Have you ever asked yourself that? Have you ever looked back on a period of your life and realized, only after the fact, that, wow, that was a lot. How did I make it through that? I try to be a self-aware person. Sure, I fall short often enough, but I try.

One extension of this is trying to be cognizant of hard things (and good things!) as I walk through them. I want to ensure I feel my feelings and not try to shove them down. However, recently I was reflecting on the past few (five or so) years, kind of combing through the events of the year and milestones for our family. I got to 2020 and as I mentally walked myself through it, it took my breath away. I knew it was a big year for the entire world, but did I ever really let myself focus in on how the year effected me, personally?

“The unexamined life is not worth living” -Socrates (officially, but I credit it more to my dad who signed off on every article he wrote with this quote).

That year started off with losing my Grandma Betty, a woman full of spark and personality who, as I see it, lost her will to live after learning her son was terminally ill with a rare cancer. I knew she wanted to go before him, and I see it as a silver lining that she did.

Only a couple months later, Dad died. Not out of the blue, yet it still felt like a gut punch from hell. Here I sit 4 years later and still think of Dad every single day. No longer in tears regularly, but still in some capacity every day.

David and I had planned for 2020 to bring about exciting life changes for our family of four. We had planned a big adventure that I’ll share more about one day that was unable to come to fruition. It was the loss of a dream, which can feel like a death in it’s own way.

Additionally we had our house on the market, and had two contracts fall through. I now see that as one of God’s blessing, but at the time it was a stressful rollercoaster.

And of course the pandemic was in full force with daily death counts in the corner of every news report. There was other unrest, too, and the online world followed suit, becoming more divisive and emotionally charged. It had me pull back from a digital world that usually felt like community.

It was a wild and hard year. I did my best to process it at the time but when the events ran through my mind the other day I wonder, did I fully understand how much pain I was feeling? Or do our minds kind of numb us as we walk through super hard things as a form of self preservation?

This is one of those reflective blog posts that might be better served as a personal journal entry, but I also hate that I’ve shied away from sharing some of these more vulnerable posts since 2020. The human experience, the joys and the tragedies and the fears and the celebrations, connect us all. With online curated perfection and less real life community, it’s no wonder it’s having a sincere effect on our collective mental wellbeing.

There’s no big takeaway on today’s reflections. Maybe just a reminder to take a breath and give yourself a little credit for what you’ve walked through and of which you’ve made it to the other side. The people I know that have walked through the hardest times have the greatest amount of empathy to show towards other. I hope and strive to let my darker seasons inspire me to be a light for others that find themselves in similar situations. How does the saying go? At the end of the day, we’re all just walking each other home.

I guess that’s a lot of thoughts for a rainy Wednesday morning. Thanks for listening. <3


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