Worry less – or don’t, whatever…

I’ll never be a free spirited, go-with-the-flow, super chill kind of person, and I’m mostly okay with that.

I tend to worry a lot about most things, big and small. Worrying is definitely not one of the traits I am most proud of, and it can lead to some intense feelings of anxiety sometimes, but, get this – I don’t think that all worrying is bad.

Sometimes my worrying causes me to catch details or issues that others might miss, or allows me to fully think through and process a situation in front of me. I can mentally prepare for multiple outcomes, as I have that “let me think of every single thing that can go right or wrong in this situation” kind of brain. This brain has also gotten me into many a sleepless night because I was pretty sure a murderer was about to break into my house, but hey, I didn’t say that my worries are all good! I just think that so much of the conversation around worrying is that it’s something that should be avoided, shamed, or crushed immediately, and that that mentality isn’t helping anything.

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Instead of trying to immediately force any of these thoughts out of my head or beating myself up for my worries, I am putting my focus and attention to worrying less and trying to understand why I am worried in the first place. Can I turn this worry into positive thought on what I can practically do to make the best of this situation or prepare for something? Most of the time, my worrying won’t actually change the outcome of the situation. Many of my worries are not productive, and therefore should not be given priority in this strapped-for-space brain of mine. Repressing them is not going to get me anywhere, but reflection and gentle thoughts will.

… any tips?

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Validation & the sharing of feelings

If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that I like to write about my feeeeeeelings.

I spend a lot of time thinking about everything. I find it helpful & important to give myself time for reflection and connection to my thoughts and feelings, and to get those jumbled-up words on paper & onto my blog. It feels like meditation to me, and helps me come to terms with what I’m feeling as well.

And sometimes, when I share those feels here on my blog, I end up feeling validated as well.

My heart was overflowing with looooove after my post on friendship, because as it turns out, my feelings are shared amongst the military spouse and general twenty-something-lady communities that I’m a part of. I was reassured by Facebook friends and people that I’m just getting to know that I’m not alone in my worries and sentiments. I was reminded that though it can appear as though some people make fast friendships based on certain identities, like religion, it’s not always easy or instant. A lot of what I like to write about, like this topic of friendship, is personal and close to my heart. Friendship is a personal thing, and the way it appears on the internet may not be what it’s like in real life. There are quiet, ever-present friendships that don’t need to be shouted from the virtual rooftops, and there are loud, exciting, I-need-everyone-to-know-how-much-I-love-this-person friendships that just need to be shared. And then there are some that are just in between. Different people get different things out of friendship, and that’s a beautiful thing.

It just felt so good to be understood and heard by others, and to give others a chance to let themselves be heard as well. Maybe I was even able to help them put their feelings into words, and for them to feel a sense of validation as well.

As with most blog posts, I don’t know where I’m going with a post until I’m writing it – definitely a metaphor for how I live my life – but with this one, I just wanted to express how grateful I am for this platform to share my feelings and to get validation back from it. We build relationships by being vulnerable, and that’s what I’m trying to do here. I am appreciative for all who make themselves vulnerable right back by reaching out or sharing their own thoughts. If you’re reading this, you’re awesome, I appreciate you, and thank you for being here.

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Motto Monday

Do you ever try to get a song stuck in your head? Like on purpose?

This song has been my jam lately. I’ve been listening to it when I get ready in the morning, while I’m writing, when I run, cook, shower, dance around my living room, you name it. It’s got such an upbeat and positive vibe, and it’s so catchy! I find myself purposefully trying to play it over and over in my head when I’m getting a little stressed out at work, or when I’m trying to push out those ever-present negative thoughts, oops. It’s just so dang good.

What’s your current mood-lifting tune? I’m trying to create a playlist to listen to while writing and want all of the suggestions!!

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Feelings on friendship

It’s hard to make friends.

It’s hard to make friends when you’re an introvert, a generally awkward person, a young & childless military spouse in a place that is new to you, and a liberal & not religious military spouse at that.

I have learned so. dang. much. about adulting in the past year since we moved to Ohio. I’m in that post-grad identity crisis stage still, which is weird enough on its own, but pile on the desire to make friends in a completely new environment where you don’t know anyone, and still being a newlywed, and you’ve got a LOT OF FEELINGS ALL THE TIME.

When I say that I’m not great at making friends, I mean long-lasting, deep friendships. I’m the kind of person who has a lot of acquaintances and people that I can talk to, chat with, enjoy spending time with at social events. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting to know people on this level, but sometimes I want something more complete. I often end up with just a few close friends, and unless I’m living near those friends, those friendships tend to be more distant than I’d like. I’m not the best at keeping up communication – just ask my mom when I last called her! 😫

Some people are so lucky to be able to form fast friendships that last and have depth, closeness, and heavy meaning, no matter where they go. I envy religious people who can connect through their faith to people and use that as a basis to form friendships, and develop those deeply through fellowship and study. I think that is a beautiful thing, but I’m not a part of a faith that allows me to have that right now. Mothers also instantly have something in common, a shared experience of giving life & raising children, and that can help form fast friendships. I don’t have kids yet, and understand that having kids majorly changes your life, your focus and your priorities, and that it might be harder to become friends with women that don’t yet share those experiences. I can still keep my fingers crossed that I’m just making up that idea though!!

I put such a focus on military spouses because that’s one of the most prominent parts of my identity at the moment. I don’t have a life-defining career, so the main way that I can find and make friends is through the group of Air Force spouses that I am a part of here in Dayton. There’s a shared experience that military spouses have that gives us a way to feel instantly connected to each other, and allows us to explore friendship – but many of us have big differences! I am a liberal, pro-choice feminist, and just by typing those few words, I might instantly alienate a lot of military spouses that I’d hope to be close friends with. I don’t generally have a problem being friends with people who don’t share all of my views, but I know that other people might find it more difficult, and that the closeness I’m looking for sometimes comes from sharing those types of views and ideals. Of course, maybe it’s not “worth it” to pursue friendships with people that would be turned off by big parts of my identity, but it still feels so discouraging to mentally cross more names off the list of potential friends.

Lately, I’ve been putting myself out there a little more, have been more active in these groups, and have been putting more of an effort into the chances that I do have to connect with other women and make friends. And I think it could be starting to pay off! I’m continuing to meet more women that I’m excited to get to know better and to see more often, and I think that feeling is mutual with some of them! I know that building lasting friendships takes work, a spark, effort, and that it won’t always work out the way I might hope – but here’s to hoping.

Also, I am totally aware of how freaking cheesy this whole post sounds, but sometimes my brain just really likes to write cheesy-ass things. #sorrynotsorry

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Ch-ch-ch-changes!

As you may have noticed, my blog is looking a little different these days!

One of the biggest changes?

THE NAME!

I’ve been struggling with my blog’s name ever since I made it. I wanted to get off the ground running with my blog when I started it way back when, but I couldn’t think of a good blog name, so I just used my Twitter handle, margaretfogs. It just started to feel safe and boring to me, and doesn’t really say anything about what my blog is. I’ve been trying to think of new names for the blog for years, and it wasn’t until after I finished my first round of the Whole30 that it came to me, thanks to a chat with my husband – Wholly Margaret.

This blog is here for me to share my thoughts, ideas, photos, opinions, recipes, and stories as I pave my winding path through life. As a twenty-something who is right in the middle of that good ol’ post-grad identity struggle, I have never been able to nail down exactly what my blog is about, since my life isn’t really about anything in particular! I’m not a mom, I don’t have a job that I’m crazy about, I’m not great at cooking or developing recipes, and most of my passions are just hobbies. This blog is like a metaphor for my life – all over the place, and not fully defined. Yet, I am wholly me through all of this, or at least I hope to be. Wholly, utterly, entirely, fully Margaret.

Now that I have the name locked down, I am hoping that this will help me blog more confidently and frequently. I’ve got at least 20 unfinished drafts of blog posts saved up through the years, and I want to see lots of these ideas through to completion. I am so excited to see where this will take me!

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Daily reminder – You Are Enough

What made her a great storyteller is that she saw herself as the fascinating main character in the wild story of her life.

TBH time!

Ever since I heard about the whole idea of blogging, I’ve wanted to write a blog. I love reading memoirs, and want my blog to read as a mini memoir/journal/place where I unload my thoughts.

I’ve tried blogging multiple times, but just like every diary I started as a kid, the blogs never stuck. If my past blogs were in the physical form of a diary, they would have hundreds of blank pages left unfilled. I don’t really have a direction for this blog, though I wish I did, so this one is simultaneously easier and more difficult to write for. I can write whatever I want, and it doesn’t have to follow a theme or be about a specific subject. And so what would make people want to read it? What makes me want to write for it? Is it for views, or to keep my family and friends updated? Is it a personal journal, or is it to someday get internet famous?

I’ve shied away from writing for this blog many evenings because when I went to write, I felt ashamed that this blog seems to have no purpose or reason. Is this post going to make people think my blog is super serious and about deep thoughts? Will people (readers? What readers?) think my blog is dumb and whiny and full of first-world problems? This blog has no name – shouldn’t it have a name?

And so this post below is something I’m going to keep open in a tab on my laptop – every time those thoughts pop into my head while I’m trying to build my blog, I will remind myself that I am enough. There’s no pressure for my blog to be anything from anyone, and that’s a beautiful, freeing notion.

“What if the next time we sat down to write, we didn’t worry about being interesting, we didn’t worry about being liked, and we didn’t worry about being reblogged?”

Source: You Are Enough

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret

Blogtober Day 9 & 10: Halloween and blogging thoughts

Another 2-in-1 Blogtober post, how lucky are you?

Day 9 prompt: Best or worst Halloween memory #tbt

I’ve gotta say, halloween definitely isn’t my favorite holiday. I enjoyed it a lot as a kid, but as I got into middle school, I had a harder time finding costumes I liked, and my friends and I stopped trick or treating. I’m not one of those people who particularly likes dressing up or wearing costumes. So I’m having a hard time thinking of my best or worst Halloween memory, since most of them are from my childhood and they all kinda blend together!

My favorite memory of Halloween isn’t just from one year, I think. I have lots of happy memories of going trick or treating all over my old neighborhood with my best friend, Marissa. Our parents usually “chaperoned” us even though we were in a safe neighborhood, but we went up to the houses by ourselves. I remember it was so exciting to pick your candy or see what they different houses are offering, what costumes the adults were in, and looking through our bounty at the end of the night. Organizing the candy, trading it around with the other neighborhood kids, and attempting to ration it out over the next month (probably less) was always awesome!

At our elementary school, we also always had a Halloween parade during school and parties in our classrooms. It was overwhelmingly exciting to see all of your friends in their costumes, and the teachers too. We paraded through the neighborhood streets around the school, grade by grade, led by the high school marching band and color guard, all in costume. Parents and younger siblings lined the streets, and the feeling of community made it one of my favorite Halloween traditions from year to year.

(I’m the pumpkin in this photo)
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Day 10 prompt: I never thought blogging would…

I never thought blogging would be something I would be something that I would do. I’ve never really thought of myself as a writer, or as someone who would share their personal life online. Granted, most of the people who read my blog are people that I know in real life, but I’ve definitely shared things here that I didn’t think I would share with anyone other than my really close family and friends. It’s given me an outlet to be vocal about things that are important to me, to improve my writing, and to share my travel adventures with my family and friends. It’s pushed me to be more creative, to think more about myself, and to not be afraid to share those thoughts!

Helene in Between
Thanks for reading! Margaret

Blogtober Day 5/6: I love lists!

Yesterday got the best of me, and I missed out on posting my Blogtober Day 5 post! So, to keep things simple, I’ll do both Day 5 and Day 6 in one snazzy new post full of lists.

Day 5 – Your Fall Bucket List

I absolutely love fall. Stereotypical white girl, amirite? I’m not a fan of Pumpkin Spice Lattes though, don’t peg me in just yet!

I do love the change in the weather, the colors of the leaves, the layers and layers of clothes I get to wear, and the different “activities” that go along with the change in seasons. This might be my last fall season in New England for a while, depending on when Ben gets his orders to move next year, so we’re trying to make the most of it! With a little bit of his help, here’s my bucket list for things that I want to do this fall:

  • Go to Martha’s Vineyard
  • Drive around Massachusetts just to look at the changing fall leaves and beautiful houses: I know, I know, the leaves change color everywhere where there are trees. There’s just something about the colors of the leaves combined with old New England houses and little small towns that is so wonderful and romantic and feels exactly like fall to me.
  • Drink lots of chai lattes in cozy cafes: chai is my favorite warm drink (sometimes tied with hot apple cider) and is best enjoyed in a cozy local cafe
  • Rake leaves (you’re welcome in advance, Mom!)
  • Roast pumpkin seeds: I’m not one for carving pumpkins, as my artistic abilities can be hard to find, but I love roasting the seeds from freshly cut pumpkins with a little salt and pepper (and maybe some garlic powder, too)
  • Go on lots of long walks all bundled up, before it starts to get too cold and snow
  • Make pumpkin bread: I always forget how easy it is to make breads like pumpkin bread, or my favorite banana bread (see below) but this year, I want to master the art of making pumpkin bread! One year, I made a really awesome and delicious vegan pumpkin bread that I couldn’t get enough of, but then I lost the link to the recipe, sad face. I’m not vegan, but I found a recipe for vegan pumpkin bread over on Averie Cooks that sounds amazing that I can’t wait to try!

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Saturday night baking! Banana chocolate chip deliciousness

A post shared by Margaret (@whollymargaret) on

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