Mom Fails

I’m so sad. I don’t want to be a bad mom. I want to be patient with my little girl all the time. I don’t want to raise my voice. I don’t want to be visibly angry with her. I want her to be a sweet, obedient child.

But I find myself losing patience. There are all the reasons in the world to justify it, of course. We’re all tired and cranky. She’s not listening. She’d rather play, like a normal toddler, than go to bed. She’d rather throw a tantrum because the stuffed animal isn’t doing what she wants it to do, than rationally see my point when I say “You’re fine, calm down, here’s the bear, right here!”

SIGH……

Will there ever be a time in my life when I’m not treading water, keeping my head only slightly above? My strength wanes as I keep treading anyway. Because life is merciless in its endless demands for more. More work, more hours, more time, more money, more bills, more chores, more diapers, more tantrums, more CLEANING.

I know. No one wants to hear other people “complain”. I guess I don’t see this as complaining. I’m simply being real. Who actually enjoys the sucky things about life? Anyone? Bueller??

Didn’t think so.

What I have to learn through all of the crappy pieces of life, is to give myself some grace. To see my faults, decide they’re unacceptable, give my best, most valiant efforts to change them, and if and when I fail…to let it go.

Frozen’s popular song can teach us a thing or two. To let it go is one of the most important lessons we can learn! I want to let go of unrealistic expectations. I want to let go of guilt. I want to let go of fear, anger, sadness…melancholy.

You know what I think melancholy means? Seeing life for its stark reality and nothing more. No hope. No beauty. Just endless, endless TOIL and HARDSHIP. Never a happy moment to be had, and if so, it’s fleeting.

No, thanks.

I simply WON’T persist in being melancholy.

It’s just too sad, and there is SO MUCH to look forward to and hope for.

So if you’re in the midst of a “Mom Fail”, and you downright despise yourself because you haven’t been the perfect June Cleaver mother…STOP RIGHT NOW. Give yourself grace. Write down some ways you can make it better, and let it go.

You’re not a failure. You love your kids. They love you. Tomorrow is a new day.

A few things I want to remember and maybe they’ll help you, too.

1.) Praise your children ten times more than you correct them.

I should post this everywhere in my house, it’s so important!

2.) When you’re losing patience with your child: LOWER your voice instead of raising it.

I’ve actually done this one. And while it may not stop Olive’s meltdown in its tracks, it definitely has a calming affect on me. So it’s worth it.

3.) Spanking only works if you’re not angry. Even then, it’s doubtful.

To spank or not spank is totally a matter of opinion and I don’t judge people who spank, because I do it. But to be honest, I don’t want to do it, and it’s only as a last resort because how the heck do you get your toddler’s attention sometimes without a swat on the bottom?! But I hope to phase it out, because I feel it’s counterproductive.

4.) Don’t underestimate the power of involving God in your family. 

This may sound cliche and you may have skimmed over this part. To be honest, I probably would have, too. I hate cliches and platitudes. But I feel that the simplicity of actually putting this step into practice can CHANGE OUR LIVES. Praying about our families, praying WITH our families, searching our hearts to see if there’s any mean ol’ selfishness hiding there, and rooting it out and giving it to God…becoming more aware of others’ needs and choosing someone else’s happiness over ours. These are all things that can truly change our lives. And I want to do them more often. Not in a religious way…but in a very real, “God, I can’t do this without You” way.

It’s Monday night. I still have a long week ahead, full of any manner of frustrations, mishaps, pull-my-hair-out moments. But once again, God has centered me. He has brought peace. And I revel in this moment in gratitude. I’m thankful for my life, my family, my beautiful Olive and my handsome husband. Happy Monday, indeed. 🙂

Frustrated mom and toddler

 

 

 

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Why Can’t Everyone Be Nice?

People. I don’t know if I have very much to say right now, but if you could just imagine me. My eyes closed, arms straight down, hands ever so slightly raised at a ninety-degree angle, heaving a Big Long Sigh.

I had to capitalize that. Big Long Sigh is my usual go-to coping mechanism when my day gets frustrating. Maybe I should stomp my foot for good measure.

Seriously. Why can’t everyone be nice? I don’t understand. Is it physically impossible for you to say a kind word or be helpful in any way?

I’m trying to figure out the psychology behind a nasty person.

Do you think the world owes you something? Has life been unfair? Has your heart been broken and you’ve been cynical ever since, so you make the world pay? Have you got a terrible, unseen disease that causes you excruciating pain, so you’re physically unable to smile? Do you hate everyone? Why? When did you become a snob? A jerk? A mean, old grump? A cynic?

When did you stop caring if you hurt others’ feelings? Did you ever care? I’m sure you care if your feelings are hurt.

Because the world owes you. We all need to bend over backwards to accommodate the chip on your shoulder.

I know why people aren’t nice. There are seriously so many reasons. But none of them are good enough.

When it comes down to it, if you lack the ability to have simple KINDNESS, you lack one of the most important qualities you could ever hope to achieve in your lifetime.

You could be very successful in your business and make millions. No one could ever fault your business know-how. And you could argue that you got to the top because you were ruthless and people were afraid of you. But monetary gain will be ALL. You will miss out on the richest things in life. The things that do not come with a price tag.

It’s the best feeling in the world to know that your smile or your kindness made someone’s day. Here are some ways to be nice:

Smile.

Say “Thank you!”

Say something encouraging when you see someone struggling.

Practice empathy.

Don’t complain.

Be patient.

Don’t be self-centered. Remember that you’re not the only one that needs things.

Pray when you’re upset.

Believe in God and His ability to help you, in any circumstance you are in.

Determine to have renewed hope for your future. Whatever has happened to you is in the past. Clean slate.

Now, I want to say that I haven’t always been nice. I have to be honest. As an opinionated little personage, I’ve definitely had my moments when I’ve disregarded others’ feelings in favor of being right. As if that’s all that matters.

It most assuredly ISN’T all that matters.

Grumpy
Don’t be like Grumpy. Come on!

Kindness. That’s what matters.

 

 

 

Hold on Hope

I feel too raw right now. Disillusioned. Spent. Apprehensive about the future. Hopeless. Emotions are awesome, aren’t they.

I want to feel wonderful. Full of hope and life. I know I will again. But I want to always be able to see the silver lining, and at this point, I can’t.

I love Mumford & Sons. Their lyrics and music are the language of my very soul. What’s more, I can imagine them sitting on their couch right next to my reflective lamp and me, writing songs and strumming their guitars and laughing at themselves.

“I will hold on hope…” that simple lyric calls to me. Here’s the whole song, which is really a poem full of deep meaning when you really think about it.

“The Cave”

It’s empty in the valley of your heart
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you’ve left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat
You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see
But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

‘Cause I have other things to fill my time
You take what is yours and I’ll take mine
Now let me at the truth
Which will refresh my broken mind

So tie me to a post and block my ears
I can see widows and orphans through my tears
I know my call despite my faults
And despite my growing fears

But I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker’s land

So make your siren’s call
And sing all you wantMumford and Sons
I will not hear what you have to say

‘Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it’s meant to be

And I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

 

Watch the video here. No, for real, WATCH IT.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REo7VnlenOA

 

Being at the end of all solutions. Of all possibilities. Feeling entirely overwhelmed…as if everything is futile and life will never be easy. In the song, that’s where he is. Yet he rises above. He says “I WILL HOLD ON HOPE” and “I’LL FIND STRENGTH IN PAIN”.

Yes. Yes. Yes!!

I’ll know my name as it’s called again.

You know what Joanna means? “God is gracious.”

God is gracious, no matter what circumstances we are in. When we feel like the weight of the world is crushing us, like there’s truly no hope and we were such fools to ever believe there was…He is there, and He is gracious. He will make a way.

Because He’s God

And Mumford & Sons rocks.

And someday I will not only see them LIVE, but I’ll somehow get to meet them and play music with them and tour and see the world and life will be over-the-top amazing!

In the meantime I’ll settle for listening to their songs over and over while I wrinkle my face into emotional expressions and shed a few real tears as I feel the lyrics come from deep in my heart…and I imagine being there, singing with them. Because they’re just like me…they feel their music and it’s tangible. It’s beautiful. The epitome of heart-felt.

I suppose it’s what one would call “Emo”. Well, I’m not embarrassed to say I love me some good Emo. It’s the best! I mean, who can listen to Coldplay or Keane or Mumford & Sons or any number of awesome British bands (because the only good ones come from over there, for some reason), and not feel a bit Emo?

Okay, so this was a rambly post. My apologies. I will stay in line next time and I keep meaning to write about something important. Current events, current events…well, I haven’t been keeping up with them lately. Don’t seem to care much for bad news, I’d rather not hear about it…but I’ll eventually write about something important. Stay tuned. 🙂

“Can’t”

Bills picI use the word “can’t” quite a bit, I’ve noticed. I can’t buy that. I can’t afford that. I can’t do that. I can’t have that. I can’t handle this. I can’t deal with this. All these Can’ts are so negative!

I don’t know if I’m overwhelmed more easily than others…but life is hard.

How do people do it? How do people make it work on one income? Mom stays home, Dad goes to work. One car. It is so tough. Unnecessarily and surprisingly. Why can’t it just be like the 1950s? The dollar went alot further back then.

So I went to a couponing class. Helpful. But I refuse to just buy junk for my family, and that’s what alot of the coupons are for. But I’ve clipped all the coupons I could possibly use, for things that we already buy, so I’m not just buying something I wouldn’t normally buy, just because I saw a coupon. And I’ve used some really good ones and gotten some really good deals I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

We’re still struggling, and it seems to be just as bad as if I hadn’t couponed at all. Car trouble has to hit at the precise moment that we have nothing to spare.

Life is so…well, I have no word. It’s not a nice word, whatever it is.

If you can’t tell, I’m a bit negative tonight. Well, actually, alot negative.

I feel that I have worked super hard at various jobs in my life…and as a stay-at-home mom, I work every day for no money.

But at this point…I am feeling that I have nothing to show for it.

It’s so true what was written in Proverbs: Money has wings and will fly away. Or something like that. It really does! You have it, then you need it, then it’s gone. Just gone.

And you’re living paycheck to paycheck, literally.

When will we “arrive”? When will we be “successful”? What is success, exactly? Does it look like this: never wanting or needing for anything, because you don’t have to live on a budget?

Well, for me, yes.

I grew up in a low-income family. We didn’t have AC in our hot, Florida panhandle home for quite a bit of my childhood. When we finally got an AC unit, we could only run it for a few hours a day, to save on electricity. We used fans otherwise. We ate alot of beans, rice, chicken, salmon patties, Raisin Bran and sandwiches. We didn’t have junk except rarely. And we always had one car.

Our current situation is all too familiar, and I don’t like it.

I know my struggles in childhood and now are nothing compared to third world countries and even compared to how some people live right here in the US.

All I know is that for me, this is hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Being a stay-at-home mom, which is essentially a thankless job. No income, no real contribution. Just day in and day out, caring for my little girl and the house. And trying daily not to freak out about money. Because right now, it’s a daily thing.

I cannot seem to be okay with being this poor.

No, I don’t want charity. No, I don’t want help. Yes, I refuse government aid. Not because I think I’m better than anyone, it’s just the principle of the thing. I will not do that. Maybe it’s a pride thing…but I just can’t do that. I’m a bit too “Libertarian”.

I want a better life, of our own making. I can’t afford a better life. There’s that Can’t word again. Well, it’s true. But I’ll try my best at this very weak, negative moment…and I’ll say, I CAN afford a better life…later.

I CAN do this. I CAN handle this. The only way is with God’s help. I have to learn to truly trust Him.

Staying home with my little girl was a step of faith. My husband and I both agreed on that. We both knew it was a step of faith. And we knew when we signed up for good health insurance at the beginning of this year, that it would be quite a work of God to make ends meet.

But my trust wavers. It fails…it seems to be daily, or at least every few days. I can’t seem to maintain a steady trust in God regarding our finances.

“Where God guides, He provides,” so I’ve heard. I want to believe that. And trust that He knows what He’s doing when He allows us to go through hard times. He is good anyway. No matter how our circumstances look!

Our God is good. He loves us. HE CARES!!

Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.…”

And He tells us this most sound wisdom…which I need so much to hear right now:

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34

So where does this leave me? Well, at peace, when I truly believe it! At peace, because He cares for me, and He knows what is happening.

He understands our needs.

I can seek Him first, and He will provide what I need spiritually, emotionally, physically.

My new word is CAN.

I can trust God, because He is constant and unfailing.

He is God, after all.

Isn’t it about time I believed Him?

 

Learning To Say “NO”

It’s liberating, saying No. In the right circumstances, at the right time. I’ve been learning that it is so necessary for a fulfilled life. My most recent big life change was at the end of July 2014. I resigned my job and took a step of faith (more like a giant leap) to become a stay-at-home mom. Something I never thought I would be able to be.

Truth be told? I’m a little afraid to say this…but, after a few years of working in the medical field, I knew I couldn’t be truly happy doing it. I was one of the many young twenty-somethings that went to a trade school and became a Medical Assistant. My aunt had told me about it when I moved back from Tennessee at 19 years old. I was interested because at least if I did that, I would make decent money. I was tired of barely making anything at daycares and restaurants. I really didn’t see any other way for me to make a living on my own, other than to go to school. At least MA school was less than a year (at the time), and I would be better off, I thought.

I don’t regret it. I feel that it was a big part of my life for good reason. I’ve met countless people whom I love and admire, through this field. There are many truly caring professionals in the medical field. It was an honor to work alongside some of them.

Still…I had been working as a Medical Assistant for probably three years when I just knew, deep within me, that it just wasn’t for me.

I was good at it. I excelled. I worked hard. Regardless of my feelings toward it, as I gained increasing knowledge about alternative health, I remained a Medical Assistant. It was something I could always fall back on. And I did, time after time.

I don’t regret that. I was doing what I needed to do. But it was so unfulfilling.

There were times I thought I felt fulfilled. I would help a patient through a long referral process, see it through, and feel good that I was able to help that person. Or I would comfort a patient with kind words. Or get an authorization for a stat CT scan and get a same-day appointment for a patient when they needed it. Those things were always fulfilling.

But overall? Overall, it was empty. Because I began to disagree with not just one aspect…but nearly all aspects of modern medicine. I began to realize that it offers no real solutions. Only bandaids. The true keys to health are rarely discussed as the important things they are. Patients would come in with long, long lists of medications. They would be hospitalized over and over again due to medication reactions or poorly managed chronic disease.

Oh. My heart was always saddened for them! How much better they would be, if someone could be right there with them, in their home, showing them what they needed to do. Going to the grocery store with them. Teaching them basic healthy cooking skills. Walking with them while they try to exercise. Encouraging them.

If only all of us could have such a cheerleader or coach for support!

Many times, I knew that I was seeing folks in an advanced disease state, and that was why it was so bad. I learned that it is much harder to reverse illness, than to prevent it in the first place.

This didn’t stop my heart from feeling heavy and unfulfilled at the end of my days. And that isn’t all. The constant revolving door of seeing patients…there were just too many patients scheduled in one day. I know the doctor wanted to fit everyone in…but how much good medical care is someone getting when the doctor can only spend five to seven minutes with them? This wasn’t every office I worked at, but it was quite common. I was often left with a patient who still had questions and looked bewildered, after seeing the doctor. It was sad. I always wanted to explain things thoroughly for them…but I was so busy myself with injections, EKGs, referrals, and paperwork up to my ears. I was usually so stressed myself, that I couldn’t help them like I wanted to. I always did my best.

But it wasn’t good enough!

The problem is the SYSTEM.

So…I finally learned to say No.

It was so scary. Being a Medical Assistant was what I was used to. And, I cared. But I had been so heartbroken over leaving my baby to go to work, and I had never gotten over it. I didn’t want to get over it. I felt the strong pull in the direction of motherhood. I felt that I couldn’t ignore it any longer. And in spite of praying that the stress I was under at work would level off and simmer down…it got worse! And its effects on my health were becoming…unacceptable.

So I made a decision. Knowing that, on paper, Adam and I couldn’t afford it. That we would be barely…barely squeaking by.

Those first few days in August? They were strange. I thought about work, even though I was free and I was staying home with my baby, like I had wanted. I thought about how my coworkers were doing. If they were stressing. I heard the news that my replacement was fired. I felt that it was my responsibility to do something about it! But I was home, and I had let go.

But I realized…letting go is a process. We don’t just say No. We have to learn to say No. I was so freaked out at first. It has been a slow process of letting go. I found so much worth in being a Medical Assistant! I was good at it, and I was proud of my hard work. I thought that being a stay-at-home mom was…just not as important.

Now I’ve realized that it is not only just as important…for me…it is more important. Because I feel like I am truly myself. I am blossoming with creativity. I am loving being a mom! I get to teach Olive things. I get to be with her during my BEST hours of the day, not my end-of-the-day leftovers.

It’s liberating.

Trust me, I still freak out about finances. I will probably always struggle with that. But I cannot deny that I am far more fulfilled as a simple stay-at-home-mom than I ever was when I was working.

Now, to sum up, I didn’t write this to bash women who work! This is my own story. Believe me, I have been there, and it is tough! And I know that some women want to work, and others work because they have to, and others, like me, work but want to stay home but think they can’t do it.

For some of you, it’s time to say No. No more unnecessary stress. No more long hours away from my family. No, because my health will be better. No, because my family will be happier. No, even though the bank account will look terrible. No, even though people around me won’t understand.

It’s time to learn to say No.

winding-path

Life Is Good.

I highly anticipate things. I play out how they’re going to go, which is something I think we all do.

So I had the doctor’s appt I was nervous about. I finally saw the GI doctor and got his opinion on my pancreas.

I do have chronic pancreatitis, and he doesn’t know why. He thinks it was caused by the gallbladder attacks I had for over a year and finally did something about. He said I must be able to handle alot of pain, and because of that, he thinks it caused pancreatitis from the already present gallbladder disease. Adam laughed when I told him that, and I reminded him of the fact that I made it through most of my labor without meds. It’s kinda nice to always be able to bring that up like the badge of honor it is. *Snicker* (Side note: Just because I stub my toe and complain about it for two hours doesn’t mean Adam has the right to laugh about my pain tolerance.)

Anyway, the doctor said that cysts can be reabsorbed by the body, which means…they can go away! But he did say that if they haven’t gone away within a six month time frame, they usually don’t go away. He also said that it was good news that it’s the same size it was when he drained it last April. So it hasn’t grown. He said that it didn’t “grow back” after he drained it. Rather, it was still there, although the hope was to collapse it through that procedure. It didn’t collapse, but probably filled right back up with fluid. He then went on to tell me that I could have a surgery to poke a hole in it and let it drain into my stomach. You can imagine my instant grimace. He said if I had it removed, I would probably also lose my spleen. They don’t like to operate on the pancreas, because it’s risky.

So, I asked him my most important question. Is it safe for me to get pregnant. He said yes. He said that usually nothing is done about pancreatic cysts unless they’re symptomatic and causing alot of pain, nausea and problems in general. I do feel that I can live with it at this point, because while I do experience discomfort (pain and nausea and some other issues), it’s not all the time and it’s been WAY less since I started this new diet. I should say lifestyle. Because I really can’t imagine going back to the way I used to eat.

Trim Healthy Mama is worth it. It’s so cool and so simple. I can eat everything! Just not all at the same time. And no sugar. No white potatoes. NOTHING that spikes your blood sugar. It has made a noticeable difference in my energy. Not that I was eating copious amounts of sugar before…but I would always eat too much of a carb source in one sitting. Like white rice. Or too many “Paleo” muffins that were sweetened with maple syrup or coconut sugar. So I thought I was doing pretty good, but in reality I was spiking my blood sugar all the time, which meant that my energy levels went through alot of ups and downs.

I’m more steady now. My energy level stays the same for most of the day, with natural tiredness that doesn’t come from what I’ve eaten. It feels so much better.

I am still dealing with fibromyalgia flare ups. Which is weird to me. I’m not convinced that’s what it is, but that’s the probable diagnosis I was given. If it is, I have hope that the symptoms will subside completely, once I’ve been doing this low-glycemic diet for a while longer. I have read stories of women with fibromyalgia who were symptom-free after only a few months on Trim Healthy Mama. Now, that gives me hope!

I’m still doing the Magnesium “elixir” drink prescribed to me by the herbalist (it’s just ACV and Milk of Magnesia mixed together. Somehow the vinegar unlocks the magnesium. And you mix it in lots of water, so it’s not so bad) and I’m taking daily Epsom salt baths. I love my baths. It makes me slow down and relax. I’ve actually gotten to the point where I know when I need one. My body kinda tells me.

I love working hard. I love getting things done. I don’t like when things slow me down. All these health problems have tried to slow me down, but I look at them as mere speed bumps, because they are not going to control my life. I will be healthy. I will be okay. And I’m healthier now, in terms of what I eat and how low-stress my life is, than I have been in years…or ever.

Yes, I live with chronic “pancreatitis”, they say. But I’m convinced it won’t be forever. Low-glycemic eating can only help my pancreas, that’s for sure, and I’m hoping with the diet and lots of ginger tea and low-stress living, the overall inflammation in my body will go down. Autoimmune disease is where the body is attacking itself. I have Psoriasis, which is autoimmune. The GI doctor wants to run tests checking for autoimmunity being the cause of the pancreatitis, because he said it was concerning that I would have such a large cyst like that, signalling chronic inflammation. He said eating certain foods did not cause it to happen. Just that a low-fat diet will help to not aggravate it.

Well, we shall see. I fear that this blog has become more of a journal, and I didn’t really want that. But at the same time, I wanted a place where I could be transparent about myself. Because I long for transparency in others and in the world around me. So, you’re reading about my health issues, because that is part of me. And I won’t suffer in silence and fear. I am actually, at this point, not afraid. I feel that my trust in God is stronger than ever, because He’s brought me through some tough times, and shown that He is ever faithful. My life is happier and more fulfilling than ever. And I can’t begin to express my deep, deep gratitude for that.

Sometimes it takes the deepest darkness to make you appreciate all of the light. I am so thankful for the light that is my life right now!!

So, as I make decisions on whether to do the medical tests the doctor recommended, I have peace. I’m totally calm and not freaking out. Which is awesome. I don’t feel that this has taken over my life. I feel that I’ve gotten to a place where it is much more manageable. I’m seriously so thankful for the life God has blessed me with. My wonderful little girl. I can’t believe she’ll be TWO soon. And my husband and our marriage. And my sister and her love and support. Always steadfast and there for me. And the sweet ladies that surround me, that I feel are a part of my life now for a good reason.

I truly feel fulfilled. For the first time in my life, I’m fulfilled. There is always something to be done, and something to complain about, and something that I want “changed”. But for now, there are no major things that I want changed! I’m…happy! I love being a mom. Olive’s little toes and sweet smile and cute voice never, ever get old. And Adam’s hugs and kisses never cease to comfort and excite me.

Life is vibrant. It has many colors and seasons. I am loving this season. And I need sleep, so I’m going to bed. Sorry I was so rambly this time. Next time I’ll write about something important. I’ve got plans. 😉

CAM00095Life has gotten so much better since this picture was taken!

Old Soul

Our culture. (Shakin my head with pursed lips) Well, as a conservative, it makes me sad. I don’t like what is seen as normal and accepted nowadays. I’m really an Old Soul. Or I like to think so. Perhaps I romanticize too much. Oh, there’s no Perhaps about it. I know I do.

I’m an Idealist. Always have been. I see things the way I think they should be. That can be a good or bad thing, depending on the situation.

I define Old Soul as someone who loves simple, old-fashioned things, such as a hand-written letter…in calligraphy pen, no less. Or someone who collects old books, just because someone wrote something to someone else inside it…75 years ago (that’s me). An Old Soul appreciates the romance of a cold, overcast, windy day. She feels the painful cold and turns it into warmth, thinking of other cold days when she walked hand-in-hand with a lover. She recalls an exciting night when she was a teenager, when the anticipation of that evening’s event was all that filled up her soul, and she didn’t even think of the cold. Because of her excitement, she loved everything! Everything, even the cold. Because from then on, she would always remember it and recall the pleasant feelings surrounding it.

Am I making any sense? Well, if you’re an Old Soul, you’ll understand. You will get it, no problem. Because you are from the Race That Knows Joseph. You are a Kindred Spirit. You are, in essence, Anne Shirley. With an “E”.

Oh, that there were more Anne Shirley’s in the world. I am Anne, for sure. I think my friends would agree. They laugh at me affectionately. Maybe they’re a bit like Diana…they love me for my Anne-ness, although they can’t quite muster up the capability to be like Anne themselves.

But that’s okay. There have to be all sorts of people in the world. To make it…the world. I suppose if everyone agreed with us, it would be rather bland and boring. Or awesome.

But then, I’m not always like Anne. I don’t always find the romance in a situation. I get caught up in negativity…and Anne would never do that! Well, I take that back. She did have her one “Jonah Day”. I’ve had many!

Maybe a book character isn’t the best person to base your life goal’s on. But Anne was pretty near perfect (despite her temper). She was whimsical, found good in everyone and in every situation (in the end), and ambitious. She worked hard, worked through college, and went on to marry the man of her dreams and have five (or was it six?) children.

I think to be like Anne is a great life goal. If only to just appreciate and love the simple things. To keep a sense of humor (that maybe no one will understand unless they are from the Race That Knows Joseph). To love passionately. To care deeply.

Tonight, it’s very, very cold outside. The space heaters are humming. Olive is sleeping soundly, sprawled out in Mama and Daddy’s big bed. Adam is snoozing on the couch. And I am writing. Ah! Another similarity to Anne! I love writing. I want to write and write, about things I love. Hopefully one day I’ll be this super disciplined person, and I’ll write a fictional novel full of amazing characters who fight beasts and conquer evil…or maybe I’ll write a novel about regular people. Because really, they’re so funny.

The possibilities!

I love that I am finally embracing creativity again. It’s refreshing. For so long, I was like this numb person…going to work endlessly. Working too hard, too much, too many hours. Never getting to actually enjoy my life. Although a part of me misses the accomplishment I felt when I worked hard and was able to…accomplish things. I felt more…important? Housework and being a wife and mom can tend to feel…less than. But it isn’t. It really isn’t!!

I cannot express my intense gratitude to God and to my husband, for making this current life situation of stay-at-home mommy-hood…possible! Even if it ends up being short-lived (for who knows the future…and finances are…interesting), I am so, so happy that I have this time.

I’m going to be an Old Soul as often as I can, and embrace my inner Anne Shirley, unashamedly.

One of my favorite quotes, “Smell them, Marilla! Drink them in!” That just makes me smile. Anne had, of course, stopped to pick flowers on her walk home. Her intense joy in the little things is something I have always related to.

Here’s to drinking in flowers, you Kindred Spirits. And anytime you want to pop over for tea, I would love to see you! Just maybe call first because I’m usually in Long Johns lately.

Anne wouldn’t wear Long Johns!

Oh my.

I’m going to have to re-think everything.

😉

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