Just Focus on Today

When I think about all of the worries or fears or doubts I have, almost every single one of them is in the future. It’s not even something right here in front of me. Worried about how my kids will turn out; worried if I’ll ever be able to earn more money to contribute to the family income; worried that none of us will make friends in our new little community. Worry. Worry. Worry. I understand that some/most of those are ridiculous things to worry about, but they do pop into my head…a lot actually!

But what happens if I focus on today? What if, instead of worrying about things that are completely out of my control, I solely focused on today? I mean this is after all the culmination of life, right? Focusing on today and not tomorrow’s worries. (Easier said than done on most days.)

Not today, though. I will focus on today as today is my only guarantee. I’m not guaranteed tomorrow or next month or even next year, but I am here today. I’m not trying to sound like a Debbie Downer here, but I just woke up this morning and realized I was bumming myself out worrying about freaking everything around me and that wasn’t helping one little bit! So it’s time to try something new!

I hope you are encouraged to focus on today. I hope we can encourage each other to stop worrying so damn much and enjoy the people and the relationships right here in front of us.

When Your Perspective Changes

One of my favorite radio shows does a segment called “First World Problems.” I love listening to the hilarious and absurd things we complain about or even get very upset about when it comes to life in a developed, financially well-off country. It puts things into perspective when you hear these complaints from other people. It reminds me that most of my complaints are just as ridiculous as theirs.

For example, my husband and I are now being told we will have to move once again after we just moved our family. Is anyone going to die in this situation? No. Will anyone be left behind or be homeless? No. Does this mean we will have to sacrifice our standard of living in order to accommodate the move? No, I really don’t think so.

You see, problems always seem so much bigger in our heads. It’s when we get them out there for other people to hear them that we hear from our own voice just how absurd our “problems” really are.

I know we’ll be fine. I know our family and our kids are resilient and that we are “home” as long as we are together making an effort to make it a home. I know there are people all across this country making tougher decisions today or having to move further away than 3 hours South. I know there are military families that are shipping loved ones over seas and across oceans to do the jobs they love to do.

My perspective has changed. Thank you God for giving me perspective and for allowing my ridiculous worries, fears, doubts, and anxieties be silenced so people will real issues can be heard.

 

When Life Throws You a Curve-ball

Recently, we moved our family 3 hours away from where our children had gone to school for the past 3 years. We were established in our community. We knew people when we went to the grocery store. We had friends to talk to at little league games. We knew our neighborhood pretty well. And I was on a first name basis with the principals and teachers at each of my boys’ schools.

Then we moved.  We moved to be closer to family. We knew this was going to be challenging, but being closer to family in a good school district was a move we were willing to make.

Then it happened…

This past Friday we were thrown an unexpected curve-ball. While we are still in the middle of unpacking boxes and sorting through all of our recently moved home, we were told my husband’s company would once again be relocating us, along with the rest of their company headquarters, to another location 3 hours south from where we just moved.

“Really? Why couldn’t they have just kept us where we were and moved us from there? Why are we having to move twice? Do we want to move? What other options do we have?”  These were just a few of the questions my husband and I tossed back and forth on Friday as we were in disbelief this was actually happening.

But, like anything else, we will get through it. I’m not 100% sure how easy the new transition will be, but I do know that as long as we are sober and we stick together we can accomplish anything.

God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

Summer is Finally Here

It’s funny how life changes. When we were kids growing up, we got so excited about summer. No more homework. No more early mornings. No more class everyday. We could usually just hang out with our friends, go to the pool, maybe the lake if we were lucky, and every few years we got to see the beach. Yeah, summers as a kid were amazing.

Enter parenthood…

Now, I look forward to summer break because we won’t have homework; no more early mornings; we can have play-dates with friends; we get to go to the pool; maybe we can have a lake day if we’re lucky; and maybe we’ll get to see the beach one of these years.

So, wait, what has really changed?

Well, for starters I have to keep these 3 tiny humans alive all summer. That’s definitely new! But also I get to watch the magical times of summer through the lens of a parent. Yes, the days pass by quicker for me than they do for the kids (whose hours and minutes drag along at a snail’s pace during the summertime – I do remember that), but I get to be part of new adventures in my kid’s lives. I get to partake in endless hours of board games, water fights, zoo trips, and maybe even a cool museum or two.

So, why am I sharing this?

Because I wouldn’t be able to do any of this with my kids had I not stopped drinking. Sure, I could still go to the pool, the zoo, the lake, the beach, or wherever the destination may be, but how can I be responsible for these little people when I can’t even responsibly take care of myself?

These trips would probably still be fun as I chased down chardonnay after chardonnay, but then who drives us home responsibly? Who takes us to the urgent care when someone falls at the pool? Who is able to care for my babies when they are solely in my care daily this summer?

Me…this sober mama right here will take pride in being able to do all of the mundane and sometimes boring things I’ll be doing this summer. I’ll do them with pride. I’ll do them with perspective. I will gladly play monopoly so many times my head will explode! Because I get to…

Just Show Up

Half of the daily battle, or the “daily grind,” is just showing up. If you wake up and don’t hit the snooze button today, you’re ahead of the curve! If you got up and went to work, school, took care of your family, or simply did something productive, you are already heading in the right direction.

This idea may frustrate some people who have high expectations and are usually highly-motivated individuals ([hand raised] ME!), but the truth is as long as we keep putting one foot in front of the other each day, then we are still making progress.

“But what about determination? What about goals? What about being the absolute best?”  Yes, these are questions that slip into my subconscious all of the time. But there are some things that can only be measured when we look in the mirror.

Let me give you an example: Are you being the best parent you can be? Well, it’s unfair to compare to someone else’s parenting because their situation is probably different than yours. However, we can take a look at how we have parented in the past and see if we have made any improvements. Are we spending quality time with the kids? Are we there for them when they need us? Or are we not even showing up?

You may think you’re just treading water, but I promise you if you’re showing up to do the job, to parent the kids, and to be the spouse you want to be, you’re already winning the battle. The people that don’t show up, well, those people aren’t even giving themselves a chance at living their own life.

How Do You Heal a Broken Heart?

This is one of those questions that will never have a clear cut answer. Your broken heart may be a completely different experience than mine. Yours may involve a significant other, while mine may involve a bratty teenager who said mean things. Your broken heart may consist of fighting and bickering, while mine was a slow death by a thousand cuts from someone continuously ignoring me.

There are endless possibilities on how to have your heart broken, but how do you put it back to together? How do you heal a broken heart? How can you make yourself whole again?

I believe the first step is to believe that you deserve to be happy again. Period…the end. No magical formulas to the equation. No tricks behind a curtain. No “fake it ’til you make it” when it comes to healing. You simply have to believe that you deserve to be happy.

Everything may not fall directly into place once you decide your worth in this world, but it definitely gets easier to arrange the pieces of your heart into new shapes. Maybe we aren’t meant to put the pieces back exactly how they used to be. Maybe we are meant to mold, stretch, shrink, knead, weave, and to create new pieces from the old ones that were shattered.

I’m not a therapist and I don’t claim to be an expert in the psychology of the human mind, but I know that when I feel that I deserve to be happy, life seems easier. Things figure themselves out. People are nicer to me (probably because I’m nicer to them). Not all of the odds are stacked against me.

If you’re suffering from a broken heart today, I hope you can find a way to fit your pieces (old and new) back together again.

Find Someone to Pray with You

There are many things I’m grateful for in my life: our health, my husband, my kids, our home, the financial ability to provide for our family, and the ability to write, just to name a few. But of all of these things, the one thing that has completely taken me by surprise is the prayer relationship I have with my husband.

You see, we both kinda sorta grew up going to church, but we were more or less going through the motions of everything. It wasn’t until we both chose the path of sobriety that we understood just how important prayer can be. When things get really tough (we both have had pretty bad days this week), we can stop and pray together.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a practice that comes easy or isn’t super awkward the first time you do it (even suggesting you pray together can be uncomfortable), but man…what a powerful way to transform a relationship!

Unfortunately we don’t do this as often as we would like (the goal is to pray when times are good too), but at least we know we can lean on one another spiritually to get through those tough days (and it’s a lot easier to get through those days when you have someone there with you).

Find someone in your life to pray with you. Maybe it’s your group at meetings. Maybe it’s your pastor. Maybe it’s your mother. Maybe it’s a best friend. Find someone you can turn to when you need a little help or someone that can pray for you while you’re going through a tough time. I promise that prayer has the ability to transform your life…we are living proof of it!