Being Mama, Get Happy!, Health

Are You There Self?

Internal locus of control or external locus of control… that is the question. (a.k.a. are you motivated by outside influences or your own drive) I once wrote a college paper on this subject and was completely anxiety riddled at the amount of research and the new (to me) format that I was required to learn in a very short time frame. I had written only a couple of 10 page papers in high school that were always essay style. My first college paper was a 15 pager in APA format that I had never encountered before. It was a hurdle to be sure. I did piles of research and yes, my outline was 100% essay but when I sat down to actually write I cranked it out in 2 days more or less ( in between other classes). I have never been more proud of an A before. And I still wonder how much I actually understood what I wrote. 🙄

Today the question still pops up in my mind. What motivates me? What is driving the machine that is me? Do I allow whatever others think to cause me to act? Am I operating in my own best interest? And the greater question still, am I living in a way that is motivated by a love for God?

I am by nature curious and introspective. I want to live my best life – all the way. So, I am always thinking about my current methods and what does and doesn’t work to achieve that. Recently I went through a very dark time. I wouldn’t say I was depressed but I had certainly been leaning that way. My body was sapped. I had allowed my lack of personal boundaries and self care to deteriorate me to the point that I was in a horrible state of mind mentally and constantly fatigued. I felt like I was living only to fill others needs. I slept a LOT. As in, if it wasn’t necessary I did not leave my bed. I still loved my family and helping others but my body quit giving and I was flat out tired of other people’s needs ALWAYS being first. To make matters worse, I often found out that those who alway seemed to need something could have very easily completed the task without me. I needed to find my value. I needed to care about me.

Selfish? No, I just needed myself. Everyone else had gotten my help but there was precious little coming back my direction. Something had to change.

And so I did the unthinkable. I quit giving. I stopped being available. I said no. Did I like it? No, it killed me to turn people down. I wanted to go to every birthday and donate at every fundraiser and volunteer at every function. But I began to set limits. Right away my family balked. How dare I not take them here, or fetch this or make that! What a horrible person I was for allowing them to suffer natural consequences as a result of their own thoughtlessness! How selfish of me to make room for my needs in the family budget!

And the horror continued….I stepped back at work, I requested help for seemingly simple things, I relaxed, I rested, I began to heal. I got a lot of questioning glances and a few persistent requests until I finally just said I’m not available all year. I had hung the do not disturb sign over my face and I began the task of rebuilding my health and sanity. And you know what? Everyone survived without me.

My husband is the opposite of me in so many ways. But we both are driven from the inside. His motor runs quite a bit slower than mine but when we are focused on what is important to us it WILL be accomplished. I love that we are both doers. But I had to reestablish my boundary lines even in our marriage. I had to be more careful with myself. In every relationship I drew lines. Some just got the axe all together. I’m not investing where there are no returns. Sorry, it’s nothing personal, I just don’t have the physical energy or the head space for it. After the hormonal tornado that I’ve been through I can see how people can “snap”. Good people, under too much pressure. Too many outside ideas and needs pushing out the person inside.

Recently I had an opportunity to test how firm my boundaries were. I was dumped into a situation and called the offender out. A highly volatile offender to boot. Did I bend? No, I didn’t. I was actually kind of proud of myself. I stood up for me. I valued my time and my rest. I was not going to be forced into doing another person’s duty simply because they wanted me to. Nope, not anymore.

Don’t get me wrong. I want to help. I want to be a part and give all I can-just not to the detriment of my own well being. If you are a born people pleaser then it might be time to re-evaluate. Sooner rather than later. I can tell you from experience it’s not pretty when you omit self care for too long. I hope this helps someone.

Questions for self evaluation:

What is important to you?

What do you value?

Who/what gives back in your life?

How can you invest in yourself a little each day?

What are your limits?

Love,

Veronica

*disclaimer*

If you know me personally – don’t take this personally!❤️

If you know me well, I think you’ll see it for what it is❤️

Being Mama, Family, Farm, Kids

Fair?

This week is fair week. That might mean nothing to many people. But for us that means we are hauling our selves and our goats ( along with all necessary food and gear) to the local fair grounds so our animals and kids can show their stuff. It’s fun, dirty, hot and exasperating all in the same dry and windy breath.

As a show mom it is my primary responsibility to have all kids ( human and animal) fully prepared to do their best. Well, surgery kinda laid me out this year so I was a little weak on the giddy up. No matter, here we are – we made it! We stuck it out and are ready to compete. Saturday will be the auction and it can’t get here fast enough for this mama!

Don’t get me wrong, I love the very essence of animal husbandry and 4H has my whole heart. But, … let’s be real- it has me wanting to kick all my kids out and hide myself in a dark closet where no one can find me. Except maybe the Schwann’s man…and only if he’s delivering those silver dollar bars.

Let me introduce you to the cast of characters for fair 2019 starting with the 4 legged kids:

*Spike* if you could imagine a laid back Cali cool surfer dude in the form of a goat that would be Spike. He loves everybody man! He’s chillax to the max and loves hugs. He’s my favorite and I don’t mind admitting it. My only regret is that market animals have a short life span. Sorry dude, you will be missed!

*Fighty* Mike Tyson who? Fighty has entered the ring! Got food? He’ll fight you for it! Got hay? He’ll fight you for that too! Opening the gate? You guessed it! He’ll fight to be first out….unless, of course he doesn’t want to go out and then he will fight you to stay in. The winner for most consternating attitude goes to Fighty! Yup, everyone is a winner here! 😝 Good thing you’re cute kid!

*Skidder* This is the first time I have encountered a goat with anxiety. Skidder prefers to be restrained in a stall. The more secure the better. In fact, he will voluntarily jump on the grooming stand to be strapped down. It’s the only time he stops hyperventilating….drama much? Oh Skidder…. He also got his name from his habit of falling flat on the ground when you walk him and then going completely bezerk when you try to lift him back up. Skidder won’t be missed😏

Now for the 2 legged kids-

*Boy child of 16 years* Headstrong and physically strong this young male specimen is showing signs of independence and a distinct parting of ways from the matriarchal system. (Read: won’t listen to his mother) in all fairness he is maturing and growing daily. We have had many talks …. a few lectures…. and have learned a lot about each other this year. I’m taking the win here and leaving the goats totally out of the equation. Boom, #winning

*Girl child of 14 years* This lady is observant and able to get by nearly on her own. She sees what goes on and learns from others without much instruction. Which is good because she is also teening out on me at times and not always so receptive to mother’s suggestions *ahem!* I’m pretty proud of her and all that she is learning. Again, win.

*Girl child of 10 years* Um…..well, this one is a first year 4Her and acts like she’s got this thing. She was giving the big kids tips and reminders. I had to remind her that she had never done this before. Didn’t faze her. She is a cocky little bugger. My greatest task with her will be to point her in the right direction and keep the reins in hand.🙄 For her performance really isn’t a concern. Life is her party and she gets freebies from all the booths and candy galore. She’s thrilled. Win.

The problem is….. I am highly competitive. And a perfectionist (albeit I have been somewhat reformed). And I came into this deal with zero experience. Like, I had a cat for a few months once when I was a kid. So, all in all the deck was entire stacked against me. Add to that an antsy teenage son who spends a lot of time out of the house on odd jobs, a major surgery (mine), and 2 out of 3 animals that were impossible even on their good days. 🙄 And have I mentioned that I live in a small town and I know my friends kids are also our competition. It’s tough to smile at your friends successes when your pride is wounded. But we do because we are beyond proud of “our” kids. In this community we consider those who live here our own. And my children honestly don’t care. They see their gains and are content. They humble me and teach me each year that the goal is growth. Gosh, I’m a blessed lady!

So, while I maybe going prematurely gray and legally insane, we are growing, learning and making gains with each new project and venture.

So if you asked me:

Is it hard? Yes.

Does it make me want to run away and hide? Yes.

Is it worth it? YES

Put your kids in 4H folks! You won’t regret it! (Mostly)