So I took what felt like a long break from writing and blogging and posting and all that jazz. I needed a break and to take a step back to figure out whyyy the heck I wanted to blog/write and why I wanted to put stuff out there. The trend of blogging hit like a damn tidal wave. I’d been blogging on and off since my early college days just about random stuff. Relationships or lack of, deciphering the college aged male and what makes them tick or IF they were ticking at all… I enjoyed taking my experiences and those of my closest friends and leveraging them into cheeky Sex and the City-like posts where I’d end it with a thought provoking Carrie-like question. Now, my blogging has taken on a different tone and perspective mainly due to the fact that I’m now a wife, mother, and full-time employee at a wonderful world renowned university. Well, all that being said I began to wonder…who am I appealing to now? (Did you catch my Carrie vibe?)
Obvi there aren’t any fun scandalous dating escapades to rehash- we’ll none of mine at least! But I needed a break to refuel and reflect on what I wanted to write that would positively contribute to someone’s day. Mommy blog? Ok i can get down with that…But not my thing to post recipes and savvy DIYs because honestly I don’t choose to use my time to do those types of things however I will find myself dabbling in both those items on a quiet Sunday. Which I’m happy to post.
Here’s the thing about trends, they can be quite loud. By loud i mean it can infiltrate your thoughts and cramp your style with all the noise of how Sally or Mary are rocking their blog…ok so? Just because they niched down on organizing and taking stellar photos of their white kitchen doesn’t mean you need a white kitchen to write about. Make sense? Clear the noise. I had to clear the noise. I had to unfollow people who weren’t inspiring me anymore. I had to stop caring about followers-how many, engagement, posts at certain times, like no. I will post blogs with what I’ve learned or how I’ve learned to tackle the real stuff -to me at least. And those words will reach who they need to reach when they need to reach them. Sure I want it to get out there and help someone somewhere far or next door, but my energy is simply redirected.
So… take a step back from what you’re doing if it feels mundane or you forget why. Even if it’s at your JOB. Ask why you’re in that position at that company.
Ask if it’s serving you as much as you’re serving it.
I sure did and here I am 6 months later in a different position at a different company.
Do yourself a favor and remind yourself why.
Women think a lot. About everything. All the time. We think while we talk. We think while we’re quiet. While we’re getting ready for the day we’re thinking about work or whatever and while we’re at working we’re thinking about dinner and what’s happening with the family. While we’re getting ready for bed we’re thinking about tomorrow and the list goes on. Sometimes, the thinking alone makes me tired more so than the doing. Managing thoughts is like herding cats. Damn near impossible. I feel like most women, especially mamas are just web browsers with a kazillion tabs open. And sometimes it’s humorous and sometimes quite impressive, but sometimes it’s neither and can feel quite isolating.
We tend to overwhelm ourselves with the thoughts of it all that it just becomes so difficult to manage that we become tired and exhausted and irritable, when really we have to learn to organize it and turn it off. Yea easier said than done, but there are ways to give that highly functioning gray matter some rest. Self care for the brain. Brain care. Too far? Ok ok. But I’m preaching to the choir here. I’m the reigning queen of thinking, overthinking, and everything in between. So I have an extremely hard time even keeping a planner let alone a to do list.
Here goes my tips for management:
- Go outside. Alone. Breathe in slowly and just chill for 10 minutes. If you don’t have 10 minutes, you have a bigger problem!
- Journal. However this looks keep a planner, bullet journal, whatever. Writing thoughts is high therapeutic and many therapists recommend this for people struggling with anxiety.
- Drive with the music off. I know this one is weird. But sometimes as a mom, driving to and from work is the only quiet time I get these days.
- Pray and meditate for guidance throughout the day. This can look very different for everyone, but for me my prayer is very conversational and my meditation and just repeating something i need. Strength, serenity etc.
- Ask for help. Ask for time. Ask for what you need. Say what you need. Don’t expect your man to be a mind reader and then get mad that he didn’t just know you needed whatever it was you needed. Speak up! Being the gardener is hard work… it might be time to be the flower.
I honestly hope this helps and I hope this lets you know that if you’re one of those that can’t seem to just pull it together sometimes, you’re not alone.
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.
One of the many reasons why my interest has been peaked surrounding the royal wedding is that I get to be alive when history was made. The royal wedding has taken the world by storm and a global interest has been invested. I usually have no particular curiosity in the love lives of others but this story has peaked my interest for many reasons. First of all, Meghan is beautiful and bi racial. BI RACIAL. Not black. Not white. But both. And she is the first bi racial princess for the UK. She made history for mixed women all around the world! She and Harry represent an archetype unequal to any other and a pivotal moment in what we can mark as a sign of significant change.
Tradition is a beautiful thing and I would consider myself a traditionalist. But tradition does not mean that our hearts and minds should be closed to change and growth and opportunity. Had the Queen denied this union, she wouldn’t have been apart of a historical moment and just when parts of the world are turning their backs on broken ideals, difference in culture or socioeconomic status for lack of understanding, she made a monumental decision to uphold tradition while welcoming change.
Was their road easy? Probably not. Will it get easier or will the negative talk of the way it “should’ve” been ever cease? No. But behind all the negative and above the noise, stronger people rise and the world still watches. Here’s to change in the horizon and a couple of cute mixed royal babies!
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?
I was having an off day at work, like the kind I could’ve resigned in a moments notice just on a whim of being in a bad mood. But I said to myself “fake it till you make it”. It was almost out habit I used the phrase to pull myself out of my funk, but lately I’ve been in this mood where I dissect the meaning of things that are said a lot or used a lot. At first that phrase comes off a little harsh, it feels insincere or that you’re promoting a sense of pretending reality is something that it’s not, but I spent a little time unpacking this expression and had kind of an “aha” moment. (Thanks Oprah for that new term that I’m obsessed with!)
Faking it does not have to mean you pretend reality isn’t happening or it doesn’t have to mean you’re exhibiting a false perception of yourself. I choose to look at this as shifting perspective. I choose to act as though my prayers have already been answered or behave as though the day, whether it’s sunny or cloudy, can still be a good day. So eventually, faking it becomes real. You’ve created a habit to look at the bright side or realize that there is a silver lining to everything. I mean everything. If it’s not obvious-make it your mission to find it. Only then will perspective shift.
Mindset is everything. Sometimes we get stuck in our heads and make things way more complex than they need to be, but it might be a good time to get back to basics and learn to change perspective. The power of choice. Sometimes it’s nice to just reel it back in and remind yourself that it isn’t fake it’s a choice to reinvent your thought process and speak it. Because once you speak it, you believe, you live it.