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    hope that no matter what difficulties arise in family, health, or finances, a family can survive it and get to the other side. 'How' is not just one response, rather it's an evolving idea. Solutions present themselves as you go along the path. As you seek the thing it is you want to achieve, so will an idea come to you. I do not attribute it to a god or a religion, though I may have one or both of those. This is life. Hope. Live with me,... 



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    ...just like I am using excuses right now not to write this by procrastinating on facebook. Man, they have really figured how how to time suck you with that website! Wow! Anyway, another excuse,.."they did it, not me." It has become predominant in my awareness lately how often I make excuses, (and how often others do also, yikes. This is more fun to notice BTW) My own personal ones are starting to really agitate me. I buy coffee everyday instead of making it because my life is stressful and I deserve it somehow. Excuse: my life is stressful. I let my standards of cleanliness in the home go because it's too hard, the kids mess it all up again in seconds, I have no time because I just got a job, my husband doesn't help that much because he works and goes to school, keeping up makes me so crazy I get stressed out and unhappy so I rather be happy and a little messy, etc etc etc. I have a lot of excuses for that one. Or are they reasons? See, now I am confused. Either that or I am using confusion as another excuse not to except that I am making excuses for being more responsible with organizing my home. Yes, welcome to my brain. On life.  

    I have lists miles long filled with excuses for not eating more regularly, not eating the most nutritious foods available, not even drinking water people. water.[ staring at you in disbelief of myself ],....not paying that bill on time, not doing that workout, not getting out more and relaxing, not helping my husband or not wanting to be in mommy mode. Ugh, please! 

    ex cuse

    verb |ikˈskyoōz|

    attempt to lessen the blame attaching to; seek to defend or justify 


    Mmhmm. Yep. That's all it is. Trying to avoid blame and defending ourselves. What would actually happen if this stopped. Just take a moment and imagine it in communication alone. If someone said, "I wish you would have done the dishes"- and you replied "Yes. me too." Not, "BUT! WHY DON'T YOU DO THEM?!! I WAS HELPING ALL THE KIDS WITH ALL THEIR HOMEWORK WHILE YOU WATCHED TV,... blah blah blah." Which is easier? Which feels better? Hard to swallow if you're not used to it at first, but easier and more freeing nonetheless. 

    I read somewhere the definition of good mental health was taking responsibility for yourself. Responsibility for your decisions, actions, words,... for everything. Simple, yet profound. And not so easy. It seems our culture is programmed with excuses, and runs on them. Recently I also realized I wouldn't have ever admitted to half of the difficulty of our lifestyle if someone else hadn't pointed it out. Maybe it was naive bliss, thinking I could live the way I was with a large family and challenging health situations. But I ran on "I can pull this off, and look at the positives of it" for quite awhile. Then one day I started believing what everyone was telling me. Pretty soon the reaction "you have 4 kids!" became too common for me not to stop and think about the concept from their perspective. I fell into a tunnel of sorts, comparing my life to others. "Well, ya, if i was that south Austin single hipster with a great job and a disposable income I could go to that concert too or dress up for that party. Hell, maybe I could even shop for an outfit." "If I only had 2 kids I could drive a smaller, less costly car that was maybe a little cooler." "If I was married with no kids we could travel,..." and on and on and on. Do I continue to beat myself over the head with these comparisons and excuses? Before I know it, the kids will be gone and the opportunity to have that dream missed. Difficulty achieving this familial ideal the way I pictured it in my head 13 years ago doesn't mean it's not worth living. Better to adjust to the variables. 

    I have decided to throw away my agreement with everyone else about "how hard my life is." It could be worse. It's actually got a lot of potential, thank you. And, it can be pretty damn nice. 

    So I made and "Excuse Journal" I just tried it right now on a personal project I am avoiding. I just started writing down all those things the doubtful voice in my head keeps saying like a broken record. I want to release them, no longer own them, and move on. And I will try this with everything I encounter. Hopefully I can teach myself to let go of the excuses, and stop making them. Personal responsibility sounds much simpler. 

    {Soundtrack:  Awake My Soul }

    Reader Comments (4)

    Good one! Since I gave up Facebook for Lent, I have one less excuse for my procrastination, but my brain is clawing frantically at the red clay and I will unearth one presently. I have a nose for this. Like a pig snorting around in a truffle patch.

    ~Pat Wilson

    February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPat Wilson

    LOL. Don't we all. Does that mean I should post more stuff here since you can't facebook? I feel compelled, :P

    February 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterAmber Austen

    Heh. Reading your stuff always leaves me with a smile on my face, sometimes a wistful one. You have a way with words. You should write a novel. Or an updated Irma Bombeck style "How To" manual in the spirit of Diary Of A Mad Housewife, a movie that if you haven't seen, you should.

    February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPat Wilson

    That sounds interesting, I will see it and, Thank you :)

    February 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterAmber Austen

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