I’ve been compiling a small list of things that I’ve learned about myself over time. Nothing super crazy, but some things that you may not know about me and some things that kind of surprise me now that I take the time to reflect on them. I waited until there was a nice even number-so here are the 10 things…..
1) I used to think that staying at home with your children was an easy job. I grew up babysitting and have been around a ton of kids my whole life, and I used to think that being a mother would be so comfortable and kushy. I used to think that the love would just radiate throughout the house where you would never want to leave and that spending time with your children is all that you would want to do once you had them. I didn’t think that a mother would want alone time, or want to nurture any other passions. And I never thought a mother would choose to work. Not by choice. Maybe I grew up with a mother that masked these things well. Or a woman who was such a good mother (for my early years at least) that I didn’t know the difference. I now understand that mothers come in all types and sorts and that a woman is still an individual after birthing a child. Who knew?! That has been a huge lesson for me over the past couple of years.
2) I am like a protective lioness over her pride. I used to think that the man was the sole protector of the family and home. (I think I grew up in an old fashioned living arrangement or something!) I’ve always locked doors and windows, but after having kids, it has definitely been kicked up a notch in the protection department. It is instinctual like a lioness who fiercely protects her cubs. I am the one that is concerned with our neighborhood, our house safety, and the last one double checking lock up at night. I have thought out plans for every scenario (not like things would happen that way) and will not let anything happen to my family. I think there have been several reasons that have added to my being this way (being held up at gun point, property theft) but overall I think it is because of having children. My husband definitely does his part in keeping us safe, but it has surprised me how protective I am over my family. I’ve talked with many other women about this, and it seems the same across the board.
3) I’m on my neighborhood community association board. Nerd alert! Just kidding. That’s what I used to think of community association boards. Now I see that they are just full of people that care about their neighborhoods and want to clean things up and bring people together. Our association has been in effect for years now, but our board has a lot of new members with new ideas since last year. It’s nice to be with like minded people who want to contribute something positive to the area we live in.
4) I have become a balanced person (regarding party town). I’m not going to make this a general statement because I still have work to do but regarding how I party now, I have made quite the changes. For those of you that know me, I used to hang with the best of them. Since my high school years I have dabbled and partaken generously in drinking festivities. I am a very social person and would always ‘get the most’ out of every scenario. Slowly, over time I have slowed my roll and seen the light. I appreciate actually enjoying my drinks instead of burying myself in them. I love that I can remember the evening instead of trying to gather the pieces like I used to do. I am not judging anybody, but for me those situations had caused me unnecessary anxiety. It’s just not for me anymore. I think that because of my schedule now, I no longer have the option of sleeping in until 4pm and that has helped change my mind about things. Children and hangovers don’t mix. And three kids and a hangover equal hell on earth. I am not anti-drinking but I am anti drinking myself into a complete black out with 2 days needed to recuperate.
5) I used to think that I was more of a cat person than a dog person. I have had all types of animals in my lifetime and I felt like I had always favored my cats. One cat in particular, my Tigger Boo. I got him when I was 18 yrs old and he was super awesome. I got my dog Akira Bing when i was 21 yrs old and she was also super awesome. But I felt like the bond I had with Tigger was different. After having both of them for many years, Tigger past away first and I thought that the pain that I felt with his loss would be the ultimate sorrow. I had Akira for another year and losing her was the pinnacle of heart ache for me. I now volunteer at an animal shelter and walk dogs for two hours every week. I have the option to work with the cats too but haven’t taken advantage of that yet. I still love cats immensely, but have since reconsidered myself as a ‘cat’ person. I know that I am an just an animal person, but my love for dogs was stronger than I had thought.
6) I think that there is a lot to be said about what you want to do when you’re young. When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian. I was not very ambitious in my younger years so I didn’t want to go through all of the schooling for that trade. But now that I have kids of my own and am able to learn so much about children, I can see that children are so pure and that true desires manifest from a pure state when you’re young. They manifest from true desires and interest not from ulterior motives and outside factors of convenience and opportunity. I thought that I wanted to be a vet because I had a true love for animals. Has that changed? No. In fact, as I get older, I realize just how very much I enjoy animals. I know that things happen in your life how they are supposed to, but part of me does wish that I would’ve pursued the veterinarian route. I know that I would’ve enjoyed that job because it would’ve been working with something that i have loved all of my life….animals.
7) I prefer hand washing to using the dishwasher. Nothing deep and exciting about this fact, but something that has kind of surprised me nonetheless. This is something I discovered when our dishwasher broke for a couple weeks not too long ago. I always thought that the dishwasher was the way to go, but when our dishwasher broke I was washing all of our dishes every day. When I load the machine, sometimes it will be a whole 24 hours before I run it through a cycle. Because we only have what we need and not much extra, I sometimes have to dip into the dishwasher and wash what I need to use. Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely a bonus for the nights that you do use a lot of dishes. I like having everything being washed and ready, and I’m not really in love with the smell that the dishwasher holds until you do run the load. Not too delightful at all!
8) I’ve learned to accept my ‘flaws’ and have chosen to view them more positively as an advantage or as valuable versus a completely negative trait. There are a couple of things that I usually need to address like my anxiety or my hypersensitivity. Usually my anxiety is caused by certain thoughts I entertain in my head and I have gotten used to dismissing them. I have had to change quite a bit in my life because of my anxiety but it has turned out to be for the better. I talked about one thing earlier, which was a lifestyle change which was being affected by anxiety. That has ended up being a positive change for me and I think having anxiety has kept me very aware of my body, so I am more conscientious of what I eat and drink (ie. caffeine, sugar, junk food), which keeps me more healthy. As far as my hypersensitivity, being teased in childhood, condescending people, bad relationships have all contributed to that. It has made me more aware of my feelings and my intentions with people, which has led me to more fulfilling and authentic interactions. This has only resulted in positive things as well. So even though I could look at certain parts of myself with constant constructive criticism, I choose to analyze how those traits have helped me in my life. It has helped change how I look at a lot of things now.
9) Things you observe in your younger years can have an affect on the rest of your life. The examples I had in mind for this point are positive ones. When I grew up my father worked all the time. He worked the night shift for the post office for the majority of my childhood and I didn’t see him everyday or for long periods of time. I would see him on the weekends or when he had off and most of the time he would do the same things with his off time. I would often see him read in the mornings, and he had huge bookcases full of books. He always would take care of the outside yard work, blast his music, and enjoy libations. When younger, I would read and I was in love with music. I wasn’t in love with the music that my dad would play but that came later with time. Hearing Earth, Wind and Fire, Anita Baker, Tina Marie, Michael Jackson and the Doobie Brothers on complete blast was something that I dreaded actually. But as I grew up, and really began to understand the importance of music, I saw why he had to listen to it so loudly. I can appreciate it and I am thankful for it now, because it made music imprinted in my soul and ties me to my father. As far as books go, I have had a nice collection going since I was young and if it weren’t for children, this house would look like a straight up library. The down side is that I am a bit of a paper hoarder, and it pains me to throw (recycle) old papers out because I might want to read what is on it in the future! I have actually found a home for my older magazines though-I have called several schools in the city and they use magazines for the childrens’ school projects. So if you have a stack of old books or magazines, don’t throw them out!! RECYCLE them by donating them to schools so that they can be used for projects and art activities.
10) I have learned the importance of character. As you get older, you make mistakes and do things that you might not have done if given another chance. Sometimes you wish you could take something back, or would have stood up for something that you believed in instead of going along with the majority. Sometimes you compromise your conscience because you are scared, or because you are intimidated by confrontation or being judged. Sometimes you don’t know what to say or do because you lack experience or aren’t sure of how you feel about something. All of these things are understandable and natural….to a point. The point will be different for everyone since some people are more reflective than others. But there comes a time when you can’t continue to fall back on the ole ‘I didn’t know what to do’ cop out. You can’t live your life blaming others or blaming circumstance for your troubles. You can’t say you weren’t given a chance when you had the ability to make the chance happen with some work and effort. You can’t say you didn’t know something when all you had to do was ask or find out for yourself. Grow up. Stop being a coward. Be accountable. Own your words and your actions. Be responsible for yourself and don’t expect anyone else to be. Make decisions and make some moves. Be positive, worthy, and authentic. Do your best and be your best. This will also prevent regret from creeping into your life. Stand behind who you are and own it.
I am no expert and I don’t claim to be. These are just some things that I wanted to share. If you don’t agree, that’s okay, and if you do, that’s awesome. It’s okay with me either way. :) I hope you all are making the most of your time here on this beautiful earth. I know I am trying to.