Years ago I worked really hard at intentional living. The words I spoke, being fully present with my kids, the way I responded to situations, how I spent money.
Definition of intentional : intentional: Done by intention; on purpose, deliberate
Definition of intentional : Done by intention; on purpose, deliberate
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The kids are growing, I’m changing, life was hard to live at times, and I stopped doing the work and started doing what seemed to be easier.
I worried more about pleasing people and less about how what I was or wasn’t doing affected me as a woman and mother. It hasn’t been good for our family dynamic. I put events, work and other people before my family.
I started trying to keep up with the Jones’s, and I started reacting instead of responding. Then I became angry when all my attempts at trying to have more things and be someone else didn’t give me the results I wanted.
I wasn’t sleeping or eating well, often cranky and unable to focus. During that first week of January, I put Marie Kondo’s book The life-saving magic of tidying up on hold not knowing she had a show on Netflix. I was the 6th or 8th person in line so I ended up coming across the book Soulful Simplicity. The concepts resonated with me and helped me understand my old thought processes that lead to the decisions I made in the past. So I’ll be using some of the tips I picked up from that book to help accomplish my goal in living out my word for the year. Intentional.
First step for me…
Cut out the unnecessary noise: I haven’t been using my personal Facebook for weeks now, only my blog page, and I’ve been getting better at taking social media breaks in general lately. My mental health and family life is much better for it. There is no rule that says we have to be connected to these online spaces 24/7.
With that said, I’ve been thinking about re-opening The Mahogany Way group page over there. As I said in my previous post, people want to feel connected and for some, one of those paths is online. Using the group would be good for me as well, because it would be a place to gather with like-minded women and mothers to talk about the magical moments and the challenges we face.
Making room for creativity: For years I often pushed creating to the side, or made it last on my list. I had to do real work first, and if there was time left, then I could think about doing what I enjoyed. I am told quite a bit that I have a gift for writing and photography, and I’m finally starting to see and believe it, so I’ve promised myself to work on improving and doing more of both. That is going to look like blogging more often, sharing our day to day and talking more about what I do as a blogger and influencer, and the how.
All with the help of Grammarly, the world’s best grammar checker. I use it on my desktop and phone. It has helped me feel more confident with writing. I also like the emails I get telling me I’m quite the word-wonder. I use more unique words than 52% of Grammarly users :)
I would also like to start guest posting on other sites, or looking for places where I can be a contributing writer.
I’ve also been looking into joining Clickin Moms online photography community. I’ve followed a couple of their mentors on Instagram for about two years now, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about their classes and photography workshops from various members.
I didn’t sign up for years because I felt like there was no way I could ever be as good. Then this happened and it was just the boost I needed.
I’m no longer afraid to say that not only do I want to, but I know I can make a difference and a career out of doing the things I love.
Establish a new home rhythm: I tried cutting back on a lot of things at the beginning of 2018 and within a few months I found myself trying to do ALL THE THINGS. I realized I set the same goal for the beginning of this year and I’ve done the same thing again. We live in a society where being crazy busy and exhausted are worn as a badges of honor. Slowing down is seen as lazy and less fun. Well, I’m no longer here for that line of thinking and way of living.
Life seems to be slower during the winter months. There are pros and cons to this.
Pros: It was easy to implement a daily quiet time. It started with everyone spending time in their rooms for 10 minutes, no electronics. I’ve increased the time to 20 minutes and we’ll move up to 30 soon. It has been a sanity saver! The kids can read, journal, doodle, or lay on the bed and think, and I do the same. We also have family game/movie night during the week. I would really like to continue the quiet time throughout the year. It’s nice being able to reset in the middle of the day.
Cons: The weeks and weeks of cold and gray can be so depressing. We’ve had ice storms, snow storms, temps below freezing. If that wasn’t enough, we got hit with virus after virus throughout this month. It’s been rough to say the least.
Slowing down and not feeling the need to constantly be running around town has felt so good these last two months. My kids have asthma, food allergies, allergy shots, and one is getting ready to start phase one of orthodontic treatment. It is very important that we have down time in the middle of our full life.
Self Care: The majority of my time is spent meeting the needs of everyone else. I’m one person doing the work of two and have found myself needing more than coffee breaks lately. I had been thinking about trying Yoga around the holidays but didn’t start until last month. I found Yoga with Adriene on YouTube and I love it! When I’m consistent with it, I feel less anxious and sleep so much better. What I love the most has been discovering how strong my body really is. Now that we’re done with the February sickness, my plan is to add more cardio and weights.
Getting better at time management is a must. I work and feel better when I have somewhat of a routine. If I want to make room for creativity, then I need to manage my time better.
Wearing a full face of makeup isn’t my thing, but I do enjoy a little. My plan is to make a trip to Sephora in the next month or so because I’m super excited to try Rhianna’s Fenty foundation. I had my eyebrows threaded the other day. That may seem small or frivolous to some, but it made me feel like a new woman. I asked my girls if ‘eyebrows on fleek’ is still a thing.
Self care needs to include taking care of myself beyond the obvious, such as watching how I spend money, waking at least an hour before the kids,
making time for new relationships and nurturing the ones I already have.
Those are all acts of self care.
Last but not least…
Create a family manifesto: Who are we as a family? What are our core beliefs and values? I want to either write this out and frame it or find a plaque to put on the wall in a high traffic area where we will see it often.
I also want to come up with a mission statement for myself. Who am I? What do I want?
This may seem like a lot but I’m looking at this as a process and something to work on throughout the year.