Boundaries · Personal Relationships · Self Care · Uncategorized

It’s not personal, I just don’t want to hang out with you

sisters-984997_1920This is going to sound awful. The thing it, it is not personal, I just don’t want to hang out with you. I really don’t like people. I mean, I like them well enough.  I love working with people, I love my career.  I love being a Mom, a wife, and  a friend. I love giving to others. It’s just, I am an introvert and an extrovert.  I fall right on the line, in between the two on all of those personality scales they make you take in school.  So, the thing is, that after spending the day with people, giving presence and support, at night, I don’t necessarily want to hang out. Most evenings, I just want to sit home, give time to my kids and husband, veg, play on facebook, read, do lone tasks that allow me to nurture my introvert side.

Occasionally, it makes me feel like a bad friend.  At times, I have had people get mad at me because they don’t feel like I am present enough for them.  They deserve that. Everyone deserves friends that are involved and available. You deserve someone that can be fully present, that can listen to your concerns. You deserve a friend that will spend hours with you on the phone. You deserve someone that can really help you problem solve. The thing is, I am not necessarily the person that will be able to meet those expectations. If I have worked all day, or had a particularly hard week, I can’t be that emotional support for you. I can’t hang out and listen to your problems. I can’t encourage you, or be your cheerleader.  I can’t because I am having to focus that energy on being present for myself…I have used all my energy for that day.  I can’t choose you over me. Please know though, it is not really about you, it is my need to recharge and revive. I care deeply about you.  I am setting boundaries with you, so that I can care for me. It is hard for me to set these boundaries, it is hard for me to say  “No.” However, I have learned that sometimes, in the line of work I have chosen, I have to go inward. I have to check out. I have to be self centered. I have to self care, or ultimately, I can not do what I do.

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Please know, that if I can, I will give. If I can do it without draining myself, I will.  When we do hang out though, I want to be fully present. I want t both enjoy you and be enjoyable.  I want to listen, laugh, and spend time with the people I care about in ways that are meaningful. I want to actually be there for you. So if that means that to be present, I have to hang out less, and exchange quality for quantity, I am willing to do so. Just know, if I say no, I can’t hang out, it’s not personal. I am just keeping a promise to myself to self care.  My hope will be that you will do the same.  I will expect you to not want to hang out, need to self care and I will appreciate the time we have. I will not take it personal.

Love and Healing,

Laura

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Kids · Self Care

Self Care Momma, self care

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As a single person, I did so much better with self care. I worked hard, played hard and remembered to take time for me. It was not unusual for me to work all day, take a nap, work all night, then go out and dance. Actually, it was my norm…oh the energy of your 20’s!  In my early 30’s, I slowed down, but still managed self care, yoga, art classes, reading books, exercise. Life was good…I still was busy, but life was good.

Then I had children. Now I love being a Mom, please don’t get me wrong.  The reality is though, once my kids came along, my self care took a hit. Art classes were replaced with coloring books and doing kid focused art projects, fun but not as rewarding. Yoga was replaced with baby and me classes, reading was a luxury that I know longer had time for, unless it was that five minutes sitting on the commode…when I didn’t get interrupted. (Okay, you all know I did not read, because what Mom can go to the bathroom for five minutes and not get interrupted?) Exercise consisted of chasing a toddler while wearing an infant. I simply did not have time, or maybe didn’t make the time.  I was caught up in motherhood.

My kids are a bit older now, 5 and 9. I am making more time for me…I work out on occasion. I read more. I spend more time with me. I have registered for a lot on online classes, but seem to get distracted before finishing them. There are many days I long for more me time, and know that instead I need to be mom.  There are other days that I feel like, “Forget those kids, I need me time. ”  Then the Momma guilt kicks in. The thing is I often feel like there just isn’t enough time to do EVERYTHING I NEED to do, let alone everything I WANT to do…so how can I have me time?  Or that is how I thought. Then some shifts happened in my personal life, and I realized, I can’t afford not to take time out for me. You see, my lack of self care wasn’t just affecting me, it was affecting those that I loved. I was tired. Not like your normal tired. I was bone dry, exhausted, overwhelmed and tapped out.  I didn’t laugh as much, and I most certainly wasn’t fun to  be around.  Fairly frequently, I was grumpy, maybe down right, well you know.

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I began my self care slowly. I actually took days off  while the kids were in school, and slept. I began building my friendships again. I scheduled nights out, with the girls…and appreciated other women making me laugh and relating to the craziness that is motherhood.  I reconnected with my tribe. My husband and I went on dates, and became friends again. I started getting manicures and pedicures…and not beating myself up for time wasted.  I said “no” more.  What I realized, was that I became a better wife, a better mother, a better therapist, and a  better enterpreneur. I was a healthier person when I took care of myself first.  It continues to be a journey.  Sometimes, I say yes too much. Sometimes, I feel guilt for not being able to be there for someone. Sometimes,  I still long for my single days, where I just cared for me.  Sometimes, I hear other people say spend as much time with your kids as you can, they grow up fast and feel sad. I also try to remember that when I take time for me, I am taking time for them too.  In it all, I just try and find balance, and not let any one area get so far out of  line that I end up dropping all areas.  For you see, yes, I am a Mom  and a Wife and  a friend and a therapist and an entrepreneur and a school volunteer and (put your own “and” in here). However,  I am a person first.  A person with limited time and energy.  A person who loves being all those things so much, that she knows she has to pull in, to do all of those things well, some of the time. So Momma, let go of the guilt. Go do something for you, and remember, you are doing it for your kids….they need to see you making yourself a priority, so they learn how to make themselves a priority.

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Love and Healing,

Laura

Personal Relationships · Self Care

I am not perfect, I am a therapist

I had a friend say to me, “Oh my god, I am so glad to hear you lose it, it makes me feel better to know you are a therapist and sometimes lose your cool.”  Uhm, yes…I am human. I lose my mind, I curse, at times I do stupid stuff…this morning, half way through my morning, I realized I had my pants on backwards…they are yoga pants, do they really have a front and a back?  The thing is, when you are sitting on this side of the couch, it is easy to appear like you have it all together and you are perfect. Spend twenty minutes with me though, and you will know that is far from how I see myself.  Far from how I live my life.

I make mistakes. My kids drive me crazy. Sometimes, I yell and then have the Mommy guilt afterward. I forget to get my oil changed. I frequently lose my keys.  Occasionally, I want to leave it all behind and go sit drinking some kind of fru-fru drink in Bora Bora.  I am human. It is that humaneness that gives me compassion, kindness and understanding of my clients. I wouldn’t want it to be any other way.  I have been on both sides of the couch, and well the therapist that just sits there, and does not show me their humanity, is not the one I want or need. I need to know that you are real…that you screw up. How do you expect me to be vulnerable with you, if I think that you are perfect? I hope that I can offer my clients the same. I hope that they can see my imperfections, and feel safe to be vulnerable…I mean that whole opening yourself up is hard enough…let alone to someone who can’t let you see them.

As I sit across the couch from you, there is no judgement. Why? Because I know you are learning. I know what if feels like to try to figure out your path, and to fall off of it. I screw up too.  I want those in my life to offer me the same kind of positive regard I try and offer my clients. There are going to be times I am off base, run late, or am just struggling. There are times when I have had an argument with a loved one, and while I try to check it at the door, and be fully present for you,  my thoughts may wander for a minute. I could try and hide it, but as my client, you will see I don’t hide my emotions well, and comment.  I will own it, and refocus. There will be other times, that I see and feel your pain so deeply, that I will tear up with you. My focus so on that you will think I have read your mind. You see, I am not perfect. I see it in you, and you see it in me.

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I often joke that perfection is like a unicorn, you can chase it all day, but even if you do catch it, it will end up being a goat. No one is perfect. However, I am perfectly imperfect. I own my imperfections.  I try and make them better. I try and make healthy choices, and sometimes I royally mess things up. However, I learn.  That is my gift to my clients. I learn and I am willing to share those experiences with you. I am willing to be real with you. In doing so, I create a safe place to witness your mistakes because I was fortunate enough to have someone along the line witness mine. They held me accountable with love, and now that I have done a good deal of healing, I can do the same for you. Hopefully, as we go through the process of healing, you are learning too.  You will fall down, you will feel guilt, but in being your authentic self, you allow someone else to see you, which opens the door to healing wounds.  That is the point of this whole exercise right? To learn, grow, change and find greater happiness? If we can embrace our humanity, and allow ourselves to love each other regardless…this thing we call life might just get a little easier.

Personal Relationships · Self Care

Your Just Not My type of Crazy

As a Mom of two, I frequently meet other Mommas, and hope there is a connection. I mean, there really should be a connection…our kids are the same age, they go to the same school/camp/club, our values are similar, we end up at the same events and are Facebook friends…yet when we talk, there isn’t a vibe. This used to happen when I was dating too, the guy seemed great, he was sweet, caring, we seemed to have similar values, yet he maybe didn’t get my quirky humor or couldn’t relate to those deeper things that mattered to me. Most of us have experienced this on some level. That whole feeling of on paper we are a perfect match, in reality…well, quite frankly it is easier talking to a wall.  Now I am friendly enough with these people, however, I often walk away confused…like, “huh, everything seemed right…what went wrong there?” On the other hand, I have met people that look so different from me, yet when we meet there is such a deep connection  that it feels like we are picking up a friendship that we left off just yesterday. (Maybe we are, past lives anyone?) It was like when we met, we were updating each other on our lives, and then returning to a friendship that had always been. I had a friend that used to call these people “Old Sames”. I love that.

So how come some people are the wall and others are the old sames? How can some feel so off, and others feel so right? What I have discovered is that they are just not my type of crazy. Over the years, I have discovered I don’t think like most people. I take those surveys on personality type and always fall in the 10 percent range….that means the reality is I don’t think like 90 percent of the population.  This means that even if everything looks like it should be a match, it won’t always be, because I am seeing things through odd color lenses. As a kid into my early 20’s, I always thought that there was something wrong with me. I mean, how could there be so many people out there that just seem so bizarre to me? However, as I have begun to embrace my difference…I realized that there is nothing wrong with me, it’s just my connection to others take a little more time to grow. When I do connect, those connections are usually long-term, deep and fulfilling in a way that makes it worth the wait.desperate-2057116_1920 (1)

So, why am I sharing this? Who cares? Well the reality is that all of us occasionally see through odd color lenses. All of us have met those people who seemed like they should be a good fit, yet the connection is not there. During times of transition, like  graduating college, getting married, becoming a mom, getting a divorce, going into a career, empty nesting, becoming the matriarch or patriarch in your family or retiring….you are redefining who you are, and what your role of in life is. When in motion, you may find it difficult to connect to your old sames. You are growing as a person, as a soul, and those around you may not fit into your particular crazy…especially if you are the first or last in your peer group to meet these milestones.  Often, when we are in a growth period, we want to meet others like us, that are experiencing similar things…yet because we are growing, we are not providing stable grounds to plant  or grow the gardens of friendship. During those growth periods, it is hard to find old sames. However, it is also time when you really crave finding those that are like you, and each perceived rejection or lack of fit can feel like an affirmation that you are odd and alone. The thing is, is that you are growing, and growth can be difficult and lonely…knowing that it doesn’t last forever, and knowing that your old sames are out there, and you will find them, just as soon as you are on stable grounds again can be comforting.

When I am not connecting, I try to remember that all things need room to grow and that   those I am supposed to be connecting with are also growing parallel. (I often visualize baby oaks in the forest, as a sprout they are so tiny, young and far apart. As they grow,  the space between them appears smaller and their branches begin to touch.) For example, I met this women in my birthing class, by all means, we had a lot in common, but did not really connect. Fast forward, 5 years, another child and the births of our individual businesses later, and we were old sames. We felt like we had known each other for years, even though we could not remember for months where we originally met.  When we finally made the connection, the question was “How did we take months of classes together, but not connect?”  Our crazy at the time did not match. We had to go through more experiences that helped us grow to a point where we could begin to discover the similarities of our paths.  The great thing now, is that months can go by, and while we may not  talk due to our busy lives, we know we can pick up the phone, and connect heart to heart, exactly where we left off.

As you continue to grow, your old sames will appear. Trust that if you  feel you are walking alone, that you are not truly alone…your old sames are walking the path next to you. They are just veiled by the fog of your own personal crazy. As the mists dissipates or their crazy begins to grow into yours, you will begin to reconnect with those that were there all the while.