Category Archives: Mental Health

Root Chakra

Hey, welcome to the start of my Chakra center! Let me preface by admitting that I am most certainly a newbie to the study of Chakras, but it has changed my life in an amazing way. It has open a spiritual door for me that I wasn’t sure I would ever find. I feel peaceful and happy in my life everyday, and I want to share it. It is an easy concept to understand, empowering by nature and provides you with a sense of positivity and a healthy outlook on life.

You don’t have to trade in your religious believes for a yoga mat and Buddha statue, I promise.

The definition of the word chakra is “wheel of light” and it refers the spinning vortex of energy from the earth’s core that rises up to meet the electric energy of the cosmos. This energy propels our life force.

Each energy system is linked to  elements, colors, scents, physical parts of the body, spiritual personas and much more. I am going to focus  primarily on how the chakras work, what  physical characteristics they correspond with and in which way our own psychological make-up and behavior communicate the health and status of our energy forces.

ROOT CHAKRA

The Root Chakra sits at the base of the spine and is associated with the element Earth. Since this energy system sits at the base of the spine it supplies energy to the hips, legs and feet. This chakra keeps us rooted to the Earth… so it is our direct link to the energy we pull from the core of the Earth. Very important to keep this charka running smoothly and efficiently.

One example of how I struggled with my Root Chakra is when I was pregnant. The fear and loss of control and stability I experienced during my pregnancy was more than I could handle. It greatly affected my overall pregnancy and birth experience. Losing my mother during my pregnancy created this feeling of being on earth alone now, severing my energy flow. Add the mounting fear and anxiety every new mom experiences before you give birth and you have one miserable, giant and hormonal pregnant lady. I am not sure how my marriage survived it! (joking, mostly) But I ended up having a planned C-section; charlotte found a comfortable spot transverse style and stayed put. I didn’t think I could handle trying to get her to move during labor and would end up needed the C-section anyway. I gave up before I even tried, even though I really had my heart set on having her exit the intended way. I didn’t see that I have more power in my energy and mindset than I gave myself credit for. In hindsight, I wish I had used that pain and energy to try and have my daughter the way I felt was the right way for me. Maybe my mom would have been there, helping me through it. I gave up before I even tried, and I will never get the chance back.

In it’s unconscious state, the Root Chakra carries the attitudes and prejudices formed by family, church and culture. As these learned barriers are broken down and erased through developed awareness, more energy is available to live the life you choose. For example: who hasn’t heard the explanations, “this is how it has always been done,” and “because that’s they way I was taught.” When I hear that I immediately want examine their Root chakra.

A healthy Root Chakra recognizes that life is not a ‘one size fits all’ scenario. Living your truth, whatever that is, is your right.

ROOT (Mulahadhara) CHAKRA, shades of red

Developmental Stage: 2nd trimester to 12 months

Developmental Tasks:  physical growth, motor skills and object permanence.

This energy system allows us to feel that we have the right to be here and to have. A balanced root chakra leads to good health and vitality, being well-grounded,  feeling comfortable in your body, a sense of trust in the world, a feeling of security, the ability to relax, feeling of stability and prosperity. Most importantly to me, the realization that you have the right to be here.

Traumas and Abuses that affect the Root Chakra

Birth trauma, abandonment, physical neglect, poor bonding with mother, feeding difficulties like malnourishment, major illness or surgery, physical abuse or violent environment, enema abuse, inherited traumas (war veterans, poverty survivors, holocaust survivors)

Deficiency: disconnection from body, notably underweight, fearful, anxious, restless, poor focus and discipline, financial difficulty, poor boundaries and chronic disorganization.

Excess: obesity, overeating, hoarding, material fixation, greed, sluggish, lazy, tired, fear of change and addiction to security, rigid boundaries.

Physical Malfunctions: Disorders of the bowel, anus, large intestine. Disorders of solid parts of the body like bones and teeth. Issues with legs, feet, knees, base of spine and butt. Frequent illness (can go either for excessive or deficient.

What to do…

Healing practices start with reconnecting with the body and complete when you have successfully reclaimed your right to be here.  Massage, yoga and bioenergetics grounding are all great healing practices for the Root Chakra.

 

 

 

 

There are tools such as crystals, meditation and a balanced diet and exercise routine that allow us to care for our Root Chakra.

If this is something that interest you and you feel you need a closer look at, hit that comment button or send me a PM. Let’s get that energy flowing smoothly!

as always, thanks for reading!

 

 

Nature vs Nurture

Why is this important?

I got to talking with a friend of mine after wrapping up a photo session. For the first time, we discussed our particular health issues, treatment choices and just our overall daily struggles. It made me realize that so many women have some of the same worries about the impact of their youth on their adult life.

In my short thirty-something years, I can say with confidence that I have had some pretty bullshit hands dealt to me. I have had experiences that keep me up at night, now that I am a mother.

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            my inspiration

I spent the greater part of my adult life in this cycle of pity, self-destruction and an unhealthy obsession with success and proving everyone wrong. I made terrible decisions; thankfully this was before the ‘cloud’ reared its stupid head.

I really don’t like to dwell on the past anymore; it ruined me. It became this baggage that I literally carried around with me everyday. I was letting it weigh me down and I was letting it become my identity.

At my core, I believed that I would never be anything but that girl who was molested for years and whose mother threw her out like the trash when she was 15. The girl whose father took her in and kept her locked up like a bad secret.

Then life knocked at my door and made me face my reality. And as messy as it was, I did it. In return, I started making better decisions and started fucking sleeping better. In 2011, I started to slowly put the baggage down, piece by piece. It is 100% possible to change your own narrative.

Like anyone who has suffered, you struggle with the notion that history will repeat itself. That no matter what you do, you will become a product of your experiences.

I started to realize that I didn’t have to fight so hard to not become a product of childhood. That I would not become the mother I had or the shitty experiences I endured.

Nature Vs Nurture

Do you ever wonder why you are so different from your siblings? Or how you were able to overcome trauma that others could not? Or maybe you wonder why you do not relate well to your family?DSC_8302-S

Here’s what I know, and I am adding a reference for those who think I pull this shit out of my arrogant ass.

Researchers now believe that genes could have a stronger influence on temperament and personality than perviously thought. This is probably not a news flash, but the genes can influence such qualities such as optimism, depression and aggression. (Nelson, Erwin, & Duffy, 2007)

HOWEVER, “while a child inherits certain traits and tendencies through her genes, the story of how those traits develop has yet to be written,” explains Nelson, Erwin, & Duffy.

So what does this mean to me? We are a product of nature AND nurture. It means that we have genes that have been passed down through genetics that cannot be ignored AND our caregivers have to ability to help shape our personalities.

However, science has taught us that the human brain never stops growing and never loses the ability to form new connections and synapses (cells that join together in a network of connections). It gets more difficult with age, but change in attitudes and behaviors is always possible. Isn’t that a fantastic bit of information!

When have a lifetime of experiences to move past and taught behavior that doesn’t work for you, it can seem impossible. But the magic of the brain is that you have the ability to change your own narrative.

You can take what you learned and experienced through the nurturing phase of your life and use that to fine tune what nature gifted you. 14355531_1279686685397836_7803897842245525869_n

Despite the shit sandwich that was my youth, I am not a stripper with daddy issues who is on Welfare with 10 kids; despite what the statistics say!

Nelson, Jane, Erwin, Cheryl, Duffy, Roslyn. Positive Discipline for Preschooler, For Their Early Years- Children Who Are Responsible, Respectful and Resourceful. New York: Harmony Books, 2007.

 

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Societal Norms I can do Without

In the last year I have been the focus of way too many awkward and or annoying situations. What I mean by focus is that my appearance, my chosen job, my education level and my choices in parenting have elicited a reaction from not only family members, but perfect strangers.

And it has made me realize that I can’t even understand humanity. Have people always been this atrocious to each other, or am I just noticing now? Have people always confused rude with overtly opinionated and narcissism with confidence?

My life situation in the past couple years has changed drastically; not once but on a pretty consistent basis. I got pregnant, lost it, got pregnant and stayed pregnant, was completely useless for 28 weeks with all the nausea and vomiting, lost my mom, had my daughter, sold the house (whole process took less than 2 months), moved into a 2-bedroom apartment while our new house was being built, moved into that house and here we are.

In that short 3 years, my weight has fluctuated from 115- 180. Then when Charlotte turned 2, my weight was at it’s lowest. I can’t even look at the pictures from her birthday party; it depresses me to see my body so depleted. I guess the breastfeeding, stress, anxiety and depression had finally taken its toll on me and it was visible to the world. Everyone, from family to strangers, has had something to say about my weight. Comments ranging from the basic deer in the head lights look to oh my God is everything ok? Oh, and “why are you so skinny” made an appearance a time or fifty.

I am not sure why society deems it ok to comment on a thin person’s appearance and not ok to comment on over weight people’s appearance. I have never heard anyone say to another person, “wow, you look so different, you have gained so much weight. Is everything ok?” Nope. Would not occur, at least not in my circle. But if you replace gained with lost then you get an average comment I address on a consistent basis.

The real tragedy here, is that thin individuals dealing with stress, anxiety and depression take this way too deeply and it has such a negative affect, when it wasn’t intended that way. Our weight loss is usually connected to our disorder, and drawing attention to a symptom an ill person is experiencing is really just inappropriate. I don’t need a wake-up call, I can see my clothes hanging off of me, just like I can feel my face grow red with anxiousness and shame. But I appreciate your concern laced with rudeness.

Another societal norm I can do without is that women are supposed take attention paid to them and sexual advances as compliments. What if I don’t feel like being called pretty or hot, or have attention paid to me based solely on my looks. I do not feel that just because someone finds me attractive I should welcome any comments or advances. I should what, be happy I was noticed for my appearance?

An employee of a home pest team we use made an inappropriate and flirty comment to me while we were outside in the yard… in front of my daughter. It was a lame attempt, and he was no threat, but the big picture is that it is not ok to make anyone feel uncomfortable because you think that your flirtatious comments are welcome and will somehow make me feel special or happy in some way. I absolutely do not want my daughter growing up in a society that allows men to make shameless comments to her because she is nice to look at. This should quit being normal behavior.

By the way, here was the dialogue, “Man I am hot! I don’t really like to spend much time out when it is this hot, that is more my husband. He is the outside parent,” with a nervous laugh.

He squeezed in “Yea you are,” when I said man I’m hot.

Then complete silence. The same guy came back out when we had another issue, and he looked quite let down when I did not share his excitement about seeing each other again.

Ready for another? Another societal normalcy that I think can go fly a kite is that education means working professional. Yes I went to school with the intent of getting into my dream career. It just so happens that my dream career keeps morphing into something new, just like I do. I am getting really sick of telling my guest at the restaurant I work at what my “plans are after this.” Why does society still assume that the food service industry is made up of individuals that can’t make it anywhere else, or are working there as a step to another job. If you are not management you must be a societal maggot. Ok, maybe that is a stretch. But seriously, some folks that provide you service while you dine out do so because they want to, not because they have to. Simple. Stop projecting your ideas of what I should be doing with my life onto me.

Get a grip, people. I choose to do MANY things with the one life I have. It is very fulfilling and I highly recommend it.

And lastly, a family can be complete with one child. And that child can be female.

 

Love,

Suburban Mishap

 

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The Struggle of Medicating and Mothering

Let me please start by admitting that as my daughter grows, I grow.

After all, I am learning how to navigate delicate situations that will shape this human being for years to come. In the process I am learning how to be patient, be kind and to be as empathetic as humanely possible.

And I need help, everyday, to accomplish this to the best of my ability.

The struggle of taking prescription medication and accepting that this will be my life, forever, has been a hard pill to swallow. (pun intended!)

I think this feeling is due to my experiences growing up. I would bet that a large population of thirty-somethings and on can remember their parents or grandparents heavily medicated with prescription medication, and perhaps it was mixed with booze at times.

I remember my mother having a plethora of pills. Pills for every occasion, and she had no problem sharing them with me in later years. An over-medicated parent is not a parent, and so I can see the struggle with making the decision to go that route. I can empathize with the desire to keep your household medication free.

But after years of being in denial, the best thing I ever did for myself and my family was to get on medication. I take JUST ENOUGH of a dose that allows me to control my emotions and stay motivated to keep moving forward. I truly believe that spiraling out of control on a consistent basis is counter productive to your desire to live on your own, free of medication. In my own experience, my relationships are better, my day-to-day life is better and my motivation to go after my goals in heightened. And lets be honest, most people, myself included, end up self-medicating.

I think another reason that people tend to avoid treatment is that they sort of view mental illness as a ‘cross they bear’ and something they ‘live with’. For example, I never linked my chest pains or over active sweating and constant queasiness to anxiety. I thought it was just me, just something I had to deal with. The whole time I was just experiencing symptoms of anxiety disorder. Perhaps lack of education leads us to ignore it because it is an illness we can’t see on the outside; other than physiological symptoms you experience (i.e. sweating).

In reality, mental illness is not much different that the illnesses you can see, meaning it needs to be treated. Your brain simply does not perform the way a healthy brain does. Boom, there you go. If you can’t treat narcolepsy or schizophrenia with will power, why would you think you can treat anxiety and depression the same way?

“Hey, wake the fuck up and pull yourself together Carol…” or “you do not see or hear things that are not there, stop fucking around and get back to work Carol so we can make happy hour.” – side note: I am obsessed with the name Carol from that tennis scene in Bridesmaides.  “Get it together, Carol!”

Of course, prescription medication is the just one of the treatments I have in my arsenal. You need to exercise regularly and release those endorphins naturally. Get some vitamin D daily, breathe fresh air. Meditate. Find a hobby that makes your heart sing. And pet your cat (whichever one you want).

One of the ways my daughter is keeping me on my toes and keeping my mind always focused on the big picture is how she mimics my every move. In the morning, I take my prescriptions when I pour my coffee and she sees me do this every day. Well, this past month she has demanded that she take her ‘medicine’ too.

My heart crushes every time, because it brings me right back to my child hood and how I can still remember my mom and her pills. I cried about this my husband and to my girlfriends. I struggle with wanting her to see me work hard to manage my mental health yet I want to preserve that innocence of childhood. However, at the end of the day, she needs a mother who can keep it together and a mom she can count on.

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So for now, I will alter my routine and save that conversation for when she is developmentally ready. With how fast she is growing, that will probably be next week. Sigh.

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Accepting Who You Are

Sounds easy enough, to ‘accept ourselves’. Most people understand the concept of personality traits and can describe themselves and the people they know. Outgoing, loving, dependable, smart, troubled, unpredictable, rude, manipulative…

People can be tricky, though. We have a way of showing the world what we want and feeling a different way inside. We naturally have the ability to change ourselves and we evolve over time. Think about it, were you the same person 10 years ago?

Some people use their personality traits (honest, blunt, bold) to say whatever pops in their heads. No filter or empathy for feelings.

We can explain our behavior by saying things like, ‘It’s just who I am or it’s just what I do.” But the truth is when we say those things it’s usually a farce. Understanding yourself completely takes a lot of time and a lot of work.

Your Brain 

What people either forget or fail to understand is that there is an abundance of external and internal factors that alter your natural brain neuropathy. (This doesn’t always have to be a negative thing, either) Examples of external factors are physical trauma, sexual trauma, and abuse in general. Examples of internal factors could be illegal or legal drugs, eating disorders, and mental illness.

I have been an emotional person my whole life, however, I have  gotten progressively more emotional over the years. My own brain neuropathy was altered from external and internal circumstances that were out of my control, within my control and situations I was exposed to due to my own reckless behavior.

I remember in early elementary school a teacher told me that I wore my heart on my sleeve while another teacher told my I was missing the filter from my brain to my mouth. I have always said things that I immediately regret saying, still till this day. I have also cried at the drop of the hat, despite my best efforts. If I get really mad, I cry. If I get overwhelmed, I ugly cry.

It was a huge problem I had while I was in the military. When I got in trouble, which was not very often because people with anxiety would rather die than be in trouble, I would either cry immediately or as soon as I was alone. Puffy eyes always gave me away though and mortification would set in with self-hate pulling up the rear.

The motivation to become a strong woman who took no shit became my identity. I worked really hard to develop a back-bone and to be seen as a strong team member and not a weak female.  But to be clear, I was not winning first place or an Oscar, not even on my best day.

I am just emotional. To the core. I cry often, I smile often, I laugh often, I yell often, I am angry often and I am loving often. Maybe all in one day. It has taken me my lifetime to understand what being me means. Life has changed who was going to be, and has molded together the lady that you see today. I need a little outside help, and it takes a village to keep me moving at the speed I prefer, but I accept that.

As far as that filter problem, I am still working on it. I still say awkward things.

 

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It’s true what they say about assuming, you know…

Assuming always makes an ass out of u and i.

I will start by admitting that I am someone who has the innate tendency to instantly assume if something is awry that I must have caused it. I assume that if a friend is mad about something, it must be linked to me.

At work if I am not vibing with a table, for what ever reason, I assume I will be getting a really shitty tip. Most of the time I am wrong.

I assume my husband knows when I am having a bad day and when I need him to be extra sensitive. That never works in my favor because as it turns out he really can’t read minds.

I assume my daughter will go to bed early if she skipped her nap, and yea that usually does not occur. I also assume that because she loves to swim in water outside, she will be totally cool with bath time. Nope. Apparently they are completely different, but not really.

I assume that my dad will always remember how old I am turning because hello, he is my dad. Now that I have to remember so many damn birthdays and special dates, I have to write down how old everyone is turning. Even myself; so he is forgiven.

We all assume people will treat us the way we treat them. With that notion I go further to assume that if I give 100%, those around me will too.

I assume that the people in my life have the same value system as I do, and that is simply not the case. I won’t give you a social psychology lecture but, with the melting pot of people that makes up this earth that is just not possible. Too many factors to consider.

So not only am I someone who has a tendency to assume, I am in a position that opens me up to assumption from strangers on a consistent basis. For some reason, a server in their 30s tends to leave people wondering where they went wrong in life. Why else would someone be waiting tables for a living past 29?

I get offered jobs, I am paid over-zealous compliments that feel laced with sadness and my favorite is when I get the plain ol’ sad eyes. If I have a table with a recruiter of any type or a retired military person you bet I will be asked at some point if I have thought about the military. Then when they find out I am a veteran of more than a decade I am ambushed with so many inappropriate and uninvited questions it is really appalling.

Let’s be real, there aren’t many professions, and food service is a profession, that you can go up to an employee and literally ask them personal questions and then offer them a “better opportunity in life.” I have been asked way too many times, “what my plans are after this?”

(Rant: I find it really worrisome that a mom who has found a way to earn money for her family and be a stay at home mom during the week has to defend herself to complete strangers at her CHOSEN place of employment.)

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On this self-improvement journey I am on, I have been paying close attention to my thoughts and the energy I put out into the world. I have realized that 10 out of 10 times I assume something, I end up feeling like an ass.

I think I am quick to assume partly because I am a naturally defensive person who can be insecure at times. Causation in my eyes would be nature AND nurture. I am naturally sensitive, mix that with the inevitable events of my life and you have: ME.

So I have become hyper-vigalant on the energy I put into this world and I am working on how I handle life and all of its messiness. Assuming effort, it takes brain power. I am trying to re-wire my brain into putting that effort into something that leads to a more positive outcome.

How are you with challengers, readers? Do it. Stop assuming. See what happens in your life.

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Journey Continued…

Summer has a way of lapsing time, doesn’t it? The heat, the consistent summer storms, new adventures outdoors, repeat adventures outdoors and then playing catch-up indoors. With the rise in temperatures I find myself so exhausted by 1, that if I sit down for any amount of time in double digits I am asleep. Like for real. The heat sucks the energy out me; it’s a rough life!

I am not doing a very good job of keeping up my writing schedule either, with all this extra napping brought on my the overwhelming heat in the south. I have been so caught up with work and keeping up the new house I haven’t even made it over to meet the new baby in our little circle. Westin, I promise, I am coming!

Anyway, for me summer adventures include the outside pool, the sprinklers, the beach, and of course the new park (new for us) and mini-playdates if I manage to remember to plan one and then follow through. My kid loves to be outside and moving, and the poor girl gets the power sweats like I do. So we are often incorporating water into whatever we are doing. Somehow June came and went. I think I saw one of my friend’s so far this month. Oh, and she lives next door.

I am sure this is situation; toddlers tend to make the days seem like groundhog’s day. The attempt to keep a routine while creating summer magic for a tiny person who will never remember most of the days I spent planning for her is a constant struggle. But that is ok, it matters on a higher level.

In the past I would let this really get to me. The fact that I have not kept up with my writing schedule, let some of the chores go from time-to-time and have done zero product reviews and not stressed about until I lose sleep is pretty nice. I have let other things become more important like playing with my daughter on demand, sporadically baking something, playing with and loving our new kitten Mavis, and of course my favorite taking a long hot soak. If you follow me on Snapchat I am sure you are sick of seeing bubble baths.

I have also been expanding my year-long journey of self-improvement to include reading and learning from literature that folks I find inspirational have published. I am almost done with Kate Hudson’s book Pretty Happy and I just got it. That says a lot since my extra time is usually spent driving, napping or bathing. I am learning so much and finally have a spiritual path that I find to be alluring for my lifestyle. More on that later, of course.

In the past couple months at work, I have worked hard on talking less and listening more. Listening to my customers, co-workers, management, friends and family. They may not all agree, but I am giving it may all! Anyway, I found that there are a couple personality characteristics that really turn me off; which hit me deeply because I can recognize some of them in myself.

Negative people. The folks that are complaining the majority of the time and like to trash other people. I work with too many negative people, and I have noticed that negative people are toxic. I mean they have a tendency to suck you in and set the tone in the space that they are in. The constant complaining can become catching when you are frustrated and or having a bad day/time. You follow suite and then you pass that negative vibe onto someone else.

Folks with a superiority complex. I only ever come across these people at work; customers who frequent O’charleys. The tend to talk down to me, don’t make eye contact with me, talk over me and have zero manners. I don’t understand this, on any level. Talking to someone any way you please because you feel superior in some sort of way. In my experience, it is usually retired civil servants and white middle-aged women from a state more northern. I don’t want to get too specific, and I am only speaking from my experience. I can’t help but think that the attitude comes from them feeling superior to me because I take their order and clean their mess. Sometimes I get the sad eyes. This poor girl is here waiting tables, I wonder where her life went wrong?

I know I need this journey because my first instinct is to always get defensive and start spouting out my resume to anyone who listen. It is such a waste of energy, and my getting upset and letting me myself get spun up shows me I have a long way to go.

One thing I have learned and incorporated into my life so far into this journey, is that I am in total control over how I use my energy and what energy I project into the world. I have become a more positive person so far and I have a new vantage point on the people I surround myself with. Sometimes we have to be in the company of negative people or people who are just ugly inside, but when you let your positivity shine it changes the situation entirely.

I hope I can inspire you!

To be continued…

That time I took a 3 hour nap…

Yesterday, Thursday, was the day I set aside every week to post something new. AND I was a productive lady this week and started early, on Tuesday. But then I took a nap, a glorious three-hour siesta with my main girl.

Which got me thinking a little deeper about naps and why I find them so important. Even when I don’t get to take one regularly, my body eventually gives up the fight and falls into a day-sleep. A day-sleep is how I describe a three-hour nap; too short to be called ‘going to bed’ but too long to be categorized as a nap.

To set the scene, this week I was recovering from last Saturday when I didn’t have to work because it was so dead and when we went to dinner. I got sick, because that is what happens to people who do not normally leave their habitat. They get sick. I thought the two cocktails I decided to try and drink did it at first. Then I realized the problem was actually something I ate. I don’t want to go into detail as to what I consumed and what exactly took place because my intestines are still pissed at me. But anyway, back on track… I was trying to rehydrate my body and realized that when I finally stopped to take breath it had been like 6 hours since I had pee’d last and wtf is that about?

Why am I letting myself get too busy to drink water and to use the freakin’ bathroom? I can’t really blame my child; she is 2 and pretty much is cool as long as she is invited. Can’t blame my husband because, well, I am 33 years of age. It is not really his job to make sure I drink water and pee regularly. At least not yet.

So this weekly post is inspired by that experience. We simply cannot give the best of ourselves if we are not taking care of the vessel we were given. After all, we nag our offspring to hydrate and to pee when they have to. Why does this simple example of taking care of ourselves escape us once we reproduce? Well, I have a theory, but I will share my theory at the end of this post.

I know women who will argue until the death of them they that don’t need to do things like manicures or massages or take a bath. They don’t need to work-out, watch a movie alone or get really stoned, watch Dateline and Snapchat. They say stuff like “I just don’t have time for that”, or “must be nice that you get to do those things.”

I realized this week that I was running on fumes, both figuratively and literally. I was dehydrated, crampy, grumpy, tired and still putting myself on the back burner. It happens to the best of us. And it will continue to surface it other areas in your life when your load gets to full and you have nothing left to pull from. You get short with people, you get lazy, you get preoccupied with things that do not matter to you, you fall behind in life… So for the love of your friends and family, take a nap, take a bath, get a hobby or eat a damn Snickers bar sitting in your closet wearing your favorite heels.

My theory as to women fall short in the self-care category is because we have brainwashed over time to feel some kind of way about doing stuff for ourselves. Some kind of way meaning selfish, shameful, embarrassed or just plain nonchalant. To have hobbies other than gardening, sewing shit or working out to keep our bodies acceptable for society to look at were looked at as risky behavior. I mean seriously, through-out history our place has been in areas of domestication. Until recently, and I don’t mean like 2015 recently either. Open a book sometime, check out what people with vaginas have been up to.

It’s ok to be happy throwing down a delicious meal in the kitchen and also being totally interested in going shooting at the range. It is also ok to fall asleep for 3 hours and miss a self-imposed deadline. I am sure I have my critics out there who think maybe I am little self indulgent. And you know what, I am.

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I throw in the towel; I give up trying to make everyone happy.

The words I don’t care what you think have passed these lips a time or two. Both in a drunken rant and in a sober matter-of-fact way, but I never meant in. Insecure people are the first to say, “I don’t care what you think or what you say,” but that is because we care too much.

This year I decided to put in the effort to really mean it. I suppose I have been known to make a few decisions not really caring what people had to say, but I always had the backing of someone I view as important in my life. Like my parents or my honorary mom/aunt. This is the year I am taking to work on myself, so I owe it to myself and my husband and daughter to make that the new standard around here.

Having a mom and wife who is prone to stress about the crumbs on the floor, both at home and work, is tough enough. Stress takes years off your life, and that shit is not happening! So I officially denounce trying to make everyone happy.

Especially unhappy people. It is simply impossible; they got too much shit going on in their own life that all they know how to do is project. Project on you, on their significant others, parents, coworkers… hell, the cashier at the grocery store. You know these people. They are the ones SNL makes skits about. These are the people who only ask you how you are so that when you do the societal norm of asking them in return, they get to tell something awful. Something that is a total downer and unnecessary for you to even know. Like about their baby daddy not paying child support or about being evicted or losing a family member ten years ago today. Socially awkward asshats that you eventually avoid at all costs or never fall into the trap of asking how their day is going. *If you have never ran across any people like this, well, I guess you live somewhere amazing and alone, take lots of pills or you are that person.

I have learned through trial and error that no amount of compliments make this type of person happy, no amount of gifts, no amount of quality time… not even a box full of puppies or kittens. They have some deeper issues that need addressing, and chances are it is not high on their list of priorities. Probably because they remain oblivious and believe their self-centered way of thinking is normal.

I realize unhappiness narrows our thinking. Being unhappy creates a whole ‘what about me’ vibe and that shit is just plain annoying. I have lived it. When I am going through a depressive episode I feel pretty darn unhappy and it is all-consuming. I can only focus on how I am feeling and how everything pertains to me. Nothing really makes me happy, comfortable maybe, but not happy.

With all the things I am juggling right now and all the goals Chris and I have, I just can’t fit it on my plate anymore. I can’t waste anymore energy or take any more time away from all things I find important to try to make irrelevant people happy. I am not even going to go through the effort of making small talk with people who insist on sucking the positive energy and fun out of any and everything that they can. Even if they don’t realize it.

I have come to grips that we all can’t just get along sometimes. Sometimes, it is just not going to work out that way. I am not in charge of anyone’s happiness except my own and the people I grow. In an effort to stay on this path I have continued to have cell phone free time, just now I do it so much I have begun leaving it home when I leave. It gives me the chance to focus on the important things going on in that moment and not social media and neurotic family members. Sometimes that works, other times the focus shifts to my husband, but then it is his issue and I don’t have to even pay attention to it. That is what you call a win-win approach.

Join me in not trying to make everyone else happy, and make yourself happy! I have even started shutting down those Debbie Downers before they try to suck me into their pity part. They project their misery, and I deflect with positivity. When that fails I just tell them they are really bringing down my positive vibe, and when that fails I just tell them they are straight up depressing and to keep it to themselves. That works because they think you are a bitch and move on to gossiping about you and projecting all that toxic shit on other people. Boom! Problem solved. Another win-win for me.

You are in charge of your own happiness. It is not rocket science. It has been appearing on apparel and swag for decades. Haven’t you eaten a stupid fortune cookie? You can choose to be happy. You can choose who you allow in your life. You can choose to put you and yours first. If you won’t give yourself permission to do it, suburban mishap does!

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How Organization and Planning are Saving my Sanity

I think by now, the general population that follows Huffington Post  knows that a stay-at-home mom or dad does more during the day than changing diapers and keeping the children alive. Or hell, maybe that is his or her only goal and she achieves day in and day out. I don’t judge.

However, we can’t deny the numerous articles floating around the internet about what a day-in-the-life of a stay-at-home mom looks like that carries the undertone of a shaking finger in your face and eyes as big as a strung-out crack head.

And I get it. I do, I truly do get it. When you are stuck in the throws of endless days that feel like they will never end. Days that are filled with you using words like “blowout” and “lactate.” You start to grow horns and learn how to cuss in a sing-song voice with tears in your eyes.

The slope gets too damn slippery sometimes and you slip right into not giving a fuck. From there you find you self settling into cynical and alone. Hello my Mirandas!

Black and White

So you start reading shit titled, “What I Would Pay My Wife if I Could” and nodding along. You start feeling this stay-at-home mom pride, because you are a part of this group, you know. Then it turns to entitlement and then it ends with truth.

The truth of course being that you are you are alone most of time, changing shitty diapers and praying to someone’s God to please STOP the lactating!

Oh looky there, I went on a rant! Ha! Let me get myself back on track…

Basically, I used to put so much effort and energy into a clean house and appearing like everything was PERFECT.

Then I gave up caring and everything fell apart… as I suspected it would.

So after we settled into Castle Garvey, I found my groove in life again. I had some damn good ah-ha moments that would make even Oprah proud! I found the middle ground that is now keeping this household running so smooth I get to take more than one bath a week. I live for a good bath you guys.

Here is how organizing my life into a simple routine is working for me and keeping me sane.

Note: I don’t have a set schedule for the cleaning. That part has to be flexible because having a two-year old means no agenda on my part (so-to-speak). I stay home to be present with her so I put my chores on the back burner as far as time on the clock. I do them as I can, sometimes she lets me knock it all out, other times I do a little here and there. 

Monday:

Babysit from mid-morning to mid-evening.

  • Babysit from mid-morning to mid-evening.
  • I vacuum every Monday and dust every other Monday.
  • Dinner and I usually do bath time with her.

Tuesday:

  • Same babysitting schedule. I have started strongly ” “suggesting” story time and activity times.
  • I vacuum upstairs every week and dust every other week.
  • Dinner and daddy does bath time. Unless of course it is mommy’s turn again because Charlotte is the ultimate decision maker. Of course.

Wednesday:

  • I schedule most play dates, appointments for whoever needs them and run errands.
  • Laundry every week and bathrooms every other week (spot clean) and a deep clean once a month. We have 3 full baths (one with a double sink vanity) and a half bath downstairs. I am not boasting or bragging; I am pointing out the time it would take me to deep clean those every week. Hell no, good sir. Pass. I put Chris in charge of his own shitter so frankly I don’t know how often that one gets cleaned, other than when we have guest. Moving right along…
  • Dinner and bath time.

Thursday:

  • The Little Gym at 10:30. Run errands if there are any to run.
  • Mom gets to write so if there are not leftovers to eat (which 9 out of 10 times there is) we eat out. I write and work until I summoned by either my husband or child.

Friday:

  • This is a fairly new schedule so on Friday I am often doing something I missed or couldn’t get to earlier in the week.
  • Work 5 pm at restaurant job until I am done. This is the same for Saturday and Sunday.

Having a toddler pretty much requires you to have a ‘no agenda’ type attitude, which makes it hard to have a ‘stay on top of the house work, keep money coming in, have lots of sex with husband and cook delicious meals everyday’ type of attitude as well.

Something snaps eventually, and I am not trying to a 20/20 episode. During my recent self-discovery and coming out to the world that I am not the real deal Martha Stewart type I may or may not have mentioned that I also rely on a village (husband, friends, coworkers, that nice British guy at Target) to make it through my day and I am attached to my monthly planner.

I share a monthly planning app on my phone with my husband for joint stuff, but I am old school to the core and love to write it down. It is a process for me… it relaxes me to put in on paper and read it when I need to. I hold a lot of titles and I do a lot with my time. I need help keeping it all together, down to what I plan to cook to where I need to be at any given time. I like to set goals and I like check them off as I accomplish them.

Plus who doesn’t look forward to buying ANYTHING from Target. Especially their stationary and craft supplies; they have really stepped it up in that department. I get inspired walking around there sometimes.

In regards to anxiety, I find that having a plan keeps my mind on track and keeps me working on what I am supposed to be. It also has allowed to me let go of the feeling that I need to vacuum or dust all the time (for example). I know that I am going to tackle those exact jobs on their designated day, and I can move my focus to whatever else it is I need to, or want to depending on the day! Like today, writing!

I planned this schedule out very carefully. It fits my current schedule perfectly and is flexible all at the same time. Look at today, I saved my day for writing for a day that I know the household chores would be done and a day that dad would be available for an extended to amount of time to take the baton and make sure Charlotte stays alive. Heavy planning that if you notice, isn’t driven by the hands on the clock. I still feel in control, and relaxed enough to bust out something enjoyable for my readers.

Having this routine for the last month has brought down my stress level. I live in a larger house now, not much larger, but a bit larger in square footage and with more rooms. There is just more to do in the area of cleaning. I like a clean house, and even though my husband would say “I don’t really care one way or the other” or something to that affect, he likes the house clean too. He is compulsively doing the dishes.

I quickly realized it takes a LONG time getting this sucker clean. I also realized that in keeping with my 2016 goals, that you can check out in my post http://suburbanmishap.com/the-year-i-took-for-myself/, I decided to break it up into days. More than that, I needed to break up the deeper cleaning and not go bat-shit bananas over a little dust or toothe paste in the sink. I don’t have to pull out the rubber gloves every time I need to clean up just a little.

The cleaning and appointment/errand day routine was born and boom, I sleep better at night.

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