Small business Sloane

I wonder how much of my business I should inject into this blog.  Because so much of what I do involves social media I don’t want to alienate my readers by babbling constantly about my job here.  But it’s hard not to because of the passion and enthusiasm I have– and not everyone who sees this blog follows me elsewhere on the internet.  What to do?  Since I direct people to Cocktails With Hemingway as my home on the web it made sense to create a special page devoted entirely to It Works that can be easily accessed from the top of my blog.

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Ready to join a [$30 and under!] 90 Day Challenge?!  For three months you get product(s) at my cost.  Stick to your favorite or mix and match.  All I ask is that you tell me your honest opinion.  Here are some of my favorites for less than a dollar a day:

💥Confianza (anti-stress) $25
💥Fat Fighters $23
💥Energy 12-pack $29
💥Relief(for joint pain)$29
💥 Greens Chews(healthy snack!)$30
💥Vital Core Nutrition $29
💥lt’s Vital Omegas $23
💥 Lip & Eye Cream $29
💥 RepairAge Night Cream $29
💥PreventAge Day Cream $25
💥 It’s Essential Meal Bars $25
💥Regular (balances the colon) $27

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I have the best boss ever.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank my customers.  It is truly my pleasure to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.  Nothing makes me happier than satisfied customers thrilled with their results.

But did you know there are other ways you can help support my small business?  Help me spread the word.  Clue me in if you know somebody who could really benefit from a lifestyle change.  Or somebody who wants to earn free product by hanging out with their friends. Or somebody who wants to be their own boss. Let’s talk.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

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Weather win

Not even a fortnight ago snow was on the ground and a winter weather advisory.  Fast forward a week and a half and the playgrounds are filled to capacity with kids who don’t need jackets.  Welcome to Memphis.

We’ve made the most of our time outside, hitting two playgrounds in just as many days.  Adam rode his bike on the cove last night while I pushed Tatum in the stroller.  I think it’s so important for my kids to see me appreciating nature on a beautiful day.  All of us could stand to move a little more, technology a little less, and go outside as often as possible.

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In my illness induced state of delirium Blog Buzz slipped my mind these past two weeks.  Check out the debut column and look for it again on Friday.  Feel free to leave suggestions for interesting blogs [yours or somebody else’s] in the comments for this post.

The remainder of my lazy Sunday consists of some serious calendar action.  I’ve committed to teaching RE once a month at Neshoba for this semester.  Melissa and I plan on a weekend road trip to Oklahoma in March.  Come April I’m hosting a children’s literary soiree for Brittany.  And then there’s two different spring break schedules and multiple options associated with those.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

Posted in 901 Lingo, Blog Buzz, Da Real Homiez, Family, Memories, Neshoba, Travels | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leap of faith

I participate in a daily challenge designed to foster growth in my small business.  Today we acknowledged how thankful we were for the many opportunities afforded to us by our decision to join the It Works Family.  So I shared something deeply personal with the private group.  Never intending to post it anywhere else, much less from my actual profile, I considered it the status I would write if I had the cajones to do so.  But I didn’t….so this was a safe place to test the waters.  Emboldened by the positive feedback and encouraged by our leader I took a deep breath and updated my status:

“My occupation involves two jobs: being a distributor and also a freelance writer.  The former relies on my talent and the latter my enthusiasm.  Both require dedication and hard work.  No words of mine can ever express my gratitude because these jobs LITERALLY KEEP ME ALIVE.  I know that sounds dramatic but it’s the truth.  You see, I am a recovering addict and alcoholic.  My sobriety comes before anything else– even my kids– because without it I am dead.  I am so blessed that I am able to have a career where I have flexibility of my schedule.  I am so blessed to be able to have an income without the triggers of a ‘traditional’ job.  If I have a rough day where I need three meetings and a two hour phone call with my sponsor, I can do that.”

Did that just happen?  I sat there in a state of shock, literally feeling like I was going to vomit, shaking like a leaf with a massive knot in my stomach.  But then the ‘likes’ started rolling in and I knew without a shadow of a doubt I’d made the right decision.  While I certainly don’t require or expect validation from the Facebook community in this instance the support means more to me than you’ll ever know.

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I had no idea my life would take me on this journey.

The struggles of my past hardly come as a shock to anyone.  Perhaps they didn’t know the extent of it or the involvement of specific substance[s]…but they knew something was amiss.  And if they didn’t it’s because I went through great lengths to hide it.  Blaming erratic behavior on something else [such as my anxiety or depression] I tried valiantly to maintain an illusion of ‘normalcy’ and control when I had neither.

Actions speak louder than words.  I didn’t feel the need to declare my decision to abstain from all alcohol and drugs.  Instead I wanted to quietly exude the happiness, serenity, confidence, and gratitude that comes from discovering a new way of life.  I don’t have to shout it from the rooftops that I go to meetings or work steps.  But it’s hard not to let that light shine through in everything I do because I’m so happy and have finally found peace.

Most of all I wanted to own my truth.  Remaining silent about something I admit aloud on a daily basis implies that I am ashamed or feel it’s something that should stay hidden– I’m not and it isn’t.  My name is Sloane and I’m an alcoholic and addict.  It’s a part of who I am but it doesn’t define me.

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My greatest accomplishment. Not everybody needs or wants it but anyone can have it.

I’ve wanted to address the elephant in the room for quite sometime.  Yet I’ve held off for a variety of reasons, most of them involving possible negative consequences.  I feared judgement from others.  What if a prospective employer saw this blog and decided not to hire me?  Would I embarrass my family if I openly discussed things most people dealt with behind closed doors?

Then I realized how imperative it was to stop projecting.  How could I anticipate what was going to happen when it hadn’t happened yet?  And besides, what other people think of me is none of my business.  ;)

Anyone who truly has my best interests at heart should be thrilled that I’ve finally gotten my life back on track.  The fact that I struggled with substance abuse is in no way indicative of the parenting I received, the adult examples in my life, or any traumatic experiences.   So why should anybody be humiliated?  I’m a sick person who admitted she had a problem and took steps to correct it.  That’s commendable, not shameful.

I feel liberated.  It’s like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I can finally just breathe.  The truth shall set you free.

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“….Not to mention that the whole infrastructure of abstinence-based recovery is shrouded in necessary secrecy. There are support fellowships that are easy to find and open to anyone who needs them, but they eschew promotion of any kind in order to preserve the purity of their purpose, which is for people with alcoholism and addiction to help one another stay clean and sober.” ~ Russell Brand

I’m involved with one of those Anonymous Fellowships.  Lots of them exist.  Finding my ‘home group’ was a game changer for me.  Yet even though I have no qualms installing a tracking device in my arm and broadcasting my recovery GPS coordinates on the internet, it is essential to respect anonymity.

Ostensibly this confidentiality clause protects the identities of those seeking help and ensures a safe and sacred space for participants.  I appreciate the assurance of confidentiality even though I make no secret of the fact that I’m involved in an Anonymous Fellowship and it has helped me tremendously.  But the more sobering reality is that broadcasting your affiliation with a particular recovery group could cause others to doubt it’s effectiveness if you relapse.

Here’s what I say to that:  Every single day I see miracles.  I am one.  If I chose to go back out again and do whatever it is not because of an ineffective program.  It is because I grew complacent in my recovery and made a poor decision.  I can’t say for sure that will never happen but I know with absolute certainty it won’t today.  And if it does happen I know exactly where to go and what to do to get back on track.

Thank you for letting me share.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

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‘Blizzard’ 2016

Those who live in the Memphis area know that our city tends to overreact when it comes to weather, especially that of the winter variety.  I wouldn’t have cancelled schools for this but I’m happy the kiddos got a snow day.  Both Adam and Tatum love the snow now [even though my youngest wasn’t sure what to make of it after her first experience].  My boy child magically felt better once he saw the white stuff on the ground as I type this he’s in the backyard with not one but two hammers making ‘ice repairs.’  Little miss is warm and cozy and I’m just thrilled I don’t have to set foot outside except to take a few obligatory pictures.

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Thanks to a disgusting home remedy [a concoction involving honey, garlic, & cayenne pepper], one dose of an antibiotic, and doubling up on my Greens I feel like I am on the mend.  Time to ease my way back into business.  Wish me luck as I venture out into the frozen tundra for an essential errand.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

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The waiting game

This marks the second [and hopefully last] occasion I’ve had strep throat as an adult.  I can’t remember ever having it as a child though I probably did.  Adam and I both caught it within days of each other.  Suffice it to say we’ve been miserable at this house.  But not too miserable to finish Making A Murderer, read a book, and start another.  Regarding Murderer, I want to do some additional resource instead of relying on a single source before I declare my opinion, but from what I’ve seen it’s…troubling.

Shay shared two books of Philippa Gregory’s with me while we were at GH.  I’m so glad she did because I never would have read them otherwise.  When I stumbled upon a new book of hers at the library I snatched it up quickly.  Being transported back to the world of Henry VIII fascinates me.  Now I’m doing a Netflix binge and watching The Tudors.  Again.

Another book I checked out at the library was Klandestine, timely considering the recent observation of Martin Luther King day.  Ever cognizant of the notoriety associated with Memphis as a result of Dr. King’s assassination, I gravitate towards materials covering the civil rights era.

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Tony Stark

Now for some rambling from my semi delirious fever stricken mind….

Tony Stark celebrates two years as a member of the family.  We love our leopard gecko.  Most people don’t expect much out of reptiles.  Ostensibly they lack the charm of, say, a dog or cat, but let me be the first to tell you this little guy has personality coming out the wazoo.  Note to self:  get a video of Tony eating a super worm.

Nashville received my paperwork in its entirety for Operation Biological Information last month.  Now we’re just playing the waiting game.  I’ve purposely kept my expectations low.  If I receive anything substantial in terms of identifying information I’m honestly not sure what I’ll do with it.  Do a Facebook search and be like:  Greetings and salutations.  I know this is awkward but am I your offspring?  Oh, and speaking of questions, have I got some for you!  I feel like I owe it to the biologicals [I refer to them as ‘they’ but this is really an umbrella term to mean biological mother, biological father, or biological anything else] to at least thank them for giving me a wonderful life, assure them they made the right decision, and inform them they have two of the most incredible grandchildren.  Yet I also have to be realistic in the sense that they may not welcome contact from me.  That’s fine too.  I wouldn’t take it personally or be hurt in any way.

Somebody asked me if I was upset that they have not actively tried to find me.  Of course not.  First of all, I don’t know how easy it is for them to do so.  I’m not sure if they can initiate the process the same way I did or it has to be the adoptee who gets the ball rolling.  Even if they could start the search and chose not to, I understand.  If it were me personally I’d be wishing, hoping, and praying my biological child wanted to connect…but I would respect that the decision was entirely up to them to do so if and when the time felt right.  And if they’re not respectfully waiting on the sidelines and simply want nothing to do with me?  Then I can respect their choice too.  The last thing I would ever want is to remind somebody of an uncomfortable time in their life that they are trying to leave behind or burden them in anyway.

Not that anyone cares but I stopped doing the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  The topics just didn’t excite me.  As much as I love certain elements of pop culture I’m largely unaware of much of what is considered ‘popular’ and find it difficult to devote an entire blog to such things.  It served its purpose in terms of chipping away at my writer’s block and I’m grateful for the new connections I made.

 

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

Posted in Adam, Da Real Homiez, GH Mafia, Humor, Jojo Dancer, Memphis, Pets, Reading, Tony Stark | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I work from home

I despise this dreary, frigid weather.  Not only does it make me lethargic but I also feel somewhat depressed.  I know it’s only temporary and I’m not stuck in a rut.  Being sick makes this situation that much worse.  Yesterday I became acutely ill and though those unpleasant symptoms have passed, today I am exhausted, lacking energy and motivation.  It’s freezing outside, the kind of cold that chills you to the bone.  Not surprisingly we’re under a winter storm advisory until noon tomorrow.  These are the sort of dismal days where my mood [and mindset] matches the sky.  These are the sort of dismal days where I miss Joey so much it’s almost unbearable.  These are the sort of dismal days where I worry about my friends outside and long for the sweltering humidity of summer.

Reservation for pity party, table of one, please.  ;)

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This selfie got some serious love on the book of face.

I try to immerse myself in work as much as I am able.  Not a day passes where I don’t count my blessings for the tremendous dual luxuries of being my own boss and working from home.  I fancy myself an entrepreneur though I’m not sure how accurate a term that is.  What exactly do I do?  Three things:  I an independent distributor for It Works, a freelance writer, and a little bit of ‘other.’  That final category consists of the occasional tutoring gig or creating resumes.  I do not actively seek these jobs but receive requests every so often through word of mouth.

It Works and writing comprise the bulk of my income.  My zeal for this company and its products deserves its own entry, which will come at a later date.  What strikes me most about It Works is that anyone can be successful.  You don’t have to have higher education, work experience, or a specific skill set.  If you’re willing to work hard and be teachable then success is within reach.  Not many companies can offer such a guarantee.

Writing is my greatest passion in life.  It never ceases to amaze me that I can get paid to do what I love.  Thanks to Text Broker I make money weekly by producing content for various clients but that’s not even the tip of the iceberg in terms of my capabilities.  Freedom With Writing promises to “send you writing jobs and articles to help you become a successful, published, freelance writer.”   I receive promising leads from them multiple times a week.  Shamefully I fail to use this fantastic resource as I should, something I am determined to change.  Obviously there is a limited amount of paid writing assignments– and rejection runs rampant in this industry– so that’s a definite downside to the life of the fledgling freelancer.

[[ Sidenote:  Memphis offers numerous free publications distributed throughout the area.  Whether it’s news, business, politics, parenting, society pages, niche markets, etc. somebody’s covering it.  The only reason I’m not writing for these local products is because I have yet to submit my work.  GET ON IT, SLOANE.  ]]

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I get it, Jeez. The struggle is real.

“My P.O. telling me I need a 9 to 5

But I already gotta job

And that’s stayin’ alive.”

So I’ve never had a parole officer but I know exactly how Young Jeezy feels.  Obviously staying alive is a prerequisite for basic human functions, much less gainful employment.  Yet for some people surviving another twenty four hours is a victory in and of itself– one that requires constant dedication and effort– a full time job in and of itself.  These folks work tirelessly for no monetary gain for something they must have before they can ever do anything else.

I am a delicate flower.  It’s not your job to understand or even acknowledge my fragility….but I know with absolute certainty entering the traditional workforce at this juncture in life would bring devastating consequences.  My recovery comes before anything else.

A traditional job simply doesn’t factor into the equation right now.  I assure you this is not a cleverly worded cop out from a lazy, irresponsible person.  People work because it pays the bills.  I too have expenses and things for which I’m saving.  When I see an opportunity for a sustainable income [with the potential for profit] that affords the freedom and flexibility to focus on myself, I’m giving it 110%.  If breakfast with the kids turns into an all day affair I can double up on business the next day.  As long as I complete the project it doesn’t matter if it gets done morning, noon, or night.  When I need two meetings and an extra long phone session with my Sponsor I’ll rearrange my schedule to make that happen.

It goes without saying that if circumstances necessitated my employment outside of the home I would do so in a heartbeat.  I appreciate how fortunate I am to have a supportive family and partner– who recognize the importance of this choice and its benefit for my life– and allow me to pursue a nontraditional path.  Thank you.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,
Sloane

Posted in 901 Lingo, Depression, Employment, Jojo Dancer, Memphis, Music, Raleigh, Recovery, Sloane, Tutoring, Working It, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Le Menage [Blog Buzz]

My first Blog Buzz column features the fascinating Mercy of Le Menage.  I appreciate her candor regarding her unconventional relationship and her allowing us to share her journey as she navigates complicated feelings.  In fact, her blog prompted me to start this weekly spotlight, and it was my pleasure to ask her the questions excerpted below.

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Mercy uses her blog, Le Menage, to chronicle her relationship struggle– torn between the relationship she wants with the man she loves versus the relationship she’s been told she deserves.  Based in Denver, the 27 year old is a Controller for a Marijuana Edibles Company, started her blog last month.  She notes the significance between the name of her blog and the website, atrois.co.  Since hers is a story of an open relationship she wanted something to convey that concept without sounding sleazy.  Outside of blogging she enjoys reading,  spending hours in old dusty bookstores, playing with her two very spoiled dogs [a Great Dane and Boxer mix], movies, good food, night walks, and exploring abandoned buildings.  

“She’s clever, too clever for a woman. She lacks the indefinable charm of weakness.” Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

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Mercy

What prompted you to start your blog?  

I have always enjoyed writing. It’s a way of escape, of clearing my head and it allows me to see things from a different perspective. My relationship has hit a rough patch that I feel many people find themselves in at some point or another in their life, but it’s not something I want to speak to my family and close friends about. This is a way for me to share my story with, and maybe get feedback from people who have faced similar issues.

Tell us the best thing about blogging.

Stress relief. It’s cleansing, and I feel lighter after each post.

And the worst?

I think the worst thing about blogging is the slight anxiety about whether or not people will enjoy reading what you write.

Do you have writing aspirations outside Le Menage?

I would love to publish a book. I have pieces of a story that I’ve been working on for years, but the writing style is drastically different from what you’ll see on my blog.

Has Le Menage led you to any noteworthy experiences?

Not yet, my blog is still pretty new.

Do your family, friends, coworkers, and other people you encounter in life know that you keep a blog– and that they could be fair game for material?

I have two blogs. My family and friends know of the first one that I started several years ago, but they have not been introduced to Le Menage.

Has blogging ever caused problems for you personally?

I have not had any problems with either blog so far, but I imagine I would if anyone in my life connected me with Le Menage.

What advice do you have for fellow bloggers or those wishing to get started?

Just do it. Don’t worry so much about what others might think of you, or your posts.

 

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,

Sloane

 

 

 

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