It has been a long time since I have sat down to write. There have been many hurdles in the last few months that have not been conducive to writing a blog. I had a meltdown in the summer and worked hard on trying to recover so that I could be emotionally ready for my adventure in University. I am most of the way through my first semester and it has been quite the adjustment in more ways than one. My brain is being challenged in so many ways that I feel awake in a way I haven’t been before. My emotions have challenged me in trying to adjust to the new student body, most of whom are between the ages of 18-23. Our finances have taken a big hit since the new Ford government has lowered the amount given for student aid. It has been a challenge.
I didn’t think that I would be so tested by my younger student peers, but I am. They are all young and full of energy. It makes me feel old and tired.
For a long time after Henry died, I stopped caring about how I looked. My insides were so broken that I was just trying to live one moment at a time. After that period subsided, I was just trying to get through one week at a time. I continued like that into the first two months of school. I didn’t understand why I felt so low and under the rest of the student body population. Then it occurred to me that I wasn’t keeping up. My focus was on adjusting and living, when it should have been on picking myself up and thriving. All these young students are full of life and it shows in the way they live. I just wasn’t up to speed.
I took a good long look in the mirror. I looked old. The years of experience had really settled themselves in to my body. I had lines and wrinkles, yes, but more than that, I had a worn appearance.
There is an old expression that says “fake it till you make it.” In Matthew 6:16-18, it says to keep taking care of yourself, despite your life choices and circumstances (Truth be told, I did this verse an extreme injustice, and is worth reading in your bible.) It was true that I felt as though I was exempt from the criticisms of others because I had experienced a horror that they had not. I felt entitled to look however I liked and if someone had something to say, I would shame them. This was not the right attitude and it kept me from living life fully. I was still engrossed in the sorrows and not focused on my job: being a lamp for Christ’s light. I was making my lamp an ugly vessel, not worthy of the grace I had been given. It was time to brighten up.
I went to the store, and remembering my esthetician training and practice, I bought some very useful 4-in-1 products that would keep me from needing a couple of hours each day to look done. I bought a simple foundation, setting powder, mascara, eyeliner, brow brush and cream blush that would help me sparkle just a little. And do you know what happened? I started to feel better. My age stopped wearing on me. I became a little more full of life. With my outward appearance looking healthier and cared for, my inner self could begin living. Taking care of myself helps me to take care of others. So, if you are like me and are just sitting in the sadness, please do yourself a favor. Begin to live life again. In whatever way you can, start showing up feeling ready and fresh. It will be challenging, I know, but I promise it will start you on a path to getting back up.
You were meant for great things. Get back up. Take one step and keep going. You will look back again and again, but starting will set you in motion and hopefully get you back on your feet. If you know someone else who is struggling right now, show up for them. Take them with you on a shopping spree. Make a date for dual self-care. Get them unstuck and moving forward. It is a lonely road when you are stuck in grief. Give them a hand and help them up. You will both be better for it.
Onward and upward my friends, I am praying for you. Please pray for me too.