Not Everyday is a Doris Day
Excerpt from my upcoming book:
“ Not Everyday is a Doris Day”
“She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.” ~ Elizabeth Edwards
Most days, I wake up feeling happy. Nothing out of the ordinary is happening, things are no different than usual, but for some reason, I am excited about life; I feel bright and cheery, and can’t wait to get out of bed. I am grateful for the simple things in life, like the rain outside, the green trees and the smell of coffee brewing in the kitchen. Then there are those other days when I am irritable, discontent, and impatient with everyone, but I have learned how to be happy and cope with those things that might not contribute to that happiness. My days use to start out in a much different way, where I would wake up with a head full of horrible thoughts. “Oh my God is today the day the IRS will show up at my door?” My house was such a mess I was sure someone was going to report me to the show, Hoarders. My kids would be fighting so loud I often thought the neighbors would call Child Protective Services. On those days, all I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head, grab a triple layer chocolate cake, order an extra-large pepperoni pizza, and binge watches the entire series of The Good Wife. Have you ever felt this way?
My negative thoughts tell me I should: have more money, lose 10 pounds but still eat my weight in hot fudge sundaes, have more education, a better job, a different home, and be further along in life… yadda, yadda, yadda. Talk about crazy making! I was creating my own misery. Always looking at what I didn’t have instead of appreciating what I did have. Looking ahead to where I thought I ‘should’ be, instead of looking at how far I had come. Comparing myself to everyone instead of finding love and compassion for myself.
When we are in this place, it can feel like the situation or the feelings are going to last forever. We are smack dab in the middle of catastrophic thinking and can’t seem to find our way out. The stinking thinking says, “What’s the point of life? I might as well stay in bed and never get out.” It’s hard to know when we are feeling rotten and hopeless, that these feeling will pass.
Some of us are not known for being the most patient people in the world and are often in a hurry to move from A to Z overnight. I heard a woman once say that she realized the quickest way to get from A to Z is by slowing down so she could enjoy the beauty all around.
Many times when I was feeling overwhelmed and hopeless, I would call on my wise friend, Maria, to give her my woe-is-me story and she’d say, “Honey, you are right where you are supposed to be. You are beautiful and loveable just as you are.” I wanted just to slap her and tell her to “F-off.” I have resisted being where I am in every area of my life.
I have learned to measure my growth from the day before I decided to let go of whatever it was that was dragging me down ( alcohol, self-pity, divorce,broken heart, shitty jobs, haters, empty bank account, bratty kids, and really bad hair days) to where I am today. If I keep trying to move forward, I am a success. Period. It doesn’t matter how many times we fall. It’s about how many times we get back up. Most important, it’s about loving and caring for ourselves during our journey in life. Seventeen years ago I was an out-of-control alcoholic woman going through a divorce, in debt, and always screaming at my children who were two, five, and eight. I had to go back to work for menial wages and lived in fear daily worrying about how I was going to support my children. I was enraged at my ex-husband, full of guilt, shame, and remorse. I hated the woman I had become, and I wanted everything to change overnight. Today I have loving and meaningful relationships with my children, family, friends, ex-husband, his wife, and their adorable kids. I am a published author, a successful business owner. Most importantly, I love and respect the woman I am today. My new life has given me more joy and gratitude than I ever imagined possible. Today I am right where I am supposed to be, and I can’t wait to see what else life has in store for me. If you are struggling with where you are today, hang in there, appreciate how far you have come, and wait for the miracles that are right around the corner.
Tools for a “Not so Doris Day”
1. Look back where you were in your life a year ago. How have you grown? List the challenges you have overcome. List the blessings in your life that are present today.
2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths in and out. Soak up all the good in your life and bask in the here and now.
3. Write a list of all your good qualities, talents, and past achievements. If you need help with this list, ask those around you.
4. Write down what you would like your life to look like in a year. Start taking small steps towards those goals. Sometimes even the baby steps lead to our biggest victories!
P.S. You are a rock star! Keep on rocking!