Is it Fulfillment or a Title?

Is it Fulfillment or a Title?

While at the gym recently, a member asked me if I am fulfilled.

I am a mother, a wife, a puppy mom, a small business owner, a volunteer, an advocate, a writer, the Member Services Director for a local gym and a trainer. Am I fulfilled? Click To Tweet

I have an advanced degree, I continually push myself out of my comfort zone and I routinely accept new challenges…but am I fulfilled?

What is fulfilled?

One thing I am is tired.  Absolutely fucking exhausted.  I tend to overextend myself and forget to stay in the moment.  I feel as though I can do many things, however, I am not sure I do any of them well.  Is that fulfillment?

For me, fulfillment is a sense of accomplishment.  When I received my BSW, I was accomplished.  I barely graduated from high school with a diploma, so receiving a college degree was pretty cool. However, I wanted more.  For me, there is a sense of never reaching a goal because I keep changing where the golden ring is placed.  I keep setting the bar higher and higher.

Is that a bad thing?  I don’t believe so.  I am not one to be content.  I have an internal drive within me that pushes me to do more and be more.  However, I am not afraid to stop and do nothing and sometimes I shut down and do just that.  I restore, I connect with God, I connect with my family and I just let myself be.

But the next day I am up and moving toward another unseen goal.

Fulfillment in a title

For me, fulfillment is an illusion.  It is something people strive for when they continue to push themselves into new and scary adventures.  It is something external that they strive for.  Perhaps it is confused with recognition or accolades.

For me, fulfillment is internal.  What’s fulfilling for me is when my children recognize how hard their mom works.  My boys often ask how many businesses I own or where I am working as I drive them to school.  More importantly, my boys participate in my businesses and I hope I am teaching them a strong work ethic.

What I find fulfilling is when I hear my son tell me he loves me and he puts his little arms around my neck.  I may be many things, but the golden ring goes to the title of being a mother.  After years of being a child abuse specialist, knowing that I am impacting the lives of these living and breathing littles is indeed fulfilling.

Of all the titles, degrees and businesses I add to my name, being called mommy, mom, and mama are at the top of the list.  And I will continue to strive to be what God has trusted me to be.  And I will pray often for His guidance in helping me be who the boys need.  Everything I work for is done around my boys.  I am the first person they see when they awaken and I am the last person they see before they close their eyes at night.

For me, that is fulfillment.  So in answer to my client’s question. Am I fulfilled? Yes, I can confidently say that I am.

They lied – A MLM mom Confession

They lied – A MLM mom Confession

I am THAT mom.  Four years ago I signed up to be an It Works Rep and I have a confession, several, actually.  I absolutely love what I do!  That being said, this business isn’t for the faint of heart.  Intrigued?  Read on.

Confession, They lied

If someone tells you this business is easy, they are flat out lying to you Click To Tweet Unless you love hearing the word NO twenty times a day.  If you are afraid of what others think of you, this business probably isn’t for you.  And if you can’t handle people not returning your messages, texts or calls. you may need to look at working somewhere else.

 

Let me tell you It is not easy money either.  The money does not just fall into your lap.  You will not get rich within one month.  Of course, there are always the exceptions, those who rise to the top quickly, and their stories are phenomenal!  But they are not the norm.  It takes practice, it takes belief, and it takes determination.  The majority of people quit before they even give it a chance.

Confession, It’s Worth It

Is it worth it?  YES!  I will emphatically tell you yes, it is.  WHEN you choose to invest in yourself ( because let’s be honest, when you purchase a business, you are investing in you) the benefits far outweigh the negatives.  In most instances, when you purchase your business, you also purchase training and support.  IF you actually do your training (the majority do not) and IF you connect with your company and your team (the majority do not), your will be on your way to an amazing journey.

You will learn to integrate your business into your life.  You will have opportunities to stretch yourself in ways you never before considered.  In most cases, you will have the chance to connect with people who share your ideal goals and you can learn from watching them in action.

How do you choose?

This may be the most difficult part of your journey.  How do you choose a business that is right for you?  In my experience, the following are key to success:

  • love the products – you must love your products in order to passionately share your results with others.  For me, it is similar to recommending a favorite food or service.  When I find something I love, I feel the need to share it with the world!  After all, everyone should have the opportunity to be as happy as I am!
  • research the company – While many people love to join a company that is starting up, I advise looking for an established one. You can find positive and negative reviews for anything and you need to look past those.  For me, a key point was that my company was debt free and had been for years.  They continue to try to do the same for their distributors.  I also loved that this company is Christian based and I had the opportunity to see this for myself.
  • unique product – Having a product that can only be purchased through you will help you to stand out.  It is far more difficult to sell something that can be purchased at the local department store.  Represent something that is unique.
  • pray about it – it’s scary to make the launch into being a business owner and it isn’t to be taken lightly.  Before I signed on, I researched, talked with my other half and prayed for guidance.  Truth be told, I still do today because my business is about so much more than just me.
  • consider the financial investment – some companies offer a minimal start up fee.  While that may be appealing, be sure you are on board with the products being sold, or you will be throwing your money away.  Look at the compensation plan (it may not make sense when you first look at it, but over time, it will).  You want to be able to make your initial investment back.
  • understand residual income – this is one of the key draws of direct sales.  After all, don’t we all love the opportunity to earn money over and over after one sale?

Confession – It is a Process

You can and should do all of your training, however, the best way for you to be successful is to be consistent.  Trust your upline, your sponsor, your team to guide you.  You will say stupid things that you wish you could take back and that’s ok, it humanizes you.
Self-growth will take you farther than success in your business…it will make your more confident in every aspect of your life.
A brick and mortar store typically takes 5-7 years to see profits.  You can see profits from your Multi level marketing business so much faster by making the decision to work.
So take the chance.  You will never know what you are capable of if you stay in the shadows and watch everyone else.  After all, you are worth it so take charge of your own destiny!

 

 

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4 yours as investment in ME! Confessions of an MLM mom
MOMFAIL – Valentines Boxes

MOMFAIL – Valentines Boxes

As  I am scrolling through FACEBOOK  I see all of these absolutely adorable Valentine’s Boxes for upcoming class parties. Therefore I can’t help but wonder how everyone is getting their kids to participate.  Are all of these other kiddos doing this freely? I have to threaten the removal of favorite objects to get my boys to even pretend to care about their Valentine Day boxes.

MOMFAIL

After literally three days of telling the boys they need to create their boxes, I  taped my It Works boxes together and put them on our kitchen island.  The next day they were still there.  Being proactive, I provided the kids with paper, stickers, colors, markers, letters, and tape.  Ten minutes later they were both finished with their Valentines Boxes and five of that was probably spent wrapping the paper around the box.

After encouraging them, coercing them and pleading with them, I finally gave in.  Feeling a tad disappointed, I released them from the horror.  I let go of the illusion they would be creating masterpieces like all of the other kids in their classes.  Without belittling them, I let them decide how their boxes would look.  While they made sure to cut holes large enough to receive valentines, the outsides are a tad “interesting”.

Perspective on Valentines Boxes

Looking at their boxes while rolling my eyes to my husband, he reminded me of why these boxes were not important to my kids.   “It isn’t a guy holiday,” he said…you can’t make them be interested. (This from the same guy who made sure the kids were included in giving me flowers so they knew how to treat a special woman).  Right then, it hit me.  This isn’t about me.  Their Valentines Boxes are not a reflection of me as a parent any more than my choices are reflections of my own parents.

I was allowing my emotions to interfere with my boy’s priorities.  I was letting the fact that I will be a volunteer in their parties influence MY reactions to their choices.  Consequently, I admit to feeling a tad embarrassed.  How dare I compare my children to others.  How incredibly silly is it that I even put pressure on them to participate in something because of how it would reflect upon me?

No Comparison

Since my boys were little, I have encouraged them to make their own choices.  These two would learn from those decisions that every choice has a consequence.  Some of their choices were amazing while others were definitely learning opportunities.  The things that make my boys different from others are the very things that make me love them even more.  I had always taught them to be different and now when they were, I wanted to force them back to being like others.

My oldest used to wear a stocking hat during the summer.  He was my little Disney Thug and I loved it!  My youngest loved to wear cowboy boots everywhere and I thought it was adorable!  I embraced their individuality!  So why in the world do I care about these Valentines Day boxes?  In conclusion, forgive me, boys…lesson learned.  However, when it comes to homework and schoolwork, that is a totally different arguargument

 

 

Weight Loss Warrior

Weight Loss Warrior

Sometimes you meet someone and you know they were put in your life for a reason.  I remember when I first met Alicia Fechtmeister; we were both standing outside Armbrust YMCA and I commented on how amazing she looked.  I had seen her around the Y and noticed she was working hard and her weight loss was showing dramatically in the shape of her face and the confidence she now bestowed.

I have watched this woman continue her weight loss journey for the past two years and she continues to be inspiring to those around her.  She supports her counterparts and she has become a contestant in early morning spin classes.

Today I talked with her about her wellness journey and what prompted her to change her lifestyle.  Alicia and Bob both graduated from Lincoln and began the American Dream.   With a business and five children ranging in ages from 5 – 16, they are incredibly busy.  While Bob is a runner, Alicia really didn’t participate in any wellness activities as she was focused mainly on keeping her large family up and running.

The Beginning

Three years ago, she took her two boys to watch Bob run the Lincoln marathon.  She saw a picture of her with Bob and the boys and she couldn’t believe that was actually her.  Many thoughts went through her mind, including:

“I don’t like how I look”…

“I didn’t like how I feel”…

“I wanted to look good for my husband (although she knows that he loves whatever size she is)”…

“I want to be healthy.”

The Journey

She didn’t want to wait until a doctor told her she needed to lose weight or until she suffered a heart attack to get into shape, so she made some changes in her life.   She and her family joined Armbrust YMCA and she started attending one class per week.  Shortly after that, she began the FAST program and learned about balancing what went into her body with what went out.  Soon after, she was all in.

Initially weighing in at 236, she upped her classes to 7 days per week.  Alicia found she loved spin class and combined with the FAST Program, she began to see changes in her weight and her body.  Alicia reports it was “liberating” to not have to shop in the fat aisle at the store!

bike-forever

During this time, her husband continued to run.  He and a friend were doing a 5K and asked her to join them.  She and her sister joined the guys and her sister kept pace with her until she completed her very first 5K!  That started a love/hate relationship with running.  To this day she still doesn’t love it, but it is something that she and Bob can do together.

run

Alicia has found continued support from her husband and her sisters, along with various members at the YMCA.  While her weight has fluctuated some, she continues on her journey and is the first to admit that she is not where she wants to be; this is not the end of her journey.

I didn’t ask her what her final goal is, I just shared that she continues to be a motivator for others.  This past weekend, Alicia ran the Lincoln ½ marathon.  Admittedly, this is not something she ever thought she would do and she finished strongly with a 12 ½ minute pace!  Bob ran by her side, supporting and encouraging her the whole way.  She says she is overwhelmed by the number of people who sent her texts and messages encouraging her along her run and didn’t realize how many people were pulling for her!

Giving Back

Ultimately, Alicia wants to give back.  She has invited other Y members to the Color Run with her and she has promised to run at their pace, just has Bob and her sister did for her.  Has she made an impact on her children?  Bob will say she has.   Last week their youngest child was on a workout machine and said:  look daddy, I’m getting healthier, I’m exercising, I’m just like mommy”.

You never know who you may be impacting or who may be observing.  As Alicia has learned, her journey just isn’t about her, but those who are watching and being motivated by her determination.

 

I Love My Family…BUT

I Love My Family…BUT

 

 

Whenever someone starts a sentence with ” I love my family, but”, you know whatever follows isn’t gonna be good.  In my case, it is true.  I love my husband, our two boys and three dogs with all my heart.  Chad is my best friend. He makes me a better person…blah blah blah…you have heard it before and you know exactly where I am going.  I am trying to justify what I am going to say  in regard to my family, without sounding like an ungrateful bitch.

But let’s do some REAL talk.

Why is it when couples have kids some crazy unidentified expectations come into play?  Why is it if HE watches the kids, he is babysitting.  Um,first of all, I didn’t have these babies by myself, and it seems like they are just as much YOURS?  How is that babysitting?  Am I babysitting when I have them 24/7?  No?   Because they are MY kids?  I call BS.

Mom or Maid?

Why there is dirty laundry on the stairs for three weeks before someone picks it up?  Of course, that someone is almost ALWAYS ME. Does no one else in this house see it or smell it?

My husband can cook which is a HUGE bonus for our family; but but as a result, every inch of the kitchen is covered with something sticky?

Why is it that NO ONE in this house knows how to do laundry except me?  Do we need to have Laundry 101?  And boys, your clothes do not magically go from the laundry room to your bedroom.  If you are running low on something, it is YOUR job to let me know.

Did you tell me you were out of underwear?  No?  When I ask for how long and you tell me three days, I am in awe.  eww!  No, I don’t want to hug you!  Get your butt in the shower!

Who taught you to put an empty box back in the pantry…and then question me as to why it isn’t full?  Did I know it was empty?  Of course not, you put it back in the pantry EMPTY!  If I don’t know it is empty, it doesn’t go on the list.

Um, football in the house?  I am pretty sure I told all of you to stop throwing the football in the house.  When something gets broke, it comes out of YOUR pocket.   well, crap, you just nailed me in the face and I am not sure how much that will cost you…good throw though, your arm is really getting strong!

Yes, you can have a puppy.  YOU are responsible for training and taking care of her though.  Fast forward two years and who walks her?  Feeds her?  Trains her?  Good question.

What’s a day off?

My husband lectured me the other day about wearing myself out.  He says I overextend myself and I need to stop doing that.

mom-laughingBWAHAHAHAHAHA

What happens when you take a day off?

This is what I return to…

A never ending amount of dirty dishes that need to be done.

More laundry that needs to be washed and put away.

An alarming amount of vacuuming that needs to happen.

The kids didn’t get their meds.

Or family house is a fricken disaster.

There is no dog food.

And finally, the garage door is broke.

Consequently, I am exhausted.

So, why don’t we take a day off?  Because it is hard to relax when we know our work will have doubled in the time we nap.  Fortunately my husband is not fanatical about the house being spotless, if he was, he would need to hire a maid.  I am pretty sure that title wasn’t in our marriage vows.

Want to do something nice for me honey?

Just a thought, buy me this and take the kids to a movie.

it works peppermint scrubBuy Now!

AHHHHHHHHHHH!  While you are doing that, I will enjoy two hours of silence with no one to create a disaster…except the puppy and her pals and I can sound them out with some loud tunes. Seems like a win win situation for all of us.  After all, when mom is happy, so is her family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do You Fill YOUR Cup?

How Do You Fill YOUR Cup?

I see you.

I see what you refuse to acknowledge.  It shows in the puffy dark circles under your eyes and the lack of glimmer in eyes that once sparkled brighter than the stars.  I notice that you don’t smile as quickly as you once did and your step is not as springy as it used to be.  I also notice the hesitation in making eye contact, most likely out of fear that I will talk with you, forcing you to be polite and have a conversation with me. In the time it takes you to look my way, I see all of this.

I recognize the exhaustion and the overwhelming sense of commitment.  You are running on fumes, yet you continue to take on more and more in hopes of bringing everything together.  You say yes so you will not let others down.  You pitch in more so others may do less.  You give and give and give and at this moment, you are running on fumes.  cup-empty

I know, because I have been there.  I worked multiple jobs, had an active social life, continued with ongoing education, attempted to fit in time to work out and tried to make time for my husband.  One huge factor is missing, do you know what it was?

Priorities

I didn’t make time for me!  I didn’t fill my cup because I was too busy filling everyone else’s.

The truth is, I didn’t focus on myself.  My cup was empty.  I felt guilty if I took an hour to get my nails done.  I felt guilty getting a massage. I felt guilty if I told someone no, I couldn’t attend their event.  I felt guilty being away from home.  My metaphorical cup was on fumes and was way past empty, I couldn’t even energize from the sporadic fumes. When I stopped moving, I was utterly exhausted and I would crash hard.  My emotions ran the gamut from being elated and passionate to being pissed off and full of resentment.  The smallest occurrence that deviated out of my control could throw me into a fit of rage.  Well, when you are as tenuous as I used to be, that “minor” event was enough to bring out the fricken beast in me.

I didn’t even like being with myself, I was so unpredictable.  For me, anger surfaces when I feel overwhelmed.  Anger is the easiest feeling for me to identify and work through and it has always been a great defense mechanism for me.  Looking back, it would have been easier to tell someone no, but that would also open the door for me to disappoint or anger them.

What made me change my priorities?

I became a mother.  Becoming a mom forced me to tell others no, as my priorities needed to be at home.  Conversely, that means I need to take care of myself and fill my cup with what makes me happy.  When mama isn’t happy, no one in the house is happy.  Like it or not, I am the one who sets the tone for the day and teaches my boys that they have the power to choose their attitudes.  I need to take the time to refill my energies, my passions, and lead by example.

If you pay attention when you are around children, you will begin to learn again through their eyes.  You will see the wonder in the world and allow your imagination to wander while exploring the dark places of your past that you haven’t visited in decades.  When you are around children, you remember what it is like to ask for what you need and to automatically tune into those needs.

Hungry?  Get a snack.

Tired?  Take a nap.

Energized? Bounce off the walls (lol, I have boys).

Feeling creative? Draw a picture.

See something beautiful?  Share it with others.

Children experience sheer joy at the things adults take for granted every day.  As we grow older, we lose site of that ability and often take for granted the healing and restorative impact of the world around us.  If a child doesn’t want to go to a friends house to play, they simply say no.  If a  child doesn’t want to play a specific game with their friends, they talk through it until they compromise.  Children freely reach for hugs and openly show affection without fear of rejection.

Fill your cup

Fill your cup, my friend.  Don’t allow yourself to get so overwhelmed that you or your glass shatters into a million pieces, making it so much more difficult to refuel.  Go for coffee with a friend, take in a movie, ask for date night, get your nails done, read that book.  I am giving you permission to say NO to more demands and to let go of any guilt in doing so.  You can’t do it all, nor should you.  Go out and fill your cup!