Finding Joy In The Chaos
Each day I learn something new from my children. This wasn’t always true. There were days I felt like I was drowning and had lost sight of who I was. I was too busy going through the motions of each day and focused on getting from point A to point B that I lost sight of what truly matters. I look back at pictures of my 5 year old in her first year and feel like it was a blur. I spend time talking with my 15 year old and think when did you grow up?
See I was in survival mode…I had two more babies after my 5 year old along with two miscarriages. I was so buried under diapers, sleepless nights, colicky babies,etc. In these years life became something I was doing not living. Sure, there were some great moments & memories made but I was constantly worried about getting it right or looking for the next milestone that I lost sight of what mattered. To be brutally honest I felt alone and drained.
I wish I could say all that has changed. In some ways it has and in others it’s an evolving process. But as I started to dig deeper into myself and get past the surface I realized that life had to change. It started in small ways with baby steps. Below are some steps that have helped me focus on finding the Joy in my Chaos.
1. I am responsible for my Happiness – I can control whether or not I am happy. Does that mean I am happy all the time, NO! But it does mean that I can choose how I want to react to a situation or circumstance. I stopped looking to my husband, friends, children, shopping, food, etc. to make me happy. I now know how to embrace the beautiful moments in life and let go of negativity.
2. I stopped comparing myself to others – I am learning to Love who I am and constantly challenging myself in areas I want to grow. But if I start comparing my life or who I am as a wife, mother, friend etc. to someone else I stop and redirect my focus. I am a unique person with my own set of gifts that God blessed me with, I need to embrace that. Social media is the hardest for me, so I make sure it doesn’t fill my day or that I don’t waste time mindlessly scrolling. I am working hard to make sure my feed is filled with positive images and is inline with my goals.
3. I look for the Joy in each day & moment – My children have been great at teaching me this I watch them embrace life and live in the present. The only thing they may be concerned about is if we are out of fruit snacks. They enjoy each moment whether it is exploring a new playground, visiting a new city, vacations, or something as simple as getting LOVIN’S ( M’s expression for snuggles). They look at life with such Wonder & Joy! ( K is always expressing how amazing or beautiful something is ….she truly embraces the phrase “to stop and smell the roses” experiencing life through her eyes is a gift)
4. Never Give Up! – This is another lesson I have learned from watching my children. I watch the determination they have until they reach their goal. M displayed this the other day when we went to a jump zone. They had a small rock wall & she climbed it over and over until she could reach the top! Her determination reminds me that no matter how small the task if you keep working at it you can achieve it!
5. Embrace a Growth Mindset – I recently listened to a book on Audible ( The Danish Way of Parenting) and in it they talked about how to teach your children to have a growth Mindset instead of a fixed mindset. As I listened to it I realized that I had a fixed mindset…I was constantly making excuses as to why I couldn’t reach for a goal. I had a fixed mindset that change wasn’t possible. When I let that go I realized that as long as I was willing to keep trying and growing, that change & goals were possible.
6. I learned to Dream Again – When I was younger I had all these dreams of how I was going to travel the world and be this amazing business women. Then life had some curve balls thrown in it and then babies came and I pushed those dreams away. As I worked on myself and embraced a growth mindset I realized I can still dream and with hard work any dream is possible. Here I am embracing and working towards my dream…sure it’s changed a bit but I know I am going to make it happen. If you haven’t read Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis …she talks a lot about this is her book!
7. Create a Vision Board for Your Dreams – I am working on this right now, and I am also learning to say my dreams as if they already happened. This is helping me to stay focused and not give up. So you know…..how serious I am about this here are mine.
I ran a Disney half-marathon
I am an award-winning author
I love who I am including my flaws
I am traveling the world with my family on a regular basis
I am constantly learning and growing
8. Be flexible – Flexibility has been the key for me during this journey. I have learned that everything isn’t going to automatically line up, but if I am flexible I can make any situation work. Life happens, change happens, there are some things that you just can’t control. Instead of pushing against the current try stopping as going with the current. flexibility helps you embrace the chaos.
If you are feeling lost or alone…or drowning in diapers, toddler tantrums…know that not all is not lost. You can find a way to make life what you want. Will it happen overnight, probably not. But take those baby steps even if it means sitting down with a pen & paper to write out a vision for your life. Ask yourself where do you see yourself 2 years from now? 5 years? 10? ….is your life on that path. It will be hard but there is so much joy in the chaos once you learn to embrace it.
Til Our Next Adveture