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Sometimes Life Doesn't Go As Planned

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. A day in the life of a mom.

by Natalie, Mama with a Mocktail

I learned this lesson, first hand, these last few days. It was a great reminder that life doesn’t go as planned, but it’s ok! The quote for the month, on my planner, was, "The trick in life is learning how to deal with it."  I guess I should have read that quote at the beginning of the month instead of at the end. 

I had made plans for a small road trip to go see a friend. Road trips were just what I did over the summer. For my 40th, we did 4 states in about 4 weeks and the year before we did 3 weeks all the way from Centra California to the Oregon/ Washington border. It was amazing to see so many places and visit towns just because someone told us they were worth stopping at. Road trips were what I looked forward to, it was why I worked hard the months before - so I could play hard. 

This year, I thought I could go on a few hour road trip. Why not? It was not even fir 1 week and about 5 hours away. But, I couldn’t do it. I was filled with fear, anxiety, and just feeling overwhelmed. I really think it was because I had so much on my plate the weeks before I left. It wasn’t so much the trip, as it was everything else that I had going on around me. There were a lot of unknowns, a lot of waiting around for answers, there were decisions I couldn’t make, and ones I didn’t want to make. Plus, there was stress from work from planning out a few more detailed weddings and having to organize a lot of moving parts. My brain wasn’t working - I couldn’t remember simple things or think of the name of the pink bird that stands on one leg (even though I saw it the day before). 

After a week of that feeling of someone scratching on your chest and not feeling great, I took a huge step back. I eliminated a lot that was on my plate, I said no when I needed to and yes when I had to, I listened to the voice in my head, I got accused of being too distant by a friend, I said no to things so I could tidy up my house and finishing folding laundry, I spent time in the yard, I shut down for a few days, I painted, and I decided to do what was right for me. 

Thankfully, my family and friends were supportive of my decisions. Having to cancel a trip with a friend was tough. Taking a deep breath and trusting my decisions was tough. Not being able to think was tough. Forgetting things was tough. And not feeling myself was tough. 

But, after I made the decisions I wanted, a weight was lifted. I felt better. The scratching feeling was gone. I made sure to be more present. I planned somewhere that was “easier” for me to travel to. I pulled back from work. I balanced what I could.  I cried a little. I drank a little alcohol free wine (while never thinking I had to drink alcohol to survive). But, I also began to realize why I was feeling the way I was. 

 I listened to the universe. (Funny as it may sound.) 

 Life didn’t go as planned, but I’m grateful for having what I have and experiencing what I’m capable of doing. I’m loving myself and communicating with myself. I didn’t have to please anyone, or do something because I thought it would make the other person happy. Before, my decisions were based on doing what the other person in my life wanted. Note to self: you can’t control someone else’s happiness. But, I can be in control of my own happiness. 

 

Lesson #2

When you try to master a hobby, don’t throw out your supplies quite yet. 

 While we were in lockdown, I went crazy with the crafting! If I wasn’t  being artistic during the day, I was probably day drinking lol. 

 I decided I needed to do something besides drinking so I took on a new crafting hobby. I saw all the cute polymer clay earrings on Etsy and after watching hours of tutorials, I decided that I too could be a clay making master. I bought the essentials - some tools, clay, cutters, an expensive rolling pen and a pasta maker. It was a small investment, but I thought I’d learn how to make earrings for myself, instead of buying them. 

 I was ready to make and bake the earrings.  Ok…not as easy as those videos! When I was making the earrings, my daughter was helping me. She made me a cute pair of star ones. It was fun for her. For me, it was disappointment. I should have had her attitude of fun. 

 The fun part didn’t come until months later. I’m not really sure how polymer clay came up, but she suggested that we get it out. There was something about rolling out the clay, feeling it in our hands, and spending time doing a project together. 

Here's a picture of some polymer pigs that we made this afternoon.  

 

So, the lesson is that it's best to learn to deal with what life gives us. I wasn't ready to make earrings, but I was ready to have a fun craft project with my daughter. And, maybe there was a reason why I wasn't supposed to head to San Diego.  I made other memories and learned to adapt, listen to my voice, and have fun while trying something new. 



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