How Do I Make 37 Better?

I just turned 37 this past weekend.

Honestly, I think I never thought about my life past kids. I had a plan to go through school, get married, get a graduate degree, and have kids. Now that I’ve accomplished all of that, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do.

I want to make 37 good. I lived 36 in this weird state of not sure where I was. I wasn’t happy with what I was doing. I was set in my priorities for everyone else around me.

I don’t want 37 to be like that. I want it to be filled with things that I can make memories out of. I want to feel like I accomplished something big. I know it seems like a weird thing to want considering in the past year, I’ve been raising 2 kids, managing their schedules, managing a household, and starting a new business.

Part of what I’m feeling is that a lot of that isn’t for me personally. I want to feel good about myself which I definitely have not been lately. I need to do something for me.

So I’ve decided to start a “bucket list”. The next step is trying to figure out what I really want. My feelings have been so jumbled up that I have to wade through all of those feelings to really understand what will make me happy. I also want to be able to commit to something. I usually push back if the thing I want to do takes up too much time or energy. I give up and walk away. I don’t know if that shows lack of interest or lack of follow-through.

I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in a routine where I have a hard time finding what makes me happy. I want to be proactive and really jump in and take the chances I need to be taking.

If you have any bucket list suggestions, I would love to hear them. I’ve been having a hard time figuring this out and the only way I know to expand my thoughts is to hear what others are thinking.

The Itch To Change

I’ve gotten comfortable. I have now fallen into my stay-at-home mom schedule with a set of responsibilities and I’ve become comfortable. My biggest challenge is literally just to find a way to get dinner done before I have to leave for the gym since the time I go is dinner time for the kids.

I know I should be proud of raising children and taking care of my family and etc etc etc. But I can’t shake this feeling that I’m meant for more.

The last time I had this feeling, I changed around my whole life. I left the relationship I was in, my job had just laid me off, and I had just finished my MBA. That’s when I met someone who became my business partner and together, we developed a really great dance show. It was great. It was exactly what I needed at the time and it brought me a sense of fulfillment and contentment.

I have that feeling again. This time, I don’t think I need to make any major changes. I love my husband and my kids and the life we have created. My husband and I have also started teaching dance as a side business and are loving it.

That itch is still there though. I’m not sure what it means or what I should also be doing. I know things I’ve dreamt of but I’m not sure which ones are meant to come true and which ones I really want to pursue. I don’t know if I have the motivation to really figure out what it is that I need. I don’t even know which ones are realistic.

Have you ever sat on the edge of something you know will change you? I don’t know how to quite describe it. I’ll know it when I see it. And afterwards, I’ll be like “Remember when I was talking about this? This is how it happened. “.

To quote The Little Mermaid “I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I know something is starting right now.” (It’s stuck in my head. Thank you, children of mine.)

 

Coping

Life is hard sometimes.

I don’t want you to feel like just because you have everything you physically need that it can’t be hard as well. Many of us deal with emotional issues on a daily basis. And it’s just as important. It’s easy to argue with ourselves and list down the positives that we have and therefore, ignoring the things that are difficult for us. I believe that you should definitely acknowledge the positive but instead of ignoring the negative, find a way to deal with them. Find a way to make it better.

Me, I’m constantly struggling to feel my value in this world. My brain can argue with my heart and list 100 different ways I am valuable to many people. But I really need to feel that contentment. I have been diagnosed with depression at least once in my life. I haven’t felt the need to see a therapist again about it but I am aware that I probably am fighting against it constantly.

I cope with this struggle by exercising. Not only does it help me get out from inside my head and heart but it makes me feel good about myself physically. Dance is also a big one for me. Just being able to fall into the music and leave myself for a few hours is really helpful. I’m not thinking about anything except what my body is doing. I’m not really thinking about anything. I’m just feeling.

I have a sister who does a lot of coping by being out in nature. It helps her to deal with whatever she needs to deal with in her life. Whether it’s hiking or traveling, just being outside helps you to realize how much positivity there is in the world. I once did a hike where I had no cell service the entire time. It felt good to disconnect and emotionally recharge.

There are a lot of ways to cope with the emotional anxieties that we face. These are just a couple of examples that work for my family.

I hope you find whatever helps you cope.

One Step

Lately, I’ve been feeling a little bit restless. I’m a stay at home mom and while I enjoy doing this, I feel like I need to be doing more. I know there is a next step to my life and I need to find it.

I’ve always feel like I could make a difference in this world but I have to find my way of doing so. The problem is finding the path that it meant for you. There are a lot of  options but I want to narrow it down to something that really helps fulfill me.

It’s easy to fall into a rut. It’s easy to just go day by day and accept life as it is. I felt like I was doing that. I started to realize that I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing anything.

It’s not easy to take the first step into change. Now that I have, I worry. I worry about whether I’ll be able to take care of my kids. I worry about being in a different place after. I worry about if it is okay to put my needs first. I worry about failing.

But since my other alternative is feeling stuck, the first step to change is worth it. I don’t know where I’ll end up but at least I won’t regret it. I know that I’ll have tried to follow my path. And maybe this will be greater than I can even imagine right now.

So for those of you who feel the need to make a change, just start with one step in the direction you are looking towards. It might be just what it takes.

The Need to be Needed

It must be a human thing. To feel needed or wanted. When we stop feeling like that and stop feeling appreciated, we lose our motivation to really achieve something. We lose our motivation to love and to care and to really put ourselves out there. 

What is it about being needed to makes us feel worthy? Ideally, we ourselves should feel worthy because of what we accomplished, not because someone praises us or shows us how much they need us. That idea of “you can’t function without me” is something that really is detrimental to our self-worth. We want to feel wanted and needed. Which ends up being that we need or want someone to want or need us. Vicious cycle, right?

I don’t know if it’s possible to be so self-sufficient that you don’t ever need someone to validate you and your effort. It would be an ideal place to be. I definitely wish I could assess my own actions and not depend on anyone else to let me know that I’m doing a good job or or if I’m a good person. I would expend so much less energy if I didn’t question my value. 

The other angle is that I know what I’m worth and I need others to know that well and when they don’t treat me how I would like to be treated, then that’s not a good place to be as well. 

Where does this need come from? So there are 2 aspects. One is that we need this validation to know we are worth something and the other is that we need this validation to know that we are being treated right. 

One day, I hope that I don’t have the insecurities to need validation to know my self-worth. I will always use it as a standard of measure to know that I’m being treated as I should be. 

How Do You Break Out of That Funk?

Yesterday, I had a friend text me. She was going through something I have way too much experience with. There is a point where you feel like you’re alone and nothing is going right and you have no idea how to get out of it. It’s a hard feeling to break out of and it definitely takes a lot strength to do it. 

When it feels like you aren’t headed anywhere and that no one understands you, it’s important to try to remember that this is how you feel in the moment. It will pass. As someone once told me “it will get better”. Then, it’s good to distract yourself with something that will at least temporarily alleviate that feeling. A few things that work for me are reading through inspirational stories on a few websites (makesmethink.com, The Secret website), communicating with people, and some sort of exercise. Trying to picture my future,writing, and making gratitude lists also help a lot. 

Emotions often cloud our common sense. And while it’s definitely a good thing to be in touch with what you are feeling (it’s what makes us human), it does help to put things into perspective where you know that this is something temporary. I really respect those that are eternally optimistic. It must be amazing to always have hope and feel that way. I also know that I am not that person. I have the days where I can’t imagine that anything is going to get better. It’s hard because my logical brain tells me things have already gotten better for me. I just need to recognize and appreciate them. 

Yesterday, I made a wish. I wished that I could appreciate all the positive things in my life. And that’s my goal. There are things that could improve but there are so many things that are already the best they could be. I have to trust that the things that need improvement will get better because I want them to, because I work hard at appreciating everything else. 

Getting out of that funk isn’t going to happen because the world owes you something. Getting out of it is going to happen because you owe it to yourself. Enjoying life is something we should do seeing as we only have one (unless you’re Hindu and reincarnate). So try to enjoy the little things today. Try to see the good in the madness of this world. And share it with the person next to you. Sometimes, all it takes to change gears, is someone acknowledging that you’re there.