The times they are a-changin’

There is so much going on and yet I’m never here writing about it.

It’s tough to be as open and raw as I’ve been in the past because I’m trying to broaden the audience for this site but that, ironically, seems to be sapping me of any interest in coming here to write. (Can’t really welcome new visitors when my last post is over two weeks old.) I’m working on overcoming the resistance and we’ll see what transpires.

In the meantime, I’ve made some breakthroughs in dealing with my control and anxiety issues. A therapist gave me some cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to use when I’m triggered so that I can challenge the disordered thinking before I go off the deep end. It helps a lot for the low level anxiety/control/panic incidents and at least brings me back to myself faster in case of a major attack. It’s tough to describe how debilitating these episodes are and how destructive to my relationships with family – particularly the husband and daughter – so any relief is very welcome.

Something that certainly wasn’t helping the anxiety level around here was my constant fear that I was going to receive a poor performance review and possibly be laid off from work. Ironically, a week before my performance review was scheduled, my division laid off over 130 employees and I wasn’t one of them. All of that worry – months of it, to be honest – and they not only kept me but I received a good, solid review.

After I dealt with my grief at losing so many colleagues – I knew most of them very, very well – and then the guilt about why I was kept while other talented folks weren’t, I realized that my anxiety-fueled (and misplaced) paranoia was sapping the joy out of every part of my life, not just my personal/home life but also work. I resolved to make changes and I have done so.

It’s important that I be in better shape financially in case the day does come when my name is on that list. To that end, I’ve sold some stock and will use most of my annual bonus, too, to pay down my credit card debt. If I can get it down to 30% or less of my maximum credit limit then the payments will be really small and I can make some major headway toward becoming debt free. I’ve also started transferring $50 per paycheck directly into my savings account so that I can begin building a six month safety net, just in case.

In addition to paying down debt and building my savings, I’m also investigating ways to make a little more money. To that end, I’ve begun investigating the possibility of becoming a stylist with Stella & Dot. I love their jewelry, I have a lot of friends – both online and off – who love jewelry, too, and the start up costs are really pretty reasonable. I would do most of my sales online just because setting up parties seems sort of out of date with the times but I would certainly be open to that possibility, too. Best of all, I’d have to wear gorgeous jewelry all the time in order to generate interest from friends, co-workers, and total strangers at the coffee shop (don’t laugh, it happens to me all the time with my jewelry and accessories!) so my samples would also be my personal jewelry stash – how cool is that?

Finally, I’ve signed on with Passionfruit Ads to offer paid sponsorships on the sidebar of this site. The rates are crazy low because this isn’t a “big time blog”, but it’s a way to make income while still maintaining control of the content (I have to approve each site or company that submits an ad request so nothing will appear on the site that is out of line with my beliefs and the “vibe” for the site). If you want to check it out, go to my Sponsor Me page where I’ve got everything laid out already.

I’d love feedback on the changes both here and offline. Do you know anyone who is a stylist for Stella & Dot or Thirty One or Avon or some other part-time sales gig? How about ad sales: anyone making any money from them? Tips and tricks for boosting your savings and paying down credit cards? I await your wisdom!