Monday Comparison (2-18-19)

Happy Presidents’ Day!

We gave all of our kids presidential names. I think Damon wants them to become president of the United States. Harrison, Jackson, Lucy (who was never a president but was a president’s wife) and Calvin. Lucy might be a stretch, but I wanted to name her after our brothers who had just passed away. Lucy Dean for Luke and Geoffrey Dean. Damon had to make sure Lucy was a First Lady before he would agree to naming her that, even though he doesn’t remember it.

I have been majorly struggling with house work lately. Actually, it’s more like I have always struggled with house work. I feel so much better with a clean home, but I look around and get so overwhelmed that I don’t do anything. I find myself comparing me to what I used to be. I look back and remember having a clean home. But, let’s face it, I’ve always had this problem. I just remember the good stuff, then compare my bad days to my old good days.

It’s this comparison thing that is making me feel like I’m failing. We all hear about how we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, but what about comparing ourselves to ourselves? I’m the worst at that.

Since having Calvin (2.5 years ago) I haven’t been able to get my body back to where it used to be. I ran a half marathon (not very well, but I did it) the weekend I found out I was pregnant with Calvin. Now I can’t even run a mile. And I get mad at myself for it. There was a time when I used to eat fairly well, or at least I tried really hard to, but now it’s all about what’s convenient. Every time I think about eating I remember having the desire to be nutritious, and I get mad at myself.

I get mad at myself often. And I don’t do anything about it, I just keep on letting myself beat myself up. Well, it’s time to make a change. But what’s holding me back, what’s stopping me from changing? To be honest, it’s fear. I don’t want to make a change and feel good about myself, and feel good about life. Why? Because I’m scared that the higher I am the harder I will fall. And I don’t want to go back to that dark place.

I often have days and weeks where everything I do is hard. I can’t think, I can’t work, I can’t do simple tasks. Then one day I wake up and feel good. I can think. I can work without panicking. I set goals and want to do better. Then the light switches and I struggle again. So, my fear lies in that light switch. I don’t want my regular ups and downs (which are hard enough) to become major ups and downs.

Back to comparison. I can’t compare my bad days to my good days. They aren’t equal, and it’s not fair to myself. How do I stop doing this, how do I make a change? I don’t know. I just don’t know. But I do know that beating myself up isn’t the answer. So, help me, will you? Let’s stop comparing ourselves. Whether you are comparing yourself to what you think is your better self or if it’s comparing yourself to someone else. Let’s just stop. Let’s say something positive about ourselves when those thoughts come creeping in. We are all worth all the good thoughts.




Monday Story (2-11-19)

On Friday I took Lucy to Lowe’s to buy some supplies for a school project. As we were leaving the parking lot where I would normally have turned left I turned right. Turning right took me to a corner where a family was standing. Mother, father, and three young children. The mother was struggling to keep the young boys contained and the father was holding a sign asking for help. I saw them and my heart started hurting. I know how it feels to wrangle small kids and feel lost doing so, but never have I had to go without. I couldn’t imagine what that family must have felt that day. I know what I felt. I felt an intense desire to help. I pulled into a nearby parking spot and asked Lucy what we could do for them. She immediately started looking in the car for water bottles or snacks. She couldn’t find any and I only had $5 in my wallet. We decided to ask them if they needed dinner. I pulled up, rolled down my window, handed over the $5, and asked if they had had dinner. The answer was an obvious “No, we are hungry.” I told them we would be right back with dinner and do you like hamburgers? We hit a close by Wendy’s drive through and bought them dinner. But my heart still hurt. It hurt even more when the father said he lost his job last week. Lucy and I rushed home and packed up groceries and some toys for the little boys. I raced back to their corner and my heart sank. They were gone. By this point the sun was setting and I’m sure they were exhausted and ready to go home with whatever they had collected that day. I can’t stop thinking about this little family.

I’m not sharing this to say “look at me”. I’m sharing this because I’m trying to say, “look at them”. What if their story were my story? What if their story were your story? Would we look at people differently if we knew what they were going through? I guarantee we would.

Everybody has a story. Everybody feels hurt or sad or lonely or cold or hungry at some point in their lives. Maybe those people need our help. Maybe everyone needs our help. Maybe everyone we meet needs a little more kindness from us. Maybe they need a smile, maybe they need a meal. We will never know unless we make their story our story.

What’s your story? How are you feeling today? What can we do to help you feel loved instead of lost? What good can we do in the world today?

No matter how small you think your story is, it’s important. It matters. You matter.



Monday Dust (2-4-19)

It was a rough morning. I was ready to sit down and cry. I was so overwhelmed with all I perceived I needed to do. I just couldn’t do it. So, what did I do instead? I resorted to my usual escape, I went to sleep. I put Calvin down for a nap and I napped too. I felt so guilty, because I had things to do. But I couldn’t make myself move. So I shut down. You know what? It was the best thing I did all day. I woke up ready to get moving. I ate something healthy, drank an entire bottle of water, and went outside for some fresh air. I was amazed that I accomplished more than I thought I possibly could. I got up, dusted myself off and got moving.

The thing that I am continually relearning is that I am more than what I think I am. Even though I didn’t handle this morning in the way I probably should have, doesn’t mean I’m a failure. Because I shut down and turned off doesn’t mean I’m worthless. Thankfully, I had a good afternoon that helped to remind me that. But there have been too many times when I believed I was a failure and worthless.

We’ve all been there. Down that dark road of doubt. That place that makes us feel worthless and miserable. Just because we’ve been there before doesn’t mean we have to stay there. Those moments don’t define our lives. It doesn’t matter that we stumble. What matters is that we get up. We move on. And most importantly, we forgive ourselves.

Be gentle with yourself. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. You got through the day, and you’ll get through another one.

I often have to tell myself this, because I’m often down that dark road. I know you’ve been there before, or maybe you’re there now. Let’s all be a little kinder to ourselves. We can get up, dust ourselves off, and move forward.



Motivated Monday (1-28-19)

I’m sitting here watching Calvin take swim lessons and am feeling quite disappointed. He had a new swim teacher who is basically just letting Calvin play with water toys, there is no teaching going on. I miss his old teacher. She was amazing.

It took so much effort for me to make it here today. Do you ever feel the same way? What do you do to push yourself to get moving? I feel great once I get going, but getting myself there can be such a struggle.

I read a quote that says, “On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.”

I’m not having a bad day. But I still like this quote. I think it’s good for all of us to remember that we’ve made it through this much, we can keep going, we can make it through the rest. I’ve gotten up on the hard days, I can get up on my unmotivated days too.

I hope you all have a positive and motivated week!



Monday Matters (1-21-19)

To my dear friends who have lost their sense of worth. You, friend, are loved. You are important. You are needed. You are significant. You are of worth. You are valued, and loved, and cherished. You matter.

Even when you don’t feel it, please, please, please know that you are loved, always.

There are times I don’t feel loved. There are times I don’t love myself. Those are the days that are the hardest. But there is one thing I try to remind myself. That I matter. That’s what I want you to know. That you matter.



Monday Promise (1-14-19)

It’s Monday again! I’ve decided that Monday’s are just hard. After last Monday I had a great week. Then today came and it’s been rough. However, I’m so happy to say that my rough day today was nothing compared to what it used to be. I have had some doozies, but lately things have been much better.

What has made life better for me lately? Well, to start off, communication. Communicating with my husband, with my friends, with my doctor. Communication is key! I’ve had to learn how to talk. Because I’ve learned to talk to my husband he now knows how to help me on my hard days, or weeks. It can be embarrassing to talk. But, trust me, it helps. I recently worked up the nerve and asked a friend for help. She was unable to help at that moment so she called another friend. I was so embarrassed. But I put that aside and just said “thank you”, because as much as I didn’t want to talk about it and didn’t want people to know, I knew I needed help more. And my friends were more than helpful.

Another thing that has helped is eating well. I’m writing this as I eat ice cream, so I’m obviously not where I should be, but I’m doing way better.

Exercise comes next. It’s hard and frustrating and miserable. But this has been hands down the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. I didn’t make it to the gym today so I made sure I went on a short walk. Just getting outdoors and moving does a world of good.

These things are all good when you’re in a place to set them in action. But what about when you’re struggling just to breath? Well, my friend, just hang on. Find someone to talk to and cry your heart out to them. It will get better. Maybe very slowly, but I promise it will get better. And when you can catch your breath then you will be able to eat something good or go for a walk. And the next day you’ll be able to do it again. And pretty soon you will be breathing again. I promise.

Hang in there. Things get better. I promise.



Monday Credit (1-7-19)

Hello and happy Monday.

I just finished a 60 day challenge at my gym. The point was to push yourself to become more healthy. I did my final weigh in today and was so disappointed in myself. I began my day at the gym going to a class I really enjoy to find out it had been switched to a class that I did not enjoy. So I left the class early and tried working out on my own, which wasn’t very successful. I then went to do my final weigh in. My goal in doing this 60 day challenge was to push myself to change my rating and exercising habits to become more healthy. Although I have been exercising, which I wasn’t before, I’m still not eating well so my results weren’t very impressive. I did not want to go home and take my after pictures. I just felt like a failure. Then I came home and did what everyone does to feel better, I went on Instagram. There I read this quote:

“You’re body is not a before or an after. It is simply during and enduring a lifetime of a billion befores and afters. No photo can capture that beautiful reality.”

Ok, so this isn’t the end. There is still tomorrow and the next day and the next. But I still felt bleh. I continued browsing Instagram, not wanting to get up and do anything, and I found this quote:

“We get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed.” Jeffrey R. Holland

I had come home and stopped trying and I realized that I don’t get credit for not trying. So, my whole point is we need to keep trying. Keep moving. Keep doing. We get credit for any little effort we make. Now I need to get myself off the couch and go and do something. And more importantly, I need to acknowledge the good things I have done today. I made it to the gym. I ate a healthy lunch. I ran errands. I did something, therefore I am not a failure. And neither are you.