Last week was rough. really rough. I felt like I had made all this progress and life was starting to make sense and that I had *found all the answers*, and then it was like being back at square one. Anxiety and emotions can really play a number on you. But it wasn't all bad! As in years past, in the rough times I LOVE to quilt! It's so therapeutic and gives me some great time to meditate. My recent trip to Winnipeg totally restored my sewing mojo, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect! (I'm almost finished with my Gemini/Taurus quilt top! wahoo!!)
I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day! (for all you women out there!) It's a come-and-go holiday for me. Sometimes I'm excited for it to come, and some years I'm ready for it to go. away. forever. :p Sunday was rough. I love my children and my family, but there are so many factors, I think for many of us, that can really make the day tip one way or another.
My son was feeling pretty sick in the morning and I was like, "Yes! Now I don't have to go to church. I can stay home with him and sulk." Luckily church isn't until 1 pm, so that gave me plenty of time to realize that because of my mood I NEEDED to go to church. And I'm so glad I did. It was the best Sunday I've had in a very very very long time! The Lord is so good to us when we do what He asks, even when it's not always an enjoyable experience. I know church is always where I need to be, and I go, and He does bless me. But I struggle with church. I struggle with the culture, and I struggle with, well, myself I guess (and my social anxiety - it makes me so paranoid and uncomfortable. blah.) Anyway, it was definitely a tender mercy for me.
That experience mixed with a few others made me realize a few different things. Here's my random list of thoughts:
1 - I'm pretty negative. I like to think I'm positive and hopeful and upbeat, but I realized that I really do tend to find something wrong with one thing or another, more often than not. I also like to think that I am good at inspiring and encouraging others. I want to be an inspiration so it's easy to think that I am, but I'm not.
2 - I like to think I'm a pretty awesome mom. But I'm not. I really suck at this mom job. I really stink at the wife job. What I think in my head often does not reflect what is really going on in life, or in anyone else's head. Just because I have a desire to do all these great mom things, but I don't actually do them, doesn't make me great - just like in number 1. (talk about a reality check. haha.)
3 - I want to be more positive. I want to be a good mom. I want to be a good wife. I want to inspire others. I want to have a good life and be happy. But I don't know how to do any of these things. I do think that a huge part of doing these things is gratitude. So I'm going to start by being more grateful.
4 - Sometimes I feel like I can't be happy all the time. With all the bad things going on in life, being happy all.the.time. is fake. It can't be real. My life has been trial upon trial, and I wouldn't trade them for the world. Now we are in a place in life where I feel so content with our situation and our future. I see hope and possibility, but it's so foreign to me. I don't know how to be content. I realized that I feel like contentment is wrong. But then I realized this weekend that it's not. Obviously. But it's so foreign to my entire life story, so it's something I'm becoming acquainted with, and so far it looks like we could have a good relationship together! ;)
5 - I've never really been one for labels. I quilt, but I'm not a quilter. Quilting doesn't define me. I used to rock climb all the time, but I wasn't a rock-climber. Basically, I DO something, but that doesn't mean that I AM that thing. I don't want to be tied to one thing. I want to do everything! I want to be more than a definition. Which I think this has all been fine and dandy. But I realized that by not taking on any titles, I slowly became nothing. I lost all confidence in myself and in all of these areas of my life.
I realized this past weekend that it's ok to BE something. It's ok to define myself by something. It's ok to be defined by a LOT of things! And if I can say that I am something, a mom, a wife, a daughter of God, a quilter, THEN I can be confident in being that thing!
I've read blog posts before that talk about this, about how people list in their Instagram bio, "I am this and this and this" and how limiting that is. I agreed with it. And while I still do. I also see the other side. That I can be proud to be so many things (or be proud in being just a few things). And that is something to be excited about! I think this builds on my earlier items too. That if I know WHO I am, then I can actually be good at it, and I can enjoy it!
I'm not saying that we should use labels to judge or limit ourselves or others, but rather we should use them as spring boards. To launch us into the sky and see how far we can go with it! Can you imagine a runner at the Olympics saying, "I run, but I'm not a runner. It's just something I do." Uh, no way! They totally are a runner! It's ok to BE something! Because then when you recognize that, it gives you room to be passionate about it! To love it! To live it! And when you have passion, you will be good at whatever it is you are passionate about! (I think that is something I definitely lost... my passion for quilting. My passion for a lot of things.)
AND I strongly believe that when we don't hide our talents and abilities and who we are, we give room to and allow others to do the same - connect with who they are and their abilities and talents. Wouldn't the world be awesome if we were all passionately excited about what we did?! Not to compete or compare, but to enjoy!
6 - One thing in the LDS church that we really cherish is our gift of free agency. We believe that God has given each person on the earth their own agency to choose for themselves, and that God will never take that away. I LOVE my agency! I HATE feeling like I don't have a choice. Sometimes I get caught up in knowing that I am, let's say, a mom, and suddenly I feel like I don't have a choice and I HATE it. That because I have children I have to be a mom, and I no longer have a choice. Rather than loving and serving my family and children, it's drudgery. "I don't want to be their slave!" is what I've thought in the past. lol. It's that ridiculous?! (Yes. But I also know I'm not the only one who's felt this way. ;) ;) and that's ok.)
Anyway, I realized that it's always my choice. And that rather than a "HAVE to do", or a responsibility (which it is), I can look at it as an opportunity. Instead of doing something grudgingly - which usually also means doing a horrible job, I can look at it as an opportunity to do. I can wake up in the morning and instead of thinking, "ug. I don't want to get up. I don't want to get everyone breakfast (which my kids are actually quite independent in that area. It's kind of awesome!). Ug. I don't want to do laundry or clean the house." I can instead think, "I get to take care of and love little people today. I can clean my house and take pride in a nice home - the home I want to live in. (opposed to living in a gross home that I don't want to live in)." etc.
Maybe that seems all fluffy and whatever. And it probably is. But it's also realistic. I can realistically live my life in a way where I see every challenge, every chore, every task, as an opportunity to bless, love, and serve. I can see these moments as an opportunity to become the good person that I want to be, to actually become the person I think I am - but I'm not because I don't actually do these things in real life. I can see these opportunities to help improve the world around me, instead of just gripe about how awful it all is on Facebook. I can do something about it! How awesome is that?!
It's amazing how just a change in perspective can change something so completely.
All in all, I'm feeling pretty good this week! I'm excited for new goals and a new focus. I'm excited for all the opportunities around me! To try to actually BE the person I want to be, and not just pretend that I am. It's kind of exciting!!
I hope you have a wonderful week!!
I'm going to try to take pictures of all of my Gemini and Taurus blocks tomorrow (it's too cloudy today) and I will post them on my blog once I do! :) I can't wait to share!!