I’ve spent a lot of time recently reflecting on my life and my dreams of where I see myself in six months, 12 months, 24 months and so on. My thoughts have been so scattered because my brain works in ‘multi-task’ mode only, so while I’m thinking about my career, for example, I’m also thinking about the load of laundry that I forgot to move to the dryer as well as the three friends that I still need to text or call back and the grocery list and the garbage that I need to put out before they get down the street.
So once again, I’ve leaned on Pinterest to provide me with a few journal prompts that force me to reflect on me…not the kids, not my struggles, not my ex’s, not anything but what I want out of life and I thought I’d share one with you.
Too many times (and I’m guilty of this big time), moms and wives put everyone else’s needs first and we forget to take care of ourselves. We forget that if we show the kids that we are of sound body and mind that we will be better equipped to take care of them and their needs, that they will learn that their future spouse should be taken care of and that they, themselves need to take care of their mental and physical minds and bodies.
Sometimes we (as a human race), and probably even more so women, are so hard on ourselves and we doubt and second guess our decisions so much more than we should. I was talking with a close friend today and she reminded me that I am great at what I do, even though I could tell you 15 reasons why I’m not good enough. Her words though meant so much because I consider her a mentor and second mom. She values me…why don’t I value me as much? Shame on me for not doing that!
Coincidentally, tonight my journal entry prompt was, “I’m most proud that I…”. Without coming across as a boastful person, I want to share with you what my journal entry was…not because I want accolades but because if I don’t do this then I will likely go back and edit my entry so that I don’t feel like I was bragging too much, even to myself. Sometimes you need to brag about accomplishments…no one will be a bigger supporter of you than you.
I’m Most Proud That I…
…am independent and self-sufficient. I really could have completed this statement in sooo many other ways including things about my kids or the fact that I can now kill massive spiders on my own or that I survived finding a frog in my toilet, TWICE, when I was trying to use it (the screams were really loud!) but I need this to be about me because I need to force myself to focus on serious self-reflection about ME and no one else.
My independence could sometimes be described as stubbornness, but I find it endearing. I make a decision and I do it. It may not always be the best decision but it’s MINE and no one else’s.
When I was 19 I decided to move out of my parents home, that I loved and didn’t have to pay a dime for. Why would I do this while I was still in college?? Because I felt the need to take care of myself and live independently, under my own rules. I never have regretted it one bit. It may have put me back a few years in my savings account but I loved being able to be an adult; set my own rules; define my life.
And guess what…my independence has lead to some amazing accomplishments in itself…
* I worked for an amazing company for 17 years and was at the top of my game before I chose to become a stay at home mom.
* I became the youngest Marketing Director and Assistant Vice President they had.
* I supported my family on my income alone for years.
* I experienced life with my family because I made a decision to just do it…to just love what was in front of me, regardless of what consequences may have befallen me later. I lived in the now.
* I didn’t NEED anyone. I got to enjoy everyone. I was able to take care of myself and my responsibilities on my own because of my perseverance and hard work so I was able to appreciate others lives because I didn’t NEED anything from them but to learn from them and what their lives demonstrated.
* Heartbreak…but I know something positive will come out of it because I am determined to show the world and my kids how to end up on top even when faced with a grim reality at the surface.
* Respect. Nothing is more self-esteem boosting than to hear your own sister say that she recognizes your independence (acknowledging what I find to be my biggest strength).
My independence has also become a weakness though. When I’ve really needed the help recently, it’s been harder than hard to accept the help. But I did it and guess what?? It didn’t change the independent feeling I’ve always kept inside because I know that the help will be paid back 10 fold in some way to those that have helped me. I feel more secure in myself now more than ever before because I know that those that have helped are standing with me and standing behind me because they know that I’ve got this!
I’m so lucky. I’m so loved. I have so much to be thankful for. But most of all, I’m proud of myself for being able to stand on my own two feet emotionally, financially and spiritually.
I challenge each of you to ask yourself the same question, and really put it to words either out loud or on paper. Commit to being proud of your accomplishments because YOU reached these goals…no one else. And if you are brave enough, leave your accomplishment(s) in the comments so that we can get excited for you!