Sunday, September 21, 2014

Our Marriage Isn't 50/50

Last week I saw a Facebook status update from my sister-in-law, which pretty much summed up everything I've ever felt about marriage, but in a way that I didn't know how to say it. It was like all of the things I've disagreed with that I've heard people tell me about marriage finally had a clear message to back my stance on things. It was simple, it was true, and it has had me thinking all week:

Marriage isn't 50/50. It's 100/100.

Amen, amen, amen… a thousand times.
I could probably just stop writing right now and you all would plow this over in your minds and teach yourselves better than anything that will come from me tonight. But, since I like to type, I'll continue.

Marriage isn't 50/50. Well, at least it shouldn't be. There's no magical marriage saw that can cut things perfectly even and sliced. Marriage doesn't come with a chore chart that awards you with gold star stickers, checking off every time you fulfill a responsibility. And there sure as heck shouldn't be a score board sitting obnoxiously about your fireplace, racking up points for you when you do something better than your significant other, or spend more time cleaning, or making more money, or whatever. If this is what a companionship is based off of, it will be a very long, hard road, that will most likely split or drop off at some point. And one person will always feel less than the other, while the other will always feel like they are doing the majority of the work.

Doing something 50/50 means you're only doing half of what you should and could be doing. It means you're only loving, serving, giving, and pouring half of what is inside of you. It means that at the end of the day, both you and your spouse are left half empty, because you only made each other half full. 

There's a story I heard years ago that I often think about. The story of the Oxen. You got me, I know nothing about Oxen, I've never lived on a farm (and never want to because I would accidentally kill every living thing on it), and am a city girl. But this story about the Oxen makes me connect with them, and I know it's not supposed to be capitalized but I feel like they deserve an upper case right now. Those Oxen.

Ox have a yoke than is placed on pairs of two when they are working. The yoke is a wood beam that allows the Oxen to be paired together, and equally pull whatever load they are carrying. It is attached to chains, usually, that are strapped to whatever it is that needs to be pulled. While moving forward together, the Oxen are able to carry heavier weight than they could ever pull alone. It's the perfect set up for them to accomplish more work. But here's the catch. Both of the animals have to give 100 percent. This isn't a 50% effort type of scenario. If one ox is only doing 50% while the other one is giving 100%, both them and the load they are carrying will start to go around in circles. Whatever Ox is pulling harder, everything attached to it will have to follow, creating circles and frustration, and really, really tired Oxen who have done nothing but create more work and pain for themselves.

If you feel like you're in a marriage, relationship… or anything with another person that isn't going anywhere, it's because you are in a 50/50 relationship. And you're not going anywhere because you're both running around in circles and you probably haven't realized why. And that's okay, because now, you have the chance to give 100% of yourself tomorrow. Somedays I can't give a normal 100%. Somedays my 100 is less than usual because I'm tired, or sick, or have so much work and craziness swirling around me that I can't possibly give another percentage of myself because physically it's impossible. So, my husband makes up for my slack. Somedays, I do the same for him. Because to give the same amount of gusto to every day and every moment is inhuman, not possible, and creates unrealistic expectations. We understand that about each other. Which is why marriage is so great. You are meant to work towards things together, and communicate when you need a little extra help.

However, you can choose to give 100, every day, knowing that somedays will be better than others. In a companionship that is a true partnership, you work together so that 100% is reached, and your yolk is even, and together you keep pulling forward. I'm a mom. I have my own company. I work constantly. I have church obligations. I have a non profit. I have a crazy life that I'm not really too sure how I ended up lucky enough to be in. By the way, I am unfit for any of these roles and am mightily trying my best. I ask for forgiveness half of the time, and the other half I'm making it up as I go along.  Having stereotypical 50/50 expectations would destroy our family. We both sacrifice, we both pick up the slack where needed, and we both do a lot of stuff that we wish we didn't have to. 

I'm horrible at waking up early. Totally horrible. I don't sleep at night, I usually work late, and my mind never turns off. For me, waking up at 6:30 AM is like the ultimate death sentence. And it is for everyone around me too because I can be a momster (monster)… (I think Mike also knows this which factors into our arrangement). Mike wakes up early and gets the kids ready for school every morning. Every single morning! He takes them, and I pick them up, or pick them up from my angelic moms house on the days I work later. His 100 in the morning is better than my 100, so we compromise so that we can put our best feet forward doing the things that we're good at.

When you give 100, you get 100. 
When your load if heavy, pull together.
When it is light, pull together.
Keep pulling forward, and together, you will get to where you need to be.
But it has to be 100/100.

And to all of you single parents out there who have to give 200%… my praise goes to you… because you are the gems of this earth.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fall Wear.

White Tee- Windsor, Black Skirt- Windsor, Grey Beanie- Similar, Black Pants- Windsor
Brown Satchel- Olivia and Joy (Similar), Grey Clutch- Primma Donna, jewelry- The Shine Project

I wanted to share with you some of my must have and affordable fall staples. 
It was 105 when I was wearing this beanie… haha, so we still have a ways to go in Phoenix. But I know that everywhere else the weather will be dropping soon. I hope you all had a great weekend. We're gearing up to launch new fall merchandise soon… which is when the necklaces I'm wearing will be available. Can't wait to show you!

PS: Everything I'm wearing is less than $34

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Business Topics: 5 Signs You're On The Right Path

outfit- ℅ Windsor Store

A couple of weeks ago I posted 5 Sacrifices Every Business Owner Has Made. 
I was surprised at the amount of you there are who either are currently running your own business, or have dreams of doing so. Good for you! On Thursdays, I'll be choosing business topics to discuss here, so feel free to leave any questions you have below. Many of you have questions on how and where to start, and concerns along that nature. I'm not going to answer that question specifically today, but I want to talk about some signs that you need to look for to help give you confidence that you are on the right path. Some of these might seem obvious, but you'd be shocked of how many people I have met that don't follow these. Here are:

  6 Signs You're On The Right Path

1- Your product/services are selling: I know, DUH… right? Except for the fact that I've worked with and met a lot of people who have been trying to sell the same product for a long time and it's just not working. They think it has to do with everything else but them. When you put your heart and soul into your business, it is very hard to admit when something isn't work. It makes you feel like you've failed. But I have news for you… what if instead of beating a dead bush, you put your ideas into a new product and gave that a chance? Most companies don't become successful with their first product. If your product/services are selling you know you're on the right path. When you reach new markets and customers, and they understand what you're doing and want to be a part of it… keep on going! Sometimes you'll add new services in, only to realize that it's not doing as well as you hoped. Don't be afraid to change your path and come up with fresh ideas.

2- You're excited to work on your business: Many days are hard when running your own business. I can't tell you that it gets easier when your company grows. It never gets easier. Some days you dread having to figure things out, deal with finances, employees, and on and on and on. If this feeling never goes away for you, I would suggest that you aren't on the right path. While you'll have days of frustration, you should feel excited, enthusiastic, and optimistic about the work you are doing. If you've been in a funk that hasn't ended for a while, reevaluate what needs to happen in your life and consider switching courses.

3- You have someone close to you who supports you: Have you ever heard the term, "don't marry anyone your family and friends don't like?" Well, I feel that it can also be applied to your business. If you have a good relationship with your family and perhaps a couple very close friends, it's important to get an objective view about how they see your business. If your family is the type who only wants the best for you and is supportive and likes to see you grow, and the do not support what you're doing, figure out why. Sometimes people on the outside can see things that we put blinders on for because we're too wrapped up in a fantasy world of success. I'm not saying this is true in every situation, but often times, if you are losing people who are close to you, reconsider. Your family and friends should be the first people in line to purchase what you have to offer, not run away from it.

4- You have plans for the future: I currently am making plans for projects that are taking place in the summer of 2015. You need to make plans. If you have plans, and are looking forward to accomplishing those plans, you are on a very good road. Goals and plans are a little different, in that a plan is a goal in action. You're moving forward with things, you have deadlines you're reaching and it continues to add to the snowball of successes you've seen.

5- Other people can tell your story for you: Do people know the purpose behind your brand and mission? If they were wearing your product and someone asked them where it came from, could they tell them? How would they tell them? Would they get excited and share in detail about your company? You better hope so! Listen to the stories that other people are telling about you, your brand, and your services. If you're on the right path, you'll have others right there on your path with you.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

20 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me.

Shirt, Pants, Purse- ℅ Windsor, Bracelets- Threads by The Shine Project

1. I have a cow-lick. I part my hair usually on the side because otherwise it just flops over anyways.
2. I had a mullet when I was about four. A real, live, mullet. Thanks mom.
3. I have a horrific fear of birds.
4. And of clowns.
5. I have to sleep with my feet propped up on pillows, and about 4 other ones surrounding me.
6. If you look closely, you'll see a scar above my left eye from a non cancerous tumor that was taken out when I was seven. It was going to make me blind.
7. Speaking of eyes, I also have a small beauty mark under that same eye, and people usually tell me I have either a bug or mascara when they notice it.
8. I do things in multiples of threes. A little OCD about it.
9. I'm very allergic to cats. They make my face swell up and my throat close, it's unreal.
10. I'm naturally a shy person. I have to make an effort not to be.
11. I hate the snow.
12. I love peanut butter and butter sandwiches. Try it.
13. I was born in San Diego.
14. I have a gigantic scar on my right elbow from breaking it and having two surgeries to fix it. My kids and husband call it the slug.
15. I have the same middle name as my mom and great grandma. It's Katherine.
16. My last name means The Best in French. Deal breaker.
17. I hate when only one window is open in the car and makes that crazy noise. My ears.
18. I played softball and lacrosse in high school. 
19. I'm 27. People always think I'm older. Don't tell me that :)
20. I haven't cut my hair for about two years. No scissors on this main… 

Whats something random about you? And if you make a post, share it below.
ps: Make sure you follow along on instagram @theshineproject for an amazing giveaway 
with Windsor Store tomorrow!