Posted in Wordy Wednesday

Wordy Girl Wednesday (4) — Tips for staying positive during this time

The new season of juggling work, school, and sports is upon me!  I imagine it is for you too!  I find at times trying to keep all the balls in the air is more of a struggle than I care to admit.  Lately that has been the case.  I long for time to relax and rest more, but I also want to accomplish my goals and create memories with my partner and all our kids.  So in this season, one thing that helps is to find ways to stay positive when often I am exhausted.

Here are the ways I try to practice positivity in this season:

  1. I stay focused on the end goal.  This season of raising children will end and I want them to have some good memories of their childhood as well as become healthy, successful adults.  When I am overwhelmed with all the running around we must do and the endless tasks, I try to keep that in mind.  We are raising adults, not children. We are teaching the habits they will carry into adulthood.  It is important to teach all these kids how to juggle life with a good attitude as much as possible.
  2. We take a date night; every single week. Even if it is just a couple hours together.  My partner and I made a commitment to each other from the start that we would prioritize our partnership.  We would make sure the children understood we are committed to each other and creating a solid foundation.  It can tough between work, school functions and soccer games for us to find the time and energy but we are always better for it and it keeps us connected. And it shows our children how to have a healthy relationship.
  3. I make time for exercise.  Sometimes that 30 minutes alone going for a walk or riding my bike or doing an exercise video is the only alone time I can get.  Take advantage of doing something for your physical health as well as your mental health.  Working out is vital to staying healthy and calm throughout the chaos of life in my opinion.  And it releases all the feel good, happy endorphins so it’s a win in trying to staying positive.
  4. I use the calendar.  We have a large calendar on the wall in the kitchen near the garage door.  It is seen daily by every one of us.  With all the activities we could have going on at one time, keeping track with colors and names is important for helping us to not forget things.  And it allows me to know what we can say yes to based on prior commitments.
  5. We communicate. With a family of 6, you have lots of opportunities for misses.  And many more opportunities for connections.  When I get home from work (as I work the latest) everyone is usually coming around to share their day with me.  Asking about school, homework, activities, life in general, is my way of staying in touch with what is going on with each of them.  They all have lots to say and keeping that end goal in mind; I want to hear from them.  I want them to share with me.  Because we have built an environment where the kids feel they can share, we have a home with lots of conversation.

Staying connected and positive can be tough when you are juggling all the demands of partnership, parenthood and employment.  Finding ways to keep your sanity is vital. Learning to communicate what you feel and think is necessary in all relationships but especially in the seasons of change where there can be so much noise from the chaos you forget to keep focused on what truly matters.

I am not always positive and happy.  I struggle with overwhelm and unhappy days just like anyone else.  But I desire to have a healthy life and home more than almost anything.  Giving my partner and our children the best me is often at the forefront of my mind.  I fail I am sure as much as I succeed, but each day I tackle anew.

I hope you find encouragement in these posts. These are just my thoughts; please share ways that you stay calm and focused during seasons of change and chaos.  As always I hope you are living your best life as much as possible.

Posted in General

What if…

How often do you say or think to yourself “what if?”  What if I had done this or that?  Married someone else? Went to that other school?  Took that different job?  Or the common one, what if I had not spoken in anger?  Chosen other words to say? Behaved differently?  We could spend a lot of time in this never-ending loop of the other path our life could have taken, if only.

I have always been a “what if” person.  The past few days have taught me, I still am.

This week I went back to work.  Back to an environment that has created a lot of anxiety for me, which surprises me.  It has affected my sleep; (right now I should be sleeping -night shifter here), my ability to focus and these questions of what if seem to be on a continuous loop.  Since my mind will not let me rest today, I thought I might as well get up and write them out.

My workplace is where many of the “what if’s” exist for me.  It’s a place I have worked off and on for over twenty years.  Where I have met a lot of people who were (and some that still are) significant in my life. Many that are in the past.  They are the road not taken. This is also where my ex-fiance works.  Being in a place where I do not communicate with these folks anymore, I guess I can’t help but ask myself “what if”.  What if I had not canceled the engagement?  What if I had never agreed to it in the first place?  What if I had never met him, or some of the others that have greatly affected me?  If only I had taken an entirely different career path many years ago, what would I be doing now?

I was told not that long ago that I spend too much time in the past.  That I do not seem to look at what I can do, instead I focus on what I didn’t do or what I wished I had done.  The things I can no longer do anything about.  I was kind of offended when I was told this.  I never really thought of myself as a backward-facing person.

I have very good friends.  Many would probably tell me the same thing, this friend just has no filter and doesn’t care too much about hurting my feelings.  This can sting at times, but I appreciate the honesty.   And some of my closest friends don’t understand this piece of my personality as they are nothing like this.

Last night I was thinking about the what if’s of my most recent relationship.  The what if’s about someone I loved very deeply but that wasn’t the right fit for me.  The what if of who is he. If only’s.  I was very distressed with all of this. And yet even in the midst of all these thoughts, I was also thinking about how much I enjoy my present state.  I love my life these days.  I truly do not want to think about the past anymore.

So today what has woken me up, is that I can not help but think…WHAT IF WE CHANGED the FOCUS of the IF?   What if we changed the narrative we tell ourselves?

If we started to focus on failing forward.  If we took this phrase and applied it to finding new paths.  Instead of it being something that we often see as negative, we turned it into a positive.  Into a phrase, we use to push ourselves out of our comfort zones.  Into trying new things.  To meet new people.  To reach new goals.

When seeing this through a positive, forward-thinking lense, it looks like this, it asks these types of questions:

  • What if I learn this new skill, how will that help my current job role?
  • What if I try out that new workout, how will that impact my exercise goals?
  • What if I apply for that other job that I am interested in?  What does it look like if I get an interview and they decide to hire me?
  • What if I have that scary, honest conversation with my spouse that I have been avoiding?
  • What if I take that trip that I have been looking into for years?
  • What if I write my thoughts down and start a blog?
  • What if I move?  Try out a new place to live?
  • What if I start a business? Write a book? Launch a website?
  • What if I volunteer? Get a pet? Try out for a play? 

WHAT IF _______________________________________________________________________

Fill in the blank after the question with any positive change that you really want to pursue.  DO NOT look to the past, at the things you can no longer do…but look to the things you wish you were doing NOW.  The things you want to try but are afraid to.

This notion of using the what if’s in a positive way can create a paradigm shift in our lives.  To creating new paths that may be more peaceful and more aligned with who we are.  It creates this notion, a correct notion, that we can change our current circumstances if we choose.

I have always wanted a career doing something that I feel has a purpose.  Has some meaning beyond making a paycheck.  At this present moment in my life, this is raising my children.  Creating successful adults to send out into this world to pursue their goals and dreams.  This is most likely my greatest purpose.

But in the midst of raising children and needing a steady income, there are many other things I can pursue now that will fulfill me too.  My own “what if’s  that I can turn into a positive, forward-thinking view.  That I can use to create new paths in my life.  The question I can ask can be “what if I try this or that…what joy can come with pursuing that?   Trying new things might be scary, but if I magnify the possibilities instead of the risks, so many wonderful things may happen.

Instead of looking back at an ending, I can see the beginning…but I have to turn around…face the right direction.

What are your what if’s that you would pursue?  How can you turn these into tangible possibilities?  What does your life look like when you fill in the blank?

I think I’ll go try to catch some more sleep now…dream about all the possibilities rather than the past if only’s…