I had a devastating loss at work yesterday. A year’s work, gone. My carefully laid plans, poof. I was shocked and disappointed to the point of being physically sick.
And then I felt guilty, because my life is so truly wonderful, everyone healthy, all my children still talking to each other and to me, a loving husband who does the dishes.
But the emotion was there. I take pride in my work, it’s not the core of me, but it is part of me. And that part was hurt.
So I did what any rational woman would do. I went home; I ate chocolate. I called my mother; I called my bestie. I prayed; I pouted.
Late in the evening, as I was still limping around at home, trying to come to grips with all this emotion (not to mention trying to come up with a new business plan for 2016) a dear, dear friend offered some advice.
She said, “It’s okay to care deeply about your work without it being the most important thing in your life.”
And then she said, “Tomorrow is another day.”
And it is.
Every day. Every day we get up and we do this. Every day. Every day we work, we plan, we mother, we love, we try, we struggle, we triumph, we lose, we live. And no matter how smart, how prepared, how loving we are, life will not turn out exactly according to plan. It’s the best and the worst of it.
If your yesterday wasn’t what you expected, or wanted, today is another day.
Get up and hit it, Mamma. Gather your energies, believe again that you’ve got this, get back to it.
This is what we do. This is life, this mess, this process. It’s not the big wins or the perfectly checked off to-do lists, although they’re part of it. Life is the whole of it.
And we are blessed to be here, blessed to do this, blessed to be challenged and tried and pushed.
Today is another day.
Let’s hit it.
Good morning, Mamma. Happy Tuesday! How are you? Hanging in there?
I’ve been so inspired this week by friends who are signing up for races of different sorts for this summer. So inspired, in fact, that I signed up for a 5k (May), a sprint triathlon (July) and a 10 mile trail race (September).
I love this. This throwing a goal out there, putting the money down, sticking your neck out by telling everyone you know that you are doing x-and-such-a-race… it’s intoxicating. More importantly, it’s motivating.
Why don’t you try it? Pick something, about 3 months out, something that feels a little scary (remember, the goal isn’t big enough unless you feel a little scared) and register!
Then spend some time today Googling up a training plan (couch to 5k in 3 months). And then bask in the glow of the fear and excitement and thoughts of what a great role model you are going to be for your kids.
Then, one day at a time, get up and get it done.
Here’s a link to a great site that will show you tons of races in your area, wherever you live: http://www.runningintheusa.com/
Yes, you can, Mamma. Don’t let that little voice in your head tell you otherwise. You’ve got this.
And that photo, the one of you crossing the finish line, with your excited kids running alongside you for the last 100 feet, you’ll want to frame that.
Good morning, Mamma! Good Wednesday morning. Are you starting to wake up a little from the lovely candle-lit haze? Life getting a little back to normal? Starting to gear up for 2016?
I’m a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. Don’t listen to the haters who will tell you not to bother. This is a wonderful annual exercise in stretching and growing and getting better.
See the woman you want to be. Now visualize the path you have to take to get from here to there. Make a plan. The internet is a treasure trove of information for physical training programs, household organizational tips, and financial advice.
My goals for 2016: Better health, more organized home, and more disciplined spending.
I have teed up a 16 week training program for a triathlon. My husband has a nutritional plan all worked out that I get to come along on. I’ve read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” and plan to devote January 1st and 2nd to clearing out much clutter. And, my biggest resolution of all, the biggest change for me by far, I’m going all cash in 2016.
I’m excited! The start of a race is always high energy and Jan 1 is the start of a race.
What do you want? What do you wish you were a little better at? What race are you going to try? No matter what your results, you’ll be doing better than all the folks who never got off the sofa.
Give it a go, Mamma! Get a goal, make a plan and go public with your plan.
Whatever it is you want, you can get there. You can.
Hello, Mamma. Happy Friday! How are you? Two weeks to go. Seriously, Mamma, how are you today?
I’m feeling very intense this morning. I can see the end of the year (for work) looming and I need to finish my projects and tie up my loose ends before I can leave for vacation. I can also see Santa packing up his sleigh, and I know the things I’ve yet to get done to help him along.
And I’m trying to remember to be joyful and peaceful and relaxed. Relaxed. How’s that working for you, Mamma? Yeah, me neither, but I’m working on it. I’ll get there.
So. Deep breath. It will all get done. The reports and the orders and the gifts and the cards. Or it won’t. And, for the most part, that will be okay too.
With two weeks to go, I’m looking at my list and deciding what will fit and what won’t. What’s a must, what’s a maybe, what’s not going to happen. Protecting my joy, letting go of the things that are just stressful (Must confirm orders for Monday, must finish reworking that one project, yes, I want to bake more cookies with the kids, no, there won’t be a caroling party and there doesn’t need to be).
Be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself a little stress, because I don’t know a woman on earth who can sail through this time of year with Mary Poppins aplomb, and make sure you insist on a fair measure of joy. Go get it. Make time for it. Allow yourself to feel it even though there is no way you will be as perfect as you’d like to be.
You’ll be just fine. You’ll be wonderful.
Good morning, Mamma. Up and having a hot cup and making my list of to-do for the day.
Highly aware of Paris as I do so. It’s sort of here in my office with me, floating around in the ether. And I wonder if it is somehow obscene that I go on with my normal life?
No, no, I don’t think it is. You know what I think? I think that six guys in Paris don’t get to take my life along with the other lives they took on Friday.
They won’t make me afraid; they have made me determined. They won’t make me hide; they have made me brave. They won’t make me hate; instead I am committed to being more loving today, more aware, more grateful than I was before Friday.
How do you fight a handful of crazy people who want hate and chaos and death? With love and peace and life.
Go live it, sister. To your fullest, most passionate ability, live your life today. Smile at everyone. Dive into your job. When you get home tonight, hug those children tight and look them in the eye and soak them up. Make something silly for dinner. Make them laugh.
And maybe reach out to your nice Muslim friend who has a whole ‘nother layer of pain from this news. Us getting together beats them driving us apart.
When we act, love wins. When we are brave, courage wins. When we work, life wins.
Go live today. Pray for France, pray for us all, and LIVE.
Good morning! Happy Thursday! Connect With Your Kids day. We are heading into a time of year when there is so much to do that you can potentially lose the heart connections in the busy-busy of all the Holiday Must Dos. Have a care, Mamma.
I vividly remember one Christmas Eve when I was out in a panic at Target or TJ Max getting One Last Thing. While waiting in line, stressed to the max, I was overwhelmed with revulsion for how I had decided to spend my Christmas Eve morning. That day I vowed never again to let Stuff take precedence over Time With People I Love.
When faced with something this big, we need a plan.
This weekend maybe, sit down with a legal pad or your computer or your journal, and write yourself out a plan. Talk to yourself about what is most important to you this season — sledding with the kids, getting the tree, talking about God … whatever your priorities are, know them, own them, write them down. Then write down all the events and activities that you anticipate you will need to do that will get you there.
For Thanksgiving, you may want to start thinking about who is driving where, who is cooking, and how to get thoughts on gratitude into all the discussion of food and Black Friday Shopping!
If you’re Christian, Christmas is coming hard on the heels of Thanksgiving. There will be all sorts of to-dos and budget-busters waiting to sabotage your holiday if you let them… don’t let them! Plan what you want to happen; let go of what drains you: Christmas cards? Driving out to a cut-your-own-tree-farm? Making cookies with Grandma and the kids? See it now the way you want it to be, and then stick to your plan when four thousand opportunities to do more start knocking on your door.
We are heading into a beautiful time of year, Mamma, if we play it right.
Again, know what matters to you: own it and protect it. Know what drains you: let it go with no apologies.
Over the hills and through the woods, building your life as you go.
With love,who is driving where, who is cooking,
Monday, Monday. Here we go. Did you have a lovely weekend, Mamma? We let the kids stay up late to watch the lunar eclipse, a great excuse to sit on our front porch in the dark, and talk and wonder and snuggle for an hour. So nice…
I’m thinking this morning about a conversation I had this weekend with a woman at church who is deciding to give up her work and stay home full time; she is so excited, but was feeling a little guilty for choosing not to work. That conversation came almost a week to the day after a conversation I had with another woman who confessed to excitement that she is going back to work after years of staying home because she thought staying home was the right thing to do. And three days after a conversation with two women, one of whom couldn’t wait to get back to work after the birth of her daughter (she felt guilty too), the other who took significant time off from her (very big, very fancy, very high-paying job) to adopt three kids.
Choices. Lives. Personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Options.
We are all so different. We were created differently, we are handed different situations, we have different desires. Not all of us who want to stay home can. Not everyone who wants work can find a job. Some kids need more mothering than others.
Here’s what we all have in common: We love our kids, we are trying to do our best in life. As a mom, as a worker, as a wife.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you “have to” or “should” do your life this way or that way. Talk to your heart, your husband, your kids, your God. Know what is right for you. And, to the best of your ability, with the choices available to you, build a lovely life. No guilt. You know what you need; you know what your family needs.
There is no one perfect option, there are many ways to do this well.
Build beauty and love and meaning, to the best of your ability, every day. If there is no beauty or love or meaning, change something. If there is too much pain, change something. You get to. You are the pilot of your life.
The new feminism – the power to direct our own lives, to build what works for us and for our families, the power of choices.
Fair warning, somebody somewhere will tell you it is the wrong choice. But as I tell my kids: Know who you are, and know why you are who you are. And it bears repeating: there are many ways to do this well.
Go build it, Mamma.
Good morning, Mommy. Back to reality, yes?
It’s the first Monday of the month, so I’ll be taking a chunk of time this morning to look at my progress on all my major work projects. I have a very informal word document I keep – it details my goals, the steps that need to be taken to move each project forward, the people that need to be involved.
Diving back into and updating this document keeps me on track, keeps me honest with my work. Am I where I thought I’d be? What new wrinkles have popped up in the last month? What were the successes? Road blocks? Are there any processes that need to be changed? Were there any great ideas that got plowed under by this or that crisis that need to be brought back to light?
It’ll take me a fair chunk of time this morning, but it’s time well spent.
Accountability. Perspective. Goal-setting.
Just because the targets continue to move, doesn’t mean we get to stop aiming.
Hello, Mamma! Good morning. Easter weekend. Bunnies and baskets and children in pajamas running around the house screaming, “I found one! I found one!” Enjoy yourself this weekend. Take pictures!
And Easter is also about renewal, forgiveness, new life. Lovely holiday.
I plan to take some time this weekend for reflection – early tomorrow morning, before anyone else is up. Me and my coffee and my journal, out on the front porch, listening to the birds wake up. I want to look at where I’m at. What do I love, what am I not so happy with. And then I want to take the time to rough out a road map to get to where I want to be. We are the architects and construction crew of our own lives. Renewal.
And I’ll count my blessings, because there are so many. And I’ll pray, because it’s important to say thank you.
And I’ll forgive the hurts and slights and pain that inevitably come with life, because it’s the weekend for that.
And I’ll celebrate the new life I’m given, with God, with spring, with every morning that wakes up fresh and gives me another chance at the whole lovely mess of it.
Happy Easter, Mommies.