Gatekeeping (2nd Edition)

by Kathy on February 24, 2012 · 2 comments

in Bereavement, Birthdays, Blessed, Coping, Dance, Family, Gatekeeping, Happiness, Healing, Inspiration, Loss, Suicide Prevention

How are you feeling?

What are your plans for tomorrow?

Welcome to the second edition of my new “Gatekeeping” blog series. I shared the back story of these simple and yet powerful questions in this post.

In 2011 I lost two loved ones to suicide. I realize that there is likely nothing I could have done to change the outcome of their lives, but it is something that I struggle with as I continue to work through my grief and try to make peace with these women taking their own lives.

I know that many of us suffer in silence when we are going through difficult and uncertain times in our lives. It doesn’t have to be that way.

I am not asking you to tell me your secrets or your problems, unless you want to of course. But I invite you to check in here periodically (you can also email me or send a Facebook message) and let me know how you are feeling and what plans you may have for tomorrow.

Here’s an excerpt from the post I referenced above called Gatekeepers:

My favorite line in Meg (Hutchinson’s) song (called Gatekeepers) is, “maybe every day, in ordinary ways, we hold each other on, we keep each other here.”

I think that is so profound and it certainly rings true for me.

There have been countless people throughout my life that have been “Gatekeepers” to me. Though I have never seriously considered taking my own life and strongly believe that I will never do so, I have survived some very rough patches where my self esteem and self worth were severely challenged. 

I love the idea that in “ordinary ways” we can make extraordinary differences in the journeys of loved ones and even strangers that we meet throughout the course of our day-to-day lives. 

Kevin “the Gatekeeper” Briggs has done so by asking those two simple questions of strangers he has met contemplating jumping (off the Golden Gate Bridge), Meg Hutchinson has done so through her music and song, Bob Edwards has done so with the stories he shares on his radio show and you all have done so for me over the years through your comments here, your caring ways, your love and your support as my readers, fellow bloggers, friends and family members. 

Thank you so very much.

I will be posting “Gatekeeping” blog entries now and then and hope that they will present the opportunity for anyone who reads them who is having a hard time coping with challenges they are facing in life to share. That said, you are certainly welcome to comment about the things you are feeling good about too. I believe that being able to recognize and name the things we are grateful for is essential to help us find peace and joy in our lives. That is part of why I love participating in Lori’s monthly Perfect Moment Mondays.

Sometimes it’s the little things than can help keep us a float when we feel like we are drowning. Just knowing that others care and want to know how we are feeling, as well as being able to think about what we might do tomorrow has the power to help us get through tough times.

Thank you for reading. I hope that however you are doing today that you know there are people in your life (I am one of them) who care about how you are feeling and want to know what your plans, hopes and dreams are for tomorrow and the days to come.

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I will start us off by answering the questions myself:

I am feeling… 

Excited — I received some really good news this week (that I am not at liberty to share here yet) and I am looking forward to officially launching my new blog next week!

Drained — I am still fighting a cold that has been lingering for almost two weeks now, so many of my regular day to day activities seem like a lot more effort than usual.

Distracted — I have a lot on my mind and find it difficult to focus on a lot of the things I *should* be doing around the house.

Sad — I found out this week that one of my childhood dance teachers died after a long battle with a rare form of cancer. Her funeral is today in Wisconsin. Though I couldn’t make it there in person, my thoughts and prayers are with her mother (who was also one of my dance teachers), her two children and all those who are honoring her memory and celebrating her life.

Nostalgic — Ever since I heard about my dance teacher’s death, I have been reflecting on the years that I spent learning from and dancing with her, her mother and many childhood friends in my hometown of Evanston. I started taking lessons from them when I was in preschool and continued there until I was in Jr. High, before moving on to train somewhere else during my high school years (when I was also in my high school’s dance company).

Grateful — For most of my life dance was to me and my sanity what writing has become for me in recent years. When I was stressed, upset and/or or very happy about something I found comfort and joy in expressing myself through dance. I am thankful for the role that my dance teachers played in my childhood. They helped me learn to dance, but they taught me so much more. They helped me to build my self confidence and learn to be comfortable performing on stage in front of an audience. They also inspired and encouraged me to express myself creatively through choreography.

My plans for tomorrow are… 

To get my hair cut, colored and styled. I have been going to the same hair dresser near my hometown for 13 years now. So I look forward to seeing my stylist the way I do when I am going to get together with an old friend. We have a lot in common, including our love for “quality” reality television shows (such as The Bachelor) and always enjoy debriefing whats happening on them. I find getting my hair done to be very relaxing, not to mention also having the chance to browse through the salon’s collection of recent People and Usmagazine issues.

Later in the day we will be celebrating my 37th birthday (which isn’t actually until March 6th) with my side of our family at one of my favorite restaurants. I am looking forward to a delicious meal and great company as we begin the annual celebration of my birth! 🙂

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 It Is What It Is February 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Who knew that you and my son share the same birthday (and he will be 5 and we are going to Legoland)!

Reply

2 Lavender Luz February 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I am feeling excited and happy and stressed (never enough writing time). And, like you, nostalgic. My piano teacher died this past summer and I feel the same about her that you do about your dance teacher.

Enjoy your weekend — sounds like fun in the beauty chair!

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