Goals Smoals

In the midst of a lot of movement these past 6 months, I have felt like I am just keeping my head above water. Literally. It’s like 4 or 5 different things have been in the works at a time.

What do you do when life is like this for you?

Sometimes I feel excited and ready. Other times after I’ve been buzzing all over the place, I feel like I am literally falling apart. It’s like I don’t have any energy to listen to another person, or write a blog, or even pick my clothes up.

This morning as I got up, I felt that way. Super emotional and overwhelmed. And it wasn’t that everything is a disaster and imploding. In fact it’s the opposite. This is the beginning of a whole new book for my husband and I. His work is finally in the process of completely transitioning, which is such incredible news.

I can see the goodness all around me, I know it’s there. But because of how busy and buzzy and emotional everything has been, I’m not feeling the joy yet. I need to feel the other parts first. The sadness, the endings, the relationships that suffered, the physical emotional mental energy that was extended, the strain on my relationship with my hubby, etc. It’s like before I’m ready to jump off the cliff and into the next book, I need to honor this one.

I need to apologize to my hubby for being snappy and shutting down.

I need to make amends with myself and some of my friends.

I need to give myself a big hug and tell myself it’s okay to be human. It’s okay to have a hard time. It’s so funny, isn’t it? You guys probably aren’t that different than me with this. I sense that I am depleted or sad or overwhelmed or even angry and then I get MAD at myself for that.

‘Jackie! What is wrong with you! You shouldn’t feel that way! Stop!’

How could me being MAD at myself for having emotions possibly bring me ANY CLARITY or PEACE or SELF LOVE at all? Why do we do this?

Now, I am getting better. I can at least recognize the voice AFTER it has spoken. I can hear it clearly and after the shock that I’ve ‘wronged myself again,’ has worn off, I shake my head. How is that HELPING ANYTHING???

The thing I really need is to love myself. I need to tell myself all the things I would want to tell my little child. That  it’s okay for me to be where I am, and that I just need to rest, and breathe, and love the parts that feel unlovable.

I know I want to start moving forward with a ton of goals. But maybe today isn’t the day. Maybe today is for a big cup of coffee and lots of tears and hugs and sadness and breathing through and knowing there are many many more days for goals coming up.

Duh!

Oh my gosh! So I was talking to my sister this morning and describing a situation that had happened recently where I felt really unseen in my step-momming role. It’s been so hard in so many ways! Too often when people hear the word STEPMOM (dum dum dummmmmmmm) they assume it’s some woman hiding in the shadows with no opinion or is at least so emotionally disconnected from the kids that she doesn’t participate in any of their upbringing.

That’s exactly how my stepmom was!

But that’s not at all my experience!! Partly because the kids mom is so emotionally void, and communication deficient, I came in to MAKE UP FOR HER. In so many ways it’s been extremely dis-empowering.

One day maybe I’ll write a  book about what I’ve learned. 

But for now …. what if I find other women like me and create a support group? I mean, why not? I would have benefited so much from a group of women that aren’t gathering to BASH their husbands or the ex–wife’s, but to actively work together to find solutions.

I know that for me, I have started to feel much better about myself since changing my definition of my role.

Maybe there are women out there that need this group. Woa. I’ve often wondered why I’ve gone through all of this. Maybe I can help people after all…

There has got to be women out there that are in similar situations and want to feel more empowered, more IN CONTROL of their lives.

Boundaries Are For,…

The ones who want to make a freakin’ huge change in their lives! ha

Happy Monday!

Wow I can’t believe it’s already Monday again and the month of August is moving right along. Sheesh…. It seems like so long ago thinking back to last year at this time…. Getting Brian into a new school and preparing to do 3 hours of driving a day. Just to get him into a better environment. I was so willing to do whatever it took. Though I’m grateful I was like that, grateful I put everything aside for that, let me tell you, I am so happy for the lessons I have learned.

I know I wrote a post a couple weeks ago about staying in my own lane and not jumping in to FIX situations/people/experiences, etc. And since then, I’ve really chilled the f*** out.

Not that life has gotten easier by any means, but I feel LESS RESPONSIBLE, and have been pretty good at reminding myself of the boundaries I need to keep FOR ME so I can show up the best for myself and others.

It’s such a funny thing this boundary thing. It’s not about other people (since unfortunately we can’t control them anyway), it’s about ME. I have to stop MYSELF from doing things out of HABIT that I will later regret.

I am the only one in charge of creating the life I want.

 

Crisis

In a flash my reality as I have known it has changed. In an instant what I thought I knew about my life and the people in it has vanished, and I realize I am in the middle of a crisis. Now, it’s funny with crisis’s, we think they happen all at once. It does feel that way, and yet usually it’s because we finally see the whole story all at once like a million blazing lights. Were we just ready to finally see the truth? The truth that has been sitting on the bleachers this whole time waiting to be seen?

As I sit here after having spent many hours replaying events, trying to FIGURE out reasons, and meanings, and researching help, I am faced with an interesting question.

Where do you go when there’s a crisis?

When everything you thought you knew is suddenly bubbling all over the ceiling? When you feel like you must keep yourself busy but exhaustion hits?

That’s where I am right now, and I am grateful. I always know there is a lesson, I just have to open my eyes wide enough to see it. I KNOW it’s there, hidden in the shadows waiting for me to find it.

In this case, I think I know part of my lesson. And it is MY lesson. It was gently placed here in my lap for me to unwrap, uncover, and grow from. I can feel it inside my body, I know what this is. Here in front of me is the realization that I must make better boundaries. That I must make myself #1.

I have known this, as we all do in some way or another, but with this particular situation, being a step mom to kids whose mother is on the spectrum, I am constantly, constantly doing more than I should. I am keeping myself way beyond responsible for everything, and expecting her to do nothing.

I am putting the kids in front of me, and then my husband, and I am cramping up big time.

Why do I feel like it’s all my job to do alone?

If there hadn’t been an impulsion in these last couple of days, I would just keep doing and expecting that I must KEEP DOING.

But now I see what I am doing to myself, my heart, my soul, my body, my exhausted mind. I must slow down. I must allow space between what is in front of me and what I keep DOING.
I can no longer keep juggling, so that other people can step up.

 

The funny thing is is that I feel great for awhile when I buzz around handling it.

I feel accomplished!
I feel like a winner!
I feel like I have a purpose.
I feel loved and valued!

I knew there had to be reasons for all of this, and there is. I do get something out of it. To pretend that I don’t would be a lie. I can’t keep running in circles taking other peoples’ responsibilities over so I can feel like enough. I am not saving anyone anyway, and I am drowning.

So here I am inside of a crisis where I must matter more than all of them. I must take care of me first so I can even make a suggestion of what to do or where to go. I must create boundaries and allow others to fumble with figuring out the next move. I can do this, and I will.

At the end of the day, it’s my sanity on the line. It’s my joy that is being threatened, and it’s my peace that I’ve gladly been trading. I have done that to MYSELF. It was not done to me.

It is my job to turn it around.

Finished!

After a bunch more hours and hundreds of new lines,.. I am finished! I really enjoyed making this piece. In hindsight there were probably much quicker ways to get the same results but that’s okay! Trial and error, right? I’m liking the contracting colors but it’d be fun to put into Photoshop and change everything up. Hmmm!!

Schedule Emotional Drains?

Wow! What a weekend! This is the first one in a long time that actually FELT like a weekend. Know what I mean?

Sometimes we have these ridiculously stressful weeks and then convince ourselves that the weekend will be the time to finally really relax, and yet it becomes just another couple of days where we are running around stressed out chasing the feeling of relief.

This has been a huge part of my life lately. My hubby and I have had some pretty stressful, exhausting things going on with the kids and his ex-wife. So we have done what any concerned, aware, loving parents would do,..

we’ve talked about it obsessively.

I think in my head, I felt that if we aren’t talking about the issues over and over and over again until they are SOLVED, then we must be:

Living under a rock

Hiding

Avoiding

Afraid.

So,.. I pushed it. All the time, with no break. Anytime we saw each other we would start talking about these extremely heavy, exhausting PROBLEMS, ISSUES.

Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? 

But they didn’t get any better. I realized that I was so drained, emotionally, mentally and physically, but

THE ISSUES STILL REMAINED. 

I started to not feel particularly close to my hubby. I didn’t feel at all at peace. I didn’t feel full of energy, and I wasn’t noticing things I am grateful for.

Once we both discussed our feelings about all of this,

something magical happened.

We got a fuckin’ BRILLIANT idea. I think it’s the best we have had all year.

If talking about certain things is exhausting, and yet to some extent we still need to do it, why not create a schedule where it’s okay to do it in?

So here’s the deal: We decided that Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5pm -6pm is our talk time about the difficult stuff.

NO MORE THAN THAT. 

Can I even tell you what this has done to our lives! We have only been doing it for 5 days, and all ready I feel like a completely different person. I am lighter and happier and more joyful and so so grateful! I feel like I have my wonderful relationship back to where it was.

And I realized something else.

Before, I felt like if I WASN’T talking about the difficult stuff 24/7, then I was avoiding. But now, since there is a PLAN, a SYSTEM, I don’t feel that way at all!

I feel in control of my life.

So this situation reminded me that I am in control. It’s MY happiness, it’s MY joy, it’s MY life. I can make choices on when and who I want to discuss personal stuff with. And so far, I must say our schedule is

LIFE CHANGING.

This weekend was unbelievably connecting and fun and playful and open and I am so in love. We gave ourselves a much needed EMOTIONAL BREAK! Yesssssssssssssss!!

Sooooo grateful for intuition!!

Happy Monday! xo

Michael Kagan

I just so happened to be browsing through Instagram when I found this frickin’ cool ass artist. He does a lot of mountainesque paintings, and a lovely large collection of astronauts, among other things. He’s very painterly, and his brush strokes are jagged up close and yet very refined far away. I love how so many different colors show up in his work. It feels very detailed and yet sort of blurry and pixelated, like a dream.

Check it out: http://www.michaelkagan.com/

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