April Showers Bring May Flowers

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Man, those April showers really hit us hard this year, didn’t they? I feel like for most of us April felt like this never-ending mammoth of a month. It was a month of anxiety with Coronavirus, Quarantine, homeschooling, job security (or lack thereof), and an overwhelming sense of nothing we could do about anything. Businesses were shuttered, our towns became seemingly ghost towns, and it seemed like we either had too much time on our hands or no time at all.

Is it any wonder that we are all looking forward to May?

The last week of April we had on and off rain showers with very little sunshine in between. The thing that has been getting us through this whole Quarantine is that it’s been sunny and 70’s for most of it. We’ve been able to play in the garden all afternoon, go for evening walks, and just feel the sunshine on our face. This last week, without that? It’s been tough (and that’s for someone who LOVES the rain). The boys have been cross, cooped up with too much energy and no good way to let it out.

In a lot of ways, it’s been a very physical manifestation of how so many of us have been feeling towards the end of April. A frustration, an anger, a desire to just get out and do something.

But then, Thursday as the sun set a rainbow came out.

Not just any rainbow, a clear both ends visible, double rainbow. This was our second rainbow of the week (we had gotten a partial one on Tuesday) and both also involved a moment where it looked like the sky was on fire. While I’m not normally the superstitious or symbolic type, it just felt like these were signs. Signs that things were going to be OK. That this rainstorm of a month was coming to an end. That there was hope for the next month or two while we transition. That there was sunshine around the corner.

Earlier in the month (maybe a couple weeks ago), I shared that I wasn’t OK. That I was struggling, and I wasn’t able to see the light, wasn’t able to see all the good around me, wasn’t able to keep my chin up. I spent that entire weekend crying off and on, and it was a really low moment in this year so far. Right now, I can say that I’m back up. I’m feeling about 75% my usual self and that feels so much better to me. I am starting to see the light, I have more good moments than bad, and I feel like I can start tackling life again.

Just like April just seemed to be a never-ending shower of everything, it seems like May is going to bring a bit of a re awakening.

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Feeling confident walking into May         Photo Credit: My Incredible 4 1/2 yr old, Colton.

 

A welcome reprieve as most of the world is going to start to see some level of restriction/quarantine lessening. While life may not look like it did before Coronavirus, I think we all can agree that we are happy to get back to some semblance of our new normal.

It’s funny how this year has really given us the phrase of “April showers bring May flowers” in both a literal and figurative sense. I hope that wherever you are, however, you have been affected, that you are keeping your mind and body afloat and that you too are able to see the May flowers that are coming our way.

Time to Stop Reflecting and Start Doing

I feel like when we are in a rut or having a tough time, we tend to focus on where we are at. What is going on with ourselves. Why are we in this rut. What has caused this tough time. In fact, I feel like this is something that we do a lot in general. There is A LOT of self reflection going on in our world these days. Reflecting on who we are, how we’ve gotten where we are at, what we want to do, the list goes on and on.

While I am not opposed to a little self reflection and spending time sorting ourselves and our feelings out, I feel like I am starting to see a bit of a problem. The problem where we spend to much time reflecting and not enough (or really any) time DOING. A lot of times we will sit in our thoughts and feelings and try to work through all of our problems and we forget that to work through our problems we have to…well WORK THROUGH our problems.

Thinking can only get us so far. Doing is the next step. And sometimes, sometimes we over think when we should just jump.

Now, I don’t mean let’s just throw rational thought and decision making out the window. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t think things through at all and I’m not saying that we should never reflect on who we are, what we are doing and how we are living.

What I am saying is that there is a time and place. There is a moment that we should reflect, but there is also a moment where we need to stop.

If we are constantly searching for who we are, constantly looking within ourselves that does not leave anything left to experience. It does not leave space for us to explore and truly find ourselves in other situations, in other instances, in other people. There is a whole world out there and we need to go experience it. For we do not truly know who we are until we have lived our lives.

I do not mean to get all personal development-y/serious/meditative here, but this is something that I am seeing more and more of and it is aggravating.

We don’t all need to always be trying to find ourselves. I’m not saying that growth and change do not occur, we are ALWAYS growing and changing (you can see my many blog posts on this), but 90% of this time that growth comes from new experiences, new situations, new people. Only about 10% of our personal growth comes from self reflection. (These are not scientific numbers or study results or anything like that, just my own opinion)

All this to say, that self reflection is good and is something that we all should do from time to time, but it is not something that needs to be taking over our lives. Self Reflection should not be stopping you from living life to the fullest. Make sure that you are not constantly looking inward and trying to find yourself. Sometimes we can only find ourselves by living life.