health and wellness, lifestyle, Women

Sunday Confessions

A friend of mine posted something on Facebook this morning that caught my eye and lifted a weight off my shoulders. The post read ” Don’t let people guilt you for not visiting them. They’re not visiting you either”.

I know I am not the only one who carries this guilt. We miss our friends, we may even miss our family. We want to be present for all the happenings and celebrations of our loved ones lives. Nothing beats an hour long chat, face to face over a chardonnay with our dearest friends, or collecting wisdom from our elders over a pot of tea kept warm by their knitted tea cozy. If it was up to me, these events would happen every day. More often than not, it’s not up to me. Life gets busy and can tend to get in the way of best laid plans. Children get the flu, the dog eats chocolate and an emergency trip to the vet takes priority. Work schedules to do not line up with anyone else’s … those of us in retail know this all too well. Anxiety decides to rear it’s ugly mug and the idea of driving on the highway with snow in the forecast is just too much to handle. Sometimes, we are just tired, plain and simple. Tired from work, tired from our endless “to-do’s”, tired of being everything to everyone, and although we miss our friends and family, we just can’t muster up the energy for one more thing. If you are visiting people because you have to, like it’s another chore on your daily “to-do” list – there is no honor in that, for them or for you.

I have friends and family all over the globe. Some live 10 minutes away, some live 12 hours away. I would love to see them all, whenever I had a free moment. I know this is not possible, as much as I wish it was. So, I send a quick text to let them know I am thinking of them. When I find an old photo, I send it to them, so we can share the memory. I make sure that every January 1st. I mark down everyone’s birthday on my calendar, from January to December, so they are not forgotten.  When I can, I call them to have a chat. Yes. I use my phone like a phone. When I see them post good news, I call to congratulate. Some I will text, for I know how hectic their schedules are. When I see them post sad news, whenever possible I arrive at their door.

There are times in our lives that others have to be takers and we have to be the givers. There are also times we are the takers and others are the givers. There should be times we are the visitor. There should also be times that we are visited. Relationships should be an equal amount of give and take. So, stop feeling guilty, plain and simple.

 

Beauty, health and wellness, Parenting past 15, That girl in the red coat

Sunday Confessions

 

 

“Isn’t it strange that we talk least about the things we think about the most?” – Charles Lindbergh

I am a lover of quotes. I have been for as long as I can remember. Quotes and sayings that grabbed my attention or the attention of others were and still are my favorites. I fondly remember shopping with my mother in a gift shop in Elora Ontario. I was 8 years old and fancy shoe laces were all the rage. The shop had a display of them and as I was looking at them and planning my performance to my mother in hopes of getting her to buy me a pair, my eyes landed on a pair of laces that I thought were the letters of the alphabet…they weren’t the letters of the alphabet…they read “BULLSHIT”. I giggled and gasped at the same time. My mother came over and I threw caution to the wind and told her I found a pair I liked. I pointed them out to her, she read them and laughed out loud, took them off the display and bought them for me. I wore my “BULLSHIT” shoelaces with pride, to school, to the playground, even to my grandparents house. Back to the tale at hand.

The above quote I came across a few days ago on Instagram and have not been able to stop thinking about it. It made me think of all the things that I think about, but do not say. Sure I make a sarcastic quip to lighten the mood, and will give my honest opinion when asked, I do not however always talk about what is going on behind the scenes. I put on my game face and head on out the door. Over the past weeks, being given time to actually complete a thought and do some soul searching via conversations with friends and finding a fabulous book -Rising Strong by Brene Brown, I have been able to, slowly but surely, leave the house without my game face. What you see is what you get. I have been able to shed my skin of shame (as I like to call it) and just be me. Becoming honest with myself is allowing me to become honest with those around me. So many of us are dealing with some type of pain or anguish yet feel shame for doing so. Let the shame go, it’s a waste of energy, it serves no purpose. Sharing your stories will set you free, your stories may even set someone else free for they will realize they are not alone. For the naysayers out there I have a perfect example, a personal one.

My daughter deals with anxiety and depression. Her high school years were not gentle and kind. Over the years we tried to get her some help to deal with her thoughts and feelings, to no avail. It was frustrating to say the least, not only for her, but as her Mother for it is my job to protect her, to show her there is good in the world. How was I to get her to believe that when one door closes another opens when every door seemed to slam in her face? Over the years we did our best to support her, all the while telling her to speak to someone. She didn’t trust the system for it had failed her so many times before. Finally, God, the powers that be, the Smurfs, whichever you want to believe in heard our plea, saw our efforts and a door opened, my daughter was heard, was taken seriously and is slowly but surely gaining control of herself, her emotions and her anxiety. I know, I hear you …”what’s your point? Where’s your example?”. Here it is. Last year while working with my friend at her shop, a friend of hers came in for her morning Matcha. She looked exhausted. She looked distraught. She was on the verge of tears. I overheard her conversation with my friend, it was about her daughter. She was 17, not eating, depressed, anxious, couldn’t make it through the day at high school. Her Mother was at a loss and didn’t know what to do. I went over, excused myself for entering the conversation and told her I felt I needed to. My voice was shaking as I told her about my daughter. Why was my voice shaking? What was so wrong about speaking the truth? It was at that moment I realized that I was blaming myself for my daughter’s anxieties and in turn by doing so was making her issues about me, which serves no purpose and does not help my daughter in any way, shape or form. As I was speaking to this woman, her tears slowed, her breathing calmed, my voice stopped shaking and we both felt lighter. I told her “Don’t do what I did. This is not your fault and we have to remember this is not about us. I am here to tell you there is light at the end of this tunnel. It will get better”. I went home that day and told my daughter about the conversation and I apologized to her. I apologized for always trying to fix it, that I realized all the while I was trying to make it better for her, because of my fear and shame of being seen as a bad Mother, I was not helping at all. By speaking my truth to another, I let go of my feelings of shame I hadn’t even realized I was carrying and I released another of their feelings of shame.

We all have stories that ain’t so pretty. We all know someone, or are ourselves dealing with;

  • loss
  • divorce
  • addiction
  • mental health issues
  • parenting issues – form having your toddler ripping off it’s diaper to having to put a parent in diapers.
  • are we doing enough
  • are we doing too much
  • bad hair day meltdown

…the list is endless. Here’s the deal Beauties. There is no shame in speaking your truth, what ever it may be. In the immortal words of Dr. Suess ” Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”.