Thoughts

Here’s What’s New

I haven’t blogged in almost a year. I know… That’s not so good. In my defense, I have had some huge stuff going on. Why didn’t I blog about it, right?! In all honesty, I didn’t blog anything because I am so exhausted I sometimes wonder if I am half dead.
Still, I have thought about blogging every day. Solution? Download the WordPress app.
Now I will be honest- this most likely means that I will do quick, sloppy posts more frequently because I honestly don’t have it in me to format something from my app. I figure I am still better off if I am at least getting thoughts onto the screen than if I wait until I have energy to post directly from my computer. (Look how many times I did that in the past 12 months, eh?)

Here’s what’s new:
Since my last blog post I have accumulated more symptoms than I can count which proved to me that I was clearly as unwell as I have felt for so many years. I could ignore and justify things no longer. It was time for something to be done. Luckily for us, we finally got insurance to help me do that.

I had I spent the summer preparing for another year of homeschooling. 2 pre-k, 1 K, and 1 2nd grade. It kept me so busy. We started school the first week of September and we were immediately busy. I cherish the time I am blessed to have with my kids, and we were having so much fun!

In October and November I had a series of blood test, ultrasounds, and biopsies on my thyroid and lymph nodes. First it was in 4 nodules, then it was in 5. They also were clearly growing. Some were calcified, some were not. I can still remember the feeling of that needle rupturing their walls every single time during the biopsy process. (*shudder*)

In November, the Monday or Tuesday after Thanksgiving if I remember correctly, I received a formal diagnosis- Papillary thyroid carcinoma. I took the news fine with the diagnosis. I had a feeling in my gut that it was going to be cancer all along (because how could someone possibly feel as crappy as I did and still be called well), so I resolved to educate myself and prepare before I got the word.

I know I am strong enough. I have never doubted it. I have experienced far more difficult and painful journeys in my lif already, so this has not made me flinch. It has only been a bump in the road. Plus this isn’t new to my family- my oldest sister has already been through the same thing. (It helps to have someone with whom to talk to and discuss things. I have had the blessing of already knowing the main steps of the journey which I had to now take.) My endocrinologist has said that it is clearly hereditary at this point and strongly urged all of my other siblings to get checked out as well. Most of them have done or are doing so now.

I have to say that my primary care doctor has been awesome from the start. He took me very seriously from day one and was very aggressive in helping me get what I needed to receive a diagnosis in very little time. He also has that ability to destroy any fear which could have been possible with his resolve that no matter how bad it seemed, we would still beat it. He left no margins of worry whatsoever.

From the day I received my official diagnosis, everything became a blur. My December had more referrals and appointments than I could count. At one point I joked that I was convinced that it wasn’t the cancer that would kill me, but all the never ending doctors appointments might.

I met my new ENT Dr. He is also amazing. I met my Endocrinologist. He is very straightforward and doesn’t waste your time. I have been in very good hands.

I have had so much support from my friends and family that I am speechless. The outpouring of love I felt from all sides was truly humbling.

December 30 was the big surgery day. I was happy to get it all done before the end of the year. I chose it that way so that I could leave it behind me and in 2014 forever. I had a total thyroidectomy. Surgery went so great! (Like I said, I have amazing doctors. He was even kind enough to take a picture of the awful thing because I am gorey like that sometimes and I needed a picture as a momento. Haha.)

That first couple of hours afterwards though, oh boy! I believe that was the most extreme pain I have ever been in!… but also the most fleeting. (This is coming from a woman who didn’t need any pain medicine after a c-section and also went through one vbac without epidural, so I do know what pain is.) Happily, I went home the next day, just in time to enjoy Chinese food and a movie until the ball dropped and we all rang in the new year as a family. I felt so blessed.

Alas, I know I am blessed. I am thankful that everything has gone so well so far. I have a lot that I have not shared yet, including why I complain about being so tired, even though that is probably obvious to many now. I will have to continue the second half of this story for another time very soon. I think being able to sit and type from my phone occasionally will be much easier than plopping my tired self in front of a computer every time I feel the need to share. I have a lot more coming. It is time to reclaim my life, so you will be hearing from me again very soon.

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Thoughts

Always, Always, Always Make Time for Yourself!

time1

I originally began writing this post as a time management article. It evolved on its own into something much different but equally important. A few people very dear to my heart kept creeping into my mind as I wrote it, especially one in particular. I hope that it gives you a boost as much it has helped me while I’ve written it. I’ve heard it said, “The bad news is that time flies; the good news is that you’re the pilot.”
The biggest lesson we all need to constantly review is, simply that: Time. How do you spend what you have been given? Here are some of my best pointers, regardless of what age someone is or lifestyle a person lives.

time

Time to Take Care of Yourself

Nobody knows you better than yourself. Any time you feel agitated or tired or inexplicably upset or stressed, think about what you might be doing differently from before or think about what you wish you would be able to do differently already. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes it is difficult, sometimes it is impossible. I personally don’t approve of impossibilities and would encourage you to make a way if there isn’t necessarily a visible option in front of you. The bottom line: If you’re unhappy or unwell, something has got to change.

reading

Benefits-of-reading-books-infographic

Time to Read

Even if you don’t enjoy it or you find it difficult, PLEASE do it anyway. If you struggle to create the habit, start with 10 minutes a day. It’s exercise for the brain. It’s good for everyone, including you!

happy

Time for what gives you Joy

What other purpose of life can you think of? I’m going to be honest here. Sometimes this one is not always easy for me, but I sincerely cannot think of another purpose we are here if it is not to have, seek, find, and share joy. So if you’re like me and you sometimes have better days and worse days, do your best to share joy with others and you will be lucky enough to happen upon more joy for yourself at the same time.
Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. If there’s something on your bucket list you’ve always thought would be amazing to do, but you’ve never quite been able to get around to it, then I think it is time for you to start doing it!

service

Time for Service

If you find yourself feeling down and out, stop focusing on yourself so much! Life is always going to have challenges. It’s life. But I’ll tell you a secret, it’s a heck of a lot easier to bear your own burdens if you lift someone else up in theirs along the way.

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Time for Pondering and Time for Moving On

How many times have we all caught ourselves dwelling in the past when we should have moved on? Sometimes people are going to knock you down. It’s a universal truth that people will sometimes be envious, selfish, judgmental, spiteful, hurtful, jealous, etc. (this list could go on for a very long time…). Sometimes they’ll hurt you. There will be times when you need to stand up and fight for what you know is right and there will also be times that you will be better off letting go and moving forward while leaving some people in your past where they belong. It’s not easy making the right decision, but one great piece of advice to help you decide is 1) Never hold onto anger. Anger is like venom; it is poisoning your own insides, not theirs. And 2) Holding a grudge is allowing someone to dwell rent-free in your mind.

One more thing. Sometimes we are the ones who hurt ourselves. It might be a mistake we made unknowingly, or a mistake we made which, at the time, didn’t seem like it was going to be such a bad idea. Or, maybe, something that we wanted to do which we never thought we would regret so badly as we do now. You know in your heart. If you know it was the wrong thing to do, you don’t have to carry that burden with you forever. Say sorry. See if you can repair some of the damages. (If you can’t, then at least they know how sorry you are.) Think of ways you can be better from now on.

LIVE BETTER from now on.

courage

Time for Courage

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable, they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” ~Earnest Hemingway

No matter what, keep going. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is going to face a trial in their life which will break you down and hurt every ounce of who you are. It is your choice whether to allow that moment to define you or to destroy you.

meditation

Time for Meditation

Stop. Do nothing. Whan it gets hard enough that you don’t know what to do next, it is time for you to do nothing for a moment.

Now

Time to Seize the Moment

Ever remember a moment you wish you could have done something differently? A moment in your past which you regret? I do. There’s also a few which I have zero regrets on because I know that it was better than not doing anything at all. Never let the fear of failure or missed chances overpower your opportunities for success.

understand

Time for Learning, Study, and Teaching

Nobody is so educated that they no longer have a capacity to learn. Always keep learning. Always share your knowledge with others. They will appreciate it more than you think and they’ll always remember you for what you contributed to them in their lives.

pray

Time for Prayer
I’m not telling you what to believe in, but I am encouraging you to believe in Something. And I guarantee, if you take time to pray about the things that matter most to you in any given moment, you’ll feel so much better when you get back up.

what really matters

Time for Planning & Prioritizing

This is where I frequently falter. Don’t get caught up in doing what is convenient versus what is important. The best thing I have learned is do the most important things first, no matter what. Then anything else which needs to be done will never take precedence over what you care most about in your life. Pablo Picasso said, “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”

love

Time for Love

Here’s another one I constantly worry over. Will my loved ones believe how deeply I love them, or will they believe I always loved something else, someone else, or myself more? I pray that they will know that everything I do is out of love for them. Decide what you love. Live with the motivation of love. Keep love for something or someone. Do it. But most importantly, never forget that you are loved by others as well. You may not always feel it, but it is always true.

health

Time for Health

Don’t let anything get in the way of your health. No matter how much you may be called to sacrifice in the love and service of others, you are no good to them if you are not well. Take a bath. Pamper yourself once in a while. Reward yourself. Exercise. Eat responsibly. This list could go on forever. Do what you know you need to, even if it isn’t easy. This goes for mental health as well. Don’t abuse your body or your mind. It’s all you have.

time is now

Time Is Now

There’s no time to waste. Do the most important thing you can think of doing, right now. What are you waiting for?

What are some things that you think it is important to make time for?

Thoughts

In the Quiet Moments of Inadequacy

Hello, world. I’m still here, wherever that is. With moving our family of 6 to a different city in a home with about 1000sqft LESS space, surviving the holiday season, and surviving the wave of family illnesses from cold and flu season, it is nice to finally feel like life might be settling down… (Or is that just wishful thinking?) It’s been a while since I wrote on here… this quiet, inconsequential little blog which nobody reads except for me. So, if you’re here, then thanks. Maybe you can help me out with my current mode of thought.

I’m not a pro at giving advice when you feel inadequate. I’m more of a pro at suffering from the feelings of inadequacy more than anything else. Tonight is one of those moments, in fact. Here I sit on the edge of my bed, wishing for something to drown my sorrows in besides my own tears. I have Joshua Radin playing on my speakers to help me try to drown out the crazy inside my head. If I was a drinker, tonight would be a whole bottle of something. Too bad, eh? The only thing I have going for me tonight is the warm cat who rarely leaves my side. He needs comfort almost as often as I do. His name is Spectre and he was hit by a car last Thanksgiving. Thank heaven for wonderful veterinarians who excel in their callings. He survived a compound fracture in his leg along with a few other life-threatening complications. Two weeks later, he came home to me a semi-new kitty cat, fully grown (did I mention he isn’t even a full year old yet?) and feisty as ever. Well, enough about that, anyway. Not many people enjoy listing or reading about the rants of an emotional woman with a cat. Hah!

Tonight I have been stuck. I’m trudging in thought and self pity. There’s too much for my brain to handle, sometimes. I wonder, constantly, if I am juggling too many roles in my life. This is what I do every few months– I keep it all together for as long as I can (never letting on to my family or my peers just how much I am struggling or in need of a boost) until something happens (a teensy lovers’ quarrel, for example) which causes me to drop every ball I had in the air. I tried to keep it all inside. I tried to hold all the pieces together. But the truth is that the only thing I have ever been good at is doubting in myself. I can’t help it. I’m super awesome at hiding my insecurities on my good days, but the truth is always in plain sight to those who choose to look deeper.

Wouldn’t it figure the water works finally broke through when I was sulking on the internet and stumbled across this picture on my news feed:

Purpose

It kills me. I have so many moments like that, but right now I’m so darn tired. I don’t really feel much purpose. I don’t really feel much of anything except anxiety. The problem is my sense of inadequacy. And I don’t even have any advice for you tonight. But if you’re there right now too, then at least I can say that you are not alone. I guess that’s the beauty of the picture anyway.

Even in the moments when you feel completely alone and invisible, at least you can know that there’s One who will never forget about you and the sacrifices you make for the ones you love, no matter how great or small.

Just keep pushing. God believes in you. I do too.

Thoughts

Heart Shattered: My Experience with Miscarriage

Heart Shattered: My Experience with Miscarriage
(Originally posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Less than a month after the devastating experience, but I had to write about it in order to help myself move forward in my healing process.)

nofarewell

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, either in my book or here on my blog. I hardly even remembered what my blog currently looked like. I hardly cared to remember who I was. Who I was is not the same as I now am.

This year, well, the past 4 years, have not been easy. I’ve been on a personal emotional roller coaster filled with more downs than ups. My family keeps my heart intact and holds my head above water, so to speak. They are my greatest treasure. I cherish everything about my children. Nothing takes precedence over them. I would give and do anything for them.

In March we found out we were expecting our 5th baby. We happily kept it a secret which we didn’t plan to share until we could surprise everyone with our first ultrasound picture of our little peanut. Sadly, that didn’t get to happen. In the beginning of June I started spotting one night. I went to the Emergency Room the next day. In the time we were there, I got an ultrasound, but not the way I had hoped. Instead of a joyous occasion at the first glimpse of my little one, instead it was very solemn.

As a mother, my entire mission is to nurture and strengthen my children. I want to uplift them. I want to protect them from every negative influence in my power. No one is ever able to protect their child on the inside.

I saw my baby. Instead of a healthy, happy little heart beat there was none. Instead of cute little limbs moving and kicking, there was no movement. He was just there. Suspended in his dark, quiet tomb.

I would never get to know the perfect little spirit that inhabited that tiny body for only 10 weeks. Nothing could be done because he was already gone.

The doctors speculate that he was already gone two weeks before I even had any indications of complications, for I was supposed to be nearly 13 weeks up to that point. In hindsight, I must have had some indications of other complications, the very sudden cessation of morning sickness, intense back pain, etc. but none of it really mattered. This really was one of those unpreventable situations. According to the ultrasound, there was no placenta. That probably means that in the transition between yolk sac and placental implantation there was a failure. The placenta didn’t implant to the uterine wall like it was supposed to, and baby, my helpless baby, slowly just died. (Doctors always like to say that it is the body’s way of aborting a baby that wasn’t going to turn out right. I think that is an insensitive catch-all way of saying that they don’t have an answer but aren’t content not being able to give one.) No one knows why.

It didn’t matter. Nothing anyone could say mattered. It couldn’t make my heart break any less.

After I received the news, I had to tell my husband who was still anxiously, but hopefully waiting for some good news in our room. And then throughout the evening we had to tell all of our family all of our heart breaking news.

That night I couldn’t stop crying. I cried and I sobbed, as I am sobbing even now as I write this. No one should ever have to experience this kind of heart break. (Sadly, I’m not the first, and I know I won’t be the last.) I couldn’t stop crying until a few hours after we put our 4 other children to bed. I only stopped crying because I was dehydrated and out of tears. My eyes were the size of golf balls, and the only reason I ate anything that night was because I had to put something into my tummy for the double dose of Excedrin that I took to ease the pain of my excruciating grief induced migraine. (The only other time I have ever had a migraine that badly was when I sobbed and cried for days at the premature death of my father when I was 17.)

My husband and I sat on the couch for a couple hours in the solemn silence of our house. We tried to be happy, we talked about anything and everything we could to help stay in control of our broken hearts, attempting and failing to keep all the shattered pieces collected. Finally as we got ready for bed, I burst into hysterical sobs again, and couldn’t be consoled until we had made a bed in the middle of the floor of our children’s bedroom. The only comfort I found was by being surrounded by the peaceful sounds of my older four children happily snoozing away.

Morning came too quickly. I woke up at dawn and paced the dark house in silence with nothing but my aching heart to keep me company. I wasn’t able to go back to sleep until I settled into an arm chair in a different room listening to some downloaded sounds of thunderstorms on my phone as I watched the night turn into day outside my window.

The following days involved a lot more emotional reconciling. As I had to come to terms with my loss, I also knew I had to face the biggest part of a “missed miscarriage” as I was sent home to “pass my baby.” (It’s terrible how you get to celebrate the birth of a child, but when your little one has died in womb, you’re suddenly just passing the baby, as if that baby is suddenly nothing more than debris. Medical terminologies can sometimes be so lacking in human sensitivities.)

My mom and sister visited the following evening. We stayed home as a family and did nothing most of Saturday and Sunday. And then my mother said that she would stay with me on Monday so that my husband could go back to work. She stayed and was a joy to be with as she boosted my spirits all of the day. That night I had full blown labor pain and contractions, but decided I was far too exhausted to face it yet, and hoped that I could get some rest between contractions. They subsided around midnight. My mom stayed until Tuesday, thank goodness, because that afternoon is when labor returned.

It didn’t happen easily. When it did, I went through the effects of a full unassisted labor, only much, MUCH worse. My mother, THANK HEAVEN FOR MY MOTHER, was there for all of it. If she had not been, I dare not think of how much worse it could have been. She saved me from fainting multiple times. She helped me search through an unspeakable amount of blood and tissue in search of the remains of my little baby. My husband came home from work and was able to help in some of the ordeal too. The problem was that I lost way too much blood. So much. My mom knows just how much. The doctors didn’t believe me when I tried to tell them. At the end as I tried to finally get out of the bathroom, I really did faint, and my husband basically carried me to my bed where they both tucked me in for the night. My hubby went out and bought me a hamburger. (I was in desperate need of red meat then.) My mom washed me, nursed me, and checked my vitals every two hours through the night.

Early morning came and a full nights rest gave me enough strength to see her off. I had breakfast from the other half of my dinner and went back to sleep for a couple hours. Right about the time we hoped I might be okay, contractions and hemorrhaging began and we still had to get me into the hospital after all. I spent the day in another ER hooked up to an IV and received 2 doses of morphine. That night, a week since my initial spotting, I had an emergency D&C. And, huge shocker, my blood levels were too weak, and they had me stay the night where I then received 2 blood transfusions.

I’m trying to be strong. I’ve been trying and praying for strength throughout the entire experience. When I got home that Thursday, a flood of memories of the recent “war zone” rushed upon me with my returning grief. I’m still learning to cope. Some people may think, “What’s the big deal? It was just a little fetus.” I don’t believe it. As a mother, you come to know your child before he or she is even born, and I believe that little baby did have a spirit at one point, whether I got to know him outside the womb or not. I personally held that perfectly formed little baby and I could see all of his already developed features and I was able to see EXACTLY what he would have looked like, had he been allowed to live a longer life.

I’m still surprised that it happened to me. Me. I know and hear about lots of women who actually do have various risk indicators for complications during pregnancy which have caused or do threaten a miscarriage. I’ve got a best friend who has experienced multiple miscarriages in various stages. I was devastated every time she experienced that loss. Now I know what it felt like physically and, worse, emotionally for me. I’ll never fully recover from this tragedy. Nobody ever gets over that kind of thing, they only get past it. It will take time.

My entire life I have always striven to have and exercise charity, the pure love of Christ, to the best of my abilities. I have frequently prayed that I could empathize, more than just sympathize, when someone else has been going through a difficult trial in their own personal life. I could ask so many questions of “WHY” but I don’t really feel like I need to. I have a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have a firm understanding and faith in the Plan of Happiness and that families can be together forever. I know why I am here and what my purposes in this life are. And I have great hope that I can meet my perfect baby boy again some day. He was too perfect for this life and all he needed to fulfill his plan was to receive a body. Now that he was able to do that, I believe he is already with our Savior once again.

This loss has been very personal to me. You probably will not hear me actually speak of it again in person simply because the pain of it is still extremely close to the surface still. But I can say that I truly do feel blessed in the midst of my trials. I feel like this has brought my family closer together and given me a closer relationship with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ also. He is a god of miracles and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

As for my precious child, I didn’t flush him and I was not able to bring his remains to a lab for analysis for who knows what. He was my baby. I held him in my hand and saw his perfectly formed little features and body. He was cremated and we will make his final resting place there with my daddy’s so that he will always be safe, with someone who I know also loves him.

Rest in peace until we meet again, my little one. Your daddy, siblings, and I love you with all of our hearts.

Thoughts

To Care or Not to Care

(Originally posted April 4, 2013)

Recently I read a NY Times article called, “The ‘Busy’ Trap” by Tim Kreider. Ironically, this exact concept has been on my mind a lot. Not more than a few hours ago I even posted a facebook status pondering how to make people care more about the littler things in life, to care as much as I do, and wondering if anyone else gets frustrated in the way that I do when I fail to make people care as badly as I wish they would. The most frequent response I have been hearing from many people in my circle (if they even bother to give a response, that is) is something like, “Do I have to…? I am just so busy.”

What the heck, people? If it is important to you, you’ll find a way. If it isn’t you’ll find an excuse. At least be honest about it and just say that you don’t want to or that you’re not interested. The former excuse is just a socially tolerated blow-off phrase. That’s what “busy” seems like to me. Just an excuse for not caring more when maybe you would be glad if you did. (One of my brothers has said to me on more than one occasion, “Excuses are like butts…” Well, you can fill in the rest.) Look, you don’t have to care about the same things as me. But show that you at least care about something. And not just the big somethings either.

Want to know the truth? Judge me if you will, but I cannot deny that one of the ways I gauge the quality and caliber of a person’s character is by how they make time for the small things. I’ve told you once before in this blog that I am a wall flower. It’s by choice. I like to stand on the sidelines and observe everything and everyone. It helps me see who needs less attention or who needs more. And it is just what I like to do. I love being still and observing, Taking Time, to think and meditate and brainstorm. When I see or hear people who say they are too busy or don’t have time, it is a flag to me that they just don’t care. And even if you don’t or don’t want to, I have more respect for people who practice sincerity and candor than for the others.

I can’t say that I don’t care because I do. So when others write something or someone off with the time/business excuse, it makes me sad. I know I might not know them or their personal struggles behind doors as intimately as I know my own, but what I do know is that I will always try my hardest to take time out for someone who needs me or cares.

Either you care, or you don’t. It doesn’t matter what the scenario is, you’ve just got to itemize your priorities. “Is it important enough to re-organize my busy schedule enough for this, or should I just indirectly tell them that I don’t care… Thanks for reaching out to me, guys, but I decided my time is too important and more scarce than yours and I need to spend it elsewhere. Peace out.”

Right. We get the message loud and clear.

One of my favorite quotes from the article is,
“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”

I would like to add that it is also good for the soul and good for forging bonds with your would-be peers and with your loved ones. It tells people the quality of person and friend you are by making time for even the smallest of things. Because, let’s face it, at the end of the day and at the end of our lives, it might just be the conglomeration or accumulation of all those little things we did in our life that made the biggest impact to those around us.

Time eventually runs out. None of us know when, but it will. How do you want to be remembered for spending the time you had?

As for me, I’m gonna go play “Hulk” and “Littlest Petshop” with my little ones while they’re still little. Thanks for “listening” to my ramblings all the same. It feels good to know that someone cared.

Thoughts

Life is Good

Life is Good
(Originally posted February 5, 2013)

Wow. Today has been a long, tiring day, that’s for sure! I feel like I’m always trying to catch up. There’s always going to be things for me to stress and worry over. My children were over-tired and grouchy. They decided to team up on me and the combination of melodrama and stereo screaming had me so stressed that my hands were trembling and I locked myself in my room for a half hour. Sometimes that’s all I can to to make them, and me, take a step back and realize that the sky is not falling and the world is not going to end quite yet.

By the time my hands stopped shaking and I was able to collect my thoughts, I decided all there was to do tonight was order a pizza and focus on each other. After dinner we blasted music and danced through our house. I hope I never forget those gorgeous smiles from my littlest baby as I twirled her in my arms and dipped her and spun her around and around.

Now, as I sit here in the stillness with my babies all sweetly sleeping in their beds, I’ve realized a handful of lessons from my day:
Life isn’t easy and never will be, but the blessings which God gives to each of us individually truly are perfect. Faith isn’t always (& most likely never is) easy to hold onto, but when you fight tooth and nail to keep it, especially in your low points, you’ll see miracles surround you and bear witness to you even in the tiniest or least expected moments. And, lastly, love yourself for every imperfection you’ve got because they’re what make you who you are.

So, when I say I’ve had a long, difficult day, I’m not really complaining. I live a very blessed life filled with unconditional love and endless smiles and laughter from my perfect children. I wish every day could be like today. Life is good.

xxooxxoo
~Heather

Thoughts

In Light of Recent Events

In Light of Recent Events: The Sandy Hook Tragedy
(Originally posted December 15, 2012)

There’s really not much to say right now. I could drone on and on about the boring, inconsequential events of my life if I wanted to, but it wouldn’t be right.

Yesterday made history in this country for a terrible reason… a positively nauseating and horrifically heart breaking reason. Many innocent lives were taken yesterday at an elementary school shooting in Newtown, CT. It has been breaking my heart all morning yesterday and today. Having children the same age as some of the victims were, my motherly heart has mourned for those affected, and yearned for closeness of my babies even more than I already always do. I can’t comprehend the heartbreaking, agonizing pain so many people are feeling after losing their loved ones in such a terrible way.

Many haven’t even let the dust settle after this disaster before pushing their personal or political agendas again. To me, that is morally wrong in so many ways. I feel like the human condition has degraded so much especially in regard to moral character over the past couple decades. Having been raised with a firm footing in good, old fashioned values based off of respect and spirituality, it disappoints me so deeply.

I’m feeling a little bit embittered. It’s amazing how people look at devastation and tragedies as an opportunity to preach, preach, preach. They act as if they have all the answers and go on and on about so many versions of “see, this is why…” or “I told you so…” nonsense. They act as if they care, but all they do is push their own agendas while satisfying their own narcissistic opinions under the guise of sympathy and empathy. Has anyone noticed that it is only after horrible things happen that people draw closer together? But it is ever only temporary, just until the worldliness of their characters sets back in and they’ve moved on. Maybe if people tried a little more to LIVE HUMBLY (not just feign humility when occasion suits it) and to draw closer together before bad things happen, we could all find a little more true peace and strength and it just might someday prevent a few of these awful events.

I keep thinking about those beautiful, perfect children and the magnificent lives they got to lead before Heavenly Father called them home. I ponder the plans He has in store for the future. Living in these very dark, uncertain times, the one thing I know for certain is that God is here and always in control. We may not always have the answers to why horrible things have to happen, but we can always have certainty in his love for his children. I know he has a plan for those sweet angels and their dear families, just like he does for each and every one of us. May we all find peace from the Comforter in these troubled times as in all times. It is through faith that we find strength to get through these days. May we all endeavor to preserve the good that still does exist in this world and guard our loved ones and little ones for their futures.

I wish we could forget about pushing our agendas and draw closer together the way we are meant to as families, friends, communities, and even as a country. Maybe as a result it would cause a natural chain reaction in enabling some of these concerns or agendas to get fixed on their own.

I don’t want to come off as self righteous or preachy by any means. These are just my sincere feelings. You don’t have to feel the same as me about religion or politics or life, but for heaven’s sake please believe in something good, that is worth believing and hold up a standard for it, because if we don’t, then what good are we in preventing these tragedies from happening in the future?

Thoughts

Dealing With Discouragement: Don’t lose your “Muchness”

Dealing with Discouragement: Don’t lose your “Muchness”

muchness

There’s a few things that have been causing me discouragement lately. I’m not going to go into them today, because I don’t want to re-title this post as “Woe is Me.” In my personal life and my professional life, I’ve been under a lot of pressure. I’ve got some goals and some extremely stressful deadlines. And, sadly, my hands are tied on the majority of it for now. This rut is not good for a perfectionist like me to be in, but still a good learning experience.

I realized something- I think I am looking at the big picture from a bad angle! I don’t know about you, but when something doesn’t go as I had planned, I really beat myself up about it until a) my Dear Husband gets tired of hearing me tear myself down and helps me remember to get over it and move on, or b) I lose all focus and momentum and tell myself it is time to just hang it all up for a while. (One thing is for certain. B is no longer one of my options because the goals and deadlines I have set for myself are some that I want so deeply that I absolutely refuse to let them be stopped.) Now is the time to change my perspective and push forward from a different direction.

1) Change the things you can, accept the things you cannot, and don’t condemn yourself if in hindsight you see you mixed a few of those things up. If you stare at the past for too long, you’re going to stumble in your future.

2) Reward yourself for the progress and achievements you have already made. It enables you to realize that even though you didn’t quite reach the point you wanted to get to, at least you’re further along than from where you started. (DH reminded me of this one.)

3) Step Back from your routine. Get out of town. Put it all away for a weekend. Go to your sacred little spot that helps give you a mental, spiritual, or emotional tune-up. It doesn’t matter what you decide to do or where you choose to go as long as you simply step away from that goal that you are feeling discouraged about. Force yourself to let it all go for a weekend, and relax! Chances are you just need to get a refill on things that bring you enjoyment. Renew your senses. Sounds, sights, textures, and smells can all give you new inspiration for whatever it is that you like to do.

4) Focus on Others for a while. I’ve noticed that sometimes when I am so super stressed (or discouraged) from working on a goal for too long without reaching the desired outcome it is because I’ve been focusing too much on myself and, to some degree, neglecting all the other important people in my life that matter. Spend more time with your loved ones and friends. You never know where your newest chunk of inspiration is going to come from, and you will have increased clarity and focus once you return to your goal.

5) Tackle Something Small that you’ve been putting off for a while. Clean your kitchen junk drawer. Put away that looming stack of papers into the file cabinet where they belong. Sort through the family wardrobes and toys and donate a ton. (I know that decreasing clutter always makes me feel loads better.) Whatever it is that you’ve been procrastinating in, go take care of it- it’ll make one less thing on your over-all list of goals and projects.

6) Be true to You. Never let anything get in the way so much that it makes you forget who you are and what you stand for. Only in the past year have I truly realized how crucial this point is to life. In years past I was so focused on sacrificing and making things work out for everyone else, so consumed and desperate to make others happy that I didn’t remember who I was anymore or how to even make myself happy. I had a shadow of a memory of the giant I used to me, but I had lost my “muchness.”

Keep on pushing- don’t stop. If you feel like you are no longer moving despite all your efforts, then try a new approach. Keep your “muchness” and make it even “muchier.”