The frustrated, unhealthy, non writing, wasteful, (complaining), out of practice yogini…

I keep circling back to the same things. Like, “I want to write a book”, “I want to have a regular yoga practice”, “I want to eat healthier”, “I want to get better at saving money”.

Want, want, want. Stop wanting, start doing! How hard can it be?

Well, very, apparently, since I never seem to “get there”. Year after year, my resolutions (dream, goals, whatever you wanna call them) are the same.

In one way, I suppose that’s good, I have a clear picture of what I want to achieve.

What’s frustrating is that I can’t seem to make it happen. I feel stuck, and I want to get un-stuck. I want to feel excited about writing, I want to crave kale and chiapudding, I want my body to itch for yoga and I want to be able to not care about buying new, unnecessary stuff.

Sometimes I get it right, for a little while, I feel motivated and inspired and I make plans and start out, and I think THIS TIME! THIS. IS. IT!

But it never is.

WHY?!

Please, universe, give me the endurance to make lasting changes and move forward. Let me become the person I know in my heart that I can be.

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A new take on habits

Habit. The word has always had a bad ring to it for me. I’ve been focusing on my bad habits, breaking them, changing them, getting rid of them all together.

Some of my bad habits have included; eating too much candy (because yum!) too much impulse shopping (see something on sale, have to have it), watching too much television (so easy) leaving the dishes/laundry/all chores for “later” (I know it sucks but I do it anyway) and on that note, procrastinate, pretty much everything, always. Also, making a coffee every time I’m in the kitchen (SO much coffee) eating a piece of chocolate every time I have a coffee (um, yeah, not ideal) cooking the same lame food over and over again (easy peasy, and boring as f*ck). I could go on, but I rather not, to be honest, this is fairly depressing reading even to me.

The law of attractions states that what you focus on you get more of. So focusing on my bad habits (even if the focus is to try to break them) invariably leads to cementing them even more. Yeah, not good!

So I’ve decided to try a new approach; instead of trying to get rid of the bad habits, I’ll focus on cultivating good habits. For example, if I want to cut down on my candy eating, I will try to create a habit of eating regular, balanced meals that fill me up, yummy food and lots of greens, so that I don’t get that craving for sweets in the first place. If I want to stop spending money on less-than-perfect sale “bargains” my new habit will be to create a capsule wardrobe where my motto is “quality over quantity” and if I can stick to that new, good habit, the old one will automatically fall away. If I want to drink less coffee, my new habit could be to drink green tea (yeah no, I know, that’s never gonna happen)

So, my strategy, crowding out the bad guys by bringing the good guys to the party instead!

 

Just keep swimming

Sometimes I feel grounded, and everything flows effortlessly. Making good decisions comes easily and I have this constant feeling of contentment and gratitude. The food I eat is healthy, and if I eat treats I really savour them. My clothes fit me perfectly and I feel beautiful when I look in the mirror. When I get an hour or two to myself I’m drawn to my yoga mat, my journal or a good book. Life feels graceful, beautiful, vibrating, rich.

Other times, when I don’t feel grounded, it feels like I’m stuck up on the surface of my life, incapable of diving in and experiencing all the goodness that I know is there. I overindulge on comfort foods, which leaves me feeling bloated and uncomfortable. I feel stressed and bored simultaneously, tend to get into fights or disagreements with my loved ones, and my alone time is spent binge watching TV or scrolling though things online that don’t really interest me, leaving me with an empty feeling.

These are the two extremes of the spectrum, a lot of the time I’m somewhere in the middle, that place where life is life and it’s good, not amazing and not terrible, it just is. However, I would like to spend more time on the “higher frequency”, where I feel grounded and connected, energized, happy and grateful.

The other problem is that when I’m there, after a while, I get distracted. I start to think about things I’d like to buy, changes I want to make, and all of a sudden I find myself drifting further and further away from serenity and satisfaction and end up back on the sofa, remote control in one hand and mobile in the other, feeling bored and stuck again.

How can I make contentment a way of life?

It reminds me of when I was younger and I wanted to lose weight, trying different diets and workouts. The actual losing weight wasn’t that hard, but every time I hit my “goal weight” it wouldn’t be long before I had stopped the diet, cut down on the exercise, and gained the kilos back and maybe a little more. The difficulty was always more about keeping the weight off. Finding that elusive balance, the sweet spot where what I ate and the way I moved kept my body in a shape that I was happy and comfortable with.

I did find that sweet spot, so I know it can be done. And I suppose what I’m trying to do now is to find that balance, not where it comes to weight, but in life in general.

Hopefully one day I’ll get there, and in the meantime, like Dory says so wisely in Finding Nemo “When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming!”

 

 

Let it go

I read a blog post the other day where a young mum (I say young, because she is younger than me) asked if you have to “give up your own life and all the fun stuff now that you have a toddler” and someone else replied in the comments that “yes, probably, at least for a while”.

Every now and then this is something that I really struggle with. I don’t want to give up all the fun stuff! At the same time, what I want most in the world, more than anything, is for my kids to be happy! I think that’s what all parents want. So how do you find a balance? Can you have the cake and eat it too, or will life forever be a slightly dissatisfying compromise from now on?

I find that for me it’s super important to focus on all the things that I can still do, prioritise, and really appreciate the little pockets of “fun stuff” that I actually get and not think too much about the stuff that I’m “missing out on”.

So what am I missing out on? If you ever came near a self help/personal development book you’ve probably read a variation of “what would you do with your life if time and money wasn’t an issue?” For me the answer to that question has always been (and will probably always be) TRAVEL! I love traveling! I have done quite a bit, but wish I’d done more. There is so much to see in the world, so much to explore and learn and experience. But with a baby and a toddler and living off of one income (because a Swede and a Kiwi living in Australia are not entitled to any financial help from any government, unfortunately) and also living in the second most isolated city in the world (Perth), well, traveling just isn’t on the cards for the time being.

Traveling is my “big thing”. Little things that I feel like I’m missing out on is; relaxing brunches with my girlfriends (worked with a baby, not so much with a toddler), hanging out at the beach, browsing second hand shops for hours, going to yoga class, SLEEP INS, going out for dinner/drinks/dancing, having the house tidy for more than 30 seconds at a time, and just being able to do things on a whim, not having to plan and be organised all the time.

I can see that these are luxury problems. I don’t need to do any of these things. But they are things that make me feel free and happy to be alive. They’re fun and I miss them sometimes.

BUT, like I said, I’m trying to focus on what I can do. So if I can’t go out for brunch, maybe meet up for a coffee in a park where the kids can have a play? Or go for a walk and catch up that way? Or, if my partner is at home, leave the toddler and just bring the baby, to brunch/dinner/the shops. Take an online yoga class. Fill up the little paddling pool we have and sit in the sun outside our house, not the beach but a bit of vitamin D at least. Cherish the few mornings when my partner get up with the toddler and the baby falls back a sleep and I get to snooze till 8am (the closest to a sleep in I’ve been for the last year and a half). Really enjoy these things, and remember that this won’t last forever. There will come a time when the kids are older and I will miss going to the playground (I know, I have a hard time believing it, but I’m told this will happen).

Another thing I think is really important is to not give myself a hard time for missing these things. I know being a parent is a blessing, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. But it’s still okay to miss the freedom and lifestyle of pre-parenthood too, that doesn’t make me a bad mum, or a bad person. But I try to not get too caught up in it, it’s like missing other fun times in life, like high school, or backpacking in India or living in London, I loved all those times, I can remember them, miss them, but recognise that that was then and now is now, and then focus on being grateful for what is, and for what will be. There are pros and cons to all things and to all times in life. If I was still single and backpacking around the world, I would most likely have a great time, but I would probably also be longing for a relationship and a family.

I guess that my conclusion is that we can have everything we want in life, just not all at the same time. So on the days when I feel like life is over and it’s all dirty nappies and screaming and the theme to Frozen on repeat (a legit tool of torture), I try to remember that this too shall pass, I give the kids some extra cuddles (even if they’re trying to pull my hair out) and I focus on giving myself some extra love too. Maybe I get a good coffee, talk to my friends, have take-away for dinner instead of cooking, do a face mask in the evening, go to bed early, or, if all else fails, a big glass of wine and Netflix!

 

My happy list

(In no particular order. Except number one, because it is, or they are, indeed, at the top of the list!)

  • Leo and Kit, Bruce, family and friends ♥
  • The first coffee in the morning (actually just coffee, always)
  • Reading my favourite blogs
  • Reading books
  • Watching cheesy American cop shows
  • Sunshine
  • Yoga
  • Good food
  • Red wine
  • Mojitos (and margaritas and aperol spritz and espresso martinis, I suppose)
  • Traveling!
  • The beach
  • Writing
  • Scented candles
  • Going for walks in the park
  • Fresh flowers
  • Listening to podcasts
  • A tidy house
  • Second hand shopping
  • Nailing a good outfit
  • Going out for breakfast
  • Sleep ins (feels like its been forever, unfortunately)
  • Getting a manicure and pedicure
  • A massage!
  • Sparkling water
  • Clean sheets
  • Cashmere sweaters
  • Having a good hair day
  • Wearing hats (if it’s a bad hair day)
  • Salty liquorice
  • My Tiffany’s necklace (that I’ve never taken off since I got it!)
  • Pinterest
  • Browsing in bookstores
  • Home spa
  • Dancing in the living room with my family
  • Journaling
  • Cooking
  • Watching a sunrise or sunset
  • Counting my blessings

 

Because sometimes I need a reminder that happiness usually isn’t in the big and fancy, but mostly in the everyday stuff that can be easy to take for granted ♥