Beyond the Quarter Life: Now what?

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Written by guest blogger, my wife!  Check out her blog: Finding Nikki

Go to college, get a degree, find a job, get married, buy a house, have a baby. These were goals I set for myself as a young adult. When I was 18, these life events were all a big mystery– I didn’t know what I was going to major in, where I would work, who I would marry…but I knew this is what I wanted for my life, and I looked forward to the future with excitement as these goals took shape.

Fast forward 10 years. Now I’m nearly 28. I have a degree from the University of Minnesota. I found a job with career potential right out of college. I met my husband and we married in 2009. We bought a house in the suburbs. I had a baby in 2012, at the age of 25. Fantastic! All my life goals are complete. Now what?

That’s the scary part. I have no idea. I think I’ve been a little too distracted the last couple years, and I never paid much attention to the future. You can only do so much when you are battling severe postpartum depression, an anxiety-inducing and demanding full time job, and taking care of a baby that was sick all the time with ear infections, pneumonia, and has some developmental delays.

Things have improved immensely with my depression and anxiety (a whole other story to share a different time!). My daughter’s illnesses have been reduced thanks to a new treatment plan that included ear tubes, daily nebulizer treatment, and she also sees an early childhood special education teacher to work on her developmental skills.

The last hurdle was my job. I felt trapped– I had many reasons to stay (good benefits, good co-workers, a semi-interesting career path), but only one reason to leave: a hostile work environment created by my boss. In the last 2 years, I have done everything in my power to make it bearable to work with her. It worked for a while, but it was taking a toll on me and my family.

A couple weeks ago I did what I thought was impossible– I quit my job! After working there for almost 6 years, I went into work, gave my notice, and didn’t come back the next day. If you know me, then you might be a little shocked. I’m supposed to be the dedicated, stable, enthusiastic employee. I had no job lined up, knew I would be giving up my family’s health insurance, and my only plan was to use some of my 401k money that I would now have access to upon leaving. This is very un-Me behavior!

So this is where I stand currently: I’m taking a break from all things career-related. I’m not ready to start looking for jobs yet. Mostly I have no idea where I want to begin my next career path. But I’m fine with that. I will be using this time to be at home with my daughter and my husband, who is working from home in his new business venture. I want to make up some of my lost mother-daughter time from having postpartum depression and working full time in her first 2 years. I want to reflect on the crazy whirlwind that has been my life in the past few years, and through this I hope to learn more about myself and have a better idea of what I want for my future.

Oh, and we were able to get a new health insurance policy on the private insurance market, and its actually affordable (thanks, Obama!).

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A peaceful spirit

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I am at peace
A quiet kindness
fills my sprit
my heart and soul

Giving up control
Kindness over anger
puts out any fire
triumphs over the unjust

Above the earth’s crust
Doing what is right
walking hand in hand
heart in heart

Right from the start
Does not judge or blame
listen closely to hear it
embrace your peaceful sprit

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We all need a little respect, just a little bit

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We all deserve respect. At our core we all want to be accepted by others and have our views and beliefs respected.

Respect…

family
friends
partner
children
neighbors
co-workers
teachers
law enforcement
grocery clerks
restaurant severs
bus drivers
strangers
homeless
prisoners
and everyone else.

Why?

Because…

we were all cut from the same human cloth
we all were once little innocent babies
we all fall short of expectations at times
we all can fall on hard times
we all have different beliefs
we all can lose our temper
we all can hurt others feelings
we all make mistakes
we are all H U M A N.

The next time you are compelled to judge and forever condemn a fellow human being, stop! Think to yourself, if the situation was reversed, how would I feel if I was judged so harshly? I bet the answer would be you would feel terrible. Is that really how you want to make someone else feel? I didn’t think so.

The bottom line is life is too short and people are too imperfect to justify disrespecting each other. Be good to the ones around you and they’ll return the favor.

We all need a little respect, just a little bit 🙂

Love and other things…

This blogger rocks my socks off, check her out 🙂

Photography Turret

A person sits down on a bench next to a friend.

“Why does my partner irritate me so much?”
“Because you love them…”
“No, that doesn’t make sense… are you nuts?”
“Think about it: they’re not perfect. They have flaws.”
“Yes, I know that!”
“Rationally,  you do. But don’t you forget it once in a while? Think about it: sometimes they’ll be the most amazing person in the world, guess your every need and tend to it, know exactly what to do to make you smile. Sometimes they’ll go through everything with you, big or small, and still be there, and still smile in the end…”
“Yeah… They really do.”
“Still, they’re human: sometimes they’ll fail. Maybe they’ll have a bad day, wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe they won’t smile that day.”
“But that’s not MY fault!”
“No, it isn’t. Don’t you do it too…

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When time slows and beauty shows

stop and smell the roses enjoy life
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Ever notice the little beautiful things you can see when you’re going about your day? The mundane, boring, and even ugly things can be beautiful when viewed by the right lens.

In the hustle and bustle of busy life we often overlook these things, but if you focus your mind you will notice them.

The breeze gently caressing the trees. The purr of your car motor. The sun rays peeking through the wispy clouds. The seamless precision of the cashier ringing up your goods. The somber look in your pets eyes when you leave for the day. A sick baby’s raspy cry for her mommy. A bird flapping its wings gracefully. The clickety-clack sound of the train whirring by. Raindrops dancing off the pavement. The elegant movements of a spider moving on their silky web. The happy song of the crickets. The peaceful sound of silence.

Sights and sounds like these can only be experienced if we slow down and take the time to notice them. Life can move at a blistering pace and people need to unplug from technology and the rat race long enough to smell the roses.

When you do notice these things, really pay attention to them because time nearly stops. For one brief peaceful moment you are fully present. You’re in the here and now experiencing this beautiful sight in real time. The real visible world brings order to people’s lives. The virtual world can’t even come close to measuring up.

Close observation of your physical surroundings is a multi-sensory experience which sets it apart from your smart phone or smart device. You hear the sounds, see the sights, feel the breeze on your cheek, feel the raindrops on your head, and many many more feelings technology can’t duplicate, at least not yet.

This is the magic that can happen you let time slow and beauty show. Try it 🙂

Go ahead, take it for granted…

A wonderful message by a wonderful blogger, check them out!

Lyrics and Chocolate

It’s something often said… Men are all the same. I think the reason for this is that they really give us more reason to believe that than what they give us reason not too. That being said, women are also all the same. So when you complain about the usual stuff there is some common ground.

So when you actually finally meet someone man or women, that is willing to go above and beyond for you and actually enjoy things most others would complain about, would you consider yourself lucky? Would you consider yourself fortunate? Would you then try and be an even better you to accommodate that person? Or would you simply take it for granted? “I am who I am” …Forget that you are fortunate to not have reason to complain?

…. Very sad, but even given everything on a platter without having to go to any effort…

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Hot Wheels

An inspiring coming of age story by this amazing blogger. She learns the true meaning of beauty and feeling “sexy.”

I Am Hot Wheels

What makes a woman hot?

What makes her sexy?

And by sexy, I don’t mean pretty, or beautiful. I mean, what makes a woman attractive? What makes men want to be with her, and other woman want to be her?

As a woman in a wheelchair, sexy is something I never saw myself as growing up. I was raised as an able-bodied child, able to walk, run, swim, climb trees, and do all the things little girls should. As I began to enter puberty around 11 or 12, I had a pretty solid idea of what I would be like in my teens and early 20’s. I knew I wanted to be a cheerleader, maybe even comp. squad (competition squad, like in the movie Bring It On), I wanted to be pretty and popular, athletic, with long, beautiful hair, and a terrific dancer. I’d go to college after high…

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Growing apart as your child grows

Growing apart as your child grows

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Okay, the baby came, he or she starts growing. For many couples, including my wife and I, their relationship takes a major hit. Some deal with this hit better than others but many grow apart to some degree.

The tendency to grow apart in your relation is powerful for any couple. As we age together in a relationship each person changes. Everyone changes but the change is often so gradual that it sneaks up on you.

Before you know it you are looking at your partner across the dinner table and there seems to be a cavern that has grown between you. This cavern can grow larger when a child gets added.

When a couple has a baby, the cavern can grow into an abyss.

This is the point my wife and I are at. We have both acknowledged that:

1. We have both changed a great deal in the 6 years we’ve been together.
2. We are opposites: I tend to be more optimistic, she’s a pessimist; I’m more messy, she’s more organized; I’m more spontaneous, she’s more planned; but together we balance each other out.
3. Our 16 month old daughter has made it easier to grow further apart.
4. We both want to make it work and start growing back together.
5. We’re ready to make changes and implement them.

Our relationship clearly needs a lot of work but we are hopeful. We are having many honest conversations so we’re on the same page.

We now plan to learn how to love the new us, find new interests and activities to share, making time away from our daughter to reconnect among other things.

Above all we are trying to communicate better, this is crucial to our relationship rehabilitation.

What do you think? What has worked for your relationship and what hasn’t? Your comments are appreciated!

A Thought

Check out this wonderful blogger! 🙂

The Unspoken

Life is a journey, which we are a part of..
It gives us people with whom we learn, fight, smile, share.
People who we live with.
It gives us family, it gives us friends.

Along the way, we find someone.
Someone with whom life is more beautiful, easier..
Someone who completes us.
It’s that someone we love, someone we want to call ours.

A someone who’ll ask ‘what you need?’
Will not only wait for the answer but also make it happen.
Someone who will do everything for us.
Someone we want to keep.

For a love like that, something we must do.
Something that assures they’re special.

It always starts with “A Thought”.

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