“Sometimes when you are making a difficult climb, the longer you hesitate to move, the more fatigued you get. That’s kind of a brilliant metaphor for life.”~~Melissa Arnot Reid

If you take a moment and just let that sink in, I can bet it won’t take long for you to remember a time in your life when this was true. Perhaps you are even experiencing this now.

This post is going to ramble as I feel like I am wading through quicksand often these days. The muck and mire is thick but I am determined not to sink. This might be a true insight into my truly chaotic brain and the things I think about throughout the day.

We yearn for stability yet crave challenge, we think big but often settle for small, we have passion, talent and creativity begging to be put on display to the world but we choose the comfort of the familiar instead.

We feel guilty for questioning our faith, we sometimes sit by and not take a stand against the assault on humanity, we let others dictate how we should live our lives as if they know better, we don’t speak up at work–fearing retribution, retaliation or simply that we are not valued.

We are so over extended because we feel we have to display super powers in our lives and we find it so hard to say no. We work 50+ hours instead of 40, we commute (often long distances) and deal with traffic headaches daily, we rush to get home to make a meal, make sure homework and studying is complete, rush kids or parents to appointments, lessons, clubs, practices, etc.  Then there isn’t just church services, but also meetings, fundraisers, prayer services. We volunteer, we coach, we mentor. We shop, pay bills, clean the house, try to exercise.  We try to find time with friends and family but so often, we are just plain fatigued and drained.

Why do feel as though we have to please everyone or worse yet–that we have to be in control of everything and everyone all of the time? There is enough stress on our lives and demands on our time without we ourselves adding to the problem.  And isn’t that a big, fat, ugly truth: we alone are the cause of the majority of our own grief and stress!

We can take care of our families, have a career and help others and still have time for ourselves if we would be willing to climb out of the muck and mire that we have often created ourselves. In case we are in need of a reminder: “No” is a complete sentence. Many times, it also does not require further explanation. You are not required to say yes to things that don’t interest you, to which you cannot add value and you just don’t want to do.

We shouldn’t always be so quick to yell our kids for every little thing. And we definitely should not be quick to dimiss their thoughts, feelings, and fears even if they seem silly to us.  Those are real, authentic emotions for them.

We sometimes think we are doing them a favor by protecting them constantly from every little hurt or bad thing ever said about them. If we all don’t fail now and then, we don’t learn how to rise above and come back stronger. If we take every little thing personally, we develop hardened hearts. Are we teaching our kids to consider that the reason someone acts out or is nasty to another person is because that’s what they experience at home? Perhaps they receive little attention or love at home. Perhaps there is no emotional support or little affection given. Perhaps there are struggles with finances, addiction, health issues, abuse that we known nothing about.  Perhaps it is a cry for help. Maybe, even one of the parents is reaching out for help.  We shouldn’t be so quick to run and tattle on them, or pick a fight with the parents or just stop talking. Maybe we all need to work on more empathy and compassion. Maybe we ourselves need to be better friends each other.

Now I know, some people are just mean and unhappy and seem to derive pleasure from the unhappiness of others. I am not suggesting we stand idly by and be bullied, harassed or abused. I am simply saying don’t sweat the small stuff.

Although fatigued, take that next step and then the next and so on. Grab hold to the hand of God or to our closest friend and/or supporter and climb out of that which is holding us down.

Let’s learn to say No. Let’s not live in guilt. Let’s do something completely out of our comfort zone:  sit up front at church, take a trip, go on a date with someone who may not seem like our type but we end up having many laughs {I didn’t say you had to marry them lol}. Locate and put on our big boy and girl pants everyday and find our courage and speak up at work. Our ideas just might be what the company needs.

Let’s not get those same panties (or boxers) in a wad over every little thing. Let’s be creative and fill the world with art, music, poetry, and stories of victory and inspiration. Let’s take time to care for ourselves without the guilt so that we may nurture others.  Let’s explore our passions and do more of what makes us happy.

Kiss often and with passion. Have more sex. Cuddle more, hold hands, be silly, dance in the rain, make a snow angel, play hopscotch. Love and love more. Love people and love their scars, flaws, and sadness; don’t just love them for the good parts.

Let’s repair so that we do not repeat and get dragged down again. Repair so that we may be the best version of ourselves and live the life we were created to live.