Pressure

under pressure

It’s one of those things. Daily. Weekly. By the minute. We are all being put into situations that force us to feel the pressure.

That’s life. Suck it up, buttercup. Right?

Well, what if you’re wrong? Yep, let that sink in for a moment. The possibility that you are WRONG in accepting that this type of pressure is “just part of your life”. It’s not. It’s something that you’ve created. By your interpretations. By your on preconceived notions of how things SHOULD or WILL go, rather than opening your eyes to what they ARE.

That’s right. I said it. Think about it. I’m totally guilty of it. I can create an entire disaster in my head before I know it, the world is ending, I’m failing at the simplest things, and the anxiety settles in. Reality is, my imagination is creating undue pressure for me…and I have to give myself a HUGE brake check before I spin out of control.

It’s pretty eye opening when you start to recognize this shit with your own eyes. When you evaluate your own actions and think, “whoa, lady, what are you doing?” My entire life, I have made decisions based upon the advice of some close family members. I have sought their “expertise” and wisdom. Only to be led to a life that I am realizing, isn’t really mine.

The upside to this, I’m relearning who I am … better late than never. I’m taking chances…freaking myself out a bit…and accepting the possibility of falling flat on my face in failure. It’s freaking scary. All I know, since I opened my eyes and my mind…I’ve seen the world differently. Seriously. The clouds look different. The stars are brighter. The grass is greener. And my home, feels more like a home. The hugs I give my daughter, feel more genuine. The moments I take to snuggle on the sofa with her, with my honey, and with the animals…these are the moments we all need to decompress and release that pressure. Wait until you have your  moment. Then you can tell me how the clouds begin to look for you.

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We all have demons. 

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The day I signed that marriage certificate, I signed a deal with devil and that was okay. I knew when I said, “I do.” I was stepping up to take your demons on as my own. I knew that you were lost in your mind, but that’s okay. I wasn’t trying to “fix” you or make you who I wanted because you were already who I wanted. I loved every flaw. Every issue and addiction, I loved.

When I married you, I put on my game face and stood by your side and went through the deepest pits of hell to pull you out of your darkness. I always liked a good challenge, and that one was a good one.

Each time I pulled you out of your darkness, I was putting masks on my own demons hoping to keep them at bay just long enough to pull you out…

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Enough

Credit: reviews-of-childrens-literature.pbworks.com Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Credit: reviews-of-childrens-literature.pbworks.com
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I’m not saying every day should be sunshine and roses…but some days, we should just be given a free pass to throw our hands up in the air and say, “enough!”

It doesn’t matter if you’re in middle school, college, or your 50’s. We all have these days where we think we’re going to conquer the world. Wake up feeling ready to take on the day. Then, it happens. One piece of news that’s kind of like “ugh”…not quite a punch to the gut, but maybe just a stubbed toe? So you walk it off. Put it to the back of your mind. No big deal. It’s all minor in the big scheme of things. You start to pull your mind back together and then, here it comes, another “ugh”…this time it’s like a stubbed toe AND a hangnail at the same time! Why? If you’re slightly superstitious like I am, now your spidey-senses are raised a bit and you’re ready for the other shoe to drop. Good (and bad) things always seem to happen in three’s. I haven’t quite decided if these 2 tidbits of information are good or bad yet…they’re marinating for now. But, before it’s time to plop ’em on the grill and indulge in the finished product…yep, you guessed it…

So, why is it that some days appear to be worse than others? Is there a bank where people put their bad (not horrible) news in and wait for a mass withdrawal? I know that sounds silly, but it sure seems like it sometimes. And it seems like it always comes at the most inopportune time, too. There should be a limit on how much “big” news you receive in one day. Our brains can only handle so much. Mine…mine is about tapped out. Between what I’m going to do for dinner, how I’m going to pay bills, and what the hell I’m doing with my life…I really couldn’t care less about the sprouting of surprises around me in my work life.

Maybe you’re immune to this…and I envy you if you are. But, I think what the most important thing I learn from these days is that we’re all human and we have to accept that we truly do have our breaking points. Becoming aware of ones’ own line in the sand is such a chore sometimes. Not that it is so much physically demanding, as it is emotionally and mentally draining. How do you recover from that? You stop and breathe. There are only so many hours in a day.

But, today, I don’t want to be that grown up that stops and breathes. I want to be that screaming child inside me that wants to kick and scream and say “ENOUGH!”  I won’t…but I want to. And we’re all allowed to do that sometimes. If you don’t believe me…read it again. WE ARE ALL ALLOWED TO HAVE OUR MELTDOWNS FROM TIME TO TIME!! Just don’t let them consume you forever. Live it. In that moment. And let that be your moment.

…Everyday?

groundhog day

Lately, I have found more and more peace in attaining self awareness and inner balance. Emotional and mental balance. In doing so, I’ve raised my awareness of not only myself, but of my surroundings.

With that being said…I started my Tuesday as any other day. I got up (and it was hard to do today), started my shower, walked to my daughter’s room and woke her up, let the dog out, returned to my room to shower, got dried off, put my clothes on, brushed my teeth, put my makeup on, brushed my daughter’s hair, made lunch, packed bags, dog comes in & into the kennel she goes. Same question to my daughter as with every morning: “Did you brush your teeth? Shoes? Socks? Lights in your bathroom & bedroom off? OK let’s go!” Then we walk out of the house through the garage, I put my lunch box in the back seat, crawl into the front seat, start the truck, close the garage door, and back out of my driveway. Exit the street the same way I do every day – even though there’s another way to get out of the neighborhood. I hear a lawn mower going and realize – oh it’s Tuesday, my neighbor is getting his lawn taken care of. Then, 2 blocks away from home, it hits me. This is every day. Day in and day out. There is no deviation. I’m on autopilot…and I didn’t realize it until now.

I analyzed every minute of my morning commute. The same traffic lanes. The same habits day in and day out…this is why I feel so stuck and complacent.

As I said before, I have been really trying … really focusing on myself. Trying to understand me. And, it seems, in an instant I have figured out a big piece of the puzzle. It’s like finding that corner piece of that 500 piece jigsaw that you NEED in order to move forward. I found it! And it fits perfectly. I don’t exactly know what I’m going to do about it just yet…but discovering that little piece of information has been more than helpful in opening my eyes. I am beginning to think my eyes are opening wide for the first time in a long time. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it…but I know it’s something I can’t quite let go.

Incomplete

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like this…

juggling

Not just in the last 10 or 15 years, but in the last couple weeks alone.

Work, family, friends, bills…life. Things no one is every truly prepared for – no matter how awesome of planners we (think) may be. Then, to make matters even more complicated, we fall into the routine of thinking we have to take on the world…alone. Deadlines. Schedules. Seeking constant approval from those who really don’t matter in the long run.

I was given advice, quite some time ago, that if you look at your situation – or problem – that is troubling you at this time and really analyze it, you have to ask yourself a simple question, “Will this matter in a year?” Majority of the time, the true answer is “no”. If you take a day off of doing dishes – just to relax and not worry about impressing people who may not even come by your home – will it matter in a year that you didn’t do your dishes that day? Nope. If you take an extra couple hours to yourself, to wander around the mall aimlessly, to read an extra chapter in that book, to not argue whether your point of view is the right point of view…will it matter in a year that you took the time just to be silent? Nope.

I have found myself reiterating a common word lately; overcomplicated.

We’ve been told, since grade school, to be an effective and active listener, we need to truly listen to what the other people are saying, rather than what we are going to say in response. Fair enough. Sounds simple. But, what we haven’t been taught – not nearly enough – is to apply this theory to our actions, our lives, our day-to-days. When we’re preparing to make BIG changes in our lives, we – at least I do – tend to conjure up a massive scenario where every worst case instance happens. The worst that could ever happen – truly – is that the decision we make inconveniences us and is the “wrong” decision. But, if we make it for the right reasons, then it really is never a wrong decision – only a lesson to be learned. (Use your common sense, people…I’m not saying go take up a heroine addiction because you truly believe it will bring you to a higher awareness of self…)

When I was younger, in high school, I believed in a lot of things. Especially myself. As I grew older, I lost that faith – and have battled to find it again. Where did that person go? The girl who stood up for herself – no matter what other people thought? The girl that spoke her mind – and was super educated on the things that mattered to her. Where did she go? Truth is, she’s still in me. She’s just been sleeping – for a long time. Not because that’s no longer who I am…but because that’s who I’ve lost touch with trying to please everyone else.

I don’t think of myself as some martyr or brave soul. I think of myself as a struggling individual. Someone who knows who she is at her core – but cannot seem to pick up the breadcrumbs while I’m finding my way back. Forward is the only way to move – true. But, looking back to find your way forward…that is also something you may have to do sometime. What was your mantra when you were truly you? Who were the people you associated with? Are those the type of people you are surrounded by today? If not, why?

I know my answer is no. No. I am not surrounded by the type of people who make me feel like me. I am not embraced by the acceptance of those who once made me feel…good. But, when we have at least one person – when we meet at least one person – on this journey to rediscover self – that is when we begin to open our eyes again. And feeling like you haven’t felt in years – feeling like your true, authentic self – is scary as hell.

Masterpieces aren’t contrived…they are genuine, natural, works of art. And they are not created in an instant. They are developed. Molded. Deconstructed and reconstructed once again. I am my own masterpiece. And I am nowhere near complete.

What Passion Problem?

A few years ago, Harvard Business Review published an article on Gen-Y’s passion problem…A few months ago, I listened to a TED talk on the “Passion Problem”. I keep hearing these two words together, and quite frankly, it bothers me. Being someone who has been in the workforce since I was legally able to; and even before then, earning money how I could around the house and neighborhood…I get what it is to work. What I have a problem with, is the resistance to change with the changing times. This is no longer 1960 or 1980 where people worked with the same company until they retired. The workforce has changed.

So, my question then is: Why is the resistance to change with the changes not the problem?

Many “old school” employers/employees see the younger workforce as a tragedy. “Too technologically dependent” or even “too needy”. There’s even that snide look when a young person’s resume reflects many employers over a period of time rather than just a one pager with 2 employers and some education.

There’s nothing wrong with this. Look at that resume. The younger generations are job hopping not because they’re flaky or can’t keep a job. They’re job hopping for opportunity. They’re skyrocketing through the ranks of these companies, straight for the top. And when they hit the glass ceiling, they don’t stop … they move on. They’re adaptable. They’re teachable. They’re eager to learn and apply their knowledge and skills. Yet, this is looked upon as unreliable by many?

There is also this thought that because the younger generations are seeking to actually “enjoy” their work, that they are the problem. Well, wasn’t it Confucius who said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”? Yet, Confucius wasn’t deemed a problem…or flaky…in fact, quite the opposite. So, why should we deter our future workforce from pursuing greatness? If you love what you do, you will do a good job and have pride in whatever it is that you’re doing. If you’re getting up and going to work just because it pays the bills, chances are you’re not truly engaged and applying yourself wholly to your work. This is a breeding ground for disappointment on all ends, and a poor work product. What employer wants that?

So, by combining “passion” and “problem” as one, YOU are the problem. There is no problem with passion. In whatever it is you do. Do you not feel passion for your hobbies? Your spouse? Your favorite book? Passion is all around us. And it fuels greatness. Stop calling passion the problem, and look at the possibilities of what could be if we had a workforce, a community, a generation FULL of passion!

passion

Feel, all of it.

Feel it. All.

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Today it was like the past month decided to show itself and kick me in the face with steel toe boots. It caused me to have this absolutely overwhelming wave of emotions. There’s nothing I could have done to prevent it. Even though I have been dreading this day and avoided it like the plague. I knew it was coming. I wish that it wouldn’t have come all at once, but I couldn’t control that.

I got to speak to a good friend of mine today and kind of just lay it all out there. How overwhelmed I was, tired, sore, scared and sick of being alone. She gave me good advice. I was telling her how I wished that I could just shake this funk. That I could just get over it, to say the least. She told me not to try to shake it. To embrace it. To feel…

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