Don’t escape from life.

I’ve been diving into life and finding what makes me sparkle. Vacation makes me sparkle. That needs to change. Day to day life needs to make me sparkle. Don’t get me wrong, vacations are great. Travel is fun. Getting away to something new is amazing but it shouldn’t be the only time we truly enjoy our life. Our own life should be something we long for daily. It should be what we look forward to.

I need to take a big look at my life and find the sparkle in every day. I want a home I can escape to, not one I want to escape from. I want a day to day life I love, not one I need a vacation from. I want to live better, laugh more and worry less. So, how will I achieve this?

Remove the clutter.

Less stuff means less to stress about. I am not talking solely about material possessions. I am, also, talking about mental clarity, daily responsibility and unending obligations. Less of everything. I have a tendency to say yes a lot. To every invite, to every favor, to every project. This makes for one crazy, busy life. I am always going, running, thinking and stressing. My life is cluttered, my desk is cluttered, my house is cluttered, my mind is cluttered. Time to remove the clutter.

Say No.

It’s okay to say no. I need to remember this. I need to preach this. I need to hear this. Saying no does not make you a bad person, it just means you realize, sometimes, you have to put yourself first. You have to decide what makes you happy and choose that. I love my girlfriends, but no, I don’t want to go shopping with you. I hate shopping. But, normally, I say yes. Why? They ask, they want me to go, I feel obligated. No! No! No! I am not obligated. An invite is not an obligation, it is just that, an invite! Nothing more, nothing less. Can you help me with…. Well, it’s okay if I can’t. I need to learn to say no.

Work to live.

I love my job. It gives me so much pride and confidence. I love my team and I love what I do. The problem is that I have a tendency to let my job define my worth. When I am doing awesome at work, I am awesome in life. When I am stressed at work, I am stressed in life. My job bleeds over and meshes with my life. They have become so intertwined that I have a hard time separating them. I work a job so that I can live a good life but lately it feels like I live my life so I can work my job. I have to change that. I need to realize that I can be passionate about what I do for a living with out bringing it home with me. A bad day at work should not be a bad day in life. Each day, I need to walk out those door and leave that stress behind. Easier said than done but I will make a better effort.

Be kind, show respect and have fun.

Each morning when the small boy gets on the school bus, the last words he hears from me are, “Be kind, show respect, have fun and I love you.” We call those the three most important rules. I make him repeat them back. I figure that if he is struggling at school, if he can accomplish those three things, he has had a successful day. Now, I need to follow my own advice. I feel better when I am kind. Life is easier when you show respect and having fun makes me sparkle brighter than my glitter dipped nails. (Shameless Color Street plug – Click here to see how awesome they are.)

Accept help.

I want to be strong. I want to be independent. I want to know that I can make it on my own. Just because I can, does not mean I have to. I could move the couch, but why do I need to do it on my own when someone is offering help? Stubbornness, pride, not wanting to owe anyone, anything. I think, really, it is stupidity. Just because someone is nice, does not mean you owe them something. I need to recognize that there are kind people. They help to be nice. They help because they want to. They help because they care. I need to learn to accept a little help every now and then. It will help me not feel so alone.

The other night, I was with some friends discussing a tough situation and they all ask, “What can I do to help?” I replied, “Nothing, I’ll get through it.” What I should have said was, “Call me, text me, I am not okay and this sucks and I just need a shoulder to cry on and a hug.” But I didn’t. My pride got in the way. So that leads me to…

Show vulnerability.

Easier said than done. You know, pride. I am strong. I will get through this. I have bows to put these packages away. (Click to read about my packages.) It’s okay to hurt. It is okay to be sad. It is okay to not be the strongest person in the room. Now, I just have to listen to those words and let my feeling show. My friend won’t love me any less, they might actually love me more. It might make me a little softer, a little more real, a little kinder.

Find sparkle everyday.

I don’t need to be shining like a glitter cannon going off on a sunny day, even though that would be cool, but I do need to find sparkle every day. I need to remember that the rain brings flowers. This may not be my season but it doesn’t mean I can’t find joy in it. Life is too short to walk through it dull. Each day, I will wake up and find sparkle. My favorite cup of coffee, my glitter dipped nails, (Shameless Color Street plug – Click here to see how awesome they are), my sweet little boy, my snuggle puggles. I lead a very blessed life, I just need to open my eyes to see it.

Plan and promise.

So I am mapping out my plan. I am making a promise to me that I will build my escape and I will cover it with glitter and it will sparkle and I will look forward to each day and find joy in the little things. Life is too short and tomorrow is not granted to us. So, today is the day. Today, I sparkled as my sat in church and let god sink deep in my heart. Today, I sparked as I organized a mess to remove some clutter. Today, I sparkled when I hugged my sweet boy. They were not big moments. They will not win awards. But they were mine and I did not want to escape from them. I wanted to live in them. So that’s a start.

I’d love to hear what you are doing to make your home your escape. Mine has a ways to go but it will get there and I hope yours does to. So, in the midst of chaos, sparkle. Don’t let life dull your shine.

Much Love,

The Manicured Mom

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Click here if you want to find out more about my glittered nail obsession.

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