Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thank You, Sarah. Your Words And Photo Inspired Me.

I'm not sure what's going on with me. I've been feeling out of sorts and reflective as of late. I think it's a combination of a lot of things. The crappy weather. Stretching myself out too thin. Not reaching a few of my goals. Hormones because I'm starting menopause. Exhaustion. The fact that I haven't had a "normal" work week in well over a month. A few intense episodes, and the last few episodes, of Parenthood on Netflix. Frustration. Mercury Retrograde for the last month. The Big Painting Project coming up. Lisa turning 50 this year. Me hitting the middle ground of 45. Thinking a lot about the friends and family we've lost over the past few years.

I wrote a blog column about this a couple of weeks ago. You can read it here.

Today, I'm fairly certain I stumbled on my emotional and mental peak. The cherry on top of the proverbial sundae.

To grasp this in its entirety, I need to back up a bit.

About 10 years ago, I was introduced to the Mommy Blogosphere. I was working for a rather large media company. Aside from content, social media, and blog management, I was responsible for squeezing my way through the slightly opened doors to the world of Mommy Bloggers.

I was given a list of about 50 Mommy Bloggers. Find them. Read them. Familiarize yourself with them. Their style. Tone. Presentation. Interests.

That's exactly what I did. I much preferred and gravitated more towards the Mommy Bloggers who were candid and opted to share the messy stuff.

In the years to follow, I removed most of the Mommy Bloggers from my list except for a few.

Four to be exact. 

I still read these blogs. And, I've added a few more favorites to my list.

My favorite bloggers, Mommy Bloggers or Non-Mommy Bloggers are not the ones I want to talk about right now.

There is a single Mommy Blogger that was on my list almost a decade ago. It was not a situation of "love at first read."

In all honesty, she is the polar opposite of my writing style, life, religious views, and her posts are much too white-picket-fancy for my taste. However, year after year after year, I kept checking in with her blog posts.

I still do. 

Despite the fact that we had nothing in common on any level, I found some of her posts to be refreshing. These posts often included the toys and craft kits she bought for her kids, the books she read, and the simple recipes she made for her large family.

What I admired the most was that she veered far away from drowning her 6 children with high tech devices, game consoles, popular "must have" toys, and novelty items. TV time was limited. Social media sites were off limits. Spending time outdoors was encouraged.

Over the Christmas season, I checked her blog. In the weeks to follow, I kept checking. Nothing. I noticed her last blog post had been written on December 24th.

By the time March rolled around, I wondered if, after 10 years, she had stopped blogging. If that was the case, I thought she'd at least write a farewell post.

Today, I checked her blog. Finally! A new post.

But, wait...

The photo accompanying the blog hit me like a wrecking ball. I recognized the child in the photo, but not the adult holding her.

Then, I read the blog post. By the time I finished the last sentence, there were several puddles of tears on my desk. I had a difficult time catching my breath.

I won't go into details about her blog post. If you'd like to read it, go here.  

I'm sure some of you are wondering why I had such an emotional reaction to a blogger I have nothing in common with and have never met personally. I'll admit, I was a little surprised myself. I'll attribute some of that to the length of time I've been reading her blog.

The rest...

Well, I'm sure it has a lot to do with the how I've been feeling as of late and realizing a few things...

I'm sweating the small stuff way too much.

I'm allowing petty stuff to distract me.

I'm not taking enough time to simply be in the moment.

I'm not organizing and utilizing my time in the best way possible.

Lisa and I haven't been blocking off a chunk of time on the weekends to mute the rest of the world.

I've been banging my head up against the wall about too many things that haven't changed and won't change.

I've allowed a few of my boundaries to fade like an old chalk outline.

Seeing the photo of the blogger and reading her latest post was the equivalent of someone grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking some sense into me.

And whupping me upside the head. 

All of the stuff that I have allowed to build up and ping on my nerves has done nothing except form a residual sludge that has weighed me down. I don't like the way that feels.

Life is short. Too short. Everything that has been festering over the past month is insignificant, especially when I compare it to the struggles others are face to face with and battling.

Reading that blog post earlier today inspired me to shake it off. All of it. I gave myself the rest of the day to just get it out. Cry. Dance. Jump around. Vent. Pace. Whatever it was I had to do to get over it.

Yes, the last month or so has been difficult and trying on my nerves, but it's a flea on an elephant's ass in comparison to what others are going through.

Tomorrow is a new day. New outlook. A newfound sense of determination and motivation. A better grasp on things. Perspective. Freshened chalk lines. Strict focus. The willpower not to cave to certain things and situations.

Thank you, Sarah, the beautiful author of the blog I've been reading for almost a decade. I can't imagine how hard it was to share such a personal journey, but please know in doing so, you changed me just a little bit. And, you helped me out of my funk. You inspired me.

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