I Feel Like A Fraud

Talkingamongfriends.com by Rebecca Yauger - I feel like a fraud post

I feel like a fraud.

Have you ever had those days where not much goes right, or you receive startling news, or well, you’re just having a bad day?

It’s during those times that we’re supposed to have faith, trust God, face things with a smile on your face, right? Yeah, well…(insert eye roll here).  I’m failing miserably at facing things with a smile.

I’ve had a tough couple of days and I’ve let out my frustration with anger and fear. Not being prayerful, not even calming down enough to take a breath and get a handle on the situation.

That’s not like me. As my husband and kids will tell you, I’m not one to yell. I don’t like arguments. If I’m upset about something, it’s best to leave me alone for a few minutes, until I can settle down and we can talk things through calmly. I don’t like harsh words spoken that we can’t retract.

As someone who has been writing about having hope and staying positive, well, I’ve done neither of those this past week. That makes me feel like a hypocrite and a fraud.

But I’m not. I’ve had a few bad days. I was thrown a curve ball and didn’t handle it well, but that doesn’t have to blow everything for me. It doesn’t mean God isn’t still working. And it doesn’t mean that I will continue to have bad days. It does mean, however, that I need to take a breath, calm myself, and dive right back into my faith, into Scripture and try to right myself.

We are living in uncertain times and I don’t know what the days or months ahead are going to look like. I have moments of trepidation for what the future holds for me. However, I don’t have to spiral down into a pit of despair, anger and frustration. I’m a flawed human being, and have emotions that get the best of me sometimes. But I’m not a fraud. I’m just human. And I can right the ship, take a breath and start all over again.

How about you? Do you have times where you don’t handle things well? How do you get back on track? I’d love to hear from you.

Find Your Footing – While Living in Limbo

Here I go again…changing my mind. I had written a blog post already, but something was holding me back from publishing it. There’s nothing wrong with the post. It just doesn’t feel like the right time.

There are so many questions in this world of uncertainty, and too many unknown answers. Are we getting out too soon? Will there be another serious outbreak of Coronavirus? Will we have to live this way the rest of our lives?

While there’s a bit more hope, with things opening up again,  there’s still an aura of trepidation. So, the cloud continues to loom over us, even when there are occasional peeks of sunshine.

As someone who likes to focus on the sunshine, there are times when the clouds overwhelm, and I just can’t muster that positive spirit.

It’s like we’re all caught in limbo and can’t seem to find solid footing again.

I hate being in limbo! I like to make a decision and move forward. Even if I make a wrong decision, you can still deal with the consequences or aftermath of that. But being in limbo feels like you’re in a wind tunnel, being batted about like a rag doll, with nothing to grasp on to so you can find solid ground.

So, what to do with these uncertain days?

Well, I don’t mean to sound cliché, but I think we try to control what we can control and leave the rest up to God. Yeah, much easier said than done. And believe me, I’m not much of an expert at the moment.

I definitely have my down days. I have my drift days, as I like to call them. Days that drift by and I haven’t accomplished anything.

But right now, I don’t want to drift. It’s important to stay focused. Whether you’re working from home or not. If you’re out of work, or have time on your hands, isn’t it a good time to learn something new? Do the project you’ve been putting off? Learn a new skill? Go back to school? (On-line universities are great!). Or get back to your old hobbies that you haven’t made time to do. I like crocheting, and am still doing that. Currently, I’m learning new crochet stitches, and am making scarves using what I’ve learned. (Yep, as we head into summer, it’s a perfect time to make winter scarves! Hee hee).

I also love painting resin figurines. My granddaughter is inspiring me to paint again, as she likes to paint side-by-side with me. Besides creating special moments together, she’s helped rekindle my love for painting.

And like a lot of people, my weight has been fluctuating while we’ve been sheltering-at-home. So, I’m exercising more, and that helps a lot! I’m still snacking a bit too much, as I start to pay attention again to what I eat, that will settle down sooner rather than later.

Now, if you think I’ve just made these decisions and it’s all a breeze, well, you’d be wrong. I have to be intentional. And right now, being intentional can seem like too much of an effort. It’s not.

The other day, I had the blues for sure. Didn’t feel like doing anything. But I had a healthy to-do list, so I prayed, then made myself sit down and tackle that list. It wasn’t easy. But as I crossed more things off, I got into a groove, and that felt good. To accomplish something felt good. I didn’t feel like exercising either, but I did, and it turned out to be a good exercise day. I was glad I put in the effort, and now I have more motivation to keep going.

Our days are going to be uncertain for a while yet. And for me personally, I can’t keep living in limbo. So, I’m going to do what I can do, within the boundaries of my own little world. By doing that, maybe I’ll find my footing, and it will feel less and less like I’m living in limbo.

What about you? Do you have ideas on how to get through this time of uncertainty? I’d love to hear from you.

Raising Step-Children: Not a Competition

Mother’s Day has just passed. In this age of COVID-19, many of us didn’t see our mothers face to face, but we all hopefully still found a way to honor them.

For me, I come at motherhood with a slightly different perspective. You see, I fell in love and married a widower with two children. Thankfully, that widower had been my high school sweetheart. But that’s a story for another day.

I never take for granted that those two wonderful children (who are now grown and married) were able to open their hearts and make room for a new mother in their lives. There were many days that were difficult as I tried to make room for them to grieve, to make it easy for them to share memories of their mother, and to keep their traditions alive while trying to create our own traditions and memories. It wasn’t always easy, but these two kids were worth it. No doubt.

The fact that they both honor me on Mother’s Day is a blessing. One I treasure immensely every year. And the fact that their late mother’s family also has welcomed me and accepted me is a gift, that I continue to marvel at year after year.

There were times while my kids were growing up, when things got tough, that I tried to think what their mother, or any mother, would want for her kids. My conclusion is that she’d want someone to love them, cherish them, and care for them. To show them as fierce a love as she would give them. That was my guide as I stepped into parenthood.

I’m not trying to pat myself on the back here. My point is twofold: first, to thank my kids, and thank their grandparents, for their love and acceptance of me. Trust me, it is a treasure in my heart.

And second, for all of us to remember what can happen when we open our hearts and let love in; when we quit drawing lines in the sand, and quit putting boundaries up that keep us apart. My kids still retain the love of their mother’s family. They still have their mother in their hearts. But they made room. They made room in their hearts for me, and for my family. And by opening up, knocking down the wall of grief, they received a whole new batch of people to love them. Their family just grew. No one “replaced” anyone else. More people were added into the mix to love them.

And I received a new branch of the family as well, with my kids’ grandparents, and aunt and uncles, and cousins.

If you’re in a step-family, second marriage, have children from one parent and another — keep the walls knocked down. Don’t draw lines in the sand.

Raising children is not a competition.

It truly is amazing what happens when you tear walls down and let love in.

 

Time’s A-Wastin’

Every week, I try to have a spark of creative brilliance for this blog. It’s called “Talking Among Friends” for a reason. I want the posts to be something that most of us can relate to and be topics that start conversations. And I want it to be a place where we feel less alone, because, guess what, someone is usually going through the same thing you are.

As much as I try to plan ahead and have words of wisdom to share, there are weeks where the words don’t want to come. And it’s not because I’m overly busy or haven’t had the time to work on the posts.

In fact, one of the most annoying things to me is when I have a block of time to work and I either do something else, or fritter my time away thinking I can do this later. Then, you guessed it, something else always comes up later that needs my attention.

I don’t like wasting time and I don’t like being a procrastinator. Yet, I can be very, very good at both of those things. This leads to frustration, and that frustration can sometimes stop me in my tracks. I feel like going off in a corner to sulk….or at least crochet something.

It’s too easy to look back and see those wasted days, or “drift days” as I call them and start getting down on myself. This is a topic that has been covered recently on this blog  so no need to belabor it here.

Instead, what I want to happen when I look back is to learn the lessons of the past, and carry those lessons into a positive future. We don’t know how many days we have here on earth, and I don’t want to spend those days fretting about what I didn’t accomplish yesterday.

Instead, I want to focus on what I can do today, right now. Whether it be getting my clothes out of the dryer and finally folding them, or doing an act of kindness for someone, or sitting my backside in my chair and writing a blog post.

Life is too short to waste time looking backwards. If I learn something from my past, then I become a changed person and I’m not who I once was. This goes back to not dragging around the weight of mistakes on my shoulders. Every day is a new, fresh start.

So, we begin again today, with a new perspective. I don’t have to be who I once was. I can keep moving forward (if you haven’t seen Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons”, you should. There’s a good message in that movie).

And maybe every day I move ahead, there will be less and less wasted days behind me.

Do you have any good advice or tips on how to combat wasted days or shedding your past mistakes? Please share!

Meanwhile, choose joy this week. Talk with you soon.