Life change

True Colors— my epiphany moment

I had an epiphany moment in this morning thanks to an amazing mentor I crossed paths with in the last few days. I have posted a lot about needing to love yourself and I try my hardest to follow my own advice but let’s face it…

We are our own worst critics.

I have been failing myself at walking the walk. Not only that–I just fail myself daily. And on top of that, there are people out there that I know, love me… that fail me also. I am trying to learn that it’s not only me failing myself.

This post is more of a self reflection post more than anything and is probably my hardest to write… so if you aren’t here to relate or share in these experiences with me please stop reading now.

I have people I go to and share my joy with that laugh at me instead of relish in my excitement. I have people I go to who put me down constantly and belittle me in moments of frustration. I have people I go to when I need to vent and instead of being a listening ear and providing insight, they turn my issues around and make it about them and how “there are always people worse off” or “I’ve been there, you don’t have it that bad…”. These people I go to are all people I love dearly.

Now if you know me, you know I come off as this super confident, happy go lucky, funny, pretty girl, who seems to have her life together. The thing is… while I know how to be that girl. I am not that girl.

I struggle with so many things. I struggle with being happy and staying that way. And nine times out of ten it’s me beating myself up because as soon as I find myself happy about something I immediately think of reasons that turn it into sadness or anger. Or when I find confidence in something, it’s immediately knocked off my shoulders by the voices in my head and there I am again sulking… probably over nothing.

I ran into many people this week who came up to me and said things like “you are someone to miss when you’re not around“, and “who could forget you?!“, and “I would recognize you in a room full of people, your presence radiates confidence“, and “you always know how to make the uniform look good“, along with so many other nice things… and you know what?

I did not believe a single one of them.

…and if I did it was only for a split second and I was back to thinking, “I’m sure I was only missed until I was replaced“, and “you’d be surprised how forgotten I feel“, and “that confidence is a facade, it’s how I mask being nervous” and “but have you seen how that person makes the uniform look?!“.

I do not know how to turn it off. So for those of you still reading and calling bullshit, this is why I told you to stop reading earlier.

Until I was able to talk to someone I look up to and we were able to talk about work, life, where we are at in our lives, “why’s” and “why not’s”, career path choices.

People like this are people I need more of. Then I reflected back and thought of the people I go to when I share my personal achievements and aside from my husband, most of these people are ones who hardly know me and I looked back at my messages and texts and I have found that they are the people I go to most when I want to share things because they seem to be the ones I don’t get judgment, humiliation, or belittlement from. I can always expect a “that’s awesome!“, or “good for you!!“, give me a reality check, or will always talk me back into doing something I’m already talking myself out of “do what makes you happy” they say…

The people I go to the most are people who hardly know me.

…they make me feel more like me. And maybe I’m wrong, they probably know me more than some of the closest people in my life because they let me truly be myself. And these people I almost never see, if at all.

I was watching Trolls with my youngest this morning and the scene where Princess Poppy–the ultimate optimist– has been defeated and Branch–the ultimate pessimist– who was someone she hardly knew anything about before their adventure to see the Bergens, sees her defeat and starts singing “True Colors” to her and brings her back to being herself. I started crying uncontrollably, immediately.

This is what has basically happened to me.

Be kind to people. Everyone. From every walk of life. Their battles may not be obvious. Just be kind, they may be like me.

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Life change

30 things I’ve learned in life– Welcome to my 30s!

(I started writing this a day and a half ago and never finished because, you know, parenting. Pretend it’s August 15th!)

30. THIR-ty. thir-TY!! 1988!

No matter where I place the emphasis in the word it doesn’t change the fact that I’m 3 decades old.

I woke up today to the sound of my kids (kids! Plural! I’m like an adult or something!). So my oldest likes to wake up at the butt crack of dawn and will help finagle my youngest out of her crib. And usually they play and let me sleep in for a little while (and by sleep in I mean laying here listening to them play for an extra ten minutes while I struggle with my inability to succumb to the fact I need to wake up) but not today! They giggled their way into my bed and my youngest slammed her body right onto my gut, followed by the biggest hug. My oldest slithered her way under the cover and into the nook of my arm and we tickled, and we cuddled, and we laughed (so hard that my oldest farted), and I woke up happy.

I know too many people who were not able to wake up on their 30th birthday and experience what I got to…because they never made it to 30. So here is my list of things I’ve learned/things you should start doing:

  1. Life is short. Stop wasting it on things and people that/who don’t matter.
  2. Drink more water. If you think you’re drinking enough, drink more.
  3. Don’t tell your secrets to your kids. They’ll tell any and everyone who will listen.
  4. Befriend the “weirdo” at work. I promise you’ll learn something amazing about them and maybe something about yourself.
  5. You don’t have to pay full price for EVERYTHING. There are huge discounts out there if you sign up for newsletters and look at other resources!
  6. If you want to do something for yourself, do it. Just do it.
  7. Don’t settle. Please don’t settle.
  8. …but also don’t have unrealistic expectations
  9. Read! Read a good book or a bad one! Just read. Your brain will thank you for it.
  10. Learn a new skill, or a hobby. If you don’t like it, then find a new one! You now know how to do something you didn’t know before.
  11. Tell everyone you love, that you love them. Make sure they know. Don’t let people who are important to you wonder where they stand in your life.
  12. Try to find the good in all things. There is always a silver lining.
  13. Bring wipes everywhere. (Especially if you have kids)
  14. Make someones life a little easier. Pay for someone’s coffee behind you in line, babysit for a much needed couple, invite someone over and make them dinner.
  15. Smile more often.
  16. Pamper yourself from time to time.
  17. Its okay to sit and do nothing once in a while. Life doesn’t always have to be busy!
  18. Not all people speak your “love language”. Try not to force someone to be like you or make them feel like they’re loving wrong.
  19. No matter how nice you are, there will always be someone who will judge you. Try not to let it bother you.
  20. Be more organized. I suck at this, like really bad. But I am trying.
  21. Your best friend may become a stranger. *shrugs*
  22. Making friends as an adult sucks. A mom adult, at that.
  23. Rushing causes more stress. Why are we rushing our kids out the door? Slow down.  Time goes by way too fast without us having to make it faster.
  24. Support your friends and family. Making them feel like what they do matters really does mean a lot.
  25. Do something that scares you. The adrenaline that will follow will be exhilarating (Doesn’t have to be skydiving, leaving a job to follow a different dream is one example).
  26. If you have kids, love on them any chance you get. They get annoying, yes. But the time you have with them while they are little is minimal and it flies.
  27. Print off your photos. I have 25k photos on my phone (I’m not even exaggerating). I print them off from time to time. Even if they just go in a box later on. Having something physical to look at is a fad that has almost been thrown out.
  28. Let your husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/family love you. Take their compliments. Leave your door open to it. You are worth it.
  29. Let go of grudges
  30. Love yourself. Seriously. No one can fully love you right, without you loving yourself in some way, first.

 

This list wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be and partly thought up on a whim. However, I hope you enjoyed it.

Welcome to my thirties!!! Where I’m sure I will still not know what I’m doing.

Mom's Corner

My kids stayed with grandma for the night… and I felt lost.

So I turn 30 in 3 days.

…I mean 2 days (12:08am)

So my husband treated me to a night out. We went to a bar that had an amazing band and we went with a couple of friends we hadn’t seen in a while. And an hour into the night and I’m texting my mother in law to watch for my toddlers breathing because she was coughing funny earlier that morning. I wanted to enjoy my kid-free night so I waited for her response and I put my phone away.

I documented some of the night on Snapchat and didn’t do much else. We had a few drinks, played a game of bags (aka cornhole), and danced.

I looked at my phone again at 12:14am and replied to confirm that the kids were staying the night at grandmas house. We went home, watched some tv, and didn’t have to tiptoe or whisper.

But I did it anyway.

I was subconsciously doing mom things. I peeked inside my youngest’s room, I panicked for a quick second wondering if I forgot to go downstairs to read my oldest a bedtime story–until I remembered she wasn’t here. We aren’t used to having the house to ourselves. I’m not used to the kids not being around. I enjoyed the alone time with my husband. But I never felt so lost all at the same time.

I can do date nights. I can go hours away from my kids (although I do admit being away from my kids more and more the older I get, sucks!). But this whole overnight thing got to me. I love being the one who puts my toddler to bed and plays peek a boo with her blankie for a few extra minutes and kiss her little toes while she tickles her face with my hair. I love one on one time with my oldest while I tuck her in, read her a story and tickle her back. Or watch tv with her until she falls asleep with me on the couch.

That’s my job.

Yes I know. I know grandmas and aunties are fully capable of watching over my kids. I could not ask for better grandmas and aunties (and uncles) for my girls. But speaking of jobs, lately, working full time hadn’t been fulfilling. I had been looking left and right as to why that is and what it is that I’ve been missing out on. I have been home for a couple of weeks being solely a mom. A mom, a homemaker, a wife.

And I have never been so fulfilled at any other job as I have felt while being home with my kids being able to spend precious, frustrating, undivided, time with them.

So last night while I was out enjoying my husband and my kids were safe, playing with family, I was also missing my kids. I missed my mommy duties.

But I also missed having alone time with my husband. I already had a kid when we met. So we’ve never really had that “just us” phase of our relationship. He gladly, without hesitation, jumped into a relationship with us two and stepped up to be the man and father he didn’t have to be. We rarely get date nights so I am thankful when we get them.

The ugly side of this all is that no matter what I do I feel guilty. Guilty that I’m missing my kids when its just us on a date night, guilty that I don’t get to be with my husband alone more often, guilty that my kids went to bed without me, guilty that I even feel guilty at all!

So I felt lost without my kids. So what? I’d get lost in the chaos of motherhood over and over again just to be able to re-experience the exhilaration of it all.

So I need to let my kids enjoy their other family members so that I can enjoy some time with my wonderful husband. Guilt free time. I need to let them get to know their family better. It’s not like they dread it. They enjoy going to see everyone. They love playing with our family and their cousins. I need to give myself a break step back from mom duties, even for one whole night.

Wife hat, mom hat. One piled on the top of the other. I can do it. I can find my way through motherhood without getting lost.

Life change

5 Steps to take to be your HAPPIEST you, yet

Okay, so I could start this off with affirmations. “Tell yourself this” or “Tell yourself that”–and say it out loud!

But I won’t. Because that doesn’t work for everybody.

Me in particular. But I will say, even on my absolute worst days. I am still happy (or at the very least I appear to be). Here’s how I do it so that you can, too:

I let shit go (most of it anyway)

Kind of like when you go number two. You don’t reflect back on it. You let it out, and you let it go. Its toxic waste that you don’t need in your body or your mind. I get mad, I get irritated, I get frustrated, and boy do I get annoyed— but I never hold onto it. Especially when it comes to the people in my life. Life is way to short to stay angry with someone. So take that anger, the animosity, the grudge, the jealousy… and flush that shit down the toilet. You don’t need it!

My glass is half full

I can take any situation and find the positive in it. My oldest is the same way and I love that so much about her. If you have hit rock bottom, there is a way out. You can only go up from there. Ask me. If I don’t know how or why something has happened to you (or me) I will–one way or another–figure out a way to help or make things better or help you come to a conclusion. Yes, I do this with myself too. I am an over thinker so I have to talk myself off of ledges alllll the time, and most of the time I end up finding a happy resolution… because I need it.  Not everyone is going to give it to me.

I compliment people

Be kind. I try not to let anyone who leaves my presence leave feeling as low as they had initially appeared to me. I like to refurbish them. I do my best to shove a little sunshine into people’s lives. If I like something about someone, I say it. “I like your face” goes a long way. Try it. They may laugh and say “Thanks” or they may walk away a little perplexed at what the heck you just said to them, but I promise it will leave a lasting impression and they’ll think about that odd compliment until they pass out for bed.

Okay, story time! So I have a kid (two actually, but this one in particular), and kids kind of just say whats on their minds. No filter. Well we were at Walmart (and if you have heard of the People of Walmart you know where I’m going with this), and she was staring at this older lady behind us in the checkout line–she was morbidly obese–and she wouldn’t stop staring. So praying to God she doesn’t open her mouth and just say something embarrassing (like kids usually do) I whispered “Its not very polite to stare at people.” And as my “judgy” self is watching her mouth open up, still making eye contact with that woman, and I’m hoping a hole in this floor will open up and eat me alive because I swear she’s about to say something embarrassing–she opens her mouth to speak and says “I really like your shirt and your matching necklace“.

Wait, what?? She was four at the time. Four!

Now I know I said I compliment people, and in this case, it appears I had judged before I could say anything nice about this woman, but if you have kids you have to be prepared for them to speak the obvious… and that’s where I thought this was going. Moving on.

I understand and overcome

I know that when people lash out, its not always personal. An angry customer on the phone may want to swear up and down about something they’re not happy about, but its not my fault. They’re angry at the product, not at me. Someone may be at rock bottom, and even though you may approach them with ease and the intention of being polite they may want nothing to do with it… and will show it. Everyone fights different battles. Its not your place to judge whether or not your battle is worse. Their day is not your day. Their life is not your life. Understand that its not personal. People just need to find an outlet and whether or not you’re the problem, you may be their target. Smile, and move along. Do not hold onto it. I also understand that my life is not, and will never be, perfect. If I expect it to be, and its not… that’s me letting myself down. The same goes for you. All the chaos that is, has, and is yet to come is what shapes your character. Understanding how to handle and manage it will help you get through and overcome it.

and last but far from the least

I smile all the time

Even when I’m on the phone. They may not see it but the recipient is able to hear it in your voice. I promise. I don’t know how many times I have heard “It was a pleasure speaking with you” or “Thank you for brightening my day“. And its because I have every intent on making even hard conversations, tolerable. There may be days where I’m at work crying over some battle with myself in my head, then the phone rings, or my manager calls me over, and I brush it off and smile. 95% of the time most people wouldn’t know I have the struggles that I have had in my life because of a simple smile. And really, its none of their business anyway.

So that’s it.

Five easy ways to have a happier lifestyle. Kindness is free, people. Be gentler with others and be easy on yourself.

Trust me– I’m not this big ball of sunshine at all times. I just don’t carry my baggage  with me wherever I go. My lucky husband gets to deal with my gray skies once in a while. 😉

 

-cheers!
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