My Nemesis, Pollen…

If you know me, you know that me and the great outdoors are not besties.  I volunteered to do laundry when I was a kid so I wouldn’t have to go outside…laundry, for Pete’s sake!  To be fair though, that was mostly cuz I was sneezing every 2.3 seconds, and my eyes were watering like I just got tear-gassed.  So…can ya blame me?

After spending 8 months a year in a haze for as long as I could remember, a good friend (who knew full well what an obnoxious skeptic I can be) introduced me to this blend, and I’ve never looked back!

Try it…you won’t regret it ūüôā

Pollen Puncher Blend

10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
10 drops Lemon Essential Oil
10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
10 drops Copaiba Essential Oil
Carrier Oil (I use Sweet Almond Oil)
10 mL Glass Roller Bottle

Just add essential oils to roller bottle, top off with carrier oil, and mix gently.  Apply behind ears and to back of neck 1-3 times daily, as needed. 

Personally, Young Living oils have the key to my heart (you can find out more on my Essential Oil page if you’d like to know why).  Since I’m so obsessed, and I love sharing, here’s the deal…if you comment on this post between now and end of day on July 25th, I’ll enter you in a drawing for a sample bottle to try!  And remember, if you ever have oily questions, please don’t hesitate to ask and/or send me a message on the Contact page!

Finding Happy…

Finding happiness has ¬†been weighing heavily on my mind lately…on account of my own personal wants and desires, and on account of a national climate of seemingly constant anger and outrage.

I’m overall a pretty happy person, but I’ve spent time desperately unhappy in my life. ¬†I mean, I have my days of intense crabbiness and aggravation now, but nothing like it used to be. ¬†Back then, I’d try to forget about it with alcohol and sleep and boys at parties. ¬†Not soooo many years ago, I remember sitting in the parking lot of¬†my then-job, weighing the pain of¬†a broken leg against potential time off work. Yep. ¬†(For the record, I got out of the car and went to work.) ¬†So for anyone that thinks I’ve got my shit together…I’m working on it…but I still remember that desperate, out-of-control feeling I had in those days. ¬†And I’ll be the first to say, nobody is immune to that…everyone has bad stuff to deal with…it’s just different bad stuff for different people.¬†¬†And at the other end of the “comparison is the thief of joy” spectrum, comparing our bad stuff to other peoples’ bad stuff is pretty irrelevant at the end of the day…it’s how¬†we deal with it that matters.

So then there’s the whole ‘pursuit of happiness’ thing. ¬†That ‘pursuit’ word is a tricky one. ¬†It seems like it was so much easier to just BE happy when¬†I was¬†a kid…when¬†I¬†didn’t know what¬†I¬†didn’t know, and everything seemed easy.¬†¬†But the world doesn’t owe¬†anyone¬†happy…at some point,¬†we¬†have to find it for ourselves. ¬†Whatever it is that changes that state of¬†‘being’¬†to a ‘pursuit’ is different for everyone. ¬†I think for a lot of people, it’s probably when you start being responsible for yourself…or maybe when you start being responsible for someone else. ¬†For me, it was my dad’s battle with cancer.

I was in college when Dad passed away. ¬†And I’ll say, if the death of a loved one doesn’t call into question your outlook on life, I don’t know what will. ¬†People deal with loss in different ways…some people hide from the world, and some people hide from themselves. ¬†I was a hide from myself-er. ¬†I carefully arranged all the pieces of my life for maximum normalcy. ¬†I loaded up my class schedule so I could still graduate in 4 1/2 years (even though I had switched schools twice, took a half a semester off, and changed majors), I got A’s in my classes, I joined an Honor’s Society, and I went out drinking with ¬†my friends six nights a week. ¬†I checked all the little boxes in my life. ¬†I¬†made it a point to show¬†everyone (including myself) that I was okay…and sometimes I was.

In hindsight, I think maybe my college boyfriend had me figured out…probably because he had moved on to the ‘pursuit’ stage of his life too. ¬†He saw my pursuit of perfection for what it was. ¬†And pursuit of perfection sure isn’t the same thing as pursuit of happiness.¬† At the time, I was just mad that he’d¬†called me out on it. ¬†In any event, ¬†the real world, post-college, was what it took for me to realize that you couldn’t get to happy with a to-do list of mandated fun and normalcy.

So, self-awareness is half the battle, right? ¬†For me…notsomuch. ¬†As the intensely impatient person I tend to be, this whole never-ending process of ‘pursuit’ isn’t my favorite thing. ¬†I want it fixed and I want it fixed NOW. ¬†But I’m chipping away at it.¬†¬†Fighting for who I want to be and what I want to do with my life.¬† Developing myself, making small choices every day that will hopefully lead me to where I want to be in the long term…and hanging onto the long view when the short-term picture gets frustrating. ¬†(Admittedly, that little piece of the puzzle is¬†NOT my strong suit.)¬†¬†It’s always a choice, and some days that choice is easy, and some days it’s hard, and some days it seems like an epic freaking battle.¬† And when I really just need a minute (or an hour, or a day, or even a whole weekend) of relaxing and resetting, I bust out my oil stash, rev up the diffuser, and color…or make jewelry…or scrapbook…or whatever little quiet, creative endeavor I can get my hands on, really. ¬†Something to bring me back to myself and make me smile for now, so I can figure out¬†the next move that’ll make me smile later ūüôā¬† And for the most part, I’m really happy.¬† There’s always crappy days, obviously, but I’m not Groundhog Day-ing them over and over again.¬† I’m taking a breath and moving on to something better.

Pursuit…that’s what we’ve got…no matter what else happens. ¬†Doing the right thing…putting out into the world what¬†we’re hoping to get back…making better decisions…working¬†our butts¬†off in the direction of where¬†we’d like to be, pursuit. ¬†Doing a little more…finding a little peace…giving ourselves a little grace, pursuit. ¬†It’s never going to be perfect…just keep working on making it better a little at a time, pursuit.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got.¬†¬†And now I’m off to work on some more jewelry, cuz¬†I’m still coming off of inventory at work, and the daily news is¬†a bit much right now, and my heart needs a little extra happy today¬†¬†ūüôā¬† Smile!



Here we go…

I have a not-so-secret secret. ¬†This isn’t my first blog. ¬†I started one in college a dozen-ish years ago, and I went through cycles of posting a whole lot of lists, or a whole lot of recipes, or a whole lot of scrapbook pages and cards. ¬†In all of that time, I graduated from college, failed rather spectacularly at a career in financial planning, had two really¬†good relationships followed by two even worse¬†breakups, a couple of soul-sucking jobs that just paid the bills, an amazing group of friends at a company¬†that I finally loved¬†and¬†which ultimately went out of business, an out-of-state move that started with a sense of adventure and ended with a sense of isolation, and a lot of hours in the car wondering where I go from here. ¬†I spent the last few years in my bubble, feeling like I didn’t really have much to say to the world. ¬†I was just working all the time anyway…what was there to talk about? ¬†Nobody wants to hear my work stories (okay, you might want to hear a FEW of them…I’ve got some doozies). ¬†I felt stuck. ¬†In a rut. ¬†Defined by my job and not much else.

In the last year and a half, I transferred locations and moved back to Illinois, bought a condo, and decided to get serious about my essential oil side gig. ¬†I also realized that moving back to my support network wasn’t quite the golden ticket I was hoping for. ¬†Don’t get me wrong…I love¬†being back around friends and family…but it turns out the larger¬†problem is that I just haven’t invested much time in myself in the last few years.

But self-awareness is half the battle, right? ¬†I know I’m good at my job, but that’s not all I’m good at. ¬†So I’m working on it. ¬†I’m (VERY slowly) working on renovating my condo, I’m taking classes and learning new things, and I’m ‘creating’ again. ¬†I’m trying to take my lunch breaks at work, and I’m trying to leave work on time (it’s harder than it sounds). ¬†I’m working on being more intentional with my time, so I can spend more of it¬†with friends and family. ¬†I’m fighting the knee-jerk “I can do it myself. ¬†I don’t need help.” reaction that comes with my fiercely independent streak.¬† And I’m really making a concerted effort to reduce my stress…or at least to deal with it in healthier ways.

So this is going to be my little journey. ¬†My new blog with my new outlook and my new plans. ¬†A story about¬†my dogs, and my oils, and my fixer upper…my craft supplies and my big ideas…my¬†sarcasm and my eclectic taste in music and my camera. ¬†I hope you enjoy it. ¬†ūüôā