New Year Insecurities

I promise to post, soon very soon, more about our trip.

It's actually written and ready to go but I wanted to share this first. I did spend some time writing while we were traveling, and this is it (below this introduction). Even though we were staying here, there and everywhere we had our laptop so I managed to keep up with my blog reading, it's like reading the paper for me. But after the Christmas lull ended and everyone started to post about their Christmas craftiness or New Year's greener living and being present resolutions I started to feel a bit insecure.

Neither of those is where I'm at right now. My mind is a swirl with a bunch of stuff, none of which will be appearing on this space anytime soon. So, no crafts, no resolutions and my tree is dropping its brown needles as I type.

{Post written December 29th while traveling}

Right now, as I catch up on my Google Reader, I am feeling insecure about my lack of craftiness (and unwillingness to spend the time it takes to make pj's for each child for Christmas); viewing and reading about all the wonderful things that other mama's made for their young ones, families, neighbors and friends. Neighbors & friends? I'm happy with myself if I manage to give gifts to my kids & parents.

I'm also insecure about people's financial goals and realities. And how little they manage to spend on groceries. I've already talked about how much we spend on groceries (with my husband's full support and endorsement)... lots. Local foods and produce don't come with coupons.

Why do I do this? Compare myself to others.

Here I am. Sitting right now in a stranger-turned-friend's apartment, being exposed to a new language, discovering a new area, meeting new people. Spending very little money doing so and giving my soap to gracious hosts as we go and I still feel insecure. You know what I want? Maybe you could call it a New Year's resolution. 

To be perfectly content with where I am, with our goals and to stop comparing myself to other people.

« on the go
a traveler's tally »
  • kyndale

    kyndale on Jan. 2, 2010, 11:46 p.m.

    I'm feeling a little insecure about all the craftiness. Although I consider myself creative and crafty, I don't feel the need to tell the world about it. I'm a little shy..or maybe reserved that way or just plain insecure! Happy New Year Renee!! Kyndale


  • Cori

    Cori on Jan. 3, 2010, 12:47 a.m.

    Please do be content. Many people (most?) would be completely overwhelmed by making all the personal care items for a family of 5, not having a dryer, homeschooling, and living on such a restricted diet. My kids sure didn't get homemade PJs for Christmas either, but they do eat well and I know they are clean thanks in large part to your inspiration and teaching. You can pat yourself on the back for reading blogs that stretch your mind and not some gibberish about spending 100s at Walmart on presents and losing 20 pounds this year. You're so beyond that - and that is something to be proud of!

    Cori's last blog post... pics


  • Cori

    Cori on Jan. 3, 2010, 12:50 a.m.

    ...and another thing. The woman at Food Renegade who preaches real milk, sprouted grains and all that? She just admitted to craving Eggos and tater tots - and giving in. So, even in weakness, you're never alone!!


  • Lise

    Lise on Jan. 3, 2010, 1:29 a.m.

    Local food costing so much more (in preservation time, as well as money, if you try to eat locally year round, as we do) is a major irritant for us, too. But it should make you proud, not insecure, that you've made that choice and have set priorities to make it possible because it's something you believe in. Blog reading could make anyone insecure! I try to take what I can as inspiration and remind myself that there are aspects they're not telling us, as well. Reading my blog, you might think all is lovely and crafty around here, but you wouldn't see the giant heaping mess that surrounds the crafts because making takes the place of cleaning. You're an inspiration to those reading your blog. Happy New Year, and may it be a year of contentment.


  • SavvyChristine

    SavvyChristine on Jan. 3, 2010, 1:35 a.m.

    Oh my goodness, I hope I didn't contribute to you feeling bad! I find that the more I cook from scratch, the less time I have for other pursuits. And at any rate, New Year's resolutions are overrated.

    Hope you didn't get stuck in this snowstorm!

    SavvyChristine's last blog post... Simple Saturday: Happy New Year


  • steadymom

    steadymom on Jan. 3, 2010, 1:55 a.m.

    I know you didn't read any of that stuff over at my place, Renee! =) (Hee-hee!) AND, I seem to remember getting some Renee-handmade goodness in the mail not too long ago, didn't I?

    It's funny how those insecurities strike at different times--I was fighting a different version of my own battle last night at 4 am.

    We are who we are, and that's what is SO beautiful.

    Love your photo!


    steadymom's last blog post... Inspiration for Your New Year


  • Denise

    Denise on Jan. 3, 2010, 3:40 a.m.

    I struggled for YEARS with discontentment. YEARS. That discontentment got us into debt and many disagreements. Finally, I am done. Renee. I know. Reading blogs needs to be done without a measuring stick in mind. My kids did not receive anything handmade. I simply made muffins for the neighbors. Nothing special. I hope when you read this, you are feeling more settled. You are an amazing wife and mom. You don't have to do it all. Pick a few things or maybe just one thing to do in your spare time. You all ready do plenty. Loving and caring your family comes first. xoxo


  • Ellen

    Ellen on Jan. 3, 2010, 3:58 a.m.

    Oh, do I ever hear you. And I will say that it makes me feel a tiny bit better to know that even you (whom I admire greatly!) can feel that way, too. I often catch myself reading certain blogs and being tempted to try to emulate every little thing mentioned...only to find at some point that it's not enjoyable and not rewarding because it didn't come from my heart. Sigh. I think I need to add your resolution to my list.

    Ellen's last blog post... Starting anew


  • nicola@which name?

    nicola@which name? on Jan. 3, 2010, 5:40 a.m.

    oh renee. you know what? you had the courage to say it. i have been thinking it (about myself, not you). my resolution (to not try so hard at the wrong things)is born solely from the fact that i have had some down days in the last 6 months or so, stemmed entirely from the stuff i have read on blogs and how popular those blogs are and feeling like what i have to say or do or share isn't good enough and that i should be trying harder to do things like others. no i shouldn't! not if it leaves me/my family feeling lousy!

    we all feel this way sometimes.and i hate to think my blog contributed to your feelings. i happily posted all my hand mades (note that many were very simple!) and my goals. if i share them, it makes them real for me.

    but you know, you are one of the bloggers i have "met" that makes me aspire to more than i am already doing, in the best, real, and encouraging way).

    today was one of my low times and mike reminded me (again) that the lives of bloggers like soule mama are just as real as mine, she's just not sharing the bad stuff as much. and i am not willing to go all perfection and goodness on my blog. it isn't me. and i like that it isn't you. it is one of my favorite things about your blog.

    (for the record, you are one of the most frugal, resourceful, crafty people i know. do you not remember your pre-christmas crafty posts? and frugal grocery bill? you are frugal in other areas so that you have that money to spend on groceries. that is fabulous!)

    done babbling. you just hit an intense chord with me today. nicola

    nicola@which name?'s last blog post... inspired internet:: december 2009 - second half


  • kate

    kate on Jan. 3, 2010, 6:17 a.m.

    Um, I LOVE YOU! Really. I do. Even though I was all obnoxious and full of craftapalooza over here this year. I was also serious doses of baileys in the coffee every night, and I think I was too insecure to just blather that out there. So thanks for the reminder that life is best unscripted. I love that you can put that kind of honesty out there, and I love the amazing, aware, and REAL truth of saying "I'm content." Those are seriously powerful words mama! And by the way, the self-portrait? Stunning.


    • renee

      renee on Jan. 3, 2010, 1:24 p.m.

      Craftapalooza - you totally crack me up! You were NOT obnoxious. None of you were. My insecurities are just that - mine. They are not the fault of any other person. And I LOVE reading about everybody's craftiness and especially your winter skiing & those outdoor photos with you family - loved it. I just wasn't in that space (the share your post-Christmas craftiness round up) and I felt left out. My night time holiday drink of choice was white chocolate Godiva. Oh baby....


  • Kirsten

    Kirsten on Jan. 3, 2010, 3:19 p.m.

    Ahhh lady! You needn't compare yourself! When I read you post I thought to myself "What! How can she feel so insecure when she is so inspirational herself?" In fact the very reason our New Years goal is to eat more whole foods is because of you! (Hey if you can get three kids to eat vegan I can certainly get mine to eat more veggies on occasion!). You are perfectly YOU and you do such wonderful things for your family...I'm sure they wouldn't want anyone or anything that is less!

    Kirsten's last blog post... Happy New Year!


  • Kika

    Kika on Jan. 3, 2010, 10:45 p.m.

    The reason I return to your blog continually is because it is different from so many and our finances and amounts of $ we allocate to food (etc.) are similar. Most people I know don't make the same choices we do (or not to the same degree) and it is so helpful to have an idea of what you are doing - it encourages me that we are not alone and not to give up. I am working on contentment/self-acceptance in areas of my life (an ongoing thing, really) and do believe that there is an incredible beauty that emanates from women who have a great sense of who they are and where they are heading.


  • Earth Mama

    Earth Mama on Jan. 4, 2010, 3:25 a.m.

    I think insecurity is something everyone goes through, um ,well, or lives with, becuase I don't know who doesn't struggle with one thing or another on some level. I'm not sure why we tend to be so hard on ourselves... oh yea becuase if we weren't we'd be enlightened, right? Or maybe it's just because we strive to do the "right" thing or provide a certain life or example for our children, but it's hard. REALLY hard. I know when it hits me I should take a long hard look deep inside, but that's really hard too, and hard to find time to do when you have a house full of kiddos. I think my favorite thing about this blogging world is that we can see that we are not alone in the way we feel sometimes. Even the people who never post their off days have them! We are all human. Sending lots 'o love and light to you Renee!!



  • exhale. return to center.

    exhale. return to center. on Jan. 4, 2010, 3:49 p.m.

    thank you so much for writing and sharing many of the thoughts and feelings i have been wrestling with for far too long.

    i have taken frequent "blog breaks" for many of the reasons you described.

    lots of love to you my friend. i'm so glad to have connected with you.


    exhale. return to center.'s last blog post... in this moment


  • exhale. return to center.

    exhale. return to center. on Jan. 4, 2010, 3:53 p.m.

    ps ~ have you seen julie and julia?

    that movie really put this whole blogging gig in perspective for me.

    we are all struggling with our stuff, and arguing with our loved ones, and trying to figure out what the heck we are doing and why and one point or another. all of us.

    exhale. return to center.'s last blog post... in this moment


  • Jody

    Jody on Jan. 4, 2010, 5 p.m.

    You are perfect in all of your 'imperfections' Renee. They are the very things that make you/all of us, individual. No one is perfect in every way. We all have areas that we shine in, others that we lack in ~ but spouses & friends who 'pick up the slack' in those areas and THAT compliments each other. It's like it's God's way of knitting us all together, by giving each of us individual talents that the whole can benefit by. Making it so that we need each other, and above all: Need Him. I love you for who you are. And I'm sure you will hear the same echos' from Damien and your children, and your parents. And you can rest assured, God looks down on you and says EVERY day: "There is my child Renee, whom I deeply love." Hugs & blessings to you all, Jody


  • Crystal

    Crystal on Jan. 4, 2010, 6:08 p.m.

    oh renee, having just discovered your blog not too long ago it make me sad to hear you say that! Be true to your inner voice. Your voice doesn't, and shouldn't, sound the same as other blogs. There are so many wonderful comments here that I would echo. (Cori said it especially well). You are amazing and inspiring! I find myself wanting to do many of the things I read on blogs as well but I also have to remember that I am not a stay-at-home-mom too. Life takes on a different shape and shade for us all at various points in our lives. Do what feels true and right for you and don't worry about the rest. Wouldn't the world be a boring place if we all felt the same way? Happy New Year, and I'm extremely thankful you had a house to come home to after your travels.


  • Annie

    Annie on Jan. 4, 2010, 11:49 p.m.

    Oh but don't we all compare ourselves to other. Comparison can be a good thing and can help us to grow. And feeling insecure is something we all do too, it just depends on the day. Life is ups and downs, hills and valleys, right? Thanks for stopping over at my neck of the woods. I'll be sure the check in with you this year.



  • Heather

    Heather on Jan. 5, 2010, 4:31 a.m.

    You know what the cool thing is? even those mamas who are out there posting about craftiness, or families talking about green living and cheap groceries, they still have the same insecurities or confusion or lack of desire at some point. I think that must be the way that life just tells us that we need to recharge, or move in a new direction. I think that it is so awesome that you can sit here and say that you just are not in that place. That makes your writing authentic, as well as your life. Happy New Year.


  • Wendy

    Wendy on Jan. 10, 2010, 5:42 p.m.

    I've learned never to compare myself with others. You really have no idea how circumstances stack up. Ya, I'm crafty, but my latest project involved putting pine needles into egg cartons and added melted wax. It's not rocket science.

    You, on the other hand, make soap! Which is a project that has intimidated me for years. But, reading about your experience has inspired me and, no doubt, will one day push me over that fence.

    Every time that someone says that they think that they could never do the things I do, or feel bad because they don't, it really makes me sad. Because I put up my projects to inspire, not to make people feel inadequate. I always give instructions, even on the difficult stuff, not because people should be doing what I'm doing, but just in case they feel like trying it.


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