A New Year's Resolution for The Adventures of Mr and Mrs!

I published my first post on The Adventures of Mr and Mrs a little over a year ago. On one hand I can’t believe I have been writing for over a year, but on the other it feels like I just started. I have enjoyed the creativity it has brought to my life through writing, planning content and coming up with ideas. However, it has started to feel comfortable, predictable and a bit stagnant to me. Those three things are a good recipe for making me bored. So before that happens, I am going to change it up!

My main goal will be to provide content that reaches a broader audience. It will be similar content to what I have been writing, but with a new attitude. The rest of the changes will be behind the scenes. I will be taking the next few weeks off to come up with new content, and to enjoy the holidays with my family. The Adventures of Mr and Mrs will return Monday, January 4, 2016!

I hope you all have a fabulous holiday season!IMG_2302 

Creating a Meaningful Life: Therapy

I think, over analyze, have daydreams and daymares, worry, get anxious, stress out, and become overwhelmed on almost a daily basis. Bouncing between all of these and happiness in any given moment is exhausting, and sometimes I can’t cope. In those moments when my life feels like too much to handle, I have trouble breathing and I usually end up crying. This has been me since middle school, when life changed from make believe and endless summer days, into more responsibilities and thinking about the future. Over time I have learned how to deal with the moments that become too overwhelming. I make lists, I take deep breaths, I remove myself from the situation by listening to music or watching something funny. But sometimes those moments come more frequently, compound and none of my tricks for coping work. For a long time when my usual tricks wouldn’t work, I would try to ignore it and hope it would go away. My reasoning was that being overwhelmed by school or my home life was nothing compared to what people who have been abused, or don’t have enough to eat go through. And that’s true that it isn’t comparable. I have been very lucky that my life has been mostly great. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that have gotten me down, or people that haven’t been kind to me. Sometime in high school I read this quote by Plato: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” and I realized that while my issues might seem petty to some, they aren’t to me. And I deserve to be happy and not have my problems overrun my life.

Towards the end of high school I began turning towards therapy when life became too overwhelming. I never went regularly. I never delved deeper than the surface issues I was experiencing at the moment. I would find someone and go to them for a one-off session. I found that talking to someone neutral who didn’t know me or anyone I knew, helped ease the pressure. They would be able to put into words what I was feeling and why, better than I could and that helped me tremendously. Having words to describe what I was feeling helped reset my mind, allowed me to cope with being me again, and the session would leave me feeling euphoric. I love that “just been to therapy” feeling.

In 2012, after a series of panic attacks and a few days in a row while I was on vacation where I felt out of control, I realized that the one-off therapy I had been doing was probably not enough to get to the root of what was causing these moments. I decided it was time to research, try out a few therapists, and pick someone that I jived well with to see regularly.

In the two years that I saw my therapist regularly, I felt a dramatic dip in the amount of times that life got too overwhelming for me and an increase in overall happiness. I wasn’t able to talk to her consistently while we were in NYC, and there were a few moments when I wished I could. Moving to NYC came with a lot of change, transition and anxiety about the changes and transitions. There were a few times that it would have been very helpful to have her to talk to and help me work through it. But I am excited to be back in CA and to be getting into a therapy routine with her again.

I share all this because it is a big part of what makes me, me. It allows me to do all the things I do that add meaning to my life. I have never been quiet about or embarrassed by the fact that I go to therapy and I wish that for everyone. I hate the stigma that comes with going to therapy. That idea that only depressed people or those with mental illnesses see a therapist. Every person will get sad or overwhelmed by their own life at some point or another and I wish more people would give therapy a chance in those moments. I know we all have different ways of coping and that not everyone will feel as euphoric as I do after a session, but therapy is something I truly believe in and I don’t want anyone to feel ashamed if they try it.

Thoughts on having children

If you asked me how many kids I wanted when I was ten, I would have told you five. If you asked me when I was 18, I would have said five and that I wanted the first one when I was 25.  If you asked me when I was 25, I would have said at least three and that I didn’t want the first one until I was 31 or 32 (in fact I went as far as to make it a life goal to not have kids or be pregnant on my 30th birthday). I get the question now with a bit more frequency than before I was married or 30 and my answer is still at least three, but I would like to wait 3-5 more years before starting. It surprises a lot of my family and close friends to hear me say that I would like to put off having children as long as possible. And honestly, it surprises me sometimes too. My life’s dream has always been to be a stay at home mom. And it still is. The only difference is that I feel no rush myself to have kids. I recently read an article about a woman who got her tubes tied at 28 (I Got my Tubes Tied at 28 Because I Don’t Want Kids by Chelsea Hottovy) and a lot of it resonated with me. Now don’t freak out (especially you Nana!)—I do not want to get my tubes tied. But I agreed with a lot of the points this woman made about not wanting to have children. Because reading her decision not to have children ever made me feel confident about my decision not to have children right now, I wanted to share my thoughts about having kids. It is comforting to know you aren’t the only one out there who is doing things differently than how society says you should do them.

I was a nanny for three years and I got some real world experience with raising children that most women don’t get before they have their own. And I feel lucky for that. I know what it feels like to hold a baby who has not stopped crying for hours. I have been deliriously exhausted after a 10 hour shift, and that’s after a full night’s sleep (something the mother doesn’t usually have the luxury of). I have found poop on my elbow hours after I changed an explosive diaper.  There is a very real possibility that had I not had that experience of being a nanny, I would already be a mom. But because of my experiences, I am happy I am not a mom right now. Partly because I know how hard having children, especially babies is. But mostly because I am incredibly happy being a wife and a partner and I’ve seen the strain having kids puts on a relationship.

I absolutely adore how Rob and I are together in this moment in our lives. We have fun, we laugh, we are carefree and we don’t have to share each other. While I have big plans and ideas on how to keep our life as close to our “normal” as possible after having a kid, the reality is that it will never be like it is right now. Honestly, the thought that maybe I don’t ever want kids has crossed my mind. Because the bottom line is that I don’t want us to change. I don’t want anything to come between us. But then images of Rob as a dad, camping with our kids, or snuggling a baby before bedtime pop into my head and I can feel deep down that I do want kids. I want to watch our babies smile for the first time, watch Rob teach them all about computers and show them the world. And I know deep down that a child wouldn't come between us, but rather bring us closer than I can even imagine.

This internal struggle is something I have been considering for the last couple of years. It’s the pressure I perceive society is putting on me to have kids now that I am married and 30 clashing with the desire I have to see the world and enjoy my life and relationship kid-free. It’s the feeling that I have trouble shaking that maybe I am far too selfish to ever have kids. But in the last few months I have made peace with this struggle. I am not an inherently selfish person nor am I a bad person for wanting to put my relationship first for a few years. We are creating the foundation that our family will stand on for the rest of our lives and I want to be sure that that foundation is a solid one.

And when the day comes that we decide we are as ready as we’ll ever be to have kids, I will be thrilled to take that next step. But until then I am going to savor our relationship and our lives as they are right now.