Mason Jars and Flavored Water

Today I’m thankful for Mason Jars to use as cups and Flavored Water Drops.

Super Deep stuff, right?!?

It doesn’t have to be super deep and mind blowing. It can be as simple as Jars and flavouring.

I drink lots of water and typically use the giant jars but they happen to be dirty and in the dishwasher…..so this cute little 500ml guy is my go-to for today. I LOVE carbonated water and really love my sodastream. But I love that the Flavored water drops mean I can have variety.

What are you thankful for today?

No Shame

It’s been over 5 years since I started taking meds and my life radically changed for the better.

I grew up with anxiety but I thought that everyone felt like me, thought like me, lived and struggled like me. I had no idea that it wasn’t typical to overthink everything and worry about everything and wonder what everyone thought of you and if they thought you were weird or stupid. I thought it was normal to try to do everything 100% perfectly and then after an event or meeting or get together, to go over everything you said and did and muse about how someone might have interrupted or taken what you said in a negative way; and to totally beat yourself up for just not being good enough.

I thought everyone was really good at life and that I just needed to try harder. I thought I just needed to be more confident or work harder to be perfect so people wouldn’t think I was weird or strange.

I sort of coped. I’d probably say that I survived my childhood and teen years…..even into my married life. And then we had some financial struggles, work issues, church issues, a stillbirth, secondary infertility, more work and financial issues, parenting issues and then we added in a few years of childhood cancer and special needs.

By that point, I had zero reserves left to even survive. I hadn’t slept more than a few broken hours in over 3 years. I was exhausted and SO lonely. I was broken. So very broken.

In the past, I’d had health care professionals ask if I felt I was depressed. Depression never seemed to fit, especially when I looked into it and read up on symptoms. I didn’t feel depressed….but something wasn’t right. I felt like it took every ounce of effort I had to just survive and even then, I was doing a lousy job of it.

In 2012, I was looking into what anxiety was, for someone else, I came across an article and checklist and I could check every single box. I booked an appointment with my Dr, took the list in and said, “I have anxiety. I’ve struggled with this my entire life and had no idea it was an actual thing. I check every box on this list. And this is the first time, “I” understand why I have struggled and what I have struggled with.

I asked for meds and I truly feel that was the beginning of me “actually living” instead of just surviving.

I spent the next year, feeling more and more calm and still within myself. It was unreal to me to feel my thoughts settle and for the anxiety to quiet. I finally felt like I wasn’t “fighting” myself all of time. I had the opportunity to breathe and to replenish and to recover.

Taking meds, understanding anxiety, getting counselling and talking about it have been life changing for me.

I have (with my Dr.) tweaked my doses over the years, sometimes increasing, sometimes decreasing; and sometimes switching things up. Always with the goal of having me be my best self and living my best life.

If you are thriving without meds, awesome; but if you are struggling, don’t ever be ashamed or feel like you are a failure for needing and accepting help.

I still struggle. I still have anxiety. Sometimes it’s brutal; but most of time, I’m doing well.

I may need meds for the rest of my life and I’m okay with that. If it means the difference between enjoying life or barely surviving, I’ll choose enjoying life every time.

I will never be ashamed of needing help, asking for help and accepting help. I hope you won’t be either.

Today, I am so very thankful for this handful of meds. They have changed my life.

What are you thankful for?

Spring Break

I’m counting today as the first official day of Spring Break.

I was so grateful to not have to make lunches, or to prep outfits or to find lost glasses or shoes, or to make sure that backpacks were hung at the front door. I was so thankful to not have to rush children out of the house, nor to bag at them to eat breakfast.

It was lovely to just get up slowly, drink my coffee in my pyjamas and listen to the comforting morning sounds of Minecraft on the X-Box.

I’ve kicked the boys out to the backyard and they are enjoying the trampoline. I’ve got to get a few things done but I’m just gonna enjoy today and take it easy. We have no set plans for Springs Break which is nice. I enjoy the down time.

Do you have plans for Spring Break?

What are you grateful for today?

Look for the Light

Today I’m thankful for lighting, angles and filters.

Good morning! This is a fabulous, still in bed photo that I just took. The lighting in my bedroom is amazing. Diffused but bright and as long as you look towards the light (oh I love that) it creates beauty from an otherwise harsh reality.

And the harsh reality……..is also a fabulous, still in bed shot. But with unflattering angles, no awareness of lighting and no filter.

The take away……look for the light, it makes everything better.

But also, know your angles; and filters are nice too.

Ha!

What are you grateful for today?

Anxiety

Oh, my sweet boy!

It’s Friday morning and I’m sitting in the school office. I haven’t been here in a while which is something that I’m SO thankful for.

Last year, I spent the majority of the year in the school and a huge portion of it, sitting in the office.

Judah has had a tough time with separation anxiety. It started in Kindergarten. Grade 1 was harder and Grade 2 was even worse. We’ve done lots of counselling and emotional “work” and this year has been a roller coaster of ups and downs.

One thing that I’m SO very thankful for is that there have been more ups than downs this year.

I get discouraged because this has been such a long process, and if I’m being honest, I just want things to be normal……whatever that is.

But, things are getting better and this is the first time that I’ve sat here in the office, in a long time.

We’re all tired and ready for Spring Break and the down time.

But today, I’m SO thankful for the forward progress that we’ve made this school year.

What are you thankful for?

Eric the Treadmill

I’m tired and not really feeling the whole gratitude thing this morning. I do have a million things I could be thankful for but today’s lucky winner is Eric.

Meet Eric! He’s my treadmill.

Okay, it’s actually an Epic View 550 treadmill but I do a lot of pondering and musing while walking and one day I was laughing to myself (Do you do this……laugh at your own jokes because you are just SO hilarious…..or is that just me?) because I had a date with my trainer Eric…….so I found a piece of chalk and changed it from Epic to Eric. Now I walk/run with Eric.

I know. You’re probably shaking your head or laughing at me and that’s okay. Cause I laugh at me, too!

This treadmill, though, it was a great investment…..because even when I can’t leave the kids…..I can still walk or run. I could use it more regularly but I’m trying, it’s available and convenient. So it’s a win, in my books!

So today, I’m thankful for Eric and now I’m going to go for a walk.

What are you thankful for?

Quiet

“A quiet mind is able to hear intuition over fear.” Yvan Byeajee

Our house is often loud and chaotic, so when I have moments of quiet, I appreciate them all the more.

Even when it’s messy and my kids snacked on chips for breakfast and then left their mess sitting on the floor in the living room, I’m so very thankful for the quiet.

It feels like my life mirrors itself, internally and externally. Often, it’s chaotic inside my brain, with thoughts swirling and whirling. I have big dreams and plans and I’m often mulling over how I can possibly accomplish them, or anxiety runs rampant and I’m trying to reign it all in; but when everything settles and it’s quiet……I can just be.

Then I sit and breathe and wait.

What are you grateful for today?

Wholeness – A Stream of Consciousness

I’ve been struggling recently. Not with being thankful, as that’s a pretty good habit of mine. I’ve been stress eating or just eating garbage or eating my feelings……..regardless of what I want to call it, I feel like I’m out of control.

art by me ~2018

I feel like I’m trapped in a downward spiral of food and I hate it hatred.

That’s an interesting word swap.

I initially said to myself that “I hate it” but I’m wondering if “hatred” is closer to the truth.

It definitely resonates truer, inside of myself.

Except, I don’t hate myself. At least, I don’t think I do.

Do I hate my body? I‘m disgusted by it.

Can I love something that I’m disgusted by? That’s a good question.

Why do I feel disgusted by it?

And, if I’m disgusted by it, but it houses me, it’s a part of me….then am I disgusted with me?

And then we’re back to the hatred.

Interesting……..

I desperately want to make peace with myself. I want to stop fighting against anxiety, and my body, and my mind. I want to accept all these flawed pieces of myself as one incredible whole. I want to stop trying to disconnect myself from the parts of me that I feel are unworthy of acceptance and love.

Somehow, I feel this goes back to perfectionism. And yet, factually, I know that’s an unattainable goal. I’ve somehow believed that I need to be perfect to be loved and accepted and that the parts of me,that aren’t perfect, are bad.

I just want to “be” me. I want to love me, all of the parts of me.

Like, my family, is a whole. Made up of different personalities and “pieces”. None of those pieces are less than or bad. They are just different and each adds their own beauty and uniqueness to the world. Some of them struggle more than other and there are challenges but I don’t consider any of them bad, or less than perfect, or disgusting. Each is just a beautiful part of the whole.

So, how do I get there with myself. How do I recognize and see and love all the pieces of myself as valuable and intrinsic to the whole?

That is a good question and one that I don’t have a clear answer to, at this exact moment; but I believe that I’ll get there.

Today, I’m thankful for the opportunity to grow and heal. I’m thankful for self-reflection. I’m so incredibly thankful for counseling and therapy. I’m thankful for the freedom that comes when you turn towards the things that scare you and you realize that it’s okay. You’re okay. I’m thankful to be on a journey towards wholeness. I’m thankful for every step on this journey…..even the hard ones.


Be Thankful

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” William Arthur Ward


It’s amazing how a daily practice of Gratitude can change your life. Don’t believe me……try it.

I woke up this morning, tired and feeling grouchy. I probably could have stewed in my misery but I asked myself, “What do I have to be thankful for?”

Believe me, it’s not like angels sang and the heaven’s opened up, and a light shone down and my life was transformed. My first thought was……

Man, I am gonna be so thankful when I drop these kids off at school.

HA!

Yup, thankful for alone time……to really bask in my tiredness and misery.

We were going to be late this morning, I didn’t even really let it phase me. I just embraced the moment. Get ready, without a freak out, without tears. We are going to be late. So let’s eat breakfast, get dressed and get this show on the road.

And we did. And as the morning went on, all these little thoughts kept coming to me.

I’m so thankful to be alive even if I’m tired.

I’m thankful that my kids are going to school, even if just for a half day (Jude is dealing with some school/seperation anxiety and is only doing a few hours, at the moment)

I’m thankful for a home, even if it a mess.

I’m thankful for a vehicle so we don’t have to walk.

I’m SO thankful for Daylight Saving Time because we get more evening sun. (don’t hate. I LOVE it)

I’m so thankful for coffee, this morning.

I’m even thankful that we are supposed to get snow tonight because it’s bright and white and not dreary rain.

All these Thankful, Positive thoughts snowballed as I got the kids ready and drove to school and dropped them off. It’s like the Gratitude gained momentum and the misery just shrunk until I could no longer feel it wrapped about me like a scarf.

I’m still tired. My reality is still the same, but my focus has shifted and that shift brings such an amazing awareness of the good things in life. Today will be a good day. Because I choose it be.

What are you thankful for? I’ d love to hear.