Journal Day: #6

As someone who always needs more motivation to make time for writing, I’m so thankful that Danielle of Sometimes Sweet, has started the Journal Days project. So what is Journal Days? Well, every Sunday Danielle is sharing a prompt and on Thursday will be publishing her reply. Everyone participating is asked to comment on the post with a few lines from their response and a link to their post. I think one of the coolest things about blogging is the community surrounding it – so this is really a win, win for me! Feel free to join along, too! It’s never too late to start. Anyway, enough rambling. On to this week’s prompt…

Everyone has different things that keep them going. Sometimes it’s the people around us, other times it might be what’s waiting for us on the other side of hard work. Whatever it may be, there’s usually some sort of motivation to get up every day, get things done, or maybe even go the extra mile. With that said, what would you say is your biggest motivation in life? Has it always been this way?

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(Dad and brother on their trip to California last summer.)

Some days my number one motivator for waking up is knowing I get to take a nap later in the day. Other days it’s the sweet relief of the post-wake up bathroom break (does anyone not go first thing in the morning?!). And on a lot of days it’s a yummy meal I know is waiting for me at dinner.

But thinking bigger picture – what is my motivator? What makes me wake up and make the decisions I do every day? What drives me to be the person I am? For some I think it’s their faith, for others music or maybe a significant other. Well, for me, I think it’s been the same thing since I was born and that is… Loving people.

No, I’m not saying I’m perfect at this and there are definitely times where it doesn’t seem like I’m loving anyone and barely even liking anyone.

But the truth is, I’m happiest when I’m helping others. This manifests in different ways. It might mean picking up coffee for friends at work, or working at an organization to help support the North Korean people. Sometimes it means being a real pest and reminding my boyfriend a million times to do something, or setting up a babysitting schedule for a friend whose husband is out of town.

I think this has always been my big thing. Even as a kid, I wanted to do whatever I could to make other people happy and I just wanted to love people a bunch.

My mom and dad are both people who love non-stop and I am so so thankful they passed that on to me. At my mom’s memorial service, the room was PACKED with people, some of whom we would never, ever have expected to see there but ya know what? She impacted people she knew, even if she didn’t realize it, and that is because she loved all the way. I don’t think you could have known my mom and not just felt loved by here. Plus, she gave awesome hugs. My dad? He shows his love with gifts and acts of service hands down. I don’t know anyone who knows my dad who hasn’t felt loved by him. Who hasn’t been overwhelmed with his constant generosity and willingness to do whatever it takes. I’m so lucky to have been raised by such amazing people who taught me what it meant to love unconditionally. And whats so cool is that now I get to see these characteristics shine through in my brother, too, and I sure hope some people see them in me!

Loving people isn’t a chore – it’s an honor. And sometimes loving them is hard. Like really hard. Like so hard you want to give up and crawl under a rock. Sometimes it means bringing up the stuff that would be easier to ignore (sorry friends, I know it’s annoying when I do this one), or being there for someone who is having a hard time when you feel like you can’t handle any more on your plate. But that’s all part of it and I really do think that loving others brings goodness back into your life. I don’t even think I believe in a God or karma or whatever, but ya wanna know how it brings goodness to you? It makes your heart feel good and your smile extra bright.

When my mom died, I think I could have easily changed. I could have let the world harden me, I could have chosen to stop loving because loss sucks. Sometimes loving people backfires. And because I love hard, I often get let down even harder. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that you can love someone and not expect anything in return. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be picky about who you let in your bubble, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love them anyway. I use the word friend sparingly – it takes a LOT for me to call someone my friend. But it doesn’t take a lot for people to love someone. I love everyone I meet and people I’ve never met. (Now, remember, this does NOT mean I like everyone I meet. I am no freakin’ Mother Theresa.)

Maybe I’m just in a really good, and maybe some of you who know me on more sarcastic, angry days are confused as to where this is coming from.

But this is me and my engine runs on love love love.

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(Me and my mom on a family vacation, not in ’94. That time stamp is wrong.)
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