Tag Archives: positive life

The Girl I Was

It was the summer of 2008.  My husband ame and dognd I had just gotten married two weeks prior and there I was…lying in our bed, clinging to my dog and crying my eyes out.

He had just left for a 2 week field exercise.  I wouldn’t see him for 2 weeks.  I wouldn’t talk to him for 2 weeks.  I had just moved into our apartment.  I had just moved to Killeen, Texas.  I didn’t know a single person there.  I didn’t know where anything was.

I was devastated.  Seriously.  I had no idea what to do with myself or how to occupy my time besides walking my dog and working out at the little apartment job.

I had just graduated from grad school.  I had no job.  Nothing to do.  And 2 weeks to kill before my brand new husband came back.

The days and hours loomed in front of me.  I had no idea how I was going to get through these next 2 weeks, let alone the upcoming deployment.

Now, 9 years later, 3 deployments later, here I am, in a foreign country with three little kids, all under the age of 7.

And he is gone.  Only for 5 days this time but still…(did I mention that we just got to this foreign country 7 weeks ago?)

Here are the things, that 9 years later, still haven’t changed:

  • I doubt myself…every time he leaves.  Whether it’s for 5 days or 5 weeks.  I doubt whether I can do this…whether I’m strong enough.
  • How will I be able to take care of these three kids by myself?  Get them dressed, fed, to school, to their activities, to bed?
  • I miss him.
  • I can’t wait until he gets back

Here are the things, that 9 years later, have changed:

  • Even though doubt creeps in every…single…time…I KNOW, deep down, that I AM strong enough to do this.
  • That girl who laid in bed and cried her eyes out is gone (although, I will admit, that as I laid in bed that first night in our new house in this strange village, I slept with all the lights on because I was scared)
  • I KNOW that I have all the tools and skills I need to get through this.
  • I know that I am stronger than I give myself credit for.
  • I know, that with time, it will get easier

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I am no longer the girl who can’t even deal with getting books for her college classes without having to call her mom and ask her for help

(Really.  That happened.)

Not to blow my own horn or anything…but I have come a LONG way.  I am still a work in progress.  I still have a long way to go…BUT…I can say, that I am, without a doubt, PROUD of how hard I have worked to be who I am today.

Who do YOU want to be?  What do you need to do to get there?

And…what are you waiting for?!??!!!!

Here are a few exercises to help you out:

reasons

self esteem journal

goals

 

 

Hello, World

I know I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks and here’s why – we just moved to Germany!  And let me tell you, it’s been a RIDE.

For those of you who don’t know, my husband is in the Army.   Several months ago we got orders to go to Germany, and now…well…here we are.

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I’m going to be real with you.  My exercise routine is shit right now.  I’ve been eating a lot of crap (partly because I wanted to try some of the authentically German treats and partly because the first 2 weeks we were here the jet lag was so bad it was like I was in my first trimester of pregnancy).

 

I’m homesick.  I miss my family.  I miss the familiarity of everything back in the states.  And the driving here – whoa!  It takes some getting used to.  I have not ventured out very far unless my husband has been sitting in the passenger seat.  It’s like I’m a teenager all over again with my learner’s permit.

The first day we got here, my daughter and I couldn’t even figure out how to flush the toilets.  And the shopping carts here – you can’t just take one.  They are all locked together and you have to put a coin in the slot to release one.  When you return it, you get your coin back.  Well, before someone took pity on us and told us that, my husband was quite a sight trying to figure out how to get a shopping cart.  He was yanking.  He was pulling.  He was muttering to himself.

I’ve gotten lost several times already walking around on base.  I’ve thrown my kids in the back of a stranger’s car (a soldier’s at least), sans car seat, and gotten a ride to my daughter’s school to go pick her up because I was 20 minutes late.  I’ve been stranded at the grocery store, with my baby and a cart full of groceries, for over an hour, because the taxi stood us up.  And yet again, I sat my kid on my lap and got into the backseat of a stranger’s car, with my groceries in the trunk, and got a ride to our hotel.

We bought a car off the “lemon lot” and I’m afraid to say we may have actually gotten a lemon.  I only had it 2 weeks before it had to go in the shop…It needs a new muffler…which they have to order from the states…

It has, literally, been one thing after another.  I have gotten a few workouts in here and there.  I’ve had a few healthy meals and a few not-so-healthy meals.

Wah, wah, wah, right?

I mean, here we are, in Germany, in this beautiful country, in Europe, where we have the chance to experience other cultures, try new foods, learn other languages and travel…and here I am…bitching…

So, now, here’s where the cool part comes in:

The OLD me would have continued to focus on the negative and the fact that our lives right now, every day, have been a true comedy of errors.  I would have decided that this is going to be the worst three years of my life.  I would have cried.  I would have spiraled into a depression.  I would have dug my heels in and begged my husband to take us back to the states.

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BUT…now…being in this particular situation of just moving to another country with three children in tow…I can truly see how far I have come.

There are times that it really sucks right now.  I’m not going to sugar coat it.  My nerves are frayed.  I have very little patience for my children’s shenanigans.  My husband is stressed.  I’m stressed.  There are tons of partially unpacked boxes in our house.  There is a TON of trash piling up in the garage (not to mention bags and bags of dirty diapers) because we have yet to receive the trash cans our landlord ordered for us.  Our dishwasher doesn’t work.  We have an ant problem in our dining room…and yet….

Despite all of this, (this is the cool part), I KNOW it’s all going to be okay.  I know that once we get settled, we are going to love it here.  I can see beyond all the shit (and I do mean, literally, all the shit in the diapers in our garage) that this is going to be a once in a life time opportunity to travel and explore and learn and grow and make many wonderful memories with our family.

 

 

Perspective is Everything

It all started with a Facebook post…a Facebook memory, actually, that a woman shared on her Timeline recently.

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It was a picture of her daughter, 2 years ago, sitting poolside, in a tankini, eating a sandwich.  It was summer.  The sky was a crystal clear blue.   The sun was glistening off the gentle waves in the water.

The caption she wrote with the picture reads:  Really missing our pool days this year.

See, her daughter, who is 7, is fighting cancer for a  second time.  And instead of spending the summer outside, drinking up the sun and swimming, she and her daughter are spending their time rotating between the children’s hospital and The Ronald McDonald House.

Here is where the perspective part comes in…

I have three, healthy children but they have been driving me crazy this summer.  There’s been a lot of bickering and not listening and acting out because Daddy is away at school.

I have found SEVERAL gray hairs that were not there a few months ago.  I have had more wine in the past couple of months than I have had in the past year.

It takes 2 hours, literally, for us to get ready to go to the pool.  There’s the packing of the pool bag (which is often interrupted by breaking up fights between my children) – change of clothes for 4 people, snacks, water bottles, extra swim diapers, baby wipes.

Then there’s the part where I have to get all the kids changed into their swimsuits.  I have to fight with my toddler to put it on because everything is “no” these days.

Then there’s the part where I have to get them into the car.  This, as many of you Mamas know, is like herding cats.  All of the sudden they can’t find their shoes that I have been asking them to put on for the last 30 minutes.  And then the baby makes a dirty diaper and I have to change him.  And then my daughter decides she needs to bring 5 books, 3 dolls and a pen and paper so she can writer her own book.

“Can you carry these, Mommy?”  She asks me as she thrusts her superfluous items into my hands, which are already full with a  pool bag, diaper bag and a baby in a car seat.

By the time I get everyone strapped into their seats – I’m exhausted.

There were days this summer that I found myself hoping it would rain so that going to the pool wasn’t an option.  Sometimes I would find excuses as to why we couldn’t go.  Sometimes I found myself rolling my eyes and losing my patience as I tried to get everything ready while they yelled at each other about whose turn it was to play with the little red car.

And then…that post popped up in my Newsfeed…and I thought – Well, shit.

Those two, that Mama and her daughter, would give anything to be able to go to the pool every single day, no matter how long it took them to get ready.

This weekend, I took the kids to the pool every day.  And as I wrestled my toddler into his bathing suit, stopped to feed the baby and packed the millions of things into the pool bag, I was grateful.

pool

So grateful that I could take my kids to the pool…that we could spend the afternoon there and play Sharks and Minnows and eat watermelon.

Life is ALL about what you make of it.

There are some things you can’t control, of course.  BUT – there are some things you most definitely can – like your thoughts and perspective.

If you change your perspective, does that change everything?

My answer:  YES.  (Case and point:  I happily packed up the pool bag this afternoon PLUS packed dinner for all the kiddos and the whole time I was thinking – even as my toddler, in nothing but his swim diaper, ran away from me as I tried to get him changed – this is going to be fun)

NEVER lose sight of what is TRULY important.

We live in a busy world.  It’s easy to take things for granted.

I will continue to try to do better.  I hope you do, too.

If you would like to learn more about this little girl’s story or how you can help through monetary donations, then go here:

https://www.facebook.com/TeamSavannahFightingLeukemia/

Fear is Fuel

me fearYou know that feeling you get as you contemplate doing something big?  Making a big change?  Making a huge leap?  Taking a chance?

 

Your stomach tightens.  Your heart beats like a hummingbird’s wings.  Maybe your hands shake.  A thousand thoughts race through your head simultaneously yet you are able to pinpoint what each one is trying to tell you – STOP –  they all say.

“Don’t do it.  Go back.  It’s too scary.  It’s not going to work.”

And then…the “what if’s” start…

What if people think it’s a dumb idea?

What if I fail?

What if I lose money?

What if I can’t figure it out?

What if people criticize me?

What if…what if…what if…

All of this…all of these counter-productive thoughts and jittery feelings can be summarized in one four-letter word…

FEAR.

People think “fear” is an ugly word – BUT – what if it weren’t?

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When fear wells up inside of you, what if, instead of backing off, you embrace it?  What if you welcome it with open arms, knowing that when you feel that fear it means you are onto something…it means that you are heading in the right direction?

Kind of counter-intuitive, right?

But, think about it for a  minute.  If something is easy, is it scary?

No, of course not.  Because it’s easy.  If it’s easy, you know you won’t fail – you know the outcome.

The unknown can be down right terrifying.  The “what-if’s” are never scarce and the critics are constantly whispering in your ear.

If you are afraid…that is when you know you are CLOSE – close to something big.  Close to something life-changing.  Close to EXACTLY where you need to be.

Fear means…go for it!  Go for what makes you want to pee your pants.

If it’s easy, it’s not really worth having.  It has little value.

It’s safe to NOT try.  It’s safe to remain comfortable, to keep doing the same thing – day in and day out.  It’s safe to stay with the status-quo and do the ORDINARY things everyone else around you is doing.

BUT

If you want to be EXTRAordinary…then there is a different path for you.

If it’s HARD.  If it’s SCARY.  If you can’t imagine life without it (“it” refers to whatever your particular goals are) then it is PRICELESS.  All the hard work…the time…the effort…the energy…it will all be WORTH it.

Fire

Use that FEAR to FUEL your fire…to ignite your desires…to smoke the nay-sayers and to light up your life in ways you have only dreamed about.

 

 

 

 

 

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Adulting Can Be Fun

Adulting is hard…but… does it always have to be that way?

coffee

My 6 year old niece asked my sister something a few weeks ago that has stuck with me.   It got me thinking.  And it made me kind of sad, too.

She asked:  Can you still have fun when you’re an adult?

Naturally, my thoughts jump to:  Well, let’s see.  There are bills to pay.  Obligations to meet.  Jobs to go to.  Chores to be done.  People to take care of.  And oh crap….taxes are due next month.  And there is NOT enough time in the day to do all the things you HAVE to do so you can do the things you WANT to do because by the end of the day after I cook and do the dishes and entertain the kids and put them in the car and take them out of the car and take care of the baby and feed the baby and change the diapers  all I want to do is crawl into bed and go to sleep.

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Sound familiar?

We are given this one life.  This ONE LIFE.  Is that what it’s really supposed to be about?  Going from one obligation to the next and paying bills and going to work just so we can put food onto the table until we die?

When do we lose our ability to have fun?  When do we lose our ability to play and imagine?  When do we lose our ability to live in the NOW?

when

Here’s the thing – I’m not telling you not to pay taxes (please do).  I’m not telling you not to call your Aunt Irene on her birthday or to go to your mediocre job or to not pay your rent on time.

No.

 

What I am saying, though, is this:  You can CHOOSE.

You can choose how you THINK about this life which in turn will affect how you FEEL.

You can change your perspective.  For example, “Gee, I don’t really like my job but at least I have one in this economy.  I’m lucky to be getting a paycheck.”

You have the POWER to create the life you want.  You have the STRENGTH to fight for it.  It is in EACH and every one of us.

The question, then, becomes this:  Are YOU going to tap into it?

Are YOU going to put in the work it takes to do what you want?  Be what you want?  Live where you want?  Have what you want?

OR…

Are you going to play the “woe is me” card and the “Suzy down the street has it easier because her parents are rich” card?

People are AMAZING.  People do amazing things every SINGLE damn day.

People who have lost their legs run marathons.  People who have been told they will never walk again get up.  People donate bone marrow to save other people’s lives.  People overcome addiction.   People walk on the moon.  People fight for their country.  People perform brain surgery.  People survive brain surgery.

You too, can do amazing things.  Truly, you can.

So…here’s what I would tell my niece:  You can absolutely have fun as an adult.  Sometimes it’s harder because there are certain things you have to take care of but you can always figure out ways to have fun and make time to play.  Sometimes problems are harder to figure out when you’re an adult.  Sometimes people let the bad stuff get in the way of the good stuff.  The most important thing to remember is this – You can be whoever you want to be and do whatever you want to do if you just TRY.

keep

Keep dreaming.

Keep imagining.

Keep believing.

Keep doing.

 

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