Decisions, decisions…

Depending on what you do for a living, you might find that you make decisions all day. For some it might be an adrenaline rush, and for others it might drain the crap out of you. Regardless of whether decision-making is easy for you, it can be a draining part of your life. You need to be able to have a time to recharge the batteries in your brain to ensure all the wires are working properly. Without that recharge time, it might mean you begin to make decisions that are not the best for you and those impacted by your decisions.

How do you recharge though, if there never feels like an open window that will allow you to do so? Sometimes talking things through out loud is just enough to know the right answer. Other times you might just need a day off, and delegate the task of decision-making to someone else. You might also just need a long night of sleep.

Chris is used to me knowing what I want most of the time. Just because I know what I want, it does not mean that my desire is the answer. We still need to talk about it and come to a decision together. At times he might share information with me that might sway my decision and other times I feel clear from the beginning and know just what needs to happen. There are days when I come home (usually it is Friday) when I let him know I do not want to make the simplest decision — such as what I might want to eat for dinner. What throws him off is that 99% of the time I have an opinion, so that 1% of the time just feels odd and he can feel under pressure to then figure out what would make me happy or be best in the situation. The reality in this case is that my brain just cannot process another piece of information and I feel like a zombie.

Be sure to take the time to recharge your mind and body so that you can continue to make the best decisions for you and your family. It all starts with listening and it helps when you have an advocate that looks out for your best interest.

Do you have emotional pica?

We all have our own emotional childhood trauma. Some of us have differing degrees than others. There are those of us that had a fairy tale childhood, where we got everything we ever wanted and needed and then some. Others had to scrape by, were poor, or had many traumas to work through. However, all of that is relative.

I know perfectly normal people (whatever normal means these days) who had the perfect childhood and yet that is just what it looked like on the surface. They had all they needed and wanted, and yet maybe they did not really get what they needed most — a deep connection to those around them. That happened much later in life for them. Without it you do not always know what you might be missing. For those that had a childhood of heartaches and challenges, they might have learned early on to deal with the shift and feel deeply and in adulthood finally find out what it is like to have a normal life.

I am of the latter variety. I recently read this line from Kim Korson’s book: “I Don’t Have a Happy Place: Cheerful Stories of Despondency and Gloom,” and it was like an aha moment for me: 

“Buzz suffers from a bad case of emotional pica, an insatiable craving to fill himself up with the sand and dirt of childhood he missed out on. It’s draining but (on my compassionate days) I understand it. I roll my eyes while rolling out pizza dough or ordering the piñata because I know what it feels like to be slightly defective. And so when Buzz said to me, ‘Kim, we’re going to Disney World,’ I wanted to politely decline and say there was no way in hell I was making that trip, but I smiled and nodded, then took to the bed, and secretly thought, Good grief.” Page 224

I was pulled in with the mention of emotional pica. We all have some version of it in our life. Chris is great about making sure I fill out my days with things I never got to do as a kid. He is overly conscious of it. I am one to be frugal, say no to something, or say something is not needed or extravagant and he pushes me to pamper myself and do the thing(s) that I never got to do before.

While I hope it is not draining for him to be so conscious of what I lacked in my childhood (does he have my emotional pica?), I do know I can assure him we will not be going to Disney World any time soon.

To love and be loved

At the end of the day we all just want to be loved. We do. I think you are crazy if you do not agree with me. Wanting to feel loved is the cantankerous colleague that never seems to be happy and wants to stir the pot without realizing it. They just want to be heard. Being heard is a form of love. It is the family member or friend that calls attention to themselves (maybe without realizing it) because deep down they just want attention. They want to feel loved.

Often we do not know how to verbalize the love that we want in our life. We assume that others will know how to love us in the way we want to be loved. And yet, is that even possible? If we do not tell others how we most feel loved, how will they ever know? We have to find a way to tell them (that is if we care to feel their love – we might not think it is worth the effort). Recently I came across this Marianne Williamson quote:

“The meaning of life is to love and be loved. To be the light that casts out all darkness. To replace fear with love and remove the suffering of the world.”

The first line is all that matters. To love and be loved – is the meaning of life. It is so true. When we get into an argument with our spouse or friend and we are angry, often it is because we felt ignored, not heard, and thus not loved. If we feel left out of an adventure with friends we may feel unloved by them. The list goes on, but it always circles back to being loved.

If we all focused more on how we best receive love and share that with others, we might just find that we feel loved. If we focused more on how those we love most feel loved and we respond in that way, they just might feel more loved. When you look at it like that it feels simple. Right?

A mini Conk is coming!

So I have been holding back for a while before telling folks. Some friends, family, and work has known for a while (between my breasts getting much bigger and my bump starting to show, I had to let the cat out of the bag). For those of you I have never met, or do not see that often, today you are now in the know. Chris and I are expecting a baby boy on December 25, 2015. I am now 22 weeks (5.5 months) along, and past the halfway mark.

There have been so many times when I have wanted to write about being pregnant and since we were waiting to share I had to hold back! (Although I promise I will not inundate you over the coming months with baby bump updates). I cannot guarantee I will not share the many stories once we meet him!

We are so excited, and patiently waiting for the ‘lil man to join us. All is well, and we are just grateful for health for both me and ‘lil man. We have a little over four more months to go!

The unexpected praise or apology

I can be ornery. I like to do things a certain way, and I have a hard time apologizing. I am not sure how that happened in life, and how I became so stubborn. I actually think it is an artifact of growing up so fast. My mom became sick when I was 12. The next four years were filled with her. Taking care of her, cleaning our house, paying bills, using food stamps to buy groceries, finding my own way to/from school and other events, the list goes on. It was all up to my sister and me to figure out how to take care of my mom and figure out how to navigate our own lives. In my own way, I grew up so fast, and had to figure out things on my own, that I almost designed my own life very early on. Maybe they are/were coping mechanisms, but those critical years (when I should have been out playing and getting into trouble) I was just trying to keep shit together.

A recent Seth Godin blog titled: “Notes, not received” made me think about how maybe my childhood hardened me into not being the best at giving praise or approval. I rarely got it myself, so how would I learn to give it out to others? The third and last parts are what specifically stood out to me:

An expected apology rarely makes things better. But an expected apology that never arrives can make things worse.

An expected thank you note rarely satisfies. But an expected thank you that never arrives can make things worse.

On the other hand, the unexpected praise or apology, the one that comes out of the blue, can change everything.

It’s easier than ever to reach out and speak up. Sad, then, how rarely we do it when it’s not expected.

I still have so much to learn. I could definitely be better at work, at home, and with friends/family at unexpected apologies AND praise. We probably all can. We all probably have urges and then decide to not act on them. This is my reminder to try harder, let go more, and say what is on my mind. Hopefully it is a good reminder for you too.