Making Room

We have all heard “Out with the old, in with the new.”  It sounds so pleasant, but it can be very difficult.  Sometimes it can happen abruptly and without warning.

If you have read some of my previous posts, you will know that I went through a season of unfortunate events.  The first unfortunate event was the second accident in my minivan.  I was on my way to the body shop to get an estimate for a rear end collision that caused some minor damage to my rear bumper.  I had planned on doing some Christmas shopping as well.  I had my mother and my two-year-old son in tow at the time when a pickup truck crossed the median,  T-boned another truck which in turn hit me, pushing my van into oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the highway.  The first truck went on to hit the car behind me. Fortunately, the oncoming traffic was far enough away not to hit me again.  After the dust cleared, I checked to see if my mom and son were okay, snapped my dislocated thumb back in place (yeah, I’m tough like that), I realized all of my airbags had deployed which meant my van was surely a total loss.  The drunk driver who hit us had destroyed my mommymobile and caused so much damage and injury to others as well. The last person hit was seriously, but not life-threateningly injured.

The paramedics came to take us to the hospital and as I could see that my mom and son were okay, I wondered what lingering aches and pains would follow us in the upcoming days, and possibly years to come.  I hoped my thumb was not broken.  It wasn’t, and my mom and son were fine (my mother and I needed several weeks of physical therapy, but on the whole, we were okay).  After my family and I made it safely home from the hospital, I started to think about my mommymobile.  I had purchased it when I was still working.  Now as a full-time, stay-at-home mom, my family was living on just one salary. I wondered if we would be able to get another vehicle comparable to the one we had.  I loved that van.  Fortunately, we were able to get a used van identical to the one we had.  This one even had all of the bells and whistles my base-model had not.  Something I loved was replaced with something better.

I think of this story when I have challenging moments in my life.  There are times when I need to make room for better things.  I cannot get too attached to something that may be blocking the place of something better.  Go with the flow.  Allow things to be transient.  Oftentimes we tend to hold on to things with the mindset of scarcity.  The world is abundant.  We have more than we need at our disposal and should never hold on so tightly to things with the belief they cannot be replaced.

I would like to challenge all of us to make room.  Purge the old and tattered and make room for something new.  We deserve it!

 

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Keep it Simple

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In life we often try to make things more complicated than they are.  If we can just take the time to listen to what our hearts, minds, and bodies are telling us, we can face the world and all its challenges with confidence.

 

March 2016 – positively present

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Source: March 2016 – positively present

In all areas of our life we need balance. It has been a struggle for me and others to take time for ourselves and to also realize that that time is a necessity. Don’t let guilt seep into your personal time. You deserve it and it is essential to your well-being.

Might as Well Jump!

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I am a very cautious person.  I’ve always been the person who weighs every possible option before making a decision.  It is a blessing and a curse.  I have found this quality beneficial to my friends when they ask me for advice, but mostly it has been a hindrance for me.  I go back and forth so many times and usually it prevents me from making a move or trying something new.  Fortunately, I have been making some much needed changes and they have been paying off.

I have decided in some instances, not all, I might as well jump.  I may make a mistake, I will just learn to deal with it.  The most important part is learning.  I never want to stop learning.  How will I continue to learn if I don’t accept and welcome new experiences?    I have met many amazing people and even made new friends. The process has been challenging and I am not quite at the point I want to be, but I am still working on it and enjoying the journey.

I have made a list of things that I plan to do and I am holding myself to it.  There are so many things that I’ve always wanted to do but, have talked myself out of.  I might as well jump!

Persistence

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Persistence is the cousin of consistency, but they are very different.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been struggling with consistency, but I have been persistent.  I’ve noticed that my goals in life have not changed, but I have an issue with long-term commitment.  I have been successful in many things, but eventually I tend to slow down and it takes some time for me to reach my full potential.

I have fallen into the habit if putting things off.  Without having deadlines, I have become a bit of a slacker.  I have been putting of so many things and have started to fall into another dangerous habit of putting my needs last.  One thing I am thankful for is my ability to recognize it when it happens.  It started with the light weight gain, headaches, and other signs that my body was telling me that it was being neglected.  Surely, it was upsetting, but I had to do something about it.  I couldn’t let it go on.  I had to practice the things that I had in the past.  I couldn’t let my slight, but evident regression discourage me.

Many of us struggle with various things in our lives, but we must be persistent in the pursuit of our goals.  We can’t let the past effect positive changes we can make today.  Falling behind should not stop us from running, walking, or crawling to the finish line.

Keeping Things in Check

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Like I have mentioned before, I have been a stay-at-home mom for over 7 years.  I must stay that the rewards are endless, but for me, the lifestyle of a stay-at-home mom has had some challenging aspects as well.  I let a lot of things slide including my personal well-being.  I gained weight and chose to spend the majority of my time catering to my son and his activities while neglecting my own.  Just as I see all the benefits of choosing not to work outside the home until my son was younger, I am also aware of the the things I didn’t keep in check.

Now I am in the process of doing the things for myself that I had put off for so many years.  I am aware that others may be in my same position for various reasons.  Some may be taking care of an aging parent, a recuperating spouse, or settling into retirement.  All of these things are honorable and good, but one must take care to not neglect oneself.  Taking care of yourself takes nothing away from the good that you do  for others. I have realized that now that I am working to put myself back in the shape I was in prior to being a wife and mother.  I would like to share some of the things I have learned from my past mistakes.

Your health is priority

You would think that your stress level drops dramatically after you quit your 9 to 5.  For me it didn’t.  Being responsible for another human being can be very stressful.  There were so many things I had to plan and to plan around.  I didn’t have a scheduled lunch break so oftentimes lunch did not happen for me.  It no longer became part of my routine.  I made sure that my son was fed and dry and well rested, but I didn’t schedule that same thing for myself.  Sometimes I only ate once a day.  Usually my meal was fast food eaten in the car while my son was napping in his car seat.  I felt that I was being a good mother because I was placing my needs above my son’s.  Eventually the pounds started to pile on, my blood pressure began to rise, and when I looked in the mirror I didn’t recognize myself.

Maintain a connection to the outside world and also make frequent ventures into it

I didn’t realize how much structure my job outside of home added to my life.  I had scheduled meetings, lunches, presentations, and most importantly social interaction with adults.  These social interactions were vital to my life.  These connections were not only important for my work, but also for me as a person.  I did not realize how important they were until I no longer had them.  I also didn’t realize that my social skills needed to be exercised.  After a while I began to shy away from any social interaction.  I stopped going to church, I stopped going out with friends, and I spent most of my time at home.  Had I continued to to maintain some form of social interaction I may have been able to keep some of the things in check that I had let go.  I could have had the encouragement and fellowship of other people to aid me in that transition.

Accept help when it is offered

I can’t tell you how many times I turned down offers of babysitting just because I felt I didn’t deserve a break.  I felt that it would be selfish of me to accept help for something I had quit work to do myself.  What I failed to realize is that parenting is work.  And just like with any other job breaks are not only deserved, but should be mandatory.  If you are a caregiver in any capacity you must give yourself a break.  Accept the extended hand that is offered to you.  If you aren’t offered help there is nothing wrong with asking for it.

Don’t compare yourself to others

I am still struggling with wondering if I am a good enough mother.  My I breastfed my son for 10 months.  He began to ween himself I had very little choice in the matter.  If it were up to me I would have done it for longer.  I was envious of the women who were still nursing their children.  I also wondered if my son was involved in enough activities, if I was feeding him the best possible food, if I was capable of providing him with enough intellectual stimulation, etc.  Every time another mother mentions something they were doing for their children I would feel bad if I wasn’t doing the same.  In reality nothing is perfect an we are not going to do things perfectly right all the time.  All we can do is our bests.

It wasn’t until 2 miscarriages and several hospitalizations that I, who had always been very healthy, realized that I was seriously harming myself.  The altruistic behavior that I had placed so high on a pedestal was killing me.  I could not do my best if I was making myself sick.  I am so glad I learned my lesson before it was too late.  I would encourage all of us to do the same.  There are enough hours in a day to get what you need done.  Take full advantage of them, but most importantly, use some of that time for yourself.

 

 

 

 

Know your Worth: Share yourself with the Worthy

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Knowing your worth means something different for each person.  Essentially it is important to know that you have value.   Our values differ, but once you have established what your values are, you owe it to yourself to maintain them and not to be willing to compromise them.

We must be aware of our worth in relationships.  When I was much younger I was in a relationship that left me feeling empty and unfulfilled.  Being very young,  it took time and experience to realize that I deserved to be full and fulfilled in every relationship and in every aspect of life.  If I chose to share my life with someone, that person must be worthy of my time and attention.  I should not be in a relationship that does not honor the value I’ve placed on myself.

If you find yourself in a similar situation it would be in the best interest of the relationship to have a discussion about how you expect to be treated.  If that person is not willing to meet your expectations, this may be the time to move on or reevaluate the terms of the relationship.  Life is too short to not celebrate your value.  You should enjoy yourself and be in the company of people who will appreciate you.

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