Virtues from Motherhood: Look back sometimes

Often we’re told that we should never look back, that the windshield is larger than the rear view mirror because the best is ahead of us and not behind. While I agree to an extent that you can’t revisit the past, sometimes in order to keep moving forward we need to peek into the past. It’s easy to feel lost or restless when the present is clouded with smoke and mirrors and trying to decipher the path ahead of you seems impossible. Sometimes it feels like our world is caving in and the road beneath us is falling away, so what’s a girl to do?

Last week I was looking through some old pictures from the 90’s and laughing about how funny my hair looked or how outrageous my clothes were, but then it hit me. Those photos were a trail of a live lived, of memories, of things that weave directly into the fabric of who I am. Granted I’m sure outside of those gleeful snapshots there were some bad times or some unhappy memories, but I didn’t save those. While I’m sure anyone can recall the first time they fell off a bike or lost a friend the trail didn’t end there. The stream of pictures and keepsakes didn’t stop when we hit a snag in the road, though it may have felt like it at the time.

2016 was a rough year for me; I’m considered naming my end of year video montage “The Year of Perpetual Ls” (LOL), but all jokes aside the last 10 or so months have really tried me as a person. In a sense I just put myself into auto pilot mode and just went through the motions, work, school, home and repeat. I felt like I lost a grip on who I was and what made me tick and it was infuriating when I put so much energy into rebuilding myself three years ago. I felt like a turtle because not only did I feel like I was moving in slow motion but all I wanted to do was hide inside my shell. Going anywhere seemed like a huge ordeal that I had next to no interest in and being around large groups of people started giving me anxiety. For someone who’d spent summers and weekends before out gallivanting and being social it was a 180 but a rare few noticed. So I figured maybe it was in my head until I did a digital walk down memory lane, I scrolled through my library and my Instagram and realized how empty it was compared to a year ago when pictures from just a few weeks ago got buried very quickly.

Don’t get me wrong alone time and being frugal with your money and your time isn’t a bad thing at all, it was just a change of character for me. I realize it’s a lot easier said than done in a lot of cases because I’ve read my blog posts and thought, take your own advice dummy. So I’m going to do just that, or try to, as the New Year approaches I’m going to make a priority list and try to stick to it. I want to try new things and go places while I balance the things I’m responsible before. Most importantly though, I’m going to try and stop allowing grief and loss to eat me alive. I know that grief is a process and there are stages and I know that it takes time, but sometimes it attempts to linger too long and I need to stop allowing it. I know it is a tad bit earlier for resolutions but I want to start breaking bad habit now and this will be the first. What will you try?

Virtues from Motherhood: New Years Reflections

As the weather turns colder and the days get shorter we may find ourselves curled up with our thoughts more frequently. We might look back on the year thus far or reminisce about where we were a year ago. It’s easy though, to get lost in these thoughts and feel a sense of loss and longing and mourn the memories instead of celebrate them.
I too have fallen into the trap of missing what was and letting a heavy heart get the best of me but recently I’ve tried to think about the positives and celebrate the fact that at that point in time happiness had illuminated my life. In a perfect world every day and every season would be filled with nothing but happiness and precious memories, but the world is not perfect.

We all lose at some point, relationships end and friends move away and we find ourselves with a void where happiness once lived and it’s easy to let loneliness move in. I challenge you however to evict loneliness and invite celebration and rejoice in and be optimistic that something or someone equally as meaningful will grace your life in due time.

Every moment can’t be happy as much as we’d like it to but instead of mourning memories of moments passed celebrate them and bask in the warmth from that time in your life. The beauty about a memory is that it’s yours, nobody can alter or take it away from you and nobody can change how it made you feel. Memories are our own personal photo album for us to resort back to on chilly fall days when we miss a loved one or a place, they’re the moon in our darkness and the sunlight peaking through on a cloudy day. It’s easy to let sadness get the best of you but it’s even easier to look back into your memories and feel your heart be warm again. People may come and go from our lives but the footprint that they left behind remains forever.