Here’s a quick update:
Sorry for the lack of posts, but due to a family emergency our little family has been unavailable for the last week or so.
But I’m back and I’ve got beautiful photos to share and stories to tell and I’ll get back on track with my Blunt Talk posts as well and all the other goodies I’ve been talking about.
Blunt Talk Sessions
Welcome to the first installment of the Blunt Talk Sessions. I had a whole post planned on something else (inverted nipples, if you must know) but then after a moment of self-doubt and a little bit of depression about something going on in my life, I decided to write instead about Failure, and how to deal with it. More importantly, when do we say to ourselves that something isn’t working, and when do we make the decision to stop trying so hard? When do we give up? How do we know when enough is enough, what we are doing is just not going to get the results we were after when we started? When do we accept failure? How do we move on from it, especially when we have invested a lot of time (and money – not even OUR money in some cases) into our endeavour?
We wanted it to work, but clearly it’s not going in the direction we wanted. Not even close. How long do we keep throwing our time and effort (and more money?) at the problem? Have we tried every avenue? Have we thought outside the box? We need to be honest with ourselves – not everything we do works. Not everything we want will happen. Sometimes the will/idea/passion behind it is not enough. We need to think about the whole idea, the big picture and truly think about whether this was “us” to begin with. Why did we start on this road? Why did we jump in? We hoped for the best, right? We wanted to be a success!
I wanted to be a success! I wanted to be proud of myself and I wanted my husband to be proud of me too. If I am honest with myself, I thought it would be easier. What could be easier than selling things online? I mean I understood that business is NOT easy, but what I meant was that I thought it would be SIMPLER. Convenient, stress-free, safe, comfortable – I thought it would be SO SIMPLE and that it would work like a charm and I could FINALLY contribute and not feel so reliant on my husband for everything. Yes, I know he says what’s his is mine and vice versa (and that’s totally true, believe me) but I wanted to ADD, not subtract. I wanted to heap on the pile, not burn it slowly from the middle. So to speak. I haven’t burned anything, promise. Except a candle.
Which smells really nice, by the way. And that’s the thing – the stuff should sell itself! It’s seems to work for everyone else. Just not for me for some reason. So far, anyway. I haven’t given up yet, but I am truly tired of seeing the enormous sales made by other members of my “team” while I just sit there at the bottom of the list with the SAME AMOUNT that I started with. So much as been invested. My time. Money. Patience. Social mechanics. I am not a Facebook fan and yet I bit the bullet and took the step to sign up for a business page, after nearly 2 years of being Facebook free. I am trying. I really am.
What got to me recently is that the people who want to support me can’t really, and the ones who I thought would get involved haven’t even bothered to take a look. Perhaps my friend G is right: I’m not made to sell other people’s sh*t. Perhaps I have a different path to follow, but I know I don’t want to give up just yet. I have a strong will and I am very proud and this is perhaps a dangerous combination when it comes to these things, but it means I won’t give up until I am absolutely sure I cannot make it work and things are bleak and going backward. As I work out what that point is, I will see how to recoup some of the losses and bring something to the table so that I don’t feel so low and useless.
I guess that’s how you deal with it – failure, that is. You make sure that YOU understand the reasons behind giving up. You make sure YOU are happy with the decision you have made and that you really did give it a good college try. So to speak. When it comes to failing, the only person whose opinion you need to worry about, is you. The only person who has the right to question you and knows how to push your buttons (and oh how we know how to make ourselves squirm, don’t we?) is you. But if you can honestly say that you DID do your best and that things just didn’t go the way you were hoping/expecting despite your BEST efforts – then suck it up, take a breath, have a think about how to make it better next time, and MOVE ON. The only thing we control is our own opinion of ourselves. Make it a good one. Be your own best friend.
Do you need me to be more specific about a topic like this? Something so psychological/esoteric? If you do, let me know and I will elaborate more bluntly. I’m starting off slowly and getting into the swing of this Blunt Talk. As I mentioned, I had another topic (more straight forward and tangible… so to speak! :D) planned but I am someone who lives in the Now, so I felt compelled to write about this topic that was on my mind today. I’ll get to nipples next week.
I have decided to create a new category/post type/segment/blog series called ‘Blunt Talk.”
I’m going to talk honestly (thus the “blunt talk”) about the things that people want answers for, but are too scared/ashamed/embarrassed to ask. The weird things, the gross things, the interesting but slightly scary things. You know what I mean, good reader. Things like… ingrown toenails (and how to get rid of them) and yeast infections, and why it’s good to clean your ears (but not with cu-tips ) and better to use headphones rather than earbuds. Maybe it’s things you never learned from your mum (or dad) or it’s things that you heard ABOUT but never really understood, or perhaps urban legends that you’d like to know if they are true. I’ll answer as best as I can (after much research if necessary, of course) and try and come up with reasons and/or solutions if it’s something that can be fixed/cured/treated. Some topics will be from personal experience, some will simply be things that I know people don’t “talk about” but would like to know the answer to (because I know I would!) and hopefully some topics will be from you, the reader.
I’m going to set up an anonymous question thingy, and of course you are free to email me or comment (if you’re feeling brave or your question is something you don’t mind being associated with) on this post and I’ll include it in the next sessions of Blunt Talk.
I’m also going to start handing out my natural herbal/plant remedies where applicable. I’ll talk about what I am/what I am doing too, if anyone is interested.
I’ll start tomorrow (Saturday) with my first topic. Come back tomorrow if you want to know what it is, or subscribe to my site feed 🙂
Here’s a little update on my Capsule Wardrobe experience so far!
- My capsule wardrobe, it works! It’s made my life a lot easier. I know exactly what I have to wear and I waste no time choosing it in the morning.
- Even when I include my workout and dog walking clothes, my capsule item count is lower than I thought it would be.
- If I do my best to keep everything in the same place after it’s washed and folded, my cupboard is so neat and tidy it’s so awesome.
- I have barely anything to do when it comes to laundry time! I have so few items and I wear them through the week (I have enough capsule items for that) that I only have to do one load on the weekend. That’s pretty cool, and energy efficient.
- My new outlook on my wardrobe has even encouraged my husband to tidy his side of the cupboard! He hasn’t gotten rid of anything, but his wardrobe is pretty minimal already, being an army man. He has a lot of tshirts, but that’s it really.
I still haven’t taken the boxes to the thrift store – I need to check when I’m allowed to bring in items for consignment. I want to make SOMETHING out of this. Even if it’s just a little bit.
We took all the extra dog stuff (ended up being a large cardboard box full) to the nearest local animal shelter and they were grateful, but I was expecting a LITTLE bit more excitement, I have to admit. I mean I didn’t want a parade or streamers or anything! But a “Thanks, this will make the dogs happy!” would have been nice. We got a nod, a “yes, that’s nice” when I showed them some of the cool stuff in the box and then they wandered off. I know they’re busy but if you rely on public donations etc… a little bit more… public interaction would work, is what I guess I’m trying to say. ENTHUSIASM. That’s the word I’m looking for. They were grateful, but not particularly enthusiastic. I think that’s what kinda got to me a little bit. HOWEVER, I do understand the sad realities of animal shelters and working there. The sad truth behind the daily grind – finding food, cleaning cages, watching dogs and cats pine for owners who abandoned them, or shut down from years of abuse, or being overlooked because they’re quiet and shy. And the golden oldies being ignored for the cute little puppies or kittens. It gets to your heart after a while. I do understand this. I did a lot of work with shelters, I know what it’s like. So while I understand the jaded numbness, perhaps taking the enthusiasm from the person offering things and feeling a LITTLE brighter about it all, just in that moment.. that might work? I greatly respect and admire people who volunteer and work for places like that. I know it’s hard. I wish I could win the lottery and give them all a HUGE donation. Or buy a huge farm with a big warm house and lots of land and high fences so I could adopt ALL the animals (goats, chickens, sheep and everything else too) and let them live out their lives in a sanctuary with freedom. It’s a big dream.
In other news:
We got our first Blue Apron delivery on Saturday morning! We’ve prepared two of the three meals already and tonight we will make the final dish I think. We made the first meal together, and I made the second meal (pasta) for his lunch on Monday. It was definitely outside our comfort zone, but we stuck to the recipe instructions exactly and it all turned out great. If you ever get the chance and/or inclination – give Blue Apron a try… It’s exciting (and a little terrifying!) diving in like that, but the recipes are pretty easy to follow and they give you ALL the ingredients already measured out perfectly.
A little bit of inspiration to put a smile on your dial:
The trick is remembering that at all times far more is happening on your behalf than your physical senses will ever reveal.
Like right now.
Because of how much you’re loved,
PS. Pity, huh? I mean, you can’t even see the colors you emit when you laugh, your wings ruffle when you blush, or your friends in the unseen walking in your footsteps, sleeping cuddled by your side, and making those wacky finger horns over your head in photos.
- Notes from the Universe, www.tut.com – Mike Dooley
Capsule wardrobe fiddling
I did it! I overcame my natural instincts to cling to everything, to hang on to everything “just in case” and to keep things that are sentimental or that someone gave me and I felt bad giving away.
I did another mighty clothing purge a week ago and got rid of ANOTHER full box of clothes!
When I get a chance, I will take it all (consolidated, of course) to the local thrift shop and see about getting a consignment for it all 🙂 That would be awesome, if I could make some money from it. I could maybe make back some money from all the expenditures I’ve made recently (or should I say, my dear husband has made) for my jewelry business.
Most capsule wardrobes are 33 to 42 items, with the majority fixing on 37 items for some reason.
I haven’t counted my capsule wardrobe yet, but it’s most likely in the 40 to 42 range, if I exclude (which you are supposed to) sleep clothes and workout clothes. If you don’t count socks and undies, then I’m in even better shape! 😀
I was very strict in my choices, and I tried EVERYTHING on and decided how many other items it would go with, as is suggested by the capsule wardrobe gurus. I found that a lot of the hand-me-down items given to me really didn’t suit me, if I was honest with myself – and I felt this was a good time to be honest! Trying to build my personal style got so much easier as I found what I really liked, what fitted me well, what went with at least 2 other things versus the stuff I was just hanging on to for some strange guilt excuse (Given to me! Got it free! I would feel terrible if they knew I had just put it in a box to give away!) or something like that. Your capsule wardrobe is meant to be filled with your absolute favourite pieces of clothing – the ones you can’t live without, that make you look and feel good whenever you wear them. I also added “make me feel comfortable” to my list of things I wanted for my capsule.
So here are a couple of shots of my TEENY TINY CAPSULE WARDROBE!
Everything to the left of that black bag hanging there, and above and below it. Now this also includes my running/dog walking/workout clothes and my sleep clothes (pajamas and comfy items that I don’t generally wear out the house)
That’s really not a lot of stuff, now that I look more closely at the photos. Especially excluding socks, undies, workout/exercise/comfy clothes. I should really go and count them all, right?
In building my capsule wardrobe and general personal style idea, I spent a lot of time on Pinterest. It’s a magical place. There are so many different ideas floating around, so many boards on just about anything you can think of, it’s actually a little bit overwhelming! I could spend hours on there. That’s something I would NEVER have thought I would EVER say! It’s a bit scary, really! But in seriousness, I’ve found many great links through it – not just for style, but for other things I am interested in as well. Plus, I use it extensively for my Chloe and Isabel online boutique marketing.
If you have any questions, or suggestions, feel free to comment.
For the last few months (even before we left Germany) I’ve been pondering the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I had a lot of clothes, mostly given to me by awesome people when I had nothing – but only a few items that I actually chose for myself and brought with me from back home in South Africa. 90% of what I had was not really my “style” and as I have been pondering and thinking and formulating and percolating the idea of what my style actually is I have come to the realisation that I can live with a lot less, but still have a sense of classic style. That’s what my style is – old school, not vintage per say (but I DO love vintage 30’s 40’s and 50’s obviously, however I’m not really built for them) but the old classics and pieces that never really go out of fashion. I like comfortable, simple and clean lines, and now that I’ve lost weight I can wear pretty much all the things I like. Thing is, I don’t own a lot of the things I like – I have things that other people liked, but they gave to me. I’m not ungrateful – that’s totally not what I mean – I’m simply stating how things turned out.
When our HHG arrived, I made my first task a “layout” of everything. Absolutely EVERYTHING I owned. That included shoes (most of them I had never worn, as they were just a TINY bit too big for me or I’d never had an occasion to wear them… or they were just NOT my style and I took them anyway because who doesn’t like free stuff, right?) and underwear and scarves and everything else. I got rid of at least 70% of the things I had. I learned in my research on capsule wardrobes, that your “exercise” stuff, and your “fancy” stuff and your “sleep” stuff are not included in the capsule count – this made me happy, as I have a lot of exercise clothes, thanks to my previous horse riding and dog walking “jobs” and my current 3 dog circus daily walking.
I also decided, 1 week after our HHG arrived, to go through everything one more time and get rid of more jerseys, sweatshirts and jackets. My mother in law was visiting at the time and she took a few tops and things that were her style, or her sister’s and even a piece for her mother (that just tells you that the items I had really were NOT “me” hey?) so that helped me too. The rest all went into a donate box which is CHOCKA BLOCK full of stuff now. I’m quite proud of myself, actually. If I force myself, I think might even be able to cut it down some more – but if I do that, I need to know that I can buy the pieces I WANT at that time, so I’m holding off on that until I’ve made some money with my Chloe and Isabel boutique. I want to be able to do these things on my terms, with my own money. I feel so guilty using my husband’s money! I know he says “what’s mine is yours!” but it still irks me. I used to earn my own way. It’s hard to rely on someone else COMPLETELY for things. Just really hoping my jewelry sales take off, because that would be totally awesome. Word of mouth works way better than trying to market yourself to a new audience all the time. I know this well from my photography days. I never even put out a flyer. I had business cards, for a while, but mostly it was just word of mouth from happy riders that got my name out there. I don’t know ANYONE here, and not being on Facebook is (and I admit this very grudgingly) somewhat of a road bump in all this. But I’m not going back to it. Nuh uh.
Now that I have unfettered access to Joann’s and Hobby Lobby and every other fabric and sewing store imaginable, I can also start buying the proper things to MAKE what I want! Vintage or otherwise – I have patterns for just about everything I need. I just need to get going. In the immortal words of Shia LaBeouf – JUST DO IT!
No more pansy ass procrastination! No more excuses! No more “tomorrow I will” putting it off. TODAY! TODAY! TODAY!