Hey there, it seems like its been forever since I have written. I have been busy and my sleep schedule hasn’t been great so I haven’t had my normal time in the morning to sit down and do this but I am going to try to fix that so that I can write more. I ran into a “fan” of the blog just the other night and she made me feel so good when she said she loved it and loved getting an email when I post one so here we go.
This is a really tough time of year for a lot of people and I am one of them. My difficulty doesn’t come from a loss of a loved one or hard memories from years past. Those are crazy struggles that I am blessed not to have. No, my pain comes from being an entrepreneur and business owner who has a very seasonal business. Motorcycles are a year round thing for me, but not for everyone and when the snow starts to fall, it gets pretty stinking quiet at the shop. My stress level goes up, my patience goes down and I become a miserable human honestly. At least I used to…
For years and years I would go into Christmas in a terrible mood. I was sure the sky was falling and that everything was going to come crashing down. Of course I would put on a “happy” face for my kids but Ruth suffered through my anxiety and depression on a daily basis. I honestly HATED winter and the holidays for over half of a decade. I couldn’t get happy and I tried everything I knew how to try. Mostly I drank. Since it was cold and dark, cocktail hour lasted way longer and the numbness that came from drinking would help me get to the next sunrise. Well in the winter of 16’/17’ when I quit drinking, I lost my coping mechanism. Now I was on my own with my thoughts in the cold and dark. Of course I would do crazy things like stud my dirt bike tires and ride and I have been a FatBike rider for a long time but all of it was just temporary and then I would wake up depressed and down the next morning.
After dealing with this for too long I decided that something had to change. I had been on my journey with Jesus for quite a few years and other things in my life had gotten much better but oddly, during the season when I was supposed to be celebrating His birth I was miserable. I couldn’t shake the depression and worry by myself. I was so focused on myself and my relatively small issues that I wasn’t looking at the bigger picture. I was so inwardly focused that the joy of the season escaped me. Without alcohol and with years (literally years) of prayers I finally decided to change my outlook. I am not sure where exactly I heard or saw it first but every successful person I was following online and in books kept talking about the whole gratitude thing. That winter it finally hit me and made a dent. I realized that instead of focusing on the things that weren’t great (and there are still more than enough) I should begin looking at what was good. Even if it was just a little good. I began to start each day with some gratitude. It’s not freaking easy when you are trying to make payroll, buy presents, pay the skyrocketing heating bill, and on and on. But then I would roll over in my sleepless night and hear my amazing wife breathing, I could get up and make an amazing cup of coffee, put on some warm clothes and eat a meal. HOLY CRAP, those things are awesome! So many people don’t have that. And the list goes on, and on, and on, and on! I started to embrace the season for what it really was. It’s a time to slow down, spend more time with my family, and focus on what really matters. For my family, it is God and his Son Jesus followed by our family, our friends and finally our work.
That is a tough order to get right sometimes and I think that most of us let work and finances and the like slowly creep up the ladder. They are sneaky because we spend so much of our days dealing with them. They can just ease up past the things that really matter and before you know it… BAM it’s all you can think about.
I know a lot of you are stressed about this season, and some of you might have much larger things to worry about and the S*** might really be hitting the fan but my challenge to you is to spend every morning this month writing down 3 things that you are thankful for. I know I have said this many times before but I want you to really try it. If you have read this far into this post then you are committed and at least have few spare minutes in your day. If you would like to share them with me in an email I would love it, my personal address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If not that is fine too but do it. If you are like me then you are probably at least thinking “I will just say 3 things in my head everyday.” That is great but there is something truly different about writing them down and actually physically writing them on paper with a pen or pencil is even better. So, who is in? I am writing this because I need the practice too. I have forgotten to write my gratitude list a bunch over the last few months.
I will start: Today I am thankful for: A heater that works, My loving wife, Food in the refrigerator! It’s that simple.
Have a wonderful day everyone and thank you for reading this. If you enjoy it and think someone else might too, please share it. If you want to get an email every time I post a new one, subscribe below. It means a lot to me.
Spread love today!!