Let me begin my cliche blog for today. Sorry to bore you with this mommy stuff but it’s what I’m feeling right now. I am sure others can relate. The blogs are overflowing with first day of school moments from every mommy blogger out there. So I am adding to the junk pile!
This stuff really creeps up on you!! I realize the gravity of this moment. My third child has just entered school full day for the first time ever. This is a milestone for both of us. She now steps into the realm of becoming a grade-schooler and I-well, I’m just not a young stay at home mom anymore. What the hell does that mean? Who the hell am I? I am constantly plagued with this question. Some people really know who they are at an early age. My whole life has been a constant struggle to figure this out. Guess what I think? That’s totally OK. I love that I have spent my life constantly experiencing new things, traveling and meeting all types of people. I have always pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I don’t fit a particular type and I think I might surprise people who actually take the time to get to know me. My friends also don’t fit a particular type. This can make things confusing in your own search for identity, but then again, it makes you realize that you don’t have to be just one thing.
So in this moment… this very brief moment. Yes, I am a grieving mother. I mean this in the exaggerated sense of the word. No disrespect to those people who are truly grieving parents! I walked into the mall the other day without my children and right smack dab in front of my face was the children’s playground. It was filled with young moms and their little ones. I loved the sound of the shrieks, laughter, and … yes, even the tantrums! I literally stopped in my tracks at the entrance of the massive mall and did nothing. I just took it in. My eyes started to get glassy and it hit me. Don’t get me wrong I was so excited to be shopping for a few hours without my children for nothing in particular! However, I realized that part of my life was now over. I would never have those moments again that all those new mom’s were having. For a brief second, I hated them. I wanted it back! Yes! I wanted to be at the mall with my children begging and bribing them to go to one more store. Nursing in the family restroom and drinking smoothies because I had no time for a proper lunch. I actually wanted that emotional roller coaster back! You know why?, because amidst all the chaos there were the hugs and kisses. There were the adoring looks and eyes of wonder. My children brought me joy and gave me a purpose. I was young and didn’t know what I was doing and that was exciting! I met knew people and new families. Every day was a new adventure.
Today I walked away from my kids school for the first time leaving all of them. They will be there all day and I will pick them up after seven hours. This is my new adventure! I will get back to me! I will remember what it’s like to do things for myself. I will work outside the home and watch my children grow up to be wonderful adults. It’s our job to raise them in order to join the world and form their own adventures without us. Now I get to focus on, my, next adventure… let them worry about theirs!
So here is the final and last day of what you can do to spend some quality time with yourself…. READ a book! If you are not one to read then just get an audio book. It is the same thing! Your imagination will be expanded, as well as, your vocabulary– either way you do it!
I am currently taking an acting class and performing in a Shakespeare play, so I read Caesar. However, there are other books that I plan to keep on my nightstand for those times that I want to spend 15-20 min. recharging myself.
This is my list of books I will be reading in the coming year… Well, I hope to read anyway!
If you are interested in summaries on any of these books, please comment and I will happily post!
The first one on my list is Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
“A sequel of sorts to Fun Home, Bechdel’s moving graphic memoir about her father, this one focuses on her mother-a writer and actress whose career went nowhere- and on Bechdel’s own rocky romantic and psychiatric history”
So the journal I bought yesterday, is meant for writing poetry or any other creative things that come to mind- Not so much as a diary. I loved the words on the cover. They completely sum up what I want my 2016 to look like.
Go to the store and pick a journal that you love. If you love what it looks like you might be more inclined to use it. I really want to feel inspired with mine.
I thought I’d share the poem that I wrote during my alone time.
Remember, I am no poet! I am just a girl who wants to get her thoughts and feelings written down. It’s therapeutic. This is not edited.. completely raw.
As another blogger that I admire wrote: Haters Hate, Creators Create!
Yesterday, once again I had planned and desired to do something a bit different but I didn’t have time. I bought an awesome new journal that says exactly what I want my 2016 to be like.
The plan was to take 15-20 min and write some poetry. I prefer to write when the desire comes but I think it’s also important to learn to be disciplined with the creative process and set some guidelines. So at least, I did step #1 and got the journal. I hope to spend some time with it tomorrow. (Which is really going to be later today because I’m writing this entry about yesterday! Last night was busy!)
So anyhow, I technically did do something for myself last night. I had my first rehearsal for the Shakespeare play I’m going to be in this coming March. Wow! That was liberating! The entire afternoon I had to deal with my “needy” children whining and complaining about my rules, asking me to find everything under the sun for them, in order to do their homework, while all three of them ask me questions at the same time! I was losing my mind, but in the back of my head there was peace. I knew that my time would come tonight, when I would get to leave the house for three full hours and do something completely different that gives me such a huge rush!
Please, take my advice and join a group! I’m sorry— if you can sign your kids up for sports, music lessons, chess, art classes etc., and be the taxi driver for everyone- then you definitely deserve once a week to do something that excites you!!!!
Here are some examples of groups you can join:
local swim team
groups at your library: creative writing, scrap booking, gardening
take a continuing education course at your local community college (Photography, dance, writing)
volunteer at a homeless shelter, home for children with special needs, at the hospital, or Feed my Starving Children
join a running group ( I don’t know how anyone could enjoy this- but to each his own!)
Sign up to learn a new language
Take music and/or singing lessons
Take Karate/self defense
Take an art class and learn to draw and/or paint
Join a yoga group
Learn how to ice skate or swim (then you are set for each season!)
Make your own group and ask the library if they will support you and allow you to meet there weekly
join a mom’s group or form your own
Whatever it is that you’ve been thinking about, but never thought you could find the time to do– just ignore those naysayers in your head– and DO IT!!!!
Is there something you admire or have always wanted to learn, since you were little, that keeps creeping back into your thoughts???????????
It’s your sub-conscious telling you something. DO NOT ignore it again!
It’s trying to tell you where your passion lies! Listen to that little child in your head. Those are the dreams and aspirations that your little negative self shot down and tried to shut up. The dreams are still alive and trying to become a reality! It is in your control to make it happen!
Yes, working out most definitely counts as doing something for yourself. I haven’t worked out in over a year. I told myself that working out at the local gym for one hr 2-3 times a week is really adding to my stress since I also work part time. I thought once I finally go back to work full time or close to it, I will never be able to wake up at 6am to work out. I decided that getting sleep was better for my health and evening workouts would never work because that’s family time. Also, if you have older children you realize that once they get home from school the rest of the evening is complete chaos. Get homework done, eat, go to soccer etc.
The decision to stop working out was the worst thing I could have ever done. The entire year I had something new wrong with me every week. I was depressed, had no energy and really felt bad about the way that I looked. I decided this year I would workout but not become a slave to it. I would do my best to workout whenever I could with the minimum being three times a week. I decided anything would count for working out and any amount of time would be sufficient.
Here are some examples:
Taking boxes to basement: add in running back up the stairs and doing a few extra runs just for exercise
T-25: Beach body DVD that I purchased through a Facebook garage sale for $40- what a steal!! The workouts are only 25 minutes!!! SCORE!!
Riding bikes with kids
Yoga in the morning
Walking kids to school and jogging home (it’s only a block- but hey better then nothing!)
Cleaning the house: vacuuming, bringing laundry baskets upstairs etc.
You Tube workout videos: just do 20 min of the video if that’s all you have time for
Roller skating/Ice skating
So today I did T-25, like I have actually been doing 5 times a week for three weeks now! It’s nothing new that I do for myself but today it made me really happy! I’m getting better at getting it done without stopping in the middle and I’m really finding that I have more energy!
— Which I’m definitely going to need … because.. remember that audition? Well, I got the part of Casca in Shakespeare’s: Caesar!!! This is going to be the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life but I’m up for it, and I hope I rock the house!!
So for my “happy time” today, I really wanted to try and meditate-which did not happen. I couldn’t find the right time with all the cleaning and errands I had to run. Don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing hour and a half at Walmart but still not much “me” time. My usual hot spot is Target but I had some things I needed to buy for my little one’s birthday party that only Walmart carried. My daughter is in love with Rey from Star Wars and has to have a Star Wars themed birthday party.
I was so surprised that I could have just as much fun shopping at Walmart as I could at Target. My last experience at Walmart was anything but relaxing. It involved lots of carts crashing into me, people arguing with workers, and very long lines. Today was not like that all! Lucky for me.
The things I found for my daughter at Walmart were absolutely adorable. I get such a rush from buying stylish things at such a low price! Love finding that diamond in the rough! I will never understand people who buy the boots, or purses with the name brand on them when there are so many cute and adorable things out there that look so fabulous at more than half the cost! It just seems like those people are so brainwashed. My daughter is sleeping now but tomorrow I will add pics of her in these outfits because the Flat Stanley version of these just doesn’t do them justice!
Anyways, back to my Walmart excursion! Even though I enjoyed myself, I am not counting that as my “happy time”. After all, I was mainly shopping for my children and the house. If you’re shopping trip includes items for other people and/or your home then that does NOT count as your individual quality time to re-charge.
Since I couldn’t quite get into the frame of mind needed for meditation, I thought that having a movie night would do the trick. I would put the kids to bed a little early.. Oh, who am I kidding? I would put them to bed at their actual bed time 8:00 instead of the usual time I end up getting them in bed which is closer to 9:00. Anyways, I ended up reading a book to them and didn’t get out of their rooms until 8:30. We had to finish Treasure Island and we are now beginning the original Mary Poppins. I love reading books out loud to my kids because I treat it like an actual performance. It’s the one parenting thing that I’m really good at and my kids are always asking me to do it. I love to surprise them by raising my voice and it doesn’t matter what time it is- if the book requires shouting- then it’s shouting they get!!!! So by 8:30 I was finally out of their room or maybe a little after but still that is amazing for me. I felt like I had an entire evening left to myself. What would I do with all this freedom?
I decided I would watch Hot Tub Time Machine 2. (Don’t ask!) I did not want to think about anything and just wanted to watch something very silly, funny, and wrong. The first version of this movie was pretty dumb, I know, but still funny to me. I liked all the 80’s jokes. Well, #2 was soo horrible that after 5 min. I had to turn it off! Instead, I watched a taped episode of Saturday Night Live. Movie night turned into TV time but it still works!
What did you do with your free me time? I hope you were able to let the wind carry you away!
Today what makes me happy is my acting class! I have been off for winter break and I’m seriously going through withdrawal! So I decided to try out for the spring performances. One is Julius Caesar- Shakespeare, and the other is Rumors- Neil Simon. I took a look at the Shakespeare script and got frightened silly. Huge monologues and the language is out of this world. I really, really, wanted to try for the other play which seemed more do-able for me. On the way to the college auditions, I decided I would read for Shakespeare. So many factors played into this decision. It was the most exciting and terrifying thing for me. I was “excitified”! This is my new word and I think it will sum up this whole next year. This is the best feeling in the world and I want to try to achieve this feeling as often as I can.
So why don’t you check out your community college or local theater? The auditions for those shows are open to the public. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The experience will be unbeatable and you may even meet some new people along the way.
What did you do today that “excitified” you and made you out of this world happy?
We are going to begin by doing things that make us happy!
This is soo easy to initiate. Who doesn’t want to do this? It’s so motivating and rewarding. It can be difficult though, if we are moms, business women, or people pleasers. I urge you to join me in doing something wonderful for yourself every day.
Every day, I will post the things I have done that bring me joy. Please share your daily happy moments with us! It would be great to get extra ideas and inspiration from others.
For some, it may be that you filled your schedule up to be surrounded by friends and positive activities or experiences. However, this act may have caused exhaustion and feelings of being overwhelmed by all of life’s other responsibilities and duties. We feel like we have to do it all and squeezing in “me” time has to fit in somewhere. I think we may find that reducing some of those personal activities for some quiet relaxation and alone time recharges us so that we are able to enjoy our preferred activities more, without running ourselves into the ground. For others, it’s realizing that we are doing too much for everyone else and actually NOT doing anything for ourselves. Make sure to jot down all the activities and responsibilities we have and how much “me” activities we have. Is there an even balance? If not- CHANGE IT- THIS WEEK!
Choose activities that you really care about and that mean something to you. Having a good life is making sure that you do something daily that moves you and makes you feel alive. Having a fulfilling life is a decision that you make! Make sure it’s a good one! By taking care of yourself and doing things that you love and move you, you are completely loving yourself in every way that God had planned for you. There is nothing selfish about loving and taking care of yourself!!!
“We can’t give what we don’t have. You have to experience life on your own terms before you can be life-giving to others”, Tess Marshall.
I am not late for this New Year’s Resolution thing, as you may think. I will have you know that I took a lot of time figuring this out and choosing one that I would not fail at. Well, that’s not really true either. To tell you the truth, my mind goes completely blank when I try to think of something I can work on for the year. In all honesty, there is no way I can choose just one. I have a thousand things that I should improve but when I think about them I realize I’m not kidding anyone. There is no way I would be able to focus on one thing for an entire year. That’s just not how I work. I get very bored easily and tend to have new revelations every other week. So instead of a New Year’s Resolution.. I give you a New Years Revelation!!
Last year was devoted solely to kindness, it was the ever so popular “kindness challenge”. I had planned on blogging about that, but realized everyone on the internet was doing this. My, oh so original plan, was anything but!! Either way, I knew that being kind was the one trendy thing worth doing. I have nothing life changing or miraculous to report but I am very proud of all the genuinely kind things I had done. I really wanted to focus on more spiritual kindness and stay away from monetary kindness, which in my opinion, is great but not lasting and in some respects too easy. The giving of things to help people financially included: weekly and monthly donations to various charities, gift bags for homeless people that we may see as we drive or work around our community, cards to those who are sick or struggling, and donations of clothing and toys to those in need. The more spiritual kindness included: consciously complimenting people daily, thanking people for everything from big to small things, calling people in my family who were elderly and alone, volunteering to help at the local homeless shelter, and volunteering to help pack food at Feed My Starving Children. These things were wonderful and such a great beginning to what I’m hoping will be my life’s purpose.
This brings me to this year’s revelation. I want to focus on love this year. I have heard it said before that in order to love other’s you must love yourself. I can’t comprehend this statement because I have a very hard time “loving” myself. I spent all of 2015 trying to be kind essentially hoping it would teach me how to love and, yes, it helped me love strangers and those in need. However, I did not see any great change in loving myself and for that matter, family, friends, and acquaintances. I am very aware that God loves me with all his heart. I am just really confused about how not loving myself fully, actually makes me imperfect at loving others. So I really want to focus on loving this year, and I hope by the end of this year the answer to that question will be revealed.
Please join me on this “love journey”! Every week I plan to challenge myself with something that will open my heart to what love truly is. Please comment and let me know how you’re journey is going. I’d like to start a forum where we can all post our struggles and accomplishments on the way. I can’t wait to begin and I can’t wait to see who I’ll find along the way!