Hey friends! I really wanted to expand my blog topics to stuff other than just sewing, and this is something that has been on my mind lately. I hope you don’t mind me jumping into some “motherhood” conversations and talks about getting O L D, but I hope you can relate to some of what I have to say or maybe find inspiration to change some habits as you approach (or embrace) a new phase of life.
Let me first start off by saying that I looooooved my twenties. I had a stellar group of friends. I had a great job teaching and a side job of leading group exercise classes too. Life was good. Enter my thirties. We moved, meaning I had to say goodbye to the paradise life of Hawaii, goodbye to some of the most incredible friends I could dream of, and start a new adventure. Ch-Ch-Changes everywhere. And, somewhere along the way, my body decided it was going to stop living the good life too. I found myself no longer able to stay up to the wee hours of the morning sewing. I could no longer eat whatever I wanted without noticing a change in my skin or figure. I had to all of a sudden be really intentional about relationships. I couldn’t keep up with the frantic pace I set in my twenties. After a bit of a downward slump, I decided something needed to change. So, today friends, I am sharing 6 new habits I embraced while facing this new phase of life.
- I gave myself a bedtime. Thanks to a dear, new friend who introduced me to the bedtime feature on the iPhone. We were out for a Moms Night Out when I noticed her phone screen light up with a notification to go to bed. I didn’t mean to be nosey, but if you know me, I of course blurted out “You have a bedtime?!!?!” She explained how much she enjoys a full night of sleep and how the bedtime app helps her get to bed on time. That simple conversation stuck with me and about a week later, I decided to check out this bedtime feature on my phone. I set myself up for a solid 8 hours of sleep each night during the week, with no alarm on the weekend. Let me tell you- GAME CHANGER! The app alerts me 15 minutes prior to my bedtime so that I can go through my bedtime routine and make it into bed in time to allow me a full nights rest.
2. I started driving in the slow lane. After watching an amazing video by Mandy Arioto, in which she encouraged people to try taking the slow lane (on the road, in the grocery store, etc) for two weeks and see how that slows the pace of their lives. I gave it a go, and here I am several months later still taking the slow lane. I used to try and maximize my schedule every day- filling in every open space of time with some type of task. This left me tired, frazzled and constantly late. I hated disappointing others who were waiting for me to show up. I hated finally sitting down at the end of the day feeling completely depleted and yet still not 100% successful. Since then, I’ve built in cushion time to my day so that I don’t have to rush. Now I actually show up early to things for a change. I stopped trying to multi-task or fill every single minute of the day and instead I started letting go of tasks and things that weren’t essential. I don’t miss the rush. I don’t miss the exhausted pigeon lifestyle. I do, however, enjoy driving in the slow lane with the silver-haired geniuses that figured out this habit long before I did.
3. I started a quarterly “Treat Yo Self” day. After being a mom and constantly putting others’ needs above my own for 8+ years, I decided that four times a year I could treat myself to a really wonderful spa treatment. I found a local spa that offers a special each season with fresh ingredients used in the massage, scrub and body masque treatment. In addition, the spa grants access for the day to their sauna, spa, multiple outdoor pools, steam room and beautiful grounds. I look forward to the change of seasons knowing that means a new spa menu is being made and my appointment is coming up! Having a special treat to look forward to is so rewarding and encouraging. Spending the morning just to myself, in peace and quiet and pampering renews my tired mama heart. I am finding that after my treatment I feel more alive, more rejuvenated and more energized than ever!
4. I started taking care of my skin. I remember on my wedding day, I was putting eye shadow on my mom and I made a comment about how the skin on her eyelid moved with the brush. She laughed and said something about one day mine will too. Welp. She was right… my eyelid skin now moves around as I attempt to put on some shadow to brighten my tired eyes. Darn it. And, I recently read an article that said if you don’t wash your face before bed each night you’ll age like a billion times faster. Ok, maybe it didn’t say a billion but the point was made. In my twenties, I definitely just plopped into bed without going through a really solid bedtime skin care routine. Well, you can teach an old dog new tricks because now I actually look forward to the whole face washing ordeal! I have started using a face brush and probiotic cleanser (affiliate links). I’m still on the hunt for a good night time moisturizer, so if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments below! With my 15 minute notification before my bedtime, I make it a point to care for my skin and keep it clean!
5. I invested in friendships. This sounds so odd, but it’s definitely something moms forget to do in the chaos of raising young children. In the past, I found it so easy to meet new people, to “collect” acquaintances wherever I went and to be super social. Fast forward to my 30s and all of a sudden I’m shy, self conscious and just probably a little too tired to put forth effort to make new friends. Instead, I realized I needed to invest in the few, valuable friendships that I already had. Carving out time to text, FaceTime, message on IG, etc. became a priority for long-distance friendships. Making a point to get together for a play date, coffee talk or even better- a girls night out moved up on my list of to-dos. There’s that saying “Friends are like shoes; you don’t need own a few hundred pairs, all you need is a few good ones.” I am so grateful for my tribe, my support system and my go-to gals. They know who they are and they know they are far more valuable than a hundred pairs of shoes!
6. I started saying no. Being a people-pleaser to my core, I could never turn down a request for help, a friend in need, or a network opportunity on social media. I loved a full plate and then I was grabbing for more dishes. Again, cue the exhausted pigeon, multi-tasking yet failing, ragged self. A dear mentor mom encouraged me to focus on two things: is this right for my family, is it really as important as I think it is? If the request didn’t pass those two questions, then I felt confident and able to say no. And, not say no and make up a lie why I couldn’t do it…but say no and leave it at that. I don’t know why I feel like it’s so hard to just politely decline something, but it definitely took a lot of conscious effort on my part to change my constant “yes” reply to whatever came my way. With this new freedom, I’ve been able to spend more quality time with my family (that intentional, not sidetracked time), feel more creative and make things just for the fun of it, and have more down time to just do nothing!
Phew! That felt therapeutic to put out there! I hope you found some inspiration, encouragement and maybe a few ideas to put into practice in whatever phase of life you are going through. I’d love to hear your feedback and if you have any insights to share about the good ol’ aging deal. Thanks for reading.
// Outfit details: Piper top (modified) and Pixie top patterns from Violette Field Threads. Top Fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics. Bottoms, shoes and hat from Target. Photos taken by Alexis of My Sweet Sunshine. Tutorial for hair bows on my Instagram.