Friday, September 4, 2015

the one about hard things and just being nice

Life is like a mountain. 
It's hard and steep and almost always full of bumps. You fall down often, and slide backwards half the time.....but the views are always worth the struggle.
 Oh wow it's been a really long time. 
We had a summer of go go go--I didn't take a single class....all my efforts were put towards getting into nursing school.....and it WORKED! I was accepted into my program, and started last week! We played alllllllll summer long and enjoyed every single minute together as a family, loving our extra free time. As I rested my brain, I had so many thoughts that sprouted and began to grow in my mind--things I needed to write down. I am a fairly quiet person--I really only open up to those I'm close too--I'd much rather observe most things in life. But sometimes it feels good to just get stuff OUT, and I found myself continuously scribbling down quick notes, ideas, and feelings all summer long. Some of them take root and begin to grow out of my brain, and just beg to be expanded upon and shared....this is one of those seeds.

oh and by the way I'm dotting this post with pictures of Ali and I climbing a mountain, because what is a post without pictures? and really you can relate so many things in life to climbing a giant mountain.
We often hear people say things like "being a _______ is really hard." Fill in that blank with whatever your current hard situation may be--"single dad", "teenager", "stay at home mom", "teacher", "president of a multimillion dollar company" (ok I don't hear that one often, but I imagine that it is no easy feat), this list goes on. But what I'm learning in my wise old years, is that guess what? Being a HUMAN is hard stuff. I don't know of a single person who wakes up in the morning and says "I can't wait to start my perfect day in which I will have no problems and nothing will go wrong!! My life is so easy--I have this whole existence thing all figured out!" That person does not exist, believe it or not. 

We all have issues, some are tiny and laughable, others are huge and life changing. We all have our OWN troubles, trials, struggles, and things that are just plain hard. So with that knowledge, we need to remember that every single person we come in contact with each day, (via real life or this weird thing that is social media), also has things THEY struggle with. Because we are each unique and have our own individual paths with personalized obstacles, we need to remember that the way WE do things may not be the way SOMEONE ELSE does things. And then let's try to remember (last thing I will make you memorize, promise) that we shouldn't be so judgmental of those other people because they are not doing things our way. You know, let's just be nice. To everyone. Everyday.

I live in this quirky little culture bubble that is very different than where Robby or I grew up, where too many people get caught up in "right ways" and "wrong ways", and have very strong opinions on how things should be done and how lives should be lived.  And because many people here subscribe to the same culture, it's hard not to feel a little bit out of place when I don't 100% do the same things everyone does (which I think it a good thing.....right?! Let's not all be exactly the same, that is just way too boring.) If a choice is different than the "norm", it is sometimes perceived as WRONG by the majority. And because that paragraph contained a lot of very vague generalizing, I'll give you a very specific example. 

In my community many of the moms stay home and do not work. I love this! I think it's awesome and hard and awesomely hard, and truly the most amazing job ever. But I have chosen to go back to school--it's something I have always wanted to do, and in these last few years I have realized that I truly want to help people in difficult times, and I can do that by being a nurse. I am so excited just thinking about it--me! A real nurse! But these choices I am making about school and work do not make me any less of a good mom. They are not bad choices at all--they are just different than what others choose to do--and that's ok! It feels like a good choice for me and my family, and Robby and I are actually pretty good at making decisions for our own family, imagine that. Yes we are juggling a lot. We are running everywhere like crazy. Some "mom things" have to go--I can't volunteer in my kids' classrooms, I cannot have freshly baked cookies laid out each day when they get home from school, (ahem, but who will have cookies waiting for ME?), we do not sing merry songs as we braid each others hair and talk about our perfect and hassle-free day, and we are usually rushed and it's rarely perfect.....(deep breath!)...but for the most part, I have felt like I am really doing my absolute best at managing ALL.THE.THINGS. But as hard as I try, I still get "why are you going back to school with young kids?" "Do you really plan on working while they are still at home?" "Are you able to be home when your kids get home from school?" they ask with judging tones. The load of all these comments starts to build and build on my shoulders, (and if we've ever met, you've probably noticed that my shoulders aren't all that big)......and I really start to get weighed down. I started this week feeling like "I CAN DO ANYTHING! I'VE GOT THIS STUDENT/MOM/WIFE/HUMAN THING IN THE BAG"....but because of unnecessary comments from others, I'm ending my week questioning, "am I doing anything right?

Back to today's main lesson: let's just be nice to people. Everyone has a giant load of hard stuff to deal with; it's not up to us to tell our neighbors/friends/strangers what they are doing wrong and how they can do it better, and it is absolutely OK(!) to do things that go against what may be "normal". 
Be your own person, and let everyone else be their own person too. Then give each other a nice smile and high five as you pass by in life, because hey! Being a human no easy thing.

and speaking of high-fives, self-timered high fives on mountain tops aren't as easy as they seem/we are super uncoordinated 
go us.





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[So maybe this was a weird way to jump back into the old blog, but it really has been heavy on my mind (and my heart, and my ice cream consumption,) and I felt like I should share before it exploded out of me. So next time I promise more rainbows and sunshine--photos included, deal?]

19 comments:

Jackie Norris said...

Amen, amen, amen! I feel like I could talk forever about this. The mantra I repeat to myself when I feel pigeon holed into one role (mom, mom, mom) is that just because motherhood is one of the most important things, does NOT mean it has to be the ONLY thing!

You're showing your children that women can fill many roles, and fill them well. You are giving other women courage to do things differently. Thank you!

The Rowley's said...

I think you are an incredible mom and you DO have this whole mom/wife/student/everything else thing down! I'm excited for your new journey, even if it is only so I call you and ask "why is my baby's toe neon green??" Which it no longer is, PS. Love you.

Jenny Gutwein said...

I am heading to Grenada (near Venezuala) in January with my three young kids & a nanny to begin medical school while my husband finishes surgery fellowship in June. I believe the worst is when one becomes overwhelmed with the opinions and then someone will say you are exaggerating ;). So you are not imaginating or exaggerating the weight of stereotypes and it does get better. Once you are admitted and close to beginnig people begin to accept and just see it as part of you. Best wishes!!!! You will be wonderful and if you love what you do you will have more energy in all things. Petiteandprim.com

Candice said...

I think it's awesome you're going back to school!

Kasey said...

Amen, sister! What you are choosing to do is perfectly right for YOU and no one has a place to judge. I think your plan is exciting. One thing I've learned is that haters are gonna hate, so you have to let it roll off and let them be. You're going to be an awesome nurse!

Becky said...

I absolutely love this post! I work full-time at home as an online teacher while raising my children. Often times, I feel like I am the odd person out and almost have to justify why I work. I really shouldn't have to justify it and it is the right decision for our family! We have been immensely blessed because of it! I wish we could all be a little more kinder and loving.

Julie Dumas said...

Being yourself and doing what you know you were wired to do makes you the best mom your kids could ever have. Nurses are angels by the way.

Anonymous said...

I've found that those who judge usually are questioning their own choices. We all have insecurities and sometimes judgement is how we show it:) It's hard not to take things personally. This post is a good reminder to treat people kindly and reevaluate our own lives when we start judging others.

emily o. said...

Amen! I could not have said it better myself. I was brought up in a home where mom stays home and homeschools kids, so I assumed that was the "right" way. I'm learning now as an adult that there are so many different right ways for each family and each person. I am SO GLAD that you are back to blogging! Yours is one of my favorites.

Laura said...

I'm so glad you're writing on your blog again! I missed your posts :) and just my two pennies worth: my mum and dad both worked and raised 2 daughters and I'm so glad for the example they set for us, and proud of them both - good for you for doing what's right for you and your family! the things I and my fiancé want to do are different again from what my parents did and want, so I totally get how you feel hearing things like that.you do you! You only get one shot on earth, right?

Monica said...

I think part of being nice is not being quick to be offended and giving grace to those who you are taking offense from. Maybe someone is asking a question about what you're doing and is being genuine and sincere with no judgement in their heart.
"Happy is the man who can brush aside the offending remarks of another and go on his way." Gordon B. Hinckley

Anonymous said...

Congrats on nursing school! You will be such a great nurse. I was a nursing professor-tenure track at age 29. Now I stay home and just had my 5th baby. I got the opposite pressure of "wasting my education" by not working. The most disappointed person was my grandma:) So there's no way to please everyone:) Best of luck to you! Love your recipes!

Toni Englestead said...

Love this so much!!! I wish more people thought like you!!

gram said...

Sheena... a good post! Just think, one week down!...hugs from gram ..

Whitney Lane said...

So excited for you to start nursing school soon!! From a fellow nurse (who just went back to work after two years off), I absolutely LOVE being both a nurse and a mom. I have a two year old and a 7-month-old, so I've gotten lots of questions from other moms about, "why now?!" But honestly, I feel like a better mom and a better wife when I am also working. I'm working part-time - 24 hours one week, 32 hours the next - and my manager has allowed me to work the 3-11pm shift on those days so I can be with my babies all morning every morning. It's been such a gift in every way. Just wanted to encourage you... nursing school is HARD. But it is so very worth it! Congrats!!!

K Ortiz said...

Thank you so much for this. I grew up in a very closed opinionated community and wow sometimes it is so overwhelming and burdensome. We are in a better place now and I have also learned to look at people and remind myself that "we are each fighting our own battles".
It's good to have you back and I wish you all the best in your studies!

Tysha Carter said...

Oooooh, that cultural "bubble" can be such a beast. You are awesome! I admire you in very many ways! Everyone is blessed with their own trails, and their own trials, and their own gifts. You are killing it with sharing your gifts both with your super lucky kiddos and husband, and with countless others who you will be helping through nursing (and hello, even just through your inspirational adventures!) You rock. I really mean that. I've perused your blog off and on for several years and you are one of my most favorite down to earth ladies on these crazy inter webs. Keep up the good work and good luck with nursing school! If I was closer, I'd bring over some cookies for you and your crew one day after school ;)

jennifer johnson said...

You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that it was against the cultural norm of where you are. Just keep remembering that and your own compass that is leading you through the best life you can live for you and your family. You are incredible, inspiring, and enough. And I am so excited for you on your new journey Sheena! You will be able to help so many people, and you're such a wonderful example to your children. Forget the judgmental comments and remember the ones that buoy you up. You got this. xo

Anonymous said...

I just finished medical residency and my husband still has years to go in his, plus two kids under three. I have accepted that the house will be dirty and dinner will be scrambled eggs because sometimes playing with your kids is more important. It seems like life with kids is just going to be chaotic and that things are going to be rougher around the edges. And as a sidenote nursing is a great career that will still allow you ample time with your kids (my mother in law is a PACU nurse and works part time- 2 12 hour shifts every 8 days).