Longing for things and other people used to make me feel like I was weak. I felt like I should be able to do things on my own and not rely on others. I was proud. I was head strong. I was stubborn…to say the least. However now I realize I need to rely on others for so much of my life.
We recently moved to a new town where I don’t know many people. We haven’t really met too many neighbors, besides the obligatory Facebook page where everyone tracks lost pets and missing front door packages. The kids and I have gone to the park several times, but haven’t really made any friends there. We’ve visited our local library and have become familiar with the librarian, but not made any new friends.
It’s lonely moving to a new place. This morning, I started thinking about the friends and familiar places I miss about the town we knew. Old habits started creeping in as I noticed myself thinking, “Stop! What are you doing? The past is in the past. We don’t live there anymore. We need to move on and think about where we are today and the life we are living now. No need to sit around reminiscing about the life we use to have.” (Yeah, my “inner me” practices tough love most of the time.)
But the truth is it’s good to miss people. It’s good to miss places. It’s good to miss familiarity. Because all of these things remind us that we have so much to be grateful for! I’m grateful I met so many wonderful people where we used to live. I’m grateful my children made tons of friends and knew the school faculty so well. I’m happy that we had people who embraced us into their lives.
I know I had this exact same loneliness feeling when we moved to our old town and it won’t last forever. But in the midst of these feelings, I wanted to acknowledge that it’s perfectly okay for me to be feeling the way I’m feeling.
Have you had any of these feelings too?
It’s been storming here all night and even across a large part of our region yesterday. There was some flooding near my hometown, but overall not a lot of significant damage that I’m aware of. Rain has the tendency to be beautiful and destructive all at the same time.
For example, we’ve gone through periods of severe drought where all of the technology in the world couldn’t save what rain could help in just minutes. There have also been times when a lightning storms rolls in and I couldn’t imagine another way I’d rather spend my time on this earth than observing the magnificent natural light show before me.
So is the way of life…
We have times of great joy when things happen just when we need them to happen, there are times when we desperately pray that something will save us from the chaotic ways of a life we no longer understand, and then there is beauty in how the destructive ways of our lives have led us to the most beautiful outcomes we never could have imagined.
Thank God today for the rain…
Ever since I got back to every day life and reality has had time to set back in from vacation mode, I realize I’m already starting to get down on myself. “School is right around the corner and there is so much that needs to be done. Meal planning, school clothes shopping, organize the kids’ clothes, organize the pantry, get the garage in order, and I’m sure tons of other things that need to happen!” Yes, these were all of the thoughts running through me head about 5:30 this morning. That would make anyone go crazy, right?
Well I’m glad I can realize when old habits creep in and I have the power to not let those old things take over my life. I’m not in control of everything around me, but I am in control of myself and how I choose to go into the new school year. I’m in control of how I spend my time each day and whether I should spend time worrying or spend my time in a more productive manner.
I feel that some people think the more stressed out you are (and the more public you are about it!) means you are more productive. I believe the contrary to be true. When you are busy getting things done, you don’t have time to complain about how busy you are!
None of us are perfect here! We all need a little patience and a whole lotta grace!
What is it about Fridays? I mean of course besides the more relaxed bosses, the ever-popular causal Fridays, the willingness to order pizza instead of cooking at home (maybe that’s just our house?), and of course it’s the kick off to a much anticipated weekend. But really, what is it about Fridays that gives me an extra giddy-up in my step?
One conclusion I have is that the pressure of a full week ahead of me is now behind me at this point. I’m still motivated on Fridays, but for the following week not the one I’m currently living in. But why do we jump ahead to the next week when we haven’t even completed this one? Maybe it’s because it gets easier to focus on things that are further away instead of what is right in front of us.
No matter the way you view Fridays, I believe everyone is relieved to break from the hustle and bustle of the work/school week. Maybe I’m wrong and I’m definitely open to others’ view points on this, but Fridays are just the best.
Today, I’m thankful for Fridays…
I hope you have a Fantastic Friday today!
Why is it so easy to get caught up in the “trying to be perfect” mentality when we all know perfection isn’t attainable? We sometimes don’t even realize we’re doing it until it’s getting to the point of being ridiculous.
Why am eating nothing but protein shakes and salads? To have the perfect beach body selfie on vacation? Why am I making sure my kids have the right hair cut and clothes that are crisp and neat? To portray having perfect kids? Why am I so damn worried about putting on makeup for others? I don’t even wear it while I’m at home. Am I trying to be a different person when I’m around others?
I know I’m not the only person who struggles with the idea of perfection, otherwise there wouldn’t be the “Progress Not Perfection” rule out in the universe. None of us are perfect. None of us are perfect. None of us are perfect. (I figured if I said it three times, my fairy godmother would appear and say I was perfect in some way, but that didn’t happen.)
Foolishly, I tell myself I’m not trying to be perfect. I tell myself, “I’m not doing any of this to impress anyone.” Let’s be real, you may not want to “impress anyone else” but it feels good when people acknowledge the effort you put into something. Is this the pursuit of perfection or a whole other monster altogether? Is that the pursuit of acceptance? (Dang, now I’ll have to write a post on that one too. I digress.)
The reason I bring all of this up today is because I have been struggling with my own self-image the past few weeks and I needed to tell myself I’m being ridiculous. Like any good friend, I try to talk to myself in a constructive manner rather than tearing myself down. (The other way just doesn’t work for anyone and makes you feel like a complete failure all of the time. Trust me on this one.)
So to everyone reading this today (myself included), I wanted to tell you that you are a beautiful individual created by God.
One of the best things about being human is that most of experience the same exact emotions throughout the day, it’s just a matter of how we respond to those emotions.
Do we automatically retreat when we start feeling inadequate? Do we fight through the exhaustion and feeling of wanting to give up? Do we combat the urge to spew word vomit on the people who are really irritating us?
Personally, I go through waves of self-doubt and insecurity. I believe this is a perfectly natural response to trying something new or being in an unfamiliar situation, but once I started voicing these feelings to a few close friends I realized I wasn’t the only one.
When we keep these feelings bottled up inside, we suffer alone in silence. If we could find someone reliable to share these insecurities with, we begin to find that we aren’t alone after-all. Most people feel this way, and often. It’s simply that we are too afraid to talk about these feelings of inadequacy.
I started feeling overwhelmed yesterday (with a very ridiculous “problem”), but instead of wasting my day in worry and angst about not knowing the answer I simply called one of my “people” and told her all about my feelings. She was empathetic telling me it was completely understandable to feel overwhelmed. She also said something that helped to activate some portion of my brain triggering a solution to my problem.
Yes, I probably would have came to this same conclusion on my own, but it was so much faster and easier (and might I add less frustrating) to let someone help me through these feelings.
Please find someone to share these feelings with today. It doesn’t have to be a large group where you formally sit down to have coffee with on a regular basis. I’m talking about 1-2 people whom you can feel free to share your inner demons with that will no judge how you’re feeling but will simply listen and bounce around ideas.
You’ll be surprised how quickly this small change can have a HUGE impact on your life!
Please tell me you’ve seen the 90’s movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. His character wakes up every single morning with the exact same song playing on the radio, the same people crossing his path, the same food being served, and every other thing about the day being the same over and over and over and over again. An endless loop of insanity. He can’t even get out by killing himself. He just wakes up again to repeat the day once more. The only way he is able to escape the cycle is to be the best version of himself and make choices that are truly honest to who he really is.
Sometimes I feel like I’m living in my own Groundhog Day.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not to the point of trying to attempt being run over by a vehicle to escape the trap of perpetual sameness every day. But I often hear the words, “Didn’t we do this yesterday and last week and last month and last year?” creep slowly into my mind. Sometimes it feels like we eat the same food all of the time, read the same books, have the same workout, watch the same movies or shows on Netflix, wash the same clothes, wash the same dishes, and have the same conversations. (Note: When I say “we” I am mostly referring to the fact that I’m at home this summer with 3 small children.)
So what do we do to break the endless cycle of sameness? Do we need a new job? Do we need a new perspective? Do we need to make a drastic change in our lives? Do we need to hang on to these precious fleeting moments because we are told one day we will miss them?
I believe the answer lies in going back to the movie. How can we be the best versions of ourselves today and make the decisions that are truest to who we really are?
Try that on today. Try to be the absolute best version of yourself and make choices based on what you really want out of life. Hopefully tomorrow you’ll wake up with a different song playing on the radio.