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?

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