October Goals Recap/ November Goals

October was very busy for me. Between San Diego, Mexico, and Dallas, I had very little time at home it felt like because it was true. The next two months don’t show too much slowing down since I already have three trips planned and may have a fourth in the works but starting in January, I am making a conscious effort to slow down.

Inspired by Michelle from Michelle Is Money Hungry, I want to take time to really focus on growing my business, plus give myself a break. This doesn’t mean I am not traveling at all, in fact, I already have six trips planned. But I am making a conscious effort to not plan anything else. I say make a conscious effort because things do come up and I am in a long distance relationship with a great guy. But I will be making an effort to stay home.

So, how did I do?

October Goals 

  • $1,000 in extra income. PASS!
  • $885 towards debt. FAIL.
  • Spending cleanse. PASS!
  • Read 3 books. PASS!
  • Have fun in Mexico & Dallas. PASS!
  • Work my blog strategy. FAIL.
  • Lose 5 lbs. FAIL. 

So, 4/7 isn’t too shabby. My extra income moving forward for the next few months may take a hit as I shift around my freelance work but hopefully, this won’t be too long and affect my progress towards paying off my debt. And speaking of debt, I honestly didn’t pay as much as I had hoped, just because I was really unorganized this month. My blog and weight goals also took a hit because of being unorganized but I think things will be better moving forward.

November Goals 

  • Participate in my accountability health group. I joined an accountability group with a few other bloggers who have similar weight and fitness goals recently. We just launched yesterday and set our goals for the month so I think weekly check-ins will be helping me.
  • Figure out my Money Smart Latina schedule, both for clients and myself. Last month, I dealt with major burnout, both in business and life. I felt sick and slept a million hours so I took time to really reflect on everything I have to do and things I don’t need to do. This month, I would really like to focus my efforts on my schedule and making sure it’s working for me, not against me.
  • Pay $500 towards debt. Self-explanatory.
  • Read 3 books. I am slowly coming to terms that I no longer can read a book a week. Although I don’t really watch TV, I still need time to focus on my business, friends and keeping up my home. Plus, I’ve been reading a lot of Stephen King lately and his books are often anywhere between 4-800 pages. 36 books a year isn’t too shabby.
  • Do the work. This is in regards to my business more than anything. I have great ideas and I want to prioritize them.
  • BONUS: Do a deep clean and decorate for Christmas. 

Do you have anything fun planned for November?

Athena

4 Ways I’ve Simplified My Life

When I was growing up, my favorite band, besides The Beatles was Weezer. I was obsessed with the lead singer Rivers Cuomo and devoured everything I could find about him on the Internet. It was stated in the late 90’s he gave away a lot of his possessions and zoned out in an apartment by himself with the bare minimum he needed to get by. Since my family was full of people who loved their stuff, I couldn’t imagine doing that and it haunted me.

Now that I am at least twice the age I was when first reading that article, I can say that I am aware I have a love/hate relationship with stuff, mainly my own. Moving four times in less than two years will do that to a person. While I think decluttering your life is an ongoing practice, I have made some strides to simplify my life. I’m not perfect by any means, and nowhere near a minimalist like some, but I’ll take these small wins when I can get them.

I Donated Half Of My Closet

Last spring, I had a series of misfortunate events, which really weighed on me. I felt I couldn’t catch a break and was convinced I had bad luck. One of the things that happened to me was that I had to pack up my entire apartment in plastic trash bags so it could be exterminated, due to no fault of my own. I slowly started unpacking everything once it was safe but realized two months later I still had tons and tons of clothes in trash bags on my bedroom floor. Oops.

It took a week but I ended up donating half of my closet. I had a lot of clothes I wasn’t wearing and were just taking up space, both physically and mentally. Now I can get ready easier, I know where everything is when I need it and I have less laundry to do. I can still go weeks without doing laundry so I still have some curating to do but all in due time.

I Don’t Keep Up With The Joneses

When I was twenty-one years old, I had the bright idea to move to Las Vegas. My small town life wasn’t cutting it anymore and so I called my ex-fiancee to come pick me up. I didn’t have a job or a car, I was a real hot mess. I found a job working at Macy’s doing makeup on call for a few months until I found something more permanent but it was too late. While I was at Macy’s, I fell into a real trap of wanting nice things, specifically name brands. I fantasized about being one of my customers and spending until my heart’s content.

I had everything at my fingertips and rarely did I have the money for it. But do you think that stopped me? No. I bought designer purses when I could along with sunglasses and jewelry because it made me feel better about myself instead of addressing my real issues. My ex-bought me the same crap and obviously, we didn’t live happily ever after.

Now, I rarely spend money on that kind of stuff or anything else new or fancy. I’ve had the same car since 2011 when I bought it off my friend’s grandparents. When I purchased an iPhone last year so I could run my business from anywhere, I made sure to not buy the newest model and instead, what would work for the next few years for my needs. I didn’t need an iPhone per say, but I enjoy having a smartphone with a reliable network since I travel so much. You can buy quality items to last, it’s just a waste when you constantly feel the need to replace them.

I Mainstreamed My Beauty Routine

Gone are the days of $125 cut and colors. Yes, I did spend this much on my hair when I was younger and no, that wasn’t including the tip. My hair was three colors for the longest time and in order to get it to be two of those, I had to bleach the crap out of it. I was also obsessed with beauty products from Sephora, anything I thought would make me prettier. Do you see a theme here? Boy, was I insecure.

Now, I wear my hair long and get it cut twice a year. I went back to my natural hair color almost five years ago and don’t see myself going back. I also no longer wear makeup on a regular basis and instead, just wear it on special occasions, both professionally and personally. While I’m still not as confident as I would like to be, I know I do not need to layer this stuff on in order to feel better about myself.  I love taking care of my skin and don’t skimp but I also no longer need an hour in the bathroom.

I Meal Plan

When I was twenty-three, I began meal planning. The frugal bug had bitten me and I decided groceries were the easiest thing I could cut back on at that time. Meal planning saved me money, taught me to be resourceful and l learned how to actually cook. Years later, I still meal plan as a way to save extra costs and time.

Every Sunday morning, I scan my Pinterest app to see what I feel like making for the week. After checking my kitchen for supplies, I make a list and head to one of three different stores, depending on what my needs are for the week. Sometimes, I prefer shopping at Target while at other times, a different store. When I get home, I make sure I prep my snacks and cook a big batch of meals to get me started. It helps ensure I eat healthy as well as save time and money. The more prepared I am, the less likely I’ll stop for take out on the way home!

These are just some of the ways I’ve simplified my life as well. When you don’t spend money or energy on things that don’t make you happy or you don’t need, you start to find that you have more of it for things you enjoy and bring your life value.

What are some ways you’ve simplified?

The Importance Of A Spending Fast

For much of my life, I have not wanted to deal with my feelings. Growing up as an only child, I really didn’t have to. While my dad balanced two jobs most of the time (he used to be a workaholic), my mom stayed at home due to her ailing health. I had my mom all to myself and she was my best friend. Whenever I had an issue or a problem or was just being a jerk, my mom was there to listen and fix it. It’s no wonder that after her death I found myself so lost.

I’m not a special snowflake but I feel things more than the general population due to a few mental health disorders I battle on a daily basis. For most of my life, up until recent years, I wasn’t medicated or in therapy. I dealt with things on my own or rather, didn’t. I became codependent, wanting to be obsessed with my partner. I gained weight because I loved food or more like I ate until I was numb. And I gave in to a shopping addiction because stuff was gonna make me a better person. I remember threatening to leave in a fight with my ex-fiancee and he threatened to take away my Tiffany & Co jewelry because he knew it would make me stay. Yeah, I’m embarrassed too.

I’m happy to report that while I can still be codependent, I am now in a loving and healthy relationship with a man I adore and who adores me too. While I gained an excessive amount of weight due to a thyroid issue, I don’t eat my feelings anymore. And while I still enjoy nice jewelry and things, I would never stay in a situation because of them. But lately, I keep wanting more.

Revalation

I want to buy all the things lately. It started with a shopping bender at Bath & Body Works. Next, I added a bunch of Halloween decorations to my cart that I didn’t need.  Then, I bought a ton of Stephen King books. Granted, I never pay full price for a book but did I really need so many? Fast food started showing up on my bank statement and so did extra pounds on the scale. I stocked up on snacks like they were going out of style. Last but not least, I caught myself trying to dress up my office wardrobe. I could use a few new things, mainly black flats and black cigarette pants, but I didn’t need all of the items I was ready to buy. It was until last week that I realized I was miserable.

I can’t get into all of the details about my revelation but maybe one day I can. All I know is that I was spending money and buying things to make me happy when that wasn’t going to do the trick. Isn’t that why a lot of us buy crap we don’t need or even necessarily want? Because one day it’s going to magically make us happy? All I ever want is to be happy and healthy and that really means dealing with what’s bothering me.

Am I Spending On My Happy?

I knew I needed to participate in a spending fast like Anna from And Then We Saved talks about on her blog because I needed to plug some money leaks. While plugging a money leak is like a band-aid, it gives me time to figure out what is really going on with the plumbing and why I am leaking in the first place.

This is why evaluating your spending is so important. Every time you swipe your debit card, you are voting with your dollars what matters to you. Is it living in a nice safe place? Or driving an expensive car? Does eating out help you feel better? Or does shopping at Target every week?

I am not saying spending money is a bad thing. Instead, I am a firm believer that you should put your money where your happy is like Sarah from Yes & Yes (one of the best blogs ever) preaches. But if you are spending money because you don’t want to deal with something, you won’t truly be happy. And if you aren’t truly happy, what’s the point of just spending money on stuff?

Sangria with the boyfriend makes me happy.

I’ll be continuing on my spending fast until the end of the month and then I’ll re-evaluate to see how I feel about my money leaks. So far, so good, but I know this weekend will be rough. My friends are all going to a taco festival and I’ll probably suffer from a slight case of FOMO (fear of missing out). Instead of wallowing, I plan on cleaning my house, decorating for Halloween and just taking it easy. I won’t be home the next two weekends so I plan on taking it easy while I can!

How do you determine what your spending leaks are? Have you ever participated in a spending fast?

Athena

 

September Goals Recap/ October Goals

It’s that time of the month again! Time to check in on my September Goals and see what I have planned for the next month!

September Goals Recap 

  • Continue working on my health. Fail. I went to yoga twice and then did my doctor appointments but I really didn’t prioritize this. 
  • Deep clean my apartment. Pass! My house was so pretty and clean. Need to work on a plan to keep it clean though. 
  • Enjoy time with my family and boyfriend. Pass! I had a really bad arthritis flare up this month and I am still recovering. Because of this flare-up, I ended up not being able to go home and was struggling during the visit to San Diego. My boyfriend and I both slept a lot and just took it easy the whole time but still got to see his mom. 
  • Read two books. Fail. I suck at reading yet keep buying an insane amount of books. Hmm. 
  • Track all spending. Pass! I spent way too much money but at least I accounted for it. 

October Goals 

  • $1,000 in extra income. Should totally be doable, next month may be another story. :/
  • $885 towards debt. May take some strategy but I’m hoping to get it done. This summer I decided that I now HATE DEBT. Only took a few years, hahaha. Oh, and a cancer treatment. 🙁
  • Spending cleanse. I realized how out of control my spending has gotten again and I am attempting to do a spending cleanse this month. The exceptions will be my two trips I have planned (food & alcohol only, one souvenir per trip). For the rest of the month, I will be hanging out at home since I have enough to keep busy.
  • Read 3 books. I plan on being gone two weekends this month but one weekend involves five hours of flying and a few hours of airport time. I should be able to accomplish this. I also need to read some of the books I have bought.
  • Have fun in Mexico & Dallas. I’ve never been to either before so I am excited to explore some new sights and try new foods.
  • Work my blog strategy. I brainstormed with my boyfriend who not only runs a successful blog now but has sold one in the past for my business strategy this week. I’ve had a lot of things pop up in my business the past two months and while freelancing will still be a part of it, I am looking to branch out and diversify what I am doing. I also spent time talking to a friend I admire and she gave me some great suggestions as well. I have planned out my new strategy so be on the lookout for new things soon! If there is anything you would especially like to read or learn about, please let me know.
  • Lose 5 lbs. I need to get back to working out and losing weight, my back is killing me and I need this extra weight to come off now that my thyroid hormones are seemingly right.

Anything fun planned for you?

Athena

Taking Care Of Yourself Is Not Selfish

This blog post is part of the Suicide Prevention Awareness Month blog tour in partnership with Debt Drop. If you are feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.

There have been numerous times in my life I have felt like I hit rock bottom. Or had really shitty years. One of my coping mechanisms in my life, when I am overwhelmed, is to self-destruct. And believe me, I am really good at self-destructing. I have lost jobs, romantic relationships, friendships and money. Lots of money.

But, I have also seemingly kept it together for the most part. I was able to graduate twice from college with a double major in criminology and criminal justice, a minor in LGBT studies and a study abroad program in Israel studying counter-terrorism. I’ve been promoted several times at work in the past four years. I’ve built a successful online business. I have my own apartment with my cat in a hip and fun neighborhood. And I travel. A lot.

But no one sees the days I struggle getting out of bed. The nights I mindlessly hit refresh on my Facebook app because I can’t be bothered to deal with anything else. Days when I’ve only had three hours of sleep. How dirty my house gets. My anxiety attacks when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and what I feel is my failing health. The constant worry of being abandoned. Or how trying to find the silver lining in shitty situations is what gets me through them.

Mental illness looks different on everyone. Just because someone seems like they are functioning doesn’t mean they are. And it’s not weak to admit you need help. I couldn’t do what I do without my amazing team of doctors who work with me to help me find balance and relief. I couldn’t do it without friends that are loving and understanding, even when I have faults. And I couldn’t do it without my amazing partner of four years who has seen me at my worst and still holds my hand.

If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out. I’m here to cheer you on. And so are others.

September Goals

Ahh, fall is here. Or, if you live in Arizona like me, the idea of fall is here. I’m okay with that though, temperatures are supposed to be dropping next week by ten degrees and that alone will be bringing some much-needed relief.

Since my birthday, things have been pretty quiet except on the health front. I’ve been in and out of the hospital and doctor offices for radiation damage done to my salivary glands. I’ve been under going treatment for thyroid cancer since January and while my radiation was in March, I am now suffering from severe radiation damage. It’s very common with the radiation I had but it doesn’t make it any less annoying. Basically, my ducts are swollen shut due to inflammation and a softball size lump can appear in five minutes.

I’m hopeful though. My doctors are amazing, my support system is amazing and my job is amazing. All have allowed me to focus on my health during this time and have respected my new boundaries I’ve been putting in place by valuing myself and my time. Keeping this in mind, I’ve set the following goals for the month.

  1. Continue working on my health. I have a lot of doctor appointments including my six-month scan. I have also taken steps to further cut the crap out of my diet and would like to continue on this path. I would love to be eating 80/20 by the end of the year.
  2. Deep clean my apartment. Since I declared my year of value, I have been cleaning out a lot of clutter from my home. I would like to finish and then do a deep clean.
  3. Enjoy time with my family and boyfriend. Being in a long distance relationship is hard but it’s helpful my boyfriend works from home and has a flexible schedule outside of the summer. He will be here for a few weeks so I’m excited to soak in time with him and both of our families while he’s out here. My niece is turning one and she is the absolute cutest.
  4. Read two books. In the middle of two books and would like to get back into my reading routine at night.
  5. Track all spending.  Financial blogger confession- I just got back on the “tracking your train” and boy, it’s been eye opening. I’ve become participated in lifestyle inflation this year and while I thought I was saving adequately and paying off debt, I could still be doing much more. It’s so easy to get caught up even though you’ve been working on good financial habits for years.

Hope everyone has a good September! Does anyone have anything fun planned?

Personal Values

I am a firm believer that once the universe, or God, thinks you are ready, you will start to see signs everywhere. And once I declared my value to the universe last Tuesday, I have been seeing signs.

Now, to everyone else, they might not seem like much, but things I have considered signs?

  • Social media articles.
  • Prayers.
  • Quotes.
  • Conversations where I was able to let others know I didn’t feel valued in situations.

And much more. It feels everywhere I turn, I am seeing signs of knowing my value. Needless to say, I am actually excited about having the idea valuing myself my project for the upcoming year. I always set goals and have achieved some of them, but I really never thought about the why behind what I wanted to actually accomplish something. For example, I always set a goal to accomplish reading 52 books every year. Why do I want to read 52 books in a year

For example, I always set a goal to accomplish reading 52 books every year. Why do I want to read 52 books in a year? Is it because I see others do it? Is it because I like the idea of reading a book a week? If I do like that idea, why? Is it because I want to compete with others or myself? I could really go on with inductive reasoning but the main reasoning behind setting this goal is A.) It sounds nice in my head. B.) I am sad at the thought I’ll never be able to complete my to be read pile on Goodreads and C.) I truly value the enjoyment I get from reading, both academically and recreationally. Not everything is complicated in life, but you can easily see how much someone can really dig into things.

A while ago, after reading my friend Jason Vitug’s book, “You Only Live Once,” I made a list of things I valued and was willing to spend money on. Such things included travel, education, health, and friends. While my list hasn’t entirely changed, I still have some ideas of areas in my life I would like to really focus on valuing the next year, while still valuing myself. It’s always easier to value things and people than valuing yourself and that is exactly the type of behavior I am trying to get away from.

Areas of my personal life up for consideration?

  • Health– I value my body & mind. I hope to live a long healthy life to the best of my ability by taking care of myself both physically and mentally. What can I do to help ensure this is possible?
  • Self-Worth- I value my self-worth. I hope to one day not rely on others to make me happy or unhappy and instead, make myself happy. I do not wish anyone to pay attention to me or give me an opportunity. I know I am worthy of attention and opportunities. If someone fails to acknowledge it, it does not make me any less of a person. What can I do to feel confident and happy in all situations?
  • Education- I value my education. I have honored this to myself by getting a bachelors degree for me. While this will help my earning potential in the long one, it is my biggest accomplishment to get up every day and focus for however many years it took me. Since I do not want to lose feeling accomplished, I will continue to read and learn new things, as it relates to both my interests, self-development, new cultures and my career.
  • Wealth- I value my bank account and there is no shame in valuing security. I value not worrying about money at night or how I can pay my bills. I value knowing that I have money shall an emergency happen and I know I am blessed and have money for food and other necessities and even wants. I am also blessed so I try to share when I can.
  • My space- I value myself and anywhere I spend my time. I value my home, my office space, and my car. By choosing to not clutter, decorate in fun and meaningful ways and keeping cleanliness, I am showing myself I value my space and comfort.
  • Fun- I value myself and allow my inner child to have fun. I value spending time with others but I also value spending time with myself. I value reading, watching movies and anything else that brings me joy and laughter. Traveling and experiencing new things is something else I value spending time and money on.
  • My Business- I value making a difference in others lives through my career and opportunities I can create for myself and others. I value educating others on things I wish I was educated on so I could have been more successful earlier in life. I know I have great ideas and compassion for others and I can help them like others can and have. I hope to share my wealth and ideas with an audience of my peers to help them as well.

I think this is a great start for now and now that I know my “why”, I am happy to get started.

What are you choosing to value about yourself?

 

The Year Of Value

noun: the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

Last week, I had the honor of celebrating my 32nd birthday surrounded by friends. I am totally blessed in that while I don’t have a lot of family (really just my father), that I have a ton of friends that I have picked up along the way. Not only did I get to see one of my favorite singers live with free upgraded seating for my birthday, I also got to spend the weekend cooking great meals with friends and going on outdoor adventures at a friend’s cabin up north. And then right before that, I spent a week on the east coast visiting my boyfriend. We partied at a Roger Water’s concert, ate great food and sharing with him my love for Stephen King.

My life is blessed and very full. I have worked hard over the years to design something I love and get to enjoy. I was complaining to my friends just last week I had wanted to take a sailing class but can’t seem to be home for longer than three weeks. A first world problem so filled with privilege if there ever was one. Truly, if 27-year-old Athena heard those words out of my mouth, she would have reached over and slapped her hard.

And while I have joy in my life, mental illness refuses to let me enjoy it sometimes. Old wounds I have spent countless time, energy and money on still haunt me. I have been in therapy off and on for years, and when I think I am strong, something happens that is not even the worst, and I spend days reeling from it. I had a tough life growing up and it still follows me around even though it’s been years. I still play out unhealthy coping mechanisms because it’s all I’ve ever known. And when I feel on top of the world, I can get wiped out in a single wave.

This summer, I have spent a lot of time trying to reel things in before they became worse. I knew it was getting bad again when I found myself in two situations that I should not have been in, saying things I still can’t believe I quite said. It was so out of character, even for me, with my personality disorder. I also found myself unable to concentrate and blowing opportunities that would allow me to take my business to the next level. It was like I couldn’t stop myself, lighting everything close to me on fire.

I’m still recovering from my cancer treatment and losing a loved one from cancer. I’m recovering from a professional failure and then getting even more bad news professionally, four times in the past two months. And I spend my life just doing the bare minimum to get by if it has anything to do with just me. I can’t bear letting others done but for me, I could care less. If you saw the disarray in my house, my body, and my finances, you would agree.  I had to ask myself why I was not truly giving things in my life my all. Why was I not showing any value or letting people know how bright I could really shine and letting the bad circumstances knock out all the hard work I do

Truth bomb: I don’t value myself. Yes, I was literally in the car crying to my boyfriend about my day at work when it hit me like a pile of bricks. I don’t value myself because of my past, which had nothing to even do with me. And I carry around immense shame, scared and terrified people will leave me again, like they did when I needed them the most when it had nothing to do with me. I was a serious people pleaser in my relationships when I was younger and I thought I had outgrown it but it instead manifested in different ways in my life.

Because I don’t value myself, I am never fully confident in anything I do. I never own anything and sort of just let things happen. Sure, when I am really motivated to do something I can definitely do it but I am only like that with my education. Why can’t I apply that to everything else? Because that was the one thing I was always good at, from a very young age. I already had learned how to do that before the shit hit the fan in my life and stuttered my growth in other areas. And because I haven’t been able to own anything, I am behind or not where I want to be, in a lot of aspects of my life. Because I don’t value myself enough to do the work to get there. It’s a hard and slippery slope to admit you don’t value yourself out loud. It’s hard to feel valued by others and like you matter when you yourself don’t think so. It’s hard for others to respect you when you portray it unconsciously and don’t take yourself seriously enough to be confident in your decisions. It’s hard all around.

It’s a hard and slippery slope to admit you don’t value yourself out loud. It’s hard to feel valued by others and like you matter when you yourself don’t think so. It’s hard for others to respect you when you portray it unconsciously and don’t take yourself seriously enough to be confident in your decisions. It’s hard all around.

So this year, I want to work really hard on adding value to myself. I want to show myself, really show myself, that I value, well, myself. I value my relationships and my cat but I value me too. I need to start valuing my health (both mentally and physically), my wealth, my space ( my apartment and car), my career, my business and own personal goals, by making them a priority. I already feel I value my relationships in life so I would just like to keep spending time with loved ones and offering space and understanding when it needs to happen. And this isn’t about them. This is about me letting go of the shame and knowing I am deserving of love, good, and light. I add value to this world and others in it.  And I need to recognize that.

May Recap/ June Goals

May was not the greatest for me. I had a funeral to attend to that messed me up, I’ve been splitting ( I have BPD) and I found myself struggling with my back again. I was in and out of urgent care, laid on my back and just in pain.

But I also got to spend time with friends, try new things and I am growing my business. So it’s not all bad but it’s not all good.

  1. Find my flow. I have an increased work load for my side business this month and it’s very possible I’ll continue with it going forward. I figured out that I would like to spend at least 15 hours a week on my business ( including this site and clients) so I need to figure out a way to get my additional work done.
  2. Take care of myself. This includes therapy every week, praying, working out twice a week, eating healthy, taking my supplements, sleeping ( it’s hard with back pain) and going to all of my doctor appointments.
  3. Have fun in San Francisco. I’ll be going to visit a friend and her family at the end of the month and I am so freaking excited! My bucket list includes, Castro, Alcatraz, meeting up with friends and eating good food. Any other suggestions?
  4. Read three books. I am still working on IT. And I would like to finish The Cook Up and True Crime Addict since they have been on my nightstand for a month.

Anyone have anything exciting going on?

 

Things My Mother Taught Me

I have a love hate relationship with Mother’s Day posts so it’s ironic that I find myself writing one.

I struggled actually, even thinking about it. See, my mom passed away when I was younger ( 15) and it was very traumatic. It wasn’t her fault, but the circumstances around her death and after her death were rough. Life was just rough. And although I thought I was over it for many years, and was able to function, it took me a long time to process it. I’m still processing it. Grief is funny in a way.

But now that I am actually thriving in my life, despite circumstances that have happened lately, I can think about what my mom taught me. It may not be standard financial lesson such as a 401 K or taxes, but it is still pretty important to me nonetheless.

Life happens. Do your best anyways.

If I have learned anything this past year, it’s that life happens. I get so caught up loving life when it’s great that when something bad happens, it hits me harrrddddd. I get so upset that it’s literally all I can focus on and it takes me hours to calm down, only after I have bawled and cried to anyone who will listen to me.

I do have a condition that I actively seek therapy for ( borderline personality disorder if anyone is wondering) but a lot of my therapy involves changing thought patterns and healthy coping techniques. My coping techniques aren’t always the best but I am doing a lot better about not getting stuck in my head. And I have to remember life happens and I need to do my best anyways.

My mom was a prime example of life happening in so many areas of her life that I never realized it until recently when thinking about her. 

My mom and I at Disneyland! I still have that look.

My mom, who had never wanted children, found out she was pregnant with me after falling off a horse at a party. (Yes, my mom was a good time, something I like to think I inherited.) The doctor told her that she was fine and so was her baby and she sort of yelled WHAT BABY. She was on the pill being an independent woman y’all. Oops.

Life changed drastically for her and she did her best anyways. She moved to Phoenix so she could have more family support with her brother. She started a new job as a veterinary assistant so she could have more stable income. And she decided to be a single mother without telling the birth father, despite being chronically ill.

My mom ended up loving being a mother, something she had not imagined. She had such a great energy about her life despite her circumstances that she ended up dating the firefighter who came to deliver me. She maintained her single mother status until I was four and she married the man who adopted me, the father I’ve known (not the firefighter, she left him for my dad).

This wasn’t the first or last time she had a major life change. She ended up choosing to divorce my father a few years later. Things were tough financially for us then, since she was chronically ill and couldn’t work. But she still did the best she could and I never went without. And when she knew she was terminally ill, she still did the best she could, encouraging me to stay with my education even when I would rather be taking care of her. I ended up being home schooled the last few months of her life but I was okay with it and I’m happy I had the option at the time.

Life changed and she did the best she could. 

I wish I had more time with my mom. There is so much you need your mom for and I feel cheated on a lot of things. But, I am so lucky because I have so many people in my life who love me. And that is what I need to remember when life changes so I don’t become so stagnant in my own thoughts.

What did your mom teach you?