“Come back, Joy.
Come back, Gratefulness.
Come back, Energy.
Come back, Zest.
I’m looking for you.
And I won’t stop until I find you.”
–Rachel Macy Stafford
Lately, I've received an influx of messages from readers that contain a painful truth: Many of us have lost our joy. Many of us are simply going through the motions. Many of us see the way our irritability hurts the ones we love—but we continue our unpleasantness anyway. We taste the bitterness of our words before they come out of our mouths—but we say them anyway. Many of us can’t remember the last time we were the party … the gathering place … the heartbeat of our family. Many of us have lost our joy and haven’t the slightest idea how to get it back.
I know the feeling.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
I recently reflected on that difficult period of my life while out for a walk. A handmade sign stapled to a telephone pole caught my eye. Franklin the cat was missing. I stopped and studied the lovingly made poster despite the winter wind trying to move me along. My eyes became wet just thinking of those who loved Franklin and desperately wanted to see his furry face again.
Come back, Franklin. I pleaded in my head. Come back.
I’d pleaded those same words about Joy a few years prior. Oh how I’d longed to see Joy’s optimistic face and feel her enthusiastically squeeze my heart and hand.
When I got home from my walk that day, I wrote a poem. It seems fitting to share it today.
Like They Do For Lost Pets
Peace left my house without so much as a goodbye.
I haven’t seen Patience in quite some time.
Stillness doesn’t come around much anymore. It’s always go-go-go ‘round here.
Hope is scarce.
Self-love is a stranger.
Enthusiasm has gone and left me spiritless.
Courage is missing.
Focus has completely abandoned me.
I think I’ll put up a sign like they do for lost pets.
“Come back, Joy,” it will read.
Come back, Gratefulness.
Come back, Energy.
Come back, Zest.
I’m looking for you.
And I won’t stop until I find you.
Because life’s just not the same without you.
I vividly remember how I felt when I woke up each morning during that difficult period. I’d crawl out of bed irritable, ungrateful, tired, and bitter; I dreaded the day ahead because I knew it would be much like the day before. One morning, I decided to do something I hadn’t done in a long time. I decided to put a note in my daughter’s lunch box. My pen hovered over the sticky note as I debated on what to write. I thought about drawing a smiley face, but that seemed so far from the truth given the current status of my smile. So I wrote four words instead:
I love you Avery!
Because that was truth. My love for this child was still there. It would never, ever go—no matter how far away my smile was.
When I cleaned out Avery’s lunch box that night, I discovered the most remarkable thing. My love note had multiplied. Apparently there had been a blank sticky note attached to mine. Avery had written back to me. It said, “I love you, Mom,” but it might as well have said, “This is worth living for.”
I couldn't explain why, but I urgently taped her note to the kitchen cabinet. Then I got another one of her notes and put it on my closet door. I placed another one on my bathroom mirror. What I know now is these signs served as tangible reminders to look for Joy. The signs reminded me to be aware, be present, and awake. Much to my surprise, I found Joy in the smell of my husband’s aftershave when I hugged him, so I breathed it in. I found Joy in muffin tins so I accepted Natalie’s invitation to bake something together in the kitchen. I found Joy in my own poetic scribbles so I wrote a little bit each day. I found Joy in a small handprint on the sunroof of my car against a backdrop of white clouds. The more I looked for Joy in unexpected moments, the more it came around. And now, six years later, I am grateful to report joy lives here permanently.
My friends, I did not plan to write this post today. Nor did I plan to share that old poem and story, but something encouraged me to do so.
It was a message that arrived in my inbox this week. It was addressed to me, but as I read it, I felt certain it was not just for one heart. The owner of this hopeful story graciously gave me permission to share it with you.
“I turn 40 this year. I have a busy job and two young kids. Over the years, I’ve gradually become more overloaded, more tired, and more stressed. As a result I have withdrawn from ‘my’ life, and given myself over to my family and colleagues. I’m cold, distant, and walk around doing tasks like a robot.
I’ve been reading your blog for over a year. I agree with everything – I nod and smile and sometimes I cry. Sometimes I share your blog with my husband or my Facebook friends. I never actually do anything different though, I don’t know where to start. My kids are happy enough, but there’s something missing in me, and I worry that one day they’ll notice. I just never knew what to do about it. I have to keep getting all the jobs done, right?
On Friday, I went into our local thrift store to drop off a bag of clothes and right there beside the books was a bag of unopened sparkly pompom balls. I am not religious, but I decided right there and then it was a sign from God that I was supposed to buy the balls and use them to recreate the kindness jar you shared recently. It was amazing. Just the presence of the sparkly balls was enough to cheer up my children on a cold winter day. Since then, we’ve had 4 days of kindness in my house. And I started it! I actually did it. And it didn’t cause my to-do list to self-destruct, and nobody went unfed or unclothed, and I didn’t lose my job. It just happened, and it was a good thing. So far so good …
Moving on – my husband. Where do I start there? I think I started ignoring him the day I became pregnant! I just don’t have time/energy to show him any appreciation. We’re happy enough, but I see the damage I do to him. Only criticism – never thanks. We’re growing apart. He feels like a failure, yet he is the most amazing man I’ve ever met. This morning, something amazing happened.
Today he woke up early, full of energy and enthusiasm as he always does. He’s a morning person, and I am not. On the radio, the presenter announced that in three minutes, in our local area, we should be able to see the international space station pass overhead. It was a freezing cold, clear morning. My husband shouted to the kids to come quickly; he was so excited. He already had the windows open so he could see it. I got out of bed (reluctantly). We stood there at 7am, all 4 of us, staring at the ISS moving slowly through the sky. The rest of the morning was brilliant. Instead of struggling to get them to school on time, they skipped happily along the road and seemed delighted to go. When I got to work I realized my day had got off to a great start because my husband is such a great father. I’m lucky to have him in my life. I felt grateful. I saw the notification from Hands Free Mama in my inbox. I decided to do something. I sent this email to him at work:
‘Thank you for this morning. You have an amazing ability to be happy and enthusiastic as soon as you wake up. I can’t do this – I need time to come round, have some tea, etc – but you can be exciting and interesting and fun right from the start. N loved seeing the ISS and on the way to school. R said you are the best Daddy ever because you are fun and you make her laugh.
The babies were so happy this morning and that made me happy.’
I got this reply from my husband:
‘That’s the 2nd time I’ve cried at my desk this week. Thank you for possibly the nicest email I’ve ever received. I will look at that whenever I’m feeling like a failure.’
I am a bit overwhelmed. I’ve honestly become so closed off that this feels like an awakening of an old version of myself that I thought I’d never get back. It’s time to come back from wherever it was that I went. I don’t really know what the next step will be, but I know it will be a positive step forwards, and not a retreat. I'll keep reading your words and try to make up for lost time.
With much love,
My friends, finding my joy again began with one small step: posting Avery’s love notes throughout my house. This action was powerful enough to awaken my lifeless soul, overpower my inner critic, and inspire me to connect with my loved ones. For the woman who emailed me, finding joy began with sparkly pom poms balls and a message of gratitude to her spouse. I truly believe everyone has one action that will help him or her catch a glimpse of what seems lost.
Maybe it’s joy you’re missing. Or maybe it’s enthusiasm … or peace … or gratitude … or connection … or focus.
On Franklin the cat’s sign there was a description of what he looked like. I think describing is a good start when something is missing.
What does joy look like to you? What does peace feel like? What does connection resemble?
(When you know what you're looking for, it’s much easier to spot.)
Maybe enthusiasm looks like a push on the swing, a loving goodbye, or a trip to Starbucks together. Maybe connection looks like helping her with her shoelaces or sitting beside him as he eats his cereal. Maybe peace looks like an offer to rub her back or a few minutes to read side by side. Maybe joy looks like time on a yoga mat, taking a long walk, or going to a matinee movie. Maybe focus looks like turning off the notifications on the phone to shut out the world for a spell.
Today I ask you to think about what is missing, what it looks like, and one small step you could take to bring it back.
Then do it.
One small action—put it out into the world.
It just might multiply and come back to you as a sign that Joy is waiting around the corner … just waiting to make its way home.
I recently completed my third book, ONLY LOVE TODAY, which is designed as a daily inspiration book without the pressure to be used daily. Organized by seasons of life, the reader can simply turn to a particular section to find encouragement, inspiration, practical strategies, and direction for what is lacking in his or her life. Unlike a book that requires cover to cover reading, this book has a flip-open, read-anytime/anywhere format for busy individuals yearning to anchor themselves in love despite everyday distractions, pressures, and discord. “Only love today” began as a mantra to overcome my inner bully, and now it is the practice of my life. It can be yours too. Pre-order at Amazon or Barnes and Noble (a few signed copies still available). Email a receipt of your pre-order to email@example.com to receive the gorgeous hand lettered reminders, bookmarks, and coloring pages pictured below. Offer good until release day (March 7, 2017).
I feel like so many of these things are lost to me…..I’m present but I’m all too often snapping & rushing my girls.
Like this lady I’ve also read your posts and flicked the books but can’t quite seem to get going.
This weekend I will try. Maybe if I promise that to you here, I’ll do it.
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you for your honesty, Karen. I think their is definitely power in declaring a hope or aspiration in writing for others to see. I am behind you. This community is behind you. We will be anxiously awaiting an update from you in time. One step this weekend. See what it brings back to your heart.
I did it…..I took a couple of little steps & it felt amazing!
Yesterday my eldest (8) wanted to make her own lunch. Normally I’d make/find an excuse because it’s too messy, takes too long etc etc, but I let her. I stepped back as she cracked the eggs, grated her cheese, left a mess & I ignored it, I looked beyond it. I looked at the delight in her eyes as she accomplished her task with determination. Then, I walked away from the mess and we sat together as she proudly declared how delicious her lunch was….it really was, but regardless of how it tasted, the moment felt amazing!
Then this morning, normally we’d doze in bed while the girls go watch TV. When I heard footsteps this morning, I resisted the urge to let them pass by and invited them in when we snuggled in beautiful silence, rubbing noses and waking slowing, gradually turning into giggles n happiness. It’s been too long.
Then my delicate youngest (6) had her usual breakdown over the cardigan that didn’t feel right as we were dashing to church. I’m ashamed to say I’d normally shout, it would end in tears, hers and often mine. Today I said, no problem maybe this one is a bit small, let’s try another. The next wasn’t perfect to her, the shade was wrong, but she said mummy this one is good, thank you. I felt exhilarated!
Finally this afternoon, when chores were calling I suggested we play a board game. Their faces lit up like I said we were going to Disney world. It was wonderful. And when my phone notified me of text messages I ignored it (onto silent next time!). The dinner still got done, some of the chores did, the others can wait.
But then at bedtime I snapped, think a cold coming has caused me to tire today and I should not have snapped. But I think it was a good weekend, yes it was. Tomorrow would generally be a tough day to get going and connect but I will.thank you Rachel, you are changing my life. X
Rachel Stafford says
Oh Karen. Thank you! Thank you! I love hearing these specific ways you chose LOVE over productivity, perfection, efficiency, and promptness. And I loved that you were able to notice the joy these choices brought to your loved ones. I love that gathered up that joy and used it as fuel on to the next moment. I am so inspired by you and thankful you are part of this community! Keep me posted!
Susan Wesson says
Thank you so much on your words of wisdom about finding your joy. I feel like Im at the point in my life where each day feels like a continual cycle of the day before. Where there is just a routine cycle. It feels like a rut of simplicity with no joy. I just hit 40 and have 9 children so my days are so busy. But I want more than the busyness. I want to be able to remember to breathe in the day and make memorable moments. To feel the love and joy around me. I feel like we get stuck in a motion for perfection that we forget speed threw the day planning the next. This article opened my eyes to the fact of I need to treasure the now and the later will fall into place. I can embrace the moment and live without fear of just getting to end of my day. Joy has to be persued and connected with. As of today I want to get my joy back and live free of feeling depleted.
Thank goodness I waited to put on my mascara this morning, or I’d be a raccoon! Thank you again and again.
This makes so much sense to me because just chose the word joy as my guiding word for the year. I want to find my joy once again and am purposefully going to work on getting to that higher place.
Thank you. I really needed to read that. Something was missing and i apologized to my daughter for my cranky attitude. I’ve explained that it’s not her and that in just tired and a bit sad. I’m going to look for my joy again
Elizabeth Ryan says
Having been blessed with joy in recent years, what I see is your relatively new found joy helping others to find it as well. You are working (seems daily) to bring for the God in yourself and am sure you have a huge positive influence in the lives of many. Keep up the great work you do! You are an inspiration, Rachel. <3
Marti Wagner says
Thank you for this inspiring post.
This really hit home for me today. JOY is what I picked as my word for 2016. I struggle to find joy in my life. It’s hard. I see so much that is wrong, my marriage, my weight, my relationship with my parents, my home, our finances, and my son’s lack of siblings. I fight a constant battle to see what is right in my life. But I feel like I owe it to myself and to my son to fight harder. So I picked the word JOY to focus on this year. That is my only resolution. And I bought one of those trendy lit signs with the word JOY on it. And it’s in a prominent place in my house. And I’m not going to return it even though there is a blemish on the pristine white (a common trend in my life…seeking perfect). I told my husband that it is my reminder to find the JOY despite the imperfections in my life. I’m ready for a change.
AND you will find it. Because you are aware you aren’t feeling it & of how you tend to over-think what’s missing or not right, you are already beginning to change the way you “seek perfection”.
Be kind to yourself… And those people around you who mean so much, notice the small special moments in day to day life instead of what’s wrong and the joy will come. I wish you a life of peace ?
Jenny Johnston says
I think there is change in the air. Many people I know who had a difficult year in 2015 and finding their ways back in 2016. I cried so many happy tears reading this post and thinking of all the children, spouses, friends and siblings who are getting more love, attention and tenderness from the readers of your blog….even if it is just one tiny slow step at a time.
To the woman who wrote you an email…taking that first step is the hardest and I hope she is proud of what she has done. When we know better, we do better…that is the path most of us are on.
Rachel, you are such an inspiration. I am going to give you credit for the fact that I have pulled out all my jewelry making items and started making jewelry again, even if I just spend 10 minutes with my beads, I am filled with a JOY that has been missing for a very long. I have put everyone else ahead of me for such a long time and it has served no one. I am finding JOY for myself and becoming a better mom, spouse and friend because of it.
I cannot wait to one day meet you and give you the hug I wish I could give you every time I read your words. I love you so very deeply that you feel like a part of my family. As much as I love when you take breaks from your blog to spend time with your family, I CHERISH when you do write so very much.
With love and appreciation,
I am both saddened and overjoyed that I am not the only one who is experiencing a loss of joy. I’ve only been reading your blog for a couple of months now, but what a blessing to have stumbled on it.
It’s time for me to do something to find my joy. I’m excited that it can be found again. It is not the sock that the dryer ate, never to be seen again.
Your posts always make me cry! I can so relate to “J.” Her story just inspired me to email my husband. He recently told me that I hold his behavior to a higher standard than I do my own. I denied it at first, of course, but he’s absolutely right and I emailed him to tell him so. I told him that after our third child was born, I was exhausted and impatient and joyless because having a baby and two older kids is hard, but somewhere along the line my grumpiness has become a habit. It’s a habit I desperately want to change and I think it starts with admitting to my husband that I’m wrong. I don’t do that often, even when I am wrong, I can always find the sliver of “right” to argue. It’s exhausting. I want to be softer. Thanks for the inspiration.
Katie @ The Catholic Wife says
“What does joy look like to you? What does peace resemble? How about connection?”
I’ve known something was missing and I’ve felt joy’s absence painfully in recent years. Recalling what it looks like is the perfect place to start. Thank you so much.
Mira Daniels says
We can go in search of these emotions at any stage of life. I hope that being intentional about calling these feelings to us will help us recognize them in the quiet ways they can be found all around us. I know from experience that there are seasons of life when it is easier to find them; when the dense canopy of busyness that usually accompanies the child-rearing years thins and it is easier to see the shining stars of joy, quiet, love, happiness, peace and fulfillment. I am grateful for the memories of my children in a state of wonder, for the moments of love imprinted on my mind, and for the mature friendships I share with them as adults.
Thank you for reminding us to seek the joy in everyday life.
This is so beautiful, powerful, and truthful it makes me cry. It touches the deep things inside. Thank so so much!!
Thank you so much for this. I had to go sob at work in the rest room. I’ve been trying to find my joy again. Every day I practice gratitude because I have so much to be grateful for. But my joy, enthusiasm, is missing.
wow. Couldn’t have been more aptly written for me, at this very moment…
Thanks so much Rachel. You are truly inspirational.
This absolutely made me cry at my desk today. I just recently found your blog and started following you on FaceBook and I cannot even explain how much I needed to read this. I will be forever grateful for whatever led me to you and for this showing up in my newsfeed this morning.
The search for my joy begins today!
Lisa McGrath says
Thanks for this post. I really needed it today!
Linda W says
I discovered your blog through the kindness of a friend. I quickly subscribed and discovered how amazingly your posts spoke to my heart. Like this one. I haven’t felt joyful in awhile due to a difficult season. But recently a good friend dropped by with a gift bag. In it were seven wrapped gifts–one to open every day. She called it her bag of encouragement. I’ve opened three gifts. They’re very whimsical–a unicorn sticker, two Cinderella ring pops, a jar of sea salt body scrub.
God has met me each day in these gifts, and reminded me that joy can found in little moments each day.
Thank you for another insightful post, Rachel. I struggle to find my joy as well. But I’ve realized that the more I focus on my problems – and the more I focus on dreams and goals that stubbornly refuse to come to pass – the less joy I have. I’m trying – not always successfully – to practice gratitude… live more in the moment… and pay more attention to the “little” blessings that are so easy to ignore in life.
Lisa McCrohan says
Again and again, your storytelling ability has a way of being like a warm blanket around each of us. Thank you. Yes, often people talk to me in counseling and coaching about “something” that is lost — they’ve lost their footing, their feelings for their partner, their “knowing” of how to love. And your guidance here – to just take one small step — and to choose love, to choose joy — YES…this is everything.
Yesterday was a really, really bad day for me. I felt my daughters and husband would be better off without me. See I’ve been battling stage IV metastatic melanoma for 4 years and the long term (10 years) survival rate is dismal. I am lucky to be alive today. But I think that because I have an expiration date that I might as well escape and not be involved with my family so they won’t miss me when I’m gone. I went to sleep with my 10 year old sleeping next to me because she is afraid I am going to leave (die) in the night. I awoke with a new perspective on life and a vow to be a part of my family’s life but I didn’t know what to do…until I read your email this morning.
Thank you for your honesty and sharing. I don’t quite know what to make of the coincidence but I know tonight I am planning a game night with my kids and husband and then will go from there, day by day, with a vow to be present and to show my love.
My heart goes out to you and your family. I cannot imagine how hard it must be in your situation. I’m not sure why I feel compelled to write to you, but I’m just going with the flow.
My mother in law was recently diagnosed with multiple cancers. It has been unspeakably hard on my husband, we live far away from her, although the he two of them are very close. Our son is only 2 1/2 so we are worried he might not remember her Etc.
I tried to imagine what it must feel like for her, having conversations about her mortality with her children…
All I can say is I hope that you gain strength and encouragement from Rachel’s words. Don’t give up on yourself! Your family loves you to the moon, and every moment you have is precious.
Sending you love, patience and compassion, especially for yourself!
So very beautiful. This the first time I’ve stumbled across your blog. Your were the perfect start to my weekend. 🙂 xx
Your *words* were…:)
Ingrid Huebner says
God, I love your writing….both this post and the one I just read on “softening”. Your beautifully and vulnerably expressed thoughts came just at the right time for me. Keep writing, please!
I feel like I have had one of the greatest light bulb moments stumbling upon your blog today….I have sat in tears reading your words and finally admitting to myself that I too am struggling with this problem. I coincidentally have 2 beautiful daughters and have been overwhelmed with guilt that I am not a good mother ( in the deeper soul-nourishing sense) and that I am snuffing out their natural joy. I started this year in search of happiness…with the new-found realisation that I am responsible for my own happiness and that it is something that I have to choose. I think serendipity brought me to your blog to help me on this journey. I have already requested my local library purchase your latest book, but after reading a small sample in ibooks, have decided that I need to own a copy of my own!! Thank you so much for doing what you do!!
I am really struggling to find the joy in my life am a thank you for your words. I cried when I read them because I identify with them so strongly. I’m in Australia and we’re about 3/4 of the way through our 6weeks of summer holidays. I am struggling to find joy amongst the constant bickering, shooting and arguing of my 3 children. I need to find my joy again.
Thank you for writing this. I am returning back to work today and I fear that I will lose the joy I have found again during my second maternity leave. I have a 4 year old girl and a newborn girl. My maternity leave has been a brief 9 weeks and I return to work (part time) before my second daughter is even two months old! I have found so much simple joy in the everyday pleasures of spending time at home with my girls. I am determined now to not forget this time and to keep the hope and joy and love towards my husband and daughters that I really missed. .. I think I’ll start with a post it note, reminding me of my New Years resolution that I shared with my four year old in a moment of honesty:
This year, I resolve to be a more patient and nicer mommy. My daughters smile and hopeful countenance was all the encouragement I needed. She was so happy to have her kind, fun mommy back:)
As if peering into the future, and gazing into the souls of those who come here to leave notes admitting that they, too, struggle with the same self-torments, the esteemed Irish poet John O’Donohue once wrote:
“You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.”
~ John O’Donohue, from “A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted”
Take heart! We are here on Earth, now, re-learning how to BE. Ask for help, and it shall be freely given!
Blessings to you for showing us a way forward, Rachel!
Joy has been in kind of short supply around here recently. My chronically depressed husband has been refusing to discuss how he spent the whole Christmas holiday fortnight in his bed, and has energy to go out with work colleagues but not hang out with his kids. I’m toilet-training a reluctant nearly-3 year old, helping a 7.5 year old negotiate life, being a doctor 3 days a week plus on-call, looking after our menagerie of pets, and trying to to make our house a pleasant place to be, do laundry, etc. I’m close to out of energy and goodwill, and my kids get the brunt of what is not their fault. Tomorrow, I’m going to to try and focus on at least a little bit of joy for them. I don’t know if I have it for me yet, but one step at a time. Thanks, Rachel, for putting priorities is place xxx
I type this with tears in my eyes and a truly thankful heart. I found you only a few short weeks ago and I’m so excited for the journey ahead of me. As a mom of 4 girls (2 with with special needs) most of my days feel as if joy is a distant unattainable dream. And then I read Hands Free Life and things began to change for me. Instead of rushing bedtime because I was exhausted I let my girls crawl into bed with me. Instead of worrying about their speech skills and their behavior I found myself just listening to their hearts. And it was beautiful. I’ve felt much like the lady who wrote the message above. I’ve felt like a robot just going through the motions each day. Just existing but not living. But now I have hope. I have hope that joy can be a part of my life once again.
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you, Tricia. I am so blessed by your message and your presence alongside me.
Wow – just wow! All of your words express how I’ve been feeling for some time. I feel sadness that there are so many of us that feel this hopeless despair but hope that joy of life can be regained. Thank you!
Wow this post is me!
This brave 40 year old lady’s story is me.
I can’t believe how closely it resembles my own struggle. I hadn’t read this post (missed it somehow) but it is me!!!
I need to find my joy…today is the day to begin.
Thank you for everything you write and you offer us all. What an inspiration
With love and thanks
My husband recently got our old computer running again so we could get the pictures off of it. My girls who are now nearly 5,6 and 8 were 1,2 and 4. I was completely overwhelmed and I was grumpy. As I was watching the old videos I could hear in my voice the desperate attempt to control the annoyance because I knew I was being recorded. It made me want to weep at the “terrible mother” I was at the time. But then I thought of you and how if you could do it; change habits and patterns; so could I. And then I realized that since I’ve started reading your blog I’ve deleted all the games and a couple time consuming apps from my phone. I don’t go on the computer anymore. I make an effort to say, “good job” and “I’m proud of you” and “I love you” way more often. I make an effort to breathe before the negative things come out of my mouth. My oldest daughter commented last week that I’m way less angry than I used to be. I’m not perfect. I’ve got a long ways to go. But watching those videos made me see just how far I’ve come. The joy is a lot easier to find now than it was before. Especially since I’ve put my phone down. So, thank you for your blog. Thank you for your openness and encouragement. It gives me hope that I can keep becoming the wife and mother that I was intended to be!!
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you, Val. This means so much to me. I am inspired & delighted to read about your progress! There is so much hope in your story. Thank you for spreading that hope.
S. King says
Thanks for letting me know that I’m not alone in feeling so lost. Its not a good place to be. And the emptiness is vast, seems like it’s all I can see on my horizon.
I’ve read so many of your posts over the past couple of years and have never commented. The Important Thing about Yelling was one of the first pieces I read and it struck a very, very deep chord. I’m no more or less busy than any other mom out there (except the lady that posted earlier who has 9 kids…huge props to her!!) . However, I often feel like I’m drowning under a never-ending to-do list which has definitely has chipped away at my smile. I work in healthcare and am excellent at taking care of others, but not so much at taking care of myself. Today’s post was exactly what I needed to read. Sleep, water, exercise, and gratitude for all the amazing gifts in my life go a long way to help make that list of responsibilities weight a little less heavy on my shoulders.
Thank you for sharing your soul – makes SUCH a difference to know we’re all in this together. xo
I really loved this…now I need to follow your advice and find that one thing that brings back the joy, peace, happiness, quality time in life!
Lovely story. I’m 61 and I am lost. Joy has long been gone and hope has left too. My children are grown and scarred and dysfunctional. I stay alive so my 30 yo who suffers from complex PTSD will have a place to live.
I’ve been single fore more than 20 years and haven’t been even kissed in about that long. The daughter who lives with me doesn’t even like hugs.
Your timing is always perfect. I am downstairs while my husband is getting kids ready for bed because today, for some reason, I am just done. I needed to NOT be up there getting more and more frustrated. I am noticing all the negative these days, not the good. I am overwhelmed.