HOW I SUNDAY
by Natalie Decleve
Sunday scaries? Not an issue over here. But it was not always that way…
You’ve heard it before “don’t let your Monday ruin your Sunday.” Unfortunately, if your job is a drag the dread of Monday can leach into your otherwise delightful, GF-waffles-and-oat-milk-cappuccino-in-a-window-seat-Sunday-brunch Moment. For me, the solution was leaving my toxic work environment in fashion PR to launch my own tandem career as a personal stylist and writer about 10 years ago. I didn’t actually know this would become my career when I left my job, I just knew that I would never find out unless I tried. No, it wasn’t easy at first, and yes, there have been plenty of hurdles along the way.
Contrary to what one might think, being self-employed makes it almost impossible to be lazy because if you are, you are the one who suffers. Sometimes I have to work late nights or weekends. But just as often, I have a day without clients or meetings when I can work from my favorite cafe (Doma Na Rohu in the West Village), writing articles while sipping a house-made chai from a mismatched ceramic mug. And what’s going more, on the days when I am working with a client, I feel excited and inspired to boost their self-confidence through personal style rather than just trying to sell a product. I’m a big believer in quality over quantity, streamlining and working towards overall lifestyle sustainability. I love working with my clients and learning ways to make their lives less messy, easier and prettier. I feel a certain emotional gratification and freedom in my current self-defined role.
I started Natty Style around the same time I quit my job and began contributing to various media publications. When people ask, “Why both?” I answer, “Because I’m a Gemini!” Having a platform to express my message of stylish and sustainable living is just another way to give meaning to my work. Plus, as a freelancer I’ve found that the busier I am, the more I am capable of. Between clients, pitching, writing and social media, my Monday through Friday is just as booked as someone with an office job might be, but with activities that light me up. Not being afraid to try, plus a dedication to forming and maintaining relationships are probably the two best pieces of advice I’d give to anyone catching an entrepreneurial itch.
Which brings me back to the weekend. Although there are the occasional Sundays spent working, I try to keep them sacred: allowing time for things like Chinese massages at Four Seasons Bodyworks on 8th street and home-cooked Sunday suppers with my best friends. I don’t usually workout unless it’s a social activity with a friend, except for the occasional 5 Rhythms dance “class” at the Joffrey School of Ballet. It’s not ballet and it’s not really a class...it’s basically a huge room with a DJ and a bunch of dancers and (mostly) non-dancers who want to let their weird out while getting their cardio on. While I’ve never been to Burning Man, I’d guess that 60% of the dancers likely have. It’s weird, it’s wild, and it makes me feel like the most primal version of myself. I also leave starving and ready for a big ol’ brunch. My latest obsession is Westbourne in SoHo, mostly for their insanely delicious, aforementioned gluten-free waffle and rainbow falafel bowl, only rivaled by the blueberry-buckwheat pancakes the size of your head at Jack The Horse Tavern in Brooklyn Heights. Yes, I take my Sunday treats very seriously. And on the topic of treats, another antidote to the Sunday scaries which I developed when they were very real for me, is MONDAY treats. I love to give myself something to look forward to at the end of the day, like a nice glass of red wine or a healthy dinner out with a friend. Maybe I’ll order that lipstick I’ve been thinking about or watch a movie I’ve been saving on Netflix. Anything to soften the blow and extend the feel good Sunday vibes… call it “Munday” if you will.
These days there is no steady paycheck or paid sick leave, no free health insurance and no guarantee for the future. But you know what I get back? Sundays...and every day in between.
Currently binge watching : Versailles on Netflix
Most recent Munday splurge: Kure Bazaar nail polish from Detox Market in “Lipstick” red
Currently sipping : Wine Society’s single serving wine
Current favorite “chill-pill” : Highline CBD chews
Natalie is the creator and founder of Natty Style, a personal styling and image consulting brand for all men and women. When she’s not spending time with clients, she enjoys traveling, a nice glass of wine & all things related to healthy, sustainable style. Follow her story @natty_style & www.nataliedecleve.com