What are your plans for tomorrow?
Welcome to the eleventh edition of my “Gatekeeping” blog series. I shared the back story of these simple and yet powerful questions in this post.
It’s been three months since we last did some Gatekeeping here and my life has felt like a whirlwind. What seemed like our son’s longest school year ever (because of the Chicago School Teacher Strike last fall) finally ended in late June and in some ways we have been trying to make up for lost time, doing all kinds of fun summer activities, ever since. It’s hard to believe Sean will start 4th grade in less than two weeks, with our preschooler Abby heading back two weeks after that!
Today I heard about the death of Gia Allemand, best known for being a contestant on The Bachelor and Bachelor Pad reality television shows. Watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor Pad are guilty pleasures for me and thus I am familiar with Gia. It is reported that she took her own life, which saddens me knowing that suicide is preventable.
As I thought about the news of Gia’s suicide, I considered writing a blog entry about it here and then opted to do so in the context of Gatekpeeing. Though Gia appeared to be happy when in the public eye, I know that many people suffer from depression and other mental illnesses behind closed doors, which may have been the case with her.
If you are reading this right now and feeling depressed about your life in general or specific circumstances that are troubling you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I care and invite you to do some Gatekeeping with me.
You don’t have to be suicidal to participate, as I know that no matter how wonderful our lives are, we all have moments when our lives feel overwhelming and we struggle to see the bright side within our situations.
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 post “Gatekeeping” blog entries now and then and hope that they 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…
Sad – Though I didn’t know Gia, when I watch someone on reality TV (even though I get there is acting and lots of editing involved) I often feel a connection to them. I am sorry that she left this world at only 29 years of age, especially because that her death was preventable.
Grateful – My friend Amanda’s husband Ray, who received a new heart this week, is doing really well in his recovery. As I shared in my post the night of his transplant, I do believe in miracles and have been so moved by Ray and Amanda’s journey over the past year. They have been surrounded with so much love, faith and support, which has been awesome to witness and be a part of.
Ready — Though my family and I have had a wonderful and crazy busy summer, I am feeling ready to return to our school year routine.
Antsy – I haven’t done any formal exercise since Saturday, which is unusual for me. My mind and body misses the physical activity and I need to prioritize it in the days to come.
Proud – For the second time since I joined the BlogHer Publishing Network in 2011, one of my posts was chosen for syndication on BlogHer and it has been an awesome experience to see my words published and to participate in the discussion in the comment section on my post over there!
My plans for tomorrow/the days to come…
Tomorrow I have pelvic floor physical therapy in the morning and beyond that we don’t have any set plans for the rest of the day. Though there is plenty we could and probably should do, including getting Sean an overdue haircut and shopping for school supplies.
Bob and I will be playing golf with friends on Friday, which is always fun.
On Saturday Bob, the kids, and I will be getting together with friends whom we haven’t seen in a while and then celebrating at a birthday party with family.