Last week was rough.
I have been staring at my screen for the last nine minutes, watching my cursor blink, trying to figure out how to explain what I mean by “rough”.
Yikes. Now another three minutes have gone by. I better get my act together or this post will just be a play by play of my inability to write – now if that doesn’t bring the readers pouring in, I don’t know what will!
Ok. Fine. It’s been four more minutes. Can someone please tell my cursor to stop mocking me? Seriously, it’s basically yelling now.
Ok. Here goes. Rough means that it took everything I had to just make it through the work day and most nights that pushed me into bed at seven or so. I felt a lot of anxiety and had a couple difficult PTSD days where I was reminded of things in a way that had me feeling like I wasn’t through a lot of the things that I know I’ve been able to overcome. PTSD sucks in a lot of ways, but this way in particular is my least favorite – the way it can come crashing in upon you and make you feel like you are back at square one. It hits with such force and almost mockingly says, “You thought you got rid of me? Think again sucker. Do you remember this? What about that? And lets not forget the worst part!” Then with a one-two punch you are down and out for the count.
I don’t like feeling weak. I’m not weak, but somehow talking about my own personal difficulties can make me feel that way. I don’t share this with you for sympathy, I just want to be real. This is real life for me and for better or for worse, I have to be accept it. Accepting it doesn’t mean I stay stagnant, that I don’t seek for personal improvement or growth in getting better at working through anxiety or recognizing what triggers my PTSD, it only means that I stop trying to push against what is in any given moment.
Given that last week was rough, it made it even more clear to me how important little things can be. I want to share one of those little things that got me through last week, but first, if you haven’t read about my #littlethingsmatter campaign do so here: Little Things Matter . Please join me in seeking to spread light, spread hope, spread goodness in acknowledging the little things all around us that make life livable, fulfilling, and rich – it really is in the little things!
For me my little things came in the form of a beautiful, handmade quilt. My friend Becky is an amazing person, and not just because last week, for my birthday, she made me a quilt.
Let’s just talk about that for a second – she made me a quilt. An actual quilt that takes actual time and love to accomplish. I’m pretty sure I have gone to one of my church functions where a quilt was being made and just the setting up of the wooden square thingys that you need to make a quilt was enough work to have me slowly backing out of the room in order to make an unseen exit …
This quilt was something that I would look at over the last week and feel such gratitude that she would have given me such an amazing gift. It wasn’t just that it was beautiful to look at or that it will keep me warm, those things are true, but what I couldn’t get over is that someone would put such time and effort into something for me, just for me. Living alone, one’s chances of being on the receiving end of small day to day acts of service is sometimes limited. This beautiful gift was able to awaken in me a gratitude that can only come from a knowledge that sacrifice was included in a gift or act of service.
Here was a wonderful person who has a busy life – a wife, a mother to six kids, countless other responsibilities and things that have to get done, and she chose to sacrifice some of her time so that I could have something beautiful in my life. That is huge to me, that is a little thing that has turned into something much, much greater. I had a really rough week but there were times I would catch myself looking at the quilt and feel loved, feel ok, feel like I can keep going.
Seeing that quilt reminded me of meeting Becky when I was sixteen. It was easily one of the worst times of my life. I isolated myself a lot and had no self confidence or belief that I mattered. Think of the absolute worse things a human being could say to themselves and that was my daily inner dialogue. I met Becky at a girl’s camp. I only went to two girl’s camps when I was a teenager and Becky was a leader at the second one I went to. She and her mom, Nedra, showed me such love. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why, I hated myself with such fervor that it was odd to me that others didn’t go around feeling that same hatred towards me.
The week after the girl’s camp was my birthday. Becky and her mom, Nedra, showed up at my door with a popcorn cake and a card to wish me a happy birthday. This past birthday, with the quilt as a gift, will be seventeen years in a row that both she, and her mom, have remembered me on that day.
They haven’t missed one birthday.
For years I got my favorite popcorn cake, there have been cards, phone calls, small gifts, and now a quilt. I can tell you, to my embarrassment, I have not been as diligent in remembering them on their birthdays’. It might seem like such a small thing, to remember someone on their birthday, but it’s not. Thank you, Becky. Thank you for being such an amazing friend to me for so many years. Thank you for loving me and seeing me when I couldn’t love myself. Thank you for what you might think was a little thing, please know, it was a little thing that mattered – a little thing that became a big thing. You are amazing!
Friends – we might not be able to make someone a quilt (heaven knows you don’t me to make you a quilt, it would be a sad mess 🙂 ) but we all have the ability to find ways to help others, to do something little to make someone feel seen, feel loved. I challenge you, if you are reading this, please don’t let today go by without noticing a little thing someone has done for you and trying to do something for someone else!
Please accept the challenge – let’s make #littlethingsmatter go viral! Good is everywhere, lets start looking for it.