Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Life realizations

Perfectionist, people pleaser, organized, giving, fast paced, anal, over achiever, outgoing, planner, control freak, aggressive, sensitive.

These are words that I would use to describe myself and for those who know me well, most would agree I’ve hit the nail on the head. Before I had children I was selfish. Life revolved around me and my wants and desires. My husband and I were married for eight years before the birth of our first child and as DINKS (dual income no kids) we lived life large. We traveled and we spent money on ourselves. I had an obsession with Louis Vuitton handbags and diamonds and my husband indulged in my obsession. My husband also had obsessions with watches, motorcycles, and luxury cars.

In 2006 we embarked on designing and building a true custom home. Our obsessions turned to woodworking, paint colors, flooring, and cabinet hardware. Once we settled in our home we spent free time looking for the perfect furnishings and d├ęcor to make our house a home. Motorcycles were sold, luxury cars were traded in for more economical options and jewelry and high priced handbags were swapped out for bags to hold fabric and paint swatches.  What I realize now is that we were nesting and exactly a year after moving into our house I decided I was ready to have a baby.

From that point forward, my goal in life was the happiness and comfort of my child. Fast forward four years and I now have two spectacular children that I love more than life itself. My every thought is to put them first and at times this is at the expense of my own happiness or well-being. The last year has been wonderful and horrible at the same time. I’ve witnessed my toddler daughter grow into a beautiful, smart young girl and I’ve seen the transformation of my baby boy turn into a walking talking toddler.  This is the wonderful part of my life. The difficult part has been the separation and divorce of my parents’ 42-year marriage.  Unable to cope with that realization on my own, I sought out professional counseling. It was the best thing I have ever done for myself.

With the help of my counselor I’ve learned self exploration. I understand now that sometimes I need to take time for myself even if it is to do something frivolous like get a pedicure. It’s a daily struggle but I try to have time for me that doesn’t result in guilt.  In the past I have bent over backwards to ensure I was making everyone happy, now I make sure that what’s done makes me happy too.

So I’m sure by now you are wondering, where are you going with this?

Well here it is: after birthing two children my body wasn’t where I wanted or needed it to be. I struggled with this daily. My husband and I had multiple conversations all of them with his mounting support to do what I need to do to feel happy and confident with my appearance. I figured out quickly to keep this to myself. I am amazed at how opinionated people are on the topic of cosmetic surgery and how willing they are to share that opinion.  I decided to have surgery and selected to only tell a few close family members. I had a successful procedure and recovered well with the assistance of my husband, sister, and mother. Sitting by being physically unable to clean the house, do laundry, bathe my children or put them to bed has been one of the most difficult experiences for me.

As I’ve said before, I’m a go getter. I do, do, do. I don’t wait around for things to get done, I do them myself and I HATE to ask for help. After five days post op I returned to work. I was still sore but ready to pick up the pace where I left off. As I felt better each day I began doing more and more at home.  That’s when it happened (what I call God teaching me a lesson). I had a major setback in my surgery recovery.  It hit me and my husband; I’ve been doing way too much way too soon. Instead of being two weeks post op I was back to recovery stage of two days post op.

I’m healing and recovering day by day but this experience has been a learning one for us all. My husband and I have learned to listen to each other better and anticipate one another’s needs.  I have learned that I cannot do it all and it is okay to ask for help.  Sitting by and watching someone else take over tasks that I’ve always owned has been really difficult but eye-opening as well. I realize even more how hard I work both professionally and personally and how much my husband and I depend on each other in all aspects of life.

Have you ever had one of those moments that makes you step back and have a realization about your life?

Mindy Seals works in the information technology division at Texas Health Resources and is balancing work, married life and raising two kids.

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