Natural & Holistic, Simple & Minimal

28 things I wish I knew

In September, I’ll be turning 28. Birthdays are starting to feel a bit different now. I’m not dreading them, but time is feels like it is just slipping, and I feel older lately. Chat with a person in their 40s and 50s and they will laugh, saying oh, you have so much time dear. You have so much life to live. And it’s true, I do. I know and appreciate that, but I can’t help but feeling like my real youth is slipping away, like I am now 100% in adulthood. And although adulthood has its pros and cons like any other stage in life, there are a lot of things I wish I knew in my early 20s. But with that being said, you have to live to get there. You only know these things after the fact. You only know these things when you live and grow as a human being. But when I was younger, I loved reading these types of blog posts because I loved tapping into other people’s brains and seeing things from other perspectives.

I wish I knew..

1. That nothing was and is set in stone

2. That the choices I made weren’t to make me or break me – they were to help me grow.

3. That nobody was paying as much attention to me as I thought they were. I didn’t have to be so self-conscious all the time.

4. That I didn’t have to go to a 4-year university right after high school. That it was OK to dip my feet into education to find my passion before I drowned myself in debt.

5. That having and maintaining good credit starts from the very beginning. Mistakes you make early on can and will affect you in the future.

6. That you can’t maintain every single friendship forever. Some people are meant to go. Some people are meant to stay, but most importantly, some people are meant to come and go to leave whatever lesson they are suppose to leave.

7. That burning bridges is a huge mistake. You never know who you are going to need in the future. End everything in some type of positive way if possible.

8. That heartbreak can’t be avoided. Whether it’s a boyfriend, best friend, or whatever has your heart and soul, it’s going to happen.

9. That you should always be yourself. It’s such a waste of time and energy trying to be someone else or mold yourself for someone. Don’t settle because it’s the easier route.

10. That you should take quality or quantity any day.

11. That you don’t have to be so uptight. It’s okay to let people in. It’s okay to be vulnerable sometimes.

12. That you should do all the experiments. Experience everything. You will never grow into your own until you’ve tried it all. Find out what you love, what you don’t, and do what makes you happy.

13. That you’re gonna be glued to your phone one day, and then the whole world is going to pass you by. You’re going to read about people living and you, yourself are never going to live. Put the phone down.

14. That exercising and eating good is essential to mental health.

15. That in order to find happiness, you must find what you’re passionate about.

16. That you should take some risks if you truly believe you can find happiness or it can help you become a better you. Flip or flop – doesn’t matter.

17. Wait to have kids. Wait until you are comfortable in your own skin, your environment is solid, and you feel a sense of peace.

18. That making connections to people of all different backgrounds, who have all different interests, people who you may not have much in common with – this is so important for learning and because you get a better grasp at the world.

19. That reading about what’s going on in the world is important.

20. That you shouldn’t be flakey. You can be indecisive, but don’t be flakey. Not up for something like a party or a certain situation? Be honest. Don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings? Learn to say no in a respectful way. I repeat, learn to say no.

21. That social media isn’t real life. As I always say, it’s highlight reels. No body cares what you do in your real life if you never even see any of your Facebook friends. Don’t avoid something because you are afraid of what people will think. Who cares? Do you even see these people? The people closest to you will know your story and that’s all that matters

22. That you can’t be butthurt every time someone decides to delete you from social media. Who cares? And while you’re at it, if someone gives you a bad vibe, delete them. You don’t need negativity in your life, you don’t have to accept or tolerate negativity in your life. The world can be hard enough sometimes, stay away from anything or anyone that makes you feel sad or bad about yourself.

23. That you don’t have to compare every single thing about yourself to other people.

24. That learning to stay humble is one of the most invaluable traits you can have.

25. That some things really do need to be kept private. Away from social media. Away from anyone who it doesn’t involve. You need to protect your tribe. You need to know when to share and when not to share.

26. That you should always try to be as kind as much as you possibly can.

27. That you have to work hard. Maybe you’ll have breaks or some luck, but the harder you work, the more luck you’ll notice you’ll have.

28. That it’s going to be important to connect spiritually. Whether it’s with God or channeling your inner vibes, starting to build that relationship early on will carry over and strengthen you during your weak days. Ah, you will have plenty of those.

Is there anything you would add to this list? Drop a comment below! Would love to hear what other people have to say 🙂

~ mamajbirdy

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Simple & Minimal

february detox | a month of soul-searching & cleansing

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I am so very excited to share about a huge cleanse I will be doing for the month of February, cheating, if you will, because February only has 28 days, but I will be doing a rest & retreat for a month that includes all things related to re-centering myself, finding focus on things that matter the most to me, indulging in new projects & hobbies, reconnecting deeply with loved ones, focusing more on my nursing passion, and to practice present awareness with my son. This means I will be completely disconnecting myself from social media (Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook – see ya!). I will continue to write in my blog because this is my space, for me. There isn’t any expectation that any one may read it, which is what I love (but if do you care to follow along, please subscribe! I’d be happy to hear feedback & comments – it’s always a pleasure!) This month, I am stepping away from number of likes. I’m stepping away from refreshing the Facebook app over and over. I’m stepping away from everyone else’s life to focus on my life. For me (well duh it’s obvi for me haha). I’m calling February my month to soul-search and cleanse my soul. I’m even considering doing Whole 30 (+ wine). Adding that to my workouts, this lady may just have a hot bod by the summer 🙂

So last year, I started 2017 by getting rid of Facebook for a month. I completely deleted the app – you can read about that experience here. But this time, I’m taking away even more – Instagram. I feel so silly even writing this, but I have such a deep connection to my Instagram account because I just love those tiny little squares and being able to document my favorite memories. But I have become so detached from the real world lately, with my head in my phone, with my mind wandering. I think about how it will affect my son. I mean, I know it will and does. Having spent 5 years gaining a bachelors degree in psychology, and now 3 semesters spent towards a degree in nursing, I can maybe say I have gained a few insights along the way, and I know, and I see, and I feel it affecting him. But still, the obsession, with social media, with perfection, it’s killing me in a way I cannot explain. I’ve become detached from the real world. That crushes me to my core. I have forgotten what it’s like to just be.

My experience last year off Facebook was so positive I promised myself I’d do it again. Of course there were some bumps in the road. What were my friends doing? What was I missing? Who was pregnant/engaged/doing something amazing? What was I doing that I wanted to share? 

This year, someone I truly look up, Amanda Watters, known as “Mama Watters”, planned a four weekRest Retreat at her blog, Homesong, and that is exactly what I will be doing; I will be adding in other things as well – like more clean eating (possibly another round of Whole30 plus wine like I said, exercise, yoga, meditation – as much as I can giving most of my dedication and energy to my family and my nursing career. I cherish these so deeply.

Amanda is incredibly inspiring, and she is so raw and real that I can’t help but feel a connection to her because in so many ways, it’s like her visions and values run parallel to mine.

I wanted to write a little bit more about my goals/plans for this retreat, my insecurities and fears, but also what I truly hope I will gain from this experience. I’m equally excited as I am nervous! Who would have ever thought that a few apps could have such a huge impact! See for yourself. I double dog dare ya to do it 😉 I miss so many of the simple aspect that life has to offer, so this month is all about that.

Here’s a little bit more about the Rest Retreat I will be doing following Amanda’s amazing guidance: head over to Homesong, explore her blog and read into the Rest Retreat. She guides you through four weeks of focusing, balancing, reseting, and resting.

My worries & fears:

  • Will I miss important things going on in friend’s lives? But from this will I recognize how unimportant some of those things are? Of course I am happy when I see old friends do amazing things, but does it truly impact my life, like are we actually friends? No. So why am I so afraid of losing something that I don’t even have? Why am I afraid of losing something that doesn’t even belong to me?
  • Will my life seem so boring now that no one has a clue what the heck I am even doing?
  • Will people stop caring about me? Will people even notice my “absence”?

What I hope to gain:

  • To spend some honest, present time with my son. Just seriously being there without being tied and trapped to an app. (Tied & Trapped to an App – One Woman’s Journey of Breaking Free. Sounds like some sort of book title lolol)
  • I hope I bring out my big girl camera more and take authentic photographs that inspire me, for me. Not for likes or show & tell. For me 🙂 Sometimes when I take photographs, I worry about what other people may see. I wonder if it’s even what they want to see. I second guess myself a lot. Well I hope this month I let myself shine in my photographs and let go of all those fears and worries.
  • I hope to really see how much social media is affecting my family. Will my son behave differently? Will friends call and text more? Will I see people’s faces more? Will my anxiety decrease?
  • This one is my favorite: I want to pick up books & hobbies I would have otherwise ignored. To spend the time I would have on social media doing things with my hands and not repetitive motions like a zombie on my phone, watching people “live” their life while I’m not living mine. (And I put live in quotes because who knows what is going on behind closed doors? These are just highlight reels. There is so much more to their story. Comparison is a thief and I’m excited to have a break from it).

My questions to you:

How much time are you spending on social media?

How much time are you obsessing about followers and likes?

Are you feeling sad about your life because everyone’s life seems so great?

Are you constantly on social media around your family/children?

Would you consider taking a break from social media?

How do you think you’d feel away from social media? Away from knowing what everyone is doing?

Social media is making a huge impact in all of our lives and the next generations to come. I hope we don’t all turn into zombies. I hope we live our lives to the fullest without watching other people “live” theirs.

From this I truly hope I can take a step back again, re-center myself, and understand that I need to find a better balance between social media and me. It’s a war I feel I am ready to fight.

Well, February, I’m ready. Let’s do some cleasning.

with love,

mamajbirdy 🙂

Family & Baby, Simple & Minimal

slowing down for the season | bring back the calm

I just kind of felt like writing tonight. Just one of those nights where there is a heavy load weighing on my mind and I cannot seem to shake it. Lately things have felt a little off. Mostly inside my soul. I don’t know whether to blame the weather, or some type of imbalance of chemicals going on in my brain, but a change is in order. That is a must.

The other day, as I was hustling around trying to do dishes, trying to take out the trash, after being exhausted from trying to make a productive “at home” day for Owen (the 3 days a week he isn’t at daycare), after trying to sneak in a study session while Owen sat upstairs crying for a while because he didn’t want to take a nap though i desperately needed him to because I was so behind on laundry and I needed that study session, but that turned into: me not getting anything done, and after more and more stress piled on, I felt the weight of it hit me and you could easily see through my facial expressions that I was tired, stressed, and overwhelmed. My two year old could see it. A phrase I never knew he knew. A phrase I have never heard him say. I’ll never forget it though.

We were walking up the stairs, more like a drag, “come on Owen, it’s bedtime and I have asked you about a handful of times now, so please, get upstairs”. And usually he will fuss and moan but he will do it. Generally. I mean he is two. He needs patience and direction from me. Ah, life truly is a balancing act.

But this time, he stopped halfway on the stairs and looked down at me as I fumbled to bring up a stack of laundry, dropping teeny tiny socks on my way up, and he looked me dead in the face as I was half way through a grunt.

“Mommy..are you okay?”

What. What?

I had no idea how to respond. I changed my facial expression and I said “honey, mommy is OK. She is a little stressed, babe. Sometimes that happens to people. They get stressed. It’s like another emotion. Just like being sad, or being angry.” (because we are learning about emotions lately).

But I wanted to tell him more. I wanted to tell him that quote that I could barely remember by the man/women I couldn’t remember who said it, “it’s not the load we carry, it’s the way we carry it”.

Yes. Am I stressed? Of course. Nursing school is stressful. Taking night courses is stressful. Adding in an extra class on top of that workload is stressful. Trying to keep a clean house is stressful. Trying not to nag is stressful. Trying not stress about the things I know I need/have to stress about is stressful. Trying to spend our “at home” days with Owen and filling it with education, exercise, productivity, and positivity is challenging.

It is challenging being a parent. I have a few tips that I truly hold dear that you can find here. And a few thoughts on when you want to be super mom that you can find here. I would be lying if I said otherwise. And maybe some people don’t feel that way, or they have more support, or more money, or whatever it is that could make the job a tad bit easier.

But at the end of the day, it feels as though I have me. And some days I really question if that is enough, but most days I know that’s enough. I love him and I care so much about him. I’m doing the best that I can, and that’s all that I can do.

So tonight, when Owen started crying more than usual at bedtime, and I mean crying off and on for a period of two hours, he finally said “I lay with me” which is code for “can you lay with me mommy?” He then proceeded to ask if he could come in my bed. Most days I say no, to be honest, I have school work to do. I have a routine of diffusing essential oils, setting up my books on my bed and getting to business. But tonight I carried him into my bed and snuggled him so tight because I remembered what he had asked me, “mommy…are you OK?”

I wasn’t going to let all the stress of all the things that I needed to do or all the things I didn’t do yet, or even the stress of the stress I have yet to stress about, get in the way of this moment here and now.

So here I am, snuggled closely in bed with my beautiful son peacefully sleeping and snoozing, cuddled in my arms with his Mr. Fox and baby fox he will never sleep without.

And I just wanted to share that story because I just wanted you to know how OK it is sometimes to not be OK. How easy it is to put on a brave face and pretend everything is fine, except when you find a funny meme of someone tumbling down the stairs, or smacking into a tree and you read the title “current footage of me making it through life right now” and you’re like, “Yeah. That’s me some days. Some days I’m that person”

There will probably come another day where he will ask me if I am OK, and I may or may not be that day, but I know in the end the little moments matter the most. It is all a balancing act, but you must be kind to yourself and you must take a step back, breath and ask yourself, what is truly important?

With the warmness and coziness of Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, I’m excited to really dive into the little details. Pay attention to those! The look in his eyes as he places his first Christmas ornament on the tree because he actually understands it this year. Amazing. Or the way he listens (mostly) as I read The Polar Express or How The Grinch Stole Christmas that my lovely friend Katie sent us, and her beautiful note that came with it of how her father use to read those under the Christmas tree, surrounded by love and warmth. That was something she remembered. That little detail.

I saw something on Facebook a few weeks ago that really caught my attention. It showed a story of a mother going about her day. It looked so stressful. Kids were running around everywhere. Trying to grocery shop was turning into a nightmare, hustling and bustling to get things done. She saw a ton of stress, or at least that’s what the viewer saw. But the father came home and he asked the kids, “so how was your day with mommy?” And the child’s face lit up. “Today mommy took me grocery shopping and we pushed the carts and that was so much fun! And we read books and we played!” He saw a beautiful mother fiercely loving her babies.

“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” – Iain Thomas

with so much love and warmness,

mamjbirdy