Celebrating What’s Been, Celebrating What Will Be

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On this last day of 2019, I release it all.  I am leaving the weight of my anger, expectations, and perfectionism behind.  I am moving forward with grace, compassion, and faith.  I am also moving forward with hope and belief.  Belief in myself.  Belief in my ability.  Belief in my creativity.  Believe in my purpose.  Believe in trust.  Belief in love.

I seek to control my emotions and to be the driver of my life.  I seek to co-create the life of my dreams.

I will live each day with gratitude.  I will remember the joy in the beautiful in-between moments.  I will work with my anxiety to give it space, not control.  I will live limitlessly—I want to be drunk on life.  I will let endeavors take off and dance with my dream of coaching and writing because it feels good.  Feeling good is enough reason to do it.

I will dance with the bad days too because even on those days I AM ALIVE.

No one has control over how my future goes except me and I choose to live lightly from now on.  I do not have to react to their behaviors as long as I stay centered in my own.

My health and the health of my family is a priority.  We will live well and simply.

I invite clarity into my world.  Clarity and ownership for my actions.

I’m leaving the weight of what others have done to me behind as well.  Other people’s garbage is not my burden.

I feel the opening of an amazing life—the life of my dreams.

I am grateful for the amazing life I have and for the opportunity to mold it into more.  I choose to feel GOOD.  Fear will not hold me back.  I embrace me and I love me.  It’s a choice to do it differently.  I don’t have to jump to the same orders, the thought of what I’m “supposed to” do.  I can change the steps.

Let what doesn’t serve lay where it is.  Rachel Wolchin said, “Bad News: You’re growing and it’s uncomfortable.  Good News: It’s uncomfortable but you’re growing.”

Here’s to health, success, happiness, and wealth in every form in 2020—make it beautiful, make it everything you want it to be, make it joyous.

What to do When You Don’t Know What to Do

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Just a short post tonight since I’m feeling a little off.  I’ve been dealing with illness in the house for the last week and it finally hit me hardcore last night.  I’ve been in kind of a daze for the last 24 hours, not feeling right.  I feel like I’m caught in-between where I’m supposed to be and where I am.  Maybe it’s the holidays being over or maybe it’s the sense of unmet expectations coupled with being sick, but I feel off.  At the same time, I feel a sense of anticipation, like I’m at the precipice of something waiting for me to begin—but I’m not sure what the next steps are.  Everything has been so out of whack this week that it’s left me feeling like I’m on some fairly unsteady ground.  I know I have to do some re-grouping because I don’t want to continue feeling like this.

My first step at this point is to get healthy again.  I haven’t been very well rested and I’ve been dehydrated and not feeling well for a few days so I know I’m not thinking clearly.  Couple that with the holiday chaos and I’m definitely distracted and off-kilter. That leads to the next step: get clear.  I have to keep in mind that this isn’t normally how I function and that I will make better choices when I am healthy.  I have some big goals for the next year and I don’t want to bring this mental clutter forward.

Getting clarity also means clarity on where I’m at mentally and not allowing myself to fall into it.  Right now I’m just overwhelmed and I’m emotional.  Sometimes when you’re overwhelmed or not feeling well, the only thing you can do to get out of it is take a single step.  It’s also important to keep perspective.  All of the things I’m looking to accomplish can be done with small steps.  I don’t need to have it all solved right now—none of us do.  All we have to do is take one step.

It’s an uncomfortable feeling to not know which way to go.  It’s also a powerless feeling and confusing.  But it’s only a feeling and it passes.  So sit with it and listen.  Maybe it’s just a difficult state of mind that will resolve.  Maybe you’re being guided to something bigger.  Or maybe you’re just not feeling well and waiting to heal.  Breathe.

Buck Up Buttercup (Bonus Post!)

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After a crazy two days, I’ve received the universal message to buck up.  I’m choosing to look at it as a sign that I am meant for bigger things than childish whining about things people deal with every day.  One of my goals has been emotional control and I can only do that if I don’t allow myself to sink into the emotions as they are happening.  I’m not sure if people agree with me one way or the other (is it really just whining or is it justified in some way) but I have to look at the message for what it is: focus on what is really important rather than what did or didn’t go my way.

I received a rewards coupon for a store and wanted to use it today.  I had used one of my gifts for Christmas to buy something else for my husband so I wanted to buy a movie for myself—nothing extravagant, just the movie.  While we were there I figured we could also pick up a card for our gaming unit and rent a movie for the whole family—I had more than enough on my rewards coupon.  While checking out I was informed that the coupon couldn’t be used on digital codes (the card for the gaming unit) so I said fine, that’s my fault for not reading the coupon.  I then asked to have it applied to the movie only and was told that I couldn’t do that because the total purchase had to be greater than that of the coupon.  I walked out after declining the purchase because I had no intention of spending more money today.

My husband bought himself some ear buds and after finding out that I couldn’t use the coupon myself, he then went back in and had the coupon applied toward his purchase.  I felt myself going down the old path of anger followed by the pity party.  I mean, seriously?  I’ve had an incredibly stressful week and now I’m not even allowed to spend $15 on myself?!  But my husband can spend limitless amounts on himself while I pick up the slack?  I’m honestly still a little irked by that one.

When we got home I felt the need to ask for some guidance.  The card I drew from Gabby Bernstein’s Super Attractor Deck was “When I introduce joy to a situation I change the vibrational frequency of what’s happening around me.”  So basically just look at the situation differently.  If I want to feel differently, I have to behave differently.  I don’t know if there is a right or a wrong but the universe has clearly been showing me that it isn’t about me—at all.  It’s time to make the shift to doing what matters and taking control of my own behaviors and reactions.  If I want to be a person who looks at the big picture then I need to remind myself of that before letting my emotions get the best of me.

The things that annoy me are really simply annoying my ego.  I know I have nothing to be truly upset about and I am not truly lacking.  There are better ways to care for myself than spending money on things (even if it’s a coupon).  Yes, it’s annoying in the moment because there doesn’t seem to be any reason for it.  However taking the time to look at the big picture and remember the end goal makes it easier to get through.  I’m not a victim, I’m being redirected.

During the decade in review process I came to understand that ownership of your behavior is power—not getting your way.  I’m not talking about biting your tongue to remain civil, I’m talking about honestly re-evaluating the situation and choosing your actions.  I want something bigger in my life and especially for my family.  I need to behave accordingly.

We all have those days where we feel like nothing goes right.  Sometimes those days turn into weeks or longer.  But we always have the option to turn it around.  We always have the option to ask what is being shown to us, what lesson.  It’s not an easy pill to swallow because a lot of times the situations we find ourselves in are exactly those we asked for.  We are simply being presented the choice to behave how we have always done or to look at the different path.  Sometimes that path doesn’t look how we anticipate it should but it almost always leads us exactly where we need to go.  So I’m going to sit with the frustration and look at what I’m trying to do with open eyes.  I’m going to honor that I am privileged enough to choose where I am going from here.  And I am going to be grateful as I take my next steps.

Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for cleaning and clearing my space.  I feel so much better with my space organized and functional and to have things back to some sense of normal.  It feels like I can breathe a little easier.

Today I am grateful for reminders to look at the end goal.  We can never see the whole path at once but we can still make it one step at a time.  All it takes is one step at a time, no matter how big or small, but one step toward our goals.  There are always obstacles along the way for one reason or another, whether they are to determine our resolve or to guide us toward a different path.  How we respond to those obstacles is the measure of how we get where we are going.

Today I am grateful for self care.  The simple act of bathing and putting on lotion, brushing and flossing my teeth, picking out a cozy outfit for my own sake was deliciously serene and comforting.  I needed some time to breathe and remind myself that I can better take care of everything around me when my needs are met.

Today I am grateful for the chance to work on my goals.  I know the universe is keeping me in check and offering me signs to make better decisions when it comes to my health and well-being and in taking appropriate action with my business.  Today was about retraining the voice in my head to understand that I am clearly being directed toward my biggest goals.  That means new habits have to form and I have to look at what I am trying to achieve and ask if my actions will get me that result.

Today I am grateful for the universe letting me know that I need to keep walking the path that I have begun to forge for myself and my family.  I take comfort in knowing I made the right decision about where I want to go with my life—everything I do now is guiding me more and more clearly toward that goal.

Today I am grateful for quiet.  The pure chaos of this week had me so amped up and over the edge that a day to just relax and work on some long term projects feels like heaven.  I also know that I want to be able to dedicate my attention to these projects more often because it feels good.

Today I am grateful for the upcoming week.  It is a chance to ring in the new year and a new decade and to really press the gas on some exciting changes and ventures.  This is beyond the normal super charged resolutions.  This is a plan with meat to it and actionable steps.  I’m happy to make peace with the past and welcome the new.  Letting go clears way for the new.

Losing the Battle–Learning to Surrender


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I know I spoke about the post-holiday wrap up the other day but I’ve been left feeling particularly out of sorts the last few days.  To preface this, I know the universe works in funny ways (I’ve even spoken about that in my work over the last few months) but sometimes it feels like there are some bonus rounds that prove especially challenging.  I’ve laid out a lot of plans for the next decade and I have declared who I want to be.  So naturally the consequence of that is the universe testing my resolve to be that person.  I do believe we grow through practice and dedication, but the last few days have proven next level for me.  Now onto the nitty gritty details because today feels like it requires some venting.

My husband had put in for this entire week off (the whole week of Christmas) back in June.  I followed suit since we were hosting the holiday and it fell mid-week.  Both of our time was approved so we proceeded with planning early on in the year (well, early for Christmas).  We had the whole month carefully mapped out so we could prepare and set up and that included a real ramp up the week of Christmas as we needed to finish the last minute details.  I mean, I had cookies to bake the week before because they would be gifts as well as dessert at the party, we had presents to wrap (and finish buying), we had to finalize projects at work, cleaning the house, decorating the house, buying the food, rearranging the house to accommodate everyone, and people to coordinate tasks with—all while working 40 hours a week (not counting side projects).  All completely normal things.  Then the shit started to hit the fan.

At the beginning of the month (around the first or second of December) my husband was told that he couldn’t take his time off.  Now aside from me questioning the morality and even the legality of cancelling someone’s vacation that they’ve had planned (and APPROVED) for half a year without compensation, I found myself spiraling into some minor desperation.  There was quite literally a list that needed at least two people to complete and now it would ALL come down to me.  My husband did what he could and set up the lights around the house while I was working.  However, in spite of him doing those few things, I held the lion’s share of the work.

So, I was emotionally hurt because we haven’t had any time off together in the last 8 years and any time I have taken off has been about taking care of the house.  Any sense of completing the holiday work without running around like a chicken with my head cut off evaporated in a second.  Nevertheless I pulled myself up and began doing things earlier than we had planned and I did less than I normally did.  Not a huge deal as things still looked great and I knew we were going to have a wonderful party.  I finished those cookies (all 10 kinds), I finished buying those presents, I wrapped those presents (about a million of them 😊),  I bought the food, I lugged up the table, I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, I set up all the way to the day of Christmas, and we DID have a wonderful time.  Now queue the explosive diarrhea of the universe.

As I’m extremely proud of myself for getting through an amazing and blessed holiday, I feel the emotional surge waning.  Maybe it was the crash of dopamine and post-holiday blues kicking in at the same time, I don’t know.  But the last two days I felt myself drop into a complete breakdown of epic proportions.  Full on tantrums and hissy fits abound, screaming at my husband for things he had no control over, expressing frustration with my son and the animals—everything.  Seeing the remaining disaster of my house after the party left me overwhelmed and lost as I didn’t even know where to begin cleaning.  Brief side note, my son hadn’t been feeling well throughout the holiday starting over the weekend.  He actually woke up at 2AM on Christmas with a horrible reflux attack that left the whole bed and himself covered in sick.  We handled it but I knew we were in for the long haul.  He did ok on Christmas day but the next day lord help me what came out of that child’s rear end was next level.

My day started with my little man saying he wasn’t feeling well.  We ate a light breakfast and I let him sit with me until he felt a little better.  He played, I tried to clean, we watched TV for about an hour.  Then his stomach gurgled.  “Oh shit,” immediately went through my head but I had no idea how right I was.  The amount of liquid poop that filled that diaper completely blew my mind not to mention the stench.  Naturally once the diaper was opened, the poop followed the path of least resistance and covered my child and the floor.  I freaked because there was now poop on my floor so in addition to cleaning up everything from the party, now the carpet had to be cleaned—and a toddler.  I got my son into the bath and made sure he was feeling ok  My husband wasn’t home and the carpet cleaner we have is brand new so I had no idea how to work it.  This was the straw that broke the camel’s back and completely flipped my crazy.

I didn’t even recognize myself because of some of the horrible things I was saying.  I felt terrible for my son because he had no idea why I was so upset—and he was already not feeling well.  I had literally set my intention to not be this way anymore and here we were.  Me hands deep in poop, a carpet cleaner I didn’t know how to work, laundry to be done, dishes to be done, toys to clear and put away, tons of containers to condense or breakdown, garbage that had been sitting there (and my husband couldn’t be bothered to take out), a child who wanted nothing but to be held or to play, and feeling completely alone.  THEN.  THEN the dog started with the diarrhea.  I swear, so much poop.

Honestly at that point, I didn’t know what to do.  I’m tearing my hair out and nothing is getting done which made me want to tear my hair out even more, my husband is telling me his chest is hurting from the stress and that he can’t leave work (so I’m freaking out about his health), and I haven’t showered in two days.  So I screamed.  Literally screamed.  I knew I was done for.  This was now the point where I couldn’t do another damn thing.  So I sat and I waited somewhere between screaming and crying.  There is one feeling that I hate above any other: helplessness—especially helplessness from relying on others.  Usually that is followed by feeling angry and dramatic at the fact that there are very few people that I can rely on.

So here I am trying to make sense of this cosmic joke when my husband informs me that he is not feeling well.  So even with another person here—I STILL HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING.  I’m exhausted to the bone and frustrated.  He even had the audacity to ask for another Christmas gift in the midst of all of this.  My child proceeded to have another blow out today so we had another bath.  And the absolute cherry on top—now I’m feeling the dreaded tummy gurgle myself.  I am trying to dig deep with everything in me to find some energy to continue to take care of those around me and finish what legitimately needs to be done.  This well feels dry.

All I can do right now is surrender.  There is nothing else.  I know that I am not going to win this battle.  I don’t understand why something as basic as cleaning a house is such a struggle and I really don’t understand why my husband is so unwilling to help (the man literally pretended to be asleep with the blow out today ☹).  I have to regroup and try again.  No, it isn’t on my terms but I know there has to be a way through this.  I have to just wade through the poop (quite literally) and hope that I can get everything together for the upcoming week.  Because in addition to New Year’s Eve and the New Year, my son’s birthday party is on Saturday.  Here’s to a less shit filled week.

Decade in Review


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I briefly mentioned yesterday that I worked on my decade in review.  I have been talking about sharing this with you for a few weeks and I feel it is so important to talk about this work.  Initially I wanted to walk through the whole process, but I feel it is more valuable to discuss what went into it so you can make your own decision as we approach the new year and new decade.  The process has been extremely emotional.  When it was first published by Marie Forleo a few weeks ago, I honestly thought it would be a breeze—it’s only planning, right?  WRONG.  Looking over the last decade brought up so many emotions for me and going into a new decade has brought up even more.  But, clarity for the direction we want to go comes from understanding where we’re at.  In other words, sometimes we have to go through the muck in order to move forward.

Even though it was intense for me, I still enjoyed the experience.  I look at 2020 as a huge opportunity to sink my teeth in and make traction with the leg work I’ve done over the last few months.  Honestly I was excited about entering the 20’s before I even found out about the decade in review project.  Perhaps it is the celestial alignment, but there does seem to be a huge sense of anticipation coming up.  The energy seems to be beyond just a normal New Year.  It’s a new decade and a chance to really define who we want to be and what we want to accomplish.  This isn’t like the usual “I want to lose weight” or “I want to be a better version of myself.”  This is about deep reflection and finding our alignment.

So, the gist if the project was to look at the past 10 years and document what you were most proud of.  Then it was to look at the last 10 years and document the lessons you’ve learned.  The final section was to dive in and really look at what you wanted for the next 10 years.  Like I said, I thought this would be a simple project.  I didn’t anticipate what I would feel seeing what the last 10 years looked like for me on paper.

We all have incredibly personal moments and it can leave us feeling raw to go through them again.  Sometimes that’s difficult enough to do for a one year period, but to rehash 10 years can bring us through an emotional storm.  Going through the exercise and coming out the other side, I can say that it was cathartic and helpful and probably one of the most real experiences I’ve had in a long time.

The first thing that’s needed is a desire to create something long term.  The next thing is a willingness to be completely honest.  This extends to honesty about the past as well as really looking at who you want to be in the future.  The last thing is devoting the time and energy to complete the exercise while maintaining that honesty.

During the process of reviewing my accomplishments of the last decade, I have to admit that I honestly struggled to come up with accomplishments.  Immediately I felt a sense of panic followed by regret.  Not that I didn’t have any accomplishments to speak of, but I felt a wave of incompetence at how few accomplishments I had.  Perhaps it’s a matter of perspective at how much one should accomplish in a 10 year period, but I certainly felt a lack.  I felt so much regret at things I haven’t done over the last decade and even more regret that I feel like I have been living my life on repeat over the last 10 years.  I have been in a state of waiting for my life to begin because I let myself get stuck in the cycle of work, bills, sleep expecting that the excitement would come.  It took me this long to understand that life takes place every day.  The movement of “YOLO” was bastardized to mean that you could get way with any heinous behavior rather than the initial meaning to take chances because you only live once.  I disagree with the sentiment regardless.  Jeffrey Althouse said it best, “You only die once.  You live every day.”

The positive of this existential crisis is that I now know the value of living every day.  Appreciating the moments we have every day.  Having fun every day.  There is joy in every day and it is up to us to take it.  Making each day joyful is a choice, being happy is a choice.  That isn’t to diminish the tragedies or the natural trajectory of difficult events, but rather to work on the things within our control.  How we react to the situation and how we work with the cards we are dealt is our choice.  I learned that I can make the choice to be happy and to have fun.  My day doesn’t need to be dictated by the clock.  I can breathe and have fun and stop waiting for the weekend to enjoy time with my son.  I don’t need to wait for a vacation to relax.  The bottom line is CHOICE.  I don’t have to engage in the things that don’t bring me joy.  If I have to engage in those things, I can try to find the lesson in them.

The next positive in this revelatory moment was to learn to acknowledge the small accomplishments.  We so often focus on the large moments and we are taught early on that only the significant accomplishments or milestones are worth celebrating.  This is far from the truth.  There are accomplishments in every day.  Small steps toward any goal are worth being proud of too because they all add up to the end result.

The next section dealt with learnings.  Ironically, even though this entailed looking at the moments of failure over the last 10 years, it really helped me to recognize that I overcame so much more than I thought.  They say that we dwell on our failures more than our successes and that is true.  Perhaps I confused the point of the exercises (the positives were meant to develop our sense of success while our learnings were meant to reframe our failures as lessons) but I felt like I did significantly better at acknowledging my lessons.  I am proud that I have been a good student and that it didn’t take more than one of a given failure to learn a lesson.  I am proud that I learned how to be strong.  I learned how to stand on my own two feet, and I learned what I have to do to be the person I want to be.  Starting with defining WHO I want to be and the life I want to live, I know where I want to spend some time shaping my life.

The last section dealt with really defining where you want to go in the future.  The projects you want to create and the type of person you want to me.  It was about letting go of the fear and anything else holding you back and allowing yourself to dream and create actionable goals.  It was about being open to the possibility of the future and accepting your role in creating the future you desire.   This was the most exciting part for me.  I’ve done visualization before but looking at the progress I’ve made over the last 3 months, I am seriously excited for the future.  It is more than excitement because I have already put the wheels in motion for what I’m working for.

Overall, as I mentioned, I am thrilled that I completed the work and I would recommend the process to anyone.  If you’re serious about making a change and wanting to do something big, then it takes some serious introspection.  It means being honest and doing some uncomfortable work and making some uncomfortable admissions about who you are and how you got there.  It means owning the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, and everything in between and knowing that your decisions, and ultimately you, are responsible for where you’re at.  There is a ton of freedom in that because you are always at the helm of your life and you can make your dreams reality. Your life is yours—make it as beautiful as you want; own it.

Post Holiday Wrap Up and New Year Rev Up

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At this time of year most of us are recovering from a busy holiday season.  All of the excitement, stress, joy, even sadness or melancholy of the season can be wearing.  This is not to mention the physical work of putting together a holiday gathering or even just attending them.  It’s easy to feel divided and not fully present as we float between different events.  Between social engagements, work tasks, family events, it’s almost as if we wear different faces in different settings.  Needless to say, the season takes a toll.

The post-holiday daze takes over as we look at our disheveled, gift wrap covered, left-over food clean up, still-decorated-but-no-more-holiday-to-look-forward-to-houses.  There is a socially and personally induced high as we prepare for the season and we feel the crash the instant it’s over.  The gifts are opened and the food is eaten and it feels like the holiday is over just as soon as it started.  It’s easy to fall into that crash and become overwhelmed.  This is a reminder that it is ok to take a day or two to settle and come down before doing anything else.  It’s an important time to protect your energy and even to rebuild your energy so you don’t wind up depleted and depressed.  Not only is it ok, it’s NECESSARY.

We spend the time together in an emotional high—enjoying the festivities and celebrating through the chaos—and then we are left alone to deal with the aftermath.  I hosted this year and I am fortunate enough that I had family help me prepare as well as help me clean up at the end.  Honestly, I was not good about accepting the help because I am used to doing things on my own.  I definitely have my own routine and I have a small space so sometimes more help is a hindrance.  But I accepted some help in the end.  Then I woke up today.

Immediately upon waking up, I felt the overwhelm of what I had left to do—and the fact that my husband had to go to work because of a cancelled vacation left me feeling lonely.  It hit me that I should have accepted more help in cleaning up.  In the moment yesterday, I didn’t feel like there was that much to do so I declined the help, but I saw the chaos that is my house this morning and realized that I left a huge amount of work.  This wasn’t counting setting up my son’s toys that I knew he would want to play with.  Side note, my son had a horrible reflux attack the day of Christmas so I was extremely stressed about him.  He woke up still not quite himself.  I made the decision that today was not going to be the day that I would be cleaning up.

So, given that it was roughly 4 in the morning and my mind had already run the gamut, I knew I needed to regroup.  I spent the early morning completing my decade in review.  My son and I then had a light and quiet breakfast.  We took the dog out for a long walk.  Came back home and I spent the rest of the time setting up his toys and listening to trash TV in the background.  My husband was able to come home early so my son and I took a nap.  We then played some games and ate some dinner and now I have some actual down time.

While it wasn’t the most productive day, the rest was absolutely necessary.  My son needed attention and reassurance as he hasn’t been feeling well and we needed some reconnection.  Not just over opening presents, but spending actual time together.  I did manage to get some additional dishes done and recycle some boxes.  But I am accepting that there is still work to be done—and I know it will get done.  I made the promise to myself that I wasn’t going to care what other people thought and part of that is accepting that, in this moment, my house is going to be in chaos.  There is time to clean and organize. But there are more important things—like making sure our well-being is addressed and taken care of.

So tonight, let the dishes lie.  Let the empty boxes sit.  Let the decorations hang a little longer.  Take the time to recharge whether that is through exercise or meditation or sleep.  Check in with yourself and your family and remember that even though the holidays are technically over (minus New Year’s celebrations), the stress is still high.  Be gentle and take small steps.  All will get done when it is supposed to.  All is well.

Presence Takes Precedence

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Over the last few days I have allowed myself to sink into the pre-holiday panic.  Thoughts swirling of the million things that I feel like there are left to do, places we are supposed to be, finishing planning for the new year and what I want this new decade to bring—the overwhelm got to me.  The universe in her funny way knew exactly what needed to happen: I needed to let go.  My husband’s vacation has been cancelled so the week we were going to have together where we could both prepare and clean up after hosting is now entirely on me.  The list that may have been half a million things definitely increased to a million and I am left on my own to make sure it gets done.

I began the day at my normal time, waking up at 5:00AM without an alarm clock and proceeded to start checking boxes off of my list.  My son woke up about 30 minutes into my rev up.  I thought to myself, “No big deal, I have plenty of time, this is why I woke up early.  He needs you right now.”  So I picked him up and asked him if he wanted to sleep on the couch to which he emphatically cried no and wrapped his little arms around me.  I sat down with him on the couch and I melted as he instantly placed his head on my chest just like he used to do when he was an infant.  He knocked out again in no time, but rather than try and get moving, I felt myself sink into the moment.  My son is now almost three and it hit me that I hadn’t felt him sleep on me like that in nearly two years.  Time goes so quickly and life is so precious and I just wanted to stay in that moment.  I sat with him until the cat got himself locked behind the gate and started crying in desperation for assistance.

I slipped out from under my son and went about the list again, trying to keep myself centered.  Focusing on one thing at a time and just moving the best I could.  I tried to look at is as a test run of what it may be like working from home when my business is up and running.  So in quick succession a few things happen: the garage door we were nursing through a broken spring made it clear it needed to be fixed ASAP and, naturally, I get the phone call that my husband will not be getting out early.  I’m trying to at least get through the things I don’t need his help for but the situation is escalating at home as well.  As I hear the frustration in his voice, I desperately want to keep my panic at bay, but I’m at the point where I need him here to move on.  I HATE doing things last minute and that is why I had prepared so I could be done, with time to enjoy.  Life never works out that way—we plan, the universe laughs.

I keep reminding myself that the list is getting smaller so we are making headway.  I also keep reminding myself that this is a test of who I really want to be.  I have told myself for so long that I no longer want to be the panic-stricken martyr who angers at the slightest inconvenience.  I want to be adaptable and creatively go with the flow.  These hiccups are letting me put that into action and giving me the opportunity to see how that feels.  Now there are a few things that I’ve had some hard limits on even though I’m working on change.  For one I asked my husband for the last week to come up with a recipe for the roast so I could go buy the ingredients (since he was working) and he never did so I got pretty irritated over that.

I’m not beating myself up for slipping into old panic habits.  I’m bringing awareness to them.  Of course in the moment it feels like everything is falling down around me but the reality is that is not true.  It is becoming easier and easier to focus on the things that really make us blessed.  That changes everything.  There were definitely a few more hiccups today (more than I want to talk about, actually) but it was all worth it.  As I was putting my son to bed, I told him, “I love you angel baby” and he gives me a huge hug and says, “You’re my angel too mama.”  He doesn’t give a damn about the presents or the decorations or the food—he just wants to feel safe and loved by his mama.  His words instantly brought me back to the moment and remind me of why I’m doing all of this (the holiday, the work I do, writing).  It’s all so he knows how much he is loved.  It’s nice to have the reminder that sometimes it’s just about the time I can give him.  Presence is enough for a child: now is a wonderful time of year to remember that the same applies to us.

Sunday Gratitude

wrapped presents

Photo by Lucie Liz on Pexels.com

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to provide my son with a great Christmas.  I spent a lot of time wrapping gifts today and was able to take in what we did.  It’s nothing fancy, but we did a great job of working together to make sure our son had a memorable Christmas.  Beyond the gifts, we have baked cookies, we have decorated, we have set up the tree together, and we have spent hours reading books together.  I hope those are the moments my child will remember forever—smiling, dancing around the kitchen, laughing, and trying new things.

Today I am grateful to be able to take care of myself in the midst of all of this chaos.  There has been so much preparation over the last few weeks and I am physically exhausted. It was all done with love and joy but it was tiring nonetheless.  I have found a few brief moments nearly every day to relax and enjoy the process and to recharge my batteries.  When we were at the store today picking up a few odds and ends, I found an awesome blanket and some socks for myself—even though I don’t normally buy myself things as self-care, I couldn’t pass it up and I am happy with my purchase.

Today I am grateful for beautiful time spent with family.  We spent Saturday afternoon with my husband’s family and it was a wonderful time.  There was so much genuine laughter and love flowing through the house that I couldn’t help but feel uplifted and warm.  Being able to see generations together is a gift in itself and to see the time so well spent and filled with joy made it such a memorable experience.  Those memories are something I treasure my son having.

Today I am grateful for time spent with friends and seeing how people we have known for a relatively short time can become such an integral part of our lives.  After the afternoon at my in-laws, we spent the evening with our friends.  We exchanged gifts and the kids played together.  I feel like we know each other so well and have trusted each other with some tender details of our lives and in that vulnerability we have become closer.  We have learned to build each other up.  This portion is important to me as well because I have vivid memories as a child of spending time with my parent’s friends, watching them play cards or play the guitar (and all of the kids would sing along), and having fun.  I love being able to do that with my son as well.

Today I am grateful for small steps.  I feel like we still have quite a list of things that need to get done before Wednesday but we have not stopped making progress, no matter how small.  Normally at this point I would just throw in the towel because I would get overwhelmed and then panic the night before and make myself crazy trying to fix everything and finish it.  This year the progress has been steady and I am happy with how things are turning out.  It’s definitely a testament to progress over perfection—it makes all the difference.

Today I am grateful for rest.  I am truly tired this evening so after I share this post, I am going to be calling it an early evening and going to bed.  I am grateful that I have the opportunity to make the decision to call it an early night.  I don’t have to overwhelm myself and push through.  I can give my body the opportunity to get a good night’s sleep.

Today I am grateful that I was able to take the next week off to finish the last minute details of what I need to do.  I look forward to finishing the work and spending the rest of my time off with family.  I’m also grateful to break up the routine of waking up super early and dragging myself out of bed to get ready.  It’s nice to be able to change it up and work at my own pace.

Today I am grateful to realize how truly blessed we are.  We have been able to do so much and to provide so much and I feel the weight of that gift.  It is a wonderful feeling to pause from the chaos of life and observe where you’re at—to truly take account of all of your accomplishments and lessons.  We are often so blinded by what we have to do and what we “should” have at a certain point that we don’t give enough credit for what we have done.  This is a moment of contentment for where things are.  An exhalation of happiness for the realization that we don’t have a specific destination to reach—we have settled in for the journey.

Prisoner or Pioneer

hallway with window

Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

There is so much potential in life.  To capture that momentum, you need to realize a few things: 1. If you want to change anything-for any reason-you need to take ownership of your decisions.  You are not a victim of circumstance: you have the power to change where you’re at.  It’s far simpler than we allow ourselves to believe.  2. When you want to change your life, you have to change the way you think, period.  Taking ownership means pausing in the situation and not reacting in the same way. Deepak Chopra says, “You can be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”  3. Clarity and a healthy relationship with your mind is key to everything.  Knowing who you are allows you to set boundaries, goals, and gives you a sense of purpose.

It is difficult to remove ourselves from the trenches of deeply and long engrained thought patterns.  But it all starts with the choice to change.  The choice that it is no longer enough to repeat patterns mindlessly. The choice to listen to the voice inside that says, “I will not settle.”  I made the choice that I no longer wanted to live my life under someone else’s thumb.  I am learning to be my own savior, a pioneer.

As a child, I did exactly as I was told and struggled to find any sort of creative outlet lest it interfere with what someone else needed me to do.  I’ve been with my husband for 18 years and I understand now that in our youth, I had fully expected him to complete me.  In my career, I still find myself seeking the approval and the reassurance that I am doing a good job or that I’m doing the right thing.  I still feel like a fledgling in so many ways and it’s difficult to break that pattern.  It took me this long to realize that that behavior put me in the passenger seat in my life.  It took me even longer to realize I didn’t want to be there.

I feel so much potential, especially as we enter the new decade, to really redefine my old habits and patterns and to make this life what I want it to be.  I feel that potential for everyone.  There is so much discontent floating around the world right now that people are searching for meaning.  They are starting to realize that the answers they need are inside of them.  I felt it myself.  Within that discontent, I felt the stirring of hope.  I feel with everything in me that huge, amazing changes are coming.

I can’t see what the future holds but I have a deep faith that we are all headed in a different direction.  For me the little moments are adding up more and more.  This weekend while I was baking all of my Christmas cookies, I made the decision to just go with it.  Knowing that it would all get done kept me going.  Seeing my son so happy to bake with me, to sit with me, to put up a tree with me totally reminded me of my purpose and my intention to start my business.  I am going to do this work so I can spend time with him and create a better life for all of us.  It reminded me to pay attention to what matters.

So, the things that matter: 1. My family.  In spite of any issues with my husband, we are connected and I love him.  If he isn’t happy or if we ultimately can’t be together we will deal with it.  But I CHOOSE to see the good in him, in what he tried to do.  I CHOOSE to work with him.  I PRAY he meets me at my level so we can excel in life together.  I PRAY I learn what I am meant to learn from him.  I BELIEVE we are meant to work through this but I will ALLOW what is unfolding to happen.  1A. My son is an unbelievable gift. I want to make him happy.  I want to give him all the love I can.  I want him to know how fiercely he is loved and supported.  2. My health.  I’m taking the time to let go of the bad habits and making my body a healthier organism.  I’m listening to my physical and mental needs and trying to let go of control, perfectionism, and fear.  I am honoring my worth and will only accept the best in my life.  3.  My career.  Not a job, but the work I love doing. My writing, this blog, my voice.  Helping others.  Allowing myself to be who I am.  Letting what was hidden out and making moves to be in alignment with my authentic self.  4.  Physical space.  I am learning what I really need and what I can purge to create a space that makes me happy with things that are needed and serve a purpose.

It’s a start and it is work that I am going to continue into the new decade.  I used to think that once we were a certain way, that was it forever.  I never understood how much say we had in the matter.  For all of those moments that don’t feel quite right or when you feel yourself agitated or angry—LISTEN.  Those are the moments that are guiding you toward your authentic self.  We don’t have to take huge, radical leaps to make a change in our lives.  Sometimes it’s just admitting to ourselves what we really want.  Sometimes it’s going in a slightly different direction every day until you find what works.  But it always starts with making the decision.  And that is all the power you need.