It is a well know fact (fiction or non), that when a human turns 40, said human will probably experience some sort of crises, therefore causing a tsunami of changes (Good. Bad. And Ugly.).

I do not know about you, but the 30’s, specifically the 30th year, in our little family, we have deemed it MidLife Crisis Pt 1.

When SuperHusband turned 30, he singlehandely got our family to move the location of our Christmas Tree. It was beautifully located in the same spot for at least 2 decades.

While the rest of us were hesitant to change…….it turned out to be a much better, more beautiful space for our 7ft tall tree.

And on another sunny day in the spring, while I was inside doing housework, unbeknownst to me, was ripping out part of our front deck. Because he had an itch.

And he scratched that itch. And I laughed and turned quickly around.

A couple weeks later, we had to renew our homeowners insurance and they wouldn’t renew it unless one post of what was left of our deck came out. Bc one post was 2 ft below the flood plain.

So since he was already in demolition mode, off went another section of deck.

We made a huge fire pit and a large rainbow bench, but we have since let it overgrow. One day we will get it usable again.

Oh, and then there was the pussy willow tree. Our arch nemesis. Or rather, my husband’s arch nemesis. I quite enjoyed it. But it shed constantly on our upstairs deck. The husband has been dying to get rid of it for years. So during his 30th year…he attacked it. Real good.

But he stopped short of taking out the stump. And that stump got its revenge. By growing. Again. Heh.

He also bought a fast sporty car…..and traded in my Baja to get it. I gave the approval. But it was still tough. That was not our best moment. But we made it thru.

It may have been a coincidence that all of this happened in the same 30th year. But it has turned in to a great family story that we are able to laugh and reminisce about.

And then I turned 30 last year. And my Midlife Crisis Pt. 1….began.

It started out rough. I was super sick. Like super sick. And I was cutting out foods left and right because I kept getting really sick. The first 8 months, I was stuck and in turmoil. I was fighting an inner war that I had a really hard time fighting.

I was so lost. Had no motivation. If it wasnt one thing, it was another. The kids had an extremely hard year. I couldn’t figure out how I fit in our family. So I suffered immensely.

My goal for my 3rd decade alive, was that this year, was finally going to be the year I get my shit together. It was going to be my best year yet.

But then came my emergency surgery. Where I almost died. On the operating table.

And my entire life changed in that exact moment my surgeon told me they had to stop surgery and get me breathing again.

April 2018, 30 years 10 months of age, I began the journey to discover who I truly am. Who is the real me?

For years, I thought I was an introvert. I never spoke up bc I felt like what I had to say, was not good enough. I started so many projects but abandoned them before finishing them because I felt like why try when nothing I do, is good enough.

I spent the night at the hospital. And I left the next day feeling like a brand new human. With a stronger soul. And a resolve to not let fear hold me back.

Pre GBR (gall bladder removal) – I was just going thru the basic motions of being a mother. We barely survived day to day. I just couldn’t figure out how to get in front of my kids’ super powers. Thank you depression!

Pre GBR – I didnt value the fuel I was feeding my body.

Pre GBR – I made sure we started spending time together as a family….but didnt go much farther than that. We had a large quantity of time together, and the memories from those times are amazing, but they weren’t quality.

Pre GBR – I was so angry with my mother. She ruled my life. I bowed down to her to make her happy. Even at the sacrifice of my own happiness. I strived to keep the peace because I told myself that that was the only way to living peacefully.

Pre GBR – SuperHusband and I were becoming roommates that really loved each other, but spent low quality time together. At least that is how I internally felt. Not sure about my SH.

But Post GBR – I am taking some time to really truly…..

*Sorry….got sidetracked by Thing 2 asking me questions about the fly trap and then had to explain bug death bc she was horrified.

But Post GBR – I am taking some time to really truly question myself and taking pro….

*Sorry….got sidetracked by Thing 2 crying bc Thing 1 “hurt her”. So then we backtracked calmly to what and why Thing 1 did what she did…..and we ended up having a very important and passionate conversation about how we need to ask permission before touching someone, to respect that person’s decision. And then it evolved in to how everyone is unique and we all have different sensory needs we are chemically born with. Wow….look at me go!!!!!

But Post GBR – I am taking some time to really truly question myself and taking proactive steps to resolve where I feel like I am not in congruence with how my soul really needs to feel to truly soar.

Step #1 Happiness and Helpfulness.

I have been actively working on seeing silver linings in the blackest of black. And now I feel like I have truly achieved this. I have discovered that pessimism and dread, hurt my soul in such a way that I can feel a piece of my soul….begin to decay.

And because I have reached this level, when I see others beginning to fluster with finding a silver light….I make it my mission at that second, to help guide them to discover that silver light they need to find another strand of hope.

I have found, that in order to thrive, happiness and hopefulness, go hand in hand. Without one, my soul decays.

Step #2: Joy and Laughter

An amazing thing happens when you can turn any harrowing situation around, just by seeing the color in the void. When your soul aches when the vibrancy is missing, you find that your soul will find joy and laughter in the bleakest of moments.

And when your soul smiles, the brightest colors begin to appear. Joy and laughter, makes happiness and hopefulness reach a new level of personal soul fuel.

Step #3: The Proper Fuel.

Once my soul began to show its true colors, I had no idea that I would ever be able to reach this next step. A step that I have tried to conquer 4 million times before. A step that I could never overcome. So I just stopped trying. And because I stopped trying, my soul, in the past, began to unravel and decay.

13 years ago, I was in the best shape of my life. I was a perfect-for-me-then-waist-size-of-16. And then I met the love of my life. My priorities changed. And that 13 years ago was the beginning of my constant inner war where I stopped loving myself and taking care of myself. Tomorrow I will better choices. Next monday I will start a new diet. I dont care how complicated it is….the more complicated must mean it’s a much better approach. But I cannot maintain complicated.

And so I quit. For the 4 millionth and 1 time.

But I am happy now. Now I believe in every moment hope. That joy and laughter is an invincible variety of glue. I realize that those strands make my soul strong. And if one is missing, the rest decay.

And because of that, I stopped letting fear hold me back. Forgiving myself for past failures. I found bravery and courage in the hardest decisions. Like eating a taco salad instead of a chalupa, or 1 piece of cake instead of 5, or walking in a parade instead of sitting on the sidelines.

I discovered that I needed to fuel my body properly, in order to go on all of the adventures I am adding to my living list.

I stopped the immense pain I felt from guilt. I stopped letting failure be a term in my vocabulary. I persist. I dont let fear hold me back.

And I am succeeding. Because HHJL (Happiness, Hopefullness, Joy, and Laughter) make it easy peasy lemon squeazy to fall in love with the proper fuel my soul craves.

Step #4: SSS = Super Strong Steele’s

By making my soul fuel a priority, I was able to open my eyes up to how to make our family a more efficient, happy, loving unit.

We changed how we parented. We got rid of most electronics and television. We have begun to focus on electronic free family time. We have started to live experiences, like day trips to the beach, or a car show, or a quick hike to a waterfall, or an obstacle course.

We started to learn about all of our true selfs. We struggled, we fought, we forgave, we conquered.

We are thriving. We are finding what makes our HHJL fuel filled life….strong…and super.

Step #5: Self Love

With our little super family stronger than ever, I realized what was holding us back, was my guilt and a realization I locked away along time ago. A realization I was afraid to admit to. But if my soul wanted to continue to heal, I had to admit the pain.

I am not going to delve in to specifics at this point. I would rather keep most intimate details….intimate.

But I admitted outloud that I am not in charge of ensuring the happiness of a grown adult in my life. Especially when it comes at a dire cost to my happiness.

And I admitted outloud that I needed boundaries. That our kids needed boundaries.

And I admitted internally that the love I crave from others, with the help of a HHJLFFS (HHJL Fuel Filled Strength), I am able to independently love myself the way I crave.


Step #6: Loving Others

This is not the last step in repairing my soul. But this is the most important broken link that I am currently repairing, mending, and modernizing.

I just started this mission a few days ago. But if I kept pushing this repair back, it would instantly decay a soul that has been worked on tirelessly around the clock.

Right now, my soul is an indomitable force because it is full of HHJLFFSSL (HHJLFFS Self Love). And because of that….I began to take a proactive step in remembering why I fell so madly in love with my husband on December 9th, 2005. And why I illogically decided to spend our first date night together in his backyard, in a tent. In December. During the cold east wind in SE Portland.

By reminicising about all that we have conquered together over our first 13 years together, I stopped taking him for granted. I let go of any guilt I was internalizing because our fierce romantic relationship has been on the rocks for years.

And I began to actively acknowledge him. And I began to see more of the little things that make me love him at a level I didnt know could ever exist.

By learning how to love myself…..I am able to love one of the most important people in my life with such a ferocity that I am grateful he is in my life and the father of our children.


My journey to rebuild and strengthen my soul has many more craters to amend. And I have done amended even more tiny potholes than the above steps.

I do not know what will be next. But I suspect whatever is next, is what my soul needs at that moment.



and Hopefullness

are held together by Joy

and Laughter

which provides Fuel Filled


that allows Self Love

in order to Love Others

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