Teetering

I tend to share the ups on the teeter-totter of life. 

I thought I’d share a teetering moment as I try to find my balance again. 

I am transitioning from a stay at home mom to a part time working mom and I don’t have it quite figured out yet. 

I am trying to let go of some of the expectations from my previous path  as I journey on down this new road and it’s a bit bumpy, as I want to do it all. 

I think there is always chaos in the transition and once I master the steps, it’ll seem easy again. But right now I feel the stress and it’s ok, it just is and I have two pimples on my face as proof. 

I’ve decided my priorities are:

1. My family. I want to cook and to pick kids up from school and drive them where they need to go. I want to be present when they are home and be able to listen and share stories together while we can.

  
2. Exercise. I have to exercise for my sanity. It’s a requirement that’s not negotiable and I keep forgetting this. Today I remembered and it felt so good, especially on a Monday.

  
3. My work. I’m excited about my new job and creating something new and being part of a great team. I like using my brain and like that I’m actually making money again, after 15 years of volunteering.

4. My clean house. I need order and chaos under control in my outer environment to maintain my inner sanity. This is teetering today but I’ll get it back in order before I go to bed. 

5. My girlfriends. I need them. They are my emotional support and I love sharing our stories together. 

6. My volunteer commitments. I still love giving back to my community and this one is a little bit harder now. Today I let go of one of my commitments and it did not feel good. I can’t continue in the role I had and work too, at least not right now. I’m ok with the decision now, but in the moment I struggled.

7. My writing. I’m still enjoying this outlet and love that so many of you find a connection with me and share your ideas and comments. I may try writing at different times of the day and maybe skipping a day or two, to let go of the pressure and expectation to produce new content daily. We’ll see. I’m not ready to change this process just yet, but I don’t want to teeter too long. 

I like balance, amidst the yin and the yang.

How about you? Are you feeling centered or are you teetering too?  Are there things you need to change and burdens you need to let go to find your core again?  Change is good. Embrace it and enjoy the ride.

  
xoxo thanks for reading xoxo

This Is Summer Too

 

Sunny days.

Outside play.

Filling the gaps with togetherness.

Together they played and argued and excluded and forgave and apologized and worked things out. Together.

Together they laughed and made up games and had a water fight and chased each other as I watched and encouraged and redirected and smiled. Thankful for this moment.

I love my job. I love summer and this crazy life, even with the chaos.

What does summer look like to you?

Hope you’re enjoying your days.

nAMaste BeLoveRs

Coffee Break?

I’m so happy the kids are back at school. Did you just raise your glass to cheer me?  Thank you! Cheers to you too.

I actually felt really sad when everyone left to go back to school. For a few minutes. Maybe a little more than a few. I felt the loss of their constant presence, but then of course I wanted to jump for joy.  You know, that yin and yang thing again?  I loved them being home. Yet I longed for quiet and structure and less dishes and laundry and my own agenda and not 4 other people with different ideas. I know you get it.

When everyone is home, there is more chaos, and I have more work to do thank usual. It’s just that the work and demands are constant and there doesn’t seem to be a break. At least when everyone goes to school and work, I can clean up and get things in order and they stay that way at least for a couple hours, and it’s quiet and peaceful. I can workout and shower, shop and volunteer and be back again to do pick up and homework help and taxi driver duties.  I like that little respite and long for it, which is why I was happy when everyone went back to their business and I could do mine.

It’s weird to me though, because I think I want us all together and I do, but then I long for a break again. Maybe that’s normal. I don’t want a long break. Just enough to get everything back in order again – to restock the fridge, cook a little with no one walking in the kitchen and interrupting or making their own food, and getting all the clutter back to where it belongs.  

2015/01/img_4013.jpgplaying with carrots before roasting them tonight

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As I put it into words, I feel a bit neurotic, because I’m a stay at home mom who wants to be home with her family, yet I want them to all go away? That’s weird. I don’t really want them to go away for long, but I already mentioned that. I think you get it.

So once everyone went back, I got back to my normal and that felt really good. I have a routine again and this routine provides structure to my days. I know what to expect and things just kinda flow.  I feel like I can do my job and this gives me purpose and I feel successful, if that makes any sense.

I am thankful for my family and my job and my quiet time and when they all come back into the mix again. I love my people and I wouldn’t change a thing. I love our togetherness, and I now know that I also need some space and I think that’s healthy. We all need a coffee break.

Can you relate?

Life is good.  What provides structure and purpose in your life?

Do-Over

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I believe in positive thinking and focusing on the positive, despite the chaos of life. But sometimes I lose my focus and feel frustration and anger. Thank God, I’m normal, right?

Usually I lose my positive mojo when I’m overtired, because what ever is agitating me takes over my body because I’m too tired to reverse my thinking.

I have this little FitBit thing that motivates me to workout and also monitors my sleep. I press a button when I get into bed and press it again when I wake up and it tracks the hours and minutes I’ve been sleeping and the minutes I’ve been restless. It’s fascinating to see the patterns. The last several nights I’ve been getting about 7 hours of sleep with several minutes of restlessness throughout the night.  I have to admit, that I’m feeling tired just knowing that I’m getting less than 8 hours of sleep. I love sleep!  It feels like a luxury to get at least 8 hours, which is what we’re “supposed” to get on an average night. I guess I’m falling short.

Today I was feeling more agitated than usual. Usually, I’m able to feel gratitude for my blessings, but today I ran short.  I had a “free” day and was going to head to the beach, but it was foggy and overcast here, which made it less than a desirable journey. I decided I’d stay home and work on my big photo project, which is like a gigantic elephant in the room. Let’s just say, I didn’t make much progress and accessing my digital backups was a slow and painful process.  Every step forward was two steps back, which left me frustrated.

I did manage to get rid of all plastic storage boxes from my historical printed photos and made our inventory look a little more organized and pretty, but  I was still harboring frustration as I moved through the day, feeling frustrated by this HUGE “problem” facing me that I wanted to conquer and organize.

The point of me sharing this story, is that I felt ugly on the inside today and short tempered. When I picked up Charlie from school today, he was also overtired and short tempered too. The two of us together were ugly. He said that I was being mean and he was right. I didn’t have any patience and was snappy.  He was snappy too because he was overtired and had some issues at school too. Nothing major, but he wasn’t his happy self either.  The two of us were feeding off each other and it wasn’t good.

I felt the storm brewing. I felt how my negative attitude brought out the worst of his negative attitude and how the circle continued until I asked him for a do-over. He didn’t know what that meant. I told him it was when two people decided they were done feeling yucky and wanted to start over again, at that moment just because someone declared a do-over to allow us a chance to start again, and to be happy again despite our feeling badly.  I met him at the table and gave him a hug and we started over again.  Just like that, and we both smiled and felt relief that we didn’t have to hold on to our frustration anymore. Starting over is such a good feeling. Knowing that you’re feeling off and then being able to do something about it to change the way you’re feeling is powerful.

So if you ever feel like we did today, with someone you’re in close contact with that’s bugging you, just ask for a Do-Over. It’s a great way to start again and feel better and to let go of all the stress that was keeping you from feeling connected.

Life really is good.  

 

Our Shipment Arrived!

Today was a big day. Our belongings from Holland traveled over the ocean and to the Port of Oakland, where a truck unloaded our container and brought our belongings back to us. It felt like a chaotic Christmas day, with boxes filled with gifts and wrapping paper everywhere, and everyone excited and a little off schedule.

The movers assembled our couches and bicycles and placed the boxes in the appropriate rooms, even helping to hang up some clothes. They broke down the boxes and took all the trash with them. They also helped us to remove our old couches that we’ve had since we lived in San Francisco and gave them to a new home.

If you have to do an international relocation, I highly recommend hiring Crown Relocation Services to help you with the transition. They are very professional, efficient, have a great, professional staff, and take care of you every step of the way. I was very impressed with their services and highly recommend them.

So now that Christmas is over, I have to try and assimilate all the gifts into their new places. Our house is very small and we don’t have a lot of extra room. This is no easy task! Every room is filled with boxes and stuff now. I think I need a professional organizer to come and help me sort and purge and organize. Luckily, one’s arriving tomorrow. My parents are coming to town and I’m sure they’ll want to help me. Lucky me. My mom is really good at making space and keeping a tidy house. I’m sure she’ll have some best practices to share.

So not only did we have the movers here all morning and my house is now a disaster, and company arriving tomorrow, my washing machine decided to leak. I was getting ready to go to some school and church meetings (still in my grungy clothes from this morning and not glamorous at all) and went in the garage to find a puddle, or should I say a stream of water covering part of the floor. Of course, a stack of our boxes was in the direct way of the river and was wet on the bottom. So in the course of 20 minutes before my meeting, I emptied out the wet box, moved the other boxes, contacted Sears Repair guys who were just out earlier this month, chatted on the phone with a friend and started serving dinner to the little ones who were waiting. We had a house full of friends tonight. I guess we’re just not ready to let go of summer. It didn’t help that it was 80 degrees out and felt like summer, so we just went with it. I kept looking around like I was on a crazy farm, and just kissed Jeff goodbye, telling him to just flow with it all, and walked out to leave for the two separate meetings at different locations while not tripping on any of the bicycles that were covering my yard. Can you visualize it?

I think I love days like this, chaos and all, although a little less clutter may have eased things up a bit. Oh, and I also made a trip to the orthodontist with Juliana and picked her up from practice. I actually had an hour between dropping her back off at school and picking her up again, and was able to assemble dinner during that time with limited counter space due to all the loot from Christmas covering it! Phew… I’m re-tired just writing it all down! What a day.

My day was full and I’m so thankful and exhausted. I’m happy to have my stuff. I’m glad my kids are involved in sports and are happily settling into their new routines. I’m glad that the neighborhood kids want to hang out at my house as this was always my dream. I’m glad that Jeff was home with me today to handle all of the moving and unpacking and kid patrol, and clean up, as well as that he took time to squeeze in a lunch date at one of our favorite Thai restaurants with the hour we had before early kid pickup. I’m thankful that my kids have the opportunities to be part of this wonderful community we call home. I am happy and tired and ready for bed.

Namaste.

(P.S…this post never posted last month as I found it in my drafts, so I’m posting now!)