Taking Stock | 0817

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!

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Wearing: LOFT top and jeans, TJ Maxx textile slides, Zara bag (old, try this) and Topshop watch

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.

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Similar textile slides here, and a wear-with-anything neutral leather pair here!

About Keira Lennox

I'm a small town girl from the sunshine state with an affinity for bookstores, beauty counters and unfussy style. I spend my days running my flower shop, and my nights blogging about what I love and what I wear. (Or watching Netflix and drinking wine.)

6 thoughts on “Taking Stock | 0817

  1. Keira ,I have learned so much from your posts ,I keep all of them and enjoy just reading them.
    I know that I tell you that every post ! Well Fall is in the air and each season is so good .And
    all the holiday’s are close so I know your posts will help me thru them! Well you have a great evening and Blessings to you and yours.
    Carolina

  2. Keira,

    I’m so glad that your mother is doing well now. I also suffer from severe anxiety. You can always try a grounding technique, which involves simply noting details about your environment. For example, if you feel a panic attack coming on, name five things you notice around you (simple stuff): there’s sunlight coming through the window, the room smells like lavender, I can hear birds chirping, etc. Then breathe into your belly and check your anxiety level–it should be improved!

    *hugs

    Jenny

  3. Hi Keira,
    Thank you so much for your lovely post! I am so glad your mom is well and you are putting stressful events behind you. So kind of you to share what is happening in your real life with your faithful readers! As for Infinite Jest…it took me 18 months to finish it. And…I just didn’t understand what the big deal was (no offense, DFW). You can share with us your feelings with your readers when you finish it. :)

    Finally, add a little Mozart to your play list (Eine Kliene Nachtmuzik and the Clarinet concert are my faves). His music is sweet and light, guaranteed to lift your spirits.

    hugs to you!
    Elizabeth

  4. I too, am feeling optimistic this month. I haven’t been following you for very long, but I love this monthly blog idea of taking stock of what is going on in our worlds, and watching life unfold. If it’s okay with you, I might also start “Taking Stock” In September, and then credit you & your blog for the idea. Have a good day! :)

  5. Thank you…thank you…thank you! Your rawness in this post is just want I needed and I appreciate your openness. I too suffer from anxiety and after 4 crazy busy years of cancer diagnosis in my family, losing 2 family members to cancer, 1 to diabetes, IVF treatment, miscarriages and a busy career; I’m now at the overload of anxiety point and working on getting it back under control. This life is too short and I think the whole world needs to learn to slow down and enjoy what we have a little more!

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