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Janu-Wary

I was feeling the bliss, the rolling high on the “Ok-ness” from the holiday downtime until yesterday when suddenly I felt myself starting to knock all the happy little hope bubbles off the 2016 shelf where I’d so carefully placed them. Exactly 2 weeks in and suddenly there’s nothing new anymore about the year?!

I’ve read New Year’s posts galore and copious word of the year choices. And there were warnings to be careful about resolutions that would fail you as opposed to themes that could guide you. Or meditation that can ground you. Or just plain awareness of your choices to feel bad as opposed to good. Someone wise said beware when the newness wears off. Glad to have that warning because I think that just happened.Janu-wary on Shalavee.com

Suddenly I felt the old thought patterns knocking at the door. Familiar voices calling out to me about my not enoughness. Why don’t I have a clearly defined purpose and a twelve month plan on exactly how I’m going to carry that out ? Like that woman with the shiny blog and an online creative career? Surely if I could just choose to be impassioned by something, my life would completely change and fall right into place.

So off I go to the gym hoping for inspiration and a change in thoughts. I’m on the treadmill and I recognize the familiar devaluing myself based on others cognitive distortion going on. “Comparison is the thief of joy” I chant and “Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides” came to mind. Comparison to others is unfair. No I may not know my complete “Why” but as long as I stay focused on gratitude and the creative work in front of me, I am so close, in the zone. Janu-wary on Shalavee.com

If that involves month-long collaborative projects, great! If I feel like I need to have weekly themes, great! But I do not have to be or do anything other than what makes me soulfully happy. That’s purpose enough. That’s really all I have time for besides the mothering of a toddler and a ten-year old and the maintenance of this household. Truly I am enough for just this realm of activities.

And then a friend/acquaintance comes over and scares the heck out of me, as my earphones were mighty loud. She wanted me to know that she’d read my blog post, something I’d written. She says I write really well. And I said “Thank you” and meant it. Thank you for the reminder Universe. My shelf of little hopes remains in tact.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Unqualified Enoughs

On a ‘not feeling so great’ day recently, I realized I was looking around my house, at my life, at all the things I am supposed to measure up to. Numerous items and definitions and tasks that have no real measured defined standard. I somehow, I had fallen short of measuring up to an undefined level of perfectionism. A unacheivable undefined standard. And so I will fail every day.

That queasy feeling I have knowing that every day I will be judged and found to be an inadequate failure. My house won’t be pretty enough, my writing won’t ever be published or prolific enough, my kids won’t be stimulated enough, and my body won’t be young enough.

Like a slow leak in my psyche, again the case of the not enoughs has taken its toll. Every effort I make goes down the ‘not enough’ hole. My energy drained, my efforts unnoticed.

Perhaps I judge and sentence myself to avoid anyone beating me to the punch of telling me I’m not enough. The crime is punishable by solitude and no risks. I will already create the rejection I expect the world handing me so that I won’t be disappointed when it does. I am in control of my failure, I already know how it turns out. At the gas tank on Shalavee.com

Yet, to have seen the pattern is to break it. Whatever effort I muster in a day, that has to be enough. What I have to give is all I have. And raising the standards, the daily expectations so that I always fail, that’s just downright mean.

So here I am giving myself credit and permission to be OK with whatever I have today. It’s OK. And I offer myself the faith that I will get around to working on and clearing and creating whatever needs to happen in the order of its importance. I will commit to defining my enoughs. The children will have enough love. I will have enough time with my friends. And I will forgive myself my brutal humanity yet again and allow for the risks that will elevate me above a survivor and onto a successfully self-aware woman who is using her wisdom and fear to inspire others out of their fear holes too. Enough is enough.

Wanna see the whole month of posts? Start here.Wanna see yesterday’s post, go here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The Easter Egg Debacle

I know you think I am a nice person. And I am most of the time. But a patient person? Having a toddler has shown me all of my imperfect impatient downfalls. These became glaringly apparent when we went to dye Easter eggs this past Saturday morning. How quickly I had forgotten the Christmas cookie baking lesson. Dying Easter eggs on Shalavee.com

I thought I would be able to figure something out on the fly. Give her a way to dye the eggs. But boom, she’s trying to lay the egg down on the flat table, grabbing the cups of dye, and there’s just no way to baby proof this event. As I was already twitching from the rest of the morning, the moment she took the egg and crushed it in her fist, I knew we were done.blowing bubbles on Shalavee.com

I bloody well love dying Easter eggs. It’s totally a thing for me. Mandatory seasonal crafting along with carving pumpkins. But there are certain things that need to be done without two year-olds and this was one of them. I didn’t mention the brain exploding amount of patience it took the other day to hold the bubbles for like 45 minutes straight while she attempted to blow them, did I. I’ve just gotten rid of the eye twitch and pray it won’t return.

Yes, some women are born to have and raise children with infinite patience and no other expectations. Pas moi. I could do without this toddler phase except for the utter heart stabbing cuteness of her saying “Wogger” for water. And the shrieking contagious giggles she gets when her Dad zerberts her on her tummy.eggs and bowls on Shalavee.com

So I am now completely aware that again, I’m not a toddler crafter. I need to leave this stuff to the pros. I’ve learned my lesson. And I’d like to apologize to Fiona, and I just might some day, but not today. I am however secretly praying she doesn’t take this event personally and have it thrown back in my face at age thirteen.

The posts are no longer truncated and all words will appear in your mailbox. However, if you want to see all my lovely full color pictures, you’ll still need to click over to the blog to view those.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks a bazillion for your visit.

Too Many Aspirations and Expectations

My numerous aspirations and expectations and absolutes are a few of my favorite weapons of self-destruction adding to the slow but certain loss of my mind. What’s left is now being eaten away slowly by my toddler and 9-year-old. I am left to spin in circles with the one foot nailed down, drooling like some captured Mommy Zombie groaning, “Brains, brains”. Because these brains are what I seem to be lacking and in need of replacement these days.

My arsenal of self defeat is well stocked with a life time of my weapons of self-destruction. The over used expectometer seems to have me thinking that many things are doable when in fact they really aren’t. Like my recent vacation that wasn’t relaxing because kids + vacation time may not equal that relaxation you equate with a vacation. The booby trap I fall for every time is the concept that I’m super Mom and I’ll be able to accomplish all my household and blog tasks, or those thrown at me by my husband (“Can you go get, go mail, or call blank?”), fulfill the instantaneous needs of my children (she’s fallen and is crying again for the tenth time TODAY), aaannndd take on a DIY project that involves a sewing machine. The expectometer will self destruct in five…four…three…two… Kablewie.

water guns from Shalavee.com

The regular imbibing of tonic water and my Absolutes gets me thinking that before I get to do/enjoy A, I must first be done with B. I can’t… read a book…redecorate that room…or go out with a friend…until I’ve…cleaned the house…balanced the checkbook… or decided what my purpose in life is. There’s contingencies I’m tripping over everywhere. If you did this to a kid, you’d be the meanest parent ever. For real, you would be. You can’t have this until you do that. Eventually the kid concedes he’ll just never get anything because the bar keeps getting moved. And he gives up on him/herself, figuring he/she is no longer worth the struggle.

And then there’s my many many many numerous aspirations. Nothing is wrong with wanting more in one’s life. But when everything you want to do is constantly piled high as the sky on this platter, you end up feeling overwhelmed and under-capable. I’ve got people, projects, and changes that need to happen in my To-Do line up. And my system for scheduling and delegation to even handle the daily tasks sucks. So imagine when you throw all the other ‘change the world’ stuff on top. Then it becomes me who sucks. Dispersed and frustrated, I can never feel like I am getting anywhere. How Ya' Doin' from Shalavee.com

Lastly, there’s my lack of boundaries. This inability to decide when to say no, who to say no to, and what to toss out of my antiquated lifestyle and system management, leaves me raw. Because there’s just not enough time or energy in the day for all of it. And I fear Mommy’s zombie brain will begin taking others out with her.

I am going to focus on systems now, writing it all down, practice saying no to everyone including myself, and figure out a way to be OK with not being on top of it all always. And if things are unfinished or screwed up, I’m going to practice letting go. Practice makes perfect. And dismantling a well established arsenal takes time.

Cut Your Losses

I felt frustrated at the way things weren’t going. Why was I not out lunching with my multitude of friends? Why wasn’t I progressing on that project? Why did I have nothing to show for all the work and hours I felt I’d invested in that… writing piece…garden…friendship? It all made me feel bad.

And then I started to think, what was that all about? Why was I expecting people to communicate with me in ways they couldn’t? Or expecting a garden or blog following to grow that I had not cultivated? Why was I so intent on having things a certain way or no way at all? The dead ends were of my construction and my head was beginning to hurt from banging into them.

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There’s something I like to refer to as the “point of diminishing returns”. When your total investment plus expectations are not paid back or the effort has outweighed the payback, you need to be done. I am aware that letting go of hope for a change can be extremely hard. Especially in instances like marriage when you value the concept and paper that the union stands on. Having already invested so much, you are unwilling to admit it was never worth it.  That was how I felt in my first marriage. But finally, I admitted defeat and left.

Daisies

Being done can seem like admitting to failure and to being human. Yet cutting your losses can also be the most compassionate thing you can do for yourself, your friend, your career, your siblings, and your marriage partner. A chance to stop expecting stuff they and you can’t deliver. To set all free from unreasonable expectations without blame. To simply say, this isn’t working for me if that is what you have discovered. No blame or shame in that game. It’s life. Perhaps the beginning to the life you’ve not allowed yourself to have thus far.

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