Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Musings: Life Well Lived

What does a life well lived mean for you?  I read this question on a blog recently, and it caused me to pause.  Having dealt with depression and anxiety, sometimes it can feel like nothing is being well lived.

Recently, life has been truly wonderful.  My husband's work schedule has been very, very good, which is a rarity.  It has allowed us to spend a lot of time together (my love language).  We have done a lot of work on the house, enjoyed home cooked meals, and I have felt less stressed.

His schedule is changing next week.  This is common in his line of work, and we have just been really lucky that his schedule was constant for a few months (his schedule can potentially change each week!).  I am anxious about the change that is coming, and it puts me on edge about other simple changes.  In addition, holiday time makes me anxious.  The anxiety can make it difficult for me to see the positive.

I am trying to focus on all of the positive things that I have been enjoying, as well as the pros to his new schedule.  I will have more time to watch "my" shows, more one on one time with all three kids, and more time to myself.

A life well lived can evolve.  In high school, you may have had dreams of what your life would be like as a "grown up".  Based on people in your path and your life experience, these dreams may change.  What you imagined before may need to be adjusted.  This is not to say that you should ever stop reaching for goals.  But to not find happiness and contentment in your current life is tragic.

My life well lived was once to marry, have three children (boy, girl, boy, all three years apart, obvi), career satisfaction (or maybe a SAHM), a house, a dog, a cat, and live happily ever after.  What I have is a divorce, remarriage, 12 year old boy, 5 year old girl, 3 year old girl, and an unsettled feeling about my career choice.  I do have the house, dog, and cat.  I also have an incredible husband (even though he takes Ibuprofen), three beautiful, smart, and healthy children, and I am blessed to have a stable job.  Honestly, that's enough for me.  Right there, my life is well lived.

For the rest of this year, I want to enjoy Fall and Winter, my two favorite seasons.  I know Thanksgiving hasn't happened yet, but the kids and I decorated for Christmas this weekend.  Even if my husband's work schedule interferes with the holiday dates on the calendar, we are going to make our own holidays (and be thankful my littles can't read a calendar this year!).

I am taking this phase as it is now, and when the next phase presents itself, I will adjust accordingly (maybe after some grouchiness), and have a life well lived in a different way.

How do you adjust to life's changes?  What is your definition of a life well lived?  I want to hear from you!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Disneyland Planner: Part Two

Did you read Part One of my Disneyland Planner series?  If not, go here first, then come back here.  Today we will talk about the packing lists, how I packed the car, and what we did for entertainment for the kids.

I made a separate packing list for each person in the family, a packing list of "general" items, and a packing list of food.  I placed a check mark next to the item when I initially packed it, and then another when I packed it at the end of the trip.  This way nothing gets left behind!

Here are my lists:

General packing:  stuff that everyone uses.  I thought I had a shout pen/wipe, but I didn't, so that went off the list.  And the adults used the kid floss.  When I went to Disneyland in 2005, the stroller we had was either stolen or someone mistook it for theirs.  This year, I took a bike lock, and we attached it to a post or sign.  Problem solved.

One of the girls' lists.

My 12 year old son's list.  He packed this and I checked it.

This is meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Mr. Perfect (minus the Ibuprofen, see below).

The food list.  We had a coffee maker in our room and coffee in the lobby, so I was covered there.

Last minute To Do list before we left.


I would like to add that no matter how much you plan, no matter how many lists you make, you are likely to forget something.

Mr. Perfect is an amazing husband.  He works very hard for our family, and he does so much around the house.  However, and he may disagree, I did the majority of the planning, purchasing, packing, etc. for this trip.  I think if it was left in his hands, he would have worn the same outfit every day and bought new underwear when he got down there.  On the other hand, I basically packed our entire house.  There is probably a middle ground somewhere that is a healthier version of both of our styles.

I only use Tylenol.  Even though we have been married for five years, apparently I DON'T EVEN KNOW MY HUSBAND, YOU GUISE.  He only uses Ibuprofen.  I was unaware of this Very Important Fact.  Somehow, when he came to me looking for the Ibuprofen, I felt guilty, even though the only thing left in our home, was in fact, Ibuprofen.  I packed everything.  EVERYTHING, except for Ibuprofen.  Why don't you pack your own f#@&ing Ibuprofen, I wanted to say.  Instead, I smiled sweetly, and suggested that we pick some up at the store.  Or, I made a passive aggressive remark and he dealt with it.  Samesies.

Having said that, unless it's a prescription medication or other specialized/expensive/irreplaceable item, you can buy anything you forget.  There are Targets in Southern California.  You'll be fine.  Pick up some page flags while you're there.

How I packed the car.  Stuff we wouldn't need (clothes for the trip, hygeine items, towels, pillows, etc.) went in the trunk.  Food went between the kids' seats.  Entertainment baskets went beneath their feet.  I could easily reach everything we would need during the drive.

Entertainment for the kids.  My 12 year old was easy.  He either read, drew, listened to podcasts, or played on his DS the entire way there.  I don't know that he made a peep the entire way.

The girls were a bit more challenging.  Honestly, the drive home was much more stressful for me, even though the three year old and myself ended up sleeping through most of it.  The drive down was filled with excitement, and we were all fresh.  The drive home was tiring, and I am glad the three year old was able to sleep through most of it.  We brought one new movie, other DVDs to watch, special snacks, Target Dollar Spot coloring books and pens, books, and a peek a boo rice game (check back for Part Three for details on that).  We stopped once on the way there and the way back for gas/food/potty breaks.  All in all, not too shabby.

I think the next part will be the last part.  I will share my tips and must haves for your trip.  I can't wait!