I'm so excited it's December. I have a good feeling about this month because I'm giving myself permission to take a break, slow down, take care of myself, and soak in all the hard work I've been doing over the past couple years.
This fall has not been an easy season for me. It hasn't been bad, but it's just been hard and a little draining.
Between pouring my heart into my new Courageously Authentic group coaching program (next round starts in January!), travel, holidays, and coming down with an energy-sucking head cold that refuses to go away, I think my body is finally starting to rebel after the last 22 months of turbo-charged hustle and dream chasing.
I'm officially burned out, so I've been slowing down and taking a step back to gain perspective, re-connect with myself (the Anna that's not the brand), and remember why I'm doing all this in the first place.
Being an entrepreneur is a constant emotional rollercoaster, and since I’m an extra emotional person to begin with it’s been a big learning curve and transition, learning how to stay balanced and happy while still moving forward towards my big goals and dreams.
I have lots more deep posts on perfectionism and anxiety to share because I know I'm not alone in what I've been dealing with, but for now I just wanted to do a general life update to share what's been going on behind the scenes these last few weeks!
Sickness-induced hermit mode
I almost never get sick anymore, so this stubborn cold that's not bad enough to warrant antibiotics but just annoying enough to take the edge off my energy and productivity has been teaching me I need to back off.
So I've been knitting experimental projects and binging on Netflix and this 1,000 page juicy historical drama book. Any other Ken Follett fans? Ben's Aunt Barbara got us hooked on his trilogies. This is the final installment of the Century Trilogy, which follows several families from different countries through the social and cultural events of the 20th century.
Think: If HBO created a miniseries combining Mad Men, Downton Abbey, House of Cards, Selma, threw in the Vietnam and Cold War, sprinkled with the rock and roll revolution, and then turned it into a book.
Holidays! And snow. And then no snow.
We had an awesome Thanksgiving hosted by Ben's sister Ashley and her husband. It was really nice to be able to spend time with his family and stuff our faces with delicious food and drinks. On Friday, Ashley, my mom-in-law Pat and I escaped downtown to visit The Store Formerly Known as Marshall Field's (aka Macy's) to do a bit of shopping and had spiked coffees in the iconic Walnut Room, which we're definitely making an annual tradition!
Our neighborhood has put up the Christmas tree in the square, and I'm just loving getting in the holiday spirit! Last year it kind of snuck up on me, but this year I'm determined to soak it all in.
Reconnecting with my creativity
Making pretty things makes me happy. I've picked up sewing and knitting again and have been re-stocking the Etsy shop with pretty scarves for winter. (Psst...only 2 weeks left to order scarves for Christmas gifts!)
I'm also reading the book Wild Creative, which is changing my life and opening my eyes to why I've been so stressed out lately. Basically I need to give up my dependence on achieving, being productive, and traditional linear growth/success, and re-connect with my feminine energy that revolves around the process of creating.
I'm practicing doing less, giving up on to-do lists, and letting myself just BE. It's hard but it feels really good!
I've also given up caffeine because it's been triggering my anxiety. This is a SAD, SAD thing because I love coffee so much, but decaf seems to be ok every once in a while as long as I make sure to not drink it on an empty stomach.
Mainly I'm drinking buckets of herbal tea (this Rooibos blend from Trader Joe's is my latest obsession!) and making hot cocoa every night to curb my raging sweet tooth that was awakened by Thanksgiving.
Healthy Hot Cocoa
-2T cocoa powder
-1 packet stevia
-dash vanilla extract
-splash of milk
Put cocoa, stevia, salt in a mug, add boiling water, whisk to combine and stir in milk and vanilla!
Sometimes marshmallows need to make an appearance. By sometimes I mean all times. I don't know why there aren't marshmallows in this picture.
Add a splash of amaretto or schnapps when needed.
I also discovered this patch of neon pink spray paint on my walk to my fave coffee shop, and it makes me happy.
This weekend Ben and I are leaving the city to head to central Illinois to visit my fam and celebrate Sinterklaas, our Dutch Christmas tradition. More holiday treats, mulled wine, hiking, and relaxing are all in the forecast and I'm excited to unplug and relax.
Have an amazing weekend!