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“It’s not selfish to love yourself…”

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”

– Mandy Hale

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I know many women, mothers and good hearted people who often put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own. Being a mom is certainly fulfilling but taking care of yourself is important too. When you make your own happiness a priority, put time and love into yourself, everyone wins.

Self care & happiness quote

In between selfish and selfless is a happy medium where you fill your own cup before pouring into others.

Finding my own happiness is a major theme of this blog. Prioritizing my happiness and self care sometimes makes me feel pretty selfish. But I can see and feel the difference it makes when I do little things each day that bring me joy. It can really be as simple as reading a book, cooking a delicious meal, savoring a cup of coffee or just sitting alone for ten minutes.

So when’s the last time you did something for yourself? For your own pleasure? JUST. FOR. YOU. In case you need it, use this as a reminder to take some time for yourself everyday (even if it’s just a few minutes). It’s okay to desire your own happiness and go for it! Forget the guilt and treat yo self! πŸ™‚

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“If you have good thoughts…”

“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

– Roald Dahl

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Awhile back my mom was talking about my son and said something like, “Oh I love him. He just loves life so much.” It really made me think. I want to be like that. Living joyously imparts joy on those around you. Having a positive mindset everyday is sometimes hard, but I’m getting there.

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Growing for My Dreams

Growing for My Dreams

I took a little break from posting because I’ve been in a weird headspace. I felt pretty guilty about it at first because I wanted to stick to a consistent schedule of posting. I know if I get off track, I just keep slipping. Then I remembered I am still writing, just not sharing with the world. I really am a private person so sometimes it’s hard for me to share so much.

Taking a break for my own sanity is okay. I’ve had to relearn this truth after becoming a mom. But there is a big difference between taking a break and giving up.  

I’ve put a lot of dreams and ideas on hold or gave up before I even tried. I feel good about the effort I’ve put into working on myself this year but most of that is all internal, mental, emotional. Lately I’m feeling a push to do something more physically fulfilling and involve something outside of myself.

A couple weeks ago I applied for a work from home job. With my experience and skills, I basically started planning how I would make it work for our family cause I just knew I’d get it. Honestly while I was applying, I was thinking how much I didn’t want to do it. The job was convenient and seemed like a good fit. But I thought if I do this, I probably won’t ever get around to trying the new things I want to. What do you know – I didn’t even get an interview!

After that rejection, I felt two things – disappointment and relief. (Also disbelief, anger and embarrassment but oh well.) After a few days I realized HEY, I didn’t even WANT that job! I am also a firm believer in signs or things happening for a reason and this experience gave me clarity. I laughed that I had thought the job would hold me back…so now what? What excuse do I have now?

Another inner struggle turning into motivation is the possibility of having more kids. When I think of getting pregnant again, my first thought is always “I’m not ready.” Partly because I feel I haven’t done much with my life, for myself. I feel I’m still learning how to balance the care of our son, our home, everything and everyone else, and then me. I’ve put myself at the bottom of the list for awhile now, and that’s my own doing. Telling myself that we’re not adding to our family until I’ve “done something” with my life may be realistic but it’s also a lot of pressure to put on myself and an imaginary future baby.

When I decided to stay home, I thought I could figure out what I wanted to do or “be.” After two years I realize that not only did I take a break from exploring my dreams, I actually really gave up on myself. I gave up because my dreams changed. My priorities and interests changed when I became a mom so it’s inevitable that my dreams would too, but I think that scared me. Since I don’t have a clear plan to achieve these new dreams, (or even clear ideas of what I want to do), I’ve talked myself out of even trying.

Frankly, I’m really sick of thinking that I can’t do or have what I want. I know all this talk of dreams and ideas is kinda vague but I’m still figuring everything out. I’m working on thinking positively, upping my self care, being brave and trying new things. The more I do each of these, the more I’ll learn, grow and move past fear. No one is responsible for my dreams but me.

Have you given up on yourself or are you living your dreams?

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“I don’t know what living a balanced life feels like..”

“I don’t know what living a balanced life feels like When I am sad I don’t cry, I pour When I am happy I don’t smile, I beam When I am angry I don’t yell, I burn The good thing about feeling in extremes is when I love I give them wings but perhaps that isn’t such a good thing cause they always tend to leave and you should see me when my heart is broken I don’t grieve I shatter”

Rupi Kaur

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I used to wish that I didn’t feel so much or didn’t care as much. Now I just try to embrace it. Let whatever feelings wash over me, try try try to just let them go. Then don’t try, just do. Becoming a mom has made me care more about what matters and less about a whole lot of trivial things. Of course I still worry too much about things I can’t control but that’s who I am. Today was more of a burning and pouring day, yesterday I beamed. So I guess I do have a little balance after all. 

Surrendering to the Unknown

Surrendering to the Unknown

As a mom, I feel like I’m always trying to figure out something or that I should know what to do about everything. In the first year of motherhood, I was asking myself a LOT of questions. Why won’t he sleep? Why is he crying? What’s the best way to..? Should I be doing this or that..?  With all the sleepless nights, those questions became overwhelming and exhausting. Mom guilt made me feel like I was failing if I didn’t know the answers. Surrendering to the Unknown

I read so much, probably too much, about infant development in those early days. I mean, my goodness there is an unlimited amount of advice! Books, magazines, blogs, websites, Facebook groups, other parents, friends and family – there’s an opinion about everything. I read so much that I started doubting my own intuition. That made things really tricky because I had most of the answers within me already. I still read parenting books here and there but I’ve learned to only take the advice I need and really go with my gut.

Besides parenting, I’ve felt myself struggling with my own care and development. I’ve thought that while I stay at home, I should be able to figure out what I want to “do” with my life. I have many interests I’d like to explore but I’m not sure where to start. Should I go back to school? Should I try to get a part time job? Should I continue in something I know or try something new? What do I WANT to do?!  Admittedly, I’m also a little scared to start something new that might fail.

Most of these parenting and self improvement questions lead me to one answer: I don’t know. That thought used to leave me feeling helpless. Like no, that’s not good enough, I NEED to know! …but I don’t. There are many things I will figure out along the way and some things I will never, ever know. The most I can do is follow my intuition, listen, be brave and open. I have learned to surrender. I have accepted that I won’t know the answer to everything or an outcome to a future situation. I have also learned that it is more than okay to let someone else figure out the answers if I can’t or just have too much to do anyway. When you consciously surrender control, you simultaneously let go of a lot of stress, worry and guilt – who knew?!

I was rocking my son the other day, thinking again, “what do I want to do with my life?” My mind instantly said, “I don’t know.” Instead of being filled with anxiety, I just smiled and sighed with relief. One thing I do know is that I don’t have to know everything. It’s almost become a mantra now. I don’t know. I don’t know.

I don’t know and that’s okay.

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“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically..”

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another, unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made of layers, cells, constellations.

– AnaΓ―s Nin, The Diary of AnaΓ―s Nin Vol. 4

Rising Above Depression

Rising Above Depression

While my main focus of this blog has been finding happiness and finding myself through motherhood, I think I really need to talk about another key factor in my journey: depression.Rising Above Depression I’ve touched on it a little bit, but struggling through life earlier this month reminded me how much of a role depression plays in my life.

If you remember, I’m “growing giddy.” So stick with me here; I’ll try not to be a Debbie Downer. But I feel it’d be pretty dishonest if I don’t talk about this aspect of my healing. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety over ten years ago. I’ve spent my adult life coping with various states of each but have managed to stay off medication since those first couple of years. When struggling, I feel I either withdraw from life or try to mask the feelings in different ways. So I may have been handling it but not in a healthy or positive way.

Neither of these issues has been all-consuming all this time but I think these past couple of years being a mom has affected both. It’s hard for me to say for sure but I probably dealt with some postpartum depression. I was so afraid that I would and so greatly didn’t want to that I kept telling myself I was okay. Quitting my job so that I could stay home also affected me more than I thought it would.

Since deciding enough is enough and that I really want to be happy, I get quite discouraged when I’m feeling depressed. I have to admit I gave into those feelings recently and just let myself feel so low and helpless. When things lighten up, it’s like I can see the light again. It’s on the good days that I know I need to have a plan to keep me moving forward.

Since I have been able to cope without medication for so long, I’d like to continue using natural methods to help me but I know I’ve got to put in more effort. I also recently spoke with my new physician and she agreed that in my condition, it sounds like a good idea.

Here is my plan:

  • Dedicate time to self-care and self-love, including being diligent with my own health
  • Improve my physical health with better eating habits and regular physical activity
  • Explore my own interests and goals so that I may feel fulfilled on my own
  • Communicate my needs better so that they may be reached before I feel overwhelmed
  • Say “yes” more so I can live life and get past fear (but not feel guilty if I need to say no)
  • Find a therapist so that I can discuss this nonstop inner dialogue with someone else and get help with deeper issues
  • Focus on the positive

I know this list might sound like a no-brainer to some, but sometimes some of us actually need a plan for peace and happiness. And actually, it’s quite a bit deeper than simply finding happiness. Negative thoughts and feelings have been planted in me for so long.  I don’t want my depression or anxiety to define me.  I want to change my life.  I can wallow or I can rise, and I choose to RISE.

Losing Yourself in Motherhood

Losing Yourself in Motherhood

I’ve heard it many timesLosing Yourself in Motherhood, women afraid of losing themselves once they have children. Well I’m here to tell you that yes, you definitely will lose yourself. But you also just might end up finding yourself!

Now that I’m in the toddler days with my son, I can look back fondly on those first months or more that I “lost” myself. Within a year’s time, I got married, had a baby, quit my job and moved. Soooo yeah. I can admit I completely lost who I thought I was and I was struggling. I think no matter how prepared you are or how deeply rooted your life is, you will inevitably lose some part of yourself when you become a parent. But that isn’t really a bad thing.

I know a lot of women that refer to the first year or more as a fog, clouding up your mind. I lost myself in the fog of exhaustion and putting someone else’s every need above mine. (I also happily lost myself in soft baby skin, tiny toes, warm cuddles and every new “first.”) Β At some point I felt all I was anymore was a mom. I’m not saying I’m just a mom. Being Mom is the most important title I could ever be given. I’m saying all I was, all day everyday, was mom – a role that was completely new to me.

Over time, I would have to better communicate my needs and dedicate time to myself but in this particular moment, I knew I was the only one who could change how I felt. I did a lot of thinking about why I felt so lost and like my life wasn’t mine anymore. What I realized is that I didn’t have such a strong sense of self in the first place. I couldn’t blame my lack of identityΒ on anyone or anything else. That realization was seriously eye opening for me and kinda sparked this whole journey of finding myself and happiness. So I’ve been working on reconnecting with myself, which may sound a little weird but it is the most important relationship I need to strengthen. I can’t even explain how good it feels to give myself proper attention and love, and frankly, just letting myself be. I’ve still got a long way to go and I’ll be sharing more of my journey in future posts.

Becoming a mom has opened my eyes and heart in ways I didn’t expect. And while I did lose (the idea I had of) myself, I feel that motherhood has reminded me what’s really important in this life and centered me back to who I really am.

Why I’m Seeking Happiness, Now

Why I’m Seeking Happiness, Now

I think it’s time I introduced myself a bit more and my inspiration for this blog.  I am a person with extreme emotions.  I am highly sensitive and I think I always have been.  When I was younger, I remember being told that I got my feelings hurt too easily or I needed to toughen up.  Over time, especially going through manipulative relationships, I learned to make myself smaller, quieter, more agreeable.  Since I became someone I wasn’t, it is no surprise that I defined myself by these relationships.  It was during one of these hurtful and self-doubting times that I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

The older I get, the more I find myself thinking that it used to seem so easy to feel happy.  I always thought I had lost my happiness somewhere along the way. But no…being carefree and having fun does not equal meaningful happiness.

Since becoming a wife and mom, I’ve noticed I’m not as compassionate or nice as I always thought I was. In fact sometimes I feel downright mean and ugly. When you spend most of your waking hours with a little being that can’t really communicate with you, you get a lot of time to think. With this seemingly unlimited time to self-reflect, I’ve had many realizations over the past couple of years and truly eye-opening moments of clarity, (most of which I’ll get into another time..).

In the early months of motherhood, with my whole life having changed, it was easy to blame my unhappiness on this new life as a mom. This led to a lot of anger, resentment, feeling stuck and absolutely lost.  I vividly remember driving home one day and realizing on that quiet ride that I couldn’t hold anyone else responsible for MY happiness. Feeling angry and sad certainly wasn’t getting me anywhere. It was also affecting my marriage and parenting.

So at first, my main motivators of happiness were my husband and son.  My husband is one of those people that seems to always be in a good mood.  It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with him.  And then there’s my son.  He doesn’t know much about this world yet, but if I want to raise him to be happy and love life, I’ve got to model that behavior for him.

Besides knowing that I deserve to be happy and that I need to work on it for my family, I finally got to the point where I really WANT to be happy. I know that might sound weird, like why would anyone not want to be happy?  Well… When you strip away who you are to please someone else and you crawl and claw your way to keep a relationship you think you need, you warp your mind into relying on drama. Even once I was in a healthy relationship, my unhealthy mind still couldn’t believe it. I thought something had to be going on behind my back. Time went on and I felt more confident in the relationship but my mind wouldn’t completely let up. When I would get mad or upset, I would hold onto those feelings because I simply didn’t want to let them go. Did I want to be miserable?  I don’t know.  Maybe I kind of wanted the other person to be miserable too but mostly, I think my mind still craved a bit of drama so it would create some itself.

You’re probably thinking that sounds awful. And you’re right. While not as admirable as my other reasons to get happy, finally being sick of my own destructive patterns is driving me to change. For some people, happiness and a positive attitude come naturally.  For me, happiness is something I will have to consciously and continually choose.  But what’s so important now it that I want to be happy, truly deep down, life-loving happy.

So that’s why I’m here.