The Right Direction

* NaBloPoMo – Day 5 *

I’ve mentioned before that this is the year I plan to get a Tattoo. I’m starting to run out of days in this year, so I need to get my shit together and get on this. I’m thinking at this point it may be what I ask for for Christmas. Although, I’m not exactly who there even is to get it for me for Christmas, but still. Maybe I’ll pull a Tom Haverford and just treat myself.

636024703028114906-1632106223_treat-yoself

Whenever I manage to make it happen, I finally have settled on what my first tattoo will be. I’ve had a metric shit ton of ideas running through my head for the last several years, and after the year I’ve had, I made a final decision. I’m going with an arrow.

In spite of the trendiness of it and the fact that it is not even remotely original, the meaning is too perfect and personal to not do. Plus this way I can start with something small (translation – not as expensive) and go from there. Because I know that once I start down the tattoo path, I will have a difficult time stopping.

The basic meaning of an arrow, at least in the tattoo world is this:

arrow

And it speaks perfectly to my year. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, a lot has happened to me in the last 365 days. Every change a person can go through, I’ve gone through. I’ve lost a ton of weight and gotten into the best shape I’ve been in since the dancing days of my youth, I’ve finally discovered who I am and am actually happy with that person (I really like her a lot – she’s pretty freaking cool), I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time and am able to be the best me possible (at least right this very second – still very much a work in progress). Being the best me is not only good for me, it’s good for my kids. And that is my #1 priority. So everyone (who matters to me) wins.

However, just because I’ve decided on a basic concept for the tattoo, doesn’t mean I’m ready to go out tomorrow and get it. I mean, there are a million arrow tattoo designs. So now the quest for the perfect arrow tattoo begins. Hopefully before 2016 ends I’ll be able to share a photo of it to ya’ll. Chances are good, as the new me is doing a pretty good job of reaching her goals.

Previous Life

So, anyone who reads this blog, should know I’ve had others before it. One of them, in particular is pretty dear to my heart. It was my place that I did a lot of journaling type blogging during the rough times at the end of last year and beginning of this one. It was called “Dreams Of A New Life” and it is quite special to me.

NOTE: The stuff over there is highly personal. It was a private place that I basically bared my soul when I needed an outlet. Some posts were thought out. Some were just basic brain dumps. All of them are honest and raw and 100% me. So welcome to it.

I’m sharing here because over there I had a few followers that were going through similar things and we did a bit of supporting of each other. Now that I’m primarily writing here, I thought I’d, at the very least, link back to where I came from.

Thanks to anyone reading this. I appreciate you!

To anyone finding there way here from Dreams of A New Life – welcome!

 

Turbulovert

80c9e7250cdb67a99efb70c657b53d86Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone. Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety. Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression. Your glance can awaken joy. Your words can inspire freedom. Your every act can open hearts and minds.  ~ David Deida

 

As I continue through my year of finding myself and immense personal and emotional change, I find myself having conversations with friends about my journey, some of them on journeys of their own. I hear myself saying things, about myself, that I have never said before and I have come to realize that I am not the same person I was 365 days ago. This prompted me to retake the Myers-Briggs test and see if I got a different result. And boy did I. I’ve gone from an INFJ-A to an ENFJ-T. And I can tell.

The self confidence I’ve found over the last several months is liberating. I’m embracing my new found independence and happiness. And now I get to read all about my new personality, and I’m enjoying recognizing myself in it’s description. According to the website “16 Personalities” I’m a “Protagonist” with the “turbulent” variant. Which means that while I can be described as tolerant, charismatic, extroverted, and intuitive. The turbulence means that I also am self-conscious and worry too much.  Knowing that you can be an Extrovert and and Introvert at the same time is comforting … turns out I’m not totally bonkers after all.  Just a turbulent extrovert. A Turbulovert.

Also turns out that this new me may be better suited for continuing to work and succeed in Real Estate than I thought. I can most definitely see how this helped me when I worked in healthcare. Looking back, many of the things my patients and their families would thank me for, I see in these descriptors. Which helps confirm that this was in me all along and just needed something to happen to let it all out.

Maybe it’s time to embrace the person that seems to have been hidden inside of me all these years. I know I’ve seen peeks of her here and there, but the more I let down my walls and start living more authentically, the more I like the new me. I like how I feel about myself and my life (for the most part – I mean there are still some occasional shit storm moments – but I’m a work in progress, right?). I have had so many people reach out to me to tell me how they can see the change in me and they like it and appreciate it. When someone randomly writes you a note to thank you for “being authentic” and tell you they admire you for “saying what you think and not worrying about what others think,” it makes you feel like you made the right decision after all. Funny side note –

Also turns out my insatiable need to be loved and cared about is natural to me. As is my desire to constantly talk about my feelings and make sure everyone and everything is okay … which I’m sure drives people crazy … but I’m working on that one. After all, as I recently read, “the only thing wrong is being asked ‘what’s wrong’ too many times.” Oh, how I do love to be a pleaser.

So here is to embracing your personality. If you think you are holding yourself back from being the real you … let go and give it a try. It’s really a lot of fun.

 

It’s All About Me For Once

This subject has been kind of danced around for several months now, both here and IRL, but I think it’s high time I just get it out there. I’m weary of being careful and censoring myself. I’ve discovered a few things about myself during all of what has gone down, and one of those things is that it’s okay to be me, honest and unadulterated. To say, think, feel, and do what I want. Being myself – is 100% okay.

At the end of April this year, I left my husband. We were together for 20 years, married for 17, and it was a very difficult and terrifying thing to do, but I did it. I’ll say this right up front. Ending this relationship was 100% my idea. I had been unhappy for a very, very long time. The issues were the same issues that were issues the entire time. I honestly and very seriously could not see anything changing and I decided that I needed to end things. I truly believe it is the best for me and for him and for the kids. I’m not going to get into gory details or any nasty anything. I have zero desire to do anything like that. I wasn’t angry, I was sad and so very tired. I didn’t have animosity, I had apathy. It was time. The relationship had devolved to, well, to nothing really. Not anything real or meaningful anyway. And when the kids started seeing things, I knew it was time to make the change. I considered “sticking it out for the kids” but ultimately decided that we were not setting an example of a good relationship for them. And we weren’t being very good parents in that environment. At least not as good as we could have been. It’s better for them to see us happy apart than miserable together. A happy person is a better person, and a happy parent is a better parent.

Now, I know that with this being my idea, that other people don’t understand or see or accept it. And I get that. I really do. But at the end of the day I needed to do what was best for me and for my kids. My ex isn’t a bad person, he’s really a great person, and he’s a great dad. But we weren’t working anymore.

Because of this split, I have done a lot of trying to figure out who I am, me on my own, just me. Who am I. I felt like at the end I wasn’t living a life of my own really. I had my things that I did and whatever, but I was living as “the wife” or “the mom” and really felt like I didn’t have my own anything. I was sad most of the time, depressed a lot, and soul crushingly lonely. The feeling of being alone was the worst I think. And it is very, very, very likely that a lot of that was self-created. I’ll own that. I can admit that I have always had issues with not feeling worthy and always feeling guilty and it is quite likely that I created some of my own sadness. But my surroundings were certainly not helping.

As soon as I made the decision and began taking over my own life again, once I realized that I could live for myself, take care of my kids, but also take care of me, I started to change. The switch in how I started to thing about things, and think about myself, was, in comparison to how long I had felt like my wants and needs were insignificant, was seemingly instantaneous. I found this quote, when reading about healing after a split like this:

“When you start recovering … you will change. You will become a different person. Recovery makes you self-empowered. It brings you into yourself. It allows you to find your voice. You start making your own decisions, sharing your own opinions, setting up boundaries. You become more assertive and confident.”

Believe it or not … all of what I just typed, about the change being seemingly instant, and how I’m feeling better about myself … I just came to the realization that this has happened … today. It’s been nearly six months since I moved out, and while I’ve been changing and generally feeling better about myself and my life, today was the first time I realized that it’s actually happening. I don’t know if I got caught up in the day to day of trying to make this new life work or what. But I look back at the last year of my life and I really feel like a totally different person. I’ve lost weight. I’m happy. I’m enjoying my life with my kids even more. I’m relaxed and at ease and I don’t feel guilty all the time. As I sit here and think back … I’m kind of amazed.

So to anyone reading this that has been a part of the collective “we” over these last 20 years, who maybe doesn’t understand why I did this, or agree with my doing this, or whatever. All I say is this: I’m sorry if I disappointed you. I’m sorry if I didn’t do what you thought I should have to make it work. But the feeling I have about myself, and my life, right this second, makes all of that meaningless to me. Not that I don’t value your opinion or what you think of me, because I do, to an extent. But when it comes right down to it, this is my life. Mine. The most important opinions to me are mine and those of my two kids. You are entitled to your opinion and maybe someday you will understand me. Maybe not. Maybe someday you can understand that a drastic change is needed to find the happiness you have been looking for. Happiness that isn’t found in what others think, or how others feel, or the stuff you have, or your reputation. It’s the happiness that is inside of you, that allows you to look in the mirror and say that you really, truly like the person looking back at you.

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I actually like the person looking back at me. It’s an amazing feeling. And I can not wait to see what she does next.

Follow The Goosebumps

I found this quote the other day:

Coincidence doesn’t exist and goosebumps never lie. Your body already knows the answer. All you have to do is turn down your spinning mind and continue to follow all signs … because you are always worthy of becoming your best and most actualized self.

~ Victoria Erickson

I added the emphasis there because that is something I need to constantly remind myself. I am worthy.

I stumbled upon this while on a pretty good Pinterest tear the other day. I found it interesting that the more I looked at it, the words that poked at my brain changed.

Initially it was the “spinning mind” line that got me. I’m a chronic over-thinker and haver-of-guilt. My spinning mind can be my greatest enemy and loudest critic. My spinning mind is a real bitch. A giant pain in my ass. She keeps me up at night and makes me second and third and fourth guess just about everything I do.

On  my second read of the quote, the whole “always worthy” thing jumped out at me. The fact that I might be worthy of something is never a thought that I have as a naturally occurring thing. I can’t even begin to understand why that is. People find it surprising about me, because I tend to come off as pretty easy going and positive. Which I certainly am both of those things. And I know that some see me as kind of brassy and loud and opinionated, and I am those things too. But all of my brassiness and loudness come out of me in my humor and creativity. Not in any kind of “real” way. It’s really just a front because I’m certain that I really, down deep, don’t have all that much to offer, except for occasionally being funny. I mean, I know I’m good a things. I’m organized. I’m good at my job. I think I’m a decent parent. But super crappy at so much else that I had to make a very specific and conscious effort to deluge myself with positive self-talk on a daily basis.

*  I’m worth living the life I want to live for me.

*  I’m worth having happiness

*  It’s okay to be selfish every once in a while.

*  I’m just as important as everyone else.

These are not things that just naturally occur to me, so it’s a constant struggle. I like this quote because it is a reminder that wanting what I want isn’t wrong simply because I want it, it is right for that very same reason. And that’s enough.

Finally, the first line began to speak to me. First of all, as an NCIS fan, this is Rule 39. Gibbs was right after all. But more than the coincidence thing, it’s the goosebumps thing.

I. Love. Loving. Things.

To me, “Goosebumps Don’t Lie” basically means: if something touches you and makes you feel something good or wonderful …. it’s a good thing. You should do more of that thing. It kind of is what I started telling myself when I sat myself down and had a little talk with myself a just a little over a year-ish ago. I was tired of just plain not being happy. I was tired of feeling used and taken advantage of and under-appreciated and under loved. I was so very tired of all of it, and I realized the only person who really truly could make a change in my life was me. None of the other stuff was gonna change any time soon. It hadn’t changed in years and years and coming to the realization (and acceptance) of that fact was one of the most enlightening discoveries I have ever made. The fact that the only changes that were gonna happen were the ones made by me and that it really, truly, wouldn’t be the total and complete end of the world in the grand scheme – life changing. Literally.

So here is to 2016 – The Year Of Me. Here is to me continuing to try to find my happiness and at the same time and happy and full life for my kids. Here is to my trying to tame my spinning mind. Here is to me learning that I am worthy of the life I want. Here is to me living by Rule 39 (** as well as Rules 5, 8, 23, 36, 45, 51 … and 2).

Here is to me following my goosebumps.

My Bucket Is Empty

64604186

 

I’m working on a bucket list style collection for my bullet journal and am having SERIOUS problems coming up with items for my list!

I really thought I was much more interesting than I am … clearly. I got to about 6 things and was totally stumped.

I was hoping for a cute “50 Before 50” kind of thing … but I’m really struggling.
Any ideas? Suggestions? What should I try to do in my life before I turn 50. Not too proud to say that that will be in 2020 … so maybe 50 is too many things to try to do? Comment with ideas please … I need them!

Maybe I should cut it in half and do a “25 Before 50” instead.

Still. 6 is not 25.

Halp!!

 

317155ea97261c8e55b9b9ca0cef5d55

 

An Exercise in Patience

aka: That Time Kim Tried Bullet Journaling and Fought Desperately Against The Urge To Burn It All And Start Over. At Least Four Times.

I like to say I have Situational OCD. There are some situations where a little clutter or mess really doesn’t bother me too much. And there there are things that I just cannot abide. Anything that I handwrite is one of those things. I can’t even begin to count the number of times, during my time in college where I would start taking notes and then either rip out the page and start over (multiple times) or come home and completely re-write them until they looked pristine. It’s a serious problem. Something I really do try to work on, but I usually will toss the page and start over. I know White-Out exists, in fact, the little White Out Tape Machine on my desk is my best friend.

So, the fact that I’m going to try and tackle a Bullet Journal seems, in the deep corners of my mind, like some kind of heinous self-torture. I mean, this thing is in ink. And color. And holy Jesus what am I doing to myself. But the more I researched it (yes, I researched it … for weeks and weeks now), I came to realize that part of the beauty of the Bullet Journal is that you make it up as you go. It’s part organizer, part planner, part brain dump, part creative outlet, part goal tracker, and on and on. I’m only using mine for personal stuff, I have way too many work tasks on a daily basis to even attempt it for that, but getting my personal stuff (chorus work, writing, household stuff, etc) in order and doing some goal tracking and habit forming, seems like something I can try and take on. So into the breach I go. Lord help me.

You may be wondering, Kim, what the flock is a Bullet Journal? Well, I wondered the same thing for a while. I had heard about them and saw things floating around on Pinterest, so I jumped in and did some reading about them. The “creator” of the idea is a dude named Ryder Carroll. He’s a digital design guy from New York. The BuJo (yes, I know) is an analog organization system. In a world where technology is king, I’m a lover of reading an actual book and writing with pen and paper, so call me old fashioned, but this seemed very interesting to me because of that. It utilized Rapid Logging to track tasks and events and whatever else you want to track. It is infinitely customizable and can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. You can read all about it on the original Bullet Journal page, and I encourage you to do so. Great basic information and the best starting place if you want to know what it’s all about.

I’m trying to keep my set up simple to start, I clearly need to invest in a really good eraser, as I’m doing it all in pencil first, because I’m partially bonkers about this stuff. I figure I will try to get into the habit of daily logging first and then I’ll try to get fancy.

My Basic Supplies:

I got myself a decent and not too expensive journal, the Essentials Grid Lined A5. It’s basic black, has decent grid lines, not too dark, and I think I’m gonna like it.

I’m using some pens and pencils I already had, being an Office Supply Addict and Hoarder helped in that respect. My main pen is a black Pilot Precise V5. It’s the pen I already use at work and I like it, although there is a bit too much bleed through in my journal, so I may try using more pencil and see if I like that any better. I also have some Pilot Precise V5 colored roller ball pens that I really like, but again, the bleed through may be an issue. Once I get a little further in I’ll have to decide for sure. But since I’m trying to do this on the cheap, I’m going with what I have for now.

I am using the good old-fashioned and very basic Crayola Colored Pencils at this point, because until I really know how I’m going to do this, I don’t plan to spend any more money than absolutely necessary.

My Supply Wish List:

Having spent the good part of one whole day “actually” writing in my journal, and endless hours researching layouts and ideas and suggestions and samples, I do have a decent idea of a few things I think I do want to spend money on at some point.

I’d like to get a nice metal ruler for my lines. I’d like to explore some other pen options, just to see if I can find something with less bleed-through. I may try to dabble in some graphite paper for tracing fun things on my pages. I enjoy the whole Adult Coloring Book thing and I think that might be fun.

This Will Be Good For Me … Right?

My end game in this whole thing multi-fold. I’d like to make myself lighten up with regards to my penmanship needing to be perfect all the time. I’d like to release some of my inner creative. I know it’s there but that stupid OCD part of me when it comes to putting pen or pencil to paper makes me stop before I really get started. I’m hoping to use the habit tracker pages to get into some better habits and make some significant changes in my life, in the way of my health and mental well being mostly, as well as self care and doing more creating of things. Be that writing or other crafty type stuff. I’ve been saying for a while now that 2016 is The Year Of Kim and this is just another attempt at me trying to find myself and trying to encourage myself to be the best me I can be. Sounds totally corny and super cheesy … but it is what it is friend. This year is the beginning of some serious self-discovery for me. I’m about to BuJo all over this bitch.

PS: I’m hoping this is the first in a series. I have a couple more pages I want to set up and then I plan to post some photos of my first few pages. BuJo Herewego!

 

Taking It Back

I ran across this article from Thought Catalog entitled “26 Ways To Take Your Life Back When You’re Broken” and found that most of the things on this list are things that I have either done already, am currently working on, or want to do at some point. Looks like I have the right idea.

* apologies for the very long post … but it felt good to write again *

1: Get In Shape.  I started this process a while ago, when I had made the decision that my ultimate happiness lie in my own hands. I started running again and that led to hours upon hours of time to think. It allowed me to lose about 40 pounds. It made me feel better in general. And all of that put me in a better place mentally. The trick now is to keep at it. What began as a literal way to escape (physically and mentally from my surroundings) has turned into something I need to keep doing because it makes me feel better and is good for me. I don’t have a need to escape any more so I keep reminding myself how helpful this has been and that it will only continue to help.

2: Get Out Of Town.  This is not something I have done yet, really. I did get down to Nashville for a few days for the BHS International contest but I really want to “get out of town” in a way that is a little more relaxing and refreshing to my spirit. I have a free long-weekend coming up and I’m considering doing something simple. Maybe an overnight in Hocking Hills or somewhere up on Lake Erie? Something to get me into nature, a little change of scenery, even for a little bit. If nothing else I want to plan a couple day trips for myself that weekend.

3: Rewrite Your Story.  I’ve done some writing about stuff, mostly private, and that does help. I need to make a better effort that this, because I know it helps me. I’m working on this one for sure.

4: Invite New People Into Your Life.  Also something I’m working on. While I do have the most amazing group of friends who support me in fantastic ways, new people = new experiences = exciting possibilities.  Another work in progress.

5: Tell Your Story.  See Number 3 Above. I have a private blog that I have shared a bit of my story on and it has gained a few followers who are going through (or have gone through) similar experiences and it is a nice way to unload, feel like you might be helping someone, and know that you are not alone in all of it.

6:  Be Disciplined About Self Care.  This is one I fail miserably one. And I worked in Oncology for 10 years, I know how critical self care is, but yet I am the worst at it. But, I know I need to do better and I want to do better. So this is one I need to focus on a bit more.

7:  Change Your Appearance.  This is something I am a professional at. Anyone who knows me, knows that I change my hair like the seasons. Although, most recently I had a super, super short cut that I loved and I held on to it for a very long time. At least for me. But I’m currently in the process of growing it out again. For me, changing up my hair is an easy way to keep things fresh. Growing out hair from a tiny pixie cut is not easy, but it has given me something to focus on, which has proven helpful from time to time.

8:  Quit What Isn’t Working For You.  Well. This is pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it. Done and done.

9:  Give Yourself Permission to Let Go.  This ties back into re-writing my story and quitting what isn’t working. But for me, it has a lot to do of letting go of guilt I put on myself. It is a horrible habit I have and most of my self-loathing is self-created. My focus on letting go has to do with cutting myself some slack for crying out loud.

10:  Connect With People Who Have Been Through Something Similar.  As I said above, I have done some writing and connecting with folks through that writing and that helps. I also have a dear friend who experienced something similar to me, mine is a walk in the park compared to hers, but there are enough similarities in our situations that she has been amazingly helpful, probably more than she knows. Seeing her navigate all of it and come out strong and beautiful gives me much hope.

11: Unplug For An Entire Week.  This. Would. Be. So. Difficult. For. Me. I can’t imagine unplugging for an entire week. I could do a day or two maybe. At this point, my social connections are so critical to me, that I really don’t want to even think about it. But … I may consider it at some point. I’m sure a time will come where this is something that will look a little more appealing to me. We’ll see.

12:  Physically De-Clutter Your Life.  Oh my goodness yes. I have done this and it is a fantastic feeling. I’ve moved into a tiny apartment and keeping it de-cluttered is pretty much mandatory. I don’t have space for extra crap and being able to live without extra crap is pretty fucking amazing.

13:  Strengthen Your Relationship With The People Who Love You.  Again, something I’m both doing and working on doing better. My friends have been amazing. Both my core group of BFFs and other friends that I, honestly, didn’t expect it from. My family also is fantastic. My issue is that I have a bad tendency of shutting down and shutting out when things get dark in my brain. It’s a constant work in progress for me.

14:  Follow The Food Guide For A Month.  Bwahahahahahahaaaaa!!  My food patterns are either “I’m too broke to buy anything but pasta and hamburger helper” to “I need to eat all of the food.”

15:  Take a Course That Teaches You Something New.  This is something that I would love to do if time and money were not an object. However, I do plan at some point this year (hopefully) to take some classes related to my job that will result in my duties being expanded, my potential for advancement to grow, and will get me a decent pay raise. So yeah, I’ll be doing some learning this year for sure. Someday soon maybe I’ll be able to learn something new for fun!

16:  Make a Budget And Stick To It.  Another constant struggle, although circumstances have basically forced me to live the closest to this as I ever have. I don’t necessarily have a working budget at this time, but I am so very conscious of it all. Baby steps.

17:  Establish A Healthy Source Of Validation.  Another constant struggle. I have zero capacity to validate myself, and tendencies to find validation in not super healthy ways. But I am getting much better at this one. For sure.

18:  Become Invested In The Process Of Change, Not The Outcome.  I’m finding that I am pretty good at this. I used to be one to focus and fantasize a lot about the future and what was going to happen. At this point in my life, I’m just taking it a day at a time and enjoying the things that make me happy. The little victories that happen every day and every week that prove I’ve got this. It’s a great way to look at life.

19:  Learn A New Language.  Cause that’s what I have time for. Once I hit the lottery and can quit working to travel the world … I’ll learn a new language.

20:  Learn To Walk Away.  This, I’ve got. Consider it walked.

21:  Let Yourself Be Happier Than You Are Comfortable With.  This is the big one. My big struggle. The large amounts of guilt I pile on myself make this nearly impossible for me. The minute I start to feel like life is great and I’m super happy … I start to second guess myself and if I actually deserve to be this happy. The internal fight I have on a daily basis with my own brain is epic. Legendary even. It’s ridiculous. I am my own worst enemy.

22:  Set And Enforce Boundaries.  Goodness yes. I have had some encounters and experiences that have proven how important this is. I’m getting a whole lot better at sticking up for myself very quickly. The bonus is that it generally helps me feel stronger and more capable. Boundaries are very, very good things.

23:  Cut Out A Vice For 100 Days.  Ugh. I know how good this would be for me. But I’m just not there yet. I’ll put this in the drawer with unplugging. I know I need to try it … and some day I’ll be ready for it. Just not yet. I’m gonna allow myself to be selfish about this one. Sorry. Not sorry.

24:  Try Something That Genuinely Scares You.  Quite honestly, my entire life right now scares me on an almost daily basis. Just getting through day to day can be downright frightening some days. I’m coming off the worst two weeks yet, financially at least, so pretty much life in general scares me right now! However, I get the concept and would love to explore it for real at some point.

25:  Look At How Far You’ve Come.  Again, some days a thing will happen and I’ll think “Damn girl … you are killing it.” And that is a fantastic feeling. Between the confidence I’ve gained, the healthy changes I’ve made with regular exercise, the great relationships I’m continuing to foster with my kids, crushing it at my job and getting raises and promotions, taking on more volunteer responsibilities and not totally failing at them, life is actually pretty good. The fact that I’m allowing myself to see that is a HUGE step in my personal journey.

26:  Forgive Others, Forgive The Universe, Forgive Yourself.  Part of this is SUPER easy for me. Forgiveness is something I am good at. Compassion, understanding, forgiveness. I have that in spades …. for everyone else on the planet. For myself? Not so much.

So, 26 things that I feel like I’m working through pretty well in one way or another. This new life of mine is a giant work in progress and I’m basically happy with the results so far. We’ll see how it goes. I’m hopeful and excited for the future, and that is pretty cool.

Success

I managed to survive my first “Shitty Single Mom Milestone.”

I made it through two weeks on about next to nothing.

I knew going in that I would have weeks or months like this. Coming off of a short trip to Nashville for the men’s International Convention, followed immediately by a week at Harmony Camp, it was really just inevitable. I don’t get vacation or any paid time off, and while I spent as little as possible in Nashville (I mean seriously … $25 a night for a room!) and spent nothing while at Camp, I also didn’t get paid for almost two weeks. So … it caught up with me over this last week or so.

But, I made it work. I planned out the food for the week. I strategically planned out my laundromat trips. Luckily my main bills fell into a place where they were covered.  Also luckily, I’ve raised my kids to understand that the happiness of life doesn’t come from “things” but from “presence.”

A whole bunch of nights of dinner in and watching YouTube videos on the Chromecast (thank the Lord for Rooster Teeth!) and streaming the Olympics on SlingTV are, really, what we do most nights anyway. So nothing much changed for us. I didn’t get to to the Ohio State Fair this year, the first time I’ve missed it in I don’t even know how long, but my daughter took her brother with her one day, so he got to at least go laugh at the chickens still. Even if I didn’t get to laugh with him (what can I say, the chickens are fucking hysterical). He didn’t get to laugh at the sheep though. A crying shame.

One thing that I did get out of this week that I don’t get out of most other weeks, was the satisfaction in knowing that … I’ve got this. Yeah, it’s gonna suck sometimes. And there will be days or weeks that I don’t get to do all the stuff I want to do, or take my kid to all the things he may really enjoy, but at the end of the day, we have each other and the fact that we can sit on the couch together and laugh at silly people on the internet is pretty damn awesome. I think back to a few weeks ago when he told me he “didn’t need” the XBox at my house and I smile and know that I don’t need a shit ton of extra money to be happy. I’ve got all that I need already.

And that makes my life a success. A pretty awesome success.