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How cutting up a credit card started the path to paying off debt.

I said goodbye to a few old frenemies today. My Target RedCard, Southwest Visa and American Express credit cards.

We have a lot of credit card debt accounts but these three all had a special place in my wallet, which is why I needed to have a proper burial for them.

The Target RedCard

Oh how Target has been a sanctuary for my tired, broken heart over the years. I think so many of us can relate to this, but maybe it isn’t Target for you. Maybe it’s Amazon with his quick ease and endless suggestions. Or maybe one of the Maxx family of stores; TJ himself, Marshalls or HomeGoods with their slashed prices and mile-long checkout lines of “obviously I NEED that candle, water bottle and roll of pretty dog poop bags”. These companies, and thousands others like it, have on-staff psychologists that their only job is to manipulate our generation of women in to thinking we NEED to have this stuff to soothe the yearnings for fitting in and keeping up.

That was Target for me and my RedCard made it possible.

  • He had a relatively low credit limit ($3k) so I never felt overwhelmed by a $300+ debt purchase on a particularly sad/happy/bored/celebratory/angry day.
  • My daughter and I bonded at Target over Starbucks lattes and cake pops and all those cute baby, toddler and now Tween girl clothes.
  • Offices, bedrooms, kitchens and businesses have been outfitted on that Red[Debt]Card.
  • Christmas presents were bought in one fell swoop on December 23rd every single year since our first baby was born. (If that doesn’t suck the romance and tradition out of Christmas, I don’t know what does.)
  • I justified candles and picture frames and rugs and coffee mugs and water bottles and baskets and luggage and dumbbells and sports bras all in the name of self-care.

The Southwest Airlines Visa

This cutting was less of a ceremony but I still had to mourn what it stood for: VACATION. When our kids were little we visited my dad in Florida yearly so it only made sense to have a credit card that gave us points to pay for said airline tickets. If only that’s what it did 🤦‍♀️ . While we put a pretty hefty balance on him, he never really delivered. MAYBE we got one free ticket in the 15 years we’ve had it.

The card itself represented permission to escape for me. Every few months my life would get so overwhelming, mainly because I was hungover and sick, that I would look for any way to escape my life. Pretty places around the globe via Instagram would scratch the itch and an airline ticket and hotel would go right on to the debt balance. Now that I no longer need to escape my life, I have no need for a card that ‘helped’ me do that.

Oh, American Express. You lied.

The approval from the American Express company told me I had made it in the business world. The only thing I really got approved for was a 30% interest rate and a shame spiral when I couldn’t pay the balance in full one month. I thought the AMEX police would come knocking at my door demanding payment because ‘you have to pay it off every month.’ Not true. He likes his interest money just like the rest of them. He just likes to make you feel REAL bad for it.

The only real grief I hold on to here is false. I see him for what he is now, just the dick from high school that now dresses up real nice and tells you how cool he is and how uncool you are. Barf.


I won’t say good riddance; they all taught me something about my limiting beliefs, how easily and foolishly we can be manipulated in to thinking these cards represent something more than what they do: a locked cell of debt that we actually hold the key to.

To be totally honest I held that RedCard in my hand for almost a full five minutes while my head and heart flip-flopped between cutting it and keeping it. The arguments for keeping it kept popping up like a dirty whack-a-mole game at ShowBiz:

  • But what about Christmas?
  • What if we need something from Target?
  • Can we never go to Target again?

    I whacked those bastards in to submission every time:
  • Christmas will still come. It’s time for a new tradition anyway.
  • If we need something from Target, I will go and pay for it with cash or on my debit card. My guess is we won’t.
  • Of course we can still go to Target, just not to soothe my soul.

Financial freedom is the way I care for myself now.

debt diary
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I'm Katy

Here I spill the tea on balancing hustle and heart with tips and tricks for thriving in business while taking care of yourself, because success is best served with a side of serenity!

hey there

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For years I have kept myself busy being the player; farming flowers, parenting kids, taking care of animals, opening a wine bar, buying a coffeeshop, opening an ice cream and candy store, bossing around staff that have become family, volunteering in my hometown and generally just grinding away. I realize now these were all just stops on my never-ending yellow brick road.

In all that grind, and through some pretty intense self-care and discovery, I have found my true passion: coaching and mentoring the dreamers. It’s is where I get to take everything I’ve learned from #allthethings and help others live a life of their dreams.

I’m for the dreamers: for the ones that want to make a change. For the people just sick and tired of being sick and tired. For the ready, the determined, the fearful, the anxious, the non-believers. For the people that desperately want a life of freedom, contentment, and peace but just don’t know where to start, or what they want to do, or how they’ll get to wherever it is they are hoping to go. For the ones ready to sacrifice the things that are no longer serving them and finally invest in themselves.

If this is you, you’re for me. And now, I’m for you.

I'm Katy

Here I spill the tea on balancing hustle and heart with tips and tricks for thriving in business while taking care of yourself, because success is best served with a side of serenity!

hey there

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I’m finding myself in these crazy rabbit holes on social media: celebrity break up progressions (I didn’t even know Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds were married before today), before and after pictures of someone I really don’t care about (Jonah Hill…I seriously clicked though like 35 pictures of him before I was like, what the fuck katy?) and 16 healthy soups you can make in 30 minutes or less  (I buy soup in a jug(s) from Costco).

And those are just the innocent ones.

Let’s not even touch our local school board/district posts (O. M. G., my kids’ peer parent FB groups or the IG accounts that make me feel the need to purge my entire house and buy magnetic eyelashes.)

Like I have nothing better to do…

I am in a state.

I feel like I touched on this a month or two ago, but holy fuck.  It’s somethin’. This isn’t going to be a long post because I just cannot right now:

  • I just turned 42 on Sunday; which in my head is halfway to my death.

  • I’m about 5 hours away from celebrating my golden anniversary…15 years on October 15th for those of you that need nothing more than every single thing spelled out these days…it’s ok…that’s me too.

  • I’m about 13 days away from having a complete panic attack because the weather is getting colder, days are getting shorter and even in a “normal” year, this next 6 months are the toughest mentally and spiritually for me.

  • My hair is too long (everywhere), I’m losing my tan and the laundry is beyond piling up.

So, let’s just all agree, we’re in a state. It’s okay that you’re doing whatever you’re doing to cope. If you need help, ask. If you’re doing ANYTHING that makes you feel good, keep doing it. If you’re just keeping your head above water, absolutely fine.

I admitted to my kids’ teacher(s) that we’re NOT doing the best we can and I’m okay with that right now because that’s what’s [sort of] working for us in the second week of October 2020. Guessing it will be different in the third week.

And…the sun will come out tomorrow.

I'm Katy

Here I spill the tea on balancing hustle and heart with tips and tricks for thriving in business while taking care of yourself, because success is best served with a side of serenity!

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I started this post a few days ago. Still relevant like most of my writing is; shouldn’t matter what day your read it, it will likely resonate if it’s for you.

Before I get in to the heavy, let me share a little ditty about yesterday. It’s our “break day” in this virtual school thing. I’m acutally not sure what we’re supposed to be doing, all I know is that my teacher friends drown in meetings and grading while I “get” a free day with my kids…that I’ve “gotten” to be with since March.

Sweet Jesus, I need a break from “getting” to be with my kids.

There, I said it.

And for all of you grammar Nazis out there, I KNOW I use a lot of quotes; but only just recently. 2020 is the year of the over “quoting” for me.

Screen Shot 2020-09-24 at 9.57.12 PM.png

Yesterday Miles fished, yes fished, with a friend and Madeline read a book alongside me. It took everything I had not to feel guilty about all of this.

  • I didn’t check email for an hour because I let Madeline take my phone to photograph 10 images that made her happy after she read a book for 20 minutes that, in her words, (quoting cliche aside), “I could read that book for days. It’s my favorite EVER.” Huge props to our 3rd grade teacher JK for knowing just the right one.

  • I watched two boys take after their dads, and in our case also late Grandpa Al; tying line, baiting hooks, catching fish and releasing them with dignity and respect. I might have even heard, “Thanks, buddy. Good luck.”

  • I took notes from a book that makes me feel like I’m not crazy; just a little weird.

First, I want everyone to know that I am fine. Dale is now referring to the description of “fine” as GARBAGE FINE or actually fine.

Today, I’m actually fine.

Everyone in my house is getting fed, including the 20 cats (they just got their Chewy order today) and all four of us humans are snuggled up watching ALONE every night in our master bedroom.

We’re fine.

Are we without tears? No.

We might not be dripping tears on the daily, but we sure as hell are running in to people that are just on the verge of letting a full-on waterfall out of their tear ducts.

(Madeline just asked me if she could take her unicorn stuffy I bought at Walgreens for her tonight (out of guilt) or if I still needed her. I may or may not have hugged that raggedy thing tight while I was working through some shit on my computer. Yikes.)

I thought I was too tired, too exhausted, too overwhelmed to write tonight. I was scared I didn’t have the right thing to say and that a post like this would just add to the to-do, to-read, to-be list of someone that was equally, or exponentially, overwhelmed.

Never my intention.

But…

I’m about to do something crazy. I’m about to unromanticize being busy.

The horror. And the hypocrisy.

This is a tough one for me. I have really always prided myself on being busy. I often get asked, “how do you do it all?” It’s always a weird question and makes me recoil a bit (no worries if you’ve asked it before…it’s a legit curiosity considering what I post on social media and write about)

Usually, when very well-intentioned people ask me that, I answer with, “‍♀️, I like to be busy.” Or, “I still definitely binge on Netflix and nap,” which makes me sound like I’m trying to play off all I do as to not make the curious feel bad. ‍♀️

That’s a whole ‘nother chapter.

It’s no secret we all have the same 24 hours in the day and believe me when I say I don’t use those any more productively than anyone else. On the contrary actually.

I basically rise and set with the sun; summer I can easily get up at 4:30am and retire at 10 but in the winter, oh boy, I follow my kids to bed at 8 and have a hard time peeling myself up to feed them before school.

One of my dad’s favorite quotes/cliches, and Steve has lots of them, is, “if you want something done, give it to a busy person.” And, I’ve lived by this “compliment” most of my life.

Being busy has become the new, fine, thanks, to the question, “how are you?”
”Good. Busy, but good.”

I think in these last six months the source of my uneasiness has come from not being so busy.

Yes, I ran kids, worked outside the home, inside the home, met with friends, went to yoga, occassionally had a date night, grocery shopped, did laundry, cleaned the house and blah, blah, blah.

Everyone does those things.

But I also made my days so difficult by saying yes to so much.

  • Wanna grab a drink? Yes.

  • Could you sew this for me? Sure.

  • Can you quick send this email out? Of course.

  • Can you grab me socks, Mom? Yup.

  • Do you know where the vehicle registration is? I’ll find it.

  • What’s for dinner? Fuck off.

More than that, I have a constant dialogue in my head about the things I have to do so I don’t drop the ball. And isn’t that what all of us are trying to avoid at all costs? Dropping the ball?

Oh my God, the balls we all have in the air.

If you searched you could probably find thousands of images, gifs, memes and Bitmojis about all the shit we have going on portrayed in cute little graphics about balls in the air.

In an effort to cut this post short, and give me a whole ‘nother post in the future, I’m going to give you a little teaser about balls.

Just to see how many times I can say balls.

While I was laying awake the other night and scrolling my DEATH-BY-8-LETTERS Facebook feed, I see a post about meeting the author Nora Roberts and quote she once said to someone on BoredPanda or some shit:

“When someone asked Nora how she balanced writing and kids, she simply said “that the key to juggling is to know that some of the balls you have in the air are made of plastic and some are made of glass.”

As I was thinking about this very quote, I thought how fricking genius. Duh.

Hopefully you can decipher your glass vs. plastic balls before you read on. If not…take a hot minute to decide.

This IS the answer.

But then, as I watched my friend cry on my couch about how she was terrified that the glass balls were going to be the first ones to drop, I couldn’t help but think, I can’t write that shit.

That’s great for Nora fucking Roberts but not great for my friend who, right now, feels like she has to make a choice between her kids and her job.

There are so many heavy things right now.

Are there beautiful things around us all the time? Of course.
Do we have so much to be thankful for? Yes.
Can we also cry because the burdens we carry are heavy? Hell yes.
Can we take five mintues, just 5, to walk in the fresh air every day? Say no. It took you 5 minutes to read this…you have five minutes.

I shake my head back and forth at this very moment because I still don’t know where this blog is going. And I know I could write for days about “dropping the ball” (and apparently air-quoting every three-word phrase) because it’s the ultimate fear among us.

Just for today, i want to extend my deepest love and affection to those of you that are struggling; wanting to make the day better for those around you whilst ignoring your true sense of self. I’ve done it for so, so many years.

You’re not alone. I’m here with you. You’re not alone.

I promise. You’re not alone.

I'm Katy

Here I spill the tea on balancing hustle and heart with tips and tricks for thriving in business while taking care of yourself, because success is best served with a side of serenity!

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If you’ve known me for any length of time, or even not very long, you’ve probably figured out that I have, ahem, “dabbled” in a few different passion projects over the years.

The following quote was taken from Refuse to Choose! by Barbara Sher regarding a Scanner Personality type. I seriously don’t know that I have ever read, seen, heard anything so validating in my life. And I’m only on page 54.

“You’re not going to find one passion so great that all the others will disappear, and you wouldn’t like it if you did. You will find many passions. You’re not expected to make a commitment to follow one career or lifestyle track to the very end of your life—your genetic mandate is to make many commitments and enjoy each one to your full capacity. One path will never be enough for you.”

Can we just talk about how the discovery of the Scanner Personality has changed my entire outlook on life? Until very recently, I thought my jumping from one passion project to the next was my inability to commit to anything, which reads to most people as flighty, non-commital, lazy and a big, fat, loser failure.

Oh, and let’s not leave out crazy.

  • Why can’t I commit to anything?

  • How come I get bored just when things are getting good?

  • There’s never enough time to do it all, so I just won’t do anything…

And most importantly to me:

  • Why I am I the only one?

Let me tell you how I stumbled on this, and considering how a scanner personality is defined, it’s a frickin’ miracle it’s taken almost 42 years for me to find it.

I’m in a “blogging” Facebook group (of course I am ‍♀️) that comes as a perk of the Elite Blogging Academy I purchased some years ago. A couple weeks ago when I was struggling to find the perfect domain name for this website, I posted a question in this group. It went something like this:

“I have been sort of a stalker on here for a couple of years; started with one idea, took a break and now have committed again with a version of the original idea. I thought I was through Unit 1 but I keep going back to my domain/avatar/blog name. Hopefully some of you that have made it big, or even medium, or are struggling with this too, can help a girl out?

I’ll try to make this short…I found a love in writing, but mostly about personal struggles. I actually have a few businesses and consider myself a “serial” entrepreneur. (My husband and I own a flower farm, wine bar, wood working and countertop business and I am a yoga instructor…oh, and I work at a health club ‍♀️)

My first attempt at blogging was a personal journal of a 90 day break from alcohol. I quit drinking for three months and documented all of it (this is sort of a big deal for 40ish year old mom in Wisconsin #landofcheeseandbeer ). I had a pretty decent following of friends and family that liked my writing style but once the “challenge” was over, the blog sort of ceased to be necessary. I like the idea of starting a “sobriety” or “change your relationship with alcohol” blog but I have a ton of other things I like to write about and know a lot about; starting a business, goal setting, yoga, mental health solutions, greif/loss, etc. and I don’t want it to DEFINE the blog…or me.

So, here’s are a few of my questions to all you fine bloggers….blah, blah, blah.”

The questions are actually unimportant and while I only got a couple responses/comments to this post, this was my holy shit moment:

Her: “I don’t have any advice as I am struggling with the same things. As a scanner personality interested in lots of things, niching down and zeroing in on my avatar has been incredibly difficult.”

(Of course I immediately Google scanner personality and travel down the rabbit hole for two hours)

Me: “OMG…I didn’t even know that was a thing; scanner personality.  Well, I guess I know what I am doing with the rest of my night.”

And, guess what I’ve been doing over here ever since?

Before I get in to the specifics, let me just say what a sign of relief this has been for me. As I got a little older, I could see the advantage having all these ideas flying around in my head but always felt like I had this major weakness in my inability to finish what I started.

Ta daaaaaaa! Scanner.

omg.png

Do you know a scanner?

The “scanner” personality type was coined by author Barbara Sher. While this is one word for it, I’ve seen others used like multi-potentialities (that’s positive), multi-passionate (sort of passive-aggressive), renaissance (really?) and “polymaths” (when you look that last one up on wikipedia it’s a little more year 1624 great scholars and thinkers-ish than I’m ready to embrace.)

Here are a few other traits you might recognize in yourself or someone you love but have a hard time understanding (ahem):

  • We perhaps desire a range of things and pursue ALL OF THEM with great passion and energy.

  • We are equally fascinated by quantum physics, obscure languages, meaningful hobbies, music, art and developments in web technology. 

  • We excel at starting and learning, starting and learning, starting and learning; deriving pleasure from finding out how things work or, more importantly, IF they work.

  • If there is a goal, it’s never mastery of a topic. We don’t aim to be masters of what we start, only to start.

  • We have creative ideas ALL the time, whether it’s for a book, a TV show, an art project, a website, a business, starting a movement, creating a brand, or writing a bestseller.

  • Often these ideas come at us while our minds are most at rest or in nature.

  • We have truckloads of seemingly unrelated interests and choosing between ideas can be stressful and paralyzing.

  • The thought of concentrating on one single topic for the rest of our lives horrifies us. Like…horrifies us.

  • Our houses and cars are usually messy. (Actually, I didn’t find that yet, but I’m hoping to )

  • We start lots of projects but don’t always finish them before we get into something else.

  • We start lots of projects but don’t always finish them before we get into something else.

The repeat of that last one was not a mistake.

Are you a scanner?

If you can say yes to a few or more of these qualities (or all of them like me), then you are a scanner! Hip hip hooray. ‍♀️

The good news is that scanners are some of the most creative people in the world according to Barbara Sher, “our focus on breadth rather than depth allows us to make connections between disparate worlds that others can’t see.” We’re open-minded, fast to learn, and we’re happy to share.

Sounds like we’re pretty awesome.

The bad news is that the world doesn’t always approve of scanners. We get labeled a “Jack(ie) of all trades and master of none, lazy, flaky, or worse. The modern world approves of the deep diver – someone who specializes in one subject – forgetting that some of the most remarkable people who ever lived were renaissance men or women. Check back for a post on Celebrity Scanners

I could go on and on, but I won’t for today. There’s a whole WORLD of information out there about this very topic and now I’m fascinated, so if this isn’t something that interests you, #sorrynotsorry about the litany of posts that are going to follow this…for a while at least .

I'm Katy

Here I spill the tea on balancing hustle and heart with tips and tricks for thriving in business while taking care of yourself, because success is best served with a side of serenity!

hey there

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What to do when your life as you knew it seems to be crumbling around you?

I don’t even watch the news anymore but the following is what I have picked up through media channels in the past few days just in passing:

  • COVID numbers are going up, not down.

  • A community less than two hours from me, Kenosha, Wisconsin, has made the national news with riots, protests and murder.

  • Our local county has put so many restrictions on our schools, restaurants, bars and retail shops, my friends and community members are suffering financially and most importantly, mentally.

  • There’s an “unsurvivable” hurricane about to touch down around the Gulf of Mexico.

  • There’s litany of angry faces jumping out from the screens screaming for me to cast my vote for the lesser of two evils in an election that comes at the worst possible time ever.

  • I’m about to home school my children.

That’s a short list of the massive one that’s likely out there in your world too.

Holy shit, man. Armageddon anyone?

It’s hard not to get swallowed up in it all. Really hard.

But as I sit here, on National Dog Day no less, staring out my window at three very content, happy (all be it very hot) Australian shepherds, I’m trying to take a lesson from them. They’re just happy waiting for one of us to acknowledge them, pet them and play with them.

That WOULD make everything better wouldn’t it? Pet me. Notice me. Play with me.

Could it be that easy? Let’s see if we can translate from dog to human. Bear with me, this metaphor might get ugly.

Pet me.

We need to start caring for ourselves.

“Pet me” can easily be translated in to caring for our physical senses. They are the window to the world we see. Over stimulation of the senses creates a fatigue that dulls our senses and therefore our view of the outside world in a way that prevents us to see what is truly there.

By taking in information through images and video, we are overstimulating our senses of sight and hearing. Our mind then is in overdrive trying to process and compartmentalize all the information by level of importance, urgency and intensity. It’s called sensory overload.

Good times.

Just for today, can we step back for a hot minute? Take enough time to reboot the computer? Turn off the television, podcast, YouTube video? Turn off the notifications on our phone? Skip the news for a day? A week? A month?

Of course we can; it’s will we? That’s the million dollar question.

Let’s try concentrating on our other senses: Can one of the kids brush your hair? Tickle your feet? Maybe your spouse can rub your back (not “that kind of” back rub, unless of course the mood strikes)? A snuggle with a pet and a good, fluffy book?

If petting isn’t your thing and you’ll just die if one more living, breathing being wants to crawl on your lap or hang around your neck, I get that. Try washing your face earlier than normal. Take a bath. Light a candle. Make some tea. Eat a piece of fruit. Paint your toenails. Lay on your yoga mat.

I know there’s so much going on and it feels like there’s a never-ending to-do list; I’m there too. But, that entire list WILL be there tomorrow and unless someone will get hurt or die if you don’t finish it, put it away.

Notice me.

This one is a tough one because we spend most of our lives trying to get other humans to notice us. But what if we just stood back for a second and noticed ourselves?

What would happen if we started to notice what is going on inside? What happens RIGHT BEFORE we reach for the glass of wine, the bag of chips, the next NEW thing in our social media feeds? (I am notoriously guilty of this and I just can’t seem to learn my lesson that a cozy sweatshirt on the FB model will come from China as a Barbie-sized XXL.)

This sentiment of “take a breath before you…” has always made me roll my eyes a little. I mean I get it but it just seems so simple, it just can’t work, right? Much like the progress over perfection thing, this is a tough anti-extreme thinking tactic which goes against my grain.

But, I’m ready to give it a shot. Here are some the tricks I’ve found to use:

  1. Recognize the trigger.

    Notice any physical reactions in our bodies. Maybe it’s a racing heart, a pounding in our heads, that familiar knot in my stomach, or a gross sweaty palm. These are signs to activate our internal pause button.

  2. Press pause.

    Mentally say, “pause,” or if you’re alone and pretty dedicated to breaking this habit, say “stop” out loud. In my case, since I’m from Wisconsin and our “excuse me” translates to “OPE”, I find myself saying “ope” when I’m reaching for the refrigerator door to stare blankly inside. It’s about my favorite phrase in the whole world and since we can’t even get close enough to people physically to garner the phrase these days, I’ll just use it here.
    It does actually seem to be working and it makes me chuckle to myself so smile bonus.

  3. Take a deep breath.

    I know, this gets a little overused too, but it does work. I just asked the smart people over at Harvard Healthy:
    The ability to breathe so deeply and powerfully is not limited to a select few. This skill is inborn but often lies dormant. Reawakening it allows you to tap one of your body’s strongest self-healing mechanisms. Read More.

    Getting a quick hit of extra oxygen to the brain helps you compose your thoughts and brings you into the present moment.

    And ten thousand years of yogi wisdom can’t be wrong.

  4. Observe.

    If we’re interacting with other humans, let’s just take a beat to listen. There’s no rule that we have to say anything immediately and no word quota for the day we have to meet.
    This last one is a tough one for me…I like to hear myself talk and man can I preach. But, I’m going to try to notice the squirrels up there running around and simply observe for a while. Wish me luck.

    To curb impulse eating or spending, return to the “why” around this kind of situation. If you’re trying to reach a goal or break a habit, there must be a why. If you haven’t found it yet, now is the time to dig a little deeper.

    Again, allow yourself to simply observe the thoughts that pass through your mind.

  5. Press Play

    Now we’re ready to act. Mindfully.

    “This all sounds fine and dandy, Katy, but in the heat of the moment, I don’t have that kind of time!” 

    If you’re hard-wired, like me, to react immediately, it’s a case of reminding yourself it’s okay to pause. It’s the little things that make the big differences. Much easier said than done for me.

Play with me.

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I lost the dog metaphor somewhere along the way here, but this is an easy one to return to.

Quite a while back, I considered myself a runner. I had trained and run both a half and full marathon in my late twenties with a sprinkling of some 5k and 10k races in there. I liked it but I didn’t love it. I felt like I HAD to do it in order to lose weight or be considered physically fit. Like it was the only way.

And in true all-or-nothing-Katy fashion, I’d start a training program and because it just wasn’t in line with my passions, I’d never finish it. And running was only one of those things; I’ve tried cycling, lifting, HIIT classes, personal training, etc. None of it I loved long enough to make a consistent, healthy habit out of. And most of it I used as a punishment for some failure story I made up in my head.

But I love to walk. I can listen to a book or I can just let my mind wander to all the light (and dark) places. Whatever isn’t serving me at the time I can just leave out there on the road. It’s not a punishment for an over-indulgence or a chore on my to-do list. It’s my escape, my freedom from too many things to do, to think, to feel as an early forties woman in 2020. I never feel guilty about it because it’s my time to regroup and I’m lighter for my family, friends and work when I return.

It’s my play.

What’s yours? It could absolutely be anything; it doesn’t have to be physical…I also need a creative outlet (ahem, here) so if it’s crafting, sewing, reading, writing, photography, playing music, making a meal…doesn’t matter.

Let’s not waste one more minute doing things we think we SHOULD be doing.

“I should…” is for weenies.

I'm Katy

Here I spill the tea on balancing hustle and heart with tips and tricks for thriving in business while taking care of yourself, because success is best served with a side of serenity!

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I’m giving all the credit to this very loaded question to my ride-or-die soul sister, Patty.

Our phone conversations literally need an appointment on our calendars. We’ve not been friends for that long, less than 5 years in fact, but we know each other well and neither one of us calls the other without a significant window of free time. A chat can easily turn in to a teleconference.

About a week ago, we were in a “meeting”, talking about drinking, sobriety and all the shit that goes along with that, and the question came up; “will I lose my sparkle?” [if I quit drinking].

At first, I didn’t realize the magnitude of this question. In so many ways, I’ve answered it for myself a number of times; in the first 90 days, then again and now again, again.

The answer is yes.

And absolutely not.

What is “sparkle”?

First, let’s figure out which sparkle we’re talking about here before we decide whether or not we’re going to lose it. I think we’re confused.

Because it wasn’t all that long ago, and I have more experience in this department than I care to admit, I could pinpoint with the exact moment the ‘sparkle’ we may be referring to sets in when I was drinking.

Picture it: I’ve walked in to a party, or a bar, or a friend’s house, or by myself in my own kitchen; location really doesn’t matter. A drink “appears” in front of me; likely a large glass of white wine, but could be a beer or cocktail. Within the first few gulps, probably within 30 minutes, I can feel the tingle, the buzz; the conversation comes easily, my smile widens, my eyes twinkle and I am acutely aware of my surroundings feeling supremely grateful for this life I live. #blessed I think they call it. I feel confident, happy, loved, easy-going and fun, i.e. the sparkle.

But that particular sparkle, for me, lasts about 15 minutes. As I continue to drink more throughout the night, desperate to hold on to the feelings of confidence and ease, it dulls and before I know it, the sparkle has vanished and I’m left with a morning of piecing my night together. The confidence, happiness, fun-loving, easy-going feelings of yesterday have been replaced by shame, guilt, anxiety and regret over what I might have said and done in the other three hours and forty-five minutes.

And because it was so fleeting, and so fun and easy and shiny and beautiful, I made it my part-time job to pursue it over and over again, day after day.

If you’re reading this, you are likley exploring your relationship with alcohol (or maybe you’re just curious and that’s ok too) so maybe you are keenly aware of this window of which I speak. And I get it man, who wouldn’t want all of that? The loss is a legitimate fear.

The real sparkle.

That up there is manufactured sparkle.

It’s like all the unicorns are standing on all the rainbows everywhere with their hooves to their horns, slapping their heads in frustration. 15 minutes of fleeting bliss? Not quite what they had in mind for us.

Unicorns are courageous, fierce, and wild while also being gentle, compassionate, harmonious, and full of grace. They’re passionate about their own talents and share in the happiness of everyone they meet; a symbol for standing out in all your uniqueness and being loved as your authentic self.

That’s sparkle. And it can never be lost, only found…again. And I know for sure, it has absolutely nothing to do with a colored liquid served in a fancy glass…even if it does have a cute umbrella in it.

Whatever your sparkle is, it lies in your authentic, true self.
In doing the things that make you most happy.
In sharing your talents with the world.
The things that bring you true joy.
In who you were meant to be.

Don’t know what that is? That’s ok…me neither . But I know that we can keep a clear head, unpack some of the shit that took our sparkle to begin with, we can find it again.

Need help finding your “Unicorn Sparkle”?

We could go real deep here, but since we’re talking about sparkly things, let’s keep it light! Here are a few things you can do today to help find your sparkle:

  1. Spend time with an animal. Or several.

  2. Engage in a creative activity. Something that feeds your soul; photography, painting, reading, writing.

  3. Take a nap. There’s so many reasons for this.

  4. Get outside. Take a hike. Or a walk. A bike ride.

  5. Phone a friend. Someone who let’s you talk or who is easy to listen to. Stay away from energy vampires. You absolutely know who they are.

  6. Watch the sunrise or sunset. Or both.

  7. Give away something you love to someone who would appreciate it.

  8. Lay on your back with your feet up the wall for 5 minutes. Heaven.

This is a short list…I could go on and on.

These are just the things you can DO. There’s a whole list of things to NOT do. But, that’s for another day.

I'm Katy

Here I spill the tea on balancing hustle and heart with tips and tricks for thriving in business while taking care of yourself, because success is best served with a side of serenity!

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I hate that acronym. Of all the acronyms I have had to remember in my life (considering I was in the military, it’s more than anyone should) this is my least favorite.

It makes me feel like a big baby, like, really, I’m scared of missing out?  When I say it out loud it sounds so dumb. I’m almost 42 years old, aren’t I a little long in the teeth to be worried about what the other girls my age are doing when I’m not around?

Yet, here I am, at 1:13 in the freaking morning stewing about what my girlfriends did without me tonight. 

We own a wine bar (I know, that’s a whole ‘nother truckload of baggage to unpack considering I grapple with not drinking). Normally, it’s not a source of temptation, on the contrary, in fact. But tonight, friends, and my husband, gathered together to party…without me.

The horror.

In my rational brain, this is the stupid, immature part. But my thirteen-year-old self felt left out.

Let me make a couple things clear. First, I am so thankful I was able to make the conscience decision to come home with Chicken Little. We got to spend some rare, quality girl time together doing ABC Yoga and meditating in our yoga studio.

Secondly, I won’t be hungover tomorrow and my 40ish-year-old self really just can’t handle a hangover anymore. I got some writing done, took a bath, washed my face and fell asleep. JOMO*

All things I wanted to do. And now, I can wake up tomorrow rested (minus the hour I am spending typing this in to the notes app on my phone), ready to tackle another day of healthy choices. 

But I can’t help but lay here pissed. And I just can’t quite pinpoint why, but I’ll give it a shot:

  1. Rejection. Its my biggest insecuirty. Im terrified of being rejected and/or not included. 

  2. Abandonment. I’m not fun anymore therefore I’ll be left alone. 

  3. It’s not fair {insert foot stomp}.  If all these healthy choices I’m making are just going to leave me sad and alone, what’s the point?

Epiphany Time.

I could have stayed.
I chose not to.

So, when, between those two options, does the acceptance come?  How can I unpack these feelings of rejection and call them what they really are?  No more than old, ugly fears tempting me to return to a life of lack and fear and hangovers. 

I’m pretty sure this right here is what the self-help gurus refer to as the ego, or what I like to think of as an overprotective mother doing anything she can to keep her child from leaving the nest. “Just stay here with me forever. It’s warm and comfy.”

These are real feelings that I am not numbing with copious amounts of Pinot Grigio.

And, just to make things clear, let me tell you how easy it would have been to take a ride on that slippery slope:

I would have started drinking as soon as I got to work (at 3:00pm), continued through dinner, ignored the kids, drank all night with that group, said something inappropriate or offensive, driven home, poured myself in to bed, woken up tomorrow full of shame, guilt, anxiety, not to mention physically ill and hungover, trying to peice the night together.

And, because I would have felt so horrible, I would have done it all over again to numb the horrible feelings.

Good times.

And for what?  So I didn’t miss out?   I’ll take a quiet night of The Office with Chicken Little any day over the absolute mess I would have made out of my tomorrow.  (Update: according to the girls I ran in to the following day, all I missed out on was some late night pizza and a real bad hangover.)

It was a choice.

A simple one? Yes.
An easy one? Not yet.

But what I’ve learned, after many spankings in this department, is that if you want something you’ve never had you’ve got to do things you’ve never done. And in order to do those things, we have to make the choices that line up our goals over and over and over again.

Does that mean we’re going to miss out on some things our “old-selves” would love to do? Probably. But rather than wishing FOMO wasn’t real or wishing it would never happen at all, because we’re smarter than that, let’s find some ways to deal with it when it rears it’s ugly head.

  1. Self-awareness is key. Could I have stayed and drank club soda with lime, laughed and chatted and still gone home, did all the things I wanted, all while not missing out? Absolutely. But I know myself. There will come a time when I feel okay with all that, but this wasn’t it. Choose your slippery slopes carefully, especially if you’re new to not drinking or making healthier choices. Give yourself a chance. Know thyself.

  2. Find the why. The easiest way to know thyself is to start unpacking some shit. My two biggest insecurities, which sort of go hand-in-hand, are rejection and abadonment (we’ll leave the orgin of those for another day). It’s taken me a lot of therapy, journaling, meditation and many “what-the-fuck-is-wrong-with-me” questions to dig deep enough to find them. But now that I know what they are, I can trace almost every icky feeling back to them…including FOMO. When you know the why, you can find the way.

  3. Be Present. Look around. Can you find anything that might be better than what you think you’re missing out on? Anything at all? The sun? The moon? The little girl that sounds like a hen while she sleeps in the bed next to you? Your feet that can walk your ass to the fridge? There’s something. Stop whining and find it.

  4. You’re right. It’s not fair. If you’ve chosen a healthy option over a temptation, trust that you are making the right choice. Every. Single. Time. Even if it feels like it’s not fair. I would whine that it wasn’t fair that everyone else could go out and have this great time, drink and eat whatever they wanted, never gain a pound, never say anything stupid and never feel like an asshat the next day. First, this is not true….that superhuman does not actually exist. And two, events happen randomly. The universe has no conscience and is not aware of right/wrong, fair/unfair etc. Only the naive expect others and situations to be fair. You know better. Choose better.

  5. Gratitude…that gateway drug. It’s pretty hard to think about what might be happening somewhere else when you’re only thinking about how glorious the warm bath you’re currently sitting in feels. Or the cozy bed you’re snuggled up in. FOMO pulls you out of the present moment and in to an anxiety spiral about the past or the future. If you want to avoid FOMO, be grateful for the moment you’re in. Period.

    Want to level up in this category…write it down. Pull out the notes app on your phone or a real paper journal and jot down all the things you’re thankful for in the exact moment. It will change your whole perspective…immediately.

    You can thank me in there too.

*Apparently there’s a new thing…JOMO…Joy of Missing Out. I’ll have to see if this doesn’t make me want to puke in my mouth as much.

I'm Katy

Here I spill the tea on balancing hustle and heart with tips and tricks for thriving in business while taking care of yourself, because success is best served with a side of serenity!

hey there

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Recently, my husband and I had a discussion about this very question.

The conversation reminded me of a commencement speech given by Jim Carey about those two very heavy words. It popped up in my Facebook feed like the Universe knew I needed to see it. You should watch, it’s definietly worth it. (If you don’t have a full 25 minutes, fast forward to 9:20)

He talks about doing something you don’t absolutely love for a living and masking it as practicality.

This is a foreign concept to me now, but I’ve certainly been here. I’ve worked lots of jobs; banking, bartending, customer service, soldier.

Luckily, I have had the opportunity to try many things without too much fear of failing. And I have never been accused of being practical.

I am not quite sure where my lack of fear comes from; it’s not like my parents were the ones saying “you can be anything you want to be.” They were more the type to say “the harder you work, the better person you’ll be.” That is certainly not a dig on either one of them but I also didn’t enter my adult life with stars in my eyes.

I have never wanted for a whole lot, but I have worked a job every single day of my life since I was 15 years old. I spent half of my high school upperclass days working as a bank teller. For a few years following, I did what seemed like the “right” thing, working my way up to a successful personal banker/mortgage lender.

That did NOT work out. Think round hole, square peg. I tried lots more things on, nothing seem to fit.

But, somewhere along the way I just stopped being afraid of doing what I loved. And, I remember the very moment.

I’ll take you back quite a few years. February 22, 2002 to be exact. In hindsight, the date had no significance, but 02.02.2002 will go down in my life history. For a numbers girl, it’s a pretty bad ass date.

My maternal grandfather, Imbert (Bert), had passed away a few months earlier. He was a Lt. Col. in the Army and a high school teacher, receiving two purple hearts during his service in WWII, among many other commendations in his military career. Whether it was his passing, the post-9/11 climate, my personal discontent or a little bit of all of it, I enlisted in the Army National Guard on that cold day in February.

And I didn’t tell a soul.

I took that $3,000 signing bonus which had me leaving town in 3 weeks, quit my job, packed my rucksack and started the first thing in my life I had ever truly done by myself. Before that day, I hardly went to the bathroom alone. For real. ENFP, right here.

I just got this bug up my ass to sign the papers. And, my friends, when you sign those Army papers there’s no changing your mind. You’re in it to win it. So off I went. My main objective was to keep my head down, shut my mouth and follow direction. (For those of you that have known me all of my life, this was really an unattainable goal. You can stop your laughing now.)

Army basic training.
South Carolina.
April.
Hot.
Humid.
Fire ants.
And a ditch.

In a ditch, doing push ups as punishment for God knows what. No one knew. We just knew we were being screamed at and there was no where else to go. There were some criers and some pukers and one very pissed off Wesconsin girl (that’s not a typo…southerners cannot say the Wis in Wisconsin).

Oh, man was I pissed. I was drenched and sweaty and tired and chafed and homesick. I will never forget it. In that moment, when I wanted to give up and cry and puke and quit and rebel and scream, something came over me.

This is not going to last forever.

My left brain started working, “They can’t keep us out here forever. They have to feed us. We have to sleep. Night will pass, morning will arrive. And, I will eventually go home.” All of the wisdom of my short 23 years taught me that, literally and figuratively, nothing lasts forever. Good, great, bad, fugly.

Nothing. Lasts. Forever.

In that moment, the word “forever” took on a new meaning. Forever is only as long as you need it to be to learn the lesson it provides. I followed the drill sergeant’s commands, did my pushups, sit ups, ran hills and whatever else was asked of me that night.

I stopped being pissed.

And sure enough, just like that, it stopped. We got back in to formation, went to the showers, crawled in our bunks and I fell into a deep, restful sleep.

In the many years since then, there are times I remember that day and other times I wallow in my own self-inflicted forever. I am human after all.

But what Jim Carey, of all people (in that silly robe and hat they made him wear) reminded me of today is that if you’re not afraid, and you are doing what you think you are meant to do, where is the actual risk? Who defines your failure but you?

I have been called a risk taker, among many other “colorful” things. I don’t see myself that way, but nonetheless, some people perceive me that way. I just know that whatever I am doing, if I don’t love it, I won’t do it. Period. I might try, but if my heart’s not in it, neither is my mind.

We can make just as much money doing something we love (probably more) than doing something we are like, “meh, it’s fine.” All we have to do is find the door. And then, of course, walk though it, but that’s for another day.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been afraid. Afraid of putting my physical and emotional self “out there”. Afraid of opinions, judgements, feedback. But I refuse to get stuck in that ditch again with someone barking orders at me.

On days like today, where the sun is shining, the bees are buzzing on flowers, the kids are bopping down the driveway off the bus, I find fear to be the last thing on my mind. I look around to cherish every sun ray stretched across the cornfields, the kittens slumbering peacefully on the warm patio blocks and two crazy dogs chasing each other around the yard.

For every yin there is a yang. Up and down. In and out. None of this is to say there aren’t challenges in the world and that everything is peaches and cream around here. But, just for today, choose love, not fear.

I'm Katy

Here I spill the tea on balancing hustle and heart with tips and tricks for thriving in business while taking care of yourself, because success is best served with a side of serenity!

hey there

Ask Me Anything

book a call

Business + entrepreneurship

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My experience with a yoga class starts days before I even go. I start thinking about a Monday morning class on Saturday. I find reasons not to go; I’m too fat, too out of shape, too tired, too busy, too whatever.

But then I catch myself and think, this isn’t very nice of me to say to myself. So, instead I move in to I am going to smell bad or what if an untimely bodily sound escapes me while I am in down dog, or what if I try a balance pose and then can’t do it, thereby falling in to my yogi neighbor? This little episode goes on for a few minutes until some other thought or task enters my mind.

Squirrel.

After what likely is a full weekend of drinking, Sunday night rolls around. I am closer to actually making the decision to go by registering for the class online, as a punishment for said-weekend. This is the part where I start thinking about all the other things I have to do INSTEAD of go to yoga tomorrow. Like the dishes, the laundry, the work emails, the kids’ schedules, pretty much anything else that will give me an out.

No. Stop it. I am going. (Because, let’s be real, those “instead of” things don’t get done anyway.)

Monday morning chaos ensues;

Me: Where’s your backpack?
Me: I didn’t wear your shoes last.
Me: Do you or do you not want chocolate chips on your pancakes?
Me: Yes, we will go to the library this afternoon. (Probably not.)
Me: Did anyone let the dogs out?
Me: Yes, you have basketball practice tonight.
Me: Yes, you have to brush your teeth.

Kiss, kiss, kiss.
Love you, love you, love you.

Sound familiar? Guessing it’s like every other All-American household at 7:15am on a Monday morning.

Now, here I am, standing alone in my messy house surveying the damage from the weekend; a pile of dirty dishes and a full, clean dishwasher (< the worst), loads of dirty and clean laundry, by now intermingled (<< also the worst) and a red, number-filled circle above the mail app on my phone (<< I hate the red circles).

But, lucky for me, I hate chores more than my excuses, so I 5-4-3-2-1 myself to put on my “workout” yoga pants (I have my “pajama” yoga pants on) and get my ass out the door.

Here’s where the shit gets real. I happen to work at this health club, so on my way in the door I see ten people I know that are most certainly thinking to themselves, “Oh my God, I haven’t seen her in forever.” Except this time, they actually do say it out loud and now I feel like a real loser because I HAVEN’T been here in forever. This little sentiment is only coupled with the fact that my staff pass has expired, which means I haven’t been to A class in over a year.

I get it Universe; we’ve established the fact that I haven’t been here in a long time. You can move on from this now.

I quickly take my coat and hat off, which in and of itself is an act of bravery because ever since I chopped all of my hair off, I am stuck in short hair purgatory; too short to pull up, too long to be cute when wet and sweaty. I wake up every morning looking like a goat has been licking my head all night long.

I run for the darkness of the studio and of course, expecting that MY spot, in the back corner by the stereo where no can see me, has been reserved for the past 12 months. But, no. It has been stolen right out from underneathe me.

I frantically scan the room looking for more corners, but they are all taken. Ok, here, in front of this pillar, this will work. I roll out my shitty Costco mat and lay down on my back. Phew. If you knew how much energy and self-loathing it took to get here, you’d consider this a major accomplishment too.

I try to relax and focus. Try to push my insecurities aside while I “breathe in to it.” Ha. Except I am so fucking worried that my tampon is going to shift around in down dog, I can’t help but do Kegels. (TMI?)

No…breathe.

Be grateful for the warmth of the heat lamps because it’s November and it’s freezing outside. Wait, did I turn my coat around when I hung it up so no one sees that it’s a size XXL?

Stop…just breathe.

The instructor turns up music and the lights (damn it) and I know we are about to get started. Too late to run for the door now. She asks us to set an intention for class, which has been the same one since I started practicing yoga 3 years ago; “don’t look at the clock”. Simple I know, but this is a serious problem for me. I can ruin a perfectly lovely class by seeing that it’s only 8:45am in an 8:30am class. But, today, I added on “let my self-judgement go”.

I pull my big girl pants up and start moving with the rest of the class, trying like hell not to worry about my cleavage or my stomach or my fat arms or my unruly hair or my red face or my slippery mat. And, right on cue about fifteen minutes in, I am already sweating and breathing so hard I can’t think of anything else anyway.

Mission accomplished.

I make it through the entire class (because what other choice did I have?) relatively unscathed to my favorite part: savasana. No squeakers, which of course was my biggest fear of all. Yes, my hair looks like shit, my face is beet red, my pants have fallen below my gut and I couldn’t hold my tree pose as long as the 65-year-old man next to me. But, I’m laying there, feeling my pulse against my bones, my bones against the earth, my breath moving in and out of my lungs and I am thankful I came.

And, here’s the kicker, I’m not thinking about what I look like. As a matter of fact, I start thinking how sad it was that I had all those fears that almost stopped me from coming. The thought crosses my mind about how much energy it took to think all of those things about myself.

Then, I go a little deeper.

So, I just spent all of this time worrying about how I look to everyone else…what if they are too? What if they woke up feeling insecure, or bloated, or hairy or stinky? It occurs to me I didn’t look around at one of my yogi neighbors in that class, which probably means they weren’t looking at me either. I couldn’t tell you who was there, what they were wearing, how their hair looked or if their pants had fallen below their belly.

And that’s just the superficial, surface crap.

What about all of the other things that take up the precious space in our minds; babies, baking, Barbies, college, camps, cravings, spouses, soccer, spaghetti, parents, pets, parties, pantries. The list could go on forever.

And, it does.

Sometimes I like to sit in my ivory tower and tell other people: “who gives a fuck what other people think of you?” And, here I was, freaking out about who gives a fuck about me.

Let’s flip this story on it’s head, shall we?

If I saw someone I hadn’t seen in a while, attending a class they used to come to, I’d probably say the same thing, “I haven’t seen you in forever”. And, just like those that said it to me, it would come from a place of good intention; it’s ACTUALLY good to see you. And, then I would probably go back in to my own world of endless chatter.

The truth is this, and this may be hard to hear: NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU AS YOU MUCH AS YOU THINK THEY DO. They just don’t. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own worlds, with overwhelming plates of things to do, say and give, they just don’t have the time or energy to worry about your belly.

But, how fucking awesome is that? We don’t need to worry about what other people worry about. We can just stay in our own lane, do the next healthy thing for ourselves.

So, what does this mean for you? It means find a place deep down to just get out the door. Get on your mat. Go for a run. Pick up a guitar. Write a paragraph. Sing a tune.
Try it.
You might hate it.
But you might not.

If it’s not yoga, find something you think you might, eventually, someday, maybe a long time from now, love. Something that might scare you just a little bit, and do it.

Something that you admire in someone else is a great place to start.

The insecurities and doubts and fear will be there. Push through them. I promise you will never regret the things you did, only the things you didn’t.

I know you think you can’t, but actually you can.

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i write therefore i am.

Hi, I'm Katy.
Your lifestyle designer and business mentor.

Writing is my way of unwinding and letting my thoughts roam free. Every so often, in the midst of this creative chaos, something clicks, and I'm like, "Hmm, maybe someone else will dig this too." So, I toss it out into the world, hoping it lands with someone who gets it.
I hope that's you.

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In a world that continually celebrates the achievements of women breaking through glass ceilings, climbing corporate ladders, and excelling in their chosen fields, it's easy to assume that these high-achieving women have it all together.  Read more.


The Struggle of High-Achieving Women

balancing success and everything else