Sunday, January 27, 2008

permission to skip this post

Seriously, this is not a crafty post.
I've been thinking a lot today. It was not my best day - but in the grand scheme of things, it really wasn't a bad day either. Sometimes I smile and say, "Life is taking over." which really means I'm stressed by something bigger than normal.

I really try to not be negative because I was brought up by such a negative parent. And it has really affected the way I look at everything. I didn't even realize the extent it affected me until my kids were old enough to point out when I was being negative or critical about things. That's a real eye opener when your kids start pointing out the uglies in your bag. And it's a constant struggle to avoid thinking negatively, and most days I fail.

So anyway, back to the original intent of this post. Today I barely escaped a meltdown. Actually, I think I had a private meltdown in my mind that I successfully avoided showing to the world {which in this case would mean my family}. The worst part is that nothing really spectacular brought it on. I think I am just that stressed.

A little background, for those who may still be reading, since fall 2005 we have dealt with some type of serious health issue in our family. First, my son suffered through quite an ordeal with surgeries and post-op infections, and physical therapy. It really ruined his senior year of high school, and he has a permanently deficient knee because of it. Not long after he had finally recovered and was back to "normal", my mother suffered through a series of illnesses, broken bones, cancer, surgeries, mental confusion and rehab facilities. As my mother was coming out of her problems, my husband's mother became seriously ill and is hospitalized as I type. My husband and I are the main caretakers of our parents. If they are healthy, they don't need too much from us -- but since 2006 they have all been very dependent upon us for a variety of needs.

So, today as I was trying to maintain control over myself - so as not to add more stress to my husband's life at the moment - I was thinking about everything. Not really the "why" because I think we all realize life is not fair. It is not smooth sailing and we need to be extremely grateful for those times when things are going well, instead of lamenting about all the things that do not go our way. As I was thinking I kept remembering Ali Edwards' blog about choosing a word to define your life for the year. Sort of an alternative to a new year's resolution. You can read one of Ali's original posts about her word by clicking HERE.

Anyway, here is a bit about what Ali is promoting, mainly for her life, but also for anyone who wants to participate:
"Last year I began a tradition of chosing one word for myself each January
- a word that I can focus on, mediate on, and reflect upon as I go about my
daily life. Last year my word was something I wanted to bring into my life in a
more tangible way. My word was play.
I thought a lot about play and what it means to me. I tried to incorporate it more into my everyday and on my adventures out in the crazy world. For me, it was a lot about living without fear - about being more open to experiences with an attitude of playfulness. The word play found its way onto many scrapbook pages and into many stories I told throughout the year.
Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2007?"

Today I decided that I did need to choose a word. One that would help me focus on what is important and in turn allow me to put away those things that are not important. A way for me to sort things out rapidly and make a decision instead of trying to wade through the guilt and feelings of obligation to literally everyone. So here is my word:


There, I said it. It's out and public. I am going to seek balance this year. I firmly believe God will walk beside me as I go through stressful times. I know balance is one of His principles, as well. So I am going to do my best to concentrate on finding the balance in my life. Between what I have to do, what I should do and what I want to do. There has to be room for all of those, but without tearing my spirit down in the process.

With balance, I hope to become a healthier person too. I have gone many, many years without taking care of myself. I need to learn how to take care of myself without becoming selfish. So, if you are interested in choosing a word, come walk with me through this year as I hopefully learn how to balance my life without too much of a struggle.

This is another quote taken from Ali's blog:
"Your own word is something that can live just beneath the surface and called
up when you need it or you can create some sort of reminder that is right in
front of your face daily. It can be a guide, a gentle or stern reminder, a
theme, a focal point - really any of the above and more."

Ali has several other posts on her blog dealing with choosing one word. The list of words people have chosen for 2008 can be found HERE.

Also, I realize there are many, many people who go through much more stressful times than I have outlined here. Really, I am not whining. I am thankful for what we have - I can truly say we are a blessed family. And my heart aches for those who are struggling, and for those who suffer to a much greater degree. I read some really amazing stories of families that endure unbelieveable heartaches ... and my heart goes out to them.

And, sorry for the serious tone. I will post something fun later today.


Cheryl said...

This is a great eye opener Susan. You picked a fantastic word. You are making me think and I'll have to come up with one myself. Thank goodness my life is on an "even" keel right now. Hmmmm, maybe that should be my word.

Thank you for sharing.

kellyquinn7 said...

Great writing Susan!!! Balance is such a good thing!!!

(Wish I had more of it too!!)