adult children, clarity, family, life, marriage, responsibility, school

The 3 R’s of Summer

School’s out for summer… We are always asked by administration to relax and rejuvenate over the upcoming months and prepare for our return in the fall.  I have always worked long hours in the summer, finding ways to supplement our family’s income and get ahead financially before the winter months hit. Last year was one of my most difficult years at my school job, digging deep to find strength to be patient and kind to someone who didn’t show the same respects to me. This summer I have made a conscious decision to work less hours and spend time focusing on my own well being. I will work on things in my home that I have put off for too long and I will find ways of managing things I haven’t had time to manage that feel messy.  I will spend my time this summer with the 3 R’s Resting, Relaxing and Rejuvenating myself.

I have had a realization that the things I will accomplish are going to be more valuable than money this summer.  Our youngest child will be flying the nest in September and my husband and I will be legit “Empty Nesters”. This moment has been on the horizon for some time now and I need to mentally and physically be stronger than I have felt in recent years.  I need to slow down and simplify our life.  I began this process by signing-off of my FaceBook account and taking a hiatus from social media.  That began with seeing a video about the Millennium Question and how social media is affecting our children in this generation, I felt by setting an example to my children may be one small step in awareness to its negative affects.  I feel like so much in this world is OUT of my control right now that I NEED to have some things IN my control… those things being my home, my finances, my health, my own, as well as my husband’s overall well-being. I want to get back to cooking healthy meals and exercising, finding order in our home, getting our finances on track and planning our future.  I want to feel strong mentally and physically. We also cancelled our Direct TV account a month ago.  I just couldn’t watch the news anymore… the negativity, the hatred, the sadness… it was all taking a toll on me. I look forward to slowing down and rejuvenating myself over these summer months.

I will begin with today. We had house guests over the 4th of July holiday weekend, a full house. Orchestrated dinners and gatherings for days… constant energy dedicated to the enjoyment of others.  Today is the first day since I finished my school year that I am not making lists, preparing my home and spending money for the enjoyment of others.  That is honestly what I do ~ I can feel that my husband is becoming exhausted of this ~ I hadn’t noticed this until pretty recently ~ that at the expense of me, at the expense of us, we cater to other people’s needs. Our oldest son came home for a much needed vacation after putting in long hours at his job. He graduated college a year ago, got an internship just out of school and landed a full time job after the internship… we are very proud! Well… we have an annual 4th of July party since he was a young boy… 4th of July is my husbands birthday and we have always celebrated big… he came home to the familiar stress of pulling this all together… House prep, yard prep, food prep… a LOT of work!! I felt terrible, his vacation days leading up to the party were lost to this preparation and the day of the party, and then the clean up… this has also become very “old” to my husband… cooking and cleaning to have a party for him and his birthday has lost it’s splendor.  It is in moments like this that I have clarity for how it is time for us to concentrate on us more.  We are learning that the moments we get with our children these days are fewer and fewer and we need to embrace them differently now. Our time together is becoming scheduled and dictated by jobs and adult responsibilities, we need to use the days wisely. Acknowledgement of a problem is always the first step…

I have taken today to gather my thoughts and rest. Tomorrow I will begin making lists of things I want to accomplish in the days and weeks ahead. Next week I will put it all into action ~ I feel fresh and excited for what’s ahead.  It’s all part of my journey… I deserve the time needed to feel refreshed… I will embrace the 3 R’s of summer ~ Rest, Relax, Rejuvenate.

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.”  ~ Mark Black

 

 

adult children, clarity, family, identity, life, marriage, purpose, time, Uncategorized

Time

When I think of time and question if I use it wisely… I am conflicted.  Overall in my life I would say that we use our time well… we use it for creating precious moments, being together & building family memories.

But do you see how when I think of “my” time my response turned immediately to a “we” and I referred to family memories, being together and creating precious moments… Well, that is the conflicting part now that my children are grown.  They are creating there own memories now, elsewhere, without me.  I know that’s the way it is supposed to be, I know this means we’ve done a good job at parenting… but this is part of the transitioning process I am finding to be so difficult.

When I think of “my” time when my kids were young ~ my time was always dictated by their schedules.  School activities, sports practices, rides to friends houses, appointments… you name it we were doing it and all of these things were written out on a calendar ~ my life was based on their schedules ~ I didn’t have to think much about it. We were always in doing mode!  Now that they are grown, and two of them out of the house, my time is becoming my own and I have NO IDEA how to use it!  Literally… even dinner has been a struggle… even our dinner time was dictated by practices and activities.  With no instruction, no have-tos, I find myself not knowing how to manage my own time now.  Our youngest is 18 and a senior in high school, we are doing college visits and we use our time these days for senior year basketball games and keeping busy helping with all aspects of the basketball program… this has always been our normal with our kids activities.  With that on the horizon of no longer being our reality… it frightens me. I’m not sure how long it will take me to stop mourning that part of my life and begin to know how to live the next phase.

I believe my husband wishes I would figure it out. I think that even though we speak of the major differences in our lives since the kids have grown, I realize that the running the kids around, the hours in the car with them, the scheduling of activities, all those aspects were mine during his work hours… although he understands the changes, I do believe they are impacting my life differently.  I do know that I am happier when I’m busy.  I cannot sit idle too long or my energy is used to overthink things, and when my mind is racing it often can turn negative and I beat myself up for not doing anything.  I need to find ways of keeping busy and my mind hard at work.  I’m not sure what that looks like for my future.  When I think of next year, I think of our youngest son playing basketball at college and the potential for us to travel to games, I think of our oldest with his new promotion, his steady girlfriend and his life direction and the possibility of weddings and grandchildren… but again, do you see that my thoughts revolve around our children?  I can’t envision my alone time with myself or with my husband yet.  This is frightening.

As I have stated in many posts before, I am a work in progress. There are changes ahead and I can’t see my life’s direction clearly yet.  For 23 years (our oldest son’s age) I have had my daily decisions made for me…I dealt with things directly in front of me. I’ve been a mom, I’ve poured my whole soul into that one job… my role as my children’s mom is changing. Even with each day I am learning how to fit into the role of a mom with adult children, their needs are so different now…  I think I’m doing okay.  I will continue to grow as a person and learn my own likes and dislikes again… I will be patient with myself…I will learn to focus my energy on me and into my relationship with my husband.  After all, we just bought his and her bikes… spring days riding by the beach with my love… I can see it!

 

 

 

anxiety, clarity, family, identity, life

Growth and Transitioning in 2017…

Today is the 2nd day of January 2017. With the New Year brings hope, it brings change…with change brings transition…with transition (for me) brings anxiety. I have anxiety.  I am beginning to understand it. The “what ifs” often over run my mind. I learn daily how to deal and cope with the thoughts.

We are beginning a new year. Welcome 2017!

I am learning with each day to understand myself and others.  We just had a wonderful holiday, surrounded by lots of  friends and family, we had a blast!  I am an active member of FaceBook, I enjoy seeing others “news” and happenings.  I like to post, I like to be positive, I like to inspire, that is what I use FaceBook for.  I very rarely share the way I share here in my blog, I’m not sure it feels like the right venue.  I don’t see a point in a negative world to be negative… I usually keep negative thoughts to myself and override them in public with more positive things.  What I’ve realized this does is makes the world see one side of you… They don’t know that I wallow in sad thoughts sometimes, that I cry, that I get angry… They think all of life is rosy.  Is that really inspiring?  If I’m going to share should I try to share all of me? I really don’t know ~ who would it help? Would it help me?  I kind of feel like a fraud sometimes, like when I’m around people and they are seeing me and experiencing me… I am human, I have opinions, often negative and judgemental. Most people don’t know that about me ~ am I hiding? Do I intentionally do this? I am becoming increasingly more aware of the pressure of people saying how wonderful I am – how wonderful our family is – how wonderful our marriage is – all of these things are true – life is marvelous, we are Blessed!! I am Blessed!!  But we are human too – we struggle – we fall – we get up – we have and feel ups and downs too! Does this need to be aired out to be understood?  As I write this, I feel like I’m answering my own questions – which is why I write! I write to find clarity in things I question… I am feeling like I don’t tell untruths when I post, I don’t pretend to be happy when we are in photographs, I am genuinely happy – I am genuinely filled with joys most days, in most moments… I am not hiding.  When I get close to someone and we have ‘real talk’ – I am honest about who I am – I put no effort in trying to be someone else, so what is the worry?  Anxiety.

Most recently my anxiety runs through my mind in a strange way. As I said, we’ve had a marvelous holiday. Lots of special times… friends, family, food, laughter (all my favorite things!) But there has been terrible local news lately with the death of two local teenagers in Falmouth, both 18 years old (my youngest sons age) They were athletes, sons, grandsons, friends… kids! It is horrifying to think of their families – it is very difficult for me even allow myself to think about it. These things weigh on me so very heavily. What it does is makes me assess everything – that is what leads me to this post – when I look at our perfect Christmas card, when I look back at my pubic posts of fun times and love & laughter, when I assess our amazing year of 2016 with successes of college graduation, new relationships… all of the wonderful things… it scares me – My mind will often wander to those families who lost their sons.  I wonder if that were me… would I still be able to find joy in everyday? Would I become bitter? Do people who have had these types of losses look at me like I live in some sort of dream-state – that I don’t and can’t understand that there can not be joy… Do some of the people who see how happy we are get angry? I have a guy at my work who is cynical, he’s negative, he’s open about how life has dragged him down… He is divorced, his son is a grown man now and lives far away, they don’t see each other hardly ever anymore… He makes statements to me sometimes about how I’m “too happy” and that he was happy once too.  He says I live the perfect life.  I guess when he says these things I know them to be true – but I work at that EVERYDAY!! I nurture relationships, I love and honor my husband, I make an effort to be near my children, I combat negativity with positivity – I honestly create my own world! I wake up each day with intention!!!  So, when I worry (when my anxiety strikes!) When that moment strikes and the inner dialogue begins about scary things… like “what if” I lost one of my children… who would I be? Who would I become?  The way that I combat that fear is that I envision the struggle, the pain to overcome… I keep hope and faith that I would have the strength to honor them and that we would have enough beautiful memories to sustain me.  But I also turn my thoughts to TODAY… Live today with no regrets if it were all over tomorrow. That I think is the key – try not to fear the possibility of loss – embrace the now, we still have each other, don’t waste a single second to be stolen in the now!!

As I said, I’m learning… I am a work in progress.  I am learning to not allow my anxiety to rule me and steal anything from me. I love and I am loved… that is all I need to continue to be the best me. Happy 2017!