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Does anyone like attending funerals?

No?

That’s what I thought.

No one likes funerals. But ever since my brother passed away a few years ago, I basically avoid them at all costs.

However, that clearly poses a conflict every so often. You see, in my family, we were raised that no matter how difficult the situation, you show up and pay your respects. And although that’s easier said than done, it’s something we take seriously.

While i’m hesitant and protective over what I expose myself to, my sisters have stepped up to the plate more than their fair share. But this week the tables turned on me when I found out a childhood friend’s dad passed away and the services were coming up.

Immediately I thought, “I’ll send a card. I’ll make a donation. I’ll reach out, but I just can’t attend the funeral. It’s too much.”

Physically I wanted to be there. Mentally I wasn’t ready.

But when my twin sister wasn’t able to make it, I knew it was my turn to step up like she has so many times before.

Because my childhood friends are my family. They always have been. They always will be. My hometown is special and that’s how we were raised.

So I went.

And I’m so glad I did.

Because even though I fought back tears during the service and then let them out on my drive home, it was important to be there.

And here’s why.

First of all, you can’t avoid funerals forever. Death is a part of life (as my Dad has so wisely taught me).

But more importantly, sometimes you need to put your own shit aside in order to show up for the people who matter.

It’s important to be there for your friends, your family, and your community.

It’s important to pay your respects.

It’s important to honor those who have passed.

Because after all, those who are no longer living teach us how lucky we are to be alive.

And that’s worth showing up for.

 

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The slow down bug

I fell victim to it. Just like we’ve all fallen victim to it before. And I can guarantee that I hated it just as intensely as the rest of us.

Yup. I fell victim to the stomach bug. On the morning of Easter Sunday, nonetheless.

Uh. Excuse me while I shiver away the nightmares of this past week.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t just the illness that threw me for a loop, it was the anxiety that came with it. Because it threw off my plans, took me out of work for a few days, and made me wonder if I was even born with an immune system to begin with (it’s been a rough year in the sickness department for me).

While I cannot express how grateful I am for a supportive boyfriend who took care of me every day, a twin sister who hand-delivered an ice pack for my aching muscles, and my “Mama Saint” for bringing me bread to make toast, it was still a long few days.

Today, however, was the first day that I went back into work (and the first day I went outside for that matter). But even running one errand in the morning and then walking into work was enough to make me ready for a nap.

I was exhausted. Correction: I am exhausted.

My body has been in shambles for four days and it felt like I was just learning how to use my legs again.

But as I made it through the day, a pretty little lesson slapped me upside the head: slow down.

And not just today, but across the board. I really need to take a step back and slow down. We all need to every once in awhile.

I need to slow down so I can boost my energy and my immune system back up.

I need to slow down so I can re-prioritize my overall well-being and reduce my anxiety (aka, get my butt back to yoga and meditation).

I need to slow down so I can swap my cell phone for a book (damn you, iPhone).

Heck, I need to slow down so I can write more frequently! I hate when I look at my blog and realize a few months have gone by since my last post. Although i’m doing more journaling and freelance writing now (which I love!), this is an important outlet for me, too.

Honestly, I just need to slow down so I can be happier, healthier and make more time for the things that truly fulfill me.

And if it took being sick on Easter Sunday to teach me that, then so be it.

Lesson learned, stomach bug. Lesson learned.

599901967-Slow_Down_Quotes

 

 

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