It’s official. We’re moving. To East Texas. I’m half excited and half terrified.
Everything is about to change and we, as a family, are going to have to make some major adjustments. First, I am a city girl by every definition of the word. My time is in the country-side has been limited to my undergrad years and living in a bonafide college town is just not the same as ranch life…..cows and chickens and horses….ranch.life.
I will also be moving 3 hours further away from my family and that’s going to be hard. Also, what does it look like to move with 2 kids? A mess, I’m sure. Just the process of boxing has been more than I’d like to deal with right now.
We explained to Makenzie and RJ that we are moving to “the ranch house” and they couldn’t be happier. It’s freedom and outdoor voices and animals and adventure hikes; they are more excited than my husband and that’s saying a lot.
I figured it was time. We have been in Houston for a long time, thanks to me. When we first got married, Red’s plan was to move me from San Antonio, where I was living while we were dating, to Marshall. I went along, attempting to be a good sport because that’s what supportive wives do. Red was the family’s ranch manager when we met and started dating so it really wasn’t far fetched that I’d end up on the ranch if things got serious. Ah, love young and the tendency to not (realistically) think too far into the future.
New living room furniture was bought, a nursery was put together — all that jazz. And then….I changed my mind. Country life “wasn’t for me”, I was in the midst of starting my Masters degree at TAMU through the online course and the internet sucked on the ranch. I was too far from my parents and my friends who were still currently in San Antonio. I just wanted out. Luckily, Red has mobility in life, working for his family, so he transferred to a position within the family business that allowed him to be in Houston. And so we moved.
That was over 5 years ago.
At the beginning of the year, Red and I were driving around, running errands one day and we started talking about our long-term plans. At this point, I had graduated with my Masters, had worked full-time with the NBA and gotten settled into my Stay-at-Home Mom position. Red, on the other hand, was still stuck in the same position he had been in when we initially moved.
I’ll be honest, I’m a hard person to please. I’m a pusher. If I see potential, in myself or in my parter, I don’t rest well until it’s realized. That has been one of my many roles in my marriage: not wanting my husband to settle for doing what he’s doing because we are comfortable. We talked about what he wanted to do and the passion and excitement I heard in his voice while he was talking about the ranch made me feel a little guilty. But why?
And then I had an epiphany: He had moved away from the ranch for me. He had all these big ideas for the ranch. He moved to make me happy and then (I guess) I just expected him to transfer his passions to something else. Of course I had realized all of my goals and he was in the same spot. So I asked, “Do you want to move back to the ranch?”
One month later we made the official decision to do it and we have been planning it out ever since. And the time is here! We are doing it. It is happening.
I am trading in all of my pumps and purses for rain boots and overalls. WHAT?! It’s fine. My husband has a new pep in his step.
This is going to be good.
This is the first time I’m speaking publicly about my journey through anxiety. Not because I’ve been embarrassed (and, for the record, no one should be) but because I haven’t really “struggled” through it in a long time. It’s always there and I make a conscious effort to temper my emotions and push through. The only thing stronger than my anxiety is the sheer willpower I have.
I want to say upfront that I have an amazing support system. Mental health issues are an issue in my family and, being the progressives that we are, came to an understanding and acceptance of this long before I came along. If I’m feeling all the feels, I call my mom. I call my aunt. I group text with my best friends who have also dealt with these issues. A solid support system can make all the difference and I acknowledge that.
Back to the point of this post, sometimes I suffer through it. Sometimes I suffer through it and it effects my productivity and my level of engagement with my kids and husband and that makes me feel guilty; the guilt can be severe and then I suffer through moments of depression. It’s a rabbit hole.
When I go through this cycle, I think of the NyQuil commercial, “Moms Don’t Get Sick Days.” It always lightens my mood a little bit. I mean, the commercials in that campaign are just funny and I don’t care what anyone says. And the thing is, it’s true. Parents don’t get sick days. There are little people who need you no matter what you are going through, right?
I am going to be talking a lot more about self-care this year because I have really neglected myself since having kids. It’s common and, for me, the most natural thing. It has been a serious effort to feel ok with doing something that only directly benefits me.
My mental health is a major part of my self-care focus and I want to share some of the things I do/use to care for my mental health.
Practice Open Communication
Talking about how I feel and having someone acknowledge those feelings does wonders. Like I mentioned before, I have been blessed with a support system that gets in on a personal level or empathizes with me on a genuine level.
If you don’t have that, there are other ways. I’ve used Talkspace before and really enjoyed talking to a professional on my own terms without having to set an appointment. (this is not an ad)
With kids in the house, quiet time may seem impossible but it’s not–you just have to realize your moments and take advantage of it. Wake up a little earlier in the morning when the house is still asleep or sit still instead of doing laundry when they are down for naps.
I’m a busy-body so sitting still, in silence, and focusing on calming my mind is hard for me. It’s something that takes time to practice and settle in to. Do it! Taking time to calm my mind leaves me in a better space to handle all of the craziness motherhood and life throw at me.
I absolutely love ariel yoga. Although I could probably handle advancing in the practice, I always take the beginners course because I go to relax, not to challenge myself.
The focused breathing, stretching and ambiance of these classes is great for my mental. At the end of these classes, floating savasana (which really means you lay inside the silk and let your body and mind sink into the feeling of weightlessness as you float in the air) puts me over the top. I always leave feeling emotionally and mentally lighter.
Sara is an essential oil that helps with hard emotional times. Essential oils have been around for a looooong time–way before they became trendy and there is a reason for that: they work.
I choose to let them work for me. I dilute the sara oil into a salve that I rub into my hands. The smell is so soothing and calms me in a way that is really hard to explain but it’s real and I recommend it.
Early Morning Routine
Finding an early morning routine helps start my day in a calm manner. I wake up a littler earlier than everyone and make my coffee and sit at the kitchen table and relax.
It’s that simple.
Until next time.