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It’s never too late to begin again
Have you ever had moments in your life where it seemed that nothing could go right? Nothing seemed to work in your favor and the small wins you did have were smothered by the huge losses?
I have had that feeling a lot lately. In fact, I would say that the past few years have been some of the worst times of my life (and I’ve had cancer – these past few years were worse than that!) and in many ways these challenges have really caused a lot of struggle for me both internally and externally.
I know in the future, I am going to be able to look back and see the amazing growth that not only I, but my family as well, experienced during this time of transition, and I will appreciate it. Until then though, it is hard to appreciate it when you’re living it – and boy, howdy, have I been living it?!
Living a life full of challenges is what brought me here today. During my time of grief, I have been doing a large amount of soul-searching, life improvement skills (AKA Self-Help books) and getting very still and very quiet in order to listen to what Spirit is telling me.
Who are you?! (Who are you?! Heck, who am I?!!)
One thing that you must do in order to heal yourself from whatever it is that has hurt you is to know who you truly are. Know your qualities and your faults, know what makes you tick, how you perceive things and what your life motto is. And yes, you do have a life motto, even if you don’t know what it is. yet All of our lives have a purpose – the key is to find that purpose and use it.Click To Tweet
One way we can do this is by taking a few simple personality tests, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. I really like this test and have used it for years both personally with family and friends and while working in management in order to better know the people I have working with me. It’s fairly accurate and once you know your type, you can begin to recognize other types and find a way to communicate better in your relationships. If you’re an extroverted person married to an introvert, realizing what each of your types are will help you to better speak each other’s love language. Remember, the more we know about ourselves, the more we can know about others – and it is through knowing that we are able to find common ground and make peace with each other, improving all our relationships and interactions.
An INFJ. That means I am an Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging type. This type is often referred to as The Counselor, the Visionary, the Protector. I am in good company with other INFJs like Gandhi, Jimmy Carter, Florence Nightingale and Eleanor Roosevelt, albeit a smaller, rarer group than some of the other types.
I am also a Pisces. Born in the year of the Water Rat. A lefty (right-brained), Southern Gen-Xer. Basically, I am a walking ball of emotions, empathy and understanding – and those are just the things that ‘type’ me, not any of the events in life that have shaped me. Putting both type and event together though makes me who I am, and knowing who I am helps me to better face any challenge that comes my way. And it can help you, too!
Who are you? (I think I know!)
One of the things I know about me is that I am a perfectionist. I am such a perfectionist that when I can’t perform perfectly, I completely shut down. If I can’t do it to my standards, I find I won’t do it at all. One of the problems with being a perfectionist is that you are also a victim of comparisons – your own. You see people doing what you want to do, think you can do, wish and dream to do and you compare yourself to them to a point that you sabotage your own happiness and growth. I have been doing that a whole lot lately, mainly when it comes to the world of blogging and social media.
I have been comparing myself to friends who really have it together in this sphere and in my comparisons, I tried to be the most perfect version of them that I could. You read that right, perfect version of them. Not me.
In my trying to keep up with those I so admire, I lost my voice. I lost my passion. I lost my reason for being here. My Why. (My Who, Where, What and When has been on a hiatus as well, but they’re making their way back, too – we’ll check in with them later.) I had to fall off track to get myself back on it, and now I am ready to begin again.
One thing I have noticed with my successful blogging friends is that they are successful in their space because they remain true to themselves and to their audience. They know who their readers are and they have connected with them. In my quest to be perfect, I lost my direction on why I became a blogger in the first place and what my big picture was. I forgot who my audience was and I went after readers that I don’t connect with because I saw my friends connecting with them, and I wanted what they had. It took me some time to see that I can have my own version of what they have, just with my own people.
You are my people. You are my audience. You are the woman who told me about her struggles standing in the grocery line. You are the man who cried with me in my store while searching for the perfect gift to give his grieving wife. You are the caregiver to aging parents, the mate who suddenly finds themself alone, the parent whose house has emptied except for weekends with bags of laundry and a sink full of dishes. You are the couple who has spent so many years focused on being the parents that you forgot how to be the couple, the mom that spent years at home with the kids and now finds herself thinking, ‘What do I do now?’ or the employee that is thinking, ‘I’m ready to go live my dream!’ You’ve been through some things, seen some stuff. You want to be happy, at peace and feel like your life has value.
I see you. I hear you.
You are not coming to me for instant pot recipes, diaper rash remedies or how to balance work, family and the PTA (although maybe I should write that, that was hard!). You are here because you need help through the hurting. You are here to be encouraged, motivated, and helped. You trust my thoughts, opinions and reviews of products, places, or events (and thank you for that!). You want to know about traveling solo, as an empty-nester couple and as a large, multi-generational family because now you have daughter and son-in-laws, grandbabies and aging live-in parents – packing the family into the mini-van is not the same as it used to be! You no longer want big family meal recipes but things that can be made for one or two now, quick and easy but without sacrificing the good. You need help on managing health diagnosis, family losses and gains, and a lot of the things we didn’t think about when we were in our twenties. You come here to talk about the things no one else is talking about: Depression, addiction, separation and divorce, leaky bladders and family members that won’t talk to you without an argument. But you don’t want to just talk about the bad, you want to see the good. You come here because you know I can help you with that.
You are looking for new passions, or to revive those you may have laid down when the kids were all little and now you find yourself ready to pick them back up. You want to stay up to date on news and technology but you don’t want to be buried in your phone all day, so you’re discriminate on what you do read while online. You have goals you want to accomplish but you’re not sure how to get there. You are ready to begin again.
Let me help.
How I became Queen
When I had cancer and was going through chemo and radiation, I would often arrive at an appointment and be asked how I was. I almost always replied that I was, “just peachy keen!” until I began being called the just peachy keen girl, or just ‘Peaches.’ One day a tech heard me referred to as that and laughed saying I was the OG, the Original Peachy Queen, and because I am a native Georgian with a very noticeable drawl, it stuck hard and even other patients in the chemo suite would greet me with hellos to the ‘Peachy Queen.’ Since then, it’s been all peaches. And some pits.
Why Just Peachy Keen?
During this time, on a very bad day where it was obvious that the effects of treatment were almost more than my body could handle, I gave my standard reply of everything being just peachy and was questioned why I said that when obviously it was not. My reply that I still stand by today is this:
Peaches are delicious. Sweet, juicy and always worth eating. Peaches have pits though. Hard, bitter, unable to eat. In order to have the fruit, we must deal with the pit, because a pit is the seed and that’s where the growth comes from. So no matter what is happening, everything really is Just Peachy Keen. We’re either growing a tree or tasting its fruit and isn’t that what life really is all about?
And so I tell you this today, I see your peaches, and I see your pits, too. Let’s plant those pits and turn them into trees. I am here to help you navigate your new stage of life; let’s find the sweetness despite the pits and create a life we’re proud of. We’ll do it together.
Thank you for being here, thank you for sticking with me through this journey. Here’s to reconnecting with our authentic self this year. Embrace the change! Now let’s turn the page and begin again!