Wow, it has been a while since I posted. I really have nothing to offer as to why other than excuses, so I will offer my apology *I’m sorry* and hope that you all will accept.
I have been working my way out of a funk lately and I have been doing a lot of soul-searching. One thing that really helps get me back on track is focusing on things/people/events/occurrences that inspire me. For example, it’s been forever since I’ve posted on here and it was/IS something I really enjoying doing. During a conversation I had with my dear friend Courtney this evening *check out her blog here*, she mentioned to me that she missed reading my blog and that she was going to be posting some new recipes on hers and couldn’t wait to get back to it. That conversation inspired me to write this post. In fact, Courtney has been my inspiration for a lot of changes I’ve made in my life lately (which I’ll get to later). So my challenge for y’all (while reading about what inspires me) is to think of some things that inspire you everyday be them big or small.
My Family- I know, I know. This is slightly cliche’ (as is the next statement I am about to say) but I was dealt an amazingly strong hand when it comes to my family.
For those of you that don’t know, I never really knew my mother. She passed when I was 8 years old after having been hospitalized and in a coma for my entire life. From the time I was born my dad basically had to raise me on my own. As a result he was faced with some very tough decisions regarding how to raise me and EVERY decision he made from the moment I was born was made based on what he thought was the best option for me. He dedicated his life to me and sacrificed so much which is A LOT more than A LOT of people can say about their parents and it is something I will never be able to repay him for. Given the hand he was dealt he had every opportunity/reason to quit and throw in the towel but he didn’t he fought tooth and nail to make it work because he made a commitment not only to me but to my mom and he has honored that commitment to both of us from the day he made those promises. So that being said, if I could only be half of the parent he was to me I’d say I’m doing a pretty dang good job.
My grandmother is also one of the strong women I know. My mother was her only child, so on top of her having to handle the situation with her she played a crucial role in raising me to help my dad out. Five years later, she had to lay my grandfather to rest a month after they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Three years after that she survived open heart surgery only to find out that her best friend of 60 plus years had passed while my grandmother was in surgery. Since then she has survived various surgeries and medical procedures, might I add she has not only survived but she has thrived. Much like my father, she had every opportunity/reason to throw in the towel but she kept fighting.
Amazingly, I was also blessed with a wonderful and loving step-mother. She has taught me so much about being a strong, assertive yet tactful, and professional woman. She, like my father and grandmother, has overcome a lot of battles in her life which also serve as inspiration for me. She has welcomed me as a daughter in her heart and has always provided me with a safe place to fall. She has really helped me overcome some trust issues that I have by showing me that no matter what happens she will always love me and will always work to help me overcome any problem I face. I cannot say enough about how thankful I am to have her as a role model in my life.
Please don’t view any of these as a sob story about my life, I am sharing these stories with you to hopefully inspire you by seeing that if these people can overcome challenges this large then you too can overcome anything you may encounter.
My Husband- I was so blessed to have met Jeff when I did. Jeff inspires me everyday to be a better person. Everyday, I am told that I am loved, I am beautiful, and I mean the world to him. No matter how bad of a mood I am in, he does his best to pull me through. Jeff is also one of the most caring people I know. I see him interact everyday with my grandmother with love, patience, kindness, and gentleness. Caring for her as though she was his own. He is also one of the hardest working people I know *yes, babe I truly believe this even though I get on you all the time about the chores 🙂 ).
My Dogs- My girls. Yes, everyday I am inspired by them. I feel as though my life would not be complete without them. They are a constant reminder to me that unconditional love does exist. They also remind me that there is NOTHING wrong with shaking your toosh when you are happy *aka doing a happy dance*. When I have a good day or when I have a bad day, I know I can count on them to be there to smile at me, give me high fives, cuddle, or just listen. They are always a constant in my life when my life seems to be shifting upside-down.
My Friends- I could blog for days about how each and every one of my friends inspires me everyday. All of my friends have touched my heart in a special way and I can’t even begin to thank them for all of the lessons they have taught me. I would have to say that the most important lesson that I have learned from my friends *as a whole* is how to love and respect diversity. We all come from different backgrounds and we all have our own stories that make us who we are. Everyone deserves a chance to share their story and you always have something to learn from listening to other people’s stories.
After sharing some of the things that inspire me *lets call it a condensed version*, I challenge each and every one of you to sit down and really think about what in your life inspires you. Then try to model your behaviors after your inspiration. For example, I mentioned that Courtney has been a major inspiration to me lately. Courtney is one of the healthiest people I know. I have been trying to model some of my health behaviors, like eating cleaner and being more active, after her. I promise to share more about these two endeavors in a future post but for now it’s getting late and I need to get to bed. So, have a great evening and I will be sure to post again soon!