My Family

My Family

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My Current Motto

Have you ever desired that things were different for you than they currently are?  
Yes, you don't really have to answer that, for I know that EVERY one of you feel that way or have felt that way at some point in your life. 

I find that I struggle with shyness.  
For those of you who know me here in Arizona, you may find that a bit shocking. 
Even those of you who knew me in New Mexico may be surprised by that revelation.  
However, it was a defining characteristic that influenced many of my growing up years.  
I regret some of the limits I placed on myself, and find myself striving to push my children to try things outside of their comfort zone.  
That being said, I am also pushing myself to do things and creating opportunities for myself that are beyond my "safe place".  

To say that I am a hermit would be overstating the situation a little, but I find it VERY easy to justify the need I have to be in my home...which will never be as clean as my perfectionistic nature desires...especially in light of the fact that I have 7 children to help keep on track with their chores and laundry.  
There are always errands to run, groceries to be purchased, spills to be wiped up, dusting to look at and put on my "I'll get to that tomorrow list".  
Meals not only need to be cooked, but the dishwasher consistently needs loaded or reloaded, and while the kids are quite thorough at taking care of that, often there is a second or even third load that needs to be run while they are at school.

I could go on...but I know any woman reading this will understand the ongoing list I keep in my head and strive to accomplish on a regular basis. 

Essentially, any socializing that I do comes down to making a conscious choice to ensure it happens.
I have mulled over the idea of knocking on a neighbors door multiple times, desiring to build that friendship.  
Every time, I have found a reason why I shouldn't extend myself.  
And you know what?  
Last week I found out she was moving, and I was selfishly sad.  
Sad at the missed opportunity to learn and grow from her. 
Sad that I had chosen, repeatedly, not to step out of my comfort zone and make an effort to be more open.
Sad that I had not strengthened a friendship when I had the chance. 

I can't change what is past, but as I have dwelt on what I could have/should have/would have done differently, the thought that repeatedly comes to my mind is this, 

And so, that has become my current motto. 
Even when it's not easy, I'm working to have people over to my home, even when it's not perfectly clean (which it never truly is...that's why doors are shut and I don't invite people upstairs too often).  
I'm pushing my boundaries by inviting friends here to stamp with me...create cards and enjoy others company.  
I'm calling and setting times for get-togethers that I've always pushed off in the past for whatever reason.
I'm making the effort to create and send out "good mail"...trusting that more than just me wants to receive something other than a bill in the mail.  

I know this motto, this mantra, this new way of living my life is not just random happenstance.  
It is a prompting...a gift from God.  
And I thank Him for the change it is creating in me. 

Do you have a current personal motto?
If not, will you find one?



Real said...

In 2000, we bought our first home. I was brand new to the neighborhood and had had a really nasty time in our previous apartment with loneliness and not having any friends. So when we moved, I decided that it was time to make a change.

Once a week, I started inviting a new woman in our ward over for lunch. And I found it helped me keep the house clean and I got to know people. The first few times were really not great.

But then I invited a brand new mom over. I had actually been in a student ward with her husband years ago and during EQ he mentioned to my husband what a hard time his wife was having and how lonely she was. So that's why I invited her next.

And we totally clicked. We talked and talked and talked. I loved it! She stayed the entire day. And started a friendship of mutual babysitting and visiting all the time and daily phone calls and lots of laughter and so much more. She is my longest-term friend since I left Arizona. One of my few IRL friends.

Anyway, after I met her, I kind of stopped inviting other people over. But just this week, an old doula client of mine was emailing me about some of the struggles she was having with 3 kids. We were enjoying writing to each other so much that I invited her over. It was great!

I think you're in for happy times by extending yourself like you are.
(And sorry to hijack your blog with such a long comment!)

Anonymous said...

You really are too great to keep to yourself.

Susan said...

What a great post. I often find myself wishing I had more/closer friends, but rarely take to the initiative to make that happen. Thanks for the uplifting reminder.
My motto is: Don't sweat the small stuff. Cliche yes, but has helped me on a countless number of days.

McDougal Family said...

Thank You for this post! I am exactly the same way (the shyness thing...I like my comfort zone) and have been wishing I was more outgoing my whole life. I've been in this ward for 4 1/2 years and still don't really have a "best friend" of sorts to hang out with and talk to on a regular basis. I always try and go places when I'm invited so as to make stronger friendships...and I do try and chat with people at church or in passing on the street. {Facebook, as silly as it sounds, has helped me to get out there and get to know people better!} Guess I just need to get over the "shy" thing and step out of my comfort zone a little! Again, thanks for this post! Good to know I'm not the only one in the world that has the same issue! This has inspired me!:)

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

Loved the post, Kristine.
As you probably know I struggle with the same thing. It sounds like there are quite a few of us that struggle with this. :)
People think I'm stuck up when I'm really just terrified to talk to them. I want to talk to them--just can't seem to. The stupid thing is that because they think I'm stuck up I get even more scared of opening up to them, and as a result miss out on making some more friends.
There are a few ladies out there that have been kindred spirits right from the get go. I can be myself with them without any fear.

I'm happy Heavenly Father is giving you a nudge. :)

Anonymous said...

I would never guess you were that shy at all. I've always been impressed with your participation in everything. :-) I think I know what friend you are talking about, and I'm sad I didn't spend more time with her either!

My motto these days is just to keep things simple...

Jamie said...

In college, I decided to get over my shyness by learning as many peoples' names at the Institute. Once I got married, I slipped back into the shyness routine. I feel bad because I hate calling, so my kids have had very few playdates. I guess I have a lot of calling to do in the next few months!

Shawna said...

Amen you put my life into words. So many of US fall into this lonely life,for no other reason than fear. It takes strength and courage.I know you can do this! :)s