advice

Where I've Been and Lessons in Self Care

I'm back.  I didn't post for all of October.  I'll say that the story today starts with back pain, and lots of it.

My x-ray photo above is from 2009.  I have scoliosis, and while it was not severe enough to warrant any medical care 5 or 6 years ago, you can clearly see that the health of my spine is pretty compromised.  You can also see that my shoulders in the x-ray are not set squarely over my hips.

The consequences of having even a minor spinal curvature can be pretty detrimental to everyday life and activities.  This is where the story starts today.

Driving an hour to work and back each day for the past two years definitely took a toll on my back.  That was apparent during that time, but I didn't really start to feel any pain until late September.  I was waking up with severe back and chest pain, feeling a limited range of motion, and I couldn't do anything to help it.  I didn't like to take any over the counter pain meds, just because more damage can be done to areas in pain when you can't feel the pain.  But I didn't have a clear solution for what to do about the pain itself, or how to make it go away.  I also felt sad that I had let it happen for so long, and not done anything about it.  Why bother now?


Enter, my boss and coworkers.

Our shop happens to be located next door to a chiropractor's office.  While I had never been to a chiropractor, Chris has been before, and loved it.  This was years ago, before I met him.  Nobody in my life had ever suggested going to a chiropractor for help, and I never really explored it as an option,  But there came a day where I was having trouble just standing.  It hurt a lot, to say the least.  I was desperate, and told to just go next door, that he'd fit me in and to take my time coming back.

And it was awesome.  I go for an adjustment once a week, and am completely pain and discomfort free.  The nerves in my spine were being crunched, and my muscles and organs were (and kind of still are) out of whack.  But it's better and doesn't hurt anymore.  And it's amazing.

Self-care.  It's important.  And it's important to maintain.  It's not necessarily enough to leave a situation that makes you unhappy.  Sometimes there are other things you've been ignoring, and other areas of your life that are also unhealthy, but in a more covert way than not eating enough vegetables.  I ignored an uncomfortable medical issue, very successfully, for two years.  Two years!  But I had learned to ignore it, and just be complacent in it.

Not long after going to the chiropractor, I went to the dentist.  And what an adventure that was.

I am not a fan of the dentist.  As a child, I had a bad experience with a dental hygienist, and I still feel nervous about getting my teeth cleaned.  As it turns out, I had three cavities.  Ugh.  Not what I was hoping for, for my dental situation and wallet.  Yet another area I had been neglecting.  But I do not want to repeat it, so my habits have changed.

There are some other changes we've made here too, but I mostly just wanted to talk about where I've been.  But I am really happy that I feel like writing again!  I'm not even sure who reads this, but I appreciate it regardless.

Take care of yourself today.  I think that's what I'm getting at.  Take care of yourself today and every day.

Love and light,

Alyssa

Choosing a Florist

When choosing a florist for an event, it is possible to pick a great vendor in several different ways.  Personally, my best advice for choosing a florist is by word of mouth recommendation from trusted friends and family members.  As Chris and I were looking for a florist for our upcoming wedding, we asked around to trusted friends and family for florist recommendations, and we also scoured the internet heavily to supplement our search.

Before even speaking with a florist, it is a wise idea to have a compilation of several photos or images of floral ideas to discuss at such a meeting.  Using websites such as Flickr and Pinterest, along with wedding blogs and wedding websites can make finding inspiration for your event flowers an easy task.  If you know that you want to have certain colors of flowers in the arrangements and bouquets at your wedding, you can begin to have sample ideas to show your prospective florist.  That way, they can begin to discern the direction in which they should take your ideas.  Keeping notes early will save you the trouble of scrambling to gather ideas right before meeting with florists.

If you have swatches of fabric from bridesmaid dresses, this is another helpful item to bring to a meeting with a florist.  The same goes for pictures of your dress, venue, and other decorations that you are hoping to include on the special day.

Having a firm grasp on your wedding budget is essential to ensuring that you are making a good choice with a florist as well.  If you are able to discuss a budget with the florist, then there will be a clearer picture of what floral services they can provide for you, depending on the flowers and quantity of pieces you need made.

Be prepared to wait at least one week after meeting with a florist to receive an estimated cost for their services.  Following up with all florists you interview is good manners and allows the florist to book another client in your stead.  Good manners and transparency matter in hiring vendors!

Some good questions to ask your florist:

  • How many event/wedding clients do you serve per day?  Per month?
  • Are the flowers I want in season at the time that I want them?  Is there a similar alternative to what I want if they are not in season?
  • What is your contract policy?
  • What is the amount due for a deposit on services?
  • Is there a delivery fee for transport of florals to the event site?

And always, trust your gut when it comes to choosing any professional to work with!  If you feel that you are receiving top notch service from the vendor, and that the vendor is ready to work with you in a positive manner, then this is a good indicator of the vigor with which they will approach your event.  A good rapport is crucial to a positive working relationship.

My goal is to bring a positive and stress-free experience to any client that I am fortunate to take on.  I am ready to work hard to make your event beautiful and fun, and I cannot wait to work with you to make the beauty happen!

Love and Light,

Alyssa