Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"I am woman, hear me whisper"

"I believe that everything happens for a reason.  People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."

~ Marilyn Monroe

I wasn't sure where to begin with this blog post given that it's been so long since I last posted, but I got inspired this morning by a Dr's appt of all things and thought it was best I start there.  I know I usually talk about my quest to start my own clothing line and while this post may still tie that in somehow, I figured I make this post a little more personal and hopefully someone out there can relate in regards to my life for the past seven months.

My last post was four days before I found out that I was a Type II Diabetic.  I had been prediabetic for a few years and while I wasn't enjoying that status, I was hoping to either stay in that role for as long as possible or possibly reverse it completely.  But given my genetics, my body couldn't fight the inevitable on its own.  So there I sat in my Dr's office in tears after hearing her tell me that I'm offically a Diabetic and would now not only be on medicine, but could possibly be on it for the rest of my life.  She let me have my pity party for one for a litte bit before she began to tell me what my plan of action should be.  The same effort and energy I put into making sure my boys were healthy, would now have to be shifted to me.

Dieting was not an option.  If I was going to control my diabetes, it would have to be a lifestyle change.  The word can't could no longer be a part of my vocabulary.  It's not that I can't have sugar, I can only have it in limited quantities and have to be mindful of when I have it. It's not that I can't find time to exercise, I can make time to exercise or the diabetes will find time to take over my body.  The only person who could help me set realistic goals and find ways to achieve them was me.  I think that was the hardest part.  Learning to put me first and sticking to the plan that I came up with.  It's second nature for me to put myself last, but in doing that, I'm no good to anyone and that's not an option for me.

So I shifted my focus from beating myself up about what I was and wasn't doing when it came to fashion and instead focused on what I was and wasn't doing to become healthy.  Oddly enough, learning not to beat myself up when I made a mistake when it came to my diabetes, made me realize how hard I was on myself in other areas of my life.  The saying that "things happen for a reason" started to make sense to me instead of annoy me.  Instead of staying in the belief of woe is me, I started believing that in order for me to achieve certain things in my life, I need to be fit both mentally and physically.  Watching what I eat and making sure I fit in exercise has made me realize the importance of me.

I'm important.  Taking care of my boys, working, paying bills, etc, are important, but so am I.  I think a lot of Moms forget that and sometimes life finds a way of reminding you.  My reminder came in the form of diabetes, but it can come in other forms as well.  While becoming a diabetic hasn't been a walk in the park, the milestones I've reached along the way, have made it a little bit easier.  Losing 20lbs and keeping it off has been something that I have learned to pat myself on the back for.  Lowering my A1C levels within a normal range was something that made me high-five my Dr. this morning.

So while I still hope to achieve milestones when it comes to fashion, I'm learning to applaud myself for other things that I've achieved.  I'm learning to pat myself on the back more often and dust myself off when I struggle.  I'm realizing that when bad things happen, it's not because life had nothing better to do and decided to rain on my parade.  Maybe it's because something good is waiting around the corner, but I won't know how to appreciate it without tackling an obstacle or two. 


(Conquering the world, one stylish and healthy step at a time)

Friday, May 13, 2011

April Showers Brings One Beautiful May Flower

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

~ Anais Nin

While I like to think that I possess many talents, sadly, having a green thumb hasn't been one of them. So when I purchased my home back in 2009 and saw that it had no flowers for me to destroy, I was elated. That was until I saw other houses like mine with beautiful flowers and saw how much curb appeal it added. So last year I set out on a quest to start adding some appeal to my curb.

Given the fact that I knew my track record with flowers, I decided to start in my backyard first, that way only I and my boys would know my triumphant victory of usual defeat. I found a section in my yard that seemed to just be calling for a flower bed and began taking up weeds, turning the soil and carefully planting the tulip seeds I had chosen. I stepped back, wished my seeds good luck and turned my sights on other parts of the yard.

Fast forward to most recently when I decided it definitely was not going to snow again and it was time for me to start fixing the yard up for spring. In the process of picking up broken branches and removing leaves that never truly seem to go away, something bright caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. At first I thought something had blown into my flower bed, but as I got closer, I was greeted with the most beautiful sight ever. There stood two beautiful tulips peaking out from the ground. Given the horrible winter we've had, I had forgotten that I had even planted seeds the year before. But there was my proof right in front of me in the most vibrant color imaginable.

After I remembered that I have neighbors that can see me in my own yard, I stopped doing my happy dance and decided to have my boys share in the excitement. I was a little surprised that they didn't feel the need to break out into the running man like I did, but it was still a nice moment. I was able to use that tulip as a lesson in how sometimes beautiful things take longer to appear, but once they do, it's well worth the wait.

That tulip also taught me a lesson. I tend to be impatient sometimes. I want results now or I'm a little bothered. I've learned to pick and choose my most impatient moments, but it's still a work in progress. But seeing that flower that day really made me stop and think. How many things have I passed up because I thought they would take too long or that the effort I put into it wasn't worth the result? How many times have I tried to take the easy route only to get sub par results, when taking a more involved approach, while time-consuming, would have benefited me far more? How many beautiful moments have I let slip away?

So as I sit in my sunroom/sewing room and find myself at a loss for how I'm going to start actually doing fashion instead of just talking about it, I look out my window at the tulip and cut myself some slack. There is no easy way to do what I want to do and that has caused me to be in a paralyzed state both creatively and productively. For some reason I've held myself to a standard that unless it's the best of me, I don't want to put anything out there. But in thinking that way, I've allowed myself to stay safe and only dream of my possibilities instead of living them.

So instead of waiting for everything to fall into place, I'm going to actually sew something. If it takes me longer than usual because I'm still working 40 hours a week, a Mom 24/7, a friend, a sister and a daughter, then so be it. The finished product will be well worth it because I will have not given up or tossed it aside because it didn't give me immediate satisfaction. And if one week I'm drawing things left and right and the next week I barely crack open my drawing book, then that's okay too. But to not start anything at all, is far more alarming and a pattern I need to break.

So in taking a cue from my tulips, I will remember that there are beautiful things worth waiting for. There are things in life that will take longer than you want them to, but will be worth the wait. There will be moments where you want to give up because you feel like you have nothing left to give. But for each of those moments, there will also be times where things seem to fall into place, opportunities banging at your door, and the sweet smell of success is tucked away in a small part of your yard greeting you every time you look out your window.



(Conquering the world, one stylish step at a time)