TOUCHING ORDINARY LIVES

Do you ever wonder about the lives you touch as you go about your day-to-day routine? It occurs to this ordinary lady that we touch and are touched by a variety of people throughout our lives. Some help us be better, stronger people, while others try to tear us down.  I would like to think that those lives that I have touched are the better for it. That sounds very arrogant. OK, so it not only sounds arrogant, it is pretty arrogant. <grin>

In all seriousness, I do not want to ever be the person who tears others down. Making someone else feel bad about themselves does not make me feel good. It does not gain me anything, at all.  Yet, there have been people in my life who have attacked me (with the intent to tear me down) as if the process is going to make them that much prettier, happier, or whatever.  It is just wrong and hate to tell you, it does not make you a better person. Just saying!Inspire

Recently, I was introduced to a woman, Ashley, who has touched my life and made it so much better. I have never met her face to face and not sure if we will ever get the opportunity to be in the same room (we live in different parts of the country). I hope we do have that opportunity, but being so far apart has not lessened the impact this wonderful woman has had on my life.  She is a strong woman, mother, wife, business owner, and friend. She is the type of woman that some will love to hate, and others will flock to, confident, happy, sexy and happy to make others feel the same.

strong womenAshley and her best friend April are the type of wonderful people that makes me feel better in my own skin.  The two are always saying things that are so profoundly true.  Beautiful women who are happy and confident in their own skin who help other women feel sexy, happy, and confident in themselves as well. Even better to me, they are both real about their body types, and are not twiglets! I know I have said before that I have a very negative self-image (working on it!) both of these ladies make it so much better! Love them.

So the following is a snippet from Ashley in a conversation that I found very inspiring. The conversation was about how once we become a mom people expect us to conform to the “mom ideal” (which is nonsense folks be who you are!):

Losing who you are is what makes you a resentful, bitter, crabby, grumpy mommy. My kids LOVE my wild hair, my tattoos, my funky clothes, my business drive, and my otherness! They find me much more enjoyable to be around when I remember to put myself on the “important too” list!!

Ladies, loving your sweet kiddos the very best means loving YOU too!!!!

The first lesson we teach our kids is how to be comfortable in their own skin! Accomplish that and you my sweet friend are a good mama!

–Ashley B

I love these very real conversations with a wonderful woman who mak1950s momes me feel better about myself. There were times when my younger self seriously believed that I had to conform to that “norm” for wife, mother, lady, blah blah blah. Losing myself was so easy and hurt more than I could have ever imagined. Let me be clear – it was not my husband (or any man) who pushed these “social norms” at me. In fact, my hubby likes me better when I am happy! Which means he likes me better when I am myself! Nope, it was me, letting those women around me put me down and make me feel bad about myself or about my ability to parent. My own insecurities drove me. I would like to think I am wiser now. I do know that we all need to be exactly who we are, who makes us the happiest. So if that is a mom in the 1950’s fashion more power to you! But don’t judge, harass, or be negative to those who have chosen not to conform to that model! Try to be a positive on the lives of those you touch.

Not an ordinary mom

Ordinary Change

I think it is human nature to develop a routine then work to stick to that routine.  That we later come back and complain about the routine of it all is also human nature. For myself, I love a good routine.  I really am not a huge fan of constant changes in my routine. Change is hard. Change is distracting.  Change adds fear and uncertainty to this ordinary lady’s life. Change means I need to engage my brain when I really just want to keep on keeping on!  So change sucks all the way around.agstickfigures8

All of that being said, my entire adult life has been dominated by change: active duty Army, wife of an active duty soldier, mother, business major, and the list goes on. Considering how much change bothers me, I am amazed at how adept I have become at dealing with change.  I still whine when something changes but I can deal.

What is it about change that strikes fear into our hearts? For me, the fear is rooted in the uncertainty of the future.  Since I do not know what will happen I do not have any control over the outcome.  Let’s just say I am a bit of a control freak, and move on.  Seriously, I need to be the captain of my own fate. If things go wrong in my life it should be my fault, not some elusive change to blame.  It is really hard to maintain my control freak status while standing in a tornado of change all the time but I persevere. I am no quitter!

Actually, because I am not a quitter is probably why I have always managed to deal with change.  Just too stubborn to know when to quit, that is me! Long before Tracy Lawrence sang his “Time Marches On” refrain “The only thing that stays the same is everything changes”, it was evident to me that change is a constant and unavoidable.  I had to learn to deal with change or I was sunk.  Is it wrong that some days I want to be a quitter? Just curl up with a good book, a glass of wine and quit the world and all the messy changes! I guess that is a nice vacation from reality, but not a long-term solution, more’s the pity.

I have discovered there is no shortage of advice on dealing with change, just Google “dealing with change” dealing-with-changeto see. Some of the advice you can find is decent enough, some not so much. Honestly some of the advice is a bit silly like “accept uncertainty”. If it was easy to accept uncertainty we would not be afraid of change! Or “create a mental script to help reassure yourself” really? I am pretty sure I talk to myself enough now and if I start answering myself the men in the little white coats are sure to make an appearance.littlewhitecoats

The best advice I ever got about dealing with change was from my grandmother what seems a lifetime ago (I was about 14). She told me to let myself feel whatever it is the change is making me feel (angry, sad, scared, glad, etc.) but don’t let feeling those emotions stop me from succeeding. Being successful is not emotionless, it is about accomplishing a goal in spite of the emotions or because of them. She also said that change, especially big changes will make us want to hide from our emotions and the changes but that would be counterproductive. Tackle the biggest, hardest tasks first so that the smaller easy tasks are a reward as we move through change. Never give up. Grandpa was a bit less wordy, he said, just get it done girl, get it over with and be done!  I miss grandma and grandpa every day.

Change is hard. Change is inevitable. But change is not always bad. I do tend to get stuck more on the bad parts of change instead of the good. However, some of the biggest changes in my life were also the most wonderful things that could have happened to me. My family (husband and kids), all three are never-ending sources of change and disruptions to my life. Yet all three have brought me the most joy in my life.  My career is a source of near constant change and yet is immensely satisfying.

I never planned the path I am on, change brought me to this path.  While I will never be completely comfortable with change, I am willing to keep embracing the changes. That really is the key for this ordinary lady, be willing to embrace the changes. Sure, I will whine, get frustrated, angry, annoyed or pissy when a new change comes around but once that five minutes is over I will move forward and get it done! You do not have to like change to live with it.