Archive for December 2011

O Christmas Tree

{by Alyson of New England Living}

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Alyson is a mother of four and former California girl living in New Hampshire. She shares gorgeous pictures and words on her blog, New England Living. Alyson is newenglandliving on Instagram.

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Color Bleed features images captured on mobile devices (phones, iPods, iPads) and shared via social networks (Instagram, twitter, twitpic, Facebook, etc.). Story Bleed consistently insists that art is made and shared online every day. Often casually. Phone photography consistently reveals itself to be breathtaking and insightful.



It’s Okay To Be Quiet

(by Jen Lee)

It’s okay to be quiet.
You don’t need to give the full report just yet, you may not need to give it at all. Reporting requires understanding, and sometimes you just need to follow the path and see where it leads before you know where you are.

It’s okay to be quiet.
You can declare your hope in a loaf of bread you bake by hand, you can put unnecessary things on the stoop as an act of faith in future provision. You can let the apple pie you’re making invite company, and the space you’re preparing for friends invite joy.

It’s okay to be quiet.
You can say all you really need to say with one look, with one touch. You can express your gratitude for his love in the way you smile when you see him come into the room. You can let them know how they melt your heart in the tenderness of your kiss on their foreheads.

The words are the last thing to arrive, but the love is here all along.

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Jen Lee inspires me to live.
Read her perfect life words here.



She Suffers

{By Danielle of Knotty Yarn}

going back by Knotty Yarn

School starts in two weeks. I could not be more thrilled.

I love school. More importantly, I love being a student. Having the undeniable permission to pay attention, soak in, look around, experience, and learn. I’m good at it.

Lately I’ve been reflecting on how I generally feel from day to day. It’s easy to sidestep talking about depression when you aren’t actually depressed. If you believe in hocus pocus, you fear that talking about it will bring that black fog back into your life. If you’re easily overwhelmed, you just want to focus on each day. If you’re medicated, you often don’t care to talk about depression, as long as you have relief from the physical effects of it.

If you’re all of these things, it’s hard to sit down and reflect your emotions via the written word.

I’m not depressed. I’m not experiencing anxiety from the monumental task of getting out of bed and looking each day in the eye. I’m not exhausted from insomnia, forced awake by the constant worry and sadness. I don’t curl up and weep in the shower, on the kitchen floor, in the car, in bed. I don’t unplug the phone, ignore email, forget friendships. I don’t look at babies and think “What a shame to bring that kid into this pitiful, bleak world”.

I haven’t thought about quietly, unobtrusively killing myself in nearly two years.

Yet when referencing depression, either internally or externally, the only thing most of us can think to say is that we suffer. We suffer from depression. How can I be suffering from depression when I’m not actually feeling depressed? It’s a linguistic accusation.

I no longer think of myself as someone who suffers from depression. I experience depression. I acknowledge that yeah, I have the chemical version of the devil’s advocate living in me all the time. While I hope that it won’t rear it’s ugly head ever again, there’s no way for me to be certain. Things that come naturally for most people require a lot of thought and internalizing for me. Sometimes I need medication to help me…to help me. Help me get going, help me get on, help me get through. I spend a lot of time kicking my brain’s ASS.

This last time around, I was able to turn my depression into the impetus for making a big, tangible life changing decision. I had to plug in the phone, answer the email, say “yes” when I wanted to say “no”, persist when I wanted to take a nap. It took a team of loving, dedicated people to give me back my life. To get me to a point where I could open up a world of options for myself, be brave enough to try something new, make connections and new friendships, rediscover my creative life.

I’m not suffering.

And I’m not merely alive.