Earlier this year I came to the realization that I was living a surface level life. It was routine. I did things because I felt like I had to. I fell into an unfulfilling cycle and wasn’t grateful. There was a problem and I wanted change. I made the decision to be present all of the time. A commitment to making intentional decisions and making my life a purposeful one.
Things are turning around. I have a long way to go, but I’m beginning to feel better with the changes I am making. Slow and steady wins the race.
+Decreasing my spending and buying things that matter. When my partner and I first started dating, he had a rule about spending his money. Before he bought anything, he posed the question: Do I desperately need it? I thought he was ridiculous for having such a strict outlook on spending. I learned over time that he was right. We both follow this rule now! Not eating out as much has been a challenge, though. Being debt free is far away for us, but why not start now?
Along with decreased spending, I am intentional with what I do purchase. One example of this is my decision not to support the hair care line SheaMoisture anymore. There are tons of articles out there pertaining to this issue. Here’s a good one. It is important to spend money on brands that we feel good about. Brands that align with our morals and values.
+Keeping things simple. I actually get anxious when I own too much stuff. My apartment is pretty bare and I like it that way. I have donated, re-gifted, and recycled many items. We just don’t buy the unnecessary anymore. I asked family members to gift experiences rather than things for birthdays and Christmas. My wardrobe is down to essentials. My space, mental and physical, needs to be clear for me to function.
This also means keeping my thoughts simple. I try not to analyze things that don’t matter too deeply. Shit happens. I don’t want blow up over life’s tiny mishaps.
+Trusting my body and what it can do. Last year I started experiencing some concerning health issues. None of it makes sense and I still don’t know what is causing my symptoms. I am hopeful that it’s not serious. If it is, I will deal with it when the time comes. Self care is sometimes difficult when you’re a mom. I’ve been making a conscious effort.
+Trusting the people closest to me. I’ve been called a helicopter mom before. I wouldn’t describe myself in quite that way, but sometimes I am a bit overbearing! I want my daughter to be the best she can be. So I try to control more than I should. I have taken several steps back, though. Allowing her to make her own decisions more often has been positive. I want her to figure things out. I don’t have to worry. More often than not, she does great. Recently one of her friends said some things that she was not comfortable with. She confided in an adult she trusted. Just like I always tell her. She’s awesome and I need to give her more room to mold herself.
+Not taking life too seriously. I am a meme queen and like to share ones that I think are funny. I came across one that poked fun at adults who don’t have any marketable skills to put on a resume. I thought it was hilarious because I am currently a stay a home mom. Possibly I can add cleaning up glitter glue from the carpet to mine. Laughter is my saving grace.
+Being spontaneous. I joined my cousin on a trip to California a couple of weeks ago. We went to the music festival Coachella. It was amazing. It was my first time on the west coast and my first time experiencing the desert. I didn’t expect to do so many first time things this year! We went to Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles and saw the beautiful city of Palm Springs. I’m so happy I went and felt refreshed when I got home.
+I don’t accept the status quo. This has been ingrained in me since I was a child. My mother taught to never accept what doesn’t align with ME. She taught me to question societal norms and to not do things because everyone says I should. Folks know that I never take anything at face value. This has made my life more about what I want. I used to care about keeping up appearances. If people questioned why they do things (i.e. parent a certain way, going to college, etc.) they would realize a lot is done to please others rather than themselves.
+Accepting my life right now. I have struggled a lot with living in the present and feeling content. I used to be a slave to my calendar and planned every little thing. A lot of lists were made. I do think it is important to be goal-oriented. Even placing dates on your goals is cool. But you can’t spend your life waiting for tomorrow. Expressing gratitude for what I have has helped me tremendously with this.
I am still growing. I’m not the same person I was when this year began. There is so much work to do and I’m excited.