One of the big parts of this journey for self-love has been figuring out what's truly important. You know, setting some real prio...

The Unexpected Benefits From Loving Yourself

One of the big parts of this journey for self-love has been figuring out what's truly important. You know, setting some real priorities. Doing this requires ridding yourself of all the things you discover are just not important. This is wonderfully liberating and often has unexpected benefits that only add to your happiness. Below are a few of those benefits that I personally have experienced over the years during my journey of self-love.

Avoiding Destructive Media
Like many teenagers, I got into reading magazines and watching trashy TV. But my enjoyment of it all was thankfully cut short when my recovery started. I realized very quickly how destructive these things were for my mind. Beauty magazines and cable TV bombard you with non-stop advertisements, trying to make you feel like shit about yourself so you'll spend money on crap you don't need. And trashy TV shows are no better. Watching a bunch of girls be anorexic, stupid, or slutty on purpose for money? Maybe some people can handle that, but my recovering mind could not. I decided to steer away from anything that made me feel dumber for watching. I was surprised at how much better it made me feel to have less daily doses of bullshit.

Healthy Living
Exercising and eating healthier, which I think always come up on a journey of self-love. These have the very happy consequence of less illness. And also less side affects from a poor diet, like brain fog, skin problems, headaches, etc. Exercise increases endorphins and usually makes you feel better about yourself. If you wonder why people who adopt a healthier lifestyle are sometimes annoyingly happy about it? It's because of all of that. When you feel better physically and mentally, it's a lot easier to feel happy.

Positive Friends
Being positive attracts positive people. Constantly being around negative people is draining, but sometimes unavoidable. Having positive people in your life will balance that out and help immensely on your journey to loving yourself. I don't know how far I'd actually be on my journey if I hadn't had the help of Brian and several awesome friends in my life that were also trying to be positive and treat themselves better.

The wonderful idea of having less. Most of us, at least in America, have TOO MUCH FUCKING STUFF! The majority of which is unnecessary and just adding clutter to our lives. I'm constantly trying to rid myself of the things I'm not using and don't need, a never-ending (but worthwhile) project. Once you realize what's important in life, the first thing you know is that the majority of stuff just isn't even close to making the list of requirements for happiness.

I first started learning mindfulness over 10 years ago in my first yoga class. At the time, I didn't realize how important this would be to my recovery. You also hear the term in regards to mindful eating, which has also been an important piece in my recovery. Being mindful of my diet and movements is just the beginning. Once I started this process it spread to the rest of my life and I started to be more mindful of all my thoughts and actions. Now I have begun to see my true impact, and potential impact, in the world. And it's bigger than I ever imagined.

These are just a few of the good things that have changed unexpectedly in my life since I started this journey many years ago. I still have a long way to go with all of them and everything else that goes along with loving myself. But I find it helpful to stop along the way and appreciate how far I've come and the happy surprises in my life.


Last week at 5am on Monday morning, Sebastian shuffled into our room with a little sniffle. He comes to my side of the bed and says, &q...

A Week of Pathetic Self-Pity

Last week at 5am on Monday morning, Sebastian shuffled into our room with a little sniffle. He comes to my side of the bed and says, "Mom, I threw up in my bed."

Uuuugggghhh! Brian went to assess the damage and Sebastian crawled in bed with me, which means I didn't sleep much after that. I had to be to work on time (early in my world) for a big project so I was dragging. Off to work I went to face 10+ hour days for the next 4 days. By Thursday night I was beat. Brian left to play music with his friend and I attempted to have a quiet evening with the boys. Ha! 

By then Sebastian was getting better, but now Oscar had a stuffy nose and what I thought was a cough. After dinner that cough turned into gagging and he threw up on the living room rug. I got him to the bathroom for the rest, but ya know how good a 2 year old is at aiming? After I got it mostly cleaned up, I got the boys in the bath so we could hopefully get to bed early. Bedtime consisted of me following Oscar around with a bowl trying to catch all of his throw up. Ginger kept coming upstairs and staring at me funny but I just told her to lay down. I didn't have time for her in the midst of vomit duty! 

Boys in bed, I headed downstairs to clean some more. I put away leftovers, fed Ginger, cleaned up toys, and then finally saw what Ginger was acting funny about. Poop all over the living room. WTF?! (And how the fuck did I not see it immediately when I came downstairs?!) I had let her out right before we went upstairs so she had no excuse. It wasn't Iike she was sick either so I was a bit pissed to say the least.

A bit later, I came inside from throwing away all the poop to see Oscar at the top of the stairs.

"Mommy, I threw up in my bed."


The view from my office that Monday...a foggy omen of the week to come

My kids get sick like all kids do, but usually it's colds. They don't throw up much thankfully. Ginger doesn't normally poop in the house. I don't normally work 10+ hour days. But all of these things happened in the same week.

Between working late and fighting off their bug, I didn't have the energy to exercise. I didn't eat the greatest either, not enough vegetables and one night I had way too much wine. By the end of the week, all my joints hurt. My face broke out. I had a headache that wouldn't go away. Many more physical symptoms of too much stress flared up. Forget about blogging as that requires more time in front of a computer which I just can't stomach after working that much. I was angry and irritable and just wanted to be alone.

I am very fortunate. My life is good, blessed, lucky, whatever word you want to use. I have it easy. When I have a rough week I get to spend the weekend recuperating (which I did). My idea of a rough week is many people's normal, and for many more people in the world, a dream week. I have NOTHING to complain about. That's why I was so irritated. Mad at myself for being such a whiner. Mad that I can't handle a little stress without becoming physically and mentally ill. Mad that I allowed shit (literally haha) that isn't important bring me down. Mad because this wasn't just last week, but is always my response to stress.

The road to self-worth and love is long, windy, rough, and lonely. Nobody but me can pull myself out of my own pathetic self-pity. I know exactly how to do it too, since I've done it a million times before. Get enough sleep, eat extra healthy, exercise, lay off the wine, cut back on caffeine, spend time with my family, spend time alone. Write. Write. Write. I was the only person in my way.

Part of seeking happiness is admitting that we cannot always be happy. It's ridiculous to expect otherwise. There are many worthy reasons to feel down and depressed. Part of recovery is learning to recognize when you're depressed for a good reason versus a bad reason, or no reason at all. This week...all bad reasons. That means suck it up and move on. When I have the knowledge, tools, and skills to pull myself out of a slump, then I know, no excuses. Just fucking do it.

Thankfully I took my own advice, and am feeling much better now. Which means, I've got a lot of half written posts waiting patiently for me to finish in the next week or two, so I hope you're ready to read. 😆


Monday was Sebastian's 7th birthday. For any of you with little kids, I'm sure you know how I'm feeling. It's somethi...

7 Years of Parenting

Monday was Sebastian's 7th birthday. For any of you with little kids, I'm sure you know how I'm feeling. It's something like...

"Holy fuck how is he 7?!"

For any of you with older kids I'm sure you're laughing at me and saying something like...

"Just wait until they're 18, then you'll really feel old!"

And you're totally right. I'm certain I will feel this at every single one of my kids' birthdays for the rest of my life. Their birthdays are the reminder of how quickly time moves, much more so than my own birthday. Maybe because little kids change more in 1 year than adults. Or maybe it's just because it makes me feel sentimental. Like a mother should be while watching her babies grow up.

While I may be in awe of how fast it's all going, at no time do I wish for it to stop. People often say things like "don't you wish they'd stay little forever?" No, I definitely do not. I love watching them learn and grow. I love seeing what each new phase will bring. And I love that they're still little enough to like spending time with me. But if they weren't growing, none of this would seem special. Like so much in life, it means more because it's temporary. It's always changing, giving you no time to waste. Only time to savor every moment you can since you know it's the only moment like this you will get. Your kids will never again be as young as they are right now. That's why they are so precious.

The funny thing about time is how it can feel like it's moving at the speed of light but also slow at the same time. If I think of everything that has happened in the last 7 years I realize, it does feel likes it's been awhile. We have done so much with him. We made many first child mistakes. We learned what it's like to have a baby and stay awake all night trying to get him to sleep. We both changed our work situations so we can be with him more. We had our hearts broken when receiving his NF diagnosis. We grew stronger in the aftermath, learning how precious and fragile our child's life really is. We had his brother and watched their bond form. We took them on many plane trips, road trips, camping, fishing, swimming, farm exploring, berry picking, beach playing, hiking, bike riding, stroller adventuring, park playing, and so much more.

I have learned what it feels like to fail as a parent and to succeed. I have enjoyed more hugs, kisses, and snuggles than I can count, and still hope for countless more. I have learned I can love and hate a thing at the same time. I have learned what unconditional love is and that I am capable of it. My experiences as a parent have made me a better person. Stronger, more compassionate, more patient (sometimes), and more complete. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

So here's to 7 years as a parent, and the 70 more to come. (Yes I'm living to 101.)