my old country house

ALL OF ME

You know the feeling – you forget a birthday, or a wedding gift, or to acknowledge the birth of a baby –

– or in this case – to keep up with your blog followers –

and the MORE time passes – the HARDER it is to go back – to give the belated Birthday wishes, the late gift –

or to write the LONG overdue Blog post.

 I miss blogging. I miss the writing and the work and more than anything I miss my connection to YOU.

Truth be told – I have avoided writing because I really have been in a bit of a funk. I don’t like airing my down periods and so I figured I would wait until I was on the other side of whatever has been in front of me…just keep on working and moving forward hoping that magical moment would come and I would have something good to say!

I feel like I have been living in a state of suspended animation since we first put our house on the market 18 months ago. A BIG part of my life here has been the challenges and the JOYs of raising my family  in the country and restoring and reviving and blogging about this old house. The kids are growing up and two are now in college. And the house – it is still for sale. The listing ends in a month and we have some plans should it not sell – but that is not now- and I so float.

I usually feel so strong but lately my confidence has taken a hit.  With fewer kids around to distract me with busY-ness – I have been able to see more clearly where I am in my professional life. My painting. My blogging. I have been comparing myself to others – Bigger blogs, more successful artists , and younger blogs that lapped me ten-fold while I have been waiting for that NEXT thing!  I have taught my children NOT to  base their sense of self worth on what others are doing – NOT to compare and here I amdoing exactly that!

This is hard for me to put out there because I would much prefer you see me as confident and successful. ugh.

…but I YAM where I Yam.

So how do I get myself out of this RUT – ?

I stay busy. that helps. and….

1. I am limiting my time on social media…it just makes me feel like I am back in High School and wish I were one of the popular kids. I don’t like that part about myself and I don’t want to give it any more room in my life.

                          2. I have looked for inspiration, everywhere and ANYWHERE – books, pod casts, you tube videos – anything to get me out of my HEAD and into action…(I am open to ANY and ALL suggestions!) I have always told the kids “Sometimes it is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other…and then you do the next thing and then the next thing….and before you know it – you are someplace else!!!”

So I have essentially been taking my advice!

One of my favorite Blogs is Little Green Notebook. I have followed Jenny for years and love her spunk. She has blogged consistently since 2007 – while having babies and moving across the country. She is a Phoenix Interior Designer with a business called Juniper Studio. And she is a very hard worker. With a wonderful positive upbeat attitude which I strive to have myself.

I don’t always catch her blog, but last week – as if something in me knew she had something I needed, I tuned in and she was talking about a book Book which she has found incredibly helpful in building her business .

 

JENNY KOMEDAS BEAUTIFUL feet! and FIND YOUR WHY AND START WITH WHY by Simon Sinek that was recommended by Jenny at Little Green Notebook

I GOT THE BOOKS!

 

I got the books! my feet are not nearly as pretty – but they are ME and that is that.

I GOT THE BOOKS!

Sometimes you just need to take the first step.

and

3. I am dropping the façade. I cannot move beyond this place if I do not acknowledge that it exists. I can’t feel better if I am constantly pretending I feel fine.

  1. I am painting and exercising as much as I can. It is my solace and my meditation.
  2. I am reaching out.

This PLACE I am in is not always easy. And I was raised to keep my problems and my worries to myself – NOT to wallow in them – Definitely do NOT burden others with them!  because it could always be worse. But here is the thing – If all I ever show YOU is me with the clean house and the tidy life then you know only half of me. I strive for happiness and love more than anything else and I want to leave a loving space on this earth when my time comes to leave it – but that does not mean I always feel loving or always feel happy.

We all have insecurities and periods of self doubt – we all need a friend who take us as we are and make us laugh at ourselves…we all need each other. So from here on out – you get me – the all of me.

Sometimes you just need to take the first step.

I will keep you posted.

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30 thoughts on “ALL OF ME

  1. I have missed your voice, Lesli, and so appreciate your authenticity. With two of the kids in college and the house on the market, you’re dwelling in a suspended state. How can you get yourself firmly planted when everything is shifting? By doing everything you’re already doing…reaching out, painting, exercising. Most of all, I hope you’re being extremely kind to yourself… You deserve it!

    1. Casey – your reflection and validation has been so helpful and I cannot thank you enough for your kind supportive words. I am so glad that you are on the other side of my computer – I wish I could move it to the side and you would be there!!!!! xoxox

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with what Caley said. You’re acknowledging how you feel and that’s a big thing. Take care of yourself and the rest will fall into place.

  3. Leslie, so glad to hear from you here. I so appreciate your honesty. I hope that the steps you are taking will make a positive difference! I can so relate to that limbo feeling, where I count my blessings and know that I have so much to be thankful for, and yet sometimes I feel so lethargic, and stuck. The Fall weather will usually give me a boost, but each day is different! Take care!

  4. You are awesome. I love your authenticity, your unique style, your family, your home. Thank you for being you and sharing yourself with us!

  5. I understand your feeling (more or less, because as you say we can never know exactly howomeone is feeling – all feel different).
    There are days like those. Black days, grey days… cold days and we don’t know how to go on. Working (in your case painting) is a way but doesn’t solve the thoughts and feelings. Reading books is good, but it depend on the books. Sometimes a book saying you are great, are awesome and just need to accept it and go on is not the right book – sometimes we don’t are strong enough to accept whatever they say and go on. For me, and as I said before – I say for myself – only one thing works: accepting I’m nothing if I am alone, and I can all things if I surrend to God – the one that really knows our feelings and can full fill our heart and soul with unmesurable blessings. There’s a good book for that – Bible. And the bible says: Never will I leave, never will I forsake you – Heb.13:5. Trust in God almighty. Surrender him your feelingas and He is loving enough to be with you. XOXO Love you.

  6. I am older than you but we are of the generations where social media was writing notes in school and talking on the family phone. It’s a big deal for me to even comment on a blog post. I will try to do better because I really like your blog.

  7. I can so relate to you Leslie especially the part about not sharing your troubles and being a downer to others but I too, am trying to learn not to do that anymore. It’s hard because it’s so ingrained in me but over the last four months when I have struggled I reached out and told a few friends who came to my aid and gave me loving support like I’ve never known. If I had kept my struggle to myself I would have never given them the opportunity to show me love and support. I believe that the face and boundless love of God came through in my friends. I love your blog Leslie and I love your beautiful spirit. Please keep blogging and let everyone help keep you afloat during this challenging time. XO

    1. Thank you Lynne – I so appreciate your struggle – mazing how us sharing our “blues” have in some strange way – made me feel SO SO much less alone and lighter and joyful….xoxoxoxo

  8. I am at the same stage of life as you Lesli, minus the house-selling part. I totally get you about feeling in a funk. We are in Canada, I absolutely DREAD winter because it lasts so long here. We don’t have snow yet (miracle!!), but I am bracing for it. It changes everything we do, makes it hard to make plans, which I find very frustrating. I have been nesting more and getting rid of “stuff” too, which helps. I found that limiting my social media has been a good thing. I don’t go on Instagram anymore at all and I am trying to limit my FB time. I am more frustrated by the amount of time I spend scrolling and scrolling — it is so easy for an hour to go by and when I realize it, I am annoyed with myself! I have been a stay-at-home Mom for the past 17 years (no regrets on that), but I am starting to question whether I should have pursued a Masters Degree sometime during that time… or maybe I should do it now even. But the funny thing is I have no idea on what I would pursue. I think it would be good to know before I just apply for something!! Simon Sinek’s books — funnily, I bought them for my husband a couple of months ago — maybe I am the one who should read them! I think we all go through the ebbs and flows of life…

    1. Brenda – How crazy is it that we both just got those books – I feel your dread of winter – lets use winter to re-boot….regain our strength and heart. I so very appreciate your comment and that you shared your experience with me xo

  9. My friend, I know too well those feelings that are having, and what I can say to you is that YOU are my inspiration for SO many aspects of my life, and even your words today remind me that everyone has struggles, everyone questions all of the WHYS of our lives, and by acknowledging it for yourself….it only makes you stronger. Yes, sometimes it’s just one foot in front of the other. If that’s what today is, so be it. Tomorrow is another day, and may bring solace and peace and adventure…. xoxoxo

  10. Oh you are so special to me! Listen to your older cousin – some days suck, some days flame, some days are filled with such joy we can’t contain it. That’s life. Keep on talking it out, you will find that spark. Fall is always good to get us more active, the sultry humid days are past, no snow yet, throw on your sneaks and walk to hear the leaves crunch. Remember when your kids were little and it was a day of “Hey, I’ve got this motherhood thing down pat!” And then two days later they learned a new “skill” and you said, “What, am I kidding myself, they have me over a barrel!” And then a couple of days later you got the macaroni necklace and you were totally over the moon. It’s like that, only no macaroni, and no tears and giggles. Go download a Fannie Flagg audiobook from your library (remember how you loved to take your kids to pick out new books to read) and put on your sneakers and go for a walk (or scrub a floor), or whatever. It gets you out of your funk place and you’ll make new friends. Love you, get you; been there, done that.

  11. I soooo can relate! Your honesty is wonderful and I respect you even more for it. Know you’re NOT alone- You will be in my thoughts and prayers! <3

  12. It’s funny how people we may never meet become our friends…just the other day I had a random thought as I was going through my emails..”Hmm I haven’t seen a blog from Lesli? I hope she is okay? probably busy? I am glad you are mostly okay…you have touched a lot of people and so this one in California is sending positive energy your way.

  13. Hi Lesli, You have always been an inspiration to me. I have been following your blog for a long time and I have so admired not only your love for animals but your generosity, your spirit and as funny as this sounds, being a “real person” on your blog. I have marveled at how you paint, raise your family and take the time to do so many things. I think, when we get to the point of our kids growing up and moving out, we come to kind of a crossroads and must learn to navigate that and ourselves anew. I look forward to seeing more blogposts and keeping up with you. Diana

  14. First time visitor here. I found you by following a link on pintrest!
    I have just begun a blog ( no, not promoting it here) and read hard what others write on their blog to see what I can learn.
    What I learned from this post was, is:
    Kindly directness and self-honesty rule.
    I read many blogs and I noticed right away that I was yanked into this post in the first sentence. No waiting for the good stuff.

    What else?
    I want to empathize wth you.
    I have those times, too.
    And I know there is no relief in ignoring them.
    A thing I learned recently which has been powerful for me is, every feeling has a message.
    Allowing the feeling to be allows the message to be received.
    Once the message is received, the feeling has served its purpose and dissolves.
    Something like that.

    I watched a Kyle Cease video this morning ( He’s great. Easy to find on You tube.)
    And he said, ” You have to feel it to forgive it “.
    I extrapolated from that .. you have to feel it to heal it.
    Or maybe I read that somewhere. Anyway. Its been true for me.

    Thank you for your writing.
    I can’t contribute much more here since I don’t know you well yet but I will be reading further, I assure you.
    Xo

  15. One more thing! I remembered that the reason I wanted to comment is because Kyle Cease I all about “the why”, which is why I thought you would be interested in hearing of him.

  16. I like your feet, all painty and creative. Someone once told the secret to feeling better is to do something for someone else. Maybe teach an art class…

  17. So many of us are in this place, aren’t we? I am too. Sometimes just knowing that others are going through something similar is so helpful. So thank you for sharing as you are helping me too. Hugs to you Lesli.

Thank you for visiting My Old Country House...I’d love to hear what you thinking. Let me know in the comments. And Have a great Day!