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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Changes towards transformation

A short post just to mention some things I am thinking about.

First is that transformation can not happen if behaviors or choice patterns do not change.  I have often said you have to change in order to change.  Which seems obvious of course, but I have found so many of us are creatures of habit, we do the same thing over and over again, and hope that THIS time it will come out different.  And yes, if we make a small change, then things will change, maybe slowly, maybe in small ways, but they will change.  But to make real, lasting change that can transform life, you need to make wise, dynamic, step outside your comfort zone changes--THEN big transformations can happen.

Of course, sometimes we figure out which choices were wise choices and which were not after we make them and let it play out.

So some changes that I am allowing into my life (because sometimes change is as simple as allowing things to happen instead of micromanaging every moment):

1) I am letting the people in my life be who they are, observing them but not demanding they be the person I think they should be.  This does not mean that I do not have boundaries that allow me to be who I am and allow our shared overlap in life to be chaotic (like I let my kids know that i expect them to clean up after themselves, take their showers, do their homework, and be independent in doing what they need to do for self care; or that I do not tell my SO that drinking heavily in front of the kids is not acceptable to my life, etc...), but it does mean that I let go of some of my insistence on how and when things are done, that I offer suggestions for what to wear and when to do things instead of demands.  That I hold the standard, and let them try to reach it in their own way.  I mainly interact with my children, so that is where I am trying to find the balance between letting them guide themselves, and give them a set of ideals to strive for both behaviorally and habitually.

2) My financial situation is still one of my biggest struggles.  My SO has moved back in, and I am looking into getting a job outside the home, as SO can help manage the kids needs, and has expressed a willingness to take the kids to appointments and deal with school issues too.  So, I am applying for REAL jobs (and some lesser jobs) to try to get back into my career, or at least back into working outside the home.  Blogging, freelance writing, babysitting, etc... has proven inconsistent and to not bring in enough income to really support the family.  While I am in the process still of opening a group family daycare with my SO (a decision we decided to pursue a few weeks ago, as the couple of kids I watch now are inconsistent in coming and having the ability to expand to more children may reduce the fluctuation of income), and am starting a Nursery School morning for toddlers next week,   my SO can take point if I find a job outside the home and have the daycare really be hers.  I am applying to a few laboratories in the area to return to my career in scientific research, though I have been out of the loop so long I am not sure how easy it will be to reenter the work force, but it can't hurt to try.  I have been hesitant to try as I went back when J was 2, but ended up quitting after 8 months because it just did not work.  However at that time, J still had a LOT of medical issues, and G was just starting regular school which was a bit of a nightmare.  Also my ex had relapsed into alcoholism and our family life and  my marriage were falling apart.  So there were a lot of heavy, life issues going on.  AND I was paying 3/4 of my income for childcare, as two kids with special needs needed special sitters who could handle their medical, physical, developmental, emotional, and behavioral issues.  Now the kids are 7 and 10, are in school programs that truly understand how to work with them (and do not call a million times a week).  My SO has gained enough understanding of the kids and they have a great relationship enough that I think she and they will be fine for the couple hours after school.  So, going back to work is finally a real, viable option.  To get back to a job that actually pays the bills, provides insurance and retirement, and lets me use my degree, my passion, my BRAIN as well as my heart...well that is a change in my life that will bring about a huge transformation for the whole family.

3) We are also revamping the house and some routine issues.  First the boys have been sleeping int he same room for the past year (after 3 months of trying to get Josiah to be comfortable in his own room), and when I tried to get him to move back into his bedroom, but both boys decided they want to share a room.  So we officially moved J into G's room and it has become the boys room.  J's room, instead of being a catch all for stuff I need to sort is becoming the spare room and MY office.  A space where I will be able to write and focus on my writing--be it blogging, the website, articles, or freelance assignments.  A sI have gotten otu of the habit of writing on a regular basis, not having a regular routine, we have decided that having an office will help me be more focused and able to have the space I need to work.  We also have moved dinner time earlier and are making sure that we are eating together as a family at the table most nights.  My SO and I have also instituted a date night.  As money is tight, what we do on date night is to feed the kids at the normal dinner time (but not eat ourselves), then after the kids are in bed, cook a special meal for the two of us, set a nice table, get a bottle a of wine, and usually pick a movie to watch after a great dinner conversation time.  We are doing it one evening a week, and so far (2 weeks in) has been really good.  Kids take a lot out of a relationship, as as she has 2 kids and I have 2 kids, and we each have our extended families and various issues we bring into the relationship, taking the time to just enjoy each others company over a nice dinner with real conversation, is really good for our connection to each other.