Five a Day

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I recently came up with an idea for a way that my family and I could improve our lives and also help others in the process. I call it “Five a Day.” I feel like so often, we try to do so much at once to make positive changes in our lives, and then we get burnt out quickly. So I wanted to figure out a way that could benefit all of us here at home, without making drastic changes that are nearly impossible to maintain. I knew I wanted me and my family to start giving more, to be more productive, to spread kindness, to be healthier, and to make time for things that we all enjoy. So here’s what our Five a Day consists of:

1.) Get rid of one thing every day.

2.) Do one productive thing every day.

3.) Spread kindness at least one way every day.

4.) Do one thing you enjoy every day.

5.) Do one healthy thing every day.

We started this about a week ago, and it’s been going really good. The kids seem to be enjoying it, and we talk about all the things we’ve done over dinner every night. I think all of us are having fun finding things around the house that we know we no longer need. It’s been sort of like a scavenger hunt every day. And we plan to donate everything to a local charity once we accumulate enough stuff. Our pile is definitely growing, as you can see in the picture, and this is just one weeks’ worth of items we’ve collected. Anyway, I just wanted to share this idea with all of you because I know how overwhelming making healthy changes in our lives can often be, and I’ve found this to be a simple way to instill some positive changes in my own life and help my family develop some positive changes too. If you decide to implement the Five a Day routine into your own life, I’d love to hear how it works out for you.  And if you have any other ideas for self-improvement, I’d love to hear about those as well.

Have a great week, everyone! ~M xo

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Love…

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“Love is sometimes like a burst of molten lava; flowing outward in all directions, and then lingering in the cracks and crevices as it slowly begins to cool. But it’s a dispiriting sight when it loses its bright red luster, becoming instead, a hardened form of magma. There’s just no way to change it back to its original, radiant form.” ~M


Photo credit: pixabay.com

Rambling…

I finally started seeing a therapist several months ago, and my therapist has tasked me to try and figure out what I want for myself. I never really think about what I want out of life without first thinking about how my desires will impact everyone else around me. And according to my therapist, this seems to be an area that I need to work on. I place others needs before my own a lot of the time, and I mainly do it because I try to protect my friends and family, and do what seems best for them. I also tend to compare myself to other people, and think that if they’re alright with something, that I should be too. And right now, there are a lot of people telling me that I should be okay with the life I have and appreciate what I have. A lot of people think I should disregard the hard to deal with issues in my life, and just accept everything as it is; but should I? That’s another question my therapist wants me to figure out for myself. And according to him, I need to stop listening to other people and make some decisions for myself. The problem is, making decisions is difficult for me. I grew up in a very strict home, being directed and told what to do every day of my life. I wasn’t allowed to make my own decisions. And so when I was finally out on my own for the first time, having to make decisions for myself, I really didn’t know how to do that. I think it’s funny how our growing up experiences affect us so much later on in life. But this is just one example of how our upbringing can really screw us up. I know my parents did the best they could, but I just wish my mother hadn’t been so darn overprotective. Oh well… I’ve made plenty of mothering mistakes myself. Just ask my four girls… I’m sure they have a million stories to tell. I guess we can only try and do our best. We are only human, after all.

I really loved my rose-colored glasses…

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I’ve kept silent for a long time because I wasn’t even sure what to say. And even now, I really have no idea how to articulate all that I’ve been wanting to share. The one thing I do know is that this year has been really hard; maybe even the most difficult year of my life. The thing is, I feel like I have nobody else to blame except myself. I’ve made some very stupid decisions, and I’ve been paying the price for a lot of them. And it’s interesting to me, at the age of 47, that I am still making such idiotic decisions. One thing I’ve realized is that I need to start trusting my gut more and not allow people to walk all over me. This entire year, I’ve been choosing to disregard things that I didn’t want to believe because it was just easier to look the other way. I thought it was better to ignore what was right in front of me, and give the people in my life unlimited opportunities to redeem themselves. But that way of thinking only backfired and has sort of destroyed the trusting side of me. I know now without a doubt that I have nobody else to blame except for myself because I chose to ignore the obvious, and accepted the consequences in doing so. But I’ve also learned that I can’t allow it to happen anymore, and even if it means further heartache, I have to continue to stand up for myself. I really loved my rose-colored glasses, and if I could wear them for the rest of my life, I would. But I’ve decided that those glasses have outgrown their usefulness. The world isn’t rosy at all, and I don’t know why I ever decided to pretend it was.


Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Reality check

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There are some amazing people in my life who I can’t forget because they are always there for me. Even so, life is still very hard sometimes, and it’s easy to feel like I deserve a better life than the one I have. Sometimes I even chase after things that aren’t good for me, and I end up causing myself so much heartache and pain. Slowly but surely though, I have been learning to let go of the things that aren’t meant to be, and to stop feeling as if I should have more. Over the past couple of years, especially, I have seen many people in my life come and go, and it has been extremely troublesome for me. I’ve often felt lonely, abandoned, and disappointed beyond words. And many times, just as I thought that God was answering my prayers, there were instances where my hopes were suddenly shattered, and I began to blame God for all of it. I realize now though that I’ve been looking beyond what is right in front of me every day. I’ve been disregarding the many blessings that I do have and wasting so much of my time chasing empty promises. So today, as I look back and think about how things have turned out; I’m looking at everything in a more positive light and feeling grateful for the life I’ve been given.

Beautiful reminders and blessings

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In the past month, I’ve had some extraordinary close encounters with some very amazing creatures.  The first encounter happened on my camping trip a few weeks ago.  I was sitting with my hubby next to the campfire in the early evening, when all of a sudden, a doe came rambling down the hill.  It stopped about 20 feet away from us and began to graze.  I got up from my seat to have a better look, and the doe merely raised her head in curiosity, while continuing to eat.  The doe kept her eye on me but showed no inclination of being afraid.  And as I walked closer to get a better look, she still kept grazing.  I decided to leave her alone and sat back down by the campfire, and several minutes later, she walked down to the pond, which was just beyond our campsite.  Hubby and I watched her stroll around the pond, and then she eventually disappeared into the forest.  It was such a rare and beautiful moment to behold.  Looking into the eyes of a doe was mesmerizing, and I could tell she felt safe with us there.  It was such a miraculous thing to witness, and I will never forget her eyes.  They were eyes of acceptance and trust, and the sheer beauty in her gaze overwhelmed me.

The second encounter began when hubby and I decided to play shuffleboard at a resort we were staying at.  As we walked up to the game area, a baby rabbit was sitting there nibbling away on a piece of grass.  We were so close to the rabbit that we could have stepped on it if we had not been paying attention.  The rabbit never once flinched as we walked past, but instead,  just kept eating while we played shuffleboard a few feet away.  I thought that perhaps the pucks racing toward it, might scare the poor thing away, but it just sat there happy and content the entire time.  When we finally decided we’d played long enough, the baby rabbit bid us farewell, and we left feeling as if we’d seen yet another small miracle that day.

The third encounter happened yesterday when I was visiting a nearby park.  My girls and I decided to go for a picnic lunch next to the river, and it was so beautiful that I wanted to capture the beauty of everything by taking a few photos.  The problem was, I had left my phone in the car, so I decided to head back to grab it.  As I was walking back, a bird suddenly swooped down in front of me, almost hitting me.  I thought the occurrence was very odd but began to continue to the car.  But something suddenly made me stop and go back to the spot where the bird had almost hit me.  Walking back, I came across a tiny yellow bird.  It was just sitting there peacefully in the grass, staring up at me.  It looked almost like it were about to fall asleep because of how calm and content it looked.  I stood no more than a foot away from that little yellow bird and spoke to it for a few minutes.  It sort of winked at me a few times and looked as if it were actually smiling up at me.  I couldn’t believe how tame and beautiful it was.  It could have been a baby bird, but it had all of its adult feathers and was bright yellow in color, so I wasn’t sure if it was newly born or not.  The nature of it was definitely odd and had I leaned down to hold it; I was sure it would have let me.  But at last, I knew I didn’t dare disturb it further, and so I left it there and headed back to my car.

The fourth encounter happened today, which prompted me to write this post.  I had been sitting in my office, working at my computer, when a dove suddenly decided to perch on the screen of my window.  I have always loved doves, and have had some interesting experiences with them.  In fact, I had one occasion, where a dove sort of saved my life.  But I suppose I will wait and share that story for another occasion.  For now, just seeing that dove, lifted my spirits and reminded me of all the times when animals have spoken to me in such extraordinary ways.  When I’m feeling gloomy like today, it’s God’s creatures who always cheer me up, and I’m thankful that I have such reminders of his everlasting love.  I hope the rest of you will find similar reminders in your own lives.  Those unexpected occurrences always seem to come just when we need them, but we must pay attention or we could end up missing those miraculous blessings that he sends our way.


Photo credit: Pixabay.com

For them…

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The sudden silence is what gets to me most, every time he leaves.  Then my chest starts to tighten, and the tears begin to well up, and at that point, I know I’m done for.  There’s no holding back the flood of emotions no matter how hard I try.  I bury my face in my hands, trying so hard to hide the pain that’s gushing out through every inch of my being.

I can’t let anyone know how much this hurts, how lost I am, how much I don’t even want to do life anymore because I’m always feeling so alone.  Five minutes have passed, and I’m wiping the evidence away.  Putting on my brave soldier face once more, shrugging my shoulders and getting a grip just the way I’ve been taught.  I cannot cry, I can’t let anyone know that I’m weak, and I can’t ever confess to anyone that sometimes I’d rather be six feet under than endure another day alone.

There are little people counting on me, babies that need protecting, loved, and cared for.  And this is why I bury all of it, deep inside where nobody can see. If anyone ever found out what I was really thinking, what would they do?  What would they say?  So I fight through it, the let downs, the misery, the feelings of loneliness and despair.  And I put on a happy face because that makes everyone else feel better when I do that.  They need me to be happy, and I can’t let them down.  I’ve got to hold it together, for them…

 

How can I forget?

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I’ve got the past, present, and future all on my mind today. I keep trying to overcome the past, but the present just won’t let me forget, which makes the future look like it’ll just be more of the same. And I’m so tired of thinking about the past. Most days, I wish that somehow I could forget everything, and then perhaps I could overcome and heal from the things that have been weighing heavily on my mind. But no matter what I do, or what I try, I can’t forget the hurts, the struggles, and the reality of my life. I still think that it’s possible to overcome the past, but I think in order to do that, I need to face those issues head-on and stop sweeping them under the rug.

I’ve been on WordPress for five years now, and I have made some amazing friends, but the majority of you don’t really know me. I have been a closed book for a very long time, and that is mainly because I’ve been trying to protect my family and friends from knowing what’s really been going on. Sometimes I feel like it makes things worse to be open and honest with the ones you love. I think most people would say that some things should never be talked about because they are just too hard for most people to handle. But because I’ve been keeping things bottled up, I feel like I’m almost at my breaking point now. I’ve been mostly dealing with everything on my own, with very little support from anyone except a few close friends. And I feel like I don’t even want to tell my close friends everything because I don’t like overwhelming people with my problems. Everyone already has enough to deal with in their own lives, and I don’t want to be the kind of friend who heaps on more. I think this is why I’ve alienated nearly everyone from my life. I’ve been afraid that if I stayed close to anyone, that I might accidentally explode and reveal all of the things that I’ve been trying to work through.

After thinking things over while I was on vacation this month, I feel like I am only doing myself an injustice by not saying anything, and I’m on the verge of baring my heart and soul to everyone. I know I have already lost the majority of the connections with my family and friends, and so I don’t think I could do any more damage than I already have. But at the same time, I am still trying to protect my immediate family from some very damaging issues. I’ve been wanting to see a counselor, and discuss some of these issues there, but I’ve tried to find someone in the past, and our insurance wouldn’t cover the cost of those visits. So I’m sort of in a weird dilemma right now. I feel like I need to start talking about all the things that I should have addressed years ago. I think talking about them, and getting them out in the open is the only way to fix anything. I’m still not sure if writing about all of this on my blog is the best approach, but I need to do something; I just wish I knew what to do.

~M

Vacation time…

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Hey everyone,

Just a quick update for all of you who have been participating in the writing prompts.  I am leaving on vacation today and won’t be back until next month; and I am leaving my computer at home!  I will still have my phone with me, but won’t be posting the writing prompt participants list on the first of the month like I normally do.  I will however get the list posted as soon as I get back home.  I have the new writing prompts for June all ready to go and so hopefully those post as scheduled on the first of the month while I’m gone.  I hope all of you are having a good month, and I’ll see ya when I get back!  ~M xo


Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Where did my heart go?

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I feel like my heart isn’t in anything right now; I don’t want to do anything; I don’t want to go anywhere;  and least of all, I don’t want to socialize.  People are reaching out, trying to ask me if I’m ok, and to most, I can’t even respond.  I keep asking myself, “What kind of person am I?”  That I can’t even respond to a simple email, phone call, or text message.

I sort of feel like I’m floating on a raft in the middle of the ocean, and there is nothing for as far as the eye can see.  And I want to be here; out of reach of most anyone or anything.  I’m alone without a plan as to where I’m going, and I just don’t care.  I don’t want to do anything else, except for simply float peacefully along, and leave everything else behind.

I don’t think I’ve ever isolated myself as much as I am right now.  And there are times when I question why I’m doing this.  But I feel like I need it.  The quiet has been soothing to my soul.  I’m loving the peace of not having to talk to anyone, to explain myself, to share all the horrible ugly things that I’m so often dealing with.  I don’t want to talk about any of it because then it becomes real.  And I can’t deal with the reality of the things that I know I will eventually need to face.  I just don’t want to right now.

The funniest thing is, I start a social media communications class next week.  It’s a requirement for my major and one of the last general education classes that I still need.  40% of my grade will be the discussions I have with other students.  So much for being anti-social!  Lol.  At least I don’t have to talk about my personal life, but still…

Anyway, so here I am, floating along.  It’s rather calm at the moment, but that usually means there’s a storm brewing on the horizon.  And even though I can’t see it, I’m sort of securing myself to the raft right now; bracing myself for what’s to come.  I just hope the storm passes quickly if and when it finally does arrive.

Why am I so stubborn?

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At the beginning of this year, I finally decided that I couldn’t keep going like I was, and so I asked my doctor to put me on anti-depressants.  I’d gone all 46 years of my life without them and felt weak for having to ask for them.  I have always tried to do everything on my own, and even to this day, I hate asking for help.  My anger is what usually fuels my motivation when I’m left having to do something that seems overwhelmingly hard.  And rather than ask for help, I usually just use all that built up negative energy and say a slew of cuss words to complete those difficult tasks.

I think this incessant need to do everything on my own, comes from the way I was raised.  I was always made to feel guilty when asking for anything as a child.  I would get reprimanded when even asking for the simplest of things.  And so I learned how to do most everything on my own.  This way of being raised had its benefits in many ways.  I think I am a much more self-sufficient person because of it and I never give up on anything.

I think if I had to choose one word to describe me, it would be “determined.”  But sometimes, I feel like I just want someone else to take care of me for a change.  I would love to have someone there to help me, without me even having to ask.  To say to me, “That’s enough; you’ve done plenty; let me help you.”  And I want to feel like I can say yes to that, and accept their help.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to change.  I’m getting older and more set in my ways.  I’m just plain stubborn most of the time, and my girls would agree.  They see how irritated I get and how I try not to ask for help.  It usually takes breaking something, for me to finally give in and let them help me.  Usually, it’s me that gets broken because of the stupid things I try to do without help.  And of course, it doesn’t seem to stop me the very next time, from repeating the same act of stupidity.  I guess that’s what stubborn people do.  We’re a glutton for punishment.

I just ended the anti-depressants yesterday.  They seemed to help at first, but then after several weeks, I started feeling anxious all the time, extremely restless, and shaky.  My doctor slowly decreased my dose over the last week, and I do feel more like my old self again.  I have mixed emotions though.  I really did feel better for about the first three weeks, and I’m trying to figure out why I started to feel so bad the longer that I took them.

I still feel like I need to do something to control what I believe to be depression, but I’m not sure what to do to help myself.  I think journaling is the best thing that I can continue to do for now.  At least until I find a better way to help myself.  I’d love to have someone to talk to.  Everyone always talks about having a therapist, but I have never had one.  I suppose that’s a luxury that I will never have.  If my insurance covered that sort of thing, I would see a therapist in a heartbeat, but unfortunately, it doesn’t, and so I have to keep on sorting things out for myself.  Anyway, I feel like I’m starting to ramble, so I’ll end this for today.  Thanks for reading.  ~M