Sense of Self

Sense of selfI’ve shared on my blog my challenge adjusting to my kiddos getting older and “leaving the nest” and reconnecting to my sense of self. I know it is the way life progresses. I know it’s a good thing I raised them to be independent and responsible; I am proud of their successes. I wouldn’t want anything less for them. Despite all the upsides, I know I’m not the first woman to struggle with the transition.

I recently finished reading I Thought It Was Just Me by Brene Brown and found a quote that clicked my feelings into place. She is actually quoting another book called The Healing Connection by Jean Baker Miller and Irene Stiver, “…women’s sense of self and of worth is most often grounded in the ability to make and maintain relationships.”

For 25 years, the concept of who I am has been centered on my children. I will always be their mother and have a connection with them, it’s no longer a daily connection. Despite the fact that my idea of successful parenting is kids who move out and manage their own lives, I still feel like the ground beneath me is shifting. I have a hard time holding onto my identity independent of being a mom.

It’s interesting how having the words to describe my feelings helps me feel more in control. Understanding the why behind my feelings gives me control. I suddenly have the urge to flashback to my childhood and start singing “Knowledge is power”!

As the book’s title suggests, lacking the understanding is isolating. By being part of the conversation, even if it’s a one-sided conversation through a book, we build connection to others who have similar experiences. These connections help us reach out to others who have been through or are going through similar experiences.

Brene mentions several times that we are wired for connection. We need to know we’re normal. We need to know who we can turn to help us cope with life’s challenges. And when we get to the other side, helping others can give us meaning and perspective.

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January 2016 in the Books

January 2016I feel so behind since I just shared my 2016 goals and February is more than half over. Before any more of the month slips away, I better get it in the books. Valentine’s Day is over, so now I need to look forward to the next holiday. St. Patrick’s Day?

2.2 – Pounds gained, grrr….

3 – Books read, including Angels of Morgan Hill by Donna VanLiere

3 – Social events: comedy, night hiking and a girls night out

4 – Blog posts

January 2016 Comedy8 – Family members to Jesterz

14.5 hours of inventory for Performance Bearing

15 – Homemade biscuits, only some of which did we cover with chocolate gravy

19 – Projects completed, including getting the Christmas decorations packed away in the middle of the month

25 – Workouts in January 2016

35 – Books donated to Changing Hands Bookstore

37 – Photos on Instagram

38 – States that visited Just Wanna Be Me

January 2016 Flower196 – Photos taken on a solo photography hike around Veterans Oasis Park, I’m going to enter one in a photo contest

618 – Just Wanna Be Me page views

1532 – Average daily Pinterest views in January

Top Blog Posts in January 2016

  1. Lehi’s Dream Family Home Evening
  2. Book Theme Party
  3. Pizza Nachos
  4. Native American Blue and Gold
  5. December 2015 in the Books

January has been a great start to 2016. I hope it has been for you as well. Please share in your January 2016 accomplishments in the comments.

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2016 Goals

2016 Goal settingI know we are well past the time of New Year’s Resolutions, but I tend to be a goal-oriented girl anyway. My 2016 goals took me a couple of weeks to narrow down. I know 10 goals can be a lot as it is, but I try to keep them obtainable – that’s why I limit myself to 10. I could set realistic goals like eat chocolate every day, but I set goals that are realistic and also keep me motivated. Without any further ado, here’s my list.

  1. Complete my CPCU insurance designation. I have two test left and I’m on track to finish in May. Meeting this goal comes with its own special reward – the awards ceremony is in Hawaii!
  2. Attend a writing retreat. By meeting the goal above, I’ll be in Hawaii when I would normally be attending my favorite writer’s conference. So that makes attending a writing retreat a must, and I already have the time off from work.
  3. Add 6000 words to my latest book project. I anticipate most of the progress of this goal to be reached while I’m at the above mentioned writing retreat. Although, I did get a 126 word start on it in January.
  4. Blog two times per month.
  5. Read 20 books. That’s only one more than I read last year, so I think I can do it.
  6. Scrapbook 2015, I’m finally going digital. I used Snapfish to make a scrapbook for a gift that turned out great.
  7. Promote to a new position – or at least try real hard!
  8. Work out three times per week.
  9. Start working on my Bachelor’s degree.
  10. A Monthly Random Act of Kindness.

So there they are, my 2016 goals. I’m happy to say that as of a week into February, I’m still on track with all of them. As much as I like eating chocolate, it’s probably a good thing I didn’t add that as a goal, because I think I actually missed a couple of days already!

I’d love to see your goals! Maybe we could help motivate each other by sharing our journey. Here’s to an amazing 2016!

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2015 in the Books

2015 in the booksEvery New Year I list my top ten memories or accomplishments from the out going year and set 10 goals for the incoming year. Before I do that I like to look at the lists from the previous year. Of my 10 goals I set for 2015, I completed 7 of them. I even exceeded a few.

  1. Completed my Associate in Claims in February.
  2. Went to the ANWA Writer’s Conference.
  3. Added 7001 words to my book, even though my goal was only 5000. I was working on another book at the beginning of the year, but I got bogged down in the story. I had another story tickling my brain but I kept pushing it off because I had to finish what I started. I’m not a quitter you know! At writer’s conference I realized how much I have learned about writing since I started writing that first book. And I gave myself permission to take it to a good stopping point and come back to it later. The excitement of starting a new project (and a 4 day writing retreat) propelled me past my goal by the end of June.
  4. 2015 in the booksPosted to my blog monthly. Not only did I post every month, I published 22 blog post. That’s almost double my goal!
  5. My goal was to read 18 books, but I finished my 19th book on New Year’s Eve.
  6. I did awesome at tracking my food intake on My Fitness Pal! My goal was 5 days a week, but I tracked it almost every day last year.
  7. In August I started a new position as a total loss claim associate.

Unfortunately that leaves three goals unmet.

  1. One was hard to keep track of and harder to obtain, to exercise or play a game with the kids. Some weeks their are only with me a couple of school nights and life was too busy to have time to play. There were also a few times they spent the entire week with their dad. My intention was to set time to have fun together. It doesn’t seem like it should be that hard, but then there’s life.
  2. I decided to start scrapbooking digitally and print the books on Snapfish. My goal was to catch up on the last four years, I actually finished zero.
  3. My final failed goal was to lose 10 pounds, but I gained weight last year instead.

There’s no use in beating myself up for the missed goals. I can learn from them just as much as I can from the goals I met. I continue to learn to fine tune them and focus in on what’s most important to me. I still working on not trying to do more than I can, but continue to push myself to improve.

So as you look back to 2015, what were your accomplishments and lessons learned? As we share, we can all get a broader perspective and support each other.

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December 2015 in the Books

December 2015 is history. As usual, I’m always a little sad to see December end after all the anticipation and build up of the season. I’m trying to get excited about Valentine’s Day so I have something new to look forward to and help motivate me to pack away the Christmas decorations. Before I get ahead of myself, let’s wrap up December.

2 – Pounds gained, overtime and extra holiday busyness aren’t good for my workout routine.

2 – Blog posts.December 2015 cards

3 – Books read, my favorite was The Paperbag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne.

4 – Social events including a Christmas Eve brunch.

6 – Projects completed, including a bar stool overhaul.

35 – Christmas cards mailed.

36 – Photos posted on Instagram.

48 – Rolls made to take to Christmas dinner. Since there was only 7 of us eating, I have a couple dozen in my freezer.

401 – Page views on Just Wanna Be Me.

114185 – Pinterest views.

Top Blog Posts

  1. Book Theme Party
  2. Celebrating Thanksgiving Just for Me
  3. Pizza Nachos
  4. Prophets & Brownies FHE
  5. I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Please share what made your Christmas magical in the comments section. I hope your New Year will be a healthy and happy one.

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