn’t help myself. I met so many people, tons of whom had only been blogging for a year or two, whose lives were overflowing with sponsorships, book deals, speaking engagements and everything else under the sun. Many of the people I’ve spoken to left Alt with a new sense of purpose…a new idea they were going to make come to life or an amazing plan for a collaboration. I left with a book full of notes and a big case of “oh poor me” syndrome. Gross.

But luckily for me, I at least had the foresight to look through that big book of notes and found my answers staring me in the face. Page after page of my notes described talks by bloggers who had started out with the same doubts and worries that I was feeling. In fact, a few of them expressed how they are STILL dealing with those emotions. Suddenly, I felt less alone.

JStar_Alt

Photo by Brooke Dennis for Alt – Layout by Me

Over and over people had asked for advice during these sessions, and over and over the answers were simple: Be Yourself. Don’t try to emulate others because you’re just going to come off as a cheap version of whoever they are, and you’re so much better than that. Karon Walrond gave a speech on “Finding Your Voice” and one of her main points was to stop comparing. She outlined the difference between inspiration (makes you want to do better) and comparison (makes you feel bad about yourself), and that was a real lightbulb moment for me. I was comparing. And it’s never going to do me any good.

KWalrond_Alt

iPhone Photo and Layout by Me

I’m me. Crazybananas. I write a blog about nothing. And everything. I’m not a designer or a professional photographer or someone who can craft my way out of any situation. I’m not usually the most fashionable girl in the group. Sometimes my life is mundane. Sometimes it’s extraordinary. I write about things that I like. I write about my life. I write about TV and pop culture and shoes that I think are totally rad. I’m not an expert on anything. Except for myself. I’m a world renowned expert in the study of me.

And now that I think about it, that’s a pretty awesome thing to be. And that’s why I continue here. This is why I blog. Because I have an internal voice that wants to tell my story. Someday, when I’m old and my grandkids can’t imagine who I was before, I want them to be able to read here and learn about what I am all about…what I liked and who I loved, no matter how mundane it may seem. My voice matters to someone out there, even if I can’t see it yet. And that someone is me.

(Someone remind me to read this before the next time I go to Alt, deal? Deal.)

(Just in case you need to have a dance party after that heaviness…I’m having one right now too!)

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