The last couple months of 2017 have been difficult ones for my family, but there are many great memories of 2017 along with some lessons to learn. I may as well admit what’s obvious to everyone who knows me: I’m excessively moody. I don’t mean to be and I’m ashamed of it, but there is no denying it so I may as well face facts and try to fix it.
Women have things like PMS, menopause, Post Pardon Depression, hormones, etc. to blame for their mood swings, but as a man I can’t claim these. I can claim PMS, but that stands for poor me syndrome instead of premenstrual. Either way, I can be every bit as moody as women, but my mood swings last longer. I bring this up because the primary lesson I need to learn from this year is to work on getting better control of my emotions.
There are several things that trigger my emotions and start me on a downward spiral.
- Improper rest
- Fixating on failures
- Critical people (disappointing others)
- Worrying about EVERYTHING
I also have several coping mechanisms.
- Music (listening, playing, writing, or just messing around)
- Talking with people who won’t just criticize me
- Walks, preferably in nature
- Grace, my granddaughter
- Being around people who can love me in spite of all my flaws.
- Thinking about good times
There are so many of my triggers that I don’t seem to have much control over. I’ve never been able to sleep well and when I wake up I may as well get up because if I don’t that is when the worrying starts and dark thoughts become overwhelming. I’ve tried medication, meditation, and anything else suggested, but sleep is a big problem. I’ve also noticed that many of my coping mechanisms are not being used.
With this in mind, I would like to reflect on some of the precious memories I have from 2017
- I have worked with a lot of great kids this year. In December many of the girls I was close to left the home to go to more permanent placements. But new ones come and each touches your heart in a special way. Of all the people I have met over the years, I don’t think anybody I have ever known could cheer me up as much as Anna and Grace (the two girls below). I have so many good memories with these two kiddoes. They both make me feel blessed to know them. There are so many other as well and I don’t mean to overshadow others who mean the world to me but these two really stand out. Both of them are everything I am not, but I really wish I could be. They are happy, goofy, funny and into everything. Grace turned two this year, and I have been so blessed in the time I have had her. Anna got into some trouble and I’m not sure where she is anymore, but I’m hoping our paths will cross again.
- I have written several songs this past year which I think are pretty good including: Crusty Tea, Aunt Edna, Don’t Poo Poo in Your Pants in your Bible Class, Come out to play, and most recently Poo Poo Britches. Yes there has been a lot of poo poo 💩 this year. I have started learning a bunch of kids songs, because the little ones really like to sing and listen to me play. They may be the only ones.
- I have been able to go places this year that I have been wanting to go to for many years. My son and I went out west to see the Grand Canyon. My wife and I went out east to Washington D.C. I have also been able to visit some wonderful places within just a couple hours of my home. I have walked a lot of trails and seen the beauty of God’s creation in so many ways. Many of my travels are the subject of several blog post.
- I don’t want to go on too long, but one of the greatest things we’ve been able to achieve in the midst of the turmoil is that now my wife and I live in the same town with both our children. I’m not yet sure of how I feel about working all the way over in Fort Smith yet, but who knows what the future holds. We are all in the same town, and my children both paying on their own houses while in their early 20’s.
I’ll share this YouTube video once again from the pictures on Facebook. Lots of good memories.
What are some of your lessons and memories or 2017? I’d love to hear from some readers.