When You Miss Someone or Something

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?

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Hello friends! I’m so happy to be back with you today after a week of travelling. I was in another country for a dear friend of mine’s wedding. While we were gone, my husband and I had time to reflect upon many things in our lives.

One of the more notable mentions is the fact that we weren’t 100% ready for a wedding/party type atmosphere. We were in a country in South America where the liquor and beer flows freely during any kind of celebration. My friend’s family in particular likes indulging in drinks just as much as any American family.

We didn’t even think (or I guess I should say I didn’t think) about the rehearsal dinner and the reception being that much of an issue. But then they brought out the serving trays of beer and shots that kept rounding our noses every few minutes. (I mean, the waitresses were really doing their jobs in making totally sure we really didn’t want any.)

We tried to find the just the right amount of time between staying at the party and not being rude by leaving too early. Finally, we had all of the water our bladders could handle and enough temptation to feel like we’re playing with fire.

We left the party early as well as the wedding reception because we had served our purpose. We were there to celebrate our friend’s wedding, meet the people important to her, and enjoy the party. We were not meant to linger around tempting fate to see how long we could really stay before one of us accidentally drank the champagne sitting right next to our water glass.

We made it! We did it! We grow stronger every time we venture out to another uncomfortable social atmosphere and I’m proud of us. My husband even salsa danced with me…SOBER! I feel more in love with him at that very moment!

 

Waves of Insecurity

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!

Celebrating Another Holiday

Sometimes the holidays can be hard. Especially when you know you’re going to be surrounded by people getting belligerently drunk and all you want to do is say “Hi!”, grab some of the banana pudding to-go, and get the hell out of there as fast as humanly possible.

But, as hard as it may be tolerate other people’s choices and behaviors, I believe it’s also good to get out of our comfort zones every once in a while. If you aren’t challenged to be around people who are drinking in a casual social setting, then how will you ever be able to celebrate with the ones you love?

If you think about, almost all major celebrations have some sort of casual drinking involved. (At least in my family there always has been! Hmmm…piece of the puzzle? I digress.) Wedding receptions, graduation parties, birthday celebrations, bachelorette parties, Memorial Day pool parties, 4th of July cookouts, Labor Day lake parties, and then there’s always the actual traditional holidays of the year where people tend to “have an excuse” to drink.

I’m not trying to say that people who drink are monsters and should be told that they’re making poor life choices at every BBQ this summer, but I do believe everyone who is in recovery needs to find their own way to be with the people they care about regardless if there is drinking involved or not.

When my husband first started the road to recovery and we were faced with uncomfortable social situations where we knew people would be drinking, he told me he would repeat the question, “What is my purpose here?” over and over again to remind him that he wasn’t there to drink. He was there to celebrate whatever the occasion. He was there to high-five someone on another trip around the sun. He was there to hug the neck of the relatives he only gets to see once or twice a year. He was there to congratulate someone on another milestone achieved.

What is your purpose this weekend? Are you meeting people for a pool party? Are you hanging out with friends and relatives chatting over the BBQ and catching up? Whatever your purpose is this weekend, remind yourself of why you are there.

Just Focus on Today

When I think about all of the worries or fears or doubts I have, almost every single one of them is in the future. It’s not even something right here in front of me. Worried about how my kids will turn out; worried if I’ll ever be able to earn more money to contribute to the family income; worried that none of us will make friends in our new little community. Worry. Worry. Worry. I understand that some/most of those are ridiculous things to worry about, but they do pop into my head…a lot actually!

But what happens if I focus on today? What if, instead of worrying about things that are completely out of my control, I solely focused on today? I mean this is after all the culmination of life, right? Focusing on today and not tomorrow’s worries. (Easier said than done on most days.)

Not today, though. I will focus on today as today is my only guarantee. I’m not guaranteed tomorrow or next month or even next year, but I am here today. I’m not trying to sound like a Debbie Downer here, but I just woke up this morning and realized I was bumming myself out worrying about freaking everything around me and that wasn’t helping one little bit! So it’s time to try something new!

I hope you are encouraged to focus on today. I hope we can encourage each other to stop worrying so damn much and enjoy the people and the relationships right here in front of us.

Just Show Up

Half of the daily battle, or the “daily grind,” is just showing up. If you wake up and don’t hit the snooze button today, you’re ahead of the curve! If you got up and went to work, school, took care of your family, or simply did something productive, you are already heading in the right direction.

This idea may frustrate some people who have high expectations and are usually highly-motivated individuals ([hand raised] ME!), but the truth is as long as we keep putting one foot in front of the other each day, then we are still making progress.

“But what about determination? What about goals? What about being the absolute best?”  Yes, these are questions that slip into my subconscious all of the time. But there are some things that can only be measured when we look in the mirror.

Let me give you an example: Are you being the best parent you can be? Well, it’s unfair to compare to someone else’s parenting because their situation is probably different than yours. However, we can take a look at how we have parented in the past and see if we have made any improvements. Are we spending quality time with the kids? Are we there for them when they need us? Or are we not even showing up?

You may think you’re just treading water, but I promise you if you’re showing up to do the job, to parent the kids, and to be the spouse you want to be, you’re already winning the battle. The people that don’t show up, well, those people aren’t even giving themselves a chance at living their own life.

How Do You Heal a Broken Heart?

This is one of those questions that will never have a clear cut answer. Your broken heart may be a completely different experience than mine. Yours may involve a significant other, while mine may involve a bratty teenager who said mean things. Your broken heart may consist of fighting and bickering, while mine was a slow death by a thousand cuts from someone continuously ignoring me.

There are endless possibilities on how to have your heart broken, but how do you put it back to together? How do you heal a broken heart? How can you make yourself whole again?

I believe the first step is to believe that you deserve to be happy again. Period…the end. No magical formulas to the equation. No tricks behind a curtain. No “fake it ’til you make it” when it comes to healing. You simply have to believe that you deserve to be happy.

Everything may not fall directly into place once you decide your worth in this world, but it definitely gets easier to arrange the pieces of your heart into new shapes. Maybe we aren’t meant to put the pieces back exactly how they used to be. Maybe we are meant to mold, stretch, shrink, knead, weave, and to create new pieces from the old ones that were shattered.

I’m not a therapist and I don’t claim to be an expert in the psychology of the human mind, but I know that when I feel that I deserve to be happy, life seems easier. Things figure themselves out. People are nicer to me (probably because I’m nicer to them). Not all of the odds are stacked against me.

If you’re suffering from a broken heart today, I hope you can find a way to fit your pieces (old and new) back together again.