Strategy :: Day 361

Parenting has been the majority of my thoughts lately. Finding balance can be quite a struggle at times. I am on a constant journey to become a better person, at least until I find a new place of contentment. 

The first step in achieving my goal, was reducing time spent on social media. It's incredible how much time and energy that sucks up. I recently read a girl's blog where she had felt so overwhelmed by her Pinterest and Facebook, that it was diminishing her as a person and making her feel inferior as a mother. That's a little extreme for me, but it's been a steady trend lately, people taking time away and "unplugging." I could relate, and that alone spoke to me. 

Next was becoming "hands free." Jeremy shared an article with me recently about the effects yelling has on kids. I started reading more of the posts written by this girl, and it has really encouraged/uplifted me knowing that I'm not the only one who has moments of weakness and struggles through motherhood at times. Anyway, she exclusively uses the term "hands free" in the sense that she doesn't spend time on the computer, on her phone, or other distracting (technology) elements that so easily tempt us and pull us in when we have things (children) that need that very same time and attention we would casually be wasting.

Lastly, I have been defining myself as the person that I am. I know I've spoken of all of these things at one point in time or another on here, but this has been one of the greater challenges for me. After five years in the Army, I was no longer the girl I was in the beginning. Now that I'm working on my second year out of the military lifestyle, I find myself trying desperately to find my place. My biggest problem while doing this, was the embarrassment I suddenly felt for my personal taste, for all things defining me. For five years I rarely had to pick out what I wanted to wear, where I wanted to eat or what food to buy, what to do with my hair, what to do with my spare time, etc.. And everyone else was the same. There was no judgment. The only comparisons there were, was how good your physical training was, and I excelled.

All of these things bring me back to the now. The deployment Jeremy and I have been in, and the temporary life of a single mother. After this past year with out him, I've learned that it is a simple game of strategy. After hearing the news of another friends divorce today, I spent the greater part of the afternoon thinking about it. Relationships. Marriage. Commitment. The answer to all of it, is to get back to the basics. When struggling with distance, drama, family, life.. whatever it is.. get back to the basics. Stop placing blame, stop name calling, stop worrying about what other people think, stop worrying about what you need - stop everything. Look at what is. Look at what got you here. Forget about all the bad, think about the good things. Don't blame yourself or anyone else for the mistakes made, and encourage all the good that has been done.

I could go on and on about this topic, but instead, I'll share the images from today. After going to bed far too late, and waking up before my alarm, we were all really cranky this morning. Once I got home from taking my boy to school, I knew I'd just want to lay around all day, try to sleep, and end up doing nothing. So despite the on and off rain, Kate, Chris, and I went to a local trail in Tacoma and spent the greater part of the afternoon out and about. Kate and I were quickly revived :).

We found these orange berries, Salmonberry, cousin to raspberries, are edible. They weren't completely ripe yet, but they were refreshing, and similar taste to blackberries. Chris is weary about everything, but Kate and I enjoyed them along our walk. I plan to invest a little time learning more about edible wild berries.

My spirits were quickly uplifted after spending a little time amongst these beautiful trees. Amazing what a little outdoors can do for you.

Bear loves attention, but he's always checking on mom. Hahaa.

Kate picked flowers for me :)

Reaching for berries. She was annihilating them every chance she got.

Can you spot the bird on the right? He has a berry in his mouth ;)

We planned to hike around more after school, but a steady downpour ensued until we got home. Sunny days lay ahead though, so we'll get in our outdoor fix :).

We're a mere two weeks away from the ending of this deployment. Jeremy is out on his final mission, but ended up with a few more jobs to do along the way. The flight there involved lots of rockets and door gunners steadfast at work. At the new fob, he's currently sleeping outside. No tent, no shelter, just under the stars. It hurts my heart, but a clear focus on what is soon to come is keeping us going. It's hard to accept my inability to care for him as I normally would, to be there, to fight together, and in turn, protect one another. I pray for his safety and return home daily. I'm anxious. So very anxious.