5 things I learned in July

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1. Sunsets are more beautiful when you are almost home.

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2. Frozen yogurt tubs will shatter when you accidentally knock them out of the freezer.

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3. Gummie vitamins will melt if you travel with them in the trunk when it is 102 degrees out.

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4. Yes, you can make the amazing thing you had at Denny’s in your own kitchen.

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5. Our livestock has grown to terrifying proportions. No chicken should be this big and be healthy.

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What is wrong with me?

I know I’m a couple of days late with this. Just goes to show you that something has gone wrong with me. What you ask? Damned if I know.

I was so on top of things a while ago. I had blog posts every day. I had a clean house and mostly balanced children. I was working toward my goal of being a published author and I was writing every day. I even had time to watch movies.

And now look at me. I’m running to catch up every single moment of every day. I barely get posts done in time for once a week much less writing everyday. I haven’t had time to write in weeks. My house is mostly clean but there always seems to be something that needs fixed or sorted. There is an overwhelming pile of paperwork that needs gone through and filed or recycled. I never bake anymore and my meals have turned into convenience food.

I don’t know what happened. It’s like a mud slide off a mountain. One moment you are fine and then next you’re up to to your neck and can’t move an inch to help yourself. Can I blame it on summer? Suddenly the kids are home and nothing stays put? I could, but I’d be lying. Can I blame it on the fact that I’m on my own and my husband is gone for work a lot so I have to do absolutely everything? I could, but I don’t know that that is the whole problem. Is it time management? Organization? Maybe. Is it that I have too many irons in the fire? Possibly.

I think it is just that I’m tired.

I know we all get tired. But I don’t just mean tired, I mean TIRED. Bone weary exhausted tired. Mentally exhausted tired. Time to lay down and surrender tired.

But guess what? I can’t stop. I have kids.

Parenting can be hard especially in this day and age with all the crazy crap that goes on not only in real life but in cyberspace. I get mentally strained just trying to keep up with all the problems that my kids are facing and I get overwhelmed trying to find ways to guide them through the  alligator infested waters of growing up. Then add to that the feeling of fruitlessness because they don’t listen and do what they want anyway only to come back saying, “Mom, why did that happen to me?”

SO the question is how do we get back on track? How do we resurface after that massive wave we were managing to surf on has swamped us?

 

I can throw all kinds of words at you. Hope, Faith, Belief.

But what it comes down to is Perseverance.

One day at a time.

One foot in front of the other.

Never stopping no matter how tired or overwhelmed you feel.

Please by all means take some time to yourself, have a bath, take a nap (If you can!) Try to give yourself a break. But realize that you will have to get back in those trenches. You will still fight the good fight for your kids and you will have to do it while juggling the rest of your life responsibilities.

Prioritize.

It’s not easy, believe me. You will have to choose between a clean house and a blog post, writing or playing with your kids, house work or yard work. You may need to let the yard go because you can’t watch your kids and landscape at the same time. Just go with it and ask yourself: what is really the most important thing right now?

In the end you will hit that sweet spot where you are riding the wave and not drowning under it, where you are standing on the mountain vista now sliding down it into a muddy pit. It will change, but it will take time and that is okay.

A Writer’s Platform.

I have been working on this blog for a while now. I started because “writers must have an online presence” and a blog is something that is top on the suggestions. It was supposed to create a habit of writing and allow a place for readers to get to know me. Well…

I’m not really sure what I thought was going to happen. I know that a lot of people use blogs to promote work or to advocate for something in particular or just to vent the unfairness of life in general. I had no idea what I was going to write about, just that I was supposed to do something.

Well, write what you know. I know a lot about nothing. I am a mom with an outdated theatre degree. The only thing I’m good at is making do with what I’ve got. So I have been blogging for two years this month. I started out with a quote. “Not all those who wander are lost.”  I hate to admit it, but after two years. I’m still lost in the blogging world.

I have had some success with a few posts, but mostly I think the only people who see my posts are family. lol

I want this blog to be something else. Something more.

I have been getting closer and closer to getting published. I have written three books and I’m still trying to get someone to take them. I have hundreds of stories circulating through my head. I feel like I’m spending too much time trying to figure out what to write for my blog than actually writing. If I have to keep a blog rolling I want it to be more writing-centric.

I want to try something different. Our writing group has a little free writing session every meeting. We pick a writing prompt and write for fifteen minutes. So far I’m digging what I’ve come up with. I’ve never really bothered with writing prompts. I always had enough story ideas that I didn’t think I needed them, but they are kind of fun. So starting in March I will be doing a little something different.

I intend to post the results of any writing prompts that I work on. I hope that this will help my actual writing career goals. I know some bloggers who have segued into books just from their fiction pieces in their blog. I hope this will also start a readership of my brand of storytelling.

I can’t promise great works but I will guarantee that they will be from the ridiculous and crazy land called my head. From time to time I might still post about my family or other pressing bits of inspiration. I hope you will all stick with my on this new adventure.

Thanks to all of you for reading so far.

I’m Living in a Movie

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Sounds strange I know, but I couldn’t escape the feeling the other night when we were at a basketball game.

My daughter was in the pep band playing songs. The cheerleaders were dancing along. The boys were warming up before the varsity game. I know most of these kids, they hang out at our house with my daughter.

Around me there are parents socializing. We were playing against a town not more than 30 miles away. Everyone knows everyone here. Everything in Montana is local. The conversations were either gossip or farm talk.

I realized suddenly that I was living in a movie. One of those small town America feel good movies. I know that this is reality etc etc, but it’s a feeling of perspective. To view our lives from the outside, we can often become a lot less upset about the events that are swirling around us. If I were watching a movie about my life I wouldn’t be near as stresses as I am while living it. So I guess sometimes it is best to stop and look around and really SEE what is around us. It might change your life.

The Christmas tree of our Lives.

I know that Christmas is over and done and its onward with another year but I feel like there is a lesson here that can be applied to the New Year and beyond.

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A week or so ago, I posed about my son’s homemade ornaments. They were just paper circles with yarn on them but they are hanging front and center on our Christmas tree.

It wasn’t because he’s Autistic and  interest in his own creations is a new step in his development. It was because my son made something and he was proud of them.

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When I was little, my school had a tree in the lobby by the office that they wanted each student to bring an ornament from home to decorate it. My mom had a lot of very old glass ornaments and she wasn’t willing to let me take one. I didn’t blame her, knowing my school it probably wouldn’t have survived. So she sat down and made me an ornament. It was a mouse made from black yarn, felt and some string, It has become my all-time favorite ornament. It has a place of honor at the top of our tree every year.

IMG_6983 When my son was in Kindergarten, they needed moms to help with the IMG_6984Christmas party. They wanted us to have crafts for the kids to take home.  I had no idea what I was doing but we ended up with foam-paper snowmen. They were really cute and my daughter gave her’s a little puff ball pet. They also grace the tree every year.

 

IMG_6989My daughter’s class when she was little, made Popsicle stick reindeer. Poor thing is about to fall IMG_6990apart and only hangs by his tail now. It’s had to be repaired with more tape every year, but it makes it to the tree along with the story of its creation as told my my daughter with sparkling eyes and a sweet smile.  She also made the painted glass ornament. One year we sent a bunch of these glass DIY painted ornaments to my mom for her tree too.

The point to all this is that our Christmas tree is made from memories not just from ornaments. Even the angel on top is a memory. She has graced the top of the tree every year that we have been married. We bought her together in our first year of marriage.IMG_6987It’s messy and a bit lopsided but every year our Christmas tree is a testament to our lives. It is every hope and dream and memory that we have lived. Year after year we add bits here and there.

It’s like building your character or personality. You start out with just a plain tree. You add lights, the spark of your life that glows and sparkles. It shines through the night making a home out of a house. Then you start adding the shiny bits and the goofy laughs. The happy memories and the stories, not just of one life but a whole family. You fill the bottom with presents of love and thoughtfulness. Then you gather around and celebrate the life you have created together.

It stays there until the New Year begins. Yes, you take it down to start a fresh year but it is still standing on New Years Day, so all those memories and stories are there as the foundation for the coming year to be built on. So I say decorate your tree like you choose to live your life. Stay away from just decorating with whatever is “in” this year. Make it a Christmas Tree of your Life!

Overwhelmed and stressed out

Kid Schedules…Writing… Work… Cooking… Hobbies… Doctor Appointments…Research…Laundry…Volunteering…

…the list never ends

stressed out mom I know that there have been a lot of posts about stress and what it can do to you. I am a walking case of what stress can do to you. Chronic pain, anxiety, depression, over-worrying, headaches, lack of sleep, physiological imbalances-you name it I’ve got it. I don’t want it but I got it.

I suffer from an over conscientious personality. I don’t want to fail at anything and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and I don’t want to let anyone down. I want to do the best that I can for everyone. For a while that didn’t include myself. I always let me come last on the list of importance. Everyone else came first. That didn’t work too well. Everyone preached at me that I needed to take care of me because if I didn’t then I wouldn’t be around to help anyone else. Okay, fine that made sense. So I tried to get in some of that ME TIME they always preach about.

I started working on my dream of becoming an author. I’ve been writing since I was eleven and I thought I’ll really start working on it full time. Full time being from September to May during the school hours of 8:30-3:00.  Well that sort of worked except for all the times that the kids were out and all the vacation times.

Then there is that driving force in my head about needing to be a productive member of society and this family and I need to contribute financially not just be a mom. I’m gonna sell the stuff I make. Well my bright ideas in the craft department include all sorts of things, jewelry, sewed items, painting bottles, making recycled paper journals, sculptures. I have enough creative juices to do all these things and I really want to.

Then there is the Autism thing. I have to find time to be a better parent and research more and find more ways to help my son. There has to be something that I can do that will help him more.  So out come the books and the websites. Oh and while I’m reasearching that I should keep learning better ways to write too and how to market myself on the web so everyone can find my stories or my crafts to sell.

Oh yeah I need to start working out that’s part of me time right? Get in shape and feel better.

BLAH BLAH BLAH!

I just managed to turn ME TIME into a job!

I’m more stressed out than ever now!

Then it hit me. I’m doing it all wrong. I realized that I’m trying to do everything at once which is how I got stressed in the first place.  I had an epiphany. LIFE IS A BUFFET.

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When you go to an all you can eat buffet, you don’t take everything at once. You start with one trip, fill your plate and eat. Life doesn’t need to happen all at once. It’s okay to take one plate and fill it but when it’s full stop. Sit down and eat it. There is always another trip available.

I know that most of you are nodding and thinking, Prioritize. And you are right, but it is also about time management and balance. I don’t have to do all the things I want to all at the same time. However I don’t want to just stop doing all the things I want to in order to do the things I have to. That was where I was before I tried to get some ME TIME in.

So here is my solution.

I have to ACCEPT that I am only going to get done a few things each day. AND THAT IS OKAY! If Monday is bills and social media catch up day and I don’t get any writing, research or jewelry made- that’s ok. Tuesday is doctor’s and shopping day-accept it! Wednesday is laundry and writing- good, Thursday is writing or crafting-nice! Friday is writing. Saturday is housecleaning and laundry-yay me. Sunday is playing with kids, video game and popcorn day! I have to realize that I’m not going to get everything done today. Rome wasn’t built in a day- cliche I know, but cliches exist for a reason.

It’s okay. I’m not going to win any races. I’m the turtle and I’ll get there in the end one plate at a time. I won’t starve and I won’t over eat. The buffet will still be there when I’m ready for another trip.