Finding Happiness

Starting a new year you always have hopes for a “new you.”  Over my life, I feel like I have constantly played the “I Can’t Wait’ game. I never have allowed myself to be happy with the moment.  Growing up I would always look forward to the next big thing and not enjoy where I was at the time. When I was 12, i wanted to be 14. When I was 14, i really wanted to be 16, so I could drive and be allowed to date per my parent’s and a suggested rule for youth growing up in my faith. I would tell myself, “Well, i will be happy when I go to college, or when a boy finally likes me, or when this or that happens. Well, i am tired of living in the future or even reflecting on my mistakes of the past or the “woulda, shoulda, couldas.” The present is truly a gift! I want to open it every day and also be present for my children.

Because my youngest child is starting school in a year and half and knowing that I will need to start contributing to our income,for the last six months have wondered what I wanted to “do.” What now at 36 years old do I want to be when I grow up? I have used my state’s online resources to take personality assessments and job exploration quizzes. I thought about going back to college or getting a new certification. I’ve explored many options. I thought about becoming a teacher so I looked into graduate programs and then I became a substitute teacher at my kids’ school. I looked into getting a real estate license or a legal assisting program. However, in all of my looking, I finally realized that RIGHT NOW, I am doing the job that I have always wanted.

I am my boys’ mom and I have always wanted to be a mother.  I may not get paid with money for taking care of my kids each day, but I get paid in so many other ways. The smiles, the funny words they say, just being there when they need me. I have three amazing boys. They will one day be someone’s husband, someone’s father, and someone’s employee.  In my efforts to “find myself” I really did lose the importance of what I am already doing. I believe that women do have a divine gift of nurturing others, especially children. I love my boys and they are truly gifts from my Heavenly Father. I love them each so much. They are each very different, but also so much the same. They are my little masterpieces. (I can truly say that because we are Painters and my husband and I created some great ones!) I truly am their teacher and the one that they look to for guidance, security, love and acceptance. Being a mother is my dream job and has always been. I am so lucky that I am able to stay home and raise my boys.

Discovering that I am already doing my dream job has also turned on a few other light bulbs that have been blackened out for way too long. I have lived in depression for way too long. As a young teenager, I suffered a lot of verbal abuse from my siblings. I let their name calling and belittling get to me. I thought, “If people this close to me are saying these things about me, then they must be true.” They weren’t true. Yet I called myself those names, they became a part of who I thought I was. I was fat, ugly, and stupid. No man would every really love me and in order for me to be worth something, I had to look like a supermodel and be perfect at everything. I bet you can only guess how well I lived up to those ridiculous expectations!

Each failure to become Cindy Crawford and to just be Karen Gutke weren’t enough. Negativity ruled my life. I became a good actress pretending everything was okay when it wasn’t. Of course I wasn’t ok. I was filling every moment and every thought I had with negativity. As I grew older though, I found that keeping myself busy and doing nice things for other people kept those thoughts at bay

But this last year, I started to dwell in the land of negativity again. I broke back into old habits. I became very depressed. Of course because I was constantly feeding myself negative thoughts! But a few weeks ago, the light turned on again. I realized that I really do have a choice. I can think positively and I choose happiness! I want to be happy. I want to smile! I want to have fun with my boys and make our home a great place to be. When those negative thoughts come into my mind, I can immediately turn the language around and attack them head on.

Of course a lot of negatively does come when I look in the mirror. I still only see a woman who is at her heaviest. However, I am working on it and hope to share with you my progress as I realized that I am beautiful in my own unique way and that I do not have to wait to be happy. I can be happy now with my life. I want to love myself and it will come as I continue to treat myself nicely and to take are of myself. I hope you will follow along with me.

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