My eyes are overflowing as I look at my Facebook “on this day” and hear my baby boy’s voice….
There are times as a mama that I am certain that I am f*cking everything up. That I could be better, read more, teach more, have more patience, be present more often, hug more, laugh more, live more….Was I too hard on the oldest? Am I too lenient with the youngest? Not present enough with the middle? Should I have stayed married to their dad? Fed them more veggies? Brought them that extra glass of water at bedtime?
Hell, tears are literally streaming down my face as I flash back over the last two decades of parenting….I’ve been a mama longer than I haven’t at this point in my life and my youngest is only in Kindergarten…my parenting road is long and never-ending. It’s full of gifts I couldn’t even have imagined. It’s the hardest damn job I’ve ever had and the best at the same exact time. Having children means exposing your heart to the world, watching them grow, setting the best example possible, and holding your breath as you witness their learning in progress.
Could I have done better? I ask myself this frequently. Am I being the best human I can possibly be in this very moment to set a positive example for my babies? Yes. Though some times I don’t have much available at that nanosecond in time.
I was just a baby myself when I got pregnant. 21, single, trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up – or more often – what to wear on a Friday night…. My first instinct was that having a baby was NOT a good idea. I didn’t tell their dad, instead I told my BFF and made my clinic appointment. I walked in that day and changed my life forever. I walked out scared, elated, determined and for the first time in my short life – thinking not about what I wanted to do – instead I had a new priority – my child. That was it – from that very moment on – I have not been guided by my wants/needs but those of my children. Every decision, from work to grocery shopping to schools to trips, is made with them in mind. How will this impact their wiring, their future, the world?
And then I hear Andrew’s song, or see Jace play with Dyl and I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I did something right. I always wanted to make the world a better place, and lookie there – I did – through them.
Shine on baby boys – mama loves you more than you know. Thank you for, everything. ❤
So the average shopper spent around $403 on Black Friday in 2015 – I’m assuming it’s a similar amount for last year.
I spent $526 on this famed day and didn’t wait in any lines overnight, get trampled, or wind up with an outdated electronic 6 months later.
I wound up here instead:
I’m on an island in the middle of the Atlantic, Terceira, surrounded by some of the most amazing sights I’ve ever witnessed. I’ve met some fabulous people, learned a wee bit of Portuguese, repelled down a canyon, hiked a lava tube, fell off a bike, took selfies with cows, watched the sun rise and set, and made a humongous deposit of life points in my memory bank.
Travel isn’t expensive, it isn’t prohibitive, it’s a choice.
This entire trip will cost me about $1200 when all is said and done – to me, it’s priceless.
The new friends who are so close in such a short period of time they shoot right to framily status, the culture, and the week long view into another way of life will mold my future far beyond a new phone, gift, or outfit ever could.
Go ahead, skip the latest and greatest and go old school….making photographs your priceless keepsakes and raising your lid, expanding your horizons, while living your life with passion and meaning.
To save 1200 in 4 months is a mere 300/month. Cancel your cable and skip the trade in of your car/phone/whatever and you can find yourself here too….
Filled with awe, wonder, and love.
What are you waiting for? Go make some memories. Expand your horizons. Lift your lid – live the life of your dreams.
I speak my mind. I share my thoughts, dreams, successes, challenges. My struggles are pretty transparent because I fully believe we can all relate to them and I’m not alone.
Some judge me for this. They think I shouldn’t share so much. Some applaud me for this. They can relate and stop feeling alone.
What happens when it’s your significant other that takes offense?
I took down a recent Facebook post of a quote that resonated with me because he didn’t like it. He got a text from a friend who asked him if everything was ok after reading it. He got upset that people would think it was about him. It was more weight on the relationship that was teetering off balance to begin with.
We’ve been struggling lately. I think it would be safe to say both of our love tanks are on E. Because of this, everything hurts. There is no communication. There is no intimacy. There are walls, negative patterns, and hurt. It really does blow massive chunks.
I think of my fav book of all time: Fierce Conversations. “The conversation is the relationship.” What if there is no conversation?
I’m supposed to fly to Portugal today – girls trip – purchased back in November.
Do you go when things suck so bad at home? Would the relationship be better with a break or will it be damaged further? Does it matter at all?
We come from two completely different worlds. What is status quo in his seems foreign to me. What I assume to be normal adult behaviour is something that he’s never experienced. What draws us together? I used to say it was that we were wired the same…growth minded, high achievers. I guess that is still true. The coming together on day to day is nearly impossible though.
I’ve felt lonely and taken for granted for ages now. I’m tired of having the same conversations. I’ve begun to withdraw.
The conversation is the relationship.
Doesn’t work when there is no communication beyond a few words each day.
Where do I go from here?
Affirmations are key – they say that what you tell yourself throughout the day is what you believe and how you literally wire your brain. So if you say “I’m broke” all day – guess what, you are. It’s kinda like the whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.
So I was going to write a blog with the title “I am not a baby mama”. There’s a long winded story – or meadow report as Tony Robbins would say – about why I was going to do this. However, once I typed the subject line, I remembered hearing our minds don’t really recognize the “not” part – and it’s really not all that positive and inspiring for myself or others.
So I changed it.
Just like that. A simple decision will lead me to type different words and change the lens through which I see the current situation.
I am a woman. A strong, beautiful, vibrant, predictably unpredictable woman. I am a mama. I am a business owner. I am full of love and light. I live to taste every last drop that life has to offer. I see something I want to do or be and I take action. I am the creator of my destiny.
This is a world that I created through years of reading, writing, meditating, learning, growing, and more. Each one of my decisions have shaped this very second right now. Me, sitting in my office, playing theme songs of my friends, next to my assistant – shaking the nervous energy out of my leg, wishing I had the lemon water that I left in the car, wondering if I have time for lunch before my 3pm call with the mediator. Nervous about that call, it’s about my baby and his future. It’s about what’s best for him. I stop for a second to ask for wisdom and guidance to be able to see a clear picture and know, deep down in my heart of hearts, that I am making the right decisions.
Wow, didn’t expect that to come out. I’m going to pour more energy in that direction. It vibrates a heck of lot higher than a rant about limiting beliefs and stories held so strongly by others.
After a deep breath….
I am a mama.
I am love.
I am light.
I am open to change.
I am stardust.
I am strong.
I am grateful. Very, very grateful.
We’re all guilty of it. It is a natural human reaction. It’s also poison to a relationship and a sign to look inward.
I recently posted something on Facebook that was classic “vaguebooking”. I was taken aback by something that happened in my life that seemed so out of whack with what I would have expected and I was stunned. I asked for help accepting it and moving beyond my feelings without saying what the cause was.
I got exactly what I needed and was able to process the event and get past my emotions.
Aside from great advice about checking my own expectations (where the pain really came from) and zooming out to look at the big picture only to realize it wasn’t out of culture at all for the source (we tend to only see what we want to see), I learned another valuable lesson.
People tend to see themselves and their own insecurities and perceived flaws when they’re not happy on their own path.
I heard of quite a few people who, instead of reading the status and either moving along or providing insight on the question at hand, took it as a personal attack on them.
What the what?
Yep. Multiple people got their panties in a bunch over it and reached out to those in my circles to express their displeasure in my talking shit about them.
It was really pretty sad if you think about it.
Giving absolutely no clues as to what bothered me, only asking for help in dealing with the situation, I created a shit storm.
This disruption rippled through my various circles, without my immediate knowledge, and left me once again pondering about life.
When we are uncomfortable with a situation and don’t know how to handle it, we tend to avoid it. This leaves us looking only through our own lens, creating alternative facts, and we end up “building on shit” – a term I use for not having a solid foundation in any relationship – personal or business.
It sits in our subconscious, toxic and negative, until something pokes it.
My status update did just that. I unknowingly and unintentionally poked the bear.
Always looking inwardly when something happens, I realize that I, too, am guilty of some pretty rocky foundations. Situations that I moved on from, without cleaning them up and putting them away first. It’s like shoving something in a closet, everything looks pretty – until someone opens the door.
As a teen I spent many years in recovery programs and went through the 12 steps. I didn’t really understand step 4 – make amends – until I was older, much older. Step 4 is akin to cleaning out those closets and getting your house in order to build a bigger life with a strong support system in place. So you don’t build on shit and have it all come crashing down when you take something too personally.
This spring, when the birds start chirping and the urge to open the windows and deep clean your kitchen hits…I urge you to open one of your emotional closets and see what’s in there. Take everything out, sort it, and only out back what gives you joy. The rest needs to be sold, thrown away, or donated. Now I don’t mean literally – there’s no market on ebay, that I know of anyway, for your 10 year old grudge against your bff for not inviting you to her bridal shower; you do this by zooming out, looking at it through a different lens, writing it all down, calling them up and clearing the air, or simply meditating on it and letting it go.
I have been working on this for a while now, it’s definitely not a one and done sort of thing. It’s life, it’s a journey, it’s a constant process of never-ending improvement and growth.
It is also a game changer.
Life is short. Do you want to spend it struggling or thriving? The choice is yours.
Someone hand me the windex please, I have some cleaning to do.
It’s how long I have to wait to respond to an emotionally charged message.
This is the advice of my 21 year old son, Andrew. He’s an old soul – so wise beyond his years – thankfully he is still my baby at the same time. I watch him grow as his world expands at a rate faster than the speed of light. New experiences bring a depth to his perspective not seen in most adults. I’m certain it’s not his spirit’s first trip around the sun.
20 minutes. It’s not really long enough if you ask me. I have a rule that all biz calls/emails/messages be returned the same day. Totally not the case now for my personal responses.
My emotions are raw, powerful and fragile simultaneously. I’ve bargained with the universe before to even me out…to keep my lows from going so low…yet that’s not what I really want.
I want to soar. I want to set my sights on the highest peak, climb it, and then realize how many more are out there beyond it. And I want to scale them next.
With every climb, the risk of falling is increased as well. I’m not willing to part with my zest and live a life of blandness.
So I wait. 20 minutes.
Long enough to forget about the salt that was just poured in my wound and zoom out to refocus on the bigger picture. It’s serving me well.
Every feeling is a choice. Every decision to react or respond leads us down a different road. Every moment is an opportunity for change.
This year I choose bravery. I choose responses. I choose my feelings like my friends, wisely. I choose to wait, 20 minutes, and sometimes 20 more.