Gatekeeping (3rd Edition)

by Kathy on March 19, 2012 · 8 comments

in Anxiety, Blessed, Coping, Exercise, Gatekeeping, Happiness, Inspiration, Loss, Suicide Prevention

How are you feeling?

What are your plans for tomorrow?

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

I was washing dishes this afternoon and listening to my iPod on shuffle mode. Gatekeepers by Meg Hutchinson came on and, as I listened to her beautiful song, I realized it was time for some Gatekeeping here at Bereaved and Blessed.

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.


I will start us off by answering the questions myself:

I am feeling… 

Sore — I have been working out more consistently in recent days and cross training. Overall I feel really good, but the older I get the more I seem to notice every little ache and pain in my muscles after exercising.

Anxious — I have a lot on my plate this week (what else is new?!) and am trying to make sure that I don’t drop any balls as I try to juggle everything.

Blissful — I am just loving this weather we have been having here in Chicago! Somehow we managed to skip right over Spring and go straight to Summer! As a result my family and I have been spending a lot less time in front of screens (TV and computer) eating meals on our patio, playing outside, going for bike rides and basking in the sunshine and cool breezes.

Determined — I managed to gain more weight than I would have liked in recent months and have recommitted myself to eating healthier, portion control and exercising regularly. I have mastered the art of losing weight during the week and then putting it back on over the weekend! It’s time for me to shed these last 5 lbs. (really more like 10 now) for good!

Blessed — My two living children have been very challenging lately, but they also bring so much joy, love and laughter to my life and our family. I am doing my best to remember how blessed and lucky we are when I lose my patience during the moments when they are not behaving well.

My plans for tomorrow are… 

I am scheduled to teach Yoga Sculpt at Beverly Bodyworks in the morning and then take Abby for her 2 1/2 year well check up. I look forward to a good workout, followed by touching base with Abby’s pediatrician.

I will vote at some point, as tomorrow is Election Day here in Illinois. Though as a registered Democrat it is not the most exciting or important Election Day, I believe in my civic duty and will be casting a ballot.

Tomorrow night I will assist in leading a parent/child Night of Reflection for second graders in our parish who are preparing to make their First Communion in May. Doing this is part of my role as a Religious Education Catechist. On Wednesday evening I look forward to participating in the same event as a parent with Bob and our son Sean, who will also be making his First Communion in May.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 April March 20, 2012 at 8:25 am

Kathy, I feel like I’m drowning. I am more depressed than I have ever been, and I feel so alone. I feel like my marriage is falling apart, but my husband won’t admit any problems. I feel like even if I did know what to do to make things better, I wouldn’t be able to do it. I feel like everything negative is my fault. I feel like I’m taking a huge leap of faith typing this and sharing it, and I don’t know if it’s feathers or bricks at the bottom.

I don’t have any plans for tomorrow. The only plans I make anymore are the two hours a week I work. I’ll be doing that today, but I have nothing after that until Thursday, when it’s back to the marriage counselor.


2 Kathy March 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Thank you for checking in April and answering these questions so openly and honestly. I am so sorry that you are not in a good place emotionally today. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to you and your husband. I hope that it was therapeutic for you to share your thoughts and feelings here. Please know that I care and am here if you want/need to share or vent more. As I have told you before, I am very proud of you being in therapy. I think that is so healthy and hope that it helps you through this difficult and painful time in your life. I am in therapy too and it is helping me to work through some things that I am struggling with. Hang in there. I believe that you can and will get through this. One day, one hour, one step at a time. (((HUGS)))
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3 TPP March 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Hi, I’m visiting from ICLW!

I’m happy to say that I’m feeling great today. I’ve been through hard times before in my life but luckily the storm s have passed but thanks for asking.

I’m not doing anything in particular tomorrow but on Friday my husband and I have tickets to The Hunger Games!
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4 mrsrochester March 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Just stopping in for ICLW! Nice to “meet” you 🙂


5 Trisha March 21, 2012 at 6:01 pm

What a wonderful quote! I often feel that way about the ALI community, that they are keeping me here. It’s so amazing.
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6 Lynn March 21, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Here from ICLW! This is a really great post! The last few months have left me feeling out of sorts emotionally. I lost my dad last August (which has left a giant, gaping hole in my life), my best friend moved to another country, The Hubs and I moved and we’ve now started foster/adoption training classes. There’ve been both bad and good things happening, but it’s all been a little overwhelming and I’m struggling with it a bit. Fortunately, The Hubs has been great and I’m so grateful for him. Tomorrow we will both work during the day, then we’re attending the midnight showing of The Hunger Games. Looking forward to that!

Thanks again for an amazingly helpful post!

ICLW #57
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7 Holly March 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm



8 Lori Lavender Luz March 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Sounds like you had a nice day planned.

I am feeling…happy with my new blog design. Content that I’ve written each day this week. Anxious that I won’t find the way to end the part I’m working on. Happy that I may get to have a date night.

Tomorrow I’ll go to a yoga class, write, work, and hang out with some friends.

I’m wishing April well.
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