Friday Feels: August (II)

Here we are again, on a Friday - and that means it's time for another Friday Feels - the second this month! As always, I'm thrilled to be taking the time to sit down and explore what I've been feeling lately and why I've been feeling it. And I've definitely gotten my fair share of practice, since I've been using feelings as prompts in my daily bullet journal spread! But since I just use the same ones every day in my journal to help inspire the memories I take note of, I'm still looking forward to using my favorite random emotion generator for these posts.

That being said:

1. Brave:
Bravery is a strange thing, isn't it? Hard to come by sometimes, too - but when you see it, you tend to know it for what it is. For me, bravery lies most comfortably in the sharing of my life story in such a public way. Sure, there are bits I choose to keep private, things I don't share in order to protect my loved ones, and secrets of my life that I'll take to my grave. But sharing the abuse I suffered as a child? The way it felt to be powerless and small and vulnerable and unimportant? Speaking openly about what that has done in my life over the years? That's brave.

Sharing my hopes, my fear, my weaknesses? It's brave. Sharing the recent revelations with my health, despite how fresh the very private pain those revelations have caused still is? Brave.

Having the courage to know my story, to own it, to share it, and to use it to reclaim power over my own voice? That's brave. Using that to encourage empowerment in others?

Well, that's all I could really hope for.

2. Cheerful:
Fall is peeking around the corner in East Tennessee - we've had several beautifully loud thunderstorms, and thankfully some of the summer heat is edging away. Acorns are falling, leaves preparing to brown and drop from their limbs to blanket the earth. Fall is my second favorite season because in fall, the world cools to a temperature I can much more easily tolerate. The excitement of the coming holiday season begins to set in, and ... well, it's a cheerful time for me.

3. Enraged:
Two words, and I'll leave this one behind. Not because I'm done being flat-out freaking pissed over it, but because this isn't the place to discuss how and why I'm so thoroughly infuriated.

Two words. Mollie. Tibbetts.

4. Heartbroken:
Again. Mollie Tibbetts. Not because I knew her, but because I have a daughter not too much younger than she was, and another daughter as well. Because my oldest daughter has college dreams of her own and the youngest is still so full of varied hope and promise that she doesn't yet have a dream. Because the dangers of today's world are just as real for my babies here in the city of Knoxville as they were for someone else's baby as she took an evening jog in an unsuspecting Iowa town.

It breaks me heart to know that I can't give my children a safer world. I can try to protect them. I can try to shelter them some, try to coach them and guide them. But nothing I can do will guarantee their safety in this world, or that of their families.

5. Interested:
My interests have never been secret here, but they are often changing - adapting and adjusting as my life changes with time. I still love photography and art, still love sculpture, and am still looking forward to the upcoming move the girls and I are planning. I still love crochet and other yarn crafts, still want to learn to hand sew.

And I'm still as in love as ever with the idea of a perfectly organized journal or planner system. Having finally figure out the right way to take analog bullet journaling into my digital world has revolutionized the way I feel when it comes to be organized and on top of things - as best I can be, anyway. But now that I've got the basic system settled, I want very much to learn to make my journal pretty, so I've been practicing making digital stickers when I find spare moments in which to play.

6. Loving:
With my daughters back in school, I've had a little more time to myself. Not much, but a few hours each day in which to breathe, focus on my own things, and feel productive without feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. I've had time to focus a little better in therapy, time to think more about where to go next regarding my health, time to pray and enjoy a moment of silence with my morning coffee.

It gives me peace, makes me a better mother. More able to love and enjoy, more patient. And yes, more loving.

7. Pleased:
My van isn't doing well at all, but it's still hanging on. Between the front seats, I have a little basket that I use as a sort of catch-all - I keep a packet of tissues in there, some empty plastic bags for trash, a book usually, and whatever other junk ends up being dropped in there. Recently I cleaned it out and found that a barbecue sauce packet from Wendy's had been torn open at the bottom of the basket. The basket and sever other things were ruined - which led to a further cleaning out of the van as I searched for a suitable replacement for the basket.

I ended up with a new basket which worked perfectly, along with a second, smaller basket in which to drop my mail or cell phone or other small things. But it's the back of the van that has me most pleased - I got a short stack of three cute, pink plastic crates from Walmart and stacked them in the back of the van to use as storage. They're working perfectly.

I love them. (Best $9 I've spent in a while.)

8. Scared:
I have big things coming up this fall, things with the potential to completely remake the shape of my life. Most of these things are good things, things I'm generally quite excited about ... but some of them are not, and the potential for misfortune is pretty terrifying sometimes. There's a lot that's up in the air for me, and some days are quite a struggle perspective-wise. I was in physical therapy the other day, and as I spoke with my therapist/trainer, she looked at me in awe and said, "How do you stay so positive with all that going on?"

I laughed because I actually hadn't told her that much, just about the complications with my health and little conversational bits about my daughters. And I shrugged and said, "It is what it is." But in truth, on the dark days I cry myself into exhaustion - but still can't sleep for fear of all that could go wrong and the burden of everything that's outside my control. Thankfully ...

9. Secure:
God has been making a point to reach out and reassure me lately. I keep seeing various Bible verses, hearing various songs, catching messages in tv shows, blog posts. Reminders that God is bigger than my storm, reminders that if he could take an entire nation out of Egypt, he can certainly guide me around my own proverbial mountain. Reminders to rest in faith, to trust in his promises.

It's the only place in my entire life that feels secure - and that's more than enough.

10. Torn:
I've been wrestling with this quarter's goals. I've been going through a long period of feeling stuck; in the PTSD community, we call this decompensation. The loss of progress, or the stalling of progress. Regression of symptoms, loss of coping abilities. I haven't been tracking my goals as effectively as I had been, and I have moment where I hardly care about those goals at all.

That being said, I am no quitter. And you don't become Undaunted by giving up. So I'm tracking as much as I can, keeping track of my goals as much as I can, and using my bullet journal to help propel myself forward with the sheer force of my desire to check off the boxes on my daily to-do list. I'm tired, but I'm trying.

I'm overwhelmed, but I'm moving forward. Slowly but surely. This is a period of rest in my life - but even the flowers rest when the winter settles over them, until spring comes to bring them back to life again.

And even the longest, coldest winter has sunny days to break the monotony. To warm the spirit. And to remind us that winter ends.

What have you been feeling this month?

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