Crafting My Life Works!


I have talked a little bit about signing up for the Crafting My Life course that Amber Strocel is facilitating.  I signed up because I’ve been at home for almost six years.  I had a job that was s0-so before I had my first son.  I don’t want to go back to that job.  For a long time, I was okay with that.  Then, gradually I wasn’t.  For a long time, I wondered how anyone would want to do anything else when they could choose to stay at home.  (I know how that sentence sounds.  I really do.)  I couldn’t imagine wanting to do something else.  I even imagined myself still staying at home once my children were all in school.  Then, little by little, that started to sound less and less like what I wanted.

First, I realized (because of our mission and playsheet in week one of the course) that I want to be really good at something.  I want to feel competent and to be good at what I do.  I realize I’m a great mom to my kids, but there are very few days when I sit back at the end of the day and feel like I have a good handle on what it takes to mother competently.  Most days I feel lucky that I end the day with three happy, healthy, wonderful children.  I feel lucky.  I don’t always feel like I caused or created that outcome.  In fact, some days I feel like I have three happy, healthy, wonderful children despite my actions not because of them.  (This doesn’t happen every day, but I think we’ve all felt like that at some point.)

Then, in week three, we talked about role models.  Now, I’m not one of those people who can say that I have role model, and I want to follow directly in his/her footsteps.  I don’t have any one person I look to as “it” when it comes to finding a role model.  I have a friend who is an amazing mother.  She is calm, responsive, kind, gentle, loving, and she is a great role model for me when it comes to dealing with my own kids.  There is a couple I know who takes time to express their feelings for each other and show their appreciation for each other.  I have a friend who is very introspective.  She’s very self-searching, and she’s also really honest about sharing what she finds.  I have a friend who started her career in one area, left that job to have children, and is now in the process of making a plan to pursue a second career when her children are a bit older.  Realizing that I admire these people has also helped me to identify areas where I would like to change my life.  In particular, I realized that I want a career.  When my kids are older, I want to identify an area of interest, possibly return to school, and pursue a career in that area.

Right now, I have a couple ideas about what area(s) I might be interested in when the time comes to pursue a new career.  When the time comes, I hope that my ideas are firmed up a bit and provide me with some sort of path.  Until then, I’m enjoying having these realizations a little at a time.

The last thing that I have realized is that life isn’t something that happens to me.  It is a choice I make. I know that there are things that happen in our lives that can change our plans in an instant.  I’m not thinking about that so much right now.  Right now, when I say this, I’m thinking more about the “I’m bored” feeling and how I’m always tired but never get to bed before 11 type situations.

On a regular basis, I say to Kael, “This isn’t something that is happening to you.  It’s something you are choosing.”  I need to hear my own words!  Instead of getting stuck in a rut or wandering around looking for “it,” I need to start making some choices.  Sure, if I don’t know what “it” is, I may not find it, but I can choose to enjoy the journey!

If you’re feeling something like what I described or if you’re feeling your own sort of wandering feelings, I highly recommending Crafting My Life.  It has been great so far (and we’re only half way through!).  It has given me a reason to sit down and think about some of these issues in my life.  It has also given me some tools to take the steps to do it.  I am so excited for the next six weeks!  I can’t wait to see what else I can find out about myself.  🙂

I Am Worth It

I Am Worth It

Photo via Redvers on Flickr

Yesterday I relaxing after our Christmas celebration, and for some reason a co-worker from many years ago popped into my head.  He was someone I worked with before Jason and I got married while I was going to college.  During the time I worked with him, I alternated between thinking he was funny and enjoying his company and thinking he was annoying and counting the days until either he or I quit.  We didn’t have much in common, and he had a way of saying things that got on my nerves.  We were not close friends by any one’s definition.

One day, (I have no idea why) the conversation turned to whether or not Jason and I were “shacking up” before we got married.  We were not, and I told him that.  He was something near incredulous when I told him that.  He said something like, “Jason is missing out on a lot of fun!”  I remember looking at him and saying, “He’ll wait.  I’m worth it.”  He didn’t have much to say after that.  Needless to say, I’m guessing the conversation didn’t go at all as he had expected.*

Jumping back to the present, I am now married to Jason (for 8 1/2 years), and the mother of three amazing boys (5 years, 3 years, and 2 months).  I got to thinking about whether or not I still believe that I’m worth it, not so much about waiting for the shacking up now but for putting my own needs and some wants at the top of the list.  If I need to schedule time away from my husband and kids for exercising, am I worth it?  Am I worth it if I realize that I no longer have any pants that fit and just a few shirts?  If I decide I want to work on getting more fruits and veggies (which are more expensive than some of the other options at the store) into my diet, am I worth it?  Eight and a half years ago, I would have smiled and told you firmly that of course I am worth it.  Now, I’ve slipped completely into mom/wife-ness, and I will tell you I’m worth it as long as it doesn’t affect my husband or children too much.  Of course I’m worth it, but…  If you’re a parent or a spouse, I’m guessing that most of you will admit you’ve been in this place at one time or another.

This isn’t a New Year’s resolution post.  This is more of a post-baby, life is settling down in the new house kind of post.  So, as it happens to be New Year’s Eve in less than a week, I guess that this is a fine time to start some new habits, right?  I am going to start posting regularly about my efforts to take care of myself.  In the near future, I see these posts centering around two main areas.  One is my physical health.  The other is living a life of intention.

Taking care of myself physically is something I tend to overlook.  I had a (nearly 10 pound) baby just over two months ago.  Before I got pregnant with him, I was not at a weight I was very happy about.  I haven’t been exercising regularly for a while, and in addition to affecting my weight, I think that I get sick more easily and more often.  I’m tired of getting sick!  To do this, I’m going to be participating in the #Mamavation Twitter campaign.  This is a weekly blogging carnival in addition to regular interaction with other like-minded moms on Twitter.

Living a life of intention is something that’s been on my mind for quite a while.  I’m really excited to be a part of Amber Strocel’s CraftingMyLife upcoming course.  I’m sure I’ll be talking about it, and I can’t wait for her to solve all my problems and answer all my life direction questions.  🙂  (Just kidding.  I’m really only expecting her to answer *some* of those questions, not all of them.  Kidding again…kind of.)

So, as I move into 2011, I’m looking forward to the changes that putting myself on the list of priorities will bring.