Thursday, May 14, 2015

What I’m Reading: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

 Since both kids have been in school all day, I have rediscovered my love for reading. I have read over six books since September.  I have not done that since Marie was born nine years ago.

I forgot how therapeutic it is to become totally absorbed in someone else’s story.  I love the feeling of being transported to a new place and seeing life from someone else’s viewpoint, yet finding myself at the same time.

I’m really drawn to books about self-discovery right now.  For me, having kids has really forced me to figure out who I am and what I stand for.

That is why I love Wild. She was out there alone on the Pacific Crest Trail, mostly in silence to figure out who she really was.

 Away from her circumstances.

 Away from her vices. 

Away from her sadness.

With the beautiful and challenging backdrop of the Pacific Crest Trail, Cheryl was able to take an honest look at her life, the good and the bad, and make sense of it so she could move on.  I loved reading about how she was able to think critically about her family and come to a place of understanding.  I think my favorite part of the book (without giving away too much) is when she had an opportunity to repeat a recurring mistake and instead of feeling right, she felt empty. 

Through her physical journey, she was able to make her way back to her true self, evolved by transitions and revelations.

I don't think it is currently in my life plan to hike the PCT alone, but I do think that I am in a transition of sorts. I am learning that it takes more courage to be honest with myself as opposed to a muted version that is more concerned with pleasing others.

I am making peace with things that didn't go so well in my life, and celebrating the things that did.

I am working on accepting other people's shortcomings, especially my own. 

Erin Janda Rawlings Mommy on the Spot What I'm Reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Did you read Wild? What did you think?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

To Marie, On Your 9th Birthday

 Dear Marie,

This year, your birthday falls on Mother’s Day, and you are so excited about this.  To be honest, I am glad that you are excited because having your day happen on Mother’s Day feels really special to me.

The day you were born was a sort of a rebirth for me.  If it wasn’t for you, I don’t think I would have the courage to figure out what I truly wanted from life and actually make plans to achieve it.

To be a better person. 

To develop healthy personal boundaries. 

To write. 

To stop saying sorry all the time for things I don’t need to be sorry.

It wasn’t until I was responsible for someone else did I realize how poorly I thought of myself.

It didn’t bother me enough to stop associating with people that did not treat me with kindness and respect.

I didn’t realize that perfectionism was just another form of self-loathing, and in fact, NOT one of my most positive personality traits.

It didn’t occur to me that it was not normal to go through life with a general and overwhelming state of malaise.

There was no way I was going to take a beautiful, brand new human down that same road. I knew that you would be watching me, and I wanted so much better for you.  And I if I wanted better for you, I would need to be better. 

If you were truly to know deep down in your bones that you deserved to be happy and treated with kindness not only by others, but from yourself, I would have to lead the way.

So I am learning how and doing my best everyday to be a positive example for you.

But we are all on own paths to happiness, and it breaks my heart to see you struggle with our common thread of anxiety. As much as I want to pave your path to happiness with all the lessons I have learned, I understand that I cannot do it for you.

My birthday wish for you is to find light and love throughout your journey.  I want you to know that you are worthy of true happiness simply because you are you.  You don’t have to earn it.  No one can give it to you, and no one can take it away.  

Erin Janda Rawlings Mommy on the Spot Birthday Wishes Mothers Day

You are enough, my dear, just as you are.

We both are.

Love always,


Erin Janda Rawlings Mommy on the Spot Birthday Wishes Mothers Day
My first Mother's Day. You were only a few days old.

Erin Janda Rawlings Mommy on the Spot Birthday Wishes Mothers Day