Being Intentional Starts at Home

It’s been two weeks since I started my medicine and even though it’s a little early yet, I think I can feel a difference. It seems easier to focus on things. Easier to set a goal and actually accomplish it! (Woot!) I don’t think I’m having as many days where I’m indescribably sad. These are good things, REALLY good things.

I know that I have a bit of a journey ahead of me and it involves not just a quick fix but learning some skills that will carry with me too. One of them is to learn how to be more intentional with my life. Right now I’m focusing on being more intentional at home but there are so many areas I’d like to apply this to. Making sure I’m keeping up with dishes and laundry and the bathroom and sweeping and mopping. Seemingly simple things, but things that on my worst days that are the hardest to do. And I realized that when those things weren’t done it was making me feel worse.

So, enough is enough, because I DON’T WANT TO BE IN THIS PLACE ANYMORE. That’s my motto these days. 🙂 Here’s the thing guys – I’m ACTUALLY doing it. I’m impressing myself with the stuff that I’ve accomplished, and I’m thinking ahead. Plus, all this housework actually makes me feel better about myself too – double bonus!

The great things is that I’m not doing all this intentional-ity on my own. I’ve joined a Facebook group called Thrive Intentionally that’s all about supporting one another and setting goals and holding each other accountable for them in a nice, loving. we can do this kind of way. I LOVE it! It’s really helped me to stay on track. I’d highly encourage you to stop over join the group and say hi! If you’re looking to make some changes in your life, this is a great way to get up some motivation to actually do it.

– Jess 🙂

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This Kid Is on to Something

I remember being younger and getting to a point where when someone asked me what I wanted to be in my life, I just said happy. I wanted to be happy. Kind of ironic now that I think about. 😛

In any case, I’ve realized that I lost sight of making sure I was being taken care of. Because when I take care of myself it’s easier to see the joy.

I love what this kid has to say. It makes me want to be more conscious of what I’m emphasizing to my boys as they get older.

Did you ever think about happiness when you were younger? Or did it just come naturally to you?

My Kind of Therapy

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Crafting is my kind of thing. Sewing patterns drawn me in. I swoon over new yarn. Don’t even get me started about the colors of paint and pencils and markers – I want to buy them all. Yet when life gets busy and stressful and well crazy, the one thing that I love to do ends up being the last thing on my list.

I realized though that crafting is like creating, and creating is like creativity, and creativity is a part of me. It’s when I am most at peace. It’s when I’m most content. Despite the stresses of some craft projects it is actually a relaxing activity for me. It boggles my mind why I don’t do it more often.

So when I had two hours to myself this past weekend I decided to craft. It’s not perfect and it’s not meant to be. It’s about getting back to me and the very things that make me excited. So here it is – my therapy.

I found an old shoe box top painted it a fun turquoise-ish blue and added my words. Nothing fancy, but I love it. And I love what it means to me too. 🙂 New beginnings, hope, change and life.

– Jess 🙂

Things That Make Me Happy

Yes it’s a cliche post. No I don’t care. 😛 I want to show you both sides of my life and I realize that I talk a lot more about the hard parts than the happy parts. I also realize that the more I do that, the more I feed into those hard parts too. So today I’m choosing to look up and share some things that currently make me happy. And some cute kid pics, because who doesn’t love that! 😉

Doing Crafts with the Kids
I love to draw and paint and craft and express my creativity and thankfully so do my boys! I also love that my 2year old decided it was more fun to paint his leg than the assigned crafts – that’s my boy 🙂

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Going To The Library
Ever since we moved from a small town to an even smaller town we’ve taken the kids to the library a bunch of times. Loving the age and season appropriate books and loving even more that Noah ASKS to read them. Proud mama here 🙂

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Teaching My Kids Very Important Life Skills
You know, like how to properly rake leaves into a giant pile and jump jump jump into them. I believe everyone should know the pure joy of doing that. Even if I do end up a sniffly, sneezy mess afterwards. 😛

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Really all of these things have something in common. Adventure. Taking life and having some fun in it! That is what I am really so happy and thankful for today!

Go ahead, find the adventure today, jump in a leaf pile, try the new flavor of coffee, draw a picture with finger paint. Tell them I told you to. 😉

– Jess

Ways to CHOOSE Happiness

My husband put the computer in front of me this morning and told me to read the article he had open.

The Title?

How to Get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps

My thoughts went to – what is he trying to tell me? LOL

The article is exactly the opposite. In fact it’s fantastic.

What I loved about this article was while the main message was you CAN be happy right now and you CAN choose it, it also gave actionable steps real explanations and some crazy truth telling that tells you why each of these things are attainable.

It’s actually exactly what I was telling myself last night and what I need to be doing right along. Click the link above because it’s a great read!

Hope you guys have a great day! 🙂

– Jess

The Thing I Forget Most Often

One of the things I learned early on is that when Mama is ready to go, the whole house moves faster. When I attend to myself first (and I’m talking hair, makeup, clean clothes) it’s SO much easier to get the rest of the house done with the same.

However, in other areas of my life I’m not so disciplined with putting myself first. I tend to work out everyone else’s schedule before my own, get everyone else’s laundry done, drive the family where they need to go, feed everyone first, and the list goes on. Please don’t read this as a “poor me” post. I like to do these things, I like that I’m on top of most things and I can get it done.

No, the thing that I forget most often in all of this is to take care of myself.

After many years I’ve realized that I need time to refuel myself too. When I don’t do this, I become bitter and resentful and generally not happy and all of that feeds into my depression. I’m not sure why taking care of myself is so low on the priority list for me, but it is. And while I don’t want to go to the other extreme and be demanding or high maintenance, I do want to develop a habit of taking care of myself.

For me, recharging could be reading a book, taking a shower, organizing the closet or even watching the new “Good Luck Charlie” episode. (Yes, I love that show!) I need to remember that recharging doesn’t have to be an all day thing, that it could be a few minutes here or something penciled in there.

Most of the time finding what it is that I need to recharge isn’t the issue, the real issue is letting myself take that time. The issue is reminding myself that I deserve the time to myself too. So often I think I get caught up in what I think I should be doing and thoughts like “how could I read my book when there are rooms to clean” that I don’t let myself take the time I need.

So yesterday morning I thought it would be nice to take a run. Not that I often run, but after a weekend of Bacon Caramel Truffles I think my body was craving some movement. It felt SO good. Not just to exercise, to breathe fresh air, and to be alone, but to see something I needed and go after it. That was the best recharge I could have given myself.

– Jess

 

Just BE Happy?

The other day I went through and re-read all of my posts here on the blog. I love and hate when I do that. I love to reread my favorites, but then I cringe at the other non-favorites. 

A while back I wrote about choices and it got me thinking about how people would tell me that you have to choose happiness. Have you ever had someone say that to you? You just have to choose to be happy. It’s always irked me, and frustrated me and in the height (or depths really) of my depression, that sentiment just made me question myself and ask why I couldn’t just choose to be happy. 

Because in the thick of it, I couldn’t. 

And while many of these people were well-meaning, I sincerely doubt they know what it’s like to be truly depressed. To struggle to get out of bed in the morning, to struggle to eat, to struggle to laugh at the most adorable faces, to struggle to be happy for your family. If you’ve never been there I don’t know how to describe it to you, but if you have, then you know what I mean. I’ll bet that you also know how hard that happiness choice is.

There is truth to the statement, that at a point you can choose to be happy, but I think that you need to get to that point. When you’re up to your elbows in tears and tissues and completely distraught, that statement is so unattainable, that for me it didn’t help. 

I can honestly say that yesterday I CHOSE to be happy. It wasn’t the easiest thing and it wasn’t 100% but I did pretty good. This wasn’t the first time I’d done this but I think that it’s the first time in a while that I realized it happened. 

Yesterday happened because over the past few months even though I didn’t know how, or didn’t feel like I could, I kept trying. I kept reaching out. I kept moving forward, inch by inch. You’ll find your happy too, and it may not look like every one else’s happy, but you will get there.

From what I can tell, things are getting better. Now that I’m farther along in my journey I look back and realize that maybe I wasn’t as sad as I seemed? I don’t know. I do know that this IS a journey, that for me, depression is not a one and done deal. Unfortunately, it’s taken me about 15 years, many of which were spent denying my feelings, and multiple seasons of counseling for that to really sink in. 

So today I rejoice that I’m at a point in my journey that I can make that choice to be happy, to put away the darkness. I’m at a point where I know that I can lean on God to help me look past the darkness and see His light. I am happy to be at a point where I can be happy. 🙂

– Jess


Guard your heart above all else,

    for it determines the course of your life. – Proverbs 4:23