Feeling Hopeful

Hi everyone! Remember me? It’s been a while.  I’ve been thinking of giving up this little blog, mostly because I’ve felt uninspired and not wanting to write.  Weird, I know.  I guess since exiting the world of teaching and academia, I am not worthy.  Um, no.  That’s silly.  And that leads me to this post.

Insecurity.

I won’t spend too much time here discussing each and every one of my self-perceived shortcomings.  I’ve come to realize that they’re stupid and counter-productive.  But, for the last month or so, I have felt as if I’ve been slowly becoming unraveled.  I’ve felt this way before, and am  pretty pissed that the same feelings are cropping up again.

I’ve pushed back the feelings, have tried to ignore them, have tried to focus on other things, have baked many variations of banana bread, tried listening to new music, colored my hair, got a new camera filter, you name it.  I have also tried to just flat out forget that I feel as if I’m falling apart.  Yeah, can’t really forget it.

If you asked me why, I can’t pinpoint the reason.  I mean, I guess I could a little bit.  Life.  Life has been the cause of my coming undone.  Switching careers–again–has been a major adjustment.  Raising a toddler.  Raising a very headstrong, independent, and intelligent toddler who is 2.5 going on 4.  Trying to stay happy and fun Marisa in between tantrums is hard.  How do you keep the spark lit in your marriage when all you do is talk about potty training strategies and bathroom renovations?  How do you still feel sexy and alluring when you’re rock/paper/scissoring for who gets out of changing the next poopy diaper?  It’s a balance, but finding that balance is not always easy when you don’t have the time to sit around and analyze it.  I have tried to make sense of it all during moments of quiet at McDonald’s play land, but then Ella falls off the slide or gets stuck in a tunnel and it messes up the moment.  {kidding, of course, about her tragedy messing up the moment}

Wah, wah.  Suck it up, girl.  I’ve never been good at that.  (That sounded bad.  You know what I mean.)

So, instead of doing what I always do and try to distract myself enough until I forget, I decided to do something different.  It’s funny, though, because I didn’t really fit all the pieces together until now.  I was reading through an email from either GoodReads or Audible.com or somewhere.  The email suggested this book.  It’s called The Gifts of Imperfection.  I was at work when I got the email, so I couldn’t do much about it.  I got home and read a review of the book.  What I saw was that it was a self-help book that discussed being comfortable with who you are, flaws and all, and not worrying so much about what others think of you.  Hello!! I am the queen of worrying about what others think and it eats me up.  I saved the email for about a week or so.  I didn’t want to forget the title.

Last night, I pulled the email up again and looked into it a little more.  I decided pretty quickly that it might just be good for me, and downloaded it to my Kindle.  Of course, it had been so damn long since I read on my Kindle and my battery was dead.  No reading for me last night.

Then, today at work, I got the bright idea of arranging a date night for us.  No big revelation there, but we hardly ever do it.  And I even got the idea to use a baby-sitter, other than my sister.  Crazy!  The plan is that if Ella likes her, we can ALL actually go out together.  Like to a bar. Without kids.  Normally, the idea would flit in and then out and it would be gone.  Oh, baby-sitters are too expensive.  Oh, my sister’s feelings would be hurt if we don’t call her and use someone else.  Nonsense.  Let’s make the call.  And we did.  We have a sushi date tomorrow night.  I’m gonna do my hair…

After crying again tonight about Ella and how it hurts my feelings when she deliberately pushes my buttons, I crawled into bed.  Dejected and defeated, I turned on the TV. Then I remembered my book.  The Gifts of Imperfection.  I read the preface and introduction.  Not only is it about finding beauty in who we are, but it’s also about gratitude and love and doing things that make us happy, wholeheartedly.  Letting go of expectations of others and doing things “selfishly” and for our own joy is OK.  It seemed pretty legit and I got all warm inside.  Cheesy, I know.

I started thinking about when the last time it was that I actually read a self-help book.  I read two after I got divorced back in 2006.  I read The Secret and He’s Just Not That Into You.  They both changed my life!  I’m hoping this one will do the same.  Or at least help me find some perspective and put me back together.  Either way, I’m feeling hopeful.  I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

xoxox ~M

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5 responses to “Feeling Hopeful

  1. The age when your young child is doing seemingly deliberate, naughty and button-pushing things is a HARD age indeed. *hugs* I’m glad you found a book for YOU. I have found marriage books to be especially helpful for my well-being, because when I am feeling strong in my marriage, many other things are easier to handle. I would definitely recommend Dr Laura Schlessinger’s books! 🙂
    I look forward to reading how the book you’re reading is helping you. ❤

    • Thanks for reading! And thanks for your sentiments. I agree…when everything else is together, it’s much easier to muddle thru the turmoil. We’ll get there 🙂

  2. I personally think that what you’re experiencing is normal due to recent losses in your life: baby, father moving, change of job. Maybe even more. Each of us reacts differently to such events. And we cannot predict our behavior honey. I say just say move through it at your pace. And Ella is being a “terrible two “little girl. That too will change. Remember not to personalize her antics. She’s testing her boundaries. She is a gift to the family and you just happen to be the one around her more. Nana can say that, right?
    Have a good sushi night and do it more often. Quit worrying about sister’s feelings. Take care of yourself. You need some TLC.
    Sent with love
    M

  3. Marisa,

    Not sure if this is actually going to get to you. I don’t know if this is your email address or not, but I wanted to respond to your wonderful words.

    Sigh. My heart is racing as it usually does when I read your writing. I love your honesty. Your courage to look at what you are going through and also write it out inspires me. And I just plain get creeped out sometimes at the things you write about while I am over here in Missouri going through very similar, VERY similar experiences and processes.

    Anyway, just wanted to say a hearty YES to what you are going through. It sounds like you are embracing. After some running from it first like you said about baking many banana breads 🙂

    I realize this isn’t saying much yet. I think you are onto something. Gratitude and confidence. Such good things to pursue and live by. I started reading a book One Thousand Gifts and it is the best thing for me right now. Talks about being thankful for the hard moments actually. For (no joke) thanking God for the “ugly” moments. The reason behind this? They are all signs of life, and good life. For instance, I love my kids and husband more than anything on this earth right? So why are they the ones I am annoyed with most? Then I feel guilty and totally nail myself about being a failure and letting people down and yelling at my kids and my husband and kicking my dogs and etc etc. So I pretty much feel like crap at the end of every day based on the ways I’ve messed up. But this author writes beautifully about grace and accepting your life, all of it as it is… as beautiful. The fact that being a good mom doesn’t really have anything to do with pinterest or perfection or how much of your homemade dinner they didn’t eat that night. Anyway, motherhood. It just is. Good mothers take care of their babies, and their toddlers. And they get pissed off along the way because their heart and soul and tears are in it.

    I see that in you and the life that you’ve written out for me to read. You are a good mom. you are a good wife. You are a good marisa. You won’t figure out how to do it perfectly. Neither will I. No one will. And so there’s grace and there is love and there is being thankful for the moments that make up our life…the ones that suck, the ones that make our day, the dirty floors, the tantrums, the sticky fingers 🙂 haha

    So I’m feeling extra vulnerable tonight after soaking in some of this new book I’m reading and decided to meet you halfway and share all of that which I’ve been going through.

    I look up to you. I am proud to be of the same family line. 🙂 I am so excited for Ella because it’s clear to me that she has two amazing parents who support her adventuring and learning and being disciplined along this journey of life. Happy reading and being confident in who you are. Who you are is just what anyone else in your life will need from you 🙂

    Love ya Kristy

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