We are excited to introduce our latest guest blog post coming from Tricia Pettigrew. She is a teacher, mama, wife, and friend. She's a busy woman who has been able to define what balance really means for her, and what being present each day looks like. We loved hearing her story of how to show herself grace, how to focus on what's most important, and how having a fridge stocked with nutritious Guiltless Goodies has helped her and her family. We hope you enjoy her story!
Hello, Guiltless Friends! My name is Tricia Pettigrew and I am a life coach, role model, motivator, mediator, negotiator, reality checker, cheerleader, event planner, tear wiper, shoe tier, chaos coordinator and a big hug giver just to name a few. I am a school teacher. I put my teacher hat on in the morning, and, at 3:10pm, my mama and wife hat come on and it is just a sweet continuation of all that I have going on in my life. A friend recently asked me “how I do it all?” I will tell you, a lot of talking to God, patience, grace, an exceptionally supportive husband and Guiltless Goodies.
I used to struggle with balance. Me time. Friend time. Kid time. Wife time. There’s just never enough time to meet the needs for each one! So what I would do was, put a little energy into each sector in my life each day because that is what balance is; that is what balance should look like, right? Wrong, actually.
Balance is such a loaded word and looks different to everyone. Balance implies that everything in your life has equal importance. And honestly, it does not. Years ago, when I was trying to create space for balance, I used to try and put all my energy into everything I had my hands in. Even with things that didn’t matter much to me I was fearful that if I did not show I was giving “it” my “all”, it was considered not good enough. Not only did I feel like a failure, but I also cared a little too much about what others thought. But, we should not let the criticisms and opinions of others dictate how we feel about reaching our goals or failing to reach our goals. (But, you already knew that ☺)
Focusing on meeting the needs in all areas in my life was affecting me and was a constant daily struggle. I used to believe that if I give too much in one domain, another domain would suffer. With that mentality, I would then try and not spend too much time in any one domain but instead, give a little to each to “create balance.” Living in this false sense of balance, I was actually neglecting matters that needed a little bit more tending to on that particular day. As I continued this pattern, my life felt out of whack and my purpose unclear.
Living life trying to please all and give equal time and commitment to all aspects of life is hard. It’s not purposeful and while you’re trying to feed each area in your life every single day, you’re helping to breed unnecessary stress for yourself. One night, after a heart to heart with my sweet husband letting me know I needed to let some things go, (because by that point my busyness was starting to take away from our relationship and for us, we promised that nothing would or should ever be more important than maintaining US) I had a moment of clarity: I only have so much emotional energy each day. Do not fight battles that don’t matter. Do not choose to spend time on something that does not uplift you or make you feel good as a person. Instead, prioritized your life in such a way that you target what means most to YOU, and feed THAT each day. Not only will you feel more fulfilled, but you will also learn that your days will look different and you have to adjust. And that’s okay too.
By fostering this immense shift, I started listing my values, goals, and priorities (and let’s not forget a lot of prayers, self-reflection and taking a good look at how I felt after my day). I learned from that moment on, it was necessary to set my intentions at the start of every day because this was a new practice to me and I wanted it to eventually be as easy as breathing.
At the start of every day, I would ask myself these two questions: what is most important, and what really matters at the end of the day? It was an epiphany for me in that I realized each day is very different from the next and I may have different needs with each given day. However, a few things remain constant: being a good Mom, wife, friend, and teacher. So how does that look? Well, like I mentioned earlier, I have shifted my mind from believing I needed to give a percentage to each domain every day, to prioritizing and filling the most important things in my life with my energy, care, and love. Oh, and creating space -sometimes lots of space- to allow myself forgiveness and grace, because let’s be real, it’s a daily practice and I often times fail. But, aren’t self-awareness and forgiveness beautiful things? Yes, they absolutely are.
With that realization that I can feed the areas in my life that matter most, the other areas’ needs will be met in some way or another and if they’re not, well, insert grace ☺. I now know that I don’t always need to be getting stuff done and it’s okay and absolutely necessary to shut down and rest. It is about listening to yourself and your body. You make your own rules and follow your own path. Over time it has become abundantly clear when I say I feel as though I can navigate though each day with clear goals and a more positive attitude confidently. After learning to prioritize what’s most important, I have more time to create ways to feed the most important areas in my life. Figuratively and literally.
You have most likely heard the phrase: It is better late than never to learn new things. I am grateful to have learned how to balance and prioritize properly before having my two babies and returning back to being a school teacher. I have two, amazing, beautiful children of my own and then I have twenty two amazing, beautiful school children that are mine too. When I say that my life is busy, that would be an understatement. Being a full time Mama, teacher, wife, and everything else in between is extremely time consuming, fulfilling and EVENTFUL!
With all that you have going on, you might feel like you’re in a continual state of busyness and hurried-ness and you may find that simplifying might settle you in more ways than you’d expect. Insert Guiltless Goodies. I cannot tell you how many times a dark chocolate donut saved me in my classroom when I did not have a chance to eat, or revived me during a staff meeting on a Monday afternoon. When my kids are hungry, handing them a Guiltless chocolate chip cookie that is rich in fiber, seeds, no artificial anything, both kid and mama hearts are happy. Every week I buy my packs of donuts and cookies. It has become a necessity in our household and in my school (even a few of my coworkers are hooked!) I am so beyond grateful for the nutritional benefits of Guiltless Goodies products and even more grateful for it curbing my terrible sweet tooth! I am thankful I can grab snacks on the go and feel good about it. There are times when I do not have a chance to eat lunch or anything at all during the day (it seriously happens!) and having a Guiltless donut in my fridge or cookies for mid-day snacks help keep my energy levels up, my tummy full (for hours) and my moods consistent (thank goodness because being “hangry” is not pleasant).
I am especially thankful for Guiltless Goodies and the nutritional benefits it has to offer for everyone around me whom I have shared with and who I love dearly. Having food that is enriched with goodness, healthiness, and a lot of soul is what is necessary for me to function on a daily basis to be the best possible version of myself that I can be. With a full belly to tackle the day I can do anything with a clear mind, vision and purpose. Thank you, Lindsey, Daniel, and the entire Guiltless Team! Your dedication and hard work helps so many beyond your reach and on behalf of everyone munching on your creations. We are SO thankful!!
Love, Tricia Pettigrew