I’ve recently started to feel like the fog of new motherhood has been lifting. Or maybe I’ve just made up my mind to beat it back, clear the air, rise above it…whatever you do to a fog? One small part of this means that I’m trying to intentionally start my days on a positive note…and focus on the good things in my life all throughout the day. This is hard. Really hard. And it takes practice. I am not naturally good at this, and so I thought starting a new blog series might be a good way to work on this skill and create a little focus.
After having Charlie I decided to quit my job and stay home to be with him. Money is very tight, but we’re making it work, and I’m so thankful to be able to be with him all day. However, going from working full time to being home full time with a baby was quite the change. I felt lonely and isolated. I ended up making a new mom friend (heyyy, Tricia!) who has a little girl who is close in age to Charlie. We met through an app called Peanut, hah, which is basically Tinder for moms. If you’re a mom and feel like you need a friend I recommend trying it out! Anyway – Tricia studied Positive Psychology in grad school and I was recently introduced to the idea of a “Positive Portfolio” through her blog. She describes a Positive Portfolio as this:
There is an intervention in positive psychology called a “positive portfolio” In this intervention; you gather items that support an element of well-being you wish to enhance. It can be any element of well-being – meaning, joy, awe, gratitude, relationships, achievement, etc… Once you have gathered these items, you then spend some time reflecting on your positive portfolio bolstering the element of well-being selected.
One way she creates positive portfolios is through music playlists – combining many different songs that all support one element (joy, hope, etc). I love the idea of taking time to create multi-faceted positive portfolios in my life. For example, joy for me is currently encompassed by taking care of Charlie…but also by writing, drawing, playing music, having good conversations with friends, dreaming up new business ideas, prayer, etc. I’m a whole person, and being a mom is only one part of who I am.
The first few years of a child’s life are intense for the caretaker. Babies grow and learn so quickly, but they’re entirely dependent on you for everything. It’s very easy to let everything fall to the background and have your role as “mom” make up 99% of your day. And again, I don’t resent this. In my last post I mentioned that it’s really fine that I’m exhausted right now, and it’s fine that most of my day is dedicated to Charlie. This is the season I’m in and there are so many wonderful things about it, and truly so much joy. But there’s also nap times, and friends and family who are willing to help, and I’m ready to start bringing some pieces of who I am back to the forefront. And I’m ready to spend time creating, writing, and dreaming again.
Working on positive portfolios seems like a good way to start. I love that I can dedicate an entire “portfolio” to the concept of awe if I want to, and what it means to me. I love that I can spend time trying to cultivate more awe in my life and hopefully pass my wonder, excitement, and curiosity on to my child. It will force me to stop and pay attention – and therefore be in the moment. I definitely need to practice that more, and to practice putting my phone down. I’m hoping that having a project to focus on will help in that regard.
I hope to start this coming week on my first “portfolio” – I’m not sure what I’ll focus on first yet, if you have suggestions let me know. And if you decide to create your own I’d love to hear about it. ❤