I am not generally one to write in the now. I usually take something that is on my mind or was, and reflect back on it in writing. I try to open my mind and express my opinions and thoughts rationally when I write back on them.
Today is different. Today I am a hot mess. Today I feel like I need to write right now and share how I am feeling. I feel like this for multiple reasons. First off, if anyone else ever feels anything like I do today, I want them to understand that they are not alone. You are not crazy, you are not failing, and you should not give up. We all feel like this sometimes. Second, I feel as though part of my mission here is that I want to do something in my life that helps other people never have to feel this way. If I can help along that mission in any way I will have succeeded at something. I want others to feel happy, comfortable in their lifestyle and their own skin, and glowingly positive because I know how awesome that feels and how crappy it feels when your mindset just isn’t right.
So here’s the background before the story. I would also call this, all of my excuses for feeling like a hot mess. Excuses being the key word, because really let’s just call things what they are. This year has been crazy. Lots of doctor and hospital visits. Most of which required my attendance but were for everyone in my family but me. This after the past 4 years of relatively minimal medical issues. Then, Beckett has been getting more and more mobile causing much more chasing around the house and relocating, which for all my other moms, you know means absolutely no chance of more than 5 minutes of just sitting down or concentrating on something like making dinner, getting dressed, or God forbid going to the bathroom!! I am in the process of getting my business up and running which for all my other full time working people trying desperately to do something that makes them happy and fills their hearts (yes also known as entrepreneurs) you know that that means way too much focus on work and not nearly enough focus on family. However, I am determined to get it going because it’s just so close and if I don’t do it now then when? My full time job is chaotic at the moment as I am down 2 staff in the midst of PTO season while we are mid site remodel which I am assisting with coordinating. We are in the middle of our big fundraising program that is two months long and entails extra attention, and I am our office’s champion. I have one of my staff preparing to be gone during a very busy season for some very exciting things happening in her life. I am still trying to learn the functions of my staff’s jobs but haven’t had much time to deep dive. There are several people needing extra attention due to all the events happening and I am doing my best to be the glue 😊. On top of these things there is always the full time mom gig which we all know is something that all of us deal with at one time or another, but can be so demanding at times that we feel like our head is going to explode. I have had a tension headache for a week but can’t even deal with it or mention it because others have much more crucial things to deal with and this small issue would just be petty. My stomach cramps feel like someone is reaching their hand inside my guts, twisting them in circles and then squeezing them with a pliers until they can see tears in my eyes. Then you have your everyday struggles of kids growing up physically, mentally, and emotionally at three different levels and the different things they need or should have; trying to make sure you are always doing what’s best for them no matter what and then trying to figure out how on Earth you are going to pay for what’s best for them.
Now that you are brushed up on my excuse library, let’s talk about the hot mess in the room . . .ME! My excuses are nothing more than the life of most people, the day to day of 75% of the people in this country, and what probably sounds like nothing more than ridiculous bantering about nonsense to some people who likely have it or have been through much worse. While all of that is true, that also tells me that somewhere along the line someone else has felt like I do right now. Right now, I feel like I am failing. I am stuck. I am struggling! These are all terms I would never generally use to describe myself. Today, they describe me to a T, but they won’t define me!
Throughout the last two weeks I could feel the stress creeping in on me. I continued to dismiss it and tried to redirect my attention to something positive. I am well aware that as soon as you get into the right mindset and things start going well, you will be tested. I have worked hard over the last couple years to bypass those tests and prove to myself that I am growing. Over the past few weeks, I have felt myself becoming more and more tense, getting stressed out easily, losing my patience, and my positivity has been slipping out on me sporadically. I have struggled to get up and get in a good workout. I am pretty good about always getting something in, however actually getting in a good sweat and an in-depth workout has been a struggle, to say the least.
Somewhere in the last couple weeks I lost my ability to keep up. I am struggling to keep up with everything going on at work, I am struggling to keep up with everything I feel needs to be done to get my business off and running, I am struggling to keep up with my kids and their needs, I am struggling to keep up with my family and my friends, I am struggling to keep up on all my finances, I am struggling to find balance, and I am struggling to be what I know I am capable of.
I know we are all supposed to walk around and make sure we don’t burden others with our problems, so we are encouraged to keep quiet and tell everyone “Yea, everything is great. Oh yea the family is all good, and work is great.” This creates a false sense of normal. So please understand that I am not writing this to bring you into my “problems” or to overshare my life. I write this to shatter that false sense of normal. We all have days!
This morning I finally lost it. I cried for over 2 hours straight. I honestly can’t remember exactly what set it off, but I am fairly certain it had to do with bills. This has been my kryptonite in the past. All of the stress of everything going on at once crashed on me and I blew a gasket. I couldn’t stop crying. I had to keep walking away from my 3 year old because I didn’t want him to see me cry. I was cranky with him and had little to no patience throughout the morning because I was so overwhelmed with stress. When we were brushing his teeth to get ready to leave, I bumped his head with my arm when I went to put away his tooth brush. He said “Mom you bonked me”. I said I was sorry and kissed him on the head. He looked at me and said “That’s okay mom, didn’t hurt. You don’t have to say sorry.” Not sure why, but that set me off again and I started balling. Then he looked at me and said “Mom, why are you doing that? Big kids don’t cry.” I felt like the worst mom ever. My stress wasn’t his fault, he shouldn’t have to feel like I don’t care about how fast his cars can go, and how big his muscles are today. That’s not fair. Those things are important to him. So the tears continued as I replayed the pity party in my head about how I was being a bad mom for not giving my kids more attention and sharing their enthusiasm for the little things.
We had a 2.5 hour car ride to the cities so I decided to listen to podcasts. One of my very favorite podcasts is The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes. Not sure why or how, but ended up hooked on it and now I listen whenever I am in between audiobooks . . . actually many of my audiobook ideas come from this podcast. The one I listened to today was 7 Steps to a Bulletproof Life with Chris Lee. Some of the things that were talked about were:
- Life, power, and energy – Why your energy is your power
- The power of having a purpose
- How responsibility is actually all interpretation
- How to shift your perspective from “I have to” to “I get to, I am lucky enough to, or I am blessed to”
- Trusting the process – no matter what the bad times bring
This podcast was exactly what I needed. It was reassuring me. It reminded me that I need to remember my purpose, or clearly figure it out. It reminded me that my energy is my most beneficial quality. My energy is not only my power but the one thing that no one can take away from me without my permission. It is also the one thing that I can give to others effortlessly and make an impact on them in some way. It reminded me that I need to choose how I interpret every situation. Lastly, and what I most needed today, it reminded me that no matter what I feel like today, I need to trust the process.
Where am I in my mindset now?
Number one confusion is the strong want to just jump head first. To take the risk and stay home with my kids. Why?
I feel like a bad parent. I feel like I just don’t have time for my kids or with my kids. I feel like the time I do have with them is so rushed and there is so much else that needs to be done in that same timeframe that I am constantly multitasking and then I lose my patience with the kids instead of embracing their awesome imaginations. I can’t help but feel like if they were my only focus, I could be such a better parent. I want more time with them and I want it to be quality time. I don’t want to rely on someone else to teach my kids to be good people. There is so much that I have learned over the past couple years that I ONLY WISH someone taught me when I was younger, or that I wish I was empowered to do when I was younger. I want my kids to understand all the opportunities they have and I want to lead by example. I want them to know that life is not a yellow brick road and not everyone has to end up in Emerald City (Yes, I did have an unhealthy obsession with the Wizard of Oz when I was younger, thank you for asking). I want them to know that it’s okay to learn from experience not from a lecture. I want them to do things, not shy away from them. I want them to face fears head on and see what happens. I want them to know what they are capable of.
The confusion that always comes with the thoughts above is the financial one. How could I ever make this work? And how do I get where I need to be to make it work when I have no time for a transition. Does this stop me in my tracks or do I now have an obstacle course to get through and hope to high heaven I don’t step on something that either explodes or sticks to my shoes along the way?
Number two confusion is how do I learn how and what to say no to. I struggle with this one because I hate feeling like I am hurting someone’s feelings, and I constantly feel like I am failing at keeping up the house. I also hate knowing that I am the reason someone else feels bad or has to do more work. For that reason, I tend to agree to do more than I can or should. I need to learn to say no. I don’t always know which things I should be saying no to and which things I shouldn’t. I agree to get gifts that I have no business buying at that point in time. I agree do things that put me over budget, and I agree to partake in events just to be there which in turn stresses me out more when it comes to time. This is something I need to work on, a lot.
Tangent – I listened to a Podcast (shocking I know) where they talked about basically getting false advice their entire life. They were told to “work” on their weaknesses. Know your weakness as those are the things you need to work the hardest on. That’s what we have all been taught our entire lives. But the person speaking (unfortunately I have listened to so many of these that I cannot for the life of me remember who that is at this point) was saying that this is all wrong and when he explains, he is so accurate! We should not focus on our weaknesses. Our weaknesses are someone else’s strengths. We should all be focused on our strengths and making sure that we are pushing toward our strengths and doing everything we possibly can to use those strengths to persevere in life and in business. Find someone who’s strength is your weakness and work together. Add value to each other’s lives with what you have to offer. Stop wasting time working on something to get to average when you could focus on something and be great. It makes so much sense. Tangent Complete.
Confusion number three is what’s next. What’s my next move and how do I figure it out. Executive decisions are not my strong suit. This is why I don’t play chess. Choosing the next move takes me way to long and my opponent may have a beard and wrinkles by the time I make my second move.
It is now tomorrow and as I recap my feelings here is where I am. I can say “why me” as many times as I want, but the reality behind it is, that that gets me nowhere. Instead I need to stand up, look myself in eyes and say “try me”, and figure out what I am going to do about it. – Again, thank you School of Greatness for the 5 minute Friday lesson. 😊
I need to stop thinking so much and start doing! As I listened to all my personal development resources there were several things said that made so much sense. Why do we spend so much time on time management. That’s just one more thing to manage. Working on time management is one more thing that takes time, work, and stress. Rather than try to manage time, why not just get shit done. When your goal in influence and impact, no one cares what you are GOING to do. People care what you HAVE done. What matters is what you were able to do. Not what you plan to do in the future. Sitting down to work on time management is a great way to procrastinate completing the things that need to get done. Stop thinking and just do!
A few weeks ago I completed a workout program where I stuck to the meal plan (for the most part), and completed every workout. I felt so good afterwards, inside and out. I felt positive, comfortable in my skin, and glowing. I felt like I was on top of my game. After the program was over, I decided I would do some lighter easier workouts in the morning for a week or so. I also decided that while I would continue to make better choices with my food, I would also think less about my food and just go with the flow. For two weeks I have not been getting in good workouts, and I have been eating more and more crap and less and less clean foods. I have also sunk deeper and deeper into a pitiful negative attitude and a why me mentality. Hmm . . . what should this tell me??
Before I explain, let me preface by emphasizing the ME. We are all very different and my outlet may not be yours. My extremes and yours are very different, and my “not enough” is likely different from yours. I am simply writing out loud, so to speak, as I work through my own life. I don’t think that everyone should be the same, feel the same, or think the same, but I do feel that we all have our moments and it helps to know that others overthink things sometimes too.
So what does my eating habits, exercise habits, and attitude adjustment tell me over the past month?
This tells me that I know where I need to be and what I need to be doing. I would rather feel amazing all the time than great for the 5 minutes I am eating a donut and shitty the rest of the day. I would rather feel amazing all the time than great for the extra 20 minutes I slept in and then groggy with a pounding headache the remainder of the day. I would rather feel energetic all day long than have a short burst of energy after eating crappy carbs and then drained and cranky for hours following.
All this being said, today, I figure my shit out! Thank you for sticking with me as I walk myself through my own mind. I needed someone else to see how my brain transitions. While losing my mind for a full day or rather inching toward losing my mind for weeks and then finally blowing the gasket was not ideal, it may have been necessary to get to those next steps. Sometimes we all need a reminder that we are human. We all need that back to reality moment that challenges us to figure out our next steps and take the risks we otherwise would not. We all need to get out of our comfort zone and remain unsatisfied with average. Time to go for better.
“The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people bounce back faster” – Brendon Burchard.
Reflecting on chaos can be a good thing. This lets me know that as much as I felt like I was in sheer melt down mode just a day ago, I am already reflecting and making sense of it all. Just 2 years ago this would have knocked me out for weeks at a time.
Bottom line: We all have melt downs. We all have the equivalent of a toddler temper tantrum when life throws us a pitch that we weren’t expecting and we either strike out or get hit. The sooner we accept that as boring as baseball can be (sorry baseball fans), it would be unbearable if every pitch went straight down the middle. It’s the people who can hit the tough ones or walk away from the plate with their head up that we acknowledge as the greats. It’s also the diving catches and double plays that follow the best hits that we talk about for years, not the strike outs or the errors. So get over it.