New Year’s Doesn’t Matter

– New Year, New You
– Resolutions
– Promises
– Fresh starts
– New Month; New Year; NEW DECADE! What WILL you accomplish?
…..

Sick of all the same kind of posts yet?
This time of year (and especially this year, because 2020 – WOWZA) it can feel like the pressure is ON to somehow reinvent ourselves; become super duper mindful, become better than ever. People are dusting off their gym clothes, getting out their journals and food scales, promising themselves and their entire social media network that THIS.IS.THEIR.YEAR. Things are ’bout to get REAL for everyone. REAL, I tell ya.

But what if we just want to, you know, chill a bit?

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Divorcing “Should”

Various facebook blogs and articles as well as a good conversation with my sister a while ago has left me thinking about the word “should”. My sister, N, was talking about how she loves to come home from work and veg out with her computer and a healthy dinner but all the while is thinking about her Shoulds. “I should be doing yoga”, “I should hang those posters”, “I should be more productive.”

Of course, “should” has its place.
“I should make that doctor’s appointment today.”
“I should put the leftovers away so they don’t spoil.”
“I should call my friend back, she’s waiting for me.”

Dogs don’t “should”. They either do or they don’t. We can learn so much from our fur-babies!

I think, though, that in general we “should” ourselves too much. We don’t allow ourselves to sit in the joy of a moment because we’re always thinking about the “shoulds”.

Instead of allowing ourselves to watch Netflix all night we tell ourselves, “I should put that laundry away”. Maybe instead, we could think, “I’ve been solo parenting all day and I kicked out more “To Do” list items before lunch than usual. I am going to completely relax tonight so I’m rested for another full day tomorrow.”

Instead of really enjoying a third (or fourth, or…whatever’th) cup of coffee we think, “I really should drink more water”. While that might be true, why don’t we rephrase it to, “I’m going to have this bottle of water and then I’ll have another coffee”. Instead of saying, “I should go to bed early” we could say, “I might go to bed early”.

I’ve been experimenting with this concept since it first occurred to me a few months ago and I have found that it really takes a lot of pressure off and makes me feel less guilty for doing what I want to do or NOT doing what I had planned to do. As much as it’s just the swapping out of one word, it’s the whole mindset behind it that makes it powerful.

This is being published on a Monday. I love Mondays: a new week, a fresh start. This week I challenge you to catch yourself whenever you think or say the word “should” and replace it with something else to change the tone.  Leave “Should”. Walk out on it. Divorce it. BE GONE!

I’d love to hear back if you think it made any difference!

Take care of yourself!
<3 Mel

My Pink Spectacles

If you’ve read my blogs before, you know that I’m the first to acknowledge the adversities of being a military family and, more specifically, a military spouse. Sometimes it seems like it’s just one thing after the next after the next. It can feel like the hits just keep on coming and we can’t stay afloat.

It’s so easy to say “This was a terrible day/week/month/deployment/etc.” There really often are big stretches of time, hours or days, that feel that way. But as I was reminded recently, not always, but most often, we have a few bad moments in a day/week/month/deployment/etc that cloud the rest of the time and make it all feel terrible. It’s like when you get a work performance review. Most of us could receive nine amazingly complimentary comments and just one negative one, and what do we focus on the most? The one, of course.

 

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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Wives

Before you think Alexis Bledel has joined a polygamous TLC family in Utah, rest easy.
The sisterhood to which I’m referring is the sisterhood that exists among military wives.

When Hubby and I were dating and went to our first posting location for a few days to check out the PMQ (Private Married Quarters…now called RHUs which stands for Residential Housing Unit….all just a fancy way of saying the military housing on base) we were going to be living in, I had no idea that I was about to enter a secret society. In fact, it took me a few years to really understand what kind of amazing culture I had joined. Sure, it was clear that Hubby was part of a really unique community as a a member of the military. And sure, I met other military wives and girlfriends and that was all great. But it was only once we started moving around and once I became a part-time and then full-time stay at home Mom that I realized how incredible this sisterhood really is.

 

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Updating my OS (*update in progress*)

Whoa – it’s been almost 4 months since I’ve written! It isn’t that I have nothing to say (just ask anyone who knows me) but I often struggle with putting together a piece that is interesting, cathartic, and appropriate for all to read.

So here is tonight’s stream of consciousness…

I am an introspective person and I am constantly looking inward to examine my own thoughts, motives, and actions. This can often lead to unnecessary emotional pain (ask my Hubby how often I compare others’ actions to my own to see if I caused a situation or could have made it better or different. Do all women do this? And do all men just deal with a situation then move on and away from it? I often seem so trapped by thinking and talking myself in circles!). 
I am certain, though, that this also makes me a better person. I know a lot of people who are stagnant with themselves. That is to say that they are content. That’s alright, I guess. But if you think about it, my iPhone (and all devices) need constant upgrading. We get new vehicles every so often because we need change it up. Our address books need updating. We update our wardrobes. So why is it that we think the first version of ourselves, “Me 1.0” if you will, is alright as is? Don’t we need constant updates, too?

 

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Pick-Me-Ups

Never underestimate the value of sending someone flowers.
I’ve been having a bit of a hard time adjusting to this new life. Six weeks ago I had a circle of friends to visit, a best friend a few streets over, baby play-dates, and a generally fulfilling life both at home and socially. But now everything just seems so quiet and still. You know that cliche of crickets chirping in the silence to indicate when things are just THAT quiet that that sound is all you can hear? Some days it feels like that sound is the metaphorical soundtrack playing in the background.
My parents were just here for their first visit and it was wonderful. They were only here for a week but they did painting, housework, groceries, errands cooking, taking Lucas for walks, feeding the dogs and anything else that I asked them to do. It was great…just like living at home again where at 5:00 you ask, “What’s for dinner?” having put no thought into it yourself because you knew it was taken care of. My hubby is working nights for a military exercise right now and sleeping during the day so I doubly appreciate all the help. Needless to say after I returned home from dropping them off at the airport and the longest 2 1/2 hour drive ever (thank you, crying Lucas) the house felt bigger and emptier than it did before. After Hubby went to work the evening started to go down the kind of self-pitying path that is never good and a phonecall home to my parents just turned me into a blubbering child. But Mom’s loving words made me feel better and I went to bed happy…enough.

Today my wonderful parents sent me flowers. Flowers! Such a relatively common gesture to many people but it had such a huge impact and really picked me up.

What kinds of pick-me-ups do you enjoy when you’re feeling a bit down? A bath? Wine? A jog?

Mel