Introverted Like Me

Fun fact: I’m an introvert.

Now, if you’re wondering, “But Mia, how is that possible?” “You’re always talking and sharing and seem so outgoing”. (You’re probably not wondering any of those things, but just in case…)

Fun fact #2: Introversion and Extroversion is not how you interact, BUT how you recharge. What feeds you. There is more to it than just that, such as how you prefer conversations, large groups, small groups, what your conversation consists of, etc, BUT the basics of it is how you recharge.

I HAVE to have that solo time. I recharge in the peace and quiet on my own. If I am  around people and crowds for too long I become stressed and irritable and if I don’t get that chance for quiet I get downright angry (and honestly-mean).

Here’s the thing- I can be a very social person. I do enjoy meeting people, talking to people, hanging out with friends, and even enjoy our very loud playgroup time. BUT these situations exhaust me by the time they are done. Once it is done and I can get a little piece of quiet in my own home to recharge my batteries, I feel better. That is introversion in a way that you may not recognize.

Another aspect of introversion is your friendships and conversations. I will get into this more in a post coming up, but a lot of time introverts have small friend groups, preferring one on one or two conversation  than a large group of people. I honestly have never been one to have a “large group” of friends and, aside from a random high school moment (because who doesn’t have one of those), I’ve never cared about being popular and talking to every single person.

I say all of this because there is so much pressure in our society today to always be outgoing, to talk to every single person, to have a large group (or following) to back you up. . It is something that our society recognizes as success and that if this is not you, you are not (or will not) be successful.

I tried to be the outgoing person, talking to everyone, calling everyone a friend, constantly trying to do things and it just wasn’t working for me. So, I changed what I was trying to do to meet everyone else’s expectations, to what would actually work for me. You know what happened? I was happier, had better friendships (that were actually real friendships), and felt more like myself.

You don’t need to always be getting out, talking to every person around trying to make lasting friendships from everyone (unless that is what you want and what works for you).

You do need to make sure that you are doing what works for you.

And, if you are anything like me, that means maybe a little social- attending playgroup, story time and the like for the kids, coffee with a friend or two for myself- and a little rest and recharge at home.

Round The Kettle Ep 15 – The Serious Conversations

I had a conversation with a friend this week talking about a couple of things that I haven’t really been able to talk about with friends before. We covered a variety of topics and it was kind of refreshing to just talk with someone else about different topics that have been circling in my head. I’ll be honest- while I haven’t been burrowing into my books (my version of burying your head in the sand), I have definitely avoided certain conversations…

You know the ones…

Politics, Religion, Current Events.

It feels like nowadays if you want to make/keep/cherish a friendship you shy away from these subjects.

Maybe that’s an exaggeration. Maybe our friendships should mean more than the things we disagree on, but I’ve seen so many relationships dissolve over these types of conversations. All out break up? Maybe a smidge dramatic. A slow backing away though? Definitely.

But you know what? I want to have these conversations. I want to hear what others think. I want to learn about others viewpoint, how they learned, what they believe. I WANT TO UNDERSTAND. I want to have these conversations without risking losing a friendship over a differing opinion.

I like to think of myself as an open minded individual. I also like to think of myself who likes to talk deep, go deep in the conversations, to talk about the big issues. When I have a conversation with someone where we disagree, I almost enjoy that more than when we agree on everything. It gives me a chance to learn, to understand something in a different light, to see what has us thinking differently. And sometimes through these conversations, my mind will shift. I may even start to see things differently myself, or see them even more in what I originally thought. Either way, these conversations are GREAT to have.

That is if the other person is willing to be open minded and ready to listen.

You could argue, “Mia, you aren’t choosing your friends wisely if you can’t have these types of conversations without risking friendships”. I don’t know that I necessarily agree with that. I feel like there are different types of friendships and I can have these conversations with some and not with others. That’s ok and I feel like that is pretty normal.

With all of that being said…

Do you know this feeling? Have you ever felt this way? If you have, I’m curious how you handle it? Do you have certain people that you have these conversations with? Do you get really active in the internet world having these conversations?

I’m not going to be bringing this stuff to the blog or anything like that. You will start to see some posts geared towards things that I am passionate about, but haven’t talked a lot about (I’ve mentioned all these things at some point though). BUT I won’t be straying far from what I’ve already been doing. This is just something I’ve been thinking about this past week.

Let’s Talk About Insecurities : A Two Part Challenge Pt 2

Last week I posted about my insecurities. I shared what I thought insecurities were, as well as what my own insecurities are. I encouraged you to share your own insecurities. Today, I want to talk about overcoming, or dealing with, those insecurities.

If you would like to recap the Challenge post, you can do so HERE.

I’ve always been pretty open about when I’m feeling low, or when I’m struggling with my insecurities. I feel like that is the best way to deal with those feelings, not in a way for people to comment building you up or shower you will compliments, but in that you can hear from others who may have the same insecurities. Or those who have had those insecurities and have found a way to work through them.

I don’t have the answer of how to overcome them, because I don’t know that is necessarily a “right” way to do it. I feel like we are always going to have moments of insecurity. We are all going to stumble at a time, have that little voice whispering in the back of our head. Rather than “overcoming” the insecurity, we need to find a way forward. A way of saying yea that isn’t my favorite feature or my favorite feeling, but I am still over here doing my thing, feeling great, living my life to it’s fullest.

Two of my biggest insecurities, my white legs and my hips/belly. For a long time I wouldn’t wear certain clothes because I was worried about it and actually for a long time I’ve gotten comments about my legs being so white. This may sound silly and you may be wondering why I don’t go do a fake tan or something along those lines- believe me I’ve tried. And to be honest, I’ve reached a point that I really just don’t care. It wasn’t overnight and it wasn’t something quick. It was just a process of wondering why I cared so much over my legs.

Am I still insecure about them at times? Sure, but the more that I put “my legs” on display, the more I wore dresses, shorts, and such, the better I started to feel.

And I honestly think that is how we have to handle our insecurities. We have to confront them head on, show the bits that we are worried about, confront the things that we are unsure of, and the more we do that, the better we start to feel. We have to talk about what we are insecure about, sharing it already lessens some of that fear, and then figure out what we can do to become more comfortable with our insecurities.

For me, that means wearing dresses/skirts/shorts, putting my hair up in a bun more, and being a little bit freer about my hips. I do love my body and I can say right now I’ve never felt better in my own skin. I wear what I love and feel good in, whether I may feel a little more uncomfortable or not. After an hour or so I’m so wrapped up in whatever we are doing that how I look starts to fade away.

It also means jumping headfirst into things that I worry about. If there is a post that I worry about that typically mean that I am on the right track and need to simply hit post. In fact, if there is a post that I am insecure or worried about, I will typically write it and then schedule for a date in the future. By scheduling it I am less likely to go back in and remove it and it is also just not sitting on my desktop with me worrying about it. I just do it and get it done and then try my hardest not to think about it.

So, what can you do to put your insecurity out there? To get more comfortable about area’s that you are uncomfortable with? Leave a comment below to tell me what you will do to answer the Insecurity Challenge.

Let’s Talk Insecurities – A Two Part Challenge : Part 1

Insecurity. We all deal with it. Insecurities. We all have them. Some of us deal with more insecurities than others. They manifest in different area’s of our lives, in different ways, and we all react to them and deal with them differently. I’m a fairly confident and self assured person and I have plenty of them. I know many others deal with them as well. I want to talk about insecurities, delve into them a little- share what my insecurities are and how I deal with them.

I’m thinking this is going to be a two part post and I hope that you will come along on this and participate as well. I think we can all learn from each other, in coping, in feeling better about ourselves and I think even just hearing that someone deals with the same insecurity helps.

This is the first part.

Insecurities is one of those things that we either talk about or don’t talk about. Sometimes giving a voice, words, saying our fears out loud can help. Sometimes it doesn’t. In this first part we are going to talk about our insecurities. I am going to share the parts of myself, both physical and non, that I am insecure about.

Let me be clear- I do not want compliments, I do not want to hear about how it’s silly or anything like that. I am not putting this out there to ask for compliments. I am putting this out there to work on dealing with the insecurity itself. To help others who may be experiencing the same thing or have some of the same insecurities. To be in a space where others can open up and share their insecurities as well in a safe and productive way.

So, let’s get down to the hard part, shall we?

Physical Insecurity

I think the hardest insecurities to deal with can be the one’s concerning our bodies. Sure, we can fix some of them, but some are just DNA or beyond our control and there isn’t much we can do with them. They also seem to be the one’s that we, as a society, fixate on (which is a topic for a whole separate post). In a physical sense I am insecure about my eyebrows (random, I know), my teeth, my really white legs that do not hold a tan (at all, seriously), and my hips/belly area. When I gain weight, I gain it in my hips and belly. One other thing that I do get a little self conscious about (more so than an actual insecurity) is the fact that I am petite. Since I am petite, people often feel like it is more “acceptable” to comment on my body and while none of it is bad, it’s still isn’t right and it can make me a bit insecure at times.

Other Insecurities

Insecurity is not just physical, you can feel a lack of confidence in other area’s as well. For example, I am uncertain at times if I am doing the right thing for my children. Questioning whether are not I am being a good mom. Whether are not I am being to like my parents, and not better.  I am uncertain at times if I am doing the best thing for myself and my family. I face self doubt from time to time , probably more than I have ever admitted to before, where my blogging/social media and sharing is concerned.

I would like to hear about your insecurities (if you are up to sharing, you do not have to if you do not want to). I feel like just talking about the things that we are insecure about that already can take some of the weight off of our shoulders. The next part of this challenge will be to figure how to work through the insecurities, how to push them aside, or recognize when we are letting them control our everyday.

Round the Kettle Ep 14 : June Already?!

Happy June!!! How is it June already? Where has this year gone?! I feel like this year is flying by and I’m not ready to be halfway through the year. Are you? Is it flying by for you as well?

I feel like June can be a bit of a breathe of fresh air. The weather is turning warmer (except this year some folks are getting that warm weather in May- not us), the days get much longer, and we all break free of our Winter and Spring Showers hibernation. The days are longer, the clothes are shorter, and the smiles are bigger.

This year June is shaping up to be no different. We finally seem to be at the start of a warm stretch of weather (our first without AC, wish us all the luck and good vibes you can!), we are going to be having a month of only day trips after back to back months of traveling (not complaining about any of that!), and the month ends with us moving out of the hotel and into a…house!

We are in the final hotel stretch and we’ve seen the house that we will be moving into. It is a really nice option with a very large fenced in back yard and we will be arriving just in time for that hot weather, sending the boys out to play time of year. We are really looking forward to being in a home, getting all of our things, and setting up a new house. So, even though we won’t be doing any of the long weekend travelling, we will be doing a couple day trips, planning for our big July trip (more on that later), and moving! An exciting month ahead for us.

What does your June look like? Is it a homebody month or an exciting travel filled one? Let me know down below!

I’ve been spending a good chunk of the past week at my computer, planning and writing for different posts and ideas I’ve got for the upcoming months. I am trying to do some goal setting, big dream planning.

I find myself wanting to DO MORE. To expand a little bit on my little corner and to start reaching out for volunteering, for making an impact in others, for just being something for someone else. There have been certain area’s that my heart has always felt that it needed to be and I am finding that I now have the time to dedicate to that. I’m trying to figure out how to move forward and starting doing some of things that I’ve been wanting to do.

Do you volunteer? Where do you volunteer at? Do you know that feeling of wanting to do more?

And, honestly, I think that is really all I have to say for this weeks Round the Kettle. I am a little tired/burnt out from the back to back trips and then all of the writing following that up. I am looking forward to a little relaxation and rest this weekend, as well as some reading, tea drinking, and family time (as always). Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

Motherhood and You

Motherhood is all consuming, a never-ending cycle of care, but don’t let it consume you. Don’t simply become “mom”, don’t lose yourself, who you are, in caring for your children. Don’t cling to them as they start to grow up and grow away. Being a mom may be the most important hat you wear, or title you receive, (however you want to think of that), but it is not solely who/what you are.

All too often, starting almost immediately after birth, we become consumed by being a mom. By taking care of a little human being that depends solely on us for EVERYTHING (daunting, so daunting), by trying to be everything for this little being, and all too often we lose who we are in the process. We become so wrapped up in that “mom” role that we don’t take care of ourselves (a post for another day), we don’t take care of our significant other, we don’t take care of our friendships.

These things start to fall to the wayside, and it isn’t until we are a couple years in (or longer for some) that we realize that we don’t know who we are anymore. We have become a mom, the greatest blessing of all, but we’ve lost who we are in the process.

This is a normal thing that just about everyone experiences to varying levels. That isn’t to say that we can’t get back to who we are, or avoid this entirely, I’m just saying that this is a normal thing to go through. In fact, even the most prepared parents (the ones who swear that parenthood won’t change them) go through a level of this. It’s a natural instinct when we have a child that our world changes to revolve around this baby and it’s a very sweet time in our lives (postpartum depression/anxiety/and other issues aside). That doesn’t mean that it lasts forever. Our children will grow, they will mature, they will become independent and need us as parents less and less. That change is why it is important not to lose who you are when you become a parent.

How do we handle this? How do we allow motherhood/parenthood to take over our lives, and still maintain who we are?

Little things. What do you like to do in your free time? What did you like to do before you became a parent to relax?

Did you like to exercise? Find a gym that has childcare. Have your significant other take over the parenting duties for a few hours while you hit up a workout.

Did you like to read, write, watch TV, YouTube, etc.? Great! Naptime and after Bedtime are great opportunities to do these! (In fact, I squeeze a lot of my reading time during naptime and after the kids go to bed).

Did you like to shop or explore new areas? Perfect, you can do that with baby OR if you want baby free time, have your significant other or family watch the baby while you get a little break.

The main takeaway from this is not to have time away from your child, although that is needed too, but to find time within your day to do what works for YOU. What makes YOU happy. So much of motherhood is spent tending to others (and not just your own children, being a mom turns you into everyone’s mom) and it is easy to lose ourselves in that. So so easy to be swept away taking care of everyone and everything else.

If that is what fills you up and makes you happy, perfect! Do more of that. BUT don’t forget to take a little breath for yourself.

Big things. Find time for you and your significant other to have a little time together at the very least once a month. Take care of that relationship or it will fall to the wayside. Check in with each other throughout the day, send that sweet little text. Have a moment while the baby is napping. Hire a babysitter when baby is a little older to get much needed date nights in (no matter what those actually look like).

Everyone says that one day your children will go up and leave and then what will be left is you and your significant other. This is true, but what is more important is the example that you are setting for your children. From the get-go, our children learn from us. They see what a stable relationship and family looks like from us, so water your own marriage and your children will see how to water their own (when that time comes).

Make sure that you and your spouse are on the same page as situations arise so that you can be a cohesive unit. Parenthood can help your marriage thrive and grow into new heights, or it can fall to the wayside. More than likely it will ebb and flow between both (again, completely natural), but the continual watering will help everything stay on a balance to continue to go towards success and happiness.

Ultimately, motherhood is a phase of life. For those of us who are mom’s (in any form) it is an all-encompassing blessing. It never ends and takes a lot of who we are. BUT it doesn’t have to be solely who we are. We were somebody before we were “mom” and while being mom takes precedence, don’t say goodbye to who you are. She is still there, and she should be able to shine as well.

Plan With Me – May 2019

May is upon us and with it Spring is coming. We’ve got some mighty travel plans in May, I’ve got a short readathon, and with the weather changing we are planning a couple of outdoor adventures. Since the month is turning out to be a busy one, and since my planning style has ever so slightly changed, I figured I would do a little Plan With Me.

I’ve talked about my own personal planning style before which is using a physical planner. I prefer to be able to write things out and see them in a physical format in front of me, rather than using an electronic calendar or notebook.

I always find it fun to see how others plan out their time, be it monthly or daily, and I find it gives me new ideas to apply to my own planning. The last time I did a planning post, I was using the Day Designer planner that had a monthly and daily layout. I still really like the Day Designer as a system, but I wanted something a little more “freestyle” for my planning. Somewhere that I could just write notes throughout the day without lines and such.

I did a little searching and found the Hobonichi planners. This is a Japanese company and they offer many different styles. The style that I used is the Hobonichi cousin and I have two notebooks, one for January to June and the second from July to December. I like that this planning system is similar to bullet journaling, but I don’t have to fill out any monthly/weekly/daily options.

So, on to my current planning set up…

Here’s the monthly view:

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Within the month I use colored highlighters (Mildliner) to highlight my posting schedule. I use Blue for A Cuppa Cosy and Orange for my other blog, The Cosy Book Shoppe. Then I use various highlighters to indicate when my husband is off of work or will be gone, or if we are planning an adventure. I like the highlighter look as it gives it a bit of a “cleaner” look to my monthly layout. As someone who wants to quickly look at a month and see what is going on on a specific day within seconds, the highlighters have been a lifesaver. Within the highlighted line I will write in black pen (Pentel EnerGel Needle Tip – .3) what specifically the post, or the trip, or the notation is. Below that I’ll write any appts, important dates, or things to note. I use the sidebar to track my reading through the month, and the bottom sections to track travel and spending.

This planner does come with a weekly outlook, which I like to use for meal planning and as a good breakdown for our week. I mark out my days and times and track my walking and daily reading. This gives me a good chance to look at my week, see where my time is going, and fit in any adventures we want to take during the week. I continue my color coordination in my weekly layout as well using the Pigma Micron Pens.

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Then we get to the day layout. This is a day on one page and has a spot for a time breakdown, a small to do list, and a large area to write on. I do a time breakdown, a water/tea tracker, I extend the to do list a couple more boxes, and use the free space to mind map/brain dump throughout my day. I’ve included a glimpse at some of the past days that give a pretty good look at these spaces. Some days are filled up, others are still pretty empty. I don’t always need to use the daily page and some days I’ll use it as a memory device to remind myself of what we did for a later journal entry or blog post (this is very typical when we travel long weekends).

So, that is my planning set up currently! I’ve been really enjoying the Hobonichi and I think it is what I’ll continue on with for the rest of this year and maybe even next year. Do you use a paper planner? How do you plan?