THINGS I Like THURSDAY! Topic: Begin Again

What is it about cold gray days that make sitting in a coffee shop feel so good? This weather makes me contemplative. I could throw in a cliche here about the seasons changing and how it’s a time for new beginnings, but I think that’s evident.

What I’ve been inspired by in the last 24 hours is the idea of beginning again right now. Right now! When you are finished reading this sentence!

It’s part of my nature to strive to see the good in situations, in people, and even if something negative has happened I can take a lesson from it and make it mean something valuable. But yesterday I found myself wallowing around – thinking too much about things that don’t matter (or even exist outside the thoughts I created!), playing somber music to aid in the wallowing, avoiding communication because something about feeling sort of bad felt good. I don’t know.

It can be so easy to catastrophize a thought, this weird brain-manipulation that can be hard to climb out of. By the evening, I really felt awful for having wasted a day coming up with imaginary situations instead of being productive to feel better.

But then I read something so simple, something so obvious and just forgotten:Tomorrow is a new day. And if you’re really feeling ambitious, you don’t even have to wait for morning to get another chance. You can take one right now.

What a relief! I know I sound like a Lifetime Movie or a high school guidance counselor, but isn’t that sort of incredible? That YOU have the ability to do something RIGHT NOW to change your situation and/or your mind. That’s a simple sentence but a big, big idea.

There’s a Unitarian Universalist church I pass when I walk to the library. They have a big sign out front that says

It’s Never Too Late to Become What You Might Have Been

and the other side says

They Can Because They Think They Can

It’s always a pleasant reminder to see something like that in big, bold letters. Forgive yourself for the times you’ve messed up. You did what you could at the time. It’s okay if you take a day off to hibernate in bed. You can start your plans and projects tomorrow. Don’t feel like if you haven’t achieved everything you wanted in your life right now, you have failed. You haven’t.

Just remember the incredible power of starting over, making changes, constantly improving, and gaining new perspective. Don’t let your worries flood your head. Every moment is another chance.

(The Sad Song print by Doctor Pinky, $23.00 via Etsy)

(New Day print by ErinJane, $16.00 via Etsy)


Fireworks are Beautiful Explosions

This fourth of July was one that stuck out in my mind. I can vividly remember what I was doing last year, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that every part of my life is different now. It has been the most challenging and celebratory, depressing and hopeful, heartbreaking and heart-rebuilding year.

I have talked before about how Save the Kales! was created as something to bring me out of the darkest parts of the past 12 months. This project has been something so personal and dear to me, a symbol (and reminder) that when we put in work and effort, we see results. We affect people in a positive way. We change our own minds and hearts in a quest to help others learn.

I was left with nothing in terms of emotional, physical and tangible things, and when I look back now on all the hard work (and that’s what it took – hard work and actions, DOING SOMETHING for once instead of just feeling entitled to greatness) I realize the power it takes to manifest the courage to jump back into life and start over.

Look out, life, I’m comin’ to get ya!

The work never stops, though. Sometimes the tiniest thing sends my brain into a jumble of “what if this is not enough, what if people don’t like it, what if this turns out to be a mistake, what if what if what if...” And then I try to remember that every other person on this green and blue ball of earth wonders the same things. The most important thing is to try to live the best way you can. If you do that, it’s impossible to fail, and no bad situation or negative person can steal that.

Just now as I was about to crawl into bed after another long day, I found this absolutely beautiful essay that so eloquently supports the act of beginning again, albeit scary, lonely and unsure. We can all do this, any day, every day. And on my end, I’m rooting for you.