We Can Have it All, But we Can’t Do it All

 

2nd blog post
No Cape Here

May is Mental Health Month and because I have battled depression all my life it was important for me to write this post. My blog is dedicated to helping women look and FEEL their best especially women over the age of 30. I find when we reach a certain age we no longer become the focus like we were when we were younger. I often feel that younger women are allowed to be more focused on themselves because there is this idea that they are discovering who they are. And because we are older we are fulfilling more roles than just daughter, sister and student, but we are now mothers, wives, employees, entrepreneurs and perform more duties such as being the cook, housekeeper, chauffeur, counselor, and caregiver, etc. In all these roles we take on, we forget that we are human beings and not Superwomen. I believe God has given each of us in-explainable strength and its true His promise to us is that He will not put more on us than we can bear, but we fail to recognize we put things on ourselves that God never intended for us to do. And then we wonder why we are so stressed or depressed.

I have learned thru my fight against depression that I can no longer be caught up in what society thinks I should be. From my own personal experience I have learned that society thinks being a black woman equals inherent strength but that doesn’t mean we are indestructible. The issues of life can bring me down and in those instances where I feel depression or sadness come on I remember I cannot be everything to everyone and as long as I am doing my best I’m good. It’s okay to take breaks, it’s normal to make mistakes, and sometimes we have to get help and delegate and there is nothing wrong with extending love to ourselves daily. I have included some ideas below that can help us to retire the idea that it is necessary for us to do it all.

· Get help – This may seem like “duh” but we all know we have said at least once “If I want something done right, I have to do it myself”. This may be true in some cases but sometimes just getting whatever it is done is more important than it being done to our standards. If a co-worker volunteers to organize this month’s birthday celebration for the team, let them! So maybe they can’t cook, so suggest they cater or just remember to bring your lunch that day. Just take the pressure off yourself to organize an event that is not of importance to you. Within this suggestion I want to say that it is okay to get professional help. i.e. therapy. I know that people don’t want to share personal problems with an outside party but a professional can help you organize your thoughts, gain a different perspective and formulate solutions. We must stop putting a stigma on going to a counselor or seeking professional help and we must realize that being healthy encompasses our mental health as well. Tip: Check with your employer or benefits to see what is covered under mental health. Some companies offer a series of free counseling services under their employee assistance program (EAP).

· Get Organized and Establish Routines – Some of the stress we experience is caused by us. Period. And it’s because we do not prepare for and command our day. Organization can be as simple as putting our favorite makeup items in a tray so that when getting ready in the morning we are not searching for an eyebrow pencil. I can’t tell you how many times something I wanted to wear to work were dirty because I left it on the infamous chair in my bedroom when I took it off. Instead establishing a routine of sorting thru that pile of clothes on Thursdays and Sundays so I have things together for the weekend and the workweek has saved me from looking and feeling a mess.

· Practice Self Care every day, not just Saturday – I absolutely love the self-care movement because it gives us the opportunity to take much needed time to pamper ourselves but in all honesty self-care should be practiced daily. It can be something as simple as eating a healthy meal or getting off Instagram and going to bed an hour earlier (guilty). We sometimes should forgo the idea that self-care should be this grandiose event and find simple ways to practice self-care everyday.

· Set small goals- I know personally that I feel on top of the world when I accomplish anything I set out to do. If I can set a time to get the kids in the bed by 8:30 and I do it that leads to me setting other small goals and accomplishing those too. Maybe set a goal to read a chapter of a book every day until you finish it and share your thoughts on social media. Just set a goal no matter how small that you know you can finish and then DO IT! You will feel better and this will lead to you getting more things done.

I hope this post gives you ideas to alleviate stress and battle onsets of depression or anxiety but most importantly I hope it teaches you to give yourself permission to be human instead of some superhero. There is a reason that Superwoman is fictional!

40 Things before 40

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Dress – Boohoo

So I recently turned 39 and even though I’m blessed to have made it to this age I realized that my life is actually just beginning. Let me explain. I had my first child at age 21  (no wild partying for me!). I never went away to college, I took classes at a local university and ultimately finished my degree at University of Phoenix at age 30. I didn’t really travel because after the first kid I married and 2, 3 and 4 followed quickly behind. I have worked at the same company for 14 years, with 11 of those in the same position. You get what I’m saying? I have never really experienced life outside of being a wife and mom. Now there is nothing wrong with those things, in fact I have always wanted to be a mom since I was a little girl and I enjoy my life BUT I recently began to think there are other things I want AND I can actually have them! So I started a list of 40 things I want to do before I turn 40. You may read them and think to yourself that’s easy or simple enough or Girl, you haven’t done that yet? Where you been at? But I honestly sat down and wrote down things I really want to do or have and I plan on checking these items off starting with this blog! I hope I encourage you to think about some of the things you want to accomplish and make your own checklist!

  1. Start a blog – DONE
  2. Learn to sew and actually complete a wearable garment.
  3. Become better with technology. I will need some classes for this one!
  4. Take a family cruise with extended family from BOTH sides.
  5. Start a new career.
  6. Lose 10-15 more pounds. (don’t we all? maybe not)
  7. Learn basic Spanish. (I live in TX and this would be to my advantage)
  8. Read at least 5 thought provoking life changing books. One down, four to go.
  9. Take some cooking classes or a cake decorating class to extend my repertoire.
  10. Learn to do box braids for my girls.
  11. Take a vacation with my husband alone (checking this off in September!)
  12. Write a book.
  13. Go to one of those painting with a twist parties (everyone has been to one except me)
  14. Implement a weekly self care routine.
  15. Give a single mom the night off.
  16. Go to a networking event by myself (Scary, very scary)
  17. Decorate every major holiday (so far this is a fail)
  18. Get a bike or rollerblades and actually use them.
  19. Purchase a new car.
  20. Repair my credit (it took a hit this past year due to some life changes)
  21. QUIT my current job. (there will definitely be a post on this!)
  22. Take my oldest daughter and son to a personal finance class or seminar.
  23. Restructure my student loans (remember I went to UOP)AirBrush_20170424160706
  24. Take a new family picture.
  25. Complete the 52 week savings challenge.
  26. Begin and maintain an exercise routine.
  27. Go on one on one dates with each of my children.
  28. Spend more quality time with my extended family. (We are getting old!)
  29. Take a spinning class.AirBrush_20170424160948AirBrush_20170424155645
  30. Throw an event for women who love beauty and fashion and want to make friends like me!
  31. Consistently earn 2 additional incomes.
  32. Create a daily prayer routine. (I actually pray constantly but I would like some structure)
  33. Decorate my master bedroom.
  34. Upgrade my camera and blog once I learn more about technology.
  35. Go to school for cosmetology. My passion and purpose is to help other women look and feel beautiful.
  36. Write several posts on mental health awareness. I don’t think people take this as seriously as they should.
  37. Make new friends outside of my circle (work, church, family).
  38. Start a FB group for women over 30 about beauty and fashion. Sorry younger ladies, our needs are different once you reach a certain age.
  39. Open a business. (Look out for it).
  40. Go hard! I want to stop half-assing it, procrastinating and just get it done. Whatever it is. No excuses.

So what things do you want to do. All I can say is do it now. Don’t wait because over the last few weeks I have discovered time waits for no man or woman. Whether it’s good or bad just try because action will help you build momentum and you will eventually reach your destination wherever that may be.

Love Ricki