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Do you ever have one of those days when things just don’t feel right and you are just literally waiting for the next shoe to drop?  Maybe the cattle got out, you missed the train to the city, or you spilled your coffee all over the front seat of your vehicle?  I’ve been there, heck, we’ve all been there. BUT it’s not a place to stay.

A few days ago I had one of those days, as I sat and reflected on it I remembered something I had heard on a podcast (I feel awful, but I cannot for the life of me remember which one.)  The podcast talked about things you can do when everything is feeling awful and not okay.  The actual podcast talked about questions to ask yourself when everything is awful before you give up.  Now, when they talk about giving up I am not sure how literal they are meaning that, I was in no way thinking about giving up on life, but I am sure if someone were in that dark space that this list would help them, too.

I am going to share the list in full disclosure that I did NOT come up with those questions, but will add my thoughts (in italics) and share the ones that I think really hit home for me. This is the actual PDF with credits on the bottom of the page for where it came from on the web.

Everything is awful and I’m not okay: Questions to ask yourself before giving up:

1. Are you hydrated?  If not, have a glass of water. Dehydration can mimic or increase feelings associated with anxiety and a well hydrated brain functions optimally. Avoid excess caffeine.  Did you know the latest research recommends half of your body weight in water?  I will admit this is the first thing I think of when I get a headache or am just feeling crappy.  Go guzzle a 16 oz. glass of water!!!

2.   Have you stretched your legs in the past day?  If not, do so right now. If you don’t have the energy or time for a run or a trip to the gym, just walk around the block or building. Even minimal exercise preps the mind for learning so that you can focus better and recall things easier, plus it’s good to get a change of scenery. I have said this forever, just move!  It doesn’t matter if you don’t run, just move your body by going up and down some stairs or stand up and sit down 20 times.

3. Have you said something nice to someone in the past day? Do so, whether online or in person. Make it genuine! I TRULY believe in this and I love to do it in writing!  How long has it been since you wrote someone a letter or card?

4. Have you moved your body to music in the past day? If not, jog for the length of a song at your favorite tempo, or just dance around your bedroom for the length of an upbeat song (singing along is a bonus) Hello, playlist that my children cannot be in the room when I have it going!  Whatever your jam is, blare it! Sometimes at work when I am writing a report I will put my ear buds in and rock anything from classic country to Lady Gaga.

5. Do you feel ineffective? Pause right now and get something small completed, whether it’s responding to an email, loading the dishwasher, or tidying up your room. Good job!

For real, when nothing feels right, choose something you know for 100% fact that you can be successful at and go for it.  You are going to think this is weird, but mine, folding a basket of towels.  Towels are easy, not a ton fit in a basket, and if I end up putting them way-BONUS!

So, there you have it, my Top 5 Tried and True Techniques for no longer feeling like everything is awful and that I am not okay.

Do you ever feel this way? What works for you?

From the gravel road-



For as long as I can remember my mother has quilted. I can remember watching her in the winter as she sat under a big, brightly colored quilt that she was stitching by hand as a gift for me. I wanted gold colored thread with a teal colored quilt, I remember her struggling to get that thread to cooperate as it was not very easy to quilt with, but she didn't give up on it and now I have a wonderful memory and keepsake that I will always have to cherish.

A few weeks ago when I went to pick my girls up from a cousins sleep over that had occurred at my parents house, I sat in the living room in awe of all of the memories that were strewn around. One of my girls sat under a quilt made by mom snuggling with Grandma's dog.

Another sat watching an Ipad wrapped in Grandpa's new quilt from Christmas. I couldn't help, but thing of all of the memories that were surrounding our family with her handmade quilts.

I am blessed to have several quilts that Mom has made for me and now even let my girls use some of them. The one pictured below currently on my bed and is one of my all time favorites! I just love the bright colors!

Not only have I been blessed to be the recipient of many of my Mom's quilts, I have had the opportunity to have her stand over me and teach me how to sew and quilt myself! I now understand why she loves giving quilts as gifts because they are such an amazing keepsake and getting to see the response of the recipient is awesome and great for the soul.

Wedding quilt I made for our niece.

Another blessing that my Mom has given us is that she has taught ALL of her granddaughters how to sew and quilt. In fact that is one of their favorite things to do at Grandma's house. I know this is a skill that not all children have the opportunity to learn anymore, I hope they pass it on to their own children some day.

At this point all of her grandchildren have received a quilt, most are made specifically towards their favorite colors or sports teams. Do you want to know the most important thing though? Beyond their bright colors and fabulous patterns is hours and hours of love. One of these large quilts takes so much time to create that I know she pours her heart into each one and making each quilt as individual as possible.

Behind every quilt is a story and a memory that will last years and years to come and I hope and pray that someday my great grandchildren will someday snuggle up under one of these family heirlooms and get to hear stories of their Grandma that worked many hours to create keepsakes for her family to enjoy.

Love you, Mom, thank you for sharing your creativity with all of us!

Do you have a favorite quilt or family heirloom? Do you know how to quilt or have any quilters in your family? Maybe you have memories of watching family members sew or quilt. Comment below and tell us about it.

From the gravel road-


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