Gatekeeping (5th Edition)

by Kathy on May 21, 2012 · 4 comments

in Abby, Blessed, Bob, Exercise, Expectations, Family, Food, Friends, Gatekeeping, Happiness, Life, Loss, Love, Our Home, Running, Sean, Suicide Prevention

How are you feeling?

What are your plans for tomorrow?

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

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Last week I received an email from a reader letting me know how much my Gatekeepers post has meant to her and how it has helped her in reaching out to/being there for a loved one who is struggling. I really appreciated hearing from her and that she took the time to let me know this.

The next day I was honored to read in this post by Jjiraffe from Too Many Fish to Fry about how my Gatekeepers post moved and has stuck with her.

Both of these instances reminded me that it has been a month since the last time we did some Gatekeeping here, so please do check in and let me know how you are and what you have planned in the days to come.

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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… 

Tired — This morning I taught my first “Cardio Mix” group fitness class in three weeks after being sick with a lingering cold. It felt good to be back, but it was also draining, since I am still not 100%.

Appreciated — Some of my friends/class participants gave me positive feedback about my Madonna inspired choreography that I taught this morning, which is validating and makes me feel good about myself.

Clogged — I am not sure if that is the best word to describe what I am experiencing, but my right ear is clogged and has thrown off my equilibrium all day long, making me feel off and kind of nauseous. I think it might be somewhat weather related, as this has happened in the past with similar meteorological conditions.

Hungry — The number on my scale has crept back up in recent months and I am determined to head things off before I have to break out the next size up in my clothes (which I have saved after shedding weight post-pregnancies, but intend to get rid of for good in the not too distant future). I started calorie counting again last Monday, after eating one too many donuts on Mother’s Day and am still adjusting to the smaller portions, but know it will be worth it when I can return to my “maintenance mode” again soon.

Happy — Our latest home improvement project is almost complete and has exceeded my expectations! I will post “after” pictures of the exterior of our home and garage soon. Though it has been a long six weeks (and counting) feeling like we are living in fish bowl (with painters and carpenters surrounding us all day long), the guys who have made our house look so awesome are really nice and fun to be around. I will actually miss seeing them everyday (or at least now and then) when they are gone.

Blessed and Lucky — This past weekend Bob, Sean, Abby and I got to spend a lot of quality time together, including doing active things like going for a family bike ride and family run. We had a lot of fun and I was reminded just how wonderful our life is together as “Four of a Kind.”

My plans for tomorrow are… 

I will be teaching a Yoga/Pilates fusion class called “Yoga Sculpt” at Beverly Bodyworks in the morning. I am really looking forward to this, as I taught it regularly/weekly last session, but this session am serving as a sub. So it will be nice to be back in class again.

The painters and carpenters intend to try to finish up their work on our house and I will be checking in with them and they me throughout the day to make sure everything is checked off of our lists of what still needs to be done. Abby loves to keep track of “the guys,” where they are and what they are doing. So I am sure she will enjoy watching them in action again tomorrow and will miss them when they are gone.

After Sean gets home from school he and I will run/walk (alternating running for 4 minutes and walking for 1 minute) 3.1 miles for our training together to run in our neighborhood’s annual Memorial Day 5K (his first) one week from today. I am so proud of our son and how far he has come since we began training for this almost two months ago!

Tomorrow night I will meet with my therapist for what she calls a “tune up.” When I started seeing her in January we met every other week and I found our sessions extremely helpful. However, as we worked through the main reasons that I wanted to return to therapy we realized that I didn’t *need* to come as often, but I also wasn’t ready to stop completely yet. So we average about once a month now, which seems to be just right for me at this time in my life.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jjiraffe May 22, 2012 at 2:40 am

How wonderful that this project has made such a difference already.

I am feeling: tired, gross from dealing with my son’s stomach flu, worried about his flu, wondering if I pushed enough fluids without filling his stomach.

Tomorrow: I will be tending to both sick kids away from school while my husband goes on another business trip. I will try to find some girly show/movie to watch for fun while he’s gone.
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2 Kathy May 22, 2012 at 8:26 am

Thanks for checking in! Sorry your kids are sick and you have to care for them on your own. (((HUGS)))

Have you seen Secretariat and/or The Kids Are Alright yet?

I watched both over this past weekend and really enjoyed them.
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3 April May 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Kathy, you always have good timing with your Gatekeeping. Thank you for being someone who cares. I’m glad you’re doing well, and I hope your house gets done on schedule!

I’m feeling relieved! First session with the social worker went smoothly, and the new daycare provider was reassuring.

I’m also worried, because this kind of thing can go downhill any minute. I’m trying to stay upbeat.

Tomorrow brings the May birthday hangover! All three of our birthdays are in May, with hubby’s the last, today. So glad to be done for another year.
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4 RoseAnn May 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm

🙂 I don’t know how I missed this post!

I am feeling: anxious…I tend to focus on significant dates and Friday is a big one…5 years since we made the first step in a cross-country move and also 5 years since my brother was in an accident that has forever changed the dynamic of our family.

I am also feeling content and happy. We have so many things to be thankful for and so little weighing us down at the moment. I try to focus on the little pleasures and take heart that they are building the big pleasures.

Tomorrow: walking the dogs to the vet, a long overdue massage appointment for me, our usual Friday night of homemade pizza and a movie at home.

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