Friday, January 4, 2019

It's been a while since I've sat here with a blank screen and nothing to type but my thoughts. I love that I have the opportunity to create sponsored content and provide a little bit for my family... but I have also found myself dreading sitting down to type nowadays. I generally only take on sponsored posts for products I already love and use, but somehow when someone is telling you to write, it begins to feel a lot less fun. I don't think I've shared this before, but I debated going to culinary school for a while. It was actually my plan for most of high school. Then when it came time, I couldn't bring myself to want to apply. It just felt so unappealing to have someone telling me how to cook rather than me experimenting in the kitchen like I actually love doing. I didn't care about what knife I needed to use to cut steak or the proper way to make a roux. I just wanted to create. That's how I'm beginning to feel with this blog. I just want to create! I spend a lot of my time negotiating, creating invoices, editing photos, emailing drafts, and applying for opportunities which leaves a whole let less time to type my thoughts on here like I used to. I've been going over my plans for this year, and more specifically my plans for this blog, and ultimately decided I need to push myself to create more. I need to share more of what makes me feel joy and I need to work on remembering that I prayed for the opportunities I'm receiving now. Work, no matter what form, can feel a whole lot like a burden. But, I think if we let it, it can feel more like a blessing. One of my goals for 2019 is to remember that this blog of mine, is a blessing. That every one of you that has stuck around over the  years, are a blessing. Every comment, view, swipe up, like, and response really means a lot to me. You all really mean a lot to me. I'm sorry I've slacked off and I'm sorry I've resisted sharing what I've been inspired to share. So here we go 2019, let's do this thing!

On the topic of goals, fresh starts, and wanting to change... I thought I'd share another thought I've had recently. I usually pick a phrase or saying to live by each year. For example: 2012 was: "Do more of what makes you happy." 2013 was "she believed she could, so she did." A more recent one, 2018 was: "Children are not a distraction from more important work, they are THE most important work." So, it came time for me to pick something for 2019 and nothing was popping out or felt right. So, I decided to just pick a word. One word that motivated me to be my best self and accomplish what I'm hoping to accomplish. I was pondering several words and decided on... Intentional. I want to be intentional. In everything. I want to be intentional in my words, my spending, my time, my food choices, my life choices, with my children, with the ways I choose to serve, with the exercises I do... literally in everything I do, I want to be intentional.

2019 started off rough for me. I've felt a bout of anxiety lately with a hint of yucky depression-ish feelings. I'm having a harder time feeling happy and rather than looking on the bright side, the not so bright side keeps slapping me in the face. While i believe that depression and anxiety are not something someone can choose to just change one day, I do believe there are exercises both mental and physical that I can do to at least help a little bit. Today when I was loading the kids in the car for some errands, they were both crying and my head was pounding and I clenched my fists after closing Oaklyn's door. I found my thoughts quickly spiraling into a tangled mess of unhealthy feelings and reactions. I wanted to get into the car and yell. I wanted to tell Oaklyn she was being needy and annoying and I wanted to tell Cambria she was being loud and whiney. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and suddenly my word popped into my head. Intentional. Be intentional with your words. Be intentional with your thoughts. I took another deep breath and sat in the car. I took another deep breath and dug deep down for my "everything is okay" mom voice. "Are you girlies ready to go to Target??" I said trying to turn the situation around... and you know what I heard? Oaklyn yelled an excited "YEAH!" with giggles from Cambria right behind. I looked back at Oaklyn... "Be intentional" I thought. "Okay Oaks, you're the big sister. I need you to be a good example and be a listener. Can you do that?" Another excited "YEAH!" followed by more giggles from Cambria let me know that even if the Target trip turned out pretty awful, I know I'm doing my best.

I'm probably not always going to do my best. I'm probably going to lose my cool a few too many times. I'm probably going to miss a week of posting on my blog... I'm not going to be "perfect." But, I am going to try my best to be more intentional this year. Because if all else fails, I can at least feel at peace with the idea that I tried. And I mean really, honestly tried. I hope to remember that each day is a new day. Each day is a chance to choose to be a little better and do a little better. My mom has a sign that says "Don't look back, you're not going that way." I hope to apply that in my life and with an intentional mindset, I think I can. What word will you choose?

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

*The pictures really don't have anything to do with this post... but she's cuter than a post with just words soo... here ya go! haha

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