This was my first blog post ever.

Amber Strocel blogs at and I read her stuff cuz it lines up with my life. Basically enjoy time with your kids while they’re young and try to be the best mom you can be.

She runs an on-line course called Crafting My Life that I wanted to do, in a moment of kidding myself I could add one more thing to my plate. Anyways. She offered a chance for people to guest blog for her. This is what ended up being my first ever blog post. The rest, as they say, is onwards!

Originally posted here:

I was recently handed the opportunity to re-invent my life. There are a few different ways to see it, really. A funded job search is one. “Terminated without cause” sounds a bit heavy. A fresh start is what I settled on.

What a gift it has been. Given time and space to breathe, I ended up with clarity. Not just the kind they sing about, seeing clearly now, the rain is gone, etc. I’m talking about the kind of clarity that makes you catch your breath and hurts a little.

I was a cliché. I owned being “she who has it all” and scoffed at people who complained they were busy, automatically measuring them against what I navigated in a day and inevitably finding them nowhere near as efficient or spread as thin as I was. I assured myself my kids were growing up positive and happy, social and participatory, well-fed and clothed. But once I sat back and took in an unencumbered view of my life I saw a different picture. I was barely keeping it together. At work I was tasked with doing too many things, and was not doing any of them particularly well. At home my every move was a calculated effort to get the kids out of the house so I could get to work, or into bed so I could do more work.

Now I’m a role model. Someone I used to work with told me recently she is “pulling a Julie” and stepping out of the rat race. My choice to be content with a neat and tidy little day job surprised a lot of people. I am simply done with taking on more and battling monster jobs into submission. I have bigger and better things to spend that energy on. People register a myriad of things when I am asked “so what do you do” and I reply “parent, garden, run, write, eat, putter…” Few ask me to clarify what I do for a living after that. Instead we talk about what makes us people. Where our joy lives. What we do for fun and fulfillment.

My personal motto is “leave it better than you found it.” It could be a day – if you learned something, or helped someone, you leave it a better person. It could be a room – I’m a compulsive tidier. It is often my kids. Every day I see them evolve, absorb, experience. Yesterday I joined my daughter lying in a sunbeam with the cat. We discussed how dust specks in the air (okay, maybe not totally OCD for cleaning) were surely fairies heading off to play. It was a magical sweet moment in both our lives. I’m thankful I have the right perspective now to see that.

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