I was bebopping along with my happy self and then life happened. The month of December has been a challenging one for me & my happiness. There has been a lot of obstacles that have contributed. It all started after Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving. Andy, Evelyn and myself came down with a stomach bug and then a nasty cold that is still lingering in Evelyn. Andy's insane work schedule was a huge scramble of getting second homeowners' new flooring before Christmas. He worked very long hours every day until Dec. 23 so he wasn't around much at all. Georgia's kitten was run over in front of our house and then a week later, I had to make the decision to put my 16 year old dog, India down. And then throw in homeschooling three little girls and not to mention the short, dark days of winter.
It just didn't feel like Christmas. I was so sad about India which was making it hard to sleep and the girls said I was so grumpy. Andy could barely make it through dinner without falling asleep from exhaustion. We were late getting decorations up, and we couldn't even muster the energy to go look at the Christmas lights. I had a long list of handmade presents that I was going to make for people and the girls. Well, that list was thrown out the window pretty fast. I managed to make a couple of things but it was more of a Should duty. This month just felt hard and unbalanced.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because that's how life goes. All of a sudden you are tested. Plus, it helps when you know that you aren't alone. I have learned a lot about myself over the last few years. I think this was a little challenge to see what I'm made of. A challenge for Andy and myself.
Here were my areas of difficulty:
How do you stay balanced when you feel sad?
How do you practice joy when you don't feel it?
How do you rely own yourself to be strong?
How do you keep your mind focused on good thoughts when you are sad instead of remembering bad ones?
How do you motivate when you're feeling so low?
How to see things differently when you are in a bad spot?
I answered some of these questions on my own.
The first thing that I have learned is to be aware. Be aware of what you are experiencing and to feel it. Don't try to not feel and wear a mask of happiness. But you also don't want to wallow in misery either. Just name it and announce it to yourself. I told the girls that yes, I was sorry that I was grumpy but that I was sad. So, I decided to let homeschool be more fun this month and flexible. There is a lesson in everything and to not set myself to fail since I was feeling blue.
I think this time of year is the "dark" time of year for a reason. It's a time where you naturally turn inward and hibernate a little. Maybe that's why a lot of people have a hard time rejoicing when they feel like pulling in. I know that I always feel like living in a cabin far far away in the woods with no contact with civilization during the winter time. So, I decided to recognize that possibility and embrace it.
I also realized how much I rely on Andy with the girls & for myself and how hard it is to not have help. I also saw how difficult it is to be strong and positive for the whole family when Andy was too worn out to give anymore. I knew that this was only for a short time in the scheme of things and to be thankful for his hard work and self-sacrifice. I also decided that this Christmas might look different from others and that's ok. Last year, Andy had a broken back for Christmas and was in so much pain. I am thankful that he has recovered and our holiday doesn't look like that one.
Overall, we have made it to the end of this month and the end of this year with lots of love and wonderful memories.
I made it through this month by:
recognizing my feelings,
allowing myself to be sad,
giving compassion to myself,
changing my perception,
and knowing this to shall pass.
Be kind to yourself. Love goes a long way. And listen to your authentic voice in your soul because it never fails you. You already have the wisdom if you will