Self Care Sundays: Quarter 3 of 2018 Review

We’re entering the last quarter of 2018, so to keep up with routine, I want to keep at least this: the quarter review and keeping up here, and keeping transparency.

I’ll be the first to say and admit, that I fail on goals. I slack on them as well. Lately, I’ve been working on forgiving myself on this manner. I just hope that you all give me some slack on my goals, since I’m just as human as you are.

With that, let’s dive into how I did in Quarter 3. It’s not the best, where I wanted to be, but it’s where I needed to be.

So let’s dog on me for not reading and reviewing my books on here right away.

Playlist for this review:
Uptown Funk
Old Fashioned

If you don’t know, or didn’t remember, I’m doing Lavendaire’s brand of the annual workbook. It helps structure goals, helps you think and create goals in areas where you might forget to, and in my mind, allows you to work a little each year, quarter, and month on goals you want to accomplish.

In the workbook, there’s a monthly, quarterly, half year, and annual review. It’s a great look book, personally, to help you stay on track, and see what you did throughout the month, quarter, and year.

The next one like this that I’ll be doing, will be a 2018 review!

So what am I proud of that I did this past quarter? Well, I started my $100 a pay savings, went to 2 concerts, did some self love retail purchasing, and got my wisdom teeth out.

How have I done on my goals, and what have I learned? Well I planned like I wanted to, I did a social media detox and worked on bettering a plan for when I do take social media breaks. I did something simple for my birthday (2 dates, one with my lovely boyfriend and one with my dad and stepmom.). The main thing I didn’t get to do/put much effort to, was the monthly reading.

For lessons I’ve learned, is that my gut knows a lot, and time will tell with what your gut knows. I should also pace myself on goals, and allow myself to re-evaluate them as needed.

What am I most excited for, moving forward for the last quarter of the year? Doing more reviews, getting into themed blogging (Blogtober, Blogsgiving, and 12 days of Blogmas). Also, working on some home goals that I wanted to do this year, especially for the colder times (making it more cozy and personally festive). I am also wanting to take some time to work on some basics for here, for ya’ll like a little list you can keep on your fridge for budget/time friendly meals that’ll make you feel better, even long term, mentally.

What do you guys have planned for the last quarter of 2018? How have you done so far this year on goals and projects? Let me know!

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Retail Talk: Survive Inventory

Inventory depends on the store, and the company you’re working for. I can only speak from my experiences, at the store (let alone company) I work for. I hope my sharing will help those of you who are new to the retail world, regardless of how you get introduced into the retail world (after HS, during HS, as a higher up in the industry somehow…).

I work for the (or one of the…depending on how you calculate things, but it’s one of the top Fortune 10 companies, if I’m being polite) top retailers in the USA, let alone the world.

I’ve also made it 5 years there. I know that was half of a plug…but retail…I guess I’m alive and not on welfare, while doing alright overall, means something. Retail may make you feel dead or apathetic inside, over the years. I’ve been trying over the last two years to not let retail get to me like that.

For my company at least, with talking with others from various stores, Inventory is not all at the same time, company wide. It makes sense, in a way. If you have a regional, or even state/area specific company you’re dealing with on inventory, it makes sense to break things up, for transparency on their end.

Personally, inventory is more annoying and tedious than the regular holiday season. It’s a lot of “prim and proper” where as holiday season is more of “get it on the shelf so it can be sold”.

I have a lot of my own ideas of when inventory should happen, and how everyone should handle it, from management staff, to stocking staff, to maintenance staff.

My store has always done inventory during fall, which IMO, is the worst time to do it. It’s varied on date, but it’s during this whole “BTS to Halloween” time of year. Read my last Retail Talk to get some deets on that (It’ll open in a new tab so you can easily come back here).

It generally doesn’t matter when your store does inventory, it’s usually a headache. Yet the holiday stress doesn’t help any, is what makes it worse. Bless your heart if you’re in a store like mine, where it’s anywhere from right after Back to School, to Halloween or into even Thanksgiving themed stuff.

My store also does Lay-a-way pretty early on, somewhere starting late August to early September, through early to mid December. I believe we count the lay-a-ways as inventory, as they’re not exactly paid for. Don’t quote me on that for the company, let alone your store/company.

I’m not sure about other companies, but my store (and assuming for other stores corporate wide), makes us make it easier for the outside company that comes in, to count. That’s where it’s a patience-testing thing. Trust me, even with a butt load of patience, you may get irritated or bored from the night or two prior, let alone the week or month prior to inventory.

This is my first “I’m off for night shift’s prep” of inventory in all the years I’ve been there. This is/what would be my 6th inventory.

I hope your store allows you to team up with one other person, and allow you to execute the area you’re designated to, so you’re not bored out of your mind. Working with at least one other person makes it more manageable let alone less agonizing.

If you can’t do that, I advise a music playlist, YouTube playlist, audio book, or something to educate yourself, that you can sidetrack yourself in the dull hours of prepping for inventory. I know it’ll be difficult on your shift, management team, and where you work. Attempt to reason with them if you can.

Try to make a fun little game out of the zoning/facing when you’re stuck doing that for your shift. If it’s called something else, let me know, but zoning or facing is what I’ve heard it called. It’s where you make the merchandise look decent, straighten it up, and it may be different for your store’s every day look, compared to inventory.

My store used to do it two ways, but sometime last year (2017), my store went to always zoning how we zone for inventory (or a little not so nice, because ya know, time…). I recall last year I was teamed up with 2 other girls for about half the night.

Once the department was about half way done, I was pulled away for another smaller department that was lighter to deal with, but needed to be done. I think…haha. Night brain and working brain is going good right now…it’s all blurring together.

Learn what you can and can’t get away with it, and work with it as much as you can. It’ll make it more bearable and fun, if you can.

Have you worked retail? Do you work retail now? What’s your experience with inventory where you were/are at? I’d love to know some other experiences, from other stores and chains, big or small stores and chains (ma and pa to national/regional/global).

Mental Health Mondays: Conversations Gone Awry

We’ve heard it time and time again: “Talk to me when you need to talk” “I’m here for you”. The worst one? “We need to work on the conversation of mental health and people should reach out when they need it”.

Yes, we do need a reformation of how our mental states effect us. Yes, we need to know who we can go to, when our brains won’t let us just do things. The problem? When our brains are in that state of haywire and out of wack.

As someone who has struggled with metal health issues, for awhile now, it isn’t so easy to allow yourself to reach out to a family member, a friend, mentor, or even a therapist. Our mind tells us “It’s not a good time, it’s 1:39 and I can’t sleep. I know my closest friend said to message her, but she has work in the morning. I’ll just go make a strong drink and hope it allows me to sleep for a bit.”

Sound at least somewhat familiar? You’re not alone.

An issue that I personally have with the conversation (or lack there of, in a way), is that in the western world, we idolize celeberties so much, and the only time the conversation comes up, is when someone dies of mental health problems. Regardless of how they kill themselves, it’s not just a fame and fortune issue.

In China, they have large nets connected to the buildings, for people working at certain companies. The most notable ones are the Apple plant, and the worry about those working for the same mother company, but work on Sony and Microsoft products.

Speaking of which, the Apple Keynote event is tomorrow (updated to watch the event, from Apple.com). I’ll be watching, for curiosity really.

Another issue I see, when it comes to the conversation over mental health, is why we not only talk about when a celebrity dies, but when there’s a mass casualty. Not just when you think about China’s issue, but also in the west. Mass shootings, such as Las Vegas, Pulse Nightclub, to van/car run-overs such as in London and Toronto, is what I’m talking about.

I’m not going into the gun debate here, since that’s not what I’m focused on here. But the talk about mental health behind the perpetrator is what I want to focus on. We talk about how it relates to gun ownership, which is important, but what about operating a car? Even what the person’s mental health is like in terms of how they were interacted with people prior, to intelligence and learning capability, among other things.

So how do we fix it? Well, just saying “come talk to me, when you need it” doesn’t always work. Sure some people can bring themselves to open up, and that’s phenomenal, truly. But for us that like to bottle it up, because we don’t want to feel like a burden, feel guilty for feeling and thinking such a way, or don’t feel comfortable to talk to people about our head space? What do we do for them?

Sure, there’s online and text counseling, but that adds issue with how health insurance covers counseling and medication, and cost to the person, let alone some people just can’t get comfortable with counseling/talk therapy at all.

How do we help cope with our brains? One thing’s for sure: we could study and learn more about the brain itself, and what each mental health issue does, to a span of people. That sounds great, and in theory, would be great. But that takes people away from their jobs and personal life, and only a fraction of people would probably be willing to subject themselves to these studies.

In an odd way of looking at it, the things we do with technology (remember me mentioning Apple), we need to do with, or in regards to, the mental health issue and conversation. We love innovating and seeing new things, and creating, even learning.

Why did we leave behind the mental health field behind? We’ve made innovative measures in medicine, technology, food, and transportation, to name a few.

My question to all of you is: What can we do to be more innovative on mental health? How do we make a strong conversation to push the mental health issues we have today?

How can I help? Share with me your answers in the comments, I’d love to know.

Birthday 2018: Life Update

There’s so many things I want to share in this post, so be prepared. Also, this is a start to finish in a day post, quite literally on my birthday, so also be prepared!

This post contains affilliate links. You get some, I get some! Treat Yo’ Self!

As you read this, or think of me today (when you’re reading this, even if it’s not when this goes live), listen to: this, this, and this. Yes, I will always reference my band, and yes, this blog will take me so much longer to write, because I had to stop and appreciate the videos. Watch the behind the scene’s of High Hopes here, because it’ll show you how obnoxious Brendon really is!

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Yes, I’m being so “basic” and making a mood board for 24. I’m all about setting goals and making sure I’m happy and setting myself up to be happy in the future, by pushing myself now. Of course in a healthy manner!

I have lyrics from one of the songs I suggested to listen to (Hey Look Ma, I Made It!), a planner, to keep planning for the future, and make amazing memories, as well as build myself in all aspects I can, and the film picture for Farmlands, which is from Lauren Southern. This film really inspired me back into my journey of investigative journalism.

A little known fact about me, is that I wanted to go to college for journalism, and investigative journalism was (and is) something I wanted to more focus on. I never went because I know my talents are decent, but the field is so overpopulated, and I didn’t want to waste my time, money (or really credit to pull out student loans) for a degree that would hinder me more than help me.

With things like Skillshare (2 free months if you sign up!), and freelance work, I want to make it happen. I have some ideas in the works, that I am going to start on this year, since the fire has been kindled underneath me. I’ll see where it takes me!

To continue onto some of my vision board for 24, I have cooking, savings, and photography goals and aspirations. All are overlapping as well as different.

Now let’s get into a tarot reading, because why not?! Here’s the spread I chose for today:
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Now, here’s my drawing, which by the way, was spot on, and I am glad I drew it!
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Yes, this is a hot mess, but it spoke to me! I won’t go into great detail here, but this spread called out that I should forgive and allow my past to be my past, be and create my confidence and leader self, and go after the goals that I wish to set up for myself, in aspects of betterment and what my soul longs for. This is going to be a good year for me (until I turn 25, and I can assess how 25 will treat me!).

For reference, my cards were:
1- Ace of Swords
2- Ten of Swords
3- Five of Swords
4- Seven of Cups (Reversed)
5- The Emperor IV
6- Judgement XX (Reversed)
7- Queen of Coins

So, with all of that in mind, that is the general gist of me turning another year older. I have some basic things planned in honor of my birthday, with those that are close and love.

What do you like to do for your birthday? Do you have any specific rituals you do each year, or do you try to do something different? Do you do anything at all? I’d love to know! Share in the comments what you do, or have done!

Mental Health Monday: September Series Starter

September is not just my birth month, it’s also mental health awareness month. I will be sharing some tidbits each Monday this month, a little different each week. The conversation around mental health is still very touchy and vague, and the only time we still talk about mental health is when someone famous dies.

Not even when a family member dies from mental health, or had mental health issues, but when someone who we don’t really know dies, and how sad is that? I want to help change that. I know I’m only one person, but I believe in the butterfly effect, and if I connect with one person, one time, positively, I’ve done my job.

I was thinking, the best way to get into this mini-series about mental health was to share my personal struggles with mental health. Not to boast, or sound mopey, but to share that even I, someone you may only know through a screen (whether it’s your phone, tablet, or computer), deals with mental illness.

To get started, let’s take a journey into my childhood a bit. I am a statistic, a child of divorce. I was young enough when it happened, that I don’t really recall a life with both parents in the home. I was raised by my mom, and we moved from where I was born, PA, to California, near her side of the family, a few years after the formal divorce ended. This is where I feel some of who I am started.

2,600 miles does a lot to anyone, especially a child who is forming friendships and who they are. Looking back, moving is where I noticed I was more introverted, and didn’t handle meeting new people that well. I managed like any usual kid would, but felt outcasted, and would continue that way through my education. How much I let it bug me, is what would change.

Social anxiety and depression started their way into my life from there, up until recently. Regular anxiety didn’t really happen for me until about middle school, where I started having panic attacks and had some trouble getting to sleep.

At this time in my life, my dad was more in my life, and at 16 I moved back to PA, to live with him, and the step family that he had created a few years prior. This is where the depression became more of a thing in my life.

Since my father is a psychologist, he saw the signs and wanted me to seek counseling, and even see if medication would help. The first time that I took an anti-anxiety pill, I passed out for like 10 or 11 hours. That was the first time I had slept easy in years.

I couldn’t put it into words then, but now, I can see a slight tendency to addictive personality. Grant it, you’re never supposed to self-diagnose, but hey, young and stupid makes you old and wise, right?!

From there, I noticed that the anti-depressant medication wasn’t working for me, and so I at some point stopped taking it. I didn’t want to really be the one to rely on medication, and if the anti-anxiety was working but the anti-depressant wasn’t, that was a sign.

Now, I’ve been living “on my own” for roughly 5 years, and stopped the anti-anxiety medication around the same time. There are definitely days where I wish I had it, because it does help, when you’re jittery and anxious and no self-coping mechanism is working.

I will say that taking the medication mid full blown panic attack doesn’t exactly help, since you’re already in the midst of it, but it helps on the days where you feel it, and can’t get it to calm down.

I actually had one of those days last week, for a few days. It started while folding laundry, and it took everything I had in me to breathe through it and focus on folding my laundry and getting home (our apartment doesn’t have laundry services on site). That was the worst amount of anxiety I’ve had in good while.

For me, now, other than missing the medication for days like I had last week, my mental health has gotten better for the most part. I’m still fighting with being my own worst critic and nit-picking with my own flaws, but correcting myself, and even if it’s a true flaw that needs worked on, I try to make a comment to myself of something good I’ve done lately, or something overall that is good about me.

Yes, working on your thought patterns is a do-able thing. No it will not cure you. It will help you, and help you to be less hard on yourself in the midst of a breakdown of any size.

The spoon theory is also one of my older-time favorite things to remind myself of. The theory focuses on physical health and illness, but your mental state can cripple what you can do physically. Not only do you have physical spoons each day, but you also have mental spoons. You can only pick up so much with each one, and you can only have so many, until you have to set them down and wash them, to be able to use them again.

I’ve never really had too bad of mental illness, but it’s there, for sure.So yes, even a shrink’s kid suffers from mental illness.

Do you want to know how I cope when my head tries to get in the way? Let me know in the comments, please!

Summer Sounds: Concerts of 2018

Okay, so if you recall in my “Plan with me: Summer 2018” post, you’ll recall that I was attending some concerts this year. This is the first time I’ve actually been to a concert, and this summer landed up being half concerts and half sight-seeing.

For all technical purposes, Panic was also a “let’s go balls deep this year”/impulse purchase.. But who doesn’t go through their youth/20’s without some bad yet super fun decisions?! What made Panic more “Are you sure?!” is because it was roughly 36 hours after my wisdom teeth surgery I had (see here).

If you didn’t catch one of the other artists’ by now that I saw in concert, the two I saw were Panic! at the Disco and Taylor Swift.

Yes, bring on the comments people, bring them on! Haha, but really, I’ve been a long-time fan of Panic! (like a day-one fan, tbh) and I’ve generally liked Taylor, but her latest album is an “on-repeat” album.

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So let’s start with good ol’ Panic. I’ve been following them for years. I’m one of those old fans. I totally rocked out at this concert, and loved every second of it. There’s several articles all over the web, and like all the videos that you have seen of Brendon (the last standing member of Panic, from the original band, and singer), this concert lives up to all of the hype. The energy is high, and his visuals are great, and he truly connects with everyone in the audience, even if he’s not touching their hands.

I had a friend warn me that it’d be all young estrogen ridden teenage girls screaming, and he wished me the best at this concert. I actually didn’t have any problem with that though. Sure, there were the screams, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought through my friend’s comment would be.

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Now for the sold out concert, better known as Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour. Yes, I’m mention the whole title here for a reason: her whole tour is in stadiums. Why? Because it’s Taylor Swift, and she wanted to do that. But for real, she had such a big stage, she had 2 points around the speakers in the crowd to preform from, she had flame jet-like things that would go off on queue during certain songs, and even fireworks! She’s that extra, and doesn’t care at all.

The openers for her were Charlie XCX and Camila Cabello, and personally I agree with most of the articles saying Charlie’s performance was  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Personally I felt that her choreography was too rigid, and was meant to be more flowy. There’s flowy rigid that makes sense, and there’s the “I’m tearing off more edge than I can chew”. Not to say that she’s a bad artist per se, but the moves seemed too forced for my taste.

Camila, although I’m in no better knowledge of her music than Charlie’s, I feel was the better opener for Taylor. Camila and Taylor have that love story “I want this to work”  attitude, especially reflecting on Taylor’s Reputation album, let alone the empowerment vibe (regardless of what gender you are, IMO)

I have a feeling Swift will be around for awhile so if you can get tickets now, JUST DO IT. And if she’s already passed your city, I highly recommend attending her future tours. I have a feeling Panic will be around for a little while longer, but as much as it saddens me to say, I don’t know where Brendon’s front man career will land him. I hope for plenty more albums and tours (so I can go broke again, and do a meet and greet).

Well, if you want to check out my highlight photos from the concerts, check out my instagram! Be sure to follow me too!

What concerts have you gone to this summer? Are you going to any soon? What was your first concert? I’d love to know!

Mercury Retrograde: Trying Out New Plans

Today started the second Mercury retrograde of 2018. This will last until the 19th of August for me, here on the east coast of the US. I don’t know what sparked the idea to plan out what I wanted to do, but it happened.

For the first retrograde this year, I took time off of social media, and created this blog. I officially launched it at the end of Lent, which was way after the end of retrograde, but whatever.

This one, like the last, I had some things I wanted to accomplish, as well as go back offline during retrograde. This time, I’m debating on going offline until the end of August, a little longer than the retrograde period, but since I did it last time similarly, I figure why not.

The only thing is, is to plan out the last near 10 days that I didn’t before the retrograde started. I could work on that during my 2 laundry days that I only have donation on.

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So the first thing I did, after brainstorming all I wanted to do, while I reflect during this retrograde, is organize it on a website/app called Trello. Visit the website here or download the app for Android or iOS.

I made a complete board for Mercury Retrograde, and I have a few boards to the right, that are for the next retrograde (November 17-December 6). I think I’ll at least keep this out of this little experiment.

Some of the cards have to-do lists, or checklists on them, which is the little check mark and 0/(insert number here). Since this is day one, there isn’t anything checked off. Once this goes live, I can check off my first thing under my blog checklist.

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Next, I made a chart, for how long Mercury would be in retrograde, and sorted out what I wanted to do for each day, from the trello lists. The more bite-sized you make it, and keep things super simple, you won’t get overwhelmed (a great practice for regular day life, but super great for where time seems to be even more out of your grasp, like a planet retrograde.).

From there, I’m taking one day at a time, because Mercury either flies past you, and you did nothing, or you take even smaller bites of what you need to do, and work on a day by day basis.

If you have projects due, or stuff like that, please DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. It’ll come to the due date a lot quicker than you think. Think of that stupid phrase on your side mirrors on your car. (haha, punny right?!)

Being a person who is ruled by Mercury (a Virgo), and learning about the planets, how they affect people overall, then especially over those that they rule over, it’s making more sense of how much I feel of certain things, and when. I am a task-doer and love to keep busy, but tend to bite off more than what I can chew, so things like this are so helpful, and truly needed.

Planning is more and more important to me, and that’s why I want to share my journey with whoever will listen, hopefully benefiting someone else’s journey. This may help more than just myself, even if I’m just playing around with ideas, and seeing what works and what doesn’t for myself. Hopefully something will stick with you as well, even if it’s through my trial and error, or even if I don’t care for it myself.