Moving On…Looking Up


In my last post I had mentioned that I realized where I was going and what I wanted my life to be about. I do. And learning that was a great stepping stone in my life. Its something everyone needs to know about their life in order to gain fulfillment and enjoyment out of our existence and understanding how to fulfill our purpose.

I have realized that I don’t particularly like the story of my life. It’s messy. I’m embarrassed by it. I feel I should have/could have done better and for a very long time I have lived ashamed by my past. That is no longer true. However, I don’t want to continue to leave the same kind of trail in my wake. That requires change.

I know that I want a calm life. I want a life of pattern, stability, support, love, laughter. A life that can be relied upon. I need to create that for myself. If I want to share that for someone then I have to give that to myself first. It’s easy to say we want these things and it is very much another to actually bring them to fruition.

I know today where I stand. I can see where I want to be. I do not yet know the steps between where I am and where I am going. I do know, that I need to be intentional in all my dealings in order to not make the same choices. The rest, I leave to the Lord, to direct my paths.

I am not entirely sure, but I believe that I might just start to understand what Jesus meant when he said to deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Him. While it is not easy, I know the peaceful life that I am seeking is very much worth the effort it will require to follow this path.

Begin Again


Its been a long time since I have written and shared with you the journey of my 30’s and the journey of finding who I am and what I stand for. Why do I share this with you? Because, I firmly believe that I am not alone with the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of my life. And because of that, if someone can learn from my journey and be better for it, why shouldn’t I share and give that opportunity?

Welcome to an Altruistic, Compassionate, Loving person 🙂

There are a lot of things that I know about who I am, but there are still a lot of questions too. I know my values in life. I know that I want to help people in every way I possibly can. I operate from love first and generally put myself last when it comes to friends, family, work, life, etc. This is something that has been very good for me and very difficult for me.

What I know now is that I am not living my truest life. Why? Because I am not surrounded with the love, friends, family and peace that I desire. Something about my choices has been keeping me from obtaining that reality. What is vital to understand is that this is up to each of us to change. We are in control of our life. God gave us free will to use, not to wallow in and complain about.

So two years ago is when I last blogged. Shortly after that post, I was terminated from my long term employment. This shattered my world. I wasn’t ready for this. I didn’t know what to do. My partner at the time wasn’t in a position to support me emotionally during this time, so I moved back in with my mom. She was gracious enough to let me but it didn’t take me long to feel like I was doing wrong by my children by not being close to them. At this point, my two oldest had moved in with their dad and my youngest was living with her dad as well.

So, I moved to West Virginia again where my youngest was. That was short lived as it wasn’t sustainable for me. My income had reduced by two thirds! I was not surviving. I was racking up debt and selling all the extra “clutter” that I had accumulated through life. This was NOT going to work!

By now, a year had passed and I was feeling much better about life. I had goals, I was back in school and doing well, and my boyfriend and I were talking more and working things out. I was looking for better employment but still wanted to be close to my daughter. Ultimately, I had to leave the area she was in.

I moved to Michigan, where my partner bought a house to flip and I landed a great job. Everything was going to be fine! I was finally building my life on purpose. Putting things in place that I wanted and that meant a great deal to me. Life finally felt like it was going in the right direction.

Its been another year now. Life is nothing like I thought it was going to be a year ago. What I thought I was building, isnt working out.

So, here I am, as I begin again. Welcome back to my journey of living life, honoring who I am.

 

In the Darkest Hours


Our days are filled with so much. From things to do, people to see, and errands to run. Often times we can get caught up in “the everyday” and we forget the important things. Or so it seems. We take for granted what is right in front of us every day. Sometimes we need a wake up call. And then it happens.

I have struggled through so much in my life, from friendships to marriages to relationships at work or with my children. I have struggled through poverty to lower middle class america and everywhere in between. All of these struggles have one thing in common. At the core is a decision.

Decisions are what make up the paths we take in life. Sometimes our decisions are made  for us and other times its our lack of action that is in and of itself a decision for our life. I have learned to never regret any decisions that I have made or avoided making because the cumulative of them all have made me who I am today and brought me to this place in my life.

I have also learned that life will continually teach you the same lesson over and over until you learn it. All of this leads to growth. Growing from within and having insight into the world around you is such a powerful tool that many waste away or toss aside. I am lucky in that the people I have around me are supportive and guide me to my own answers within using the insight they have as well.

Sometimes our darkest hours create the richest experiences and cause the most growth. That is my wish for my dark hours. I pray that I will learn from this experience and I will come out the other side a better person than I am today.

Stronger


It takes faith. It will get better. You are doing great! This is not the end. God won’t give you more than you can handle.

Any of that sound familiar? I have heard it all and all too much. Life hurts. But life is happy and joyous with excitement and blessings. Life has so many corners and different paths to take. I have to wonder how I ended up here and you ended up there.

For me it comes down to one word. Strong. It doesnt seem to matter what is thrown at my path, I will make it through. I dont know how when I’m going through the thick of it all and I dont understand it when i look back on the walk. What I do know is that somehow, time and again, I prevail. Through the pain, through the hurt, through the tears and through the devastation.

I have found out how strong I am and just when I think I have made it, I find yet another canyon that has to be crawled through. I am grateful that I was given spirit for life. I am so proud of all that has been accomplished in my life, yet at the same time,  I desperately want to be at a place of peace and rest. I want to enjoy the fruits of my labor and see smiling faces with laughter as the centerpiece.

I get that I am strong. I am glad that I am strong. I have needed this strength my entire life and I doubt that will change. But I yearn for the day of rest. For me, I was given a gift and a curse. I have survived and I will continue to survive. But sometimes strength is the last thing I want to need.

Namaste


The other day when I was reading over my blog and looking at the bucket list I created, I realized I had completed some of my bucket list items. One of those was trying yoga for 3 months. I am not really sure where the 3 months came from but either way – I did it!

When I moved back to Florida I joined an 8 week beginner course. I have a very dear friend that attended this course quite some time ago and it seemed like a good place to start. I was not always great about going. In fact, I think I missed 2 of the 8 weeks. I still gained a lot from the time I was there. I then took a few weeks off, and joined another session on posture. I missed time from that one too. Sad, but true.

Now I can say that I have tried yoga. So? What is the point of trying something if you don’t know what you gained?

I know what I gained. Yoga is amazing and I wish I was just a bit more disciplined in life right now to maintain it. The classes I attended all centered on being the core of who you are and using your body in the proper ways. So many people say “oh yoga, you mean western stretching?” It is not just stretching! You do stretch, you do exercises – not for weight loss – but you challenge your body.

What’s more is that you challenge your mind and spirit and connect to yourself, and others, in a way that feels so right that it is indescribable. Yoga is practiced to center your mind and body, align your chakra’s (of which there are 7 i believe), and the ultimate goal is the meditation. (For the life of me I can not think of the word used in class but I like it better than “meditation”).

From my short but wonderful experience in yoga, I learned quite a bit. There is a different way to listen to your body. There is a way to truly release all of the stress and tension that can build upon you in your day to day life. Yoga for me, taught me that there is peace to be had for those who want it and are willing to take it. Yoga doesn’t take much time, any money really, only dedication.

This is the meaning of Namaste as taught to me in class

I honor the place in you in which the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you, which is Love, Truth, Light and Peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, WE ARE ONE.

Namaste everyone.

Choices Today, Fate Tomorrow


I have really been reflecting lately on choices that I have made. As I quite frequently tell my children:

Every choice has a consequence, good or bad. It’s your responsibility to accept the consequences because of your choices.

Wordsmith the sentence all you want – it is, always has been, and will continue to be true. Its also a really hard pill to swallow sometimes.

I have recently been faced with very hard choices. It seems right now that for me, I am at a major turning point in my life. Everything I have been faced with in the past week is going to directly affect my short term goals. The effect will also be immediate. It’s not just one choice, its multiple. Some of my past choices even seem to be hindering the issues that I am currently faced with.

I am sure that everyone has made choices in their life that they would rather not remember. I am a fan of saying, I wouldn’t change it because it led me to where I am. I still believe that is true. Every choice I have made or that was made for me, has led me to be the person I am today. No matter how good or bad that might be. I have developed some really awful traits, I have also grown, evolved in my adulthood, gained understanding and awareness and learned to see broader pictures.

I wouldn’t change any of it. However, all of the choices don’t go away. You don’t get to reinvent yourself all the time. Sometimes we have new beginnings that let us shed some things that we haven’t liked. More often than not, for me, I am still surrounded by the same people that I was when I made choices that were not handled well. Those people still see me for the person I was then, not who I have grown to be now. That is one of the hardest things for me to handle.

Because of the havoc being caused by this situation of having 3 major decisions – life changing decisions – to make all at once (and they all impacted each other) I started looking for help. I found some great articles online that all gave good advice. The ultimate answer – I am in decision overload. I have had a very difficult week, I have hemmed and hawed over things that I may not even be able to decide. I am deciding to stop making the decision.

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I wrote the above post – left un-posted – on November 1st. Today, a month later, I have made the decisions. They are life changing and affect so many people. While the choices I faced were hard to make, I am so grateful for the opportunities they have provided to me.

Enough with the cryptic language already! I have made the choice to move my family back to Florida for my job. This is an opportunity for myself and my family that I feel was too important to pass up. Unfortunately, granny and poppy live here now and can’t come with us. By making this choice, we are ultimately making them relive a very difficult time because we made the choice 4 years ago to the date to move to WV when they were in Florida. They have only lived here by us for 18 months now. I can’t imagine how this has made them feel. I only hope for their love and acceptance in this decision.

Change Oh How I’ve Missed You!…… HA!!


change-ahead-sign

What do they say again………..nothing ever stays the same, everything is always changing? Yup so it is. Of course, we know that things are always going to change. You can probably go through your life wearing Khakis every work day, getting up at the same time, eating the same breakfast, taking your lunch, getting your hair cut on the same day and time every month, starting and ending your workday at the same time and go to bed at the same time. But isn’t that a little ground-hog-dayish of you?

I know I wouldn’t want to live that life. But sometimes the change I encounter, yeah well, I don’t want it either! Why can’t I just have exactly what I want when I want it because that’s what I want?!?! Oh, um-mm yeah, because I’m not 2 anymore and if I want to be a grown up then I need to act like one, right?

So, here I sit, with my hands raking my hair, secretly hoping that it’s all a bad dream. HA! I’m not that lucky!! No, seriously, sometimes you feel like everything is ready to cave in around you and it can be very overwhelming. This could be one of those times. Fortunately, I am gaining so many new found self-help skills that I actually know how to recognize this problem, breathe through it, and come out the other side with my wits intact. I know – it’s just short of a miracle.

I have my job, which in prior comments, I have made mention that I might not be so thrilled with it. However, in looking at it as a whole, I really like what I do. I am happy in my field but I know I have a lot to work on – but hey, who doesn’t? Now, the following formula is currently my life:

JOB + 3 KIDS + SCHOOL (for them) + COLLEGE (full course load) + HOUSEWORK = Insane person??? J

Yes, it’s a lot on my plate, and yes, someone could go completely nuts with all of this. However, I have, quite thankfully, found more ways to handle every day crap that gets tossed around. After all, its never going to stop happening is it? So rather than sit and wallow in self-pity eating tubs of ice cream to quiet down the inside voice – I accept the inside voice and tell her to deal with it! change wordle

In all honesty, everything boils down to choice. Just this past weekend, I was walking around all sullen and my husband says “what’s wrong”. Typical female answer (am I’m female so I totally have the right to say that!) is what I give him “nu-thin”. Then realizing this is a communication opportunity, I explain that I am not myself because I wasn’t getting what I wanted. He was watching what he wanted to on TV, the kids had games on before that and all I had been doing was cleaning and cooking. Guess what? No one told me to clean or cook and I didn’t ask for help with it.

I then went to the store to get coffee, because if I down and don’t have coffee, it isn’t pretty. So I’m at the store, see the RedBox and say to myself “Hey! I have an idea self! Let’s get a movie and turn it into a family day.” I picked out a movie I wanted and let my 4 year old pick out a family movie. I came home and made popcorn, everyone was excited for movies and it turned out just fine.

So, not only do you have the choice for change, a lot more often than you realize, the change lies within your choices. If you want it to be better, make it better for you.

Live Outside the Box


So……my bucket list. Yeah, that’s still on the table. I have been thinking about how I have done some but haven’t really worked to make anything on my list happen.

Bucket List’s in general typically have a theme. The theme of mine was “finding myself”. I added the items to my list because they were things that I thought would broaden my horizons and help me to realize things that I could do or that I liked.

I was thinking this week about my list and realized that I looked into taking a cooking class but there weren’t any in the area. I looked into learning to draw and I didn’t find a class so I put it aside. There is a theme here. Hmmmm. I am definitely an all or nothing kind of person, I am clearly looking for companionship and friendship in different outlets than normal and I really need to step outside this box I am living in!!

I realized that we have the internet. You tube has tutorials for everything! I didn’t have to spend money on something for it to teach me or be an eye opening experience. We are not living in a Hallmark movie where everything is just right there and you have magic amounts of time and your job doesn’t fire you because you go to yoga and come in late to work. (Boy what a world).

So, I bought a sketch pad, pencils and an eraser. I found a website – or 4 – and set out to draw a tree. I had this idea because a tree standing in the middle of the field alone is a sign to me of tranquility, calmness, openness, vulnerable yet strong and uplifting. I want this image above my bed. (Maybe my beliefs about trees will seep into my head while I am sleeping?)

The tutorial I found was very good. It showed me a very new way to think about drawing. The artist is talented and created a very beautiful tree – exactly the kind of picture I am looking for. After following the tutorial I have realized, its probably not an exorbitant amount of money to purchase a nice sketch of a tree…….

I really can’t draw. I tried very hard. But I didn’t enjoy it and it’s absolutely ok to say, yup I’m not good at this but lots of people are. So my daughter is going to get a barely used sketch book since she is extremely artistic in her own right and some new pencils. I’m sure she will be quite happy.

Any ideas on where to buy the picture of the tree?

My Job Is A Monster and My Laundry Swallowed Me


Motivation. There I said it. It’s a dirty word. Well, OK at least for me right now.

You sit down to get started on work but your brain is not with you. Your body is there but you can’t focus. So, aha! De-clutter I think. I clean my desk, get rid of things I don’t need. There! Now that mound is a very small pile and not nearly as distracting. Now, I can work.

NOPE!

OK, I think, lets get some music going. I put on my playlist of my “most loved” songs. I open my email and see an email from my boss that says “let’s discuss this”. I close the email and stare at the computer.

Why oh why can I not get my butt moving? I manage to get through the day and when its over and I’m sitting on my couch staring at a pile of laundry and massive amount of clutter all where it doesn’t belong – it hits me all over again.

OK, get up, do one thing and you will feel better. At least that sounds good in my head. I pull the basket of laundry over to me then I see my massively comfortable comforter on my couch and OH! there’s my pillow. It must be calling my name!!

Next thing I know, I’m laying on my couch watching pointless television trying to ignore the things in my field of vision that irritate me. Again – why can I not get motivated?

The advice I get from Psychology Today is literally “So figure out what you want, power through the pain period, and start being who you want to be.” Really? Its that easy huh? THINK AGAIN!! For some of us, where do you even get the motivation to power through the pain?

As I start searching for answers I come upon the fact that motivation and self control are linked. Really?! If I have little self control how can I then motivate myself? Makes sense I guess. So I take a self control quiz. The answer? I scored in the very bottom “Bulk up your self control muscles start exercising them today.”

Great! Now, I’m not motivated and I don’t have self control. Gee, I’m certainly the essence of a loser here huh? Uh oh. Bad thought. Then I start reading some of my own posts. I remember, don’t beat yourself up over everything. Some days will be good and some will not. OK, so now its time to really think about what is going on here.

It seems that when I am faced with situations that are overwhelming, I shut down. If I don’t have a clear path of “this is what needs to be done first”, then I just can not function. It’s like standing in front of an overflowing closet knowing it needs to be organized but not having a single clue what to start with.

Some might say “just start”, others think “determine your outcome so you know where to begin” and still yet, you could hear “baby steps, do a little today, a little tomorrow etc.”. Are any of them wrong? Not really. What works for you? All of these do the same thing – break it down into manageable pieces. I am a lot better and cleaning my living room when I decide that I am going to clean the coffee table. By the time I am done, I have cleaned two rooms and it was easy.

So whether it’s work, the house, the bills, exercise or something else that plagues you – break it down. If you let it tower over you like a horrible animal trying to eat you, it will consume you and you will be frozen in fear. Recognize your roadblocks and handle them one by one. I wasn’t able to get motivated because something more was going on in my life and until I dealt with it, it was going to keep tripping me up and making me feel terrible.

You have the ability to change your life and be the best you that you can be. So tell me, what do you do when you realize you are in a slump, unable to accomplish anything that you want and beating yourself up? How do you overcome that fear or those feelings to get back on track?

Out of the Woodwork


Ever feel like you are doing things all for not? You just are losing motivation, don’t feel like you are gaining any ground? I have felt like that a lot and still do most days. I was pleasantly surprised by a friend of mine this weekend that perked me right up. I received a package in the mail that I wasn’t expecting. When I opened it I was greeted with glitter (what girl doesn’t like a little glittery cheer?!) and a card. It was not a gushy card, it was not sentimental, it was not a lot of things but what it was, was thoughtful.

Also inside the package was something wrapped in pink. It was long and narrow. When I opened it, it was a a sign – believe. Simple as that. The simple selfless and thoughtful things we do for our friends and others sometimes are the ones that might just have the most impact at that moment.
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