Over the past several weeks I’ve been struggling with stress and just feeling so busy. My week days have been so long and it has made it hard to balance work life and home life. I know so many can attest to what I am talking about. There doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to everything we need to do. Some times it can last a short few days and then others it seems never ending. I would like to say I have found some great wisdoms to pass along and then share that with you. The truth is I haven’t any wisdom and very little advice.
Sometimes the advice I do have doesn’t even work for these seasons. My advice would be;
Try to think about the positive and look for the bright side
Keep moving forward and chipping away at what’s ahead
Look at how much you’ve been able to accomplish before in these seasons
So on and so forth can be the advice. Here is my honest opinion about these situations; very rarely are there bad days but mostly bad moods. That is true for most of the times I go through these things. If I just swing my mood then my day miraculously gets better. This is what happened to me two weeks ago. My mood was crummy and I wasn’t looking to change it. I was kind of wallowing in my own bad mood. I bet if we were all honest we can admit to doing this sometimes. It was a Sunday and I was dreading my upcoming week. I was letting it seep into my favorite day of the week and ruin my family time. I wasn’t outwardly doing anything to ruin it I should say but I wasn’t doing much to help spread fun. I think the truth is though sometimes we don’t do anything and God still shows up to help us out. That was what happened to me this particular day. I suddenly felt like this was what would carry me through my long week. The feeling I had, the moments I lived in, and the time I took would help me feel loved and refuel me for the things that were ahead.
So many times over the last few weeks I have gone back to that Sunday in my head or just looking at the photos I took that day of my family and I feel happy and full again. Even now it makes me smile. I don’t want this to seem like another advice blog or that I think you should be doing things differently with your life. I simply want to share this with you because I hope that maybe you will have this shift in your mood and see God shows up even if you haven’t asked Him and it can change everything.
Like most people I’ve been reflecting today on what 2017 has meant to me and what I am looking for in 2018. In the past I would try to set goals for the upcoming year and in recent years I would pick a focus word. For 2017 I didn’t do that exactly but one was picked for me, change. This year I saw so much change in my life in every aspect. My relationship with family members, my husband and son, my career, friends, and my relationships with God.
Some people do not like change and I have to admit it scares me at times. I’ve become comfortable with the familiar and I think that becomes even more true the older I get. When things are going well change can be scary because that means they could become bad with everything turned upside down. That’s what freaks me out about change. What I am learning though is with faith in God change doesn’t have to be as scary. We still may worry and cry but we shouldn’t be fearful. If we believe God knows what is best for us then we have to trust in His will. I think this is when change becomes growth and I feel I have grown spiritually so much more than I expected this year. I am so thankful for where God has brought me and where He intends on taking me. It’s a little scary but not like it was.
Because of all this, because I see that I cannot know what the future holds for me I am not looking for what 2018 means for me but rather what I feel God is saying about 2018 for me. I feel a pull towards the word ‘others’. I don’t know why or what it will mean but I’m sure I’ll find out. Thank you God for such an amazing year of blessings.
As some you may already know, I started a new job a few months back. This has genuinely been the most difficult transition I’ve ever dealt with. It’s not the job itself that’s so hard, it’s how it’s challenged every part of my life. I NEVER expected that. Most of the major, no wait all of the major changes in my life have come with a warning and some prep time before actually happening. I truly believe this was a move from God because everything happened so unified and unflawed.
Something I struggle with self confidence and self doubt. So many of us struggle with this. For one or even many reasons we feel like we aren’t good enough. Maybe someone made us feel that way or we just took this on naturally ourselves. When I started this new job I had some self doubt just as most people do. Gradually though we begin to feel like we’re getting a better handle on things. This time though I felt like I was doing worse and not getting any better. I felt like I was drowning at times.This was beginning to bleed into other parts of my life. I was beginning to think that I was a bad mom and wife. That of course affected what type of mom and wife I was actually being. I’m sure you’ve been there, you start thinking about something and it just can spiral into who knows where. Our mind is a powerful thing. Even if anyone tires to tell me how well I am doing I don’t take compliments well because I don’t believe them.
This time however, I started to consider not the reassurance from others that I was being good or doing well but from what I feel like God says about me. This has been a major element in my life right now. I feel like I am working towards seeing myself through Gods eyes rather than others or even myself.So often I want others to see me how I see me but when they don’t it hurts. I would become defensive or I wouldn’t understand why I couldn’t act a certain way to please people. The problem I was running into was hinging my happiness on others around me. If someone seemed pleased with me then I was pleased with me but if someone was upset with me about something then I was upset with me about it as well. It didn’t matter if it was true or not. I was giving my power of happiness away. This doesn’t dismiss the fact that I am wrong a times or that I can lose my cool. I think it’s importance to feel what another persons is feeling so you may empathies or sympathies with them. This make for better communication and understanding one another.
Seeking and accepting myself the way God sees me has changed my perspective a lot for my own happiness. Rather than allowing another persons emotions or thoughts to rule my mood I decided to be owner of my own mood and joy. I am a people please and I believe as a wife and mother it is my role to set the tone for my family. So what does that say about my family if I am thinking bad about myself. I need to think about myself like I would want my husband to think about our family. I need to think about myself how I want my son to think about himself and others. So when it comes to my self esteem and self confidence I am still struggling, I think I always will. I know I am not perfect and never ever will be but I know God made me how He wanted me, how He sees me. Now when I begin to feel the self doubt creep in I remind myself Whose I am.
And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. Galatians 3:29
A few weeks ago during dinner my husband and I had a disagreement and after we put our son to be I retreaded into out bedroom and didn’t talk to him for the rest of the night. I was so mad and hurt by something he said that I didn’t and couldn’t talk to them without making it worse. So my solution was to not talk at all. I stayed in our room reading. The next morning when I woke up I had a feelings hangover. That yucky feeling of hurt and frustration that passed through a night of sleep and still seemed to be lingering the next day. I woke up as usual before anyone else in the house and did my morning run and made breakfast and lunches still feeling upset. I was thinking about the night before and replaying in my head what was said and how I felt Cory should have acted. Then I felt like God was saying “yeah but what about you?” Well what about me? I was the one who was upset and hurt by what Cory said but why exactly and did it really warrant that reaction? As I thought more about it and really tried to pick apart my feelings I realized I did have the right to be upset but I had over reacted a little. I am the type of person who needs a little time to gather my thoughts when I get upset because I have a tendency to make my initial reaction my official reaction. Once I can process how I feel about something then I am better able to express how and why I feel the way I do. So taking some time would have worked, just maybe not all night.
But why did I get so upset then? I realized it was not at what Cory said but what I think about myself. I have issues with self esteem, like most people. Mine vary from what they are about and when they bother me. Sometimes I can hear the same thing about myself from two different people and one will bother me and the other will not. I don’t like that really. The way I feel about myself shouldn’t be determined from what others say but sometimes I cannot help but let the opinions of others take over my own thoughts. I don’t think this means I am easily swayed or manipulated. What I do think it means though; I already had an underlying thought about myself and its being played upon by my own thoughts. Whether you believe in God or not I think everyone can agree that we have good and bad in the world. The bad thoughts can sometimes enter into your mind quickly and other times slowly creep in unnoticed. The bad thoughts are our enemy. Our enemy can talk about others in ways that make us feel bad or compare ourselves to others. That’s what I had been dealing with that day. Negative thoughts about myself, stressing about not being enough for work and my home life and I let it get the best of me. I took something that my loving husband said and let it ruin our evening.
The next morning when I was processing and meditating on how I felt I realized this and decided to tell myself the good stuff. I told myself what I know to be true about myself. This doesn’t mean that I am perfect, in fact I am far from it. I feel so embarrassed that I acted this way honestly. But I am not as bad as I allow myself to think sometimes. Our thoughts are something that we alone are responsible for protecting. This is something that no one else can control. It’s up to ourselves and ourselves alone. If you take garbage in (I am terrible at.. I am stupid because… I don’t like myself for.. I’ll never be…) you’ll get garbage out. I think this is so important for our everyday selves regarding how we think and feel about ourselves and others. Every time you have a negative thought about someone or yourself I encourage you to decipher where it came from. Is it a true statement or is it our enemy, our bad thoughts telling us these things? If you expect the worst of a person, that’s what you’ll see of them no matter what they do. The same thing goes when you’re thinking about yourself.
I think guarding our thoughts can be huge when it comes to happiness. I have met so many people over the year, especially working in the geriatric setting, who have been through some major life changes. What I have learned from these experiences is if you want to be happy you can be. That doesn’t mean you overlook all the bad things happening in your life. You see them and recognize them. But you also look for the good in your life, the beauty around you. Good thoughts in, good feelings out.
This week and especially this weekend I’ve witnessed a whole new stage my son is going through. The tantrums. And while he’s only 15 months he’s started this newest phase with gusto. He will be fine one second and the next is so upset he’s in the floor freaking out. I know it’s mostly because he’s flexing his independence and trying to do more, which I’m all for. I like how independent he is truthfully. And I also know it has something to do with how he’s wanting to communicate but hasn’t gotten that down fully. It’s hard when you want or need something and no one seems to understand.
I’ve found myself there many times before. Trying to communicate with someone but they just don’t seem to get me. My natural reaction differs depending on who I am dealing with. Those that I don’t know well I can keep my cool and deal with the miscommunication with little issues. But those that are closest to me can be a little harder. One night I was discussing with some friends these findings. I had to admit that my husband knows well how to push my buttons. I think when you’ve been with someone for a while it can be that way, sometimes intentionally and sometimes by accident.
But it’s not always his fault either. I sometimes set unrealistic expectations up for someone and then become upset when they aren’t fulfilling them. This is ALL my fault. If I have expectations that I haven’t shared with someone or they aren’t agreeable to them then I’m only setting myself up for disappointment. I feel like this was a major problem for me. I’ve gotten better at it but still struggle with it.
Another way I’m trying to work on communication is by observing how others communicate with me. I’m learning over the years that in order to understand someone you have to really listen to what they are saying and then remember it. Sometimes I am hearing but not listening to what someone is saying. I cannot discuss an issue with someone if I don’t know what they’ve said or how they feel. How many bad situations and hurt feelings could have been avoiding if I would have just listened a little more.
I found myself so many times this weekend saying “no” or some version of that. There was a lot of redirecting involved as well. I’d like to say it was effective every time but that wouldn’t be exactly true. I know my son is young and this is just a stage. I’m just trying to enjoy it really because he’s growing up so fast. One day before I know it he’ll be old enough to talk to me. I’ll be back in this same situation where we aren’t understanding each other and I hope to use theses skills I’m learning today to be a better mom then.
It has been such a great week though. The weather has been amazing, not very hot or cold. Work was pretty easy and I was able to hang out with my boys every evening. It was one of those weeks were the time passed slow with fun and relaxation. I feel like I could feel my blessings all around me. Sometimes I can feel so full of love from others around me. My husband and son especially. I am so thankful to have them. I lost my dad last year. It was a hard time for us all of course. One thing I realized is I wanted to be in my current moments more and try to have less distractions during certain parts of my day.
One thing I am doing is to be phone free for a while, especially when my son is awake. I will take pictures or record a video of him but otherwise I try to leave my phone down. It is a bother to me to be out seeing so many people not paying attention to the stuff going on around them or the people they are with. I think we all miss so many opportunities to interact with each other, get to know each other and connect because we are too busy with whats going on online. I think the more I am on my phones the more I crave to be on my phones. And wasn’t social media made to be social with others. Not judging or comparing myself to others. Lets try to keep social media a happy, positive place. Where we can share what we have going on in our lives.
Another thing I am guilty of doing is multitasking a little too much when it would benefit me more to enjoy family time. I like to be active and doing many things at once. I am a productive person. But sometimes I can be over productive and not enjoy whats happening in front of me. I find myself getting stressed out when I feel I have some much to do and not enough time to do it. But when I stop and think about it most of the time all that stress is unrealistic expectations I’ve placed on myself that aren’t necessary. I am not giving up multitasking and I am not saying anyone should. What I am trying to do is set aside some special task-free time with my family or friends. I am trying to sit and listen to what everyone is talking about, be engaged with those around me.
Being in the moment more has been a wonderful change for me. I have found that I am more relaxed, making meaningful memory’s and connections, and share in more laughs. I know that you have a lot of responsibility and being completely offline is unrealistic. I also know that creating that perfect distraction free time is hard to do everyday. But I would like to challenge you this week to evaluate how often are you allowing yourself to be in the moment? How much distraction free time are you creating for yourself and others and is there some room for improvement? If you can make some time for being in the moment I urge you to do so. Life moves so fast as we already know, lets not allow the moments pass us by just as swiftly.
This week for some reason has been so tough for me. I’ve been so grumpy. Like I just couldn’t shake it. It went on ALL. WEEK. LONG…. I think mostly there aren’t bad days but bad moods. This was true for me this time. I had to work seven days in a row this week plus other personal life things going on which I think made me mentally and physically exhausted. I hate being in a bad mood too. I get so annoyed with myself for being in a bad mood which makes it even worse. Usually I try to find the good in my day and situations and find a bright spot about it. I have so many blessings in my life and I should find something to be happy about.
This time though I was just not able to pull myself out of it. My sister advised me though to just let myself feel the bad mood. I think she was right. I had to just let myself be grouchy and grumpy a little so that I’m not bottling it up all the time. This made me start to think about others in difficulty situations and how they may process things. I have to say over the past year my thoughts of this topic has changed a lot.
I’ve always been a fixer, a fixer of things broken and maybe not so broken things but I thought I could make them better, ha! I bet you know someone like that, it may even be you. I didn’t understand how some people couldn’t see the problem and fix it. Especially if it was something they said they wanted to fix. I still struggle with that one sometimes.
I am changing my way of “fixing” things though. I thought in order to get better it was ‘the sooner the better’. I don’t feel that way now about everything. I should say this is all stuff I’ve learned from personal situations and I am not a professional by any meals. But here are my thoughts;
- Give yourself time to process your emotions and thoughts. This is so important and healthy. Whether someone has done something to hurt you, you’ve done something you shouldn’t have or something major has happened you, you have to go through the process. And it’s all about your own personal experience and timeline. You cannot judge your situation on what someone else did or felt. What was right for one isn’t right for another. My personal and unprofessional opinion about this is people are afraid to move on because if they aren’t sad then they may forget what happened. I don’t think that’s true but it doesn’t make those feelings go away. Moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting. You can be happy again, it may look differently than before, if you really want to be. I think this is were the next point comes in.
- Have someone to fall apart with. When going through something completely alone and isolated isn’t healthy in my opinion. I don’t think people should be out telling everyone everything that’s going on in their situation. I do think having a strong person or even group of people to confide in is so importance to process what your thinking or feeling. They can be friends, family, or a professional. If your anything like me you hate when you yourself doesn’t feel like your able to manage your emotions but sometimes you shouldn’t have to. Sometimes being able to break is just what you need. Use that support system. There is a time to be poised but not all the time. Things break if they are under too much pressure, remember that.
- If you are the support system try to remember these things. That person going through a tough time probably want to feel better but do not know how. Be there for them by listening when they are hurting, hold them when they cry, and comfort them when they need it. When the time is right you can help motivate them but do not push it. That person may be sad, lonely, or scared. We fixer have to learn to dial that back when trying to help others sometimes. Being motivated is a good thing but I think we have to learn how to utilize that wisely. We have to understand when someone needs tough love or if they just need someone to talk to. My mom, sister, and I call this venting to each other. Sometimes that’s all you need to do. Just vent about whats bothering you, whether your right or wrong, just to say it and get it out of you. That’s what my sister helped me do this week. And sometimes you need to be honest with someone about what you see, but only if they are ready for that. Remember this; being honest doesn’t mean being rude. I’ve always been afraid to tell people what I really thought because I didn’t want to be mean or rude. I am learning how to be honestly in a loving way and I am so thankful for that. I feel like this is one of my best qualities and I look for that in people.
Thank God my tough week was only from an over worked schedule this time. But it reminded me of a time when I was going through a very tough situation in my life and how I felt about it. I pray that people can understand and accept when someone is hurting it isn’t because they want to feel sad and in order to be a help to someone sometimes that doesn’t require anything more than being there. You don’t have to know all the answers. Truthfully I don’t think there are any right answers. I’m thankful I am learning this as I go so that in all situations I can be a better “fixer”.