Holiday Season Blog Gratitude Challenge 1

Alrighty then.

We’re going to play a game. Kind of like tag, except I can’t smack you and get away with it (because, “YOU’RE IT!”) because I can’t reach you.

 

Holidays are great.

Holidays are lovely.

But we also have a way of sucking the joy, humanity, and reason for the holidays right out of the season.

Yay us!

NO *shakes head*

 

So, screw whatever we’re supposed to talk about during this time of year. We’re going to talk about being grateful. And I’m going to ask you questions, even some personal ones. Well, if you stick around I’m going to do this. If you click out I am so not going to chase you down, chain you to a desk, and force you to answer. I’m too worn out, cuz you know, I have my own life that I’m working on.

Let’s get to it.

 

 

These questions need the following answer: how you’re grateful for them and why.

 

5 Life Lessons

  1. Budgeting – boy will I not mess up on this one.
  2. Forgiveness – it’s hard but has helped me heal and gain strength to put up healthy boundaries.
  3. Eat Healthily – seriously.
  4. Healthy Boundaries – no joy without them.
  5. Attitude of Gratitude – focusing on what I’m grateful for doesn’t erase the nastiness or pain. It does, however, give me more joy and less suffering.

 

5 Trials You’ve Lived Through or Are Still Living Through

(you didn’t think I was going to make this easy on you, did you?)

  1. SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)

This gut disease has taught me a lot. I’ve changed how I eat entirely. I eat completely healthy and when I eat chocolate (daily, come on now) it’s healthier with real sugar and no GMOs or fake ingredients. I feel so much better. I’ve discovered that how I eat has a huge impact on how I feel physically and emotionally.

  1. RLS (restless leg syndrome)

Okay, so for a month I was walking around in the bathroom and sobbing at night because I couldn’t sleep. I’d pass out in bed for fifteen to twenty minutes on and off at night, equaling up to two hours of sleep in every twenty-four hours. Not fun. I finally got on a medication that stops, for the most part, the RLS. What this taught me is how important sleep is. Getting eight hours, every night is needed. But what I feel most of us don’t do, is make it a priority. We act like because we have work or children or other obligations that it isn’t possible. It is. And I’ve decided to make my health a priority and see to it that I get the sleep I need.

  1. Psychological Abuse

I would never sign up for abuse. But I can say that living through it has taught me a lot. Most people don’t want to exist inside their own skin and so distract themselves out of it. We walk around numb and ignorant of ourselves. Being abused caused me so much issue that I had to take a look at myself and get help from other human beings. This is how I learned to get out of denial and choose my own life.

It’s also taught me that a lot of people turn their noses up at emotional issues. They think therapists are idiots or pointless and think people ought to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, smile and bear it, and/or simply knock it off, get over it. But never, ever talk about your problems and never ever, need help. Let me tell you, there is so much arrogance and ignorance in a person like that, that it’s unbearable. And they’re generally not all that happy.

  1. Bipolar

I’ve heard so many people tell me to pray to God and He will take this away. I’m Christian so I can tell you, they’re not saying this out of faith or belief or spirituality. It’s a load of crap. Let’s just get that out there. Some tests in life are for life.  I truly believe God (or whatever your Higher Power is) doesn’t give us more than we can handle. And yes, much is expected of us. Life is hard work.

Being diagnosed has allowed me to stop thinking there is something wrong with me. I honestly didn’t know what my issue was. How was I so messed up? Knowing I’m on the bipolar spectrum has allowed me to view my past and realize why.

Now I have a name to put to what I feel, what I’ve experienced. And life is a lot less scary and a lot more doable. I can’t deny part of who I am. Trying to would only bring more misery.

  1. Jobs I Loathed

It took me a while to realize I didn’t love them, didn’t even like them. But having jobs I didn’t enjoy has shone a light on what I want to aim for.

 

 

5 Things from Today

  1. Petting Lucky
  2. Internet
  3. Work
  4. My religious practices (brings peace)
  5. Love

 

5 Things from the Past Week

  1. Thanksgiving – really enjoyed this holiday this year. I love the focus of gratitude this holiday brings into focus. I don’t care how it came about or how many lies its steeped in. I love what it’s become.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly happy white men tried wiping Natives out, I simply choose to focus on the goodness in humans at this time. Which is a lot harder than one would think. We humans can be terrible. But we have goodness in us, if we so choose.

  1. Birthday – my twenty-sixth. I did absolutely nothing and loved it. Hung out with family. Best.
  2. Walking Lucky – I love my sweet, fluffy boy. He brings me so much joy and taking him for a walk, away from everyone else and simply being outside, watching him sniff around in curiosity – it’s peaceful.
  3. Applied, Paid for College Class – SO excited for this one! I’ve never been to college before.
  4. Ability to Change – can you imagine never being able to change, grow, learn and make different decisions? We’d all be screwed. There’d be no point to life. So I embrace change.

 

5 Things About My Health

  1. I can eat solid food.
  2. I can walk. I can run!
  3. I have all my limbs and they all work properly.
  4. I don’t have a disease that is going to kill me.
  5. I have my mental faculties in working order.

 

 

5 Favorite Traditions

  1. Birthdays are important in my family. We always celebrate, regardless of age. It’s the day we came into this world. Of course that should be celebrated. It’s a time for reflection and goal setting. A time to take stock of what I’ve done and become and what I want to add to my life and self.
  2. Hope Chest. In my family, when you turn sixteen years old, your parents buy you a chest and begin filling it with things for when you begin your own life. I love this tradition, I will be passing on.
  3. Dating. We don’t take this one for the gift it is, I believe. We have the right to choose who to date, dump, and stick with. In other countries, people don’t have this option.
  4. Marriage. I don’t feel we take this one seriously as a society any longer, but it’s still important to me. I feel like marriage has become a joke, sexless, loveless, and well, okay, a joke! That’s not what I want. I’m going to marry for commitment, for love, for a real relationship. A sharing of souls. It’s easy to make fun of, but that doesn’t make it any less important to me.
  5. Allowing people to think for themselves. It’s something I very much intend to carry on. If my children have different likes, desires, hopes, dreams… go for it. I find that many of my friends in high school were given no choice in their life. Their parents had planned everything out for them and they lived in a rigid world without freedom of character, choice, or personal lives. It’s a strong truth in my life; we are each a unique person and what we each need and want, is what we need to go for.

 

5 Freedoms

  1. To work. As a woman, that wasn’t always an option. I couldn’t imagine living in the past. I don’t want to imagine it. I won’t even read novels in the past because the way women were treated disgusts me.
  2. Control over how I deal with my mental illnesses. Stigmas are still alive and strong but at least my freedom isn’t stripped from me. I can look at what is happening, realistically, and choose the healthiest way in which to deal with it.
  3. We aren’t exactly, “of the people, by the people, for the people” any longer, but I am extremely grateful that I live in this country, which allows me to make my own vocational and life choices.
  4. Freedom to worship. I love my spirituality and religion. It brings me strength, choices, respect for life and love, and peace. I wish all humans on planet earth were allowed to practice their beliefs (as long as they’re not abusive) in their own lives.
  5. To marry whomever I please, whenever I please. I mean, come on, we all know that at age 26, I’d be an old maid in the past.

 

 

Last 5

  1. What do I wish I wouldn’t take for granted?

Technology, running water, modern conveniences.

  1. What is something I am grateful for that I probably partake of too much?

Chocolate.

  1. What is something helpful I have that my parents did not?

Internet. Thank you, Google, for helping me adult properly. Also, the ability to talk about things. I cannot tell you how annoying it is that people didn’t “talk about things like that” in the past. You know, human things.

  1. What is something I have that my parents did not that is not helpful?

Too many options. TV stations, internet stuff, etc. How much time have I wasted on something that doesn’t matter? It all comes down to personal choices, but sometimes I feel all the unnecessary choices make life harder.

  1. What was I most grateful for as a young child?

Feeling safe. It was a rarity I appreciated more than any treat or toy.

 

 

Okay, TAG!!!!

(pretend I just smacked you upside the back of the head)

Your turn.

Erase my answers and add in your own, then tag someone. And check back for my next blog gratitude challenge in the weeks to come. And don’t forget to link back here so I can see your answers. 😀

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47 Truths People Would Tell Their Younger Selves

If you could go back in time, and tell yourself up to five things, what would you say?

While I’m a big believer in having to live through our trials, pains, and sorrows in order to learn, grow, and become who we are today – I read this question in an email and it immediately captured me.

I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.

So I asked a handful of people I know what they would say…

 

I’d like to play blog tag with EVERYONE WHO READS THIS POST.

Oh yeah.

Challenge thrown down.

I’d love it if different people could copy and paste this post – and add onto it, wisdom from the people in their own lives. Let’s see how many truths we can accumulate. Don’t forget to link back to me so I can see too!

Also, if you’ve got some answers — throw ’em at me in the comments section! I want to know.

 

 

Laura,

  1. “Love yourself as you are, but always strive to become better.”
  2. “You’re beautiful and worthwhile and priceless.”
  3. “You are a daughter of a King [God] and are destined to be a Queen. Act accordingly.”

 

Reta,

  1. To my fifteen-year-old self: “You don’t know everything, you’ve got a lot more to learn about the real world. Much more wisdom to hear.”

 

Tannis,

  1. “If I had something to tell my younger self, it would just be that I wouldn’t change a thing. I have no regrets. My life has had the same ups and downs that every person does. But, I wouldn’t change who I have become. And, the best part, I have the three most miraculous children in the world! Just keep driving yourself forward every single day.”

 

Rose,

  1. “My feelings matter.”
  2. “I am special and deserve to be loved and nurtured.”
  3. “There is help out there for kids in abusive situations.”
  4. “I was right when I wondered if families could be happy, supportive, and loving.”
  5. “I can be truly happy and someday I will meet a wonderful man that loves me for who I am – and I will have a beautiful family of my own and have the opportunity to be the loving role model I always wanted.”

 

Anonymous,

  1. “It get’s better.”

 

Anonymous,

  1. “You don’t really have to grow up in all aspects of life; most of your best times will involve being silly and childlike.”
  2. “Yes, I know it sounds foreign right now, but you CAN learn to meditate.”
  3. “You are who you are and that’s okay. You can still be a wife and a mom. Most people will still like you and the ones who don’t won’t matter. You’ll miss out on a lot of peace if you wait until you’re 26 to realize this.”

 

Alisha,

  1. “Don’t date that guy.”
  2. “Go to class.”
  3. “You’re not fat.”
  4. “Say ‘no thanks’.”
  5. “Don’t waste your time.”

 

Martha,

  1. “Be more attentive in school. Now I understand the true importance of history! It’s a composite of everything we are – and a true path to whatever we will be. What, with all the warnings of what to not do again!”
  2. “Study Orwell more in depth. His 1984 is today! Are we in a time warp? Will we ever learn? And if we truly did, would we have the courage to change?”
  3. “Keep God’s commandments and follow without question!!!”

 

Chuck,

  1. “Go into baseball with Don Drysdale with the chance to pitch for the Dodgers.”
  2. “Do not get married at age nineteen.”
  3. “Do not start drinking.”

 

Kevin,

  1. “Don’t sell your 1967 Mustang fastback.”
  2. “Buy that house even if at first it will be hard.”
  3. “Save money for a rainy day.”
  4. “Don’t take that first pain pill.”
  5. “Most of all, I would beat it into myself to put my kids first in everything and to show them support in everything they do.

 

Anonymous,

  1. “Be courageous.”
  2. “Don’t allow my fears to sway my dreams.”
  3. “When I meet a church member, listen with my heart. Better decisions will follow that knowledge.”

 

Jim,

  1. “Career, financial, and investment advice.”
  2. “However, most of the wisest counsel I would like to give myself, I needed to learn through experience.”

 

Tiffany,

  1. “Just because you do something differently than someone else does not make it wrong or the wrong way of doing something. It’s your own way!”
  2. “Always keep an open mind.”
  3. “Never make an important decision based on emotions.”

 

Lisa,

  1. “This Earth is not our home. Our home is with God. Stay focused on your Eternal goal and not the worldly experience.”
  2. “Stand up for the things that you need and believe in.”
  3. “Don’t stress over the little things. God is there to help you through any trial. He will make the pain lighter and easier to handle.”
  4. “Love yourself, shine your light.”

 

Daphne Shadows,

  1. Stop hating yourself. If you don’t, this bad habit is going to grow until it’s taken over your identity.
  2. Stop allowing others to choke the life out of you with fear.
  3. Hope. Believe. It gets better. So much better.
  4. I would read “Invictus”, hug myself, and whisper in my ear, between you and God, you are the master of your fate, you decide your life. No one else. Not anyone else. Not ever.
  5. Get to writing stories you want to write! Enjoy it. That’s why you do it. If there’s no passion, there’s no life.

 

 

Invictus 

by William Ernest Henley

 

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

 

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

 

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.