Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Who Cares

It seems this was a popular sentiment yesterday....


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#HappyFuckingNewYear

I actually quite enjoy reading blog posts about other people's goals and resolutions for the new year, but my Twitter feeds both business and personal were filled with Dry January and diet related food tweets, as well as the apparently obligatory first day back at work business- I find this odd not least because I know a good deal of people don't take 2 weeks off work for the festive period, in fact it's been a bit of a shock for us, because T is obliged to, due to working heavily with construction projects.

ANYWAY! I was a bit ambivalent to the ringing in of 2015 this year, strange as I usually love New Year, a bit like starting a fresh notebook or sleeping in fresh sheets with new PJs and clean hair... I didn't feel any great urge to set goals because most of the aims I have for 2015 are business related but in the first few days of January, it has become clear there's something I do need to resolve to do:

Take better care...

The final quarter of 2014 was blighted with illness- a nasty nasty experience with my gall bladder back in October, coughs, colds and my shoulder deciding to play up. I spent most of December feeling tired, run down and generally out of sorts. And more time away than at home. I haven't had my eyebrows threaded since September, my skin hates me and my poor hands are so dry that they're falling apart.

So, no diets, no desire to be generically more 'fit' or 'toned', no giving up things that make me happy (and vodka does make me happy!) but and understanding that I need to take better care of myself:

  • Get up 15 minutes earlier- I'm not a morning person, but I've trained myself into getting set up for work- at home or my hot desk by 0800. The extra 15 minutes is to eat breakfast- a habit I've fallen out of and am suffering for, and to ensure that the full routine of cleanse, tone, moisturise, eye cream, lip treatment and hand cream can be implemented
  • Take a break- I work predominantly alone. I work from home or a hot desk which is on the lower ground floor. This means that I don't see as much daylight and there's nobody to make me take lunch breaks or venture out of the door. I have a weekday alarm set for 1230 & 1530 on my phone, to remind me to get up, go and take the rubbish out or take the package to the post office or even just step outside for 5 minutes. Like a lot of people who work alone or for themselves, I'm guilty of burning the candle at both ends, and I'm less productive for it. 
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Taking time to enjoy the view
  • Schedule appointments & treatments- I feel so much better for having my eyebrows threaded. I know, right?! It's not expensive and it's quick, but it's something I never make time for and therefore don't get round to. I also treated myself to a UV lamp for gel nail polish before Christmas (I already had the polishes etc from previous access to a lamp) and I love the novelty of a manicure that lasts longer than 2 days (which is the average life of my nail polish) and I've set reminders on my calender for a rotation of 2 weeks of gel polish followed by removal followed by 1 week of rest (and OPI Nail Envy). I have booked my next hair cut in advance. Sounds oh so trivial, but these small things mean when I look in the mirror, I feel a bit better put together. 
Now I remember why I normally do my own shellac... 1 week in and it's grown almost the nail length and I have a fight with a veg peeler.
How not to wear your gel manicure....
  • Water- I suspect my skin is raging for 2 reasons- first is that in December I drank more coffee than usual, and nowhere near as much water. Annoying, not least because drinking more than the recommended volume of water each day hasn't been an issue for me in a decade. And secondly because my skincare routines were not consistent. I've managed to dig out my mini filter coffee machine (makes a single mug at a time) and  I'll not be using the coffee pot through the week, as well as paying a bit more attention to emptying a 2 litre bottle of water between 0800 and 1800 each day. My skincare was disrupted because I was away so much in December, so this month it's back to more regimented practices, in a bid to try and even things back out again- including not changing any products. I find consistency helps. 
  • Preparation- And finally, the old adage, fail to prepare and prepare to fail. I took some time to ensure I have hand cream and lipsalve in with my diary, notebooks and phones. Having them on my desk- be that at home or in the office helps remind me to actually use them. I've had a good go through my skin care and make-up, ditching things I'm never going to use or that haven't worked for me. Following a few sale purchases to top up my wardrobe (why is it that I never seem to have the right balance of tops/blouses to skirts/trousers?!) a bag of donations has been compiled, I'm wearing and binning a handful of items this week and after my spectacular handbag purchase in Spain, a couple of the worn out or busted ones are now in the bin. 
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I don't actually like the scent of this hand cream, but it was in the freebie stash and I can't justify spending £20 on the Aesop cream of dreams until I get through a little more of those tucked away things. 

There is an inherent theme of linking how I look and how I feel. I'm aware this may seem contrary to the many messages we as women are bombarded with regularly- that we're supposed to be able to embrace our natural beauty, or whatever. Rightly or wrongly, looking and feeling good are linked to each other for me. I'm aware this isn't everyone, and that's cool too, but it's a cycle of if I feel good about how I present to the world then I look better because I smile more, walk taller and find it easier to make eye contact. If I look in the mirror and see a young woman who looks after herself and takes a certain level of pride in how she presents herself to the world at large, I feel more confident, I find it easier to communicate with others and I find it easier to be more present as opposed to worrying what strangers, friends or the world at large might be thinking of or about me.

Likewise, when I am physically under the weather, I find it more difficult to be resilient to rejection- a natural part of the sales element of my work, It's tough to be positive when all you actually want to do is go back to bed and hide from the world until you've stopped coughing. It's hard not to feel weak or irrelevant when you've used everything you've got to get up and get working, never mind eating, drinking, laundry or leaving the house. Another good reason to ensure I put some effort into taking better care.

Life is too short to give up the things I like, and I like cheese. And carbs. And wine. And vodka. And Pfeffernüssen. Oh and cake. So I'm not. It's normal service resumed in our household, because we didn't depart all that far from it to start with, cheese happens mostly at the weekends and cake is portioned appropriate to amount of exercise performed in a day. But it's time to enjoy all these things not for comfort but for added joy. 
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