I've talked about my 'happiness jar' which I call my Happy Moments, Gratitude & Goals jar before (click here), but recently I started a new jar that I wanted to share with you today.
I am a worrier. To the nth degree. And that's likely an understatement. I've always been a worrier, but it's gotten worse, and I wanted to try a more hands on approach in helping myself cope with my worries, and hopefully ease the stress during challenging times.
I was talking about happiness jars the week before last with a friend, and in the middle of that conversation, I came up with the idea for a Give it up to God jar! It's my take on a God box.
I used to write down something I was extremely worried about or upset over, go out to my garden to the raised bed around the Dogwood tree, dig a whole, tear up the paper into small bits, and bury it. In doing so, you essentially give that particular issue up to God (or which ever deity you prefer), and the paper disappears in the soil over time.
As the years have passed, digging in that raised bed has become more & more difficult because of the Dogwood's roots. With the rest of my garden in containers, and flooding issues in the yard (and not wanting bits of my soul being washed away an possibly being read by The Portable Homestead tenants), I got out of the habit.
Fast forward to the week before last when I came up with my Give it up to God jar:
I decided that any time I begin to become deeply worried or upset over something, I will write what it is on a slip of paper, ask for help, fold the paper so that I can no longer see what it is I've written down once it's inside the jar (unlike the notes I place in my happiness jar which I can see snippets of), and place the folded note in the jar. A couple of weeks later and I can see that the jar is already filling up! But, it is a comforting ritual, because I've made up my mind, once it's in the jar, I am going to do my best not to stress over it. Otherwise, I will spend some more time writing that thing down, asking for help, and placing it in the jar. (There's one topic that has come up again since first putting it in the jar, and I did just that yesterday).
I leave my Happy Moments, Gratitude and Goals jar on my nightstand where it is usually the last thing I see before I fall asleep when I turn off my light, and the first thing I see when I wake. I did not want to leave my Give it to to God jar on my nightstand. I do not want the worry, stress, and negativity in that jar to be that close to me in a comforting and positive space, so I've placed it in the hall, on a shelf where I can see it and find it when I need it, but it's not so readily visible that I'm constantly aware of it and what's inside of it.
In thinking about my old God box ritual, I may empty the Give it up to God jar, rip up each note into pieces which I will then place back into the jar so that when it's full, I can create a ritual to get rid of the contents.
Challenging times are upon us for the next few months with The Marine's winter layoff, and not only will appreciating our blessings help me to help us through, but I believe my Give it up to God jar is going to come in handy in helping me to help us through! (I tend to stress a lot more than he does).
What are some of the ways you take stock of your blessings and cope with worry?
I realize this is a process we all go through as we get, heh hum, older, but I think it may happen sooner than expected for many who are living with disease, like me.
When the holidays get closer, especially once Halloween is over, I miss the retail industry. In one area of my past, I ran retail businesses, from mom & pop shops (my favorite) to big box chain stores. It was exhausting work, not always the most rewarding (apologies, but the customer is *not* always right), but overall I enjoyed it and excelled at it.
My favorite part of it all was when I worked in the mom & pop shops doing merchandising. Creating themed displays and windows, especially during the holidays, was so much fun! I think it's what I miss the most. A creatively productive outlet that was fulfilling.
I always thought I would end up owning my own retail business. Garden nursery, books, office supplies, decorations. Something along those lines. Or a retail merchandising business where I did the displays and windows for mom & pop shops. (It's not easy to own and operate a business plus have the time to make your products/store visually attractive to consumers, especially if you're short on staff).
It hit me last week that these particular dreams weren't likely to come true because of my health. You think it would have dawned on me sooner. Maybe I would've preferred it hadn't come to light at all. But, it did and that's alright. At least I can mourn them and move on. Quickly, no dwelling. Yes, mourn. I stood at the livingroom window Wednesday and cried like I had just lost a friend. In a way, I had.
It's upsetting even now, typing this. It's so new. And scary. Letting go of who I was, who I thought I was and wanted to be is absolutely one of the most anxiety inducing things I think I've ever done! (In fact, I feel like I want to throw up right now). But, I'm pretty sure it's also a good thing. I can get to know who I am now, who I want to be now, and create new dreams.
I had posted here the other day that I was thankful my Aunt was finally home after having emergency surgery and illness in October along with a photo of the card I was sending to her at home and that post, the photo and comment left on the post are gone!
Because I am missing this view so very much since being home on the coast, I am going back two weeks ago, to the bitter cold 28* Halloween morning when I sat on our dock and took this quick video. I bundled up in whatever layers I had so I could spend time here in my favorite spot, despite the cold, because our week at the camper was ending the next day. Coming out to the dock after waking each morning and before breakfast had quickly become a morning routine during that week, and while I look forward to many more mornings like those in the future, I am missing this view, missing my mountains, deeply each day in the meantime.
(I apologize for how blurry it is! It wasn't when I uploaded it but it was after posting. Click here for a clear version of the video).
On November 10, the 239th Marine Corps Birthday, and on November 11, Veteran's Day, I am thankful for all Marines and Veterans, especially those Veterans in our family, but above all, my Veteran, my Marine, the one and only Hubbs.