If You Aren’t Happy, Change It

We have all probably gone through a time where we felt stuck and didn’t know how to get out of it. We all know that person who complains about the same thing over and over again.

Me, personally, I didn’t necessarily complain. I just fell into a deep, dark depression while pretending everything was okay. And then, I’d explode and cry and be extremely┬áconfused on what I was supposed to do. Then, I would fall back into the same cycle I was in before I exploded. It was never-ending.

After going through that a few times, I realized that nothing was going to get better just because I was dealing with something I didn’t like. Things didn’t just fix themselves. I had to fix them. I had to change something.

Change is hard to make. We all get used to the way things are or the way we think they are supposed to be. One thing we have to realize is that there is no set plan on how to deal with something. What works for one person might not work for another. We are allowed to adjust our life to make it a happier place for us to be in.

Sometimes, these changes are the biggest decisions you will ever make. One of mine was to leave the college and major I had chosen and move back home and attend a local college with a different major. It took me a year and a half and a lot of depression to figure that I was not supposed to be at that school, doing what I was doing. I have never regretted it.

So take the leap. If you are stressed about something or unhappy about something, change it. Figure out a better way to deal with it. Don’t just accept that this is the way life is and this is the only way it has to be.

Having a Family: Commitment or Sacrifice

– By Anonymous

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights – Pauline R Kezer

In reflecting on my life in the last 5 years, I see myself as a different person than I had envisioned. I knew children would change me and change my lifestyle, but not in the way it has. 5 years ago, I drew my energy from being around others, from being in social situations, and from conversations with my family of friends. I swore that this wouldn’t change by having children. Fast forward to now and I re-energize by having moments of quiet time those late hours when I’m awake because my 4-year-old is having nightmares, those wee early morning hours when not a soul is yet awake in my house, or those minutes when my office door is closed and no one comes knocking. When did I change from being an extrovert to an introvert?

Recently, it has been brought to my attention that I’ve been hiding in a cave of sorts. Whether it was a conscious or unconscious decision to limit my interactions with others is unclear; what is clear is that I’ve made some lifestyle changes and am re-evaluating and prioritizing those important things in my life.

I talked to several people during this enlightening time and have come to the conclusion that some people perceive the time spent with young children and limiting “mommy time” – time away from the children – as a sacrifice: a sacrifice of the self. Others perceive this time as a commitment. I count myself in the camp of those who consider it a commitment. Growing up, I saw my cousins allow their parents raise their children, giving more of themselves to their social lives and career ambitions. I never wanted to be the parent who relied so heavily on grandparents. I firmly believe that my children should know me as their mom. I am also an ambitious career woman (which also adds guilt because I spend so much time away from my kids) so when I am home with my family, everything else gets shut off. No text messages, no phone calls, no tv. I am committed to being “mommy” which means I get to have dance parties with my kids before bed, read stories, and enjoys tickles and giggles. Please don’t misunderstand. There are also moments of frustration but I’m committed to helping my children work through tantrums, fights, and experiencing such intense emotions.

Did I forget to mention my role as wife? I also have a firm belief that without a solid foundation, whether that is as a single parent or as a two parent household, parenting can go south real quick. So when the kids are asleep or entertaining themselves, I work on making that foundation as solid as possible (in addition to completing chores such as dishes, general cleaning and laundry).

So commitment or sacrifice? I suppose that is in how one perceives the various roles a woman plays when she becomes a mother (or the roles a man plays when he becomes a father) and also depends on how one chooses to prioritize the different aspects and responsibilities in his or her life.

I have changed and I am committed to my family. I’m not here to judge those who choose a different way, I’m just asking to not be judged for choosing my way.