who is the fairest of them all?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

  My husband and I took our little man to the zoo yesterday and we of course had a fabulous time! Our son is a a few months over two years old and he is finally to the point of being able to appreciate and notice all the different animals, so while he was watching and pointing at all the interesting new animals my husband and I found ourselves watching our favorite animals, humans. I find it very interesting to see how strangers interact with their friends, children, and of course other strangers, I'm pretty sure I missed a calling to be an anthropologist.

  While we were looking at the lions there were a couple of moms standing to the left of us with about five children between the two of them and one was wearing a baby in a really cool rainbow colored sling, my initial thought was "crunchy moms" then in the 5 seconds of standing there one of their children whined about wanting a snack and the other mom offered some of her childs cookies then the convo went something like this: "Oh, thank you, but I'm not sure they are dairy free." then the other mom started looking at the ingredients list and assured the first mom it was dairy free and organic. nosy am I? My second thought was "vegan" but just as I was thinking that my husband whispered as we were walking to the next exhibit "are those moms that we hate?" I swear he is just as nosy as I am, and clearly a drama queen. Then I had to explain there could be several reason for the dietary restrictions including lactose intolerance which he immediately understood because our son happens to be lactose sensitive and we have to be careful but not 100% dairy free, and I explained further that I don't hate any moms as long their kids are loved and cared for why should we care if its different from how we do it? He agreed and we walked on to find the food court because we also had a hungry boy on our hands. While in the food court we made a startling discovery our child was not the most well behaved one in the room (he wasn't the worst either) but lets just say we got a few evil eyes from our table neighbors, which irritated my husband because he felt like we were being judged for our parenting skills, and that can feel pretty hurtful because I feel every parent really does the best they can. Then my husband quietly asked me, "how do you decide who wins in parenting? Is is based on how they act now, or what kind of person they become later?" and I had a bit of a pretend stoner moment where I was like "woah man....thats, like, really deep!" but seriously how do you know? All I hear about on facebook is Mommy Wars and the War On Breastfeeding and for lack of a better term I find it...........really freaking dumb! So what if someone judges you or even you just perceive yourself being judged! Is it right? NO! But put on your Under-roos and don't worry about what other people are possibly thinking about you. You cannot control what other people think, you can only control your own actions and what you put into this world, and I want to put in empathy and comradery with the people I encounter. Its human nature to have first impressions and make judgments, I don't feel guilty for that, but its a whole other story what you choose to do with those judgments that make it wrong or right.

A reflective essay on the year of yes

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Apparently I have been yes-ing is up all over the place this year because I've barely posted about what I've said yes to and the after school special lessons I've learned in the process, so I am here to fill you in!

  • 5 different hair colors! (One of them being purple, my favorite!)
  • Going to a new bible study without knowing a single person. It ended up changing my entire outlook on a relationship with God and understanding the fullness of his love for me. Truly life changing and I ended up making some wonderful new positive friends!
  • Starting two new business ventures! (One of them I had to step away from due to lack of time to focus creatively but maybe I will be able to reboot it in the future)
  • Learning to crochet!
  • Moving to a different state!
  • Planting a garden! (I only planted parsley, Swiss chard, and carrots, but it was so magical to put seeds in the earth and watch them grow! I didn't follow the instructions on how to plant and thin out the carrots because I didn't believe they would grow, which is so silly, right? But they did grow but they were tiny because I didn't give them enough room to grow. But they were so cute!)
  • severely limiting our tv and Internet time so that we can focus on family and learning time.
  • Hopping in the car and taking spur of the moment road trips.
  • Keeping better tabs on our money and spending less (this was more of a necessity BUT we rocked it and learned that it was okay not to say yes to every 5 dollar whim we had and in the end were able to say yes to more meaningful expenses) 
  • Paying down a few debts instead of avoiding them, I swear it has cut my anxiety in half knowing I am taking action.
There are so many things that we said yes to as a family and so many personal attitude adjustments that I made. Some of them were things that I probably would have made anyway because as humans we are constantly learning and changing but it was really nice to be consciously aware it. I would have to say that the biggest take away from the year was I gave up on "perfect." All my irritation and feelings of inadequacy that I felt in my life, stemmed from comparing myself to others! I would see these "perfect" families with "perfect" houses and "perfect" jobs and I would think "if we could just have that or do this, then we could be happy" and finally I had an Ah-Ha moment where I just realized how ungrateful and wasteful I was being with my time and thoughts by thinking that way. I know for so many people that is a crazy simple and no brainer thought, but it has actually taken me 28 years to figure that out. My little family  and I have slowly began to try to simplify our life by cutting out clutter in all forms. I will be honest and say that we are more successful on some days than on others because. hey, we are humans. I guess for the year of 2016 we will continue to say yes to things that benefit us, such as living simply and being grateful. Hopefully we will be able to share some entertaining stories along the way.