Weekly Prompt – Dream Achievement Unlocked

This week I’m switching it up and linking up with Delightfully Tacky for this week’s prompt, which is:

What is keeping you from achieving your dreams right now?

Holga Fun

I’m going to be completely honest… right now, I’m not even sure what my dreams really are.  One week I’ll think I know for sure what it is I want to do with my life, and then the next week it might change. I’m not entirely sure where this indecisiveness comes from; I’ve always had a hard time making decisions.  Most likely it stems from fear, and the fear that I’ll choose poorly.  Then I wonder why do I fear making the wrong decision, and that makes me think I’m afraid of failure, which is somewhat true, but as to why that it is, I couldn’t tell you.

Granted, even if fear were not an issue or indecision, would I be able to make my dreams come true right now? That’s hard to say. Hard because money can be tight and time is often very hard to find. I need money for certain things to help along my dreams, but I also have two small children and work full-time, so I’m lucky if I have an hour or two in the evening that doesn’t need to be spent doing something else like cleaning or trying to do some form of exercise since I sit at a desk all day.  Those are probably the biggest obstacles in my path right now.

Actually, I take that back.  My biggest obstacle is me.  I can list excuse after excuse, but ultimately, what it comes down to is me.  I could change my lifestyle to try and make more time in my life, and we are currently trying to find ways to cut back on our spending, so if I really wanted to buckle down and make it happen… I probably could.  Would it be easy?  No, which is probably why I find reasons to stay where I am.  I’m cozy right here and there is stability.  I fear change and the unknown and usually I’m not big on taking risks either.  Granted, it might all be different if I wasn’t married and had two kids.  Life was so much cheaper before kids…

So, really I need a plan.  I need to decide what I want, and then make a plan as to how to get there, and just do it.  Sure, it might take some big life changes, but I have to do something.  The biggest thing is planning. I feel better about making changes if there is a plan involved and maybe even a flowchart and some excel spreadsheets in there.

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Weekly Prompt – Current State

I am once again participating in Sometimes Sweet’s weekly journal prompts (they’re back!), and this week the prompt is:

This week, write a “State of Me” address. Write about how you’re really doing- what you’ve been thinking, what you’ve been up to. What have you accomplished lately? Where is there room for growth? Where are you right now in life and where are you headed? Current joys, currents sadness…write it all out. Discuss the current state of YOU. 

BeachView

When all is said and done, I’m actually doing really well.  I’ve had a lot on my mind, so I’m not sure where to begin when it comes to spilling it all.  Maybe a list would be better?  A free-flowing stream of thought that jumps all over the place since that’s just how my brain actually works?

I feel really good now that I’m not taking any medications of any kind… no anti-depressants, no hormonal birth control, no… anything. I do, however, need to take vitamins and whatnot because I keep getting this recurring cough, that Phoebe and I keep passing back and forth. Or maybe it’s something else, and then I wonder if there’s something in our house and then I freak myself out because surely we have toxic black mold.

I’ve been thinking a lot about travel and trips we should take with the kids when they’re young (and older).  I want to include our kids in our adventures and not save the best ones for when they aren’t with us. For now, I think a big extended family trip to someplace like Disney World would be awesome, and when they’re older – Europe.

My garden is sad… so sad. Something is eating all the good stuff to a point where my corn doesn’t stand a chance now, maybe one sunflower might be okay, and my pumpkins/squash will hopefully be okay. The strawberries get eaten as soon as they’re ripe enough to pick… I give up!  I’ll be putting up pest prevention measures next year.  At least the tomatoes and salad stuff on the deck are okay.

I want to make some changes… a variety of changes all across the board. Some big, some small, some important, and some not so important… like changing the color of a wall.  I think it’s time to take on some big projects and some small ones and quit waiting for my motivation to show up and just tackle one thing at a time whether I want to or not.  I’m not sure where my motivation has been hiding, but I’ve been reading ‘Feel the Fear and do it Anyway’ and while it can be cheesy, it’s also kind of helpful.

Oh reading… I used to do so much, and now I hardly seem to read at all.  There’s a severe lack of time and more often than not I end up watching something on Netflix or attempt to work on a project, and maybe read a few pages.  I know I’d get so much more done if I cut back on my Netflix, but sometimes after a long day… it’s nice to just sit and get lost in a show for a bit.  One of my changes is priorities, though, and TV is not going to be one of them.

Which brings me to health… I need to work on overall health and wellness and be a good example for the kids.  It’s easy to fall into a rut with busy schedules, but it needs to be done. I want to feel better, and think it’ll be good overall. Now, if we could just get the mosquitoes to go away so we could actually play outside and enjoy our yard… I get eaten alive and it’s driving me crazy.

Perhaps it’s time to start weighing options as far as a move goes.  I don’t want to rush anything since I want to find that “perfect” spot that we’ll want to stay in for the long term.  I do know that that place is not Minnesota, though.  I miss mountains and love Colorado, but I’m not sure that’s the answer either. I’m kind of thinking it’s some place I haven’t been yet, which means all the more reason to get out there and explore!

Weekly Prompt – Soul Mates

I am once again participating in Sometimes Sweet’s weekly journal prompts (they’re back!), and this week the prompt is:

Let’s talk about love. Do you believe in the idea of a soulmate? Do you think there is one person for everyone- and do you think that no matter what, if you’re “supposed” to meet that person you will? This week, talk about your experience with love and discuss what you believe, and also be sure to touch on what helped shape those beliefs. 

Driving

I’ve always been an avid movie watcher, and while I watch many genres, I do like my animated films and romantic comedies.  One thing that both have in common is usually unrealistic love stories. It’s refreshing that over the past few years, even Disney has realized this and is changing things up a bit. When I was younger it just seemed normal that the leading lady of the story would always magically find true love… usually instantly.  They’d just know they were meant to be and there would be singing followed by a wedding, all within a few days.  Sigh.

Thankfully even Disney can see how silly this is and I loved how they made fun of this a bit in ‘Enchanted.’ I also appreciate that they’ve been changing how the lead female characters behave – creating strong girls and women (Brave), or showing the folly of thinking you’ve found true love in one day (Frozen). So, I guess you could say I don’t really believe in the whole love at first sight and soul mate (in terms of one true love). It just seems so unlikely that there is only one person out there for us all because what are the odds that you’ll actually meet them in a world that is so big?

That being said, if you mean soul mate as the term is actually defined, then yes, I think we may each have several soul mates out there because technically a soul mate can just be a close friend who completely understands you, or perhaps as Anne of Green Gables would have said, “A bosom friend.”  So… am I married to my soul mate?  It’s funny because we actually went on our first two dates in the same day.  We went out to lunch and then discovered be both really liked movies, so Josh asked me to come over later that night to hang out and watch a few.  When I think about it, I suppose our relationship did move pretty quickly – we moved in together after we had been dating for maybe 6-7 months, and we moved out of state just shy of a year of dating.

As for whether or not he’s my soul mate… I couldn’t say. I don’t know that he completely understands me, and I may never completely understand him either.  Does this mean our marriage is doomed?  Probably not.  I think it helps that so many of our interests differ because we can do more things independently from each other, and as an Introvert – I NEED time to myself. I think when people use the term “soul mate” they’re potentially setting themselves up for disappointment because so often it carries such high expectations with it (thanks to movies, television, books, etc.).

I’ve been trying to lower my expectations… right now I feel like my soul mate is probably a thick piece of chocolate cheesecake and a hot cup of coffee.  Cheesecake gets me.

Weekly Prompt – Self-Criticism

I am once again participating in Sometimes Sweet’s weekly journal prompts, and this week the prompt is:

Sometimes it can be hard to hear criticism from others. I know for me it’s something I may always struggle with- being a people pleaser, etc. At the same time though, constructive criticism can be very helpful, and allow us to look at ourselves in a new light and maybe even grow and change. Take a step out of yourself. If you were on the outside looking in, how would you critique yourself? What things do you see that could change or work on? This isn’t about tearing ourselves down; it’s about really looking at ourselves and seeing where there’s room for growth.

ClothesTornado

Criticism is never easy to hear, and I think that’s because while criticism involves analyzing and advising (which doesn’t sound so bad), it also often means judging something, and often in a negative way – picking out what is wrong and not necessarily giving much attention to what is good. The word just sounds harsh and icky.  So,while constructive criticism can be very helpful and useful (best when delivered in a kind and caring way), it’s still not always easy to hear because you are still being judged no matter how you look at it. Maybe constructive criticism should just be called something else…

As an introvert, I like to think that I know myself fairly well and I know there are plenty of areas for growth in my life or just things in general that I would like to change about myself be it physical or mental.  Since no one else should have any criticism to give on my physical self (because it’s none of your concern, thank you very much), I probably shouldn’t mention anything either.  While I’m a healthy weight, I would like to get more toned as I’ve mentioned before.  I’m slowly finding time daily to do exercise here and there, but haven’t yet found the motivation I need to really make some big changes.  Part of the problem is that there isn’t really time before dinner to work out and I don’t want to work out too soon after eating, so by the time the kids are down and the house is somewhat tidied, it’s already 8:00 and the last thing I want to do is get into workout clothes and hop on the elliptical or otherwise.  So, something I need to figure out.

As for the things that are probably more important… one thing I would like to work on is my patience (or lack thereof).  I know I have very little patience and can get snippy and frustrated pretty quickly either when it comes to driving or when dealing with just about anything.  This obviously doesn’t work well when you have a toddler who also has little to no patience because you both reach a breaking point very quickly.  I’m making progress every day in terms of keeping calm and not keeping my frustration under control, but some mornings can be difficult and my tone comes very close to yelling.  I focus on the small victories, though, and each day that I go without losing it or find a new way to dispel a tantrum is worth a small celebration.  Like this morning – Enzo didn’t want to go to day care with me, so I had to pull him out of his dad’s arms and try and wrangle a screaming, writhing toddler into a car seat.  It’s not an easy task and can be incredibly frustrating, but I managed to get him in the seat after some struggling without raising my voice and though I felt a little flustered, I wasn’t nearly as frustrated/angry as I would have been a few months ago.

Another thing I’d like to work on is self-confidence, something I tend to lack, and can often be quite noticeable.  My chest, and sometimes my face turn a lovely shade of red when I’m put on the spot or feel embarrassed due to lack of confidence in social situations.  It’s a wonder I didn’t break out in hives on our wedding day, to be honest.  Sure, I can sometimes fake it, but generally not very well, and it often requires a bit of liquid courage.  I’d love to get to that point where I just feel completely comfortable with who I am and can walk into a room and not feel awkward… granted, I’m an introvert so I don’t want to be the life of the party by any means, just slightly more at ease.  Maybe I just want to learn how to fake being an extrovert, though, as soon as I typed that it just sounded draining. Ha ha.

Weekly Prompt – Talents

I am once again participating in Sometimes Sweet’s weekly journal prompts, and this week the prompt is:

Quite simply, what are you good at? All of us have particular strengths- what are yours? This week, talk about these talents, big or small. Ideas: discuss how you use these things in your daily life or job, how you discovered a knack for this or that, perhaps even touch on whether or not you are passionate about the things you’re good at.

One of the reasons I dislike job interviews is that you are generally always asked what your strengths are. Ask me what my faults are, and I can rattle them off, but my strengths? Please, please, please ask me something else. It isn’t that I’m extremely humble, or secretly seeking praise or otherwise, I just have a hard time stating what I’m good at because I feel that I’m constantly a work in progress and I don’t really feel that I excel at anything. I have many things that I enjoy doing, I just don’t feel they are as good as they could be, so maybe my problem is high expectations. For the sake of making me feel less uncomfortable, why don’t I talk about things I’m okay at?

cheesecake

I’m a fairly decent cook, but tend to be better when it comes to desserts. I have kitchen failures (caramel never seems to turn out right for me), but overall I’ve always been pretty consistent when it comes to breads and cakes and other yummy treats. I tend to stick to recipes, but I do like to add my own touch, which thankfully works out well more often than not. If I had more time I would bake, but, I wouldn’t say I’m a passionate cook. I’d just as soon order out or go to a yummy bakery all the time if I could. There is something relaxing and almost therapeutic, though, about the baking process.

Not recent or current, but now I'm craving it.

I’m told that I’m decent when it comes to photography, and while I still feel I have much to learn, it’s something I just enjoy doing. I’ve taken some really good photos over the years, but most of the time I’m taking pictures without much thought other than to quickly capture the moment. If I had more time, I’d put more effort into it, but lately I’m lucky if I have a few minutes to quickly snap a few shots of the kids before our toddler realizes I have the camera and doesn’t want to be in the picture, but wants to play with the camera himself. I do have plans to make more time this summer to photograph something other than the kids, even if they are adorable.

Gatlinburg, TN (Aquarium)

While most people would look at my desk and scoff at the idea that I could possibly be organized in any way, I’m actually pretty good at research and planning. I kind of love it. When planning our wedding, I managed to find some great options that kept us in our very low budget, but still made for a fantastic day. When it was time for our honeymoon road trip, we both got involved in the planning, and made a dorky itinerary to go along with it (which was my favorite part of the planning process). We calculated and planned everything, which for me means far less stress. We knew how long it would take to drive from one place to the next, and calculated when we needed to wake up and be on the road each day. Pure bliss for me – I like to know what’s going on. I’m also the one who researches large purchases for our home. I want to know we’re getting a good deal and the most for our money so I try to do as much research as possible.

While research and planning can be useful in my job (which is really not interesting to write about), I find that my “talents” really only get use in my personal life. Now if only I could find a job that I actually feel passionate about. It makes me wonder just how many people are at jobs where their true talents are completely wasted. Really, though, that’s a topic for another day.