Doubt

Small word, big effect. Not even two syllables. But strong enough to bring the strongest person to their knees.

And I’m not a very strong person. Well my husband thinks I am and other people tell me I am but sometimes I just dont feel that way. I never know what is the right decision but i think that is something other than doubt. Yes I worry, maybe doubt if I can make the rights decision but making a decision and not knowing if it is the right one or not is something different isnt it?

I havent been around in forever. I havent really had much to say. Or maybe too much. I am trying a new approach – its always something new. You see I thought I could be a blogger but the truth is I’m not that good at it. I enjoy writing but not because I have to. Plus the space has never really revealed its purpose to me.  Just what is ‘The Wandering Heart’ supposed to mean.

I can tell you what it has meant – that I am just unsure. I go along in life and I have no clue. I mean who does. But its more than that. I wander through life looking for something my heart wants. Its why I was never sure in school and latched onto the first idea, that even now I am unsure if its my own. I always wanted to major in history but I let doubt change my mind and I did something else. Something I sometimes enjoyed but in the end it doesnt satisfy me. International Politics, sorry its not you its me.

And Law. My brief stint in law school – well leaving law school was the smart thing to do. But chasing a grad degree afterwards not so much. It doesnt matter it got me to Italy. Strange how that works.

I always like to say that I dont regret the past because the past helps to shape the person you are today. And for the most part I really do believe that. But sometimes I do wish the road couldve been a little easier. Or a little different. Or maybe just a little more sure.

I dont know what my future roads have in store. Well I do know. I know that there is a lot of work and maybe even some hardship coming up. Probably some arguments and trying to stand up for what I believe in.People who will disagree and probably a whole lot of doubt.

But maybe in that doubt  I can find opportunity. I am trying to be more truthful to myself. I am scared. I am anxious but I also have hope.

Journaling vs. Blogging?

kdk_0896When I was younger, I used to have a habit I wish I had kept up with. Every night before I went to sleep I would take 15, sometimes 30 minutes to write half a page or more before I went to bed. Sometimes it was about whatever went on during the day. Other times it was whatever thought happened to be rolling around in my high-school brain at the time. I’m not sure why I got out of the habit but I wish I had kept up with it. I always keep a journal/diary but don’t write in it as often as I would’ve liked. I have some of my old journals with me and they span from sophomore year of high school until well now.

I always wanted to have blank journals, I’m not sure why. I guess I didn’t want to be restricted by the lines or I wanted the book to feel more sacred than a simple lined book. I also preferred covers that were well pretty. My current journal has a fabric cover with beautiful embroidered flowers and leafy green swirls.

I’ve also had other blog incarnations. Pitas, Live Journal, even myspace all which have bit digital dust. There was even a blog on my other personal site that I abandoned but may get resurrected. My brain is a flurry of activity that my body cant possibly keep up with.

kdk_0986I wish I could get back in that old habit. Maybe not writing everyday, but definitely more often than I do. Currently my last entry in my journal was a probably a couple of months ago. And I don’t write here as I would in my journal but sometimes I think I would/should. I guess it all really depends on the direction I want to go with this site. But that’s the problem isn’t it? I want a direction I’m just not sure what it is yet. I already decided to separate most cooking from this space (only because I think it would take over if I let it!).

For now I’ll just write. Let time figure it out for me. I have a few ideas in mind but I don’t have the, well I guess it’s the confidence to start them. That and I haven’t gotten into good habit of writing for this space.

What’s to come? I’ve given up on trying to figure that out. I’m a planner without a plan at the moment. And I guess that will have to be alright.

Mothers


This picture was in the Dover Art Sampler I get in my email about once a week. The theme was 1930’s depression era. Specifically the Caption says: Dorthea Lange. Migrant Mother  Nipomo California 1936. What strikes me most about this photo is her face. She looks beautiful but tired. Concerned but maybe also relieved? Has she traveled far to get where she is now? If you look well she has three babies with her. Two on either side and a little one in her lap. I didn’t notice the baby at first.

What is she thinking? Is she alone? Did she live on?

She did.

Sometimes I feel like maybe how this woman felt. She is just a hard working woman. Caring for her children, facing whatever may come next. Sometimes I feel nothing like this woman and to even look upon her maybe insulting. She’s hardworking, doing best with whatever is in front of her and not thinking that she wishes this or that. She doesn’t have time for self-doubt, or self-pity.

Some of My Favorite Reads

Photo by Andy Piper

There are quite a few different blogs I enjoy reading. They fall into several different categories too. Like most people I’m interested in a lot of different things. For me the easiest way to read a new favorite blog is to subscribe by email. Sadly I have found a couple of blogs that I like but didnt have an email option. I try to remember to go back but it doesnt always happen. I’m sure I have some kind of feed reader installed but I never look at it. Email is the best option for me and is a welcome change to the constant spam I normally get. Here are some of my favorites :

Chatting at the Sky
This blog by Emily is simply beautiful. And simple. And the way she writes oh my goodness, the prose is beautiful. I subscribed via email after reading this post and I continue to be inspired and just feel at peace when I read her blog. She has a couple of books coming out soon, one for teenage girls and one for grownup girls and I want to buy both. Even from Italy. The teenage girl book I would love to give one day to my daughter and the other, well I know I need it for me.

SimpleMom.net / Simple Living Network
Tsh at SimpleMom is the kind of organized person I wish I could be. Kinda. I mean I dont know what I would do with myself if I could get myself that well prepared at handling homemaking. I have a hard enough time making sure I wash the dishes – good thing I’m not cooking that often yet and can I say my excuse is I dont have running water…in the kitchen? Some of my favorite things over there are the Daily Docket and just everything she suggests about creating a Home Management Notebook. The other great thing about Simple Mom is that Tsh created the Simple Living Media which houses information on Eating, HomeSchooling, Kids and Living Organically – theres just so much available.

Get Rich Slowly
Get Rich Slowly is a blog by J.D. Roth that I started following forever ago but didn’t really take to heart until Isabella was born. But I was always inspired by how J.D. takes things as complicated as personal finance and breaks into human-minded manageable bits. J.D. is like you and me, having dug himself out of a huge debt, quit his day job and makes an income from doing something he has become very passionate about; living life frugally but well.

The Pioneer Woman
This list would be incomplete if I didn’t include The Pioneer Woman. Ree has been a source of laughter and pictures and burping and food since I worked at my 9-5 the first time before I left for grad school. And thank goodness I found her, that job could be so boring! Her ‘Black Heels To Tractor Wheels’ is her personal story of how she met, married and moved out to be a rancher’s wife in the country. She also provides step-by-step photo graphical instructions on some absolutely delicious foods, and recently published a cookbook. She also shares photography, information on homeschooling (along with some guest posters) and Home and Garden information. Ree also launched Tasty Kitchen which is a go-to source for recipes by people like you and me, along with some of the bigger names in food blogging.

This list is by no means exhaustive, these are just the ones I normally cant wait to get into my inbox. As you can see the list ranges from brand new to been reading for years. I check out a lot of blogs (too many sometimes) but it takes a clean design and good content to really make me want to read more. It these blogs that I want to see in my own. And like the diversity you see in this short list here, thats the diversity I have within myself. We all have so many things we are interested in, and we can also see a little bit of ourselves in each of the blogs we choose to follow. SimpleMom may seem to have it together, but she knows she has days where nothing seems to get done and I can relate to that. J.D. is following something he found his passion in and Ree is the kind of person I wish was my next door neighbor mixing up margaritas, while Emily is the kind of someone I would love to confide in. The best part is these people tend to also exist in our real lives too.

I love finding new blogs. If you have one please share the link in the comments – I would love to see it!

Balancing Act – How to be a Better Me

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

I’ve been struggling lately on finding balance. Not only for myself but balance for my everyday. Between wanting to write here, taking care of Isabella, being patient with accepting our new home, being a wife, I find it impossible to find balance in the day. I have a hundred and one ideas surrounding me everyday, things I want to do creatively, for me, for Isabella, a mountain of cleaning and organizing to do but I feel like I have no time to do it all. And in a way its true and not true. Time is my enemy mostly because I don’t always make the best of the time I have.

Isabella is my enemy, but in a way I choose. I chose to be home with her everyday, to interact with her, to play, to rock, to take care of her over doing anything else. Distraction is my enemy as I easily let myself get distracted by facebook, other blogs or other projects I am/should be working on.

I am also my greatest enemy. I need to find balance. To make a conscious effort to get done what I want. I need to be a better planner, organizer, wife and mother. I think I do well, but I know I could do better. I also need to a better me, to have the grace to accept what I cant change. To have the patience to allow for the things I want to be changed to be changed (including the changes I want for myself).

There is so many things I still want to accomplish. I changed paths to make this happen. But I did not change my mindsets. I still have my old habits, And even though I don’t believe in going to extremes, change even slowly, must take place. To start I thought about the things that I most want to get done (in no particular order).

1. Study Italian. I live here now, I must learn the language. This doesn’t have to be using a workbook, or Rosetta everyday as I am surrounded by people speaking it all the time. But I need to make an effort to do consciously do something.

2. Work on the nonprofit. I committed to being a member and I need to ensure part of my day gets dedicated to doing the work that needs to be done.

3. Move my body. Take a walk, exercise, stretch, yoga, pilates. I need to take better care of myself. One of my biggest fears in life now is to not be there for Isabella. Only I can make sure that I am doing what I can to be with her and Nico for as long as I can be.

4. Maintaining our home. Cleaning, sweeping, mopping, laundry – these things take a lot more time if I let them pile up. But if I maintain them daily it wont be so bad. I don’t need to mop everyday or even sweep everyday (we have tile floors in all of the house, with a crawling baby who eats everything). If I put things away as I get them or sweep when I can, or even ask Nico to do it while I watch Isabella, housework wont seem so overwhelming.

My Reason

5. Most importantly enjoy life. I don’t know what this life has in store for me past right now. Sure I can plan the next five minutes but that doesn’t mean that it is what I will do. I made choices so that I can have the life I wanted so why no relish in every moment. Even when there is no water in the kitchen, the house fills with gas cause of a shoddy gas plug and the power keeps cutting out cause the stove is an energy vampire for the little power regulator we have. None of that matters. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally, a beautiful girl whose smile can light the world and I live in the place I’ve always wanted to live. I have a lot to be thankful for. Life definitely has its ups and down but everyone of those downs bring a new challenge and a new discovery of what I am capable of becoming.

What do you do to balance your lives? Do you set goals, keep picture reminders of whats important? Share your thoughts in the comments below.