Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January 1st is Just Another Day


On the morning of January 1st, I walked downstairs, made coffee, stood in the middle of our living room, and stared at our Christmas tree we so enthusiastically decorated the day after Thanksgiving. Are the holidays really over? Do we really have to put all of the decorations away? What are my New Year's resolutions? Why didn't I write them down this year? It's nice to see other people share their resolutions. It's great to see so many people wanting to better themselves. What's a better time to do it? After all, the prospect of a brand new year is encouraging. It's shiny and full of promises.

Unfortunately, no matter how many resolutions I come up with, to me, January 1st of every year always feels depressingly anti-climactic. I find that most people share this sentiment with me. There is something about January 1st that makes us quickly forget the excitement of writing down a list of things we so ambitiously wanted to accomplish. It feels as if you're coming down from a sugar high after eating too many Christmas cookies. Like, no! I want more cookies. Anything to keep the excitement going. Then, by mid-January, you let go of the list you've made and look for the next new beginning. Sound familiar?

Let's be honest. Most of us know what we want out of life. Some of us want to carve out more time to practice our art. Some of us want a promotion. Some of us want to go back to school. Some of us want to lose weight. Some of us want to eat healthier. Some of us want to spend more time with our loved ones. Some of us want to move. Some of us want to buy a house. Some of us want to give romantic relationships a chance. Some of us want to help others who are in need. Some of us want to show more gratitude. 

So, we write these things down. We put it on a pedestal. We hold it sacred. Until January 1st, of course. You quickly realize that writing down your resolutions and sharing them with the world isn't going to turn any of it into reality. You realize that January 1st is just another day. Unfortunately, we wait around for this magical day just to start living the life we want to live only to give up on our goals and wait helplessly for the next January 1st. If we wait around for some arbitrary date to start living our best life, we will never get to where we want to be.

The truth is, if you're continuously working toward the life you want to live (and if you're already there) you don't need resolutions.

So, this year, for the first time, I'm not coming up with New Year's resolutions. I'm going to wake up everyday with a thankful heart and do what makes me happy. I will continue to be kind to others. I will continue to take care of my body and soul. I will continue write. I will continue to try to be the best mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I will continue to be good to my students. I will continue to learn. I will continue to appreciate everything life has to offer me. That's it. At least that's what it takes for me to work toward the life I want to live.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Don't Invite These Toxic People to Join You in 2015


Everyday, being a mother continues to make me feel more confident. So confident that I find it satisfying to speak my mind regarding the issues that bother me and erase each and every toxic person out of my life. Just like that. It's one issue my girlfriends with children don't know how to quite deal with: cutting all of the toxic people out of their lives. They fear that it will be interpreted as being rude. They say they don't want people to think they're being cruel and mindless. The truth is, if someone is making you feel anxious, angry, depressed, and not good enough, they're toxic. No questions about it. They don't belong into your life. You shouldn't waste your time with dwelling in their negativity. So, here are the types of toxic people you should not invite along into the New Year:

People who stress you out: 
Parenting, balancing relationships, tackling daily chores, and working hard to accomplish your set goals can already be exhausting and stressful. If somewhere in between all of this, there is a person who stresses you out to a point where you can't enjoy your downtime and personal accomplishments, you have to ask yourself if this godforsaken person is worth having around. Probably not. Cut them out.

People who don't respect you:
I know I'm no alone with this, but before I became a mother, I used to live for me. I did what I wanted to do whenever I pleased. Now, most decisions I make are dictated by my son's existence. Will it serve my son's well-being? Will is serve my little family's well-being? Will I hurt my nearest and dearest if I make this decision? While you might believe that you're making healthy and wise decisions, others will offer their unsolicited advice. Without looking at the state of their own lives, they will belittle your decisions and actions. They will make passive aggressive comments and not respect the decisions you make as an individual, wife, and mother. You're too important to allow other people to not respect your decisions and the way you choose to live your life. So, cut them out.

People who don't inspire you:
I try to surround myself with people who can intellectually and spiritually inspire me. We're attracted to people that we can learn from, people who can make us feel happy and new. So, in a way, we all 'use' other people's wisdom and knowledge to develop into better individuals. I'm not talking about these awesome people. I'm talking about letting go of the people who suck the energy, the desire to live a good life out of you. I'm talking about those people who make you feel miserable because of their miserable view of the world. Again, life is short. Time is limited. The goals you set for yourself and what you can accomplish during that time is limited. Your physical ability to do things is limited. So you know what you do? Stop making time for these people and cut them out.

People who are two faced:
We've all met a person who will smile to your face and then insult you behind your back. They're cowards. They're insecure. They get off on gossiping because they don't want to face the state of their own lives.They don't deserve your time and the space they take up in your life. After all, strong relationships and families are built on trust and honesty. In most cases, relationships and families fall apart because of lack of trust and honesty. If someone can't be honest with you and accept criticism, you know it's time to cut them out. Period.

People who don't motivate you:
I believe you become the people that surround you. Surround yourself with people who are inspirational, successful, and confident. Those are the people who will motivate you to do better and take risks in life. If you surround yourself with people who feel like they're victims, you will begin to feel like a victim, too. Remember this: life is not happening to you- life is responding to you. So, surround yourself with people who resonate positivity, and life will respond to you in the most rewarding way.

This is your year to shine! You got this because you're strong and there isn't anything you can't do! This is your journey. Happy New Year! xo

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Balancing Motherhood, Work, and Relationships: Julie

 

Julie is a language arts teacher. She and her husband Jeff, a high school teacher and varsity sports coach, have been married for four and a half years. Together, they live with their two sons, 2.5 year old Kase and 6 month old Weston, in New Jersey. Here is how Julie balances motherhood, work, and relationships: 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Balancing Motherhood, Work, and Relationshps: Victoria


Victoria works at a law firm. She and her partner Chris have been together for seven years and they're in the process of adopting their two year old son Aiden. Here is how Victoria balances motherhood, work, and relationships:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Balancing Motherhood, Work, and Relationships: Candice


Candice is a tutorial supervisor at Bergen Community College and she's an adjunct instructor. She lives with her husband Tom and their four year old son Nate in Northern New Jersey. Here is how Candice balances motherhood, work, and relationships:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Balancing Motherhood, Work, and Relationships: Theresa




Theresa is leasing administrator and renewal specialist. She lives with her 3 year old son in New Jersey. Here is how she balances motherhood, work, and relationships:

What is your educational background and where do you work? 

I graduated from Rutgers University. I'm a commercial leasing administrator and renewal specialist at a large firm. I often daydream about starting my own company, but realize at this point, a start up would take even more time away from my home life than my current job.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Balancing Motherhood, Work, and Relationships: Kate


Kate is a college professor. She lives with her husband and their 2 year old son and 6 year old daughter in beautiful Collingswood, New Jersey. Here is how Kate balances motherhood, work, and relationships:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Balancing Work, Motherhood, and Relationships: Jena


Jena has been been married to her husband Grahm for a little over three years. He’s an engineer, and she's a stay-at-home mom and freelance editor. They live with their 9 month old daughter Sawyer in Texas. Here is how Jena balances motherhood, work, and relationships:

What is your educational background and where do you work? 
I graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in professional writing. I'm currently a freelance editor and a stay-at-home mom. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Balancing Motherhood, Work, and Relationships: Allison


Allison and her partner Stephanie have been married for four years and they have 3 year old twins. Allison is a post-doctoral fellow researching the vasculature of the brain. This is how she balances motherhood, work, and relationships: 

What is your educational background and where do you work?  
I have a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and I'm currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Temple University working in researching the vasculature of the brain. I have 3 year old twins- which I had while I was in graduate school before I completed my Ph.D.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Balancing Motherhood, Work, and Relationships: Aly


Aly and her husband Scott live with their 3 and 5 year old children in New Jersey. Their daughter Mia has a rare coronary heart disease called tricuspid atresia and she has gone through three open heart surgeries. Aly is a general manager at a large beauty retailer and here is how she balances motherhood, work, and relationships: