I don’t know about you but I have a nasty habit of getting down on myself. For some reason these last few weeks have been particularly difficult for me and I have felt like a failure.
**Disclaimer, I am not writing this for sympathy or to say “oh, poor me”. I am writing this for those who are in the same place as me, so you can relate and feel better. But I am also writing this for myself. A pep talk I can come back and look at in a year or two when I’m bound to be in the same circle.**
Some things that have been getting under my skin lately are that I’m not where I want to be with my weight, house projects are not where I thought they would be, business isn’t doing so great, I haven’t done any projects with my kids lately and now feel like they’re not getting the best childhood they deserve. There will be days, or even flickering moments, when its like “Ya, I got this.” Life will be going great, I will be cruising along and then all of a sudden, woosh, the wind gets knocked out of my sails and everything comes to a standstill. Like when you think you are looking good, finally have some body confidence, and you see a candid picture of yourself and all you see are the 20million fat rolls that you thought weren’t that bad.
One day when I was going up and down the basement stairs a bunch it hit me that, hey, a little over a year ago I wasn’t even able to walk up or down the stairs at all. I had just had an emergency c-section and moving at all was a challenge. And before that I was having kidney issues and had a stint in, while 30+ weeks pregnant, making moving an Olympic sport. The thought of “having to go up and down” turned into “being able to” and then it was like a switch flipped, and I started to think how grateful I was. Then, I started to reflect on the other areas where I felt I was failing and thought about where I was a year ago, two years ago, five years ago, and suddenly, things didn’t seem so bad.
I have always struggled with my weight and body image, as many of us do. I know I am still a long way off of my goal and being able to fit back into pre-kid clothing, but I am further along than I was last year. I’ve only lost about 10lbs but I have gotten stronger, I went from setting a goal of walking 5,000 steps daily to 10,000 and hitting that goal. I can walk up and down stairs without getting winded; I can actually get up and down when playing with my kids and not hurt, I’ve actually been able to jog and not die!
It’s discouraging seeing other people rocking their businesses and knowing that mine is barely off the ground. I should be happy for them, but end up getting Jealous and then feel crappy because I’m not doing as well. Going and reflecting back, yes, my business may not be booming and I’m not making a fortune, but I actually got it up and running. I opened my Etsy shop that I’ve been talking about for years, I’ve done a few side design projects, I am working on my blog, I’m still making monthly sales with my Norwex and L’Bri. So, I may not be bringing in top sales numbers or supplementing my income from when I had a full time job, but it’s something, and it’s mine.
We bought our house 5 years ago this spring knowing it was a work in progress and it still is. I think of all the work that needs to be done and get overwhelmed. I feel like we are living in a construction zone where nothing is actually finished. But if I think back to when we started, we’ve done a lot. We started with no trees in the yard, decks falling apart, no plumbing in the basement, disgusting carpet, doors that wouldn’t lock, a leaky roof, and fixed all of that. So my cabinets might be ugly but it’s a house that is safe and fun for my family. It’s where we can have parties to fit the whole family and make memories. It might not be perfect yet, but it’s ours.
I have my moments where I can be a Pinterest mom, but then have days where I feel like the entire house is about to come crashing down around me. We fight, and cry, and watch way more tv than I would like, but we all survive. I have to remind myself I am raising 3 toddlers! Less than 5 years ago all I had to worry about was myself, my dogs and my hubby. Now I am responsible for keeping 3 children, 2 dogs, 2 fish and a cat alive (plus the hubby most days.) We are making a point to do family trips, like going to the Milwaukee Domes or the Zoo, and we had our first playdate and sleepover this month. Those are the things they will remember, not that every day wasn’t magical.
Looking at that neatly written out plan that I have for my life may be discouraging most days. But when I look in the rear view mirror and see just how far I have come and what has been accomplished in these last few years, I can feel proud. Remembering to judge myself based on my past instead of notes in a book, might help me re-find my happiness and help me be content with life here and now. Hopefully if you look in your rear view mirror you can feel the same way too.
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