Wow, it has been a very long time since I’ve felt like I could write, make sense and actually contribute something positive to this virtual world of ours. For a while, I was not only allowing this huge responsibility that I felt I owed to my fellow stepmothers out there to consume me, but I also gave birth to a beautiful boy and that was consuming me. So, I decided to take a step back and allow my fabulous sister-friend, stepfamily coach and business partner, Diane Greene, to navigate our ship for us and she has done an outstanding job! I am so lucky that she is the other half of my team.
While I was away, I spent time kicking postpartum depression’s butt! I think I’ve explained in a previous post that I spent 20 weeks on bed rest, with 3 of those weeks being hospital bed rest and I still delivered my son prematurely. On top of that, my husband’s volatile relationship with his ex-wife always has some effect on our overall family (no matter how much we wish it didn’t) and it was all starting to really get to me. I was so anxious I literally couldn’t sit still and wanted to jump out of my own skin. All of those realistic expectations that I preach and teach about through Today’s Modern Family were not being applied to my own life and I was losing control. I knew at that point it was time for me to regroup, refocus, recharge and renew myself. And so began my journey to apply all of the things that I know I should do and should have been doing all along.
- The word NO became one of my favorite words! No, I will not over extend mysef to the point where I increase you and deplete me. If I’m running on empty, I am no good to anyone.
- I got a hobby; one that has always been in my life. I just had to reawaken it and that hobby is photography. It is my creative outlet that is just for me and I really enjoy allowng my imagination to soar and seeing what beautiful picture results from that.
- Prayer, devotion and meditation is a daily practice for me. I not only start my day with it, but I’ve made them an intregal part throughout my day as well.
- I turned my pain into purpose by writing a book called The Joyful Mind Project. In my quest to always seek and choose joy, I decided to put the things that have helped me in a book in hopes that the information will help someone else.
- With the help of my friend over at Singing Bird Studios, I designed The Joy Collection; a collection of handmade wearable art with powerful phrases that helped get me through postpartum depression.
- I began to spend time enjoying my family WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY! I no longer consume myself with who isn’t there and why. I just enjoy the loving family and friends who are there.
- I began to eat healthier and incorporate some sort of exercise in my life on a regular basis.
- I began to choose me and realize that it’s perfectly ok, acceptable, and appropriate to do so…no matter who says otherwise.
Today, I feel so much better! I’m finally starting to feel refreshed and revived. At the same time, I realize that the lifestyle changes I’ve made are going to have to be permanent for me to continue feeling this way.