No Planning, No Problem

So, as a recovery perfectionist, I have to constantly remind myself that not every second of every single day has to be planned out. (Even while typing those words the perfectionist in me is saying, “But we sure can plan most of them.”) This is a character defect that I feel a lot of moms and other perfectionists suffer from. We want everything to work out and go smoothly in the way we saw it playing out in our overworked heads.

But there are still certain aspects of my life that I refuse to plan out the way everyone wants me to. For example, I’ve been told way too many times that a blog needs to be planned out days, weeks, sometimes even months in advance in order to be successful.

Well, I’m pulling back the curtain and revealing my little secret…I write, right here with you, every single morning. Why? Because this blog isn’t meant to appeal to the masses of people getting attention on Pinterest and Google. This space here was created to focus on helping and healing.

There are some definite perks to not having anything planned when I sit in my chair every morning. I’m challenged to ask myself how I’m feeling, something I would otherwise not focus on until I’m boiling over with rage or in a puddle of tears.  But this place has demanded that I be more proactive about my own emotions and feelings, and for that I will be forever grateful.

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Bad Memories Bring Good Opportunities

Are you ever haunted by your past? Do you ever see flashes of a time you desperately wish could erase from your memory forever?

You know, those memories that make you cringe while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or helping your kids pick up their Legos. Those images that made you think to yourself, “Where the hell did that come from?”

Maybe you don’t have vivid images or flashbacks to a time everyone wants to forget, but I bet you have moments in time you wish you could change. (I know I do!) Maybe those memories don’t come to visit you very often, but when they do…man, they can derail your entire focus. But we can’t change the past…so what do we do?

We dig deeper into those hay stacks of memories to try to pull out that one little needle that threatens to torment us for the rest of our days. There is some reason why that moment in time lurks in the corner of your subconscious, waiting for the right time to reappear and shake shit up.

What I have come to realize is when a memory haunts me, it is because I haven’t fully dealt with it. There are countless ways to “deal” with a situation from the past, but more often than not it has to do with not being able to let go of something. Maybe we need to forgive someone. Maybe we need to forgive ourselves. Maybe we need to ask for forgiveness. Maybe we are holding onto resentments. The list goes on and on.

In no way do I believe it’s a good idea to keep pushing those memories aside and not address them, but instead I encourage you to face them and find a resolution to make them go away indefinitely. As I’ve stated before, I don’t know everything. But I do know that letting memories and your past control your thoughts leads to toxicity in your life…even if you’re sober.

 

Motivation, Motivation, Motivation

There are, I’m completely positive, a gazillion posts on the internet about motivation. I’m sure there are so many out there that you couldn’t read possibly read them all in one lifetime. But, with that being said, here is another one.

Motivation comes easy to some people. Motivation feels like a pipe dream for others. Some people can wake up spiffy and “ready to go!” Some people have to drag themselves out of bed just to take a shower and make an attempt to live their life.

It’s not easy, for anyone. Not just the people who struggle with motivation, but also the people who are trying to conquer the world – one good attitude at a time.

We all need that push, that drive, to keep us going. Otherwise, what is the point? What is the reason for any of it? Why are we still showing up every day? Why are you still showing up every day?

There is a reason.

I’m not here to give you that reason because I’m still working on figuring out that exact thing out for myself. I’m here to remind you to find your motivation. Find your reason to stay in the thick of the muck instead of escaping to an easier alternative.

Motivation. Motivation. Motivation.

 

There Are Certain Experiences for a Reason

Imagine being a young child. You can barely see over the counter tops, maybe not even at all. You see a commotion going on just right over the edge of the formica counter-tops and your little brain gets curious. What’s going on up there? Why is all of that clear smoke coming up from that big silver thing sitting on that hot thing? Maybe I should reach up and touch it.

If you have had any experiences with keeping kids away from hot stoves and counter-tops with sharp objects, then you understand that one of two things is about to happen. Either a poor decision will be made by the child resulting in a harmful trip to the emergency room with either burns or a cut, hopefully none of which turn out to be fatal. Or another bystander will see the entire situation and warn the child (probably in an obnoxiously loud tone) that they are about to hurt themselves. (Plus, if they react anything like me instinctively, they will probably lunge forward and yell instead of being all calm-cool-and-collected.)

Get hurt or receive a blessed warning.

Those are the only two choices in this scenario. Those may be the only two options period when it comes to certain situations in our lives. When we make bad decisions we usually are only given too options: get hurt or make this a valuable learning lesson.

Learn from your mistakes and observe the warning signs along the way. They aren’t always obvious, but they can save you a whole lot of pain if you can see them coming!

But Aren’t You Supposed to Be Perfect?

The words perfect and perfection used to haunt me. Daily I would remind myself how inadequate I was and how I wasn’t living up to my own expectations. Comparative living and constantly having that “grass is always greener” attitude was really dragging me down.

I’m not sure when the pivotal revelation happened and I decided to stop giving a shit about perfection, but I can tell you how much I’ve changed from that momentous shift in perspective.

I no longer tell myself I’m not good enough. I simply use encouraging words like, “Try harder.” I don’t feel inadequate when looking at someone else’s life compared to my own. I think to myself, “They are on a different path than I am.” I also try, as often as I can, to praise and encourage people I know who are welcoming lots of success in their lives. It’s pretty hard to be bitter when you’re generally happy for someone else.

By no means am I perfect at not being perfect (see what I did there), but I am much more aware that perfection itself does not exist.

PROGRESS…not perfection!

Don’t Lose Your Spontaneity!

So in this stage of my life, I no longer strive to be spontaneous anymore. Yes, every once in a while I’ll get a wild hair to order pizza for the kids on a Friday night (I know, CALM DOWN!), but that’s about as zany as we get these days.

I feel as though “spontaneous = reckless” in this season of my life. I don’t believe that’s 100% true, but I find myself being less and less spontaneous the older I get. Maybe routine is to blame. Maybe my need to be responsible is to blame. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown so comfortable in our little cocoon at home that venturing off to anything new kinda scares the crap out of me.

Yesterday, I took my kids to audition for a movie…3 hours away! We never do anything on a whim like this. If something requires us to travel on the weekend (especially 3 hours away), I’ve had it planned out for weeks with the well-stocked snack bag and drinks needed for the entire trip ready to go before we ever load up the car.

No such thing happened yesterday. I had a friend who was excited about taking her own kids (granted they were only 30 minutes down the road from the audition) and her excitement about it got the best of me. I thought, “What the hell? Why not? All I was going to do today was laundry!”

We have no idea if anything will come out of going to this audition, but I did learn one important thing yesterday…try new things even if they scare you. My kids did it. They actually had fun too!

You can be spontaneous and responsible at the same time. My kids didn’t miss school. Nobody missed work for us to go. And we made it home just in time for our nightly routines. Don’t lose your ability to be spontaneous!

Celebrating One Year, Yesterday

There was a pop-up notification that I have been writing this blog for a year. A whole year, people! That may not seem like a big deal to you, but man oh man…that’s huge for me! The reason why it’s such a big deal is because in the past year I have let go of so many issues that have been lingering around forever, and it’s all thanks to this community.

Before, I would walk around holding in my resentments about the past, complaints about the present, and worries about the future. That is until they started becoming too big of a burden to carry.

Now, I get to come here everyday and talk to y’all before any of the chaos of my life (that comes with having a husband, 3 kids, and a dog) takes over. I get to sit down with my cup of coffee and contemplate life with you fine people each and every day.

So yes, a whole year is a big deal for me! Hopefully, there will be many more to come!