Guard Your Fucks Like Gold

Milli Fox self help stop giving a fuck

Have you ever tried to start a diet or a new exercise regime and fell flat on your face? Yea, we all have. You know why? Because will power is not an endless resource, it’s finite. You only have so much of it and you have to choose how to use it wisely. The same thing applies for Fucks.

And what I mean by Fucks, is all the things you spend your mental energy on and all the things you think you should, or actually do care about. I recently read the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, by Mark Manson and it was one of the most honest, pull up your damn pants and stop being a little bitch-baby self-help books I’ve ever read.

It taught me a lesson I really needed to learn, and this one is gonna stick.

When Rosen was first born, I read all the books. All the blogs. All the facebook groups. Being a first time mother, I cared infinitely and I wanted to do EVERYTHING the right way. The problem was I was caring too much about things that ultimately don’t make that much of a difference in the long run.

I thought if I obsessed and controlled and ensured, it would make me a good mother. All the while, I was being a crazy ass and actually ended up being a WORSE mother for it. I was stressed and constantly fixating on my plans for perfect motherhood instead of just trusting my own instincts.

I’ve basically been this way my entire life. Perfection to me has always equaled value. If I can produce, I can be worthy of love. I’m still working on letting that go, but on a pretty deep level, I’m starting to understand how much farther from the truth that could actually be.

When you’re spending time trying to appear to be a certain way, you ultimately don’t have enough energy left over to focus on things that actually matter- like being a better wife, daughter, mother, sister etc.

When you spend too much time giving a fuck about how you think you should be doing things, you waste a lot of precious time and energy.

I now consider myself a recovering perfectionist and I’m spending my fucks on things like loving myself more, showing my husband I actually appreciate our relationship, and letting my toddler son be his crazy, messy, unpredictable, incredible, sleep-hating little self.

I’m not even giving a fuck that my writing is hella wordy and that my sentence structure is completely made up.

But seriously girlfriend. You have this one precious life. I have NO IDEA, why it takes most of us, at minimum, 30 plus years to stop giving a shit about what other people think or the so called, right ways of doing things. Like this morning when I snatched the frying pan out of my husband’s hand and told him it was the wrong pan for eggs. Lol. All I know is- you need to let that shit go because it’s one of the only ways to be TRULY fulfilled and enjoy your life.

I think the true recipe for fulfilment and satisfaction on this insane planet is to accept yourself and go forth into the world unapologetically. Do meaningful work and create from your soul. Be grateful for every tiny little thing you have (fun fact: I tell myself all the things I’m grateful for as I fall asleep to avoid the incessant chatter and one thing I often mention is how grateful I am for my soft bed sheets) and remind yourself of how grateful you are DAILY.

Stop giving your fucks away to anyone and everyone. They don’t deserve them. Your Fucks are one of your most valuable resources, right along side your time and your trust. Hang onto that shit for dear life and ration it with caution. I beg of you. And darling, just starting owning it.

I fucking love you.

xx MIlli

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Dear Sister: An Ode to You

sisterhood, womanhood and motherhood in 2018

Dear sister, do you see me?

I do this for you. I don’t have a real sister. I don’t have a real mother. I’m looking for family in you.

I share my pain so you can lighten yours, I share my story so you can hear yours.

Dear sister, are you my village? My online, digital, semi-anonymous village? I need one. We all do.

Dear sister, I know you’re hurting. Sometimes you can’t feel it because you’ve built the walls up so high.

You don’t know how close you can get because you’re afraid of what we’re saying behind your back. You’re afraid we’re judging you and that we’re just waiting for you to say or do one wrong thing so we can laugh.

Dear sister, I am you.

Dear sister, how can you be the only one responsible for raising the next generation when no one is there to hold you up?

Dear sister, I know you feel the cracks in your foundation, the leaks, the corners that are crumbling.  But I also see you doing what you can to fill those holes and keep it together.

Dear sister, you’re not alone. We all want to be close to you, we’re all just so afraid. How did we get so divided?

Dear sister, I’m afraid to even call you sister because I’m worried you’ll tell me I know nothing about you and I have no right. But none of us are truly that different.

Dear sister, I know you’d do anything for me.  I know you’re standing in the wings waiting for me to ask for your help- but I’m too proud.  And if you do offer it without my request, you’re worried I might not appreciate it. You’re guarded, I’m guarded.

Dear sister, none of us want to need anybody, but we can’t hide that we do. We’re so ready for anyone to need us, but so afraid of the rejection.

Dear sister, we’re trying to come together.  We’re trying to mend the wounds of separation.  We’re trying to be present and to figure out this new world we live in.  We’re all on the cusp of the old ways and the new ways. We’re trying to do it right.

Dear sister, I have faith. I know we’re moving in the right direction. You’re strong and I know you just need to hear it more often. You’re a warrior and a hunter and a soldier of love and protection and shelter.

Dear sister, I’m reaching out to you. I’m giving you a sign. We’re in this together.

Dear sister, I’m afraid of you but I love you and I know we can heal these wounds.

Dear sister, I’m in are you?

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Running From Your Reflection

And I don’t mean literally… I mean when you see yourself in others.

As I’ve mentioned before- I’m not that great at friendships. Well, what I mean more specifically is that I feel challenged by relationships with women. I know there are layers to these challenges and it can’t just be summarized into one neat little package.

But what I do know is- it all has to do with me. First, I see the reflection of what I need and what I needed from my mother in my relationships with other women. Second, I see my own struggles and my own flaws in the people I get close to.

The unfulfilled needs definitely complicate things, but the struggles I’ve overcome and yet to overcome and flaws make it especially challenging. As I recognize the fact that it’s actually my own reflection making me uncomfortable, I’ve realized how unfair that is for the other person involved.

I’m essentially trying to save myself through other people. I always cross boundaries, take it one or many steps too far, give too much of myself and then get resentful when I feel it’s not appreciated or reciprocated.

The issue here is I’m not able to love and accept someone beyond their “problems” because I can’t love and accept myself despite my own perceived flaws.

For so many years I’ve been self help obsessed. I just think if I can be more mindful, more effective, more productive, more whatever- everything else will fall into place.

But the truth is I’ve been intellectualizing everything and forgetting how to actually love someone. You don’t love someone by working to. You love someone by just accepting them as they are and not constantly trying to change them.

Yes personal development is a wonderful thing but it’s not a prerequisite for being a good person. In fact, even if you’re kind of a jerk- you should still be loved and you should definitely still love yourself.

It’s just a matter of monitoring how you actually talk to yourself. Are the demands you have on yourself reasonable? Are you kind to yourself when you don’t meet them?

I recently was listening to a podcast and the guy said- if you think you have it all together, all you have to do is look at your relationships with other people to gauge how true that is. Are your relationships going well? If not- then you probably need to do some work on your relationship with yourself.

If you find it hard To be compassionate and patient with others, how can you possibly find it in yourself to be those things for yourself? I think you can really be in denial about it for a long time.

It takes a lot of self-awareness and constant checking in to be sure your not acting out of your own self limiting beliefs.

The best “method” I’ve found for working on self love has been improving my self talk and using “The Work” by Byron Katie.

Two books that I found specifically helpful have been:

“I Need Your Love, Is That True”, Byron Katie

-“Ultimate Confidence”, Marisa Peer

Tell me about a time you realized your own issues were causing problems for you in a relationship.

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Do You Practice Having Fun?

I wish I could put on Rosen goggles sometimes.

It’s such a shame as we get older how we see so much less winded in he world. The magic is never gone, we just forget how to notice it.

I’ve been doing some digging lately- and the idea of joy keeps coming back to me. Followed by the ideas of fun, laughter, dance, play and creativity. All of these things bring joy into your life- but we deem them to be much less important than so many other tasks in our day to day.

The major issue is, the most meaningful part of our lives are the connections we have with the other people in our lives. And while we’re all so busy focusing on the “important stuff” we’re forgetting to take into consideration that the most memorable, heart touching moments we share with those we love can only come when we make the space for the fun, laughter, dance, play and creativity. You are literally starving yourself and the ones you love of these incredible moments for connection by ignoring these things.

But the thing is… if we’re not used to being care free in the way children are- we might freeze up even if we do get the opportunity to play or to dance. Today I was thinking about how much I used to dance and how now when I try I feel stuff and awkward.

And I think we feel stiff and awkward when it comes to all of these things because they require practice. The word practice keeps coming up for me lately. Yoga practice, mediation practice etc. It’s not like you do them because you’re already good at them- you have a practice evause you are doing literally that, practicing. The same way you would with a musical instrument or a sport. You have to PRACTICE play, practice laughter, practice dance- by putting them into PRACTICE!!

Lol now I know I’m putting a lot of stress on that word. But the only way to practice something is to make the space and time for it.

Have you ever tried to fake laugh and it ends up making you laugh for real?? Try it. It’s a really good way to get yourself going.

If you have nothing to do for a moment, stop looking around for a task to complete. Put on some music and start doing a stupid dance. Again, it might make you feel really dumb at first, but as you start moving you’re going to loosen up and start feeling the groove.

Creativity is also not something that only some of us are gifted with- it’s something we have to cultivate in the exact same way. Those of who rn corporate creativity into our days are the ones who amplify it within ourselves.

I’ve been watching RuPaul’s Drag Race lately and I’ve been in awe of the creativity those Queens put into their entire performance. I thought back to yesterday when I pulled together a random Halloween costume out of a bin of things and suddenly became a Chuck Cavewoman with a pink wig and with glamorous shimmering pink eyelids, and I was amazed at how much fun it was.

Now what if we didn’t wait for Halloween for the excuse to let our creative juices flow? What if we practiced dance, laughter, play, fun and creativity daily? Even if it were just for five minutes?

I don’t know about you- but I’m feeling lighter just thinking about it.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get a little bit of our kid goggles back?

Comment below with the last time you felt carefree and had fun like the good old days 😁

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Boundaries Are a Bitch

There are certain concepts in the self-help world that do my head in. Concepts that seem like they should be really straight forward and easy to understand. You read the definitions and you think ok, yeah, I got it. Then you read it again just to make sure and you’re like hmmmm something just isn’t quite clicking for me right now- and you move on.

That’s been my experience with boundaries. It just seems to be a very fluid concept and there isn’t really a concrete formula for how you go about implementing strong, healthy boundaries. I need formulas, I need concrete.

I also realize that I am not good at boundaries. I’m at one extreme or the other.

I either am completely wide open, I give too much, I expect too much and then I get weird and resentful when I don’t get what I think I should in return. I feel used and taken advantage of. Or I am the complete opposite, I’m cold, I shut down, I wall off.  Nope, I’m done, you’re dead to me.

I’ve told myself for years, since I worked with a therapist one on one before I had my son, that I wanted to work on setting healthy boundaries in my relationship with my mother.  I was talking to her at that point. Things weren’t perfect by any means, but we were both working on trying to recreate some semblance of a mother-daughter relationship. At the time, I just didn’t understand how to set those boundaries or how to keep them.

Although this definitely spills over into all of my relationships, I’ll continue referring to the relationship with my mom because it’s the origin of all these issues and I guess it might give some insight into how the whole thing began.

My mom had a terrible relationship with her mother, AND father. They were both alcoholics, abusive etc. etc. She moved out at 15, tried to shove all the shit under the rug, played Ms. Perfect and then it all came back to bite her in the ass after she had my younger brother and her mother passed away two weeks before she gave birth. Ever since then, she’s been on a downward spiral, a bit of a rollercoaster, but ultimately downward.

So- as a young child my mom would say all kinds of really messed up stuff to me.  She would tell me I was her best friend, but then she would also tell me things like: “you’re just like my mother, you don’t know how to love and you don’t have the capacity to love and if you keep up like that you’re going to end up alone forever.” Not her exact words, but you get the picture.

She was also addicted to all sorts of different things and was either super high functioning perfectionist (clean freak), or passed out on the couch not functioning at all.

There would be moments when I’d feel like she was a mother, and I’d get vulnerable with her and tell her things. Things about my feelings or worries or things I’d done.  Without fail she ALWAYS. Every. Single. Time. would find a way to use those against me at some point down the line.

This is what happened the most recent time we had a blow out, and we now are no longer communicating.

It’s been really weighing on me heavily lately because I know her health is very fragile.  I keep asking myself if it would be ok with me to continue not communicating and have her pass away.

Here’s the issue-I’m between a rock and a hard place, but I know it’s my problem.

I am not willing to be sucked back into the black whole of her existence.  It’s just not an option, especially not since I am a mother myself now. I will not allow my son to be exposed to that kind of toxicity. I will not allow her to form a relationship with him just to hurt him or say really messed up things to him somewhere down the line.

My husband is also not on board.  He has been so gracious for the last ten years, giving her every opportunity and encouraging me to do whatever I needed to do to repair the relationship.  But the thing is, she goes after him when she comes after me because she knows thats where she can get to me.  She knows I’m immune to her criticizing me so she says terrible things about my husband. And he’s had enough. I respect that.

Now I’m in a place where I can choose to get in contact with her at any moment and she’ll receive it with open arms. However, I’m not going in without boundaries and I’m nervous AF.

She’s the type of person that goes rabid animal on you if she feels threatened or backed into a corner.  She will go for the jugular.  Even if you think she’s calm, you think she’s hearing your feelings and taking them all in during the initial conversation, it’s gonna come out eventually.  She can’t self soothe, she can’t handle hurt, she can’t think beyond herself.

So I’m frozen, and I don’t have a ton of time.

I’ve got this loose concept of what boundaries are. They are things you’re ok with and not ok with and you’ve gotta find a way to communicate that to another person in a loving way without sounding like a total bitch. I’m thinking about making a list…like really just hashing it all out on paper and then sending her an email.

I know I need to ask myself: what makes me feel safe in this relationship, what makes me feel like I am guarding my value and how can I stay in my integrity…

I’m also hoping that if I can get this shit down with her, that it will help me immensely in all of my other relationships going forward.

Man, mommy-issues are a bitch.

Signed,
Mama Milli
Xx

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