Putting Thought, Paying Mind, Present For, And Proud

There is a certain contentment that comes with doing something well.

Whether it’s for something you’re making money from, or merely something you do because you love it. Or you could be one of the lucky ones who love what you do, do what you love, and make money.

It could be seeing the pattern in a crochet blanket come together.

It could be piping the perfect rosette on a cake.

It could be crafting the perfect sentence in a blog post.

It could be hitting the right note, singing your favorite song.

It could be the oohs and aahs you get from your children, when you build the perfect Lego tower.

It could be the look of gratitude in the eyes of someone you helped in your profession.

It could be the praise you receive from the stranger in aisle 4 of the grocery store, for your well-behaved children.

It could be that perfect rule-of-three-photograph you took.

Whatever it is, you put thought into it. You lovingly paid mind to it. You were present for it, 100%. You took pride in it. You want to do it again, and again, and again.

For me, there are two things I do that I put thought into, I pay mind to, I am present for, 100%, that I take pride in. Children not included, because by default, they are my everything.

Writing quote

Writing. I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil. Stories, poetry, song lyrics, essays, articles, now, this blog. It’s something that’s such a fundamental part of my makeup, that I would be adrift without it. I didn’t always write well (bad poetry can attest to this), and I don’t always write well now. When I labor it too much, my words get stuck. It does not flow. Putting thought, paying mind, present for, proud of – yes. But not laboring, forcing, not-flowing.

When I finish writing something, reread it, and think, I like it, I did good – there is that feeling of contentment, of having done something well.

The other? Is my work. Social media excites me, lights a fire in me that was fading after years of being out of the work force, of not really using my brain for much, beyond meal planning and figuring out a small child’s needs.

I completed four blog evaluation and strategies last week. I worked on them all week when the kids were napping, and after they went to bed. I slept at 1.00 AM every night, but I didn’t mind. I was having a blast. I felt alive and in my element. I could almost hear the wheels in my brain turn again.

Little Love Media

I was putting thought and paying mind, I was present and I walked away each day, feeling pride in my work.

The thing is? The more I wrote and worked, the more I was able to be fully present with my children. I wasn’t distracted, glancing at my phone, thinking about something else. I was there. I played, I laughed, I talked, I took pictures, I hugged and kissed, I loved.

Who’d have thought?

What are you feeling content about lately?

Have you linked up for Memories Captured yet? We’re giving away some fab bodycare products from makemine, worth $90! Linkup is open until February 15.

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • February 14, 2013 Jen Burden

    This is exactly how I feel about World Moms Blog. I’m the crazy lady up all hours just for the fun of it, but when I see it moving forward, I want to high-five everyone! And I am more engaged with my children when I stay up a little later to get that “one more thing” done.

    We are so alike in that respect, Alison!!

    And by the way, I met your buddy, Tracy from Sellabitmom this weekend in DC! What a lovely lady! Wished you were there hanging out, too! πŸ™‚

    Jen πŸ™‚
    Jen Burden recently wrote…SINGAPORE: 7 Ways to a Simpler, More Fruitful LifeMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Kindred spirits!
      So glad (and a little jealous) that you met Tracy. You’re both fabulous!

    • February 16, 2013 tracy

      It was amazing meeting you. Now we need to get Alison to BlogHer!! xo
      tracy recently wrote…Page HolderMy Profile

  • February 14, 2013 Alma

    I never knew the contentment I would feel after my shop opened. I thought it would be silent and me waiting playing with rubber bands. Instead I had people, old friends rooting for me making me feel better about myself. Truth is I never expected that. Truth is I start a project and I am not happy with it and I take it apart four times over until I am happy with it. Its work … until it get to magical place where you are sure about it and it becomes your “it” moment and its good.
    I am still working and finding my “it ” moments here and there.
    Finding my groove it what keeps me going.
    Some one said to me today ” if you think you are screwing up most of the time, it means you are doing the right thing and you are not.”
    I wish to one day get one of your Little Love Media packages…it would be a dream to work with you.
    Alma recently wrote…Nourishing the SpiritMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      I’m so happy for you that your shop is doing well – I never doubted that you will do well.
      Let’s have a chat about Little Love Media. It’s $40 for the whole package, and we can split payments if it suits you. Let me know!

  • February 14, 2013 AnnMarie

    I love hearing the excitement in your writing “voice”. My blog gives me that feeling. After exercising (though I just complained about it) I feel like I’ve accomplished something. But mostly the writing does it for me. Either the blog or the books I’m working on. It used to be teaching. I loved my job and walked away feeling like what I did mattered.
    AnnMarie recently wrote…Distorted ViewMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Yes, feeling like you matters, that’s so important.
      Keep on keeping on!

  • February 14, 2013 Jessica

    It’s a great feeling when you feel content. I feel like that when I finish up a big project, a quilt, or teach the kids something new.
    Jessica recently wrote…All Around The InterwebzMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      You have a lot to feel good about, Jess and that’s a great thing!

  • February 14, 2013 Poppy

    I feel like I’m missing that right now. Just a lot of rough edges from doing a lot of things not well enough, but I’m trying to prioritize so I can have that feeling again. I’m glad you’re rocking it mama – you’re awesome!

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Poppy!
      You’ll get there, promise.

  • February 14, 2013 Christine

    This is one of my favorite posts you’ve ever written. I get exactly what you’re saying, or perhaps, you get what I’m thinking πŸ˜‰
    Christine recently wrote…Do What You Can Do…Do Your BestMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Either way, I’m so glad you liked it. πŸ™‚

  • February 14, 2013 Maureen

    How awesome, Alison. Look at you soaring high, my friend!
    That, to be content, to be proud and loving what you do is amahzing!
    Maureen recently wrote…A Gorgeous Reception Plus An AccidentMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Just flying a little, but not so high my feet are not grounded. πŸ™‚

  • February 14, 2013 Mirjam

    I have a huge smile on my face right now because I know and love that feeling. Especially about writing.
    And you do it so well. Not just the writing but also the inspiring to write.
    Mirjam recently wrote…LOVEMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Mirjam, this is my favorite comment ever.
      To inspire someone? Is better than writing well. Thank you, so much.

  • February 14, 2013 ilene

    So well stated. I too find that when I am satisfied with my work, I can walk away from it and spend better time with my kids. It really helps strike that balance!
    ilene recently wrote…Love RevisitedMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      The elusive balance. I don’t always hit it, but I do try every day. I guess that’s what counts.

  • February 14, 2013 Kimberly

    That feeling of pride and contentment is something fierce. Yes, I may complain about the late nights and the aggravations that go along with my work, but when I see it all come together it is amazing.
    Kimberly recently wrote…What Would It Be Like?My Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      I know, right? It IS awesome.

  • February 14, 2013 Kim

    I know the feeling you describe; I love that feeling that you have done all you can. “My work here is done,” such as it is. I get that feeling most often when I write. When what is in my head and heart appears on the page before me – that is satisfying to me.
    Kim recently wrote…Thanks For Keeping It Real, UniverseMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Yes!! That is exactly it.

  • February 14, 2013 sarah

    you said it so well Alison. “The more I wrote and worked …the more I was able to be fully present with my children” YES! Some do not understand this. Take my mother and sister for example. my mother especially is on my case about doing too much and not being “a mother” first. I find it ridiculous. And I try to explain that my work makes me a BETTER mother. I need things in my life (other than my children of course) that make me feel fiery and alive. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone. It’s always nice to know that. πŸ™‚ Oh, and writing and photography and all things birth/baby/mama πŸ™‚ those do it for me.
    sarah recently wrote…#ippp: cutting up the tattoosMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Oh Sarah. We cannot be all mother and be good at it. Not. Possible. You are so not alone. I think you’re doing amazing with all your passions!

  • February 14, 2013 Mama Melch

    I am also feeling so contented with my writing lately, both creative and academic. Knitting helps me restore my fingers and my mind too. I’m amazed at how present I can be when I’m able to do both of those things in the same day.
    Mama Melch recently wrote…Grad Student/Mommy Part 1: Sometimes it SucksMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      I wish I was good with my hands! I need to learn to crochet. Or knit. Or sew. Something crafty. πŸ™‚

  • February 15, 2013 Amanda Jillian

    That’s why I try and keep up with my journaling completely unedited writing it eases my soul.
    Amanda Jillian recently wrote…Love YouMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      That’s so good, having something you love.

  • February 15, 2013 Kiran

    I don’t know how you do it. You are Superwoman, moving at a speed I would never be able to keep up with.

    I am so glad that you are getting so much satisfaction from the social media consulting. I think you are probably amazing at it! Maybe I’ll be your next client?

    Kiran recently wrote…Sex and Candy – The 8 Rules of EngagementMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      I get organized, it helps with managing everything.

      Always happy to accept new clients – though you’re doing pretty superbly, my friend!

  • February 15, 2013 Leighann

    Love that you’ve got this great company going that you’re passionate about
    Leighann recently wrote…Real ValentintesMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Leighann!

  • February 15, 2013 Stasha

    Whatever it is the feeling of job well done is awesome. Even if it is just putting our pants on before noon πŸ˜‰
    Stasha recently wrote…Monday ListiclesMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Hahaha!!! That so made me laugh.

  • February 15, 2013 Lady Jennie

    I’m not – I’m not present. I’m not spending enough time writing and my home is not clean and organized. I feel adrift, like I can’t get my act together. I got some help today, and I’m getting some more tomorrow though. One step at a time.

    LOVE that your business is taking off!
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Cupcakes in ParisMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Baby steps. Onwards and upwards, yes?
      And thank you!

  • February 15, 2013 Laura

    I love this Alison! I know that feeling – usually when I finish a blog post. I feel it with other things too, but I have so little time these days that I am usually more stressed about things than content.

    I am so so happy you felt like this last week and that you had the business! <3
    Laura recently wrote…Love You To DeathMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      I know, it’s easy to get stressed, and it gets in the way of contentment. I hope you find some pockets of time to write!

  • We all need a creative outlet, something to work hard at. I try to go to bed at a decent time, but sometimes I just need to stay up and work on the blog. Then when I do go to bed I am OUT and am not up all night just laying there thinking too much.
    Victoria from the Busy House Big Heart recently wrote…Have A Heart? Give A Heart for $1.40.My Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Yes, exactly! I don’t mind sacrificing a little sleep, if I can go to bed knowing I did what I was supposed to, and did it well.

  • February 15, 2013 Galit Breen

    Love this, you.

    {So, so very much.}

    Galit Breen recently wrote…The Nicest Thing I’ve Ever DoneMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      And right back at’cha my friend!! xoxo

  • February 15, 2013 keely

    I’m so wicked proud of you for figuring out what makes you tick (and hum and roll and really LIVE). I know so many people who are still trying to figure out what they wanna be. (Can we still say “when we grow up?”)
    keely recently wrote…4 Surprising Reasons My Husband Is My Favorite Valentine.My Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      I still say that!
      Thing is, I’ve known for a while what makes me hum, roll, tick and live. I just didn’t get off my butt to get things done. I’m making myself accountable this year!

  • February 15, 2013 Greta

    That’s so great that you’ve found something that you can do (and a bonus that it makes you money), that brings you contentment. All of those things at the beginning of this are so true…..that satisfaction is just an amazing feeling.
    Greta recently wrote…Good, Clean Fun. #iPPPMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      It is! Some days, that’s all I have to live on, to lift me up.

  • February 15, 2013 The Dose of Reality

    I could not be happier for you! Finding something that excites you and ignites your passion makes all the difference in the world. πŸ™‚ Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Oh it absolutely does. Thank you.

  • February 15, 2013 Runnermomjen

    Great job, mama!! You are making your dreams a reality!!! And being content…such a wonderful feeling.
    Runnermomjen recently wrote…Spread Some Love…My Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      I am, aren’t I? In small ways, but they matter. Thank you. xo

  • February 15, 2013 Blond Duck

    I felt a lot more content when I cut out social media as much–it’s very draining!
    Blond Duck recently wrote…Friday Five of LoveMy Profile

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Hey, whatever rocks your boat! And good for you.

  • February 15, 2013 Brittany

    I am so glad you are finding such joy in what you are doing! It is worth so much. You are inspiring to so many people and I think that highlighting so many different ways one can be proud of what they do and find joy people will see they have something to smile about.

    • February 15, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Brittany! I’m not sure if I’m inspiring anyone, but if I am inspiring just one person, that would be awesome.

  • February 16, 2013 Natalie

    I’m so glad you have found a happy balance…sounds like you are rockin’ motherhood, writing, and your business. That’s so awesome my friend! πŸ™‚
    Natalie recently wrote…A Valentine’s Play DateMy Profile

    • February 16, 2013 Alison

      Right now, I do feel like I’m rocking it, let’s hope it lasts!

  • February 16, 2013 Kimberly

    I kind of lost myself along the way…
    It’s hard sometimes trying to find that one thing…that one thing…sigh.
    I do do a good job at parenting. I know that for sure.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Sex In The Dark With A Boot OnMy Profile

    • February 16, 2013 Alison

      You know what? That’s the most important thing you should be good at. So, you rock.

  • February 16, 2013 Elaine A.

    I’m the same way with my photo taking and editing. I love to sit at my computer and see those smiling faces looking back at me and knowing that I captured a moment for that family that they (hopefully!) will always treasure. πŸ™‚

    And yay for YOU, Alison! This makes me so incredibly happy for you! xoxo
    Elaine A. recently wrote…GWLMy Profile

    • February 16, 2013 Alison

      Photography is so special. You were part of that process with the people you’re capturing, y’know? And thank you!

  • February 16, 2013 anymommy

    It definitely brings joy and fulfillment to follow your passions – I feel this way about producing LTYM, the more I put into it, the better I do at everything else in my life! And it’s just as much fun to see a friend find her perfect pursuit. Yay for you!
    anymommy recently wrote…Life is beautifulMy Profile

    • February 16, 2013 Alison

      Yay, so excited for you for LTYM! You ladies are going to rock it. YAY you!

  • February 16, 2013 Melanie

    That’s awesome πŸ™‚ I don’t think I could go to bed at 1 am though. lol

    Happy Sharefest!!
    The 5th Level of Motherhood
    Melanie recently wrote…ABC’s of MoiMy Profile

    • February 16, 2013 Alison

      Thanks for coming by, Melanie!
      Yes, the 1am days were tough, but so worthwhile. πŸ™‚

  • February 16, 2013 Angie

    I love this. I find when I have a sense of accomplishment, I am much more present with the rest of my family.
    Angie recently wrote…Ten Things I Love About Being A Dance MomMy Profile

    • February 18, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, kindred spirits!

  • This was pure inspiration! In a desert of bitching posts this was a tall icy glass of lemonade (or maybe it was a margarita). Pinning this post right now. Ellen

    • February 18, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Ellen!! I don’t drink, so many a very fancy lemonade? πŸ™‚

  • February 17, 2013 YUMMommy

    I definitely feel most content when blogging or writing.
    YUMMommy recently wrote…Thankful ThursdayMy Profile

    • February 18, 2013 Alison

      That’s great!

  • February 17, 2013 Chris Carter

    This is just lovely Allison… Yes- when we are full, it is THAT much easier to give our all to other important people and things in our life isn’t it?! You are an awesome writer…I can relate to the writing and peace and fulfillment it brings… GO YOU! πŸ™‚
    Chris Carter recently wrote…February Friend #4My Profile

    • February 18, 2013 Alison

      Yes, that is absolutely right, Chris. When our bucket is full, it is then that we can give fully to others. Thanks for reading!

  • February 17, 2013 Heather

    I love the way you describe that creative writing voice. I feel the same way when I write.

    There is something magical about feeling inspired.

    Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

    Happy sharefest
    Heather recently wrote…Monday Motivation #7: My Funny ValentineMy Profile

    • February 18, 2013 Alison

      Magical is the right word, definitely Thank you for reading and visiting!

  • February 17, 2013 Tanya

    I love this post and glad you found that writing completes you. I love the feeling of having accomplished something, both the big and the small. I started my blog too as a way to celebrate those small victories and accomplishments. While writing was never my strong suit (I’m a numbers/finance person), since starting my blog I feel like I’m finally using that other half of my brain, the creative, wordy side. I’ve enjoyed reading and writing much more and have a greater appreciation for bloggers and authors and the stories they tell. Have a great day with your beautiful boys!
    Tanya recently wrote…You Know You’re a Mom When…Feb 15, 2013My Profile

    • February 18, 2013 Alison

      Isn’t it wonderful, turning on that creative tap? Although I’ve always been writing, I’ve never shown anyone else what I wrote. Starting this blog, exploring writing, tapping into memories – it’s been amazing.

  • February 17, 2013 Jennice

    Lately, I’ve been content about my own blog. After Hurricane Sandy, I made the decision to become a WAHM and I am completely content with that. I know that blogging/writing is my calling as well as my passion and I’m in a place now where I’m ready to do it.

    • February 18, 2013 Alison

      That’s great, finding the right balance between what you need to do, and what you love to do.

  • February 17, 2013 My Inner Chick

    Alison Lee,
    you are a teacher & inspiration to many.

    Much love and appreciation flowing to you this moment.

    My Inner Chick recently wrote…I Rise I Rise I RiseMy Profile

    • February 18, 2013 Alison

      You are MY inspiration, Kim. xoxo

  • February 17, 2013 Tabitha Vos

    I am feeling so content in the way I am going with my blog. Being still in my infancy stages of my blog it is all a learning experience. I feel content with the way it is going. I feel the contentment of learning something new and the sense of accomplishment that provides.

    Your posts are always so inspirational!

    Thanks for your love of writing!
    Tabitha Vos recently wrote…Free Blogger Opportunity- $1000 giveaway!My Profile

    • February 18, 2013 Alison

      I’m so glad things are going well in the bloggy way for you, Tabitha!
      And thank you!

  • February 17, 2013 Lisa

    I’m feeling content about finding a good balance between blogging and family. I write during the day when my kids are at school, and when they get home I am all theirs until they go to bed. I heard a speaker at a blogging conference say something to the effect of, “When your children look back on their childhood, do you want them to remember their mom staring at a computer all of the time?” In that instance, I found my balance.
    Lisa recently wrote…Anti-Valentines: My Latest Million Dollar IdeaMy Profile

    • February 18, 2013 Alison

      Yes, exactly!! Being super focused on the task at hand when we can be fully present, is essential to feeling full enough to give yourself to your loved ones. And vice versa.

  • February 17, 2013 Aleta

    I can’t say that I’m content as of this moment. For the past week and a half, I’ve been on bed rest due to high blood pressure. We were supposed to wait until Feb 28th to induce, but the doctor wants to do a c section now, because of bp issues. It’s just… too soon and I don’t feel connected to the idea. I thought I’d have more time and I never really considered a c section in the plans, though it will be as of Monday. So, my content level is a little off kilter.. and truth be told, I’m a little scared about being a mom at the age of 43. Our first.. our miracle, the child that the doctors said we’d never have and we were accepting of that until this surprise πŸ™‚
    Aleta recently wrote…We CheatedMy Profile

    • February 18, 2013 Alison

      Aleta, you’ll be great. One can never truly feel ready for a first baby – speaking from experience here! Good luck and congratulations!

  • February 17, 2013 Katie

    This post makes me so happy for you! I am THRILLED that you are doing things you love…and in turn loving the rest of your life so much more. Rock on, friend.
    Katie recently wrote…not the worst ever, but not the bestMy Profile

    • February 18, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, my friend!

  • February 18, 2013 Julie Jordan Scott

    (First, a pre-S, I am sorry I missed the Memories Captured! So many wondrous things going on… sometimes… they rush by without us knowinsg! )

    I so appreciate how you approach life. We are indeed kindreds. I have written since I could dictate to my mother and copy letters with a crayon. When we drove cross country I would “write” row after row after row of lower case, cursive “e’s” the compulsion to write was so strong.

    Great reading for a Sunday morning after a raucously good time at SITS Sharefest… which is where I found your link today.
    Julie Jordan Scott recently wrote…This is What Pure Contentment Feels LikeMy Profile

    • February 18, 2013 Alison

      I love that you wrote your cursives over and over, just so you can write! Also, how strange that your latest post on CommentLuv shows a post about contentment. πŸ™‚ Thanks for coming by, Julie!

  • February 19, 2013 vanita

    I’m definitely feeling content about the projects i have on hand. it’s always great to help someone out of a tight spot (like bringing their blog back from no man’s land) or design them a blog that rekindles the blogging fires. work has me very content lately and the fact that i’m working in the same room with the kids is actually kind of awesome. they color or practice writing or play while i work and i don’t mind “mommy-look-what-draw” breaks. πŸ˜€
    vanita recently wrote…Bounce Rate Defined Series: Your Irrelevant SEOMy Profile

    • February 19, 2013 Alison

      I have my work nook in the living room too, where I have great views of the kids. πŸ™‚

  • February 19, 2013 Connie Omari

    I have to admit, I”m guilty. I can easily do something because I can, and not do it well. But I’ve realized that when I do this, I really only show that I can do something, not do it too well. I’m growing to realize that I should be more patient with my work and try to make a better approach to perfection. Of course at times I can be a perfectionist and that’s not good either. I guess what it all boils down to is “balance.” Thank you for getting me thinking πŸ™‚
    Connie Omari recently wrote…Constructive Crticism or Prideful Arrogance?My Profile

    • February 19, 2013 Alison

      It is about balance. Perfection is an illusion. It’s subjective in creativity. I say, just do what you love and when you feel good about it, then that’s perfect.

  • February 20, 2013 Julia

    Good for you! I am so glad you have found what makes you happy and things that fill your soul. And I’m so excited that your blog business is taking off….I need to hire you!
    I think it’s so important to take care of ourselves and fill our own passions because it does allow us to be more present for the rest of our lives, and more importantly, children. It’s a lesson I just recently learned, but I”m so glad I did and that you did, too.
    Julia recently wrote…Only Three ThingsMy Profile

    • February 20, 2013 Alison

      Email me about the blog stuff anytime!
      We always forget to look after ourselves, don’t we? I’m so glad we both found our passions.

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Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

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