Wednesday, September 17, 2014

living the dream

Many of us our busy living our dream lives and we don't even know it. We can't see beyond that damn plan that we came up with ions ago. Our current life doesn't even have one single thread in common with how it was supposed to go, the one we compare our actual life to. It's easy to miss because it lacks the simplicity and perfection of "2.5 kids by the time I'm 30", or "own my own business" or "kicking ass at xyz by the time I'm lmnop". Our real lives are so much less linear and so much more messy and complicated and jumbled and happy and sad. It's usually not all good or all bad- just a blessed mix of the in between. Most of us couldn't have written our real life into existence. We just aren't creative enough.

For one moment, stop. Look around. The clutter and chaos and life that unfolds... it's all yours. It's easy to forget that it's pretty darn great exactly the way it is. Good job you.

Some days I am so good. Because I check everything off the list. I return phone calls. I go to three different grocery stores and the boys are behaving like angels and my hair looks great and I smile at strangers because I am just so happy and so awesome.

And some days- a few more some of the days-I suck. "Not enough" echos in my bones and it feels so lonely and incapable. I forget to call to schedule an OT appointment for Grey (for the THIRD day in a row) ((but remember to buy lip gloss at Sephora which makes me feel even WORSE)), and I am TOO TIRED to go to a single grocery store and don't make eye contact with the neighbor dragging their trash can out to the curb because I can't bear to make small talk. And everything good I ever did before this very day is erased. I hate that. Our self worth is so much MORE than this single day. Good or bad. I am better than my empty (or even full fridge). Better than my to do list. Better than the stupid ice cream cone I ate but didn't want to.  All of that stuff is fake and fleeting and doesn't mean jack compared to who I really truly am. How I am. If my dear friend Wendy with four kids and a crazy busy schedule doesn't remember to do something- I don't think wow- Wendy really sucks all around as a human being. I still think she is the amazing Wendy. Calm and consistent like the Ocean. Sometimes totally crossing off her to dos and sometimes not.

Today I am going to treat myself like I'm Wendy. I'm so much nicer to her.

People LOVE to feel sad. There's poof of that everywhere. Ever heard of the band Cold Play? Of course you have- and they always make people feel sad. In fact sad music makes me so happy that I think it's actually happy music. Sad movies too. Tear jerkers. Life of Pi, Shawshank Redemption. Sad sad sad. Even sad is a gift because it means we have to ability to FEEL. And feeling is so much better than numb.When your fingers and heart are numb and you can't feel too much at all. Because where there is sad there is also always love. I think that's why we love each others sad stories. Because they inspire us to be alive and to FEEL alive and to have thoughts like- this crazy life with my totally NOT check the box kiddos and my beautiful really hard marriage- now complete with weekly marriage counseling, and the fact that DON'T have it all figured out yet and I am 40 - WOW! It's all such a gift. A good life doesn't mean a perfect life. It sure has taken me a long time to figure that one out. 

But of course we still search for happy. We can vacation in sad but happy is where we prefer to live. Research shows that half of your happiness can be attributed to one thing: you. Not your kids or your dog or who won the Fresno state Nebraska game: but YOU. That's awesome.

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It was our first tail gate EVER. (Fresno got their butts whipped- 55 to 19.)

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Every so often I have this moment that overtakes me. It feels like- ohmygosh, I am a Mom and a grown up and this is how I expected life to look but so much better and this is so amazing. I was having that moment watching this community of red all excited for the same thing.

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Sometimes it was too loud for Grey, but he still had fun.

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This is as close as we can get to a family shot. And do you know what? It's perfect.

Pick a theme for your day that will help you find your happy. Mine is LETTING GO. I was texting with my friend Carli earlier this evening and she mentioned that she is working on letting Jesus take the wheel more. Totally, I told her. I back seat the crap out of Jesus. Jesus- you drive. BUT DON'T TURN HERE! And stop going so fast, Jesus! And now go faster, Jesus- I don't like this part, AND WHAT DOES THE GPS SAY TO DO JESUS?!

LETTING GO. (shew). It's gonna take some work, but I'm worth it. So are you.




  1. I had one of those "I suck at everything" days. Thanks for a beautiful and timely post!

  2. My kiddos are grown and out of the house. I am quite a bit older than you. I have grandbabies. I live in Texas. Even with those differences I would love to just have a quiet evening, which would include a glass of wine, and talk. You are an amazing woman and it makes my heart so happy when I see young families working so hard to do this thing called life right. Good job. If I could set down with you and have that glass of wine I would be giving you a high five!!!

  3. Go Bulldogs and Go YOU!

    Thanks for sharing,

  4. I just wanted you to know that this sentence was brilliant! Most of us couldn't have written our real life into existence. We just aren't creative enough" It really spoke to me today :) PS - I can't believe a literary agent hasn't scooped up your book yet. It will be amazing when it finally works out. I can't wait to ready it, it will help so many Moms! Have a wonderful day! Valerie Hacker

  5. I come to read your blog when I need real life encouragement. Today I realized that my one day of having both my kids in preschool for 4 hours and giving me a chance to go to Target alone or work out or lunch with friends, is NOT going to happen yet. My baby boy (he's 2.5) cries the whole time. He just can't do it, I can't do it to him. And I was mad, annoyed that I can't just have ONE day. So I picked my sobbing child up and went to Starbucks and the sweet girl taking my order was making small talk so I told her my terrible preschool drama. She said "it's good you have the option to just go get him when he cries, I wish I had that option." Woah. She didn't mean it rudely, just a genuine observation. I was hit with overwhelming emotion. I GET to be with my baby boy every day, and he does not have to cry at preschool or be away from mama all day. I walked away with a whole new fresh outlook. He is only 2 once. I am taking him out and we will try again next year. We went home and played and read books and snuggled and I realized this is just where God wants me to be. Someday my heart will ache for a day alone with my two year old boy, so you are right - living the dream and don't even realize it! Thank you for your very real outlook on life!

    1. Wow. Thank you for sharing this. Very powerful.

  6. This was a great post. But I have to say that when I got to the end and saw the family picture, I just laughed. I have a 2 and 4 year old. My only criteria for a good family photo is that we are all in the frame. Even better if we are all in the middle of the frame. So, great family photo!