Have you ever felt really strong about something but didn’t exactly know why? I helped my son with some writing assignments this weekend and felt myself thinking about how angry the assignment made me feel. There I was, walking out in nature this morning completely missing out on the serenity because I was knee deep in my own mad. Why did he have to write essays making connections between his assigned reading and another book? Why did they he to explore the connection of the book to to his own life and the world? Why was I feeling so darn mad?
Tonight I went for another walk. I noticed two stars parallel in the sky. I couldn’t help but think that was my own marriage. My husband was one star and I was the other but we seemed worlds apart. The bills, the struggles with the kids, stress, jobs, chores, emails all made us feel further and further apart. Like it or not, that stuff gets in between and before you know it you are trying your best to fight your way back.
I got it then. My anger and my overreaction to a silly assignment became visibly clear. I am an over thinker. I have lost the art of reading to read or walking to just enjoy walking. I analyze my steps or I replay conversations searching for something deeper or something maybe that should have been different. My brain has been trained to find meaning in a world that sometimes doesn’t really require any. My brain can no longer shut itself off or find quiet in the softness of my shoes as they hit the pavement. I cannot even look at the stars without thinking something profound. Perhaps we should stop requiring our kids to think more and allow them to just be more. Imagine just reading a book to enjoy the escape from real life. Imagine taking a walk without setting a goal to reach 10,000 steps. Imagine your mind not being the roadblock to pure happiness and utter enjoyment. Imagine a few moments of no thinking and total mindfulness lost in the beauty of the forest or in the words of a book. Imagine looking up and enjoying the beauty of the stars with no thoughts running through your head. Imagine a world with less thinking required and more being. Imagine!
I celebrated another birthday yesterday. As each year passes by, I become more grateful for time. Like it or not, each day I am alive is one less I have to live. I realize how senseless it is to waste precious moments on the things I will never be able to change. Learning to live in harmony with those same things has been my greatest challenge but slowly, I am getting there. This is your reminder to enjoy today before these minutes tick away. Even on your worst day, find a reason to smile and celebrate your blessings. Every day is a gift and each and everyone of our lives is a gift too. Happy Friday! You’ve got this.
Some days all I can do is wonder to myself, why? So many questions without answers, so many problems I can’t seem to find solutions to. Some days I just can’t. No matter what I do, I just can’t. Do you have those kinds of days too? How do you get through them?
You can change your life.
I know because I did it.
A year ago, I was in a very dark place. Depression had a death grip on me and I was having frequent anxiety attacks. I was so unsettled in my own skin but the hopelessness I felt was one I thought I would never escape. I was helpless and I reached out but there was no life raft waiting for me as I slipped deeper and deeper into despair. I tried depression medicine and meditation but it only got worse.
A year later I am feeling back to my normal self. I had to change my self talk which eventually led to a change in perspective about my current situation. If I couldn’t change the part I was stuck in then I had no other choice than to change myself and use my perception to gain my power back. My mantra was “the sky is not failing”. You are okay. It took months to convince myself that I would survive my situation. That I could live a happy life right alongside the mess I was in. I decided to lessen my reaction to things that once sent me straight to panic. Ah yes, the sky is not falling and this is only temporary. Patience with myself and gentle reminders turned into a new sense of peace and confidence. I removed myself from negativity and the past few months I have started walking every day. I am up to 35 miles a week and there are no words to express what this has done for me mentally. Most days I feel happy. Did you hear that? Me, happy! And rarely do I feel anxiety for more than a few hours and it doesn’t happen often at all.
Was It easy? Nope. I had to give up my bullshit stories that kept my anxiety alive and thriving. I had to admit that my thinking was most of the problem and the only fix out there was my decision to fix myself. I share this story because I know the silent suffering and wanting someone to take just a little bit of my despair away so I could get through the day. I also share this to tell you that you can overcome this too. It takes patience and a great deal of self love. I hope my success story becomes your own and please know you are not alone. I am out here cheering for you and I know you can do it too. You’ve got this! I promise.
Do you ever stop and ask yourself, is what I’m doing getting me to my end goal? I do it all the time. There can be a million people following a process but if it doesn’t make sense to me, I’m just not going to do it. I question everything big or small to make sure I am not wasting time going through motions that do nothing to advance my agenda. Just tonight I helped my son study for a history exam. They were given the blank, study guide at the end of class. Did I mention the test is tomorrow? So, we spent the night searching for answers to questions that may or may not be right that get handed in tomorrow before the exam for a grade. No one goes over the questions to make sure these kids have the right answers. They go through the motions of studying information that they think is right but what if it’s not? Is there no such thing as common sense anymore? Who is accountable and for what exactly? I’m really confused about the point behind this process. We had 1.5 hours of chemistry tutoring that should have taken 45 minutes but because of the busy, useless work that came before, he was distracted when I needed him to be focused. And then we spent the rest of the night drilling in answers that we have no idea are right because of course they are worded with trickery. School just seems like such a waste of time these days and I am losing my enthusiasm due to the uselessness of the process. I can’t help and wonder if teachers ever question if this method makes any sense. I just don’t get it. Be a thinker. Be open to change. Check if what you are doing is helping you achieve a certain outcome. Don’t blindly follow. Find your own path and lead. We need more leaders and less followers. More thinkers and less aimless doers.
It seems like everything crashes down around me at the same time. I have reminded myself time and time again that the sky is not going to fall but I am keeping one hand on it just in case. That’s the thing, just because everything else is falling down does not mean I have to crumble with it. I am a warrior, in control(for the most part) of my own destiny and when the wind starts to blow, I must ground myself and find comfort and strength in my roots. The storm will pass and I will come out on the other side of it safe and strong. Sometimes it’s necessary to bend so that I do not break so bend I will. What do you do to stay grounded.
Sadly, I am learning the result of accommodating everyone in my life. I have spent so many years trying to keep the peace and make everyone else happy that finally I have lost my own voice. I cannot even hear it anymore and I can’t help but wonder if it even tries to speak. Everything has become a negotiation. Just this morning I wanted the family to go for breakfast and everyone had an attitude or conditions. Being a mom is not always easy and often times it is downright hurtful. I wait all week for a tiny slice of time for us to be together but someone always throws a stick in the spoke until the bike has a tragic accident. It’s broken and today I feel sad and broken but instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I will go out and do something that makes me feel good. The others can stay home and be in good company with their cell phones, computers, attitudes and conditions and I will simply carry on. No sense throwing myself in the middle and crying victim. I am in charge of my own destiny and sometimes it is necessary to leave everyone behind and follow on my own path. As for being a woman, I have to stop using that as an excuse. I swear it is almost innate to make everyone feel important and included but you know what I’ve realized? It’s necessary to include myself in that behavior as well. Time to find my voice and make it strong again. Time for some conditions of my own. Time to make some changes starting right now. Wish me luck.