It’s been over a year since my last Taking Stock update, so I’m doing a grrreat job of keeping up with this “monthly” series. (*Palm to forehead*) I always enjoy looking back on these posts as little snapshots in time, so let’s bring it back!
Making : a mess in the kitchen as I try to get back into making healthy, home-cooked meals. Sometimes I forget how much I love to cook, and after months of surviving on burritos and takeout, it feels good to get reacquainted with my oven.
Drinking : iced tea by the bucketful because it is H-O-T down here, y’all.
Watching : all the old seasons of Homeland with C. Nashville is my current binge-watching guilty pleasure, and my other Hulu favorites of the moment are The Goldbergs, The Mindy Project and Community when I want something light and fun to unwind with in the evenings.
Reading : Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I bought a 20th anniversary edition on my last trip to the bookstore and I’m just diving in, but I’m excited to take on the challenge of this 1000+ page “famously difficult” novel. (I’m sure I’ll put it down and pick it back up a dozen times before I finish it.) I’m also really into audiobooks right now, and I’m currently listening to The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff, which makes me want to go back and read/listen to all of A.A. Milne’s works with a new appreciation.
Loving : Benefit Roller Lash. I was on a hunt for a great brown mascara — I’m really into the laid-back, subtle definition it gives for natural makeup looks — and this was one of the only brown formulas I could find at Ulta. It ended up being an awesome purchase, because it curls and lengthens my lashes and holds up to the summer heat and humidity without flaking or smudging. It’s my new everyday favorite!
Bookmarking : Lo Bosworth’s blog, thelowdown.com. It’s a treasure trove of sophisticated style, clean beauty, mental health discussion and wellness inspiration, with lots of honesty and positivity. It’s the kind of “real life” blog I just can’t get enough of.
Enjoying : as many afternoons off as I can manage before the shop kicks back into our busy season.
Smelling : doTERRA Balance Grounding Blend in my oil diffuser. It’s a warm, woody blend that makes my house smell like a spa, and I’m all about it.
Listening : to Marconi Union’s “Weightless” since I read it’s proven to reduce anxiety by up to 65% by slowing the listener’s heart rate, reducing blood pressure, and lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol. I love playing it on our sound system on busy, stressful days at the shop, or listening to it with headphones when I need some quiet time. On the other end of the spectrum, Spotify’s “Workout Twerkout” playlist is my cardio go-to for walks and jogs.
Feeling : Optimistic. The last several months really kicked me around: in March, my family was blind-sided by a breast cancer diagnosis for my mom, and at the same time, I was dealing with an ongoing legal battle from a minor car accident six years ago that was hurtling toward a possible trial. Meanwhile, it seemed like things were breaking left and right at the flower shop, requiring expensive and unexpected repairs, and I felt like I was dodging new blows every week. Everything felt out of control, but the shop was busier than ever, so I threw myself into work and internalized all the stress. By June, my mom was recovering from a successful surgery (she’s cancer-free now!) and my lawsuit was settled, but my mind was still in a unstoppable stress spiral that I couldn’t get a handle on, and I found myself in the worst anxiety cycle I’ve experienced in years. It was like a delayed reaction: as soon as the situations were resolved and I let my guard down, all the emotions and frustration I ignored for months boiled over and all my old physical anxiety symptoms came home to roost. Racing thoughts, racing heart, racing breathing, racing, racing… For the last month, I’ve made managing stress and taking care of my mind and body a top priority — while reminding myself every day that this too shall pass — and I’m feeling much better. I know it’s a work in progress, and I can’t magically undo months of prolonged anxiety with a snap of my fingers, but I’m looking forward to putting this season of struggle behind me, learning from it, and finishing out the year in a calmer, happier headspace.