Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Blow Me To Bermuda!!

Do you ever have those days?

The days when you just want more than anything to be sitting on the beach with the drink of your choice in hand, soaking up the sun, reading a book maybe.  Nothing but the sound of the water hitting the sand.  Warmth filling your body.  No one needing your attention.  No one to take care of but yourself.  Warm.  Peaceful.  Alone.

Don't get me wrong, I love my family.  Really I do.  I just want the chance to miss them.  And them me. I feel trapped in this cycle of dishes/laundry/cooking/cleaning/Mom-I-need______  wash, rinse, repeat.  Like that's all I'm good for.

Not all days are like this, but more are than I am comfortable with.  It could very easily have something to do with it being January.  Icky grey weather, few chances to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin.  Running out of activities to do with children who also feel increasingly smothered by the lack of outdoors.

It could have something to do with the fact that I don't like any of my clothes and my hair still hasn't gotten to a length that I like and can work well with.

It could be financial stresses.  Not quite seeing how all those bills will be paid on time.  Trying to figure out what to cut down on that hasn't already been trimmed as much as possible.  Knowing deep down that it will all work out because we are doing what we can so it has to.  Right?  Doesn't it just have to somehow?

Starting a new job.  One that won't take too much out of the week, but enough to worry just a bit about how the scheduling of it all will work out.

So much to fit in.

Or it could be something different all together.  Something more on the inside rather than the outside.

In "The Gifts of Imperfection" I'm on the section about Cultivating Self-Compassion.  This passage has given me much to think about.

"Mindfulness: Taking a balanced approach to negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated.  We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time.  Mindfulness requires that we not 'over-identify' with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negativity."
So I don't want to ignore those negative emotions, but I don't want to over exaggerate their importance in my life either.  Feelings are real and need to be honored.  They need to be expressed so that the things that are causing those feelings can be dealt with.  Good and bad.

I have good things going on in my life as well.  My boys crack me up and I can't imagine loving them more.  Sometimes I just want to bask in those feelings of love for the little hugs and kisses, smiles and giggles.  Those big and little personalities that are so much a part of my life.  That I want to be a part of my life.

I am excited about my new job and a bit of time out of the house even though the schedule worries me a bit.  It might even help get us to a place where I could buy a shirt that I like! Maybe a pair of pants that fit and aren't technically maternity pants.  (oh the secrets you learn by reading this blog!)

Bottom line... I'm allowed to feel.  I have a right to feel.  Good and bad.  I will own it.  I will not shame myself for feeling down.  Especially in January, with no easy access to a beach and sun or Bermuda.  Though I would still like to go there.

Saturday, January 9, 2016


This week has been hard.  I don't know if it is just one of those weeks or if my heart and mind are in just the right place to really make things difficult.

I've been writing things down throughout the week that I have discovered about myself.  I have thought about sharing them several times now and have chickened out repeatedly.  Thinking that if I gave it a little more time then maybe it wouldn't leave me so vulnerable when I finally did share it because time would numb it somehow?  I'm not so sure my strategy worked.

In fact, that's one of the things that I learned for certain this week.  I run from things in whatever way I can.  On Tuesday I found myself with 2 whole gloriously free hours.  One child at school, the other in bed, and my husband in meetings outside of the house.  Freedom my friends.  The perfect time to take a look at being authentic and figure some things out.  I headed to my desk, looked at the computer and books that were there waiting to guide me on my journey and picked up a pair of scissors and the tv remote.  I promptly settled in to episodes of One Tree Hill while cutting and sewing quilting squares for that two hours of gloriously free time.  Knowing full well that I was running away from myself.  And the cool things was I totally justified it!  Totally!  These quilt squares were going to be used to make quilts to donate to CAPSA.  A worthy cause.  It it wasn't for CAPSA it would have been for a gift for someone else, or for my son's bed or for anyone but myself because doing things for myself is selfish and unworthy, but doing them for someone else?  Totally noble and worth any sacrifice.

So realization #1:  I don't think that I'm worth spending time on.

I'm not for sure how far this extends.  Just myself? Others? Either way it runs pretty deep.  Which is why I fill my life with so many things for others, or so many chores that need to be done (the to-do list that won't quit!), or responsibilities that I have taken on myself, that it's impossible for my true self to get a word in edgewise.

And let's take a look at that one... true self.  Or rather the fear of letting my true self be known, be seen, be out there.

Somehow I have the impression deeply rooted in my psyche that my true self must be pretty ugly and unlovable because I'm so afraid that if I let all of myself out there I will be weighed and measured and found wanting.  How did that happen?  I don't think that I'm alone in this one.  What has caused me to focus so much on my flaws that I actually believe that I am more bad than good?  Or rather that the few "bad" points/character flaws/personality conflicts/whatever will outweigh any good that ever was in me and people will reject me outright.  "If they knew the real me they would not be my friends anymore."  And the crazy stupid thing is that when you spend enough time around people your flaws leek out automatically anyway and your friends see you for who you are and they still like you.  Even better than before.  Which means my true nature is actually out there but I'm the only one who doesn't know it and the only one who hasn't accepted me for me.

Realization #2: I'm the only one who hasn't accepted me for me.  I'm the one that weighed, measured, and found myself wanting.  I'm the one who can't see my beauty.

There's more.  But this is all I can share right now.  I'm trying not to push myself too much.  I don't want to get burnt out or rush through lessons that need more time to soak in.  And besides that, I'm not quite sure what to do with the realizations yet.  Changing the way one thinks and feels about oneself... well that's no simple task.

Till next time.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Down Low... The Low Down??

Okay... Authentic.

Let's see how this goes.

This will be my place of sharing.  My place to vent my frustrations, my a-has  and anything else that goes under showing up and being real.  It might get ugly for me... and painful... and wonderful.  That's what my gut tells me.  Learning is more often painful than easy.  And if you are reading this then you get to have a small part in the journey with me.  Please be kind my friends...

A little more on the why.  Why I chose this word.

I am a habitual people pleaser.  I want to make those around me feel validated and loved and better about life.  That by itself is no bad thing.  In fact it's very admirable.  But what if it's fake?  What if it's at the expense of my true feelings and my integrity?  What if my need to please people causes me to read things into a situation that just aren't there.  To think people are reaching out for help when they aren't.  To think that I'm more needed than I am.  To think that I can't say no to anything.  To be tossed about on every wave of perception at the expense of my own sanity and my ability to take care of those that I am legitimately responsible for.  In short, what if people pleasing is driving me mad!?!

That's kind of what I feel like.  But at the same time I am a very capable person.  I can do things for others.  The question is whether or not I should.

It's a dangerous thing to get trapped into thinking that the world would stop turning if we don't do something.  Or worse yet to think that we are the only ones who can do something because we are "clearly better at it" than anyone else.  Aren't we depriving others of a learning experience when we do this?

There are just so many thoughts running through my head these days about what is really right and what is really wrong.  What is just a habit or a routine, rather than a choice.  Something thought out and decided upon intentionally.  Honestly.

It's a little mushy in my head these days.  But back to people pleasing.  I have found that I am biting off way more than I can chew sometimes.  I think that I am more capable than I really am.  Not that I can't do the thing being asked, but that I can't do the thing being asked and make dinner.  Or spend time with my littles.  Or shower for crying out loud!  And then I find myself overwhelmed into a paralytic state with feelings of bitterness and anger.  Happy right?

I was in one of these states when I picked up Brene' Brown's book "The Gifts of Imperfection" and began reading it again.  I never finished it the first time because there was so much in it that I didn't want to rush it.  I wanted to take my time and really digest the information presented.  And you guessed it, it didn't happen.  It sat on my shelf patiently waiting for me to pick it up again when I was ready.

It's in Brene's book that she talks of authenticity.  It struck a chord.  A painful promising chord.  Painful in that it pricked my heart as something that I needed more of and would require change on my part.  Promising in that the false front would be removed.  I could stop hiding behind good intentions or false modesty.  I want to own my struggles and be able to admit when I'm having a hard time of it.  I want to be free.  Just free.

It scares me though.  It really does.
So again my friends... be kind.

PS.  I'm publishing this journey on this here blog because if I don't share it, I know myself well enough to realize that I will stop.  I will hide.  I will cower and forget the whole thing ever meant something.  I will sell myself short.  That said, if anything here offends, feel free to stop reading.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, New Word

Here we go again my friends.  It's a new year and a new word.  In the past I have taken this a little more lightly.  I have chosen a word that I liked but didn't really require much of me. Something that I could reasonably achieve in a few moments of a-ha or even not really think of at all and still feel like I "done good".

This year??  Not so much.  In fact this year my word chose me.  I didn't want it to.  I stumbled across it, not even looking for it mind you, and it said "Hello there... I see that I make you a little uncomfortable, let's be friends.  In fact let's spend the whole next year together."  I cringed a little and said "Oh... that's okay.  You're cool and all but I don't know if I can really be myself around you."  It cleverly responded with "And that's the problem."

So without further ado, the word that chose me this year and I decided to keep is "Authentic".

Anyone out there see why I cringed?  

Lots for me to learn folks... lots to learn.

Happy 2016 everyone.