Monday, February 17, 2014


I'm not really sure where these thoughts are all going to go but as I was finishing my workout and heading into the shower aka my best blog idea spot this was popping into my head so I thought I'd try to capture one of those great ideas for once instead of immediately forgetting it as soon as the water turned off as these have been thoughts that have been building since last summer.

Discouragement.  It's everywhere if you are looking for it.  Want to look for a new job? People tell you that your job is secure, you have summers off, you have 4 weeks of paid vacation, you get bonuses, your hours are great, why would you want to risk it? The job market is tough.  Discouragement.

You want to get your master's degree? Why are you taking classes? You don't need a graduate degree.  You can just go to meetings, pick up trainings here and there, why would you want to spend thousands on a graduate degree? Do you even know what you are going to use it for? Discouragement.

You want to work out? There are tons of people complaining about the new people in the gym, how they take up space and then they are gone in a month.  Maybe they are gone because you're a bitch.  Maybe they see the way you look at them when they want to change, want to be healthier and since they AREN'T they can see the judgment from you? Maybe they read your thoughts on them or people like them on the Internet and get discouraged and never go back.  Then you have the people who complain about magazine articles that encourage women to get a quick workout at their desks, they say that those are a farce and so not a workout.  Maybe it's not YOUR workout but maybe for someone who doesn't have any extra time in their day, IT IS.  Those 5 minute quick things they are dong are far better than the 5 minutes you just spent bitching about them on Instagram.  Discouragement.

You want to read 100 books in a year? How do you find time? Don't you have a kid, a house, a dog, a job? You should spend more time with them.  Your life is different than everyone around you.  No matter how much extra time you may think is in someone's day, if they say it's not there, it's not.  Discouragement.

You want to lose weight? Oh come on, you're not that fat.  You can have this pop.  You can eat out with me today.  It's not that bad.  You can lose weight another day.  Oh, just have a cookie.  Discouragement.

You may not know their whole story.  Like their mental health demands they spend time on themselves and the time they wish to spend is with their online friends who they are closer to than their IRL friends because most of their friends have moved out of state.  Or how their feet have been in such pain for 3 months that the actual act of going from the living room to the shower hurts them so bad and they've just finally gotten new shoes that after 2 weeks of wear have fixed the problem.  Or how their depression is so bad that their anxiety can't HANDLE it. Or maybe they just suffered a horrible loss and the fact is they can barely move forward to the next day let alone bettering themselves. Discouragement.

How about empathy instead.  I'm sorry, I'm here when you need help or encouragement.  That does stink, that must be hard for you.  I'll keep you in my thoughts and keep sending you encouragement along the way.  Empathy.

So much better than discouragement or words that worsen anxiety. If only it was our first instinct.

As I tell my preschoolers, I wish you well today.  Take it one step at a time.  If only it was our first instinct.

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