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“Good” and “Bad” are Incomplete Stories, So I Hear

“Good” and “Bad” are incomplete stories we tell ourselves…

I read that somewhere in my Feedly and it completely resonated with me in this particular space in my life. Someone on Facebook asked people to summarize their 2017 year in one word and mine was CONFLICT. But then that feels like a lie and a truth (all at the same time.) When I think of 2017, I struggle to associate positive feelings with it, though I know that there were plenty of amazing things sprinkled in throughout.

So maybe 2017 was a total beast in some ways. SO was the year before that and the year before that, honestly. Wait. When was the last good year I had???

My brain doesn’t do well at focusing on the good, but as I work on wrapping this year up,  I’m trying to create habit in being more reflective about my experiences.

I spent the bulk of this year heavily buried in running and building a women’s clothing business – an extension of the work that I did in 2016. There is so much positive and negative all rolled up into my feelings about my work from this year. Negative because at times it felt ALL-consuming. I struggled with establishing boundaries in various ways, work was so flexible that it felt like it was always bleeding into my personal life, and I was so consumed with being successful that the downward and upward swings that go with being an entrepreneur became really hard for my brain to endure.

I ultimately closed down my business this year, for a  myriad of reasons, most of them not actually related to everything from above, but I did accomplish some really amazingly POSITIVE things this year within that business.

I ran a legitimately successful business, y’all, and that just feels amazing to me. I may not have been a baller, but it gave me confidence and an understanding in myself that I can seriously do whatever the fuck I want, and as long as I put myself into it – I’ll see results. I explored the femme side of myself through fashion this year, and while I may never be so tapped into her again, it was fun while it lasted and I so enjoyed that more feminine side of my beauty. Plus, I spent more focused time on fundraising projects, made some awesome new friendships, built a community that will endure past the death of my business, and plenty more – like my newly acquired boss modeling skills. 😛

This was THE best year of friendships. Really. As awful as my experiences this fall were, the one beautiful thing that came out of it was having the neccessary need to lean IN to my friendships and feel completely loved, and I will never take that for granted. I know some really amazing fucking people.

Not to be outdone, it was an amazing year of friendships for the kiddos too. It’s been a positive experience, as their mother, to watch them grow into relationships with people, and learn how to navigate those. If there is one thing I’m doing well, it’s socializing those kids.

We moved into a new house. Notably one of the worst things to ever happen to me is all wrapped up into moving into this house. We packed up our home in 4 days under conditions of duress, put everything in storage and then lived temporarily with friends while we tried to secure a long-term place to live. How we ended up here doesn’t matter now though – we are home. This neighborhood and house make me happy.

Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy having older children? The increased independence is changing our homeschool in good ways. 2017 was big push towards focusing on the basics at home and outsourcing for everything else, and it opened the door for the kids to step into some fabulous classes, workshops, extracurriculars and trips. I’m steering in new directions for 2018, and that’s what I love so much about this lifestyle of our’s. We do with it what we need to for each phase of our lives.

This year I’ve been courageous and terrified. I’ve been daring and I’ve been weak. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried. Maybe a better word for this year would be VULNERABILITY. That is perhaps more accurate. Though there is pain, anxiety and discomfort in vulnerability, there is also this amazing beauty to having your layers peeled away and seeing yourself and letting others see it too.

I showed up this year, and it has made me realize in earnest that I’m not someone to fuck with, ok? Bring it 2018.

 

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365 Project Kickoff!!!

I have made my decision! For my 365 Project, I am taking a photo a day.  Sounds so simple, right?

My goal for this project is to try and tap into my inner photographer. At this point in time… we aren’t all that in tune with each other. 😉 Each day I will take a picture that will offer a window into my life but I am going to try my best to think outside of the box here. My usual picture taking style lends more towards family snapshots of activities and while those are fabulous to have, I want to try and come at this from a more creative angle. At least on some days!

Also, I am going to use this project to learn how to actually edit photos. I seriously NEVER edit any of my photos. I am not planning anything too fancy. I will likely never take on learning something like Photoshop, but iPhoto does offer  a good bit of editing options for simplistic me and I am ready to start using them.

This blog post is where I got the idea from and it offers a lot of good ideas on how to go about doing a Photo a Day Project. – Project 365: How to Take a Photo a Day and See Your Life in a Whole New Way

I also found this one. There are lots of good ideas and links for 365 projects. – Project 365 + Other Alternatives

 

Day 1

We spent our New Years weekend in Chattanooga enjoying some family time. This picture will alway serve to remind me of our visit to Ruby Falls and the fact that it maybe isn’t the world’s greatest idea to take a cranky toodler on a long guided tour through underground caves. 😉

ONLY 364 more to go!

2011 has been a year for some of our lowest lows personally but our highest highs financially. I am happy to say that we managed to end the year  from a mostly positive place and I hope to see things stay that way for 2012. My goal for this year is to follow my instincts and follow “the happy”. I do have more defined goals for this year but I feel like to write them out would be jinx worthy. 😛

BTW, Happy New Year!

Older Post: What Should Be My Project 365? 

 

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Sometimes Things Will Be Chaotic… and That IS Ok.

I have recently been working a lot on trying to let go of my “control” over things. Over life and especially over my children. The more I work on it the more I have started to realize that the idea of “control”, isn’t really attainable. It is this thing that I strive for, always failing or tricking myself into believing I have it until someone proves me wrong. It is exhausting trying to keep things within those barriers that I have set for myself. 

Drinking my morning coffee, chowing down on a bagel and surfing through Facebook, I decided to read this blog post that someone had shared. Here is an excert from it that really resonated with me.

Your days will sometimes be chaotic; your way of homeschooling will not match anyone else’s no matter what dogma you decide to follow; your days will not look like what you envision and hope for in your minds’ eye. But it will be okay – if you respect your children’s individual needs and development, trust yourself and the process, and above all say yes every day to this adventure you have decided to undertake.”

The blog is about homeschooling in specific but some of what she said, to me really plays into things I need to let go of in my every day life too, not just in homeschooling. Although now, my children and homeschooling seem to encompass a HUGE expanse in my world view.

My new mantra may just become…. Sometimes things will be chaotic and that is ok. Trust yourself and embrace every day as an adventure.