April 2015 Review

April kicked my butt; I’m relieved I survived it! I’m still struggling to get back in control this month! In some ways April was better than March.

1 – Test passed, 6 more to go for my designation if I did my math correctlyNew car

2 – Cub Scout den meetings

2.4 – Pounds lost, and that’s the upside of stress

3 – Friends joined me for girls night out

4 – New to me wheels

6 – Projects completed

37 – Photos to Instagram

468 – Words added to my book

473 – Just Wanna Be Me page views

Some of those numbers were lower than I had hoped, but I had a few unexpected accomplishments too. Like buying a car, and all the stuff that went with that process. I hope you had a great April and May is even better for you. Share your April highlights!

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I’m So Mean

I'm So MeanI’m so mean. I’m not sure how it happened. I used to be a nice person. I liked most people I met and despite being a little socially awkward, I even got along with most everyone. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t taken up kicking puppies or anything. It’s just lately, I catch myself thinking how I don’t like this or that person very much. OK, most of the time it’s while I’m driving.

It used to be if I didn’t like someone, I would feel guilty for being so mean and try to talk myself into like them. Aren’t we supposed to find the good in everyone? That’s what nice people do, right? So if I don’t like someone, does that make me not nice?

I finally realized that usually what I don’t like is the way that person treated me. (Yes I’m talking to you in the Mustang that cut me off on the freeway.) I’m sure this is obvious common sense to everyone else, but I’m finally understanding that it’s OK not to like being treated poorly. Maybe, it’s even OK to not like a person who repeatedly demonstrates bad behavior.

I need to be kind to myself by not sticking around to let someone treat me poorly. And it’s also important to be kind to the other person, by not reinforcing that their behavior is acceptable. It’s OK, maybe even vital, to tell others when they hurt my feelings or offended me. Communication is king. It’s one thing to agree to disagree. It’s quite another to not even give a person a chance and to write them off based on a perception of an isolated incident.

Just as I am not one action, it’s important to remember that we are all human. One wrong does not make a horrible person. I have multiple moments daily that I would hate to be the sole basis of someone’s decision of me. There needs to be a balance in standing up for myself and allowing others to space to make a bad judgement call. That’s where the communication comes in.

Obviously, I’m not hopping out of my car at the red light to tell the guy in the Mustang I didn’t appreciate the way he cut me off. But for relationships that matter, I need to be much better at sharing what’s going on inside my head and not let bad feelings build up and become a major issue. I need to learn to share the little things, so I’m confident enough to be able to approach the big discussions.

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March Review

March Field tripApril is more than half over and has been kicking my tushy! Before the month gets away from me or takes me out completely, I’d like to share my March review.

1 – Day celebration for Spring Break. We explored Arizona Falls and had lunch at the Golden Corral, I think grown up should automatically get two weeks off too!

1 – That one pound I lost last month, I found it again. Boo!

3 – Events; writing group, Tempe Festival of the Arts, and a Blog Meetup

4 – Projects complete

5 – Hours of interviews for my son to work at a camp this summer, yes I am a good mom and I got lots of studying done

6 – Tickets to the Improv to celebrate a family birthday

14 – Pieces of clothing from the thrift store, I like to call them treasures

March treat21 – French Toast cupcakes (too bad the link isn’t active or I would share)

27 – Instagram pix

739- Blog page views, Utah loves me

1090 – Words added to my new book, that’s more than a fifth of my 2015 goal in one month

Overall March was good and productive, I’m hoping I can say the same about April in the next couple of weeks. I would love to hear about how your month is going and the goals you are achieving!

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Speak Up

Speak UpI’m approaching my two year anniversary of being a single, working mom. During training for my first position at work, I asked a lot of questions. Toward the end, I joked to my trainer that she was probably sick of me talking so much in class. To my surprise, she told me she wanted me to speak up, both in volume and frequency. To say the least, I was surprised our perceptions were so different.

Nine months later I was promoted. The initial ego boost faded over the 9 weeks of training, I felt like my brain was going to explode as my confidence plummeted. I answered the trainer’s questions, but she moved on like I didn’t say anything. Again I thought I was actively participating, but my trainer rarely heard me and wanted me to speak up.

I read an article about how women share an idea in the work force that gets no response until a man suggests the same idea. I have seen this scenario play out countless times. But I have also seen strong and confident women who not only get noticed, but are also respected as natural leaders.

For me, speaking up is more than overcoming society’s tendency to turn to men for leadership. Speaking up is a matter of confidence; an inner strength in knowing who I am and what’s important to me. I’ve come to understand how important it is to know myself and learn to be comfortable in my own skin.

This seems like it should be a simple concept, but it is a long and challenging process filled with victories and failures. There continues to be, an unraveling of who I thought I was and what I believe. I feel like I’m trying to hit a moving target without knowing what the target looks like.

I think I’m way too old to be “discovering myself”, but it’s important to strip down to my core and see what it is that makes me, me.  That understanding builds my authentic self that I’m hoping is a strong, confident woman who is never afraid to speak up.

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