Wow. So, this is what typing a blog post feels like. I forgot. A number of people have been asking me questions lately that go something like this, "Where have you been?" or "Are you ok? I haven't heard from you in a while" or "Did you stop blogging?" Well, I didn't stop blogging, at least not in my head. It's just that what was in my head never made it to the blog! And while I wish I could say that during the time that I haven't been posting anything on the blog, I was off on some crazy advenure or embarking on a new exciting project, but truth be told, I've been doing neither of those things. Or wait, maybe I have, if you are so inclined to think of changing a LOT of poopy diapers as an adventure, which believe me, it can be. Or if you think of trying to show and sell a home with two kids under two living there as an exciting project, then yes, that is exactly what I've been up to. I've wanted to blog so many times throughout the last 7 months (yep, it's been that long) and have had so many different thoughts whirling around in that head of mine, but I've had neither the mental nor physical energy to work them our on paper (bc yes, it's true, I still handwrite everything first that I eventually type!) And even if I did happen to have a burst of mental energy, it was often impeded by the mounds of pressure I heaped onto myself to transform whatever those thoughts were into coherent and profound sentences. And well, that's just not happening.

So, why today to start blogging again? Well, for starters, I have released myself from having to say anything coherent, let alone profound. I hope you will release me too. (Read: this might be somewhat meandering and perfectly raw and unprofound). More than in any other season of my life, as a mom I have come to recognize the importance of "releasing myself" from the highly unrealistic pressures and expectations I place on myself. I now call it the "bringing myself back down to earth" talk that I have been having with myself lately. It goes something like this, "No, Melissa, you cannot wash the dishes, stuff the diapers, make yourself lunch, clean up your lunch, check your email, spend some time writing, check your email, prep dinner, pay the bills, call 2 clients back, call your sister, find a condo to rent in Winter Park, upload the trip photos, and take a catnap during the 1.5 hours (at best) that you may have if (big if) both boys are miraculously asleep at the same time. You just can't!" I argue with myself, "But I need to get those things done. The kids need clean diapers, dinner needs to be made, the bills need to be paid, I need to call the clients back..." And the voice of reason stops me in my tracks, "You can't do it all, Melissa. It doesn't mean that you're a failure. That doesn't need to be cause for feeling overwhelmed. Think of it as your personalized invitation to prioritize. What is most important today, Melissa? Choose 3 things." I fight it with a toddler-esque whine (all in my head, of course), "But I..." "3 things, Melissa. Period. 3 things. Choose wisely." "Ok," I say to myself with a sigh, donning somewhat of a forlorn look on my face, "3 things." 

And so I go about choosing the 3 things that I'm going to do during whatever unpredictable amount of time I may have. And to be honest, I don't always choose the most healthy 3 things. I often either choose those seemingly urgent tasks clamoring for my attention the most loudly or those totally mindless time-drainers aka facebook. But today, I chose wisely. I chose to make lunch for myself AND to actuallly sit down and eat said lunch, to clean up from lunch, and to read and write a little. And literally, as I wrote that sentence, I heard the crackle of the monitor quickly followed by the dreaded cry signalling my time has come to an end. I didn't even finish the 3 things I set out to do. Imagine how defeated I would have felt had I had intentions to do all of those things I mentioned earlier in the post. 

But that is my current reality as a wife and mom of 2 boys who are only 16.5 months apart, mostly staying at home but also working two very part-time jobs. Everyone has their own reality, and no one reality or set of circumstances is in and of itself better than another, it's the attitude with which you see your reality and the way you respond to your circumstances that is perhaps more important. And I'll be the first to admit (my husband will most likely be the second) that I don't always respond in ways that I am proud of or would like other people to see. But the truth is, I wouldn't change my life right now. Ok, so maybe I secretly (or not so secretly) wish for a reality in which I got more than 4 consecutive hours of sleep at a time. But other than that...

You see, part of my journey as a mom so far as been about learning to accept my limitations. There is a lot of talk out there that says, "Reach for the stars! You can do anything you set your mind to!" And some days, that kind of talk is good for me to hear, motivating me to dream big. But other days, I feel like saying, "I'll show you where you can put your stars..." (exhibit #1 of not always responding so beautifully.) As much as we need that kind of hopeful, motivational, positive, "you can do it" talk in our lives, I believe we also need to be talking about how to gracefully accept our limitations, the things we simply cannot do. There are times when life calls us to reach hard after our goals and I believe there are times when what we really need is to reset our expectations and perhaps establish new goals, more realistic goals. Because let's face it, some days I have about as much of a chance of playing Center for U.S. women's basketball team as I do crossing off everything on my to-do list. No amount of 'setting my mind to it' is going to make it happen! Don't get me wrong, I'm a goal-oriented person and I like to, I mean really like to achieve things that I didn't initially think were possible. And I very much want to encourage my boys to dream big and to dream boldly AND I want them to develop realistic expectations, as in I really hope Ben (who is in the not-quite-0percentile) doesn't spend a whole lot of his time dreaming about being a linebacker. Because apart from a supernatural growth spurt, that's just not gonna happen for him. 
So, I guess all of this is to say that I'm finding that I need to make sure my goals are realistic and more importantly, that they align with my priorities and values. If not, then maybe just maybe I need to stop all of my frenzied movement in the wrong direction, release myself, and set some new goals, goals that are challenging AND attainable AND fulfilling. Therefore, today, I released myself from doing the laundry and calling people back and instead I ate, I wrote, and I conquered took the boys to the pool!

Ahhh, that felt good to write! And it only took a total of 4 days to get from my brain to the blog!