Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I do love a good quote/proverb/tidbit of wisdom.

I find quotes very inspiring.  When I need to motivate myself I often look up quotes and post them where I'll see them to remind myself of my goals.  For example, I came across this quote today while blog surfing and it really spoke to me about something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. The quote is “The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have." The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. Really? I’m sure at least some of the happiest people have the best of everything. But I think the point of this statement is that you don’t need to have the best of everything to be happy just make the most of what you have and happiness with follow. The happiest I’ve been in life was when I was making the most of what I had - which was time. When I was on mat leave I was exercising every day had all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted. I wasn’t confined by a 9-5 job or a five day work week. I went to the park, I went for walks, I visited with friends, I talked to my friends online…it was like an extended vacation...sort of. But quitting my job is not an option so I have to make the most of what I have. The difficult part is finding the time for myself. How can I make the best of what I have when I don’t have time to do it? The weekends are too short and the evenings go by so quickly. Being a mom that works outside the home is tough because my work never ends. Just when I sit down and think I can relax for a few minutes there is something else that needs to get done. What I’m going to take from that inspiring quote is that I’m just going to make the most of what I have - my kids, a supportive family, my health, my job, my husband and be happy. Just be happy.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about the quote “money doesn’t buy happiness”. For many years I thought that it did. I thought this because I had a single mom who didn’t have money and I always thought that money would make things easier for us. But the happiest I was during those times was when I was doing things that didn’t cost any money at all, so this quote has always stuck with me. Money does not buy happiness. Money buys stuff. Stuff you use for a short time and eventually throw away or give away. Making the most of what we have and making good memories is what is going to get a family through a tough time and any hardship.

Another quote that comes to mind regarding money is “waste not, want not.” I love this quote. In four simple words it states that you shouldn’t waste (food) and you will never want for (food). At least that’s the context I always think of as it always comes to mind when I’m cooking or throwing food into the compost bin. I will frequently take the kids leftover’s and put them into a container to take for my own lunch the next day and I’ll recite this quote in my head. Of course this quote could have other meanings. Waste not your time and you will want not for success! Don’t waste your money and you will have saved it for another time when it’s really needed! Indeed a great quote and a wonderful reminder that it’s not wise to be wasteful.

I think the reason I’m thinking a lot lately about money and happiness is because I’ve realized that for years I took money for granted. I bought and bought and bought anything my heart desired and I ended up with a lot of waste. This has changed recently and I’m being more mindful of what is coming into my house. Moving ten years worth of crap will do this to you. I’m buying what I need only and I’m mulling over my purchases much more thoroughly. Not because I’m worried about spending, it’s more that I don’t want to clutter up my house with stuff I don’t need. I have given away a lot of things in this last month in an effort to purge out all unnecessary items out of my home and my life. The next thing on my list is a room half full of boxes – of toys, games, cd’s, and VHS video tapes.  What a big waste of money to buy toys on a Saturday at the toy store instead of going out for a walk.  I'm not doing that anymore, money will be saved and although we will always have waste, at least I'm being mindful of how much I produce.  You can really live without so many things if you really think about it and that's how I'm starting my new journey. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

An incredible journey

Vacation March 2010
I think every mom must go through the cycle I’m going through now. Some sooner than others some later but it’s definitely a big change that takes place in your life and that’s what it feels like to me. What I’m talking about is the transition from being a new mommy to young children and the absolute madness that goes with it – to being a mom of two little girls (and the madness that goes with that). I feel like I am emerging from adolescence to adulthood all over again. I have so many choices to make all of a sudden. I can no longer hide behind the guise of being a busy mom of young children. I feel like I have to lose the baby weight (again) and take a course or find a hobby. From newly wed at 27 to mom at 28, then mom again at 31. And now mom of little girls at age (gulp) almost 36. My girls are more independent now and I find more and more spaces of time where they don’t need their mommy as much. They go on sleepovers, they play independently, they get their own glasses of milk, and sometimes they even dress themselves! This makes me a little nostalgic as I long to carry them around in my arms and kiss their little faces without protests. Now I have to be content with holding their little hands and sneaking in kisses when I can. We just moved to a newer house after being in our first home for 10 years and I think the time is right for new beginnings. I’ve been exercising more and eating well – all in line with my plan to be fit by 40. It’s a new chapter in my life and as I look at my two little ducklings that follow me everywhere and still very much need their mommy but are still so independent. I’m a little sad but I also feel like I’m coming out on the other end of an incredible journey. The journey of the mom of babies to a mom of little girls.