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“As you reassess your values, you will be met with internal and external resistance along the way. More than anything, you will feel uncertain. You will wonder if what you’re doing is wrong. But as we’ll see, this is a good thing.” Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
My twenties were nice. The first taste of freedom. Balancing college classes and party invites. I’m using the word ‘invites’ loosely. Planning nights out with girlfriends and dressing up in practical fabrics – like pleather. Although I chose not to add this skill of balancing social and study calendars to my resume, it did follow me after college, into my first five years as a contributing member of society’s workforce.
Then things started to change. I met my future husband, got married, bought a house, adopted a dog, had children and developed an allergy to wearing jeans past 7pm. I’m only assuming it’s an allergy, because I can’t seem to get my yoga pants on fast enough these days. I’ve also recently started introducing elements of self-care and self-improvement into the mix too. Is this just the natural progression of things, after so many years of “adulting” have taken place?
As part of my self-improvement efforts, I’ve decided to make some changes this year:
- Start a Blog – I can’t think of a more perfect time to start a blog than when my husband is going to school full-time and I have two children under the age of three (it stings to leave my oldest son out of this calculation – you can read more about it here). This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now and I love writing. Not only that, but if my words can help even a small handful of people, that would be pretty awesome. If you’re thinking about starting a blog yourself, in my perfectly unbiased opinion (wink, wink), I think you should. I couldn’t have started mine without Building a Framework. It’s a step-by-step walkthrough to get your blog up and running. And Abby is one of the best blogging role models out there. If you think writing will help your heart, it will. If you think that your words can help others, they can.
- Exercise – I’m beyond grateful to have my babies (two in my arms and one in my heart) and now I’m trying to focus on carving out a little bit of time each day to focus on me. And I want to get a little bit healthier for them. Notice that I said ‘a little bit’. I might be jogging in the morning, but there are still several pints of ice cream in my freezer. I could say that they’re there to reward my daughter for going poo-poo in the potty, but that would be a lie.
- Read – Or should I say “read”? I love the smell of a new book. The act of escaping into someone else’s story. But with bath times, bed times, my husband’s homework and commuting to and from work, books aren’t getting much love from me these days. I was encouraged to look into audio books. Novel idea (pun intended). Side note, these should not be referred to as books-on-tape anymore, or so I’ve been told. Technology has evolved, just a little bit. I downloaded the Audible app and I’ve “read” two books in the past two weeks (during my work commute).
The second of these two books is called, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson. I thought this would be a book about learning to let go of the trivial. That I’d be given permission to care less about things. This is partially right.
Life is about caring less for things, but only because you’ve realized what’s most important. Your values.
I’m blogging because I value helping others. I exercise because I value my health and being here for my kids. I read because I value learning and self-improvement.
When we become moms, our values change. And change for the better. I didn’t stop partying because I became less fun (although my twenty something self might disagree). I stopped partying because I found something that was more important to me than partying. And no, I’m not referring to my yoga pants here.
Moms, we’re always wondering if we’re doing things wrong. We’re uncertain of the outcomes and we’re nervous for what lies ahead. But there’s no denying that our values are strong. Our love for our kids is endless. With all of the potential for external resistance and public opinion, don’t add self-doubt to this. You’re doing a great job. You’re doing the best you can.
We’re all doing this whole Mom thing differently, influenced by our own decisions or by life circumstances. And when I think about all of the things that are involved with being a Mom, I’m proud to be part of such great company.
“Our culture today confuses great attention and great success, assuming them to be the same thing, but they are not. You are great, already. Whether you realize it or not. Whether anybody else realizes it or not. And it’s not because you launched an iPhone app, or finished school a year early, or bought yourself a sweet ass boat. These things do not define greatness. You are already great because in the face of endless confusion and certain death, you continue to choose what to give a f*ck about and what not to. This mere fact. This simple option for your own values in life already makes you beautiful. Already makes you successful and already makes you loved.” Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck