A Moms decision

I just read a very interesting and thought-provoking article written by a woman who decided to give up her career to be a stay at home mom when her second child was born.  She loved being with her kids but after almost 20 years of marriage her husband left and now she is struggling. Job in her field, as a writer have dried up and she now cautions women to not give up their careers to raise their kids because all those years later, they could end up like her with no husband, no job, and no current marketable skills.

Many people weighed in and some were very unkind and some had no personal experience to give them the insight to comment on this writers story.

It made me think a lot. I was a stay at home mom. I wanted more than anything to raise our kids and be the one who was there for the first step, or first word and be able to hug and kiss them every day and enjoy being home.

My husband and I had made the decision really without making it. When our second child was born, I simply would not have made enough money to pay child care for two kids, let alone bring home any money over that, as I worked simple minimum wage jobs. I had no real skills, I had our first son at 20 and had not attended college. So, for us, it was a very easy decision. Two more kids followed for a total of four so working outside the home really was not possible for me at that point in time.

I would do what I could to save money, cooked from scratch, sale shopped, couponed when I could, and earned bits of money here and  baby sitting, or doing a craft show. No internet back then, so it was all done the old-fashioned way. From time to time, when a  car broke down, or we needed a bit extra, he would pull a second job. I tried to work a couple of times in the evening, but after all day with the kids and then work at night, I got stressed out and sick and frankly he found it easier on both of us, for him to work a part-time job, I run the house full time and that is what we did.  After a few years when he got into his current field, overtime become more available and he never worked a second job again. I have continued to baby sit and do crafts and yard sales and stuff over the years but now have the internet to help.

My take on this subject has changed over time. I used to think moms should stay home if they can, always recognizing that many could not, even if they wanted to, but if you could, it was more important than extra money.  That being home with your kids is the best thing you can do. Having some of the extras a second income could provide was secondary to making sure you were home with the kids.

Do I still feel that way, yes, to a point. IF, you can stay home, and it is not a financial burden AND you want to stay home, then yes, you should do that if you can. BUT, you need to think real hard about the future when you do. If I could go back and talk to that younger self, I would point out that one day those kids will grow up and put you out of a job. What then ?  What will you do when your kids are grown and what can you do now to prepare for that ?  I would encourage the younger me to go to college, even a class a semester or even one a year, anything so in twenty years I could have had my degree. I would have talked myself into pursuing those part-time evening jobs, even if it was easier for him to work at night, because it would have given me some trail of work experience to use to get a job when the kids were grown. If I had done it longer I would have gotten used to it and it would have benefited me, but since my husband really preferred going to the second job then trying to step in and do the night-time parenting full-time, which he was good at by the way, he just felt it was more seamless if I did that full-time and he did the part-time jobs when needed.

I sit here now, at 53, intelligent and capable, but pretty much  unhireable , except for fast food and retail dept store type jobs. No work skills, no work experience, no degree. Nothing to show for the first half of my life except for the pretty important fact I have four wonderful kids, and now they are married and we have our grandkids. Those are the most important things to have. I know this . I have a great marriage, great kids, great family, that is such a blessing and I am grateful every single day for all of them. I have thanked my husband over and over for the gift of being able to raise our kids. BUT, it is okay to make the choice to have a career and still have a family, I have changed so much in my feelings about that.

BUT, right now , in this moment.

I am bored. I am lonely. I want a purpose to my life. I enjoy time with my husband, and kids, and grandkids, but I have a lot of hours a day to myself. I talk on the phone, blog, make jewelry, take pictures ,do housework and watch a bit of tv,  but not  much during the day , I watch most of my tv in the evenings. I have a full life, no doubt, but it is just not quite enough. I need a personal purpose. Goals of my own. I have no idea what I even want to do anymore. I love doing so many things, photography, writing, jewelry and crafts, yard sales and thrift store shopping, reading and baking, but I am not excellent at any of them. That saying, jack of all trades, master of none, comes to mind. That is me. I am a good amateur photographer, I am a good baker, I can write a bit, even some poetry and I can draw  well . I make some nice pieces of jewelry, but I am not exceptional at any of it.  I am a jack of all trades, but a master of none. I have never become an expert at anything. I am good at many things, but I want something I can excel at !!

The problem is, I cannot figure out which one is the one I want to be a master of. Do I want to master writing, art, photography, jewelry, baking, what ? I do not know. I am sitting in a place in my life right now where being creative at all is difficult for me, but at the same time necessary for me,  and I am not sure why ? I have enough beads to make thousands of things, yet, no work lately. I have all kinds of wonderful art supplies, never draw anymore. I do take pictures, but nothing really out of the ordinary. Like most photographers I get that one really good one out of thousands, but I have not progressed past a point and shoot camera. I have other interests too, but do nothing about them.

I am 53, and clueless on what to do with my life.

I firmly believe I have half  my life left. I tell everyone I will live to 110, and I plan to work hard to get to that and so does my husband !!! He is amazing and supports me whatever my dream is, and I do the same for him. He is a very talented amateur photographer and stain glass artist , both hobbies.  He is my best friend and when he is home from work, we are together most of the time, unless he is doing something around the house that I am not helping him with, we spend most of the time he is off work doing stuff together. Errands, tv, shopping, taking drives.

He is a happy soul, he should write a book about it. He hardly ever stresses over stuff. Whistles his way through life and is good at that too, and is pretty good-natured most of the time. He is not perfect thank goodness and has  his moments, which I am glad for , he is just a happier than most kind of person, but not in the annoying way, in a genuine and honest way,  but he is playful and fun and jokes and makes me laugh and I am very grateful for him. He lives in the moment like we all should and does not worry about much. He knows I pay the bills and he works and makes the money and leaves all that to me.His choice, he hates taking care of the bills. We do make our financial decisions together and we are a good team. Again, I do have so much to be grateful for and I am and literally thank God for him each and every single day.

BUT, I say BUT again, I need something for me too.  I have to decide what that will be. Should I just focus on keeping the house clean, cooking great meals and have hobbys, or should I work hard to find a passion for myself ? For so long my decisions were based around our four kids and honestly I am still  around ( grand ) kids  a lot. Should I make caring for the grandkids while our kids work my career ? I am so torn with what to do.

I do  know this. I have to be creative. Being an artist is a big part of who I am . I am just having one heck of a time figuring out how to find my path.  I threw my entire self into raising the kids, and no regrets, they are our biggest joy and I would do it all over again,but now I have to find me, that is why I started this blog.

I think a big part of me wants to help other women not have to go through this. Find a way to have their kids, stay home if they really want to and raise them, and still keep themselves. I do not think women need to give up who they are to be a mom but many of us willingly do that very thing.  We fall in love with those little beings and they become our life . We put everything into them and then one day they are on their own. My husband was so wonderful when he told me,  Well, you did your job so well, you worked your way out of a job !! ” What a wonderful compliment  from the father of my kids.

So, reading that article today really made me think again about what I want and need to do. I have been kind of floating along lately, we have moved and had a lot going on and it allowed me to not really think about it all much.

This new year, I am going to focus on me again. What to I want and need to be happy personally. How involved in the grandkids do I want to be ? Do I want to baby sit for the kids instead of getting a job, and can I even get a job ? What am I passionate about, and can I have a career in that ? Real estate and personal finance are two things I am also very interested in, maybe even passionate about, but without a degree, or some college, not an option. So, do I want to go to school ?

I kind of stopped my progress for a while and just let it go. But I cannot do that any longer. I have to do whatever work I have to do, to find me again. It does not matter any more what choices I made and any mistakes I made that hurt me. Our kids are grown, I did a pretty decent job, and if I am going to be fair to myself, an excellent job, even though I was a good mom, we are so hard on ourselves, another issue moms have to  learn to deal with, be proud of themselves and the job you do and not pick your self apart!!  I am proud of  all of our kids and love them so much.  They love me too  and I am proud of the fact I got to stay home and raise them. If I lost myself doing it, I cannot go back and change  it, but I know I have to move forward and find out who I am now. I am not the same girl who started being a stay at home mom at 22 years old. I am 31 years older now and I really have no idea who I am anymore, not really.  I am still a wife, a mom and now a grandma too . I am still an artist and writer, but just need to find my focus and figure out what is my purpose and my passion , what I can do each day that I will love doing and look forward to each day !! I know not everyone can love their lives and their jobs but we can all try to find something we love to do, there is nothing wrong with wanting a purpose driven life. I am blessed to have a husband that works hard and supports us so I can make those choices. I would love to contribute to our household and take a bit of the burden off of him, but that is me, not him. He has his hobbies he loves too, but lately he has not had as much time to spend on his stuff either.

So, anyone reading this, who has not made this choice yet, if and when you get to that fork in the road, if you do choose to stay home with your kids for a while, or their entire childhood, just know that there will be a life after your kids are grown so be sure you balance your time off with your kids with some investment in your own future  .The computer makes it so much easier and I am sure, if I had the luxury of a computer when our kids were young, that would have been a tool that would have helped a lot. Online college, writing, so many options for everyone now, not just stay at home moms, and so much information !!

Sorry for this rambling post. It was just for me to get my thoughts written down. If anyone reads it, I am thrilled !! I would love so much to hear others opinions on this subject and how they handled making this decision  and if they were able to keep themselves intact while they raised their kids and if so, how, and if not, what they are doing to start their next chapter in life . I am also really interesting in hearing stories of moms who chose to work and keep their career while raising their kids !! Are they happy with that decision and how did they work through any feelings of regret if they had them. Moms tend to feel guilty no matter which choice they make and that is one thing I wish we could do for future moms. Give them that choice with no guilt. If you love your kids, and give them what they need, whether you stay home or work, they will be happy and well-adjusted. No more guilt !! You can work and be a great mom. It is just a bit more work for the mom, but extremely  possible. Something I am ashamed to say I never believed back in the day. Pretty arrogant and I am sorry for that. I do not feel that way any longer.

Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate it !!

 

Getting motivated and getting a plan

We have some wonderful new neighbors at our new house and truely feel we won the neighbor lotto as everyone we have  met on our street is just wonderful !! One family next to us is having some pretty exciting opportunities come thier way  and it is so fun to watch thier dreams coming true . My best girl friend Laurie just got her LVN license, and is on the path to being an RN   which is her dream come true, all of our kids  and thier spouses are starting to really  find thier paths and are doing well, which is so wonderfu land I am so excited to see these wonderful people having great things happen !!!

It made me realize that I am not content just watching them reach thier dreams and have wonderful things happen, I want to have wonderful things happen in my life !!

I have a great life. To borrow a line from a fellow Blogger I folllow, The Dancing professer, I have a dreamy life !! I have a truely wonderful husband who supports anything I want to do. He is not at all upset with me when I have a fun day instead of washing laundry , even if he is really short on socks,  and is truely happy that I had a good day and will throw in a load himself , no compaining, although I really try hard to make sure he has what he needs each day . We honestly love each other and enjoy each others company and after almost 32 years of marriage are really happy together in our marriage and are each others best  friends as well as married.  We share four truely amazing kids and three of them are now married and their spouses  are all like our own kids, we love them so much and they have given us eight grandkids, which are such a blessing !!

Blessings all, and I am so grateful every day for each and every one of those precious beings in my life !!

I have also been blessed with wonderful friends in my life. Some here in person, some friends I have had for life that live in other states as either I  or both of us,  have moved from  where we all knew each other. I have wonderful blogger friends and friends on facebook I have never met. Each one is a blessing and a gift in my life. I enjoy reading the blogs and talking on the phone and keeping up with all these wonderful people.

I have done what I was supposed to do. With considerable help from my hubby  we have raised our four kids to be wonderful and interesting adults that I would want to know even if they were not our kids. We are so proud of them all.

Now, it is my time. I do not want to spend the rest of my life on the sidelines cheering everyone on with no one cheering me. I want to have goals and work hard to make my own celebrations !! Life is so amazing and there are so many wonderful people and places and things to do,  and I want David and I to be able to see the world and meet interesting people and have some fun and interesting experiences !!!

So, it is time for me to start making more plans and then start making them happen.   Both for my personal future, what I want to be now that our  kids are grown up, and for us to make plans for us as a couple now that we do not have to make our plans around kids any longer. And also help my husband with his own plans, give him support to think about what he wants to do. He has supported us our entire marriage and never really give much thought to what woudl make him happy career wise, versus just bringing home money for the family. I want him to be happy every day with what he does , not just have to endure a job the next twenty years. HE works hard in his currrent job, makes good money but it is not his passion, although he is very good at what he does.

MY biggest problem is I am so scattered. I love to do too many things and need to focus on one  or at most two.

I love to write, draw, bead, take pictures, do all kinds of crafts, read, talk on the phone, visit with friends, go to yard sales and thrift shops, although those last few really are not career goals, although the yard sales and thrift stores could be part of a goal.

I have been working on a book for years, time to finish it and figure out what i am going to do with it  publishing wise.

I am also working hard to get off about half my body weight and that is very distracting as well. Going slow, but when you have a metabolism problem, which the endrocinologist said I do, It will just take longer but will happen in time.

So, the big questions is what do I want to do the most ??  I really do not know !!!!

We recently moved into a new(old) house and it is taking so much time to get settled in. I am finally going to have a proper work area in the living room and once that is all done and every thing I own is put away, I know I will be a bit more focused .

Did I mention I also have ADHD from childhood ?  I am constantly having to keep myself on track as I can be distracted off anything I am doing so easily.

They say to figure out what you loved to do as a child to find your true calling. I loved to do kid stuff. Run, jump, play kickball, play with my little animal toys,and for a while Barbies, draw, play with clay, paint, , color, sing, talk and spend time with my friends and play make believe games. Pretty average child stuff. Nothing that really steers me toward a dream or goal.  Kind of the same stuff I love today, except for the Barbies and animal toys, make believe ,  and the  running and jumping thing. But that is not the point !!!  I suppose some make believe in our lives would not be a bad thing, day dreaming is so important and that is what we do as kids, but we act it out !!  I had noticed lately I do not day dream as much as I used to and I do not like that !!

That is what made me start this blog, and I had every intention of writing here often and working hard to figure me out , but then life  just got in the way. It become an occasional thing. But seeing all the happy news around me, and watching the people I like and care about having such fun times and seeing so many dreams starting to come true, it really has  hit me that I have to start moving toward some goals.

I sit in my house way too much. I am living through others, way too much. I deserve, as everyone does, to have dreams and goals and celebrations of my own.

We get married, we have a shower, or showers, the wedding, and that fun time of getting used to being married. Then you have the babies and those showers and then pretty much after that, if you do not keep your personal goals alive, everything is for the kids. Their first day of school. Their graduations and big birthdays, one , ten, sixteen, and  you kind of push your stuff to the back. We did not have a big 25 th wedding anniversary party and that is a shame. We should have. I did not have a big 50th birthday, nor did my husband, we should have.

What is life, if not for celebrating ??

So, I am going to work harder, as I navigate life stuff, setting up this house, babysitting grand kids and celebrating everyone’s goals reached and dreams coming true, and get some goals of my own.

I know some things I want to accomplish.

1 lose the weight that as Oprah put it, is mud in my wings. I do believe that. I am not as bubbly and outgoing as I used to be when I felt pretty and had a thin more agile body. Although still outgoing and friendly, I am less  willing to put myself out there than I used to be.

2, finish my book and get it published and out there.

3. Get my jewelry business profitable. I am very , very proud of the quality of my pieces. I know they are good quality and worth what I ask. I just have to figure out how to get my pieces  promoted better. I am working on it, by  sponsoring a very cute and lovely  blog, showing my items on another  wonderful blog. website,  and putting them on Etsy .com.  Those links, if not on this blog to the right, are on my beading blog, which is on the right.

4. Get our debt paid off so that David has some options. Once we are debt free, except for our houses, they will be ongoing for a while, then we have more options open for doing some of the t hings we are passionate about . Real estate, we have dreamed of owning rental property and finally have one house rented and one we live in. Also , we would love to open a store and rent out booths to crafters and antique dealers. That has been a dream for honestly most of our marriage. We have rented booths and tried that way, but that is not the way to do it. Have others pay the rent and you can sell your stuff with no rental, trying to pay the rent on a booth leaves it harder to make that profit !!  We have to be debt free and maybe willing to live above  that business for a while to get it off the ground, so more things to work towards. This would be a purchased building, so the mortgage and business could be one for a while.

A good start.  Much work to do.

I will work hard on becoming focused. Something my ADHD brain has issues with at times !!!

Thanks for stopping in, I will share as I go !!!

 

some pictures I took in our back yard the other day, great new camera !!! Took a lot more, but will just share a few !!

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On going journey

I posted recentlyl about how lost I am and how I am trying to figure out who I am , and what happened to me.

Not too long after posting that post, I got an invitation from a local media personality with whom I had interacted with on her facebook page,  to attend a symposium on empowering women. It was a huge eye opener for sure.

This was very out of my comfort zone. Me. Alone. Large group of women I do not know.  I did it though and for that I am proud of myself. I went in with zero expectations , not knowing what to expect. I knew this person hosting and a couple of other speakers would be trying thier best to inspire and  help us to find power within ourselves.

I learned some interersting things. Only 4 percent of the population are doing what they were born to do. I am not sure how anyone came up with that figure, but if it true, sad.  I think it was kind of ironic that Dove Soap announced in thier most recent ad  that only  4 percent of women around the world think they are beautiful. Both are sad statisics. Strange that they are the same.

some of the advice we were given was

Do your destiny

Lets do this thing

I live by, do something, even if it is wrong,

take action, a plan without action is only a wish

verbalize it, say it outloud to yourself , tell someone else.

Do what you say you are going to do.

Visualize it. Picture joy in the end result.

Don’t be fearless, just fear less

Be courageous, determined and resolute

Never give up

Surround yourself with good people

seek wise councel

Start right where you are.

Do it for yourself.

Do it because you love it

Think outside the box

Take the first step

balance is the key

do it with excellence

We were asked a lot of questions

What do I want for ME

What is the one thing, you have always wanted to do ?

What is holding you back ?

What gets your heart rate going ?

More inspirational quotes,

be in the moment

Do it afraid

go where you are celebrated, not tolerated.

think about what things are most important to you.

then more questions

What gives you meaning in life,

What are the principals and actions that guide your decisions

more quotes

You were made for more

We each have a higher purpose

You were made to leave a mark

We are what we think we are. Identify your obstacles

As yourself how much do I want this  ?

Identify with your goal.

A lot of great quotes,  and I truely enjoyed what all three of these ladies had to say.

The problem is, when you have lost yourself, you are not even in a place to ask yourself these kinds of questions.

How in the heck do I do my destiny when I have no clue what it is ? I have no damn clue.   None . At . All .

What thing are we supposed to do, IF we are struggling to find WHO we are ?

Doing something, even if it is wrong. Obviously many of us are doing the wrong thing, that does not help. If you keep doing wrong things in the hope you will do the right eventually, that does not work. Another saying comes to mind, I believe it was Einstien that said it,  definition of Insanity : doing the same thing over and over and expecting a differant outcome . How many of us do this exact thing ? We think it is us trying to make something happen. We are not supposed to give up. We are supposed to pursue our dreams !! When the dreams do not come true, we might still keep going, just thinking, this time I will make it !! But it never works. Unless it does, and then you got what you wanted and that is really awesome and wonderful, but for most of us, it does not work out that way.

How are you supposed to take action or visualize something that you do not even know ? How can I visualize an outcome when I cannot figure out that outcome ?
I am a huge believer in the law of attraction, but to attract it you have to know what you want so you can think about it and attract it !!

I would love to be courageous. That sounds so powerful. BE COURAGEOUS  !!! BE DETERMINED !! BE RESOLUTE !! Please tell me what that means. I really have no clue at all.

The logical song comes to mind.

It starts out, telling how wonderful and magical life was when he was young, but then he was sent away to become responsible and dependable and at one point in the song he asks to be told what he has learned and as absurb as it seems, can you tell him who he is ? I am not quoiting directly because I am not sure I can legally, but look up the song lyrics, I have heard it recently on the oldies channel and it struck a chord with me.

We start out small kids. Well, babies, and we see the world so magicly. Wonder, joy, amazment, everything is new, wonderful, awesome, and insipring. We start to build dreams, often big , wonderful dreams , and then we become adults and we are told we have to be practical. be moms, ( dads, but I am writing about women here ) , pay the bills, get a job, grow up !! There is no time for nonsense.

So, most of us take it to heart. We get jobs, we put those childhood dreams away. We forget about them  and go to college, if we are lucky, ( I never got to go to college )  work, get married, have kids and do all the right things. And that wonderful, creative, happy, joyful child  in us,  dies a little inside .

I used to love to play games. I spent hours as a kid running in the front yard, kickball, soccer, hopscotch, monopoly, aggravation, the game of  life, and so one. We had our four  kids and when the family  would all  get together for parties, I never got to play. I had to watch the kids. Keep my eyes on four kids and make sure they were all okay. My hubby played croquet , or whatever they were playing. I know he never understood why I would not play. He is a good husband and father, but moms are moms and moms worry. He finally convinced me the kids would be fine, relax and stop worrying and a half hour later, a stranger walked up to the door with our then 18 month old youngest son, letting us know they found him in the middle of the street. Oh dear God. I was beside myself. How he even got out of the house/ yard , we have no clue. After that, it was over. I was not ever going to take my eye off of them again. What every playfulness I had left , was gone. I was a mom, I had to watch the kids, period. That scared me half to dealth. My baby. What could have happened.

Now, obviously within a few years, they were all big enough to not worry about anymore By the time our baby was eight and the oldest was 16 I could have relaxed and not been so nervous, but now it was routine.  This was my job.

Now fast forward to today. Empty nest. None at home.The four kids range from  23 to 32 years old. No more excuses, I obviously do not have to watch them anymore. I do not know how to play any longer. It is buried in me. I know it is in there. But it is buried deep. Add that to the fact I have lost my dreams, and I have lost who I am. It is a hot mess.

I really enjoyed the symposium. They meant well. One lady was leading our table in discussion. I had a turn to talk and she asked me a bunch of questions. I suppose she got frustrated with my answers, she cut me off and went to the next person. The ironic thing is, this woman claims to be passionate about helping stay at home moms not lose them selves. WHAT? So, she takes a stay at home mom who HAS lost themselves and proceed to make her feel pretty bad. I could have been a great resource for her. I am the poster child of what she wants young women  to avoid, yet she made me feel kind of bad. I tried to not let it bother me and continued to participate, but she never gave me a turn to answer a question again.  She is a never married, never had children , around 40ish woman. No offense, but what in the hell does she know about what moms and housewives are going through if she is not willing to listen to even one who is struggling ? I told her get them while they are young, maybe they will not go through what I am going through. that was BEFORE  my incident with her and the questions. This woman also wrote a book about living your greatest life. Hmm, just saying……

I came home from this event kind of in a funky mood. I am very overweight, no  job, let alone career. I could not relate to most of these women in any way and they could not relate to me. A lot of weathy socialite women were there. Business women, career women, business owners.

I need someone to ask real questions. Not give me a bunch of inspiring quotes. I have been collecting quotes for years. They really do not help much.
I know all of those women mean well. I have no doubt in my mind all three of our speakers mean very well. But they ALL have careers and dreams they are living . They DO NOT understand the frustration and sometimes hopelessness women can go through  when they no longer have a focus in thier life. They have worked thier way out of a job, raising kids that are off on thier own and do not need them anymore. It is a hard place to be in. All of thier focus has been making sure their kids are okay, making sure the kids have what they need, not much thought as to what they need. The kids were thier career so to speak, but they get a very early retirement, with no pay and  a life time of experience that does not help them to get a job.

So, step one for me, get a car. I cannot sit at home any longer. I am beginning to be fearful to go places alone and without a car , I cannot !!

So, we did. My hubby wanted me to have a car and an opportunity for a great deal came along last night, just days after this event, and he bought me a beautiful car !!

I went out today. I went to Hobby Lobby to see if they are hiring, but they are not. Next week I will try a new place every day. I then went to Target for a crock pot and a gift and card I needed , and then to Alberstsons for some sale meat ,no really  exciting, but I enjoyed it. It was exciting to me.

As I was wandering around Target, my first time out alone  in a couple of years,  I am dead serious, my first time alone in a store,  driven there  by myself in a couple of years. I remembered a card posted on facebook, and I thought it expressed how I felt in that moment.

I am currently unsupervised !! I know, it freaks me out too !! But the possibilities are endless !!

So, I wish instead of well intentioned quotes, some of the motivational speakers would give us real steps to finding ourselves. THAT would  be movtivating to me !!

I do not want to leave the impression my life sucks. It does not. I am lucky to have a fabulous, loving and supportive husband and four amazing kids and we have three in law kids and seven grandkids. I have friends and I have some hobbies and interests. I laugh, and I live and I love.  I  do however need more. I need somthing of my own to be passionate about. I need a direction. My hubby is not responsible for my happiness, my kids and grandkids and in law kids are not repsonsible for my happiness, and neither are my friends. That is completely up to me.

I need a purpose, a drive !! Something to pull me out of bed in the mornings, excited to get involved and work on that thing !!

So, the journey continues. It is my journey, I have to take the steps. I just have to figure out which direction I need to head towards, once I have that, the rest will be pretty easy !!

Please share your insights, I think we all can learn from each others journeys. We need to share !! This journey is so important. We ALL desereve to be happy and fullfilled and passionate about something in our lives. That child is still in me, I just have to figure out how to rescue her. She deserves to be freed from the prison I put her in, and the fact I did bury that part of me, makes me so sad.

Thanks for stopping by !!

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Time to be Thankful

This is the time of year we all are reminded to be thankful for what we have . I noticed a lot of people posted daily this month on facebook the things they are grateful or thankful  for each day . I think it is a wonderful thing to make a point of sharing what we are thankful, or grateful for, but it is too bad we only really do that this time of year. We really should do it every day.

I make a point every day to look at my life and be grateful for even the small things we take for granted. Once you start making it a part of your daily life, you realize how much you have that you really did not pay attention to.

How many times do we take clean running water,  sanitary bathrooms, a stove, microwave and if we have it , a dishwaster for granted.  Most people have a washer and dryer in thier home, but even having one at a laundromat beats washing clothes in a river . We are very blessed as modern Amercians to have so many luxuries that we consider our right. Or we do not consider them at all.

When I was a young newly  married girl, I was working as a waitress, yes, we were still called waitresses back then, not servers. If you were a man, you were a waiter !!  I was complaining about the mess at home and how I had to go  home and do dishes and pick up. This young girl who I really did not know well, said to me. ” You go home and be grateful you have dishes to wash and a house to clean. I have to live with someone else right now because I do not have my own place. I would love to have my own dishes to wash and my own place to clean. ” I was very humbled and that has never left me. When I find myself getting overwelmed with housework, I  stop now and think how blessed I am to have food to cook, and dishes to wash. I have a floor to sweep, mop and vacuum and I have bathrooms to clean and a bed to make and laundry to wash , in my own washer and dryer. I have never forgotten those words. I have days I forget, I will be honest, but most of the time, I stop , think and say Thank you to God for the fact I have these messes which indicate a wonderful life. Having a husband of 31  years to cook for, and do laundry for, I am very blessed . He works hard to give us a good life and when I am tired  and do not feel like cleaning I make a point to think about how it must feel to get up at five am every day to go to work, whether you want to or not, and I stop complaining and start saying thank you .

Of course, since I am far from perfect, lol,  I have times when I do not think of that and complain about the mess I have to clean, but I find more and more, I decide to be grateful for that mess as it means I am very blessed. Complaining is less and less part of my life.

So, as we go about our daily life, we  need to really look at what we have, not just the obvious, our families and friends and a home and a job, those are all huge blessings to be sure. But look at those small things, that are not small to many people. Food, clothes, electricity, clean running water, indoor plumbing,  a home to live in, not to mention that flat screen tv with dvr and the blue rays and dvd players and video games smart phones ,  and all those things most of us can easily  take for granted.  Just having this computer in a spare room, this is a huge luxury. I have an entire room to play in on my computer and with my crafts and beads, what a luxury.

So, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to spend with family and reflect on all we are grateful for. I hope more of us can continue that gratitude through the year , really looking at our blessings every day and thanking God for all we have , it really is a lot, no matter what tough times we are going through. Even if breathing, being alive and having a future ahead of us,  was all we had, we have hope of a better day and a good future.  Most of us have so much more than that. Every day we are alive, we have the chance to create the life we want and I do believe that being grateful for all we  have is the way to getting to the future we want. How can we attract the life we want when we do not appreciate what we have ?

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and really digs deep and finds all the things in thier lives that they can be grateful for, I think most of us have so much more than we even realize to be grateful and thankful for !!

Happy Thanksgiving !!

These are the things I know

I have to say, life is pretty good these days. I am enjoying finding out what it is like for my hubby and I to live alone after 30 plus years living with our kids. I miss everyone, being an hour away, but I am happy learning to be by myself and it is a new experience. We have a lovely, very quiet apartment with a gorgeous view of a creek bed and trees. So wonderful and relaxing. Two bedrooms and two bathrooms, what luxury, and I use both bathrooms, just because I can !!!

I am continuing to work on finding me, I finally have the time to be me, but still have not really figured out who I am yet. After a lifetime of raising kids and helping with grandkids, I am still not exactly sure who I am.

These are the things I know about me so far.

this is seperate from me the Mom, grandma, wife, aunt, sister, and so on, this is just me. I am trying to figure out myself so I am trying to understand myself better. I know I love my family and friends, it is me that is a mystery after all these years !!

I am passionate about photography, it is probably the thing I love most and when I miss a good photo opp, it really bothers me. I have a few shots I never took, that years later, I still am mad about, lol !! I think with my camera most of the time when I am out and about, oh, look, that would be a great picture, that kind of thing and my iphone and pink elph cannon point and shoot are always with me. I need a ten step program. My six year old computer has , no lie, over 14, 000 pictures on it. The box for my new computer says it holds 170,000 pictures, or something like that. I think I will be okay for a while.  My cell phone had 1500 until I moved some to the computer and deleted them off the phone, I have had it one year this month. I still have over a thousand on it. No kidding.

I love to create, with beads, paint, stamps, words, a camera, being an artist is who I am and I have to create.

I need to write. I find when I write, I am happier. I love blogging, writing poems, emails and even texts. I am list maker too and I know it is because I love to write.

I love to bake ,and have always baked for our family. It is how I show my love sometimes.

I procrastinate, badly. I can put things off like crazy when I do not want to deal with them, and that is not a good thing.

I love chocolate and I  eat chocolate when I am happy, sad, hormonal, bored, mad,  you get the picture, I love chocolate !! I do not really eat it as much as I would like to though.

I get overwhelmed easily, like right now with a studio full of stuff to list on my etsy store, my ADD kicks in and I get frozen and do not know what to do first, a big issue I am working on. I have only been dealing with it my entire life, but it is time to overcome some of those bad habits, I have to push through when I get overwhelmed !!

I am content right now. Just happy to be where I am, and who I am , even if I am not sure who that is right now. I like being where I am in life and looking forward to finding new dreams and  goals.

I know there is a lot more, but it is late and my brain is tired !!

Here are some pictures I have taken , and when I have taken one, there are usually at least 200 more !! I am usually the official event photographer at the  grand kids parties, I cannot help it, I love to take pictures !!

not sure why, but I love to take pictures of traffic lights, have better ones from upstate NY but they are on my old computer and I cannot  get to them !!

Well, I am pushing it, when I try to add too many pictures to my blog, it starts putting them in the wrong places, so I had best stop while I am ahead !! This was not too show I am a wonderful photographer, I know I am not, I am still  learning !! T hey are  just to show  that I love to take so many kinds of pictures and to share a few favorites of mine . I have  hundreds of the grand kids, but I cannot post them without permission. They are not my kids to share and some parents do not like thier kids pictures online so I work hard to respect that !!

So, another great day and looking forward to a really nice day tomorrow !! Thanks for stopping by !!  I am happy to share my journey with whoever wants to share it with me  !!

time to be me, getting started finally

I have not posted in a bit, and I have to admit I have not really been doing much of importance lately. I have been getting settled and getting used to my new life, which is very differant from the life I have led for the last 30 years.

I love the apartment. That in itself shocks me. I was kind of afraid I would not adjust well to apartment life, but having a one car garage with our own private stair case that is part of the apartment/ garage, helps a lot. We never use the front door at all. I could put a large potted plant in front of it, lol !! I love that we have t hree doors. A front door, a back door to the garage and a patio door onto our balcony. I love the view. As I sit here typing I feel like I am in a tree house. I look out over a creek and all I see sitting here are the tops of the trees that are at my level. Wonderful. Quiet, serene even. A nice , lovely, homey ,pretty, and comfortable place to figure out who I want to be.

My life has been defined pretty much from the start. Daughter, sister. Than mother, wife, and aunt. Always friend.  But who am I ? I have spent so many years worrying about others, every mom does, but in all that caring and worry over others I feel I got lost in the shuffle somewhere.

I read once to find yourself as an adult, remember what you loved doing as a kid.

I loved to chase butterflies, and catch the millers on the lantana bushes and  catcth grasshoppers and  play kickball in the front yard, but somehow think that is not what they are talking about !!

I always loved art. I remember one time using my moms beautiful book on birds, that had lovely illustration and spending hours copying some of those birds painstakingly with contruction paper.  I loved to draw and color and sing and make up songs. I was always a creative child.

As a teen, I wrote a lot of poems, some short stories and drew a lot. I loved music and dancing and again, was always creative.

How do we lose that side of us ? I got married, our oldest son was at our wedding so I never got a chance to just be a wife, I was mom and wife. I worked the first year and a half until our second child was born and then I had two to take care of and money from the job would not cover day care, so that is when I became a stay at home mom. Nineteen months later came number three and about four years later number four, and I was a  busy mommy !! I did not have time or money for creativity anymore. I was busy all day and could not seem to find the time to write or draw. It slowly got put away.

As they got older I tried with my jewelry but I could never find a good balance. If I created, the house work did not get done, or the house was clean and I did not create, it was a hard line to learn and I never really did figure it out.

Now, my time is my own. My husband is finally on a five day work week  , m -f, so I have all the time I need and the only messes are ours so they are not much to clean up after.  Perfect, time to create again, but I just do not know how to get started !!

So, that is where I sit today. Trying to figure out not only what to create, but when and how. I am still playing with the beads, I love them even if they have not been a good business, but I want to get back to my basics, writing and drawing. I figured posting this is a start !!

I am going to have to take baby steps. I have added new interests over the years, one of them photography which I love.  All I know is creativity makes life worth living.  I am tired of watching tv and seeing other people live, or reading  tons of b logs about other people doing fun things, I still want to watch those shows and read those blogs, I love them, but I want to start  having some fun experiences too !!

We have been here almost three months, time to get moving. That is the plan. I guess like the old saying goes, I will take it one day at a time and see what I come up with. I will try to do something every day, even if it is small and post it here.

Now, gotta think what I want to do first, lol, do not know where to start, but I guess it is time to just jump in and get wet !! I will have to figure it out as I go !!

So, today, this blog post,  and tomorrow I will do something and get myself creating. It is a start and the one thing I do know, is once you start creating, you get the wheel rolling and it gets easier to create , the more  you create !!

So, on to finding me, that has been my goal all along. Just harder than I thought it would be !!

Getting settled !

We have been in our new place for a couple of weeks now and are well into the process of getting settled. The main things are done, kitchen , our master bedroom and the bathrooms, but the spare room, that is a differant story !! I am in here on the computer, but the room is a disaster otherwise !! It will just take us some time to get it where we want it.

I have made the decision that the jewelry will simply be a fun thing to do when I want to play. I will not put any more effort into it as a business. After 20 years of trying so hard, it is very clear to me finally that that is not my path. I did not want to give up, but I realize now, when you are trying to do something that is not what you are supposed to do, not your path in life, no amount of work is going to make it work. It is time to say, I tried, and I tried a long time,  but it is not what I am supposed to do .

So, now is the fun part. Getting back to the journey and figuring out what is my path and getting on that path and enjoying my life.

I have so many things I plan to accomplish. I want to lose weight and get to a healthy weight and get more fit. I asked my new downstairs neighbors when a good time for me to excercise without bothering them and it turns out they both work all day and the first one gets home about 2:30 which gives me all day to get in some excercise without worrying about bothering them, although they did not seem too concerned about me excercising, and I appreciate it, but even walking in place can be loud downstairs even in a well made apartment !! 

I want to get back to my writing. I have several projects I had started along with this blog. Now I have the time and the quiet to work. This place is so quiet and lovely, with a creekbed behind us and quiet neighorbors  . It is amazing. I do not think we have ever lived anywhere this quiet !!

So, one day at a time as they say. I plan to really figure out where I am going and make a map to get there.  I am hoping this blog will help me to figure it all out !!

I am off to excercise and then to make some lunch. Just a nice quiet and relaxing day. I can get used to this for sure !!

I am still doing a lot of thinking about the future and what I want to do with myself now that my job is over. I have raised my kids and now they are all on thier own. I need to find a new focus.

For the last two and a half years our daughter and her family have lived with us . They joined us in Texas from Calif when our son in law lost his job in the housing industry. It took them a while with this economy but they both finally have jobs they can build a future on and we are moving out of our own house  mid June to let them rent it from us and we are getting a wonderful apartment to start the next chapter in. It is very exciting.

Now I need to figure out what I want to do next.  I have been working on jewelry for the better part of 20 plus years and although I feel I make lovely items and they seem well recieved, my sales are really only to my wonderful family and friends.  I appreciate them all so much, but it has become crystal clear that I have not found a way to create an income from my work and it is getting to be increasingly frustrating.

I am not sure I can continue to beat my head against the wall any longer. I see others selling thier jewelry hand over fist and making an actual living, but for some reason, I just am not enjoying that kind of success. After 20 years, I think I need to make it a hobby and leave it at that.  Enough is enough and my passion for beads and jewelry is obviously  not enough to overcome my lack of ability to find a successful venue to sell my pieces.  I  think if I had a creative partner to get together with and share the expenses I could branch out to some craft fairs and give that a try, but no matter how hard I have tried, no luck.  I have met people time and again who seem to have that same desire to find a craft partnere, give them my card, and never hear a thing back from them.

I just think maybe I am being shown over and over, this is not what I am supposed to be doing.

I love to write. I used to love to draw. Once we had our four kids, I lost the time for those pursuits and that is when the jewelry came into my life. Jewelry you can create with kids running and screaming around you. No big huge concentration is needed. At least not for me, maybe some people need quiet, but I do not . I always have the tv on , or I am on a phone call when I create my jewelry .

I am thinking once we are in the apartment I will start working on my writing and drawing skills again. When I look at what I drew in my teens and young twenties it is discouraging to see how much I have lost.  Drawing is something I have to concentrate on. I need to focus and think.  I will have that quiet time to draw once we move.

I think at some point you have to figure the universe is telling you something. Maybe jewelry  is just not what I am supposed to be doing. Not my life work, not my calling. I am okay with it. I have kind of been feeling this way for a while.  Jewelry is not the thing I came here to this life to do. I have always been an artist, jewelry just has been my most recent medium to work with.

I am looking forward to this great adventure we are starting in June. I am so excited. I am trying to figure out what to do. Do I set up a studio or do I pack up the beads and put the boxes in the guest room closet or storage closet and forget them for a while ? I just do not know.

Sometimes when you have been trying something for a long time, it is not so fun anymore. I am still just as able to create, and I do enjoy making pieces, especially custom orders but for the most part, when you c reate to sell the fun goes out and the frustration comes in !!

The only thing I do know for absolutely sure is that I want my future to be even more fun and creative and exciting than my past has been !! I have shared my life with my wonderful husband for over 30 years and our kids  have been such a blessing. It has been fun and never boring, and I want to have a fun and interesting next half of my life too !!

I am going to be 52 in June. That is still very  young. I used to think I would be old at 50, but if my eyes are closed, I feel much younger. When I cannot see the weight I put on , it does not affect me, only when I am looking do I see the weight that has been a bit of an albatrose around my neck.

Oprah once said her fat was like mud in her wings and I can relate to that. I think I need to work on getting rid of the extra weight  and see where that takes me.

I am learning that finding yourself. working on being who you came here to be, is not easy work.  It is really hard. It is not exciting all the time, but can be very boring and tedious to find what you are supposed to do.

I wish the answer was there for me to read, but it is not !! It is a deep hard excavation that we have to do. Removing those rocks and dirt a bit of a time and using that little brush to gently move things out of our way so we can see underneath the facade we have created !! I know something great is there, I know it will be fun and creative and fullfilling. I also know I have some more digging to get to it.  

So, for now I am packing and  figuring out what to take, lend the kids, or sell. Lots of hard work. we want to lighten the load and start fresh without so much stuff !!

Life is meant to be lived to the fullest and that is what I want to do.   I want to enjoy the journey too, not just what the journey shows me. The journey could be quite long, it could be quite short, but the journey will teach me about myself and that is very important !!

The best is yet to be

I was given something to think about today while watching The View. I had never really thought a lot about it , but something said by John Ramsey made me think.  After losing his six year old daughter Jon Boni fifteen years ago, and then his wife seven years ago  , he was asked if he still had the  good years ahead of him.

Wow, what a thing to ask yourself !! Are the good years still ahead of me ? 

When we are young we have so much to look forward to. Getting through grammer school, going to middle school, and then going to high school. Your first date, learning to drive, getting your license, getting a car, getting your first job, graduating high school. Possibly going to college and then graduating. Meeting the right person, gettting engaged, getting married, buying a house, having your babies, moving up in your career ,  all this is ahead of you.

One day you wake up. Your kids are grown. You may even own a house. You may even have grandkids. What is left to look forward to ? Are the best days behind you at that point ? Especially for us stay at home moms who never pursued a career. What in the heck is left to look forward to as a personal goal now ? Haven’t we reached all the miles stones we get in life ?

I had thought some about that. Obviously that is why I started this blog. But never in those terms. Are the best years ahead of me, or behind me ?  I think it really depends on you.

If you think, okay, thats it. I am done, there is nothing left to look forward to in my life. Just exist until I die, then that is probably what will happen and you might not live a very long full life.Or it might seem very long because you are so unfullfilled and bored stupid.

But if you say, okay. The obvious milestones have been met, but I am going to find new ones and find out who I am and what I want now that I have finished my very  important work of raising my kids, that will give you a completely differant perspective and therefore a differant view of life. 

There is no obvious physical differance between people with those two seperate attitudes, both start from the same place,  butonce that question is answered  the spiritual, mental and physical life of those two people are completely differant based on how they answer it.

If you believe with all your heart you can set new milestones and build a new life then you can do that.

Go back to school, start a new career. If you have never worked, get a job you enjoy or start a business of your own.

What do you love to do ? What excites you ? That is where we need to start.

I am so excited now that I heard John Ramsey say that today. Now I know what I need to do.

I need to set goals for myself so I can build a wonderful future for myself.

Now, many people will say, what about my spouse ? Where do they fit in to this ? Well, they do and they don’t. They do in that they are your spouse and the most important person in your life and what you do impacts them. But they cannot be responsible for your happiness and you cannot be responsible for thiers. But, if you are in a great relationship , if you find what makes you really happy, it cannot help but make your relationship happier too.  Maybe it will inspire them to find what they want to do as well.

I am blessed to have a husband who encourages me to try new things and always supports my efforts and I do the same for him.  I cannot wait to have this discussion with him but unfortunately he is in bed sick , and sound asleep !! I think it is a wonderful discussion for everyone to have with thier partners or spouse, or friends or both  .

Now it will not be easy. It will take work. But at least we know WHY we are doing it. I want to have an exciting and fun life and be able to enjoy the many years ahead of me now that our kids are grown and out on thier own. It is our time to explore our relationship  as well, and really build a new one. We are not Mommy and Daddy anymore, but Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa.  We can now , for the first time ever in 30 years, put ourselves first !! How wonderful !!

But while my husband  has a job and skills he has built over these past 3o years, I have been home with our kids and grandkids. So, now I have to step out of my safe little box and find out what I want to do. I have to really figure out what it is I am passionate about, what I can  see myself doing for the next half of my life and what I can build my new goals around.Yes, I did say the next half of my life. I am only 51 and only consider myself  only half way through my life , and it will be a great second half !!

It will not be an overnight thing. I will  have to dig and explore and figure it out. But now I do know I want to have the best years ahead of me, which means they will be pretty damn good. I have had a great life so far. Amazing husband, wonderful kids who have given us wonderful families to love in our in law kids and grand kids. 

The bar has been set pretty high, but I am worth it and life is worth it. I want to be busy and happy and fullfilled each day. I want to get out of bed excited about my day and  looking foward to what I am going to try today.

So, if you want it, the best is yet to be, and you can have the life of your dreams, it is NOT all over for you.  You just have to want it bad enough !!!  If you believe in yourself, you can make the second half even better then the first !! It is all up to you !!!!