Life Is Good

I have two healthy children...

I have a job I enjoy going to each day...

I have a roof over my head...

I have the love of family...

I have the support of friends...

I am crafting again and it feels great....

Life is good. 


LuvLetters is Back!

It feels so good to be creative again. I have reopened my Etsy store LuvLettersShop and I'm ready for business. I am posting the picture of my first LuvLetters project since my re-opening. Please check out my Etsy store for more pics and information. Thank you so much. 



I'm going to have to work HARD for this...

I've been very open and honest with my struggles with depression.  Now I'm going to be open and honest with another very real struggle in my life.  My weight.  I know, this is something most women struggle with, I am no exception.

I'm very frustrated with myself right now.  A year ago, my body was completely different.  Tight, toned and several sizes smaller.  Now I hardly exercise, I enjoy my food too much and the proof is in how I look these days.  I have control over these things and yet, I can't seem to get motivated enough to make the changes I need to make.  I've done this before...I lost 72 lbs and kept it off for 8 yrs!  I can do this.

This time, I have a few obstacles I didn't face the first time I lost the weight.  In our culture today, these are very common.  1.  I work full time.  2.  Some of the medications I take to help with my depression and anxiety are known to cause weight gain.  and 3. I work in a Food Store with access to all foods at all times.

I feel tired and overwhelmed at doing what I KNOW needs to be done.  I feel resentful at having to pass up on some of the yummy treats that I've reintroduced into my "diet".  Whats really annoying is that the few times that I've recently attempted to watch what I eat, I swear I have gained weight.

Okay, that's why I don't want to do what I need to do.  Here's why I need to get my butt in gear and do the work to lose some of this weight I've "found".  1.  My clothes will fit much better.  2.  I'll be active again and will feel so much better (I can remember those days fondly and I want that good feeling back).  3.  I will be much healthier.  And, 4.  I will be setting a better example for my children about exercise and a healthy relationship with food.

So the benefits of doing the work will definitely outweigh the obstacles.  But to get to the place where I'm ready to do what it takes to "get er done"...I'm working on it.  One choice at a time, right?  I'm gonna need all the encouragement I can get with this battle.  Let me know if you are in the same boat, maybe it will help knowing I'm not going through this alone.


Sleep Deprivation

We've all suffered at some point from lack of sleep.  There are so many reasons why we may lose out on the appropriate hours in Snoozeville.  First things that come to my mind are...you have a baby (I'm so glad those days are behind me) and stress.  

Last night was a case of stress for me.  At some point I woke up and realized that this week, I have the kiddos.  I have training all week (an hour away from home).  And I am responsible for getting them off to school at about twenty mins after I have to leave for training.   In my defense, I want to state that I knew all these things, I just didn't connect the dots and see the problem until sometime during the night.  Which was a mixed blessing.  On one hand I'm so glad that I realized the situation before Monday morning.  On the other hand, my head was spinning and I couldn't do a thing about it because the rest of the world was asleep.

Knowing I couldn't solve anything during the night, helped me fall asleep repeatedly, it just didn't keep me in LaLa Land.  Of course, the ancient dog peeing in my room didn't help either...

So I made it through the night.  I spoke to some great friends.  So there is a plan now in place to get both Mini's off to the appropriate school building at the right time.  Last night was very frustrating.  And of course, the lack of sleep doesn't help me much today.  But it is all a part of this game we call Life.  

What are some of the things that keep you up at night?  Anything other than babies, stress and old pets?


Rocking the Craigslist!

So I admitted last week that I am addicted to Craigslist.  I have gotten some great deals on really cool stuff.  Yesterday, I decided to flip the coin and try to sell on Craigslist.  This way I can earn a little money back and get rid of some of my old stuff at the same time.  Genius!

I downloaded the Craigslist App to my phone and cannot believe how easy it is to post an Ad to sell things I don't need or want anymore.  Just a few clicks and a picture.   Its great!  I posted four Ads, and I have had inquiries on all four items.  I even sold one of the items already.  Sold, as in its already gone.  I am so excited about my new adventure into Craigslist.  It's almost as fun to sell as it is to buy.   I only caution that you don't leave anything at my house or else it may be posted for sale the next day, haha.


Too Close to Home

I have been very real with my struggles with depression.  I've talked about the darkness that is all consuming. I've shared about not wanting to live another moment.  And I've expressed how thankful I am that I made it through to the other side, where there is hope and happiness again.

This weekend, my family suffered a great loss.  One of my younger cousins died.  My heart hurts so much for his wife, his son, his sister and mother.  The rest of our family is feeling his loss as well.  Its just not supposed to happen to someone so young.  Someone who worked so hard to turn his life around.  In experiencing this loss, something really hard has hit home for me.

I want to be very careful and not make this about ME.  But ever since I heard this tragic news and it began to sink in, I cannot shake this thought.  I've realized how many people I would have hurt if I had succeeded in taking my own life.  In my depression, I truly believed people were better off without me.  Today, with the depression behind me, I can see how many people would be hurting for a long time, just as people are hurting over the loss of my cousin.  It is scary how close I was to ending my life to ease the constant pain of the moment (weeks to months).  I'm so thankful today that I did not succeed.  I was one of the lucky ones.  It didn't feel like it at the time, but now I know it is true.

The funeral will be very hard.  It will be overwhelming to see one of my loved ones gone from this world.  I will miss the man he became and I will miss the man he never had the chance to be.  Life goes on and with time, the pain will lessen but there will always be a hole when we get together for family functions.  One of us will be missing.  As we've grown up and gotten busy with our own lives, its been too easy to only see each other for the holidays.  But it is times like this when we gather around each other and remember the power of family.  I'm so sorry he is gone.  Please pray for our family as we prepare to say goodbye.    


Project Complete!

This is what the front of my new desk looked like.

This is the back of what my new desk looked like.

This is what my new desk looks like now that I have finished my project.

Craigslist has been very good to me so far.  I had a great time refinishing this desk to make it perfect for my home.  This is my new desk and it cost me $40 plus a quart of paint.  What a fun experience.  And I will have the joy of seeing this desk in my living room and knowing that I took an old, half stripped desk and made it look like new.  I wonder what I will find to refinish next?


My New Addiction

I briefly made mention of this in my last post.  But its becoming a real problem.  I am addicted to Craigslist. It fascinates me to see what people are selling and for what cost.  Mostly I am in interested in furniture.  I don't need much for my house but I'm looking for a few items.  I still need a night stand, a book case and a dresser.  This is where my addiction started. 

Now I find myself refreshing my search throughout every day.  Its so much fun to see the new listings.  I get excited when I see a good deal.  So far, I've scored a kitten, a desk, two chairs and one antique sewing machine. All for a grand total of $65.00!

I love the idea finding a good piece of old furniture.  I get excited when I see the possibilities...of a good deal, of a refinishing project, of something new for my house...

I have not ventured into the world of selling my own things.  But I've already begun thinking about what I can post online when I get the nerve to tackle this new to me side of Craigslist.  I know I won't make much money by selling anything on Craigslist but I will make a few bucks and make room for the next new find.


New Project

I have got my hands on a new project. I'm doing something I've never done before. And I'm so excited about it. 

I bought a desk for myself off of Craigslist (my newest addiction). This desk was partially stripped when I bought it. So I am busy sanding away and preparing to paint the desk to match my living room. 

I have friends lending me power tools and my Dad giving me hands on advice. And I'm loving every minute of it. I've always enjoyed creating things with my hands and this is no different. Watching the desk transform before my eyes to be what I envision makes me almost giddy.  I'll be working hard this week to finish it up. Pictures will follow. Have you ever refinished a piece of furniture?


Enter Mommy Guilt...

Here it is...more mommy guilt. I love my job which is a blessing because I have to work whether I like my job or not. But my job requires long hours. And I feel like I'm missing out on so much with my kids. 

I can't make it to soccer or hockey practice. I work through horse lessons. Last night I missed Open House at my daughters school and next Tuesday I will miss Open House for my son. 

I have some flexibility with my job. For example I am able to drive my children to school every morning. But I work most evenings. And I feel guilty. I don't want them to think its because I'm not interested or that I'm not involved in their lives. I'm just doing what I need to do to pay the bills. 

I've told them that I would rather be with them and run them to activities. My son says he understands. "I know you have to work so we have a place to live and food to eat". But it's still hard. 

I think when they hand you the baby in the hospital, they also pass along a hefty dose of mommy guilt that lasts a lifetime. What do you think?  If you've been in my shoes, how did you make it work?  


First Day Of School

It's here. Today I dropped off a 2nd and a 3rd grader off at school. Thankfully both of my kiddos are still excited about going to school so our morning went very smoothly. They even wished each other a good day and shocked me by saying they love each other when my daughter got out of the car. 

On our way to school my son admitted to being "a little nervous but mostly excited". You see, today he goes to the "big kid" school. The building for 3rd thru 5th grade. (Sniffle, sniffle) New teachers, desks and building layout. 

It goes so fast. I dropped him off this morning and found myself wanting to snuggle my BabyCakes, but those days are over. (Sniffle, sniffle). 


More Firsts...

It's that time again...Back to School. I can't believe the summer break is over. My kiddos start back to school on Monday.  They are both excited about their teachers for this next year. Here are a few ideas on what back to school means to me...

1.  New clothes
2.  New shoes
3.  New backpack
4.  New pencils and fresh crayons and pencil cases
5.  New binders and folders
6.  New friends and new drama

And this year, a tough new thing. This is the first school year where I am a working mom. I will drop my kiddos off at school in the morning like I always have. But they will be in the after school program this year. I feel very guilty about this. I know this is a normal situation for many families. And I know the guilt is normal too. But that doesn't mean I have to like it. The first week of school the kiddos are with me and its going to be hard for me to be at work no matter how much I enjoy my job. I know the kids will be safe and they will be fine. There will be a time of adjustment for us all. I'm ready for our new normal to set in. 


Table for 1...

Anyone who has lived by themselves can probably relate. Eating alone. On the weeks my kiddos are with their dad, I am alone. I've adjusted pretty well to this time without the kiddos, but I have a terrible habit of eating dinner out. 

The problem is not sitting in a public place by myself while I eat. I've adjusted to that as well. The problem isn't the amount of money I spend because I don't buy food at the grocery store on these weeks. The problem is I don't want to cook for myself. 

So I've committed to making two meals over the weekend. And I plan on getting several lunches and dinner from each. This will help me avoid the "I'm tired and don't want to cook" as well as help me fight my battle against my bulge. 

I know this is not a new strategy, in fact I've given this advice to other singles in my life. Bu it will be new to me and I'm looking forward to a few healthy, home cooked meals. 



I was looking for a blog idea so I searched "inspirational quotes". My life has been in a pattern of constant change so I clicked on the link for quotes about "change".

Most people don't like change. It's uncomfortable when we don't know what to expect. I suffer from anxiety so in the past, change has been dry difficult for me to deal with. 

Reading quotes about change taught me something about myself. I have trained myself to live in today. Deal with the good and bad of today. Thinking about the future makes me very anxious and so much can change between now and the future that I don't think it's worth thinking about. The great news is my anxiety level is so much more manageable. I work through problems as they arise and don't focus on what I can't fix today. The bad news is that with this way of thinking, I have a hard time setting long term goals for myself. 

My therapist says I'm an "escaper". I don't believe that is what I am doing. Instead I feel I know myself well enough to see the situations that in the past would have caused anxiety. I've learned to evaluate and focus on what I can do something about today. I'm still dealing with it all, only when it is time rather then when there is nothing I can do. And this has helped me discover a happier me. 

    "When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step of the way."
                            --Wayne Dyer


Strengths Finder 2.0

For work, I was asked to read a book called Strengths Finder 2.0. This book is based on a fascinating idea. Instead of focusing on our weaknesses and trying to make them better (let's face it, I'll never be a chemist) the focus is on our strengths and developing those strengths.

The author suggests that if we are plugged into jobs, projects and roles in relationships where we are strongest, we will be much happier people. I think the author may be on to something. 

So you read the book then take a twenty minute quiz online and then you are told your top five strengths. Then you look up those strengths and learn a lot about yourself. 

My top five strengths were as follows:
1. Empathy
2. Restoration
3. Communication
4. Adaptability
5. Developer
As I read the attributes of these strengths, I was able to see myself very clearly. I would recommend this book to everyone. It was an eye opening experience for me. Has anyone else read this book?

I think many businesses would do well to have their employees read this book and share their results. Who wants to go to work and struggle to perform in some way that just not natural to the individual? There will always be tasks outside of our comfort zone, we would never grow without such steps.  But, there is a difference in quality of work and satisfaction with job performance of you are doing something you are good at.   The good news is, everyone has different strengths.   If an employer understands the strengths of the team, then tasks can be assigned accordingly.  

Have you worked at a job that was not the right fit for you?  Have you found the job that best suits your personality and strengths?   

Making Memories

We took our order vacation as a family of three this past week. My parents and sister joined us on our trip to the beach. This year was about the kids. We wanted to do lots of special things for the kiddos while making new traditions and memories. 

And much to my kids' annoyance, I had the camera ready the whole time to capture those moments. 

It sounds crazy but we went to the beach for vacation and hardly stepped foot in the sand. The kiddos wanted to swim in the pool, so they swam in the pool. We hit a few amusement parks. We spent one evening on the boardwalk. My son got to play mini golf with his Grandaddy and my daughter got to take a few pony rides. 

We stayed very busy and really enjoyed our time together as a family. When asked about one thing they enjoyed the most, my son said his favorite activity was the one theme park we went to. My daughter said she liked being with everyone for so many days. 

We are truly blessed. 


Minutes or Moments

I'm going to make a distinction between living for minutes or for moments. To me, living for the minutes is when the clock runs my life. I've got to be here at 9, there at 10:30, etc. This is where I am comfortable. Planning my day to include everything necessary and maybe a little fun but the big part is then following through and accomplishing these things. 

Living for the moments is a different way to think about the day. It doesn't mean to avoid getting things done. But I see it as more relational. Looking for those interactions from coworkers, family and friends that make the moments of our daily lives special. This one is a little tougher for me to do. I get so caught up in the minutes I sometimes don't recognize the moments. 

My challenge to you as well as myself is to recognize a few moments this week. I'm thinking the effort we make to see the moments the easier it will become. Do you live for the minutes or for the moments?


The Work to Defeat the Hurt

I don't understand why so many people suffer from depression. Statistics say 1 in 10 adults report depression. A person can wrestle with depression for many reasons. Childhood trauma, situational reasons (divorce, death of a family member, etc) and heredity are a few causes of depression. I guess it doesn't matter so much why the statistics are so high, we need to focus on getting our loved ones the help they need. 

The hard part is there is only so much we can do. There is medication and psychotherapy available. In my experience I have benefitted from both. We can offer support to the depressed. These things are important. These are the keys necessary for the depressed to think clear enough and loved enough to be strong enough to do the hard part. 

It's the hard part we cannot do for anyone. Each sufferer has their own journey and I'm going to speak on behalf of everyone and say "it sucks!"  And as much as it hurts to watch, they have to do the work. They have to work through all the negative. They have to fight to get out of bed or even face another day. It has to be their choice. It has to be their choice. No one can make these decisions for them. In fact, the I only things we can do are band aids. 

My point is not to have you give up supporting, loving and encouraging those who suffer from depression. My point is that while medicine, therapy and support are necessary. Ultimately the sufferer must decide to fight back against the darkness. We can be cheerleaders and support this rough journey. But remember who really needs to be ready to face the demons and fight back. 


Trials of Working in a Grocery Store

As I've said over and over, I love my job. But it does come with its struggles. Especially now that I am aiming to lose those extra pounds. 

A major drawback to working in a bank located in the front of a grocery store is seeing what yummy foods people buy. The hardest to ignore are...

1. Donuts 
2. Ice Cream

You wouldn't believe how many people buy donuts or ice cream!  What a tease!!!  I'm not judging, just straight up jealous. 

I asked my co worker why I always want to snack on junk food all day. He responded, "look around you, it's all people buy".  Good point. 

What do you think would be your temptation if you worked in a grocery store?

New Goals

It's time to get it together and do what I know to do to lose some extra weight I've picked up over this past year. I know why I've gained weight...depression, lack of exercise plus a love of food. 

I also know what I need to do to make this goal happen. I need to exercise more. I have found a gym where I can box twice a week. I need to chose better foods to eat.  I will pack my lunch for work rather than eat out every day. And I will drink lots of water. 

Today is Monday, first day of the week. And first day of my new commitment to myself. I may need a little shove from time to time so feel free to check in on me. But it's time. Life is back on track. Life is good. No more excuses. 


I Can't Help Myself

Do you have a "thing" you buy even though you don't need?  I do. For me it's lipstick. I have so much lipstick. Different brands. Different shades. Just lots and lots of lipstick. 

Not sure why I'm drawn to lipstick so much. It's something so small. But I will randomly buy lipstick at any given time. My purses all have many different lipsticks floating around. 

Please tell me I'm not alone in these purchases. If you can identify, please share your item of choice below. 


You Got Your Haircut!

I've gotten a lot of hairs cut!  And I love it. It was a drastic change. It was not an impulsive decision. I have wanted short hair for years. 

I went in to my stylist and told her, "I want it short, spikey and sassy"'. Before long my hair was on the floor and I had a new look. My new hair style completely changed my looks. I didn't recognize the woman staring back at me in the mirror. It was even more scary now...I wasn't sure if I liked it, what if no one else likes it?

What prompted this change?  Like I said, I've wanted to cut my hair for years. But for many reasons have not. But last week, I was talking to someone who shared an interesting perspective. Of course I know it's only hair and it will grow back. But this person said" you should do it. Then you will never again be able to say...I've always wanted to...".  

That was all it took. I didn't want to be able to say "I've always wanted to" for one more day. So I got my hair cut. And I DO love it. Not everyone does but I've learned not to care. You don't have to like my hair. In fact it's ok if you don't but I ask that you refrain from telling me so. 

Cutting my hair seems to have been another milestone in moving forward for me. It may not make much since but I swear since I've let go of the length, I am much more confident. I feel stronger, more able, I believe in myself. Crazy huh?  It doesn't have to make sense to be true.  

My question for you is have you ever done something for yourself that changed how you felt about yourself?  Please share...

The Art of Ink

As I people watch from my teller window I notice tattoos. Lots and lots of tattoos. The people in this town like to live with color. I like tattoos, not all of them but I do find them interesting. They can be beautiful works of art or a tribute to a loved one or even a pet!  I am definitely a fan of the tribal style tattoo. That is the style of my tattoo. 

Tattoos are funny though. Many people will judge a person for having tattoos. I'm not crazy about a body covered in permanent ink but its not my place to judge. 

Now I work in a conservative environment. I'm not allowed to have any tattoos showing. On one hand I understand this rule. I am the face of the bank. On the other hand, it bothers me that someone else has a say in where I put a tattoo on my body. I guess that's just part of choosing to have a tattoo. 


Simple Musings

The bank I work at is located in a food store. There are many good things about working in a bank branch inside a food store. I thought I'd share a few lighthearted observations with my readers. 

1.  The front of the food store is a great place to people watch. 
2.  I rarely so a "real" food shopping trip anymore. I just grab what I need before or after work. 
3.  People expect you to have a photo copier available to the public. 
4.  The number of carts I see each day filled with nothing but junk is a little upsetting. (I love my junk food but a whole cart?  Where's the fresh fruit and vegetables?) 
5.  Finally, a shocking number of people stop at the food store two or three times a day. 

These observations among others make for a very busy and entertaining job. I love what I do, the bank I work for as well as where we are located.  Lucky me :)


Where In The World?

I met a woman last night and it was an interesting evening. She came into the restaurant and sat beside me talking on the phone. I couldn't help but overhear her side of the conversation. She had been in Bogota, Columbia that morning for work and sitting beside in Camp Hill, Pa by night!  She has travelled all over the world. Turkey, Greece and Columbia were just some of the places she went into detail about. 

I'm listening to her stories and thinking how I've lived such a sheltered life. I haven't even been out West in the United States. When I was in 7th grade I had to do a report on a country and I chose Greece. After last night, I have a renewed desire to get to Greece. Someday...ill put that on my list. 

One thing my new friend reminded me of is that right now, my life is like a blank canvas. That is exciting. And as I discover more about myself and where I wan to go, I get to share these experiences with my kids. I am feeling very blessed. 

I'm Just Going To Do It

I'm going to do something very dramatic tonight after work.  I'm going to get my hair cut very short. Short, spikey and sassy.  I've wanted to do this for years and have had a few reasons why I've never taken this step. But the reasons are gone. All that's left is a little worry I won't like it. But it's just hair and it will grow back.  I've decided to do this because I've wanted to for so long.  I've decided to do this now, in spite of a small amount of nervousness at the thought of such drastic change because I no longer want to say "I want to cut my hair short and sassy". I may hate it. I may love it. I'll know by 8:30 tonight.  But I will no longer be able to say, "I've always wanted to..."  I'm doing this for me. Love it or hate it, I will finally know.  Although I am a little nervous, I'm mostly excited to have a new style :)


What To Do?

So I had an experience at work that I wasn't sure how to handle.  It was nothing I did. It was more that I didn't know what to do.  Without going into any details of the situation, I hope you can follow along. The situation itself wasn't my issue. It was my reaction to the situation that I want to talk about.  

So there was a situation at work and I was cleared (huge sigh of relief). But then the pressure was on my co-worker who I really really really like (just saying). Anyway, she was stressed and frustrated and who knows what else was running through her mind.  She was trying to resolve the issue and the longer it took, the more stressful things became.  

What I noticed about myself was that I didn't know what to do with myself.  It was a very common feeling for me. One I haven't felt for a while but I'm very familiar non the less.  I just wanted to disappear.  I couldn't help, so I didn't know what to do.  I didn't know where I should stand or if I should sit.  I didn't want to do anything that would make her more frustrated by standing and making her feel like I was standing over her.  I didn't want to sit and have her annoyed because I wasn't helping. But truthfully there wasn't anything I could have done at that point.  Just so you know, the situation was resolved completely before we left for the day.  

At one point I recognized this awful feeling and I was so glad I don't live with this feeling constantly anymore.   I know this sounds silly, but I truly didn't know what to do with myself during is time.  I don't experience this feeling often anymore which I'm so thankful for.  But do you have any suggestions for me that I can use the next time I feel like I want to disappear?  I look forward to hearing your ideas as well as if you've felt the same. 

What Burdens Your Heart?

As I have been working through my most recent bout of depression, writing my thoughts on Java Talk has been a real gift.  I have felt an outpouring of support and encouragement. And I truly do hope that the thoughts I share are in some way healing words to someone who reads Java Talk. 

I was talking with someone who is not a reader of Java Talk (I like her anyway) and she encouraged me to take my story and help others. I was a bit overwhelmed with the barrage of ideas she spouted off.  She had plans for me to start a Non Profit Organization where I can raise awareness and support for my cause.  She was talking about writing a book and speaking engagements.  While she was busy planning, I was stuck on, "what cause would I want to support"?  

Then it hit me.  Something very dear to my heart. I'm not sure if there are already organizations out there with an emphasis in this area.  Depression...but more specifically, depression in young adults.  It has come to my attention recently that 3 young women in my life, that I've known since they were very young children, have attempted suicide and face deep depression.  It breaks my heart to know that these young woman are suffering their own version of what I fight every day.  

We too often hear about teen suicide. That doesn't just happen.  There is a dark road that leads to that end.  Young people need to know they are loved and they are not alone. And they need to know this so deeply that depression has no ground to stand on.  

I'm going to research what is out there.  I want to give back and if my experiences can help someone, I want to keep sharing.  My question to you is what burdens lay heavy on your heart?  If you could do for others, what group/organization would you invest your time or money into?


The Next Chapter

I have entered the world of the Working Mom. This is my first time with a "big girl" job. Forty hours a week. Benefits. Paid time off.  A real job. I am a bank teller. And I am loving it. The hours are long some days, but even that doesn't seem to matter.

There is something so powerful about having a destination when I wake up in the morning.  And since my branch doesn't open until 10am, I get to sleep in on the weeks without my kiddos ;). I look forward to dressing nicely. My drive to work is a short one.  The people I work with are great. Really, I already feel like one of the team.  There are regular customers who come in several times a week.  I love that I'm already establishing a personal relationship with some of those already.  It's great to see the same faces and keep up with their lives.  

I could go on and on about the things I like about working, but most of it is confidential and I don't want to lose my job because I shared, haha.  Work has definitely been helpful in m y recovery from my depression.  

The hard part is the guilt I feel that my kiddos are with the sitter while I work on e weeks that they are with me. And like I said, many of my days are very long.  This guilt is nothing new to working moms.  I've often heard of it. Now I am experiencing it.  My saving grace is that the sitter is amazing with my children and they really like her.  Another benefit I've noticed is that I really look forward to coming home and being with the Mini's.  Our time together is much better quality time. A lot less stressful. I'm more relaxed and just enjoy being with my Loves.  This is important to me.  And because I don't feel overwhelmed I feel I'm a much better mommy to my special little people (who are growing up way too fast).  I didn't see this benefit coming when I started working but I feel so blessed that this is so.  

I realize I am pretty new to the working mom world, what are some of the struggles or unexpected surprises you have experienced from balancing both work and home life?  


Surviving the Darkness

I'm happy to report that I am on the mend...Currently, I am able to see in color again. The black cloud has moved on. Maybe for good. Maybe just for now.  But I will be thankful for every day that I want to face. 

I have not gotten through this on my own, even though at times it definitely felt that way. I admit to seeing a therapist regularly.  I've seen doctors.  My medications have been tweaked.  I had a friend stay with me on the night I was most afraid I would not see morning.  My parents had some idea of what I was going through so they tried their best to keep me company and to keep me busy.  It is always a little easier on the weeks I have my kiddos.  And most importantly, somewhere inside of me, I chose to live...every time those thoughts of dying krept in. And today, that choice is a pleasant one.

I've cried.  I've been numb. I've wanted to forever stop feeling these horrible feelings that seem to come with such dark thoughts. And for right now, this day, I am in a much better place. In fact this week has felt different. In a positive way. I've felt more confident. More able. I truly enjoy my new job. The people I work with are great and they keep me laughing. I am productive and I am getting good at doing my job and that feels very good.  I feel I am once again able to think of other people first. I feel I'm able to think clearly again. 

To anyone who has been through this dark road, you understand the relief of making it to the other side. It was bad this time. Really bad. The worst bout I've ever faced. But I'm still here and looking forward to seeing my kiddos in a few days. I'm looking forward to going to work I the morning. And I'm looking forward to reconnecting with some friends as well as making new ones as I embark on this new chapter of my life. 

Thank you for reading my thoughts on my personal experience with depression.  If there is anything you would like to share, please leave a comment. Everyone's experience is different. What helped you get through the worst days?


A Friend In The Darkness

Being friends with someone going through depression must be horrible. I mean that. A depressed person is very self-centered. They have no joy and who wants to be around that all the time. A friend who hasn't experienced depression may reach a place where they withdraw because said friend is no fun or maybe because you don't know how to help them. I encourage you to tough it out and don't give up in your sick friend. 

Depression makes you feel isolated, unworthy and unwanted. Having friends back away only adds to these feelings. As hard as it may be on you, I urge you to hang in there. Call, listen, stop by, make plans (over and over if you must), send a card...anything to let you're friend know you care and they are not alone. It may make the difference between life and death and you may not even know it. 

Smothering Darkness

Depression...we've all been there or known someone who has suffered from depression. Not "I'm sad because..." or not your average bad day, but true, can't get out of bed, dot want to live...depression. 

If you've never experienced such hopelessness, count your blessings. This post is for you. 

I have suffered greatly with this chronic condition and to say it sucks only scratches the surface. It sucks the life, joy, hope, desires and ambitions from you. 

You may have heard this before but please keep reading. Everyone feels depression in an individual  way. But there are some things I believe to be true for everyone. This post is the first in a short series I am going to write on the topic. 

First, depression is not a choice. True depression is more than having a bad day. We all have bad days and have the power to change our outlook to a more positive one if we choose to do so. When depression sets in, it is such a heavy, hopelessness that will not be shaken. 

Next, depression can be irrational. I cannot count the number of times I reviewed all that was good in my life and yet, I still wanted to stop living. Truly. I wanted to die. 

The first reaction I usually get when I share this is "what about your children?"  This response actually angers me. People don't understand that in those darkest moments, I AM thinking about my children and I honestly believe they are better off without me. Most days I can see this as being irrational but the fact is in those moments, it makes sense. 

Finally, the darkness of depression is an consuming cycle. It robs the individual of the ability to relate to others leading to the feeling of isolation.  Feeling isolated leads to feelings of being unworthy and unloved.  When you feel alone in the world, you feel no hope which allows the depression to dig deeper.  Depression is very real and very painful on so many levels. And it affects the individual as well as the lives of those around the person who is suffering from this illness. 

Check back tomorrow as I share more of what I've learned through this journey through the darkness of depression.  

Java Talk is Back!

I'm back!  My life has taken so many twists and turns over the past year. It was a long, dark year and Java Talk was just not something I could handle for some time. But I'm feeling the urge to write again so Java Talk is back...

I believe this will be a creative outlet as well as an avenue of healing and I'm looking forward to reconnecting with my readers. At times I may write very personal things. I apologize now if what I share makes you uncomfortable. Life is a journey and the road can be very hard. I know I'm not alone with this view. So check back to see what I've learned. I hope to share insight and encourage others. And finally, feel free to leave comments. You never know whose heart you'll touch. 

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