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Just stop. The shambles, the sleepless, the shower-less, the can’t-find-the-time.

Listen, I tell you to stop because I’ve been there. I know these stories all too well as they were my own stories not so long ago. The stories are tired.

NOTE: before anyone sets my house ablaze (I’ve done that myself already. I’ll save that story for another day.) There are always special circumstances and seasons in a person’s life where riding The Hot Mess Express is normal and expected.

But we all know that’s not why we’re here.

I remember coming out of the new-born fog and thinking, “Holy fuck, I made it.” Scarlett was born August 20th, 2016 and I don’t think I saw the light until sometime in March 2017. I knew it was partially due to hormones balancing, finally sleeping more (Scarlett wasn’t a great sleeper) and A WHOLE LOT of putting my life pieces in the life box. I stood up and demanded more of my self, my head, my time and my space.

I had spent too many days wasting my own time followed by resenting whatever I could for not having more. Too many days were spent working WAY more hours than necessary. I was distracted and too “busy” feeling “busy” to actually accomplish anything. I cried almost everyday about how, “I just can’t even.”

Sometimes you’ve just got to stop and you’ve GOT to get out of your own way. After I decided to pull my head out of my ass and get intentional about my health, a lot of things started falling into place organically. I decided to be done with constant exhaustion. I didn’t want to constantly feel overwhelmed, frizzle-frazzled, and a general sense of LACK. I was a new business owner and I got to spend all day with Scarlett, a life I had always dreamed of. I felt like I was wasting it.

I started to wake up. I’ve always been an early-riser but intentionally waking to be productive falls to the wayside when you’re new parents. I decided that I was going to start making that a habit and everyday I wake up at 4:30. These days I go to my CrossFit gym at 6 am and I like to have time to write, read and drink coffee in silence. Self care anyone? More on that another time. When I was going to the gym in the afternoon and taking Scarlett with me, I would get up at 5 to finish any chores/work from the day before. I enjoyed drinking hot coffee, having a slow start, and getting a jump on breakfast so that it was nearly done by the time she woke. I once heard about the power of waking FOR your children and not TO them and that has stayed with me. That rush-around, rat-racing, cluster-fuck of a morning you have? Practically throwing bagels at your kid’s head, screaming “WE HAVE TO GO NOW”! Is WAY too many people’s reality. If you enjoy living like you’re in a constant state of fire-drill practice, cool. But if you’re tired of feeling like 7-8 am is a real life war zone, get intentional with your mornings.

Stop dicking around. Again, this pertains to everyone. That busy thing we touched on? I don’t care if you’re an executive or a stay-at-home mom. You’re not busy, you’re distracted, just like I was. My 3 hours of work I needed to accomplish easily turned into 5-6 because I was just so “busy.” I really hate that word now that I realize I wasn’t ever that busy, I was just good at wasting my time. Put your phone away, close your door, quiet your head and bang out what you need to get done. But Ava, it’s not that easy… It really is that easy because I’m a real-life case study. These days, my schedule is FULL but that’s also partially because I carve out chunks of time FOR NOTHING. It took you and hour to clean the kitchen because you were on your phone, or getting side tracked by laundry, or spacing out on Judge Judy. It doesn’t take anyone an hour to clean a kitchen. So buckle down, make 30 minutes a non-negotiable and just get it done already. I have time blocked out to roll around on the floor with Scarlett, quizzing her on animal sounds and smelling her hair. That’s a real life thing, guys. Motherhood doesn’t automatically translate to mania, at least it shouldn’t and I doesn’t for me.

Hi! I’m Ava, an actual human being. Sometimes I’m still shower-less, too tired, over-worked and under-paid blah blah blah… That’s okay, we can all have those moments. What’s important is how we rise up out of them and demand better of ourselves. Life, especially motherhood, is way too short to roam around in a constant state of lack and chaos. Create space in your lives to do the things you love. Make movement a priority in you life, even if it’s only 15 minutes in the beginning. Get up early and enjoy the quiet. Pray, meditate, talk to your partner, go for a run or sit in silence and be grateful for it. Remember that we all have the same number of hours in our days. That time isn’t a tangible thing we should be hunting for with microscopes, but rather intentionally spent.

How does that song go? “One shot, one opportunity.” Cue Eminem…