Posted in life

Discouragement/Encouragement

I woke up feeling so crappy this morning, and it wasn’t a cold or illness that was afflicting me, but discouragement. 

Sometimes being discouraged can be the worst thing for a person to deal with. This morning I was feeling so low. 

Life has felt like a struggle recently. Holidays are fun, but they’re hard on adults who can’t sit back and enjoy them the same way as we did when we were kids. They’re stressful and a large percentage is focused around money. Despite those struggles, we made it through, the kids had a great holiday and now, after the new year holiday has come to an end as well, I have been left with a strange emptiness. 

There is SO MUCH I want to do in my life. I work hard at my job, try to be a good mom, strive to constantly project positivity on my world and other people, and sometimes it feels like I’m falling short somewhere. Sometimes I feel like the events that happen in my everyday life don’t make sense with all the effort and love I put out in the world. For instance, this morning I had to take Derek’s car to work instead of mine and forgot to leave him the other key,  so I had to turn around in the snow and take it back to him, causing me to be late for work. I may be nit-picking, but when little things like that build up, it takes a toll on me, my demeanor and my emotions.  It feels like negativity rains on me when all I’m doing is trying so hard to be a good, kind, compassionate,  empathetic, hard working person. It makes me feel like I’m not trying hard enough. 

I voiced all this concern and heaviness on my mind and heart to Derek and he, of course, made me feel better. He reminded me of the good things that my funk was shrouding. I have A LOT of wonderful things in my life and I need to remember to be patient and stay positive. Our time will come.

For 2017 I have huge goals I want to work toward. They are “working” resolutions; long term goals I want to get a start on. Here’s my list that I’m excited and encouraged to achieve, however long it may take. 

-Start saving for our forever home

-Move up at work and achieve a promotion

-Get involved with philanthropy on small and large scales (I want to be in a position where if I ever see a person struggling at the grocery store to pay, that I can pick up the tab, no problem). 

-Be empathetic in every regard, even when it’s not easy

I’m going to get out of this funk and move forward. That’s all I can do. 

Advertisements

The Most Essential Quality of Civilization

Hi everyone, I know it’s been a while. I got super busy with a new job and a lack of focus for blogging topics. I needed inspiration and I received it.

1d757065152676f8c69ddfce71ce0ead

Empathy has been cropping up all around me recently. In my new role with Liberty Mutual as a claims adjuster for Safeco insurance, empathy is important if you want to do your job (or at least do it well). I’m currently reading a book called “8 Characteristics of an Awesome Adjuster”. Sounds boring, but it’s very helpful for my job path. There was a part I read recently where the author compared being an adjuster to being a therapist (which is kind of my dream job), and it’s so true! Empathizing with people is something that comes very naturally to me and I’m grateful for that. I’m glad I don’t find myself struggling to feel someone’s pain after their car just got totaled by a 10 point buck or when they were going a little too fast when they hit black ice and spun out, slamming into a guard rail. When people call in a claim, it’s probably one of the worst times in their life. Getting into a car accident is scary and extremely inconvenient, especially during this time of year when everyone is trying to travel for the holidays and now they can’t because their vehicle isn’t able to be driven and they have to find different means of transportation. I feel horrible when I have to tell someone rental isn’t on their policy and they’ll have to pay out of pocket. While they should have been aware of what they elected on their insurance policy, hey, at least there’s a discount through Enterprise if you’re a Safeco customer, right? Yeah, but that’s literally the exact thing I have to try to avoid when I’m talking to people who are on the phone with me.

There is a huge different between empathy and sympathy. Here are the definitions:

Empathy:the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.

Sympathy:harmony of or agreement in feeling, as between persons or on the part of one person with respect to another.

You can sympathize with someone respectfully and genuinely feel bad that they are going through something tough. When someone is sick, you buy them a sympathy card to show them you care, or if a friend of yours is going through a tough divorce, you’re there to listen, try and cheer them up, get them to look on the bright side. While this is all good and well, how deep are those feelings of compassion you are expressing to them? Does your sympathy for someone else’s pain hit you right in the heart and reflect back to them as such, or is it only skin deep? I’m sure the answer to that question is debatable. That’s fine. I’m just here to point out that as you go through life, trying to connect with people on a deeper level-a level that builds trust, connections, and peace-relies heavily on how well you are able to show true empathy.

I see people’s lack of empathy all around me. I’m guilty of it myself, although it’s been a long time since I haven’t figuratively tried to think of how another person must be feeling before I judge their actions. I have found that if you just step outside yourself for a few minutes, think about someone who is, say, lashing out at you harshly, and try to really feel their struggle and the root of their pain, it’s so much easier to react appropriately. People naturally want to be defensive in situations where they are feeling attacked, but I hate to break it to you that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Things may feel personal, but a lot of times, they aren’t. If you can detach from a situation and you’re able to conclude that that person would have reacted the same way if you were replaced with someone entirely different, then it’s not about you, it’s them. It’s something that person needs to work through to get to a good place. Even if they are taking it out on you personally, that’s no reason to lash back out at them. That kind of reaction, no matter how right it feels, no matter how much you’re able to justify it, is taking the low road and it’s immature. We are adults and we are capable of empathy. It’s not always easy, but it’s right.

I want to be clear on something here. I’m not saying you should let someone crap all over you and not say anything about it. It’s perfectly fine to take a step back and say, “Hey, I understand you’re upset. Talking to me that way isn’t going to help anything, but I am here to listen if you really feel like talking about it.” I know, I know. That sounds like a corny Brady Bunch line, but I swear it makes all the difference. I have been praised in my short time in my new job by the way I’ve reacted to people who were literally cursing at me with every other word on the phone. I have heard other adjusters in the office immediately get defensive with customers who are being verbally offensive and every time I hear it, it blows my mind. They aren’t taking a single minute to think about how that person must be feeling. Someone just smashed into their car because they weren’t looking and ran a red light, they’re upset and shaken up and pissed off. We are one of the first people they speak to because they need help. Help is what we are there to provide, not argument. Try and hear the tremble in their voice and feel the shakiness in their hands. Try to envision what they see or saw at the scene. Try to imagine how that would have made you feel. It’s never right to take anger or hurt out on other people, but we are human and it happens.

This goes for other situations too, of course, not just people lashing out in anger. Sore subjects/sensitive topics: death, illness, infidelity, divorce, conception, miscarriage, exes, children, debt, etc. Friends, family, acquaintances, and complete strangers all have struggles that they are dealing with openly and internally every single day. How they choose to deal with it is one thing and how we choose to react to it is another.

instead-of-putting-others-in-their-place-put-yourself-in-their-place-quote-1

I don’t mean to stand up on a soapbox. Like I said, I’m guilty of lack of empathy myself. I am just extremely aware of it at this point in my life. I think it’s an important thing to be aware of. I am also admittedly a very sensitive person. I understand that it’s easy to take things personally. Empathy for others, though,  creates a foundation of the kind of person you project into the world and sometimes a lack thereof can project insensitivity and rudeness, even if it isn’t intentional. Just try it. Think about other people before yourself. Assess situations before speaking, then make an appropriate response. Walk in another person’s shoes and decide on what you think they really need.

Until the next time (hopefully soon)!

Oh, and I’m just going to leave this here. It’s not long at all. Please watch it. I thought it was great. ❤

Regrets…or Lessons Learned

regrets
Truer than true

I am by no means “old”. I haven’t even hit 30 yet. But, I am old enough to know that when I look back on some of the choices I made, I wish I could do them over.

The picture says it all. It’s not that I necessarily “regret” some of the things I did in my teens/early 20s, I just wish I had taken more chances, stepped outside the box, and hadn’t acted like I knew what the hell I was doing. Regret is such a harsh word, and I did have a lot of happy times when I was younger, but mixed in with the happy are so many things that should (not could) have been done differently.

I’ll make a list:

1.) Deciding at age 14 that I had found “the one”.

Who does that? Well, I guess a lot of stupid kids think they know everything and know better than their parents, who have actually LIVED through crap like that. I met my first boyfriend when I was 14 and decided he’d be the one forever and always. Granted, we did stick it out for 10 years…but we can talk about that later. My parents tried telling me over and over, “Dusty, you’re a kid. You’re in high school. Have fun and don’t tie yourself to someone who doesn’t even live in the same town as you!” and I said, “But I love him!” and I did, but, I know when I look back on it, a lot of my motivation was setting out to prove them wrong. I wanted to defy the odds and show them it was possible to find your soul mate at age 14 and live happily ever after.

2.) Deciding to move out at 18 & live with my boyfriend, his mom, and his 2 little sisters

At this point, the wonderful relationship I had with my dad was ruined. He had forbade me to ever talk to or see my boyfriend again, I did anyway, he found out (a couple of times), trust was broken, resentment was formed, etc. By the time I was 18 I wanted out and away from parental rules. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, and I did. I still went to college, but I commuted and lived in my boyfriend’s house with his mom and 2 younger sisters. I immediately became homesick and tried to visit my parents as often as possible, sometimes even spending entire weekends there. That caused resentment in my boyfriend who wanted me to be home with him. When I look back on this, I wish so strongly that I would have just gone to college and lived on campus like a “normal” person does. I’d probably be sitting here with a 4 year degree (or more) instead of a 2 year degree that took me 7 years to get. I wish I would have been young, not acted like I was married when I wasn’t, gone to parties, hung out with people and made friends, etc. I had been accepted to several colleges that offered me scholarships, but I didn’t accept them. Instead I went to a school that didn’t offer me anything because I had to go to the same school my boyfriend went to and also because he threw a fit when I suggested I may want to go the other route. I was young and dumb enough to be persuaded, even though deep down I knew it wasn’t in my best interest.

3.) Deciding to go along with and stay with someone who constantly held me back

When I say this, I am not saying it because I think my first boyfriend is a bad person. He isn’t. He was good to me during our 10 years together. Along with the good, there is always not so good (or even bad). He brought out my ugliest side, a side that Derek has yet to see. He made me feel like I shouldn’t like or enjoy the things I genuinely liked and enjoyed. I repressed A LOT when we were together. I dressed, acted and even dyed my hair a certain way because I knew he liked it that way. I did things for myself, but there was always a part of me that would second guess things or go in a direction I knew he would approve of more. I wouldn’t listen to certain music because he would make fun of it or make me feel silly for liking it. I scarcely spoke of my interest in Paganism because he had mentioned on several occasions when I had the courage to bring it up, that it was “stupid” and that I was “buying into it”. We were around 22 when we moved out on our own. I’d want to hang out with friends, drink, play games, do things, BE YOUNG. He’d constantly make me feel like I was some wild party girl who had “changed”. He’d talk about how sweet I once was and that I was different. I felt like anything that I liked that wasn’t the same as it had been when we were young teens, was bad. I didn’t talk about a lot of these feelings I had brewing inside of me. Resentment, frustration, even regret. Like I said, he was a good boyfriend, but once I decided to let go and break up, I felt immense relief that I had finally broken free from someone who really was very controlling. He didn’t think he was (who would?), but he was. He may not be now, but he was then. He was with me.

So, I guess I feel like the things I did for all those years are things that have really molded me into who I am today: what I stand for, my beliefs in what is right and wrong, etc. They are things that have made me realize all the chances and opportunities I allowed myself to miss out on when I should have been living life for ME. I had no kids, I wasn’t married. There was no reason for me to allow him to let me feel guilty for a lot of things that I wanted to do, but I let him. I am not that person now.  I am naturally a “people pleaser”, but I am now an adult who has learned from her mistakes. I know the difference between doing things for people because it makes me feel good about myself and happy that I’ve done them, and doing things because I feel forced to.

As a mother of two little girls, I plan on answering every question they may have someday completely and fully. I will tell them the things I have done and the things I wish I had done, and I’ll tell them out of passion and love. I don’t want to see them go down the road I went down. Some of the choices I made were very, VERY immature and stupid.

My life is very happy now. Derek’s personality and mine mesh so well together and I never feel held back with him. He understands that people change and evolve, and those differences are what makes us who we are.

I can definitely say that although I do wish I made a lot of different choices in the past, I am very grateful that my first boyfriend helped sculpt me into the person I am today. A person who is strong, unique, doesn’t care what others think of her and her interests (as much), and knows not to allow anything to hold her back from happiness.

one-life-one-chance-quotes

Posted in life

Black Cat Blue Sea Award

Hi blogging friends! I was nominated by a follower and fellow-blogger for the “Black Cat Blue Sea Award”. Thank you yourenotaloneinthisworld!

I’ll start by answering their 3 questions, then I will nominate 7 bloggers! This is fun. 😊

  1. What is your top overplayed song at the moment? You know the one that is probably getting on everyone’s nerves, but you’re still rocking out.
  2. What is your favorite quote at the moment? Who’s it by? 
  3. If you could go back 10 years in your life and making a different decision that you know would alter the present, would you change it, or keep it the same?  

I think the top overplayed song that I’ve heard recently is Beck’s “Wow”. Not only is it overplayed, but it’s downright awful, bleh! I have always been somewhat of a Beck fan. He has some cool stuff, but this new style and direction he’s taken is out there and def not my cup of tea.

-“A wise old owl sat in an oak, the more he heard, the less he spoke; The less he spoke, the more he heard; Why aren’t we all like that wise old bird?”

I actually try to remind myself to live by this quote every single day, and sometimes it’s not easy, but it always reels me back in if I stray too far from what it’s saying. It isn’t exactly a “quote”, but more a nursery rhyme used to teach kids (and adults) how to be mature, haha! My dad used to say it to me all the time as a kid when I’d speak before thinking or if I interrupted him before he was finished with something he was showing or telling me. Author, unknown.

-I am believer in things like fate and that “things happen for a reason”, so I also believe I am supposed to be with my husband , Derek, and that we would have found each other if things had gone differently 10 years ago for me. I know Derek because he was friends with my ex- boyfriend. If I could go back 10 years ago, I would not have moved out of my parent’s house at 18 to live with my boyfriend and his mom, I would have lived on campus at college and finished my Bachelor’s Degree in 4 years. I wouldn’t have devoted my life to a relationship at such a young age, and I would have lived a little.

                               ********

Okay, now I nominate:

Barefoot Pagan Life

Cauldrons and Cupcakes

Not the Average Mama

BayArt

Six of coins

The Life and Times of A Gem City Mama

Ramblings of the Claury

My three questions for my nominees are:

1. If there was one thing you could change about your personality, what would it be?

2. Who, out of your whole life, has most inspired you?

3. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

There she is, everyone! I hope you all participate! I had a lot of fun doing this. 




Posted in life

Work Hard, Love Hard.

I want to spend a little bit of time talking about the craziness of life. My life, that is.

Now, as I have made very clear, I lead a basically “ordinary” life and I’m your typical “everyday” girl (to an extent). With that being said, I think this topic is right up my alley.

The topic? Working mom. Dun dun dun…

These are my #firstworldproblems. 😉

 

14192649_883072115161959_6062738826499040416_n

 

I do a lot.

I’m not one to constantly toot my own horn, but I think it’s silly to be overly modest about how much I actually do as a wife, mom, stepmom, woman, person. I’m not looking for pats on the back or even any real acknowledgement at all, I’m just stating: I do stuff, man.

I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 18 and have been working ever since. I worked as a student for 7 years (and still only ended up with an Associates degree) and have worked several jobs, a few having sculpted my career path into what its become today.

With that being said, my current roles in life are (and not in any particular order, because they’re all important as hell): mom, wife, business woman. Bottom line? I’m a working mom, and being a working mom is tough! I’m not complaining. I’m actually very proud of myself and where I stand today. I feel like I’ve worked my ass off to get here. I have struggled to climb the career ladder for so many years. I just landed a brand new job, doubling my yearly income (hallelujah!) and I’ve done this all while being a mom to two kids. As ordinary and mundane as that sounds, it’s an accomplishment to me. My current job was a huge step in the right direction as far as advancement, but the new one is like a giant leap. I’m more than thrilled to have landed it.

superwoman
AMIRIGHT?

Working full time with two kids is hard on several different levels. I already don’t see Charlotte through the week because she goes to school where her mom lives, and I don’t see Willa until evenings. Those evenings are spent the majority of the hours she is awake, just the two of us. Derek leaves as soon as I get home except on Friday. She goes to bed around 8, but before she does, I’m playing with her, taking care of her, cooking dinner, feeding her, doing various things around the house, etc. I have both kids on the weekend, and in one of my previous posts I talked a little bit about how my weekends feel very “go, go, go” the entire time. They are fun, but they fly by, then I’m back at my desk again, wishing for the weekend and beating myself up about having not had the time to clean the bathroom (or I just didn’t want to because I did the grocery shopping, did the laundry, made and cleaned up countless meals and snacks, changed 500 diapers, AND made sure the kids were happy). These are the struggles and battles I have in my mind all the time. Yes, I need to continue working to better my family’s life, but yes, it does suck not seeing them as often as I’d like, and yes, it also does suck literally have zero free time for just me, or just Derek and me.

Derek and I have really made it a point lately to make sure we don’t lose ourselves in the midst of our everyday lives. Yeah, we’re parents and we have jobs, but we are also individuals with interests and passions and needs. Derek and I hardly understand what it feels like to have any free time. After the kid(s) go to bed every night is the only time we have for just he and I, and that’s only like 2 hours and then we’re ready for bed ourselves. It’s not easy to whisk off on a Saturday to have a date night, because we’d have to get a babysitter. It wouldn’t matter what day of the week it was, there’d always be the need to ask someone else to help us out. There is at least one kid in our house 24/7. That gets tough, but that’s parenthood.

The point in all this, to be perfectly honest, is to vent a little bit. To get all these feelings off my chest and hope that someone, anyone, reads it and can relate. I love support and I especially love support from other women.

Please comment, chat with me, share, anything! I’d love to talk to other ladies who totally get it.

 

emotions

 

Posted in blended family, life

Adjusting

 

CCuRMUiVAAAY8EL

Over the past several years, we have had a pretty steady schedule as far as splitting the week between homes with Charlotte. The schedule that we had for a very long time was set up Wednesday-Saturday. The one we had in place over the past year was Thursday-Sunday, and our newest one, due to Charlotte starting Kindergarten, is Friday-Monday.

I guess being someone who is normally okay with some change in life, transitioning from the first to the second schedule was no biggie. She was still little; the shift didn’t feel that different to me. ( I have to say though, it always threw me for a loop when we’d have to change it up for one reason or another and get her on a slightly different schedule. Whenever that has happened in the past, I’d totally forget what day it was. I suppose I’m a creature of habit deep down.)

We’ve only done our Friday-Monday schedule once so far. She just started Kindergarten last week. I’m 100% positive that I will adjust and life will feel back in balance after we get in our groove. As of right now though, I feel slightly chaotic (mostly just in my head, not outwardly). I haven’t fully adjusted to having two kids for the entire weekend yet. I don’t really like admitting that because it makes me feel like I’m complaining about spending time with my kids together, as a family. I’m really not complaining about it. I am just used to something different, so I’m going through a transition phase.

Back when we did our Wednesday-Saturday schedule a few years ago, I hadn’t had Willa yet, so having part of Saturday and all of Sunday free to spend with Derek (or by myself if he worked) was so nice. Life seemed so much simpler then, when I think back on it now….because it was. Shortly after Willa came along, the schedule shifted to the Thursday-Sunday routine. This, like I said before, didn’t take all that long to get used to. We had it down pat. Derek would teach Thursday nights, so I’d have both kids, make dinner, wind down, he’d come home, we’d put the kids to bed. Friday I would go to work and Derek would be with the kids, I’d come home, we’d go out and do something together or hang out at home (he doesn’t work Fridays). Saturday I’d have both kids in the morning until the afternoon while Derek taught lessons. I’d set up a play date with a friend, take them to park, or just hang out at home until he was finished, then again, we’d do something as a family. Sundays we would relax in the morning, then figure out when we were going to meet Charlotte’s mom to drop her off, then I’d have the rest of the day to kind of chill out. Up until now, Willa wasn’t so mobile and didn’t have that toddler energy she has these days, so it was easy for me to go to a store or go home and watch a show that wasn’t kid oriented.

Now things have turned up a notch (in a good way!). Charlotte is a big school age kid now and Willa is a full blown toddler. This new Friday-Monday schedule has kind of put me into an internal frenzy. It isn’t because I don’t love having my family together the entire weekend, and it isn’t because I can’t handle change. I actually love those parts about it. Having both kids all weekend has made our life feel more “normal”, less “blended”, in a way. It’s just the simple fact that as a working mom putting in a full 40 (or more) hours during the week, coming home, making dinner or doing grocery shopping all with a toddler in tow, then the entirety of the weekend running around and doing pretty much everything kid related, I kind of lose myself in the mix. It can sometimes feel like there isn’t a spare second for just me or for just Derek and me. That’s the part that can really get to me. I know that for me, to be the best mommy I can be, I have to have those moments to myself or with my husband, alone. I know we will work it out and there will be loopholes that will give us that time we need as a couple or alone time to do things individually. Like I said before, we just need to find our groove, make plans, and roll with the tide.

hqdefault (1)
…but really though…

Here’s to going with the flow!

😉

Posted in life, priority

It’s Your Life

This life is the only one you have (or so we assume), so make yourself a top priority. Take leaps of faith, be courageous, shoot for those things that feel just out of reach (because they may be closer than you think(!)). I know all this sounds cliche as hell, but go with it…and DO IT.

🙂

 

via Priority — Ramblings of the Claury