Winter Self-Care Series
Self Care by Melissa Gaethofs

This is the fifth in a series of guest posts created to help us brave the cold, dark days of winter together. Missed a post? You can find them all right here. Sending love and light, xo Carrie

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be a guest here on my beautiful soul sister's blog!
Self care… Woah.
Self care is something I have always struggled with.
Water, for instance…
You'd think I was allergic to it, the way I avoid it (or used to avoid it). :) 
But the way I really define self care is through rest.
And it's something I feel I can never get enough of.

I am currently a full-time floral manager of a supermarket florist.
For the past 22 years this has been my job.
 Floral design is my passion, so it's no surprise that in my down time,
I am doing weddings and special events on the side,
out of my home, and outside of my job.

Image 3.jpg

Floral design sounds soft. It sounds like it's easy and soothing,
and indeed it is, to some degree.
The fact of the matter is, I am on my feet all day, and always in constant motion.
I am twisting and turning, lifting boxes, and chopping flowers.
Of course I am creating beautiful bouquets as well,
but that too can also be strenuous when you are doing this 50 times a day (for the public)!

    Needless to say, most days when I return home, I am exhausted.
My first instinct is to grab a drink, sit down with my computer and unwind.
While resting is a must and relaxing is ideal, it almost never fills me up. 

The winter months bring me down.
The long nights and short days bring me to my knees, or rather, to my couch.
I am not fond of the cold. I am not fond of winter sports or activities.
Only if my nieces and nephew ask me to play in the snow, I will…
Otherwise, I'd rather be inside cozy and warm.

The summer is my time. Outside as much as possible. Heading to the beach weekly.
Creating florals in my backyard,
gardening and digging in the dirt almost daily.
I am summer, and summer is me.

That being said, the winter becomes a time for me to retreat.
Weddings and special events are few and far between in the winter.
And that's fine with me.
These winter months inside allow me to work on my other passion...Collage Art.

 Nestled in my home, all my magazines laid out, cut-outs of flowers
and pin-ups strewn across the floor.
I am in my element.
I am relaxing.
Because sometimes relaxing means doing.
Sometimes the only way to soothe my aching muscles is to fuel them.
Fuel them with desires. 
Fuel them with zest.
Fuel them with warmth.
Fuel them with art.

Don't get me wrong, most days this involves a nice cold beer…
but the beer feels way better going down when the rest of me is so damn happy.

In the creating, I am free.
In the creating, I am relaxed.
In the creating, I am warm.
In the creating I am taking care of me.
In the creating,
I am summer.

Hi! I am Melissa Gaethofs. 
I am a floral designer by nature
and a collage artist by heart.
I am on the quest for freedom.
I am on the quest for more.
I am on the quest for my purpose.
And I am finding my purpose, in the quest.

You can find me here... Facebook
and here... Blog
and follow me here... Instagram

Valentine's Day Giveaway!

Melissa is generously offering a giveaway just in time for Valentine's Day!

The lucky winner will receive an 11x14 print of Melissa's original artwork... and it's reader's choice! You get to choose between one of these gorgeous collages (to see them up close,
click on the images to the left or scroll back up!) 

The deadline to enter the drawing will be Monday, February 9th
at 11:59 p.m. PST. A winner will be chosen and announced here
on Tuesday, February 10th. 

Good luck and Happy Valentine's Day!  xoxo

Update: Congratulations to Retta, the winner of the Valentine's Day Giveaway! Thank you to all who participated. There'll be another chance to win soon, so stay tuned! xo