Misplaced Identity

When I was a little girl I couldn’t wait to grow up, there was nothing that I wanted more than to be an adult. I knew exactly who I would be, and what I would like to do with my life.  I thought being an adult meant I could have fun doing whatever I wanted to do. I didn’t seem to factor in the parts about working, or being completely responsible for myself, and let’s not forget the part about paying my own bills!

As a kid I only imagined having fun as an adult, going to cool places and having nice things. However, it didn’t take me long to discover that my dreams need a financier and that was going to be me! If I wanted nice things I was going to have to work hard to pay for them and if I wanted to travel to cool places I had to pay for them.

So, I did what most people do after high school, I went to college and I chose a major that I thought would be a good fit for me. I majored in secondary English education and I loved every moment of teaching and being in the classroom. I really truly enjoyed teaching and I loved working with my students. And yet, here I am not doing that! My life went in a whole other direction, and I can’t say that I’m upset about that.

If someone would have asked me six weeks ago if I still wanted to teach some day I would have said, “Of course!” I actually still planned to get a job teaching in a few years. Partially because I thought that I had to teach because that’s what my degree was in and I kind of felt like I had no other options. However, I recently started thinking about other things that I want to try and the thought of doing something so totally different from what I originally wanted actually gave me butterflies and scared me at the same time. I was excited about reinventing myself, but then I immediately thought, “What if it’s too late to try something so new? Am I too old to learn new things?”

I don’t know how a person can be excited and afraid to try at the same time but I definitely was. I don’t know if you guys are like this, but I sometimes have to hurry up and do something, otherwise I might talk myself out of it! I have to sit myself down sometimes and give myself a good old fashion pep talk and encourage myself. I told myself that I have grown and matured and that I’m allowed to want something different. People can change. They can reinvent themselves as often as they want to, there’s no age limit on growth. It’s hard to imagine stepping outside of the walls that I built for myself, but I’m ready for a change in my life.

I won’t be doing anything wild and crazy, but for me this is still a surprise. I even shocked my husband, which is hard to do by the way. I feel like I’ve been stuck in a momma rut and all my days just run together. I do the same thing day in and day out. I am such a predictable person, I shop at the same stores, I wear the same clothes, my favorite lipstick hasn’t changed in years! I have to get some freshness back into my routine. I feel like a person who has lost their joy for living. Don’t get me wrong I’m not depressed, just boring!

Somewhere along the way between getting married and having children I lost my fire. I’ve fallen into a very comfortable existence and I just can’t live another second in my beige world anymore. I was beginning to think of myself as only my children’s mother or my husband’s wife, until I finally couldn’t take it anymore and my inner adventurous self shouted out, “Your name is TORRE!!!” I was tired of being one dimensional.

That’s when I woke up and said to myself, ” I gotta get outa here!” I realized that I had buried myself in a box labeled old me! I literally woke up one day and said I want to have interest and hobbies besides taking long walks through Costco and changing a diaper without getting my seat dirty in the truck! I finally see that I can’t completely blot out my own desires and still be a great Mom. I actually need to have joy that is separate from being a wife and mother.

I honestly feel like the last person in the world to get this concept, but I want to hear from you! How long did it take you Ladies to realize that Mother and Wife should not, and could not, be all that you are? Tell me about it in the comment section!

Family Fun

We probably all have memories of the time we spent together with our family, no matter if it was good or bad. My Mother came from a very large family, she had nineteen brothers and sisters! I know that puts my five in different light doesn’t it? Needless to say, any family event that they had, my mom’s family, was huge and filled with food, music, laughter and plenty of cousins! My Mom was a very family oriented person, she absolutely loved entertaining and doing things with her sisters and brothers. All of my memories of being with my family when I was younger just bring tears of joy to my eyes. I get all warm and fuzzy inside when I reminisce on my childhood memories of spending time with my family.

I never knew that while I was running around at those family barbecues, playing, getting dirty, eating and  having the time of my life, that someone had planed that and made everything come together.

Behind every great family event there is a whole committee of volunteers. Those same Aunts and Uncles had cooked the food, brought items like paper plates, and napkins. Then there where ones that volunteered to stay late and clean up after everyone, giving us kids time to play in the sunset.

It’s only natural that I would want this to be the goal whenever my children think of our family time together. However, the reality is often full of to-do list, plans, and schedules. I wonder how many times my Mom and Aunts worried over food preparations, or what time the family would arrive? I’m curious to know exactly all the headaches they cured while entertaining a small army?  I seem to get so stuck on all the details of our trips, fun family outings, that it spoils all the fun that I set out to have. I wish I could snap my fingers and just enjoy myself like I did when I was a kid, but I can’t. Now I’m the adult and I have to learn how to balance planning family time with enjoying family time. I can’t think of anything worse than taking a well deserved vacation so that you can relax and enjoy your family, and then working the whole time to have FUN!

I drive my husband crazy with my list and my schedules, but I do it with good intentions. No matter where we’re going I have a schedule and a list of places we should, “squeeze in.”  In the name of, Family time and Family Memories, I have rushed us to several places settling for a quick pic or a fun filled afternoon! We end up coming home tired and worn out, and exhausted from all of our fun family time. What I enjoyed so much as a kid about being with my family was how easy and relaxing it was. Now that I’m an adult I realize how important vacations, family trips, family outings and time together are for the health of your family. We all need balance, even our children, but it’s imperative to remember what’s most important about vacations and trips. Spending time together with the people you love most should not be about scheduling  every second of your time away.

I decided that this year that I would unwind a little bit and stop forcing the fun. I want to enjoy myself just as much as everyone else. I promised myself that I would stop and smell the roses. I can get a little obsessive about the perfect picture or eating at a particular restaurant. I look forward to what can happen when you throw away the to-do list and just go with the flow. I’m a little bit embarrassed to say that I’m the Mom with a whistle on vacation telling everyone ,”If we leave right now we can make it to the bridge for our sunset picture!” I am making this vow right now to loosen up a bit for 2017!

How do you plan to make going on vacation easier for you and your family this year? Let me hear ’em in the comments.

Rain, Rain, Here to Stay

Here in Northern California where I live it has been raining for a week now, and it’s supposed to continue well into the next week as well. I personally have always liked rainy days, as long as I don’t have to be out in the rain. I love to read a good book, or watch a good romantic comedy.

The abundance of rain in a short amount of time is not that great for our area though, because we’ve been in a severe drought for the past five years. Which means we are now on alert for flooding. It’s like the old saying too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Isn’t it funny how that works? If you’ve been without the proper amount of rain for a long period of time, you would think that getting a lot of rain would thrill and delight you.

That’s not the case though, when you’re forced to live without the very thing that you need you find ways to adapt and to live without it. Here in Northern California we have what they call fire season, that’s when we have the perfect conditions for wildfires that occur naturally or man made. The past two years that I was here we had some pretty bad wildfires and they did a lot of damage and destroyed a lot of trees and homes. With all this rain that we’ve been getting, now we have a mudslide advisory in addition to flooding.

All of this has made me think about my own life. It’s made me question how adversity has made me adjust my life, my level of expectations and even how I perceive certain things. When you lack something that you really need or someone who you really depend on, you learn to live without them. That’s essential for survival, but how do you adjust to life when God starts to bless you and you feel like it’s more than you can handle?

Have you ever had a bunch of really good things happen to you and it made you feel like something bad must be waiting for you just around the corner? I don’t know how it happened to me, but that’s something that I struggle with now. If a string of really good things happen or a huge blessing happens to me I get really nervous that something bad will happen next. I think I know how this unrealistic fear came about, but I’m curious to know does anyone else deal with this unrealistic fear?  I think that this will be something that I try to work on this year.

Fear is so paralyzing and it’s a real thief in my life and I definitely want to be free of that. What are your thoughts? Do you have any fears of being blessed too much? Does good news make you afraid that something bad is going to happen next? Let me hear it in the comments.

Happy New Year

Hello Friends,

I thank God that you all were blessed to see another year! What a true blessing it is to know that we get another year to start over, reinvent ourselves, or continue down the path that we have already chosen. I have had a super busy holiday season and honestly I kind of feel relieved that it’s over! I know that’s such a cray thing to say, but when it comes to the holidays I tend to stretch myself a little thin.

One thing that I had to keep telling myself was, “This is not about you, it’s about Jesus.”

I kept wanting to get the perfect gift and the perfect ugly sweater,(which I ended up not even going to the ugly sweater party by the way.) I wanted to cook the perfect holiday meal and I was putting a lot of unnecessary stress on myself. Even though I seem to know that the holidays should be a time for us, my family and I, to spend together just enjoying one another’s company, I always seem to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of getting things that I get bogged down.

I had to sit my self down and have a little talk with the woman in the mirror. I told her she was being crazy and she needed to take a step back. I had to try and re-center myself before I completely lost sight of what the holidays were truly about. I know I can’t be the only one out there who goes overboard with the holiday hoopla…right? I decided that this next Christmas season, 2017, I will do a much better job remembering the real reason for the season.

I know some people truly dislike making new year’s resolution, but I am not one of them! I would like to hear what you guys are resolving to do differently or what you want to keep doing in 2017. I’ll go first. This year I plan to focus more of my time and energy on taking better care of myself. I put all six family members before myself so much that I don’t even know if I can stop! I admit that I have not been doing things for myself that I really should be doing on a daily basis like working out, eating more healthfully and the list goes on and on.

Alright now that I have told you one of mine I want to hear yours. Just leave me one thing that you would like to try or continue in this new year. Thanks for stopping by and welcome back to my blog. I pray that 2017 be a prosperous and blessed year for you and your family!