Saturday, November 5, 2016

Blogging (Life) Obstacles ... and SMASHING Them

I originally started this blog when Karl and I were in the initial planning phase of moving to Minnesota. That reality feels so removed from where I am today. I'm sitting at a messy table (same one where this blog started) in a different room in a different state. It's a gorgeous November day, unusually warm for Minnesota standards (70 degrees!!) Ok. I had to relocate to our back deck. I knew it was nice out, but wow!! The 3 kiddos are all napping. It’s bliss. 

I haven't done a lot of updating since moving to Minnesota. I've been busy with working 40+ hours/week outside of the home, mama-ing 2 and then 3 littles, wife-ing, and doing at least the minimum on the home front (with much help from Karl - the laundry, cooking, cleaning, start at the top and do it all over again). The homemaking stuff (except for the occasional inspiration that I have for a meal or baking or dessert) is lowest priority for me. It’s becoming less of a mental battle. In the past, I had a really hard time letting go of the messy counters, the laundry piles, the vacuuming. I’m not living in squalor, but I don’t have the time or energy to keep it all clean. My priorities are kiddos, daily needs (picking out clothes, prepping bottles, feeding the cats/dog), and sleep. I do the housework but not out of annoyance or because I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE. I do it when I have a moment and it works. The kiddos are playing and keeping themselves entertained, so I take the time to vacuum. Or this morning, when Baby S was looking out the front window, the old 2 helped me to clean it from Mars’ nose artwork. I’m integrating it into the day instead of having it hang over me and nag at me. And if it doesn’t get done? I’m feeling less guilt than I did a few months ago. Which feels HUGE. Guilt is such an emotional and physical drain. Thank you Lexapro and bupropion and counseling!

Besides carving out the time and just sitting down and doing it, my three other obstacles to blogging are: 
1. Having the wrong mindset for why I'm blogging. (My mission statement without having a mission statement? It's to stay connected with my friends and family around the country when I'm literally in between the piles of clean/dirty diapers, laundry, dishes, lunches to be packed, leaves, you name it. To share my reality. For each of you who are reading it.) Instead, I think of the witty, polished, impressively talented bloggers that I read and then that puts a little grey raincloud over my reason for writing. But when I read over my past posts, I find them pretty darned enjoyable and am thankful for having them. What better reason to write than that? 

My second obstacle is the writing squelcher of: 
2. What about those people who don't like reading updates? I'm one of those people who enjoy reading the Christmas cards. Whether you choose to share a little snippet or a long narrative about your family, I love catching up on my people's lives. I know that there are people who don't like those reading the page-long updates. My mental response to that (up until today) has been hesitation or resistance to writing a post that might seem too long or too sharing or too much about my kiddos for someone else’s interest. Today, I’m freeing myself from that. Instead I’m choosing to be ok with the fact that I can write a novel, and it may be just for me reread in the future instead of worrying that someone might find it to be too much sharing.

Finally...3. Pictures. I LOVE sharing photos of my life. But, it takes a lot more time to add photos to a blog post. More writing will mean more posts sans photos. That one is probably the hardest hurdle for me. I’m still wanting to include a photo or 5, but that would probably mean an hour more of time and might result in this post not being published. So sans photos it is.

Now I feel a lot freer which also could do with the Vitamin D that I'm enjoying at the moment. And sitting outside in bare feet and bare arms at the beginning of November…even though Scottsdale, AZ was left behind over 2 years ago!

A snippet of an update with hopes of writing more is going well. I'm feeling more back to my baseline mood-wise than I have since probably postpartum with Miss S. I’m SO thankful that I’m on a different medication path because it feels really good to be living in a clearer mindset. I’m a huge advocate of both medication and counseling/therapy (and none of this is meant as medical advice other than sharing my personal story!)

We’ve had a lot of changes in 2016 – my parents moved to Minnesota in June, Karl’s parents are now living year-round in Minnesota, Miss S started kindergarten in September. Baby S will turn 1 (WHAT??) in three weeks from today. I have no idea how that’s possible. Karl is enjoying the last of his “baby bonding” time (aka 6 weeks unpaid from his employer that he can use before Baby S turns 1). Last night we enjoyed our 4th date night since moving to Minnesota (we’re going to work on making that a more than twice yearly event). It was a stay at home date night with a nice bottle of wine, chicken wild rice salad, pasties (for Karl), and The Walking Dead. Simple and lovely (and very Minnesotan - the wild rice salad and pasties) to be together sans-kiddos for 3 hours (thanks Mom and Dad!) Not to leave out Mr C, as the middle man…he is becoming more and more a very sweet, thoughtful, and loving 3 ½ year old. Sometimes it’s so hard to remember in the throes of the 2s and 3s that the psychological developments aren’t stagnant. The tantrums will become further apart. The frustrations will be less often. That’s where we are right now. We must be doing something right, because Mr. C is such a sweetheart.

I’ve become a listener to books on CD. I have a solid 35 minute commute to and from work (against traffic) and am now on my 3rd book on tape. I had to break past my mental obstacles that I’m not really “reading” if it’s a book on CD. Or that books on CD are for the elderly or vision impaired only and if since I’m not elderly or vision impaired, then reading print is the only option. My kick this week (at least) is smashing down these life-hindering/ridiculous obstacles and embracing life without these fake rules. And with the breaking of each fake rule, the lighter I feel. It’s AWESOME! This week’s inspiration is partially from my latest book on CD - Shrill by Lindy West. (Yay Seattle and my Seattle girlfriends!)

Mr. C just woke up from his nap, so I’m going to go rake up piles of leaves for jumping into. Actually all 3 kiddos are now up. Perfect timing. I’m going to publish this novella before I have more time to rethink it.

What’s going on it your life? I’d love to read about it. Thank you for being a part of mine!

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