Anna Maria Locke

July Life Update: Finding Calm in the Chaos

July 2015Anna LockeComment

The above quote is my mantra right now. I'm doing my best to play the role of grand adventurer rather than fall back into overwhelm and victim mode because life is a little chaotic and staying focused has been a challenge! I feel most calm and in control when I have a dependable, predictable routine, and I don't think I've had a routine all summer with all our traveling and general life transitions going on.

I'm in the middle of a two week travel-free period, but instead of taking a breather to reground my life, we are MOVING! On Thursday, woohoo! We've been talking about moving into a nicer apartment for over a year, but it's always been this vague "oh wouldn't that be nice" thought in the back of my head. Now our apartment is in utter chaos with boxes everywhere, so I can't really ignore it any longer. It's official!

Between 2011 and 2012, Ben and I each moved at least 4 times, all around the country as we finished school and searched for full time jobs that were in the same zip code. It was a really crazy period full of uncertainty, so when Ben finally accepted a teaching position in Chicago three summers ago, we landed in the first apartment that caught our eye and have been here ever since.

It was a tough move for me. The day we moved in, Ben had to report to his new job, so I was the one tasked with deep cleaning and unpacking all our stuff. It was also the first time Ben and I had officially lived together and combined households, the previous tenants weren't the cleanest people in the world (to put it nicely), AND it was the first time I'd moved to a big city, so combine the stress with being 2 months out from our wedding and job hunting...yeah ok it was pretty damn stressful and I'm just glad I've made it through to the other side!

We love our neighborhood (Roscoe Village) and our 19th century walk-up has been a great first apartment, but we're more than ready to move onwards and upwards! I'm particularly ready for a fresh start, since there are so many intense memories in our current place. It's never really felt like home for me, because I haven't allowed myself to take ownership of it. (Back to that "victim" mode...). This sounds kind of dumb, but I've always held myself back and told myself I'm not worthy of having the beautiful, well designed home of my Pinterest dreams. I tell myself we can't afford to decorate, that buying pillows and furniture is a waste of money, and I've been battling this broke/struggle mentality ever since we moved to Chicago.

It's three years later though, and we've come so far. Especially me. I feel like I've grown up. I've discovered my purpose, learned how to trust myself, and am starting to extricate myself from the broke/struggle/failure victim mentality, although we're still living in the old apartment that I've given up on. I know my environment plays a huge role in my mood and self esteem, so I'm super excited to have a new home that actually matches where I'm at in my head right now!


I think I'm most excited about our kitchen upgrade. AHHHH!!! Stainless steel, granite counters, and more than one drawer??!! I officially feel like an adult now.

In other news, Ben and I are soaking up our last few weeks of summer before he goes back to school! We're trying out the new restaurants that have opened up on our neighborhood before we leave, and we're getting back in our church groove now that all our big trips are behind us. 

I don't think I've talked a lot about this, but last year we discovered and joined an amazing church community (Wicker Park Lutheran) and it's been like the missing link to my life. Just having a sense of belonging and a spiritual outlet is so important to me. This weekend we helped staff the booth at Wicker Park Fest, a great people watching opportunity ;) And we also checked out the 606, the new elevated path/park that runs through the city.

So that's the life update for now. Just trying to remain calm, enjoy summer, stay focused on my business goals, and take in all the changes that are happening!

I've discovered that it's so important to be proactive with carving out quiet time to take care of myself physically and emotionally, especially when life gets crazy. I've been waking up extra early lately to journal, read some personal development, and workout before plugging in for the day. It's easy to get sucked into "reactive mode," putting demands, to-do's, and other people's needs and agendas first, but I've been learning that it's ok not to respond to messages and emails immediately, and that I am always in control of how I feel and react to a situation!

I just finished Gabby Bernstein's Spirit Junkie and unexpectedly found myself skimming through most of the book and resonating the most with the very end of her story, which was a sign that I've come a LONG way on my own inner emotional/spiritual path. She inspired me to finally buy the entire A Course In Miracles, and I'm looking forward to digesting it this fall because I've been craving more peace, more inner stillness, more calm. I'm officially saying adios to the fear, doubt, anxiety, and insecurity that's plagued me for so long. 

I'm still figuring out the direction I want to take my coaching business, but I know for certain it involves helping women overcome the inner blocks and fear that holds us back from living up to our true capacity and loving ourselves. Stay tuned for tons more biz updates, wellness programs, and more! I'm brimming with ideas and mojo.

I hope you're able to find your own version of calm in the summer whirlwind. If you ever want to chat about life, I'm here for ya :) 

xo Anna