YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL.

I stare out the picture window at the gentle, trickling water. Lush, emerald green pine trees closing in on it, with nothing but blue sky serenely peeking through the needles. Well groomed flower beds with fresh bark flank the perimeter of the house. It’s perfect, and I know I can’t have it. I’m crushed.

But also relieved.

Because I don’t know what I want. Or maybe, more accurately, I don’t know what I don’t want. I want it all. And yet, I still try to argue my husband into making an offer on the drive home.

The elusive “they,” which is a conglomeration of many writers and speakers, told me if I could dream it, I could do it, have it, be it. Just picture yourself living the life you desire, every day… think good thoughts… it’ll come. Caviar wishes and champagne dreams.

Woman, having it all.

Woman, having it all.

I’m not sure I’ve manifested anything yet, other than a major sense of FOMO frosted with desperation and lingering discontent. Although, I did pray for big boobs all through elementary school. They don’t tell you that you need to keep praying for them to stay after pumping out and breastfeeding three kids. Now I wear training bras again.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy the current state of my life, but I’m so busy picturing what it could be, I often feel an emptiness billowing beneath the surface- trapped by my own constant state of yearning. Disenfranchised by all of the “successful” people, the books, the podcasts, chirping in my ear about what’s possible. Why shouldn’t I be able to bring in millions of dollars in passive income? Tim Ferriss… I simultaneously love and hate you. You’ve created a couple of insatiable monsters named Sean and Angi. 4 Hour Work Week my ass.

In spite of feeling at peace in a way that I never had before, I started a business 6 months ago. Why? Because of the pressure to perform, to hit big, to be impassioned, and to immerse myself into something/anything. To add to our family income so that we can do all the things. You know, travel the world while we churn out a few email responses each day to keep the bucks flowin.’ I won’t go into the human aversion to stillness. That’s another blog.

I’ve learned a lot from this business. And I’m grateful for all of it, but the problem with owning something is that it’s never enough. There’s always a next step. It’s like taking a test in college. Post exam, you’re totally relieved for a day or two and then you remember you have to study for the next one. That vague sense of relief gone as quickly as your celebratory beer. Nothing is going to grow itself. What are you willing to do to get there? How many followers are enough on Instagram? How many staged pictures of your faux life do you have to post to win a sale? How many new products do you need to come up with to be fresh enough to satisfy the second long attention span in today’s world? How many heart emojis are adequate to express appreciation of a comment? I don’t want to think about this shit. It feels incredibly trite and inauthentic. But, that’s the buy in, the trade off for the alleged American dream at the end of the tunnel.

The “Tim Ferris conundrum,” coupled with the infinite level of pressure to perform while simultaneously feeling like a failure, because it will literally never be enough, has turned me into a certifiable nut job. There’s always the next new thing to keep up with. What you’re left with is a desperate housewife who feels like she can’t control a damn thing, right down to her own kids, cuz can anyone??? After gaining weight from eating too much kale, because I’m 41 and that’s my life now, I went grain and sugar free for one month and then keto for 2 more weeks and weighed more afterwards than when I started. I've been doing an intense weight training program for 45 minutes per day, 5x per week for 6 months and there is literally no perceptible difference in my “progress pics.” F progress pics, btw. My baby stopped napping a year ago, and I haven’t been alone for more than a few minutes since. So, basically my body, my business, and my children have decided that I can’t be trusted with myself, and they’ll make the decisions for me from here on out.

I think this must be what a midlife crisis is. And, the kicker is that I don’t actually have a problem, aside from those 7 pounds, which are more of a nuisance than an actual problem. I don’t want to buy new pants people. Well, I do, but not bigger ones.

The real problem is me. My thoughts. My expectations. My lack of feeling in control. My unrealistic longing, and Tim Ferris. Goddamnit Tim.

I have a lovely home, in a lovely neighborhood, in a lovely town that people come to for vacation. My children are happy and healthy and relatively complication free. My husband and I are solid and in love. I’m healthy and strong and get to stay home with my 3 year old except for a random Saturday or two. My business could go away tomorrow, and we wouldn’t be worse for the wear. We eat organic food and take a cool trip each year. Life is fucking good.

I just need to let it be, take my paws out of everything and breathe easy. I need to let this be enough, to take respite in the adequacy, because while I’m busy upping my game, my kids are growing at lightning speed. The sun is shining outside, and I’m not basking.

We live in an age of possibility and if we can’t contain it, we’ll be destroyed by it. While we make vision boards and picture what could be, what is takes leave. The moment, the only time we own, no longer belongs to us, because we’re in a faraway place plotting and scheming about how to be “better.”

It’ll take some mental exertion with lots of checking in and personal accountability, but let’s flip the world the bird and want what we have while keeping our ambitions manageable. Save the daydreaming for the millennials. And Tim Ferriss.


-Angi


(I’m sorry for those of you who don’t know who Tim Ferriss is. He’s an amazing, brilliant, childless, 40 something year old man with more business savvy in his pinkie than the rest of us have in our whole bodies. He’s filthy rich, uber driven, and penned the book “The 4 Hour Workweek.” In spite of my constant jabs, he’s incredibly impressive, and I wouldn’t undo any insight I’ve gained from him. Everyone should read his books.)


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ANGI

I was an oddity in high school, obsessed with the CIA, the supernatural, aliens, basically all things mysterious. As an adult, I've moved on to being captivated by human nature, my own and everyone elses. Exploring the whys and hows of my own psyche and trying to create connections that have depth and meaning brings significance to my experience in this school we call Life. I've gone from being a full time working mom, to a part time working mom, to a stay at home mom and the breadth of that experience has shown me the value in all of those roles. I am riveted by the complicated genius that is the female intellect and sharing insights with other engaging women has become, for me, an essential symbiosis. 

 

SEX, SHAME, AND THE FEMALE ORGASM.

Over the last few years, I’ve let myself get a little uncomfortable when talking with girlfriends. I’ve broached a subject that we usually don’t touch on much- sex (pun intended). Sure, we’ll allude to it or crack a put-upon wife joke, but details are generally omitted.

Men don’t seem to take issue with chatting about it, so why do we? It’s something we know all of us are doing but our veil of silence surrounding sex keeps us “pure.” Even the most progressive of us have subconscious associations about our sexuality- negativity, dirtiness, lack of control. We have several words signifying that a woman is promiscuous and basically one for a man who gets around- “player,” and it's relatively new. Whore, slut, tramp, nympho, and floozie have stood the test of time. This isn’t a politically oriented blog. I’m not going to blame the vernacular or hushed quality of feminine intimacy on men or delve into origins of female shame. As is human nature, people do what we allow. This is 2018, modern day business, we’re in charge of the dialogues we choose to have or not have, of desensitizing this commonplace issue.

What do we stand to gain?

Increased pleasure and decreased shame.

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I’m going to get super personal here. I didn’t have an orgasm until I was over 30. You know what else I didn’t do until I was over 30? Masturbate. Those two are directly correlated to one another. (Yes, I just went there, and it’s going to feel really weird for all of us but mostly me.) Don’t worry, I figured it out at 31… and my quality of life increased for having done so. But guess what it took? An older friend who about lost her shit when I told her, and she had the courage to drop her veil and give me specific details on what to do. She told me that the female orgasm is something you need to figure out on your own and quickly directed me to the appropriate website to buy myself a toy. My life changed that day when she chose to get uncomfortable and speak up about something women just don’t talk about.

Growing up, the idea of masturbation evoked shame. Like any teenage girl, I was curious but too embarrassed to do anything about it (unlike teenage boys who manage to get past this without issue). Those physical sensations also didn’t come easily for me, so experimenting on my own would’ve taken a lot more work than my mortified self could’ve mustered. Some women feel that arousal with a crossing of the legs or mild stimulation, even as children (imagine the shame of repeatedly being told to stop touching yourself as a three-year-old). All of our bodies are different, a fact teenage girls aren’t aware of, aside from comparisons in the size of our thighs and breasts. I have several friends who can have orgasms from intercourse alone. They comprise a few of the 25% who can. 10-15% of us will never climax under any circumstance, and then there’s the rest, who can do it but it takes effort (I fit into this category and probably would’ve stayed in the previous category if I hadn’t overcome shame). Here’s some information that will blow your mind… and would be the answer to crossword puzzle clues if it was a male issue. The distance between your clitoris and your vagina determines your ability to orgasm during intercourse. The closer they are, the easier it is. Makes logistical sense in terms of friction, right? Get out your mirror and tape measurer, Y'all. Your friends who can come during sex are not doing anything special you haven’t figured out yet, they’re just genetically predisposed. The mental space we're in plays a huge role too, but some of it is just plain old anatomy.

So there was the teenage masturbation shame that carried into adulthood, coupled with the decision I’d erroneously made that my body wasn’t for me- men would show me how to feel good, teach me what I liked. I’d taken pride in my sexual openness and willingness to experiment but none of that was really for me, that was about me being whomever I thought a man would find appealing, stuff I’d learned from movies, smutty romance novels, and life observations. Of course, sex is a two-way street and exciting your partner is part of it, but my pleasure and experience are now tantamount to playing the role of society’s version of “sexy.”

I sometimes still feel embarrassed to be verbally specific with my husband about my desires because of the shame programmed in by the world. It’s an ongoing process of weakening those engrained defaults. But, in a sexual way, I feel more me and more fulfilled than ever, and that’s only going to increase with time and openness.

I don’t want my daughter to miss out on years of pleasure because the world silences us into submission. In due time, I plan to talk to her about sex and orgasms, to inform her that her satisfaction is just as important as her partners and that there is no shame in taking the reins of exploring what works on her own. It’s a conversation that may cause both of us to squirm, but my silence would propagate the stigma that she undoubtedly will encounter all around her. As mothers, and as fellow women, we can influence that by slowly whittling away at stereotypical shame, one daughter at a time.

-Angi

I encourage mothers of daughters to pick up the book, “Your Daughter’s Bedroom” by Joyce T. McFadden. If I haven’t convinced you, hopefully she will.





 

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ANGI

I was an oddity in high school, obsessed with the CIA, the supernatural, aliens, basically all things mysterious. As an adult, I've moved on to being captivated by human nature, my own and everyone elses. Exploring the whys and hows of my own psyche and trying to create connections that have depth and meaning brings significance to my experience in this school we call Life. I've gone from being a full time working mom, to a part time working mom, to a stay at home mom and the breadth of that experience has shown me the value in all of those roles. I am riveted by the complicated genius that is the female intellect and sharing insights with other engaging women has become, for me, an essential symbiosis. 

 

THE MOST IMPORTANT BLOG I'VE EVER WRITTEN.

The tears rolled down and I welcomed them, imparting salty trickles into my mouth. I’d committed to myself, and anyone who might have stumbled upon my last blog, to spend a month without my psychological creature comforts. Those included reading, writing, exercising, meditating, Google, and social media. I run to these things, daily, as sources of “personal progress.” Maybe not social media, but it’s a time suck nonetheless, and the name of this game wasn’t to confront modern and seemingly benign addictions but instead to create space in the form of time and silence, something most of us have absolutely none of.

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When was the last time you sat alone in a room with no devices, no book, and no agenda?

Yeah, me either, until a month ago.

The first two days, when my toddler blessed me with a nap, I sat alone and basked in a sense of relief. There was no pining. I just felt as though the weight of the world had been lifted, the self-imposed pressure to perform, to move, to check in. We live in a culture where we call this “lazy.”

I began to ask guidance for epiphanies, for opportunities to heal, knowing I had some long-standing emotional wounds surrounding things that had origins in childhood, stuff that I’d carried with me and imprinted upon my adult interactions, further blistering my psyche.

I could feel the senselessness of this little girl business, the suitcase of irrational insecurities I’d chosen to tote around with me from year to year. You know the one, we’ve all got em, some heavier than others and necessitating wheels with that handle thingy, no matter how loving our families. I don’t think we actively choose to hold onto these trinkets requiring a reckoning, they’re instead like tangles in the hair, growing into unmanageable frizzy knots if not eventually addressed, sometimes mandating scissors and impetuous removal, inevitably rendering us incomplete.

Sheep in wolf’s clothing.

We have to address our in-authenticities, we can’t bury them and continue on with much sense of fulfillment and peace. That suitcase will find you… or whatever is left of you, even if you ditch it at the station, and you’ll do crazy things to evade it.

According to the book The Sacred Science, by Nick Polizzi, which inspired my month of soul solitude, avoiding those tangles can ultimately lead to physical and emotional illness, although I’d consider them one in the same. Attempting to separate mind from body is a futile cause in this human condition unless you’ve reached enlightenment.

On the third day, I had an exchange with a friend, one in which she called out my inauthenticity. It grated at that inadequate little girl, tucked deep within, hurting at abyssal depths. My ego born personality protections couldn’t save me from this because she wasn’t allowing it. Usually, we’re non-confrontational and everyone pretends they didn’t notice. Most of us require this anyway because the “other”, signifying us and them, has to be in the perfect space to receive and that’s rare, at best. At first, I played dumb, although my reactions and defenses are so ingrained, my response didn’t feel premeditated. I had to sit in silence with this, alone and undistracted, to allow the pain and mortification to linger, to permit fessing up to the infraction. If I’d instead grabbed a book or popped in a workout video, I could’ve glided through it unscathed, shoving the little girl into submission… but I didn’t.

Cue the aforementioned waterworks. They flowed for the better part of an hour, and although I knew my friend was also operating from little girl injustices that were somewhat unfair to me, I went back and owned my in-authenticity with her. It was so hard, I felt practically blind as I forced the words forth. I had to really step outside from myself and that angry lil’ ego to get the job done.

And afterward, the Universe (for lack of an all-encompassing word… you can say God, Jesus, Buddha, whatever speaks to your heart) rewarded me with the most gorgeous release. That child within harbored so much fear, anger, and hurt, she used judgment for years to protect. She’d learned that judgment spared her from empathy and empathy spared her from true connection and true connection spared her from possible pain. If you allow yourself to love and respect others, seeing their inner child, if you open your heart to that degree, hurt is a risk you run. She’d also learned that placing herself in a position of authority, the well-intentioned helper, imbalanced the equality of her friendships- more protection, less connection.

It proved to be a sad and lonely space, even with friends to fill it.

And I took a moment to love that child, to remember why she had to do this. I could feel myself as that little girl all over again. I cradled her. I wept for her. I wept as her.

I forgave her.

And just like that, it felt over. The judgment was gone, with only love and understanding left to replace it. The Universe required far less from me than I’d assumed, just transparency, self-love, space, and willingness.

I repeated this experience, but with different situations and people, a number of times during the month. I couldn’t pull it off daily. I required time to assimilate in between, long pauses to decompress and reflect, to re-energize. Each time I left with complete and utter forgiveness of other and self, with an understanding of why each of us must operate as we have and do. This is THE thing we are missing, absentmindedly tiptoeing around it with our busy-ness, feigned or otherwise.

During the last week, my husband showed me a book by Ram Dass, Grist for the Mill. As generally happens for me with books, it called to me on every level, beckoning me in, and I could not turn my back, in spite of the self-imposed reading hiatus. I was immediately mesmerized. I found myself stopping to stare at his face on the cover, taking absolute comfort in the knowing of his eyes. His words encompassed every bit I needed solidified, my hungry soul feeling more satiated with each sentence.

I speak to you now as a less encumbered woman, holding hands with my inner child, gently pulling her forward when she needs prodding, acting as her mother now, only wanting the best for her, even if that means she needs to leave me. I’ve carried her for so long, impregnated with her fears, just the symbolic thought of her taking leave crushes my heart whilst I type this sentence, eyes beginning to moisten and again stream.

Our journey is not over. We have more battles to face together, more pain to relinquish. It’s safe to say the only addiction I’ve come away with is to creating space, even if it’s only 30 minutes for a few days per week. This is the best medicine I’ve ever taken, more miraculous than any drug, more healing than any workout. The key to liberation lies within. Don’t be afraid. She’s waiting for you.

-Angi


You are all that is right in this world.

You are love.

You are beautiful, in every sense of the word.

You deserve everything you want and more.

You have touched so many souls on this journey.

It’s time to hold your own.

There are no cosmic mistakes, every human exchange is an opportunity for love and growth, which are never mutually exclusive.

Trust that all decisions you make at the soul level, inspired by true loving kindness to self, will be shrouded in protection and, in time, rewarded.

Do not make the journey of others your own. This is yours and that is theirs. Allow them to stumble and learn… even your children. Loving guidance followed by space for growth.

 

How to carve out soul space:

  1. Removing social media isn’t imperative, if you can keep your hands off of it during the designated time, but I recommend it, because your mind will be less encumbered with other people’s business (and busy-ness) and you’re likely to create more time.

  2. No need to stop exercising, if you can fit both in.

  3. Quitting reading seems important, if you’re a book junkie. If you like fiction, the inability to run away into someone else’s life will be helpful. If you are a self-help fiend, making sure your thoughts are your own and that YOU guide yourself through these uncomfortable emotions is a must.

  4. Meditation didn’t prove fruitful for me during this period since I wanted to hyperfocus and retain ties to the ego/personality.

  5. It may be helpful after a particularly emotional session to take some notes afterward. I wanted to remember other issues that came up for future sessions.

  6. Most importantly, know that you are taking this space to emote, to dig deep. Ask spirit to enable that for you. They’ll oblige. Set your intention and all will eventually unfold.

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ANGI

I was an oddity in high school, obsessed with the CIA, the supernatural, aliens, basically all things mysterious. As an adult, I've moved on to being captivated by human nature, my own and everyone elses. Exploring the whys and hows of my own psyche and trying to create connections that have depth and meaning brings significance to my experience in this school we call Life. I've gone from being a full time working mom, to a part time working mom, to a stay at home mom and the breadth of that experience has shown me the value in all of those roles. I am riveted by the complicated genius that is the female intellect and sharing insights with other engaging women has become, for me, an essential symbiosis. 

 

THE SACRED SCIENCE OF HEALING- Is Illness all in Your Head?

Assuming my toddler blesses me with a nap and my oldest two have made it to school, my general routine is to work out, meditate, bathe, and then read some form of self-help book or write. In the midst of the last bit, I usually hear a “Mommmmyyyy, where are you?” cuing me that personal time is over.

I’m aware that not all mamas are fortunate enough to have time for themselves. I was counted among them for a spell, and I thank my lucky stars that in this moment, I’ve been graced with a gift. Knowing that it’s limited, that nap times are soon to come to an end, or that life may shift in unexpected ways, I feel pressure to make every second progressive, worth its weight in gold. I don’t do chores, watch TV, nap, or scroll social media. No time sucks, no energy drains, only activities that I know build me up.

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But recently, I’ve had a book-induced epiphany. I am in the midst of The Sacred Science by Nick Polizzi. It's one of those rare reads where you feel like your life is changed two chapters in. Polizzi had a debilitating health ailment, for two years in his 20’s, that modern medicine couldn’t seem to touch or understand. Somewhat by accident, during a particularly low moment for him, a friend called and guided him through tapping, also known as EFT. During this experience, Polizzi uncovered an emotional experience he’d been unknowingly holding onto anger about for years. That realization essentially cured him of his illness instantaneously. He then became somewhat obsessed with researching natural healing, which led him to shamanism. A shaman is a medicine man or woman who uses herbal remedies and energy healing. There is an assumption that all physical illness is a manifestation of spiritual/psychological issues that need tending to, as was the case for Polizzi.

Sometime after his rather spontaneous healing, he was moved to make a documentary about modern-day shamanism, hoping to share the information with the world at large, allowing people to explore alternative healing methods and raise awareness about how quickly the Amazonian jungle (which holds key medicinal plants) is dissipating. It’s worth noting that 25% of pharmaceuticals are made from plants in the Amazon (documentary fact), and that thousands remain unclassified and yet to be researched.

He selected eight individuals from 400 applicants, who were willing to go with him and his camera crew to the Amazon. They would be in the care of three shamans, each specializing in different areas and having proved their healing abilities time and time again. These shamans are normal guys who either fell into healing through bloodline and ability or via curing their own chronic illnesses with the help of a medicine man, then realizing that they too were called to be shamans. They live simple, spiritual lives and don’t advertise their skills. Most shamans have day jobs and tend only to their immediate communities when people are in need. These men and women are deeply spiritual, without ego, and helping others is what drives them.

The eight volunteers had a range of illnesses, from depression to stage four cancer. They were each to stay alone in an isolated individual hut, for 30 days. No running water, no electricity, no books, no contact with family or friends, no electronic devices, just a notepad and pen, with a hole in the ground for bathroom breaks. They were very removed, deep in the jungle, with every variety of creature one could imagine, making noises of all kinds through the dark and solitary night. They were to mostly stay in their extremely modest huts all day, only seeing the shamans two times for healing work and receiving very basic meals of quinoa and vegetables. The healing they underwent was nothing short of miraculous.

The only company each person had was their own thoughts. Here’s where my epiphany comes in, and I think it'll resonate with most of you. I’ve got this solo time a few days per week, but how often am I truly alone with my thoughts? Um, pretty much never. I’m filling those spaces up… even if it’s with “progressive” activities. And are these activities truly healing (because we’re all in need of healing one way or the other) and progressive or are they really just a distraction from such.

I’ve got demons I want to battle, buried emotional pain (like everyone else), some health issues that could use mending. No matter how many self-help books I read, will true healing occur without me giving it space?

It’s no accident that one of the most important aspects of the eight patients healing protocol is solitude. They have to create space to feel all the amazing emotions along with all the ugly ones, facing fears head-on.

So, I’m saying sayonara for four weeks, as of Monday. I won’t be checking into any social media. Google is going to miss it’s number one fan. My spam is going to pile up. There won’t be any book reading or blog writing. Removing things of comfort is also important, the things we run to out of avoidance, so my favorite tea is going. Favorite foods are out. I’m eating for sustenance. Exercise, out. I’m going to spend those nap times alone in my room or on a quiet walk. I may try tapping or meditation, but the rest is gone, baby gone.

Peace out. I’ll see you on the flipside and let you know what I’ve learned.

-Angi

*If you’d like to watch the documentary "The Sacred Science," here is the link. Nick Polizzi is so passionate about preserving the Amazon and ancient healing practices of Shamanism, that he ultimately elected to make the documentary free. It’s definitely worth watching, but the book is incredibly insightful and has a lot more background information about the patients, Polizzi, and outright gems from the Shamans themselves. I felt that a lot of important information didn't make the movie. Your best bet is to read the book and then watch the documentary… time well spent.





 

 

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ANGI

I was an oddity in high school, obsessed with the CIA, the supernatural, aliens, basically all things mysterious. As an adult, I've moved on to being captivated by human nature, my own and everyone elses. Exploring the whys and hows of my own psyche and trying to create connections that have depth and meaning brings significance to my experience in this school we call Life. I've gone from being a full time working mom, to a part time working mom, to a stay at home mom and the breadth of that experience has shown me the value in all of those roles. I am riveted by the complicated genius that is the female intellect and sharing insights with other engaging women has become, for me, an essential symbiosis. 

 

STAY AT HOME MOTHERHOOD: Resisting the Urge to be a Shut-In.

As far as the eye can see, every tree and rooftop are sheathed in a glistening blanket of snow. The fireplace is aglow and I’m in head to toe fleece, having embraced comfort over fashion, a true Oregonian one year after relocating. My oldest children are in school, and the sweetest toddler on Earth is my homegirl. My husband is in his office, two jobs in, gently pecking away at his keyboard, making it possible for me to be without a formal career. Indigo and I have been hard at it this morning, playing in the snow (well, she mostly ate it), painting, reading, pretending, sipping chai, and singing, and now she’s slumbering upstairs. Coziness abounds in our home. I’m a nurturer by nature and my space reflects that. For me, this life is hygge (Google it), in every sense of the word.

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Stay at home motherhood is relatively new to me. Work (hairstylist) forced socialization, up until this year. Often times I found myself overwhelmed, wanting nothing to do with women and conversation by the time the weekend arrived, preventing me from putting much effort into friendships. I’ve curated relationships that don’t require a constant presence or line of communication. Thank God for texting.

But now, here I am, jobless (aside from a few Saturdays per month), and I’m fresh out of excuses for antisocial tendencies.

If I’m being honest with myself, the desire isn’t showing up. Aside from being fiercely independent, my cup runneth over at home. My husband and I have a completely rewarding relationship with great exchanges of ideas and inspiration, and I’m blessed to receive mass quantities of love in the form of snuggles, hugs, and kisses from three mini sugars. I have a sweet little routine going. I’ve managed to, for the first time, find a balance between motherhood and self-care. Stress is almost nonexistent, outside of the sporadic minor meltdown and children waiting until the last minute to get coats and shoes on for school.

I’m afraid to upset the balance, tip things out of my favor by making any changes, even a lunch date evokes despair. I was operating in survival mode before I stopped working, running on adrenaline, and I realize that I was less of a wife and mother by more than I’m comfortable admitting to. I’m desperate to never feel that way again, to not deprive my family of my best version. I have an irrational fear of new commitments, of any kind, because I know my MO- all or nothing.

And, it’s turned me into a virtual shut-in.

I can’t decide what my comfort level is with this.

The sensible part of me acknowledges that women bring different layers of communication and connection than a husband. But, I’m not lonely, not pining for more. And, friendships take effort, time, commitment (eek!)- things I’m tapped out of with children and myself to care for.

I can also recognize that it’s important to have a support system, a tribe (if I’m being on trend). It’s hard to rally the energy to build said tribe in the event of a yet to transpire need.

Writing, reading, researching wellness, practicing spirituality, working on a side business, exercising, and healthy cooking are daily passions for me. Purpose abounds. I don’t feel underwhelmed as a stay at home mom because I fill every crevice of my life with rewarding endeavors. There are not enough hours in the day to pursue my ever-growing interests.

As a mother, my time has become increasingly precious. I must share it sparingly, out of fierce protection of my limited energies. These are going to have to be some pretty stimulating friendships to make them worth it to an already home-body-by-nature mama. I enjoy feminine perspective and sharing, but my inclination is to be fully present and social interactions leave me depleted, no matter how much enjoyment they’ve rendered. Some women are filled up after time with friends, but I know I’m not alone in my sentiment. I do have buds (old and new), but we aren’t up in each other’s business on the reg. I suspect our similar mentalities drew us to one another. And, in an emotional crisis, I could one hundred percent count on them. We just aren’t brunching or meeting up to chat over wine.

This is the current space I reside in. I don’t have an answer. Maybe it resolves itself as your children grow older. Maybe I’m dead wrong for not forcing it upon myself.

I want to hear from other mothers who share my experience and feelings... and from those who don’t. How do you work socialization into your world? What’s your take on finding balance and resisting the urge to be a shut-in?

Talk to me, Mamas.

-Angi

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ANGI

I was an oddity in high school, obsessed with the CIA, the supernatural, aliens, basically all things mysterious. As an adult, I've moved on to being captivated by human nature, my own and everyone elses. Exploring the whys and hows of my own psyche and trying to create connections that have depth and meaning brings significance to my experience in this school we call Life. I've gone from being a full time working mom, to a part time working mom, to a stay at home mom and the breadth of that experience has shown me the value in all of those roles. I am riveted by the complicated genius that is the female intellect and sharing insights with other engaging women has become, for me, an essential symbiosis.