Thank You

Tonight, I want to share a simple message:

Thank you.

Thank you for allowing me to come home and unwind from my day with my favorite activity: writing. Thank you for every like or comment you’ve ever made on this blog. Thanks for all of the follows, and thank you for telling others about this blog (hint, hint.)

But most of all, thank you for being you. It has been my sincerest pleasure to be “liked” by you.

Eclipsed

(I know, I know. But I couldn’t resist. I promise this is the last time that you’ll hear of it.)

I was walking past a man in a wheelchair who was attempting to pay for parking. (And I swear the irony didn’t hit me until right now.)

He was having trouble with the payment portion and was looking up for someone to help him when I passed.

Luckily, a woman passed by as I was walking in the opposite direction and asked the man if he needed help, to which he thanked her.

And I felt so bad that I had decided to keep walking that I completely missed the kindness of the act. I didn’t recognize it as a special moment of one human helping another human. My inner self critic eclipsed a perfectly polite and momentous event.

So, I want you to think long and hard about how self doubt and judgment are eclipsing your life. What could you do if you didn’t judge yourself so harshly? What could be appreciated? Maybe it’s time to step out of the shadows and just be grateful.

The Little Sister

I'm a little sister.

I've taken my fair share of lumps, bumps, and bruises. (Well, let's see…there was an entire year that my older sister was obsessed with determining if I could break my arm in more weird and wonderful ways [falling from the monkey bars, having it run over by a Barbie Power Wheels…]) etc.

And while I would love to expound on all the divisive ways my older sister chose to torture me, I have to say that I have never, ever been so tortured as when I had to see her in pain.

I have a frequent flyers number for my hospital stays; I'm extremely familiar with IVs, blood tubes, and tourniquets.

But it is very rare that I am at the hospital with someone who isn't me.

Enter my sister's routine leg surgery to repair her ACL. All the sudden, she's this little person in a huge hospital bed with a hair net on, crying about how scared and overwhelmed she is.

I can honestly say that I've never felt more helpless. (Even when I was laying prostrate on the grass, waiting for that Barbie Power Wheels to run over my arm.) I couldn't do anything to help her pain or to alleviate her fear.

And then I thought, she must worry about me like this all of the time. And because I am the little sister, as you may also confirm if you also have a sibling, it took me until just now to put myself in her shoes in that way. (Hey, we mean well, but sometimes the younger ones can be a bit self-centered.) Especially if we have a sister as awesome as I do, who is always watching out for me.

So, if you have a sibling, try to give them a hug tonight. Remind them that there is no one like them in your life, and while it hasn't always been perfect between you two, you've got nothing but love for them.

Treat Yourself (Well)

Treating yourself is really tempting.

After all, you do a lot of stuff during the day that needs rewarding.

I had a phone call today and my voice didn't crack!

I ordered salad instead of a donut!

I made it through the day without yelling at anyone!

And it's really nice to take yourself out to eat. Or buy yourself something. Or just run a bubble bath. Treat yourself.

But this can turn into a vicious cycle. You have to go out to eat to make up for the day you had. You have to treat yourself, because you've been good all week.

The problem stems from not taking care of yourself well. If you just took the time in small moments to take care of yourself, you wouldn't have to treat yourself in such a big way.

So treat yourself well, and you won't have to treat yourself as often.

Sometimes being kind to yourself isn't all that kind.

Destination: Happiness

Happiness is always a moment away.

I'll be happy on Friday, when it's the weekend.
I'll be happy when I finally lose those 10 pounds.
I'll be happy when this is all over.

Happiness is hard to attain when you can't really ever reach it. It keeps getting pushed back. It's a destination, not a journey.

But what if happiness is right here? Right now? How differently would you function if happiness was a state that you could be in now?

Well, the answer is you can. Try it. Be happy. It's okay. I give you permission to drop anything that doesn't make you feel good. Smile into yourself.

See? Isn't it better now?

Let yourself be happy now. Don't wait.

Risky

Every time you get inside a car, you risk your life.

Now you do everything you can to avoid an accident. You spend time driving with a learners permit. You learn from an experienced driver. You take a test. You don't eat, drink, or put your contact lenses in while driving (I say it because I've seen it.)

But there's still a risk. A risk that someone out there isn't being as safe as you are. Actually, there's a very good chance they're not being as safe.

What can you do? You can drive. Because the amount of desire you have to get to another place is bigger than how costly the risk is.

And this is when fear does not have power. It's when you want/need something so bad that you're brain overrides (pun intended) the fear. In spite of the risk, you're going to do it.

Try to approach your life like driving: it's risky, but worth it.

Even When You Can’t, You Can

Exercising is hard.

Your brain says, "what are you doing to me? My body is out of breath, my muscles are sore, and you just keep…going? Are you trying to kill us?"

And you would love to just stop. Because why torture yourself like this?

But you don't. You take another step. And another and another. And suddenly, you're at the finish line. Even when you thought you couldn't, you still can.

Repeat as necessary with any obstacle in your path or your life.

The brain is a difficult muscle. It's difficult to convince, but if you don't stop, you may just find that you'll succeed. As log as you ignore that little voice that says "not right now" or "I can't."

Even when you think you didn't have any more to give, you do. Wring out every last drop, and you'll do amazing things.

OK, Universe!

Ok, universe! You win!

The fact that BOTH of my shoes came untied as I was carrying an armload of things shows me that I can't control everything and that I need to stop trying to.

Alright! We get it!

I am powerless to unmake a mistake but I can make sure I don't repeat it. And I can take more time to correct myself before moving on.

Fine, universe! You were right all along!

My body is tired at night because I am fighting you all day long. I'll stop fighting and start going with the flow. I promise.

Ok, universe! It makes sense now!

I can only give when I have enough. I can't do more if I'm not taking care of myself.

Ok, universe. What's next?