Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Finding the Blessing Amid the Sorrow

Our family has been through some hard times and we even have some scars to prove it, but there's a gift that I have sadly taken for granted for these past few precious years...

Ever since Ben was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer, we have been blessed. He has been home with us every single day, excluding time spent in the hospital. But once he was home he was home for good.

Yes, we have had to accept Social Security. I'm not terribly ashamed of this since I put in nearly 20 years of work before all of this happened. I paid my dues, sort to speak. But instead of feeling ashamed, I feel blessed for this rare opportunity.

He will be off to school in the Fall and beyond that, hopefully a career. So we will only have another nine special months left of being together 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's all our son has ever known. I don't know how Christopher will respond. So many big changes in only a year's time; a huge move, dad gone for most of the day, and finding himself at school, too!

As for me? I'm not sure. I have started some volunteer ventures that I hope to last for some time, but I am sure to find myself home alone. I won't know what to do with myself. But as for now, I will notice and accept the gifts my Father in Heaven has put before me this holiday season.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Learning How to Let Go

Letting go  is not my forte. In fact, I don't I have ever successfully let go. This seems to be a lifelong pursuit fro me. But unlike my other attempts, I am determined to reach my goal this year!

I have been praying for guidance and I have been blessed to get my first step:

Notice AND Accept

Borrowing a page out of Merrilee Boyack's book where she mentions Caring Plus Response when doing service. Notice and Accept is supposed to work in a very similar way for me. See, one of my lifelong personally achievements is finding and feeling true love.

One sure-fire way of finding love is noticing it! I'm not very good at it, though. I don't often rightfully acknowledge peoples' attempts to show their love often because I only truly understand the love I have accepted.

Which leads me to the other part: Accept. Obviously I'm not even close to perfect on this part. But I can see what I have to do. If you know of any goods ways to help me with my goal, I'd be willing to listen.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

♪♪ So You Say You Want a Resolution ♪♪

I know those aren't the words to the Beatles song, but crazy as it seems, the idea of New Year's resolutions has been on my mind lately.

I know you must think I'm crazy because it's not even Christmas yet, but hear me out.

I don't like to make resolutions. I don't feel like I have a clean slate that's been wiped by a single day. To me, New Year's Day is just like any other day ending in "Y". Yes, I am a person with no real love for the major winter holiday season but the feeling I have toward New Year's is not apathy, it's reality.

See, I don't like to start things on January 1st just to have forgotten my one goal for the year. That's the other thing: my mind is too busy to have just one goal in mind and pretty much one way to get there. Sure, losing weight is an awesome goal, I've set that one many times. But I want my resolution of sorts to have movement, to ebb and flow with my life. My life doesn't just have the same things in it every day. Something new comes up almost hourly!

So a few years ago I remembered what a good friend did one year when we were all in college and trying to figure out life, did. Her name is Christina and she had the summer off to do whatever she wanted and what she wanted to do was focus on her needs and wants. That may sound selfish, but Christina is the kind of woman who will put others needs before her own without realizing it, until she is completely spent and burnt out. So she called it the "Summer of Christina" and she cut out the letters S.O.C. and stuck them on her mirror so she would remember her goal that summer.

Then I heard yet another friend give a speech on how to better ourselves. His name is Ron and he suggested we "do a little more". When giving service, "do a little more". When working on YOU, "do a little more". When desiring to come closer to Christ, "do a little more".

So I combined the two ideas!

While still in the throes of all that has happened to our little fam, I knew I needed to do something to keep it together: mind, body, and soul. And not just my family's but mine as well. In fact, this was my main focus to staying in one piece! So, I took Ron's advice and made my whole year's focus on doing a little more. Whether it was temporal or spiritual, I did a little more. I didn't do everything, I simply did a little more. And I did that all year long.

By year's end, I wasn't perfect or complete just yet, but I could definitely feel myself getting there! That was the year 2012. For 2013, keeping the Whole Year Theme idea alive, I had another self-improvement theme: Stretch. I was to stretch outside of my comfort zone. To stretch further in my responsibilities at home, at church, with friends, with my community. Anything that needed stretching, I did it...or at least had to try!

And you know what? IT WORKED! I used to not leave my home without a panic attack, so I left as little as possible...until I stretched. Soon, I was leaving on my own and doing things just for me. I even joined the most awesome Zumba group ever! The rewards were too much to count! And then I did the biggest stretch to date: I moved to another state...in a loaded car...cat, dog, kid, and me....ALL, BY, MYSELF! (My husband took the moving van earlier the day before). If you were to tell me January 1st that I was going to do any of that much less ALL of it, not only would I not believe you, but I would have crumpled into a ball and have sworn NEVER to leave my house again!

So my point. The entire reason for writing this post. To let you in on next year's theme!

Let Go.

I want to be happy again. I want to enjoy the happy events that keep happening to me, and I think the only way to do that is for me to Let Go! So that's what I'm going to attempt for next year. Like complete weight loss I have never succeeded in letting go before, but hey, I never drove 14 hours across three states to a new home and life before either...

Want to join me? Want to share your ideas and thoughts? You can even hitch a ride on my crazy train and try doing all three this year!