Life has been utter chaos. I moved in to my new apartment and I just started getting settled – I mean, I even bought a pretty spoon rest for the stove. My cookbooks are arranged in color order. My work at work creeps into my nights. And the CRPS took a turn for the worse.
I have this friend Helen that I go to every time I have an idea for a project. The crazier the idea, the more likely it is that her opinion will be the first (and possibly only) one I will get before I start. She told me the Positive 100 was a great idea. Originally, it was supposed to be simple – just a photo on Instagram every day for 100 days. Somehow, I turned it into 100 blog posts in 100 days.
This month I was contemplating participating in the Wego Health Activist Writers Month Challenge. I did it last year on my other blog, FrannyCakes, and it was empowering to write something daily. The problem was, after the first few days it felt forced. I advocate for cupcakes and making the connection felt unnatural. Now that I have this blog, it would be a better fit to follow along with the challenge here, but it still felt a little out of step.
Sure, life is short. It can be just 5 more minutes, it can be another 50 short years, it can be 3 more incredible months. And, sure, you have big plans. Great, big, wild plans. Run away to Europe and buy a chateau plans. End world hunger plans. Make it to Friday plans. You dream of success and accolades. Or just getting through the week.
And then you look around.
You see a pile of work that has to get done for a dozen different people. You see laundry that you haven’t done in two weeks. You see an inbox full of messages that you need to reply to. You see the bills you need to pay. You see that pillbox that dictates your good times and your bad times.
Sometimes even I need a reminder that all I have to do is start. I have to write that first sentence or push those first pixels. I have to say yes to dates lake single ladies my age do. I should apply to that drug trial. It’s time to try on those real pants.
Because those beginnings matter.
If I write that sentence, then my words can help someone bake a cake that tastes as good as one from a bakery, but without the gluten. If I push those pixels, I might just craft an interface that is beautiful and functional. If I say yes to dates I might just find someone who won’t mind dating a cyborg. If I try on those pants, for the first time in nearly 5 years, I will wear jeans that I bought because they looked good and not because I could tolerate the fabric.
And if I can start, you can start.
Starting might feel like climbing a mountain, but once you’ve begun, you’re really like a marble rolling down a hill. Slowly at first and gathering momentum as you go. You edge your way closer and closer to your goal. Closer to winning. Closer to glory.
Dagnabit. January and February have been what you might call rocky. Weather patterns returning to historical norms and some record breaking cold triggered the worst flare I’ve had since being diagnosed with CRPS. I started a series of nerve blocks right when I was starting to get things all lined up at work. And then a dear friend lost her son.
This is the friend that I dropped out of fashion school with. We had to face a nun, back in the stone ages, you had to withdraw from school in person. To make it worse, she was pregnant and I was miserable. So, we went together. She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy a few months later, I worked my butt off to get in to U of I.
He was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder. I was taking the world by storm. I chose my path. She was given hers.
If there is anyone who embraced this wisdom, it was Tall Molly. Her sweet baby boy had a rough start in life. He had unexplained seizures, they were sure he was going to die. With the heart of a saint and the temperament of a warrior she fought for that boy. He beat the odds and made it to 3. Then to 5.
He turned 10 just two weeks ago. He passed away this week.
That sweet boy was not what she had planned, but she found so much joy in him. And while his loss is not one that can easily be lived through, all the moments before, she showed just how to embrace life. The good and the bad. The easy and the difficult.
Someday, dear Molly, I hope that I can face adversity with the strength and grace that you did. I hope that I can embrace this wisdom the way you did these past 10 years. And I hope, so very much, that someday the joy he brought you outweighs the sadness you feel now.
There are so very many people out there whose stories can inspire us to find the positivity in our own lives. We can find strength in knowing we are not alone and find hope for a better life. If you know someone who has an inspiring story to share, please, get in touch!
There is something about the wisdom in proverbs that I love. Maybe it is the history. Maybe it is the universality of them.
This French proverb is particularly wonderful. It explains what hope is so eloquently. Hope isn’t wishing. A pie-in-the-sky thought. Hope is the faith that something is just a little better. That things are going to be better. That the sun is still going to rise even after the darkest day.