I remember so many words spoken in anger. A hurtful response in response to being hurt. Quickly decided, spoken without thought, spewed forth like hot lava. Like a volcano there’s no stopping the flow until all words and name calling are exhausted. Later , I’m sorry, is said, but it’s too late. At some point I would step away so I could stop and think. Some of the words being flung hit so hard they have yet to be forgotten, while most sting a little but are easily brushed off. I wish there was a response delay timer, making it impossible to respond with anger for at least 5 minutes. It would give the opportunity for all parties to calm down, and think about what was said and why and about what should be said next and why. Time to think and calm down is the key – hard to do when being hurt sends me directly to hurt back mode. It would have made a big difference, if the realization that I’m speaking to the person I love, sent me directly to love mode instead, because then I could have responded with what they really deserve, understanding and love.
Some of the best therapy, in the first few year after my husband died, was the visits from my sisters and friends. When they came to me, they occupied enough of my thoughts and time to make my husband leave. There was no room for both, so their visits provided the opportunity to keep different company for a time. A reprieve from the reminder that he was physically gone by having him gone in my mind as well. During their visits we didn’t talk very much about him or him being gone. Instead, they pulled me into the land of the living where there was life to be found talking about our families, jobs, adventures. The visits were a time to give my heart and mind a well needed break from sadness, thinking about decisions to be made, and being alone. After they left, he would stay away for a while, but he always came back. I wanted him to. I didn’t want him gone forever, I just needed a break. Almost 6 years later, he’s able to co-exist with my company. I no longer need him to leave completely because he no longer takes up all the space.
After a chef was Chopped, she said, “It wasn’t this day that made me, it’s not this day that will break me.” When things go bad, really or somewhat, this should be the reply. All too often, in the moment, it’s concluded it’s the end, all is lost, and questions arise like, how can I possibly move forward, what will become of me. My bad moments, huge disappointments, and devastating failures have made me lose sight of the future, halted thoughts of trying again, and made me forget past successes and all the giant steps forward. At some point I do see, try, and remember again, but this reply will get me there quicker. What made me is the sum of all of my days; the bad, the good, the normal, the scary, the fearful, the hopeful, the joyful. One bad day or even the sum of all of my bad days is nothing out of the more than 22,000 days I’ve lived so far. I’m still here, growing, finding joy, comfortable with more than I really need. I’m living proof that one bad day, or even just one bad experience in one day, can’t make me or break me.
Discovering another love myself moment came a few days ago when I cut my own hair. I promised myself back in June I wouldn’t cut it myself any more, BUT I was sick of feeling crappy about how it looked and therefore how I looked. I don’t know why I postponed making a hair appointment BUT I did, bringing me to the point of doing something I know I shouldn’t do. It was most likely a lack of motivation even though I had plenty of desperation. It’s definitely not perfect, BUT it made an immediate difference in how I felt about myself. I checked the mirror throughout the next day and yes, my hair looked the same as it did first thing that morning and I wasn’t afraid to go out and let people see me without a hood. Great thing about hair is that it grows and so I’ll make an appointment in 6 weeks or so and get it done right, BUT for Christmas, the cut I gave myself, is more than just fine, it’s taken away the dread of seeing family feeling absolutely miserable about how I look. Being good with my reflection = love myself.
I’ve taken my exercise challenge to heart and I’ve made it interesting and challenging, and it’s working. It’s only been a week but I already feel less flabby and lost 5 pounds! I started with three exercises that take less than 5 minutes combined and can be easily done throughout the day. My inspiration came from two of my sisters who work together. They set up short exercises triggered by some event, like the phone ringing or the beep of a car horn. Each day I’ve tried to beat the day before as to how many times I did each type or how many repetitions. Yesterday I added a new one and started going a bit slower. My muscles were pretty sore at first but I agree with the statement, “no pain, no gain”. The pain tells me I’m accomplishing something and I’ve found that there aren’t that many things I do where there’s immediate proof I’ve made a difference. Even though this difference, this accomplishment, isn’t anything spectacular or astounding and only about me, it’s one thing I found that helps me feel good about myself. It helps me love myself; something I really need to start doing.
Sometimes I feel I’ve come so far and other times, like today, it seems I’ve traveled a few feet. There’s battles I’ve won and others come at me again and again but have yet to be defeated. For those battles that keep repeating themselves, it’s like being in the movie Groundhog Day, except without the humor. I learn a little each time, but not enough to win. Alone is one of them; unloved another. I’ve been pretty good at pushing them back by making crafts to sell; keeping busy. I’ve always been like that; lots to do on our farm, cleaning/cooking at the B&B, or easily filling up the little free time that’s left after working a full-time job. I’m finding myself with nothing to make and having a hard time starting new wood projects. I think it’s because I’ve never made these projects before, but I’m not sure why that’s a problem. I’ve got lots of time to take my time, but taking my time isn’t what I do. I think it’s time to learn how. As far as alone and unloved, I don’t believe they’re fixable so, again, it’s time to learn how to accept and love myself.
It’s December 15th and I’ve pushed snow around for 13 of those days. 1 to 2 inches fall each night and is keeping everything white. Removing snow has become part of my daily routine because if I drive on it, it turns to ice. Since ice on a sloping driveway is not good, this task is easy to add to my daily routine. I have other things I should add to my daily routine and there are really good reasons to do so but not good enough to inspire me to do so. Exercise is an important one which I think about, but don’t do, every day. I know all the benefits but still don’t. What will it take to want to do it? I, like the rest of the world, have someday intentions – I’ll do it someday, maybe tomorrow. It’s not because I lack the money; exercise is free. I know I lack determination and inspiration. How do I get these? I don’t need them to have peanut butter and chocolate chips every day because that’s an enjoyable tasty treat! So maybe I need to figure out how to make exercise enjoyable – now that’s a challenging assignment!