Where do I even begin?

I’ll just begin with the honest truth. Pretending to be mentally ok, has made me anything but okay.

It’s been close to 2 years in the making. Life has just seemed hard lately. Being a parent is so challenging, but living through a pandemic while parenting…who’s bright idea was this?

For 2 years, life has been broken promises, broken plans, broken vacations. I was suppose to go to Hawaii in July of 2020, my mind is playing tricks on me…did I really have flights and an Airbnb in Maui? Was all of that just a dream? It absolutely is a dream of mine to go to Maui, but it feels like I dreamt that I actually had a plane ticket to go. What is real life?

My mental exhaustion was disrupting my sleep, it was making me smile less and yell more. I worked so damn hard in 2020 and 2021 to put on an act, to keep all the balls in the air. But by fall of 2021, I was starting to lose it. The balls were starting to fall, but what really was falling was my happiness.

Of course I didn’t admit any of this to anyone. I’m one of the strong ones, at least that’s what they always tell me. I was one of the lucky ones. I had a stable job with great husband, a house and 2 beautiful kids. I worked from home all through COVID, so no disruption in pay when life shut down. Living the dream, they’d say.

Then one day as I was driving home in the new car we had just bought, I got that call. You know the one that you dread. Well maybe for some it would be an in-person meeting. Remember though, life was anything but normal and the office was closed for high COVID cases. My layoff came over the phone before I even got home in my new car.

It’s the first time in my life or career I have ever been laid off. If I was being honest, my gut could see it coming. Work got slow. Clients started disappearing. But my heart didn’t want to believe it. 10 years with the same company, a layoff feels like a break up, like a huge fat rejection. It’s almost something like grief.

There were tears and anger, bitterness…the normal emotions. Feelings like ‘what in the f*#k do I do now?’ Talking to God in the shower like I know I have talked to him before, especially when I had my miscarriage. “Are you serious? This is part of your plan? This is the worst plan.”

It’s been 2 weeks. 2 short weeks or maybe 2 long weeks, I have no idea. But here’s what I have so far.

I have smiled more in 2 weeks than I have in 2 years. I have taken the opportunity to play with my kids, read to them and actually enjoy their company and stay present without thinking of something that I need to get done or falling asleep. I read a book for fun and actually retained the information. I did things that I actually wanted to do instead of things that I felt obligated to do. I don’t have that dreaded pit in my stomach every single time that my phone rings that I will have to go pick up my kids from school and try to work while they talk incessantly to me. I actually talked to people on the phone, meaningful conversations with loved ones.

Of course, I’m still a work in progress. I have absolutely 0 idea what I’m doing in life or when I grow up. But I know one thing…

Sometimes it takes a huge shove to knock you on your a$$ and actually admit that the path you were on was no longer serving you. A huge shove to make you stop pretending and start being honest.

So here I am, I’m still standing. Most of the balls I was juggling have fallen and are laying broken at my feet. But the most important ones that I have been taking for granted are still with me and I could not feel more grateful.

February Project :: 2021

Hey everybody, it’s been a hot minute since I sat down at the computer to write any kind of blog…an unbelievable, unprecedented year to be exact. Some days I think, its only been a year? And some days I think, ITS ONLY BEEN A YEAR! Anyways, the truth of what has happened in a year is not what I came here to talk about today.

I started to transition this site to a new platform, and was going to dedicate my time to new graphics. Unfortunately other things have just taken over my life and my time. Just bear with me for now, I still have ideas in my head and I absolutely need to get them out. It turns out writing is sort of like my therapy and Lord knows we could all use that after the past year.

Last year I saw a pin on Pintrest that featured a picture of hearts on a kids bedroom door with writing on them. It looked pretty cute, but I quickly dismissed it. I didn’t have enough time or energy and my kids couldn’t read, so they wouldn’t even know what they said.

This February rolled around and even though I still didn’t have time nor the energy, I decided we needed to embrace ‘Love Month’ this year. Our entire house needed this project.

I cut out hearts for both kids, one for every day of the month. It’s the shortest month of the year I told myself as I felt like I was cutting forever. Midway through I told myself this was dumb, but I kept going. My hearts are all shapes and sizes, some looked horrible and others looked perfect. Sort of like real life, I suppose.

Every night I got a heart out, wrote one thing I loved about each kid and stuck it to their door for them to see when they woke up in the morning. At first it was really really easy to think of new things, but as the days went on it definitely got more challenging. Not because I don’t love my kids, but just because 28 days of new things you love about each individual kid…holy $hit guys.

What started out as a project for my kids to see and enjoy, turned into something that definitely benefited me more in the end.

February Door Project

No matter what kind of day I had or what they did that was sooo super annoying that day. At the end of the day, I forced myself to write down 1 thing that I love about them. And even on my hardest days, I still found 1 thing that made me smile.

Obviously my kids loved the project. I mean who wouldn’t love seeing hearts gathering on their door? The one that could read, loved reading them… and the one that is too young to read yet, loved seeing ‘balentines’ on the door.

It changed my perspective and brought gratitude into my life. Two things we all need right now.

You Become What You Listen To!

You Become What You Listen To!

Read that again…YOU BECOME WHAT YOU LISTEN TO.

That’s a truth bomb. It’s easy to gloss over it and never give it much thought. What you listen to on a daily basis, whether it’s people, music, podcasts, TV shows, movies, the news, YOURSELF…it’s either lifting your mood up or it’s taking you down.

I happen to have a job that I can put headphones in and listen to something all day long. This is not the norm, I realize. But in my little world, it is.

Since the beginning of the year, I have made a conscious effort to read social media differently…less random scrolling and being more intentional with how I consume it. Along with this has come a shift in what I am filling my world with.

For 2020, I have chosen Books and Podcasts.

What am I reading?

  • #IMOMSOHARD by Kristin Hensley
  • Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
  • Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

What am I listening to?

  • Start Today Morning Show Podcast
  • Rise Together Podcast
  • Rise Podcast
  • Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist Podcast
  • Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations Podcast
  • Where My Mom’s At Podcast (usually viewed on YouTube)

Honestly, I already feel it working. I feel a shift. A noticeable shift in my mood and how I view the world & life.

One of my biggest revelations of the year is something that deep down I already knew.

Negative self-talk will sabotage you.

All the positive reading and listening in the world isn’t going to make up for being unkind to yourself. Your inner monologue, what you say to yourself on a daily basis…it’s POWERFUL.

What are you listening to these days? Is there something your listening to that I need to? Please share!

But most importantly, how are you talking to yourself?

Lessons To My Past Self.

Lessons To My Past Self.

Today is a Tuesday. It’s a typical Tuesday in your current world. You’ve worked from home, in between putting your oldest on the bus and being there for pick up.

Truthfully, my life today is probably no where near what you thought it would be.

Family

To start, I have 2 kids. Yep, you read that right…not just 1, but 2! I know you never really gave much thought to children, you were too into your life and career.

Career

Oh speaking of career…yeah turns out all that never really panned out as you planned either. I mean, yes I am still doing the same thing that you had your heart set on. Honestly, I pushed the limits and expanded my horizons when I started learning to design and code for the web. Bet, you never saw that coming! But the corner office at some fancy design agency…ha, yeah that didn’t happen. Although my career isn’t perfect or maybe not even what you had dreamed of, it certainly has sustained the family that you didn’t plan for.

Time

You waited & waited to be 18, a legal adult. All those years, it felt like your life was going in slow motion. 18 years felt like the longest eternity. Well I’m here to tell you, basically I blinked and somehow 20 years went by. And it’s not stopping, it’s only picking up speed. Most days I just hold on tight for the ride.

You looked at almost 40 as old. I recall you lovingly saying to your parents that you’d be putting them in a home when they were 40. 40 was stable, comfortable…and old. Ha ha. You never ever feel like you’ve arrived. But the truth of the matter is; I’m glad I haven’t arrived. I’m thankful to be on the journey. Once I am not on the journey anymore, I won’t be here to tell you about the destination.

'Best Friends'

All those ‘best friends’ that you couldn’t live without…you actually could because I am. Many friends serve a season in your life. It’s only a precious few who come for a lifetime. Don’t mix seasonal people up with lifetime expectations, I have done it and it doesn’t end well.

Your Gut

Always always always follow your gut. Your gut reaction is strong, and almost always correct. When you went against your gut, I have always ended up regretting it.

And probably the most important lesson that I wish I could go back and tell you is:

You are not what you see in the mirror.

There is so much more to you and so many better things to spend your time on. Stop letting the mirror dictate your self-worth. Truthfully, in life, nobody cares. Be you. Do you. Be happy. Stop stepping on that stupid scale. Feel healthy. And if you don’t feel those things, take action. Change it. Stand up for yourself.

The Year Wrap-up

Today is my birthday. Do you know what that means?

Besides the fact that I’ve taken another trip around the sun, another 365 days of magic, it means I have officially been writing on this blog for a full year now. Every year on my birthday, I look back and reflect on what my year looked like. Usually my year is categorized by a few ‘big’ things, sometimes they are happy and sometimes, as life can do to you, they are not. Mostly though, I have a hard time remembering what happened in the year or what I was thinking. But this year is a little different, as I have a written record in the 7 blogs that I published.

So what did this year look like?

Stress. Pressure. Purge. Transformation. Growth.

I stole this from Kristin. Thanks Kristin!

I have two kids, Sweet R and Beast R. Every day when they wake up, I ask them the same exact question…

“Did you grow last night? You look taller and older than you did when I put you to bed.”

Sweet R always laughs and says “Of course I did, I’m getting so big”. It’s so easy to see the transformation and growth in my kids, they are literally growing and changing before my eyes. The year to year comparisons are just unreal; physically, emotionally & developmentally.

Why is it that we, as grown ups, don’t seem to continue to look for growth within ourselves? Even if only on a yearly basis, we need to dig deep and ‘trust the process’.

This year I purged my life.

I cleaned my entire house out, ROOM BY ROOM. I got rid of so much junk that sometimes my husband thought he was gonna go too. I got a new car, new cell phone, wiped my contacts, gave away the clothes that I was never going to fit into again (because let’s face it, it isn’t happening and it’s just making me feel bad), sold all my baby gear and baby clothes/shoes.

And let me tell you how good it felt. It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders.

My motto this year: You do you.

The older I get: the better I get to know myself, the more confident I feel following my gut and the less I care about what other people think. Asking myself questions like: Why am I putting people in my life as a priority when I am merely an option to them? Realizing who was treating me as an option, now that was not an easy pill to swallow. But I’m trusting the process.

To everyone who followed me along on this blog journey, who read along, encouraged me and commented (either to me in person or on the blog), thank you from the bottom of my heart. I truly enjoyed getting back to my writing roots. I love writing and honestly forgot about that part of myself.

I have a lot more things on my mind, so I’m hoping to be able to increase the number of posts this next year and maybe even spiff up the site. But for now…

Here’s to the next 365 days…wherever that takes me, it’s gonna be something I tell ya.


What Is Your Time Worth?

About 2 months ago, I was sitting at my kitchen island on a Tuesday morning drinking my coffee and feeding my little guy breakfast before I started work for the day.

I had already gotten my daughter and husband out the door and off to their Tuesday morning coffee date before he drops her off at school for the day. The sun was shining in the front windows and it felt amazing. All I needed was some good ole Tuesday morning inspiration.

Awesome sunrise!

Quickly I decided to find a Rachel Hollis podcast to get me going for the day.

If you don’t know who Rachel Hollis is, please take a moment to google her sometime. She’s the author of “Girl, Wash Your Face” and her latest book “Girl, Stop Apologizing”. She does many other things; like run companies, be a mom and inspire many people.

She touched on one thing that I have had burned in my brain for 2 months now. You see, she was talking about time & life circumstances. How there are so many differences that can give people a leg up in life, such as amount of money you have, or your network of connections, or your job. Everyone is always asking her how she seems to fit everything that she does into one day, and how people always say that’s unrealistic to their life circumstances.

However, she so nicely points out that we all have one thing in common…

“We all have the same 24 hours. And only you can decide how to use them.”

Let that sink in for a minute, read that again…

“We all have the same 24 hours. And only you can decide how to use them.”

Sorta crazy to think about right? Every person on Earth has the same amount of time in a day.

So what is your time worth to you?

This question that has been on the top of my mind for awhile, far before hearing this podcast. It’s actually the subject of many many conversations that my husband and I have had this year.

Obviously we can quantify our time within our careers, it would be how much we make. Our salary or hourly wage has to equal more than our bills, or at least that’s the goal.

But what about your ‘free time’? The time you spend outside of your normal 9-5 (or whatever it is you do in life). What is your time worth?

Would you rather go grocery shopping, or take your kid to the park while someone runs through a grocery store & stands in line for you?

Would you rather cut your grass, or have someone do that for you during the workday?

Would you rather spend your life doing laundry, or would you like to have someone pick it up, do it and drop it off folded?

That project you’d love to get done in the house…yes, you or your husband could do it, but will it get done? And how long will it take?

Grocery delivery. Lawn maintenance. Laundry service. Contractors. Yes, they all cost money, but time is money after all…right?

What if I said this thought can be applied to who you spend your ‘free time’ with?

Think about it. We all know those people, the ones who are complete energy drains on your system. You know, Suzy, who complains nonstop about everything. You end up feeling tired, drained and out of energy after your interaction with them. You could of gotten so much done that day, but she took your energy.

So the question of how much your time is worth, goes straight down to who you are spending it with. Are you spending time with people who are good for your soul? People who rejuvenate your soul? And as bad as it sounds, people who are worthy of your time?

Nobody can tell you what your ‘free time’ is worth. This is a completely personal question that you’d have to take time to think about. Time is very valuable, we all never seem to have enough of it. And yes, we all have the same amount.

I challenge you to think about it. What is your time worth? How are you spending it? Can you make changes that will give you more time?