#summerofrich in the neighborhood

After spending over 8 hours in a car yesterday delivering signs, the last thing Rich really wanted to do today was drive somewhere too far away in order to go for a hike so instead we stayed close to home and took a walk through our own neighborhood.

It’s familiar. Maybe even a bit too familiar (especially after this past year) because most of the time when we go for a walk in the neighborhood we aren’t paying too close attention to the beautiful things surrounding us like we do when we are on a hike, and too be honest you really can end up missing lots.

I think we take many of those beautiful things, the ones right in our own backyard, for granted.

We both needed to refuel today.

And right away our normally very familiar walk felt very unfamiliar today because we actually took our time to notice the beautiful things surrounding us.

And we took the time to point out and share those beautiful things we noticed with each other.

The clear blue sky above us.

The pretty lilacs on the trees and grass too.

The love birds perched on a fence singing to one another.

The fearless dogs chasing a ball in a big open field.

The sound of laughter coming from the children playing in the park.

Friends enjoying a picnic lunch together, catching up with one another and smiling from ear to ear.

I didn’t capture any of these moments with my camera today but instead I just breathed them all in.

It was a beautiful #summerofrich day in the neighborhood!

Next time you go for a walk in your neighborhood try and notice at least five beautiful things surrounding you.

#walking #youareenough #therapeutic #itsoktonotbeok #yourmentalhealthmatters #mindfulness #justbreathe #nature #beinginthemoment #beauty #birdssinging #childrenlaughing #springtime #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #selfcare

Que Sera Sera

As the new year quickly approaches I’m not gonna lie to you and say that I have very high hopes or any sort of expectations for the year ahead and if I’m to be completely honest here, I’ve felt like I’ve been walking on eggshells as the previous six new years approached too, so why set myself up for any further disappointment. 

Around this time every year since my illness began in 2014 I have received countless, well intentioned end of year messages of hope and healing from friends, loved ones and acquaintances alike, all of whom confidently assure me that this next year things will be better for me or promise me that this is going to be my year!! 

And I do sincerely appreciate each and every one of these messages (I really do!) because I know that they are all coming from a place of love and a kind heart but my track record thus far has been 0 in 6 and so when the end of each year nears and I reflect back on these words of hope and healing I can’t help but feel in a sense like I’ve let everyone around me down, AGAIN.

In all fairness though, this year has fucking sucked for all of us. It hasn’t been a very promising year for most of us and instead it was met with tremendous loss, uncertainty and immense tragedy for many more. 

2020 has taken a lot out of us all and who could have ever imagined what was to come as the clock struck midnight on January 1st and we kissed and hugged our loved ones and sent messages of hope and healing for a better year than last.

I do want more than anything for 2021 to be my year, I truly want it to be a better year for me (I mean who wouldn’t), and for EVERYONE else too, but 2020 has broke me and it wasn’t all Covid-19’s doing. 

By the time the Coronavirus was declared a world wide Pandemic in mid March I had already spent close to a month in bed with a concussion (starting January 2nd) during which time my mom then broke her hip, needed surgery and spent 6 weeks in hospital/rehab but the icing on the cake came when Rich lost his job.

Yup, all this happened before March ever even rolled around and it’s been one big shit show ever since including several new obstacles we’ve had to face recently, just as the year is finally coming to a close.

So maybe it’s best for now that we don’t make any special promises or declarations or speculations to one another; at least not yet. Lets see how 2021 looks upon first glance, at least give it a few days to settle in, let it get comfortable, ease it in slowly and take baby steps so we don’t frighten it. Maybe if we don’t make any sudden moves or let it see us coming with our overly confident promises, declarations or speculations, maybe if we just let it do its thing, then maybe we will all be pleasantly surprised!

Thank you all once again for your continued love and support through this past year and beyond. You will never know how much your words and actions truly touch my heart.

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and safe New Year and oh ya, please stay home too!

#happynewyear #goodriddance2020 #queserasera #whateverwillbewillbe #walkingoneggshells #youareenough #youarenotalone #wereallinthistogether #strongertogether #kindness #mentalhealth #checkonyourlovedones 

Not Suicide. Not Today.

*May Be Triggering To Some*

CAMH (which is Canada’s leading hospital in Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Research) has developed a new campaign that focuses on today by giving hope for a better tomorrow.¬†

I feel like I am knee deep in quicksand today and I find myself drawn in by this video. Hearing the words “Not Suicide. Not Today.” repeated over and over again may not seem like much to some people but for someone like myself who is struggling to breathe right now as the quicksand pushes me deeper below the surface and my thoughts of suicide keep urging me to end my life, listening to these words are serving as a gentle reminder that maybe it’s not actually my life I wish to end but just my life in this very moment instead.¬†

“Not Today” means not now and “when we all say ‘Not Today’ together, it’s easier to say it when we’re alone.”

I’ve attached the video below for anyone else who may need to hear these words today too ūü§ó‚̧

Thank you for always supporting my journey and reminding me “Not Today”.

#notsuicidenottoday #motivationmonday #wheredidmommyssmilego #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #checkonyourlovedones #endthestigmatogether #camh #mentalhealthishealth #depressionkills #anxietyisreal #mentalillness #suicideprevention #suicideawareness 

Puzzled

I finally finished this puzzle tonight. I’m pretty sure it was the most challenging puzzle I’ve ever done in my whole life.

My girls had so thoughtfully bought me this puzzle a couple of weeks ago knowing just how much I enjoy doing them and it’d been a while since I’d done one but then almost immediately upon opening up the box I became quite overwhelmed by it.

Normally I have no problem organizing the pieces of any size puzzle and then I excitedly like to get started right away but this time around I became easily frustrated right from the very beginning. 

Puzzles usually take me at most a few days to complete but suddenly this time around I also found myself adding additional anxiety to my day everytime I looked at it and began pressuring myself to get it done RIGHT NOW, or else.

I’m not really sure why I always put so much undue pressure on myself for just about every single “piece” of my life, it really is quite “puzzling” to say the very least but in any case I was determined to complete the darn thing no matter what it took or even how long it did because I knew how rewarding it would feel by doing so.

#puzzled #youareenough #gingerbreadhouses #candycanes #goals #perseverancepaysoff

A Thanksgiving Parody

@theholdernessfamily have been a great source of laughter and comfort for me over the last many months.  

Their videos are always so creative, entertaining, nostalgic and often carry with it a strong and meaningful message.

The Holderness family is so relatable to so many of us who are also just desperately trying to survive and navigate their way through day to day life during a Global Pandemic in the best and safest way possible. 

I know we are all missing our loved ones and have had to sacrifice so much this year (and I don’t believe that closing small businesses and retail stores as they have done so in parts of Ontario this week is necessarily the answer but then again do we really know what the right answer is anymore?).

This latest parody video holds a super powerful message and not just for our American friends and family who are busy preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, but for everyone around the Globe who so urgently wants to be with their friends and other family members.

The good news however is that there is an end in sight, so for now lets all do our part to keep each other safe by continuing to socially distance and wear a mask.  

Follow The Holderness Family on Facebook and Instagram; you won’t be disappointed and Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate. 

ENJOY

#staysafe #aerosmith #parody #laughter #laughuntilyoucry #covidfatigue #2020sucks #theholdernessfamily #wereallinthistogether #wearamask #happythanksgiving #youareenough

“Too Much”

I’m feeling very emotionally defeated today. I believe in being a truth teller and truth be told, I’m not okay.¬†

Do you ever feel like it’s all just way too much? Do you ever feel like you are overwhelmed by too much choice, by too much conflict and¬† disagreements, by too much anxiety provoking situations, by too much noise in your head, by too much noise around you, by too much stimuli, by too much bad news or by too much that you can’t seem to control?

Yesterday was a pretty “normal” Saturday given that we are living in pretty abnormal times. I tried my darndest to escape my “too much” even though my day may not have started until after Noon, which truth be told, is not abnormal for me. Mornings are really tough for me because well, truth be told again, my nights are even tougher.

Once I finally did get moving, Rich came with me to do a few quick errands (which is about all I can handle these days) and then we met up with our friends for a very welcomed, yet crisp mid afternoon walk through a nearby forest (I think the #summerofrich may be officially closed for the season).

When we got back home I read a few pages from my new book and then sifted through an overwhelming amount of messages on Facebook and Instagram from women inquiring about some makeup and beauty products I’m currently selling.¬†

We then had dinner with the kids and ended the day by watching a silly Netflix original movie (it was just one week ago when we were still enjoying a Saturday night backyard visit with friends instead of watching silly Netflix original movies; and truth be told, it’s gonna be a long winter- insert sad emoji here).¬†

Although there were several moments throughout my day where I was feeling like life was just “too much”, I didn’t actually admit defeat until the house got quiet and the “too much” turned to anxiety, panic and lots of tears.

Life is a never-ending roller coaster, a perfectly crafted metaphor I’ve used many times before but when the loops, the twists and the sharp turns become “too much”, the ride itself is no longer enjoyable.¬†

I can’t remember the last time I slept more than 3 hours straight (I’m being quite generous here when I say 3 hours straight because it’s way closer to 2 hours) or when I just naturally drifted off to sleep without a sudden jolt of worry or racing thoughts in my head that quickly brings me right back to a state of wakefulness. The unceasing fatigue and insomnia just continues to add a whole other layer to declaring defeat when the roller coaster ride feels like it’s way “too much”.

It’s dark and rainy outside today, I’m still lying in bed and nothing feels too motivating right now to change that. Today feels all “too much”.

What do you do when you feel like life is “too much”?¬†

#toomuch #feelingdefeated #insomnia #mentalfatigue #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #depression #anxiety #suicideprevention #suicideawareness