Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Doing the Thing that Scares You

I am officially a state- and federal-recognized LLC.


That is right. I braved the online forms. I yelled at the online forms. I panicked over the online forms. I yelled at Best Guy through the computer who was pushing me to finish the online forms.

I did it.

When I was going through massage school, part of the curriculum was coming up with a business plan. I suffered through that for the first half of the program, dealing with the frustration, anxiety and anger each time I had to work on it. Finally, I realized that this wasn't working for me and my teachers allowed me to switch to a career plan instead.

Going out on my own like this is not something I ever thought I would do, and never planned on doing it. I was going to be successful in working for others. I didn't have a problem with doing so, and it allowed me the freedom from responsibility.

I feel like, for so much of my life, I was always the responsible one. I was the person to do the things that needed to be done when no one else wanted to do them. I always did what I was told, and I did not do the things I was not supposed to do. I always did The Right Thing. The problem with always doing the right thing, however, is that it leaves very little room for risk. Because risk is Not Right. Risk puts you in jeopardy of not being able to fulfill your responsibilities. Risk could mean that you FAIL.

And as I've stated many times in this blog, for me historically, failure is not an option.

So... I may fail terrifically at this. But I don't think I will. I think this is the step I was meant to take. I think it will take time, but my new business will succeed and thrive. I will help people. I will make a difference. And - for the first time - I'll be able to do it on my terms.

Look at me, Dad, I'm an entrepreneur.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Calming the Frak Down

Since deciding to move forward with my private practice and taking those (to me, huge) steps, in addition to seeing the busiest week at work I've had in a long time, in addition addition to keeping up with my regular, mundane chores, in addition addition addition to planning a wedding, I have been feeling crazy nuts for doing this a tad overwhelmed.

In order to stay within the confines of sanity (ha ha), I have been implementing a few ideas/steps to keep me a tad more grounded/present:

  • Eating as healthy as possible: Because this work week has been very, very busy I find that I need to actually eat four meals in a day in order to not come home and eat the couch. Since my first "meal" is usually a fruit smoothie in the morning, this works out well. I have been doing my best to be protein, fruit and veggie heavy, with whole grains and minimal breads. No Doritos allowed. Although chocolate is, because sanity.
  • Finding time for reading or creating: In doing a lot of DIY stuff for the wedding, I have remembered how good it feels to create things. I also recently ordered some long-coveted books off Amazon and reading them fills my soul and my mind. So I have been doing my best to make time for non-wedding creativity and mind-soothing reading (sometimes Terry Pratchett works his way in there too, because sometimes thinking hurts).
  • Not talking logistics after 7:30pm: Because 12 hours of thinking about stuff is enough. That's when I get home after a full shift, and it's time to relax and be with my Best Guy.
  • Getting enough sleep: When I work this much, I find that often eight hours of sleep is not enough. I will often sleep nine to 10 hours easily. At least, when there isn't a cat walking on my face in the middle of the night. So sometimes, closing the door to our four-legged family members is the best thing to do.
  • My own slightly odd mindfulness meditation: I'm not exactly sure where or how I came up with this practice; it is probably an amalgamation of several different things I read or otherwise came into contact with over the years. When my mind feels like it is going off in a million different directions and I feel like my solar plexus chakra is about to burn me alive (aka that anxious feeling in your tummy), I bring myself back into the present moment by narrating everything that I see. Sometimes it is internal, sometimes I say it out loud. I've been doing it especially while driving to keep me calm. This keeps me from going off on crazy mental tangents and worrying about things that haven't happened, that probably won't happen, that probably aren't a big deal if they do happen, and may not have any basis in reality.It goes a little something like this:
    • "I am driving. The sky is blue today. I find it pretty. There are many cars coming in the opposite direction. I am coming up to an intersection. I am slowing down. I am stopping. The light is red. The car in front of me is from Massachusetts. The light has turned green. I am moving forward again."
All of these practices have been working, and I find that it is good to have more than one at your fingertips because some days one method will work a little better than others. 

In the end though, my best calming practice is getting a big hug from Best Guy. Because I have to end this on a highly sappy note. 

Everyone together: D'awwwwwwwwwww!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Moving Forward: Scary as [Every Swear Word Ever Invented]

Today I took a huge step forward. Today, I agreed to sub-let a beautiful massage space in a building I've always wanted to work in. It is a six-month lease to start, and it will be for just three days. The hours are such that I won't have to give up any shifts at my current employer, which is a good thing because eating is awesome.

But yeah... after almost a year of saying it and being too scared to move forward, I was presented with something that was just perfect for me, and saying anything other than yes would have been folly.

So now I am scrambling to pull myself together in time for March 1st, where I get to be my own entity. At least for a few hours each week.

It is scary and exciting and overwhelming, but it is also very simple. It is a step forward. It is a step into my future. And it is a step towards where I want to be and what I want to be doing.

Those are all good steps to be taking.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Project 251: Getting Out of Dodge

This past weekend, we took advantage of Best Guy's tax return and planned a quick weekend away. We were both feeling a little house-bound, so we reserved a room at a B&B in Montpelier Saturday night with the idea that we would spend Sunday doing some 251 towns before heading home. Montpelier is just an hour south of us on the interstate, but sometimes that's all you need to feel like you've shaken things up a bit.

We had a grand time. We headed down after I got home from work. We spent some time walking around town before heading out to dinner at a little pub and then a trivia night the next town over. Ironically enough, despite losing the entire evening we ended up winning the trivia contest. Who knew? We won a couple gift certificates to the cafe it was held in, so coffee there was our first stop Sunday morning. And now... on to the magic that is 251:

33: Barre City (pron. Barry). One of us insisted on being a 12 year old boy and forced
the other to play along. There is also a Barre town, which we did not get on this trip
because we couldn't find a good sign.

34: East Montpelier. Yo.

35: Calais (pronounced callous)

36: Elmore. Very beautiful. Public bathrooms hard to come by. Portapotties at 25 degrees
are NOT amusing.

37: Worcester. Yes, that is the sign we chose. 

38: Morristown. This was actually a hard sign to find because the main town in
this municipality is Morrisville

39: Stowe. I may or may not have insisted on taking this pic, because
I may or may not have worked here for three years and loved every minute of it.

Of course... there are always some extra shots:
Adamant is technically in the Calais municipality, but for obvious reason we had to document our being here.

It should be fairly obvious why we took this picture.

I am walking on water! 

Friday, February 5, 2016

When Justification is Cold Comfort

I finally received all of my W2s last week and for the first time was able to do a little math. You know that poverty line? Yeah, I was below it.

Which on the one hand makes me feel justified in being so freaked out about finances last year.

And on the other hand makes me feel tired and angry. Because in so many other places in this world, I'd be considered wealthy. The injustice that my money would go so far and help so many people elsewhere yet would have left me homeless and struggling here in this country of "plenty" is weighing on my conscious.

We have so much here, and yet so little.

It is tiring to constantly have to flounder about in a broken system, knowing that however bad it is, it could be a lot worse. It makes you feel guilty for being upset that you have so little when so many others have so much less and would kill to have whatever little I had. Yet what little I had wasn't enough to support me last year.

There is no winning. No one should have to struggle to feed and house and clothe themselves or their family. And yet it is a world-wide problem.

I am eternally grateful for what I did make last year, because it could have been a lot less. I am grateful that I had a loving, understanding Partner who saw me struggling with my inability to contribute as much as I wanted to and supported me through my frustrations.

Mostly, though, I am glad it is a new year. I can put the stress and anxiety of last year behind me and go forward in abundance. Because it is all around me (and I'm not talking financially).

Monday, February 1, 2016

Crazy Days, Yo. Crazy Days.

Once again just realized how quickly the time is rushing past by looking at my last post date. Let's see what I can come up with. It's going to be a highly random list. So don't say I didn't warn you.

1. I have been dealing with a lingering ick for almost the entire month of January. The bronchitis is pretty much gone, but due to the fact the lymphs etc in my throat would not fracking drain it went up into my ears. And my tongue hurt, for frak's sake. Like I'd sprained it or something. It got so bad that Saturday night I was thisclose to having Best Guy take me to an urgent care facility. In the end, the fact that we'd both waste hours and money to have the doctor tell me to take more Advil was just not worth it. Instead, BG suggested I take a Benadryl and holy frak that knocked me out and I got the first full night's sleep I'd had in almost a month.

The good news is that my everything in my throat has finally gone back to normal, and my tongue is now just slightly annoying as opposed to downright painful. My ear is finally draining, although it is again taking its own sweet time. Because of the tongue thing and the fact that I seemed to respond to allergy meds, I've taken the liberty of cutting out apples, walnuts and almond milk from my diet. Historically I have never had a problem with any of these, but it felt like it got a lot worse after eating walnuts Saturday night, so I decided that maybe not eating any of these potential culprits for a while might be in my best interest. Once everything sorts itself out I'll add them back in. It should be obvious pretty quickly if I've developed an aversion to any of them.

2. 119 until the wedding. Not that I'm counting or anything. Things are going well. I sat down with the budget this morning and made a few calculations regarding how much we have left budget wise, and then how much we actually have left to work with once we take out earmarked funds (caterer, baker, officiant fees, etc). There's not a lot left so I've been making some pretty serious cuts. Of course, things shift and there may always be room to add a couple things back in. But for now, in order to curb my spending, they've been cut.

I was talking to BG last night how I sometimes get frustrated. I am extremely happy with the direction our wedding is taking, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But.... sometimes I wish we could be as free and easy with the money as so many other people seem to be with the wedding. I wish I could have invited a lot more of my friends and family. I wish I could get my hairs did and my makeup done without having to worry about whether or not it will go over on the budget. I wish we could afford a photographer. I wish we could afford a venue that would allow us a sit-down dinner (and I wish we could afford  to provide 100+ people food and drink). I wish I could afford a crazy awesome cake. I wish I could afford a Wedding Planner so my introvert self doesn't have to make all the vendor contacts.

If wishes were horses. What? There'd be a lot of poop? I don't know. It's a moot point. This is going to be a super awesome shindig and I'm coming out of it with a Top-Notch Fella. So in the end, I'm definitely the Big Winner. Cake schmake.

3. I quit Weight Watchers back at the beginning of January. I gave it three months. I was struggling for most, and then they rolled out their yearly changes and it just did not gel with me. So, I'm back on Spark People. I know I've said this before, but when you've only got like 10 pounds or less to lose, Weight Watchers just isn't as effective. I've given myself a long time to lose 10 pounds on Spark People, so I seem to be able to work it. It's the never ending battle for me.

4. I have been struggling internally a great deal in regards to whether or not I actually want to have a private practice. I'm trying to define how it is I want to practice, what I want out of it, and whether or not I even want the responsibility of owning my own business. So, I've been struggling a lot. Because there is a lot of freedom that comes with going out on your own, but there is also a lot you have to carry by yourself. I am unsure of what I actually want and/or need to do at this point. It is frustrating.

I guess that is it for now. Crazy days...

Cupcake Tastings. How bad can life be?

Last Chance.

Hello! If you are still finding this blog, I encourage your to bookmark Better Kate Than Never . This is my new blog, on a new platform. ...