It’s so easy to focus on the miles left to travel and forget how far I’ve come.
Life has a habit of reminding me that there are hills yet to climb, emotional hurdles still to come and (the ever looming threat) gray hair, wrinkles and an aging body with which to tackle them.
But every now and then I remember to take stock of just how many miles I’ve already traveled.
I pause, sometimes with pad and paper, and recount the bends, twists, devastating events and challenging circumstances I’ve already navigated (some by the skin of my teeth and ALL by the grace of God!).
Doing that helps my heart hold on to hope.
It helps me take one more step, one more breath, last one more sunrise to sunset. It’s a way of speaking courage to myself when I’m afraid I won’t be able to endure and might give up before I complete my course.
So if you are, like me on some days, feeling undone by long years stretching ahead or a particularly hard season already upon you, may I ask you to think back, to take stock, to answer a few basic questions?
- Are you getting up each morning and caring for yourself and/or others?
- Are you fulfilling job obligations (if you’re employed outside your home)?
- Have you lost a job, changed jobs, found a job, retired or relocated?
- Are you sending birthday greetings to friends, family and children or grandchildren (even if they are belated!)?
- Have you celebrated important milestones with those you love (even if you cried before, during or after)?
- Have you planned a wedding, baby shower, birthday party or other public event?
- Do you pay your bills?
- Have you resisted the urge to turn to food, alcohol, drugs or any other destructive habit or behavior in an attempt to numb your pain?
- Do you take the garbage out?
- Have you taken a shower recently?
- Are you connected to a faith community/bereaved parent group/small group of some kind?
- Are you still married or with a long term partner even though grief may have strained the relationship?
- Have you or are you caring for an ailing family member?
- Are you buying groceries/preparing meals/or otherwise feeding yourself and others in your household?
- Do you practice self-care (exercise, journaling, prayer/meditation, rest and proper nutrition)?
- Has your home life shifted significantly (empty nest, boomerang kids, elderly parents moving in)?
- Do you/have you addressed health concerns and are you following recommended and prescribed treatments?
- Do you maintain contact with those you care about (even with coronavirus limitations)?
- Is there at least one thing you pursue that feels like a break from responsibility (reading, a hobby, pets, watching old movies…)?
Then you’ve covered miles, my friend.
You are making progress.
No matter how much is left to travel, you have it in you to make it! ❤