Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Place

Well, another week has gone by and is history instead of present or future. I sometimes wonder as I begin each week how I am gong to get through it, then suddenly, it is over and I feel like I’ve missed half of it in the chaos that is my life. But, I look back and things have been done, people have been met, fun has happened, sometimes suffering has occurred. It just doesn’t seem like I am present for much of it. And that is what is bothering me right now, so I will begin my Five Minute Friday there this week since the prompt is “place”…here goes:

I think of “place” and I immediately think of a feeling rather than an actual location. Feeling in “place” or like you are part of a “place” or in the “right place” has much less to do with the actual physical space you are inhabiting and much more with the feeling that place gives to you. I notice that I don’t often think of myself in those terms in my current state of life. I only really pay attention when I feel the opposite. When I feel out of “place” or like I’m in the “wrong place,” I notice, but comfort makes me lazy in my perceptions. So, today, I want to spend a bit of time talking about a place that has been a source of comfort and security for me lately.

Girl Scouts! My daughter joined Girl Scouts as a first grader. She was late to the troop since I didn’t hear about it at first and I can definitely say that at first, I felt a little out of place. I didn’t know any of the other moms and they all seemed to know each other. Some of the little girls had gone to preschool together and we barely knew any of them. But, my daughter felt right at home almost immediately. I felt like it was a good experience for her and might lessen her anxiety about school, so I was along for the ride and fully committed. When that year ended, the leader was pregnant and told us she wasn’t planning on leading again the next year since she would have a newborn and all the other moms said okay and that they just probably wouldn’t do Girl Scouts then. My heart sank. So, I decided I would become the leader to keep the troop together and make sure my DD had a full Girl Scouts experience. I’ve been a leader now for two and a half years and I love it. When I go to Girl Scout meetings, whether with our girls or the other troop leaders, I always feel like I belong there. I don’t feel out of place or not good enough.

You see, sometimes, I feel like our house is not very nice (it isn’t – we rent a condo and it isn’t in great shape due to animals and children and us). I feel like I don’t value the same things as other moms. I don’t get my hair done at fancy places or go to get pedicures on a regular basis. I am not on a diet most of the time. I don’t go to the gym to workout. I don’t drink wine. I am older than most of the other moms. But, at Girl Scouts, I feel like the leaders are moms like me (probably for a reason in all honesty). They don’t have perfect hair. They don’t go to the gym. I went to pick up cookies from another leader and she lived in a trailer park here in town. She wasn’t ashamed (at least she didn’t seem to be) and I felt better knowing there were others who don’t live in fancy houses with big yards and playrooms (my best mom friends mostly have these things and I always feel a little less than). In addition, these moms are doing things with their girls. They are planning activities, selling cookies, camping out. They are not getting pedicures (I’m sure some of them do that as well, but that isn’t what I experience with them).

I am sure that this is mostly just my own insecurities, but those insecurities are real all the same. And I’m glad I’ve found some “place” where I can feel myself and feel confident and enjoy myself without thinking I’m doing things wrong. Everyone should have such a place. I’m glad that I’ve found my place where I can share things with my daughter as well.

My troop at World Thinking Day this year – they represented Hong Kong!
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Me Messages, Myself - My One Word, New Year's Countdown

Getting a Me Message…

So, I’ve been on this “myself” kick with it being My One Word for 2016 and all.  And I feel like I’m really trying to listen to what I’m telling myself and see the messages that are being given to me by me and the Universe and God and whoever else is on my side.  This morning, I feel like a message is being dropped on me like a ton of bricks and it only reinforces what I’ve been trying to formulate in my mind the past couple of weeks.

GETTING A MESSAGE FROM

So, what is this message?  Well, a couple of weeks ago when I was thinking about how to tell my DH and DD what I wanted for Christmas/the New Year was to “turn over a new leaf” as a family so-to-speak, I came up with this way of framing the message.  I told my DD, “I want to be a family that takes care of our things.”  And it seemed to click with her.  So, I told my DH the same thing and it seemed to click with him (he even made the bed and cleaned out his car yesterday!).  It was so simple, but so much more positive than saying what I wasn’t liking about our lives.  So, I’ve been trying to come up with three “core” things – the first is being a family that cares for our things.  I’ve been trying to figure out the second and third.  I know I want one of them to have something to do for “doing for others,” but I have not figured out the phrasing yet.

So, anyways, this morning I came across this article from James Clear and I felt like it was a message that I was definitely on the right track and I need to apply this same positive message to MYSELF.  Who do I want to be as a person?  “If you want to change your life, change your identity,” he says.  And I realized that last night I commented on a blog post that I could relate to her “trying to figure out who she was,” and that I’ve been struggling with my identity for quite a while now.  I don’t know if it is so much changing my identity as FINDING it, but it is key to achieving anything.  “The limitations in your life are framed by the box of your mind.  If you want a new life, then start building a new identity,” the article goes on.  Yes.  I have limited MYSELF in the box of my mind.  I have limited myself by NOT having an identity.  So, that was the FIRST message…

Then, immediately after that, I bump into this article on Mydomaine.com which at first seemed unrelated, but then the opening paragraph says, “…as anyone who has set out to achieve something knows, believing is more than half the battle. Believing can translate to achievement, and that’s some magic right there.”  Yeah, believing you ARE who you WANT TO BE is the biggy.  After knowing your identity, you have to believe you are just that!  And then you can live it.

So, what does all this mean?  What do I want MY identity to be?  How do I start living that identity out as MYSELF?  Those, my friends, are the questions I hope to answer, and answer confidently in 2016!  I’m pretty excited as I feel like this is such a simple, but also complex thing to realize.