Without the Valleys, Can We Really Truly Appreciate the Mountain Tops?

Depression is a thing that everyone faces at one time or another, either directly or indirectly. It’s hard to blog when the people around you are struggling, especially when it’s the people closest to you. When the people you love hurt, you hurt.

I couldn’t see how I could possibly write about the joy of achieving our dream of location independence when it seemed like everything else was falling apart.

So I took a break.

It’s ok to take a break. Give yourself a little time off. Roll back from the things less consequential and focus on the relationships that are truly what is important in life. Allow yourself time to breathe, think, pray, love, care, support, and maybe even learn.

There’s a strange sense of guilt that can come with success when the most important people in your life are facing serious challenges. It’s hard to know what to do or how to be in those situations.

I don’t know if it’s right, but I’ve found the best thing to do in these challenging situations is just to step back for a bit. This is what I’ve been up to for the past several months as it seemed like members of our family faced trial after trial, hurdle after hurdle. Mental illness, loss, addiction, physical injury. It’s been a rough road lately.

Here is some of what I’ve been learning…

It’s important to be there for the people in your life… when they need you. But it is possible to be there too much.

I am a problem solver. That’s what I do… I’m resourceful and I solve problems. As a mother, this seems to come naturally. It just comes with the territory, right? But this can definitely be overdone and damage can be caused. There are books written on the topic, check it out.

I think my problem-solving tendencies are definitely something that have been accentuated in my personality over the years. But I’ve learned that this tendency to be a problem solver can cross a line. There is a point when ‘help’ crosses the line to enabling and enabling doesn’t do anyone any good. In fact, it can be incredibly harmful. I’ve had to learn to set healthy boundaries. This is not the easiest thing to do. It is so hard to prevent myself from leaping to the rescue. But the truth is they will never learn to fly if you don’t let them stretch their wings.

Show unconditional love and support without judgment.

The people you love are going to make their own decisions. Let them! We are responsible for our decisions and they are responsible for their decisions. That’s how life works. Doing life together doesn’t mean imposing yourself, including your opinions and judgments, on others in hopes of persuading the path they take. Live life alongside each other, not for each other.

It’s okay to lose control.

I feel most comfortable when I feel like things are under control. I like to have a sense that I have a handle on the things that are going on around me. But I’m not in control. God is. God is God and I am not. Thank God. Those would be some awfully big shoes to fill. It comes down to faith and trust.

Be there. Be an encouragement. Be a listening ear. Help when help is needed. But then let go and let God.

Celebrate the successes, even if you might have to do it quietly for a season.

When people around you are hurting, celebrating your successes can feel like bragging. Can anyone relate? That doesn’t feel good. Celebrate with those who celebrate, and mourn with those who mourn. But gratitude in your heart is good for the soul. Be glad. Be thankful.

This too shall pass.

Hard times don’t last forever. The clouds will clear. You will merge from the desert, as will your loved ones. I don’t think life is ever perfect, but joy comes in the morning. Without the valleys, would we really truly be able to appreciate the mountain tops?

Things are beginning to normalize. So today, I’m getting back to it. I feel like I have reached the point where I have the emotional energy to get back to writing, recording, creating, and sharing. It’s been a while so I’m catching up on my Instagram and this is the first time I’ve written in months.

We’re currently in the sky somewhere over the Midwest. The sun is shining through the window of the plane and it feels really good. We’ll be landing in a couple hours and maybe hitting that favorite Wichita ramen joint we found on our last visit here.

Thanks to Jim’s new job, we’ve finally succeeded in achieving location independence and we are finding our groove.

Thanks for reading. I hope you found this post as helpful to read as I did to write. If so, I would love to hear from you!

Until next time… Safe travels. Life is too short to stay in one place!

  • Tania

    What is your perspective? How do you deal with the highs and lows of the nomadic life?

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