Are you a flower in the snow? ~ inspiration for hard times

Hello friends!

Today’s post isn’t a new one. I ran this piece about the same time last year. While I admit to hesitating hitting publish because of how direct some of my opinions came across, I went for it. What I didn’t expect was how many it seemed to help.

Why again? The ‘stressful’ time of year is fast approaching where expectations are high and budgets are tighter than ever. So it’s with that in mind that…

I hope it helps. 🙂

The original post was HERE with 94 amazing comments (and counting) worth your time.

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Oh no! Flowers caught in the snow! Do you think they’ll make it?

Lately, it seems no matter where I go or what I do, I’m finding flowers in the snow. Or should I say, good folks going through a surprisingly tough time.

Is it the time of year? Are we suppose to be happy happy joy joy because everyone is suppose to have the perfect upcoming Christmas?  Have you too noticed many stories surfacing this time of year like I have?

I really don’t know if it’s the season to blame or the expectations we put upon ourselves. But here’s a newsflash. There is no such thing as a perfect life on earth. But I do believe you can improve your given situation 10 fold with a slightly different outlook.

First and foremost, I’m not trained in this sort of help. I don’t even fully understand why I have a need to post this. I just feel I should.

Now, just so you don’t think I’m immune to ugly and nasty stuff happening, here’s my own current list I’m chomping on which happened in the past 2 weeks. Please don’t feel pity for me. It’s simply a means of getting a point across which I’ll make shortly.

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My ugly list

The last power surge killed a work computer and I’m hacking at a disabled system daily to save my business. Yikes.

My son has been sick for a VERY long time to the point where I needed to run him in to the Dr.

On the way to running him in, I lost my brakes on my truck and ran a 3 way stop.

I’m late in all my work projects due to staying home so much.

I took my truck in and now scratch my head at the crazy train bill. There goes the new camera fund!

I’m busy mourning loved ones during one of the most family oriented seasons ever.

So, what’s one to do when hard times hit?

Survival guide for flowers in the snow

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Own it.

Own where you are. Now, blaming yourself for everything under the sun is NOT the same as owning where you are. By owning it, I’m simply saying, you are where you are because of your choices.

That’s a hard one to swallow, isn’t it?

Yes, there are victims in this world. But once you reach adulthood, you are responsible to make sound adult decisions. One of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned is, if I own where I am, I’m capable of making the changes necessary to better my situation. Continue to blame others or circumstances and you’ll never dig your way out, because you haven’t allowed yourself to come to terms with WHY you really are where you are.

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 Find the good

Would you believe I can find a good reason for every one of those bad things happening to me? Here’s what I mean:

Truck brakes went… bad
It happened on a quiet street, VERY close to home and I didn’t die… good
Reason – My truck had been wonky for some time but I ignored it… thank goodness this finally happened when and how it did!

I’m late in all my work projects due to staying home so much… bad
I started working on things that needed my attention at home… good
Reason – Being forced to stay home led me to finally getting productive on mandatory overdue tasks I would never have taken the time for otherwise.

Search for a bigger meaning for whatever happens to you. And sometimes a reason won’t even come to light. Yet. But it eventually does if you search for it. I truly believe there’s a season for everything.

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 Be productive

I remember when one of my relationships with another ended.  It was a devastating time in my life. And while needing to mourn was mandatory, I found it equally important to stay productive in order to stay sane.

 I can sulk and do nothing or I can sulk and get stuff done. A no brainer, however, know what being productive really did?  It gave me a kick start in the right direction and kinda caught on. Just like what my Christmas decorating did for me this season. I still felt lousy, but I would have been far worse curled up in bed for days on end.

But more than that… my son needed me. And I did something about it. This was my problem, not his. So I didn’t take him down with me.

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 Allow others to be involved

Do you wanna know who one of the most stubborn people on earth is? You’re looking at her blog right now.

I don’t like asking for help. I don’t like bothering people. I want to be self sufficient and do it all on my own!

But know what?  Not only does it hurt me, it hurts my son. I deny him opportunity if I don’t allow others in. And I also deny the others wishing to help.

One of the greatest lessons of all is when I allowed friends help me fix my house. I had hit bottom where everything was breaking and I couldn’t get out on my own. Once I allowed others in to help, not only did it fix what was broke, it taught me valuable life skills on how good humanity really is.

Trust is earned over time. So give it a fighting chance.

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 Allow happiness

Every so often when I think of my mom passing, I’ll either break out in a smile or a frown. And for some reason, I’m more comfortable when it’s a frown. I ought to be miserable and miss her, right?!?

Why oh WHY do we deny ourselves happiness? Remember the good things and smile! Teach others around you how you deal, by allowing happiness back in. Be good to yourself. Say yes to invites. Do things that make you happy. Allow happy back in and your heart will soften. Who knows.. you may even find happiness. 🙂

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Appreciate the simple

Everything sure is expensive to buy these days, isn’t it? I mean, all the good things in life cost a bundle!

When was the last time you took a walk during a new snowfall? How about watching leaves spiral off a twiggy tree? And then there’s the cuddly purring cat on your lap or the hilariously snoring dog by your side. One of my favorites? Dust motes floating in a sunbeam.

Breathe, look, smell, appreciate, hear, love, hug, smile. All free. Put the visa away and go have yourself a merry little simple free day.

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 Escape

Running away is never the answer to anything. However, a short escape can save you from time to time.

I remember a time when I felt deep sorrow, the only thing that made me feel better was picking up a good book on the very topic that ailed me. It was if the words reaffirmed I had done everything I could.

Reading a non topic book was helpful too. It took me to another world far away from the one I was in for a brief time.

Naps and enough rest are helpful too.

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Don’t give up

Do you ever wonder if you weren’t meant to do something because it’s coming way too difficult for you?

I feel that at least 100 times a day. But when I look at the others that DO achieve, I can spot one characteristic that is always present. They’re persistent and don’t give up. 

It may take you many attempts to achieve something worthwhile. And this is why passion ought to be such an integral part of your plans. Passion will help to fuel your way.

And if’ it’s not meant to be? At least you gave it a try. I mean, what if you succeeded?!?




Believe

 Imagine waking up in the morning dreading what’s ahead. And then there’s waking up in the morning believing it’s a new day with brand new opportunity. Which would you choose?

Believe you can make things better. Believe in a higher power that will help you through the dark moments. Believe in others. And believe in yourself.

Because if I can do this, so can you.

Any tips on getting through hard times that have worked for you?


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Categories: Inspiration
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  1. Hi Donna,
    I always read your blog but I don’t always comment. This post left me feeling as though you were inside my head and speaking my very thoughts. I do not write about personal things on my blog but at times I feel the need to do so. I believe it is good therapy for the soul.

    I too have a son that has needed me right up into his adult years. He has been sick since he was 18 years old and struggles everyday. When I’m feeling down I always try to think of him and know that I can’t be selfish with my feelings. I try to stay true to myself but it doesn’t always happen but each day I treat others with kindess and respect and that gives me what I need.

    I’m hoping that your days will be brighter and that your son gets well soon.

    Thanks for sharing your heart.

    hugs
    Sissie

  2. Sometimes I need to have a good cry when I’m alone. It’s like washing the cobwebs of confusion & despair from my mind. It relieves the stress that I let build up over time. I also like to reflect on the times that I know God has helped me survive in those past dark days. He gave me little miracles and reflecting on them makes me happy.

  3. Beautifully perfect post! I was reminded of what our sermon was last Sunday at church…”Life is difficult!” Isn’t that the truth. We too often try to escape the path that we are on, when it is best for us to “take the road less traveled” and work through our struggles. God can choose to change our situation, but often times he chooses to change us through our situation.

  4. Donna… Amazing share – thank you for reposting. I’ve been in a dark place and as I was ready to talk of packing in my (new) job because it’s too hard, too stressful, too everything – the share gave me light to think I can do it. Or at least I can try a little bit longer. Hugs and peace to you. Thank you!

  5. I haven’t been reading your blog all that long but, I wanted to comment on this post because today is my 60th birthday. My own blog is only for myself and my family … a way to record life’s observations. I’m always amazed at what so many women are doing with their blogs. But, you have to be one of the wisest young women that I have found. I know many women my own age (myself included) who could learn a thing or three from you. I see no way that you won’t have a wonderful life with your outlook. Blessings to you and yours during this holiday season.

  6. Your post came at such a good time. First of all, I am a new follower…I heard of your blog and thought it was all about junking and projects and things I’m not too good at! I am so pleasantly surprised to find out what a sweet, warmhearted and down to earth person you are. With all of your followers, I would normally hesitate to comment, one little fish in the big sea!

    Your post today had so many points and good advice that I can connect to at this time in my life. My Dad passed away last December and I barely celebrated Christmas…I tried for the sake of my kids. This year I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to make things perfect to make up for last year, but I find myself blaming others for the chaos here. You said Own It, and that really made the light bulb go on! Learning from your experiences is another good piece of advice. I feel I should copy this and look at it on those days when I wake up with dread instead of happiness!

    So…I am sending a big hug your way, and I will be sure to be back. I’m so glad I found your blog. All the best to you and your family, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    XO,
    Janie

  7. Thank you for reposting, Donna. You were so right in going with your gut in the first place to post this heartfelt blog. Jesus tells us that in this world we will have tribulation, but to be of good cheer, because He’s overcome the world. You just gave some practical, helpful advice in applying that. Thank you!
    mommamindy.blogspot.com

  8. Thank you for reposting, I had not read this and just lost my BFF and her 2 baby sons in a tragic car accident last week. This helped, a lot.

  9. Donna, I know all about the pitfalls in life. My most recent one is no job come Janaury. The boss decided he would rather stay home than work! So…I will be looking for a new job. I have not let it get me down and I will only be in the hallway for a short time before God leads me to the right door which a job will be ready for me. Second, my car seems to have a problem that the shop cannot figure out, so no driving out of town. My list continues, but I know there are others hurting more than me. I have been blessed in some of the most surprising ways. I know you will make it through as I will also. I’m here with listening ears and a strong shoulder. Us single moms need to stick together. Please have a great Thanksgiving.

  10. Thank you! I think this is an amazing post. Far to often, people want the easy, sugar coated version of life. As we know–life isn’t easy.

    Instead of people crying about woulda, coulda, shoulda–take that energy and put it to something useful. Work on improving yourself, your home, your life or even better–someone else’s life.

    You will never know what you are capable of doing, achieving or creating unless you go beyond your comfort zone. Adversity makes us stronger.

    I would not have it any other way and I am proud of the person I have become.

  11. Awesome post! So many people need these tips this time of year especially. I too, like you, miss my mom so desperately this time of year. We just celebrate the time we did have with her.
    I always love your advice. You just put it out there, so honestly. Thanks for always thinking of others.
    Blessings to you and your son during this Thanksgiving week!

  12. I’m just stopping by new blogs and thought id leave a comment. Id like to wish you and your readers a very Happy Thanksgiving and the memories that go along with it. Richard from Amish Stories.

  13. Your comments on appreciating the simple reminded me of one of my favorite moments from when I did hot lunches at my home for school kids. My husband was home at noon as well one day in the spring, and he commented to my little lunch buddy that he “had to get back to work – everything cost money.” My very wise young friend thought about this then quietly said, “puddles don’t cost money.”
    It’s all in how you choose to look at it… Barb

  14. Donna,

    Yours is one blog I read even when I don’t have time to read blogs! I love your style and the way your personality comes through your words.

    Thank you for posting this as we go into the dark time of year. (Somehow it seems so much easier to stay positive when the days are longer.) I appreciate the reminder to make the most of who we are and what we already have.

    Namaste (the light in me recognizes and honors/greets the light in you)

  15. Sage words. Looking for the bigger message, focusing on what we’re grateful for, relentless forward movement toward the life we want (one baby step at a time), solid self-care …your pointers are perfect. After doing those things, I’d add this tip: Humor. {You’ve got that going’ on, too!} A good belly laugh is simultaneously grounding and uplifting. If it’s hard to laugh (stressed, sad, angry, etc.)– or if the holiday vibe is feelin’ too fluffy or plastic– get snarky, cheeky, or sassy until it makes you crack a smile.

  16. I’m glad you reposted this since I wasn’t here to read it last year! Very good- no, wise advice. One thing that has helped me get past a really tough couple of years is to help others. Getting outside my own misery and serving others somehow puts things in perspective. Thank you for doing the brave and bold thing.

  17. Thank you for this post. Our choices in life have brought us to where we are today. We don’t see the full spectrum of our cause and effect often because we are focused on a much narrower space around us. There are times we have to just accept why something happens and leave it at that, so that we can reap the full benefit of what is intended for us all along.

  18. Hey Donna,

    This is a beautiful and wise post. I’m so glad I found your blog a while ago. I read it every day. Things will turn around- they always do- you already know this- but thank you for sharing as we all know what this feels like and it is easy to get overwhelmed.

    xo
    Catherine

  19. Thank you so much for writing this..Lately I feel like my head is barely above water and I feel hopeless and sad most days, but today reading this is exactly what I needed and I honestly really appreciate your honesty which is hard to do sometimes. I hate asking for help too, but I need it and you have given me the strength to be open and honest with my friends and ask them for some help. Thank you, every day I just have to keep on trying harder and harder little by little. Thank you soooo much for lifting me up.
    xoxo

  20. Donna… You are so gifted! You cease to amaze me!!

    I didn’t read your post last year. I probably wasn’t aware of “subscribing” way back then. Maybe I wasn’t at an area in my life where I needed to hear it then, maybe it’s because God knew I would need to hear it now.

    I don’t know, but your words jumped right off the screen and busted into my heart. I’m going to wake up with a new perspective tomorrow because of you.

    Thank you!!!

    as always… love those shots!!! I have never gotten that cool of photos in the snow – AWESOME!!

  21. Sometimes we have a choice between being right and being happy. It can be a difficult choice. I have been frustrated by not receiving a thank you or even an acknowledgment for a gift that I have sent to someone. Usually these gifts are handmade with a lot of thought and love. To prevent those feelings of frustration, I remind myself that if I make a gift for someone, it is because I want to and I enjoy the creation of that gift and the chance to give it to them. If I let the response (or lack of!) ruin my fun, well then it is my choice. I often call to see if the gift was received and to hear that they appreciate it. I try not to make them feel guilty that I called them so I tell them that I know they are busy, but I wanted to call them just to to hear how they liked my quilt, handbag, etc. Then we have an excuse to chat for a moment and I can catch up with what is going on in their lives –something I would probably have missed by receiving a polite thank you note. So a note is lovely when or if it does come, and a chance to call and chat is often nice, too. I am getting older now and have plenty of time to reach out and let them know that they are important to me even if they are too busy to realize it. Sometimes I just want them to know that they are important. period. I hope to bring a little sunshine into their lives.
    I am busy sewing up a storm for Christmas presents with the hope that they will be given in love and not in expectation of thanks!
    Lisa in SF Bay Area

  22. Donna, This still is such great advice. I wish I was blogging last year, it would have helped. I find the same truths…stay busy. When you wall yourself off you miss so much. The pain is still there and people don’t realize but you do get better day by day. Thank you for sharing your story. Diane@cottage-wishes

  23. What a great post. Even though things are good for me right now, I’m always so aware of how fleeting that can be. I’ve had my share of struggles.

    A dear friend of mine has had a very tough few years and two Christmases ago when she was at rock bottom I made her a box of 12 surprise gifts around the 12 Days of Christmas. You can read about it in this post: http://gracie-senseandsimplicity.blogspot.com/2010/11/12-days-of-christmas-gift-box-pass-it.html. She was so appreciative of the gifts that she kept wrapping them up and re-opening them throughout the Christmas season so she had tangible evidence of the joy and love that was out there even when things were not going well in her home.

    This same friend and I also brain-stormed some ways she could have some frugal festive fun with her 4 teenage daughters on a drastically reduced budget. We came up with the 12 invitations of Christmas, which you can read about here: http://gracie-senseandsimplicity.blogspot.com/2011/11/12-invitations-of-christmas.html. This was a huge success and in the end meant she and her daughters had one of the best Christmases in years.

    Thanks for posting a wonderful, thought-provoking post.

  24. Donna you just have such an awesome way with words. This is a great post, I missed it last year, but happy to read it this year:) I know I have told you this before, but you truly are a great inspiration to me and many others out here. I hold a high regard and respect for you..you are a great Mom and I know how hard you work to support and take care of your boy. My Mom was a single Mom on a waitress job, and there are many times and struggles we had growing up. Would not change a thing to be honest as it all made us who we are today. Thank you again.

  25. Awesome post and timing! We can have more happy days when we put our lives in perspective! One thing I have found is it is okay to live SIMPLE! We moved to Hawaii for a time and left probably 3/4 of our stuff on mainland (like furniture, abundance of kitchen items……….basically just stuff) I was amazed at how much of that “stuff” you can live without! So “simple” has become a staple! Many blessing to you!

  26. OMG!!! This was so inspiring and helpful, you see, I’m a recovering addict. I’ve been clean for close to a year, and I gotta tell you, one of the hardest things was (and still is) “owning it”, but it’s probably one of the most important, not just in my life, but I think in probably everyone’s life. Things do get better, some quicker than others, but joy and happiness are there for all of us!!
    Also, I just want to say to Meg, my heart and prayers go out to you. Thank you Donna, you are one amazing lady!!

  27. Love your blog. This post is worth posting every year. Life is all about choices and responsibiltiy. Sometimes we need to be reminded to OWN it.
    Thanks for sharing

  28. Thanks for this Donna. I was high on life when you posted this a month ago and since then, a part of my life has come crashing down. I’ve been deliberately choosing to look for good things to think about and a better perspective on what happened and then I found this post. Absolutely perfect for me and it’s already shifted me into a better place emotionally.

    Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. Have a very happy Christmas!

    xox

  29. I’m so glad I found this today! Your message hit very close to my heart and I know it is one that I will need to come back to time and again. I am still very much a work in progress. I find that January can be a difficult time for me after all the bustle of Christmas is over. I have created a post on my blog with a link back to this message as much for myself as for others who may also need it. Thank you for your inspiring outlook!