Thursday, March 30, 2017

Moments of Uncertainty: Catalog Them!

The last few months of baby prep is finally over! Everything is bought and in its rightful place, the clothes are all washed and packed away, everything is assembled, a small house project got squeezed in and squared away, the house is getting one last deep clean this weekend, food inventory is stocked and prepped for postpartum and beyond. Everything is all in place because that's what Type A personalities do. Now I sit and wait...As I wait I begin to wonder. Busy is my favorite because when I'm engaged in multiple projects there's less time to think and dwell on what-ifs. Before I start this new chapter I wanted to catalog my thoughts and feelings because after this everything changes. I've struggled with accepting and adapting to change however positive they may be because like everyone who's positively content and happy, living in gratitude in life, they're afraid to lose something. They're all the more anxious about when their story comes to an end. If you come from a background where you've seen lots of struggle, loss, pessimism, and a environment tainted by ideals like:
  • life is hard
  • money is hard to come by
  • you can never trust a man or anybody 100%
  • he will leave you don't depend on him
  • he will cheat on you if you xyz.... 

You grow to be fearful of even the happiest things. Gone is the the childish spirit and belief in things magical or naïveté optimism. Happiness is a point between two unhappy intervals. The longer the happiness interval is it creates a feeling of things being too good to be true for people like me. Optimism grew on me but sometimes you teeter between optimism and realism/relativism, the line is very thin. 

Shit just got real with having this baby due very soon I'm starting to worry about how I will balance everything. The girls are mostly independent and I'm not sure what kind of baby I"ll have. Will he be a colic baby like my first or will he be easy peasy like my second child? Will I get to go to the library anymore like I love doing? Will I even want to? Will I have enough time and energy to make sure nobody feels left out? The girls have been demanding a lot recently. Will I let fitness and nutrition fall to the sidelines like I did before because I was too tired and absorbed in motherhood? Will I still work on my personal development and the goals that I haven't delayed? How might our relationship change? Our marriage has been better than ever despite the past few months of work trips putting a damper on things but still the friendship and passion department is still awesome. 

Most people I talk to say of "course you will, you will be fine, the girls will help!" I knew what I signed up for but it doesn't make me any more confident when I question myself about whether or not I have the potential to accomplish and be the woman and mom I'm striving to be. We all want to be super mom. They don't know the different person I become when I'm sleep deprived and irritable. They don't know how I snap easily postpartum because I feel like shit that first two months. They don't know how much I used to cry at the drop of a hat the minute something went awry in my perfectly planned day. They don't know the flight response I get when things get hard or overwhelming. 

Excited, scared, anxious, happy, sad; they're the mixed emotions of any person who takes the risk to live a life well lived without regrets. But these are the current "wonderings" of a third time mom who got her shit together and wants to keep it that way.  

Hopefully everything works out. I will post an update when he's here and I'm up for it. But for now I will use this post to challenge my fears and when I"m past this transition it will be either an accomplishment or a failure of what I'm capable of. Uncertainty kills me. Hence my last post before the unknown. 
Today in a society focused on photoshopped imperfections and illusions of feigned perfection I find myself more inclined to people who skip the small talk. Whenever I read a novel, a story, an article, a news report, etc. I want to gain insight, and I'm drawn to people that fearlessly and genuinely share their experiences. That's how strength is made and we cultivate hope from stories of peoples genuine struggles and triumphs. 
Catalog your moments and take stock of how things worked out and you will have an inventory of times when you prevailed nonetheless to keep you afloat... 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

10 Dark Sides of Being Goal-Oriented

January 1st always lights the fire under everybody's ass to get moving. Now that we're 18 days in, it's calming down. This coming week people will surely revert back to their old ways and go back to their comfort zones. If you've always been goal oriented, you don't care what month or what new year it is, because your planner has been filled with ideas, plans and special tasks to get done regardless. You take breaks but you never truly stop.

If you live in a fast paced city like New York City or have ever taken the subways, you always come across musicians that draw a crowd and play really well. You sometimes come across these videos online.  Musical street performances and sometimes other acts. Their talent is awe-inspiring but eventually the crowd dissipates and a few dollars are thrown into the instrument case, or hat and everyone goes back to their business.  The performer plays his heart out and genuinely looks happy doing what he loves to do. It doesn't seem to be about the money at all. Some of them are even homeless and don't seem to mind while they're playing their instrument. In a recent video I saw, a homeless man explains he's happy to just get by and wake up and play his music daily. Happiness is what everybody is in search of. That's why we have goals. Goals make us tick, they make us feel great when we finish them. Goals have always been talked about in a positive light, but goals aren't always positive. How do you know when your goals have taken a turn for the worst?

1) You're always so wrapped up in the end result you can't enjoy the journey. This is one of my random challenges, I'll be enjoying myself, and realize something is coming up in my planner and get stressed.

2) You become super obsessed with the goal you can't focus on anything else or feel gloom and use distractions to procrastinate taking action because you're afraid of failure. Majority of us are great at planning but horrible at consistent execution.

3) The impatience of it all: trying to stay motivated and focused. It's like you want to get off the rat wheel but there are too many other things pulling you in different directions because today's world isn't built like during the Renaissance era. There's a lot to get done. You can't focus on just your hobby and ignore everything else without falling out of balance.

4) Having expectations of what its gonna be like vs. what it's really like...

5) The thrill of reaching the goal and feeling in a slump after the high wears off until a new goal is in place. People with fast or a steady career progression will be able to relate. It feels so great when you reach your goals, but then you can easily become unsatisfied and wonder what's next?

6) Feeling like you can't relate to others any longer who are not likeminded, or are not inspiring/challenging. Looking for a mentor can be hard, the best sources sometimes are authors, celebrities, or those who's story has touched your core beliefs.

7) Reaching a natural roadblock and feeling like you might not achieve anything. Roadblocks in writing, in a project, in a learning curve, are all apart of that struggle. Whatever you do, don't give up. Things take time it's hard to remember that. The greatest masterpieces took forever.  I actually looked up some of the 7 wonders of both the ancient and modern world and, masterpieces like the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, the Taj Mahal, and the Sistine Chapel ceiling to see how long did they actually take. The greatest things weren't built in a day, but somehow we lose heart after some weeks and months.
8) Ultimately you question your worth. Wondering if you're less valued without titled credentials. Society teaches us that you need titles, certifications and licenses to be validated in an area of expertise. I'm no doctor but I've spent a lot of time trying and studying different holistic remedies that are common knowledge and have seen better results than with the use of prescriptions. There are good uses for western medicine and then there also times where it's completely unnecessary. Wisdom is better attained through an open-mind and experience. Perspectives are everything and majority of people are trained to stand by what they've been taught instead of question and test those ideals. If you can converse with any person of any age group of different backgrounds on any subject I think that makes you more well rounded and accredited to give advice or advocate on areas you're well informed on. Self made people don't wholly rely on formal credentials.

9) You now look at older people in a different light. It's like one day you woke up and stopped being so oblivious. Everything stands out. You don't see them as failures instead you see their struggles and empathize. You realize the true meaning of "being in your prime". Anybody can do anything, but being past your prime makes it that much harder. The realization that you have vitality on your side is amazing, but the idea of the inevitable loss of it is disheartening. Soul crushing if you ask me. Life happens and sometimes it breaks our once boundless spirit. You once were told to seek knowledge from your elders on "what to do". Now you just want to make the best of your prime years and learn from everyone on "what not to do".

10) You suddenly incite a negative following. This is probably the darkest of them all. You've been genuinely working on yourself for yourself without a care in the world just trying to reinvent yourself in your own way. You've been quietly and discreetly smashing out your goals and suddenly you have chronic copycats. Inspiration is NOT imitation. You've tried to be gracious and ignore it but it's become that pesky fruit fly problem that won't go away because the fruits of your labor has already been spotted. The elation you once had while you did your thing is now tainted by fools. You don't wanna whistle while you work anymore. Sally used to post solely news articles 24/7 on social media for years but ever since she saw how the Jones live, every post is about success...[insert eye roll here]. I will keep being a bright pineapple regardless.

It might be time to take a break from serious goals. It's time to become the musician on the streets. These are some great new goals: