No More Whining

Yeah, I think I’ve been a bit whiny. So…now I decided to get over it. Thankfully, for me, it is that simple (not easy…simple).

So much of my attitude and outlook is connected to feeling unsettled in some way or another. My routine has been amiss ever since I changed jobs last summer. When that job didn’t turn out as I would have liked, I moved onto another job. My routine is still not set.

As much as I like working from home and the flexibility it allows, I also dislike it for the same reason. I am a routine-oriented person. I like my schedule. When my schedule goes awry, my life goes awry, and my emotions and feelings get all screwy. If I don’t have a set way for my day/week/life, I get irritable…and hungry.

I’m in the process of righting this ship right now. I have a promising meeting today and await feedback on another that I had Wednesday. Today’s is the third and final meeting in the process. I pray for wisdom, strength and humility.

We finalized communications on a major decision impacting the children. As with everything, I worried about it far more than I needed to. I am humbled to be mother to such phenomenal kids and blessed to see how they trust us to always do what we think is the best for them long-term.

I made it to my Weight Watchers meeting yesterday and, after missing last week, was up only 1.4 pounds from two weeks ago. I’m just going to keep on chugging along, try to make good decisions where food is concerned and keep up my activity. I made it to Crossfit four days this week and they were all pretty hard workouts. I’m starting to feel more confident and comfortable in my skin again knowing that I can do the different movements and skills.

All of this has helped me brighten my outlook and see positive things and not negative. It’s also made me see how whiny I was being and, honestly, self-centered. Every time I succumb to my anxious feelings, I realize that I think far too much about myself and I stop feeling concerned for others. I get distracted from God and forget the real purpose in my life — to know, love and serve Him as a wife and mother and daughter and sister and friend. As I am coming out and realizing that perhaps I have been a little unfair, felt a little too wronged — I need to remember that life is hard for everyone and everyone is trying to do the right thing for their own families. Everyone struggles with something. I should work harder to have compassion for others and to try and lift up my own struggles and offer to God to use them to better other people in their struggles.

So…there we go. I’m done whining and I’m ready to move forward in a positive manner.

And for a little Flash Back Friday action — what about these pictures that showed up on Craig’s “memories” in Facebook?? Take a look! They all made me smile.

Four years ago…

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Seven years ago — on an Easter far far away — we had only four children…

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and the youngest was only a few months old
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The three girls would pose for pictures together.
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She’s always been such a pretty and sweet girl.
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And Helen has always loved her black olives.

 

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Monday Mumbles

Well, it’s been a long time since I posted on a Monday or used this format. It isn’t even my own brainchild, but I like it anyway. So I will do it. Mondays are good for mumbles..

  1. Saturday was one of those days we ran around all day long. Well, it felt like it, but really we just had to be at a volleyball tournament really stinking early. And then hang around all day watching volleyball. That is fun, but it is very tiring. Then we headed up for my nephew’s 3rd birthday celebration. My kids always like a good birthday party.
  2. For all the running around we did on Saturday, we sat on our butts all day Sunday. We managed to get dinner made, laundry done and naps. Personally, I was all in favor of the nap I took. What would have made it better would have been taking the nap in the bed instead of the chair.
  3. Today is Vincent’s snack day. He loves that day. He gets this cute little gleam in his eye when he reminds us or we remind him that it is his snack day. Cute.
  4. Crossfit workouts are coming along. I went four times last week. Trying for five this week, if I can make it on Saturday this time. We shall see…
  5. Running, however, is not coming along. I was hoping to try and run a couple days a week, but I am just not feeling it. But…I will try to do it a couple times this week and see if I can get going again.
  6. I have been shopping the Fitbits. I think I want the Fitbit Surge — it seems to have everything I am looking for — GPS (so don’t have to take my phone on runs), sync capability with Weight Watchers stuff, tracks sleep, tracks heart rate. We’ll see if I actually pull the trigger to get it. I have a hard time buying something for myself.
  7. Sarah’s confirmation went well. She ended up being the very last one. But that made it possible to get a nice, unobstructed photo. IMG_1949[1]She also took some good photos with friends afterwards. Kids grow up fast. you know they do.
  8. I am reading Harry Potter with Dominic. We are in the middle of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I love how into the story Dominic gets.
  9. As my boys get a little bit older, I find myself enjoying immensely the brotherly love and even the annoyances. Having boys is quite different from girls. Of course, the girls are at the pick-on-each-other-constantly phase of life anyway, sigh. But the boys — rather blissful at times.

Well, I can’t think of anything else, so I’m stopping now. ­čÖé

 

10. I lied. I just came up with one. What a great Monday! I got my crossfit WOD in and it was a doozy! Then I opened my e-mail to find one of my leads has decided to move forward so I am going to have a listing — that I worked and won ALL ON MY OWN. ­čÖé That is a good feeling.

 

Okay, happy Monday everyone!

Praying To Let It All Go

Revelation this morning: Ask God to help me let go (of so much…)

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I can’t put the length of time together. Maybe it’s always been this way, or maybe I only started fully realizing it was this way in the past 6-8 months. More likely, is that it’s always been this way, I just go in and out of consciousness on the fact that my life is this way, in a social manner of speaking.

What do I mean “my life is this way”? I mean the fact that I only have a small number of true friends. Considering I count my siblings among that small number…outside of family, the number is scarily small. And it bothers me. I know that by the age of 42, I should not care about this, but for some reason, my consciousness has risen to the occasion in the last few months to remind me that I really don’t have all that many friends.

Perhaps my consciousness of this fact is related to big events in my life. Or maybe just small things in my life that feel big. Either way, in the past several months I have felt let down far more than I have felt built up and that’s a problem. I am searching in the wrong places for love and acceptance.

As my children continue to grow up and learn about friendship and all that comes with it, my heart zones in on my own friendships (or lack thereof). I reflect. Truth be told, my initial inclination is to blame myself — I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough, holy enough, organized enough, active enough — to garner the sort of likability that seems to accompany a wealth of friends.

What I seem to have to continue to teach myself (as I teach my children) is that I will only ever have a small amount of true friends, most likely. I have my sisters — they always have my back and will be there to build me up and provide the love and support I need. And I have one or two (maybe three) women I can count on outside of that. What wonderful women they are, too!

One of the mainstays in my life from age 8 on up is that surely someone is going to let me down. Many times it has been someone I love deeply. As an adult, I have shielded my heart for the most part, to avoid the heartache, and subsequently loved less deeply and less often. But then over time, I start to let it down…start to count on someone, start to believe “there’s no way that person would betray me” before the betrayal smacks me upside the head to put me back in my place.

My error seems to be┬álulling myself into the false sense of security that I have┬ámore of┬áthem…that these extra people that I start to think are my friends — that they won’t let me down, that they won’t reject me or my children at an inopportune time. But I don’t even know if that is it. I mean…we are all human, right? It’s inevitable that humans let each other down at times, but I think it’s the way those betrayals and letdowns are handled afterward that truly helps sift out the strength of the bond. Does an acknowledgement and/or apology occur? Forgiveness is often dependent on the parties involved (I, myself, am a big forgiver — not so much a forgetter, hence the shields I put up — but I definitely don’t stay mad at people…) but if no acknowledgment or apology is offered, there’s no closure. This is the kind of thing I have trouble with.

What’s even harder to accept is that usually there is no malice intended. Since people don’t generally go around every day thinking, “hmm, how can I really hurt this other person today?” most of us have no idea that we’ve inflicted any harm. and in our society, it seems, if we didn’t intend to hurt, then the fact that someone is hurt is just a byproduct of life. When my feelings are hurt, or those of my children are, it’s difficult to resolve because if no malice was intended — often there’s no apology or acknowledgment that a hurt occurred, so we are just left to get over it and move on with life. And much of the burden in that is shouldered by the person who is hurt and quite possibly none of it affects the person who unknowingly inflicted the pain. (I’m quite certain a blogpost on forgiveness would be in order on this topic alone!)

Sadly, I teach my children to guard their hearts. Recently, I’ve had to have the middle school friends discussion (sigh)…don’t get too invested, do your own thing, the tide is beginning to turn, sometimes the people you’ve always hung out with don’t want to hang out with you anymore — people change in middle school, their friendships change. Then, while you may very well remain friends once a hurt has been overcome, it will be a changed friendship. How that hurt is overcome plays a HUGE part in where that friendship goes. I remember having this conversation three years ago, too. I would bet on having it again in a couple of years. Teaching my children to put their guards up is all I know how to do, because that is all I know how to do.

And so…I do it to myself. I remind myself to keep my guard up, no one looks out better for me than me.

So I prayed today. I asked God to remove the hurt I feel. I asked Him to fill my heart with the love of Him and for my family so that I no longer feel the sadness of exclusion (of myself or my children). I asked Him to help me forget the things I hurt over so that I can smile and be friendly. I asked Him to remove my self-doubt, to remember that He loves me and it is only His love that I need and only Him I need to serve.

Throughout my life I’ve heard the “Let Go and Let God” mantra. It has always seemed to mean something different. And maybe it should mean something different depending on what is going on in our lives. Right now, I have a burden in my heart that needs lifted. I want to stop crying every time I think of certain things. I want to be able to hear a voice or see someone and not be reminded that I don’t think I can trust.

I want to only worry about pleasing God and the rest of the world be damned. I was there once. But somewhere along the way, I lost sight of that. So, I think that is my prayer now and maybe for a long time.

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Confirmation – She’s Ready!

The first of my children is to be confirmed in her Catholic faith tonight. Sarah has been attending “prep” sessions at LifeTeen since September, but she has prepared since her Baptism for this time. I look at my young woman of a daughter and I believe she is ready.

The Catechism of the Catholic church teaches us that “Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the ‘sacraments of Christian initiation'” and that receiving Confirmation is “necessary for the completion of baptismal grace.” (Article 1285) This is the final step for Sarah to be fully initiated into the Church, it will give her the strength she needs to go the distance to know, serve and love our Lord. It is also a responsibility to spread and defend our faith…I think she has learned that part recently.

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I often reflect on Sarah’s baptism as a turning point in my faith life. I told her about that last summer in a letter I wrote to her for her to read while she was at Steubenville Conference. I can’t say that I’ve never made mistakes when it comes to raising her and┬áteaching her the Catholic faith, but I can say that I have always tried my best. This is the final sacrament she will receive while she continues to grow up, living with us. The next time she receives a sacrament she will be completely on her own, most likely, making her own decisions. She makes a lot of her own decisions now, but we are here to guide those. In the next few years, she will make more decisions independent of us, her parents. She seems ready for this responsibility.

It has brought joy to my heart to see Sarah continue to grow these past months as she has attended high school, continued to play volleyball, made new friends and enriched existing friendships. She has had an opportunity to express herself through writing on a couple of occasions where her strong faith and beautiful heart have shown through her words. She has also made some new friends and been unabashed in her ability to share her faith with them.

Every time I meet with teachers and/or coaches of Sarah, I am reassured that my impressions of my daughter are not just my feelings as her mother clouding my vision. Others see these actions and values in her and that is so reassuring. Many times early in the school year, new friends would ask Sarah where she had gone to school before high school and when she mentioned “Catholic school” they often followed up with questions. One of her friends enjoys talking with her about it and Sarah’s even extended invitations to LifeTeen events/retreats. She is unafraid to defend her position on core beliefs (life) and has made good, sound decisions on where to be, what to do, who to be around and talk to.

Tonight, she will be filled with the Holy Spirit! Her responsibility will extend to proclaiming “the mighty works of God” (cc 1287). She will receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit — wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. I can only imagine how these gifts will propel Sarah forward in her faith.

I continue to pray for her and all young adults who are receiving this Sacrament.