Find the Thing that Keeps You Going
**Note: I wrote this blog post just under a year ago, prior to COVID 2020. I wasn't sure if I wanted to post it, but as we head into one of the most stressful holiday seasons ever, I thought someone out there could benefit from this post. (Note, pictures were from 2019--no masks or social distancing required then!)
It all started with a Christmas gift.
My sisters and I spend a weekend together baking and watching Hallmark movies every year. It's a wonderful weekend of laughter, sugar, gossip and friendship. It has also turned into a time where we buy each other a cute little gift. Nothing crazy, just something fun to commemorate the weekend. Gifts typically include cute mugs, Hallmark movie socks, or fun Christmas leggings. This year my sister bought each of us a cute fuzzy Christmas throw. Mine was red with doggies dressed up in holiday gear. I LOVED it. If you know me you know I love my dog as much as my human child, so anything dog related is a favorite.
What my sister didn't know was that her gift would inspire change in me. Sort of like the concept in the movie "Sisterhood of the traveling pants", every time I curled up with the blanket I just felt better. My sister was unaware that my life was in a bit of chaos this year. I was depressed, stressed beyond anything rationally acceptable, and my marriage was hitting rock bottom. I had many a day where I didn't know how I was going to make it, and what or how I could change my situation for the better. I was still battling major hormonal changes from having my child almost 2 years prior and wasn't sure if my business was going to survive or if I wanted it to survive. Something about this blanket just made me warm all over (pun intended). It made me feel like I wasn't alone, and it opened a window for me to see a future where I was happy and healthy.
I have no clue why a piece of red fleece suddenly made me turn a page, but it did. So I hung on to it. I curled up in the blanket when I had a bad day at work or when I was really anxious about my day. I'd throw it over my chair or across my lap when I started to wake up an extra 30 minutes early to brainstorm how to earn more money or take care of myself. I ran my fingers over the fleece whenever I envisioned what my future will hold. And it happened. I, very slowly, started to return to myself. I got my plans A, B, and C in order and very methodologically chipped away at the plans with my 20 minute window of free time per day. I started exercising again! Exercise began with me doing basic exercises and stretches on the floor with the blanket next to me. I never had a "blankie" as a small child but apparently 35 is when I regressed to needing one.
The moral to this story is grab on to whatever you need to get yourself going. That might be something physical like a blanket or a photograph, or it may just be a mental image of yourself where you want to be, but no matter what hold on and don't let go. Look for the thing that inspires you and run with it. I don't know your reasons for being where you are in life, but I know you can improve your situation and achieve your dreams. Yes, it will be hard work. You can do it! You are worth it and I believe in you. The world needs you in it, as you have a place and reason for being here. Let go of the negative talk, the layers of stress that work its way up your body, and all the reasons why you shouldn't and focus on that feeling of just loving yourself and that picture of who you can be. That is your reason! You got this my friend! Rock on!
2020 Update: My life is in a much better place, even though 2020 was one of the strangest years I've ever experienced. I still snuggle with this blanket daily, but now it's usually to read books with my son at bedtime. I am much healthier, happier, and feel like I'm getting my life back on track. It will happen for you too. This year has been so scary, it's hard to see past the fear and disappointment. There's still good out there, and there will still be joy and happiness to have. Keep hanging on. Find your hope. Find your passion and go for it. You are amazing and the world needs you in it doing wonderful things. If things are really taking a turn for the worst please reach out and talk to someone. We are all here for each other during this stressful time. This too, will pass. Breathe. Love. Trust that all will turn out okay, because it will. We will see that light at the end of the tunnel soon, and in the meantime try to find some good in the craziness of the path. Just remember to keep going! xoxoxo