A New Found Sense of Freedom (and the feelings that go with it)

Today is a milestone day in my world, a milestone that I have been anxiously awaiting for the past 2.5 years. Both of my children are in school all day. I dropped them off at 8:20, and I don’t have to go get them until 3:30. I am not paying tuition or a sitter. It is amazing.

Drop off!

So what am I doing? I’m writing. I’m spending time on what I want Actively Living Awesome to be (and mapping out the HOW). I’m meeting with my work-wife and exploring what some future opportunities look like. I’m listening to one of my favorite Podcasts (about setting boundaries, how appropriate). I am enjoying the fact that my house is quiet.

I’m also hoping that my kids are having a good day.

This particular subject is one that can get people fired up pretty quickly, so I’m going to lay out my reality and then move right along. My husband works full time and has a great job. When we made our life-changing move five years ago part of the decision we made was for me to finally pursue my own endeavors as opposed to going back into a corporate 9-5. By making that choice, part of it meant that I would be home at least half the time. And for most of the past five years that has been the case. There has always been the option for me to go back to work for someone else (which I did for a minute and it wasn’t a good fit), but when it comes down to it, this was the path that worked best for us. It has not been without it’s challenges, but it’s what we decided to do.

As a mother (and this is all humans that have the title of “Mom” whether in a traditional sense or not) there is this external expectation to be all of the fucking things, all of the fucking time. In no particular order: be a good mom, be a good partner, volunteer, keep up the house, bring home a contributing wage, stay fit (or look the part), keep up with laundry and groceries, make time for self care, take care of you, take care of everyone else, the list never ends.

So as I sit here at my counter, on my computer, listening to my little dog snore in the sunlight, I feel really good about where I am right now. I am showing up for me, in ways that elevate my vibration, and I am not sorry for any of them. Does it make me selfish? Maybe. Do I care? Nope. Am I thinking about my kids? Yes, a little bit. Is there any guilt? Again, Nope.

But I wonder, how many moms do feel guilty? How many have had the sole “job” of Mom for many years and now find themselves with a quiet house? How many don’t necessarily have a business or mission to pour themselves into now that they have the time? How many have things they want to start or pick back up but don’t know where to begin?

It doesn’t make you a “Bad Mom” to welcome this new chapter. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids because for the first time in years you can sit down and not immediately have to get up for someone else. It doesn’t mean you are selfish because you want to do something you enjoy, for YOU and not for the enjoyment of someone else.

If any of this resonates for you, let me know. I know there are plenty of us out there trying to take care of ourselves and everyone else, battling through all the emotions along the way.

Chat again soon Awesome Humans

~S

Crossing The Whole30 Finish Line!

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Yahoo, I made it!!! I did it, I get to check the box and call this January 2019 Whole30 a SUCCESS. You guys, I don’t know if I can fully explain how happy I am to not only cross this finish line but to be able to say that I COMPLETED something that I started. It feels amazing.

So now that I’ve gone the whole 30 days, whats next? Well, reintroduction and Food Freedom are top of mind, so technically still eating mostly the same way will be the new “normal”. For this post I wanted to highlight a couple of things I thought would be helpful take-aways for anyone thinking about doing a Whole 30 themselves. I also know that what I learned this time may be completely different than what I experience the next time. With that in mind; The 2019 January Whole30.

Why did I decide to do it now?

Because I was sick and tired of feeling bloated and sick and tired.

Why was this round any different then others before?

  1. Because I actually made it to Day 31.
  2. Because I made a commitment to myself
  3. There was no Plan B

Honestly, this is why I was able to be successful. Much like anything else in life, I had to reach a point where I knew that completing what I started was going to be better than the alternative. Please don’t misunderstand, there were days that were hard, there were days I would have gladly thrown in the towel for a piece of chocolate or a glass of red wine. But seeing this through to the end has meant so much more to me then any other fleeting “reward” possibly could. When the pain is great enough, you will do things that may not have been possible before.

Was there anything else that made this round seem “easier”?

Ummm, yes. I am spoiled and I have LOTS of gadgets. My Crockpot, Instant Pot, Egg Cooker, Spiralizer, and Vitamix made my life easier in more ways than I can count. Fear not if you don’t have any of these things in your house, you can still successfully complete your Whole30. I’m just not above admitting that having toys that made prepping easier and faster was appealing in ways I’d never given much previous consideration.

I also purchased the book Whole30 Day By Day and it is worth the investment. Each day is outlined as far as what you should expect and how to break through what tend to be considered the most trying days. There is also an email/ text series that Melissa offers through the Whole30 site, but the book was enough to keep me pushing forward.

What’s next?

Reintroduction starts on Day 31 while still eating mostly Whole30 compliant for another 10 days or so. The first 2 things to be reintroduced are gluten-free alcohol (YAY WINE!) and beans/ legumes etc. (YAY HUMMUS!) I already have a general idea of what foods are not my friend but this will be an efficient way to keep track. I’m also looking ahead thinking that another reset perhaps over the summer may not be a bad idea, but I’m not going to count my chickens (I might eat them, you never know) before they hatch.

Favorite Recipes

I was asked to share what some of my favorite recipes are, and honestly a majority of the time I played a game called throw-it-in-a-pan-with-oil-and-see-what-happens. The other side of that coin is that I stalked and tagged recipes from Whole30Recipes on Instagram. Frequently. I will tag and do a separate post of my 5 favorites with any little side notes or changes that we made to the original since this post is getting long.

On to February, so many things to share that are not food related. This has been a great way for me to get back into my writing groove and I’m looking forward to all that is coming next. Have an inspired and kick-ass weekend Awesome Humans!
S

*I don’t receive any sort of compensation for any links that I post. It’s just me sharing things I love or have found beneficial.*

The Simplification Shift

I’ve been fighting this for what feels like an eternity. To me, it meant that I couldn’t be myself if I chose this path. It felt restrictive, and yucky, and cliche. It meant that I had to fit into a cookie-cutter of what someone else dictated. Why? I have no idea, but that is what I thought. Until recently. Until about 3 months ago. Until I realized that DUH what I have been doing for 35-fucking-years clearly hasn’t worked in all the ways I had hoped, so maybe it was time for me to make a shift. Hmm, weird.

So I did. I chose to start making things simple. Some of them I thought would bore me to tears; they haven’t. Not yet any way. In fact, the small changes I have already made are proving to be intelligent and beneficial decisions on my part.

So, what do I mean by a “Simplification Shift”? I mean cutting out all of the shit in your life that you think you need, so you can make room for the things that are going to help you change your life for the better. It sounds super intimidating, I know. That’s why the other half to this is to also only dismantle a small number of things and then figure out exactly how to rework them into your life so that it makes more sense, not makes you more stressed out.

This all seems so vague, but instead of word vomiting all of it at once I’m going to break out the Simplification Shift throughout the month of February. Each week I’ll explore an area of life that can be simplified, or rather suggestions for you to do so. If I’ve learned nothing else on my own journey it’s that there is no one size fits all answer to ANYTHING. What works for me may not work for you. But, if something that has worked for me ignites something in you that you can use to better your situation, then I’ll call that a win for both of us.

Also, disclaimer before we dive in; while this may have shades of “minimalism” attached to it, that is NOT what this is about. I have also not been watching any of the Marie Kondo docu-series on Netflix so I won’t be using the phrase “sparks joy”. This is about self assessment, exploration, and action. On your terms, to get you one step closer to living your awesome. That’s it. It’s not fancy, it’s not flashy, but that’s the point. We put all this pressure on ourselves to be All The Things, ALL THE TIME. Aren’t you tired? I am. I’d rather focus what little energy I have left after all the other parts of my life take their share on what’s most important to me. If this sounds like you, stay tuned. There is so much more goodness to come!

S