I should have known my emotional state was off when I teared up when watching the Coke commercial (yes, that bad) with Jay-Z. The one where a woman has her feet hanging out of a car window while the breeze from the open window appears to be refreshing her spirit. I wondered if I would ever be that young, free soul again. Would I lay back in Rob’s arms while Lola drives her crazy old parents around and laugh out loud with the joy I was feeling? I’m well aware there was something much deeper than a silly commercial tugging at my emotions. But rather than fighting and kicking that lurking feeling away, I decided to take a closer look within to try and figure out what I was supposed to do. After a few nights of pondering why I was comparing my life to a Coke commercial, I realized it was time to take life by the balls (excuse my expression) and live life a bit differently. My own creature of habit existence was smothering me and while I’m just in the beginning stages of stepping outside of my norm, I know I’m on a path to a life I want to live rather than one that I’m falling asleep watching go by.

**Please note – this is all internal feelings within myself. I adore my life with my husband and daughter. In fact, they are just as much of a reason as to why I feel the need to cleanse myself from old routines.

I’ve started with little changes like eliminating cereal and pb & j’s every other night for dinner because it’s easy and I don’t feel like cooking. I think Lola eats the best out of anyone in the house with her wholesome meals! I would never indulge in something like a croissant or cinnamon toast (both are to die for at my work), but I’ve realized I work out so that I can actually eat what I want. Of course, my increase in indulging will be in moderation, but I am in the best shape I’ve been in years and for once…I feel good about my body. I owe this to my early morning work-outs I’ve committed myself to. Before I expected my quick metabolism to pick up the fat slack, but I’m realizing as I age, I need to actually show up and do the work. I will say 4:30 am kicks my butt most days yet I somehow manage to lug my tired bones out of bed and into the gym and I’m proud of myself for doing so.

My close girlfriend (thank you Kari) bought me a one hour massage for my recent birthday and I was ecstatic for a little Meredith time. But as quickly as that thought came in, it quickly went out because of the guilt I felt for doing something for myself on my day off. I always want to spend time with my babe and my hubby babe on my days off so I rarely do anything that is solely for me. Yet with slight hesitation I booked not only a massage, but also a haircut. I was gone for a good chunk of the day and while I had some tinges of “I should get back”, I realized that taking care of myself helps me in return take care of my family. We mothers have a tendency to forget that we were once individuals prior to motherhood yet I don’t want to ever lose me. I’m proud to be a mother…in fact it is the second best decision I have made in my life (the first being marrying my husband), but I don’t want to ever forget who I was or who I am. I want to teach Lola about being an individual and being independent. Two things I thrived for in my pre-baby life yet I’m finally realizing I’m not a bad mom for wanting to pamper myself with a bit of me time. I was feeling so out of my shell last week, I even went out and got me some bangs.

And to keep my “change” motto going, last week we rearranged Lola’s room which somehow feels like it has impacted me as well. I’ve started taking alternative routes to work just to see more of where I live. I’m playing around with styles of make-up and colors of nail polish. I’m not doing my crosswords every night before bed (can you believe I’m only 31?). I’m trying to change the way I speak to my guests at work and surprisingly…I’ve seen an increase in my tips (although that could be coincidental). These are just minor changes, but for some odd reason they feel monumental. Now if only I could change my internal clock to not think it is bedtime every night before 9:00 pm…I’m sure this is the one change my husband is really wishing for!

What do you do to change up your routine?