My goal in writing this is to not only help myself, but to hopefully reach another person struggling through life like I am. I don’t want to present myself on here as a perfect mom, perfect wife, perfect homeschooler, homesteader, homemaker, etc. That is so far from the truth! So often I fall in to the social media trap where everyone else looks like they have it all and do it all, and I hope you don’t ever see me that way.
The truth is, I fail more often than I succeed most days. I cry more often than I would like. I have not met most of my goals in life. I lose my temper and patience with the people who mean the most to me. The honest, ugly truth is I turn 40 this year (I won’t lie, that depresses me), and I have woken up to the fact that I have spent a good portion of my adult life simply surviving, denying essential parts of myself. I haven’t had a terrible life or an especially hard life (despite my blog name, ha!). We have had the typical ups and downs. Having children brings plenty of challenges!
I sometimes fall in to the self pity trap: why do my kids have learning disabilities? Why did my kids have to be so hard as infants never sleeping, colic for months, food allergies? Why does everyone else I know go on fabulous vacations? Why do I have to have horrible headaches? Why can’t we ever have a new car? You know how it goes! Get the violins out! Some may say it is just luck of the draw, some may say it is God’s providence and through these trials we are being sanctified. Some of it is simply a result of decisions we make. It’s life, it’s messy sometimes. And when I stop and look around me, I realize my complaints and problems are miniscule compared to so many in the world.
I have begun a journey to re-evaluate my life and who I have become: the good, the bad and the ugly. For too long I have just hung on to the roller coaster ride, eyes closed, screaming some, and wondering why I didn’t enjoy it! How can I be almost 40 already? If I am fortunate, I am only about half way through this life. When it is all said and done, what do I really want? What do you really want? Good living, requires good planning, not simply surviving.
I am just starting this and have a long way to go! But I want to share what I am asking myself to contemplate on and pray on. I hope it helps someone else also.
My first question to answer is, what exactly is happiness to me? What brings me joy? When do I feel most alive and true to myself? Not what makes my husband or kids happy, just me. That sounds a bit selfish but as a wife and mom, I know for years, I have tried to please other people! To be what other people want me to be. Or what I think they want me to be. And the result? A depressed, tired, grumpy person. I’m pretty sure that is not what they want me to be! I wouldn’t even really want to spend time with myself!
The second question is multiple parts or as far as you want to go with it. Where do you want to be in 1 year? In 5 years? 10 year? Of course the harder part of this question will be how do I get to where I want to be! And how will if affect my spouse? my kids? my health? First things first, what exactly is it I envision? I plan to make a vision board. It sounded silly to me at first, but I need to see those goals in front of me as a daily reminder!
To get to those long term goals, I have to tackle the daily mess first! And life is messy! What is so baffling to me is how my life got so messy! I love organizing! I love order and schedules! If I lived alone, my home would look like nobody lived there most likely, you know, sort of like an Ikea showroom, or an ad for minimalistic living! However, I live with four other people and for some reason, they don’t want to fit in to my vision! This creates feelings of a frustration in me but that is another topic 🙂 Basically, these wild children I gave birth to have broken me and in my weakness I have allowed our home to become chaotic! Not in a cluttered sense, I battle back on that daily! It is chaotic in the sense that we have no consistent schedule or plan each day. I make beautiful schedules and plans and then don’t carry them out. Our most precious asset is our time!
Every day I need to evaluate my day and plan for the next. And then actually carry the plan out! It will have to start small. I am doomed to fail if I try to change everything in one day. Here are some questions to ask yourself each day:
- How is my current plan not working?
- What do I accomplish each day? What do I need to accomplish?
- How can I improve tomorrow?
- Where are my weaknesses?
- What is my schedule? Do I even have one?
Here is an example of my daily plan goal (which by the way, I made over a year ago and have not put in to action):
- Set out school supplies and work before bed for the following day
- Set alarm to get up at a regular time- (get showered and dressed before 10, hey we homeschool!)
- Wake kids at regular time, brush teeth, dress, have breakfast and take vitamins
- Feed all the animals, do chores that need to be done
- Finish school work before other activities
- Eat dinner at the table together when possible
- Family clean up time
- Get kids in bed by 9 and read
- Meal plan each week
- Make a bi-weekly budget
- Drink more water, eat/drink less sugar (yes, I have a Coke addiction)
- Do some sort of exercise daily even if only for 10 minutes
- Keep a journal of what I am working on and praying about, and study my results over time.
So far, I have only managed to make the budget, baby steps!
My final goal for now is to work on my attitude and the attitude of my children. At first, the idea of daily affirmations made me laugh, but reading more and more about the idea, has convinced me to give it a try! You can choose what speaks to you. I could not narrow it down to just one or two. These will be ours for now, reading and saying them out loud!
For the children:
- God has a great plan for my life.
- God has not given me a spirit of fear. I am brave.
- I believe in myself.
- I make good and safe decisions.
- I love my body and take care of it by making healthy choices.
- I am thankful for my blessings. I have everything I need.
- Every problem has an answer and I will find it.
- I think positively.
- I am loved by God and my family and friends.
- This is going to be a good day!
- I am in charge of how I feel and I choose happiness.
- I am in control of what I eat and I choose healthy choices. Food does not control me.
- I am not afraid, there is nothing to fear.
- I am smart, confident and filled with energy.
- I am grateful for my beautiful life.
- I love my body and take care of it.
- Money is a resource and I am good at making it and managing it.
- I am not afraid of “no”, I can change people’s lives.
- I am a good mother and I can teach my children well.
- I manage my time wisely and do not waste time.
- This is going to be a great day!
This is only the beginning. And feel free to check up on me and see how I am doing! If you want a friend to be accountable with, let me know! I am praying for big results for my life and for whoever else reads this and needs it!