Choosing Joy on Monday

Choosing Joy is tough…

(PSA – If you don’t want to read about “women’s issues” then don’t ready on)

It’s Monday. Again. It gets here so fast every week. And I found myself sitting at my desk – crying again. Why? IDK. Maybe because it’s that time of the month? Then I really thought about it.

Here’s how my day started:
1. I woke up with a slight hang-over
2. Right when I woke up I got pissed off at someone I work with
3. I was bummed because Joe slept in so I really didn’t get to snuggle him before I left for the day
4. My workout didn’t go as well I hoped
5. My work computer kept freezing up
6. Got up from my desk to shake off my attitude and when I took my tampax out the wrapper I dropped it on the floor. I didn’t have another one. I stopped keeping a stash in the ladies room because there is some crap person in my building will use all your tampax if you leave them. So…back to my office to get another one, blaming the “Assholes I work with.”
7. Trouble focusing at work because all I can think about is hanging out with my family while reading sweet mommy posts on facebook .

I got up from my desk and went BACK to the bathroom. And just took a time out. I really need to re-focus on finding joy. Yep, I just sat there.  Like a dude.

I truly believe our lives and our happiness are 95% our choices. There are those things that happen that we have no control over. Those can be big things (loss of a loved one), small things (bad hair day). It’s our day to day life that we can choose to be miserable. Or we can choose to find joy. I chose to have a tiny bit too much to drink last night. I chose to let my co-worker get the best of me. I chose to beat myself up over my workout.

Right from the beginning I said, “how my day started.” When I should have said is, “This is how I chose to start my day:” The big mistake I made was succumbing to all those negative thoughts and letting them eat away at me, making my Monday miserable.

1. I chose to drink too much last night. Oh well! Take some Advil and move on.
2. I will pray for my co-worker that they are not so overwhelmed
3. I love watching Joe sleep.
4. We all have things we need to work on. I’m really making good progress on my pull-ups and practicing every time I go to the gym. And I am very fortunate that I get to go to such a nice gym with super nice people.
5. I get paid the same way no matter how times my computer has to re-boot. And what a nice excuse to drink another coffee!
6. LOL! I’m so klutzy!
7. I am so fortunate that I have such a sweet family. I love my hubby and my boy so much that sometimes I feel like I could explode. Ben is so supportive of my goals and dreams. And Joe is so amazing. He changes and grows every day and gives the best snuggles in the whole world.

It’s so easy to fall into the “my life is miserable” cycle and feel down and sorry for yourself all the time. I encourage you to take responsibility for your life and the choices you make. Think about those choices and ask yourself if that choice (or the consequences of your choice) will bring you joy. Here’s how I try to remember to look at my less-than-optimal mornings like this morning:

1. Don’t dwell on mistakes you’ve made in the past. Pick yourself up, move on, and don’t look back.
2. You can’t control the actions of other people. You can only control YOUR reaction to them.
3. Any time I have with my boy is a gift. I cherish ALL of it.
4. Take the good with the bad! We have off days. We have things we need to work on.
5. Like #2, there are situations outside of your control. It’s how you deal with them that matters.
6. “You have to laugh at yourself, because you’d cry your eyes out if you don’t” -Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls)
7. My job gives me the means to provide a better life for the people who matter most to me. I love them so much and will do anything for them.

So. How do we get here/there – to a place of finding joy. I’m no licensed therapist or religious leader. But I can tell you what I do to try to find joy every day. First, I encourage you to walk around with a thankful heart. I was trying to find a way to begin to be less negative and I began this journey in my yoga practice. When I started my second round of 3 Week Yoga retreat, I began literally saying a small thankful prayer when folding my hands in gratitude. Next I really took focus on my breathing. When I took my deep breaths, I focused on breathing in new and joyful thoughts and exhaling out all the stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts of the day. After doing this for 30 minutes every day before bedtime, I began sleep better and it helped my overall attitude. Even Ben asked me what was changing – he noticed my attitude getting better and I was a LOT less stressed out. For me, that thankfulness and thoughtfulness in just 30 minutes a day started to beget appreciation and joy. Now I try it throughout my day. Just like anything else, this will take practice. You’ll have good days and bad days. The bad ones, I go back to my mat, decompress, and start over!

Not into prayer or Yoga?  Another idea: when you get into a negative spin, stop and say 3 positive things about the negative situation you’re thonking about.  Pick real positive attributes, not just something made up that you don’t really feel.

keep me posted and good luck! Xoxo

I know what I want to be when I grow up

I think all of us moms struggle from time to time about staying home. Or not. Or changing jobs. Or not. I find myself thinking about this a lot, especially when work is going rough. I’ve had a really tough couple weeks. I’ve been disappointed in a few circumstances that have to do with honesty and integrity. I begin to question-again- if I’m in the right place and asking myself, “What do I want to do when I grow up? What’s my dream job!? Is it time to leave your job for something else?”

I got home from work today just in time for nap. And I’m sitting here in listening to him breathe. And I hear God say, “Kristen. THIS is your dream job. This is what you are meant to be when you grow up: Joe’s Mom.”

The answer to the 3rd question? I’m still listening for that one. ❤️

 

4 Reasons I’m a bad friend, 1 reason I’m not

As part of one of my big resolutions this year being to say “yes” more.  I’ve been thinking about the toll that all my postpartum anxiety played on my friendships.  I know that part of having small kids is that everything changes, including friendships.  I’ve been looking into myself and the past few years and really trying to get to the bottom of what has happened to some of my favorite relationships.  Here’s 4 reasons why I’m a bad friend:

 

1. Like I talked about in my Resolutions post, I always say, “No.”  Yep, I would wager that 6 out of 10 times someone asks me to do something, I say, “No.”  Out of the 4 where I did said “yes” 2-3 of those I bail at the last minute.  Why am I like that?  Well, I make lots of excuses.  It is during Joe’s nap, meal times, or bed time.  Yes.  I know.  I shouldn’t stop doing stuff just because I have a child.  But, Joe (and I for that matter) thrive on being on schedule.  Right? When he’s off schedule, it’s miserable.  He’s cranky, doesn’t eat well, doesn’t sleep well.  And I also feel bad asking Ben to manage all these things by himself.  I do it sometimes, But I’m not willing to ask him constantly to manage on his own.  Or is it really that anxiety that paralyzes me and makes me just want to sit in my PJ’s all day?

2. I don’t often initiate a social event.  That is, unless you have a kid a similar age as my kid.  Why?  Because putting on a big dinner or party is next to impossible with a clingy toddler.  Because I feel like most people who don’t have their own clingy toddler don’t really want to hang out with my clingy toddler.  Honestly, if we do hang out with my clingy toddler we will just be entertaining him and not really getting in the girl chat we need.  Right?  Or is that my anxiety paralyzing me again?

3. When I’m going through something hard, I shut down.  Instead of turning to my friends when I’m in a tough situation, I usually shut them out.  I don’t want to talk to anyone or go anywhere.  this leads to even more of #1, I just keep saying, “No.” Or worse, I’ll try to make myself get out of the house, then have anxiety and bail at the last minute.  Yeah, everyone deals with tough situations differently.  Unfortunately, after a few really poor choices in confidants this has been my method.

4. I have a TERRIBLE memory.  I will forget what you told me yesterday.  I may forget your birthday (or get the day completely wrong – yes even with Facebook).  I truly do TRY to remember to ask you about the thing you told me about last week.  But if I don’t, please understand that I do love you and care about what’s happening in your life.  I just might ask you the same question 3 visits in a row.  I get so consumed in my own silly struggles (or not so silly) and forget that the people I love have their own things going on too.

On the other hand, if you’ll let me, I am a really good friend in 1 way:

1. If we haven’t talked in days, months, or years, know that I still think about you often.  I still love you.  And as soon as we get a chance to re-connect, lets pick up right where we left off.  I appreciate you and your friendship and I’ll love you forever.

So I think the moral of the story is that in order to communicate to my friends that I value them and I care about them, I need to Say “yes” More.  And really work hard on overcoming my anxiety.

 

I’m not alone, right?!  Do you suffer from anxiety too?  What works/didn’t work for you to overcome it?

My 6 New Years Resolutions

Well, Happy New Year!  We’re just starting our journey into 2017 and it’s about time I finish up my goal setting for the year.  The last few months I have really ignored my study into goal setting.  It’s time I get off to a good start!

Personal Goals
1. Say “YES!” more – This is really an overarching goal for all aspects of my life.  But, I really feel like it is mostly personal, because it has to do with overcoming my anxiety.  The last couple years I am very quick to say, “No” to things – really anything, social events, kid events, work opportunities, fitness classes.  If it’s not part of our family routine I have a really hard time saying yes.  I get very anxious and overwhelmed.  I over-analyze and over-emphasize the negative impacts of whatever the event is.  It might mean I can’t get my meal planning done, or Joe is a little late for nap, or I won’t have time to do X, Y or Z.  If I’m thinking about reaching out to someone, I always find a reason not to.  I know that when I do say, “yes” and I go and do I have a good time and enjoy interacting with people and trying new things.  So, it doesn’t mean I will say “yes” to EVERYTHING.  But I will intentionally say “yes” and reach out to others more.

Business Goals
2. My biggest business goal is to be more consistent on the blog.  Instead of trying to get you guys something every day (which is what I was trying to do in the beginning), I’ll try to get about 2 posts per week.  This is more attainable right now.  What kind of posts are YOU interested in seeing?

3. Stop hustling my Beachbody business.  No that does not mean I’m not a coach anymore.  And if you’re thinking about trying a Beachbody program, then I totally want to be your coach, your cheerleader, and your support.  It just means I’m not going to do the social media hustle anymore.  I need to be true to myself and my fitness journey.  Then I can be a better coach!  I’ll post what I’m doing, what I like/don’t like about it.  And let me know if you want to join in!

Family goals
4. Be more present with Joe in the afternoons.  I so struggle with the work/family/life balance.   I find that when we do get home in the afternoon, I tend to let the chores, social media, and to-do lists in my head overwhelm me and I’m not really as present as I would like to be.  He’s growing up so fast and I don’t want to miss out anymore.

Marriage
5. Figure out what we need to do to stay connected to each other in our hectic life.  And then do that, regularly and often.  You know how it is.  Work, kids, make dinner, pack lunches, chores, etc.  Then the alarm goes off and you say, “Oh hi there.  How was your day yesterday?  I forgot to ask”

Financial
6. Create a budget and stick to it.  I’ve tried several things over the years, and I REALLY struggle with this.  I’ve tried excel spreadsheets and Mint.  Both I just didn’t keep up with it.  If you have any methods or tools that work for you please let me know!  For now I’ll be researching what might work for us.

What are your goals for this year?  Or any lessons learned for last year?

Season of Please

Stop.  Stop it right now.  I’m doing it.  You’re doing it.  And we are driving ourselves crazy!  It’s the Season of Peace.  Not the Season of “Please.”

You CANNOT please everyone.

But we all keep trying!  Do you feel overwhelmed?  Stressed?  Like nothing is good enough?

I have come to the realization that I have been operating in complete B mode.  The hubby and I are fighting.  I said something totally rude to my friend today.  And I’m doing my, “I’m stressed so I’m shutting down” thing.  And I know EXACTLY what I’m doing wrong.  I’m trying to make everyone happy.  And in the process, I’m making everyone miserable, especially those closest to me.

Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year) is “based” on traditions, right?  Well in our family (my side of the family) we are having to make new traditions.  We lost my Dad at Christmas 2 years ago.  It’s hard to just do things the way we always did because it reminds us of Dad.  Also, it’s hard to let go of some of those traditions, at least for me, because it reminds me of those good memories of him and of being a kid.

So to really throw a wrench in our traditions is that we’re celebrating at our house for the first time.    I admit I was really having anxiety about having the holiday at OUR HOUSE.  Oh GEEZ! Everything has to be cleaned.  Do this! Do that!  Don’t get me wrong, I an so thankful I don’t have to travel.  I’ve been traveling for the last 15 years.  But.  I knew.  I was going to have to somehow make everyone happy.  How am I going to incorporate both sides of the family without hurting someone’s feelings? Or someone thinking what we are doing is stupid or not right?  Or dumb? Or 1-sided? Or…  Or…  The list goes on.

I was sitting at work all morning with not much going on.  I’ve been thinking about the 2 big blow-out fights Ben and I have had, the tears I’ve shed missing my dad.  I’ve been thinking about what’s really important to me and why am I really so upset.  And when I take a step back and think about it.  I don’t really care what day we open presents.  I don’t really care what we eat for dinner.  I was merely worried about snarky comments and making sure everyone has exactly the Christmas he/she wanted.  Why?  Because I’m trying to make everyone happy.  But I just couldn’t seem to make everyone else happy without sacrificing something, somewhere.  And in the process I’m making my hubby miserable, my mom uncomfortable, I’ve been cranky and rude, and torturing myself.  I finally realized what I need to do:  DON’T worry about it! We are all going to eat.  We are all going to open presents.  (And not everyone in the world is that fortunate!)

If ironing every single wrinkle out of the tablecloth and fixing huge traditional meals meant my dad would walk through the door.  Great!  Then let the stress-fest begin.  But I don’t think it’s going to work out that way.  And since he’s been gone, my outlook on things has been very different.

I want to catch every single moment I can with the people I love.  Because one day my loved one may be gone.  Or I may be gone.  I don’t want the remaining memories to be of stressful times.

So let’s stop trying to over analyze everything and beat ourselves up over nitty gritty details.  I’m going to do more smiling and hanging out, rather than worry about what casserole to have and if the ceiling fan is dusted.  I’m going to spend every minute I can enjoying my mom and watching her enjoy her grandson.  I encourage you to do the same with your family.  This special time will come and go, with no do-over.  I encourage you to catch it and enjoy it!

Merry Christmas!  ❤️🎄🎁