What life has taught me

In the past few months, I have learned some very hard lessons. Ones that I don’t think I was ready for. They came like a shockwave, jolting my entire system and shattering everything around me. Honestly, I’m still going through most of it, trying to make sense of it, but I’ve absorbed it as much as I can.

A few highlights:

Try to listen first. There is a time to talk and a time to listen. Sometimes, just listening is all that is needed. Sometimes, your opinions don’t matter. There will be occasions when your words are needed, but try to listen first.

Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of anyone else. I struggled with deep depression as a teen. It was dark and all consuming, but I made it through with help from others. I can’t imagine what may have happened to me if they hadn’t been there, hadn’t been strong enough to help me. I came close to sinking back into that familiar darkness recently, but the will to find my happiness brought me back. I’ve realized that no matter what is happening in my life, if I want to help those around me, I have to take care of myself first.

Never take peace for granted. Whether you notice it or not, everyone strives to have peace in at least one aspect of their lives. Work, home, hobbies; some part of their lives. When every part of life seems chaotic, that sliver of peace is the safe haven a person can curl up in and recoup. Never, ever take that solace for granted. Cherish it completely!

Love will always triumph over fear. I know it sounds very Frozen movie-ish, and I do have a five year old daughter who loves those movies, but it’s true! Love is the greatest weapon, the ultimate conquerer of fear. As life throws me around in this unforgiving sea of fear, I am holding on to the one anchor I know is always there. Love is stronger than fear.

I’ve been learning these lessons hard recently, and I am taking heed. If nothing else, these past few months have given me such clarity in these four aspects of my life, for the rest of my life. I just truly hope life can finally come to a place of peace for a while.

Merry Christmas! Find your Christmas Cheer!

I’m feeling rather festive this year, really getting into the holy holiday spirit. This year seems different for me, and I haven’t been able to figure out why. We bought a new Christmas tree and decorated it before the first of December which has typically been my rule. I’ve been playing Christmas music since before Thanksgiving (big deal for me), and I’m sure if my husband hears “Mary, did you know?” by Pentatonix one more time he is going to strangle me with garland. And we’ve seen Santa at least twice now.

I really hadn’t been able to figure out why I have been in such a festive mood until today, watching my daughter’s face as she opens presents for her first involved Christmas. Last year, my little girl was a tiny week-old newborn, sleeping through the holiday festivities while Daddy and I were trying to find as much sleep as we could, but this year, she is involved and wanting to be a part of it all. To see her eyes light up as another toy is put in front of her, to watch her smile as a family member plays on the floor with her, to hear her laugh and become excited as the wrapping paper rips and crinkles as she pulls it from her next gift has truly shown me the meaning of Christmas. To bring joy to those around you and be surrounded by the ones you love.

I guess I’ve been anticipating this day, building it up in my own mind and spirit, ready to spend this time with my little family and extended ones. I feel the peace I have always heard people talk about, and the joy at being with my family, but the love that is overwhelming me during this holiday, I never believed could be so strong. It is this emotion, this strong connection to my loved ones that is filling me with the spirit of Christmas and has me bursting at the seams with holiday cheer.

Now, please excuse me as I enjoy another holiday cookie before the New Year comes around, and my resolution kicks in. (Stay tuned!)