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Take a Break or the Load You Carry Will Crush You – A Functional Rustic Approach

Originally Published March 12, 2018. Updated August 28, 2018.

Taking time to do nothing often brings

As helpful as it is to reflect on situations that cause us distress – it is equally important to pay attention to experiences that bring us peace.

I’m feeling at peace today and it is directly related to taking a break this weekend. Functional Rustic is my business and I do it from home. Because my office is my living room it is difficult at times for me to stop working. I may not be writing a blog or building something – but even on the weekends I find myself doing work.

I enjoy the ‘work’ so it does not feel stressful to do it. However, even if I am completing fun tasks – I’m still thinking about work. I never actually take a break. It’s exhausting.
So, this past weekend I actually didn’t work. I didn’t update the website. I didn’t pin anything. I didn’t take any photos or videos. I didn’t build anything. I didn’t write anything. I didn’t even think about it. Instead, I played PC games (Civilization VI and Banished) for 12+ hours a day.

It. Was. Amazing.

The reason I work every day is I feel like if I don’t put the energy in the business will suffer. If I’m not there to supervise every moment than it will fall apart. However, this morning I am realizing that by taking a break this weekend I am better focused today. Because I am always thinking about Functional Rustic there are no “new ideas”. That is to say, I do not feel inspired. Ideas that come to mind when I’m thinking about the business are just tasks for work. When I am doing a non-work activity and have an idea for the business it feels like an inspiration. Feeling inspired is critical for me as an artist and business owner.

Today my ideas feel fresh. I’m not feeling the level of anxiety I normally do. I still have fears and worries and doubts but, they’re not consuming today. My thoughts are a heavy load to carry – both positive and negative. As with carrying any heavy load – taking a break is necessary or I risk being crushed.

In graduate school I had a professor that shared some advice. She asked the class, “When you have 5 hours of work and only 3 hours to do it – What should you do first?” The class offered responses such as write down what tasks you have, determine the priorities of the tasks, do the hardest ones first etc. The professor smiles and responds, “Those are very predictable responses – that is what you have been taught. But the most effective first step when you have 3 hours to complete 5 hours of work is to take a break.”

She went on to explain how by taking a break you are able to better focus and concentrate. If you’re freaked out about not having enough time – you will rush and you will make mistakes. You feel stressed out the entire time. By taking a 5 minute break at the start, you can approach the situation with fresh eyes and a clear mind.

You already know this concept. When you come home from work you want to sit down and take a breather before cooking or cleaning or completing whatever household tasks require your attention. Utilize that same strategy in other aspects of your life.

Lesson of the Day: Take breaks. The load you are carrying is heavy and if you do not take time to rest it will crush you.

UPDATE: In the months since I first wrote this I am learning that “not working” is not the same as “taking a break”. Specifically, if I am not engaging in enjoyable or relaxing activities outside of my work than I will not feel relaxed.

The summer months at Functional Rustic involve a great deal of tasks – tending to the lawn and gardens, making repairs and generally trying to keep all our ducks in a row. (Haha, that’s funny because it is both literally and figuratively true – we raise Muscovy Ducks and a Bronze Turkey!)

Because of all the tasks that need to be done it is very easy to use my free time doing chores. Though there is nothing wrong with tending house – chores are not enjoyable for me. So, if my time down time – away from work – is spent doing house work then I’m not actually relaxing, recharging or giving myself a break.

2nd Lesson of the Day: Make sure you are actually unburdening yourself of the load you are carrying and not just exchanging it for a different heavy load.

Written by Sarah Palmer, Owner – Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

“Meow Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

“Meow Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

 

Mini Chalk Board – Blue by Functional Rustic

The Mini Chalk Board by Functional Rustic is the fun and quirky handmade conversation piece you never knew you needed. The mini chalk board is made form repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint/chalkboard paint. Measurements: 19 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in.

$15.00

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Orange

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

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Do Your Research Before Naming Your Business – Functional Rustic Approach

Originally Published March 7, 2018. Updated August 15, 2018.

Do your research. This is good advice for anything but especially when you are naming your business/blog.

Success occurs when opportunity meets preperation
Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.

I did not do my research when I started my blog and have spent the day deleting and editing all of my posts. I am paying my penance for not doing my homework.

The Functional Rustic Blog at www.FunctionalRustic.com was called My Repurposed Life – for about a week. Ha. It was a good week though. The blog is about repurposing negative thoughts into strategies for success and talking about projects I make from repurposing pallets. My Repurposed Life was a great name for that concept.

Once I had the name, My Repurposed Life Blog, and concept I started writing every day. I linked the blog across all my social media platforms. I made different pins for each of the blog entries and shared them like crazy. I even completed Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on the new blog. I was very proud of my efforts and what I had accomplished in just a week.

Beautiful girl you were made to do hard things...
Beautiful girl you were made to do hard things so believe in yourself. 

Wanting to see if all my efforts to promote it were working – I googled “My Repurposed Life.” Imagine my surprise when www.MyRepurposedLife.com shows up at the top of the search. It even has the little trademark symbol (TM) next to it. Ugh. (Check it out. Great site. Very much like what I want to do.)

My heart sank. Prior to making that search I was feeling so proud, so productive, so capable. I set a lot of goals that week and achieved them. This google search was going to be the icing on the positivity cake. To continue the metaphor, seeing that trademark symbol was like someone throwing the cake on the floor.

Struggles are required in order to...
Struggles are required in order to survive in life, because in order to stand up, you have to know what falling down is like. 

I knew immediately I was going to be deleting and editing my content. I felt bad for essentially stealing her name and reached out to inform her of what happened. She was great about it. She simply confirmed it was trademarked and that others couldn’t use the name. I let her know I was editing everything to reflect my new found knowledge and we shared a laugh about how lucky I was to find it so early in my blogging.

I was fortunate that I found my mistake early and that she was as understanding as she was. Imagine if she found my page a year later and had to tell me to cease and desist.

I’ve lost an entire day to fixing this. Some of that time was spent doubting everything I have ever created – but most of it was locating and editing content. If it took me a day to re-do one weeks worth of posts imagine how long it would take to re-do a year’s worth.

Lesson of the Day: Do your research. Even if it is just a Google or Bing search, see if anyone else is using the name.

You cant go back and change the beginning
You cannot go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.

UPDATE: The Functional Rustic blog continues to be a success. However, today I am in a similar position as I was when I had to change the name. I am switching blogging platforms from GoDaddy to WordPress and now need to update all of my links. Once again I am going through every blog, image and video I posted in the past year (over 2000) to update the links in order to reflect the platform change.

All of the links I have to GoDaddy are going to be non-existent in October when my contract with them expires. In preparation of allowing the website hosting to end, I am transferring and linking all of my content to WordPress.

Courage is going from failure to failure
Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. 

Fortunately, my experience with the My Repurposed Life/Functional Rustic Blog enables me to know exactly what I need to do now. Considering the amount of work involved in this process, I am grateful that when it came time to do this project I already knew how. Because of my “mistake” before I am not feeling overwhelmed (well, not AS overwhelmed) about the task that lies before me.

UPDATED Lesson of the day: I’ve done this before and I will do it again – better this time.

So far youve survived 100%....
So far, you’ve survived 100% of your worst days. This too shall pass.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Bark Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

"Bark Spoken Here" Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

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When Success Comes to My Door Will I be Prepared to Let It In

Originally published March 6, 2018. Updated August 20, 2018.

what-if-i-fall.jpg

I don’t fear failure as much as I fear success. If I try something and fail – I am right where I started and maybe even learned a lesson. A failed attempt presents no added responsibilities. If I’m successful though, the amount of new responsibilities are yet to be known.

It’s the feeling of not being prepared for success that causes me the most anxiety.

Perfect example of this is something that just happened recently with the Functional Rustic Newsletter.

When I set up the website through GoDaddy.com it provided templates for basic website set up. Included in that template was a “Newsletter” function that enables visitors to submit their email so I can send them the latest content.

I assumed that when visitors submitted their email that I would be notified. I have a lot of areas to focus on when building the business so I put off figuring out the Newsletter until I had an actual subscriber. As is often the case with assumptions, I was wrong.
A few weeks ago I happened to be clicking through the features on my GoDaddy.com account and came across my list of subscribers. I didn’t even know I had a list of subscribers!! I was very excited.

I click the link and find out that I officially have my first and only subscriber. It was a very proud moment for me. I had a reached a goal that I had forgotten I even had. Turns out the first subscriber is a friend of mine.

Now, I’m still feeling quite accomplished – but it is tempered a little by the thought that the one subscriber is my friend that is probably only subscribing to be nice. This is a thought I often have when I look at the Functional Rustic Facebook page. All but one of those followers are already my friends on my personal Facebook. (It was a special day when that ‘stranger’ started following on Facebook too).

I got to thinking though – I have 300+ friends on my personal Facebook and only 35 of them follow Functional Rustic. The over 270 friends that don’t follow Functional Rustic are not unsupportive, wish me ill-will or refuse to do things just to be nice. The people that follow Functional Rustic, even if they do know me personally, do so because they are interested in it.

I invited every one of those 300+ people and the ones that have an interest in what Functional Rustic has to offer joined the community – those that don’t have an interest ignored it. (I’m sure they regret it now, ha).

Instead of minimizing my accomplishment by doubting their motives, I will relish those that share my passion. I will be grateful that I found a topic that at least 35 of my friends can agree on. (That’s a feat in and of itself!)

So, I said I would address the Newsletter once I have a subscriber and now I have one. I have no idea what to write. Lucky me, that one subscriber is a friend that I can actually talk to about it. I contact him immediately and explain that I’m looking for Newsletter ideas. His advice is especially important to me because he is a successful small business owner himself. If anyone can relate and provide guidance about starting a business from nothing – it’s this guy.

He suggested, and I agree, that the Newsletter should be about sharing upcoming events and new products. I now have a plan for the Newsletter, problem solved!

No. Not for me. This is where the problems start. This is when my anxiety begins.
One subscriber leads to two and two lead to thousands. Over night I become beholden to possibly thousands of people. Overnight my responsibilities change. The readers will have questions and comments. Shoppers will love my products and submit orders all at the same time. With all those orders needing to be filled I won’t have time to create new designs and tutorials. My favorite part is engaging with other people – while I’m taking on these new responsibilities my time available for that is diminished. The list goes on.

One subscriber. One.

The task before me may be new, but it is known and therefore can be prepared for.
The fear comes from preparing for the unknown. When success does come to my door – will I be prepared to welcome it in?

Through writing this I have come to realize that being afraid is not a bad thing. In fact – my fear of success is merely a reflection of my desire to remain true to myself even as my circumstances change.

This is no different than one of my projects in the barn – I can repurpose the pallet into a sign or book case but looking at it you know it is just a pallet serving a different purpose.

I look at a pallet and get excited by the repurposing possibilities and the new functions it can perform. I need to transfer that same thinking to repurposing my approach to life.

Instead of fearing the new tasks – view them as new opportunities to repurpose myself to perform another function. My approach may be rough around the edges – but that just makes it rustic. My fears are repurposed into examples of my functionally rustic life.

Lesson of the Day: Instead of seeing my fears as something to be stressed about I will appreciate them as new opportunities to repurpose myself into an even better me.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

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Finding Inspiration Day to Day – A Functional Rustic Approach

Originally Published March 6, 2018. Updated August 15, 2018.

I was created to create
I was created to create.

I’m a busy little bee this week. Having the blog has helped me to stay focused. With all the new tasks I am undertaking it is important to find time management. I’m disappointed that I did not publish a blog post yesterday – but I did write one.

When I start a post for My Repurposed Life it always starts off as a quick message or update. It seems to get away from me once I start to write though. I will be finishing up yesterdays post later this morning. There came a point in the day when my brain just stopped – so I did too.

Where I use to struggle to come up with ideas to write about or projects to build – lately I have too many. I want to do all the projects now. That’s not necessarily bad – but I can’t just build the way I used to.

Before I started writing DIY tutorials I just created whatever came to my mind. Now, I have to take pictures and think out how I will explain to others. It adds an extra layer to the repurposing process.

It is causing me to slow down my approach. This is good – and new for me. As much as I plan and think things through – the ‘art’ part of my work is very much on a whim. When I feel inspired I let the mood dictate what I do. This is great when I am feeling inspired but inspiration is not all day or every day.

On days when I have the inspiration I will write them down. Complete one of them but save the other ideas for tomorrow or next week. The idea is still inspiring and I will still be excited about it next weekend.

By slowing my approach I am not “chasing the high” of completing a project. I get a lot accomplished in a day but when I build something the feeling of completion and a job well done is more concrete. I can see, touch and experience the task I completed from conception.

By pacing my new creations over a couple of days I can “chase the high” longer. Ha. I am assured an empowering experience another day. Although it is satisfying to invent two things in a day – the stress of organizing my pictures, videos and thoughts on both projects at the same time is increased. Building something new to teach someone has a lot more steps involved in just creating a new pallet project.

I’m aware of my learning style and approach to projects. In college I was the person writing a 20 page research paper the night before. I had spent the semester thinking about what I wanted to write but didn’t start until just before the deadline.

It’s not so much that I needed the deadline – but rather if I am going to complete a project, in this case a 20 page research paper, I want to have all the information in front me from the start. I absorb all the information on that topic and while it is fresh on my mind and all together in front of me – then I write about it. Any research I read early in the semester on the topic is forgotten, or at least not used as a reference because it is not in front of me when I write.

Based on previous experience – if I don’t write about it soon after experiencing it than it wont get written. I have pictures from many builds I did over the summer with the intention of writing a tutorial. However – because now they are just pictures and the experience I had when they were created is now faded from memory – the inspiration to write about it is diminished.

Lesson of the day: Find activities that make you feel inspired and integrate them into your daily routine.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Orange

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

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Using Quotes to Learn Mindfulness – A Functional Rustic Approach

Originally published March 8, 2018. Updated August 15, 2018.

I’m always amazed how I can read the same quote at different points in my life and have a completely different interpretation of it. Let’s use this Marilyn Monroe quote as an example:

“She was a girl who knew how to be happy even when she was sad. And that’s important.”

She was a girl who knew how to be happy
She was a girl who knew how to be happy even when she was sad. And that’s important.

At different times in my life this quote holds different meanings. After my brother killed himself I was devastated. It took all my energy not to cry every moment of the day. This went on for months, years. I had to make a concerted effort to appear happy, or at least not a sobbing shell of a human. At that time in my life, this quote made me feel proud of the fact that I was able to look “normal” when I was experiencing intense grief. I thought that by looking and acting like I was ok that I would start to be ok. If I pretended to be happy I might eventually feel happiness again.

Later in life, this quote found meaning for me in regards to dating. My boyfriend and I were fighting about something before we had to go a wedding together. I didn’t want friends at the wedding to know we were fighting and was considering just not attending at all. Feeling upset I turn to my quotes and come across this one. On this day, the quote reminded me that I should not avoid an event I want to attend simply because someone I don’t like at the moment is there. This quote reminded me that I can still participate in happy events even if I am not feeling happy at that moment.

Fast forward to today and the quote means something else. Today I read this quote and am reminded that it is important to realize that you can be happy and sad at the same time. Twelve years have passed since Andrew’s suicide and I’m still in pain grieving for him – but now I’m also happy and passionate about countless other things. I’m not less sad per se, but I am ALSO happy. I used to think I had to be one or the other. The quote also reminds me that I am not defined by my feelings. I am not a sad person, a happy person, an anxious person – I am a person and I have a wide range of feelings that happen at the same time.

In each chapter of my life the same words had different meanings for me. As I changed – so did my perspective. This is what I love about collecting quotations. Of course they can be inspiring and motivational – but looking now at quotes I collected a decade ago I am fascinated by how differently the words impact me.

As a woman in recovery – mental health, addiction – it is imperative that I remain mindful of the thoughts I’m having and how they impact my behavior. The words I read and hear have immense impact on my thinking and actions. I need to remain cognizant of what I expose myself to and how I respond to it.

That is why I collect and share quotations on Functional Rustic. My quotes provide me with the mindset I need to start each day. I read them every morning until I feel motivated. Sometimes it just takes one or two – sometimes I’m reading hundreds. However, this habit of reading intentionally positive content first thing in the day has been instrumental in developing healthier behaviors.

Lesson of the Day: What you see is determined by what you look for.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Bark Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

"Bark Spoken Here" Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

Posted on 3 Comments

It’s Awkward Talking About Myself

Originally Published March 3, 2018. Updated August 13, 2018.

Functional Rustic Sign
www.FunctionalRustic.com Handmade Rustic Décor, DIY Tutorials, Quotations and Muscovy Ducks

I have a great service to offer but because I feel awkward promoting myself no one knows about it.

I share daily inspirational quotations and DIY tutorials for a living. My audience is a no-brainer. Anyone who shares/reads quotes regularly and anyone interested in DIY. I have an easily defined audience. Finding people that share these interests is not actually that difficult online.

But, when I see someone who, for example, is posting a bunch of quotes and commenting “this is so me” or “this is exactly what I’m feeling right now” I want to tell them about the hundreds of quotes I have collected and shared.

It should be as simple as saying, “hey, if you like those quotes, you should check out Functional Rustic”. I feel bad about it though. Ugh, this is embarrassing to share. I feel like I’m taking advantage of someone by seeing them in distress and then promoting my business to them.

I realize the point of the website is to be a source of inspiration for people in that exact situation – but because I am trying to make money off Functional Rustic, it feels like my suggestion to visit the site is more advertising than support.

It reminds me of asking people to donate to a charity. I may believe in the cause but, I don’t want to ask my friends for money.

The thing of it is, the only way I make money is if someone buys something in my shop. Also, the main focus of Functional Rustic is to provide inspiration to as many people as possible.  Promoting Functional Rustic in anyway is helpful for both the public and me.

But Functional Rustic is me, and it’s awkward talking about myself.

Follow Functional Rustic on Social Media for the latest content.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

Posted on 1 Comment

How Often Should I Post Blogs – Functional Rustic Approach

Originally published March 7, 2018. Updated August 8, 2018. 

How Often to Post Blogs .png
Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it! How Often Should I Post Blogs – A Functional Rustic Approach.

I’ve started my own DIY blog but I don’t know how often I should post my tutorials. Right now I have a lot of time on my hand because its too cold to work in the barn. (That’s a lie. I mean, it is 20 degrees….but I could easily bundle up and start breaking down pallets and building things. But it is the excuse I’m using today) Because I’m not building all day I have more time to write.

The extra time has enabled me to start the Functional Rustic blog that talks about my day to day obstacles and successes while starting my own DIY business.

(UPDATE: when I first published this piece 5 months ago my blog was called My Repurposed Life. However, someone else already has a trademark on that name. I did not know about her trademark until I had published several blogs under that title. I had to go back and edit every link I had that used her trademarked name. She was really nice about it. I saw the error and informed her of my mistake and my plans to remedy the situation long before she knew I even existed. However, if you ever see something from Functional Rustic that also promotes my original My Repurposed Life blog, please let me know so I can delete the link. But learn from my mistakes when you start your blog and do your research before you publish. She too published tutorials – check ’em out here.)

It is easy to share my thoughts daily – and I don’t need a schedule for that – but I don’t know yet how often to post my tutorials.

I posted a tutorial this morning and plan to write two more today. My impulse is to post it immediately but, I am trying to establish some sort of schedule for myself regarding publishing content. That way my readers can depend on me for quality, timely content.

Ok – so this post was intended to ask you how often I should post. However, in the process of asking for your advice, I think I figured out what I need to do.

Plan: Post DIY tutorials weekly – Friday. That way people can complete that week’s DIY project over the weekend. I can write tutorials as I think of them and just save them for publication on a weekly schedule.

To think….I have been trying to decide this question for a week or so now – but not until I reached out to get feedback from others did I realize my solution.

Lesson of the day: Put a voice to your questions and they will be answered.

Follow Functional Rustic on Social Media for the latest content.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Posted on 5 Comments

I’m Not a Failure, I’m a Badass – Functional Rustic Approach

Originally Published March 18, 2018. Updated August 7, 2018.

I'm not a failure, im a bad ass title page.png
I’m Not a Failure, I’m a Bad Ass – A Functional Rustic Approach. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

It’s 7:30 am….the sun is officially up. I used to have until 8 am before it got light outside. I’m surprised at how much the sun rising early is impacting my feeling of productivity.

I start “working” around 6 am. I sit in the dark – only the lap top to light the room – and I make pins or edit pictures until the sun comes up. That used to be 8 am. With sun up-and-at-’em by 7:30 (and only to get earlier as the year continues) I am not accomplishing what I used to by sunrise.

Obviously, the solution is to change my expectations. Instead of accomplishing tasks by sunrise – complete them by 8 am, for instance. But that’s not how my brain works.

Logically – I have a very realistic and effective solution.

Emotionally – “I’m lazy”, “I get distracted too easily”, “I’m never going to accomplish my goals.”

It’s difficult for me to write this. I view myself as a confident, capable, positive person. I want to be viewed as such. When thoughts/feelings like this come over me though it can be difficult to shake the ‘stinkin thinkin’.

I generally keep these thoughts to myself for a few reasons.

First, what if people make fun of me for sharing? Specifically, what if people use the fears I have expressed against me or as a way to harm me? What if I post this and people comment, “You ARE lazy and will never accomplish anything.” Realistically, people wont say that AND/OR if someone did I would likely just think, “well that guy’s an asshole”. None the less, the fear is there.

Second, if I tell you that I have insecurities you may be less inclined to see me as confident, capable and positive. The fear is that if you know my struggle you will no longer view me as an authority figure on positivity or accomplishing goals.

Third, friends and family will read it and worry about me. I don’t want that. And it isn’t necessary, doubts are normal. The interest in my well being is appreciated – but I hate the idea that someone is exerting energy and time worrying about me – I don’t want to worry people. I want to inspire people.

Fourth, people will treat me different because I am “going through” something. This thought process causes me the most inner conflict. I have chronic pain and nausea plus anxiety and depressive symptoms. I don’t want people to edit their words or actions around me simply because I am dealing with those issues – but at the same time if I am struggle to accomplish something I want them to keep in mind all the physical/psychological factors I am overcoming to complete that task.

My “issues” are not intended as an excuse for not doing things or a request to receive higher praise for completing tasks while coping with them – but rather they are presented to highlight my success. For those that don’t deal with physical or psychological issues daily they are less appreciative of the effort taken by those that do.

For example, I injured my right elbow (I’m a righty) just before the holidays last year. I couldn’t hold a cup of coffee much less a hammer to build anything. However, it was supposed to be a DIY Christmas so I needed to make gifts. It took me a week to accomplish what normally would be completed in a day. Of course I was disappointed in how long it took me, but then I thought about what I had to do to achieve that. I built and painted all of those gifts with one arm – my ‘weak’ arm at that. Plus, the workshop is in the barn and the barn averaged a temperature of 20 degrees F. Now, instead of viewing those gifts as “taking too long to complete” I see them as “Look what I built with one arm and in freezing weather”.

I’m not a failure – I’m a bad ass.

As I’m reading through this I am reminded of a quote I saw recently.

You had a purpose before anyone had an opinion.jpg
You had a purpose before anyone had an opinion

In case you didn’t notice – there is a theme to the negative thinking I am experiencing. I am assessing myself based on the opinion of others – and not even what they actually say, but rather what I think they may say. I don’t want to be a person with these insecurities; I especially don’t want others to view me as an insecure person.

But these “insecurities” are what make me who I am – they are actually my strengths. I ‘beat myself up’ for not accomplishing goals on schedule because I have standards for myself. That may not seem like much for some people, but having high expectations for Functional Rustic (it’s basically an extension of me at this point) is a big deal for me. I excel at completing things for other people – but historically I have struggled with doing it for myself.

This post feels very “woe is me” but is actual an example of positive thinking in action. When I began writing I was feeling pretty shitty – but now I am optimistic again. Instead of just dwelling on my Stinkin Thinkin I wrote it down. As I wrote it I saw how fucked up it was – and how illogical my thoughts were. I am also reminded of when I was a mental health therapist – every client shared similar thoughts. I learned countless lessons hearing how my clients conquered their fears – and maybe you will learn helpful lessons too by joining me on my journey towards repurposing my life.

Follow Functional Rustic on social media for daily inspiration.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Mrs & Mrs/True Love” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Mrs & Mrs/True Love” 2 sided Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

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How Can I Share the Sunrise over Functional Rustic?

How can I share the sunset title page.png

I am fortunate to be able to share the sunrise each day with my best friend, Valencia Merble the Dog, and my feather babies, the Muscovy Ducks of Functional Rustic. It is easy in the hectic pace of every day life to forget to stop and take the time to appreciate the beauty and awe that is all around us.

Pallet Palmer Park
The Functional Rustic Barn.

I intend to inspire others to take a minute each day to appreciate the beauty of nature and the joy that comes with watching the sun rise on a brand new day. I already share minute long videos every morning on Social Media of the sunrise over the Functional Rustic Barn but recently I entertained the idea of sharing a blog post to go with each of the videos I record.

Val w Ducks in Barn
Valencia Merble the Dog #valchog laying in the barn with the Muscovy Ducks of Functional Rustic

Within the first 24 hours of my new goal to write a daily blog to accompany my videos I learned why this was not a good idea for me. Ha.

I enjoy taking videos of the amazing sights and sounds around. I also really enjoy sharing stories of the birds around the property and the dog playing with wildlife. These activities promote relaxation and mindfulness. These activities encourage me to spend time in nature and around animals. All of these benefits are great for promoting good mental health.

That being said – I want to live my life, not document it. I want to share sights and sounds that inspire me and bring me peace on a daily basis. I wanted my new audience in the blog community to be able to experience the daily dose of nature the same as my social media audience does. That was why I intended to upload videos daily and share the stories behind them.

And then it hit me – my new website through WordPress enables me to add widgets to the sidebar that display my social media feed!! By adding the widget to the site my readers now have access to all my video posts without having to create another social media account.

Look to the right to see the social media widget on your computer or at the bottom of the page on your phone or tablet.

I upload sun rise videos to social media immediately after filming. If I followed through with my initial plan to write a blog about the sunrise and quirky things the Muscovy Ducks did that morning – that sunrise video wouldn’t be seen by my readers until late morning or early afternoon.

(For example, this blog post was supposed to be a quick paragraph explaining why I’m not publishing my videos in a blog every day and that they could instead be found in the side bar. Hey look, I didn’t even need a whole paragraph. Ha. Needless to say, I have a lot to say and a quick blog post is not likely.)

Lesson of the Day: Work smarter not harder.

My goal was to provide daily inspiration to my blog readers through sharing videos of the ducks and the sunrise over my back pasture every morning. Writing a blog telling the stories of the morning and describing every photo and video is the “hard” way to achieve that goal. Adding a widget to the side bar that displays all the videos in real time is the smarter approach to my goal. The smart way lets you see the sunrise as it’s rising.

Also adding to the ‘smarter not harder’ lesson – I identified early that my new idea was not as effective as I wanted and I immediately did something about it. This is a new concept for me. Ha.

Usually, I get an idea in my head for how something should be accomplished and will insist on that approach even long after it has proven harmful to myself. I do this because the world has taught me that hard work is stressful so the more stressed you are the harder you must be working.

It’s a faulty and unhealthy way of thinking. The new me, the person I am intentionally becoming, no longer needs to be stressed out to feel like I accomplished something. I will no longer simply work harder – I will work smarter.

You can work smarter not harder too by following Functional Rustic on WordPress and visiting the Functional Rustic page each day to share the morning sunrise with Valencia Merble the Dog and the Muscovy Ducks and Bronze Turkey of Functional Rustic.

You don't know this new me; I put back my pieces differently.
You don’t know this new me; I put back my pieces differently.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Silver

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

 

 

“Bark Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

"Bark Spoken Here" Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

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Finding Accountability When I’m the Boss – Functional Rustic Approach

Originally Published on February 28, 2018. Updated on August 6, 2018.

I am not a product of my circumstances...
I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions.

I’m a small business owner so no one tells me what to do. Sounds great, but without anyone to tell me what to do I don’t know what to do.

I am finding that the lack of accountability to someone else is one of my greatest obstacles. I set goals for myself and achieve them proudly, but are my goals the “right” goals for growing my business? Without someone else to talk to about this I get lost in my thoughts – my fears.

Having someone tell me what the expectations are for the day or week is very helpful for me. I always had a great deal of independence in my jobs, but there was always a specific goal and an understood means of accomplishing it.

Example: Goal – Help people cope with their mental illness. As a social worker I accomplished this task by working in an out patient mental health clinic as a therapist. I had a detailed job description (even if it did not detail ALL of my responsibilities), empirically tested approaches to treatment, colleagues to conference with and patients right in front of me to provide feedback on successes and failures. On top of that, I had supervisors making sure I am completing necessary paperwork and submitting them on deadlines.

These are things that irritated me when I was an employee. “I know how to do my job, leave me alone!” And I did know how to do my job – but that’s because someone taught me. Most importantly, I had other people to lean on. If I didn’t know how best to document something – I could ask someone. If I was doubting my capabilities – a coworker could set me straight.

Well, I’m the only person here. Also, I work from home so I don’t even have strangers to interact with during the day. It’s incredibly frustrating, and lonely.

I need someone to bounce ideas off of. Or at the very least, someone to blurt out ideas to in the hopes that one of us will remember that super creative idea. It’s not so much that I doubt the quality of my work – but rather that I don’t know if my efforts are getting the results I want. (To provide inspiration and support to others that are building their dreams with what they have in front of them.)

And, as the only person here I have no one to assess what tasks are priorities. Everything I do for Functional Rustic is important. What needs to be done today? What tasks need to be done first and which can be delayed?

Do I create new pieces or build up the inventory I already have? Do I write a blog about my thinking process or a DIY tutorial blog. What pictures will I need for the blog? Do those pics have the website on it yet? What are the proper tags and descriptions to put on each photo so search engines find it? How often should I be updating my Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Am I posting enough content to Facebook, DIY Projects of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Medium and YouTube? Am I linking to all my social media accounts when I write blogs? How much time should I be spending on each activity. Oh, and did I mention that I am learning all of this as I go so each task involves hours of research on how to complete it effectively?

I could go on and on.

The hope is that the Functional Rustic Blog will help me focus my energies. If I tell you, the reader, I am going to accomplish certain tasks – I will. With so many tasks to complete it is easy to not do one thing but still feel productive because I accomplished other objectives. However, that thing I didn’t do – still isn’t done. I work under the assumption that people are reading my content and that if I say I’m going to post something by the end of the week – that reader will expect to see it by the end of the week.

So, I’m putting it out there – putting myself out there. Either no one reads this – and I’m exactly where I was before writing it OR people do read it and either like or don’t like it. But at least I have feedback. AND – I now have someone to be accountable to.

Today’s Lesson: Just because you are the only employee doesn’t mean you can’t have accountability.

Follow Functional Rustic on Social Media for the latest content.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Gold

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

 

 

“Mr & Mr/True Love” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Mr & Mr/True Love” 2 side Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00