“I am still learning”-Michelangelo
I had a visceral reaction to reading this featured quote while at the New York Public Library. Unable to explain why exactly, but those four simple words feel so meaningful. Maybe it’s because if one is still learning, they are still willing, still striving, still living. There’s a freedom in admitting you don’t know it all. An admittance I’ve struggled with in the past, but am letting my need to know and be prepared for everything go, little by little, and it feels good.
I’ve learned a lot this June. I also wrote my 100th post!
Best: Turning forty. I never take a birthday for granted, but celebrating this one in New York City was a special experience I’m so grateful I had. The city was thrilling and the company and support of my friends helped make it memorable. Their friendship is so important to me and I’m still learning, each day, how to be a better friend; many thanks for their patience.
Also Best: Spending time with my husband and family on a short getaway. Visiting relatives I don’t get to see often and racking up two fun sunny days with my niece and nephews is quality time I will cherish.
Worst: My knees feel more like I’m seventy. They went kaput the day I turned forty, literally, as I sat on the wide stone steps of the NYPL and felt the cramped bus ride and endless walks through the city express itself through grinding pain. I’ve now learned what many others experience but I never understood; what it feels like to have major knee discomfort any time I bend or rise. As my friend so succinctly put it, “Welcome to forty!”
Best: Featuring my favorite wax vendor with an in-depth post. Casey at House of Phoebe Wax is wonderful, in both blending ability and customer service relationships. I’m excited that I could spend a little time raving about her beautiful products and spreading the word.
Worst: I noticed some of my blog photos were being used on a wax vendor’s page without any notification or acknowledgement to me. Surely, it’s frowned upon to use someone’s personal photos without asking permission, even if they occur with a flattering review. That act itself wouldn’t have been too bad, if, the brand’s owner had been anywhere near apologetic when contacted. Initially surprised, yet flattered, I politely asked for photo credit. The response to my request was somewhat flippant and amounted to being told I needed to provide a photo with my name or else other photos that were sent to her would be used instead. Later, one photo was taken down and another was credited with my first name.
This was an eye-opening experience on how to handle improper conduct, personal photo violation and basic small business-customer relations. As a blogger, I’m still learning, but as a customer what is becoming clear is that I prefer vendors with integrity. No matter how large or small a company is, straightforward sincerity will always get my endorsement. There will be no more product photos forthcoming for this vendor to use in the future.
Best: Winning a candle blogger award by FeedSpot. Along with The Meltdown blog and two candle bloggers who helped inspire me to start fragrance blogging, Andy’s Yankees and Yankee Candle Sisters. I felt a little guilty over this award at first because I rarely post candle reviews any more. I do love to discuss candles anytime, however, and give many glimpses of my collection and candle accessories. With my current project wax candle depletion, I’ve been burning more than ever. Maybe this will inspire more candle content. The top 60 candle blog awards list can be viewed here.
Worst: Being out of town often this month means I’ve been unable to melt much. I feel as if I hardly got through any of my wax, but July brings a lighter schedule with more time at home. It also brings my No-Buy July, which I’ve already started last month with a wax ban. I’ll be making an extra effort to shop my stash and melt through a good portion (to make room for more of course).
Best: My husband and I started a little vegetable garden in a plot where our swimming pool used to be. It is the first time we have tried our hands at it and I thought it would be blind luck if anything bore fruit. It might be luck, but some little tomatoes and a few soon-to-be red peppers have sprouted. What a satisfying feeling and I can’t wait to make my first salad using our own summer vegetables along with the garlic I planted last fall that’s ready to harvest soon.
Be it in blogging, gardening or life, I’m embracing the learning. I know I’m not the only one, what have you learned about yourself lately that you’re willing to share? Any new hobbies, projects or products you’ve been cultivating?