Doing What You Can with What You Got

It’s easy to say, “I wish I had the celebrity lifestyle. Then I’d have a stylist to deal with my fashion choices every day, a manager who takes care of all of the nonsense schedules, and a nutritionist/health expert to keep my body in tip-top shape! Oh, plus piles of money surrounding me. Like the gold coins they had in cartoons where they are deep enough to swim in them. Then I will have made it.”

Well, I don’t have that kind of lifestyle. Not even close. The money would be nice. But I prefer my comfy jeans and t-shirts, my seemingly predictable schedule, and my workout/eating habits aren’t killing me.

I’m doing what I can with what I got.

I use this platform as a source of healing and motivation on days when I simply can’t make it to a meeting, which is basically every day. (I really should find one I can go to around here.)

I manage to make it to our local YMCA for workouts. They offer childcare there so I can take my youngest with me. Win-Win! I eat salads several times a week and I shove vegetables in my face even when I really want a donut instead.

I write here, as well as multiple other places, to keep my mental health in check. (Trust me, mama doesn’t need to get off her writing. It’s like my meds. It keeps the crazy at bay.)

I’m doing what I can with what I got.

It may not be the glamorous way to live life some days, but I don’t really care. I’m happy. My family is happy. We are all healthy. What more really matters?

Advertisements

But Why?

There is a lot of time wasted asking the question, “Why?” Questions can be a good thing for someone getting their education. But it can be detrimental to someone who recently lost a loved one. “Why did this happen to me? Why did it work out this way? Why did everything fall apart?”

I question a lot of things all of the time. Am I doing the right thing with my life? Should I go back to work? Am I wasting my time trying to make it as a writer? Should I take a step back for awhile and see if there’s something better out there for me?

These questions don’t do anyone in my household any good.

First of all, of course I’m doing the right thing. This is where I belong for this season of my life.

Second, I am working. Though I may not be getting paid thousands every month, I’m happier being home with my kids and writing than I ever was at any of my other jobs…combined! I have the dream job. Make my own hours. Work around my family’s schedule. Work at my own pace. I’ve accomplished more personal goals this year than I ever would at my previous job.

Third, maybe writing as a paid career is my destiny. Maybe it’s not. Regardless, I’ve uncovered a piece of me with writing that I never knew needed to escape. I can’t live without this release of emotion and energy now. So paid or not paid, I will continue to write.

And lastly, taking a step back from my life is like telling my kids, “Mommy will be home in 6 months when she figures out how to handle this argument over who had the toy first. Love you, bye!” Nu-uh. Ain’t happening that way. While there may be something better out there for me (career wise), I’m perfectly fine honing my writing skills until that opportunity presents itself.

Y’all, don’t bog yourself with life’s questions. It’s more important to focus on being a good person. Live your life every day to the best of your ability.

Don’t Let the Trolls Get to You

Do ever have days where you feel like you’re totally rocking it as an adult and overall human being? Or days where you have successfully crossed everything off your to-do list and you feel like you could take on more?

Then, out of nowhere, someone (could even be a well-meaning friend or family member) comes along and says something that derails your entire existence. Maybe their comment is about the quality of the work you did on your big house project you were so excited about. (It was an epic Pinterest fail in their mind.) Maybe they decided that the dinner you spent all day preparing was gross and didn’t taste good. (Just pick out the onions, son.) 

I had a great day yesterday. I was juking and jiving with my to-do list and felt very accomplished with everything I was able to complete. Then it happened late in the evening. (Why does this stuff always happen at the end of the day? I knew I should have gone to bed early!) 

Checking up on my social media for the day is something I do right after the kids are put to bed. I had commented on a post in a supportive writer’s group I joined a few months ago. A guy was looking for advice on quitting his toxic job to be able to write more. While I couldn’t speak directly to his circumstances, I offered my opinion on working in an unfulfilling job.

To summarize, I told him I quit a toxic job because I couldn’t handle it anymore. I mentioned I was now a stay at home mom and quitting that job was the best decision I have ever made. I left him with some encouragement to try to find something that brings him joy.

What I didn’t expect was someone commenting back with a complete misunderstanding of my comment and a snarky remark to go along with it. “How did you quit being a staying at home mom? What, did you give your kids up for adoption? Also, being a stay at home mom isn’t a job!” 

Well, this situation could have had multiple outcomes, but I’m glad I chose the one where I didn’t say something I would later regret or something out of character for who I want to be. I let this troll know that the “toxic job” I was referring to wasn’t about parenting and, paid or not, I enjoyed being able to care for my kids and write. Fulfilled is the word I used.

I really wanted to rip into this guy, but that’s probably what he wanted too – to start a ruckus on a well-trafficked thread. But I wasn’t going after the bait. I know what I do matters. I know that I’m making progress. And I know that this guy knows absolutely nothing about me.

Don’t let the trolls steal your thunder. Instead, prove them wrong and be a badass at whatever it is you’re trying to do in life! Even if you’re just a stay-at-home mom.

Big Dreams Come with Even Bigger Fears

The size of someone’s dreams cannot be measured against the size of someone else’s desires for the future. For example, my mother wants to have a a self-sustaining garden basically that takes care of itself 100% after the initial setup process is complete. (I, on the other hand, have a desire only to keep a small herb garden alive.) The dreams I have for my life more involve writing for a living, public speaking, mentoring people, and being able to travel the world.

Our dreams are apples and oranges when you compare them, but we both have fears. My mom is afraid she will be questioned by the outside world as “wasting her time” or “wasting her life” on this gardening idea. (She also would like to run a plant nursery on their property.) She’s afraid that she won’t figure out how to make her business work. She’s afraid that she really has no idea what she’s doing and maybe she should just quit and go get a “real job”. My fears mirror hers almost identically when applied to my dreams.

But just this week I had to remind her, “You are doing something that you love. Something that makes you happy. Something that makes you forget to eat anything until 2:00 in the afternoon because you were so wrapped up in what you are doing. You are meant to do this. Don’t let your fears and uncertainties scare you away from your dreams.”

I also had to remind myself of these things too.

Maybe you have big hopes and dreams for your future, but those fears are trying to cripple you. Don’t let them. Tell them to go bother someone else. Tell them that you are on a mission to be the best version of your self and you don’t need them bringing you down.

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!

 

Reflecting on How Things Used to Be

I don’t know about you, but I thank God every day that my life is drastically different than it was in the past. I’m not saying that this is something self-promoting and I’m awesome for realizing what a disaster my life used to be. Just simply stating how grateful I am to not have to live that kind of lifestyle any more.

“What kind of lifestyle?” you ask. Let me paint you a little picture.

Several years ago, almost 4 to be exact, I was living a life of total chaos, only I didn’t realize it until the ticking time bomb was ready to detonate right in front of my face. My marriage was collapsing right in front of me, I was binge drinking on the weekends to drown my sorrows, I wasn’t getting where I wanted to be with my career, I was dying inside emotionally from the passive-aggressive/co-dependent relationship I had created and encouraged with my husband, and I was just downright unhappy with where my future was headed.

Needless to say, I wasn’t happy with myself or where my future was headed. I needed to make a change. I had spent so long trying to change everyone else around me – my husband, my parents pending separation and divorce, and even the uncontrollable situations at work – that I forgot I’m only in control of myself. Realizing only I can make changes in my life, I finally felt that time had come.

I’m happy to report that today our marriage is solid and strong with a foundation we tore down and rebuilt ourselves from the ground up. We are different people today than we would have been had we not decided to drastically change our lives. I quit my job that was ultimately toxic and very hazardous to my life and my marriage. We made a fresh start in a new community and continue to keep growing and improving ourselves.

What’s your story? How are you different today than you were 5 years ago? 10 years ago? 

To Drink or Not to Drink

Life as a stay-at-home isn’t all that glamorous. (Shocking, I know!) I’m not waiting to go to dinner parties when my husband gets home from work, or trying to get ready for the ball everyone other weekend. I try to get out of the house as much as possible and go places that both work for my schedule and help me get stuff done – the gym, the grocery store, the post office, etc. (Calm down. I know I should have told you beforehand this was riveting stuff!)

There are some people, moms specifically, who choose to get together ever so often for drinks or a “girls night”. (Although, I do know some moms who may meet too early in the afternoon, on a school night, to call it “girls night”. But I digress.) 

For a multitude of reasons, I don’t go to these types of gatherings. I’ve been invited to go to an early dinner at a beautiful winery to enjoy the scenery. Pass. I’ve been asked to go have margaritas at the local Mexican food joint. No thanks.

So, why not go? Maybe you are thinking, “You don’t have to drink. You have enough will power to just say no. Just go and be social.” There are two reasons why I don’t and won’t go to these kinds of activities.

  1. I still don’t 1,000% trust myself when I’m sucked into the vortex off a girls’ night out. (Plus, have you seen girls when they get sloppy drunk? And you want me to be the DD and take care of everyone? No thanks!)
  2. Drinking and being around drinking has a very personal connection with me. I realize some people have a healthy relationship with alcohol and can stand to be near it, but I am no such people. I don’t like to smell it. I don’t like to see what it does to people. And I especially don’t like it when people offer you something to drink, you politely respond with “No thanks. I don’t drink,” and then that’s followed with the infamous question, “Not even a glass of wine?”

I realize this may not apply to everyone’s situations and my reasons may be completely different than yours, but they are valid nonetheless. Don’t put yourself in awkward positions unless you are 1,000% comfortable in your own skin and know that you are in control of yourself.