The slow down bug

I fell victim to it. Just like we’ve all fallen victim to it before. And I can guarantee that I hated it just as intensely as the rest of us.

Yup. I fell victim to the stomach bug. On the morning of Easter Sunday, nonetheless.

Uh. Excuse me while I shiver away the nightmares of this past week.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t just the illness that threw me for a loop, it was the anxiety that came with it. Because it threw off my plans, took me out of work for a few days, and made me wonder if I was even born with an immune system to begin with (it’s been a rough year in the sickness department for me).

While I cannot express how grateful I am for a supportive boyfriend who took care of me every day, a twin sister who hand-delivered an ice pack for my aching muscles, and my “Mama Saint” for bringing me bread to make toast, it was still a long few days.

Today, however, was the first day that I went back into work (and the first day I went outside for that matter). But even running one errand in the morning and then walking into work was enough to make me ready for a nap.

I was exhausted. Correction: I am exhausted.

My body has been in shambles for four days and it felt like I was just learning how to use my legs again.

But as I made it through the day, a pretty little lesson slapped me upside the head: slow down.

And not just today, but across the board. I really need to take a step back and slow down. We all need to every once in awhile.

I need to slow down so I can boost my energy and my immune system back up.

I need to slow down so I can re-prioritize my overall well-being and reduce my anxiety (aka, get my butt back to yoga and meditation).

I need to slow down so I can swap my cell phone for a book (damn you, iPhone).

Heck, I need to slow down so I can write more frequently! I hate when I look at my blog and realize a few months have gone by since my last post. Although i’m doing more journaling and freelance writing now (which I love!), this is an important outlet for me, too.

Honestly, I just need to slow down so I can be happier, healthier and make more time for the things that truly fulfill me.

And if it took being sick on Easter Sunday to teach me that, then so be it.

Lesson learned, stomach bug. Lesson learned.





Money on my mind

I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of people have felt anxiety when it comes to money. Bills need to be paid, debt piles up, necessities have to be met, and more often than not, we’re supporting more than just ourselves.

Money has never been abundant in my life. Fortunately however, for as little money as my family had growing up, my parents never let it be a source of worry or concern for us. They always put us first and did whatever it took to make sure that we had what we needed.

Because of that upbringing, I have never, ever, been the type of person who’s been motivated by money. Oddly enough, I have a career in sales! It seems SO counterintuitive, but the reason I love my career in sales is because in the industry i’m in (advertising and creative staffing), if I build genuine relationships with people, the money comes. It’s a people business, and that’s very sincerely what I care about.

But i’m 26 years young, and because I support myself financially with no assistance from others, I’m still very much learning as I go and trying my best to be as smart as possible. But of course, that’s easier said than done.

It’s a situation most can relate to: I have a ridiculous amount of student loans, the usual bills to pay, I help my family wherever and whenever necessary, and when I moved to Chicago to follow a longtime dream of mine, I inevitably racked up some credit card debt that i’m slowly but surely chipping away at.

It could be worse. It could always be worse. But when I’m responsible for everything myself and i’m also the only backup plan I have, it can be a bit daunting sometimes.

But here’s the thing – not only do I work diligently to manage and take care of all of the above, a book I recently read opened my eyes and made me decide to completely change my perspective and my outlook on money.

Of course when I watch my bank account drop as I pay each bill I still get a little anxious, but guess what? There are always ways to make money. Furthermore, I am such a believer in both hard work and the power of positive thinking, so it only makes sense to align those two things in order to maximize both my success and my income potential.

I’ve done it before, too. When I coached cheerleading for two years, that was a way for me to spend time doing what I love and also make more money. And when I was busting my ass as a student in college, I was also working 4-5 different jobs in order to support myself.  I didn’t realize it then, but now I see that i’ve always found creative ways to take care of my needs. I just didn’t have the positive perspective that I do now.

It won’t happen over night, of course. Nothing ever does. But money is out there, and it’s out there for the taking. I truly believe that. And I have never felt more certain that I have both the control and the right outlook to allow money to be a motivator and a blessing in my life rather than a stressor.

And just like that, I feel the richest I’ve felt in quite awhile….