Having a Merciful Heart

I originally posted the following post on Over the Big Moon (OTBM) under the title of Having a Merciful Heart.  As has become my custom during the week prior to the third Sunday, I am featuring a previous OTBM post here in anticipation of my new OTBM post this Sunday.  Normally I wouldn’t do so, but I did do tweaks to this post to make it less holiday focused since it was first published in December 2013.

My Mom battled Ovarian Cancer for five years.  In the latter part of those five years, the battle grew increasingly more difficult.  She was always good to put a smile on about the whole affair.  People would ask her how she was feeling and she would give an optimistic response.  I knew differently.  I recall there was one gentleman at church that would say, “How are you, really?”  I guess he was catching on that my Mom wasn’t offering up her true feelings and state of physical well-being.  It wasn’t that she was trying to lie, I think she just thought it best for everyone if they didn’t worry about her.  I suppose I don’t really know what her purpose was in keeping a strong upper lip on the matter.  As I sit here, I wish I could ask her why she kept so many in the dark.  In some ways, I’ve made a conscious decision to do the opposite, but at the same time my default is to put on that ever-smiling face no matter what.

Since I had never really been a private person, it wasn’t until the darkest time that I battled depression that I even realized I too hid the pain and ugliness.  It just seems that people don’t want to know the real ugly thoughts we each endure.  So, with those thoughts unshared, they become thoughts of shame and grief.    I chuckle recalling my friend’s remarks when I confided in her about my desperate struggle with depression.  She said, “You’re the happiest depressed person I’ve ever met.”  She was not the only person to make comments along these lines.  People would honestly ask me if I was ever in a bad mood.  If only they knew…

Before I go further, let me say that I do not suggest that we should constantly be putting our dirty laundry out, nor carry around a sour disposition, nor spout to all the woes and heartbreak we feel.  I truly believe that constantly feeding negative thoughts begets more negative thinking.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons my Mom kept her times of sorrow private.  She had an attitude of optimism.

In that same breath though, I think it’s important that we allow ourselves to be vulnerable amongst our loved ones.  It’s this misconception that everyone is doing perfectly fine that creates this false feeling to the downtrodden that they are alone in their suffering.  I know that is exactly how I felt when I experienced Postpartum Depression (PPD).  In my eyes, every Mom I had met spoke of an immediate connection with their child and joy beyond compare.  I loved and adored my infant daughter, but I was not experiencing those same feelings that they were describing.  I applaud the first woman who opened up and shared her less-than-positive feelings regarding post childbirth.  It’s that same reason that I have since strived to be open about my own trials.  Since I am, apparently, quite good at hiding my pain during my daily activities, I’ve had to be forward in sharing my true feelings.  Even close friends seem to be baffled when I confess to them that I am barely coping in my daily life.  But, I think it’s important that women, and men, realize that pain and suffering is not set aside just for them individually.  We all must endure and we all must be merciful.

I have had the opportunity to be a listening ear to many women over the past years.  In my efforts to be honest about my challenges, others have felt comfortable in sharing theirs with me.  Some stories included pains I cannot comprehend.  I believe it takes great courage for us to confide in another regarding our deepest suffering.  In my respect for their courage and trust in me, I held their stories private.  But, sadly, I later overheard other women speak unkind words and make judgments regarding these women who had confided in me.  I wanted to shout out, “If only you knew what they were dealing with privately, you would not be so quick to judge.”  So as not to damage the trust that those courageous women had placed in me, I held my tongue.  I simply tried to suggest to the gossiping women that these other women may be dealing with more than they understood.  That experience, more than any other, taught me that we ought not make unrighteous judgments.  Every person has their own story and struggle and rarely, if ever, do we have the whole picture.

I once had the pleasure of spending time with this sweet couple.  The husband was sharing with me how kind-hearted and tender his wife is in everything she does.  He gave the example that even when they’re driving on the road and someone cuts them off, his wife is quick to come up with a myriad of valid reasons as to why the driver did so.  He admitted that he would quickly become agitated until her suggestions of “perhaps they didn’t know it was their turn-off,” “maybe they have a loved one who is ill and needs to get to the hospital,” or simply, “they must be having a hard day” would calm his nerves and change his heart.  When he shared that story, it encouraged me to reconsider people’s unpleasant actions and try to find the unoffensive reasoning behind it.  I once overheard another couple talking about their occasional misunderstandings.  The husband said to his wife, “Whenever I say something, just know that I mean it in the most positive way possible.”  An easy out on his part, but likely true nonetheless.  There are so many ways to interpret actions, aren’t there?  Often we are quick to assume the worst.

What I’m trying to say is let’s be slow to judge, quick to find the positive, and courageous enough to be vulnerable from time to time.  If we but try to bear one another’s burdens and joys with merciful hearts, we will each be blessed with more peace and hope.

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Breaking Through Boredom

Another post later in the week due to another beautiful girl’s birthday taking place.  My second oldest is as kind and precious as her picture conveys.  Celebrating her birthday was a nice pick-me-up amid a rather tough week.  This pregnancy has given my emotions a whirlwind of a ride and I’m about ready to get off.

I saw a “Bored Board” pinned on Pinterest and I had to pin it in my Helpful Tips Board, not my Kids Board.  The reason being that I have been bored.  It’s not that I don’t have a laundry list of things I should be doing, I just have zero interest or motivation to do them.  Even some of the fun things I enjoy or seek out as my time-wasters, Facebook and Pinterest, are of little interest to me.  I am bored.  That’s why the “Bored Board” was so intriguing to me.  The original source that I have found for the “Bored Board” is on a blog called Grateful for the Ride.

I’ve had to force myself to do some of these items this week just to hold on to my sanity.  I think that’s what made my daughter’s birthday such a fun day was that I really got to put the “Bored Board” into practice.  I was able to…

Be creative with her birthday cake…

Enjoy Outside play while we flew kites…

Read this darling children’s book to the birthday girl’s class called What Animals Really Like

and Did something helpful by…um…WAIT!  Isn’t my whole role as a Mom to be doing something helpful?  I’m pretty sure I could put a lot down for the letter ‘D.’  You may be asking yourself, “Sara, what about the letter ‘E’ for exercise?”  Yeah, that one has kind of eluded me lately.  Having had two preemie babies, I do what I can to keep a baby in me for as long as possible.  Twenty minutes of exercise isn’t conducive to that goal.  Although, I’m sure my body could stand a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood.  However, I feel like just running errands with a toddler in tow should count as an exercise.  I know I have to exercise a lot of patience to survive it.

So, there you have it.  I’m still battling the feelings of boredom, but applying the “Bored Board” really did help break up the doldrums.  What do you do to break through the boredom?

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Facing Our Fears

Last October, I had written a post on Over the Big Moon regarding fears and how to cope with them.  In case you did not have a chance to read the post at the time, I wanted to take a minute and share it here on First You Must Begin.  It’s a post to address fears of all shapes and sizes; from the deep dark ones that we specifically try not to think about for fear of a self-fulfilling prophesy to the less typical fears such as hornet stings, scurrying mice, and ants in our pantry.  The latter being a fear that has plagued me since growing up in my childhood home where it seemed we lived on an ant hill.

A few years ago, I brought my fear of ant infestation up during one of my therapy sessions.  The therapist sweetly reminded me of my size versus the ants.  A good point, for sure.  But what actually has helped me cope was a question she asked me that day: What’s the worst that can happen?  I told her all the things that I dreaded about an ant infestation in my home – the vulnerability of knowing they’ve invaded my space, the food that has to be thrown out, the clean-up process, the potential laundry that has to be washed, and the possibility of them crawling on me.  All of these things still give me the heebie-jeebies.  My therapist listened and then calmly suggested that most of those issues were merely inconveniences and that an exterminator visit could put most of my concerns to rest.  She’s right.  Ants in my home will not result in World War III.  So, why allow myself to escalate to the point of paralyzing fear?

I am fully aware that my therapist’s question is not a cure all for every fear.  But for the fun of it, let’s put the same question to the test for my daughter’s fear of bees and hornets.  An honest fear for her to have based on the fact that she received three hornet stings and two bee stings in the course of one month last summer.  All of the stings came when she was doing nothing to provoke them.  She just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, fives times.  So, what’s the worst that can happen?  My daughter would say that the worst that can happen is that she gets stung again.  But that is not the worst that can happen.  The worst that can happen was what she started to do.  She started to fear going outside and avoided opportunities for trips to the park.  That’s the worst.  She let the bees and hornets take away her freedom to play outdoors.

These examples of fear are on a smaller scale, but I often wonder how much fear could be laid to rest if we merely asked, “What’s the worst that can happen?”  Again, I’m not trying to put this question to the test with true tragedy and trauma, though it does work when I reflect back on even the hardest trials I have faced.  But how many fears could we overcome in a day if we tried to bring things in to perspective?

Perhaps we have a fear of speaking in public?  Or being seen without make-up?  Or someone coming over to our home only to find that we don’t keep it perfectly clean and tidy?  We have these fears that we’ve created for ourselves that just aren’t rationale or fair.  We worry about imagined judgments being made on us.  And in cases where the judgments may come, they likely would have come no matter how clean our home was, how perfect our make-up looked, or how refined we were in our speech.  We could all benefit from seeing the bigger picture rather than just that single situation.

Broadening my perspective has made a significant impact in re-evaluating even my darkest trials.  When I realized my Mom would die of Ovarian Cancer, I began to mourn her loss before she was even gone.  I would sit and sob over how I would not be able to function without her.  I was certain I would not get out of bed for days when the time came.  There was a point when I was spending more time hypothesizing about my level of devastation with her passing rather than enjoying the time I still had with her.  Thankfully, my husband pointed this out to me and I redirected my thoughts and started to more fully embrace my remaining time with her.  Then the time came and my Mom passed away.  My heart ached (and continues to ache) in ways that I had not experienced prior.  I’ve yet to find the right words to properly express the magnitude of my sorrow or the deep impact her absence has had in my daily life.  However, I kept (and keep) moving forward in faith.  After her passing, I never once failed to get out of bed.  Although, I admit, those first few months are still a blur.  What was the worst that could happen?  It happened.  My Mom died.  But, thanks to my faith, the worst that really happened is that I have to wait a little while and then I can be with my Mom again in heaven.

I survived through the passing of my Mom, my best friend.  It didn’t ruin me.  If anything, it made me stronger.  As is the case with every trial I have endured, they have all made me stronger.

I speak from personal experience that even the darkest of nights has a dawn. During a severe bout with depression, I spent a long while clinging to my couch thinking that somehow I could be safe from pain if I just staid there and slept. My anxiety increases just reflecting on this time in my life and my heart sinks thinking of all the lost moments of life fully lived.   I was doing, then, what my daughter was doing with her fear of bees and hornets. I was hiding.  What was the worst thing that could have happened in that situation?  It wasn’t hiding, though that was bad, it would have been giving up.  Had I given in to my fears of worthlessness, hopelessness, and despair, I would not be able to enjoy this incredible chapter of my life that I never dreamed possible.

I think fear is really the apprehension that comes from the unknown outcome of a personal struggle of any size.  I get discouraged, downtrodden, and fearful just like anybody else still.  But I have a friend that is sweet to remind me that, “[I] can do hard things.”  And she’s right.  I CAN do hard things.  And sometimes the hardest thing I have to do is not give in to fear nor give up on myself.

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Living a Life Based on Truths

I attended California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) in the Fall immediately following my high school graduation.  It was not my first choice, but it served me well and I’m actually quite pleased with having graduated from there with my B.A. in Communications.  Before entering the University, I hadn’t a clue what to major in nor what career path to take before I reached my ultimate goal of being a Stay-at-Home Mom.  While I did enjoy writing, it fell in the unattainable dream category, as I had no faith in my abilities.  With no real direction in mind, I decided to choose my major by default.  No joke.  I sat down to the list of majors available at CSUF and
crossed them off the list one by one until only one remained.  The result was Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations (PR).

As I began my courses, I was pleased with my decision.  However, the further I studied my emphasis, the less engaged I was in the curriculum.  That’s when I read the beginnings of a book called What Color Is Your Parachute?.  The book was originally written in 1970 and has been updated virtually every year since.  It’s basically a job-search manual.  While I did not finish it, the first few chapters were eye-opening.  I completed a series of exercises to help figure out which career path would best fulfill my unique interests and abilities.  You’d think this would be something I could have figured out on my own, but I struggled to understand my true self at the time.

Here I was preparing myself for a big career in PR and it turned out I wanted nothing to do with it.  Communications was still a fruitful major, but my emphasis no longer suited me based on the knowledge I gained from the above mentioned book.  I moved forward with my education plans, but I decided to change the direction of my job search.  Surprisingly, I had discovered that I genuinely wanted to be an Administrative Assistant.  The responsibilities of an assistant nurtured all of the aspects of my abilities and interests.  Certainly, the position did not offer as much praise nor prestige, but it was what I wanted to do.  Bear in mind, being a Mom was not probable at that early of an age for me and being a writer had still been pushed aside as not even being plausible in my eyes.

Now, I told you all of that, to tell you this – sometimes we get lost along the way and need to hold on to the concrete things that we know to be true.  I’ve been thinking about this more and more, as I’ve been struggling with the affects of my mood disorder in conjunction with pregnancy hormones.  Times have been tough for me.  Things that I would normally enjoy have felt dulled.  When I laugh, there is a part of me that says, “Oh, look, you’re laughing.  That feels good.”  I don’t think laughter should be a rarity.  I believe laughter is a necessity.  I mean, heck, I wrote a whole post on the importance of Living a Life with Laughter.  So, I’m sure you can imagine how disheartening it feels when joy evades you for no particular reason.  I’ve been here before, but it hasn’t made it any easier.  In fact, sometimes feeling this numbness and disinterest adds fear to my situation, as I am aware of how bad it can get.  Before you go worrying about me; don’t.  Just keep reading.

I’m gonna be okay.  I know this because I’ve learned that holding on to the concrete things in my life pulls me through.  During a particularly difficult time a few years back, I discovered a technique that helps me fight off anxiety.  I find that anxiety is usually a result of thinking excessively about the unknowns of life.  Unknowns can create a mess load of panic and worry.  I found that instead of obsessing over the unknowns, I could reflect on memories of my Mom or concrete things that I knew to be true.  For instance, I would ponder the tangible blessings in my life, such as my husband, my children, my knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the roof over my head, etc.  The memories of my Mom might seem like a strange thing to contemplate during difficult times, but they are truths versus unknowns.  The truth is that I have several wonderful memories of my Mom that I get to look back on.  How much more joy can be found in thinking about the goodness of life than worrying about the unknowns?  Especially since oftentimes the unknowns are beyond our control.

Thankfully, anxiety is not the weight I am having to bear at this time.  My difficulty, as mentioned above, is enduring the numbness that overcomes me with no reasonable explanation.  This is where I think back on What Color Is Your Parachute? and realize that I find enjoyment and satisfaction in unsuspecting places.  I am a task-oriented girl, so I’ve learned that a task will help me through the day.  Of course, I never want to start the task, because who wants to begin anything when they’re down?  Am I right?  But a task helps me, so I strive to begin even when I don’t want to.  I also learned from the above mentioned book, that I gain fulfillment from organizing and planning things.  It somehow brings me peace to put things in order.  So, while I’ve been struggling to find purpose in my life, I’ve given myself tasks that suit these aspects of me that need fulfilling.  It may seem odd, but going through my digital pictures and organizing them into chronological folders can calm me down and lift my spirits.  That’s what I loved about this book.  It helped me discover that there were activities, though not outwardly rewarding, that brought me inner peace and happiness.

I think what I’m trying to say is that life is tough.  Sometimes it’s tougher than feels necessary.  I find that during these tougher times, it’s okay to take it easy and hold on to the concrete parts about yourself that you know will help.  It may not be glamorous.  The things that fulfill you and help you move forward may not be a big fancy PR job, it may be merely assisting someone else in their role.  And you may not spend every day out there taking on the world.  That’s okay.  Create a life that feels good on the inside; not one that just looks good on the outside.

I worked as an Executive Administrative Assistant for a few years before obtaining my dream job of being a Stay-at-Home Mom.  Ironically, being an assistant on an executive level proved to have more perks than I could have imagined, such as an all expense paid trip to Barcelona, Spain with my husband.  The role of mother turned out to be the more challenging, and simultaneously most rewarding, position for me.  The entire job of being a mom is built upon unknowns.  A world of unknowns that has led me to this wonderful opportunity to cultivate my love for writing and share my experiences with those out in the Internet abyss.

My writing may not look good on the outside, but it sure feels good to do it.  My role as a mother is chalked full of imperfections, but it feels amazing during those moments, like last night, when I finally helped my girls with their first cross stitch project that they have been begging me to do.  It’s not a prestigious life, but it’s filled with beautiful truths that I hold dear.  I have no idea when I’ll get some relief from this down cycle in my mood disorder.  In the mean time, I figure I’ll take it a day at a time and keep nurturing those tangible truths and activities that bring me personal peace.

May each of you find joy and fulfillment in the concrete things in your life and let go of the unknowns that can feel overwhelming and potentially lead to anxiety.  And, if you’re having a difficult time understanding the basic actions in life that bring you true fulfillment, perhaps it’s time to find out what color your parachute is and allow yourself to soar.

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Coping with Depression

I’ve still been pretty down and lonely lately.  I’m not going to lie.  I’m doing my best to stop whining about it, but sometimes life just hits you.  It’s not like any one thing is bad.  I have it quite good, honestly.  However, I suffer from Bipolar II disorder.  Basically that means that nothing has to be wrong for me to feel depressed and I can seem perfectly happy at times and nobody but my husband and those closest to me would know otherwise.  I take medicine to treat the disorder.  I’m sure there are many out there with a thought on the matter of my method of treatment.  In respect for my current state, let’s not put down a method that has saved me from the depths of the darkest time in my life.

It’s funny how life works.  I never had much sympathy for depression or people that had to take pills to make themselves “happy.”  Sadly, I looked at it as a weakness on their part.  It seemed like the easy way out to just take a pill when life got “too hard.”  Boy, was I put in my place.  A pill is not a cure-all and depression is not the definition for merely having a bad week.

Depression first hit me in the form of Postpartum Depression (PPD).  My husband would tell you it hit me the moment I learned my Mom had Ovarian Cancer.  Maybe he’s right.  I just know that it did not become crippling to my daily functioning until after my eldest was born.  It’s truly disturbing how handicapped it can make you.  Seeking medical attention was the first step in the right direction and the hardest.

As if you don’t feel down enough, you have to walk in to the office and say, “I give up.”  Of course, taking medicine isn’t giving up, but it sure feels like that.  You feel like such a failure.  I tried to be smart about it and coupled my physical health care with mental health care and began seeing a therapist in April of 2007.  At that time, my Mom was still alive and looked at my need for therapy as a failure on her part.  It’s amazing how seeking help somehow implies that we’re weak or a failure.

Thankfully, I had a therapist who helped me address my need for medicine in a healthy light.  She reminded me that depression is as real as Diabetes.  Diabetics need medicine for their health.  It doesn’t make them less of a person to take that medicine.  The medicine does not make things perfect by any means in either case.  It makes one functional.  It brings the individual as close to “normal” as possible.  Certainly, there are additional things that Diabetics and individuals that suffer from depression, or what’s now been diagnosed as Bipolar II disorder for me, can do to help fight off dangerous episodes.    I suppose I need to up my momentum to do those activities.

Exercise is a good start.  How ironic though that what you need most during those lows is the first thing that you can’t even imagine attempting.  That’s when I try to start small.  First goal, don’t fall asleep.  Sleeping just begets more depressive thoughts.  When things were really bad, I slept for hours on end both day and night.  It sounds heavenly for the exhausted working Mom, but I was an at-home-Mom and that’s just considered flat out neglect.  So, stay awake!

Reading is another excellent tool.  There are so many things out there to uplift and edify.  Particularly, reading scriptures.  I’ve decided to work on this part of my life.  I suppose this paragraph isn’t relevant for those that read my blog who do not have faith in a Higher Being.  Though, I wonder, if scripture reading would help all readers regardless of their faith.  The scriptures merely teach some basic truths and do-good-attitudes.  For me, it helps me see the bigger picture.  My Mom doesn’t seem as far away, as silly as that may sound.  For instance, we read scriptures as a family tonight and we were reading about the Lord’s ability to give us strength beyond that of man.  Then we asked one another in what ways has Heavenly Father given us the “strength of the Lord” in our personal lives.  My first thought was that He gave me strength to move from all that I’ve ever known in Southern California.  At times like this, it’s particularly hard to be away from some of my core support from back “home.”  The second thought though was how Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have given me strength to live my daily life without my Mom around.  I miss her so very much.  Her physical absence in my life has changed me in ways that I did not anticipate.  Then, I recall the bigger picture and take comfort that my time with her is not done.  It’s eternal.

Another thing that helps me cope with these lows is admitting that I need help, as mentioned above.  These times are less frequent with medicine on board, but I still need help.  It’s that whole pride thing that gets me every time.  I don’t want to admit I need help.  I don’t want to admit that I’m not doing any of the things I should be doing.  I want to pretend that I’m perfectly fine.  Isn’t that easier for everyone else around me?  Please don’t take this as a cry for help, as I really am functioning fine and my logical mind is still in control enough to recognize the many blessings in my life and the support that I do have.  Honestly, because I am properly medicated and do have an excellent support system, I don’t think I’m feeling any different than the rest of the population who has a down time now and again.

But maybe if you are reading and feeling more down than your typical behavior, try the above mentioned things.  Try to get moving, get reading, and get help.  Whether you need medical help or an increase of emotional support, don’t think less of yourself for asking for it.

If you are fortunate enough to be in a happier state at the time, remember Scottish author, Ian Maclaren’s, advice to, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

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Real Is In

My friend posted a video on her Facebook page yesterday about Pinterest Perfection.  In the video it speaks to the impossible task of living up to the Pinterest world.  At one point, the woman confesses, “Real is in.”  Well, if real is in, I’m about to give our readers a full dose of real.

Do you remember my post two months ago entitled No Excuses, No Explanations?  Well, I’m stocked full of them right now.  You may or may not have noticed that I did not post last week.  I noticed because it got added on to my list of reasons why I’m feeling like a pure flop right now.  Are you ready?

I was already feeling blue before last week even hit me.  Three out of my four closest friends in my new hometown somehow managed to plan all of their end-of-summer vacations at the same time.  How dare they, huh?  Add on that my BFF (Best Friend Forever) was visiting from Southern California and she left to go home on Monday.  Post-BFF blues kicked in.  Add on that my husband had been working crazy long hours.  Are you seeing how my social support was lacking?  That’s a sure sign of impending doom for my emotional well-being.

Then last Tuesday, I tweaked my back in the morning during a routine struggle to get my son in his high chair.  I could tell right away it wasn’t good.  I tried to work through the pain.  I couldn’t take any of my known remedies, as there was a small chance that I was pregnant.  As a result, I was left with Tylenol and ice as my only relief.  Thankfully, I live in a very supportive community.  I had a friend come and put my son down in his crib for his nap.  That allowed for some rest on my end too.

So as not to drag out the story, I will sum this portion up with the basics.  Husband called off from work, a trip to the ER was had, tests confirmed I was not pregnant so I could receive appropriate medication, x-ray showed a straight spine in all the wrong places, and my legs were completely uneven.  In short, pain killers and muscle relaxers were not going to give me enough relief to get back to better.  Plus, we had to cancel a destination wedding we had planned to attend this past weekend since driving for hours on end would be physically impossible.

Then, hormones hit.  Oh, blasted hormones.  How I despise you!  As if pain hadn’t made me grouchy enough, hormones had to arrive on the scene.  Sadly, my family were the real victims in this downward spiral.  My eldest daughter took the brunt of it.

Every single time I think I’m going to seriously lose my mind with my eldest, I am forced to look at myself in the mirror.  Does anybody else out there sometimes turn in to this ugly person that affects the behavior of all those around them for the worst?  Generally, I would like to think that I bring out the best in others.  That was certainly not the case this past week.  I would gladly have preferred being sent away from society so as not to emotionally damage those in contact with me.

So, as things were looking particularly bleak, I began to add on more negative thoughts to really make the week eventful.  I started to think of all the things I was NOT doing right.  Our budget is a good example.  Two pay periods of following the budget.  Then BAM!  Back to School needs hit.  Now, I’m over budget, lacking in my usual social support, taking things out on those I love most, in pain, and fighting my primal desire to turn in to a werewolf the way Jacob does in The Twilight Series.

I managed to hold it together enough by continually pondering this analogy I once read:  If you get a flat tire, you fix it and get back on the road.  You don’t go and poke holes in the remaining three tires.

I really did try the best that I could to stop jamming a knife into my remaining three tires.  My husband may say differently.  He said one of my screaming fits with my eldest was almost comical.  He referenced remarks made in Bill Cosby, Himselfwhen Bill Cosby speaks about how his wife was once beautiful and then she had kids.  It may sound hurtful, but truly it’s the most honest bit of comedy gold when he describes how children change us.

I really was trying, then nature poked a hole in one of my remaining tires.  I came down with what feels like a sinus infection.  Surprisingly though, I’m surviving today better than I anticipated.

My friends have returned from their vacations, the close friend that tended to me all week is still talking to me, I had additional friends help me out, my husband and children seem to still think I’m pretty special, a Chiropractor visit made my legs the same length again, and we had a few fun and memorable things happen over this past week.  My son said his first official word: shoe; and we hosted a last minute outdoor movie in our backyard with the help of some friends.

So, there’s a nice dose of real for you.  Feel free to share some of the “real” you have going on in your life.  I find that sometimes we just need to cry on the side of the road for a bit before we fix that flat tire and get back out there.  My crying is done.  Time to fix the flat.

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