1. My body is powerful – This one is number one on my list because it is fresh in my mind. I birthed my third daughter just shy of three months ago and it was such a healing experience. I told God I wanted an unmedicated birth and he helped me make it happen, even when I tried back out, ha! I feel so empowered. I may look a little more squishy on the outside but I am strong.
2. Purging makes me feel light – About a year ago I made the decision to try and live minimally. It didn’t come easy at first because I have always formed emotional attachments to things. Now though, it’s much easier. I remember my husband wasn’t on board at first but once he saw how freeing it was, he was in! We purge daily and every week bags of things are donated to people that need them. We have less to clean and less to worry about. It feels so good.
3. Just say no – It’s been my year of saying “no.” If I don’t truly want to do something, I say no. I used to want to make everyone happy all the time and while that all sounds fine and dandy, I was neglecting my wants and needs. Sometimes, I just need to stay home and cuddle my babies or hangout with my hubs and that’s okay. At first I felt guilty but now I know that I’m simply taking care of myself. It’s okay to say no!
4. Get out – This may seem to contradict my last lesson learned. It is, in a way. The reason I say this is because sometimes it’s easy to just stay home all of the time and never do anything that fulfills your soul. I force myself to go to a bible study one evening every week, and also attend a women’s group once a month. There are days that I don’t really feel like going, but I do because I know it’s good for me and I leave feeling fulfilled. So whether it’s a bible study, a morning walk, a date night with friends or your significant other, go do it. Do it for you!
5. Schedules are okay – For a while I really wanted to be the cool, go with the flow mom. That fun, spontaneous wife. You know what I mean, the one that doesn’t obsess over a schedule, the one that can just say, “yeah why not? I don’t have anything planned today.” Yeah… I’m not that person at all! I love my planner. I love it because honestly, my brain hardly functions some days. I need reminders about where to be and when. Kudos to those people that can just remember… I cannot… and that’s okay! I feel so much better about myself when I know what’s going on.
6. Appreciate the “little” things – Take each day as it is and keep a positive attitude. When I wake up with expectations I will surely be disappointed because that’s life. I’m a true mess most days but I’ve learned to embrace it. It’s the simple things make me happy -my kids laughing, writing, hot apple cider, baby cuddles, and watching tv with my husband. Those seemingly small things are actually the most important. A little appreciation can go a long way.
7. Hygge makes me happy – This past year my husband and I discovered the idea of hygge. Hygge is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or a moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cozy, charming or special. We’ve moved 3 times this year, finally settling into our (most likely) forever home. We have been creating an inviting, cozy space filled with warm lighting and comfy blankets because that’s what brings us joy and calm. Hygge is simple and easy and nothing needs to be bought in order to accomplish it.
8. Let go of hurt – It’s the day to day discouragement that seem to get the best of me at times. Some examples off the top of my head would be sitting down at night and feeling guilty for how I chose to react to my toddler’s defiance, or resenting my husband for getting to go to work and be around adults, or the hurt I feel when I make a meal that no one really likes. Just let it go. My biggest goal is really just forgiving myself. I am trying the best that I know how and that is all that I can do. The rest can set free. God doesn’t hold grudges and he forgives, I want to be like that too.
9. Don’t lust – (Not just in the sexual way) Sometimes I find myself aw-ing over people’s Instagram photo thinking “How on earth did she find time to do her hair and makeup with four kids?” “How is their house so clean?” “How can they afford to take trips every month?” They could be in debt, maybe they have a cleaning lady, maybe they’re taking a picture of the one clean corner in their house, maybe they’re really just THAT good. I’ll never have the answers. Whatever it is, it’s not my life. I’m doing my best with what I have and I’m so unbelievably blessed. You can absolutely allow another person to inspire you but never allow yourself to feel pressure.
10. Say hello to strangers – I am one hundred percent an empath. I’ve always been drawn to people. I give out compliments left and right, hold doors, make eye contact. I share food with people on the street and spark up conversation while standing in lines. I probably make people uncomfortable honestly. I really think it’s sad how disconnected our world has become. I genuinely want to hear about other people’s lives and share a conversation with them. If that idea makes you totally uncomfortable, just try putting your phone in your pocket, make eye contact and smile. It will change your life.