"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A. Milne

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Really??? Not Again

Okay this is not a very well thought out post. In fact, this post is more therapy and a sounding board for the very unwelcome thoughts in my mind. So if you want to turn back now, go ahead. Not a problem.

For those of you who stayed, don't you just hate when you become exactly what you have railed against? You know that thing that most irks you and gets under your skin, the one that just rakes your spine like a nails on a chalkboard? (Do they even have those anymore?) Yeah, that thing and then you are bopping along one day and you look into the mirror to put on some simply gorgeous glittery pink lip gloss and instead of seeing lips that need some sparkle you are confronted with a monster. Some yucky thing you never realized you had become.

My monster is that lately I have become a judgemental know it all who presumes to know everyone's story better than they do and feels the need to share my "knowledge".

Blech. Ick.

Look, I value bluntness. I think truth in love is a wonderful and needed thing but lately I have been ridiculous. My haughty arrogance has done nothing but show my ignorance and I will admit, I don't like it. I feel all naked and stuff. Very uncool if you know what I mean.

My biggest stumbling block is difficult partners. I have this issue in a variety of ares but parnters is my pet gripe. I have no problem telling someone exactly what I would do if my husband did this, that, or the other thing. And you know what? I really would do what I say. However, and this is a big however, there is a little catch. I believe that in most relationships one partner is simply more difficult than the other. One partner needs to be handled with a little more kid gloves and gentleness than the other. I have seen it time and again. But here is the rub, the reason MY husband would never do this or that is because I AM the difficult partner. I really am. I have always been honest about this little fact but the irony eluded me.

So where do I go from here? Well change is necessary. Kindness and compassion must come to forefront and reign sumpreme. The next time I muse to myself, "I don't know what they are thinking!" I better quickly remind myself that indeed I do NOT know and probably need to keep my judgments to myself.

So to anyone I have been haughty or behaved in a supercilious manner, I deeply apologize. I sort of feel the fool. I hope I wasn't too hurtful.

But in the long view I will just see this as another area to grow. It is another layer of onion to be peeled away. Being humbled from time to time is not a bad thing. It keeps us loving and gentle. It gives us our core of humanity. So I guess in a weird way I am glad this happened.

End therapy session and authentic (and pretty embarrassing) musings.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Priorities of a Different Path

Something on Facebook brought some thoughts to my mind. How often do I run into women who are exhausted, worn out, burnt out, overextended, and ready to cry. I would say the majority of women I know fall into this category. It was even said that everyone is overextended as if it is a simple fact of life that must be dealt with but never left behind. I am sure as we go about our daily lives, it may just feel that way. The average woman in our society has problems saying no and trouble maintaining healthy boundaries. It almost seems to be a societal conspiracy to convince her she is responsible for everyone and their emotions. I have seen the extreme in a few troubled Christian women who will not leave their abusive husbands because they are thoroughly convinced their staying and taking punches will ultimately save his soul. That is the extreme but how many women do you know neglect their health and well being in order to live up to some unreachable expectation place upon them by society and sadly, themselves? Maybe everyone, or every women, is just overextended. There is only one problem with that hypothesis.

I am not and I haven't been for quite some time.

More to the point, I know several other women who are not. These women and I refuse to follow that path. For me it leads to sadness, despair, and depression. Now matter how I strived for perfection I would always fail and it ate me up inside. So you know what I did? I quit. I refused to strap myself in to that insane rollercoaster. I have chosen a different path. And I have absolutely no regrets. None.

What I think it really comes down to is priorites. What you value in your life defines you. What you value in your life will shape every facet of your existence. It is who you are. My top three priorities shape me into my being. They are.

1. Peace in my life and in my home.
2. Relational living which means I work to have deep, meaningful relationships with my husband, my children, and the other important people in my life
3. The heath of me and my family. This includes physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

How this all works is every step and every choice is deeply and profoundly influenced by these tenets of my life. As I said above, I used to be a terrible perfectionist. I drove myself to exhaustion. I would be cleaning my house at midnight when my body desperately needed sleep and rest. Now to maintain peace and health in my life, I still keep a fairly clean home. However, since perfect cleanliness is no longer the end goal my expectations are far more reasonable. I am much more gentle and graceful with myself.

I love feeding my family healthy whole food. I would love to feed them organic and/or grass fed everything always cooked from scratch. But it would literally drive me to distraction. While trying to hold a standard of excellence for physical health, I would stress and fret alot and ultimately sacrifice emotional and mental health. So there are compromises made to maintain the balance of needs of my entire family.

I take alot more time to myself than most of the women I know. I run, I read, I meditate, and do alot of yoga. I seek inspiration from the bible when I am feeling a bit ragged and know sometimes nothing would do my soul better than meeting a friend for coffee and laughter until I am crying with joy. I guarantee you that all the time I take drastically increases my ability to be a loving wife, mother, and friend. Not running around feeling like I am going to drop and insisting on regularly refreshing my spirit as enabled me to the person I really wanted to be even though it took me a long time to realize it.

I won't lie, there are sacrifices. We live in a much less expensive house than many of our friends. Other than a recent exception, we buy used cars. We don't eat out alot or go out on the town with friends. I have to plan and save for many of our purchases even things some people think are harmless impulse. We miss some holiday gatherings that would be really fun because I keep our committments down to a minimum. We can't do every activity or field trip. We can't run in every race nor travel as much as others.

But I am more than happy with our decisions. We love our life and we would not change it. The peace and joy we are privilege to feel every day makes it all worthwhile.

So if you love your life as it is, that is great. But if you don't, if you are constantly feeling worn and exhausted, there is another way. You can choose a different path.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Living Life

I haven't been here much lately. I have been focused on living and loving my life. Life has fallen into a gentle rhythm that is really working for our family at this time. I am avoiding analyzing it or exploring it too deeply. I am just being with it so to speak.

Recently, I realized I live a calm, mundane life. I will let you in a little secret, I really like it that way. I do. For years I thought conflict and wildly swinging emotions were passion and creativity. The truth, for me, could not be further from that chaotic, frenetic existence. I have found true peace, passion, and creativity within the quiet moments of my life. Each day I run a little, do alot of yoga, spend time laughing and cuddling with my babies and snuggling with my husband at night. Each day I knit a little, write for awhile, read something delicious, and slowly and calmly breathe in the flavor and scent of life. It is amazingly glorious in its simplicity.

Will it stay just this way? Of course, not. Do I want it to? Not really, a stagnant life quickly loses its joy and breadth of experience. I want to continue to experience and savor life as it comes, each day as it will be.

I am sure I will find, very soon, the need to express myself to others. That familiar companion will press me more greatly than it does at this moment. And then I will return here to share myself and my life with those of you who care to share with me.

Until then, I am just breathing, just living, just being, and just loving.