Lets take a quick hop back to the end of last year, and the goals that I wrote here. I just started thinking about this post a few days ago, and I honestly couldn’t remember if I had written any goals for 2014, so tonight when I pulled it up I was genuinely saddened. I had in fact made some goals, and I honestly didn’t accomplish any of them. A quick recap: I wanted to focus on my health, my job, my finances and finally take a family vacation.
I will say the one thing that kind of ties into these goals would be that after almost 9 years Mr. Gaunt quit his job and got a new job that will hopefully have more long-term opportunities for advancement. Mr. Gaunt also started DJing weddings, and worked his ass off this summer to make more money for our family. This of course helped our finances temporarily, but overall we are still in the same place. We are still living paycheck to paycheck, and we are still nowhere near even looking into buying a home, or a new car, which we so desperately need. I struggle with this a lot, especially around the holidays, especially with my own job and my own purpose, financial shit bogs me down. I feel lost, and ashamed that at 29 I am still not on a path to success. I don’t know why this is, and I don’t know why some people seem to find their path sooner than we have. I worry that things will never change. I worry that I will let the “not enough” cloud my overall happiness. I worry that I am not thankful enough for what we have, which is true, I’m not….add this to 2015’s goals, be more thankful.
Another thing that I didn’t work hard enough on is my health, and lets boil that down to my weight, which is up. I will say though that 85% of the time I don’t give two shits about my weight. It doesn’t define me, it’s not something I want to focus on, and I genuinely think the people who care about me don’t think of me as just a big body. I feel good about the lifestyle I am raising Vada in, and I will NEVER present anything but body pride to my kid. That being said, I’m not exactly thrilled when people tag me in candid photos on Facebook, and that suck, that is lame, that is not something I want to let ruin my day. I have no dreams of being thin, but I wouldn’t mind taking some weight off just so I feel a little bit better about the way I look. Physically I don’t feel too bad. Post birth my lack of ab strength and sore back from nursing genuinely felt scary. My body felt wrecked. Now I feel like myself again, I feel healthy, I feel like I have good digestion, that my body doesn’t feel too achy, that I’m generally in good health. So it’s a catch 22, feel good, look good, make changes, be proud. All that stuff is tricky.
One of my biggest goals of last year, in which I BOMBED at, would be finding passion and success in my business. I will say that the business is doing fine (anyone in the restaurant business understands what “fine” means) and we are busier than ever before. Our business has grown organically, and we have a great following. That being said, this business has been the hardest thing that has ever happened to my relationships, and my self-worth. I have never felt as crappy about myself as I have running this business. I’m in a constant struggle, there are just not enough words for me to describe it. I also have damaged a number of important relationships this year over this business. I won’t get into details, because it is overwhelming and too complicated, and would be a therapist dream to dig through. So what does this mean? Is it not working? Yes and no. It is what it is. We have learned so much about ourselves, our relationships, and what this sort of business requires financially and emotionally. The sheer time. It’s all been a really tough learning lesson. Are there good parts? Yes. Is this business the best path for us? I don’t know. There will always be more that I should be doing, I am never enough. That is the overall feeling of shame I get from the business. Morgan, you are never doing enough. You are not enough. Its heartbreaking really. I avoid talking about the overall struggles with people because it just isn’t worth it. There are many breakdowns, but the goal is to hold it together, to get through the days, to not focus on the struggles. Just do what you can, and let the rest run off your back. We are thinking about having more kids, the financial burden, the lack of space, time and energy are nothing compared to worry that my getting pregnant would simply me that I would be even less available to my business. That I would be even MORE of a let down. Would I be able to support that guilt? I don’t blame anyone but myself for this guilt by the way. These arefeelings that I have put upon myself and feelings I let my own mind drown in. It is me, and lord am I a struggle.
Now that I’ve been a total debbie downer about all my shortcomings this year, I will toot my own horn and say that I have done a few things right this year. These were not on my list, and yet they are things I need to share (with myself).
1. We’ve managed to maintain our home. This sounds silly for someone who is 30 years old, and should have been maintaining their home for a while now. But seriously the learning curve of accomplishing all our daily chores, cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work…with a baby seemed really daunting. I bet this year my house has been cleaner and more home cooked meals on our table than ever before. I think Mr. Gaunt and I have really developed an ok system, and I’m proud of us.
2. I made REAL friends. THIS is a huge deal, I actually made some real friends that I spend real-time with this year. Do you know how hard it is to make real friends when you are a grown up?! I feel like this year, being a new mom, that I really needed a community around me that supported me. I feel like I put a good amount of energy into nurturing relationships, being social, getting together, going to play dates and trading childcare, being a good friend. It’s so hard not to be flaky, to just stay home every day, look at Facebook for socialization. But I succeeded, and I feel really proud of myself!
3. I made my social media a positive place for me. I deleted any and all groups that made me feel not good enough. I unfriended people that I was “hate reading” or that I found myself regularly wanting to pick fights with. I made my Facebook and IG very private and only approved friendships with people who really made me happy. I also stopped comparing myself to anyone. Social media does not make sad, it only makes me happy. I have a number of mom friends on social media that are so damn beautiful and positive and supportive, I love it. I feel genuine love and support from so many people who like and comment on my photos of Vada. I get and give advice. I share peoples causes, and promote as many local business as I can. I genuinely feel like I have developed a good healthy relationship with it all.
4. The BEST thing I did this year though, was raise Vada. I have put so much time and energy into being loving and patient with her (AND WITH MYSELF!) in this first year of motherhood. It has been so so challenging. Every day I wake up and I try to be the best mom I can be to her, and some days I’m a crappy burned out, kinda yelly, super annoyed mom. And some days I wake up and I am an adventurous, nurturing, goofy mom. I cut my self some slack though, and I know I’m a good mom. I know I am always there for her, and she is always on my mind. I have given her as many tools as I can to help her little mind grow, and as much love and joy as I can to blossom her spunky personality. Vada is seriously awesome, even when we have crappy sad days, she is still overall super awesome and smart and fun. I feel so much pride for her. She could not be any greater than she is in my eyes. I beam with pride for her, and I have to hope that I helped create that little personality.
With that, I’m moving on to my 2015 goals!
1. TO BUILD UP MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MR. GAUNT: phew, babies are hard on marriages! Also new businesses, money struggles, lack of vacations, job changes….my list could go on. Mr. Gaunt remains my best friend, but I don’t always treat him that way. This year I want to find focus and strength in his words, in his hugs, in his spirit. I want to speak kindly to him and about him. I want to have fun with him. I want to trust that he is doing his best, that his short comings mean no harm, and that he will always be there for me. I want to hear the good things he says to me and not just criticism. I want to date him. I want to me more passionate and more romantic. I want to build a stronger physical relationship with him. I want to strengthen the shield of our family, to always be a united front. I want to be proud parents together. I want to end this next year more in love with him than ever before.
2. I WANT TO NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT PUTTING FAMILY FIRST: Mr. Gaunt and Vada are my #1 priorities, and always will be. I need to let the guilt and judgment of others wash away. My JOB is to be a mother to Vada first and foremost. She depends on me for everything, and I need to feel good about that job. Being a mom is my choice, my current path, and what I am doing right now. I will not make Vada take a back seat to anything else. Mr. Gaunt and my relationship is the backbone of our family, and it needs to be strong. I can’t let outside relationships interfere with our bond and strength. I want to feel pride in my family and in my role in our family. I may not work as much, make as much money, look as productive as other people, but if the year ends and we are all healthy and happy and thriving, then I know I did a good job. I need to temper my constant guilt about all of this.
3. BUILD A BEAUTIFUL BACKYARD: I have so many goals with our yard. I want to replace the fence. I want to build an outdoor play area for Vada and friends. I want to plant gardens, and beautify my yard so I can throw my sister a beautiful bridal shower. I want to do a small vegetable garden too. I also want to not be self-conscious about my small old house, and actually invite people over this summer to enjoy backyard parties. Cocktails and babies playing, what more could you want?
4. TAKE 3 MINI VACATIONS: It’s hard for us to spend a bunch of money and do a big vacation, so I’m trying to be more realistic and plan 3 mini vacations. In February we are going to The Great Wolf Lodge for two nights. In May I want to take Vada for a long weekend to Portland and do a bunch of fun kid things! For our 4 year wedding anniversary I would like to take a trip to the coast with Mr. Gaunt and Vada for a few nights.
5. GET OUT AND DO STUFF: Like lots of stuff, festivals, parks, ballgames. All the stuff. We love to do fun things, and I love sharing stuff like this with Vada. We did pretty good this last year, so lets keep the momentum going!
6. Be healthy…yah know, try to. (:
I leave you with our 2014 Christmas Card
Like this post! Your family pic is adorable! Would love to follow you on Instagram 🙂 I love your blog and have been following for at least 3 years. Definitely before your wedding.
I always love reading your blog! Thanks for sharing the ups and downs of 2014. Your honesty is refreshing. Can’t wait to be mom-friends this year!