It’s no secret I spent much of the first two months of the year in a panicked state. Between family illness,
The phone call came, the scan was clear, and I was so weak with relief I sat down on the steps outside of Talisman Centre on a bitterly cold winter morning after swim and let out a long exhale. My breath formed a billowing puff of relieved smoke and I decided I could restart the year, effective immediately.
While I know this doesn't make me immune to worry, nor the stresses of adult life, I did know creating a set of goals for this year as well as a 10 year vision (thanks, lululemon!) would help me focus ahead and move forward in a more thoughtful manner for the balance of the year. Life is unknown, but the goals I create help shape my world and my priorities for the year. Here are a few of the things I intend to tackle in 2015.
1. Run the Ottawa Marathon in 3:30:00. Keep mind in tact. Do not suffer a tremendous mental breakdown of epic sorts. Train healthy. Rest.
2. Plant my vegetable garden in May. Don't miss out on early growing season. Forget herbs, move to root vegetables. Dig out more grass for growing. Build barrier to keep little grey beast out.
3. Expand Adesso. Hire. Subcontractors added. New office space found. Seek out collaborators in new markets. Attend a conference outside of Canada. Pay back shareholder loan.
4. Build a garage in backyard. False. I will not be building a garage but I will hire someone to build it.
5. Complete an athletic 1st. New triathlon distance or gran fondo. Upgrade both road and mountain bike for spring season.
6. Travel somewhere new. Coeur d'Alene for husbands first Ironman in June. Some part of Utah in early April for biking.
7. Update personal blog. Clean up spam, reduce insane amount of categories, change intro and organize past years. Hire someone to help (thanks Kathy!)
8. Send mail. Not e-mail, that thing everyone is drowning in. Legit mail, on real paper, with a pen held by me.
While the list for this year goes on and on, I feel like this snapshot is the step in the direction I need. Onward I go, into this (still) new year.
I packed late on Saturday night for this trip I find myself on right now. At approximately 9pm on Saturday night I was throwing clothes into an opened suitcase that sat on my bed, there trying to simultaneously finish the laundry,
Having spent the entire Saturday at a course and two hours and ten minutes after the course on a windy long run (damn you, marathon training), my patience was low and my crankiness was high. I was not considering the trip I was taking. By this I don’t mean, “I didn’t pack an umbrella and it rained- oops!” but rather “I am headed to a Wedding Marketing Conference and thereby the audience and attendees will be cut from a certain cloth, one I will want to fit in with.”
Because my preferred outfit is ¾ sweatpants (that’s right, think cotton Russell sweats, hand cropped with scissors at the mid-calf point), a cotton tee, ponytail and sneakers, I find myself needing to think through my outfits most days. The ¾ sweats may be my happy outfit but I find it mostly unacceptable in every walk of life save bumming around the house or going to and from the gym.
While I am interested in fashion, I’m not an expert and I notoriously purchase clothes in the wrong size, clothes that don’t enhance my complexion or flatter my stature. It was parents who first taught me to have pride in my appearance (I liked to wear mismatched sweatpants and not brush my hair). Even with pride in dressing I mostly took the athletic-girl approach to fashion for high school, University and most of my 20s. After all, between my first two career jobs I spent approximately seven years in stretchy cotton & spandex, I can hardly be blamed for my lack of dressing ability.
I’ve gotten better in this department in recent years. I took a cue from my sister, who learned as an investment banker a few things about dressing smartly. Together we watched in reruns many seasons of SATC, where I got a brand education that was later helpful when I was attempting to look more like a woman and less like a slob. Many moons later I would meet Alex, and then Jared, both that had tremendous influence on my sense of style. These fashion-forward folks taught me about what it means to have a personal sense of style within varying trends.
Fast forward back to the conference. I whip open my suitcase Sunday night –or the wee hours of Monday morning- and blurrily dig through my piles of clothes, frowning at my choices for the next day. What was I thinking?
What I have packed in my suitcase is one pair of dirty black pants, a wrinkled light blue button down and a black sweater with a hole in the armpit. In my haste I also neglected to pack a round brush for blow-drying my hair, my straighter and styling gel. I imagined myself to look like a deranged law school student that had slept in her clothes. I fell into bed exhausted, and in the morning I stood overtop of my suitcase magically willing my black ‘I-mean-business’ corporate dress and Louboutins to appear.
I shower and dress myself in my dirty black pants (I work feverishly to scrub the spots out using soap and water), I steam my wrinkled button up in the shower heat and I stitch my black sweater together with a sewing kit from the front desk. My finished result, flat hair –ugh humidity- an outfit that is more boyish than I’m The Boss Lady, and a dampened sense of confidence.
My work in the wedding industry thus far has been so incredibly enjoyable and also a tremendous learning experience. One of the valuable items gleaned to date is the importance of esthetic- in an industry where women aged 25-34 are driving the purchasing, staying stylish and fashion-relevant is of the utmost importance. Here is where I missed the mark: I assumed the women and men of the industry, regardless of age, would be extremely style-forward and well put together. In this, I was not wrong.
As I walked in the conference I saw the latest Bottega Veneta hobo bag, Valentino heels and much of Kate Spades spring collection. There was enough Louis Vuttoin to fill the entire flagship store. I saw manicured nails and blowouts, fully made up faces. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to attend New York Fashion Week, and I feel like being at the conference is a snapshot of what one could expect.
I mulled over my strategy for survival for the balance of the day. After a few moments of worry I decided the best I could do was strive for confidence, and hope that my outfits gone wrong wouldn’t draw up too much attention. I thought of the musical Annie. You’re never fully dressed, though you may wear the best, you’re never fully dressed without a smile. So I smiled and gritted my teeth through my small crisis, only determined to not make the same mistake again.