Sometimes I feel compelled to write a post. I start to write and I keep telling myself that I am just writing it for me and that I am not going to hit publish. I cry while I write it and feel a little better after. But sometimes I have a nagging feeling that I need to share it. Because I feel like we need to listen to those promptings, I hit publish.
I have been struggling. The winter is hard for me. Three winters ago I had a very bad time of it. I rarely made it off the couch before the afternoon and sometimes not even then. I don’t handle gray very well. The last couple of winters were pretty good. I was very proactive and did things that helped me like bought fresh flowers once a week, went on walks, kept busy, etc. The past couple of winters were mild which also helped. I am not sure if it is because I had lulled myself into a false sense of security thinking that I had finally figured out how to get it under control, but I am struggling.
I am normally a “Pollyanna” kind of person. I don’t like to be negative because I see that as a weakness. If I feel like I am starting down the road of being a Debbie Downer I quickly try to change. In the last couple of months I swear everything has broke that could possibly break and when I am healthy and feeling normal I am the “We got this!” girl. The “We can figure this out.” girl. Heck, we’ve lived with a partially demoed bathroom for 3 years and a broken dishwasher for 2 years. And for the most part I have been fine with it. When our microwave and furnace broke the same week I had a sinus infection I broke down and posted about it jokingly about it on facebook. I said that our dishwasher had been broke for years and we were fine but that the moment our microwave broke we panicked. Something like that. I ended up deleting it because in the comments, to a friend, I had listed all the things that we were dealing with (dishwasher, both cars, furnace, flooded basement, hospital bills from the week long stay with my son, microwave, bathroom) and I realized after the fact that I had been complaining and having a pity party and I was embarrassed. I also deleted it because I got a couple of messages from friends offering help and my pride kicked in. Instead of the positive “We’ve got this!” it was the prideful “We can do it ourselves.”
So why am I writing this on my blog? Isn’t that the same as having a public pity party on facebook?
I read that January is the toughest month of the year for everyone. People who struggle with gray like me, people who have lost someone, people who have financial hardships, people who are sick….everyone. And I have been thinking about what we can do about this time of year to help. Here are my ideas. Please feel free to leave any you have in the comments. I would love for this to be an open conversation.
Find a friend. Find a person that you can vent to that won’t judge you. Someone that you feel comfortable telling everything you are struggling with. Just the act of saying it out loud to someone can be therapeutic.
Do something for someone else. I have said it many times in the past but it is because it is true. So very true. Looking outside of yourself and your current situation is the best way to feel good, and happy. Serving others will make your burden seem lighter. It will literally boost your mood! If you are not sure what you can do, pray for opportunities to be made known to you.
Focus on the positive. Gratitude is the best balm. I grew up watching the movie Pollyanna and had a mom who often brought it up as a reminder. If you are familiar with the movie, Pollyanna plays the glad game. Whenever she is faced with a sad or unfortunate situation, she looks for something she can be glad for. I am thankful that even though my microwave bit the dust, that our stove and oven still work. I’m thankful that nothing of sentimental value was ruined in the flood. I’m thankful we have insurance and don’t have to shoulder the full financial responsibility of the hospital bills. You get the idea :)
Accept help. This one is so very hard for me. I am a very prideful person. I hate admitting I need help. One time in college I ran out of money and didn’t have a way to buy groceries. The only thing I had left was a large can of dehydrated potatoes. I lived off of that for a month because I didn’t want to have to call home and ask my mom for money or ask my roommates to borrow food. When Shane and I went through layoff after layoff years ago when the economy tanked, there were a few times when we asked for help and it was the hardest, most humbling thing ever. Honestly, if it were not for the fact that we had small kids, I wouldn’t have asked even then. This is a lesson I am still learning. I do know that when we let others help, we are allowing them a chance to do service and maybe, they really need it for the same reasons that I listed above. I stink at accepting help but we are currently borrowing a friend’s car until we can save and get one of our fixed. I hate it, but I am doing it :)
It was sunny today. My sinus infection is gone. Shane got our furnace working again. I found a Home Depot gift card in my wallet that will cover most of the cost of a new microwave. I am calling to set up payments with the hospital so we don’t have to pay it all at once. We found out from the mechanic today Shane’s car is not worth fixing so I sat down at the computer and shuffled some money around and I think we can get the van fixed soon and we’ll just go back to one vehicle. We’ll keep washing dishes by hand and ignoring the giant hole in the bathroom wall. It will be fine. I may not even have to unfriend everyone on facebook who is vacationing somewhere tropical ;)
What you may be going through may be small and petty like what I am dealing with or it may be something a little bigger. I think the same things can apply to both situations. Don’t let yourself shoulder the burden on your own. If you don’t have someone to vent to, please feel free to email me. We can even chat on the phone if you want.
Winter is hard….. but spring is just around the corner.