choices

Judgment and Insecurities

Hello dear readers,
I have not been very motivated to write this week, for probably multiple reasons, but here we are anyway! A day late, but whatever. Honestly, this might be the perfect little motivating post to write anyways, so all the better! Because I want to make a few points about dealing with judgment from other people.
Obviously, people are going to judge. Doesn’t matter what you do, and, of course, marriage and parenting are two of the top contenders. Those two things constitute some of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life, so it makes sense that those are the most sensitive areas to handle, right?

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Posted by katharine_marie in mental health, 0 comments

The Basics of Setting Boundaries

Hello beautiful people,
I wrote on Tuesday about how difficult some days are and gave a few ideas on how I’ve been dealing with them, maybe even making them a little bit better. This whole week has been a bit hard for me – I’m working through some personal stuff and learning about my limits, including what it means to set boundaries.
Boundaries are one of those things that people can get offended about really easily. Especially when it comes to setting limits with people, it can easily come across as being rude or selfish. And it really shouldn’t be that way, not if we do it with the right attitude and with a spirit of love.

Setting Boundaries

Recognize a Need

I’m not talking about someone you don’t like and just don’t want to talk to anymore. Unless you have a deeper intention behind it, that’s probably bordering on being a little rude. But recognizing when someone is a constant drain on your emotional and mental health or understanding that unless you can agree to disagree there should probably be certain topics that are off-limits? That’s totally okay. It’s one thing to do things that are uncomfortable or out of our comfort zones sometimes and a completely different thing to allow anything and everything into our lives – that’s unhealthy.  Certain situations just need to be worked through, others need boundaries and limits.
It’s hard to know sometimes. I totally get it. I’m the first one to question my decisions in these kinds of situations and I tend to waffle back and forth before making up my mind completely. Just remember – that thing I said about a spirit of love? That thing helps qualm those uncertainties and fears 99% of the time.

Know Yourself and Your Limitations

Have you taken the time to understand yourself and your own limitations? That can be key to knowing how to handle external influences. There are certain areas of life in which I have set boundaries for myself – not because of other people exactly, but because I know what my triggers and weaknesses are, which enables me to avoid situations and circumstances that will bring out less than my best.
It’s so easy to blame other people for our own lack of self-control or whatever the problem might be. And I don’t say this to let everyone else off the hook because I think everyone should be working on being the best version of themselves. But the reality is that we don’t have the power to change other people. We CAN work on ourselves. And by demonstrating good self-care and setting boundaries, we can actually help others more than we might think. But first and foremost, it’s about knowing our own limitations and understanding who we are.

Know What To Do

When it comes to the actual process of setting a boundary, that’s where it can get a little tricky. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the easiest things you can do is curate your social media feeds. You don’t necessarily have to block people or whatever, but there’s a lovely little “unfollow” or even just a “mute” button on Facebook for the times you need it. (Not that you should only be seeing the people who agree 100% with your opinions, but some people have no concept of limits or useful discussion and that serves nobody.) It’s the little things sometimes.
Other circumstances aren’t nearly so easy though. Sometimes it’s choosing not to go somewhere where you know you’ll be around someone who always seems to push your buttons. If and when you can handle being around that person again, you can re-evaluate that limit, but especially if you’re working through something and you know that talking to that person would undo the progress you’ve made, maybe its best to just stay away for the time being.
I am the QUEEN of ghosting people, but I’ll also admit that it is not a healthy way to deal with things. Something I have done before though, is responding to someone when I’m in the right frame of mind and then muting or hiding them on my phone so that I don’t have to handle the conversation until I’m ready. Don’t feel the need to respond to everyone right away.
Doing something similar in person is a lot harder and I’m still learning how to handle that. For me right now it’s been holding my tongue when other people are having a conversation that I have strong opinions about if I know I’m not ready to discuss things fairly and properly. Sometimes it’s leaving the room. Both of those are getting easier to do, and something I’m trying now is what I call “exiting” a conversation. If things are getting heated or frustration is building up, there should be no shame in saying, “This conversation isn’t healthy for our relationship. Why don’t we come back to this when we’re feeling calmer and more in control of our feelings?” Being firm and actually walking away if needed would be the next step.
Sadly, there is still a lot of judgment passed on those who choose to set boundaries for themselves. It can be hard to hear that someone doesn’t want to speak to you, I get that. But, again, we’re not going to change each other’s minds by having a yelling match. Choosing to have a calm, insightful conversation is much better. And if someone isn’t capable of talking about certain topics without getting hateful or judgmental, then the consequence may be distancing yourself for a little while, as painful or hard as it may be.
Is there an area of life that you feel could use some boundaries or limitations for your own emotional or mental health? What’s holding you back from setting that boundary?

Love and kindness,
I’m always here for you.

 

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Depression, General, mental health, 0 comments

3 Ways to Deal Right Now

Good morning beautiful darlings!
I hope this week, and the new month too, is treating you well so far! I got a ton of work done last week and was actually able to take a nice relaxing weekend. I did all sorts of nothing without feeling all kinds of guilty about it, which was SO amazing!
The world is continuing to be overwhelming in so many ways for me. I know not everyone would agree, depending on how you view things, but 2020 has been a rough ride so far and I don’t exactly see it getting much better for a while at least. I’m typing this while my cat screams in the other room and the baby cries for me to pick her up. Noise is a big trigger for me, so I’m actually dealing with the overwhelming-ness of home life as well right now at this moment. The irony is strong, right?
Anyways, a lot of the time the days are long and hard. I try to only pop onto social media a few times a day because honestly, it’s depressing for me. And I know the same applies to a lot of other people. Humans, in general, aren’t meant to live through this kind of stuff, but here we are trying to figure it out, and then judging each other for it? Come on y’all.

3 ways to get through

Recognize Your Limits

Some things are within our control. A lot of things are not. There is a balance that can be struck between choosing to engage with things that are important to you and choosing to refrain and focus instead on your own personal life. I’ve been struggling with this a lot because a month or so ago, I was being quite outspoken on my platform about things I was passionate about. I was stepping out of my comfort zone and saying things I had never had the courage to say before. But I slowly found myself feeling angry and bitter towards the people who were unwilling to have a conversation. So I’ve taken a step back. And I feel guilty because those causes I was speaking for are still there and I feel obligated to continue trying to make a change.
I had to make a decision for myself and realize that the negative feelings were not serving me at all, and were in fact harming me. I’m not holding back all my opinions or anything like that, but I am checking myself at the gate to see whether I’m saying something out of anger or out of a genuine desire to make a difference. There is a balance there and its not easy to find, or maintain.

Choose to Step Away

Like I said, I was feeling angry and bitter. Much more so than I could handle appropriately or maturely. My tendency is to lash out when I feel frustrated, which serves absolutely nobody, least of all the causes I’m standing for. My desire is only to show love and compassion, so taking that step back was a better choice. I’ve said it so many times that yelling at someone doesn’t make them change their mind. I’ve found myself so overwhelming so many times because I don’t know what to do or say or even what to think because there is so much negativity in the world, but stepping back is definitely a good choice for me. These situations aren’t just difficult, they’re brand new to me – someone who has never willingly chosen conflict or confrontation, and that requires some adjustment. I’m changing, just like the world is, and giving myself (and others!) grace is a sign of strength.

Find One Good Thing

I would be the first to say that toxic positivity needs to GO. I don’t have time for that kind of stuff. When I’m depressed and someone tells me that my life is great and I have nothing to be sad about, all I want to do is strangle them. That kind of talk helps nobody. End rant.
HOWEVER, on the days that I’m feeling overwhelmed because there is so very much going on, it can help to find one good thing. If it feels like the whole world is crumbling around you, it can make a huge difference if you pick out just one little thing that is still okay. It gives you something to hold onto, a little piece of hope in the middle of all the mess. It’s not going to fix anything, but it can help you feel better. It just creates a little bit of a better balance between the positive and negative in the mind and creates a tiny piece of stability.

I guess overall, my point is that the overwhelming-ness (yes I’m going to keep using it) is hard. I understand it, I’m still struggling with it too, and we’ll all get through it together.

Now: what’s one good thing you’ve found in the world today?


Love and kindness,
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Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Depression, General, mental health, 2 comments

Five Years of Choices

Hey there, all you lovely folks out in the big wide world!

I’ve been in that weird mental space lately where I’ve been thinking about everything that has happened in my life and the choices that I made that led to where I am today.

Five years ago I was getting ready to head off to university. According to the plan I had at that time, 2020 would have been the year I would have started teaching/working/something, likely moved into the Dallas area (or another metroplex). I had zero intentions of settling down or having kids for a looonnnggg time yet. Don’t you just love how life doesn’t turn out the way we planned? It’s great.

My brain is very inconsistent sometimes. It’s very hard for me to let go of that one inconsequential thing I didn’t do yesterday and kick myself for that. But do I wish I hadn’t gone to university, struggled really really hard, and spent a crapload of money for three rough semesters that would leave me totally confused about what I really wanted out of my life? No, not really. I could easily look back and see where I could have made better choices or done things better/differently, but I don’t regret the journey that brought me to where I am today.

I learned SO MUCH about music during the years I spent studying and pursuing that career. I may be out of practice right now, but even without playing regularly, I’m still a pretty great pianist and that’s a skill I value highly.

The first semester I spent at university, I leased a lovely little horse and took weekly lessons for several months. It was easy to think that I failed at my horse goals because ultimately it was expensive/time consuming and I ended the lease in order to focus on my music classes. But in actuality, even four years later, I’m still feeling the effects of what I learned in those lessons and from that horse when I ride Lady. That’s worth it.

I might have felt lost. I might have spent my time in questionable ways. I may have spent too many late nights out on the town because I was confused. I might have ended up in the wrong relationships. But I learned from every single thing that happened.

I stressed myself out. I cried. I got a new kitten. I had a lot of panic attacks. I spent hours pounding away on super expensive pianos and questioning my career choice the entire time. I took criticism. I made good and bad grades. I discovered a unique love for music history (that was unexpected). I failed a class for the first time in my life. I struggled with money and then spent half a month’s earnings on my first tattoo – because I wanted to. I made and lost friends. I worked long hours and went into debt for the first time.

Basically, the first few years of “adulthood” were hard for me. And I think, in a way, they should be that way. It was rough being on my own for the first time. Plus, I’m stubbornly independent and will not ask for help unless it’s extremely dire. So I needed to learn a few lessons.

But I don’t regret the choices that I made or the experiences that I had. None of it was a waste of time or money. I didn’t think I would end up where I did, but I’m also not the same person I was five years ago. I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time. I had no idea what I was doing when I said yes to The Husband’s proposal and I had no idea what I was thinking when I said I wanted a baby. But those were the two decisions that led to the most happiness I could ever ask for in a lifetime.

I’m still searching for more, and I think I always will be, to some extent. But truthfully, I could not ask for a better life. I’m grounded and truly confident in myself and what I believe. It’s a nice place to be.

Maybe this week I’ll manage to get out two posts again. I’ve been in the process of clearing more space in my schedule and school is tough this term, so it’s been a juggling act lately!


Until next time,

Love, light, and kindness,

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Posted by katharine_marie in General, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, mental health, 0 comments