Shop Talk,  spilling my guts

Moving onwards!

March and April now available

I’m so sorry guys. I never uploaded March’s calendar page. Here it is and here is April too.

I suck. Somebody remind me in the middle of April that I need to make May and June so this doesn’t keep happening.

So anyway, I’m officially feeling happier. I’m sorry you had to put up with a few moody blues posts but this is how I work through things. I know that feeling sad is totally natural but that never seems to help when I’m in the depths of it. The sun is shining, I have a new plan to get through and I’m feeling 100% happier.

Some things need to stay private but I don’t want to be totally mysterious about my ups and downs either. Many of you have emailed me and tried to encourage me. Thank you. I’m not so sad about the friends and relatives that have died recently. It’s hard watching my Grandpa grieve but this is not what has been bringing me down.

I’ve recently received some pretty brutal criticism in how I do my bookkeeping as a freelance designer and it has sort of made me feel like a failure, which I know I am not. I just don’t like math and avoid it at all costs. Which means come tax time, I am in a world of hurt. But I have plans and methods now in place and even an appointment with a real bookkeeper who will probably pay for himself in fifteen minutes(!). So I’m moving onwards! I’m a survivor and these problems are not going to get me down!

How do you guys get yourselves out of funks? Coffee? Sunshine? A swift kick in the butt?


  • BeachMama

    Thank you SAJ for your beautiful calendars. I had been using blank boring ones from my iCalendar, but yours are so much prettier and look much nicer on my fridge that I have switched over. Thank you !

    As for your bookkeeping, I wouldn’t dare show anybody my books for stuff I have on the go. I always start off with good intentions then it all falls by the wayside around July. But, I always pull it together for tax time and have yet to lose a receipt. I have also heard that the more creative you are the less likely you are to spend the same time on the books. Hopefully for your sake next year will be easier for you.

    As for getting out of the funks, usually a good nights sleep or if weather permits time in the sun works for me. Winter is tough to get out of a funk at my place, but we are plowing through only 17 more days until Spring!

    Best Wishes!

  • Amanda

    Bookkeeping is a huge pain in the ass. Don’t get down about it! I’m a financial planner and even I hate doing it! (And avoid it like the plague!)

    And to answer your question: BOOZE. Preferably enjoyed at a bar. With my girlfriends.

  • Pam

    i read, it helps me to get completely envolved in someone elses story and world instead of my own, sometimes i sleep it off, but if i’m in such bad shape none of that works then i do something that requires my attention like playing games online and just keep telling myself that it’s going to pass

    i’ve delt with depression for years now and those are the only ways i know to cope, i think the positive thinking/pep talk stuff doesn’t work for me bc it’s an actual chemical thing, i’m not able to talk myself out of it so to speak

  • Justyna

    I”How do you guys get yourselves out of funks? Coffee? Sunshine? A swift kick in the butt?”

    Reading your blog:) I can always relate to something you write. Hugs:)

  • Sara

    This is going to sound lame, but to get out of a funk, I go jogging. I started jogging a couple years ago (after child #4), and it never fails to make me feel better. I love the struggle, and the triumph! Any amount of jogging is a triumph for me. :)

    And yes, bookkeeping is a pain in the tooshee. If someone criticized mine, I would say, “You seem to know a lot about bookkeeping. Are you volunteering to do mine?”

  • ~moe~

    I have to follow Sara – I go jogging too. But that’s usually if a nap or cookies won’t help first. Or even if a nap and cookies help because I’ll need to get moving to work off the cookies I’ve eaten. I’m also an avid list maker so if I’m really down I’ll make a list of all the good things in my life – my job, my nieces, my nephews, my family, my friends, my health, etc. Soon all those great things outweigh the one thing that’s making me feel icky and I can see beyond that and how it will be better soon.

    Sending you a hug! Or see Bethany and have her give you a hug for me. You’re fabulous. :)

  • bethany actually

    Hmm…how DO I get myself out of a funk? Bake something yummy, watch a romantic comedy, read a hilarious book, cry all over Troy’s shoulder, talk to a friend, do something fun with Annalie.

    Glad you’re feeling better, and YAY for a bookkeeper who is not YOU!

  • DeeJay

    Little things like taking a drive on my own with my camera, drinking my water from a fancy wine glass instead of an old jelly jar, listening to Prince and shaking my booty when nobody is watching, redesigning the look of my blog, getting a pedicure and wearing flip flops to show it off and lastly… playing with my Rose.

    Be well my friend, I had to face the financial music with my husband a few weeks ago and we are on the mend as well.


  • Sonja

    One word: Chocolate.
    Oh, and sleep. And exercise! And drinking fluids!
    (Okay, rule of thumb: Whenever I say “One word,” you can be pretty sure I’m warming up for a long-ish answer.)

  • Calee

    I think we really need a book keeper. Is it wrong to figure out your taxable income by looking at back bank statements? Ouch!

    As for cheering up, I’m a big fan of bubble baths with white wine. Big fan.

    Take care!

  • Michele

    My husband and I are EXTREMELY honest about our needs. So, sometimes I tell him that I need a break. I might just need to run to Target or the Farmer’s Market by myself, or get a pedicure with a friend. Something totally NOT related to home or stress. I love my daughter, but sometimes I need the mom break. My husband is great and definitely steps up when I ask for it. He asks for the same thing sometimes too. It helps a lot.

  • Mrs. Wilson

    Well, it used to be shopping, but now that I’m supporting a student, that’s not really in the cards, so ice cream seems to do it. Ice cream and a comedy (preferably starting Jennifer Aniston).

  • jane

    turn up your favourite music and have a good dance! lots of jumping and flailing arms helps too … movement changes mood :-) ive been trying this out over the past 4 months and found it works for me. lauren loves it too. hopefully she may keep this one as her way to cope as well.
    i also meditate. it was weird at first but now i can just be.

  • Uncle George

    Two ways: 1. Fishing! 2. a. Reading this blog. b. Being able to talk to my wonderful sister, SAJ!!

    J, I hate hate hate hate math, bookeeping, or any of that other responsible analytically anal stuff in life…I’m miserable at it and it’s gotten me in trouble more than once. Put everything in a shoebox and let the bean counter figure it out, it’s worth the money. I fully concur with you, bean counting sucks but we have to…Dang!


  • redhead.kate

    I had to laugh about this post. Oh, I know it isn’t a laughing matter for you. But here’s why – I have been eagerly waiting for the March calendar. I print out your calendars and keep them on my desk at work…to give me something fun and cheery to see amidst my sea of financial papers. Because I am a CPA, and my desk is full of very non-fun stuff. So you should laugh when you think about how you help keep this accountant out of a funk.

  • Shannon

    Coffee, chocolate, and the movie Love Actually! It is a wonderful movie, that gets me out of my funk! Hugh Grant dancing, how can you not love it?

  • Annette

    We all can’t be great at everything, so don’t beat yourself up for not be an all-star on the numbers side of things. I’d bet the most skilled bookkeepers/accountants out there would get some brutal criticism regarding their design skills. Love your calendars…they brighten up my office. Thank you!

  • Keri

    Thanks for the calendars! I have been using a very boring one :( As for the funk….a night out with some friends helps me a ton. And bookkeeping is a total drag and I am an accountant!!!

  • gingermog

    Thank you for all the freebie stuff love. I have an accountant too, I like the fact he represents me officially, so I have a bolster between me and the tax man. Although come tax time I always have a mound of reciepts to go through and make spreadsheets of as part of the prep, really I should do it monthly to save the yearly hassle but I hate paper work and procrastinate awfully when confronted with it.

    I hate the grey, dull, nothing feeling when I’m inside of a funk, but things that help are walking in the park and watching the squirrels, ( the seaside on a windy day would help but I am currently living in the city), visiting my favourite shop in Camden market which is ablaze of colours and curious items from around the world. My students. Watching Muriels Wedding – it always raises a laugh. Eating oranges, they are pure sunshine and reading your website. x

  • patti

    Love your blog. I also hate end of the year bookkeeping. Yikes! Sunshine, coffee, and painting something in a great color for funk busting.

  • Dori

    Feel better soon SAJ. To get out of a funk, I do what a lot of other people here do, cooking or baking, exercise, reading a good book, swimming, meditating, poke around in a bookstore, listen to music (never fails), go on a fun day trip, and for you, I prescribe crafts or planning a party (small so you don’t spend too much $).

    Do you use Quicken? I’m a freelancer to, and I swear it has saved me days of time at tax time. As long as I go through my checkbook and categorize the expenditures every couple months. Doing it all at once is torture, and before I started putting everything on a debit card, that was also torture. You have my sympathies. It’s never fun process. Good luck.

  • Kathy K.

    I wish that I had something original to say, but all of my great suggestions have been mentioned. Dancing, wildly and crazily to loud, happy music is my quick fix anti-depressant. When I need to get on with doing something that I just don’t feel like doing it that is what I do. When I need to work out something mentally, and I would rather avoid it I go for bread baking. Kneading, pounding and working the dough is such valuable therapy. It involves me on a physical level and I can do it, more or less, mindlessly so I can free myself to address whatever I need to think through.

    One last thing, since I know you have said that you are a Christian. Is a really good and cathartic time of prayer. One of those wrestling with God (i.e. Jaccob in the old Testament)all night sessions where you poor it all out and leave it with him and wake up refreshed. That is the end all best when I really need a fresh start after a funk.

    I am so glad that you found a CPA. I hate math and to be painfully honest I could not calculate my way out of a paperbag! I find it hard to help my seventh and eighth grade kids with math homework. Take care and thanks for the adorable happy calendars. ;-)

  • OMSH

    The 4 M’s move me through.

    Date with my MAN
    to see a MOVIE
    then eat MEXICAN FOOD
    and drink MARGARITAS

    It does it every time.

  • Mandy

    I stew in my funk for a day or so…cry a lot…call my mom and compare her advice with that of my husband and then I’m ready to pull myself up by my bootstraps and get to business getting over myself. For me criticism, although it always hurts (I’m pretty sensitive) is usually a solid catalyst for a positive change in my life – whether I change how I am doing something or I simply change my attitude, a little dose of some harsh advice usually has a positive result.

  • erika

    I love OMSH’s recipe, that’s mine too. :) Glad you are feeling better and I am using a CPA for the first time ever this year as well. Let them do what they do and I’ll stick to what I know too. Much easier.

  • Moose

    Funk-busting: I like to take a long walk outside. Or take a book to a cafe and read with a nice mocha and something buttery. Pretty much anything that gets me off the internet is good. :)