My personal joy and struggle roundup from the past season.
I love to hear about other people’s wins and celebrations.
I’m also thankful for shared struggles.
Nothing is ever perfectly rosey for anyone. At least not permanently. And it helps me to know other people are in the ebbs and flows with me.
There will always be wonderful, bittersweet, challenging, and extra terrible things that happen to us and around us. Sometimes it comes in waves. Sometimes it all happens at once, where there are wonderful things mixed in with painful things.
So how do we find joy in the constant wind changes life brings to us?
No point resisting it. We are alive, and life is ever-changing and colorful.
So, know that beauty and pain are a package deal.
If we accept that the nature of life has continual movement, with highs, lows and in-betweens, we’ll be more grounded when the storms come.
Once we are rooted deep in that acceptance, we can adjust as we go and embrace what is good, adapt to what is tough, and hopefully not be so thrown every time there’s a gust of difficulty or change.
So, I want to share the top joys and struggles that I’ve experienced in the last season.
And I’ll do a little coaching brainstorm to come up with ideas to manage or reshape the difficult stuff for myself. Please celebrate with me and find encouragement from the tough stuff!
Joys from the past season:
Starting “Make It Joy”
I am beyond excited and proud to have officially started my coaching business. I’ve actually wanted to be a life coach since I was about 19. But, honestly, I didn’t think it was a viable career. It sounded like a made up thing for people who just want to talk about dreams and passions with others.
It wasn’t until I met with a life coach for myself that I realized that this was something I should do; that it’s an actual career.
And real, respectable, intelligent people do it….and make a HUGE difference in people’s lives.
I’m tempted to think I wish I’d started sooner. I could’ve been walking in my purpose for decades.
However, I wouldn’t be the coach I am now.
I’ve been through a lot more than I ever thought I would. And now, I’m very proud of who I am and what I have to offer others.
When I was younger, I was good hearted and cared about people. I wanted to help them live life fully, happily, with passion, connection and huge joy.
Now, I’m still that stuff.
Plus, I have the depth of experience.
This includes: lots of failure, lots of fruitless years, lots of changed beliefs, lots of education, and lots of overcoming.
(And I would so so love to help you overcome and be your fullest self too!
Contact me at email@example.com or check out https://makeitjoy.com/work-with-me if you’re curious).
Another joy that’s come from creating my business, is my new love of computery-designy stuff.
In the last season, I’ve gone from knowing nothing and having zero interest in tech-y things to happily creating my website, writing newsletters, blogging, embedding code, linking URLs, and even developing the
“What’s Your Joy Style?” quiz (https://ivlv.me/wqQxb).
Who am I??!
Old skills and new skills have come together and I’ve felt capable, smart, and it’s given me great joy and pride.
We’ve had an unexpected visitor!
Earlier than anticipated, my old friend The Tooth Fairy has graced our corridor twice in the last two months.
And with it, she brought MAXIMUM CUTENESS to our home.
Mada made some drawings for the Tooth Fairy to take and left out a note pad and pen in case the TF wanted to write her back. She also left her a tiny little glass of juice and gummy worms. Ya know, for the road.
Her freedom of excitement, enthusiasm, and delight is such a pleasure to watch.
It’s bittersweet to know Madeleine is getting older. But to experience these moments again (this time as the mom) and to see her in the fullness of her innocence strikes a deep chord for me.
Beckett has learned to walk!
He’s such a doll. I love all of the baby sounds and how fast he races through the house with his toy of the day in his grip. Although, he’s already cost us $300 to have the plumber remove toys he’s flushed down the toilet.
Once he learned to walk, he would “practice” all day. Walking back and forth in the den, watching us the whole time with a smile, just to make sure we were watching his spectacular-ness.
I know he’s our last one, for sure. So I love being with a baby again….and am soaking him up.
Easter in the yard.
I loved watching the babes hunt for Easter eggs. And I gave them my full attention… until, I noticed how awesome our yard looks.
As I was filming Madeleine on the porch, I was struck by how nice our patio and firepit look.
This was a DIY project. And it, just like all our other projects, took way longer than it should have.
Before, it was a bunch of privet trees that were wild, not attractive and it was dead, often wet space.
And I’m so proud we did it ourselves. Matthew was lovingly forced to help me. And Mada got her own wheelbarrow and shovel to help as well. But it’s mostly my baby. Just ask my lower back.
Same goes for the playground and “woodland retreat” that mainly has young plants, but will grow into a restful fern/hosta/hydrangea shady oasis.
The one acre yard was a big factor in our home purchase. But the yard was naked. With almost no plants. These are two of the many projects in the yard that will hopefully bring long-term, green, pollinator beauty.
So I’m quite pleased to have these relaxing spaces now.
The endlessly messy house.
Ugh. Seriously. It drives me bananas. Mada is 5 and Beckett is 18 months. And they are not interested in a tidy space. What is their problem?!
I’ll go through the house and pick up toys, underwear, sparkly Minnie Mouse high heels, decapitated princess dolls, toothbrushes, you name it, we’ve got it.
And I kid you not, within the hour, it looks the same. Cluttered. Like an explosion of happiness and youth.
Our house is cozy-sized, which I love. But if you add up the never-ending laundry, the toys, the English muffins that Beckett throws all over the floor at six feet when he’s in his high chair, it’s a lot to keep up with.
And the milk, ugh the milk. It’s everywhere.
It drives me crazy. And it seems endless.
I can’t stay ahead of the mess.
Plus! I’m outnumbered by small people.
Ideas to find joy in this:
- Accept that this is the phase we’re in. Be thankful for the young years and loosen up my standards and my stress threshold for mess.
- Teach them to put their things away right after they use it. Make it a part of the daily routine.
- Hire someone to help me clean as often as our budget allows.
- Shift to a more minimalist lifestyle, audit the stuff- Do I need eight of the same tank tops for exercise? Do we need the 18 balls in the toy box? Do we need every free toy we get from Chick-fil-A?
This is a biggie. It’s the “thorn in my side,” and it’s a constant, significant struggle for me.
I’ve had back and hip injuries for about 9 years. Which has led to chronic, full body pain most days.
Typically, On a pain scale of 1-10, I’m between a 3-9 on any given day, and it can change quite a lot throughout the day.
This comes with a lot of other annoying symptoms. But the most challenging is extreme fatigue, which can strike at any moment.
I did let this go for way too long. I also had some discouraging advice from a couple doctors telling me I’d just had to live with it or that I should look on You Tube. And there was my own stubborn lack of self-care that suggested I don’t have time to be in pain.
I thought everything should revolve around Matthew and the kids. Taking time to be unwell was a luxury.
I wish I’d had a life coach then.
That kind of detrimental thinking is just one example of why I’m a great coach now.
I can spot it. And I know the cost.
Thankfully, Now I’m working with specialists who are trying to help me discover the source and relief.
But I feel like it’s important to share that this is a constant, mountain of a challenge for me.
I am joyful.
I have consistent obstacles that threaten to take my joy away.
And I’m mostly able to choose joy and peace each day.
You can have joy too. Even if you’ve got some serious obstacles.
One reason I find it especially hard is because I have two small children that need my energy. Mada will ask me to carry her every day and some days I can, and some days I just tell her we’ll hold hands. I wish I could hold her all the time.
But I often feel old, unwell, tired, and don’t recognize my physical self.
I’m not able to give to others how I’d like to in my daily life. My limits come quickly.
It can even feel like a chore to get out and meet friends for supper. ”I’ll have to sit upright in a hard chair for at least an hour??” Yikes.
I notice I’m more tense and less patient when the pain is 6+.
I often rush through putting the kids to bed so I can get to my own rest. I hate to rush through anything with them.
I’m concerned about how I come across to Madeleine. She always asks me to play, but I often say, “Mommy needs to rest,” or “Mommy’s back hurts.” It’s not what I envisioned for her.
And it’s every single day.
What ideas do I have to manage this and bring some peace or joy?
- Carve out time every day to intentionally care for myself- alone. Even if my body hurts, I’ve noticed that I feel mentally better if I feel like I’m actively trying to take care of myself. Taking time to rest, intentionally eating healthful foods, taking a bubble bath or just doing deep breathing is helpful.
- Have a bedtime curfew. Why am I staying up until midnight watching re-runs of Succession? Because it’s really good). Watch a little, then get my booty in the bed by 10:15. Lights out at 10:45.
- Find some people to talk to about this to help with the mental challenge. Talk to a counselor, find a chronic pain community, find a friend who has the same struggle.
- Rest. Take a nap in the day. I work from home and I could nap at 2 for an hour. Turn off the TV, put down the computer, and actually refresh my body with rest.
- Communicate my needs to friends and family.
I kept this pain mostly to myself until this year.
I didn’t want to bother people.
I felt like I had to be tough and deal with it (Putting myself far behind others is a pattern of mine. I’ve worked on it and will probably always have to work on it some.)
I’ve asked Matthew, my husband, to help me more. If I’m in high pain or about to crash, I’ve started telling him I need him to take over or carry Beckett.
Now that he really sees my struggle, he’s been very helpful.
He’s even decided to start his own self-care practice so he can have the energy to step in for me when I’m weak.
I’ve told a few friends and my family.
My dad and sister check in on me very often and it makes me feel seen and loved.
My dear friend, Missy, let me cut out on our date the other day because I was getting a migraine and she was so loving and supportive about it.
Our wonderful group of friends in our small group from church all stepped in to help us with childcare last month when I had to go to the ER.
My mom tries to help clean or lift up the kids for me if she notices I’m tired when she visits.
I’ve had love and offers to help from my brother and sister in law.
It’s hard to admit you need help. But I do need support and I’m so thankful for the close group of people who I can trust with the information (which now includes YOU! ) And it’s been beautiful to see how loving people have been.
There you have it. The latest joys and struggles in my life.
I hope this will help you celebrate your own recent joys, give you comfort to know you are not alone, and encourage you to come up with a few ideas to adapt to your own challenges.