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Calm Is: Knowing What Brings You Joy

I, like many moms, lost sight of what brought me joy in the early stages of motherhood. Here's how I got my joy back.

Years ago, I lost sight of who I was.

Neck-deep in overwhelm with four young children, growing a company with a traveling husband, and lacking community in a new town and a sense of home and belonging, my entire identity was consumed by managing daily life. I was doing-going-planning-executing every moment of every day. Does this sound familiar? 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋

One day, a friend visited and asked, “What do you do to fill your cup?” I stared dumbfounded at her. I had no idea. I hadn’t intentionally done anything for myself in so long that I had no clue what to say to her other than to list things I used to do before being a mom. 

“Well,” I attempted. “I love to hike, but I haven’t done that in a few years. I used to love to paint, but I haven’t done that in over a decade. I love to read but haven’t picked up a book in I don’t even know how long.” I was so embarrassed for myself.

I realized I only knew the single, “pre-mother” me. She was fun! She had hobbies and interests! After becoming a wife and mother…well, I didn’t know her at all. 

I decided to figure out who this woman was. What did she like; what lit her up?

I tried things I used to enjoy and found that some were still enjoyable, while others weren’t. I still loved to read and hike. I no longer enjoyed going to “standing room only” concerts. I tried on clothes and jewelry and found I loved my big earrings, but didn’t enjoy bulky belts. I realized how much I wished I still had my Frankie B, orange corduroy, low-rise flare plants.

Me in my beloved Frankie B pants, circa 2003

Jenna Hermans Blog Calm Is What Brings Joy

Now, I practice being in my joy and make adjustments along the way. 

Knowing what brings me joy helps my calm because it makes it easy to answer questions like, “Jenna, would you like to go to a music festival?” or “Would you like to volunteer at the food bank pop-up pantry?” (It’s an easy “no,” and “yes,” respectively.) 

Reflect on experiences you’ve been having lately. Have you enjoyed them? Why or why not? Knowing what brings you joy makes deciding how you’ll spend your energy easier.

And please don’t throw away your favorite pair of pants; they’ll be back in style sooner than you think.

Calm Is: Knowing What Brings You Joy

Reach out, I’m here for you.

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