How did your week go? If you’re like many people, you were probably reflecting a little bit on life.

I’m only going to touch on this briefly, as others have said their piece better than I have, and I think we all could use a little dose of light-heartedness right now.

being grateful

I have to tell you all, I’m being grateful for the people I still have in my life, and the fact that I’m still here.

Other bloggers have been sharing their inspiring stories, so here is my very short version.

I almost died at birth. It’s something I would do well to remember. I was given a second chance, and I believe it was for a reason. That wasn’t always so clear to me, though.

I suffered from depression as a teenager, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It started eating away at me when I entered junior high, in 7th grade. I had no one to talk to about it; nowhere to turn. I internalized it, and was able to write about it to get through. As others said, I had no clear-cut reason as to why I felt this way. I just did.

To make a very long and trying 7-year journey short: I am glad I was able to push through and see that how I was living my life wasn’t really living at all. When you’re hopeless and drowning in a sea of darkness, it’s difficult to break through and breathe.

The fact is, we only get one shot at this, and I was wasting my life away back then. I didn’t realize it at the time, as I was blind to all the good that surrounded me.

I don’t always live in the moment, but I do try, and that’s a lot more than I can say I was doing 6 years ago.

Remind yourself that you’re awesome

Nowadays, I can remind myself that I’m pretty awesome, and I’m sure you all are, too! After all, you are reading this ;).

After so many of you shared that you struggle with perfection this week, I’ve come to a few conclusions:

  1. We need to give ourselves a pat on the back. Seriously. Life is too short to constantly berate yourself for this and that. Chances are, it won’t matter in a year. Embrace yourself for who you are. I’m pretty positive there’s someone out there that loves you, and you should love yourself, too. I don’t normally get all sappy, but an overwhelming amount of you resonated with my post this week, and it saddened me to see so many of us doubt ourselves.
  2. We need to be our own best friend. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t say half the stuff I say to myself to a friend. I’m big on encouraging people and cheering them on, but I suck at doing it for myself. We can’t sit around on the sidelines waiting for others to bring us up. We have to do it ourselves.
  3. We also need to learn to take a break. Shannon was just talking about how she barely remembers to relax. Given what you guys said a few days ago, I’m sure that’s true for a lot of you. Again – we only get one shot at life. Do you want to spend it being a workaholic? If that works for you, great, but if you’re like most people, you enjoy a break once in a while. Leave work at work, do something fun and enjoyable this weekend, and remember to live a little, okay?

I’ve said it before, but I really am grateful for all of you who leave comments. I learned, big time, that I wasn’t alone this week. But now, I want to make sure I give back a little. So I hope this post brightened your day, and if you find yourself in need of a hug, I’ll send you a virtual one!

Remember that life is what we make of it. We’re already stressed, let’s not make it worse on ourselves. It all starts with recognizing that we are far from powerless. We can choose how to react to every situation. Make a decision that will have a positive impact.

I’ll leave you all with a nice uplifting song that I used to play over and over again. I hope you enjoy it! ♥

What are you being grateful for this week? Will you remind yourself that you’re awesome, and make an effort to be a little easier on yourself?

 

47 Comments

  1. Kay@Green Money Stream August 16, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    I agree that this was a week for reflecting on life for a lot of us. It certainly has been for me. As someone who continues to struggle with depression, I know how difficult it can be to pull yourself up – even if you rationally know that you have people who care for you. One thing I need to focus on is living in the moment. From what I understand, this takes practice for some people (like me) as my tendency is to always be planning for what comes next. But as I’m planning the next step, I’m missing the one I’m on now. Thanks for the post, I enjoyed it.

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 17, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I am right there with you on being a planner. I want to plan for *everything,* and subsequently, I really like having control. But it’s impossible to control every variable in life, so I’m learning to let go bit by bit. It’s not worth it to be frustrated when things don’t turn out as I had hoped/expected/planned.

      Reply
  2. Traci August 16, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    Thank you for sharing your personal story. It is always a brave thing to do, and that’s one thing about this week that I will always remember. Here’s a virtual hug back to you!

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 17, 2014 at 10:25 AM

      Thanks! It’s something I’ll remember about this week as well. So many people have been open about their experiences and it’s a wonderful thing.

      Reply
  3. Kirsten August 16, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    I’m grateful you shared your story and this very practical wisdom. Hugs!

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 17, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      Thanks Kirsten, you and Debs were certainly an inspiration!

      Reply
  4. Tonya@Budget and the Beach August 17, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    Im sorry you went through such a dark time in your life, but glad you came out on the other side! It seems I’ve read many stories like this this past week, so you you’re not alone! I think you’re pretty awesome too, and I’d be happy to keep reminding you of that if you ever forget! :) This week I’m grateful that I was finally healthy enough to get back into my workout routine. Felt really great to sweat!

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 17, 2014 at 10:19 AM

      I think it’s incredible that so many people have been sharing their stories, which is what prompted me to say a little on it. It’s a great feeling to know we’re not alone in our struggles.

      Thanks for that! It’s important for us all to realize we’re awesome in our own way; we all have something to offer the world. I’m glad you were able to get back into your workout routine!

      Reply
  5. Kassandra @ More Than Just Money August 17, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    I am so happy that you were able to fight through it E.M. Thanks for sharing this post and some cheer with us today. You are absolutely right in saying that we can choose how to react to events and not less stress take control of our actions.

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      Thanks Kassandra. It took a great deal of fighting, but in the end, I’m stronger for it. I’ve been learning more and more lately that I impose a lot of stress on myself, so it’s a work in progress for me!

      Reply
  6. Tre August 17, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us.

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 18, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      Thanks for reading Tre!

      Reply
  7. Even Steven August 17, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    It’s always tough to share a personal story but I always feel better when I’m done.

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 18, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      Same here. It’s nice to reach out to others and connect in a more personal way.

      Reply
  8. Katelyn @ Diaries of a Wandering Lobster August 17, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Thanks for sharing your story and you’re advice is awesome! ;-) I’ve always struggled with the idea of perfection. As I’ve gotten older, I realized at the end of the day no one really cares if you’re perfect or not. We are who we are and we should be proud of that! And be awesome! :-)

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      Exactly! Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      Reply
  9. Rebecca August 17, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    While I haven’t been through personally, many family member have been where you were. Thank you for sharing your encouragement and story, it takes courage to share a story so personal. This week has opened that door of courage for many. There’s a quote I love that goes “You have two lives, the second one is when you realize you only have one life”. Like you, I regret wasting my time like I did in the past, but we have now and the future to make up for it.

    That being said, I’m grateful for all the people in my life who’ve helped me along the way and will in the future.

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 18, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      That is a great quote, and it’s incredibly true. Living life with meaning and happiness is ten times better than where I was years ago. As long as we realize that, I think it’s only uphill from there.

      Reply
    1. E.M. August 18, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      Thanks Cat – right back at you!

      Reply
  10. debt debs August 17, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    So happy to hear you say you can tell yourself you’re awesome, E.M.! (And you are!). We are taught to be kind and generous, but it’s almost as if we think that does not include being kind and generous to ourselves. As if, by doing this we are negating the other. Really happy to hear that you were able to push through that. What an awful thing to have to live with when you are at that young and volatile age. As you know, my youngest has had a terrible struggle starting around the age of 14 but at it’s worst at 17. It’s taken her a long time and she’s still not completely recovered at 24, but she’s much better than she was (touch wood). She recently managed to get a part time job, and despite her second guessing herself her first two shifts, she seems to be doing much better starting from the 3rd shift (I think she’s up to 7 shifts now). I thank God for these big mercies. The confidence she is gaining will help her a lot and I’m hoping it will help her to challenge her OCD fears even more. I guess the parallel that I wanted to draw from that is that with experience and maturity it can help. Sadly not in all cases, like Robin, but in many more cases than not, I believe. Thanks a lot for sharing your story.

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 18, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      It’s so true. We’re our own worst enemies, and that’s doing an awful disservice to ourselves.

      Oh, that is so good to hear about your daughter!! Being in a new job can be really scary; I’ve definitely had my share of trying to navigate the waters and doubting my ability to do the job right. But you’re right – gaining all of that experience and pushing forward really does help. I’m sure she will benefit from it in the long run.

      I’ve seen that in my own life, too. Just a mere 10 years ago I was quite the lost soul wondering what the point to life was. We really do start to figure things out better as we go along.

      Reply
  11. Liz August 17, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    thanks for sharing your story EM. I think this time has been a huge check for everyone. I know that living in the moment is something that I’m constantly struggling with. The idea seems so simple- enjoy the moment. But in practice it can be very difficult! Have a great week.

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      You’re right – the concept is simple in nature, but actually doing it is hard, especially for someone who loves to plan like I do. Enjoy your trip!

      Reply
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  13. Holly@ClubThrifty August 18, 2014 at 7:25 AM

    As always, I am grateful for my kids and husband. They are so awesome and I am so lucky to have them. Nothing else matters all that much.

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 18, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      Completely agree – nothing is really worth more than family.

      Reply
  14. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank August 18, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    I start my day with a prayer, which I think keeps me positive throughout the day. Stress is just a psychological. I divert my attention to something fun and stress-reliever. It might be hard to do for starters but you will get used to it sooner or later.

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 18, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      Stress is really just psychological. I hear that starting your day out with meditation of some sort is helpful in putting you in the right state of mind from the get-go.

      Reply
  15. Shannon @ Financially Blonde August 18, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    Thanks for sharing your story EM! It is so important to remember to love ourselves and forgive ourselves. We can’t do good for others if we can’t start with ourselves. I am thankful for soccer camp this week that is entertaining my 8 year old so I can get work done. I love working from home, but it’s tough when he’s home because I feel as though I am neglecting him even though it is a workday for me.

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 19, 2014 at 6:47 PM

      Exactly – we can’t help others if we can’t help ourselves. Your son must be having a lot of fun, too! Sounds like a win-win. I don’t think I could work with kids around; there are some days I have to babysit my cats because they decide to be mischievous. Forget another human! I do feel bad for neglecting my boyfriend at times, though – especially on the weekends if I’m trying to finish something up.

      Reply
  16. Mrs. Frugalwoods August 18, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m so glad you’re here, too! And I am sending you a virtual hug. You’re completely right with that best friend comment–I’d never say the stuff to another person that I say to myself. I am going to actively remind myself of your words next time I slip into that bad habit. Again, thank you :)

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 19, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      Yay for virtual hugs! It’s too bad we can’t have mental sticky notes, really. I need a flashing neon light that just pops into my mind when I start to have negative thoughts. Then again, that might be a bad idea, as it would likely result in a headache.. I’ll have to settle for some self-made motivational posters!

      Reply
  17. Suburban Finance August 18, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    I also struggle with perfections myself, from time to time in my life. One of my new year’s resolutions is to be grateful with what I already have since there must be people out there who have it worse and to appreciate every little thing that gives me joy. One of the quotes I love that you also mentioned on the article is to think about yourself in a year from now. If the problem won’t matter anymore in at that time, there’s no use to stress about it that much now. I pretty much try to live with it daily. Great post!

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 19, 2014 at 6:36 PM

      That’s a great resolution, and something I try to keep in mind as well. My boyfriend and I lightly joke about having “first world problems” most of the time. And really, that’s what they are. It’s SO easy to get caught up in our day-to-day that we don’t realize in even a few months, we probably won’t remember what we were complaining about. Glad you enjoyed the post!

      Reply
  18. Untemplater August 19, 2014 at 1:04 AM

    I’m grateful that I have a blog to share my voice, clear my head, and help other people. I enjoyed reading your post and agree it’s good to take time to step and breathe and give thanks for what we have. I’m glad to hear you were able to overcome your depression!

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 19, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      Your blog is a great resource, I’m sure it’s helped many people! I find that having some sort of writing outlet is cathartic for me.

      Reply
  19. Addison @ Cashville Skyline August 19, 2014 at 6:34 AM

    Thanks so much for sharing your story, E.M. We’re thankful that you’re here too! I’m grateful for learning how to forgive myself, accept my imperfections, and be surrounded by so much love. Great things really are everywhere, and we’re a part of them :)

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 19, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      All three of those are things I’m still learning, too, and very grateful for! The world is a much better place when you have a brighter outlook on life.

      Reply
  20. Ryan @ Impersonal Finance August 19, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    Awesome song EM. And great post. Thanks for sharing your story. I think we would all do well to give ourselves a pat on the back occasionally. We’re all just human beings trying to do the best we can.

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 19, 2014 at 6:26 PM

      Glad you liked it Ryan! Your last line is simple and very true. We tend to over-complicate things too much, and it leads to a lot of distress.

      Reply
  21. anna August 19, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Thank you for sharing your story, EM. I’m very glad that you came through out of the darkness – I’ve had some downward spiral moments, as well, and can relate to what you wrote. I’m glad that you are alive and thriving, my friend!

    Reply
    1. E.M. August 19, 2014 at 6:25 PM

      Thanks Anna, I’m glad you’re doing well too! Even through the morning sickness =).

      Reply
  22. Lisa E. @ Lisa vs. the Loans August 20, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    “We need to be our own best friend”. So true. This is tough for me, though. Like you, I’m very encouraging and positive toward my friends, but I’m much harsher to myself. This needs to change! Positivity starts from within.

    Reply
    1. Erin M. August 21, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      Exactly. I love being a cheerleader for others, but when it comes to myself, I feel like I’m only cheering on half the time.

      Reply
  23. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply August 21, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    Thanks for sharing your story. You have some great tips and I really need to follow them too. I really need to give myself a pat on the back more often rather than beating myself for not doing XYZ better.

    Reply
    1. Erin M. August 21, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      I think we all could use a pat on a back from ourselves! It’s sad to see so many of us are berating ourselves for not doing better, when I know for sure all of us bloggers are hard workers =).

      Reply

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