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Monday, September 10, 2007

Summer Hiatus is Over


Okay-so those of you who know me will understand why I had to take a summer blog hiatus. Our summer was full of moving and road trips and really, an unbelievable amount of stress which I will not labor over. I am feeling totally drained in so many ways and I realized I need to refill my creativity bucket. This is the best way I can manage at the moment since all of my toys are still in boxes. So I hope I can draw back some of my online support group by getting some regular posts going.

First-I am loving California! So for all of my complaining about the getting here part I have to say that soon I will surrender myself to the admission that it was all worth it. Yes-I am holding back a bit since we are still dealing with the moving company and a major insurance claim (oh yeah-I wasn't going to labor over the stressful stuff!).

We are all now at home together in north San Diego County and getting very comfortable here. I have always been a California girl at heart even though officially as of last year I had lived equal parts of my life in and out of California. Now I can get back to being a true native! I really do feel energized by being here and things are falling into place very nicely. Our home has worked out perfectly and I really adore our new neighborhood and community, school, church ward, etc. I even love doing errands here since this community was planned so well and really flows very nicely as far as the lay of the land goes. I have even found a friend at church to do a weekly morning swap with our littles so we can squeeze in a morning out sans babies.

We just returned from a weekend at my parents home in northern CA (another benefit of moving back here-being able to get there any time!) to listen to my sister's homecoming talk. She just returned from an LDS Mission in Berlin, Germany and she is doing great. I love the energy and excitement of a newly returned missionary and she was just bubbling over with passion for her love for serving others and her love of and commitment to serving the Savior. I'm so grateful that my children have had the experience of hearing first hand from her about the joys of her service and I am grateful for being constantly reminded of my own mission service and how happy that continues to make me feel.

So now for my moment to confess that I lately I am in a personal slump. I think this summer has taken a lot out of me. I have been trying to really focus on keeping it all in perspective and being so grateful for the wonderful and amazing life that our family has but truthfully I am feeling a bit of an identity crisis. I know it sounds cliche and that we all experience it. Here is my question to you-what do you do to maintain "you"? How do I manage all of my roles of mom, tutor, housekeeper, friend, etc. and still feel like a person of individual value? Is this just the eternal question we each ask daily? And I guess the bigger question is, am I selfish for feeling a lack? My husband seems puzzled by this idea that anything can be missing from my apparently very full life-which it is. Get vulnerable with me and share you thoughts!

8 comments:

michelle said...

I'm so glad you're all finally in California together! Whew! You have always seemed to me to be such a California girl, it's like you're back where you belong.

Regarding the lack in your life: I think it is the quintessential problem of motherhood. We give so much of ourselves to others and we seem to be programmed to feel guilty when we want to hold back something for ourselves.

It is so hard to find that balance between nurturing and sacrificing and taking care of ourselves. Remember that no one else can take care of you, you need to do it! And always remember that unless you fill your tank, you won't have the ability to give what you need to your family.

So... my advice is to think about what replenishes you, and then schedule time for it! Daily is preferable, but just as often as you can. You deserve it!

{p.s. the best thing my therapist ever told me -- years ago -- was that I needed to plan pleasurable activities for myself. It works every time!}

Lindsay said...

Well, I'm not really sure what to say about the taking care of you part of your post. I am going to think on that and get back to you. But I did want to say hello. It was really nice to meet you at the blog party. I am glad to hear you are settling in to California so well. I look forward to reading more on your blog.

Mique said...

Hi Jennifer-
can't remember how I ended up at your blog?! Anyway- I'm from No County San Diego (live in LA now) and would love to tell you my favorites and find out more of where you are (not in a stalker type way- one San Diegan to another). I'm from Encinitas. My parents still live there and my brother and sister are in the area too (they are all in the Del Mar Stake). Anyway before I go on and on, I'd love to chat with you so stop by my blog or email me.....and btw I LOVE it down there. Amazing place to grow up. :)

Jill said...

Hi Jennifer, I'm just returning from 7 days of no internet service so I feel like I've been on a blogging hiatus myself. I can't imagine surviving without it all summer!

I'm glad you survived your big move and all the stresses of the summer. I'm so happy you came to Utah for the blog party, it was so great to see you!

No wonder you're feeling overloaded and like something is missing, YOU need time for yourself.

Scriptures: for me I feel best if I'm reading my scriptures daily (this is the first year I've done this without fail and it has been a great year so far). Even just a little bit helps because I'm blessed for being obedient and because I'm blessed with new insights and improved perspective on my life.

Exercise: This is also the first year (since high school) that I've exercised with any regularity. Just going for a brisk 45 minute walk early in the morning makes my whole day better. I feel like I've done something just for me, plus I love the uninterrupted listening time with my ipod.

Creativity: I'm sure you know all about this because you're so talented in so many areas, but taking time to be creative is important! Even just a little bit at a time. I find that sending good mail has increased my creativity and efforts substantially because I'm always making something for someone's birthday and this often leads to other ideas and projects. It's energizing!

Reading: For me reading in bed at night is very restorative, even if I fall asleep after only a few pages. I don't know if it's the glorious feeling of sinking into the cozy and finding my page in the book or what, but just knowing I can do this every night makes me happy.

Of course, you've got lots of stress and a baby in your world, but it sounds like you've already got a good friend to swap with and family around to help, so hopefully you can create some sanity soon.

Cara said...

I heard from a friend thatThe church is there was a study done about:women with a good solid group of uplifting friends live longer and are healthier. So my advice is go get into a bookclub, lunch bunch, play date with some new friends. The church is so awesome to have in the friend area. On a different note, I'm sorry I had to end our convo short. Things got very crazy here very fast and I didn't get you called back till later. Let's catch up again soon! I'll fill you in on my crazy weekend! Glad your back! You are my blogging mentor you know!

Camille said...

Hey Jennifer:

Sounds like you had quite the summer, I am glad you are back to the blog. I often think of our chats over the partition and wonder where you are and how you are. You are one of the people who inspired me to pursue nursing school.

Remember you have gone through a very stressful experience and it is ok to feel burned out. Looks like you forgot about you in all the hub bub. It is time to be just a little selfish and put yourself first for a couple of hours a week.

It is ok to ask for help. Do what ever it takes to relax into your soul. Yoga is a wonderful way to breath, meditate and exercise.

I miss you and hope to get back west some day. Do take care.

Camille said...

Hey Jennifer:

Sounds like you had quite the summer, I am glad you are back to the blog. I often think of our chats over the partition and wonder where you are and how you are. You are one of the people who inspired me to pursue nursing school.

Remember you have gone through a very stressful experience and it is ok to feel burned out. Looks like you forgot about you in all the hub bub. It is time to be just a little selfish and put yourself first for a couple of hours a week.
It is ok to ask for help. Do what ever it takes to relax into your soul. Yoga is a wonderful way to breath, meditate and exercise.

I miss you and hope to get back west some day. Do take care.

Cara said...

what's up with you??? You need to post a new comment so we know you are alive and the fires didn't burn your house down. It didn't did it???