So, I’m learning a lot of things as I go about my life. Perhaps these are things that others already know and I’m behind in the game!
First, I’m learning that life is ALWAYS about learning. And just when you think you’re getting somewhere, you go around a corner and realize there’s a long road ahead. :) There’s really no such thing as a “grown up” because you shouldn’t really ever stop growing (mentally and emotionally, I mean). :)
Next, I’m learning that one of the most positive and important things for me is to LET GO of stress. Stress comes in so many forms! I cannot control everything and things aren’t always going to go as planned. It’s got to be ok to let go of expectations and let life happen. I’m trying to eliminate or minimize the toxins in my life. Toxins aren’t just environmental (plastics, chemicals, etc) but are also in things like relationships, mentalities, and emotions! I’m trying to surround myself (and my kids!) with positive and peaceful people, those who encourage me, and to whom I can be a light. This isn’t always fully possible in this world we live in, of course, but as much as possible, it’s vital for me to be a part of a community of like-minded people. People who need my strengths, and people whose strengths I need.
Also, I’m learning that it’s ok to be ME. I cannot spend my life trying to live to please others, trying to live up to others’ expectations, constantly stressed out and walking on eggshells trying to be everything to everyone. I’m learning (and it’s hard!) to not feel like I have to I have to be a little bit different around each group of people (parents, church friends, neighbors, family, etc). It’s ok for me to have different feelings and thoughts than those around me, even if it’s different than my upbringing, (so long as the decisions I make aren’t harmful to others, of course).
I’m learning that it’s ok if my house isn’t perfectly cleaned when someone comes over. That I don’t have to have makeup on in order to be pretty (confidence is a beauty all its own!). That I don’t have to pretend like I have it all together when I’m amongst friends. It’s totally ok if my house is a mess and I leave it messy so that I can enjoy some “me” time. I don’t have to do things the way they have always been done.
It’s ok that I’m a t-shirt, jeans, and Vibrams kind of a girl. It’s ok that I don’t follow the fashion trends and look like I stepped out of a magazine. It’s ok that my religious and political ideals are changing and evolving and may not match what they always have in the past. It’s ok that my kids are wild animals (they’re happy!), and it’s ok that I don’t follow mainstream parenting. It’s ok that I don’t make the same decisions that others make regarding healthcare and education - I have done my research and am happy with my well-informed decision - I don’t blindly follow the advice of someone in a white coat. It’s ok for me to trust the instincts and intelligence that God gave me. :)
It’s ok that my kids’ shirts are stained. It’s ok that they don’t eat neatly. It’s ok that they aren’t perfect (it’s not like I am!) and it’s just fine to RELAX and allow them to be children. It’s alright to sit back and DEstress about messes, clutter, and rowdy children. :) Anxiety is a killer. If I’m always stressed about controlling the kids’ every move, keeping everything perfectly clean, then I’d be wound up tighter than an 8 day clock. That’s not healthy for me, and it’s certainly not healthy for my kids. Anxiety is TOXIC, I think. One of those things that I have to do what I can to remove from my life.
It’s good for me to not freak out about things not going the way they were planned. It’s ok to constantly question the “What I’ve Always Been Told” and “The Way We’ve Always Done It” things, and arrive at my own conclusions. It’s also ok to not have all the answers. It’s alright for me to say “I honestly don’t know what I feel/believe about that.” It’s ok for me to be MYSELF, which may include any of the following “outside of the box” things : wearing my heart on my sleeve, sharing too much about myself (TMI, gasp!), being passionate about what I believe in, being overly social in person and online, and being cluttered and slightly disorganized.
This is my helter skelter life. It’s not perfect, but it’s full of joy, passion, and lots of craziness. Not to say that there will never be any heartaches or unfulfilled expectations along the way, because those things are inevitable. So I’m just going to relax, take a deep breath, and SMILE. Life is a beautiful ride - meant to be ENJOYED, not controlled. Breathe, Laura, just breathe. And remember - MY glass is ALWAYS half FULL. :)