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Coming Back & Finding Rhythm

Orchids_1

The last few weeks months have been an overdose of stress, work deadlines, disappointments and frustrations. I just did not have the energy or inclination to write. The zeal to write, share, talk was just not there. In the beginning, it was not a conscious decision to take a break. But, at some point in June, I decided that it was a good thing to to step away.  In a way, it is a good thing when you go away and come back with new energy. I have a few posts in mind for the next few weeks. Let us start with a quick catch up.

Style News

  1. I ended my Shopping Ban in the 2nd week of June. Overall, it was very refreshing to take 3 months to ‘reset’. I might do another ban or just a ‘Slow Shopping Exercise’ from August to October.
  2. I recognized the areas of excesses (Shoes, Shoes, Shoes) and the areas that need a few additions (couple of blouses or tops).
  3. I will be sharing what I acquired since closing my ban in the next few posts.
  4. I also figured out the two triggers that make me blow my budget – which brings me to the next section.

Findings

  1. I shop when a.) I have setbacks in my personal life. Most of my setbacks are related to not meeting life goals (Getting the dream job, but not getting the visa, not acing an exam, failing to get pregnant, failing to stick to a weekly gym routine). I am sure everyone has their own battles and unwarranted life changes. Sometimes it is that tiny voice in your head that brings up all your failings. Sometimes it is just the snail pace of things and frustrating delays. My way of dealing with all of this is to spend time browsing online. By the end of it I have a few pretty things arriving home in packages.
  2. I shop when b.) I am under immense work pressure. The below message pretty sums up my life story for 2017.

rihanna.jpgFixing my wardrobe issues requires me to figure out better ways to handle stress, setbacks and failure first. At the point of stating the obvious, Buying More and Collecting Pretty things is just another symptom and not the actual problem.

How do you deal with set backs and failures? What keeps you going? How do you measure success? I would really love to know and learn from you.

 

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Susan #

    When I am stressed, I do something for me. Like you, I make a purchase. The purchase can be clothing or a plant to add to my garden. Generally, they are not hugely expensive. I also often want to be left alone so I will go for a long walk or in bad weather a long drive. I find the ocean very relaxing so walking the beach is another good experience for me. Regarding failure, I feel there is no such thing as failure. When things do not work out the way I want, I look at them as learning experiences. Generally, I take what I learn and apply the new skills going forward. Life is full of challenges. I also see life as one big adventure of many unknowns.

    I take responsibility for my own success. I tend to make changes pretty quickly if something is not working for me. I want to be in a good situation where I can succeed and feel accomplished. I

    Liked by 2 people

    August 20, 2017
    • Wise words !

      Like

      August 20, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you so much Susan!
      I need stop beating myself about small purchases and little things like missing a workout. Generally I am very goal oriented in my professional and personal life. But, I get disappointed in myself as soon as I fall slightly short of said goals. I should just start learning from my failures and embracing change. Thank you for reminding me this and sharing your strategies!! I will be re-visiting this advice each time I feel like I am slipping. Wise words indeed! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      August 21, 2017
  2. I hope you emerge on the other end of the tunnel victorious.

    Also please don’t think of yourself as “failing” to get pregnant. Everyone’s journey is different. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZSHnpYWydE&t=1075s (Idk if this video will “help” but it’s a personal and well done video on the topic)

    I’ve seen the Rihanna meme and could relate to it when I was at my old job. When I reached the point of, it’s only going to get worse and I knew I couldn’t overcome it, and its extremely negatively impacted my mental and emotional health–to the pt that it affected my physical health (mental/emotional health can be faked to a degree but the body don’t play that sh!t), I removed myself from it. I recognize that’s not an option for everybody. It wasn’t the right fit and now that I’m out of that environment and can compare it to somewhere else, I can see how “wrong” that environment was–and my last company has a notoriously bad reputation not only in the area/word of mouth but in a hundreds of millions of dollars breaking federal law fraud level bad reputation. It’s a publicly traded company so this information is very much out there. I just googled it, and it looks like a senior exec was indicted on hundreds of millions of dollars of fraud charges since I left.

    But those moments of “failure” as absolutely shitty as they are, they will teach you a lot about what is important to YOU. I don’t know what advice I can give, as everyone’s situations are different. I think on the outside people can look like they have it all figured out, but the reality is that few people do. ;P Make the most of your time/days off–as life passes by quickly. And know that your mind and body can only take so much, something has to give. For some people success is measured by trophies or titles or whatever…you have to know what it looks like to you. For me, it’s moments/memories that I brought me happiness and that I was engaged in, for me it’s traveling, being able to do things for my friends/family.

    Liked by 2 people

    August 20, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you PPP! I am not sure what made me use the word ‘failing’, may be unconsciously I see it as a failure. Most days, I am strong and positive and tell myself I will get there. My family and husband have been extremely supportive. But, then that tiny doubtful voice comes out and I question all the life choices and decisions I made in my entire life. Second guessing oneself is the devil! Thank you for sharing that youtube video. She put it all so well!! I also found this new website this weekend https://www.fruitfulfertility.org/ It seems like a wonderful support group for women like me.

      Thank you so much for sharing about your work life. That company sounds like the epitome of corporate greed! I am really glad 2017 brought you better tidings!! I am starting to see and talk to friends who are in equally stressful jobs. Looks like it is a generational thing these days. This year I got my dream job, but had to give up on it just due to visa issues. So, I am still stuck in the same company as before. But, I am starting to make plans for change again and look forward to new things.

      Thank you for reminding me about travel and family! I guess my biggest problem is that I forget to count my blessings in times like this. This year, we took a vacation with both sets of parents and siblings!! To have a family that is incredibly supportive and can put up with you on a long vacation!?! – That is one of the best things about life 🙂 What more could I ask for? My family, including our aging parents are still healthy and happy! I should remind myself of this each time I get worked up setbacks in life 😊

      Like

      August 21, 2017
  3. My dear beautiful world, everyone has a cross to bear so to speak. I love Susan’s comment above and also remember that quote: ” success is not fatal and failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that matters. ” courage is everything.

    Like

    August 20, 2017
    • SA. #

      You are so right!! Everyone has their own personal ‘thorns’ in life. I am also starting to learn that courage, like any other characteristic, needs practice. It is a muscle that needs to be exercised during these curve balls that life throws at you. Thank you for reminding me this! ❤️

      Like

      August 21, 2017
  4. Xin #

    Best wishes and feel better soon! I can relate to life stresses and exhaustion sapping out all the inspiration for personal writing on a blog. (Though my stresses have been more run of the mill.) I definitely do stress-shopping too, though oftentimes, when the items actually arrive I’m happy to send them back and the moment and impulse that made me want the specific item has gone away.

    I might be a somewhat stereotypical attorney in that I don’t handle work or academic stress in an at all healthy way. (Stress to the point of physical symptoms is not unusual, even when, intellectually, I know I have nothing to worry about.) There was recently a New York Times piece about substance abuse and the profession (not an issue for me or any of my peers) but it made the point that there’s a tendency towards unhealthy coping mechanisms in the field at large. At school especially, I tended to deal with stress by doubling down and holding on till the bitter end/limping to the finish line, and things tended to work out well enough. It’s hard to explain, but I feel like there’s a tendency in myself and most of my peers to see every problem (including the kind of minor problems or errors that arise every day) as a full-blown disaster. Everything is a catastrophe (even if it’s all the kind of problems that are easy to fix).

    Like

    August 20, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you Xin for reminding we are all human! I do that too – returning the item when it arrives. Thank God for free shipping! Then I start beating myself up about the intangible burden we add to Mother Earth with all the free-shipping (freight, packaging, etc). My husband jokes that I am the living, walking representation of all millennial dilemmas and first world problems! I don’t know how he does it, but he does online shopping or enters a brick-mortar stores ONLY when he intends to make a purchase! No browsing, no wishlists etc.

      I love what every word you wrote about stress in our professional lives here. I am pretty sure you know what you are talking about here. Not knowing what is really a crisis and what might be just another person rubbing off their negative energy (Ex: A over stressed out client or a bitter colleague blowing things out of proportion??) can be dangerous.
      All of this made me think about my own love-hate relation with stress. You see, funnily, I do my best work in times of crisis and stress. I even wonder if I thrive on stress. There have been studies to show that some of us need the daily stress to think creatively and surpass our own limits. But, I think we forget to listen to our own minds and bodies, to the point of ignoring all the signs when stress levels (unwarranted in some cases) reach a boiling point. There are days I go to work or open my email at 6:00 AM in the morning thinking, ‘Alright, what is ‘breaking’ today?’, ‘Who is losing their marbles?’. So, I completely relate to what you said! We all might just be losing the ability to tell the difference between a simple issue and a real problem!

      Like

      August 21, 2017
  5. lin #

    I feel you on the stress shopping – I was increasingly stressed out by work over the last 2 years, and it culminated in me finally resigning earlier this year. So now I have no job, but a lot of very nice clothes 🙂

    I often told myself that I could have acted out in worse ways to cope with stress and it wasn’t like I was running up debts I couldn’t pay off, but we all know shopping isn’t a 100% innocent activity (waste and impact on the environment) and I felt really bad sometimes. Eventually, I still had to face my problems and make decisions to deal with them, instead of getting by on short-term highs.

    I second PPP on the “failing to get pregnant” bit – I’m at the age where lots of my peers are trying to start families, and it’s true, everyone’s journey is different. A friend was overjoyed that his wife’s pregnancy was finally stable, and then revealed that they’d been trying for years and she had suffered two miscarriages. This prompted another friend at the table to share that she too, had a miscarriage recently and she was afraid to try again. I think it would have been sad if both my friends considered themselves failures for having trouble bringing children into the world, when it seems to me that it’s harder than society makes it out to be, and plenty of people find it challenging.

    Like

    August 23, 2017
    • SA. #

      Lin, I think I will be walking the same career path very soon.
      Just like you said, a few of my close friends have opened up about infertility issues and miscarriages. In the last few years, I constantly questioned if I have any motherly instincts at all and dealt with the whole career & motherhood dilemma. Questions like ‘does the world need any more burden on its resources?’ were quite prevalent in my head.
      You are so right! The society and media make getting pregnant seem easy. Btw, I am absolutely loving your IG travel adventures and followed along! Welcome back! 🙂

      Like

      August 23, 2017
  6. maiastras #

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s been refreshing to see more candid discourse on social expectation for women through the internet with public figures like Garance Doré publishing her letter on Lenny.

    I’m still continuing my shopping ban. The most important thing, I’ve found, is to be aware and grateful that I’m doing great without having to consume so much to validate my existence with materialist accumulation. I’m finally living with my husband without having to think about my imminent departure across the sea. We have a comfortable home, a close group of friends, and meaningful work we want to pursue. I’m starting to find room within my mind and my life for new creative projects and think about how to develop as an individual instead of constantly comparing myself and creating unnecessary competition. In retrospect, I feel a bit silly to have been so bound by keeping up with social expectations, to where I was getting upset that I couldn’t meet them. It’s nice to work towards the end of the year with a fresh mindset.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 8, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you for sharing that Lenny Letter M! Somehow, I missed it. Btw, I love the articles on Lenny, so much to ponder over! Honestly, I was not planning on sharing. But, it just happened. Like Lin said, getting pregnant can be harder than society and media makes it seem. I think we are all (Men & Women) are fed this happy, easy ending – on TV, Movies – every where.

      That is wonderful news about the Shopping Ban. I love this!!!! – “I’m doing great without having to consume so much to validate my existence with materialist accumulation.” So well said!! My next plan is slowly streamline everything, including the wardrobe.

      I hear you on the social expectations. All Families and couples need NOT be the same. There was a period of long distance in my life and I felt embarrassed each time some body commented on the lines of ‘Oh, you are married, but don’t live together?’ It felt like I put my work over my personal life, despite of being a steadfast and level headed person. All through out that phase, my husband and I were both supportive of each other and knew that this was just a temporary phase. I just wish I did not let people’s opinions or my own silly doubts come in the way of the hope and real happiness.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 10, 2017
      • maiastras #

        I’m glad to have pointed you to the Lenny letter 🙂 Nowadays I find myself trying to be critical of all means of social expectations/conditioning and how much my behavior and outlook has changed with social media, especially Instagram. I always find myself wanting things via Instagram, or making ridiculous comparisons and feeling like I’m missing out.

        It’s unfortunate that you felt embarrassed about your relationship because of others. Some couples I know are more independent from their partners both in their professional/personal lives compared to my husband and myself, but they more deeply committed than anyone can imagine. I’m glad we can have a supportive community, virtually or in our waking brick and mortar lives.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 15, 2017

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