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Perfecting the Imposter

I love watching videos on social media. The problem is that when I watch them I always say I’m going to only watch one and then I end up getting pulled into another one. The next thing I know 30 minutes have elapsed and I have watched not one — but 10 videos!

One of the things that I love about watching videos is that people will do so many random things. I’ve seen it all from people bungy jumping through a forest to skateboarding across a fleet of cars to bike racing barely clothed.

But as freeing as some people may be, I have yet to master the art of feeling free in front of a camera. I am one of those women who have not yet elevated herself to the “make-up free” zone. Nor have I moved up to the Beyonce version of “I woke up like this” and been confident that MY “wake-up” look is something that I want to share on video (or that the rest of the world is interested in) .

Nope, I’m not there yet. I’m still that person who wants to portray the image that I’m most comfortable with. So, if it’s a bad hair day, a puffy eye day or a day where I’m just not feeling or looking like my best self, I stay away from being in front of the camera.

I know there are women who really have a problem with my thought process. They say that society has made women feel that they have to have the perfect body and the perfect skin in order to project the perfect image. Do I think I might be a victim who has fallen prey to the societal pressures that have been placed on women? I suppose it could be possible that some of that pressure has trickled down to me over the years. However, the trickle I’ve experienced has not impacted me to the point where I totally obsess over my physical appearance in an unhealthy or self-indulgent way. That would be very scary .

As women become older our skin changes along with our bodies. Wrinkles seem to creep up unexpectedly. Some of us experience weight gain in places we never thought were possible 20 years ago. But, here we are living life with all of the challenges, changes, complications and new beginnings that it brings.

Am I completely comfortable with ALL of the new changes that have come with aging? I’d be lying if I said yes. I’ve been told that I should feel comfortable in my own skin. And I do (for the most part). However, there’s a part of me that still wishes that I could eat at midnight and not worry about the excess weight gain. I also wish that my body could remember how it used to allow me to function on less sleep. Now, 6.5 hours is my minimum — any less than that and I’m a complete zombie who needs a nap by 10:00 a.m. And when it comes to alcohol, let’s just say that I’m one-glass-gal. Any more than one glass of wine and it’s nighty night, don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Here’s what else I know. I don’t feel comfortable in trying to be someone who I’m not. Admiring other women’s looks, style and personality is one thing but, copying their brand is an entirely different path that I have no desire to travel down. I like looking and feeling my best. I like the expectations that I have set for myself. Yes, sometimes my expectations are a little lofty but I’ve always aimed high even when goals were inconceivable to others. Some may have called me conceited. Others may have another name that I won’t write in this blog. But, I call it MY standard. I call it MY truth. And I’m proud of who I am (even on a bad hair day).

I think that it’s important for us as women to choose our own definition of authenticity — and not others definition. My authentic self is being comfortable with what makes me, ME. I’m comfortable without wearing make-up ( I really do leave the house without it on many occasions). I’m even comfortable with having a bad hair day ( I will have a cap on though). There are also days when I’m okay that I’m not looking like my best self. It’s all good. Really. But, my mind will not be changed by peer pressure. I will still stay in my own comfort zone and still keep my distance (within reason)  from being in front of the camera!

Freedom Isn’t Free….

As we celebrate Memorial Day this week, I am thinking of all those who have sacrificed so much for me to have the freedom to pursue the American dream. I am so thankful to all of our military families, past and present, for being willing to live a life that seems impossibly hard, filled with discomfort, fear, and danger. They live in unfamiliar parts of the world, in conditions that can be primitive, facing profound danger, doing work that calls on every skill that they have – whose lives depend on using those skills successfully. I know that I could not do what they do. I could not face those weeks, months, and years away from family enduring hardship after hardship. I could not make the split-second decisions, under pressure, that they must make dozens of times a day. Thank you to everyone who bravely goes where most will not; who bravely go where I do not want to go.

It seems ridiculous to make a comparison between the sacrifices our military families face to the sacrifices that we must make to achieve financial freedom. They sacrifice their lives and we have to give up a daily mocha-chino-latte? They live in a tent in the freezing cold/blistering heat for years on end and we cut back our cable package to 100 channels? We. Have. It. So. Easy! They make gigantic sacrifices to secure our individual freedoms and we make teeny tiny sacrifices (can they even be called sacrifices?) to create our financial freedom.

It is easy in comparison. It is easy to go without a shiny object, to wait on the latest and greatest gadget, to drive our amazing driving machine for another year or two. It is easy to pass on eating out in favor of cooking our plentiful supply of food in our fabulous, safe, well-equipped, bomb-free, air-conditioned kitchens. What hardships do we face in the pursuit of our financial freedom?

The next time we are faced with a “sacrifice” to meet our savings goal, let’s let the word sacrifice pierce our hearts and think about those who truly sacrifice. I know it will not feel hard in the least in comparison.

To your financial success (and freedom),

Tana

 

Balance or Fall off!

A balanced lifestyle is simply a state of being in which one has time and energy for obligations and pleasures.  ~ Madisyn Taylor

A balanced financial life is one in which you have the money for obligations and pleasures. This is the never-ending dance of what we want versus what we need; what is right-now-in-the-moment versus what is my biggest, most important goal. I tend to slip too far on one end of the “teeter-totter” or the other too frequently. The problem with locking into too much austerity is that the caged animal (me!) eventually goes completely berserk and unleashes in a wild spree of mindless spending. “I want, I want, I want” becomes overwhelming and the spoiled brat takes charge.

The key is balance. Oh, that is a word that I am just not great at applying in my life – anywhere. I seem to love being at one end of the teeter-totter or the other. So, my behind is either in the mud or dangling precariously off the end of the board. Fine when you are 7 but less great at 50-something!

This year, I want to sit in the middle of the teeter-totter by building in the small pleasures (a monthly facial – what a treat!) and adding in just a bit more toward the obligations. I am going for a bit of this and a bit of that rather than all or nothing. I am programming myself to think of my monthly facial every time the brat in me wants, wants, wants. “Do you want this or that, little 4-year-old self? Pick one and go skipping off happy and satisfied.”

Yes, I want my financial state of being to be one in which my spoiled brat and my task-master are both co-existing together, quietly, maybe on a blanket, under a nice tree, far, far away from the teeter-totter.

To your financial success (and balance),

Ladies, It’s Time To Claim Our Holiday!

What do you call a day that is errand free? It is void of to-do lists, demands from spouses, significant others and kids. Your mind and body are filled with tranquility and relaxation. You maybe chuckling to yourself and saying, “The answer is non-existent. “

But there are days that are set aside especially for us.  We have our birthdays, Mother’s Day, and even Valentine’s Day.  I know what you’re thinking.  “Sure, it’s supposed to be for us.” Yes, I know there is a flip-side. These wonderful celebrations that are meant for you can sometimes be a little lack luster if they still involve you giving gentle nudges and “helpful” reminders to your family so they will remember them.  And even when those holidays are meant for you, you may still have to runaround and make purchases for that special someone who may be also celebrating their special day, too!

While the commercials and our families strive to make these holidays memorable, for the majority of women, these holidays do not typically run on auto-pilot.   The truth is that some type of input or small effort on our part is typically required.  Do you agree?

That is why it’s time for us to claim and name our own holiday!  As women we can band together across America and establish a new holiday just for us entitled, it’s All About Me Day! This holiday would be mandated that all women take the day off – and I mean truly take off!  I want women to do nothing that does not evolve around them. There would be no chores, no child, spouse or significant other care for that day. We will run no errands unless they center around our own needs.  And lastly, we will do what we want, when we want –and not feel guilty. It’s only for a day, ladies. The world will survive.  Or will it?

Imagine, all women in this country   joining together for their own holiday.  Just thinking about a day of utopia puts a smile on my face. How about you, can visualize this awe inspiring day?  Well, Congress may not have approved such a day yet, but Working on Your Now along with Optimum Body Sculpting is hosting its own holiday for Women on April 23 from 9a.m. to 1p.m. at Every Woman Works in Atlanta, GA.

So if you are woman and in need of some me-time, don’t be afraid. Go ahead, take it and join in with the other women who need an It’s All About Me Day for themselves, as well.   Come out and reboot your life and replenish your mind body and spirit.   Together, we will create a worry-free zone and give you a much needed wake-up call that you will never forget. Today is the first day of your new holiday! What are you waiting for? It’s all about you!  For more information, visit www.workingonyournow.com/wakeup