It’s kind of crazy turning 32. I distinctly remember feeling that this particular age was so far away so I basically felt like I blinked and here I am: grad school graduate, married 5 years, and baby boy that’s cuter than I could’ve ever asked….and turning 32. When I thought about my 30’s I always imagined, I’d have it all together. That there was this grand plan that plateaued at 30 and that was the epitome of being a grown up. Boy was I wrong! And I’m so glad I was wrong.
I am still growing, but I will say since I did enter my 30’s, I’ve learned the art of self-reflection. This is a difficult piece of maturity that can be chilling when we search within to find out who we really are and sometimes we come face to face with the fact that we need to change. I never thought I’d be in my 30’s and be a completely different person and in many ways I’m still that 22 year old girl who can get wild when the mood strikes. But those raw parts of me, the parts that never allowed vulnerability, seeing it as a weakness, yet self-criticism was a ritual for me, I not too long ago was faced with challenges that forced me to look at who I truly was and really just started asking myself, “Giana, is this who you want to be?” The answer was no for the most part, so I changed my habits, my thoughts and perspectives. I realized the power of choice and my GOD was that freeing. We all know we have the choice to do or be or say things we want, but have we really ever taken advantage of those choices and actually made them? So what choices have I made ushering me into the 32nd chapter.
- I have made the choice of happiness. I am choosing to be happy, regardless of circumstance and situation.
- I am choosing my husband-everyday. Because that’s what marriage is. The choice to love that person every damn day until you die. And I happily make that choice. (We’re renewing our vows soon btw! Stay tuned.)
- I choose freedom in faith. My unwavering faith in God knowing He’s got me. No questions asked.
- I choose to create time, instead of complaining that I don’t have it.
- I choose to be present. Making eye contact when my son calls my name, leaving my phone in the other room while I play with him or put him to sleep.
- I choose to pour myself into every facet of life where my passion leads.
- I choose to share. I choose to share my experiences, lessons I’ve learned, the times I’ve fallen. Because mistakes are what make us great. And hiding those mistakes in shame does no one any good.
- I choose to learn. I choose to accept that I don’t know everything and that every moment is an opportunity to grow.
- I choose to be brave-standing firm in who I am, drawing boundaries, and demanding self-respect. From strangers, friends, and family. It’s important to see that there are limits to what we accept into our spaces.
- I choose to see each road block as a redirection to something better instead of using my energy to move it.
- I choose to see every person I meet and everyone in my life as a teacher with a lesson. Whether they see it that way or not. I choose to ask myself what I can learn from every encounter.
- I choose to let my curls be crazy sometimes and not really care.I choose to see make up as an addition to beauty and show my son a woman’s natural beauty.
- I choose to accept the responsibility of being a mother and understanding that sometimes it means putting myself, my well-being, and mental wellness first.
- I choose to be my best everyday and I choose to understand that my best each day can look different.
That being said, hello 32!
We are currently in a state of seasonal bliss. (exhibit A: Us in a standard prom pose)
I define seasonal bliss as moments and time periods in life where you just feel at ease and everything has aligned. I rarely like to get super comfortable in this type of season, but I do by all means enjoy the peacefulness. Post graduation offers us some solitude in the fact that we can expect no major schedule changes, baby is with daddy during the day and at night Josh studies for the boards. I go to work and come back home and our weekends are for recharging and adventure. So here we are. We can expect things to change slightly once he’s on-boarded with his new job and new schedule and then we will need to revamp the setting again. But what can we learn from the last couple of years where we’ve had to adjust to one income, learn to parent, and still stay happily married? I always like to look at take aways whenever the dust settles and seasonal bliss is the perfect time to do so. They help gain perspective and they’re actively setting yourself up for success the next time chaos ensues.
♦♦A few aways from the last 2 years♦♦
1. Expect everything and nothing at all. We expected things to be structured and pretty much laid out and they most certainly were not. It was crazy how caught off guard we were and then just forget it when I started working again I think that’s when our whole world just did a 180. So that being said learning to just expect things to happen along with slight inconveniences. The element of surprise won’t be as strong and you’ll be more apt to respond instead of react.
2. Make peace with the process. This happened later on in the game because literally every 10 weeks when Josh’s schedule for class or rotations changed it honestly enraged me. Illogically of course I realize that now! But I really had to force myself to just accept this is what we chose when we agreed for him to go back to school so that was it. Either I could be psycho and complain or just shut up and figure out the next move. I’m actually annoyed at myself thinking back about what I complained about.
3. The tribe is everything. We really wouldn’t have been able to make this work without some very important and key people. From picking up Noah from daycare to watching him and feeding him just most of it surrounding the care of our baby they helped so immensely. And then there’s the ones that were there for us for meltdowns and disappointments not to mention tears and desperate calls. We all need a tribe that only works to support each other without judgement. The eminence of these few is immeasurable.
4. Be a team!! Oh my goodness the most obvious yet difficult component in all of this! Instead of fighting together we often fought against the other. Of course this came from stressors from work/school and frustration and the overall climate of life at the time, but it is counter productive if not done properly. Always remember you and your partner are here for the same thing working towards the same goal. Never forget that. Be attentive. Be mindful. Be supportive.
Noah is going on 3 years old in a little over a month! It blows my mind how fast time flys and no matter how many times you say that time does fly, you’ll never fully immerse yourself in a moment.
Ever since I went back to work, I was in a constant race to beat time. Until recently, time has been my mortal enemy and we’ve just started making peace with one another. When I went back to work after having him, I spent the afternoon/evening racing home to not miss dinner and bedtime routines. Most of the time, I’d miss the latter and it would just haunt me the rest of the night, ultimately robbing me of any enjoyment I could have with Josh. The worst part? I did it all again the next day. I eventually got tired of rushing about my day and fighting for the next moment, so instead, I chose to manage and leverage my time with baby as much as I could. So how do you take back your time when you live triple lives on a daily basis? Tactics my friends!
- Stop the guilt. In my case, it’s mom guilt. The “I’ll never see..” or “I’m missing everything”. Until you can do something else to change this situation don’t dwell.
- Make a plan for the day and choose one thing to look forward to. Write it down on a sticky or in an alarm on your phone. I prefer physically writing it because there’s power in pen and paper.
- Getting home, change. I can’t get out of my work clothes fast enough. Keep your comfies folded on your bed and ready to go!
- Remember your why. This can change through each season of life, but reflecting on my why keeps me anchored.
I’m always curious to see what others do to manage their time so share away please!
So I wanted to get into seasons with you for a moment. No, not Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer type seasons, but seasons in life. I choose to look at different phases in my life as seasons, because it’s easier to digest that each earthly season doesn’t last forever therefore life seasons do not last. Seasons of life are just varied depending on who, what, and where you are and no one’s one season is the same nor do they occur at the same times.
Personally, I have been in a season of uncertainty more so focused on purpose in career and where I’m headed with what I ultimately want to do. While I already know the what, I am stuck in the “how”. And this is where I find most people become stuck, because the how is so much trickier than the what. When you feel uncertain, the self-talk tends to be on the negative side usually sounding like “why bother”, “there’s no options”, “I just don’t see a way”, etc. I’ve talked about self-talk and how powerful it seems to be mostly for me, and this type of talk is NOT the way to make it to where you want to be.
The beauty of uncertainty, because I’m all about the silver lining, is that because there is no particular way is that you get to create it! You get to create the way for you that works for you. The possibilities are endless when you haven’t done it before because it’s new. It’s not stained with process or opinion of what the “best” or “most efficient” way to do that thing is. So create and make a way.
- Start small. List WHAT or WHERE where you want to be. (easy)
- Brainstorm the how. Write out on PAPER guys not your phone or computer sticky notes. There is magic in writing in your own handwriting and the connections your brain makes to the action. Write all the steps in YOUR mind of how it would be possible for you to get there.
- Turn that brainstorm magic into a list and start crossing them off. It feels way too good to cross things off of lists for me and I just feel like I’m dominating as I draw that line through that thing.
- Start DOING. Action is everything. Inaction is a decision. You are deciding NOT to make the way.
So lean into the uncertainty, but find a way to use it as inspiration and not defeat. See it as an opportunity not a road block and your life will change.
I want to hear from you! What are your tips for surviving uncertain seasons?
This has been a topic so heavy on my heart, because comparison haunts every single one of us. Mostly without admission. The accessibility to view the lives of everyone from our closest friends to complete strangers in other countries has been such a blessing yet can be a curse all in the same stroke. Admiring the pretty postings and flat lays is one thing, but expecting your highlight reel to look the same as another mama or another influencer is just unrealistic. I’m preaching to myself here you guys, because I am guilty of wishing my kitchen looked like that farm style kitchen post that had 1500 likes or figuring out how I can keep my home clean and sparkly while I’m at work for 9 hours even though I have a toddler. Because if mom over here has 3 kids and I have 1 then it’s certainly possible. But no.
What we see are snippets, tiny moments of time in tiny squares that in no way reflect a realistic day to day and if they do for that individual, then more power to them! But you are you! You are in this current space for a reason. Be your own competition. Some days your best will not be the same best as other days, but you are dominating. You come in first because you’re running your own race. Kill the curse. . Maybe you could be better or more efficient, but be better than YOU were yesterday. Challenge yourself to grow and be your own inspiration.
Thoughts can snowball. Try writing down a negative or positive conclusion that you’ve made about yourself. Underneath that conclusion, write down all the thoughts preceding that conclusion. How did you get there? What was the first thought? Identify it and destroy it if it’s negative. Learn to redirect thoughts of comparison that are not serving you. So the next time you’re scrolling and you happen to start figuring out what you need to buy or eat or do, in order for something to measure up to someone else’s reality. Stop yourself. Shift perspective. And honor yourself for who you are and the moment you’re in.