I am back and determined

I last posted on this blog three years ago. A lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same. I am still overweight, still seeking who and what I want to be, and still frustrated with where I am at this point.

I am still very happily  married to the same man, going on 39 years later this year. We have four kids but now have three more grand kids. We have a good life, full of love and family. We are still in our old house and planning on working on that as soon as the contractor finishes another job. After 18 years things are going to finally get done around here.

I have been in a weird place lately. The stay at home order has not helped that a bit. I am out of sorts with myself right now. I have been struggling for so many years to figure out who I am and who I want to be. But it finally got unbearable. Weeks and months of watching YouTube videos, and not being productive at all , basicly just doing what I have to do and not much else. I am done with that stage, it is time to move on. Start working toward a goal. Like the ferris wheel in the featured picture, I feel I am going around and around but not really going anywhere.

As a kid I loved to draw, as I got older I wrote a lot of poems and some short stories. I have always loved to write. However over the years I wrote and drew less and less and finally got to the point where I was not doing either at all anymore. I look at the art I created as a young adult and kid and it makes me sad to think where I might have been with my art , and writing had I kept up with it. I just could not figure out how to be a wife, mom, homemaker and writer/ artist.

I will be sixty years old in a couple of weeks and enough is enough. I have filled a craft room full of stuff to distract myself, to the point it is way too much. I just am not even enjoying it right now because deep inside me I know it is not my true calling. I am planning on purging by selling many of the items I have and get it down to stuff I really want to work with, and truely love. Nothing wrong  having a craft room, but I cannot even craft as I cannot store it all.

I do believe the jewelry and crafting was a distraction. Kept me from digging too deep into myself. But you can only bury something for so long and it starts to come back up. We have that situation in our backyard. Our house is almost a hundred years old, we have a ton of broken glass and other objects that were buried many decades ago, and are now coming up through the dirt almost like a crop. You can walk around and find them just sitting on top of the ground. That is where I am right now. The emotions and feelings I have been stuffing down are coming up. I need more than stuff to distract me. I need to get deeper. Those feelings are not going to stay buried and it is not healthy or productive to shove them back down and try to bury them again.

I plan to do a vision board, along with this journaling . I was going to do a traditional journal. Just a book. But I have started and stopped so many of them and I think it is good to look back where you were so you can see your progress. By coming here and journaling, I can do exactly that. They will all be here in chronological order.  If anyone finds this journal and it helps them, makes it even better. I look forward in time to comments and hearing what other people are going through.  I do think we can learn from each other as many of us are going through the same thing.

So, I will be posting a lot, sometimes many times a day, sometimes once a day, and I am hoping not much less than that. I really want to start posting every single day. I will be digging down deep into what I want. Not really sure what I will be writing, but it is just for me. Only I have to really get it. I started this for me, if anyone joins me they are welcome, but I will not change what I am doing , this is about my search for me.

 

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 !!

 

Feeling a bit off today, a rambling post !!

I woke up today not feeling quite myself.  Maybe some malaise of the emotional kind, or even a bit morose. I am not sure which. Just not myself.  The last few weeks have been crazy busy and I knew today would be my day from the time I got up until about five thirty with just a few minutes of my husband running in, changing clothes and going out to play racket ball with our son in law.

I thought I would wake up feeling energetic , full of vim and viger, not having to sit today. I have been watching kids all week, and our youngest grand daughter five days a week for the last month or so.

However, I woke up in this blue type mood which is not really me at all.

My question is , why ………?

I think there are a few things responsible.

Not being settled in our new home, despite moving in mid August. I have boxes and boxes of unpacked stuff in the house, let alone what is in the garage. Many projects to do, so much left undone as we have had a lot of things coming up that we had to help our grown kids with and it has put our stuff on hold. No regrets, they needed the help , so that is not a problem in itself.  We always want to be there for our kids.

I think I feel like we are just staying here. It is not our home. I have a mortgage payment due on Oct 1 to prove it IS our home, but it does not feel like it. I cannot find anything I need. I have no place to put anything. I am beyond frustrated.

we moved back  here to our home town, after being an hour away for a year, to be closer to our kids , whom we missed so much and I wanted  to have a better social life as we knew no one up there, and have so far not really gotten to do much with friends. I am still pretty isoloated, but at least I am  seeing our kids and grandkids on a regular basis, the ones in Texas at least, we have two out of state we miss very much as well as their parents.

I cannot seem to focus on anything lately. Beading, photography , finances, writing, reading, cooking, cleaning, housework, going through boxes, you name it. I am just scattered at the time and I am not really sure what to do about it. I am spending too much time on Candy crush, but I play for free, I do not buy those credits to play !!!

I pay the bills, do what has to be done, but that is about it. I am frustrated with myself and my life right now.

Okay , I do want to be clear. I have a great life. I have a husband I love so much, and our kids are amazing and through them we have wonderful in  law kids and precious grandkids. We have a good life and  I have no compaints in that dept. We have a nice home , that we can really update and make really nice and my husband is blessed with a good job !!

I have a great marriage , married to my best friend. We really like each other as friends, as well as being a romantic couple. I have had the luxury of staying home the past 30 years to raise the kids and of late, help watch our grandkids.

So, what could be the problem then ?

I have no damn idea !!  I am working on losing weight. I have to lose about half my body weight in fat, that is embarrassing to admit. I need to get in better shape fitness wise. I am still pretty strong and doing pretty good despite my weight, but I want to be better than good. I want to be strong and very healthy. But this is not the reason for my feelings. I am working on it, I know I will get there.

I just feel a bit blue today.

I think I need to find people to do stuff with. I have no one I can get out with on a regular basis and have fun.  My dear friend here in Texas, used to be my constant companion  years ago when our kids were in school and we would hang out together. Not any more. she just got her LVN and is looking for a job. Soon she will be working full time and any time we have gotten to spend together , which since I have moved back has not been as much as I thought it would be,  will be gone. she is in a differant stage of l ife than I am. Ten  years  younger. Wants to party, go to bars and hang out with friends and play pool. That is not who I am and so she does not even bother to invite me anymore.  I told her we are growing apart, she is changing, I am still the way I was , but her life has changed. Her kids grew up and she is wanting to play. She swears we are not growing apart, but I have been through this with another dear friend and I know it is coming. We will always stay in touch, get together from time to time. but she has new friends that do like to party and go to play pool and do not  mind smoky bars. I am not against bars and drinking, but bars are not really my thing and I drink very rarely. It is just not something I care for.  At t his point in her life, she wants to drink socially and have fun. I want to hang out at home, , or  go out and eat, sit and talk, go to yard sales, thirft stores or even window shop at Target, but not go to play pool and party. My hubby and I have never been partiers even when we were young. It is just not our thing !!  I miss the times I spent with my friend and I probably am grieving losing the friendship we had. the one we will have moving forward, it is not the same friendship we had shared for a decade. It just isn’t , she just does not want to admit it at this point.

I would love to find other creative people to hang out with. People who love to bead and do crafts .  Maybe even writers, or artists, My age preferably . I have some amazing friends my age but they are all in other states. I love them dearly, and we talk and keep in touch through  phone calls, emails and facebook. But I want people to hang out with. Go to yard sales with, garage sales, be creative with !!

I love doing many of those things with my hubby and when he worked second shift , or his rotating 12 hour shift, we got many weekdays to go out and have fun. Take pictures, go to antique stores, thrift stores, and yard sales. Make stuff for the yard together and for a while we even had an antique booth together. He works day shift now mostly six day a week work weeks,  and gets home when all those venues are closed. I could go by myself, but it is just not the same experience . Holding up some ugly or rediculous thing you find to get the other persons reaction, showing off treasures as you find them. You cannot do that by yourself. I have tried going alone, it is sad.

So, please excuse my poor poor pitiful me day, that is not really how I feel but I know that is how it sounds. It is more a bit of sadness and boredom and frustration. Not knowing what to do to fix the issue. I have tried to make new friends. I have met interesting people and after a fun conversation have  given them my number, and they seem intersted in getting together, but I have never one time gotten a call, or an offer of thier number. I guess most people have plenty of friends. I could think there is something wrong with me, and I have at times . but I really do not think that is it. I am a normal person, not scary or weird, lol, just your average person who  loves to talk and do things with others. I just think by fifty , most people have more friends than they need. Work friends, church friends, school friends they kept for life. They just do not need another friend.

My husband does not work in a place where he can really find people to hang out with from work. Pure and simple, he really would not care to hang out with many of the people he works with and the ones he would, have too much to do and are not really free to get together or work opposite shifts from him.  I do not work, so no work friends for me. No kids in school so no meeting people that way.  We are not church goers so that is out. I love God and pray, but church is not my thing. I do not like having to watch what a say all the time and worrying about a bad word, yes, I do swear at times, and I have tried to stop it so many times, but to no avail.  I am a work in progress !!

So, it is really frustrating to want some friends, to really want a group of women to hang out with, and get together with maybe once a week , like you see in the movies and tv, and not be able to do that. I think I am friendly and give a good impression There is no real reason I can think of that no one calls me except that they already have full lives with plenty of friends and do not need another one.

I even tried the Red Hats, which our daughter in law found hilarious. but never got an answer from the group in my area.  Not sure I could prance around in red and purple anyway, so maybe it is a good thing  they never got back to me ! Okay, stop laughing Melissa, lol, !!!

How do you create the life you want ? I feel like the women in Rebas song, is there life out there ? I do not want to leave, I am just wondering if there is life out there ?  There is so much I have not done, so much I want to try.   I am just so frustrated.

I started this blog in the hopes I would  meet other women struggling to find themselves too. I would love to hear from people who have been down this road and found some answers.

If you are struggling too, maybe we can help each other !!

I am basicly happy. I have a wonderful amazing life with a wonderful amazing man I love like crazy,  who takes very good care of me and loves me the way I am and encourages anything I want to do or try !! I raised four kids with him that are fabulous adults I enjoy spending time with. BUT, now it is time for me to find out what I want. LIke my blog title says. It is time to be me, but who in the heck is me , I just do not know any more, and do not understand how to find out. I am not sure I got to know who I  was before life took me over. Marriage , motherhood, and so on. Life is like a river that just sort of sweeps you away and when you finally are able to get out , and climb up the banks, you have no idea of were you were going or what you wanted to do when you fell  in  !!

I am sure I will wake up tomorrow and feel just fine again. These days happen from time to time. I am still looking for clues, something to get me on the right path so I can start looking for where I need to be. I am only 53, I have many  decades left to live and do something great with my life, I just have to figure out what that could be ?

Thanks for listening, I just needed to vent. Not sure how many people really read this, but just writing it down makes me feel better and that is the other reason I started this blog. The light below , I took this picture years ago, says go , but I just have to figure out where !!!

Thanks so much,

 

April 2011 Stephenville and misc 400

 

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 !!

418

I lost myself , what have I become ?

I started this blog because I felt I had lost who I was and wanted to find myself. It was time to be me. I realized today I had gotten away from that journey and it was affecting me.

Today a woman who is struggling with some issues in her life, commented that she needed to get her life back, that she had lost herself in raising her kids and felt she had gotten boring. I assure you this woman is far from boring, but I got her point. I told her this is something many stay at home moms suffer from, in all age groups.  We lose ourselves somehow when we devote ourselves to being great mommies and we wake up one day, at 30, 40 or even 50 like I was and wonder what in the heck happened to us ? It made me start thinking about how I got here, and what caused me to lose who I am ?

We adore our kids, we are told they come first and we put them first. For me, I woke up later in life, and met a fat, on the edge of unhealthy, totally lost version of myself. Who is this woman that looks back at me in the mirror ? That cannot possibly be me. Ah, but it is.

How sad, that the one treasure in our life, our precious kids,they are such a wonderful gift,  are also the one thing that bring us down as the creative , inventive, curious, fun loving women we could be . In our love for them, we lose some of our love for ourselves. Many women learn to hate the woman they have become, which is especially sad. We are all loveable, even in our scattered, lost state, we deserve to love ourselves, and each other. We deserve to be loved by our families. We are lost , perhaps, but not worthless or unloveable. Many times the weight is from metabolic changes caused by childbirth, yet women blame themselves. Yes we are partly to blame, but it happens so slowly while we make sure our kids have what they need.  Weight goes on slowly and one day, like the frog in the frying pan, that when the heat is slowly raised, does not sense it and boils to death, which by the way is a myth I read, but a good way to describe what happens. You just do not see the weight adding up. It really is a shock when you see that video or photo of you, and you say, oh my gosh, who IS that woman , Me ???

We are told, we cannot have it all and do it all well. Why not ? Men have for centuries. They could have a fullfilling career, fame, fortune, or just a great job they love, making good money and then come home and spend the weekends playing with the kids and enjoying having it all. They feel no remorse over housework not done. They do not worry about the laundry. Women on the other hand, tend to take it all on. They work, come home,  do the housework and cook and do laundry while the husband in many cases  has been playing with the kids, or watching tv, but many times when he does offer help, the woman says No, I’ve got it. Guilt is a terrible thing.  I do not think, a lot of the time,  that the men do not want to help, they just do not agonize over it like women do. When they do offer a few times and are told no, many times they stop offering. The women starts to feel she has no help, but she has actually caused it by not letting him help. NOT ALL WOMEN DO THIS, and not all men help either. But I have seen it again and again over time. Or if he helps, she gets mad that he did not do it right and re does it. I am embarrassed to say I have been guilty of that a time or two as I have a wonderful husband who was always willing to help. Once I realized what I was doing, I stopped it. I appreciated the help he was giving and took it the way he did it. It was not wrong, just not MY way. Sometimes things can be done HIS way and they are just fine.

Some women are married or partnered with a man who does not feel he should have to help. I like to think this happens less as time goes on, but it still happens. The women is expected to cook, clean, take care of kids, and maybe even work outside the home as well.  That kind of situation makes it much worse and the result is a complete loss of identity sometimes because they just do what is expected of them with no thought of what they want.

No matter how it happens, somehow, many women lose the sense of who they are. What they enjoyed , things they were interested in. The spark goes out  and they feel let down by life. They do not even realize why they are so unhappy. They just feel guilt all the time, no matter what they do and feel a sense of something missing. When you are home everyday, no adult conversations, cleaning up kids messes and not doing anything you love, you lose more of yourself each day.

Many Dads do not feel guilty for working. It is what they have to do for their families. They go to work to get a check to pay the bills. But many women feel such guilt when they work. They feel they have to make it up when they get home, being supermom,  and they burn out fast.

Cooking, cleaning, soccer practice, they work all day, come home, and work until they drop in bed at night. It never seems to end. No down time, no time to be themselves, over time, they just disappear . They may even look the same,  but they are not the same inside.

I wish as a whole, that  society would support moms more. Women can be meanest to other women. Stay at home moms criticize working moms, working moms criticize stay at home moms. Why can’t we just support each other as women and help each other to be the best we can be no matter if we stay home to raise our kids, or go out in the world and pursue a job or career ? We do not need to put other women down to justify our choices. Many choices can be good ones, you have to pick the best one for you !!

It is time for women to realize thier value. To give themselves permission to find themselves. To ask their spouses to support their journey to find themselves. They will benefit from this discovery as well.

We fall in love with our spouse and some people wake up one day and do not like who they are looking at. But I believe we all take some responsibility in our spouses changing in ways maybe we might not like. Did we encourage them to follow thier dreams, or to even have dreams ? Did they ask them how they are feeling, or what they want to do with their lives outside of their parenting roles. Men and women , we need to do this. Lets be clear,  men can go through this as well, but women seem to really have a corner on losing themselves. It is just as tragic when men lose themselves, but it seems more common with women. I could be wrong, but that is my experience !!

So, we have to give ourselves permission to be happy. We have to love ourselves just the way we are. Fat , thin, young old, it does not matter. We are worthy of being  loved and cherished and we are worthy of finding out what makes us happy.

Reba McEntire has a song that says it all, Is there life out there ? I love the lyrics to this song. A woman talks about how she longs to see what is out there in the world, she does not want to leave her family, just wants to find herself.  This song really speaks to me.

I started on this journey to find myself and got lost again and let this blog just sit here , unused. . Life happens and we just sort of let go of the search and let life pull us along.

No more.

I decided that I am going to work on me.

Exercise, eat better, no drastic food changes, but small positive ones.  I am lucky, my husband is on this same wavelength, so we are doing this together.

pay off debt, a goal with my hubby, we want to be debt free to open door for us to things we would like to do.

I am blogging and praying and meditating to find myself.  I am not sure who I am anymore. I am being kind to myself. I have a lot of weight to lose and I refuse to call myself names or put myself down. I would never talk to someone I loved like that, why would I talk to myself that way. Yet I hear women call them selves horrible names all the time. I do refer to myself as fat, but as a descriptive word, not as an insult. Saying I am fluffy is not going to give me incentive to lose weight. Stating the fact I am overweight, or fat, puts the fact out there and helps to push me.

So, I know this was a rambling post but I just feel so strongly that something needs to be done for women. We should be able to raise our kids, and not lose ourselves in the process.

If the woman I mentioned at the start of this happens to read this, then thank you, you got me thinking about my own journey again. I have been feeling a bit lost and now I can start to work on finding myself again. That is the worst part, when you lose yourself and forget the journey you started to find yourself. Life can take back over in a second, we have to be diligent, but we can be happy, we can be fulfilled, we can be interesting and are probably more interesting then we realize,  we just have to get out of our own way !!

We can be moms and can love our kids, and give them a lot, but we have to give to ourselves too.

I have always heard when you are on a plane the instructions are, in an emergency, put the mask on yourself first, make sure you have air, so that you can save your kids. this is the same thing. When we are interested in life. When we enjoy our life, when we are happy, the kids benefit.

We have to put ourselves and our relationships with our spouses first , the kids need us to do that. We have to give ourselves that oxygen first. Then, and only then, we can take care of them . They will be better people if we show them an example of a happy fulfilled mom. What a great gift to give our kids. To show them how to live well and keep themselves intact while they raise a family. It is hard to do, but we can do it. I am praying we can see the next generation coming up not suffer from this.

It is never to late to find ourselves. We need to be a shining example to other women.

So, I start, and will take it , one day at a time, on breath at a time, and I will get there, and the discovery of who I am will be all the more precious for the journey I have been on !!
Thanks for bearing with me, but I feel so passionate about this, I appreciate you stopping by and would love to hear your input. I do not claim to know it all, just know how I feel. I would love to hear how other women deal with this, and the men who love them. So, comment away, I would love to hear from you !!

Today I start !!

This is my first post on my new blog. It is a monumentous occasion !!  A really huge step for me . I have wanted to do this for a long time and I am very exicted to have this place to write and share and talk to my friends and family and anyone else that comes along !!

I am in a new place in my life and trying to get used to a new normal. I spent my entire adult life raising four kids with my husband and now the last one is heading off to college soon and I find I am out of work for the first time in over 28 years , but not my husband, he is still working but I bet he wishes he could retire too !!

I cannot complain, really  , I still  have housework and dishes and laundry of course, so  am not without some  useful work,  but the stuff that kept me so busy and sometimes made me crazy, but always made me happy is done. Raising our precious babies. I thought I looked forward to it, the big day when the last one finished high school and I was done…  and I am happy to be here, but it is a strange place to be, not sure of the terrain yet !!

So, I figured it was time to figure out who I am and what I want to do and what better way but to write about it and see what I dig up over time. I am not sure of much right now in this new life, excpet for the love of my husband and kids and thier families , and my friends, lets not leave those wonderful supportive people out, I am so grateful for them , but it  is time for me to find out who I am again, I finally have the time to be me , and  now I have to figure out who ME is !!