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Life

lifestyle-undesigned

Have you heard of the concept ‘lifestyle design’?

It’s this idea that a person can take control of and design their own lifestyle, a concept that is supposed to have garnered a lot of interest due to an inspirational book ‘Four Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferriss. Basically, the idea that you can change how you think and what you do in your lifestyle in order to find fulfilment in your routine and way of life.

When I heard this, I thought as parents, we had no such luxury available to us.

Our lives, whether intended or not, will revolve to some extent around our children.

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crying-babies-cry-heaven

Flying across an ocean is a great equalizer.

Everyone is uncomfortable. No one can really sleep despite their body’s cry for rest. The food leaves everyone feeling hungry but also, without desire to eat what is handed to them. And, at the end, we all walk away feeling dirty for no particular reason other than the air which leaves us all inexplicably musty. 

But what I find most interesting about these flights, is the way people interact with the little ones around them. 

I have never flown across an ocean with a small child, but I have many friends who have done it alone; going to or from visiting a deployed military spouse. And I applaud them.
I applaud them because it takes courage to walk down an aisle with a rambunctious toddler and face glaring eyes, annoyed by simply the presence of a child.

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embracing-mediocre

My Instagram feed is like my wardrobe – eclectic.

There’s no one particular theme to the accounts I follow. I tend to gravitate to those whose creativity, or style, or perspective, or habits, or environment, or language inspire me.

Then there are the simpler accounts, casual personal accounts like my own, owned by wonderfully mediocre women like myself. Who take the photos with their phones, some snaps blurrier than others and the kids are usually dressed by themselves and not a sponsor* (*If you’re a brand who sends clothes to InstaMums for features– holler, my kids are size 3, 7 & 8).

These unprofessional, personal, heartfelt accounts, I think, are imperative to my Instacommunity.

They remind me of games I might like to play with my children again, or a beach I haven’t visited in a while, or give me insight into what a Northern hemisphere Christmas must be like. They also aren’t polished to the point where I wish my life or house or kid’s wardrobe was more like theirs. Their spaces and days are similar enough to my own. It’s a little bit of ordinary that I need to see, so that I do not get trapped in the habit of comparison. As I frequently tell my children, “comparison is the thief of joy” (Thanks Theodore Roosevelt).

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network-marketer

The following words have been on my heart and mind for a long long time… But fear of judgement has kept me from sharing.

Today, I’m jumping in! I often say fear is never a good reason to not do something, so here I am, walking the talk and doing it scared!

Hello, I’m Keren, I’m a mom, homemaker, registered nurse and… network marketer.

EEEK! See what I mean?

Now you wonder how in the world a reasonably intelligent, somehow articulate adult woman would fall into direct sales?

Here’s a short version of my story, and how I became a network marketer:

We arrived in Tennessee in April 2013, two young children in tow, with no idea of what to expect. It quickly dawned on us we were earning a bit less than we were in good old Perth, and our expenses were much higher. Doesn’t take a genius to do the math: I needed a job!

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business-measuring-success

Soon after we married, my husband left his job to start his own business.

He is equipped with a head for numbers and always wanted to be business owner.

I, on the other hand, don’t have an entrepreneurial bone in my body, but I did what I could – I encouraged, listened, and continued working. Then we had a baby and I landed my new favourite job as a stay at home mum.

The business started to gain momentum. Increasingly surrounded by the jargon of the small business community, I began to notice that much of what was being talked about in business was also quite relatable to my new stay at home mum role. Four years on, I still wouldn’t claim to understand most aspects of business, but pottering the periphery has often surprised and challenged me in motherhood.

Early in the business journey we were given an exercise from a Business Coach to write down daily KPIs.

I recalled those annoying sales targets or “Key Performance Indicators” from past retail jobs- numbers like overall sales, number of items sold per customer or amount per transaction. As a sales assistant, KPI’s were used to give me an idea of what to aim for to make the manager happy.

I had certainly never considered applying a KPI to my day as a mum.

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new-years-resolutions

If I had to confess my true gifting in life, it would be writing lists.

Writing lists is my forte, my jam, my favourite thing. If I could create a list that starts with, “write a list”, then cross it off, my life would be complete.

Every year, as far back as I can remember, I write a New Year, New Me-style list that exceeds all hopes and expectations. It’s the usual suspects; every year I aim to be thinner, more fit, more organised, speak a new language, stick to a budget, read 145 literature books, travel to 27 countries, drink 30L of green smoothie every day and teach my dog how to speak Spanish.

What I don’t love, and is not my gifting, is the hard work that it takes to make those resolutions…resolute.

I love being thin, but mate, I love doughnuts. I want to stick to a budget, but Kitchen Warehouse is having a sale. I want to get fit, but it’s too hot to walk today. I want to travel, but I just spent all of my money at Kitchen Warehouse.

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in Family Life

The Place Where I Belong

at
belong

Growing up, I never felt like I belonged.

Anywhere. Not because I was weird, or shy, or couldn’t make friends.

Nope. I had numerous friends as a kid and teen and young adult, because I was funny and loud and listened and adapted to any group I found myself in. People thought I belonged with them, they enjoyed my company and found my story fascinating.

But the truth is, I never did belong. I knew it – they didn’t.

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breaking-routine

Recently, I have implemented a daily routine, and not to be dramatic or anything, but it has changed my life.

My routine keeps the day moving, it carves out time I never took advantage of for household chores, and it blesses me with a to-do list I can reliably tick off every 1-2 hours throughout the day. I go to bed feeling satisfied. I awaken refreshed, ready to rinse, wash, repeat my fabulous new routine.

Recently though, things got a little out of hand.

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blessing-cleaning-toddler

I hate cleaning.

Don’t get me wrong: I love clean.

I grew up with a mother that knew how to clean thoroughly, spot the cobwebs that were invisible to the naked eye and throw open the windows to top it off with a fresh breeze. Coming home after a Mum Clean was refreshing and completely taken for granted.

But I am wired differently; I fight against my cluttery personality every day, as well as the part of me that says, “I’ll definitely do that later.”

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acting-toddler-growing-boss

We’ve all been there. It’s almost nap time but for some reason, we’re buzzing through the grocery store trying to grab a few items. That’s when it hits. The terrible twos. The toddler who was so sweetly holding your hand is now laying on the ground screaming, kicking their feet, angry about what, you’re not quite sure. The struggle continues either until you make it through the line, into the car, and finally to their bed or when you give up and let them have that *cookie, action figure, pack of gum, etc.*

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