Wellness Wednesday: Trusting the Process

Well, 8 days in and ish started getting hard.

I was able to keep up with most of my coaching work on a daily basis, despite going away to Toronto.  Luckily we had some down time in our gorgeous suite in the hotel.  I plugged in my headphones and made it work! It’s so so easy to quit when things get hard, but I promised myself to focus these 21 days and get it done!

My overall goal is to create a better work/life blend and to not be so stressed out and feel so chaotic.  I don’t like the stress that it creates and neither does my body!  I absolutely love my life, but I don’t like feeling spun out of control.

So how am I doing with that?  Ehhhh to be totally transparent and honest, I don’t feel like I’m doing that great.  I yelled Tuesday. (So much for being calm amongst the chaos).  I felt like that meme where Mary Poppins is all, “Let’s go!” and then 20 minutes later Batman voice yells “LET’S GOOOOOO!!”  It was a crazy early morning as Bradley had his final “Helper Day” at preschool, which I still had to buy snacks/drinks for AND I had his parent conference at 8:30.  Since I had made a choice to go to a favorite workout class the night before at 6pm, it made for a later bedtime.  I solo parent on some evenings as per my husband’s schedule, and for the last 6 years, I pretty much let the kids’ dictate my routine.  Well, since I’ve started putting ME first a few times more, it’s an adjustment for ALL.  I sometimes feel counter-productive, as in maybe if I just do what is always best for kids and husband, then I can keep the peace…but the reality is, I feel like I’ve woken up to a new light.  What if I die tomorrow? Did I get to do what I wanted to do?  I get that being a parent is all about selfless-ness and giving, giving, giving even when you don’t feel like giving any more, but I also see the need to fill my cup.

I used to think filling my cup was a once in awhile thing.  But I’m realizing I do need to give more attention to me, a lot more.  The “Do You List” has been SO helpful.  It’s been eye opening because I’ve noticed that I don’t feel guilty when I do the dishes, fold the laundry, clean the rooms, scrub the toilets, braid the hair, brush the teeth, iron the work clothes, cook the eggs, do the grocery shopping, prepare the meals, walk the dog, work on real estate, cuddle…but when I consistently do things that make me, just Jenn, not anyone else, happy, I feel bad. So I am learning to push through that uncomfortable feeling and see where it takes me. ** This is what Lindsay would refer to as your IMG (Inner Mean Girl) I didn’t think I had any (haha!) but once I listened to her videos, took notes and reflected I realized I am so a people pleaser and then some.

I’ve created my daily habit of meditating 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night.  I find the morning to be harder than night–I actually love listening to a meditation and falling into a nice quiet sleep…I am also noticing perhaps I would do better with a mid-day meditation?  I may play around with this.  My morning routine is not exactly pristine.  My body is fighting me for sleep!! (I’m blaming the uber hard workouts I do some days!) Either way, I am seeing the need for it. Slowing down is helping me A LOT!

I’ve also started saying a daily mantra: I live a calm and intentional life.  (I’m finding Rachel Hollis’ Start Today Journal methods kind of intertwining here!) Basically, you say things in present tense, as if they’re already happening.  There’s a huge brain connection (I’m not getting scientific here, but there’s huge research done on this!) Lindsay does a great job at explaining it in her course, so it’s not all hokey!

So all in all, in just a week I’m noticing huge differences! Even though I felt like I was struggling a bit yesterday (Tuesday) I love that Lindsay has a closed Facebook group where we can share our thoughts.  We were to share what we are grateful for, so I did, but I also was real and said how things were getting hard.  Her response, “I know you want things to change now, but it’s a process. Just keep showing up like you’re doing (even though you feel overwhelmed I know) and it will get better.”  I know that I needed to hear that because I always want to rush things and sometimes, most times, we need to let things go at their own pace and fall into place as they will.  I know I’m so, SO hard on myself and I need to lighten up (a lot.)

All amazing things happen outside of our comfort zone, right?  Well I am certainly stepping out of mine and cannot wait to see what’s to come.  Just don’t quit, right?

Staycation Re-cap

My favorite part of Joe taking off from his full time job?  Being able to be around for the little things.  I love that he’s able to get outdoors and hunt; it’s truly his only passion/hobby outside of the kids, myself & working hard/making money.

We started out the week with some warmer weather, so it was nice to take a walk with Bradley and Holly.  Brooke had some homework so I had Joe help her.  When we got back from the walk, they had turned it into a game show and she was a spelling machine!

Tuesday Brooke had a half day and we got dressed up to go out to lunch.

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The sun was shining, there were blue skies and the leaves were hitting the last of their peak colors.

After lunch we went to a mall to look for some work pants for Joe, but Banana Republic was just gone!  It’s so sad to see brick and mortar stores closing left and right.  The kids had fun playing in the play area though!

I took a lot of time to self-reflect, hone in on what makes me happy and felt a huge shift in my spirits.

Joe snuck in plenty of hunting time and while Brooke danced, Bradley and I went to the library.  It seems to be our new thing!

I had some early morning wake-ups; Joe likes to be out of the house by 6 am (or so?) and I get up to make him a hearty breakfast.  Bailey enjoys the alone time after he leaves.  It’s just us two until the kiddos wake up.

I saw this and started implementing it.  Being present in every day moments seems to help any feelings of ill ease, overwhelm, stress or anxiety.

I saw Bradley’s turkey at preschool and couldn’t resist snapping a pic.   His neck/head may be a little lower than it should be, but isn’t that what makes it perfect?

Getting to the gym a few times a week has been such a game changer for me.  Releasing toxins, sweating out the day’s stress and focusing on my health is so important.  I can never forget this again!

I feel very open to the universe lately and seem to be receiving all sorts of signs, quotes, affirmations and know that I am in good alignment.

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We finally put in a new rug in our living room again.  It’s been since March (when we got Bailey as a puppy) and she’s pretty much house trained I would say 98%.  It’s nice to have a rug again!

I took this one to Wegmans for lunch after school and clearly this photo says it all.  Pizza is life.

We even got out on a Friday night date night!!

We checked out a swanky new place, Skybar.  It was pretty cool!  We went super early since Joe wanted to go hunting the next day, so it was not busy at 9pm, obvs.  They had champs so all was well!  We can’t wait to go back and check it out when it’s busier.

This girl decided to hang out with her doll finally!! It was pretty cute.  Santa may have to bring some fun accessories for her!

I started this book! I was lucky enough to score an advanced reader copy and so far so good!! I love me a good thriller and the authors wrote one of my favorites from 2018, The Wife Between Us.

I ended the week with some family time, baking pies with my step-mom and sister.  The apple pie was delish!  Here’s to more family fun coming up for Thanksgiving.

Have you ever “staycationed”?  We do it every year so hubby can hunt. I can’t say that I mind it one bit!!

Getting Quiet

If you happen to follow me on Instagram you may (or may not) have noticed I haven’t posted in a week.  If you know me well, Insta is my favorite slice of social media.  I started blogging back in 2011 and I believe it was that year that Instagram made its debut.  I loved my little blogging/insta community. It was real, raw, and pure.  Friends from all over could share their photos instantly with adorable captions.  I had so many amazing connections with women over fashion, food, family, husbands, you name it!!

Fast forward to 2018 and my feed was filled with overly airbrushed images, ads to buy something and picture perfect squares of everyone’s perfect lives.  I knew that when I would scroll, put the phone down and then only to pick it right back up and scroll again, it wasn’t making me feel good.  I kept brushing it off because I still do have some amazing, inspiring and uplifting people that I follow—but that wasn’t how I was left feeling after looking at Instagram.

Instead of feeling empowered, I felt insecure, jealous, envy and literally joy was being sucked out of me.  I’d wish that my house was more perfect, that my kids could strike amazing poses for photos and that I must not really be inspiring anyone because, well? To be honest, I was hung up on the numbers.  I don’t have 21k followers.  Hell, I don’t have 1,000.  And I was beating myself up.  I must not be helping enough people.

Regardless, I was going through a low point, feeling sorry for myself, oh woe-is-me, playing the victim, and if I’m being brutally honest? I was ready to go to a Dr and ask for a little magical pill that would maybe make me feel happier.

All because of Instagram? No.  Absolutely not.

But I can say that taking a little fast from Instagram, helped me quiet my mind, soul and allowed me to truly listen.  I have never been addicted to anything, but I believe that I had a problem with incessantly checking this silly app! So once I removed it off my phone, a lot of things happened.

Instead of mindlessly scrolling, I picked up a book:

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This book seemed to speak to me and allow me to reflect on what the hell was going on inside my mind.  I didn’t read it cover to cover, but I don’t think that I needed to or was meant to.  I got what I needed out of it.  People need other people in order to not only survive but also thrive.  Staying home I clearly don’t get as much social interaction as I used to when I was a teacher, but somehow I stopped going out pretty much all together.  I’d get the groceries.  Visit my husband at his work.  Do the school drop off/pick up.  Take the kids to the occasional park or library.  Dance class.   But when was the last time I did a mommy meet up?  Play date?  Had fun with the kids some place other than home?

I immediately decided to take the kids to the Museum of Play that very next day since Brooke had a day off.  We had so much fun.  While they played in the “Vet clinic” for no joke, 45 minutes, I decided to look up the local gyms in my area.  Interestingly enough, the gym I was interested in was having a $1 sign up fee and $20 a month membership.  What?!  You know what I did? I took immediate action.  Why? Because that is how you conquer fear.  Anxiety.  Stress.  You do something. Anything!! After we left the museum I went straight to the gym and signed up. I knew that the classes would be excellent for me, I’d be more social and around happy, energetic and healthy people.

Know what? It’s working.

I’m not saying that medicine is a bad thing; if you honestly need anti-despressants or anti-anxiety meds then definitely take them!  I was at my OBGYN’s office Wednesday of last week telling him about how I had been feeling.  It seemed to coincide with my monthly cycle.  The sadness, crying, overwhelm.  He suggested I figure out the root of my problem, come to a solution and execute!  If that didn’t work then he obviously suggested that I go and talk to someone and maybe explore medicinal options if need be.

I can’t explain why I was feeling the way I was.  I have a beautiful life and everything I have ever dreamed of.  I listen to positive podcasts.  I read leadership books. I was grateful, writing gratitude lists, trying to cling to anything that seemed to try and help pull me from that funk.  The guilt I felt about just not feeling happy or well, was becoming overwhelming and only when I took the bull by the horns and acted upon something did it all change.

While I have only been going to the gym for a week, my body, mind and spirit are in so much better of a place.  I feel as though I’ve cleared some cobwebs, decluttered the social media accounts I choose to follow and have really begun to listen to what matters most.

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I’ve also started to listen to a little meditation on you tube each morning. Maybe about 10 minutes or so, and I just allow myself some time to wake up and listen to good things.  I feel like it helps our crazy morning routines go by with more ease, less stress and certainly more smiles.

As women, we can sometimes take other people’s problems on as our own.  It’s our job as a mom to fix boo boos, wipe tears and lend an ear.  I tend to be overly empathetic and while I know watching the news isn’t great for me, I didn’t realize how much toxic energy I was absorbing through social media apps.

I’m a little apprehensive in sharing all of this publicly, but as Brené Brown keeps speaking into my ear, the power lies in vulnerability. (I’m currently listening to her newest book, Dare to Lead.)  So I suppose I am sharing all of this on my blog so that if you’re feeling stressed, sad, overwhelmed or just not happy, I am suggesting that you get quiet.  I went and got a pedicure and put my phone down.  I read some of a book.  I listened to that still small voice that I don’t make enough time for.  It’s never too late to start something different.  To make one small change.  One step leads to so many more. After you get quiet, I also highly suggest you force yourself to work up a sweat.  10, 20 or 30 minutes whatever–get your body moving! Just as we were intended to be social creatures, our bodies crave movement.

I think I’ll be taking more “social media cleanses” and I know that checking myself has done more wonders than I could have imagined. Once I realized that time is our biggest gift and the one thing we can never ever get back, I knew I had to be more strict with my time.  Where my time goes, my energy flows.

 

And of course, in Jenn fashion, there are a few quotes that really resonated with me…

 

 

 

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You matter. You are beautiful.  You are strong.  You are brave.  You are real.  You are living this one life that is truly a gift.  When you fall down, brush yourself off and get back up.  You are not a victim; you and you alone are responsible for your happiness.  Happiness is your birthright.

All my love,
Jenn