The New Year is always a time for reflection and renewal. With the start of a new year come new intentions and goals. 2014 brought so many life changes for me- I became a mother, a homeowner and also became unemployed. Motherhood has been nothing less than incredible- literally you would not believe all the changes to your body, heart and perspective. Although having a new baby is a wonderful, mind-blowing and miraculous gift- it wasn’t a seamless transition and to this day I still struggle with balancing life as ME, Jess and as my new role as a Mama.
Along with motherhood came the decision to not return to work. It wasn’t really a planned decision- really just a fly by the seat of my pants kind of move. Call it instinct or maternal awareness (or just plain old laziness in not lining up daycare) I just knew I didn’t want to go to work and leave her with someone else. Honestly I really didn’t think too much into it- I didn’t like my job so therefore it wasn’t worth it to go back. It’s been 8 months and the time has flown by and at times crept along at a snail’s pace. That’s the paradox of motherhood- you are so insanely blissfully happy but at the same time terrified that you will never find “yourself” again. Now the majority of the time I am in the blissfully happy camp- but there are times when I wonder what the heck I am doing? Am I doing this right? What if I can’t get back in the workforce and end up a sweatpants- wearing depressed weirdo mom with no friends and a major wine problem? Will I ever lose that extra 10 lbs hanging over my stretchy jeans? …wait Will I ever stop wearing stretchy jeans? Will I ever get organized so I can do all those things stay at home moms are supposed to do?
Regardless of these uncertainties- there are a few things I do know about myself:
1) I am an extreme extrovert- I am happiest when I am engaging with people. Sometimes I will go to Starbucks just to talk to someone… it totally recharges my batteries.
2.) Professionally, I am driven by recognition and the feeling of cooperativeness. I thrive in a team setting where people are depending on me. I always pull through and love to collaborate and create solutions to problems.
3.) Exercise ALWAYS makes me feel better.
With those three things in mind- how the heck do I navigate life as a stay at home mom? I know that staying home is ideal. It is evident in my daughter’s thriving personality, good nature and genuine happiness in this world. That in itself should be enough to satisfy numbers 1 and 2 on the a fore-mentioned list… but I’m still seeking balance. I NEED to find balance. If I had a million dollars in the bank account tomorrow, yes maybe I would feel less stressed (OK well duh. I would definitely feel less stressed and very secure) but it doesn’t solve the issue of number 2 on my list (recognition and collaboration)… nobody cares if I have a million dollars in the bank but am not contributing to society and releasing my creative energy for the good of all mankind! I know that going to work somewhere full time is not what I want either. I need something in-between and doing the type of work that makes me feel good.
I’ve been saying I want to start a blog and write down all my adventures, etc. Just glancing on my Instagram or facebook feeds makes me want to do all the things that everyone else is always doing. Why the hell do I want to start a blog? Why has it taken me 3 months to even sit down and write about something- or better yet write down something honest about the way I feel or what I want out of life…?…that other people will read… or even want to read?? Do I really want to blog or keep my thoughts in a journal? That is a great freakin’ question and yet to be answered. The whole “blog” concept in my mind is a much larger picture. It’s about building my brand of who I am and what I offer the world. I want to start building ME. That’s what I want. I know that I have the capacity to do something extraordinary in this life. I know I can empower and inspire many people. I want to do all the things I’ve been writing about in my journal since I was in 6th grade… (you know that list… we all have that list: 1. Travel the world 2. Be famous 3. Have lots of money… then my more extreme ideas… 4. Hike all the high peaks in the world 5. Own a vineyard with horses 6. Rescue stray dogs and let them roam on my huge property 7. Watch the sunset from my beach house etc) and I know I can do them all. I mean why not? We are literally on this planet for such a short speck of time. Why can’t my life be beyond great? Why can’t I have a vineyard with horses?
I wrote on a piece of scrap paper back on October 16, 2014… I am a health and wellness coach. I help people achieve goals and lead a balanced life full of happiness and health! I decided on that day that would be my title and my life’s work. I just need to get started and do something to get me closer to that statement (and to my horse heaven winery). How the heck will I do it?? Well, sitting down to write this is the first step. My baby is screaming bloody murder in the other room because its nap time but she doesn’t want to miss out on anything. I am forcing myself to focus on myself for these precious 10 minutes. I know my life is different now and I am not just Jessica Giffin, but also Mama Giffin. I know I will put my children ahead of myself and I am totally OK with that. But I also need to find balance for myself, take the time to work on myself and cultivate ME.
So whatever it means to get started today- this is the first step. It’s now or never. I can’t keep telling myself I can do it later or tomorrow when I will have more time. Its freaking NOW in this very moment or never. Don’t let the moment pass. Take advantage of it full force and do what it is you want to do. Even if you don’t know how or where to start- just do something. My good friend Lone Wolf used to say “keep on movin’, always stay in motion and good stuff will happen”. Wow- I already feel better!