Someday Never Comes

So I went to my first funeral today.  It was for a 28 year old guy- he died in his sleep, no real cause known.  I work with his mom.  Tough stuff.  In a whirlwind of me already working to redefine myself and this tragic event, it’s got me thinking about ‘someday’.  As John Fogerty said, “Someday never comes”.  I’ve got all sorts of things planned for someday.  Trips, projects, classes, get-togethers, family activities, money goals, workouts… blah, the list goes on and on.  Someday never comes.  I’m not trying to be all dooms day about this stuff.  I’m thinking more in terms that it means I should get my ass in gear to start living in the present.  Aha! If I focus more attention on each present moment and less time about what might happen in the future, I will feel more in control of my time.

It’s not about fitting into my favorite jeans; it’s about enjoying my food today.

It’s not about continuously wondering if Lyla’s propensity to play the guitar is indicative of a musical future.  Instead, it about building a stage for her and being part of her band today.

It’s not about always generating tasks in life; it’s about relaxing and spending more days playing in the yard and the kitchen.

If it’s important, you will find the time.

Perhaps it’s time to refocus a little bit, reign life in and focus our time and efforts on our goals and the true enjoyment of the present.  My girls are small and sweet and cute.  I cherish these days.  I only get one chance to raise these little people and I have to do it one day at a time, present and focused.  By spending meaningful quality time with my husband and girls now, and by staying focused on personal growth, I will reach where I am supposed to be in life.

So, here’s the deal, tomorrow I am going to try my damndest to enjoy moments in the present {aside from work where I spend an eternity planning future events}.  Each decision I make will be about what make senses at that current moment.  I’m not going to stress about someday.  It’s about the present.  Would you like to join me?

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Two Hours.

Who knew the question “tell me a little bit about yourself” could be so difficult?  I found this out on Monday. Mainly because I couldn’t come up with a reasonable answer that didn’t involve work or my family.

In my early twenties, I did what I wanted.  I moved where I wanted to and when I wanted to.  I went out when I wanted (which was often), I ate what I wanted and I spent money as though I had an in at the Treasury.  My personal life was selfish- but it didn’t need to be any other way.  I needed to get a lot of that out of my system.  It was such a valuable and necessary part of my life.  I discovered my love for so many things during this time in my life.  I had a job that required hard work but surrounded me with good people who taught me a lot and allowed me to live to the fullest.

When I met Matt I was at a really peaceful place in my life.  I had decided to stop looking for someone to date and just focus on myself.  I was happy.  This allowed me to be open to loving and accepting Matt.  I accepted myself and my sense of place.  I didn’t need Matt, I wanted to include Matt in my life.  He was a partner, not a crutch.  The peace that I felt when I spent time with Matt helped me to be present in building the solid relationship that we have.  Matt has always had a strong sense of who he is and has always had a happy go lucky, “let’s have a good time” attitude. 

As Matt and I started growing closer, we also started doing more together, which meant less individual activities.  Matt is hands down my favorite person in the whole world to hang out with but we got in the habit of doing most things together.  This, my friends, is where I slowly started to lose my sense of self.  I didn’t really feel like I was losing anything because I was gaining so much from my relationship.  You see, Matt has always supported every idea, decision and activity I have ever had or wanted.  He even plays along with my super crazy ones.  Overtime, I simply stopped coming up with ideas of things to do for myself.  It’s not because of Matt; it’s been through my own collective and unintentional choices. 

Becoming a mama has been one of the most rewarding and scary experiences of my life.  I take it seriously.  I’ve got two beautiful and kind hearted little girls looking to me for love, validation, guidance and security.  That’s a big deal. 

NEWS FLASH: I need to provide these things for myself as well.  If I allow myself to validate my own needs and wants then I am modeling a behavior that I hope to instill in these girls.  I need to allow myself to take guilt free time to myself and actually enjoy it.  I need to let go of the “I better hurry home” notion and allow myself to linger because I want to.  I need to feel more in control of my time which will in turn give me the freedom to choose activities that I want to do. 

Baby steps.

I have a schedule. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.  I am sufficiently scheduled.  Trouble is, there is very little time blocked off for me.  Just me.  The time has come to rewrite this schedule of mine and make time for myself. 

Let’s start small. 

Two hours next week will be all mine. 

Like the ice cream sandwich as the end of dinner, it will give me a little something to look forward to.  It will be a dash of something different that my week needs.  It’s time for me to be okay with investing in myself again.  Let’s see what my thirty something self is capable of…     

Screw being perfect.

I have come to realize that I have high standards and expectations…. for myself.  You know, perfectionist high standards.

When I was little, I use to ask my mom, “What am I good at?” and she would answer the way every mother should “You are good at everything sweetie”.  However, I wanted specifics.  My sister excelled at art and my brother at sports, but I took her comment to be a nice way of saying “I can’t really think of anything specific”.  Looking back, I was good at so many things.  However, in my mind, I just wasn’t good enough.

While playing volleyball in middle school, I was good at serving, like win the game for the whole team good at serving.  {Not good enough though}  For me success would have been being recruited at a young age for the Olympic team.  {I’m not exaggerating}  That was my gauge of success.  I couldn’t let myself celebrate the win.  If it’s not top notch, it’s not good enough.  In hind sight, I can see the ridiculousness of this thought process two ways:

1. I lived in a small town and recruiters didn’t visit middle school volleyball games.

2. I should have enjoyed my success.

However, my success limited me.  To the point, that I stopped playing volleyball.  If I wasn’t going to be recruited for the Olympic team {which in my 12 year old head = real success} then what was the point.  Just being good in a small town wasn’t good enough for me.

I have come to realize that the same thought process has transcended into my adult life.  I have been racking my brain for a hobby lately.  Something to identify with personally, outside of work, family and friends.  Something that is just mine.  It has dawned on me though, the reason I can’t come up with anything is because I expect myself to be perfect and already excel at my new hobby.

I can’t except that I might have to learn something.  I might have to fail.  It’s limiting me.  And it’s exhausting.  It’s not letting me do anything because I can’t be instantly perfect at it.

{Seriously. Seriously???}

What the fuck? What will happen if I’m not good?  Will the world stop spinning if I mess up eight couches before I master upholstery?  Will people think less of me if I suck at canning?  Am I less of a person because the cake I’ve decorated isn’t “Martha” perfect?  I need to let myself except that I must learn.  I can’t only attempt what I already know I am capable of.  I must explore the unknown, fail, learn, fail again but stick with what I have committed to.  If I actually want to excel I must understand that instant perfection is not only unreasonable but it’s not fair to myself.  So now, baby steps, I need to find something that I want to learn, know nothing about and {gasp!} might fail at.  I need one activity where being perfect is not the goal- but instead personal growth is the goal.

I have always said that I want to write a children’s book, but I haven’t tried because my expectation is a Newbery Medal.   It’s time for me to start small, learn, fail, try again, succeed and grow.  I am finally going to pursue writing children’s book and see what happens.  My measure of success has to be personal growth and not distinguished honors.  I need to write this book for myself and my girls…. and that has to good enough.  Who knows, ending the cycle of perfectionism might just get me where I want to be.

Leap.

Gotta empty this head of mine.  It is full.  Trying to find a direction for my life these days.  I feel stuck.  I feel like options for my days are slim.  I am on a cycle of repeat that makes me crazy.  Yet there are little pieces of my day that I love.  I hafta sort this out.  Need more pieces of my days that I love.  Am I the one preventing change in my life?  Let’s review:

5:40am- Get ready for work in the EXACT same order every day all the while wishing that I had more time to do my hair differently… wishing I had more money to have nicer clothes… wishing I had more energy to work out {still look about 4 months preggo}.  Don’t get to see the girls most mornings before I leave.  Kills me.

6:30am- Drive 30 minutes to work.  This is a piece of my day that I love.  Music.  Takes my mind off leaving my family every day.  Drink my “candy coffee” and think about all the things I would rather be doing with my life.  Trying to think of something I can invent… trying to think of a product I can develop… trying to think of a story line for a children’s book…. there must be something else I can do in this lifetime that feels better.  Something that will give me more time with the people I love.

7:00am- Arrive at a job that’s lost it’s spark for me.  It’s no one’s fault, our relationship just isn’t meeting my needs.  I need to break up with my job.  I’ve been there for 4.5 years and it’s getting rough.  Problem is the pay is great and benefits are top notch.  I’m so bored.  Everything about this place makes me crazy.  I just don’t care.  For nine hours I sit in a place that I feel like I have been sentenced to.  {I know I should say that I’m grateful for a job and I am doing this for my family.}  Let’s be real here people.  I am not grateful for this place.  It’s actually creating quite the conudrum in my life.  {I need it, I don’t want it}.

4:00pm- Drive home full of happiness.  Love the radio show I listen to and know that I get to see my family soon.  Wishing I had the motivation to follow through with all the fabulous things I dreamed of on the way to work.  My job has literally sucked the life out of me.   Know that I should have gone to the gym but I already feel guilty for being gone so long.  Need to just get home.

4:45pm- Arrive home to a worn out husband {Matt}, a very excited 2 year old {Lyla} and a 4 month old {Savannah} I barely know.  Lyla is all over the place- kind of like how she gets when a visitor comes to the house- she is doing anything she can to get my attention.  Matt is craving adult conversation.  I am craving 3 minutes to sit and be alone…to recharge for a moment…not happening today….actually, not really any day.  Still trying to figure out if Savannah even knows I’m her mom.  I seriously see her an hour and a half a day at most.  If I focus on that it makes me feel even worse about my already questionable day.  Can’t focus on that right now.  Must give the last drops of energy to the people I love.  Bath time, video time and reading time with Lyla.  Three of my favorite activities.

7:00pm- Bed time for Lyla.  Lyla’s list of needs before bedtime is rapidly growing.  I work to be a patient loving mama with her.  She sees so little of me.  I constantly worry about and dissect my actions with her.  Am I being fair?  Am I hindering creativity?  Am I present with her?  Will she remember these days fondly?  Did I make the most of the little time I have with her?

8:00pm- Dinner.  Wish I had time to research more on how to change the family diet.  Wish my refrigerator was full of delicious local food.  {I can’t find the time for the life I want}  I have a million projects I want to do.  {Maybe I’m not trying hard enough and need to stop making excuses}.

11:00pm- Exhausted from the day and aware of the repeat cycle of it all.  By the standards of many, we are doing good- we make good money, have two beautiful healthy girls, Matt and I are in a loving and committed relationship, we own a home… but by my standards we are lost at sea.  The puzzle pieces aren’t fitting together.  My standards aren’t high- I just feel like I have been placed in the wrong habitat at the zoo.

I think I am preventing the life I want from happening.  I need to make the life that I want to live a priority.  Radical change can produce radical results.  I have always loved to shake things up.  I used to flip a quarter to determine where I would move next.  I have trust in that system.  Life is a series of paths and I have never worried about meandering through them.  I think having Lyla and Savannah made me scared to be daring, to make change, to throw a little caution to the wind and be adventurous.  I have come to realize though that if I stay where I think it’s safe, it will actually be the unhealthiest thing I can do for the family.  It’s time to make the life I want to live.  The question is how????