Thursday, January 30, 2014

Minimalist Momma or How to Declutter Your Life with Babykids

Looks Peaceful, Doesn't It. Totally Not My Home!
Okay, I'm not a minimalist momma, but I yearn to be one. I yearn to look on the landscape of my home free of clutter and JUNK! I am slowly suffocating under the weight of all our STUFF! Now, it seems like being a minimalist with children is an oxymoron, they seem to need a million and one things to be happy...or do they?

If I'm honest with myself, my kids only play with a few of their MANY toys and all the DVDs that we have for them, well now we have Netflix. Their books? They like to read the same ones over and over again and if they're done with it, why not sell it at the used book store or on the list of Craig?

I like to think that I don't have an attachment to most STUFF yet my house is continually filling up, why is that?

#1: The hand me down syndrome. 
With three boys I always figure that one of them will "catch" something that the other has out grown, but at the expense of my sanity? No mas! I vow to whittle down the hand me down collection to a manageable few which will then be promptly stored and placed in our storage area and out of our living spaces.

#2: The can I have a toy malaise. 
When we're out the boys get so excited about having this or that toy or something from the Tar-jay $1 aisle (curse you $1 aisle) and I impulsively just throw it in the cart. And all is well and good until I discover no one is playing with said toy and it has just added another minute to my cleaning routine.

#3: The I might need this disorder. 
Well, I might! But probably not, if I haven't worn it or used it in the last three months, what are the chances that I will? I need to carefully edit the things I have and only keep what I absolutely love.

Here's where I'm going for some help on my Clutter Conundrum:


Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday's Musical Motivation - F.U.T.W. Jay Z

"Don't be good my [brother] be great." - F.U.T. W. Jay Z

Too many of us are satisfied with being mediocre and getting by. But mediocrity is the enemy of excellence. Mediocrity sidles up to you like an old familiar friend when all the while it's trying to keep you where you are and not allow you to grow. 

I understand the siren call of mediocrity because it dresses itself up like safety. Oh yeah, why push myself and it not work out when I can keep doing what I'm doing and be alright. Well, who wants to just be alright? Will you tell your children to settle for alright? Because that's what being mediocre is, it's settling.

Don't be happy with settling. You can grow yourself through change. And those changes don't have to be big (at first). Start small. Research that business idea you've been thinking of. Start saving a dollar a day for that trip you want to take. Once you start making small changes and seeing that the rug hasn't been pulled from underneath your feet, you'll be empowered to make bigger changes. And before you know if you've left Mediocre Lane and are pulling into Excellence Drive.

Now, you're saying, but what if I change and my spouse (friend, sister, brother, mother, whoever) doesn't change? What will happen then? Oh, sure some people will resist your change, they'll want you to waddle in mediocrity like they are. Why? Because every time you attempt to be great it's a subtle reminder that they're still stuck in their own mediocre lives. And they get afraid, will you love me if you change, will you leave me if you change, they wonder. Well, that's up to you and them, but here's the silver lining. When you change you will inspire change in others. People that want to love you and be with you will stretch to meet you. It might be a little painful during that stretching period. A little like your first time doing yoga, but the benefits, like yoga, are worth it.

So today I say to you, "Don't be good, be great!"

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Lost & Found

My Old Blog Profile Pic - Yup, Bad Ass!
OMG, I've been trying to incorporate more of my voice into my writing (that includes this blog) and was struggling with that. I even read a great article on finding your voice. But lo and behold, I Googled my name and found my old blog from when I was 26.

I was young, newly married, and I had a big mouth. But not in a bad way. Reading my old blog was proof that I have written in my authentic voice before, but somehow I'd lost that boldness to do so. I don't know if it's because the years in between beat me up a little or if having children made me feel I had to be more reserved. I don't know what tampered my voice, but I will say that I've been gaining it back in the past couple of years, but I need it to show up all the time (well maybe not at the office, LOL!). But I miss that girl, she was a bad ass. Shit, I still am a bad ass and I don't have to be afraid of that anymore.

Which is why I might need to rethink the whole name of this blog. Not necessarily what I post because I am a mom and a wife, but I'm so much more. Am I limiting myself, by entitling the blog, This Mom's Life?  Maybe I should just rename it to Lost & Found: A Glimpse into the Life of a Modern Day Superwoman. I kind of like the ring of that...

Love me or leave me alone. 

Planning The Year Ahead

For those who may not know, I'm doing a social media fast for a week. My week started yesterday, January 1st, 2014 and I'm not breaking out into a cold sweat at the moment, so I'd say I'm doing well so far.

My main reason for doing this fast is to get myself ramped up for the goals I want to accomplish for 2014. I've already spoken about my accomplishments last year, but I want to do MORE this year! So, the best way to do more is to get rid of the time wasters or web black holes that suck up your time when you could be checking off a goal that you've set for yourself.

Right now as I type, I'm listening to the At the Helm Podcast on Planning for 2014. You should definitely listen to the podcast, but I'll give you a bit of a breakdown on the podcast and how it will apply to my 2014.

  1. Review 2013
  2. Personal SWOT Analysis
  3. Creating a Word of the Year
  4. Setting Goals
  5. The Value of Networking 
  6. Create an arsenal for 2014 

1. Reviewing 2013:

  • What Worked: Writing. I put out THREE short stories and wrote TWO scripts! AMAZEBALLS, esp since I did that mid-year! Imagine what I can put out in a full year. IMAGINE I SAY!
  • What Didn't Work: Deadlines, or should I say, not setting deadlines. When I set a deadline and announce it, it does two things. 1. It gives me a concrete goal line to head for. 2. Accountability, once I announce it I have to do it or I come off as a big FAILURE.
  • Satisfaction Score for the Year:  B- I give myself a B- because although I accomplished a lot it took me to mid-year to get off my ass. Although some of my stories I did start earlier without having a deadline I meandered to the finish line instead of sprinting like a BOSS!
  • Review Your Mission & Vision or Create One for 2014: My mission for 2014 is to Create Meaningful Things.

2. Personal SWOT Analysis
  • Strengths: Writing, Creativity, Ideas
  • Weaknesses -Accountability, Deadlines, Follow Through
  • Opportunities -Writing Groups, Conferences, Online Submission/Publicity vehicles
  • Threats - ???

3. Creating a Word of the Year:

This is my word for 2014. I chose this because what I want to do most this year is create. Create literature, screenplays, art, clothing, jewelry, and opportunities!

4. Setting Goals 
  • Write a second story for each of the stories I published in 2013.
  • Write one original story for publication by Valentine's Day.
  • Finish my three current feature scripts in progress.
  • Write two more original feature scripts.
  • Write one original hour long television script and series bible.
  • Purge my home of unnecessary things.
  • Sew at least two outfits per clothing season.
  • Make at least five items of jewelry.
  • Create at least one piece of art for my wall.
  • Teach my 2nd son to read.
  • Read one book a month.
  • Have a positive attitude.
  • Cook a home cooked meal three days a week.

5. The Value of Networking:
Be intentional about networking in 2014, find out who you want in your network and who you don't want in your network.

6. Create an Arsenal:
(suggested in the podcast)

(my personal suggestions)

So how are you planning your year ahead? Leave your answer in the comments, I'd love to hear what you're doing!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Look!

Hello 2014 and hello This Mom's Life readers. I decided that a new year deserved a new look. How do you like the new design? This aqua color is one of my favorite colors. This is the second home I've had and I always find a way to come back to this color for my walls in one iteration or another. In my first home the walls were a darker turquoise and in my newest abode it is Sherwin Williams SW6737 Kiwi Paint. So, when I thought about what colors to use in my new blog layout I knew that it was time to go for my favorite go to color. There's something so serene and soothing about this palette, I think because it reminds me of the ocean. Oh well, I hope you like the new look and I can't wait for all the fun that the new year brings!


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