An Uncomplicated Life Blog

Monday, September 25, 2017

You're Not More Important Because You're Busy

In a world where being busy is the norm, take a step back to evaluate exactly how "busy" you are

I'm on a roll with these op-ed type posts, huh? I think after spending the summer doing a ton of DIYs and crafts, the heat starts to fade in Texas and I get my mind back to do some deep(er) thinking. This one has been on my mind for months, actually. No, YEARS. It started as a gut feeling in my last job I had in Minneapolis, where the culture was to always complain about how busy you were, and I found it so odd. Fast forward over five years, and while my life looks completely different than it did when I had that job, I have the exact same feelings about "busy" people. Those feelings can be summarized by saying this: Busy people, you're not more important than anyone else. In fact, I feel sorry for you.

These boys were SUPER busy chasing ducks and chickens at a zoo in Wisconsin recently

Have you ever asked a friend or acquaintance how they're doing and s/he responds, "Busy! But good. So busy though!" What's that even about?! Like, is responding to my greeting even too much for you? You're so over-scheduled that you can't even be a decent person and respond to cultural politeness? A simple "I'm good!" would have done. Or if you're not good, let's sit down and talk about it. But please, don't tell me you're "busy." 

How busy one is (or isn't) is a choice. You have the ability to say yes or no to social obligations, work projects, meetings and deadlines. You have the power over signing up for extra-curricular activities, booking travel, and whether or not you cook a meal or grab fast food. Let me say that again. Being busy is a choice, made by you. And to me, busy people have lost control over their own lives either because they're so unhappy they don't want to live in the present, or they're looking for someone to blame for being absent from their own life.

Let me paint a picture for you. I bet you know someone who has sounded something like one of these two people before:

"Ugh, I have so much work to do, I'm going to have to bring home a project for the fourth night in a row this week! I'll be lucky to get five hours of sleep tonight. My boss/job sucks. I'm so busy with nonstop work!"

"Tommy has football practice, then Sally has dance, then we have piano lessons and will spend the whole weekend at a tournament, it's no wonder I've gained 15 pounds! All we do is eat on the run because we're so busy."

Guess what? Both of those examples are busyness choices made by YOU. You prioritize your workday; if you can't get all your work done regularly and are unhappy about it, seek help from your supervisor or coworkers. Reassign tasks off your plate. Odds are, it's not that you actually have too much to do, you just like to complain. Because if you were truly unhappy, you'd do something to change it. As for the second example, that parent is the one responsible for not only signing their children up for all those activities, but also for the food choices they make. It sounds like they want to blame busyness for their weight gain, but in reality, all of that is a choice that they've made. The only blame is on themselves.

When we're in Dallas, they're also always busy in our pool. But they don't think they're more important than anyone

See why I said I feel sorry for busy people? They love to complain about being busy, because it makes them look important. Needed. Indispensable. But in reality, overly busy people lack accountability TO THEMSELVES. They blame external factors for their own unhappiness. And to me, that's so sad. It's sad that they're unaware that the only person who can make them happy is THEM. Odds are good it would start by them saying no to something, and freeing up some personal time.

There are times when I'm busy, absolutely. In fact, most days of the week from 8:30-2 I'm sometimes sprinting to get all the things done that I need to while I have childcare. Here's the difference between being occasionally busy and chronically busy: I have no complaints about it! And at 2pm when I pick the kids up from preschool, I put my phone down and concentrate on them. We slow down and play together. I cook homemade meals and play cars and dinosaurs and take time to live in the moment.

As a mom, of course I have busy periods of time in my week, month, year. But it's a season. It passes. I don't complain about it. Sometimes, I do some intentional "un-scheduling" when there's just too much going on. Busy people don't take the steps necessary to slow down and enjoy their lives. It's not a race to be won guys! It's the daily living that makes your life great. So no, busy people. You're not more important.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

My Favorite DIY Beauty Hacks

These DIY beauty hacks are easy to do and WORK

If you've been hanging around here for any length of time, you know that I love essential oils and love making my own products from them. There's seriously some amazing benefits in essential oils, especially for the skin! I've had terrible skin since I was about 15, and the face wash I'm linking cleared it up! All of these DIY beauty hacks can be made in less than 5 minutes, and I've linked all the materials in the posts in case you don't happen to have coconut oil (if you don't keep coconut oil on hand all the time, you're seriously late to the party and how many amazing benefits that stuff has, so GET SOME) or apple cider vinegar (again, this is always in my pantry) fear not! It's an amazon click away. Now, here are my favorite DIY beauty hack posts:

Face wash
If you don't believe that this cleared my skin, there's some amazing before and after shots in the post. My skin is 100% (yes, 100 percent meaning completely clear) free of breakouts now! Ditching the harsh "acne fighting" cleansers and cleaning my face with oil and essential oils enabled my skin to "reset." When you fight breakouts with harsh cleansers, your face produces more oil. More oil clogs pores, leading to more breakouts. But this blend cleaned my pores and helped moisturize my face so it didn't have to produce as much oil, which led to fewer and fewer breakouts. Now, I don't even wear makeup (like foundation or tinted moisturizer) because it's totally clear. I haven't had skin like this since I was in grade school!

Is there anything that apple cider vinegar ISN'T good for? It helps with gut health if you ingest it, it's good for your skin, it can be used in homemade cleaners, it makes amazing vinaigrettes, I mean the list goes on and on. Now I will say that it has a very particular smell that carries through the toner. The first time I made and used it, I went directly to a hot yoga class and smelled it the entire class! I hated it, but I hugged a friend and she said, "oh my gosh, you smell good!" so I think it's a hit or miss smell. After a week or so, I got used to it and now it doesn't bother me at all. Full disclosure: I still can't drink the stuff straight. I have to mix it and dilute the heck out of it!

This stuff smells amazing and leaves your feet with that tingly feeling of peppermint! I used raw sugar so that it would be a little more coarse to exfoliate dead skin off of feet. But you could use traditional sugar if that's what you've got on hand. In fact, I made this in bulk and gave it away as presents to my girlfriends last Christmas (just get some cute ribbon to make it "gifty" and attach a tag - boom, Pinterest worthy DIY gift) and it would probably be more pretty and "glittery snowflake like" if you used plain white sugar. Anyway you make it, the peppermint makes it smell. so. good.

Ever been out shopping and get conned into buying the jewelry they strategically place near the check out? Yeah, me too, especially at Anthropologie. (I mean, after you've been staring at $250 price tags, a $40 pair of earrings seems like a steal!) Hopefully you're not as gullible as I am, but if you have sensitive skin like me, you get an allergic reaction to costume jewelry almost immediately. Anything less than 14k gold and I start to itch, get red, get inflamed and sometimes - depending on what metal is used - actually start to get a headache and a fever. The hack in this post enables me to wear costume jewelry with no reactions! It's a trick my aunt taught me when I was just a girl, and it works like a charm. Pun intended, I think...

Those are my favorite DIY beauty hacks I've published throughout the years! Like I said, there's nothing coconut oil and apple cider vinegar isn't good for, so go invest in some and keep it on hand all the time. You'll be glad you did! All of these hacks are super simple to make and can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes. You can also make them in bulk and gift them away for this upcoming holiday season! The price point per jar is a super budget friendly way to give ALL of your friends and family a homemade treat that won't go straight to their waistline this year.