When I was younger, I had a number of visions as to how my life would unfold. Over the years, those daydreams evolved as I became more in touch with myself. Some, though, remained for quite awhile. Today, I am choosing to let a few of them go because they simply do not fit who I genuinely
(despite the fact that I wish they did). Join me as I let go of the fantasies and embrace my realities.
The Big Ol' Dream House
I KNOW I'm not alone on this one. You and I have both pinned it on Pinterest in about a thousand different incarnations. Long, winding driveway leads to sweepingly beautiful grounds bursting with gorgeous flowers of every color--tastefully manicured, of course--and arrives at a stately, but inviting home, filled with all that Pottery Barn has to offer. I have nothing against large houses or PB; quite on the contrary, I adore large homes...just not for myself. The thing is, somebody has to clean those great big houses, and I don't want it to be me. I realize that, yes, we can make it a family affair where everyone pitches in to keep the house clean. Or, we could just pay some folks to come clean it on a regular basis. I get that, I really do. I don't want us to spend a lot of our precious family time cleaning the house, or having to straighten up in order to let somebody else clean it. I want a house that takes an hour (MAX) to whip into shape (and that's the deep Spring cleaning), so that we can get on with the important stuff. Also, large houses generally come with hefty price tags and increased energy costs, both of which I could do without. In addition, a smaller home can help me stay on top of the clutter. I'm sentimental, so I tend to hold onto things, especially gifts from loved ones and my kids' old clothes. Even the most efficient small home would require me to pare down.
How cute is this cottage?! Love it.
There was a time when I really wanted to be That House where everybody wanted to come hang out, where the door was always open. Well, now I don't. I really, really,
don't. You see, I value my privacy and my sense of normalcy. And my husband? Let's just say he really, really values his personal space as well (if you know him, you'll probably chuckle a little as you read this). I wasn't a homebody when we met, but after nine years together, I've been converted. It's not that we mind having people over, honestly. It's just that it stresses us out. We want so badly for everything to be perfect and for everyone to have a good time that we don't enjoy ourselves one iota. Also, we have small children, so one or both of us is trying to make sure they're not getting into trouble, while the other is struggling to be sociable and/or take care of food preparation...exhausting! Maybe when the kids are older and more self-sufficient, our attitudes will change, but for now, we'll have to pass.
We should be ready to entertain by then...
The Glamorous Life
Yes, I read
magazine, and yes, I've daydreamed about kickin' it Victoria Beckham-style in Chanel sunnies, LV bag on my arm, Louboutin stilettos on my feet, and a baby on my hip, but that's just not gonna happen for me. Know why? Because, underneath it all, I don't care enough. If I did, I'd be recreating a budget-friendly version of that look
. Instead, I (practically) throw on the same solid color T-shirt/tank top and shorts (if legs are shaved) or jeans (legs unshaved) I always wear. Know why? Because it's simple and easy, and I'm kinda lazy. I'm also very, very tired, these days. However, because I don't want to slide completely into middle-aged frumpdom, I've decided to be more intentional (most days, anyway) with the way I dress. It actually does make me feel better when I look in the mirror and see that I've chosen to make an effort. So, for me, myself, and I, I've begun really studying my pins on Pinterest, looking in magazines, talking with fashion-forward friends, and narrowing down my style. From there, I will be looking for
practical ways to incorporate more chicness into my day-to-day without looking overdressed and/or plunging our family into debt. And with all the fantastic consignment and vintage stores out there, that Louis Vuitton bag may find its way to my arm, after all.
Someday, my pretties. Someday.
I grew up in suburban town, and I assumed I'd continue to live there once I got married and started a family. I knew I didn't love it, but anything urban was completely foreign to me. I honestly had no idea how many hang-ups I had until I was talking to my husband about it.
The crime! The dirt! The homeless people! The rats! Too dangerous to raise family! The schools are terrible! It's just old, dilapidated houses!
Okay, so pretty much all of these were wrong. I mean, yes, there are homeless people, but they've never given me any problems. Some of the schools leave a lot to be desired, but there is some incredibly wonderful progress being made to change things for the better. Anyway, despite growing up twenty minutes from it, I'd never really explored Central Phoenix, so I had no idea everything it had to offer. It's incredibly walkable; the restaurants are pretty great; the museums, theaters, and local shops are fantastic; and the Central Library is really, really amazing. The thing that really put Phoenix over the top for me, personally? The historic districts! I could spend all day walking around the Encanto-Palmcroft, Roosevelt, FQ Story, and Willo Districts. I really could. Those neighborhoods have so much charm and character, it's ridiculous! It doesn't even feel like you're in Phoenix, honestly, because most of the houses are made of brick, stone, or block, rather than stucco and sticks. Whenever I have time to kill, I find myself driving up and down some of the streets, marveling at the architecture. (Honorable mention: Arcadia district. We love you, too, but you're a li'l pricey!)
Janet Echelman's Art in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona
Huge Family Fantasy
I wish I had it in me to do the Oversized Family Thing, but I just can't. We only have two and I'm frazzled most of the time! I see others do it and they seem to be superhuman, seemingly unfazed by anything, perhaps because they've seen it all after four, five, six children. Every fiber of my being knows we'll be having a third baby, but after that? No
, thank you very much. It's not that #4 wouldn't be loved and adored; it's just that I don't think I have what it takes to be a good mom to that many, ya know? I feel like I'd just run out of energy, like a car without gas. Just done. That's not fair to a sweet baby, right? Plus, I'm 30 now, and by the time we're even having a conversation about #4, I'd be nearing or at 35, which seems to be the age where things can get complicated. I don't generally handle stress well, so the idea of engaging in a geriatric pregnancy (they really need to find another name for that!) gives me pause. However, I do realize when I make plans, God takes that as a signal to turn my world upside down, so we'll see how the near-future plays out.
NOOOOO. Just. NO.
Okay, crazy-wealthy folks freak me out a bit. Not exactly sure why that is, but they just do. I can remember watching
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
Man, those people have it made!
Well, yes and no, I suppose. As I got older, I witnessed how wealth can really screw people up. I went to school with people who seemed to have no concept of the word "no." Folks who got fully-loaded luxury vehicles with initials engraved on the driver-side door (my hand to God, I saw it with my own eyes!) for their sweet sixteens. I'm talkin' "My family has its own island" kind of wealth. I couldn't fathom that then, and I still can't wrap my brain around that now! The thing is, it didn't seem like a lot of these girls and guys were particularly happy. I mean, it was high school so the angst was pretty thick, but still....Thanks to Us Weekly, People, and all the rest, we read stories of people who have every opportunity, but choose to waste their considerable resources on nonsense. I guess I'm afraid of wealth because it can be so harmful if you allow it to be. Maybe the key is to just stay vigilant by keeping your eyes on what's truly important, rather than the trappings of this world? I'm not saying money is bad, in and of itself. It can be a tremendous force of good, but I've seen it change people.
A Female Bestie
I have a number of close female friends, whom I love dearly, but my best friend is my husband. It's been that way since we got together, and it will continue to be that way. He just gets me, ya know? When we first met, I was instantly comfortable with him, which was a completely new experience for me. There was a time when I really wanted to have a gaggle of best buddies, closely resembling the
Sex and the City
Model of friendship, but it never happened, and I see now what a blessing that is for me personally. I'm super blessed to have an amazing core group of girlfriends, but the title of BFF is reserved for the hubster.
Martha Stewart-esque Organization Skills
It's never going to happen. Even on my best day, it's just never going to happen.
One of Martha Stewart's drawers. I could maintain this IF I lived alone (maybe).
I know myself pretty well after 30 years of being me, and I can honestly say that I do not have what it takes to homeschool my children. It pains me to say this because I often fantasize about hanging up the chalkboard, setting up the little chairs, and going over our numbers and letters together...but I just don't have it in me. What I'm trying to say is that I'm not a teacher. (Actually, I'm a great student because I'm an enthusiastic learner. Still to this day, I love to learn.) I don't have the patience, stamina, organizational skills or fortitude to take charge of my childrens' schooling. And, if I may be so bold, most of me doesn't really want to. I know my kids would probably agree that we need some time apart from each other, ya know? I will, however, do my part by scouring the city for the best schools with the greatest teachers, and providing my kids with every opportunity to succeed. I think that will be enough, no?
SO cute, yet SO unlikely to happen.
I reserve the right to change my mind about this one, but at this point, I have to admit that I just suck at running. Long distances, short distances, it doesn't matter. I suck at it
I hate it, but people keep saying it's the greatest thing ever, so I keep trying and, eventually, quitting because it's the worst.
Well played, Athleta model. Well played. *sigh*
Anyway, that about does it for this list! What are some things in your life that you're letting go of? Feel free to share below!