Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Make no comparisons

©Lona Aalders
I've noticed a lot of talk on the internet lately about people comparing themselves to others and feeling bad about their achievements as a result. I get frustrated because I was once terrible for doing this and wasted a lot of time worrying about not doing as well as I felt others in my field were doing.

I can't tell you when I stopped caring about this or how. All I can say is that these days if I catch myself comparing myself to others, I can easily pick any thoughts of failure apart with logic. Are these people you're comparing yourself to even in your industry? I ask this as I was listening to a certain lady singing on the radio the other day and I momentarily found myself comparing my achievements to hers. I mean, she's younger than me and has achieved so much. I don't even have my own wind machine for crying out loud.
Yes I was comparing myself to Beyonce.

And if you are in the same industry, are you even on the same page? Whenever I've spoken to people about this, never are they comparing themselves to people who have started out at the same time as they have. They might be comparing themselves to someone who has been in the game for years, people who had to cut their teeth and make mistakes too, but who stuck at it and are a little bit more experienced as a result.

Or perhaps you're comparing your style to someone else's look. Or maybe it's a little more mundane than that. Maybe you're simply comparing your lot to your neighbour's lot and left feeling a little wanting.


No one is perfect and no ones lives are perfect. Take blogs for example - this one included, you see what we want you to see. No more, no less. More often than not, we talk about our successes rather than our failures. It's easy to feel bad about the mess in your home when we've removed all evidence of mess from ours. Trust me though, it's there. As are the shabby clothes, the days where we rock the greasy haired look and the occasional feeling that we're just not doing as well as we could be.

This applies to everyone. EVERYONE. Even Beyonce. Granted hers clothes might be a little less shabby than average and I suspect she might wake up in front of a wind machine, but you can guarantee that there are days where even she looks in the mirror and thinks "gah!".
Yeah yeah I know what you're thinking, but for the sake of this post, just humour me on that one ok?

Try and remember that if you try and copy other people, it will always be obvious. People may not point it out, but trust me they will notice and they will lose interest. If you want to reach your own personal level of Beyonce-ness then be your awesome self and trust that you are awesome in a way that no one else can touch.
Everything about you marks you out as unique and the biggest tragedy is that often we don't realise this and unintentionally piss all over what makes us special by trying to emulate others.

Your style, your spark, it's in everything you do. The language you choose, the way you write, the clothes you choose, the music you listen to, the way you dance..or don't, it's all good, it all makes you vast and brilliant.

Hold your head up high, work hard, do your own thing and MAKE. NO. COMPARISONS.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The working parent dilemma

As I write this I have a little hand holding on tightly to my thumb. It's making typing tricky, but not impossible. She doesn't want me to play with her. I tried and she was all "no Mummy, no Bobo White". Apparently this game is for her and the Cloud Babies only. She just wants me close by in case she changes her mind.
So while she plays with her toys, I'm sat here typing this, albeit slowly and often deleting things when she hits a duff key.

And it's got me thinking, how many of other parents work like this? I'm guessing a lot.
In my life before Pip, if I had to work from home I had the entire day, undisturbed to do whatever needed doing. My working from home days were often more productive than my 'in the office' days. With no one to chat to and no one to interrupt you with various requests, you could get a lot done.
Working with a child in tow is sort of similar, in that I'm technically working from home..but that's about it.
The time I keep however can never be predicted.

Whereas before there used to be five and a half hours of work a day, there's now anywhere between three (a very good day) and nothing getting done at all (not such a good day). And the time you get isn't consecutive either. Two hours worth of work can take an entire day to do.
For example, I may have half an hour in the morning, an hour if she has a nap in the afternoon, fifteen minutes while she has her afternoon snack and another fifteen when Daddy gets home.
The point is you really have no idea if and when you'll be able to get things done so you're on high alert all day in case an opportunity presents itself.
Take today, Pip had a rare afternoon nap so during that time I did some sewing, checked my measurements again, ordered some findings and did a quick search for some alternative fabric suppliers. Not bad for one hour.

Likewise if the sun comes out and photos need to be taken, everything I need is laid out, ready and waiting so I can take advantage of the short time. Pip is plonked in front of Sarah and Duck for ten minutes and usually that's all I need to take the shots. Editing will then be done that evening once she's tucked up in bed. You get the idea. You make the most of the opportunities you get, when you get them.

I hate working this way. It goes against my preferred way of working which is very organised and structured. I like to plan what I'm going to do the night before and get it done one task at a time.

However I've tried all sorts of tactics since starting this business and in the end I've realised that this is just the way it has to be. For now at least.
Are any of you in a similar situation? Do you work whilst trying to entertain a child or *gulp* children at the same time? And if so, how the bloomin' heck do you manage it? In fact if anyone out there, with or without kids, has any tips you think I could benefit from then please do share. I'll welcome them all!

In the meantime, I'll continue to do a little here, a little there, I'll flit from one thing to another and try not to stress about it. And when she needs me, I will put it all down and give her my attention because that's the way it should be.
And during the days when the going is really tough, I'll remind myself that all of this is still in a state of flux and will look very different again a year from now. I'll look back and be glad that I was able to start my business surrounded by Cloud Baby toys with my precious girl's hand wrapped around my thumb.

EDIT: as if the point of this post needed proving further, it's taken me three days to finish writing this.
Although she didn't hold my hand the whole time.

Monday, 10 February 2014

And the winner is...

Dawn W! 

Congratulations Dawn, one turtle dove necklace will be winging its way to you today. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks you to everyone who entered the giveaway and helping me make my fist one a success.
You're all amazing!


Saturday, 8 February 2014

Too much weather!

Do not read this if a) you hate people complaining about the weather or b) you're an Audi driver.

WEATHER! There's too much of it going on at the moment. And if you're one of those people who complains loudly on Twitter about other people who complain about the weather, well frankly I have no patience for you today so please chuffing do one. Mama's about to get her rant on.

All of this water falling out of the sky. I didn't mind it at first. It's winter after all and this is what happens, it gets cold. But it's now getting to the point of depressing. And annoying. And expensive. For us it's caused a few hundred pounds worth of damage and I'm sick and tired of having to hunt around for my recycling bins and having other people's crap making its home in our front yard.

And oy, the traffic. On a good day I can make it from work to Pip's nursery in twenty minutes. Last night the journey took me an hour and twenty. Needless to say I didn't pick Pip up. As luck would have it, Dan had the day off and was able to collect her instead otherwise we would have been fined a stupid amount for picking her up late and I would have been in the nursery staff's bad books. I'm still paying for forgetting her piece of fruit the other week. I jest, the ladies who work there are lovely.
Flooding and land slips have caused mayhem on the roads in Bath and it seems that the worse the weather gets, the worse people drive. Beeping each other, taking crazy risks and just generally acting like noobs. Audi drivers I'm looking at YOU here. When you reach a roundabout you GIVE WAY to traffic approaching from your right. This rule of the road does not change with the weather I promise you.

But all this is nothing when you compare it to what you see on the news. Mass flooding. People being evacuated from their homes..again. Losing so much and having damage done to their homes which they simply cannot afford. Farmers losing their livelihoods and being unable to do anything but watch.

I'm usually pretty optimistic about weather when it's a bit wet and blowy, it's the Welsh in me I guess. But seeing it start to effect people so negatively and feeling the effects myself, I think it's safe to say my optimism has been blown away somewhere. Probably the same place as my recycling bin.
So what do you say Mother Nature? I know we treat you like crap, but can we call it a day now? Please.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

New in the shop!

Thank you to everyone who made January such a wonderful month. It was a great way to kick off 2014 and I really appreciate everyone's support. As a thank you, you may have seen that I'm holding this giveaway to win a limited edition necklace.

If you would like to enter, simply go to the giveaway post here and fill in the form at the bottom of the page.

In other news, I've listed some new necklaces in the shop too. 

I'm currently working on some new dresses and skirts so as you can imagine, it's all go here at the moment. Just the way I like it!

Other posts you might be interested in..

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