Good Friday morning and a big hello to May this week! Back in March I opened up about a lot of what was going on in my life regarding miscarriages and thoughts about my own future. You guys were so supportive in sharing your stories as well as tips on what worked for you. It’s been a little over a month since then, I’ve been busy traveling, volunteering at the school play (where Emmy will be making her Tweedle Dee appearance this weekend) as well as working on the One Room Challenge, and I wanted to share some life updates with you. This post will be a little mish-mosh of my thoughts, but some of you have asked so I thought I’d continue the conversation.
Spending Less Update: Back in January I made a public declaration of spending less, and I haven’t kept you much informed on that front. For someone who did just last year buy pillows just for the season, or because they were on sale, it was a big bold statement. Saturday Morning when I was reading Emily’s Saturday 6, I came across a great post she shared about a woman who took a whole year off shopping from clothing and accessories. That post really hit me, especially these words:
“Today I would never buy a $10 sale top to wear only once, nor would I buy a pillow or spoon to use for one Instagram photo. I really have learned the importance of only buying what you love, and treating it like an investment. Not only is it better for your budget, but it’s better for the environment.”
How many times have you wandered into a store and purchased something because it was on sale, or just to use temporarily. This year as I have focused on not spending, I’ve been questioning myself so much more when it comes to pulling the trigger, and I’ve found I ask myself every time, “Do we really need this?” If the answer is yes, I allow it. This past weekend I had to purchase new string lights for our porch, and it took me forever to decide to buy them! I hated spending money on something that I felt might be seen as more frivolous. However, in thinking of how our family actually lives in our space, I knew they were a need. As the weather is getting warmer though, I know my family will be eating dinner on the porch, and without the lights, we won’t be able to see what we’re eating.
When it comes to clothing, I purchased a new pair of running shoes after mine got a hole in the toe (which always happens to me!). For running shoes, I’ve found a style and brand I like, and I order from Amazon when I see the lowest price I’ve seen in a while. I have not spent over $50 on a pair over the last year. Secondly, I decided I needed one more pair of casual Converse sneakers. I have a gray pair I purchased years ago, and I wear them all the time. I’ve found myself wearing them all the time, and decided another pair would be a good investment that would last me several years. My mother and I headed to Lancaster, PA a few weeks ago for a mother/daughter trip that was her birthday/Mother’s Day gift rolled into one. We headed to the outlets there and lo and behold, there was a Converse outlet and the shoes were buy one get one 75% off!!! Basically, the second pair was $10-15. I decided to get a pair of red, and a pair of mint. And now I am set for a long time! Between the running shoes and converse, I’ve not purchased any other item of clothing or accessory for myself in 2017.
My strategy has been pretty much to avoid malls and shopping situations, turn off notifications in facebook shopping groups, and remove myself from most email lists. It’s worked well, and the times I have been with a friend at a store, I’ve reminded myself that I was not shopping to buy, rather I was window-shopping to spend time with that person.
At this moment, I am also working on the 10 pounds I gained over the last emotionally and hormonally roller coaster of a year. I have 5 to go, and that makes my wardrobe feel like new to me again…. knowing that my clothes will once again look as I want them to helps prevent me from shopping. When I can open my own closet door and feel good about most items in there, it’s a great feeling. I am getting there! My point is that feeling healthy and happy with myself tends to prevent the need or desire to shop for clothing… remember, clothes don’t make the woman. I do not need new clothing; I just need to feel good in my own skin.
Weight Update: Since I mentioned it, I thought I’d share what’s been working for me when it comes to weight loss. It’s been slow and steady for me but typically that process makes it easier to keep off. I’ve cut out all alcohol aside from the occasional glass of wine, and I’m eating a primarily plant based diet with eggs and seafood for protein, with the occasional chicken mixed in. I do allow myself 1-2 treats a week. For two weeks though I went really strong with no sweets, just to kick start, and that helped after not losing anything much the first couple of weeks. Another huge boost in losing was, as cliche as it sounds, drinking loads of water. I use a 30 oz tumbler like this and fill it up three times a day, I love it because on cooler days I fill it with hot water and lemon juice and it keeps it hot. Admittedly, I don’t always make it all the way through the third refill, but knowing I’ve gotten over 60 oz is good for me! Mine is plain stainless and was a Christmas gift from a white elephant exchange, but I really wish it was this lovely aqua one…
I am currently exercising 5-6 days a week which includes two to three 4 mile walks, two 4-5 mile runs, and two days where I run 1.5 miles, do three rounds of the 7 minute workout, then walk 1.5 miles. I use this app for the 7 minute workout which is free and had great ratings. It offers a couple variations, and I love it! If you’re wondering what the heck this workout is, it includes 12 exercises you do for 30 seconds each with 10 seconds of rest in between. If you aren’t sure of a move, there is an icon that has video tutorials to help guide you.
Hey Jealousy: Now I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind, and clearly on the mind of other bloggers as well. Over time, I have developed a healthy attitude when it comes to comparison, jealousy, and envy, but when images of things we don’t have… beautiful clean and clutter free homes, gorgeous huge yards, swimming pools, designer furnishings…. are presented to us on a daily basis via social media, sometimes it’s hard to turn off your wanter. Seeing those images can have negative effects on our own self-worth. I honestly try not to think about it as much, and realize that inspiration comes from those very images. Last week, however, I was looking at a home tour on one of the design sites I enjoy, when Sawyer peered over my shoulder and opened up a conversation.
“Mom, do you ever get jealous?”
“What do you mean? With these home tours? Jealous of their pretty home and the things they have?”
He nodded, that indeed, that was what he meant.
“Well, of course I sometimes get jealous. It’s only natural to see something beautiful and react to it, and feel like I might want it, too. However, when I turn away from the tour and take a look around at everything I do have… our beautiful home, my happy kids and marriage, and the great life we have, even if it’s imperfect and messy sometimes, I realize that I have everything I could ever want right here. I have nothing to be jealous of because I have enough.” Of course, I knew that his question must have been prompted by his own feelings of jealousy over something, so I asked him, “Do you feel jealous of anything right now?”
He replied, “Well, all the kids have those fidget spinners, and I don’t have one. I really want one.”
I had just come home from play practice that evening after school where one child in particular had one and was driving me absolutely bonkers with it. I was cursing its creator! I said to Sawyer, “It’s my understanding that those are made for kids who really need them.” He interrupted to let me know he knew that they were intended to help kids with ADD or ADHD. I told him, “Instead of feeling like you want what they have, think about how lucky you are to not need it. You don’t have ADHD, and you are fortunate in that, because it makes school a little more of a challenge. Instead of being jealous of the kids with fidget spinners, be understanding and be happy with who you are.” He thanked me, hugged me, and ran off happily. True story. I am no Mother of the Year by a long shot, and I yell at my kids and say things I shouldn’t, but in this one shining moment, I recognized a teaching opportunity and it worked. If he continues to replace feelings of jealousy with feelings of gratitude for what he does have, he’ll be a much happier human being; and as a mother, all I want is for my kids to be happy and kind.
We all suffer from these feelings sometimes, and they don’t feel good. Jealousy over a long period of time can lead to a bitterness that’s hard to shake. This moment with Sawyer was a great reminder of looking within ourselves and at all we truly have to find contentment.
That’s all I have for you today. I just wanted to take a chance to really talk to you, and to thank you for listening, replying, and sharing your stories with me. Now if you need me, I’ll be putting stage make-up on a bunch of elementary school kids turned Wonderland characters, enjoying the play tonight, and tomorrow night, playing the role of the backstage mom; it’s a bit of a stressful role because all of the character’s timing relies on me, but it guarantees me great seats for the night I view. So worth it! And Emmy has a big part for a 4th grader, and sings a song, so I really wanted to be able to have a great view of my star. 🙂 Hope you have a fantastic weekend!
*This post contains a couple affiliate links to products I love!