I don’t know, maybe I’m writing this article just to myself; but you mom’s/dad’s/caregivers out there, with kiddos in school…does the start of a new school year, feel like the start of something new for you? Not just some quiet time in the day, or a chance to run all the errands and see a few friends while having adult conversation. I mean, really starting something new in you.
YOUR TIME TO SHINE
What if you took this early September bliss (listen friend, I may be a super duper helicopter mom; but when schools back in I shed NO tears! It’s a celebration that they are about to take on another year, even more challenging than the last one, and confidence knowing they can (with your love and support), as a golden opportunity, not a time to be sad. We are raising them, to grow up, rise up and move on up, right?!)
Back to my point, what if we looked at each other (pretending to hold a virtual glass of bubbly), and said, “Happy New Year!” when that big yellow bus chugs away, carrying our precious children to learn, stretch and grow. Now, instead of grabbing the remote to catch up on that Netflix series, what if….what if you gave yourself a chance to birth another kind of child? The one your hearts sings for? The one that has been sitting there and shows herself every once in a while, and yet you keep stuffing it back down, thinking, “as if! I couldn’t possibly do/be/create/help with/sell/build XYZ”.
GIVE IT TIME TO BREATHE
Let’s allow that secret “dream” scenario play out a bit. Unpack it fully, like you never have before. Let me be clear though. This is not to change your entire existence, by now focusing ALL time and energy in on that one thing. I don’t want this little exercise to distract you from what is still very important. Taking care of the home, meals, laundry, car pool, sports activities, fundraisers, date night with the hubby, focusing at work, getting enough sleep all that HAS to remain at the top of your list, while you give yourself a specific amount of time each day to dream. If it consumes you, then everything else begins to feel like a nuisance. It will prevent you from being happy with what you have while working for what you want.
But just let those bubbles rise to the top. What have you always wanted to do; but never had the time? Even if you don’t have a huge amount of time with kids going back to school, I hope you have many more moments where your mind can hold onto a thought pattern without interruption….OH THE JOY!!! Let your mind get totally caught up in the idea. It feels pretty great to think about what you WANT to think about, isn’t it?
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE ABOUT MONEY TO BE WORTH DOING
Confession, when I see all these Girl Boss, Find Your Passion, Do What You Love and it Won’t Feel Like Work “campaigns”…it makes me feel like I should be pounding the pavement and working towards getting to a financial goal of some kind, in the least amount of time possible. I literally thought if I made alot of money somehow, that was Girl Bossing the pants off my life!
I don’t buy it anymore. Being a Girl Boss is living the one life you are given to the fullest. Making choices, spending / saving money, and prioritizing your time well. And every once in a while we enter a new season, and you can shift a few things.
WHAT AREA DO YOU WANT TO SHINE IN?
Is it something creative? Maybe you want to take amazing photos with your “big” camera, or even iPhone (they ARE pretty incredible these days), so you have amazing memories to look back on. Download some YouTube tutorials and let the tips sink in!
Do you wish you knew more about how to use social media and share your ideas, or help the company you work for have a more prominent online presence? If you did a little “Googling”, you could not only find a new market for the business; but get really smart for your own future endeavours.
MASTERING THE ART OF A BUDGET THAT WORKS
Have you been wishing you were better at budgeting and taking better care of the finances you HAVE, instead of wishing you had more? Take some time to really break down your spending, line item by line item, and get clarity where there is waste, and where adjustments can be made. Maybe you’ve had what you needed to build that savings account all along, you just never really realized it.
How about the tried and true weight loss dream? One that is longterm and sustainable, NOT the one that you live off 500 calories a day and drink only water or celery juice. I mean find the LIFESTYLE that works for you, your body type, your love of trying new restaurants on date night, your makeshift meals during peak sports season, just all of it! Women come in all kinds of gorgeous shapes and sizes and I PROMISE you, after the MANY I’ve talked to over the years, the size on their tag really didn’t guarantee happiness. Take the time to research what you think could really work, NOT scroll and look at people who are a completely different shape and size and wish it were you. That is the least motivating thing you can do for you and your goals.
Maybe you want to be as better cook, or read more, or train for a marathon, or climb a mountain, or write a book, or grow a business. YOU CAN! And great news, you can do all these things and ALSO maintain a sense of balance and gratitude. You are in a unique place, where life is offering you a little bit more time. Be happy in that, while you consider “something more”.
Are you realizing how out of hand your lack of organization, storage and just overall life management is?! Whether you decide to embrace minimalism or only keep things that bring you joy, it takes time to painstakingly go through the piles and piles you’ve created over the years. I can’t even tell you how freeing it is to release the purposeless things in your home. It may take some time to research what way might work best for you, or you just get after it; but this is a great time to wipe the slate clean, and loosen the grip of STUFF.
What I really want to share is that YOUR TIME TO SHINE does not mean starting a business and shattering the glass ceiling for women’s income, NOW. While it absolutely CAN be that, and sister, just know, I will be your biggest cheerleader if it is! What I’m saying is, what if shining means finding those new habits, that map to your dream, that create slow and steady motion towards something you think could never happen. How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time. Same goes for this.
WRITE IT DOWN
Once you’ve brainstormed a little, I really encourage you to write it down. Even if you aren’t a visual person, the act of writing your goal down on paper makes it more real. Heck, run to Target and grab a super cute notebook and a really pretty pen that are JUST YOURS, for this purpose. Loooove me some brand spankin’ new stationary. It just feels like those blank pages have so much promise.
Any book you read on goal setting encourages us to write our dreams down. Every single day. All of them. Very specifically. Every day. Because writing them, makes them something our brain starts to map to. Our actions start to create progress towards them. How long can that new habit take you? 10 minutes after getting home from car line or the bus stop? Girlfriend, you can do that in between those glorious first sips of your morning java.
TELL YOUR PARTNER / SPOUSE / BEST FRIEND
I know, it would be much better to keep these big dreams a secret, until you are either well on your way, or heck, wait til you’ve accomplished it! Uh-uh girlfriend, that’s a crap strategy. Why would you keep something that makes your heart sing a secret? All that does is hide the reality of the situation. It wasn’t an accident. It was intentional, with ups and downs. Oh…is it so that nobody needs to know it took time, sacrifice, effort, effort and oh, a TON of well placed effort, to do that really awesome thing you do? Don’t you Instagram filter this!
RESISTANCE IS FUTILE
There WILL BE NAYSAYERS. Oh friend, there will, and it might surprise you who they are. Turns out there are people who say they want you to shine, just not too brightly. It doesn’t matter. I repeat, IT DOESN’T MATTER, because this is YOUR dream / goal, not theirs. They don’t have to be on board; but you sure as heck do.
I mean, “what if” you had setbacks or failures along the way and people found out. Oh LOOORRRDDDD, strike me down. No chance we want to be THAT vulnerable. That’s (my) our fear of failure talking (me) us out of doing anything. Well, why the heck can’t we be transparent with the people who we trust, and who love us, the most?!
When we need help achieving something, they know exactly why it’s important you can’t make all of your commitments. It takes a village, and no way can one person create a new trajectory of their life, WHEN THEY HAVE MULTIPLE OTHER LIVES DEPENDING ON THEM DAILY TO SURVIVE (ahem, mommin’ ain’t easy!) . Those people really should be part of the process, and be our cheerleaders so when we have both the ups and downs, they are lifting us up or celebrating with us. When we shine, they know they were part of it and how awesome is that?
I’LL TELL YOU MINE IF YOU TELL ME YOURS
My big dream is to create a Style Advice destination, here at Method39, for women of all ages.
- For the women just getting out of college and having to redefine their style to match a professional workplace.
- For the women who just got that big promotion, has a little more jangle in her purse and wants to level up the wardrobe for both work and everyday style.
- For the woman on a budget who needs versatility and major bang for her style buck
- For the new mom who is trying to figure out how to dress her body before and after creating a human being (which really should take center stage here….).
- For the women who have just gone through a journey of weight loss or weight gain. How can we dress you right now, in this moment, with your beautiful shape, and have you holding your head high when you navigate through life.
- For the empty nester who has some time to focus back on herself, and realizes she needs a little help
- For the retired woman who thinks dressing stylish is for younger women who have things to do and places to go. NO MA’AM, you are in the prime of your life, let your wardrobe show it!
- Or any other reason our style might evolve in this one life we have.
IT WON’T BE PERFECT, AND THAT’S A-OK
Not everything I share will resonate with every person. Maybe you will find one out of every 10 tips memorable; but that is all that matters. My priority, above anything, is to bring you value, for the time you give each blog article, Instagram pic , Linked In share or Pinterest pin. The same will be for you as you consider using your time for something new to you.
OK, THIS IS ACTUALLY THE BIG STUFF
Eventually I’d like to write guest articles on other Style sites. Not only that, I’d like to be a guest on a podcast where I talk about some of the things I’ve learned about “Finding Your Method to Style”, and be a source of encouragement and optimism for women all over the world. And even if that means 5 women, I would be literally thrilled with that!
And then….I’m going to start the process of writing my very first Style Guide. I may have threw up a little in my mouth typing that; but I’m saying it here! I’m going to write a book about how to help women find their style. And considering I’ve never done anything like that before, I’m planning to use some of the time I now have in my “New Year” to educate me, and help me be successful.
So…sister, what do you say? Let’s do some hard things together.