Thursday, May 10, 2018

Chill out

As mentioned in a previous post, I am in the process of packing for a big cross-country move.  I am packing all but the kitchen myself and purging all that we don't need along the way.  It's been an emotional process for many reasons...

Leaving the east coast and our family & friends.
Parting with decor and "things" that have helped to make our house homey.
Deciding what is financially wise to keep or buy again later (like beds).
Keeping my house clean for showings.
Having buyers back out and needing to show it again.
Packing while deciding what to keep in the cars with us... always thinking many steps ahead.
Still needing to homeschool a child.
Still have 2 kids in Middle School with Spring concerts and projects.  (Unpacking boxes a couple times looking for materials!)
Keeping up with the laundry.
And housework.
And kids' messes AFTER doing housework.
You know, normal life stuff on top of it all!

All this to say that I have been very stressed out.  For weeks.  Well months actually.  You know that feeling when you're holding back tears?  I feel like that a lot.  I've cried more in 2018 than the past decade and if you know me, you know I'm not a huge crier.  To help reduce my stress, I've been learning to meditate.  The "Calm" app is where I started.

I learned that meditation is not emptying your mind but instead focusing on the immediate here and now.  Being present in the moment.  With practice, one can become more resilient to stress and that's what I need!  It actually retrains your mind to respond in a healthier, stable way.  Oh to slow my brain down sounds amazing!

So to add to all that my sister told me about a podcast from The Mindful Mama Mentor that she thought was interesting.  After hearing about what she learned, I asked for the link to listen myself.  My kids have really seen the worst in me the past couple months and I have a lot of regret about that so love a good parenting podcast.  Here's the link:
https://www.mindfulmamamentor.com/blog/love-more-care-less-118/

It was exactly what I needed to hear!  It's excellent for parents on a normal day but for me, now, where I am, it was very timely.  My kids are still going through their normal selfish growth stuff even as I go through a very stressful time.  They aren't going to be magically extra better behaved because Momma is on edge!  So my response should be kinder.  It shouldn't be one laced with venom as they've been.  My big take away from the podcast was so simple that I made a phone screensaver:

Made by me for iPhone screensaver. 
Feel free to use!
And in order to chill out, I need to spend more time being STILL and teach my brain to respond better.  BE STILL & CHILL!  ha!  I think that as a Christian it's easy to pray and read your bible.  Yes that helps but at some point we also have to do work to make the change happen.  Just like reading cook books doesn't make you a great chef.... You have to get in the kitchen, test out flavors.  Some days will be successful and other days a flop, but the end goal is to be a good chef so you keep going.

The bible verse that keeps coming to mind is:
Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

So that's where I am today.
I have to be still.  Meditate.  Breathe.  And be present.

(Oh and pack boxes too! haha!)

Thanks for swinging by,
Mary

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Moving Soon!

(Photo from Picabay)

I am a month out from our departure.  We are using a PODS storage container since we don't know where we'll be living yet.  They deliver it. We pack it.  They take it away AND they can store it til we're ready to have it delivered.  PODS has amazing customer service and recommended a company to help me with packing and loading.  I'm packing the whole house myself except for the kitchen.  I plan to use it til the day the container is loaded and thought paying them for my most delicate stuff would be wise.  (I have gotten rid of tons of stuff but still hope it all fits!)

I am also thinking about all that I want to bring with me for the road trip!  We'll be taking a detour and exploring the Midwest before making our way to the Southwest.  We are trying to focus on the adventure instead of what (and who) we are leaving, because honestly, it's hard to think about that! 

We have some serious travel plans ahead and I will be sharing our journey as we go.  So my old mom blog is going to turn into a travel blog for awhile!  Whoda thunk?

Thanks for swinging by,
Mary


Friday, April 6, 2018

I miss blogging

This might be the longest I've gone without writing.
Honestly...
I do.  I miss it.
And I have so much to say but my priorities have been elsewhere this past 6 months since my last writing.
We are moving from New England to the Southwest.  What?!  Soooo this Canuck from the Maritimes in Eastern Canada can't believe the culture shock we're about to face.

I'm prepping the house for sale.
Purging our belongings to make the cross-country move easier.
And hibernating as the winter won't let go.
I'll be back.
Soon.
And with a new bloggy vision. 
(Thanks blogger for not removing my inactive blog!)
See ya back here soon!
Mary

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Friendship for Grown-Ups

TURNING 40
I've had a really hard year emotionally.  I turned 40 in March and didn't get to celebrate as I wanted.  All I talked about doing for months, maybe even a couple years prior, was going out dancing for my big 4-0. Instead I had a reality check… I had no one to go dancing with….  Ok that is little lie.  I did have one friend who was willing to go with me but she lives an hour and a half away and logistically that wouldn’t have worked because of our kids and pets.  But she offered.  Instead I felt sorry for myself.  Even though my husband took the day off work and we spent the day eating out and shopping, a little dark cloud hung on my heart.  And even though my bestie and I got together for breakfast and she got a me a great t-shirt, it was my only gift and I felt sorry for myself.  Oh cursed Facebook {and why I cut back} you gave me a little hurtful jab when I saw people getting together and doing anything fun, especially dancing or celebrating birthdays or posting their little collection of thoughtful gifts from people who care about them. Nothing like social media to feed your worst insecurities and hormonal moods!

CHANGE IN FRIENDS
Something in my life had changed and I didn’t know why.
I used to have a very active social life.
When you and your friends start having families, it's fun getting together in those early days for play dates and momma breaks.  
But as the years go on, getting together with friends is harder.  Never mind all the kid activities, there is a shift that happens when kids age.  They want to hang out with their friends who may not be the children of YOUR friends.  Suddenly you find yourself only catching up at birthday parties.
Then you stop inviting each other to those parties.
And the months pass.
And the years pass.
And you realize that you haven't spent any time recently with people who used to be so important in your life and were fun to be around.

Sound familiar??  I've talked to a few people about this and I discovered that I'm not the only one who feels this way about their friendships.  There is a change for some as their kids’ age. Not everyone has a tight-knit group that does life together.  Some relationships were just meant to be a chapter of your life not a part of your whole life. 

It's been challenging for me as I transitioned from one church to another.... As we've gone from public school to homeschool back to public school and now homeschooling one.  With that I recognize and mourn the distance now between friends from previous seasons: the MOPS group, the Military MOMS group, bible study groups, preschool moms, homeschool co-op and field trip friends, old church friends, etc.  I used to do so much!  I was busy and knew lots of people to do things with.  I used to bring my kids out and about; now they bring me.

THE BOOK
I was processing all this and got a box of give-aways from a friend which contained Lisa Whelchel's book "Friendship for Grown-Ups".  

It helped me to see some things that I need to work on, and in other ways it simply encouraged me.  My biggest take away is that I’m needy, and that’s ok!  I want to be vulnerable with people and have deep friendships.  That’s just how I am.  So when those friendships seemingly end, I get sad sometimes.  Part of this is tied into feeling rejected and some of it is because I just miss certain people and their companionship.  Reading this book helped me understand what Lisa went through and how so many other woman go through these various seasons of friendship too.  It's perfectly normal!  *what a relief!*  I am trying really hard to invest the time I do have into the people who give back.  There are certain people that always reach out to me if they don't hear from me and vice versa. That's where I need to put my energy.  Especially since I'm an initiative taker and I appreciate when people reciprocate.  

CONFESSION
It's hard to write this because I don't want to sound pathetic.  I also don’t want the people I know in real life to feel guilty, but I felt really led to write this out.  {I actually rewrote this whole post because I knew I had to share this message instead of what I had planned.}  I think there are a lot of people going through a similar thing and I just wanted to put this out to say you are not alone.  
And I wanted to be a little transparent and share an update.

Finally, if you know me and are local to me and want to read this book, you can have my copy.  A friend gave it to me and I'd like to pass it on.  Please message me if interested!


Thanks for swinging by,
Mary