I must admit, lately I have been feeling a bit sorry for myself… I know, a blogger needs to uplift and transport her readers to a better place, and not, as this post seems to be headed, into a place of self-pity. But, quite frankly, I am rather out of sorts… My life has brought me to a place where I am questioning WHY ME? much of the time… You must know that place, where you look up from your dinner and see that the table is peopled with some pretty sour faces… Maybe even a few uninvited hooded guests… ? I know you must have had a string of evenings like this somewhere in your life… After all, our world is filled with people struggling with all sorts of issues, from homelessness, unemployment, terminal illness, and ________, yes fill in the blank with whatever woe is currently hounding you.
In fact, I was feeling so very low one Saturday that I didn’t get out of bed until noon… (in full disclosure, breakfast was brought up to me, as was the local paper, and my laptop, and at 11:00 I was handed a tiara, but that’s all a separate blog post…) Eventually, I knew, before the day turned to dusk, I needed to bar the door to those uninvited inner guests and stumble upon a table lit with candles and smiling hopeful faces. As superficial as it might sound, I turned to the world of social media, to other bloggers, to friends on facebook, and yes, even my twitter feed, and found, quite thankfully, a few sparks to light my despair.
One such spark came via a month long photo challenge set up by Fat Mum Slim. The instructions for March 1 read like this, “Starting on March 1st take a photo each day with inspiration from the prompt. For example, prompt 1 is ‘up’, so take a photo looking up. Or of the word ‘up’. Or something that lifts your mood ‘up’. It is totally up to you how you want to interpret it.” A photo a day… here was a goal I could set and achieve, and one that might begin to set light to the dark moments in my day… This photo was my up, taken as I cross-country skied along the trail snaking up the foothills of Mt. Mansfield. Each day’s challenge encourages me to look around my little environment and see something new there…
Armed with this challenge I investigated a bit deeper and discovered another blog post: Write Me Happy: 22 Things–Creative Change Challenge. The post states, “22 Things is a Creative Change Challenge. By signing up, you are announcing to the world – and more importantly yourself – that you are breaking free of the long standing idea that in order to make changes in your life, you have to do BIG things. 22 Things is about making a list twenty-two small steps you can take – right now – to change your life.” Well, this was intriguing because trying to make BIG things happens felt like a burden, one that kept me from getting out of bed… So I read on,”Make a list of 22 small things you can do right now. Forget the BIG stuff. Don’t worry if you don’t have a theme in mind, in fact it’s probably better if you don’t! Let your intuition dictate what’s important to you.” Ah! Small and unrelated stuff, now that charged my imagination… With that I traded my tiara for my running gear and enjoyed a sunny three mile jog. My mind raced along with my feet trying to create my short list…
1. Run more, and smile while doing it.
2. Say thank you a dozen times a day, or more.
3. While on the mat (as in yoga mat) keep your mind on the mat.
4. Find a new blogger to follow every week.
5. Let self-pity eat dinner at someone else’s dinner table.
Fueled by these small steps, I began to dream once again of my BIG goals: to find a publisher for my first novel, to finish my second, to Dance with the Stars (well, at least under them)… (insert smile on my face). I reminded myself, dream BIG but keep working on my list of 22… small steps will get me there too, right?
When darkness steals a place at your table, where will you go for illumination? Looking around, you will find there are plenty of avenues… Choose one, and just as I plod along on my small steps, I hope you will find your own glowing way to Reinvent yourself right into making some BIG changes!