New beginnings

I have struggled mightily this holiday season. I can’t say what brought it on or why it seemed to take hold so deeply, but I’ve been depressed and angry. I’ll spare you the details; there’s not much to tell anyway. I was just in a bad place.

This morning my kids and I exchanged gifts and I’ve been thinking all day about the choices my kids made for me. I’ve been teary and reflective since they left to celebrate with their dad, but this time I’m teary in a good way.

Allow me to share.

My son gave me a balaclava, ski goggles, and long ski socks. I don’t ski. I’ve tried a couple of times–one dismal and one mildly successful–but that was years ago and with my wonky knees, I never really had any intention of doing it again. Besides that, I live in the glacially-leveled Hoosier heartland. There are no mountains here, not even hills where I live. Potholes provide the only elevation changes I see around home.

But I. Love. This. Gift.

It means that my son, who now lives in Colorado during the academic year and has taken up snowboarding, wants to share his world with me. He has asked me repeatedly to come visit and hit the slopes. With his gift, he’s asking me to spend time with him doing something he loves. I don’t care about the goggles so much as the wish behind them. You can bet I’ll be heading to the Colorado Rockies soon, wonky knees and all.

And my daughter. That beautiful, wonderful girl saved my life.

Her gift to me was a small book entitled 1: How Many People Does It Take to Make a Difference? It seemed modest at first glance, but I’ve already read it cover to cover and it has started to heal my heart. I’ve been so focused on myself and how bad I felt that I didn’t realize all I was doing was digging my pit of misery deeper and deeper. That little book is so full of wisdom that I’m going to have to reread it several times to take it all in.

Its message? GET OVER YOURSELF. Well, okay, it doesn’t say exactly that, but that’s the sentiment I took from it. Get over yourself, stop focusing on YOU, look outside yourself, and do good. And it’s sort of an activity book, too–it has spaces for thoughts, ideas, and goals.

Here’s the thing. Just like the ski gear, it’s not the book. First, my daughter sensed I was struggling and wanted to help. Second, I’m not sure how anyone else would receive the wisdom in the pages or even how it would have struck me a few months ago. I just know that in this moment, it offered what I needed. Words. Do. Matter. Especially the right ones at the right time.

I’ve had a cathartic few hours since my kids hugged me goodbye for the day. I’ve been finding myself again under the muck and the junk that has buried me for weeks. Some of the thoughts bogging me down–sorry, they’re too personal to share–found their foil in the printed words my daughter gave me. I have started to find my way back from a place I thought I might never leave.

So maybe it’s a week early, and I don’t usually do them anyway, but this year I’m making a resolution for the New Year.

This year, I’m going to focus less on me. Not just a little less, but a lot less. I’m going to get over myself and see where it takes me. And I’m going to write about it here.

Hold me to it.

A Cherokee elder was teaching his children about life. He said to them, “A terrible fight is going on inside me. It is a fight between two wolves. One is the wolf of joy, love, hope, kindness, and compassion. The other is the wolf of fear, anger, cynicism, indifference, and greed. The same fight is going on inside of you and every other person, too.” The children thought about it for a moment, and then one child asked, “Which wolf will win?” The elder replied, “Whichever one you feed.”

5 thoughts on “New beginnings

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  1. After working on my own rather overwhelming work I got this urge to suddenly Google WordSmatter (Word Smatter) for a campaign I’m doing for my ever evolving networks….I’ll spare details…

    In the process your blog popped up. It’s exactly what I needed to read in this moment of time. Loved reading a few of your recent posts. I detest Facebook or I would follow along. Actually find the notation of having “followers” unsettling.😐📲
    It’s creepy. I do if the NSA counts.

    Anyhow, you post regarding those in need learning with your hands was spot on. You write from the ♡ in a very matter of fact WordSmatter way. It takes you on a journey. Love to hear more I’ll try to check back more. feels like some of this work should have landed there. Maybe I can feature it in a piece in mine on humanity (with you permission of course & proper credit due). Wanted to send a kudos share a cosmic Google search moment with you.

    Here’s a glimpse of my sample Wordsmatter world.

    Business is SoapyCatfish Market & ChurchLegit on the go! Wanted to offer you something too.

    Read you were having a rough path a while back. 🤗 So I send you a mental hug. Have a lovely day. Hope you keep writing.

    1. Ugh your* permission. 📲📱😐Hate proofreading on the phone if you end up writing a comment essay to someone.

      Yours* it needs editing there but, u 👀 the typos….

  2. Ugh your* permission. 📲📱😐Hate proofreading on the phone if you end up writing a comment essay to someone.

    Yours* it needs editing there but, u 👀 the typos….
    also, crazy side note I’m in Colorado too at the moment. Displaced but, that is a real cosmic slap there to discover your writings. The way you explained the importance of the gifts the thought behind them spot on. Thank you.

  3. Oh, goodness I’m Megan btw- currently in Colorado with a messed up knee!

    Loved the post about the gifts your kids gave you for Christmas. The thoughts behind it. Thank you for sharing.♡

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