Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

Adapting some minimalist principles in my closet

I have too much stuff and its time to get rid of it. Clothes that I never wear are clogging my closet, purses I haven’t used in ages falling apart, and useless knickknacks are falling off my shelves.  I’m no hoarder, but I made a sudden realization. I looked at my apartment one day- really looked at it- and realized there is entirely too much bullshit everywhere. Sometimes I try to go on a cleaning spree and downsize my possessions, but what I tend to end up with is a clean house that still has too much stuff in it. I’m going to blame this on my mother, who is a master packer and organizer and keeps a lot of things that she doesn’t need because she has the space to. Again, she is no hoarder, but why won’t she give me that damn counter top Foreman Grill if she doesn’t use or need it? I’m convinced its because she likes that it takes up space in her well stocked kitchen.

Anyways….

Last week I finished a book called Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter, and Simplify by Francine Jay. This woman has been a minimalist for quite some time, and I have to say, her resolve to be more thoughtful about her overall consumption and needs is quite impressive.

This past weekend, I went through my old clothes and took out all of the unnecessary items. I had to ask myself a few questions.

1. Does it fit?

2. Has the quality been compromised after so many wears?

3.  Do I even wear this shit anymore or is it no longer my style?

I found that my closet was literally cut in half. What I found was that I have a really decent collection of Michael Kors and Calvin Klein dresses that fit well and are perfect for work. What I’m lacking are tops. I need more blouses.

God forbid they not lay on the bed while I try to be productive.

I went through my drawers next. I’m actually confined to 2 full sized drawers and 2 half size drawers because William is a dresser hog. He always says he doesn’t have a lot of stuff, but he does. The man has a t-shirt collection that takes up most of the space. The rest of the drawers are stuffed with man stuff like basketball shorts, lounge pants, MORE t shirts, jeans, MORE jeans, MASSIVE pairs of socks for his big feet, man panties (sike, they are boxers y’all), and undershirts.  Since Will is clearly not willing to free up more space, and I am NOT buying a new dresser, I condensed. I kept 6 tank tops, 5 full size T shirts, 6 graphic short sleeve tees, and 4 long sleeve shirts. I kept all of my work out clothes.  Yay me for finding a way to organize my stuff. Turns out, having less makes it easier. I was able to put my laundry away and not have to smush the clothes into the drawers to close them, and I can now successfully see everything in my closet. I even went through my accessories and downsized THAT, all with two lazy brats in my way the whole time. What I ended up with was a  huge pile of clothes ready to go to the Salvation Army. 🙂

This is the pile I ended up folding and putting in bags for Salvation Army.

I may not be a full on minimalist but every purging session helps !

February 23, 2012

Ash Wednesday and the Promise of New Good Habits

My mother, the devout Catholic, and my father, who listens to my mother, raised me in the Catholic Church. I spent every year of my education in a Catholic school until I left for college. For reasons too detailed to list here in this blog post, I have  stopped identifying fully with the Church. Still, I can’t help but feel pulled to keep certain traditions that I believe do make a difference, for me personally.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent, and the starting the countdown to Easter.  I can’t tell you why, but I love Easter time more than the other holidays. I think that the hope for renewal and rebirth, the promise of new life is beautiful to me. Catholic or not, I really love that! While I didn’t go to mass and receive my Ashes, I do try to give up something, and take on something, for Lent. Just because I am still on my journey to figure out just what I believe in,  doesn’t  mean that I can’t celebrate what I do. And I believe that me giving up something that I love (and in this case, isn’t always good for me), will bring me some clarity on how much I need it, how much I appreciate it, and could I spend my resources on something else.

That being said, I’m giving up Alcohol for Lent. I love beer. Craft beers. Stouts. IPA’s. Pale Ale’s. Hefenwiessen. Lagers. Brown Ales. Chocolate Stouts. Beer Margaritas. Tequila. Wild Turkey American Honey, on the rocks or with a splash of soda water. Cold, Smooth Vodka. Vodka Tonic. Gin and Tonic. Hendricks Gin Especially. OH MY GOD the list can go on and on. I’m quittin’ the hittin’ of the bottle, with the exception of wine once during the weekend (THAT’S IT). As I told my best friend via text message yesterday, I don’t want to set myself up for failure by eliminating all traces, because then I will want what I can’t have and break my own fast. Plus Jesus liked wine.

Still, this crap is draining my wallet. Increased stresses mean increased need for Happy Hours with friends. That’s more money I’m wasting, when I could be saving it for something special. That’s more weight I’m gaining, and more health risks I’m taking as a pre-diabetic. I’m in no rush to replace Wilford Brimley, so I need to pay attention to this. I love my afternoon cocktails and delights, but I don’t need them. I am curious, so I asked myself, “What else can I enjoy to unwind that is a good habit?”

For one, I am going to get my ass to the gym more. I started trying to squeeze workouts in before class, and I find that I’m much less rage-y when I do. Even if I’m just going for a long walk, its beneficial. I’m not as anxious before class, or emotional when my project critiques don’t go well (which they rarely do).  Today I’m going to a beginners Hatha Yoga class to get back in the yoga sling, and this weekend, I’ll likely try a kickboxing class or hot yoga. I’ll work out, do my school work, and stay as busy as possible. School is sucking my life of any fun that existed before, so it isn’t all that hard. I’ll try to find other ways to celebrate things with friends, and when I partake in my red wine on Sundays, I’ll be much more appreciative of it.

 

Wish me luck!

 

February 21, 2012

Life Takeover in Progress

Well hello lovely people! School has officially taken over.

I’ve emerged from the most productive yet not fun three day weekend I’ve ever had.  I was locked in my apartment all weekend attempting to piece together and bind my first book, and then begin constructing what will soon be my first infographic guide.  Everything seems so simple until it isn’t, and needless to say, I struggled the whole time. Somehow, the book got bound, and I began identifying elements of my infographic. It had to be near comp quality, so handing in a shitty drawing wasn’t an option. The only way I stayed sane was by venturing out for dinner on Saturday, and then leaving the house yesterday to go to Target.  What a sad way to spend such a beautiful holiday weekend!

 

Anyway, I’m heading into the next week happy that I’ll only have to work 4 days, and happy that perhaps I will be able to do something fun this coming weekend. Nothing fancy- just simple like see a movie or ride  bike.  Pray that its meant to be!

February 16, 2012

Thanks for your responses!

Wow, there are some extremely wise people out there and I’m happy I know them! I asked for responses earlier in the week about dealing with work stresses, and those of you that responded had great advice for those going through the same things. I know it must be working, because all of you are brilliant and successful in your careers!

My colleague and classmate from UMBC, Simran, gave several ways to de-stress when she has a more difficult day at work. Compacted by the fact that she is in the Midwest, far from home, she uses mediation and trips to the gym to work out any aggression. She also does what any girl would do- “I also do the normal stuff, like talk to a friend to get validation that the person  was wrong and I’m not being too sensitive.”  She also makes the excellent point not to let those negative feelings fester. ” I think what I do is try not to sit with it because then it eats at me and I am the one that suffers.” AMEN girl. AMEN.

Another friend, Amy, made a point that many people overlook-

“It’s easier said than done, but you have to keep reminding yourself that these people have their own personal issues that have nothing to do with you. You just happened to cross their path at the wrong time.”

Amy is so right! SO SO SO RIGHT. I think that once you realize that people act out of unhappiness, it makes them more human and you may find that perhaps you are even less angry.  Sometimes, you just aren’t going to get a long with people, and as Amy notes, you aren’t there to do anything but your job. Smart cookie, that girl.

A lot of other friends who (anonymously) replied noted that sometimes its just a culmination of stresses that lead up to weeks from hell. That is mostly my case. It is always a bit of everything, isn’t it? It is hard to wrangle all parts of yourself in when they seem to be pulling you in all different directions.  The only thing I can do is take on one thing at a time, and do my best. Its how I get through every day.
I am so happy that all the frustrations of work have lead me to where I am. I think sometimes the man upstairs puts a few obstacles in our way to really force us to make decisions about who we are, what kind of character we hope do develop, and where we want to go. I also think that it makes us grateful we have gotten as far as we have (without choking someone out, too!).  I’m happy that whatever challenges I face help me solidify the things I was unsure of, and prompt me to make some really amazing plans for myself.  It is honestly the best motivator ever.

February 11, 2012

When we experience the WORK WEEK FROM HELL

There are really only a few reasons why I might not blog regularly. One being that I have become overwhelmed at school and can’t spare the time, and the other being that I’m so upset about something, that I really can’t talk about it. Why, you say? Well, if I am upset about something, I have to be careful about my approach. This blog is meaningful and personal to me, and it represents who I am. If I am writing out of anger, I am only showing you the angry side, not the logistical or reasonable side. That might make for a good post, but it doesn’t show all the emotion, just that one angry side. There is more to me than that. I needed a few days to regroup, and then write a post about what was really bothering me, leaving my mean streak out.

The past few weeks at work have been extremely challenging. If you’ve read any of my other posts about work, you know that I regularly experience extreme dissatisfaction and depression on a normal basis. I have always just accepted it. My parents always told me that I would have troubles no matter what kind of job I had. That generally, people don’t change from place to place, and I will always have people who are rude, unhelpful, mean-spirited and ready to overthrow me from my position. In essence, there would always be haters. I think that to an extent, they are right. I normally think that people are mostly good, but in my current position, I have moments when I think otherwise. Not everyone is going to get along well. While I may not always be the best at biting my tongue, and I may challenge people from time to time, I maintain cordial relationships at work. It’s what you do.

This week, I broke my own rules about “sucking it up” and I really couldn’t take anymore. I had a coworker hang up the telephone on me while I tried to address an issue. The details are many, but essentially, she didn’t like that I pointed out a mistake so she hung up on me, refused to apologize later for the incident, tried to throw me under the bus with my boss (who backed me up, thankfully), and is still trying to scrounge up things I’ve supposedly made mistakes on recently. Unfortunately for her, there aren’t any. I’m really good at covering my ass. This coworker has also made several comments about my weight, and most notably, has asked me several times if I had a thyroid problem, and that I should get tested because I have gained a lot of weight. During an altercation, I let her know I felt she was rude, childish, and unprofessional. Would she hang up on her boss?

I also had another incident this week where another coworker made what amounted to a fat joke, completely stepping outside of his boundaries. While I was very mad at him, he is a good guy, was just being momentarily stupid, and our relationship remains in tact. Still, it is really just too much for one week for me. I’m sorry.

People really need to start being nicer to one another. We need to start holding ourselves accountable. We need to start treating each other with more respect. That goes for me as well, because I am no angel. When did it become okay for us to speak to each other with tones of disgust and aggravation? This is far too acceptable and it’s NOT OK! If you are in a job where you are not happy getting up going to work, you are anxious when you arrive and you are tearful out of stress when you leave, remind yourself that you don’t deserve that kind of behavior. Start thinking of what you need to change to make that better. Keep in mind, some situations are repairable, and others are not. Perhaps its better that we as people start to preserve the good things about ourselves instead of sacrificing it all the time. After a lot of time in unhealthy situations, we start to change and become like the people we can’t stand. Don’t let it get there. I’m sure that those people don’t even realize they have become the kind of people who unapologetically unleash hell on their coworkers and infectiously spread negative energy.

I read your Facebook statuses and your tweets, and I know that many of you are in the same boat with where you work. Tell me (anonymously if you prefer), what is your experience at work? How do you deal with shitty treatment from coworkers? Have you treated someone less than stellar and you feel bad about it? Where you previously at a place like this and you want to reflect on that? Tell me what you do to remedy extreme stress from work. I’m dying to know what you all think.

Send me an email at crysmor@gmail.com or send me a message on Facebook.

February 6, 2012

I went into World Market on Friday at Lunch….

and I fell in Love.

Deeply in love.

I already lusted at their endless array of products online, but seeing them all in person was wonderful. Imagine Sur La Table, Pier 1, and a wine superstore blown up an on crack, radiating hypnotic vibes, and reduced in price. That is World Market.

Here are some of the few lovely little things I found there. God help me, and help my wallet.

 

Beautiful Shell Chandelier

Handmade, Earth Friendly Soaps and the cutest Elephant Marble Soapdish

Indonesian day bed- I liked the cushions although not on this bed. I'd love to make my own....

 

THEN, I came home to these two wildebeasts having torn up another pair of my shoes. The current victim? A pair of my Sperry’s. That was the cherry on my sundae….

 

 

February 2, 2012

Mid Week Madness with Creations on the Rise

I had every intention of writing a blog post yesterday to tell you all happy hump day, but I never made it. During what was the most hellacious day of 2012 thus far, I was too eaten up by misfortunes at work and obligations at school to write a post. I couldn’t sit down and pretend to care about much, because I just didn’t. If you have ever read my posts about work, then you can probably only imagine what my day may have been like.

I had a full week of classes! Information Design began on Tuesday, and I can tell I’m going to love it. Book Design proving to be tough, because any time you are creating something and it runs the chance of extreme criticism, it is hard! Thankfully, I really love Amy, my professor. We have a good group of students and I think it won’t be long before we get comfortable with each other. Book design in particular is fun because the group is small and intimate. There is room for digression and banter, which keeps us all relaxed and happy to work. Although my designs this week were horrible (I’m not posting that crud), I am looking forward to the revision process. Let the fun times begin!

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