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30 Days of Self Discovery

NOTE: this would have been recent had not the Thanksgiving and Christmas season kicked my crafting butt! Anyway, now those who missed my time on Facebook and Instagram can finally get a peek at my month of introspection. 

I recently finished a 30 day journey I suddenly decided to take in the beginning days of October (2018). See, I realized that I really am being hard on myself for the sake of an ideal I am not sure is relevant or even the real me. This started me on the thought that maybe each day I should stop and listen just a little more closely to myself and my needs.  In response to this I started actually responding to those needs with actions that I decided should NOT be mired in guilt or embarrassment.

How best to do this? Why, share on my social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram), of course. So for many people this is a rehash or at the very least, a consolidation of something they have followed along with for 30 days. So sit back and enjoy my collection of introspective posts and the photos I included with them. Well, the first 15 days (half of it).

Day 1IMG_20181005_124153_475

Day 2 of being kinder to myself… Took Sink Kitty’s example and ran a bath, told the kids they could have an ice cream if they let me forget about parenting for 30 min. Breaks are important. How can my kids learn how to take one if I penalize myself for self care moments?IMG_20181005_124223_648

Day 3 of listening more closely to my entire being without harsh judgement. After running errands I made a pillow nest… Turned on background tv on the iPad to cancel out the kids’ gaming, and took a nap. We really punish our entire self with lack of sleep.

What about you?? Did you do something you normally would have felt guilt over but is a good thing today?IMG_20181006_202700_977

Day 4 of sensitivity to self training… I made my mom’s dip, went to R.I.P.P.E.D class and celebrated Thanksgiving. The day was good!20181007_182803

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Day 6 of contemplating need… Slightly ill kid so I set an example. 3pm afterschool nap together. I am seeing a trend. I need to release the guilt I feel when I take an afternoon nap. One hour does not make my day a failure. You??IMG_20181009_223715_463

Day 7 of being better to myself for the betterment of myself… I went to one of my favourite places, did one of my favourite activities and then surrounded myself with some of my favourite things.

For those of curious minds…

YMCA (duh)
Worked out (surprised myself how much I have grown to love and need this nearly daily)
And now for the hidden picture/can you spot list: Cheezies, crochet, good book, documentary, tall glass of water and even a few friends (not pictured)

How about you???IMG_20181010_195454_365

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Day 8 of self examination I examined deeply how truly privileged my position in life is even by my location of birth. It is not an easy watch… It really shouldn’t be… And not for young kids but City of Joy is an amazing documentary about the plight of women in Congo.

Have you watched this? Would you watch this? Want to talk about it with me?IMG_20181011_191141_885

Day 9 of listening to myself actually required ignoring myself (well a noisy portion).

With no license getting to things is work. Tonight I ignored that part of me that whined about cold and dark and effort and geared up 3 of my kids for the 2 mile walk to the YMCA.

We walked there in light and home in dusk. We didn’t miss dance class and I threw myself whole heartedly into R.I.P.P.E.D class.

We succeeded because I ignored my feeling of can’t to acknowledge that I truly don’t know what I can do until I try… And wear the appropriate warm gear to do so.

How about you? Do you have to silence that voice of inability sometimes? Do you stretch your limits and learn more about what you CAN instead of accept you maybe can’t?IMG_20181012_200412_235

Day 10 of looking within had me making a different kind of nest.

There is nothing so renewing than surrounding yourself in your favourite hobby. Especially when it includes soft fluffy yarn. Throw in a virtual tour of a bff’s new digs (love you Karyn, so happy for you) and a furry companion and my soul is both less homesick and feeling warm and fuzzy. I even assembled 3 amigurumi and am well on my way to finishing the main portion of a hat.

How about you? What activity brings you joy? Are you at peace in place or an active hobbyist???IMG_20181013_182411_957

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Day 11 of making time to really realize what I need and I actually continued a pattern I set in place well over a year ago.

I am a huge advocate for working towards a healthy mind AND body. It isn’t easy, results are not instant or even visually obvious but the effects ripple out like a stone dropped in a still pond.

This is the face of a post R.I.P.P.E.D class sweaty and exhausted me. My instructors at my local YMCA are inspiring and the people in my class a joy.

Have you found an activity that gets you moving? Tests your limits? Makes you work? Wanna join me Friday or Sunday at 5pm or Monday at 7pm? I have guest passes!!!IMG_20181014_210649_167

Day 12 of my challenge to listen better to myself actually required me to listen to a very intelligent friend. (Love you Karyn) She reminded me that while it is all fine and good to save things it is actually often better to savour them properly now.

How many things do I save for the perfect time? Agonize over when I should open this treat or use that special paper? Is it not more of a proper thank you to someone when they gift me something special (see image below) to enjoy the moment of use more than worry about its perfection?

How much of my life gets tied up in the hunt for the perfect moment to do or use xyz? Life is full of opportunity. Time for me to take the opportunity to enjoy the gifts and love I am given. After all that enjoyment is rather perfect in and of itself!

How about you? A candle you never burn gathering dust? A snack uneaten risking expiration? Want to join me and take a moment to enjoy them properly?IMG_20181015_144959_405

Day 13 of listening to myself has been a day of acknowledgement.

How many times a day do you take a feeling or a thought and shove it aside? Push it away or refuse to actually take the time to examine, accept and acknowledge it?

Today I sat down and thought about how I do often feel like I am out of the loop with things. One of the natural consequences to not living in the thick of friends and family. This time I made time to actually ruminate. (Not wallow, mind you) I bet there are people in my life who feel that way about me… I had to accept that I am also responsible for that emotional distance (2 way street right?).

Today I gave myself a moment to be a little sad that I am not back home helping a dear friend move. To realize that someday in the future I will be at her door with a housewarming gift and a hug.

I acknowledged the good too, we dropped everything and took in fall in Minnesota with a walk and some leaf raking. I made time to balance out my acknowledgments of feelings and thoughts that may not be the most uplifting with a moment of sunshine and colour.

I didn’t change anything but my way of thinking. It always amazes me how in some cases that is enough to lift my spirits and give me some perspective.

What about you??IMG_20181016_150105_137

Day 14 of listening closer to myself… Today I remember and appreciate.

Today – October 17th, marks 3 yrs since the passing of a fellow twin mom. 3 years of life where her kids are being raised by others. Her babies will have to depend on pictures and videos and stories told by others to supplement their memories of their mom.

So today I appreciate… I appreciate that I am privileged to raise my 5 children. I appreciate that I am given the opportunity to receive the hugs and kisses as well as discipline and challenge my babies.

I think I lose that appreciation sometimes in daily life. When I am exhausted from playing referee or frustrated after a day of slogging through difficult schooling I forget. I forget how amazing the fact that I have these 5 beings to help mold and to love can be.

So today I remember and appreciate. This house is full and I wouldn’t have it any other way.IMG_20181017_165627_877

Day 15 of looking within to improve the whole and today I created.

And to make it all sweeter I created and completed for others. I special 4 piece commission had the final end tied today. Last night a prayer shawl for the Catholic church had its ends woven in.

The ability to give back and to help others. To make someone smile by simply using a skill I learned and honed. That reads success to me.

Tonight I move onto other projects… Christmas is coming and I really should start some gifts.

Do you have a hobby that brings you a sense of fulfilment and joy?? I would love to hear about it!IMG_20181018_155044_459

 Check back soon for the second half of my journey! I promise NOT to take a month to post it!

Now Onto November

Onto November and possibly getting my blog up to date before November of 2018 comes around… maybe? Summer gets so busy for us and I have let it snowball a bit. So enjoy the post and the look back at way cooler temperatures. A head’s up… December is already up and posted along with seasonal links HERE.

Ken spoiled me with a new tea mug!

Ken spoiled me with a new tea mug!

Anyway, November… the month of chinchilla and workout pictures… wait that is much of my life the past year. I do love the Fluffy Overlord and working out has become second nature with me now.20171103_094635

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Talking about chinchillas, November marks Neko-chan turning 1 year old!!! check out that post HERE

Emanuel went through a bit of an image change with a fancy new hair cut.IMG_20171126_211130_690

As did Echo. We have some rather spiffy looking kids!20171118_170129

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The 3 younger kids went to Home Depot for the craft and even convinced Dad that PAINT should be involved.20171125_101844

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I crocheted up a storm and we blocked this year’s special mom and grandma gifts… shawls! Plus matching hats for all 3 of us girls.

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The kids dressed up in their finery for Santa. We went with the Schwartz family to their mall Santa of choice since our traditional one no longer exists after a store closing.  You can read all about that HERE.20171121_170642

I found winter boots in the children’s section of Target – something that made Ken laugh and entertained him and a few other people for days!20171117_205212

We had dinner with our wee niece Maevowyn… and her parents too, but we all know who the star of the show was!!!

I may be biased.. . but that face just makes me melt.

I may be biased.. . but that face just makes me melt.

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Echo LOVES her cousin

Echo LOVES her cousin

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With Mom, and Dad photo bombing in the back

With Mom, and Dad photo bombing in the back

I also got in some quality kitty time, and pictures.

Silly Snoopy

Silly Snoopy

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We had school time.20171107_102159

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Themed crafting continued.

A whole set of Halloween themed cupcakes that were out past the date.

A whole set of Halloween themed cupcakes that were out past the date.

Gavin made all of our cards this year.

Gavin made all of our cards this year.

Christmas Art

Christmas Art

A Christmas mouse

A Christmas mouse

Gavin the solemn crafter

Gavin the solemn crafter

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Christmas mug cozy

Christmas mug cozy

Really all the babies babies were seen.20171105_153752

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A poppy was worn, sent straight from Canada for Remembrance Day.20171103_184608

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And I photographed my chinchilla from pretty well ALL possible angles…20171105_225259

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All the junk in that glorious trunk!

All the junk in that glorious trunk!

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Close up with lighting!

Close up with lighting!

Yup that was November in a quick scan through images… hope you enjoyed!20171102_201658

We baked!

We baked!

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Whole family!

Whole family!

Examining October

Well, you can already see pictures from Halloween HERE, as usually it was a fun time.

Neko-Chan and her Halloween prop

Neko-Chan and her Halloween prop

Echo’s wedding dress photos are HERE.

October was also Ken’s birthday… his 40th if you can believe it! We kept it low key, just as the birthday boy requested. He is not a big party animal. But he also was given an award for his hard work involved in getting his mental health under control and advocating for the association that helped him. We got to dress up and everything!20171005_183253

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New outfit and all

New outfit and all

It was a fun sort of duo season month with time to jump in leaves (and rake them up, slightly less fun)…20171023_132448

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Gavin

Gavin

And a bit of snow to toy with as well.20171027_100640

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We even had TWO foreign visitors, Jeff flew down from Canada to hang out. Never a bad thing, friends and family flying down when we still can’t return ourselves.20171024_170421

With Jeff there is ALWAYS yummy curry.

With Jeff there is ALWAYS yummy curry.

And Karyn!!! A shorter visit than her normal yearly visit but we packed in the fun and hugs and … shopping of course!20171010_115528

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UNO

UNO

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So we may enable each other... just a little... and we like it that way!

So we may enable each other… just a little… and we like it that way!

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We had our yearly pumpkin patch trip with our friend Trish and her two kids. Always fun and thankfully on a day when the weather mostly cooperated.

I am so grateful that Trish is willing to embrace our loud and crazy family.

I am so grateful that Trish is willing to embrace our loud and crazy family.

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20171020_150620Ken made pumpkin pie from scratch.20171022_111019

The twins took on acolyting at church.IMG_20171022_095158_027

20171029_091707We worked on all sorts of school stuff from crafts to book work and more.20171031_135121

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20171031_093754We had the Novaks over for VR fun.20171014_201627

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I continued my obsession with Neko-Chan pictures.IMG_20171022_000542_936

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We had a bonfire with the Schwartz family and I got my cat fix.20171013_205711

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I worked my buns off at the YMCA, with the family in tow, of course.20171022_173545

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Emanuel and Trinity even got their YELLOW belts!!20171012_181358

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And I crafted, my sanity is very closely tied to crafting it seems.

Seasonal!

Seasonal!

Of course more images to enjoy. Fall really was pretty last year!IMG_20171022_151323_502

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Face painting!

Face painting!

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...asleep

…asleep