One year ago I was about to quit writing my blog. I didn't know it yet, but I had big dreams that were soon to be overcome by holidays, sickness, and then depression. It was at this time last year that I was looking to sell my business and start something artistic and new. I wanted to make art, do meaningful work (and somehow get paid for it!) I intended to post about my creative endeavors five days a week, which I accomplished for about a month. Then mid-October hit and as one of my favorite writers says, "The curtain dropped on Seattle." Darkness became the norm and about three months later, I was done, meaning mentally I was not doing well at all.
Long rays of autumn sun broke through the clouds yesterday as I looked at my desk and started to tackle cleaning it off. As I sorted through a small mountain of paperwork tokens of cold, sad days from three seasons ago unearthed themselves. I found a newspaper clipping that had been torn out and given to me by a concerned friend. On it there was a number for a research center where I could get more information about depression. I tossed it as well as an entire year's worth of past stressors, major life decisions to made for myself and my family, into the recycling bin. How can it be, just like that, urgent matters that seem so significant at the time, gone? Anne Lamott, another of my favorite writers, believes her worry, anxiety and controlling ways are what keep the world from falling apart. I can relate. So I opened up my Happiness Jar.
In it, I found little notes like:
"I was asked to write for Parentmap and I feel like a WRITER."
"I love my friends at knitting night."
"The sun was shining on the snow in the mountains when we skied."
"I am taking a class at church called Beyond Limits."
"He built me a garden in our driveway."
"The kids slept in their own beds all night."
"We had an easy conversation about changing our life."
"I started to blog regularly and I love it."
"Papa picked Ita Bear up from school and took her our for pie!"
I have been wondering, "How did I get from there to here and how will I avoid there again?" I don't think I can avoid the lower energy and darkish hibernating aspects of winter, but I have learned that I like telling stories. It's one of my favorite ways to keep track of time. Especially, the story of how all the good things happened. On Tuesday, April 30, 2013 I started banging away at these keys five days a week as a way to focus on what made me happy. Although I had no idea what it would be, I hoped my new commitment would lead to something. After a few weeks, I started writing longer pieces and decided to throw all caution to the wind and send in a submission. Next, I got an email from a friend who had been reading my blog via Facebook and asked if I would like to write articles for an online magazine. Why (yes!) I would. Then, I started doing what inspiring Mama blogs suggested: making time for activities that I love. We spent the summer having adventures while I ignored the housework in search of more fun. Now, it's time to clean-up a bit around here. Getting rid of all that clutter has spurred today's impromptu six month personal inventory and reminded me of one thing: I'm learning to believe in my own Infinite Worth.
I added two notes to my Happiness Jar today:
"I found a fun photo editor and changed my blog banner."
"I really hope I get the job as the new verity mom."