The Key to Happiness is Under a Different Stone.

I haven’t posted here in a long time. Partly due to not having time, partly because I forgot about this, but mostly because I haven’t felt particularly inspired. That’s not to say nothing has happened in my life in years, it’s been quite busy; it more points to nothing notable having happened in a long time. Until today. I  learned a lot about happiness and fulfillment. The kind of happiness I never considered. The search for that happiness. The importance of it.

Sigh… happiness, the ubiquitous virtue, more deeply sought after than money, more misunderstood than calculus.. happiness is subjective and messy. Happiness causes more sadness than a homeless puppy and brings more joy than a box of fluffy kittens. But we are doing it wrong. Happiness is the key we insert upside down and jiggle haphazardly until something happens. It never seems to open the right doors and now I know why:

We simply turned the wrong stone over to find it.  

For so long, people have walked around erroneously thinking: “If I obtain _____, then I will be happy”, “If they would only _____I would be happy”, “If only I could just ______, I would be happy.” NO. That just isn’t it. And it has been said a million times over but it’s true, happiness comes from within. But then the phrase ends. No more clues on how to make it happen, no protips or happiness hacks, just…. start there somehow and wing it.

Today, I met a woman while I was out, chatty little thing who continued on and on in a self-inflating, blissfully unaware sort of way. She went on and on about she is getting a bigger house, she makes great money, her over-privileged children are getting hundreds of dollars in Christmas gifts and they aren’t even out of grade school. How she doesn’t want her precious children going to a certain school because she heard Section 8 housing was going up in its district and she doesn’t want to “deal with the riff-raff”.

I was annoyed then actually a little angry. She had taken no time to even consider the sight of me shrinking into my chair a little lower, my adverted gaze, my comments about how I would love to do those things but I simply work too much and don’t have the money. She continued on asking if my kids did popular after school sports that require both time AND money and dug into me as if she enjoyed being able to do the things I couldn’t. As douchey as it was, it made me realize one important thing: she was smiling, but she wasn’t happy.

Me? I’m happy. I have little money, a full (and then some) time job, two lovely but demanding children/demons at home and a dog that refuses to be housebroken. I trudge through the week waiting for my every-other-weekend break when my demons/children are at their dad’s house and I can be an individual. I have an emotional breakdown weekly, cry for sport and my anxiety kicks me in the teeth every chance it gets. BUT SOMEHOW, I’m happy.

It’s possible to be happy and look sad, be broke, be tired and stressed. I do it all the time. I do it because I found it properly, and when you do that, it sticks with you. Like crash dieting vs. slowly losing weight, I guess. Here’s what I’ve picked up:

  • He/she/they should never make you happy. First off, that’s a huge burden to place on someone’s shoulders. Instead, he/she/they need to *make you want to be happy*. A good friend/partner isn’t going to do the work for you, they are going to make you want to do the work for yourself.
  • THINGS DON’T MAKE YOU HAPPY. They don’t. Trust me, I’ve tried. I shopped away a lot of feelings and you know not one of those things bring me joy. Metaphorically, the clutter of those things I bought because I thought they would make me happy causes more far more stress than they ever did happiness. Stop trying to buy your happiness, you’ll only be broke with a messy house.
  • Your happiness will never actually come at the expense of someone else’s. It might feel a scootch good to brag about your stuff, your house, that yacht your husband’s family owns that you take selfies on and post for accolades. Continuing to raise yourself up by lowering everyone else is going to eventually catch up to you and when you fall to the level you placed your peers, it could get ugly.

I guess the point is, we are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. We are trusting people and things to make us happy for us instead of putting the work in ourselves. We surround ourselves with yes-men instead of finding people who make us want to be better versions of ourselves and it just isn’t working anymore. We are misers and entitled. We are the microwave generation and we need to learn it’s time to do work.

Perhaps next time I post here it will be more light-hearted and less preachy. It won’t seem like I’m some enlightened tool who tried Ayahuasca in college and knows the secrets of the universe. Or maybe not. Who knows?

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Re-(re-re-re-)finding Myself.

Being home for over a week now, and being off pain pills for a few days now, I’ve had some time to get to know my new self and I’m pretty happy with me.

Being home for 5 years with the girls was an awesome gift (even though I wanted to return it some days), but it made me kind of miss out on who I was as a person, I was just mom. All the time. Then I went back to work and had some time to become me. I could do me things, on my time, with people who knew for me, not just “Haley and Harper’s mom”, and it was great. It still is great.

The downside to having a job is I’m always working (go figure). I miss a lot of time with the kids. Time with hubby. Time with myself. Having this time off for recovery is kind of nice because it’s giving me time to meet myself as Emily, not just mom. I feel like this is a really important thing for anyone to have the time to do. Think about it, when was the last time you had nothing to do but be you? I mean yes, I have the girls to take of, and I’m still sore as hell from getting gut like a fish, but I can still just do me right now and it’s awesome. That being said, I don’t know how I will feel about all this free time in another week or so (I can’t really do nothing for very long).

I found out that new me enjoys beer and home made sangria, loves to actually make plans and stick to them, likes a clean house that smells nice, makes fun jokes about everything, hates yelling (crazy mom me loved to yell), likes to play on the floor with the kids (as much as possible now), actually dislikes cooking a bit, is a lot more chilled out than I realized, and loves to have fun. That last one is a big one because while i was home, I sheltered myself. I didn’t want drag the kids everywhere or make everyone deal with a crying baby all the time. Now, granted, my kids are bigger now (it’s been 11 months that I have been back at work) so it’s easier to travel with them and they don’t cry nearly as much as they did, but I never would have realized that if I hadn’t gone back to work.

I was walking around the other night with my Redd’s green apple ale, I had just gotten home from dinner with my dad and I was heading to the computer to blog it up, and it hit me: I’m effing happy. Like, real happy. It kind of feels like I just made a new friend, but it’s me. Weird.

This is good, guys. You should all do this. Just take a week off to do nothing. I mean, clean your house or something if you want, but make plans, have fun, grab a few drinks, and re-discover who you are at this point in your life. I feel like that’s something that everyone should do periodically to kind of keep track of who you are, no? Wouldn’t you want to know? It’s not something that I would have thought to had I not had this opportunity completely accidentally.

Faith, Love, and Ovaries. (my surgery story)

2015 has been a weird year for me. I went through a lot of changes and B.S this year. Some of it was okay, some sucked, it was mostly hard (for everyone), but as always, we pulled through,

I was sick a lot this year. Actually sick. I had pneumonia for my birthday in January, went to the ER with crazy chest pain and found out I had pleurisy in August, then the doctor found a big ol’ fibroid in my uterus, and am now 1.5 weeks post-op from a hysterectomy.

For those of you not lucky to go through pleurisy or know what it is, it’s hell. Like actually hell. It’s an inflammation in the lining of the lungs that causes insane amounts of pain that you kind of have to deal with until it passes in about 2 weeks or so. It’s super uncomfortable and that’s just kind of that. It’s usually caused by a viral infection. Unless you’re me. And have no sign of infection. Boo. Here’s some, probably more technical, info about pleurisy, fyi.

A week or 2 after I went to the ER, my regular doctor sent me for some tests to see what the cause of the pleurisy was. I went for a contrast CT scan and found out I had a fibroid catching a free ride in my uterus. Not cool. A visit to the obgyn later, I’m scheduled for a hysterectomy. It was that fast, sort of. It felt like 4 years, not weeks, between when I scheduled the surgery and when they actually made the incision.

Hysterectomies aren’t what they were years ago when my generations mom’s were getting them, thankfully. Today, most of them are done laparoscopically. This means that they cut a few small holes and do everything with a camera and small instruments that cut and cauterize your insides then they pull it all out through your business, sew you back up, and you’re good to go. Further, they have robotic assisted laparoscopic surgeries that are just so cool, tbh. Da Vinci is the name of the whole procedure.  I linked their website if you are interested. But they pretty much cut the same little holes (I have 5!) and use the camera for the surgery, but the surgeon controls these little robot-like instruments that do a Riverdance in your tummy and crunch up your uterus and pieces and pull the rest through your business. That’s the one that I had. BIONIC SURGERY. So cool.

My surgery date was September 24th, 10 days ago. So far, recovery has been tough. I only recently (within the last 2-3 days or so) have been up and walking around. Apparently, my bladder was stuck to my c-section scar (adhesive disease the doc said), so the doctor cut it free and relocated it back to where it should be. That’s kind of weird and uncomfortable. (why does it hurt when I pee?!) I also had an allergic reaction to the surgical staples (super lucky) so that’s making for a very itchy recovery, for sure. I definitely think this recovery is tougher than c-section recovery was, though.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Surgical recovery sucks either way you cut it (see what I did there?!). I’m not too bummed about not having anymore kids because I actually had my tubes tied after #2 because of all the complications from having type 2 diabetes. Life is still good though because I will be healed and then in no more pain (and no periods, so that’s a plus for real).

Any ladies up against surgery though, feel free to shoot me an email or private message or comment (whichever makes you feel most comfortable) because I’m here for you. I’ll let you know my experiences more in detail if you want to know, help answer any questions you might have for me, or just have your back and remind you that it’s gonna be alright, even though you’re so scared it’s making you a crazy person, because I was there.

I QUIT (and you can, too)

The other day, I posted about how I went back to work after having the girls. It’s no secret that I was a proud stay at home mom. After 5 (really, REALLY long) years, I decided to go back to work. A lot of thought went in my choice, and it definitely wasn’t an easy one, but I made it, and it’s okay. And you can make it too if you want, and that’s also okay

I really feel like being a stay at home mom is such a strong, powerful move that so many people look either down on or up to, but there are few people in between. There are a lot of “oh I could never”s and “I could never afford that”s, a few “that’s the lazy way out”s and people looking at you like you have never done actual work in your life. When you make the choice to stay home, you suddenly have to defend your decision and you have something to prove, even if you didn’t WANT it to be that way. Naturally, making the decision to re-enter the workforce afterwards is hard and all, but at the same time, you have this feeling of inadequacy, like “I tried to mom. But couldn’t”.

Well, moms, I’m here to tell you that if you don’t want to stay home anymore, don’t, The kids will be okay, the house will be okay, things will get done. It’s hard, really hard, to manage working outside of the home and in it as well. Getting a job outside of the house doesn’t mean that you never have to bathe the kids or done epic dinner battle over veggies, it means you have to do both. BUT HERES THE CATCH: you don’t mind it as much. Bathe time dinner comes around, you have normally been whined at, fought with, clean up after, and listened to your ears bled for HOURS and well, when dinner comes around and they don’t want to eat broccoli, you either could care less or broccoli-board the kids. When you work outside the house, you miss the little loops ad you are excited to see them, talk about heir day, and can calmly deal with the broccoli battle. It’s great.

So yes, leaving my kids is hard, it sucks a lot of days when I miss them or miss the school things or work late and don’t get to kiss them before they go to seep, I can’t lie. I don’t mind having the money to enjoy my time with them instead of pinching every penny my husband brought home. vi don’t mind having friends and people near by who I can talk to without having to baby talk or get them a drink.

Moms, I just want you all to know that it’s okay to go back. It’s okay to stay home if you are great with it and you love it more than life itself. Not all of us could swing it. I was getting so fed up with everything that the time I was spending with the kids was spent yelling and freaking out because I was SO. OVER. IT. Now I can enjoy them. Yeah, you’re a little more tired, but once you mom, You can handle pretty much anything. After the huge adjustment, you will get into working mom mode and you can decide from there what you want to do.

Just do you, Boo. The rest falls into place. Either way, if you are taking care of yurt babies and you haven’t killed anymore in your spare time, you’re doing alright in my book!

Hello Again.

Well hello. It’s been somewhere near at lest a year or 2 since I have seen you all. Hope life is good since your abandonment.

Life has been insanely crazy since I abandoned you, but I’m sure you figured that. I’m hoping to be back to blogging a little more frequently than once per year, but I make no promises.

Some quick updates since I have been away. I will elaborate more on these later. Or now, maybe.

  • I quit SAHM-ing. I know I know. I promise to elaborate more on this. I have lots of follow up posts I want to do about this.
  • I have a freaking first grader now. Wtf is THAT all about?!
  • I recently took up drugs. And by that I mean, I became a CPhT (SEEWHATIDIDTHERE)
  • I’m adopting a dog???
  • I have some real shizz coming your way on life, love, and unhappiness.

So yes, I hope you stayed with me, I will try to keep up with you, imaginary friends.

never-let-go-ill-never-let-go-jack

What You Should Know About the Graco Car Seat Recall

First off, you should know that the seats themselves aren’t being recalled for safety malfunction, the belts are. The problem is that the buckles are getting stuck and, in the case of an emergency, kids are getting stuck.

Also, while you aren’t going to get a new car seat out of them, then are going to set you up with some new buckles that will be easier for you to maneuver.

Now, Graco is blaming food and drinks for the malfunction, which seems logical (have you ever seen a kid in a car with food or drinks?!)… but it seems more probable that the buckle feature is a little too secure. Either way, they have some new ones for you.

Check out their recall post here for info on how to snag yourself a new buckle set.

Yogurt: Diabetes Defender?

Huh?

The newest set of  research data is suggesting just that.

According to a few different sources (I’ll post a few below), eating yogurt a few times a week could help ward off T2d. Now, I’m not sure (and neither are researches yet) if this is because people who eat yogurt regularly jut eat healthier in general, or if it has something to do with the probiotics.

Either way, it’s just another reason to eat yogurt regularly. It’s delicious, generally healthy, and good for your tummy, which is open to a whole host of problems because of the ‘beetus (see this article about Gastroparesis).

 

Here are a few links to those studies, for your reading pleasure: