“Wednesday, December 29, 2021” stares at me from the laptop monitor. What have I accomplished in the past year? Truth is that I squandered precious time, trying to cope with impending loss. Two fine men in my extended family, ages 51 and 54, lost their battles to cancer, one at Thanksgiving and one at Christmas. The most recent deaths were from my children’s generation. Both left grieving parents, who questioned why they had not been chosen to go.
Writing, my daily therapy, was left untouched for months. I turned to wine, food and TV for solace. I had no focus to read and could not concentrate on a television program for more than twenty minutes. All I wanted to do was seek the security of my bed and crawl under the covers. To others, I appeared in control, but deep down, I knew that I was on the brink of depression and had to dig into my grounding toolbox, to avoid falling into the dark hole.
My husband transitioned to the other side seven years ago from leukemia. I am proud that I had the strength to work, write, move to another state, volunteer and redefine myself. I still have difficult moments, but I ride them out, confident that they will pass.
I am back on track from the latest heartbreaks, practicing what I preached in previous postings.
- Limit alcohol. It is a depressant
- Eat nutritious food
- Exercise- I walk at least three miles a day, plus golf, dance or take exercise classes via zoom
- Learn something new. I took golf lessons
- Volunteer. Helping others keeps your mind off yourself.
- Write a gratitude list.
- If you are grieving, talk to your loved one and watch for signs. They will appear when you least expect them. Coins, feathers, songs, numbers, misbehaving electronics, memories and scents are a few ways to let you know that he/she is closer than you think.
Mind, body and spirit are connected. Keep moving. They require daily attention. Be good to yourself, find quiet time and connect with nature. There is no magic bullet. It takes effort to hit the curve balls life throws.
How much of your life is wasted, while you play the what if game?
- What if I fail?
- What if I never find my soulmate?
- What if I don’t get the job?
- What if all my dreams don’t come true?
- What if I am abandoned?
- What if others laugh at me?
Time is a precious commodity. Think of it as currency. Is your priority to throw it away on negative thoughts? You cannot control what life throws at you, but you determine your response. Many disappointments and closed doors direct you to a better path. Trust that you are loved and supported. Turn off the news and take a walk. Focus on beauty and the arts, whatever feeds your soul. Go with the energetic flow and resist the temptation to swim against the current. Drop the drama. Be grateful in the moment. Inner peace is the reward.
Love or fear, the choice is yours.
Hope is a state of mind, the gas that propels us forward, when our world turns black and cold. Life delivers challenges, some tragic and devastating. Humans are built to be resilient. A flicker of hope illuminates each baby step to recovery. Without it, there is only despair. Powerful, positive thoughts can lift us from the bottomless pit to sunny skies. Hope is the key to survival.