Putting myself first

Do you put yourself first? Or do you put others needs before yourself? Learning to say No can be difficult to do especially to those we love.

Having children it is very difficult to set aside time for myself. Between juggling everything by the time I sit down I am at the bottom of of the priority list.

Finding time for myself has become a priority. Even if only for 30 minutes a day I have to have my time. I know to some it doesn’t sound like enough time and to others it sounds like a lot of time.

I never seem to get enough. The older my children get the more I want to spend time with them and it seems I need more time to myself. I know one day they will grown and moved out.

I worry about people who put so much time into everyone else but themselves. What happens to them when they are alone and their children are gone?

I have had many people ask and silently wonder why I have my horses and dogs. With all the failures in my life they have been my constant. They love me honestly and completely with out judging. They are my escape and my strength. They allow me to be me. I feel completely free when I am in the saddle or sitting in with my dogs in silence.

I encourage you to find yourself and put yourself first. If you don’t take care of yourself then you are no good to anyone else. So look for time in your busy life to take time for you! You are just as important than anyone else.

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Not looking back

After 44 years and all I have been through I can honestly say that I have no interest in looking back or going back to something that didn’t serve my positively in the past. This is the first time in my life that I have truly felt this way.

I can honestly say that I have learned from all the good and bad situations and I do reflect occasionally on the past but I do not dwell on it nor do I care to go back to any of those situations.

I truly miss my Grandparents and wish I could have spent more time with them. They taught me more then I even realized when I was kid and now that I am older they are with me everyday.

Some of the toughest lessons though have been learning who my friends are and who I can count on. People say way to much to serve their own purpose and aren’t really on your side. I see that now more then ever.

I read a quote the other day and I don’t know who said it but “Don’t ask me to trust you, I am still coughing up water from the last time you let me drown.” It seems to me these days that everyone has arterial motives for what ever reason. I have adopted something and I am sure that someone will have a issue with it but my friendship is a one shot deal. I know that sounds terrible but If for what ever reason you throw me to the wolves do not expect me to take you back into my pack. We can be acquaintances but never friends. I have a very small group of those.

I am not halfway through my life yet and I have wasted so much time on people who are just simply not worth my time. I don’t go back to failed relationships because if it didn’t work once it is not going to work again. I know everyone deserves a second chance but I have done that my whole life with devastating consequences. It does not mean  do not forgive and forget.It simply means I won’t trust you again. So call me what you like I am living my life for me and raising my children my way(single mom to long) and I have no time for drama, lies and betrayal and those who do not want to truly add value to my life.

So for me there is only forward and no looking back. I may sound cold to you but I have no interest in self defeating by allowing those who hurt me back into my circle.

How far do you take your honesty?

How honest are you? Do you sugar coat things to make people feel better? Or do you just blurt it out. Do you try and be sensitive to others?

My life journey with honesty has not always been a straight and easy road. I remember as a child getting in trouble with not telling the truth and my mom and grandparents scolding me. For a long time I didn’t see the problem with telling white lies and not being completely honest. Looking back now it lead me down a slippery slope without even seeing it.

I see now that by allowing myself to not be honest I allowed others around me to be dishonest and not only lead me down a path I did not see but mistreated me and I lost all self confidence and self esteem.

I was forced to face the life I created by not being honest. It was very difficult to realize I had become a woman that I did not recognize. I was not the woman my parents had raised. I have taken a long hard journey to find her. I remember my mother looking at me a few years ago saying “There you are I wondered where you have been. My daughter is back.”

As a child and young adult I was outspoken but not necessarily with the same conviction and purpose I have now. Now at 44 years old I am starting to become a woman who stands up for those who are having a hard time doing it on their own. I do not mince words nor will I sugar coat anything. I will however judge the situation and be kind when possible and not cruel or rude. I will wait for the correct time and place and not purposely degrade someone.

However if someone come at me spewing lies and trying to hurt someone I care about with hatred and cruel intentions I will not run and hide. I will stand my ground armed with the facts, truth and honesty and put you in your place.

Honesty is not easy but as I have come to learn necessary for my own survival. Someone said not very long ago that if you don’t want to hear the truth then don’t ask Heather. At first I laughed but they are right. I follow my gut and have found that when I am honest with others and my self I physically feel better.

I am not perfect by any means I am trying my best everyday to be the woman my Grandmothers always wanted me to be.

Confidence

I have struggled with confidence my whole life. I do my very best to never let anyone see me when I am not on top of my game. For a period of time I let someone else steal my thunder and it took everything I had to get it back. I don’t allow myself to let very many inside my walls and see me with my guard down.

My confidence in myself and my abilities are shall we say very apparent. I am not one to take unnecessary risks but I will not allow someone to run me over or push me around. If I am not sure about something I do my homework first.

When I am training my horses or riding or giving lessons I have been considered bossy and loud. I am confident in my ability with my horses and that is one of the best thing that you can have when working with a animal can kill you.

Confidence on women can be considered them being bitchy and bossy. It is not even close to the truth. I Never understood this. When  a man is confident that are not viewed the same as when women do the same. I am not sure exactly why.

Confidence does not have to be loud it can be the opposite but sometimes it is harder to see.

My mother said that I have been this way since I was born and even though I went through a period of time that I wasn’t. I think confidence can be a learned trait but it takes work. I see that especially in young people trying to use their voice for the first time.

I only wish that people would stop and think before judging someone who asserts confidence. It is not without trepidation that someone exudes confidence. They may not share their fear with anyone but it is there.

Love is the most important thing

I am 44 years old and I am amazed at how much the world has changed since I was a kid. Things were so simple and not rushed and jammed packed trying to squeeze everything in. I remember simple life from my childhood of playing and not worrying about anything. I don’t remember loving things like we tend to do now. I remember loving people and not having to say “let’s have some quality time”, we just had quality time together. We didn’t have smart phones or the internet or 400 channels on television. We weren’t always in touch and plugged in. Do not get me wrong because these things are important to our lives but at what expense?

I truly believe that we have become so plugged in that we have forgotten what is important. I sit at night with my children watching television and we are all on our phones. It has really started bothering me. My youngest can’t sit for even a few minutes without having a phone to play on or he says he is bored. We don’t have phones at the table when we eat but any other time they are in our hands. Since I realized this I am making a conscious effort to put mine away. I have started changing my focus to who I am with instead of the things I have.

In the past almost six years I have started going back to how I was raised and doing that with my children. I have been cooking since I was a old enough to stand on my stool in my Grandmother’s kitchen. So I have changed how I cook and started cooking from scratch and yes it takes more time but I have found it has done something completely unexpected. MY kitchen has become a place where everyone ends up. They pull out my stools and sit and talk to me while I cook dinner, bake and do dishes.

My past personal relationships have not been successful because my intentions had not truly been about loving someone but on material things and my quest to be loved. It was a two way street because each relationship I was used and abused on different levels. So after giving so much of myself I found myself empty and cold. It has taken me time to heal and figure out what I truly want for myself. I don’t look at relationships the same way I have in the past. Whether it be with my family or personal relationships I am putting more value in what is important and truly loving someone instead of what they can do for me.

After this week and that tragedy in Paris I am reminded that I am headed in the right direction. I am trying to raise my children to be grounded and to appreciate each other. Unplugging and reconnecting with the people you care about is so vital to not only your own happiness but the world around you. We can not change the world until we change the small one we interact with every single day.

How important is it that you laugh?

We all have different things that we want out of life. In the past I never thought much about how I wanted to spend my life. The men that I had in my life did not add much value to it and I seemed to consistently choose relationships that were destructive. The older I get it never sees-es to amaze me on how people choose to live their life. I am not here to judge anyone.

I had for a time just stopped looking for that great relationship that I always wanted but seemed to out of reach. My children and family have always brought me great happiness and make me laugh on a regular basis but I never seemed to have that someone who just made me laugh. Recently I met someone who even though it has only been a small amount of time has brought a great amount of laughter and lightheartedness that I didn’t realize I had been missing.

Laughter is so essential to building a great relationship. Sharing laughter is a sign that you understand each other and truly enjoy each others company. I have never truly had that before now. I have been through enough bad relationships that I have some to appreciate simple, easy and fun. No pressure, no begging, no stress, just fun. Finding someone who makes you laugh I have decided is number one on my list.

Betrayal

Betrayal is such a strong word. We have all been betrayed in one form or another by all sorts of people, family, friends, coworkers and significant others. Those are the ones that we seem to dwell on and that change or lives. Betrayal can be devastating and there are all forms of it and sides to it. I have experienced many kinds of betrayal from all kinds of people. It has caused me to be guarded and hesitant when dealing with people.

I saw this quote I have pictured above the other day and saved it and have thought about it a lot. Have you thought about how you have betrayed yourself? So I sat and thought about this and what damage I have done to myself. When did it start and how deep did my own betrayal to myself go?

I remember that every time I have betrayed myself I felt a hit to my own gut. Every time I compromised my own beliefs I betrayed myself. When I knew that something was wrong and I said nothing and did nothing I betrayed myself. When I looked the other way and said nothing I betrayed myself.

I have had people smile, giggle under their breathe when I speak up. Mostly it is because for whatever reason people don’t like to speak up. I have found that when I don’t I feel ill and have a hard time looking at myself in the mirror. When I decided to take my life back over five years ago now I promised myself that I was not going to not be myself anymore. I decided that whether people liked it or not I was going to speak out and up for those who can not for what ever reason. I am not politically correct or clean mouthed depending on the situation. I am not Willy Wonka and I don’t sugar coat anything for anyone! If you do not want to hear the truth please don’t ask me. It physically pains me to bite my tongue and keep my mouth shut.

I know that those that don’t know me personally might think that I am not who I say I am. I promise you that I am! If you ever saw the movie “Micheal” with John Travolta. I identify with the Micheal character in the movie. I say things that people don’t want to hear but need to.

I very rarely keep my mouth shut. I have learned how to use my words in a way that some people don’t even know what hit them and walk away with a smile.  I refuse to betray who I am just to please someone else no matter who it is. I value myself to much to betray myself anymore.

A calling

Did you ever have a calling to a place? Maybe it is somewhere you have been before or maybe it is somewhere you can only dream about.

I have had dreams about a place ever since I could remember. A place where some of my family roots come from and a place that when I allow myself to go there in my mind I know I would never want to come back from. My most favorite movies of all time are Gone With The Wind and Scarlet. In Scarlet she goes home to where her father was born to Ireland. My mother got to visit there for almost three weeks about 14 years ago and I had a opportunity to go for a semester in college and it is one of my biggest regrets in my life.

There is not one particular thing that draws me there. It is everything! From the landscape, to the people, to the pubs, to the horses I want to experience it all. I would love to go for a month so that I had time to really see everything and then probably plan how to buy a place and move there.

Reading and seeing pictures of Ireland seem to give me a peace that I can not seem to find anywhere else. I have traveled all over this country and have been in almost every state but four and I have yet to find a place that moves me and speaks to me the way Ireland does. I know that I have partly romanticized it in my head but on the other hand after talking to those who have been there I doubt that I have my hopes to high.

I want to go to the horse fairs and visit more then the tourist spots. I want to find my family from our clan and touch base with my roots.

Do you have a place that touches you and do you think about it often? I find myself thinking about Ireland when my life gets to stressed and I need a escape. What is yours?

Honor

Today is Veterans Day. My Grandpa Schippers and my Uncle David both served. Grandpa in the Army and my Uncle in the Navy. Grandpa died the year before I was born and my uncle passed when I was 11. I have always had a great respect for those that serve. I still almost every time get teary eyed when I here the National Anthem. I have always been extremely patriotic and feel so blessed to be living here in the Land of the Free. I was taught from a young age to learn from our history and traveled up and down the east coast to just about all the Historical places.

I truly am worried that our schools have become so worried about tests that wee have forgotten the lessons we learn from learning our history especially about our wars. I really think that we are loosing out by not teaching our children about our military history and how lucky we really are.

The photo I chose today is one of my favorites using soldiers from WW1. There were many of these photos taken. My Grandma Schippers worked during WW2 and told great stories about going to the USO. I wonder what happened to that? That support we gave to those who served in our armed forces. I have no doubt that there are plenty that do support but are we teaching our children how important it is to honor and respect our military personnel and all they sacrificed for our freedom?

Take moment today and remember all that you have to be thankful for because of a Veteran!

Truly happy or work?

“There is always work and there will always be work but to find someone who makes us truly happy is rare.” Criminal Minds

I have seen the episode this was in multiple times and it has stuck with me. There is always work whether it be housework, your career, homework, whatever label you put on it, it doesn’t go away. I am really good at working and putting other things off. I make excuses but that is all they are excuses. I was raised to keep my house clean, make food take care of what you have. Well that takes a ton of work. I have horses, dogs,  barn cats and kids. I always have work, laundry, cleaning, cooking, and barn chores.

I sat and took sometime and wondered what effect my working had on my relationships with my family and with my significant others. In retrospect I did not choose good men in the past to have relationships with, but I do wonder what a toll it took on my relationship with my children and with my own personal happiness in life.

In order to be truly happy what are you willing to sacrifice? I remember the saying of no one ever wished they had spent more time at work. There are times I wished I would have put my own personal happiness first. I wish I would stop and just go do whatever, saddle horses and go ride more, load up and go to more barrel races, go to the beach with the kids just go and do more and stop worrying about if the dishes are done and the house is clean.

It is a problem for me and I know it. Most people make excuses for the opposite that things like laundry and dishes will wait and then they live in a nasty place where I am the polar opposite.

So in taking this new journey of doing things for me I am going to walk away more from the work and go do fun stuff. You know that stuff that makes us happy. That means putting myself first. If Mom ain’t happy nobody is happy, so true!