So here we are. The last week of 2016. What a year it has been. First, let me apologize for an epic fail with the Ruby's Musings month of holiday recipes. I do not have a good excuse. I simply could not manage the energy to look up recipes, get in the kitchen and photograph etc etc. I have as of late, not had the energy to even be retro fab ( aka getting out of pjs. putting make up on and doing a productive job as a retro housewife) , my days seem to be starting later and later, and by the time I finally get to the point of the day of finishing my pot of tea ( a must to function) , it is late in the day and chores must be completed and dinner thought of ( and hubby has been doing nearly all the cooking so even that has not played into my day as of late) and then hubby comes home and it is time to sit and spend time with him. Before I knew it, all my best of intentions went by the way side and I did not even open and turn on my computer. I have failed to do much with my YouTube channel and efforts on FB and Instagram have been slim at best. That out of the way, let's wrap this year up!
The year of 2016 has blown by! It started off with a bang, right out the gate I knew that in February I was going to be traveling to Vegas to have a whirl wind weekend of meeting fellow retro ladies that I had connected with on Instagram, meet with a fellow blogger ( Senior Style Bible) and do some major shopping . What fun it was. Oh and while planning for this jaunt to Vegas, I decided to bite the bullet and begin a YouTube Channel! Me who really does not deal with web/internet/technology very well decides to do a weekly show! That really means an all week long project along with my blog, and social media presence. Then, upon returning from Las Vegas, life did not slow down as my daughter and myself started our Etsy shop Housewife Chic by Ruby and it really took off, in between handling customer service and the social media aspects, plus being responsible for getting packages to the post sometimes two to three times a week, the youtube show, my blog et. etc., it kept me hopping!
Every day of 2016 thus far was centered around social media. I took it upon myself to further my ambitions with it and really dive in head first and try to start a promotional aspect of my brand "Ruby's Musings". It started slowly, but began to grow, where each weekend it seemed I had a client wishing me to promote an item of clothing, or accessory and weekends were spent going out and finding places to take photos in which would help in that and then my weeks were spent mapping out blogs and editing photos, and doing promos for my blog and youtube show to get these products noticed. The days, weeks and months passed and new clients would pop up just when needed it would seem so that I could keep up with it, and it seemed that maybe just maybe I could make a real go at it and could handle it along with my "real life" and that my having fibromyalgia and a host of other issues, was not going to get in the way, so I charged ahead.... I planned a blogging tour for the Fall. I started promoting and hoping that I would get sponsors....I expected a couple, BOY OH BOY was I surprised, but more on that in a bit.
This was the year I turned 50. It seemed like it was going to be no biggy, I mean honestly I did not think I was going to feel any differently, I did not think it was going to influence anything in my life at all, the day came and went, and I was correct in that assumption, for a time. I had a great party, family traveled in , loads of fun was had. This was also the year of my 30th wedding anniversary , and my baby girl, the youngest of my three daughters also turned 25. Suddenly something clicked in my head and took seed, and I never felt older. I felt out of place in the retro world as well as in my own skin, and almost over night I also began to really feel it physically, and emotionally... maybe it was coming off of artificial hormones or perhaps it was the non stop being tied to my phone, computer and social media that had taken it's toll, either way, each day had started to become a battle. A struggle against myself. I did not have time for this. but I was loosing whatever fight I had....regardless, I had obligations to my fans, clients, sponsors and my family and I had an up and coming blogging tour , already planned out, paid for and sponsors lined up for each day.
My blogging tour not only was to include a photo shoot, but also visits to landmarks, two amusement parks, or three if you divide Disneyland and California Adventure, a professional photo shoot , and my normal, photos taken by hubby, photo shoots, major shopping and a trip with a new destination and hotel nearly every day for a week! BUT that was not all, in between I was also supposed to do mini live broadcasts and interviews for Pin Up The Movie. WHAT?! I may not seem like it, but I am an introvert and have social anxiety....what was I thinking at accepting that challenge?? But I somehow ( despite technical difficulties and nausea the entire time) managed. The tour took it's toll in so many ways physically, I was in such pain, I was exhausted and totally drained on a daily basis from day two till the end, but I made the very best of it and do not regret it in the least. I am actually eager to do it again, but with quite a few tweaks to make it easier to handle.
Upon returning it took me nearly a complete month to share and give the proper amount of promotion across social media for all my sponsors, I had not thought that part out and it was nearly as exhausting as the trip itself to make sure it happened and before I had a moment to even catch my breath, my online bestie, a fan who became a friend came for a visit in October for several days of fun and adventure. It was wonderful to have a gal pal that was also into the retro culture and mind set and with whom I could laugh with, chat with and have girly time with. I actually handled having a house guest that I was unfamiliar with, far better than I thought I would, the visit was a success and I hated to see her go...in fact upon her leaving I realized how very alone and lonely I actually am. I have not had a close gal pal that lives close since moving back to California from Texas a little over 10 years ago and I fell into a complete funk. I am one who is ok with being alone, but day in and day out with no one to hang out with ( physically) that has the same interests as myself , it gets very hard from time to time.
As the time continued to pass, I crawled deeper into my shell and started distancing myself from social media and the outside world for the most part. My four walls became a safety zone. During this phase , which I am trying very hard to climb out of even as I type this, to get things back on track , I began to slack here, on youtube and even with my own self care... the fact that at this time, beginning in early November I suddenly had a major allergic reaction to all hair products ( something that seems to be calming down... a fibro flair maybe?) and could not even stand to physically take care of my hair without pain....so I made the decision to chop off all my hair....the one major retro thing in my life that was constant and was as important to my look, if not more so than my clothing. It was part of my brand, who I was, and suddenly it was gone. I felt even more disconnected. I have had a short pixie before, but was never in the public eye as much as I am now. I know from research there was starletts of the 50's who had shorter hair, even pixies ( I even discussed that here on the blog and on my Youtube show) and there are ladies in the current retro scene that also have very short pixie cuts, but each day that I scrolled through my feeds made me want to hide more, turbans and hats became my friends. I started posting less of myself . I started to feel like an impostor,...not from anything anyone said to me , everyone has been supportive and have cheered me on, my own inner demons are quite powerful I am afraid. And that is where I remained, more behind the scenes, and withdrawn til the other day when I posted a Christmas message online without a hat, scarf or turban on.
Despite these binding ropes my mind, emotions and physical issues are keeping me in at the moment, I do have so many fond memories of this past year. In addition to the fun activities and some minor successes and getting to meet my online bestie, as I mentioned , my middle daughter, Rebecca, the talented artist behind Housewife Chic and all my art across social media became engaged to a wonderful man and wedding preparations and plans have begun for a May 2018 wedding. We could not be more thrilled since after the tragic death of her first husband nearly 4 years ago she is due some happiness. I am however very ready for this year to be over and done with and try to get back on track where I was before the year started in many areas of my life.
I am looking forward to 2017, continuing to build my brand, at my own pace, but build it all the same, going to Viva Las Vegas and meeting many of the wonderful ladies that have shown me so much love and support on line, and having many adventures past that, including another visit from my bestie and maybe even another, much shorter and relaxed road trip to the coast , with mini day trips and adventures here locally....AND OF COURSE, getting back to spending more quality time with all of my fans here on the blog, YouTube, and across social media...because without all of you, life would be far more mundane than even I can stand! You all mean the world to me and I look forward to connecting with all of you as much as I can!
I would love to hear in the comments what you are ready to move past from, and leave behind from 2016 and what you are looking forward to and wanting to make happen in your own life in 2017! OR what you would like to see here in this blog as well as as my YouTube show in 2017.....remember I am always just a click away! You can contact me via email,at firstname.lastname@example.org, messaging on FB on my Ruby's Musings fan page, DM on I.G. or comments here or on YT and Twitter. I will always answer back! If you are a business owner and I have not scared you away with this post, and want to place an ad here on the web version of my blog as a sponsor or collaborate in any way, feel free to contact me as well. I will work tirelessly to make you happy and to promote your product.
Next week ...... The second annual Ruby's Musings Lust List for 2017