Books for November

behind closed doors the girl on the train

Can you believe there are only two months left in 2016? This year flew by. At one point I felt like this year was never going to end, but alas here we are. About to get ready to “ring in the new year.”

I still feel like there’s so much I need to get done though. My 2016 “to-do” list is looking kinda sad right now because it’s been neglected most of the year, much like my Goodreads reading challenge. Earlier this year, I set a colossal goal of reading 52 books in 2016. That’s a book a week. So what’s my current status on this Goodreads challenge?

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A Peaceful Week

Peaceful week

I almost had a mini breakdown recently. Like full on tears and everything. Dramatic, right?

I was lounging on the couch watching TV with Hubz, when it just hit me. The weight of my ever-growing, never-ending to do list hit me. And it hit hard. I tried to explain to my husband what was happening and why I was so overwhelmed with anxiety. He didn’t get it though. This, of course, made me wonder if something was actually wrong with me since it seemed that I was in this alone. I cried harder. There are just so many changes right now and so much that I don’t have control over. For a control freak like me, it’s absolutely maddening.

It’s not just right now though. For the last few months, I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting these little, mini panic attacks at the start of each week. Even before the move, there seemed to be something nagging at me each and every Sunday. The fact that I plan out each week ahead of time was helpful, but it didn’t seem to be enough. In fact, I actually started to get worried because I was doing all these things to make my life run smoother, but it just didn’t seem to be working.

Too many things will always be too many things

My family and I have been staying with my mom for about two weeks now. Me. A grownup woman with a family of her own moved back in with my mother. And it’s been heavenly. This time has really taught (or retaught) me about peacefulness and calm. Being here has reminded me what it feels like to just “be.” No amount of organizing and planning is going to fix what I’ve got going on when what I’ve got going on is too much. I want peaceful days, peaceful weeks, and a peaceful life so mentally decluttering and focusing on one thing at a time has been so beneficial.

Monday

Delegate. This is quickly becoming my favorite word. Trying to do it all is exhausting. J is at the age where she can take on some responsibility and put in some work around the house. Hubz is also not immune to pulling his weight. Superwoman don’t live here anymore, ya’ll. My mother is an excellent delegater, and seeing her action has reminded me of how family life should be: a team sport.

Tuesday

Don’t trip over dinner. These  past few weeks have been amazing if only because I haven’t had to think about dinner once. My mother has made sure that we eat good each and every night. She’s the real MVP. As our time here draws to an end though, I know that it won’t be long until I have to think about “what’s for dinner” once more…and it’s a topic that by and large brings me the most anxiety during the week. Outside of crock pot meals and my failed attempts at meal planning, I’ve found my greatest weapon against dinner anxiety to be restaurants where kids eat free, like Denny’s. At Denny’s, kids eat free every Tuesday with the purchase of an adult meal. What this means for me is that at least on Tuesdays, the dinner crisis is avoided. J can have her Jr. Cheeseburger and I can have my Grand Slam. Since Hubz usually works late on Wednesday, it’s the perfect set-up.

Dennys Kids Meal

Wednesday

Have some boundaries. Gosh, this is easier said than done. To have a peaceful week, though, (heck, a peaceful life!) I’ve learned that boundaries are non-negotiable. There are certain days where I just have to step back and say, “this fight is not mine.” Or other times when I have to check myself because I find that I’m doing more for the person than he/she is doing for themselves. And that’s not cool. Boundaries are literally lifesavers.

Thursday

Say no. “No is a complete sentence.” I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard my mother say this over the years and most recently, over the last few weeks. She is a serial “no” spitter, so much so that some people know not to even ask her for certain things and the ones who don’t soon learn. Having spent some time back under my mom’s wings, I’ve gotten better at saying “no” and sticking to it because I want people to respect my “no.” It’s not okay to negotiate my “no.” It is what it is and it brings so much peace to say it and be okay with it.

Friday

Don’t compare. I have a terrible habit of comparison, ya’ll. Just terrible. Usually at the end of the week, I look back over what I didn’t do as compared to what I *think* everybody else did do. It’s an ugly, ugly cycle that’s usually accompanied by feelings of inadequacy and FOMO. However, in order to be at peace where I am and to really mean it when I say that I’ve had a peaceful week, I had to let those feelings of comparison go. I am where I am and it’s a reason that I’m here. Comparison takes all that away because it minimizes you and your experiences.

How do you make sure to have a peaceful week?

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Banana Mango Smoothie

banana-mango-smoothie-in-mason-jar

Today, I started my week of smoothies!

I was a little unsure of what I wanted to start with even though I planned it out the day before. You know how at the time, something seems like a good idea but when it’s time to implement, you question if it really is? Yeah, that’s where I was this morning. The thought of taking on this challenge and potentially failing weighed heavily on my mind. I even had trouble sleeping because I didn’t want to oversleep and not have time to make my smoothie. I’m sure ya’ll are looking all kinds of crazy right now and thinking, “Is she really doing this all over some smoothies?” And the answer to that is both yes and no.

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So…About Self Care

coffee-cup-on-bricks

So…about self care

It’s a struggle to take care of myself everyday. As a habitual helper and fixer, I spend precious hours of my time making sure that most, if not all of the people around me are taken care of. I honestly think that that was the underlying reason for me going into social work. I have an innate need to be needed.

All of this “save the world” stuff takes a toll on me though–as a person, a mother, a wife, and even in my career. Hubz has been very clear in that I just need to walk away and leave well enough alone. But I don’t think that he understands what that would mean for me internally. It’s like telling a chronic smoker to “put that cigarette down…forever.” Yeah, I know that smoking is bad and all, but do you really think I wouldn’t do it–that I wouldn’t put my cigarette of choice down–if I could, if it really were that easy?

Why we struggle with self-care

Not everybody struggles with self-care. Some people practice it completely and perfectly. We call those people “selfish” and we associate them with other words like “self-centered”. After many many years of being a fixer, I finally had to really analyze the information that was being spoon fed to me about those two words–selfish and self-centered. And after much thought, I just have to call it what it is: bullshit.

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Making the Best of a Mental Funk

Did you know you can highlight any sentence to automatically tweet it? Don’t be shy; give it a try.

I believe mental funks definitely have their place and are necessary for growth. So, I'll see you on the other side.

Right now I’m in the thick of something funky. I mean, it stinks to the high heavens up in here and there’s nothing I can do about it–but go through it, feel it, and learn from it.

I’ve been in this place for a few months now. If you haven’t noticed, things have slowed down a bit on the blog. In real life, my family and friends ask questions like, “Are you sure you’re okay? You know you can talk to me, right?” I do, but I won’t. Their concern is appreciated, but in a way, it’s misplaced. I’m okay. I am. I’m okay.

I have to make the best of where I am

Am I feeling the best that I’ve ever felt in my life? Absolutely not. Are there some days that I just wish for this all to be over? Absolutely, there are. Do I believe deep down that I have to go through this to come out better than I went in? There’s not a doubt in my mind. Before I really sat down and thought about how I was going to address this and how to best describe what I’m going through, I toyed around with the idea of a “how to get out of a mental funk” type post. But how can I advise someone on something I’ve haven’t done myself? That seems pretty imperious and inauthentic. “Here, do what I can’t do and even though it didn’t work for me, maybe it’ll work for you.” Nah. That’s not how I roll. What I can do though–genuinely and without hesitation–is share how I’m making the best of my mental funk.

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Treat Yo Self. Enrich Your Life.

treat-yoself-collage

treat-yoself-collage

Parks and Recreation is one of my favorite shows.  And while Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson are neck and neck as being my favorite characters, Donna and Tom Haverford are close seconds.  Those two…are a mess.  But well put together, happy messes, if you ask me.  And I like that.  I wanna be like that–a well put together, happy mess.

I need to treat myself!  Or as I see it, enrich my life.

One thing that I admire about Tom and Donna besides their willingness to just be who they are, is their … self love.  Can we just admit that the two are just a little bit self-obsessed?  And now can we all admit that we kinda, secretly love it?  During the episode where the phrase “treat yo self” was coined, I sat there thinking, “Why don’t we all just treat ourselves on the daily?  Like, wouldn’t that make life just a little less shitty?”

So I decided to treat myself.  Or enrich my life.

I joined a few young professional groups in the area.

I started walking and drinking more water and eating less fat.

I cleaned, organized and decorated my apartment, now my home.

I gave myself permission to feel however it is that I’m feeling and come out better on the other side.

I gave up trying to make my daughter into who I wanted to be her to be.

I opened myself up and let a few people in.

I let go of the scarcity mindset and made my money work for me.

I stopped letting fear dictate my actions and inactions and started living by my desires and needs.

I became less selfish and more selfish all at once.

I know yall are thinking, “You did all that in a few weeks?”  And I have to be honest and say that I haven’t.  I wrote this list to figure out what I needed to do to “treat myself.”  What I needed in order to be the best version of me.  Now that I have it, I’m ready to roll.

Welcome to the Treat Myself Series.

What do you need to do to treat yo self?

 

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