Life After Quitting: Week 1

Blogging

full time bloggingI had such big dreams for my first week as a full-time blogger. Oh I’ll still wake up at 5:30 every morning so I can have some Me Time. I’ll do sun salutations, meditate, Morning Pages. I’ll sip coffee and stare out the window at the woods and plot out my perfectly organized day. I figured I’d be all glammed up by time Karl came back from taking Emerson to school and we’d bust out one shoot every day. Edit and schedule the post, tackle a couple more hours of emails and administrative stuff, and power off the laptop no later than 4:30. I’d have the bulk of my weekly newsletter completed by Wednesday, have content scheduled on Facebook for the whole week on Monday, a blog post every single day.

Bwahahahahahahaha. Hold on, let me catch my breath. Okay, good. Bwahahahahaha. Let me wipe away these tears and clutch my stomach from laughing so hard. This is NOT how the first week went at ALL.

You know how when you buy a new home the refrigerator conks out a week after moving in? Guess it also happens when you decide to quit your job and cut your hosehold income dramatically. My laptop is dying a slow death and it took me all day just to edit one blog post. Granted, this laptop is no spring chicken (I received it for free as part of this sponsored blog post) but the timing couldn’t be worse.

We do have a Mac desktop upstairs in the home office. We bought it at the beginning of the year with grand ideas of better photo editing and working in a quiet environment. It even made a cameo in this blog post for eBay. But the home office became the catch-all room, especially with me working so many hours. That “quiet environment” became a room that Emerson was scared of and we always had to keep the door closed. And because of that, I had never finished setting it up, it just sat there mocking me for all that money spent and getting dusty. Well this week I got the Mac up and running and Karl and I cleaned up the room enough that it no longer causes anxiety or fear. In fact I’m typing this with Emerson at a smaller table next to me, doing her reading homework.

This gets me by for now, but a lot of blogging is mobile. I blog while traveling, I get sick of being in the house and head to a coffee shop. I have meetings with brands and other bloggers and influencers. So I ordered myself a Mac laptop and have wanted to throw up about the cost ever since. It should arrive next week. I’m going head first into Mac life after forever with PCs. I do have an iPhone and have had one since the iPhone 4 so that helps, but this is a learning curve. Do you know how much content I’ve lost by accidentally clicking fn C instead of command C?

Friday night my best friend stopped by after work to pick up some clothes (I have a fun sponsored project coming up where they invited a friend to be a part and sent both of us outfits). She’s a business owner and a Mac user so she helped me understand some aspects of this computer. Saturday morning I finally got Office 365 installed and am typing this in Word (my happy place). I also took a video conference call from the Mac on Saturday to discuss a cool project coming up next month; it’s a way to merge my political beliefs, my desire to help women, and use my fashion know-how and I am sooo psyched. This is something I never could have considered if I was working the day job.

The laptop isn’t the only thing to die. The bottom heating element on our stove conked out Tuesday night. Thank goodness Karl is handy and was an electrician in the Navy (and for a few years afterwards). We ordered the broken heating element and he’s going to try to fix it. Nothing like losing a job and gaining a bunch of costs.

If you follow me on Instagram, especially InstaStories you know our dog hasn’t been doing well. She was very old (20 years) and the past year her age caught up to her and she also had some health issues happen in the past couple of months. Tuesday we had her put down. It was such a hard decision but we know it was the right one. It made thinking about anything else this week pretty tough. It was especially hard on Karl, this was his dad’s dog and it brought up a lot of feelings about his passing. But when you own a business you have to keep going. The vet came in the morning, we HAD to leave the house after it was so upsetting.  We grabbed some lunch, went to vote, but then came back home and I got changed for a photo shoot (you’ll see the post tomorrow). The show must go on.

I quietly restarted my Style File newsletter a couple months ago. It’s something I missed doing but didn’t have the time to do it. I hired a virtual assistant (VA) who specializes in helping bloggers. She switched me from Mailchimp to ConvertKit and I can email her a Word doc and a few graphics and she puts it together for me and sends it out. Each week she sends a gentle reminder on Thursday that the newsletter is to go out in 24 hours and I haven’t sent her any content. More often than not, Mindy’s receiving my content around 11am on Friday and still ends up getting it out on time. One of the top goals this week was to get my newsletter content to Mindy early, with just the “On the Blog” part arriving a bit later to make sure it incorporates all the blog content for the week.

Mindy got my newsletter content at 11:45. Only one job yet I was even LATER with my newsletter content.

Another goal was to clean up my inbox. I have emails from the SUMMER that still need replies. I have people who have asked to have coffee or chat or collaborate that I haven’t replied to.. I even have emails from brands saying, “Hey Alison, we like you and your audience and we want to give you money to tell them about us” and I haven’t replied. And I still haven’t replied.

Since I was a child, my mom would quote the Tao Te Ching. Let your mud settle. The actual phrase is:

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?

This week wasn’t a failure, it was a week of helping my mud settle. And likely this coming week and even the week after will be more mud settling so my water can be clear. Cleaning out the home office and making it a functional space. Figuring out benefits since mine run out at the end of the month. Mastering the Mac. Making sure I have sleep and hydration and get outside every day. And find my new normal.

Today is Saturday. I washed my makeup brushes and cleaned out my dressing table. I cleaned out my purse and filled it with what makes sense with my new every day. I stopped writing this for a long while to focus on just Emerson and her homework. She helped me clean out my dressing table (likely to score the almost empty lip glosses I would otherwise discard) but I had the time to hear her talk long enough from telling me what she knows I want to hear about school to what is really going on and her relationships with teachers and friends and how she feels about different courses. Today is the first day in a very very long time that I feel as though I got enough sleep. It’s amazing how much more productive and organized and creative I am with enough sleep.

For the first time in almost a decade I think my mud is settling. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!