Why I’m Treating Myself this Valentine’s Day with a Unique Wood Watch

You’ll remember that last year I gifted my boyfriend Frank with a beautiful wood watch from JORD. He wears his almost every day and while I’m not the jealous type, it got me thinking–maybe I need one of my own. And my friends at JORD were like “Heck yes you do!” And I was like, “Duh! What have I been doing!?” So they sent me one to write about and now I have my very own walnut and vintage rose watch. Happy Valentine’s Day to me!

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Keep reading to find out how you can win a $100 gift card to Jord!

Ok, that’s the short version, here’s the slightly more accurate version…

Before this wood watch, I had never given myself anything for Valentine’s Day. Sure, I buy a ton of chocolate and conversation hearts every year (don’t come for me, conversation hearts are delicious) but I never sat down and thought, “How can I show MYSELF love this year?” It was always about sharing love with my boyfriends, friends, family… I even make Valentine’s Day cards for my co-workers! I never made it about myself which is just crazy! Shouldn’t I be number one in my own life? (Shouldn’t YOU be number one in YOUR life too?)

So, I sat down to think about how I could really show myself love this year. And I thought about time and how awesome it would be if I could give myself the gift of time. More hours each day to do more, see more, and be more. Since hours are not purchasable I went with the next best thing — a wood watch. The thing is, I am typically running ten minutes late at all times and I swear that’s because once I flip my phone over to check the time, I have a MILLION messages to respond to (I am not really that popular, but I really do exaggerate). I hate having to check my phone for the time while I am in important meetings or when my phone is buried in my purse…

Clearly, a watch was perfect! I needed one and it was going to make my life easier and better. It took some time, but I selected the walnut and vintage rose Cassia ladies wood watch. I picked it because most of my jewelry is gold or rose gold, and the band was slender. I have super tiny wrists! (Also super fun fact about Jord wood watches: they can custom size the band to YOUR wrist. I absolutely took them up on this, and now my watch doesn’t slide around or slip off.)

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The Cassia style wood watch in walnut and rose gold was a beautiful choice, as it complements many of my outfits but also adds a little extra pizzazz too. (I’ve shared a few photos throughout this piece showing all the different ways I’ve styled the watch!) The craftsmanship of these watches always blows me away. Frank’s still looks brand new a year later, so I know mine will last too. 🙂

Jord wood watches are the perfect gift for anyone but this year I think you get a little selfish and give yourself a gift for Valentine’s Day. And good news! I’m hosting a giveaway for $100 toward any Jord Watch! All you have to do is CLICK HERE to enter! All entrants get a 10% gift code.

So treat yourself because you know how that saying goes… if you can’t love yourself, how can you love someone else?

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Real live photo of me loving myself in a Jord watch.

 

 

 

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How to Be Resilient

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Photo by Hyungyong Kim on Unsplash

2018 at my day job has been wild. We’ve lost a lot of great people to new jobs and it was painful for me to let go of friends and mentors all at the same time. I won’t say that I handled it particularly well because I had to call my mom to keep myself from crying one day. That’s pretty rare for me. I mean, I waited 24 hours to tell her I spent the night in the ER with a broken nose.

What she told me that day stuck with me and since then, each challenge that arises in my life, whether in direct relation to these big changes or not, I think about it to calm down.

She said to me, “All of this proves just how resilient you are.”

Wow, that’s a word. A word I was and am proud to have bestowed on me. Resilient! I sometimes walk around wondering if I am crazy for putting up with certain things or for not jumping from place to place, job to job, like many of my millennial counterparts. I often think of myself as a lame duck, just paddling along with one sad foot. But resilient? I feel flattered, Mom.

She’s right by the way.

I am not sure when change became so trendy– Quit your job! Travel the world with your savings! Keep moving until you’re happy. All of those concepts never resonated with me. Sure, on a surface level I was like “Hell yes let’s do it!” But deep down, I am the type of person that much prefers to work through the complications I have in front of me, to find happiness and joy in the everyday. I mean, duh, this blog is dedicated to that. But I needed her to remind me that this tendency also makes me resilient.

(PS – I mean if you’re unhappy please find your own happiness, I am not telling you to be miserable! That’s different and you know it. Don’t pin that on me. ;))

Resiliency can be a learned trait. I truly believe this and I will preach it to anyone who will listen. Learning how to be resilient comes from learning how to be uncomfortable. Finding comfort in your life is like finding comfort on a crowded subway– you may not have seat, but you can probably work your way into a safe corner. Since everyone responds well to lists, here’s a “How to Be Resilient” list to get you started on your own journey or to continue growing (everyone, no matter how resilient, always has room for improvement!)

HOW TO BE RESILIENT

  1. Learn to Be Uncomfortable – Life is never going to be 100% sunshine. Find joy in rain. If you’re avoiding a work project because it seems complicated, try to find a way to un-complicate it. Create space where you are.
  2. Find Your Edge, And then Push Past It – Like with exercise or eating kale or starting a particularly hard book… If you stick with it, just past your edge (your breaking point, the day you usually give up) you’ll find that it is possible for you to get past whatever is holding you back. And you don’t need to go far past it, just enough so that tomorrow, you’re a little bit stronger.
  3. Support Others – Believe it or not but helping others to get over their own fears and problems will make you stronger. Others give us purpose, which in turn gives us strength to carry on.
  4. Take Breaks – No human being is going to be capable of taking sh*t nonstop. Learning how to be resilient also means learning how to take a big old break from the work of getting stronger. If you’re tired, take a seat, just don’t turnaround, you are so close!

How often do you think about being resilient? Does thinking of this word make you more capable? Is this the first time you’ve applied the word to yourself? Do you feel resilient now? Let me know…

Love, light and red wine,
Amanda

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You Should Be Loved The Right Way

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I’ve had an influx of text messages this week from friends searching for relationship advice and if not advice than just a friend who will take their worries seriously. I consider myself far from an expert on anything so I assume that my tendency to actually listen and provide thoughtful comments on the love lives of my friends, has made me out to be someone more knowledgeable than I actually am.

That said,  I do enjoy being this person for my friends. When it comes to matters of the heart, it seems that there is few people they can trust. We live in a society that embraces cold personalities and even finds great humor in being a person who “has no feelings.” So it only makes sense that these warm, feeling people that I call my friends are searching for a safe space to talk about “the feels”.

What I found after a couple of conversations, text message sessions, and Facebook chats (I have friends all over the world, which I think is just the coolest) is that the majority of them are dealing with the notion that they are worthy of being loved the way they want to be loved. I know what this is like because I had to come to terms with this very same notion this year after ending a very long term, grown-into-each-other, relationship.

There is nothing wrong with having standards for how you want to be loved. Sometimes we’re afraid to let someone go because we’re worried we’ll never find someone better for us; we think that we want too much and so we stifle the parts of us that want to love deeply or differently. We try to adjust how we love to match the way someone else loves. This only causes us, and them, pain.

The hardest part of this is realizing that something horrible doesn’t have to happen for a relationship to end. Sometimes two really fantastic, wonderful people become not so wonderful and fantastic when mixed together. There’s a reason so many people refer to chemistry when they talk about romance.

Love should be about bettering each other and letting the other person grow. It is not about stifling each other because you are afraid to otherwise grow. Sometimes things need to end simply because you no longer fit, and that’s okay.

Sometimes we have to let go and trust that there is something better for us on the other end. Sometimes we have to be really afraid. And just know that if you’re afraid right now me and everyone else who loves your sensitive little self are just a text message, subway ride, or flight, away.

 

 

 

How to Treat Life Like a Relationship

I have always put relationships first. Romantic, platonic, familial… they’re most important. It has never been a question of time or bandwidth, if someone needs me I am there. It’s programmed into me.

Everything else in my life has always been sort of a mess. Relationships have never scared me but everything else pretty much has. “What am I doing with my life,” is the number one question that I both avoid and torment myself with on a daily basis.

I thought about it recently and I came up with an idea: what if I approached my career and life goals the same way I’ve approached relationships my entire life? Could it and would it make me happier? Below I’ve compiled a list of 5 of my favorite relationship mantras that I’ll be applying to my career and life. If you’re someone who gives a lot of time and energy to other people, you should join me. If you’re the opposite, maybe these will help you with your relationships.


1. Keep Trying
Even though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, I knew that I wanted it. When I was very young I was pretty certain I was never going to have a boyfriend. I was too shy, too insecure, and had no idea what I would do with one once it happened. But I knew that a long term relationship is what I wanted. One day I was finally ready and after some trial and error found myself in a long term relationship. And then a couple shorter ones and now with Jeff. We celebrated 5 years in February. I see now that even though I was desperate to be in love, I wasn’t ready yet and hadn’t met my match yet. I need to keep this same faith as I navigate all my interests.


2. What You Think You Want Could Be All Wrong
When I started dating and working on some of my very first serious relationships, I thought I had a “type.” Anyone else was just not going to make me happy. I was judging lots of books by their covers, even though I hated to be judged by my own! After my third relationship of a certain “type” I kind of just threw in the towel and was ready to try anything. Along came Jeff in his polos and short hair. He was not what I was expecting and yet we complement each other. The same goes for my friends. Take one look at us all together {me: ripped jeans, black leather, shaggy hair} and them {long blonde hair, coiffed, Ralph Lauren poster children} and it doesn’t make sense. But look at our hearts and who we truly are and it does.


3. Stop When It Stops Being Fun
Anything worth having is going to be hard and we’re going to question our choices a lot. Sometimes we don’t shine our best and other times the people we love don’t shine their best either. That said, if we aren’t having fun anymore, if every damn day is a chore, a bore, or both, then the hard work won’t have any reward. We’ll be working toward keeping everything in place rather than making everything even better.


4. It Can (and Should) Sustain Multiple Stages of Your Life
What we love needs to change with us. We are not who we were yesterday. We will not be the same tomorrow. Over time we are going to grow and change. At our core we are always “us” but over time that “us” will have different desires, outlooks, thoughts, and even sadness. As we transform we need a partner, and a passion, that can support us as we grow and thrive.


5. Never, Ever, Ever, Give Up
We know deep down in our hearts that something great is waiting for us. To find it we can’t stop believing (thanks Journey) and never stop trying to fidnd it. Did I have my heart smashed a couple of times? Oh yes. Did I come back changed and better for it? Totally. I propelled myself toward a great relationship because it was all I ever wanted and all I ever dreamed of. Now that I got it and I am turning my eyes to the rest of my life, I need to remember this same determination.