Engineer Your Life

I’m feeling a little drained and dry recently. I just can’t get motivated for anything. Work has been hectic. I’m making my final push toward an October graduation. And the past two weeks, my daughter has had a cold. She’s doing a lot better now, and will finally be going to school for the first time in a week. Overall, life is happening, and I’m trying to keep up, but I don’t feel like I’m getting ahead. It’s more like I’m treading water or stuck on my hamster wheel.7kkqg0eb_ti-ankush-minda

I know I have absolutely nothing to worry about. My daughter, husband, friends and family brighten my days, and I am generally in a decent mood based on my coffee intake. I just feel like I’m holding on to the caboose of my life rather than engineering the front car.

I’ve said multiple times that I’m a glutton for punishment. I can’t help it. I like being busy, but this is one of those times I think I need to pull back, evaluate my commitments, and find my direct path rather than this haphazard road.

My advice to you, my friends: Be the engineer in your own life. Steer the train as directly as you can toward your goals and leave the rest behind.

Easier said than done, I’m finding, but as with anything, it’ll just take time, and a few more I think I can’s. Choo choo!

I miss you.

I’ve never in my life missed someone as much as I miss my best friend of over fifteen years. Her squeal when she was excited, her laugh was absolutely contagious, what I wouldn’t give to hear them again. She was the tiniest ball of the largest energy who could always put a smile on my face, or help me kick some ass of whoever pissed me off. She was my sidekick and sane mind when I needed her, but she could always relate and never judged whatever was going on in my life.

I’ve never missed anyone more than I miss her. Some may say that I am punishing myself by watching videos or looking at pictures of me and her, but it’s the only way I know how to curve the absolute need to see and hear her voice again. 

I know people say it gets easier, but I’m more of the mind that you just learn how to live with it. I guess I just haven’t figure it out yet. 

Sometimes your hero is you.

Never forget that sometimes you have to save yourself. ❤

I feel like all too often we expect or anticipate someone swooping in to save us when we are in the midst of a trial. We become complacent in our own lives, and just wait for something to happen.

Why wait? Why do we expect someone to solve our problems or open a door for us? Why can’t we open those doors ourselves and find a solution on our own.

We are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. We are more capable than we want to believe. We cane be our own hero because sometimes your hero is you.

heroisyou

Not 140 Characters

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Am I coming in clear? Can you hear me out there? For all the world, and all the universe, I hope you can. I send this to you this day, so that you may understand.

What’s happening?whats-happening-on-twitter

With me? With the world? With this very existence on this small blue dot? I don’t even know anymore.

What’s on your mind?fb-whats-on-your-mind

The words I would speak aloud? Or the words only my conscious has ever heard? I can’t tell you how many times I have had to defy my own will in order to keep from saying the words dancing on the edge of my tongue.

Share your story here…img_96621

My story? You want my story on this blank canvas? My story is my own, but if you wish it, I may share it with you. Only if you promise no judgement, and no hate. Only if you promise you will listen with open ears.

All the words we speak, feel, think, and cherish in this life, can they really be requested in simple phrases? Can we real consolidate them to short blurbs of nothingness and send them out to the world without a bat of an eye? Are we really so far gone that none of it has any meaning anymore? Take a snapshot, and give it one word; you can’t. Stop asking for everything, but expecting nothing. If you want to give it all, share it explicitly, or not at all. If you want to keep it in, protect it, but don’t give it a chance to glimpse even the slightest bit of freedom and dull everything you ever knew.

Live without simple phrases. Live without consolidation. Live without mindlessness. Live free. Speak all. Feel all. Think all. Cherish all. This is life. Not 140 characters.photo-1465145177017-c5b156cd4d14.jpg

Need to Decompress

I have always said that I am a gluten for punishment, and I live up to it regularly. I find new ways to add on to my plate, and eventually, I get so overloaded that I have to take a step back, regroup, and figure out how to tackle everything I promised to take on. This is definitely one of those moments. I am looking for my center then trying to add things slowly back into the mix to find the balance I lost somewhere along the way.

The good news is that I am scheduled to graduate this time next year with my Bachelor’s degree from SNHU (Southern New Hampshire University), so that will be one large chunk of weight off my shoulders. I also just finished another certification program at work, so I am officially a CAP-TA through IAAP. See a previous post for more information about them. My daughter is hinting at wanting to be potty-trained, so that will be another alleviating moment once she masters that feat. All in all, some things will be falling off my scale here shorty, so I am trying to see the finish line through the haze of the bombarding present.photo-1473624566182-509e437512f4.jpg

Through all the chaos that seems to happening around me, I have tried multiple times to pick up the diet and workout plan I had successfully been on before I became pregnant, but to no avail. I’ve come to determine that there just isn’t enough time in the day to deal with everything I have taken on, and try to diet and exercise as heavily I had been pre baby. I don’t have time to make a breakfast or lunch, so I grab a protein shake and whatever Lean Cuisine I can find before hitting the road. I tried doing it the night before, but again, I don’t have time between dinner, bath, and bedtime routine if I want to get to bed at a decent hour and/or have some “mommy time” or pay any attention to my husband.

So I did what any mom would. I scoured the internet for what other moms do when they want to diet and exercise with a full plate of commitments. I found that you are either a “fit mom” or an “excuse mom”, and I was definitely an “excuse mom”. These type of moms are the ones that come up with a whole handful of reasons as to why they can’t lose weight or diet while the “fit moms” have ab muscles and tiny waists, and say that “excuse moms” are just lazy.

How about I’m just a mom trying to do the best I can for my child? I may not be taking care of myself as well as I should in the diet and exercise aspect, but I am filling my heart full of memories, and trying to better myself through education and hard-work in my career to provide the best life I can for my daughter. That may not make me a “fit mom”, but that sure as hell doesn’t make me an “excuse mom”, either.

I digress on my rant, but I hope I leave everyone with the idea that life comes in stages. Right now, my stage is self-enlightenment through education. Maybe as my daughter gets older and more independent, and I finally add a diet and exercise plan to my balancing act, then it will be healthier mom time. Until then, I’ll just enjoy making memories.photo-1466699514193-d2327ed2cccb.jpg

Find The One Who Will Lift You Up

Af0sF2OS5S5gatqrKzVP_SilhoutteIt has been twelve years that my husband and I have been together, and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. I’m normally the more romantic of the two of us, and today, I’m feeling extra mushy. I have tried our entire relationship to explain to him what he means to me, but I’m better with written words than I am with spoken. No matter how much I write or speak, though, it never seems enough.

How do you explain to someone that literally saved your life how much they mean to you?

As a teenager, I got mixed up with a bad crowd and an even worse relationship. My last middle school year through my early high school years were the darkest parts of my life. I have a lot of regrets during those years, but my biggest mistakes were when I hurt the man I love. I was a young kid then, but those mistakes still haunt me. Not because they have any effect on our relationship (he says he never thinks about it unless I bring it up), but because I realize now how naive I had been and how much pain I had caused my now husband.

Through all the mistakes and all the irresponsible decisions I made, he stood by me, and I couldn’t be more thankful that he did. He helped me through those horrid years and brought me back to life in the light. Without him, I know I wouldn’t be where I am, let alone the person I am today. He saved me from a life I never want to think I would’ve lived, and although I have tried, I don’t think I will ever be able to thank him, or show him how much I appreciate him enough.

I always tell him that he pulls me up and allows me to float in the clouds, pushes me to dream even the wildest of possibilities like becoming a writer while I keep him grounded, the realist of us two and knower of all things Household Chamberlin. Without him, I would have never pursued writing or self-published any of my works. Honestly, I don’t know that I would have any of the things I have in my life right now if he wasn’t my other half.

How do you show enough gratitude to someone who has given you and helped you achieve everything you have ever dreamed of?

I am so thankful and blessed for the photo-1465508421127-4cbee06c9e73life I have with my husband and now talking-and-toddling daughter because without either of them, I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now. And maybe one day, I will think of a way to repay my husband for all he has done for me over the years. Maybe when we are old and gray, and I have to remind him where he put his teeth in order for him to eat his favorite meal will he finally understand exactly how much I love him.

Becoming A Mother – For My Daughter

When life was easy, I came and went as I pleased.party
When life was easy, I never worried about a thing.
I could get up and go at the drop of a hat.
I could stay out all night and sleep in till noon.
I never cared what anyone thought.
My main goal was to make me happy.
I partied too much, drank too much, made mistakes that I’m not proud of, but never had to worry about someone to answer to.

When life was easy, responsibility was simple.
When life was easy, I took care of me.
I could go a little crazy or forget about everything, but it really wouldn’t matter to anyone but me.
I could get a tattoo or piercing on any old whim.
I could go to a hockey game without notice.
I could eat fast food every day of the week, and none of it mattered to anyone but me.

When life was easy, most days were the same.
When life was easy, nothing really changed.
Work during the week; partying and sleeping late on the weekends.
I could always count on the same people to do the same thing day in and out.
I could always count on the same old routine.
And it all fit so perfectly in the monotony of when life was easy.

Now, life is different in a way I couldn’t have imagined.
Now, life is altered into something I never foresaw.
Now, life is hard.

Now that you’re here, life is hard.
Now that you’re here, I have to be accountable for my whereabouts.
I have to do certain things at certain times.
I have to be up early then in bed early.
I have to care what someone else thinks.
My main goal now is to make you happy because now it all matters to someone that isn’t me.

Now that you’re here, responsibility is difficult.
Now that you’re here, I have to take care of you.
I have sometimes felt like I’m not doing this right, and now it matters to someone that isn’t me.
I have not gotten a tattoo or piercing in a few years.
I have to make plans in order to go out.
I have to live healthy and buy organic food because now it all matters to someone that isn’t me.

Now that you’re here, every day is different.
Now that you’re here, everything has changed.
My life revolves around you each and every moment.
I have to be there for you because I know you need me.
I have to help you learn this world as much as I can.
And it all fits so perfectly in the constant changes of our lives because now something matters to someone that isn’t me.baby

My life was full of nothing before you were born.
My life was empty as I went through the motions.
Now my life has meaning as I walk alongside you.
Now my life consists of helping you through.
I love you more than anything, my daughter.
And now that life is hard, I do everything for you.
And now that life is worth living, it’s all because of you.

Lost Time Is Never Found Again

I’ve been on a deep kind of post kick recently. I blame it on my daughter. When you become a parent, it seems like that is when you really start to view the world differently. You go from someone who takes responsibility as it comes like Huckleberry Fin to someone who feels as if all responsibility is resting on your shoulders like Atlas attempting to hold up the world. It can be maddening how much you begin to worry about silly things that were never a concern before like food selection or toothbrushes.

22It is only a very tiny, little smile that keeps you from plummeting off the edge of anxiety. A tiny, little giggle that swells your heart to let you know that you are making the right decisions. A tiny, little person who will wrap their arms so tightly around your neck in a heartbreakingly sweet hug. That tiny, little person that you fuss so much over to make sure they have everything they need or want in the world which seems to being spinning incessantly is exactly who keeps you firmly planted and moving in a straight line.

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. – Jim Rohn

I wish I could spend my days with her. I wish I could be there for her every waking moment, but isn’t that everyone’s wish.

For more time.

It’s the one thing in this world that you can never get more of. It’s constantly ticking, constantly moving and counting down the very seconds of our lives. There is never a break in time, so we will never get a moment back even with all the money in the world.file0002029315062

Some people will argue that the real need/want in everyone’s life is time and money, but that just doesn’t seem right. Money is a real, tangible object where time isn’t. Money can be earned, can be spent, and can be earned back again in a constant circular flow, but time is linear in a single direction. You cannot earn more time. You cannot spend it, or make it go any faster. You certainly cannot gain it back.

Time is the one thing in my life that I think I will always wish I had more of. Sure, money would be nice, but more time to spend with my daughter, my husband, or other loved ones is what I will always want.

Lost time is never found again. – Benjamin Franklin

Growing Up Is Hard, But I Had You.

Growing up is hard. In elementary school, I had more friends than I knew what to do with. In middle school, I had a lot of friends and a group of people I considered best friends. As high school started, friends became acquaintances, and a few of those from the group of best friends shined greater than the rest. As you grow older, you lose friends. It’s a fact of life. But there are those that stick with you through it all.

Now into adulthood, three of those people from the best friend group of high school proved to be ride or die, loyal friends. They were there for me during times of loss, times of pain. They were there for me in times of joy and happiness. Hell, they were bridesmaids in my wedding. These three women have been part of my life for well over fifteen years and helped make me who I am today. Without them, growing up would have been even harder, but together, we made it through.

CMN and I met in elementary school. We clicked immediately in second grade which isn’t hard for seven years olds, and even through the hardships of growing up and finding ourselves, through times of fights and arguments, we have remained close. KMK and KAK are twins I met in middle school, and through the years, I was always close to both of them, but sometimes closer to one than the other. KMK was my maid of honor at my wedding, and was my best friend until a few years ago, but we still kept in touch. KAK and I got into mischief in high school, and over the past few years have remained in contact as much as possible. We grew up together, the four of us, and I couldn’t imagine life without any of them.

So when I got a phone call from CMN telling me that KAK passed away, I broke. I’m still broken. This girl that I spent my life with, going through boys, cars, and babies, is gone. This beautiful, amazingly talented, passionate woman will never again call or text me just to check-in. I literally feel as if part of my heart and soul has been severed.

How do you go from living with someone as part of your life to not? How do you turn the last fifteen plus years into a memory? I can’t imagine how to go through my day without thinking of checking in, just to say hey, with her. I can’t imagine not hearing about what color her hair is today or what new piercing she has. I can’t imagine not hearing her laugh, or growl, or some bodily function ever again. I just don’t know how to handle losing someone so tightly woven into my life that I wasn’t prepared to lose.

KAK is a year older than me. She is so full of life, light of any party or conversation. She literally could change anything negative into a giggle fest. She never knew exactly what to say which is why she always knew exactly what to say. She is a talented artist, an amazing listener, and a fantastic housekeeper. This woman is beautiful inside and out, and will forever live within my heart.

Rest easy, KAK. I love you always, my sister.

Love, Life, and Loss

Almost a year ago, in exactly seventeen more days, my daughter entered this world.

I know there are better introduction sentences in the classic novels of history. – Call me Ishmael. – A screaming comes across the sky. – Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. True written masterpieces of art! But I tell you this, none of those have moved me greater than the one written above. As each day passes, and the number dwindles down, I find myself becoming an even bigger mass of emotions.

Panic. Love. Anxiety. Peace. Despondent. Elated.

This tiny human who grew inside of me then entered this world via me has been part of my life for almost an entire year. From this wrinkly, sleepy little creature who fit so perfectly on my chest to the now taller than my head to waist wiggle worm, she has grown so much. I can hardly believe that all of three-hundred and forty-eight days ago I was desperately waiting to see her face for the first time when now all I see in my mind’s eye is her silly smile and bright eyes.  

I will never know a greater joy then to see my daughter’s face. I will never know a more peaceful moment then when she is asleep in my arms. I will never be able to forget a moment I spend with her for the rest of my life because I try my hardest to live my time with her with everything I am.

I know, I’m sappy today, and it has everything to do with what today is. Today is the day of the funeral for my maternal grandfather four months after my maternal grandmother’s passing. I guess you can say I’m contemplating time and mortality. Both of my grandparents lived long lives into their seventies, and I know they lived well, but how long is long enough?

I’ve heard older people say, “I’ve lived a long and happy life, so I’m ready to move on to the next stage.”, but how do they ever come to that point? Will I ever understand their feeling of a life complete? I couldn’t imagine one day suddenly feeling like I had lived every moment I could live when life continues to happen around me.

Maybe they are just at peace with the way their lives played out and know that whatever greater moment there is after this life, they will still in someway play a part in the current world they live in. Maybe they realize that while their bodies may not be here, the love they shared will never die as long as their loved ones live and share it with others.

I guess I take solace in knowing the love I felt for my grandparents is still within me even though it is stung with the pain of loss. I think I’ll hold onto their memory a little tighter today, and know that it won’t die within me as long as I share it with my loved ones. And I think I know who I will start with.