Throwback Thursday: Adjusting vs. Adapting

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to Throwback Thursday, in which I bring a post from a year ago back and give my thoughts about it. Today’s post, ironically, is about adjusting versus adapting.

We are at the end of the summer season and the situation in Lebanon just keeps getting worse. There are so many negative events happening in the world that I’ve taken to watching The Good Doctor and playing Candy Crush all day. Well, that and my million responsibilities that come with being a mom and housewife. I’m trying to be a supportive wife as well, but it’s easier said than done.

Anyway, a year ago today, I wrote:

What’s the difference between adjusting and adapting?

I ask because 2020 has been something else, for everyone, and at the beginning of March, I was optimistic that this would only be for a month. As we near the middle of August, it seems as if things will never go back to the way they were. So much has happened this year. Memes have been made about 2020 being a very difficult year. What with the pandemic, the collapsing economy, and everything else that happened, it feels like we’re standing in the middle of rubble and we have no idea how to rebuild or where to start.

This brings me to the question of the day: Should we adapt or adjust? Human beings are known for their ability to adapt and evolve, some more than others, but what does it mean to adapt? Adaptation involves modifying something for a new purpose, while the adjustment is simply making small changes, like turning the volume on the radio up or down.

If we adapt to this new world, what does that mean exactly? It means finding out what the world needs most from us and focusing on that. We have a new purpose, to rebuild, to ensure that our children aren’t traumatized by everything that happened this year, to serve our communities the best that we can.

In normal circumstances, we would adjust our routine, wake up earlier, exercise more, eat healthier, do small things every day that would bring us closer to our goals. We still need to do all of that, but in addition, we must adapt and renew ourselves. The world does not revolve around us, and we must do our best to ensure the future of our children in this unpredictable world.

Try to be thoughtful, polite, and compassionate is rewarding. A compliment and a ‘thank you’ can go a long way.

https://healthmatters.nyp.org/how-to-adjust-to-the-new-normal/

Are you adapting well to the new norm?

Flash forward to August 2021 and the pandemic is still here. There is a new delta wave coming. The fuel crisis in Lebanon is just getting worse. Prices are sky-high. We have no electricity, no wifi half the time. It’s predicted that soon we will have no running water. I’m trying so hard not to panic, but it’s hard not to. My body is in flight mode, ready to book a ticket to the US, but I can’t leave my son and husband behind, and I don’t want to venture into the unknown. I mean, we are heading into an unknown in Lebanon as well, but at least we have food and shelter. I believe it’s time I start adapting. I’ve been adjusting here and there for 2 years, spending less money, buying cheaper brands, and over time we will have to make more and more sacrifices to our standard of living, all because a corrupt government does not know how to run a country. Honestly, we shouldn’t have to adapt. We should make a change, but how? I’m not sure yet. Comment below if you have any suggestions.

Here’s to a new adventure, into the unknown. May we adapt and persevere until we don’t have to adapt anymore. May we make positive changes in the hearts of the people we know and in the world. May we make a difference. May we pave the path for our children so they won’t have to struggle. I hope a year from now when I’m doing a throwback Thursday post, I’ll have good news.

Poetry Friday: If I’m okay

Hello and welcome to my blog! Things in Lebanon are chaotic at the moment, but I’m okay, or at least I will be because I have God and a loving family.

I’m in the process of editing my old blogs, perfecting my work if you may, and I’m bringing back the poems I posted before I began the Poetry Friday series (and deleting the original posts).

If I’m okay

I’m just

Trying not to think too far

Trying not to feel too hard

Busy counting all my stars

Thankful for everything

I try

To focus on what I can control

One mistake and the ball rolls

It snowballs out of control

Then I lose everything

Trying to improve my reality

Trying to show the best side of me

Trying to leave my comfort zone

And make personal growth my norm

My friends are asking how I’m doing

And I don’t know what to say

It varies based upon my mood and

Changes by the time of day

I wish I was brave

I wish I was strong

I wish I could smile

And my problems be gone

I wish I could do all the things that I want

I wish I could go to all the places I want

But I do what I can with what I have

And I’m grateful for everyone who helps me out

So please don’t ask me if I’m okay

My answer will change every day

Just tell me good morning, have a great day

And I’ll do the best that I can

Because life isn’t perfect but it’s not terrible

There’s magic in the chaos, it makes it bearable

And I’m praying for things to get better

I won’t give up on my dreams or surrender

I’ll keep on working to be a better me

Sometimes it’s exhausting to be human

I know I don’t do enough as a friend

But I’m trying my best and I don’t pretend

Throwback Thursday: Worrying about the future

Hello and welcome to my blog! We’re almost halfway through 2021 and the pandemic isn’t over yet, but we have bigger problems here in Lebanon.

Lebanon today is reeling from a crushing economic crisis that pushed more than half its population into poverty. On top of having to cope with a local currency that has lost more than 85 percent of its value in just over a year, people also struggle to afford basic food items that have become 400 percent more expensive.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/24/little-hope-left-lebanons-paralysis-and-a-collapsing-state

That’s why it was suitable

to find that a year ago, I wrote a post about worrying about the future. Oddly enough, I’m not worried about the prices and being able to buy necessities. That’s for my husband to worry about.

I’m worried about the effect the situation has on my husband’s mood, which in turn affects my marriage.

I’m worried about how I’m going to keep my anxiety and depression in check when I’m not getting much me-time or going out.

I’m worried about my mental health and how it’s affecting my physical health.

I’m worried about the effect of my son staying long hours at home with no playmates.

I’m worried about not being able to visit my family every Saturday because of the fuel shortages.

I’m worried about not being able to work on my blog and my books if the motor in our building shuts down. Nevertheless, I’m reading and trying to find ways to deal with the worry, and the best way I found is to practice mindfulness and gratitude.

A year ago I wrote:

Worrying about the future

“I don’t want to turn 6 years old!”

That’s what my 5-year-old son announced to me the other day, and when I asked him why he said “because I don’t want my teeth to start falling”.

He is now six and has lost 2 teeth and was very excited to lose more but for some reason never did.

It fascinates me and freaks me out that my son is thinking a lot about his future. He wants to be a policeman (I hope he changes his mind) and he tells me to keep the clothes that are small on him for his kids. He wonders what being an adult is like, and when he asks too many questions, I tell him “just think about reaching 6 years old. Eat, sleep, and pray, and don’t think about anything else”.

He currently wants to be a zookeeper but for dinosaurs. He isn’t convinced they are extinct.

The reason why I say this is because my son worries so much about the future, I feel like he is missing out on the now. Where have the times gone when our kids could just play freely without worrying what job they’re going to have and how they’re going to get enough money to feed a family?

I’ve been worrying about the future a lot lately. The future seems bleak, especially in Lebanon. But that’s my job, to worry. My son’s job is to have fun and be carefree.

Two things come to mind when I think about this situation:

The 1st is a poem I adore “I want to be six again”.

I want to be six again.
I want to go to McDonald’s and think it’s the best place in the world
to eat.
I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make waves
with rocks.
I want to think M&Ms are better than money ’cause you can eat
them.
I want to play kickball during recess.

From the poem “I want to be six again”

My son doesn’t want to turn six because he is afraid of his teeth falling. I think this whole not going to school is taking a toll on him. He is spending a lot of time with a parent who has anxiety and another who is constantly worried and deep in thought. It’s hard to be carefree when the overall mood is as if someone died.

The mood is still the same most of the time. I tend to hide from my family to be on my phone peacefully. The difference is I think I have a better grip on my mental health than I did last year.

I feel like I lost my smile. I used to be so perky and joyful. The book I just finished reading had a father who was too carefree, bordering on carelessness. There was a mom who was always worried about what might go wrong, so uptight and busy and tired all the time. It’s sad but I saw myself in her. Then there was the grandma, who was a ray of sunshine. I saw my late grandma in her, may she rest in peace.

I’m currently reading 100 simple secrets of happiness, but it’s taking me forever because the one I have was translated into Arabic.

I played scrabble and uno yesterday, but even while playing, I noticed I’m somewhat on edge and serious. I’ll try to loosen up more, for the sake of my son. He seems to be freaking out all the time lately, worried and scared. I wish I could distance him from me and get him in contact with a happy soul. I’m not in despair, but I feel not so optimistic, and somewhat numb.

We played monopoly yesterday. My son has been occupied with arts and crafts for hours lately, but once he gets bored, he becomes very annoying. I’m trying not to get annoyed by him, but to be mindful instead.

Another thing that comes to mind is a poem I wrote a long time ago. I think I called it “Give me the heart of a child”.

You can find this poem in my 2nd poetry book “Heart on my sleeve and other poems”.

I used to be just afraid of the dark

I’d ask my mom to keep the lights on

Afraid I’d fall off the swing in the park

I’d clench both fists and hold tight on

But now I’m afraid of bigger things

Like heartbreaks, earthquakes, poverty

Growing old with no one taking care of me

Give me the heart of a child

And I’ll live my life like a man

I’ll love my life like a child

Enjoying it while I can

From “Give me the heart of a child”

So I spend my days writing to-do lists, seeing family, doing some housework, procrastinating other housework, watching The Vampire Diaries, sometimes exercising, sometimes reading. I’m practicing The art of getting by. If you didn’t watch the movie, you should. I think there’s a book too, but I haven’t read it.

Last night, my son was really worried he’d be bit by a mosquito in his sleep. He was terrified. I told him “You need to have faith that God will protect you and that nothing can harm you unless God wills it to”. Maybe I should internalize my advice. I’m good at giving advice but terrible at following my own words.

Are you worried about the future?What are you doing to cope?

A strategy I use when I’m worried about something. The 1st part is to imagine the worst-case scenario, then make a plan on what you will do if the worst were to occur. Finally, imagine the best case scenario and hope for that.

Transformation Tuesday: Controlling my Emotions

Hello 👋 reader and welcome to my blog! Today I’m going to talk about my lifelong efforts to control my emotions.

I’ve always been over sensitive, and over emotional. I’ve always been full of insecurities and fears about not fitting in and I’ve always reacted rather than responded (later on I found out I had anxiety). I cried easily thoughout high-school so much that I become known for crying a lot, but when I was at university, I learned that I must bottle up my emotions. By 3rd year university, I hid my emotions so well that my friends would tell me that they were surprised I never got mad. Little did they know that I let out my emotions in the comfort of my dorm, crying and on occasions yelling to let it all out. After I graduated, I got better in public, but at home, everytime I got upset, I cried.

When I got married, my husband was horrified by my tears. They angered him because this was something new to him. He has sisters but apparently they don’t cry, at least not in front of him. It took my husband years to accept that sometimes I just need to cry to feel better, but he still acts like I’m an alien everytime I have a mental breakdown, so I try not to have them in front of him.

Bit by bit, I learned to hold in my tears, but that built up emotion turned into anger. Not being able to be vulnerable and honest about my emotions was overwhelming, cue the raging hulk. Every once in a while, I’d snap, explode, and just rage on like a storm for days. That’s exhausting too.

This rage was making me feel like a bad mother and wife and I knew that I had to deal with my emotions in a healthy way. I read about how to control my emotions, how to focus on self care, healthy ways to let them out, and how to let them go. I’m still working on putting these things into practice. I think that I appear calm to the outside world. But then again, an aquaintance of mine once told me she could see anger festering beneath my calm exterior. I have this constant fear that I’m not enough for my husband and son, and I don’t know how to make that feeling go away. I also still have this feeling that I don’t quite fit into society or belong anywhere.

It’s been a goal of mine since November 2020 to control my emotions (I literally wrote it down on paper). I have no problem identifying, analyzing and expressing my emotions. I just don’t know how to regulate my emotions or let go of negative emotions.

I read that the signs of emotional immaturity are trust issues, lack of adaptive coping (failing to look after the self by not eating well and exercising, lack of communication to friends or family for support and an inability to foresee stressful events), self-blame and the lack of capacity to stay calm.

By all accounts this means I’m very emotionally immature but I’m trying not to be.

November 2020 I failed to control my emotions with my husband and son. I went full on Hulk at every inconvenience.

December 2020 I focused on not losing my cool at my son and halfway succeeded. I don’t even remember how I was with my husband.

January 2021 I went back to trying to control my emotions with both my husband and my son. With my husband, I succeeded 63.5% of the time. With my son, 58.2% of the time.

Now we’re in February, and I’m trying so hard to focus on controlling my emotions with my husband. No yelling or crying. But with my son, I’m yelling till I’m blue in the face, but I’m also making it up however I can. However, my success is 28% so far, meaning I’m failing miserably.

I’m so burnt out and as a mom who has no job to occupy her (I have my blogs and they’re a big help but still) and nowhere to go (in the middle of a pandemic, teaching my son online) and nobody to go with (I’m bound by my sons online hours and his homework responsibilities and the lack of a car of my own doesn’t help).

I’m not giving myself excuses to keep blowing up or breaking down. I need to grow up and mature emotionally and learn to stop my automatic negative thoughts on my own and not crumble every other day.

I’m trying to be okay. I really am. I’m trying not to play the victim. I’m trying to create my own happiness, but everytime I create a bubble and hide inside of it, it bursts and the reality seems too unbearable.

I’ve been practicing gratitude and meditation. I’ve been reading and writing. I’ve been working on my goals, but I still can’t seem to manage to control my own emotions. Instead, they’re controlling me.

My strategy is basically to keep myself busy (with purpose because boredom is a petri dish to negative thoughts), avoid burnout by attending to my self-care (I’m working on it), increase my self confidence by doing a self confidence challenge and focusing on my strengths, create my own happiness, turn anger into compassion towards myself and my husband and son, focus on the positive attributes of both my husband and son, socialize more (difficult to do in these circumstances) so I don’t rely on my husband to give me all the TLC I need, and last but not least work on strengthening my spiritual connection through prayer and reading quraan.

The goal is to become emotionally mature so I can regulate my own emotions and let go of negative feelings and challenge negative thoughts on my own. I even have woeksheets I’m yet to fill out and more worksheets I’m yet to print.

Storytime: How can I motivate my son to learn?

I sit here at 10:30pm, tea cup in my hand (too late for coffee) while I contemplate my parenting techniques.

Photo by Pexels

I have the habit of trying to convince my son to do what I want by bribing him with things he wants, then when that doesn’t work, I start threatening to remove a privilege or delete a game on my phone or whatever. When that doesn’t work, I start to get frustrated and then really angry. I tend to yell a lot and that only makes matters worse.

Lately, though, I’ve been yelling much less, which was pretty much the goal, and once in a while my now 6 year old does what he is old from the 1st time or without me asking him.

Today though… Oof. Where do I begin?

Let me 1st mention the positive points… However few and far between they were.

1. I didn’t yell much today. I didn’t lose my cool until 9pm

2. He ate dinner without fussing or taking forever (dinner here is like lunch for Americans and vice versa)

3. I’m drinking my tea in peace right now while writing a blog post because my son is playing peacefully.

4. He studied for his quiz and is hopefully ready.

Now let’s get to the nitty gritty of today:

1. I started waking him up at 9am but he refused to get out of bed until 11am which means tonight he will be sleeping even later than he usually does.

2. He skipped breakfast on the account of waking up too late and being underweight as he is, this is a problem.

3. He took forever to eat his lunch. Drove me crazy ðŸĪŠ

4. He has a quiz tomorrow and it took a lot of threatening to get him to study for it once at noon today and since he made a lot of mistakes, he had to repeat his work and it took a lot of bribery (6 gummy bears, letting him do arts and crafts at night, and promising him he can stay up as late as he wants tonight which is making my husband on edge now) to get him to do it a 2nd time tonight, correctly.

Hence the contemplating

My goal in parenting is to get my son to have intrinsic motivation and self discipline. I don’t like relying on bribes and threats, rewards and punishments, to get him to eat, sleep, study, get dressed, shower, etc. These are basic things he should be doing on his own by now.

I feel like I don’t know how to motivate him because I never had to be motivated as a kid. I was traumatized as a kid but I don’t talk about it here because it’s too personal, but when it came to studies, I loved studying. I skipped 1st grade. My parents wanted me to skip 2nd grade too but the school counselor advised against it because she wanted me to be able to adjust to my peers socially. I’m glad they didn’t skip me 2 grades. I had enough trouble socially as it was, but not only because I was a grade ahead, but because I was half American in a Lebanese school. Anyway, my point is, my mom never even had to teach me. I always did my homework on my own, from the beginning. I git straight As and I never had to be motivated, in one way or another, so I don’t know how to motivate someone to study. Till now, I’m the only one among my siblings with a thirst for knowledge.

How do I motivate my 6 year old to WANT to learn?

The thing is. My son is smart. I can see it. So much potential. Easily distracted because duh, he is at home not school. Easily bored because duh not playing with other kids. Easily frustrated because duh not used to school system yet. I mean he went to KG1, then during KG2 there was the Lebanese revolution on October 17th and after the revolution died down, COVID-19 began and so he only went to school for a month in the whole year. I tutored him during summer but he was not prepared for KG3. Not being used to the online system, then getting used to it, then getting bored of it. I’m not giving excuses. Human beings learn to adapt.

I’m just trying to cut him some slack, but not too much slack because he needs to study. He is awesome at reading, but he just doesn’t like to write.

Any suggestions?

Storytime: Day 3 of total lockdown

It’s day 3 of the total lockdown and I’m telling you it’s hard. Not because I’m not getting much of my goals done. Not because I can’t leave the house. Not because I’m moody and keep trying to tell myself “I am calm and in control of my emotions”. But because I have to walk on eggshells and one wrong move and all hell breaks loose.

That’s the thing with anxiety. I may look fine on the outside, but on the inside, I’m analyzing every movement, every word, and for some reason everything feels like an attack against me.

In my heart I know I’m just overwhelmed because of everything going on in the world and so is everyone else, but it’s like each person is expecting the other person to “tread lightly” and absorb all the negative emotions without being affected by them, but here’s the thing. I can absorb only a certain amount before I get soaked and then I need to squeeze myself and let it all out.

Anyway, I’m watching This is us, my current escapism. I’m forgetting about my goals for the day and focusing on coping techniques and just trying to keep absorbing as much as I can without getting soaked. I’m so glad I only have 1 child because I swear sometimes it feels like I have 2 and sometimes I feel like I’m the child again and life is too much responsibility and who thought it was a good idea to leave me responsible for a husband and a son?!

I will not blame my anger on anyone but will turn my anger into compassion and cut myself and others some slack

On the bright side, my mom called and we had a nice chat. I’ve also been talking to my sister daily on the phone and my brother called last night so it’s good to be in touch with family so I don’t feel like I’m in a bubble…

Are you in lockdown?

If yes, how are you doing?

Any tips for me so I stay zen?

In the middle

Hello 👋 reader and welcome to my blog!

“Chaos in Color” by SherylBrownArt.com

Today is the 14th of January 2021. We’re in the middle of the month, in the middle of a storm, in the middle of winter, in the middle of a complete lockdown (you now need a permit to leave your house), in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the middle of political chaos, in the middle of an economic crisis.

That’s where we are now.

In the middle!

When you’re in the middle of something, it’s hard to take a step back and assess your situation. It’s hard to objectively see where you are. In this vast universe, where we are is a blip on the radar, but to us, we’re right in the middle.

It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when everything is pitch black, but here’s the thing. It’s not pitch black! There is a light within you called hope. There is light around you called love. There is light above you called faith.

I made goals for January because it’s hard for me to sit idle (as a mom to a 5 year old, I don’t get to sit down much) without working on self improvement. Otherwise, I think about all the things I cannot control and I spiral into anxiety or depression and either one is bad because then I can’t take care of myself or my son.

But goals aren’t everything. Being mindful and grateful is more important. Before I calculate the success of my goals this week, I know it’s going to be less than last week, because I know I ate a lot of junk food, didn’t exercise much, didn’t sleep well, didn’t get much reading done, etc.

However, I also know that I wasn’t the hulk this week. I know that even though I did yell at my son a lot, I spent more time with him. We connected more. I said yes more (I’m usually saying no). He made me a princess pencil holder (they taught him how to make pencil holders in art class online and he asked if he could make more and after making 2 more, he asked me if I wanted one and if I wanted to design it or if I wanted him to make one for me. I told him I’d rather he make it for me, not just because I don’t like to draw but because I feel children’s drawings of you express what they think of you, and I’m flattered he thinks I’m a princess. He also thinks he is king which says power struggle all over it but that’s for another post)

I also sat with him a bit while he was playing with his play doh (I normally do things that I love with him, like play uno or monopoly or snakes and ladders. He likes them but he doesn’t love them) and he asked me to make a person and then he made a cape for that person. He said that person was a Superhero. Honestly, I think he was making his dad.

Also, did I mention we’re in the middle of a storm? You know how much I love rain. I tried to catch the lightening. I couldn’t. I could see it but there was too much wind.

I also have been talking to my sister on the phone daily, who has 2 kids and is in the trenches (of being stuck at home with kids) just like me. But as much as I crave some alone time, I know I’d peobably binge watch This is us if I got some me time, rather than clean the house or work on my goals.

I’m a bit anxious about the next 7 days but I know I’ll make it. I’ve made it this far and I’ll keep grounding myself with gratitude and mindfulness and keep myself busy with my goals. I also need to remind myself to call my parents and grandparents and text my friends.

So if you feel like you’re in the middle of this and you can’t take a step back to see the full picture, ground yourself and turn on the light.

Happy Monday 🙃

Good morning!

How are you doing today?

I have a migraine as usual. I’m trying so hard to to go with the flow, not planning, but believe me this week has been bizarre and part of the reason I think is because I’m trying to be spontaneous and not plan. I feel like “who am I if I’m not a planner”? Do you know what I mean?

Anyway, so my efforts to let loose haven’t been so great. I was still using my to do lists some days, and I still have this application called Habit Bull that keeps track of how often I brush my teeth, read Quraan, read from a book, exercise and shower. They wouldn’t let me put more than 5 (if they did I would obviously).

I just finished drinking coffee and eating pancakes. I enjoyed them very much.

I can’t force inspiration. I want to write several blog posts but I keep procrastinating. I had time yesterday but I didn’t have the positive inspiration to do so and I keep getting migraines even though I’m going to sleep early around 10 p.m. and I’m waking up at a reasonable time, like today I woke up at 7:30 a.m. but still I feel I’ve been walking around for the past 2 days with a brick on my chest, so to speak, and I have come to the realisation and hopefully the acceptance that I will never be happy in certain aspects of my life because this is how my life is and I can’t change it.

I know that contradicts with everything I normally say but it align with the serenity prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Seriously, there are some aspects of my life that I can’t change, like I can’t control the economic and political situation in Lebanon. You might argue that I could travel but I can’t travel because my husband doesn’t want to travel, so I’m stuck here.

I’m stuck in a life that I don’t want but must learn to appreciate and I have to make myself happy however I can, through writing, reading, watching tv shows, drinking coffee, eating carbs, etc.

So I’m going to do the little things that make me happy since the big things don’t make me happy. There you have it. I have to go now. Have a nice day.

Staying happy while social distancing

Hello 👋 how are you doing lately?

I know a lot of countries are in lockdown now, including the UK and Australia, maybe even parts of the USA. Meanwhile, other areas are undergoing certain restrictions.

I know there is too much negativity on the news, so I try to steer clear of these topics here and I avoid watching the news as much as possible, but then I’m on instagram a lot so the news kind of follows me.

Anyway, I was doing some self care activities on this application called Joy Score, and I came across some tips on how to stay happy while social distancing and I thought I’d share them here on the blog. I recommend this application if you’re into this kind of thing. I’m a big fan of self improvement any way I can get it: books, podcasts, applications, YouTube videos, etc.

How to stay happy while social distancing

  1. Maintain some level of happiness: it sound rhetorical but basically it means to create your own happiness rather than relying on the people in your life to make you happy
  2. Draw the energy to combat a crisis: drawing and coloring have been known to relieve stress, but drawing more so to express the supressed feelings you have about COVID-19, the economic and political situation, etc.
  3. Increase resilience: adversity builds resilience. You know what they say “don’t pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a hard life” or something like that.
  4. Establish a routine: with everything chaotic and so many things unpredictable, creating a morning and bedtime routine help give you a sense of stability and control over your life. Maintain routines: just like it’s not enough to write down your goals, but you must create an action plan and actually follow those goals, so it is important to follow through with your routines and adjust them when necessary.
  5. Go to bed and wake up on your typical schedule: even if you don’t have anywhere to go, going to sleep and waking up at the same time everyday regulates your carcadian rhythm and in turn decreases stress.
  6. Eat regular meals at regular intervals: trust me on this, because I haven’t been doing this and my appetite is weird.
  7. Exercise : this is timeless advice, especially with staying at home more, don’t fall into a sedentary lifestyle.
  8. Go for a morning walk: I wish I could do this now, but when my son was going to school briefly, I got my steps up to 6,000 as opposed to 2,000 when he isn’t going to school.
  9. Practice self-compassion: turning my anger into compassion is something I am working on with others, but being kind to yourself is a prerequisite to being kind to others. Accept and forgive yourself for what you may not accomplish. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing the best you can. Be mindful of negative thoughts: notice them, acknoledge them, then let them go.
  10. Express gratitude: towards everything you have. So many people would kill to have the life you have. Be content with what you have and don’t compare your life to that of others. The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it.
  11. Be kind and compassionate towards others: everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, and usually the ones who need love the most are the ones who ask for it in the most unlovable ways.
  12. Last but not least, spend more time at home, with your family. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and they’re even staying COVID-20 is on the rise, so wear a mask, maintain a 6 foot distance from others, wash your hands, avoid crowded areas, and if you don’t have to go out, stay at home (nature walks excluded).

Unfiltered thoughts

I have racked my brain today thinking what I should blog about, and I got nothing.

My blogs have become orchestrated symphonies, organized series, not all over the place.

You got me. I’m a phony. A liar. Pretending I’m all put together when I’m not. Or was I pretending? I’m not sure of the illusion I’m setting, I don’t know what to tell you. Would you like to know the lies I tell myself to be able to sleep? I know I don’t give back enough, but then again, I do some acts of kindness, right?

I think I have become so fixated on self improvement that I am stuck in the learning process. So many blogs I read today and podcasts I listened to. So many movies and TV shows that moved me and inspired me.

I exercised today. I brushed my teeth. I didn’t cry. I ticked off everything on my to do list. I was a tender loving mom, for the most part. I lost my cool for a couple hours today. Had a meltdown, me and my 5 year old both. Then I calmed down and was tender mom for the rest of the day.

I am 1st and foremost a mom. I get wrapped up in my reading and writing and to do lists and goals that sometimes I forget about the most important thing. To just live in the moment and enjoy it. I lived in the moment several times today. As a result, I didn’t read from “The 7 habits of highly effective people” today. Instead, I played monopoly with my son. It was nerve wrecking but fun. Every game with my son is like that. He is a silly kid. I’m dead serious, even when I play games. I don’t cheat in games or even laugh and I barely smile. Okay I do smile. I think.

For someone who is so self aware, I’m biased. I need a spectator to tell me how I am, but I also want to decide on my own. I don’t want someone to say something and lift me up or bring me down.

I’m so grateful for the life I live, that I have the time to worry about such nonsense.

I’m grateful for this blog. Sadly, I’m afraid sometimes I use it to inflate my ego and feed my self esteem, although compared to other bloggers, I’m not even a blip on the radar. But compared to me last year, I finally feel heard and understood, like my thoughts aren’t all crazy.

Everybody around me. All they care about is shopping. My passion is psychology. I think the human brain is fascinating. Yesterday I was reading about whole brain theory and how we each use a dominant half but if we learn to tap into the other half more often, we would be more creative and balanced.

Boy would I love to be stable and balanced. Tell you a secret? Part of me wants to be liked by everyone. The other part of me knows this is people pleasing and wrong and that I should just be myself, but what if myself is everchanging.

I feel like I have changed a lot in some ways over the years, but nevertheless I’m exactly the same. How is that even possible?!

Tell you what? I’m happy. Right now. This moment (no guarantee what rabbit hole I’ll go down in later) I have my husband, my son, my family, my health. I have so much. I am so much. At that note, I’ll go to sleep before I start overthinking again.