Past Present Future

36859847-8A5A-4506-85AE-45C768209177Last night, as I stood at my kitchen counter cutting up vegetables for our Christmas dinner, I could not help but to think of how many others are doing just the same.  While some are celebrating Christmas already and the joy felt in these homes, with children screaming with delight DD51C1EB-378A-4FE8-A277-60E216708330or perhaps a child already crying over something while a mother and father are exhausted from putting the final touches for their Christmas celebration.

Thinking back of the excitement and anticipation of Santa from when I was a child and then with my own children, all of these thoughts helped me with the ache in my back standing there which seemed like all day, to be one step ahead in my preparation.

It was from joy and excitement in my thoughts to the sadness and the thought of many not feeling so joyous and depression knocking at their door or worse. Within this time span over my vegetable plate prepared, I went from past, present and future in my thoughts, somewhat like the Christmas movie, A Christmas Carol. 2FE8E5A0-AEE6-4AEE-AEA2-0642BDF58916

Sadly, I remember being in that state, too. No matter where each of us are in this vast array of emotions that exist, the Lord sees and knows our name and where we are. Some may doubt and question that with an undertone or outright anger of not so, how could He? Questioning His love and care. I understand that as I have been there also. While I knew different deep within, I sure did not feel anything, trust Him or anybody else for that matter. I was angry with Him, myself and with others and life itself. Definitely not a fun place to be.

E3539BCD-8F78-43EC-B951-77380D63FC33I did not understand the emotional pain endured for years and the isolation I put myself in while wearing a mask with work or public appearances. I definitely struggled, fighting through a depressive state. Thank God I had my children as they were my focus to hold on but even in that, I am sure they did not feel the true joy in my life, as their mother. Still, I managed and I am here, perhaps just for someone to read my own experiences and to give hope. Thank God, He did not give up on me.C9E4F7BB-A203-43A8-B2D8-B6A10C44C797

Sometimes life does not turn out to the expectation we had hoped for in our mind. I never thought I would go through what I did and have but I did, I went through. Is my life perfect? No. I can say that my mindset is a lot better though. I had to work on myself and trust God to get me to this point. I am with myself 24/7 as you are with yourself. If you want change, you need to change, not for anyone else.0EE32B92-F35F-43A1-B892-A24959108EDE

While I had my church and my faith in God, I pulled away  in the isolation of the depression hovering 6515C897-7ED1-4B84-B58C-82A4B6C554AAover my head. As the Bible says, the enemy is out to kill, steal and destroy. He wanted to knock me out.

After years of mental torment of unworthiness and everything else that I believed to be true, I went for counseling, this was five years ago. Best decision ever. Was it easy? No. It was worth my time, money and the emotional ups and downs of understanding myself and in healing many 8A5C9536-F5E4-41B6-A135-16B18934163Abroken areas of my life, which I am still working on and plan to continue. This was my past and is my present.

In the present, I am feeling excitement and joy as I once did in life or perhaps and honestly moreso. I am looking forward to the future to finish out my years with the same and more. It took one step forward and sometimes two backward to get here, and still, but I keep moving forward and desiring more, trusting the Lord. I wanted a change, and that’s a start from the past to be present now and my goal for the future.95C57C62-1A6C-4305-952C-7547691BC035

As we go into the new year and resolutions are made and many broken, do not let that hinder you, it happens. Still, set a goal for a healthier you because it is only YOU that can make this happen. You are worthy. Trust Him.

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Christmas Slump

It’s that time of the year and for days and weeks, maybe months now, we have all been gearing up for Christmas. There is a sense of joy as we celebrate the holiday season, decorating, a time of gift-giving, paying forward is a common occurrence, cooking delicious recipes as well as making batches of cookies and candies, families and friends coming together plus seeing the colorful lights and decorations strung around wherever we go. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Right?

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It really is wonderful to experience the joy mention but sadly many do not. Many do not know the true meaning of Christmas, representing the birth of Christ.

In myself, I do enjoy the season and everything about it, wishing I had more time to experience the lights, shows, etc., and while I have done so more this year, there is also a dread underlying within me because I know how it affects me after Christmas.

Christmas Ornaments on Wood BackgroundIn the holiday season, the vivid colors of red and green while other colors are splashed around, the decorations that adorn homes inside and out for all to admire, the ornaments that are hung with care while many have a memory or a story attached to share and perhaps a tear or two wiped, smelling the cookies and desserts baked plus enjoyed. There are so many joyous moments and then it all goes away, quicker than it came. Months of building hope, joy and love and then poof, it’s over.

Soon after Christmas Day or maybe after the new year, everything is taken down and put away until next year. Now everything seems bleak and dull. I find it is sad. I know with me, it takes me a couple of weeks to get back in the swing of things and adapt to the norm, awaiting for the next holiday but nothing compares to Christmas of the beauty and happiness all around.6F5E347F-259A-436B-967C-F476AC1B1D78

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) exists in many whether it be for the holidays or winter months moreso than the rest of the year perhaps due to less daylight and sunshine.

Depression hits more in the holiday season as we miss those no longer with us, our emotions are touched and memories seem to be heightened of the past and being unsure of the future. Hope is lost somewhat in the hustle and bustle within many.

Remember to notice and know yourself enough and to get medical help if needed. This happens for many and normal to feel the blues at times but not all the time. Take care of you through the most wonderful time of the year but also all year long.  The holiday blues happen.

0F88B310-D4DF-41E3-93D7-8B1242901DE9While most of us are going through the season with joy and excitement, let’s pay attention to those around us that may not be. Whether it be now or throughout the year, too; sometimes just a kind word, a pat on the arm or even a smile is a gift to some.  Feel free to share, it costs nothing.

Merry Christmas and may the year 2020 be the best ever.

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https://www.verywellmind.com/holiday-blues-4771716

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder

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A Thanksgiving Production

DF277E5B-F9B8-42AF-9532-9C1260DA1F91It’s about time! Time for family and friends to gather at my home and I am sure yours also or the home you are hopefully going to and celebrate Thanksgiving.

As I was getting my last-minute items, I was thinking while driving home that this is like getting ready for a production. The spotlight is on me, my home, my food, my welcoming each one that comes through the door. There was a slight panic but I have no time to panic, as I must continue on and keep my thoughts together and get everything done.  Somehow, someway, it always falls together.

Well, almost everything. I have learned through the years that if it is not perfect, it is okay. It does not need to be A73AB2C1-2C78-4EE2-9DD7-89399A60B732perfect, I do not have to expect perfection out of myself. What a relief. Actually, I forgot salad dressing. Before, I would stress and push myself to go get, adding onto my to-do list. This time, I contacted my daughter-in-law asking her to take care of this for me. My goodness have I changed, counseling has definitely paid off. For that, I am thankful. It’s okay to ask for help.

This time tomorrow night, everyone will probably be gone and another Thanksgiving is over. It is not worth being stressed although there are moments, of course, but to be in the moment and enjoy those present, that is what I want and need to do.  We all do!

Take time to enjoy and the others will also. My saying always is to make yourself at home. I hope they all feel welcome to help themselves and I think they do.

May the ones that walk through my door, feel the love and joy being thankful for all that we each have, as we are blessed. May the Love of God and His Peace cover each one that they know Him, to place C26128AA-8021-4D13-AA1D-56E2CC00CCBBChristians in their pathway to lead them and help where perhaps I can’t; put Angels all around each one as they leave and protect them. That would be my simple but heartfelt prayer.

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🍂 Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family/friends. 🍂

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Tears from Nowhere

This morning I had an appointment early to get my D171077C-9EA4-4CB8-AB0B-4889C4CE7CFDhaircut and was looking forward to a nice, productive day afterward as I prepare for Thanksgiving like many of us are doing.  A good morning overall even though the weather was not cooperating with a lack of sunshine.

C97D4E0A-7459-4C06-9CDA-E09FFE79966CHere I am, sitting in the chair and my sweet stylist doing her magic while we talked and laughed. In the background, Christmas music was playing and the song, Pretty Paper by Willie Nelson came on. I stated I had not heard that for a good year, since last Christmas, of course, making a joke. I knew with that comment, I could not hold back the emotions and the tears started. Where did those come from and why? It’s funny how memories are stirred by music and our emotions are affected.845A8C81-4406-49F2-ACF5-B6ECA5E16D32

Each tear we cry has meaning to our Father God. He keeps track of all our sorrows just as carefully as if He were gathering each tear and placing it in a bottle for His remembrance.” Jennifer Rothschild

Later, when home alone and starting to clean, I turned on the Christmas music, louder than normal with my sound bar and woofer level elevated, hoping the neighbors don’t E3BD3AFE-6084-492C-8935-E9854AE06A2Bcomplain. lol  Believe it or not, the first song was Pretty Paper by Willie Nelson, yet again. What is up with this song today? Just because of how odd and what happened earlier, I texted my stylist and told her. Her text back was that it was playing right after I texted her. Knowing we are not playing the same channels but for this to coincide, interesting for both of us now.

Christmas music is wonderful even when the tears start flowing. The lyrics go deep and touch our hearts. Once they start, they usually continue off and on for the day for me and sure enough today has been one of those days.

74B50E97-29BC-4AD3-B579-ABBD8C4298C3The holidays can bring up memories of our past, good and bad, the grieving of those no longer in our lives whether that be in death or an end of a relationship, being overwhelmed with many things going on in our lives, or a mixture of it all and the tears flow, but not necessarily depression.

When my son moved out of state after college, being five hours away that year, I found the song, I’ll Be Home for Christmas a definite one to make the tears flow, which always reminds me of him still even though now an hour away. This song is not so good when driving to work and tears fall like a dripping water faucet. Why did I even put on makeup?

Feeling sentimental, as many of us are if not all, at this B4A63AF6-4D68-4D8D-AFF2-FDCA03F448D3time of the year, is normal. It is a time for families and friends to come together. With the Birth of Christ recognized, our worship and joy felt can also bring tears of thankfulness. Let your heart feel, allow your emotions that apparently are needed to cleanse and heal some areas within. It’s okay to cry, even in your hair stylist’s chair. I grew up feeling shame and embarrassment of crying in front of others, even my own family. Thankfully that has changed in understanding myself and the whys through counseling.

123F5BD4-90B4-423D-887E-FF3299488885If you find the tears are more than not and on the depressive side instead of sentimental reasons, please contact your physician, a counselor, a pastor, a friend. Reach out! It does takes courage but you can do this.

If more serious and nobody is available or you want to remain private, as many isolate during this time, please get help by going to your nearest hospital or call the suicide hotline. You are worthy and God knows your name and where you are and most importantly, He loves you. Trust Him!

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org  👉🏻 Telephone 1-800-273-8255  24/7

3 Ways God Responds to Your Tears

The Story Behind Willie Nelson’s Christmas Classic, ‘Pretty Paper’

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I Cancelled Thanksgiving

5C2A1F8F-F0E8-4B04-B87F-AC23C8C8CD13This time last year, my life was going in all directions, feeling lost, abandoned, grieving, overwhelmed and well, you get the picture.

There was an excitement just months prior of me enrolling in a medical class, which was a big step for this old girl.  I finally felt empowered enough to move forward after many years of feeling hopeless.  Counseling for years was helping me cope and understand myself plus my faith knowing I could do this and my dreams and desires were coming alive. Wonderful.  Life was good.

It was in September though as classes started and my counselor of almost four years decided to close her office due to medical issues, of course, unexpectedly. While I understood and was concerned, I could not help but feel abandoned by her.  My heart was hurting and my emotions were everywhere.

I would work full-time, go to class in the evenings and when I left, I sat in my car and cried, the grief was too much.  This class was too much.  My life was too much. 6315B5C0-B00E-4882-B65D-6B42AD8F745AHow can I do this? Overwhelmed was an understatement.

Through all of this turmoil within, I also knew I had to put a Thanksgiving dinner together for my husband’s family and our own, although my oldest son, now married would be with his wife’s family several states away.  The month of November was one with my nose in the medical book, studying for finals the week before Thanksgiving, my house not ready and no desire to go forward, just managing the best I could. My surprise was to get a 94 on my final, which shocked me completely. The joy of the results disappeared soon after, as I was still falling apart within and now no counselor to counsel me, left totally in the dark.  Now the anger was more prevalent due to it all.

Being so overwhelmed and grieving, I cancelled  Thanksgiving.  I did. I was done.

Thanksgiving Day was lonely in my home, just like any other day.  My youngest son, living an hour away, decided to stay at his home.  I offered for him, me and his father to go out and eat but he had no interest. Loneliness all around with depression raining down on each of us.

Finally, it was late that night when I spoke to my son, instead of texting.  In the voice, a lot can be heard and discerned.  I knew he was sad over no Thanksgiving.  He probably thought that since his older brother was not present, he was not worth it.  Still, that thought brings 4BD339ED-93A0-4EE6-BECF-84F34CD16FEDsadness all over me.  I will NEVER cancel Thanksgiving or a family gathering again.  He did not know my circumstance and the struggle I was dealing with but I was wrong.

In our telephone call, with my motherly instinct, thank God, I told him to get ready as I am coming down to his house.  It was dark and late but off I went to be with him, I apologized and told him I will never do that again.  We went to eat, get groceries, do all of his laundry and went bowling at midnight.  We both had fun and I put a pot of chili in his crock pot to enjoy the next few days.  In the end, he received my undivided attention and his mother’s love. He needed me and I needed him.

This year we will have the family in for Thanksgiving and if I get the house clean, fine and if not, fine.  I learned my lesson.959C31B5-EC01-444A-AF14-044F96E476B1

Thanksgiving is the holiday where people come together. At least, that’s what most of us are conditioned to believe. While Thanksgiving has the potential to be the most inclusive and unifying holiday on the calendar — particularly for families — it also has the potential to generate the most loneliness.”

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-art-closeness/201511/4-reasons-thanksgiving-is-the-loneliest-holiday

Holiday Depression, it happens! 

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/holidays#1

Self-Care During the Holidays, it’s needed!

https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-importance-of-self-care-during-the-holidays/

Mom, Mommy, Mama, Mum, Mother

6CE19055-E875-4DD2-8086-5D8FE4D508C3It’s Mothers Day! To each of you, Happy Mother’s Day. 💕

While this day is called out for mothers of which I am, I find it to be one of the most depressing days of the year. Let’s move on!

I know I am not the only one that feels this way, as I have read too much through the years. It could be a number of reasons why, such as loss of your own mother and feeling the grief, loss of a child that brings memories and an emptiness in your arms, perhaps forgotten by your own children due to their busy lives or whatever reason, it sucks. It just brings a depressing feeling and on a rainy day.

Even if my children would make a big thing of this day, I am unsure how I would handle. With my oldest being married now, I have been told over and over by my boss that once a son takes a wife, I will lose a son. I felt it last year and again this year.

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Different times today, I had to fight the thoughts that I did not do my job as a mother to help them recognize such days or perhaps I was a terrible mother and don’t deserve such recognition. Remember, I said fight.

While I did not have a lot of time to make such days special, I recognized them on their birthdays, etc. Usually, I was too busy to care about the other special days, such as today, so I did a disservice to myself and they know I can get through these days. As for being a mom, I have bent over backward and still do, plus I did do a decent job as well as stay in an unhappy marriage to make sure they had the best instead of struggling financially or have no direction or supervision. So those negative thoughts were just that. I know what I have had to go through.

0307DBD6-1E15-4D3B-A82B-F3913A1AB0D9So this quiet, rainy and subdued day after church, I took a long nap. I will finish my day preparing for my work week and be happier when I open my eyes in the morning, as I made it through. Being a mother is one of the best, fulfilling positions in life, ever. Sometimes though, it has been and it is hard. Still, I would drop anything to do for them. They have been my life and reason for living.

As I write, I did get a call from my oldest and an expected text from my youngest.  I do know they love me and appreciate me.  Something I have said many times through the years, ‘Being a mother is one of the hardest jobs but the most rewarding.’  I am blessed to be called Mom.

What’s Your Story?

Oftentimes I pass people or perhaps know them but never enough time to get to know them, but I often wonder who they really are.  What is their story, their testimony.  What  have they gone through to be where they are today.C9EC5D99-EFA1-469C-9555-5A9CCCDCA95A

A week or so ago, as I sat in my car eating a late lunch before my next appointment, I watched an older woman, dressed nice, carrying her black purse in one hand and walking with her silver aluminum cane in the other.

I was drawn to her because she was older but also walking toward a busy Mall Road where shoppers were whizzing by to get their last-minute gifts before Christmas.  Not a care in the world it seemed to her.

Vector drawing of a senior woman in a waiting.Being one to be concerned and now figuring out a direct route to get to her in case she fell, I was just amazed at her life in this twenty-minute vacation in my mind of her.

Finally, approaching the bench and turning to place her purse and her cane on the bench ever so carefully, she stood there.  Realizing she was waiting for a bus.  While one stopped, she signaled him to move on. I was intrigued even more.  Perhaps waiting for another bus.

Wondering where she went as she had no shopping bags.  What was her purpose to be on a busy road.

Part of me, if I had the time, I would have enjoyed going up to sit with her and just talk as we watched the cars pass.

Why was she walking alone on such a busy road? Where is her family?  Does she have family?

I just hope that as I age, I will be as independent and look as nice as she did.  No doubt she has been through some rough patches in life, had joy and plenty of sadness, too.

It was just nice to leave my issues and overwhelming thoughts of my life right then and dwell on hers for a bit.

What about you…

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