Monday, April 12, 2010

I Am Who I Am

I have been learning so much about myself lately. I have stumbled upon some blogs that have really reminded me that it's okay to just be me. I have always felt like I needed to apologize for who I am… I feel like I'm always stepping on toes, not doing things right, or annoying people. I have come to the conclusion that I am who I am. I will never please everyone. I am not like anyone else, so there will always be people that will disagree with me. That's okay!

A couple of years ago I began doing "crunchy" and natural things. Because of that, I felt that I must follow the "crunchy" lifestyle in every way or else I couldn't be "accepted." I felt that if I said I did something (or even just shared that I wanted to do it), if I didn't follow that to a "T," then I was messing up BAD. I was always walking around as if I was going to get in trouble. How silly is that?

Lately I've been keeping up with the blog SortaCrunchy. Not only did she live in San Marcos for several years, she and I are a lot alike. Her blog has the title that it does because she likes the freedom of saying "sorta." A few days ago, I read a post titled "Heavy on the Sorta," and it reminded me that I can live naturally and be "crunchy" without doing everything the way others do them. Again, I am who I am. There's so much freedom in that. This is why I felt the need to get rid of my natural homemaker title. I need to be who I am without having the title to live up to.

She made a list of things that she does that aren't considered "crunchy." Here's my list:

  • I drink sodas on occasion (I LOVE Dr. P)
  • We watch some t.v.
  • If I have the opportunity to eat something yummy, yet unhealthy, I do it without even thinking…
  • I still use some "toxic" cleaners because they work better (though I've limited them)
  • I still use some "toxic" personal care products (I have very few left that are commercial products)
  • We eat some boxed foods (cereal, crackers, etc)
  • We still use some medication
  • I haven't been using cloth diapers lately (because I don't feel like doing all that laundry right now!)
  • I vaccinate (selectively/delayed, though)
  • I don't use a lot of homemade things at the moment (in this season of my life, I don't have time!)
  • I didn't plant a garden this spring (we will be doing a fall garden, though)
Now, this doesn't mean that I won't ever become more natural over time, but it just means that I have the freedom to do things however I feel at the moment… or however that season of life allows me to do things.

I won't write about the things that I do that ARE crunchy because I've already done that. If you're interested, read this.

Something else that I've learned is that it's okay that I'm not perfect! I wrote several posts on this topic so I won't re-write them, but I there's so much freedom in being honest and sharing the reality of my every day life. I have a long way to go, but I'm okay with where I am today. I'm learning to take one day at a time.

This weekend I realized that I always feel like I'm doing things wrong. It was very obvious when my grandfather made a comment about my discipline (he was just concerned that I was getting frustrated over nothing), and I got upset. I realized that I don't own the way I discipline. I know it works. Both of my kids have great manners (saying thank you, please, etc). Most days, they respect others :). Both of my kids' attitudes and tantrums have improved. They know what the rules are in the house. They know what to expect from me. They know that I love them. But, there are times that I'm human and I get upset or frustrated. Don't we all? I need to learn to own the way that I discipline when people make comments (because it happens…). It was refreshing to read this post about a mama dealing with the tantrums from her boys. I. Am. Not. Alone. I realize that more every day.

I've made a point lately to do my best to only read things that are real. I got tired of seeing blogs from people who seem like they have the perfect life… because no one does. It's also good to hang out with people who are willing to share their struggles in this life. And I'm sure other people like me better when I'm honest and they don't feel like I expect them to do things the way that I do. Sometimes my expectations for myself rub off on others. We all need to just be the person that God created us to be and do things the way we feel are best for our family.


The Man Crew said...

Courtney....LOVE this post! I'm really enjoying 'coming along' with you on this personal journey you are on to find and BE the real you! You are doing an excellent job of explaining yourself and I am enjoying watching you bloom :) Keep up the great work!

Jake and Annie Wetzel said...

Wow Courtney, I have struggled with this all my life! I think that people who are blessed with a compassionate, tender heart (like you) can have the tendency to be controlled by people around them!

There's an awesome book that I'm reading through right now by Edward T. Welch, called "When People Are Big and God is Small". He discusses the different tendencies we have to fear people above God. It's a great read for anyone, but I have especially loved reading it, being the people-pleaser that I am!

Love you and thankful that you are who you are! You are an inspiration to me and I love hearing about your life! Thanks for being real!!!

Katie said...

Courtney, your new blog lay-out is so cute!

Girl, can I just say that you have higher expectations of yourself than anyone else?!? You are doing an awesome job! There is no big measuring stick in the sky that we have to live up to, you know. :) I am uber-strict about my diet because I have no choice - I have thyroid disease and insulin resistance and gluten intolerance and maybe PCOS... ugh. And so I either follow the rules or get sick. Those diagnoses were the thing that set me on my path to learning about natural, healthy living, though. So that's good. There are lots of areas where I'm not "there yet." But we all just do what we can, when we can. You ARE doing a fabulous job! And BTW, I also heard that Edward Welch book Anne mentioned above is's on my someday-read list. :)

Rhonda said...

I like your list that isn't "crunchy"
I love to have once in awhile A&W root beer.
I think that if a person does just 1 thing to be "crunchy" that's good enough!
I'm sorta crunchy too.
We vaccinate because I am married to an RN. Not worth fighting about with him, cuz he'll win everytime! LOL
I enjoy reading your blog very much. You inspire me!