A Time To Celebrate

In my last post, “Just Do Something”, I encouraged you to make 2020 better, starting now.

“The good news is you don’t have to wait for New Years to have a new resolution or attitude. Every day is a new beginning!”

I was thinking this morning, in the same way that there is no need to procrastinate when we want to ‘begin again’, there is also no need to procrastinate celebrating our progress, while on the way to achieving our goals. We can do it right now too. Whatever your resolution may be for 2020 or tomorrow, no matter how long it takes, remember celebration will strengthen you, so be excited about every step of the journey, on the way to your destination.

Change and progress will continue as long as we are on this earth and for me personally, I think when it comes to certain emotional or mental goals, it may take a lifetime to get it right! However, I love encouraging others and believe it should be handed out in generous proportions, so I urge you to take a moment to look back and see how much you have improved over the last year. Are you a little more patient or a little more giving? It is more productive to focus on the positive than mourning over your mistakes, which will only weaken you. Love fuels positive change more than punishment does, so build each other up and make a big deal out of the strong points and downplay the weaknesses. (Maybe practice this with your family over Christmas too. It could help change the dynamic and increase the merriness!)

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We need to acknowledge our small milestones, with the same enthusiasm we give to a puppy for fetching a ball or to a baby taking their first steps. Think about it! We get really excited about their progress and don’t keep a record of every time they fail. We should perhaps treat ourselves the same way and rejoice with those outward expressions we give to our pets and children. Reflect on how far you have come, instead of how far you need to go, and let go of guilt from past mistakes and perceived failures. If you find you have nobody in your corner, cheering you on, you can still celebrate your progress. Although it certainly helps to have someone encouraging you, if that doesn’t happen, decide you will learn how to celebrate your own progress, which will help strengthen you to continue towards your goal, without resentment.

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I have had a small break from the kitchen duties, doing this writing in between, which for me is a way to recharge my batteries. Now it is time to finish sorting the mess, so I need to end off and return to the dishes and making dinner, but thanks to the blog break, it will go more smoothly and joyfully, (and when I have a sparkling sink, that will be worth celebrating too!)

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The last few days before Christmas can be a stressful time, with last-minute to-do lists and endless chores weighing us down but let us give ourselves permission to lighten up and inject celebration and joy into our daily lives. Celebrate your progress (don’t strive for perfection) and by doing this you can change the whole atmosphere in your home this holiday season. One of the best gifts you can give your family is a happy, healthy you, which cannot happen without celebration being a regular part of your life (and I think humour always helps too!)

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Tinsel And Tears

“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” (Jeremiah 31:13)

Sometimes I wonder how I can go to bed feeling fine and yet wake up in the morning feeling heavy and sad. This happened today. Perhaps it is a mild peanut butter hangover or simply the humidity making me feel like my head is in a fog. Although both are possible, I think with Christmas approaching and holiday traditions being shared on social media, I am simply overwhelmed: photos of children dressed in red and white, beautiful images of growing families, letters to Santa and year-end school reports. I am able to celebrate these exciting times with my friends yet events such as holidays are landmarks that trigger a surge of grief within me.

I get frustrated with myself when I get like this as I have been on this journey for over a decade and surely I shouldn’t still feel this way, should I? My infertility is constantly there as a part of my makeup but I have worked hard to move forward and not let it define me. I have embraced where I am, pursued many different interests and through my recent fitness accomplishments, I believe my story is being used in a positive way. I have made many new friends through my fitness journey this year and I can only imagine what they will think of me if they read these posts. Behind the physical strength and sparkling bikini, is someone who is broken, but I am unashamed and determined not to let bitterness get the better of me.

I am grateful that God understands me, even if others do not and He isn’t shocked by my emotions. When I am in a difficult patch like this, even the mention of the Baby in a manger can reduce me to tears. Some Christmas carols have the word ‘womb’ in them and I battle to sing the verse without my lips trembling. I get angry and want to shake my fists at God for allowing so much heartache and then soon after fall on my knees in humble adoration for everything He has done for me.

It is unrealistic to think I will ever fully “get over” it. However, it is what it is, and I will keep bringing my pain to God, instead of fighting it and let Him use it for His purpose. Overall I know I am headed in the right direction and like any challenge we face in life, it is an ongoing process.

“The quickest way for anyone to reach the sun and the light of day is not to run west, chasing after the setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until ones comes to the sunrise.” (Jerry Sittser)