Monday, September 26, 2016


Stumbling my way through life, I'm doing my best to find balance. There are days when my work schedule gets so grueling and the kids have so many obligations that I get exhausted and discouraged. I feel like I'm working just to pay bills and die. I'm working to afford a life that's slowly passing me by because I'm too busy to be an active participant in it. It's like being an onlooker amid my own existence. It shouldn't feel that way. I recently read a quote that says "You can't pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first". I'm trying to do this for both myself and my family.

In my line of work, I meet many ladies. The atmosphere in the way I work with clients is a bit different than hair stylists, nail techs, etc. I first make them lie down -- (reminiscent of a therapy session), take away their phones, and then their eyesight. One of two things will happen; we will talk or they will sleep. More often than not, they open up. The conversations I have had with clients have spanned from casual to deeply personal. They've shared things with me I doubt they've said to their closest confidant and I've temporarily lost myself and said things I should've never divulged to a client. My professionalism is present in the pride in my work and doing what I say I will, (within reason), but I am human and sometimes I blur the lines when clients begin to feel like friends. I can usually assess who can handle the truth that I don't exist only within those walls and sometimes outside of them I occasionally want to strangle my husband or secretly loathe another mother at my kids' school. When I can get that rapport with someone, beautiful things can happen. When it does, it didn't feel like work, I enjoyed an hour of conversation that felt like it should've happened over a glass of wine. Other girls in the industry have mentioned that they have clients who come in and say they come 1/2 for the lashes and 1/2 for the conversation.

Each client is very different and has a story all her own. Each one is from different walks of life, have different backgrounds, careers, experiences, beliefs, hopes, fears, and dreams. I get a new perspective on just about everything every single day and it's weird what sticks out to me. Lately, I've realized my family and I don't take enough vacations. My clients are frequently leaving and coming back from trips. It's not from a place of judgement but I notice they've been on three vacations this year and I haven't been anywhere since a quickie, single-day, trip to Hot Springs at the beginning of the year. I think they're onto something. I don't think the destinations even need to be somewhere particularly exotic. I think you just have to schedule some time every few months to get out of town and recharge.

I have a client who survived breast cancer. She now travels the world. She has beautifully worded how she sees it differently now. In her words, "If not now, when?". Did I survive breast cancer? No. Do I completely understand her meaning? Yes. She just reiterated what I already know; live today because you aren't guaranteed tomorrow. I told her I wanted to travel like that, she said "Then make it work".

I listen to the tales of amazing trips taken to coveted destinations but also of hidden little treasures tucked away in a nowhere town you'd only know about through word of mouth. I began to ask myself what these woman know that I don't about finding this balance; this intricate dance of work and play.

That's how the Breckenridge Christmas trip came to be. I had several clients taking trips like this and I always just assumed it was something I could only hear about and not experience for myself. But the bigger questions is, why did I think that way? I should've been googling resorts instead of assuming. I decided the way I think had to change. I had to first change how I fear closing down at work for a few days and I had to change thinking certain experiences aren't in the cards for me. Why didn't it dawn on me sooner to plan? Strategize? Or is this just me....growing up? If a trip is crazy expensive, than the plan is that we eat out one or two times less that week and the money goes into savings. If we do that for several months leading up to the trip and then go have an amazing trip we'll remember forever, did we really "miss" those dinners out? One more slightly edited quote, "At your funeral, is anyone going to get up and say 'She had a really expensive couch and great purses"? No.... But they might say, "She traveled. She lived. She was happy".

So there's us, living and waiting till Christmas. Watching videos of the sleigh ride we're going to take the kids on and getting so excited but...... that's still a ways off. I told Jason I don't want to miss the leaves turning in the Ozarks in fall this year. In that moment, a trip I would've considered and quickly vetoed out of dread of doing the work to make it happen became a trip I decided to make happen. I decided we'll go to Eureka Springs to enjoy the beauty of our homeland and make it extra fun by staying at the Crescent Hotel. The kids have been youtubing videos and coming up to me with huge eyes and asking "Mom, is it REALLY haunted?". I just shrug and say "Maybe it is and maybe it isn't". Their faces light up with excitment. Absolutely the best idea ever!
It's amazing how just one little mini-getaway will get me through to a big getaway. My mood is better, I have something to look forward to that's in the near future. I feel really responsbile and in control of my own happiness. I am taking control of my life. There's something to these little time outs!

The little trip to Eureka doesn't have to be extravagant. I just want to see the beauty of the hills, slow the pace down for a couple of days, and watch my kids experience The Crescent. I won't make obligations to meet up with friends or family who really don't care if they see me or my kids or not, so why bother? Why add the headache. Admitting no one gives a crap is the most freeing thing I ever did! I swear! Then, in December, I get to experience something completely foreign and stunning WITH them. I'm guessing it's going to outdo any purse I ever bought.

I'm a planner now. I plan longterm and divide what I could take from today to put into tomorrow. I am so thankful for these lessons I've learned from the women I interact with daily. I love their tales of travel but I don't want to just hear about them anymore. I want to live them for myself. I have taken a cue from them and realized they are taking time out and if they can, I can.

In fact, I see most everything that way now. If anyone can, I can. I can travel and I can expand my career. I just have to slowly and methodically plan. Slow and steady wins the race. I'm storing my nuts, that's all. I owe my family a nice life. I also owe myself breaks so I can continue to give that to them without doing it with underlying bitterness. Don't be mislead, I'm still an angry little troll, stuck in rushhour traffic but in between my profanity-ladened tirades, I take a breath and picture myself looking out onto the beautifully-colored hills of the Ozarks in just a few more weeks. It's then that the tension eases and I might even break and allow a car with their blinker on over into my lane. That's balance. I deserve it. We all do.

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