Getting My House in Order

I think it must be the arrival of spring that has me suddenly inspired to get my house in order. I’m not talking about re-organizing my kitchen cupboards (though that needs to be done, too), but rather, MY house – my mental, emotional, and spiritual house.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how I want my life to be. I feel like I’ve allowed myself to go a bit off the rails the last few years. I’ve allowed myself to become complacent, just going through the motions in a lot of ways. This is never what I pictured for myself. I’m not aiming for a life that’s filled with excitement and wonder every day, but I do want a life where I’m growing and evolving and not settling, dammit.

I’ve been doing a lot of settling lately. Sitting back and waiting for happiness and inspiration and fulfillment to just magically find me where I am (which, a lot of days, is glued to my couch). For some reason, I just haven’t been able to win the spiritual lottery…all the rewards with none of the hard work.

Well my friends, spring is in the air…and I’m feeling ready to get out there and get what I want out of this life of mine. I don’t want to be a little old lady someday, regretting all the years I spent stuck to my couch, re-watching TV on Netflix (though let’s be honest, I’m still going to make time for a little bit of that, too). If I want things to change, if I want things to improve, then I’m the person who has to get out there and make it happen. Most of the time, inspiration and happiness and fulfillment don’t just magically hit us like lightning out of nowhere; we have have to go out and chase it down.

Let the chase begin.

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2018: The Year of Compassion

The past few Januarys I have been setting my intention for the coming year with a single word. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know….it’s one of those trendy things to do right now. But honestly, it’s good to have something positive to focus on, and sometimes one single word is a whole lot more doable than resolutions.

*shrug*

Anyhow, I started thinking a little bit about what I wanted my word for 2018 to be. The word came to me and to be honest, I tried really hard to avoid it – I put in a lot of effort to find a word that I preferred. And yet, nothing seemed right. My mind kept drifting back to the original word, over and over again, until I finally decided that I needed to just roll with it, because obviously it was speaking to me for some reason.

My word for 2018 is compassion. Not just for other people – but for myself as well.

Full disclosure – I struggle with compassion. I admit that I can be a bit of a judgy person. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that most of us are a little judgy from time to time (at least), but for me, for where I am in my life right now, I know that it’s time to try and lay that to rest. I need to remind myself to be gentle when it comes to seeing others, and to show them kindness.

The thing is – I need to also show compassion to myself. I struggle with that more than I do with other people. I am my own harshest critic. I have a tough time allowing myself my feelings; I constantly judge and berate myself for anything negative. I know that this doesn’t serve me well – at all – and that I need to start being compassionate toward the woman I see in the mirror every day.

2018 is the year to work on both of these things.

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Nostalgia

The holidays are rushing fast toward us again. This time of year always gets me thinking back over my life. Childhood memories and traditions. Years when my girls were little. Happy holiday memories that CBG and I have made in our 9 years together.

This year, the nostalgia is even stronger. I’ve been working on a special Christmas gift for my daughters; a book filled with cute stories from when they were little. It’s a project I’ve had in mind for years now, and have never undertaken it. I decided that this is The Year.

We have a lot of funny little stories that I tell the girls from when they were small. They love hearing them, over and over again. After all, who doesn’t want to hear about how smart, funny and adorable they were when they were young?

Fortunately for me, this task has been made a fair bit easier. Of course, I have this blog, with tales that date back to early 2009. Before that, when I was pregnant, through to when my girls were toddlers, I kept journals, filled with my thoughts on motherhood, and lots of stories about my daughters, after they were born. I was reading through those old journals last night, pulling out little tales and writing them down in a bit more of a story form.

Many of these stories were things that I’d completely forgotten – as one does in life. I found myself giggling out loud at their antics; it is so amazing that their personalities really started forming when they weren’t even walking yet. I also felt more than one pinch in my heart, as I realized that I miss those days. Not all of it, of course, and not that I would wish myself back there, but there is a definite ache there. There’s nothing like the smell of a newborn or a gummy baby smile or seeing your little one walk for the first time.

I love my girls. I love the age they’re at now, challenges and all, but there is a part of me that misses the little people that they were back then.  I’m really grateful that I wrote those stories down – it’s like having them back with me again, just for a little while.

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Protected: Looking in the Mirror

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Protected: I Miss My Boyfriend

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Don’t Be “Nice”

One of the things I love about being a mom is the fact that I get to impart my wisdom to my daughters. Wisdom that, in a lot of cases, took me a lot of years, a lot of mistakes, and a stack of bad decisions to gain. I’m not naive enough to think that they take in everything I have to say, particularly at 12 and 14, but my hope is that what they don’t use now, they will at least tuck away for future reference.

Not that I have all the answers, of course. None of us do. But I think that most of us can benefit in some way or another from the advice and experiences of others. I sure as hell wish that I’d had someone providing me with helpful advice over the course of my life.

Pfffft. What am I saying? I still wish for that.

One of the things that I often tell my daughters is that they shouldn’t be “nice”. Being “nice” is something that I feel got me into a lot of bad situations in my life. Being nice meant that being liked was made a top priority. Being nice meant not standing up for myself. Being nice meant that I should acquiesce to the wants and needs of others, for fear that I might be seen as NOT niceNice people are taken advantage of, railroaded, dumped on, and rarely respected. I know you know that old saying that “nice guys finish last“. Well guess what? It’s even worse for nice women.

Before you go thinking that I’m a crummy mother who gives terrible advice to her children, allow me explain. For me, the word “nice” conjures up images of a weak person, who is largely disregarded by others because hey, “they’re SO NICE”.  Nice just isn’t that great. It’s bland at best. Don’t believe me? Consider this. Let’s just say you had a great time in bed with someone. You’re happy, you’re satisfied, you’re feeling all the warm and fuzzies that you normally feel. They turn and look at you say, “That was nice.

Um….nice?

Seriously?

So I tell my daughters that they should not be “nice” to others….because there are many better things to be than just “nice”. They can be kind, generous, thoughtful, intelligent, funny, considerate, assertive, brave, reliable, creative, compassionate, fair, loyal, polite, trustworthy…so many things.

…just never, ever “nice”.

 

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Resurrection

So I’ve been thinking about blogging again for a few months now.  It would seem that I still feel as though I have things to say, even though I’m pretty sure I’ll be saying them to relatively few people at this point. That’s okay, though. I feel like somehow the people who need to see my posts the most, will.

In the interest of privacy, I’ve made all my past blog posts private. Away from the prying eyes that recently scoured my blog with what seemed to be a fine-toothed comb. It’s no mystery to me who this person (or people) likely are. And that’s okay, actually. I hope you learned some interesting things. Maybe so interesting that you’ll take that info and bugger off to spread your negativity elsewhere. I have no time for that in my life.

Besides, the old blog feels a little too personal these days. Not that I’m embarrassed about anything that I wrote — far from it, in fact. This blog was once the place I retreated to work through the piles of crap that were weighing me down. I read old posts and see how far I’ve come in the last 9-ish years. And I’m proud of that. Seeing personal progress in such an obvious way is pretty empowering. But I’m a different person now, my life is different now, and I feel like I want to make a bit of a fresh start. Blogging may have vastly changed in the past decade, and is even dead for some, but it’s still a useful outlet. One that I plan to use.

So here’s to fresh starts. Because everyone deserves one, don’t you think?

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