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Wellness Challenge: July 21 Days to Positivity

I’ve decided to take on the advice of my fearless “live laugh love leader” (aka my therapist) to complete some daily tasks, in hopes of making them into a routine. As an experienced a$$ kisser, I have taken it a step further and decided I needed to challenge myself to focus everyday on my journey to wellness. Congrats! I’ve chosen you to be my accountability team! Get excited! Join in and keep me posted on your progress. It would be awesome to see some other people out there interested in doing this too. I’ve been lackadaisical about doing my “homework” assignments my therapist gives me in the past. I figured, if I wrote it and shared this challenge, I would actually be more likely to complete it, because I am not a fan of public humiliation (or am I?) or failure.

If you’ve read some of my previous posts you’ve seen I struggle with C-PTSD, ADD, anxiety, and depression. I have a REALLY difficult time staying positive and not letting my mind completely take over. It has been extremely draining for me mentally and emotionally because I have to actively make myself be positive and not go to the worst case scenario. It effects my personal feelings and outlook as well as all of the relationships in my life. I would never want to be seen as using my multiple diagnoses as an excuse to behave badly, or use it as a crutch. It’s definitely a hurdle. One that I think many people don’t fully understand or one they choose not to recognize. I also think there are more people than I realize that struggle with keeping positive outlooks for one reason or another. I recognize that I am healing and working to be the best version of me. That’s what I want this journey to be about, not a particular diagnosis, but a way to help me better manage the symptoms of my diagnoses and be the best me I can be!

What does MY wellness challenge look like? Well I am a firm believer in that any repeated behavior or action becomes a habit. Whether good or bad, a repeated behavior is something that we end up continuing almost ritualistically. Whether it’s that you ALWAYS get up and exercise before starting your day or if it’s that you bite your nails when you are nervous. These things become habitual and engrained into our lives and routines. It would be hard to stop those things if you did them regularly. I am hoping this will be true with my little wellness challenge. I am also hoping it has a positive influence and impact on my threefold. We shall see!

This will be a 21-day challenge for July. On 7/22/21 I will see where I am in my journey, how my life has changed, and if come 7/23/21 if I feel this is something that should be continued as more of an everyday routine. I will be asking myself What worked? What didn’t? What was modified? How was my anxiety? What was my mood like? Did I have more motivation at the beginning and start slacking towards the end or did I follow through? What pieces are important to carry into my day to day routine?

Why 21 days? I chose 21 days because it’s scientifically proven that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit or to break an old one. I am also not so great at the follow through. I want big things but I don’t always put in the effort to get them. There is no fairy god mother, it’s time for me to grow up and get up by putting in the work.

The 21 Day Positivity Challenge:

The following are the actions I plan to take in the next 21 days to become a more positive person. Beginning 7/1 Ending 7/22:

  • Wake up at morning at 6:30 am M-F and by 9:00 am on the weekends.
    • PRO: This will allow me time to mentally prepare for my day and accomplish the remainder of my goals for the day.
    • CON: I have a hard time falling asleep at night, but once asleep I LOVE to sleep. I usually set multiple alarms and get out of bed in just enough time to throw on my clothes and put a brush through my hair.
  • Begin each morning and end each night with 5-15 minutes of meditation. 20 minutes total or more each day.
    • PRO: This sets me in a mind frame of letting go of anything weighing on my mind and allows me to focus on the present moment. Clearing my mind of my to do list.
    • CON: ADD makes this practice extremely difficult for me. Sometimes it is counterproductive as instead of clearing my mind it allows the anxiety to creep in and overtake the session.
  • Journal how I see my day playing out including how I will feel, how I will respond, who I will interact with, and what I will be doing.
    • PRO: mentally prepared me for the day and gives me expectations to meet.
    • CON: could be a potential set up for failure. (surely my more positive outlook will help me to see the bright side!)
  • Watch 1 motivational video or listen to a motivational speaker once per day.
  • Do positive affirmations 3 times per day
  • Script once per day. Scripting is writing in the present that all of your dreams have come to fruition and scripting out your day as if you are living in that reality currently.
  • Get in and STAY in bed from midnight to morning M-F (unless I have to pee or a kid needs me) Weekends no later than 2 am and only if being actively productive. No up and down. No late night extravaganza. No blogging until 3am.
  • Turn my phone on do not disturb after 11:00 pm M-F to allow for time for my brain to relax.
  • Week 1: Make a list of goals for the month, week and year. Look at it often to stay motivated.
  • Week 1: Make a vision board of all my life dreams and aspirations. Include inspirations and dream BIG!
  • Pay attention to physical health. Drink more water and do something active for 30 minutes each day in addition to work.
  • Try something new. Anything at least twice. Find something to do and do it.
  • Make a date with myself and keep it. 1 hour minimum. That’s it. Do something solo. Not a trip to the grocery store. Do something nice for myself and not feel guilty about it.
  • Make time for blogging daily achievements and failures.
  • Remove negativity from my life as much as possible including people, places and things. Unfriend or unfollow any person or group that feeds into negative self talk or triggers anxiety on social media.
  • Plan a family outing and follow through.
  • Family dinner five nights per week or more.
  • Create a budget and stick to it. Save money and don’t spend it.
  • Dance it out at least once per week.
  • Make a date with my man and follow through a night for just us without DEFCON 4.
  • Keep my room straight and orderly. Peaceful. A place to relax.

This is a pretty hefty list and I definitely want to accomplish all of these things so I am going to do my best. It’s not about perfection, it’s about progress, it’s about trying something different. It’s about seeing what I love and has the ability to help me. Also, what maybe works for others but doesn’t work necessarily for me and my life. I hope anyone who wants to join in does! If not that’s ok, read along, laugh and see if I can be promoted to a perky positivity peddler or at least accept a part time position in the peddling of positivity. Feel free to tell me if you do something that works amazing for you that I need throw in or if I missed something you feel is an important factor to consider. Also if you join in do what works for you! This isn’t some copy and paste, tried and true way of becoming a more positive person or better version of yourself. This is just me as a busy mom with too much overthinking and a lot of bad habits of going to the dark side that is just trying to make some changes. I’m NOT an expert! I’m not qualified to give advice, hell I didn’t even take psychology in high school let alone college! I took creative writing though! I’m just an imperfect person in search of a better me and finding a path to more positivity! And so it begins…

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Meanagers

Original painting by #2 of my threefold.

Am I the only mom that thinks her kids are total a$$holes sometimes? Honestly. I need to know if it’s me being a bad mom to think that or if it’s actually a normal thing that none of us talk about. If it’s the latter, can we please just normalize it already so we can express our feelings. We have to have an outlet. We need some moms in our tribe that think like we do and don’t sit in judgment over everything you say, how you parent or how our little rays of sunshine and hope behave sometimes. I have up to 5 meanagers in my house at any given time and a 9 year old. With 4 girls running around you better believe we have all the drama of a daytime soap opera.

I need to be able to vent to someone out there that the crotch goblins are acting like complete punk a$$ heathens without having to say in the next breath “their my world and I love them so much!” Is that not a given? I mean what other relationship in your life would you allow the b!tching, moaning, complaining, moodiness, blaming, screaming, constant worry and anxiety, berating and tantrum throwing to be displayed and still sit there and validate their feelings and experiences. Consoling them, trying to teach them, love them through it and accept every apology without a second thought. That’s what moms do. They get disrespected and unappreciated on the regular, but they keep giving that unconditional love and forgiveness without hesitation. It’s an unbreakable bond. One minute you could squeeze their sweet cheeks and the next you’re so annoyed you could scream (and sometimes do). The ultimate emotional roller coaster is raising kids. Your feelings and mood can shift in an instant. The confused looks of “what did I do” and the smirks amongst your very serious reprimand can hit the wrong button on a mom and send her into the lecture they don’t want to hear for the hundredth time (probably millionth, truthfully) about being a family, respecting boundaries, doing chores or something else we always preach to the little miracles of our wombs non-listening ears.

So I bet you’re wondering what wonderful thing my meanagers had in store for me for me to say they are acting like a$$holes. In this house it’s 17, 15, 13 and 9 for the girls that live here. We have some add on kids occasionally, the boyfriend of the oldest and the person for my 13 year old. Anyways, with that said the older girls get along beautifully. Unfortunately that leaves the youngest of the defcon 4 bunch as the odd girl out. My meanagers act like everything 3 does is the worst ever. She gets sh!t from all of them. No one except me greets her with hugs when she walks in. No one says “oh did you have fun?” except me. No one asks her to tell them about school or her day or weekend away except me. She gets eye rolls. She gets attitude. She gets the blame for everything. Granted she does a lot of it, but we can buy more soap and food and soda. We can find your shorts and your t-shirt in the mountain of laundry. We can buy paint and clean it up. Should she respect boundaries, absolutely! Do hers get respected, nope. You want her to knock and not go through your things but bam who has whose shorts and t-shirt now? You don’t want her to get your things or go in your room if you aren’t there but whose charger did you just grab and demand the use of because you didn’t want to go upstairs for your own? I’m just saying. You can’t hold a 9 year old to a higher standard than you even hold yourself to. That’s just plain hypocritical. I don’t like anyone talking sh!t about the other people that reside in this home or visit it. It’s a hard limit for me. Everyone deserves the same right to a safe place to call home free of hostility. Everyone should feel loved and comfortable to be themselves. I don’t ask a lot of my kids, but I hate fighting, name calling, physical altercations, and blatant rudeness towards one another.

Now I know that as a meanager no one wants to hang out with the youngest. They aren’t old enough and definitely aren’t “swag” enough (or whatever the replacement word is for cool nowadays). And I get it! She is “annoying” sometimes, mainly because she wants attention FROM them, the big kids. She doesn’t have regard for personal boundaries, but neither did they at 9…or don’t they remember? She makes messes, eats their favorite snacks, steals their clothes, chargers, paint, soap, and whatever else you leave laying out for her idling hands to find. Again all things they did at that age too. She just wants be them, it’s really high praise, but they’ll never see that attention-seeking behavior. She wants be a part of the sisterhood that the others tend to have created between them, but she is unable to express it as well.

It was easier for 1 and 2 growing up. They had each other! 1 and 2 were inseparable from ages 2-10, they played together constantly and 1 would be the boss and make sure 2 was always the student when they played school. Oh the simplicity of the little years! They made their own videos “Two Awesome Sisters” and made up crafts, sang, danced, and told stories. 1 was the only person on the planet who could help when we didn’t understand what 2 was saying. 2 had a sever speech impediment and was sometimes very difficult to communicate with, but 1 could. It was an amazing bond. Like expected their four year age gap ended up separating them once 1 reached a certain age. 1 eventually got “too grown” to play the games, the barbies, the make-believe, and to make videos on YouTube with 2. 2 desperately wanted be a “big kid”. Her older sister started began doing her own thing leaving 2 in the dust of 1’s impending adolescence. It’s natural, that progression. There is no blame or fault in becoming an individual, having friends your own age, and changing interests and hobbies. While 1 was allowed to go about finding her own identity, 2 found a new playmate to entertain her. She could now be the teacher, because she had 3 to fall back on. Yet here we are again in the crossroads of the age gap. With a little short of 3 1/2 years separating 2 from 3 and a whopping 7 1/2 years between 1 and 3, the oldest two rekindled that bond they had several years prior. They are amazingly close and I am so thankful that they don’t fight and fuss like typical teenage girls. They share some similar interests and have many shared experiences. They have reconnected in the most beautiful way. My point is 1 and 2 always had options. 3 isn’t ready for the independence that those pre-teen and teenage years have to offer. She is still very much into make believe and story telling. 3 doesn’t have that younger sibling to fall back on like 2 did. (And this momma’s baby making machine is on permanent disability)! She didn’t get the many years of bonding with her older siblings. She is out of the loop. She is lonely and wants to be a “big kid” but isn’t ready do more than pretend to be one. The picking fights and taking things is very much 3’s way of getting their attention. She is desperately seeking their approval and if she doesn’t have that then she will get their attention one way or another. Positive or negative. Attention is attention.

Sometimes I wish that DEFCON 4 (I am liking that!) could see the forever friendships they will have in each other if they nurture and grow the relationship with one another instead of pushing away. I hate to admit that one day it will just be them. I will not be here forever to help them bridge their gaps. It will be up to them to be there for each other when life is sh!tty and all they want is to quit. 1 will always be the nurturer, the one forced to grow up and help raise those kids while I worked. She is the one that huh them while they cry, tell them everything will be okay and give them a million ways that they are deserving of happiness. They will reach for her first if they need comfort and support. 2 will be the one to give you her opinion and tell you how to change it. She will be the one they go to if they want the truth and not sugar coated lies. She will give them honesty, be their sounding board, and be the voice that offers advice (even if you don’t ask out right!) The one with the tough love, but big love. I’m not quite sure what role 3 will play in the DEFCON 4/threefold dynamic yet. For now, I am seeing she will be the silly one, looking to lighten the mood, the legs go have fun, go shopping, go out to eat, dance it out. She is a ham and loves being out, having fun and loves to shop. She will be the one they call if they want to escape the present and just get out, if they need retail therapy or a night on the town. 3 will be the one they call to make them laugh through the pain and remember life is meant to enjoy. Bonus Kid isn’t mine but I can only hope she will be someone that they can call in the many years ahead. I hope she gives them the favorite parts of her dad. She will be the one to offer endless positivity. She will be the one they call when they need someone to tell them how amazing they are and that things are never as bad as their head tells them. She will be a cheering them on and making them see all the good things life has in store for them. It will be beautiful if they remember that their ties are forever. Their sisters for life. Their each one another’s emotional support person in one way or another. Two Awesome Sisters Squared!

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Can’t Hide my Pride! 🌈

For my threefold! Your inclusiveness astounds me. Your love knows no limit! I am proud to be your momma.

We had our first family outing to a pride event this past weekend. The perky positivity peddler bought front row seats to a soccer game downtown and had a large pride event incorporated into it for all of us. It was a great way for the older girls to bond and enjoy something that the PPP loves, soccer, but also let them express their individuality and allowed them to be supported as they navigate different aspects of gender identity and sexual preferences. These kids are so much more inclusive than I was. Sure I had friends who were openly gay or bi, but we never had events to attend or fundraiser for support. Being gay or bi as female was definitely more socially acceptable and increased a woman’s sex appeal. It wasn’t as accepted to be a man that identified as anything other than straight. We were the era of “the dl”, “that’s so gay”, “All homosexuals have AIDS” and closeted friends scared to tell their truth. That definitely was a time for pride for any of us. I’m happy to be a part of a new era that gives loves freely and rights are shared among all. It’s beautiful. There is still hate, stigma, and insults but the LGBTQ+ community has grown in both people that are out and those who struggle, along with a major shift of support from their heterosexual allies. I say you do you boo. Live your life and love whoever the f^€k you want!

You may have noticed I refer to #2 of my threefold, as having a “person” instead of boyfriend/girlfriend type label. 2 is openly into the same sex/non-binary people, but recently she is also showing interest in boys again. Her preference is strongly more towards a person biologically the same sex as her. #1 of my threefold prefers the they/them pronoun and has renamed themself a more gender fluid name than their birth name. They are comfortable with being partnered with any lgbtq+ person and is more into personality and connection than gender or sexual orientation labels. My bonus kid, also is similar to 1. in these beliefs. However, BK and 1 currently have partners of the opposite sex.

#1 of my threefold, tried telling me a million times that they were struggling with how to identify and who their people were going to be. They fluctuated from gay to bi to straight and back around again. This made it difficult for me to accept as a truth, even though now I realize it wasn’t that it was not spoken in truth when they said it, it was more of a sliding scale that I honestly did not understand. I will be forthright in saying it took #2 coming out to me and my always feeling she may be from a young age for me to truly come around to the ideas of all things lgbtq+. That wasn’t fair to 1. I’m not sure if I was being told by my peers that it was “a phase” or that “all kids feel a need to have a label” or my own personal stubbornness and feelings to accept what 1 was telling me. I’m forever sorry for not allowing her to truly express themselves. I am extremely proud of DEFCON 4 for feeling allowed to be their authentic selves in my presence without fear of persecution or judgment. I hope they always know they have my unconditional love and support regardless of how they identify.

I won’t lie, I struggle I have a hard time referring to 1 as something other than the name I gave them. I say she/her because I’ve had 17 years of practice at both. Changing any repeated behaviors after that long is going to be difficult for anyone. I struggle with 2’s person as well . I often say she/her, because it is difficult to transition back and forth. I do call them by their chosen name though because that’s how I was introduced to them. The first time I met their father and he repeated their birth name I honestly didn’t know who they were talking about! I had to retrain my brain to refer to them as they/them, and now he is saying she/her. Then I could only assume they weren’t comfortable coming out to their father or he was having a hard time like me changing a habit of 14 years to fit the identity they are now.

There was a time when gay people did not have the same rights as the rest of the people.

-Our future grandchildren-

I’ve learned so many things from DEFCON 4 (as I want to be inclusive of my BK when it regards her as well) I’ve learned more about sexuality and expression. I’ve learned about identity and being fluid. I’ve learned that we all have the right to be loved and accepted as we are regardless of any label, race, sexual orientation, ethnic back ground, religious beliefs, or gender identity. They have taught me to be more inclusive and accepting. They have taught me the meaning of love. A million times over I am grateful for their lessons.