Bucket filler or bucket dipper, which one are you?

Have you ever heard this?  I may have learned this as a kid but forgot about it until a few years ago when my daughter started talking about filling buckets at preschool.  It took a few days to figure out what she was talking about, at first, we thought the kids were filling up buckets of sand on the playground. 😊 Figured out that Harper was not talking about filling buckets with sand but filling up each other’s buckets.  Such a cool visual for kids to understand filling up someone’s bucket versus dipping into someone’s bucket.  Giving verse taking, love this! We have used this a lot in our house when we talk about hurt feelings, tone in how we talk to one another and sharing.  Really such a great concept, even for adults!

Last October, my bucket needed filling, I was running out of steam and needed to find balance.  Working full time, being a mom and doing all the things, I was stressed, and my bucket had a leak.  I was in a cycle of doing the same thing over again and expecting a different outcome.  Being a full-time mom is hard, staying at home or working outside of the home, it is tough.  I love my children more than I can put into words, but raising children is a hard job. It takes it’s toll on us and we must find how to fill our buckets or have our buckets filled.  I think we do a terrible job as a society of giving grace to each other, we are all running around trying to raise amazing tiny humans, and it is a tough gig.

Admitting change is needed is the hardest part for me, I fear having to say this is too much, I can’t do it all.  For me it is a form of failing, even though I know it is not, we can’t do it all ourselves, but I want to.  My ah ha moment was when I was bringing my stress home and it started to impact my family.  I knew something or lots of things needed to change.  I can be stressed, but when it starts to run into my family life, that is my breaking point and change is needed.

I met with many friends and co workers about finding balance, creating balance and maintaining balance.  Everyone had great advice, amazing stories and tips that worked well in their lives.  But would it work for me and my family?  Part of my struggle with finding balance is pleasing everyone, I want to make everyone happy and know that is not possible.  I wanted someone to tell me what to do, and I would do it, but that is not they way to find, create and maintain balance, or reduce stress.  I read a book last fall that help me immensely, “The Subtle Art of not giving a Fu*k” by Mark Manson.  Read my post about the book here. I can’t tell you how much I needed this message in the book, I would shake my head while reading….yes…..yes…..and yes, this was what I needed to hear.  I had way too many things that I was pouring myself into and nothing was filling me up.  I needed to give less of a Fu*k about some things and give a lot of Fu*ks about other things to help keep my bucket filled. 

  A year has passed, I am in such a better place with my balance and outlook on daily stress. Life is constantly changing so our balance will constantly be tested and reset, but for me the biggest lesson was in figuring out that I needed to OWN my own happiness.  I needed to not rely on other people to fill my bucket up, I needed to find things that inspired me, lifted me and make me happy.  I had spent too many months being consumed by negativity, comparison and stress, I knew I didn’t what to continue that path.  But I didn’t realize how much my life would change in choosing happiness and gratitude each day.  It is very cliché but making the choice to be happy and to enjoy life makes a world of difference. 

My advice for anyone who is struggling with stress in their life is to really take an inventory of what makes you happy.  If you woke up tomorrow, what is the first thing you would do to make yourself happy?  Make a list, whenever you are stressed out, read the list.  Make a new list….revisit the list, and continue to find things that make you happy.  Life is way too short to be unhappy, to be sour or to be affected by things that are out of your control. 

Each night at dinner, we go around the dinner table and everyone has to say one thing they are grateful for.  It is sweet to hear what our kids have to say, but no matter how stressful my day has been, I come home to an amazing family that loves and supports me, I am truly blessed.  I am grateful for the simple daily memories we are making as a family.


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