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August 12, 2020

Real talk here and a lot to unpack, so please bear with me.
The stress of this pandemic and my inability to control what I can’t control the last few weeks has created brief waves of low-level depression.
My first instinct is to retreat, which then leads to questioning just about everything in my life.
It’s like peeling back the layers of the onion.
I share this because I’ve talked to a couple of friends who have expressed similar struggles and I take comfort in knowing I’m not alone.
I also know how important it is to focus on the opportunity, not the struggle.
So I’ve waited for that opportunity to reveal itself. This weekend, it did.
First – the backstory.
I started scrapbooking in 1996 when my daughter was born.
The photo books chronicled everything from our vacations and birthday parties to my son’s birth and holidays.
I also created scrapbooks for my career with clippings, photos and even viewer emails.
Then, I just stopped.
The books end in 2005.
I continued to save photos and mementos.
But instead of making time to put them into books, I stuffed them in bags.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stared at the now nearly half-dozen bulging bags of 15 years worth of memories with guilt.
A few days ago, I woke up thinking about how to pull myself out of this funk I’ve been in, and remembered that daunting task I’ve put off for far too long.
So I opened up the closet and started sifting through bag number one.
Several hours later, I had gone through two!
It’s going to take months before I’m organized enough to get everything into books, but I’m on a roll and I already feel soooo accomplished.
This process is giving me the opportunity to reconnect and appreciate myself in new ways.
I spent years feeling inadequate as a mom because of the hours my career took away from my kids.
But you know what I’ve come across the last few days?
Countless handwritten notes and drawings from my kids expressing their love and appreciation; affirmations that my best was often better than I gave myself credit for.

Which brings me to today and this quote:
“Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” – Buddha

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