Monday, March 14, 2016

Why I Stopped Worrying About Staying Relevant

When I was pregnant and still working, I would daydream about being at home with my new baby. I loved my job, but I was excited and thankful to be a stay at home mom once the baby arrived. I pictured us playing, learning, and experiencing together. While those things did come to fruition, a lot of other things I didn’t expect also came into play. Feelings of fear, restlessness, and resentment started to creep into my days. I didn’t know why. I had everything I ever wanted…a beautiful baby and the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. Why was I not completely and absolutely fulfilled? After many months of contemplation and serious reflection, I figured it out. I was too worried about staying relevant.
Whether or not I was fully aware, I spent most of my pre-baby days working my butt off to stay relevant. Relevant at work, relevant in my social circle, relevant in my city. I wanted to be on the scene, in the loop, and on top of every new trend. I prided myself on knowing the coolest new places to eat and drink before everyone else. My friends came to me when looking for new music and book recommendations. Then the baby came and all of that grinded to a halt. Now my days were consumed with breastfeeding, diaper changes, and praying that I could sneak in a quick shower while the baby napped. I was totally and utterly irrelevant. To my disbelief, the world went on without me (and so did some of my friends). I felt like shouting from my front porch “Hey! I AM COOL! Believe me! I am SUPER cool!” But no one cared. People stopped coming to me for advice on dating and where to find the best happy hour.  

Being forced to shed your previous identity is tough. Really tough. I knew motherhood was no walk in the park, but nothing really prepared me for all the soul searching it would entail. I was ready and willing to put everything I had into motherhood, but all the baby books and classes in the world did not prepare me for the physical, mental, emotional, and social sacrifices that being a mother would require. When I was pregnant I constantly received unsolicited advice: “Oh honey, sleep while you can…This is going to completely change your life…You will never be the same…” But no one talked in-depth about the metamorphosis that I would have to fight through, while also caring for a newborn. I felt like Kate the Writer, Kate the Dancer, Kate the Teacher, Kate the Comedian, and Kate the Friend were all forgotten and from now on I would only ever be known as Kate the MOM.  
What I didn’t realize, however, was that turning into Kate the Mom would actually bring me the most reward. Once I stopped worrying about what I was missing out on and started focusing on being mindfully present, I gained a new kind of confidence and strength.  Becoming a mom taught me that I am enough. I don’t need to be the queen of the social scene in order to feel important.  My daughter deserves more. She deserves a mother who creates her own happiness and who practices gratitude.  And I am grateful. Grateful that becoming a mother pushed me out of my comfort zone and provided amazing opportunities for personal growth. Now, instead of wasting my energy worrying about staying relevant to everyone else, I spend my time working towards becoming the best version of myself. And you know what? I am still all of those things: a writer, a dancer, a teacher, a comedian, and a friend. I am all of those things and so much more. I didn’t need others to tell me that in order for it to be true.  



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Three Easy Ways I Boost My Health

I guess I am going to stick with the 3 theme! There are 3 super simple things I do every day to help boost my metabolism, immune system, and overall health.  
First, I drink hot lemon water as soon as I wake up. Before I drink coffee, or brush my teeth, I head to the kitchen for this natural kick start. It really has been a life changer. I immediately feel more awake and I have noticed a difference in how I feel throughout the day. There are a lot of other proven benefits, too. Drinking hot lemon water immediately upon rising aids in digestion, helps the liver perform better, and gives your immune system a boost.  

You can check here for more information:
Second, I add turmeric to my smoothie, or to my hot lemon water. I will be honest, turmeric is an acquired taste. It is really bitter and sticks to the back of the throat. The good news is that a little goes a loooong way. You can purchase turmeric root at the grocery store, but I prefer to buy the ground powder (easily found on Amazon). Lately, turmeric has become quite trendy and I am not surprised. There is a long list of benefits, including its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory, increase the body’s antioxidants, and it has even been linked to improved brain function. If using turmeric root or powder is too strong for your liking, you can also find it in tea form.

This is a really in-depth article discussing the history and benefits of turmeric:

Third, I drink Apple Cider Vinegar before I go to bed each night. Disclaimer: it is disgusting. BUT, I have found a way to make it go down a little easier: pour a shot of ACV into a little glass of hot water and top it off with a squeeze of lemon. I still have to hold my nose and chug, but it is a thousand times better than trying to swallow it plain. Much like turmeric, ACV has also become quite trendy in recent years. Mostly because it has been known to aid in weight loss. It also can help with digestion, improve skin, help lower blood sugar, and reduce muscle cramps (which is nice after an intense workout).
Some sources stated that Apple Cider Vinegar was also good for a boost of energy, although I personally don't notice any change. Like I said, I take it before bed and have never had an issue falling asleep. Might be a good idea to do a few test runs though, before you take it at night. 

You can check out more information here: