This past year has been difficult for me. I wasn’t in the holiday spirit last year. This year is a little better, but it will be our first without my Dad. When my parents’ owned a day care (I was in college), my dad dressed up as Santa for all the kids. And then when my kids and nephews were little, he did the same. My dad was always a focal point of entertainment, and his presence is sorely missed when my family gets together.
I just returned from a trip to Salt Lake City for work, and Portland to see my mom and one of my brothers and sisters-in-law. We had a nice family dinner while I was there. It reminded me of all of holidays of the past, but as the years go on the numbers attending just dwindles. We are all spread across the country in four different states – just in my immediate family. If you start counting cousins and in-laws that’s another six states. So family gatherings just aren’t the same.
April is Stress Awareness Month. Is it a coincidence that it coincides with one of the major stressors in American’s lives? (Tax Day) We all face every day stressors such as our commute, our jobs, paying bills, raising kids. But then there are those other things that compound and have longer lasting effects on you. Perhaps you have finals coming up or a work deadline or family troubles or maybe you’re battling a chronic condition or illness. Or perhaps you have a combination of many stressors in your life.
Stress can be positive – it’s what activates your fight or flight mechanism, or helps you to meet a deadline – or negative. It’s the negative stress that has a detrimental impact on your health and can show up in many ways – over/under eating, not sleeping, acne, physical ailments like stomach or heart issues, and flares of chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. Learning to cope with these burdens so that they don’t build up can make a huge difference in your health.
It has been linked to a wide range of health issues, including mood, sleep, and appetite problems — and yes, even heart disease.
Lately I haven’t been loving myself enough. I have been running on empty, with “no spoons” left to give. No energy to blog, no creativity left to give, and dealing with my messy life.
So taking a few days to enjoy a getaway with my family last week was definitely the self-care, self-preservation, and refueling I needed. Being outdoors is my happy place, as I believe it is holistically therapeutic to be outside.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
~ William Blake
I took these pictures while on vacationing in Oregon this past January. We took a day trip to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, visit the Tillamook Dairy factory, and stop by Cannon Beach and the famous “Goonies rock”. This day was special because it was one of the few days we got to explore Oregon — we spent the next two days of our trip snowed in!
Do you wait for opportunities to come your way, or do you make the most of every situation? I prefer to make the most out of everything, which is why my blog is subtitled “Finding Inspiration in Every Day Life”.
I love to find inspiring words and share them with others and find ways to apply them to my life. After all, the fun in life is sharing, caring, loving, and giving. Yes, I truly believe that.
“I can’t do everything but I can do SOMETHING. I will not let the things I cannot do prevent me from doing the things I can.” ~ Helen Keller
It’s been a few months since my last blog post. My absence can be attributed to two things: First, with my daughter now away at college and my son working full time, I have found I have free time to find what I enjoy doing and am passionate about. That time has been spent volunteering and being active with my leadership alumni group of friends. The second more compelling reason for my absence has been related to a new/old health issue that has been causing me a tremendous amount of pain. Chronic pain is a real energy drain. So any spare time I have had lately has been spent resting, visiting doctors, researching the problem, and trying to feel better. (More on this in another blog…)
While chronic pain may limit the things I can do physically, I am able to share my other talents by volunteering. Giving back. Sometimes the selfless act of helping others can help us forget the pains we suffer. So I volunteer with Women in Technology at girls STEM events, and I joined the board of a local food pantry (who is so much more to the community) to try to help them make a difference. As the quote notes, I can’t do EVERYTHING, although Lord knows I have tried. But I can do SOMETHING.
Do you volunteer? I would love to hear the sorts of things you do.