We finally had to stretch H's bassinet into the bigger crib size. R and K worked on it together a few days ago. I made them wait until I'd snapped a few pictures to remember the "baby nook" by. It is so fascinatingly bitter-sweet how fast they grow. By-the-by I'm pretty proud about how we were able to convert the study/guest room into a sweet space for our baby girl. More on that another time (hopefully after finding art for the walls and making pillows, but we'll see how long that takes;-)).
In other news: finally found the perfect spot for this pillow-frame(?) thingy I insisted on buying at Goodwill two years ago. It's floated about the apartment much to R's dismay, but finally he sees the amazingness I always saw in it.(In his defense it is hard to see the potential in something when it sits awkwardly hunched in this corner or that for years). He put it up here for me when I finished the hallway and suddenly this obscure small wall I wouldn't have thought twice about is one of my favorite things in the house. Its a nice visual reminder of what a little bit of quirkiness can do.
Happy Halloween all!
I'm jut a little bit tired of seeing all these lists all over the internet...10 ways to be a positive mom! 5 ways to make your marriage stronger. 7 ways to stop yelling at your kids. 5 things to look for in a spouse.
10 ways to make yourself feel inadequate!
You are good enough.
You are a good mom or dad.
You have a great marriage.
Your kids are not going to be ruined if you aren't always talking to them the way psychologists say you should.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Too much information on the internet is making me crazy.
Just let go and know you are good enough.
Twice this week we had friends over and both times the house looked pretty much like this (it was a smidge cleaner one time). Because lets face it, with two kids, pain-filled hands, and a current obsession with painting and reorganizing this is how the house looks an unfortunate amount of the time.
But I was glad I didn't wait to extend the invitation because of how things looked. I think it was important for both our guests and our family to have the time together. I feel it helped me grow as a person to think of reaching out first and realize the house was a diaster too late:).
ps This conversation happened this week:
Me ”Why did we even bring that trampoline inside?” (it was bought to be a porch toy)
R ”I have no idea”
Both stare quizzically at it for a moment then shrug and walk away.
There's this thing that happens to me every once in a while. I used to think it was called humility but I'm pretty sure it's not. I used to get down on myself a lot. I would think mean things about myself and sometimes even share them with others. And people were okay with it. People expect others to think poorly of themselves and to share that.
On the flip side, if someone shares that they believe they are awesome, it's pride, or bragging. And why can't we be wonderful? Why can't we think we are great, that we are awesome at listening, or painting, or reading or whatever. Why can't we share joy?
It's okay to feel not so great about yourself. It's part of the journey of discovering who we are. But accept that you have weaknesses. Accept that people are better than you. Stop being jealous and stop wanting more. Be you. Accept yourself with all the imperfections and accept the beautiful and amazing parts of you. Don't hide them-share them. We need people to share good things and we need to stop being angry at other people for what they share. If we judge others for what they share, we suddenly say we don't like the sharing process. Share everything. Accept every part of you and soon your drive for "perfection" will go away.
I have felt this as I have learned to accept myself and to say out loud that I really am wonderful. Yes, I have things to work on but as I have come to accept every part of who I am and who I am becoming, I have stopped thinking so much about myself. I have had more drive to serve, to help, and to just enjoy who I am right now. I'm not so hung up about who I want to be or who the world thinks I should be. I'm learning to love myself and love that there are parts of me that are weak but there are so many more parts of me that are strong.
Share good things about yourself, share happiness and joy. Don't give in to the negativity in your head. Silence it by saying that you are wonderful. If you don't believe it yet, keep saying it and someday you may wake up thinking that you are wonderful. You actually are wonderful. So am I.
Saw this poem in a masks art exhibit we happened upon and I've been loving it ever since.
When I showed it to R he said it was sad, but I liked the underlying message: if we are busy hiding who we are we will miss out on opportunities to love and be loved. In trying to protect ourselves we might be burying the thing that could help us connect. I've had this in my head for over a week now.
Then today we had a grocery drop off scheduled (we are a test area for Walmart ToGo and decided to try it out -- fabulous p.s.). We live in a secure building and our call button at the entry doesn't work so we were worried about missing the delivery man. I decided to talk with the nice man who has been our substitute manager lately (we're between building mangers apparently). Headed the troop downstairs for our family walk and "uh oh, there is a stranger behind the desk. A new sub manager? a back-up? He doesn't look so friendly." And I walk on by.
We are coming back from our walk: I decide he reminds me of a manager from another rental who yelled at me once and I made the right choice to not approach him.
Made it through lunch. The kids are down for nap and R is resting too. I want to rest and ice my hands (I have some crazy carpal tunnel/tendinitis issues currently). What if I miss the order? K, this is ridiculous I'm going to go talk to that man. And even on the way down I find my self thinking, "should I not mention that I used Walmart? Because some people are pretty against Walmart. Maybe if I explain that my husband is a student and I haven't been able to work..."
And what happens? The manager sub is so kind and super smiley. He'd love to help out. He has seven grand kids himself. His wife uses a grocery drop-off.
I didn't even have to justify our Walmart choice;) and I feel like I have a new friend.
so why didn't I just talk to him the first time? I understand that being vulnerable has its risks. I suppose sometimes I will end up hurt or judged when I put myself out there. But isn't it worse to cause myself hurt/stress because I was afraid to talk to a very nice man? I think so. I don't know if it works the same for everybody, but so far this vulnerability thing is working out great for me.
Four days ago I was so proud I'd finished painting the walls gray. I loved just looking at them. This morning all I can see are the touch up spots I haven't gotten to yet and my to-do list I can't seem to get on to of. Am I the only one who's brain works like this? Deep breaths, deep breaths....
...that fairly often when we start feeling hurt from an attempt to connect--and thus start feeling vulnerability is a mistake--it turns out we just miscommunicated/misinterpreted. The irony that if we use that moment as an excuse to pull out and put up defenses then the hurt stays and grows. But if we have the courage to stay open (vulnerable) often we can work it out in a few minutes (or so).
Its been a month since I've started thinking of vulnerability as one of my greatest strengths and today it help me let go of pain I've been holding too long.
I decided to paint the entryway last week. (After several hours on Pintrest of course). A month ago I wouldn't have trusted my own creativity enough, I would have felt the need to copy someone else's idea exactly. But something about this new way of thinking (the whole vulnerability can = strength idea) is making me better trust my instincts. So I got R to make a stencil for me on PowerPoint. We printed it out on card stock, he took an exacto knife to it and then I got to work. I didn't allow myself to think too hard or measure. I decided I was going to just freehand it. It was funny how I would feel exhilarated that I was just creating without overthinking ("and it was looking good!") . Then all the sudden I would have a mini anxiety attack that I'd placed a set of arrows too close together or it was looking too "stair steppy". Where and why did I learn to be so worried about if this would turn out "perfect"? It was a slightly unexpected but nonetheless effective opportunity to practice acceptance. In the end I loved how it turned out. Baby steps:)
I was on a long drive and jotted down this thought:
Within two weeks of thinking of vulnerability as a sometimes painful but powerful strength -- as a muscle I can exercise and learn to use -- I am more at peace.
I was introduced briefly to Brene Brown's work in a lesson one Sunday in August. After watching her TED talk on shame I couldn't get the idea of vulnerability out of my head. Right after writing down the thought above I blurted out to R (my husband), "It's like I've had this Sumo wrestler on my team and I've been trying to make him diet or I've been trying ridiculously to hide him instead of using him. And now all the sudden I get to use him! I get to have this huge (somewhat awkward) powerhouse in my corner! I'm so excited!"
So this is my journey with vulnerability. I'm putting it out here partly to help myself keep tabs and be accountable, but also in the hope that it might help someone somewhere sometime.
What can/has vulnerability done for you?
I watched this video a year or so ago and it struck a huge chord within me. I yearned for the courage to be vulnerable. I was reminded how important human connection was to me and the joy I felt when someone opened their heart to me. I wanted to free myself and shed off the years of practice I had had of hiding my flaws. I yearned to let it all hang out. I wanted other people to show me who they were. I wanted to show other people who I was. No judging, nor shaming. I wanted people to feel safe being vulnerable to me and I wanted to feel safe around others.
I took a risk with one of my dearest friends Lara. I started to slowly shed off the cover and open myself up to her. We got to the point where we wanted to share the incredible feeling of being completely honest to ourselves and other people. Not apologizing for how we were feeling or thinking, especially if it was hard or if it was a "negative" emotion.
In conversing with my sister-in-law, the idea blossomed. She too wanted to share her vulnerability on a more public level. Thus, this blog was born.
The idea that many, if not all, people struggle with this feeling of yearning to be understood, to connect with people and feel validated in all their thoughts and feelings, is invigorating. If other people feel like this and if we agree to let each other feel like this, then so much growth will happen.
We will try our very best to be smart about what we post, what we share and how we share it, but we are human. We are perfectly and wonderfully flawed. We will make mistakes. We will grow from those mistakes and hope that by sharing in our flaws and in being honestly vulnerable we help you to have courage to open yourselves up to the world, in whatever way suits you.
We feel incredibly prompted to share our joy with others. But we feel even more prompted to share our sadness and struggles. We want to feel and share everything. We want to be honestly vulnerable with you. All the time.
Brene Brown said, "And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there's a far greater risk of feeling hurt...I can honestly say that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that I'm standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen."
Two women trying to be vulnerable. We are learning that the imperfections of life are what make it wonderful and real. Here we share our thoughts, achievements, failures and anything else that comes to mind in the hopes that our honesty might help lift another.