Category Archives: family

Leaving Motherhood

MotherhoodDiscovering my sense of self causes me to reflect on my motherhood role. I spent the last 25 years being a mom. I was far from perfect – just ask the kids. But I loved them and my life revolved around them. While my kids were the center of my world, I never felt like one of those moms whose children were her entire universe. I took classes, had different business ventures and served at church and in Cub Scouts. Absolutely my kids were a huge part of my life, but I had plenty of other facets of my life.

When I got divorced, my foundation was upended. So much of what I thought was reality, turned out to be just my reality. I was aware of plenty of loose bricks in that foundation while I struggled through marriage. Afterwards, those bricks and several others crumbled away. I moved, left my network of friends and the comfort of my neighborhood. I was over 40 years old and for the first time I was living on my own.

I started working full time and I tried to do everything I did as a stay at home mom. I am still surprised that I’m still adjusting three years later. I tried to keep as many of the bricks in tack as possible, but only so much can could fit in a day. I now hate the saying “you make time for the important things”. I had to let go of many things that were important and clung to what was vital; work, motherhood (although in a much different form), and learning. I discovered writing isn’t a hobby, it’s the key to my sanity.

As much as I loved planning elaborate theme parties for my kids, I didn’t have the time or energy. The upside is they had outgrown the structure and preferred to hang out and eat. They lost interest in other traditions and often preferred to spend time staring at a screen or with their friends. I was tempted to try to force them to play with me, but I know the whole “You’re going to fun and like it” thing rarely worked. I tried to plan with them things to do. But feeling them cut those apron strings often left me more isolated than my divorce or moving away from my friends did.

Two years into my ‘new life’, I was still struggling to adjust. Then my middle daughter left for college. This is the daughter that cuddled and comforted me since she was little. She started mothering me before she was 10. We’d spent Nestevery day together for several months before school started. When she moved away, I felt so alone. I wandered around the house lost. I knew I’d miss her, but I wasn’t prepared for how much.

It’s a little early to be facing empty nest syndrome since the twins are still home. With the core of my world slipping away, more bricks crumbled and I had no footing. I suppose if things went according to plan, I would be part of a couple and we would handle the change by focusing more attention on each other and rekindling our relationship.

But the realization of how little my kids need me makes me see the importance of figuring out who I am and what makes me happy. I can’t depend on validation from my children, my boss, or a significant other to provide acceptance. I have to do it for myself. I’m the one responsible for building my bridge with bricks of self-love and purpose. I guess the advantage of being alone is I’ll have plenty of time to figure it out.

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March 2016 in the Books

With the end of March, 2016 is a quarter of the way through. I had to pull out my 2016 goals and check my progress. I’m well on my way to 7 of my goals, 2 are a little questionable and 1 I missed but I’m hoping to compensate in another way.

0 – Look Mom, no cavities! I’m not sure she cares as much now that she’s not paying for my dental expenses, but it’s still nice to hear every six months.

March 2016 craft1 – Pound gained in March. I’m really tired of this gaining thing, but I’m glad I slowed down from the last couple of months. I started making myself do 10 seconds of plank for every .1 pound I gained everyday. Assuming that strategy helped me not gain as much weight, I’m upping the anti this month. There are signs of hope so far in April.

1 – Blog post. This is the 2016 goal I missed, at least 2 posts per month. But I’ve posted 8 times so far this year (not counting this one), so that averages to more than 2 posts a month. I need to take it where I can get it.

2 – Book read, including The Good Wife Strikes Back by Elizabeth Buchan.

3 – God’s eyes, we had a throwback to my childhood craft day.

4 – Hours of fun at Main Event, I was brave and tried the ropes coarse! Which was so terrifying one little girl was clinging to the ropes crying, while her family stood on solid ground 20 feet below pressuring her to cross these wobbly ropes. After my son and I coaxed her across through her tears, I had to do it too.

March 2016 Candy8 – Social events, two of the events didn’t completely revolve around food. Of the ones that did revolve around food, one was at an old favorite and another was a new to me.

9 – Projects completed, including everyone’s favorite – taxes.

12 – Different kinds of candy brought by the Easter Bunny.

25 – Workouts this month, one of my goals I’m doing well on.

31 – Photos on Instagram

311 – Words added to my book.

446 – Just Wanna Be Me page views, mostly from Russia.

45310 – Pinterest views.

Top Posts of March 2016

  1. Book Theme Party
  2. Sense of Self
  3. Beatitudes Family Home Evening
  4. Native American Blue and Gold
  5. Palm Sunday Family Home Evening
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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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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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