A Splash of Color

Jax Menez Atwell

If your path is dull then change it. If your tired of where you are in life then do something about it.  If you always do it one way then try the other.  What do you have to lose?

Recently, I had the wonderful experience of traveling through a portion of Southern Utah and into a section of Northern Arizona I had never experienced.  I had grown tired of my normal path to get to my stomping grounds up north and decided to make quick, last second change.

My little adventure started out, at first, looking for California Condors.  The California Condor is an amazing species.  I won’t bore you with all the details but when this majestic bird is high in the air its incredible wing span will leave you in awe.  This amazing bird was released in this area in the mid 1990’s in an attempt to…

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Running Eagle Falls

Jax Menez Atwell

On a recent excursion with my sons to Glacier National Park we came across Running Eagle Falls.  Before venturing off into nature I read up on why this area was named Running Eagle Falls.  Turns out that a beautiful Blackfeet native woman became an incredible warrior.  Her beauty and stubbornness were unparalleled.  My interest was peaked for sure.

Turns out Running Eagle was originally named “Otaki” and was from the Alberta, Canada area.  She was a Piegan Tribe of the Blackfeet Nation.  She gained her new name after saving her father and later joining a raid to win back stolen horses from a warring tribe.  After that she turns out to be an amazing warrior and leader.  Her beauty was also considered unparalleled. Her name was well known and well respected even amongst her enemies.  She was killed in battle sometime after 1878 by Flathead warriors.  Out of respect…

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Stop and Smell the Roses

Have you ever sat and wondered where the day, week, month, year went?  We all have.  If you sit down and actually think about how you spent your time, can you honestly say that you remember all that you did, other than work or running errands?  I know I can’t.  Why is that?  That’s because we are all so busy getting through the work day or the many, many errands we have to run that we forget to slow down and just enjoy life.  I don’t want to look back at my life when I’m old and regret not doing this or that.  I don’t want to look back and wonder where all the fun went.

I was driving in my car one day and I actually looked at the world around me and started to get disappointed.  I wasn’t disappointed because I was running late and traffic wasn’t moving fast enough, but I was watching all the other drivers and disappointed that they are in such a hurry to get from point A to point B that they missed everything around them.  I started getting irritated with the drivers on the rode when either I’m trying to enter or exit my complex and no one is willing to stop for 5 seconds to let me get out and get on my way.  I’ve gotten irritated when I’ve seen them do it to others too and I’ve started taking the time to slow down or stop to let someone into the massive traffic jam of life.

I started noticing while shopping too, and I used to be one of them.  I have a hard time being in stores of any kind because I soak up the energy/feelings of everyone around me and most of the time the other people in the stores with me are typically the happiest.  In fact, I’ve noticed they are usually miserable and they are rushing through there like they are on fire.

It’s not just that though; everyone just seems to be in a hurry to get through life and here I am struggling to get through one day at a time most days.  I’ve been trying to do more fun things with my daughter and it’s not easy, as I do constantly have a list of things that need to get done going on in my head, but been doing my best to ignore it.  This is mostly because life is short and I have been reminded of this several times over the last year and a half.  Tomorrow is never guaranteed so I am trying to do my best to not be in such a hurry to get through the day anymore.

I am finding that my work day isn’t going as quickly as it used to, no matter how busy I am, because I’m not so focused on the time anymore.  I have also noticed that my weekend really doesn’t go as quickly as it used to because I don’t fill it up with “things to do” anymore, rather I just do what I can and make time for my daughter.  We don’t always go somewhere and spend money to have fun, as it shouldn’t really have to cost you to have fun, except your time.  Basically, I’m doing my best to make our time spent together more about the quality of the time, rather the quantity.  I’m not rushing things.  I’m honestly stopping to smell the roses and even though I do still have obligations that stress me out, I’m doing what I can to prioritize and pick my battles.  Everything still needs to get done, but it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t get done right this minute.

I’d rather see my daughter having a fun childhood and making memories with her than rushing through each day going from point A to point B and sticking to a schedule.  It’s not just about her though, it’s about me too.  I need to start finding time for me and allowing me to have some quality time doing something fun for me.  I do still spend a lot of time trying to make everyone around me happy that I honestly forget about me.  I only say this because in the last month, I’ve had at least 3 people tell me I look exhausted.

I think I trailed off a bit and made this all about me, but that wasn’t my intention.  My point is, that I honestly feel that if everyone would just slow down and not be in such a hurry to get through each day, they’d see all that they are honestly missing.  Life is passing you by and it’s time you won’t get back.  Are you making memories or has your life been a blur because you’re too busy chasing the almighty dollar and have forgotten to live?

I’m still learning how to slow down and hoping to start on some new adventures with friends and my daughter to further my attempt in making memories and not having our lives be but a blur, but right now I’m taking it one day at a time.  Obviously we need the almighty dollar to pay our bills, but should that really be your first concern or should living life to the fullest (or live each day like it’s your last) be your first concern?

Live your life, don’t let your life live you.

Mother’s Day

This is how depression took over my Mother’s Day.

Well, yesterday was Mother’s Day and this is a day that is supposed to be joyous and everyone is either celebrating their Mother or celebrating being a Mother, but that was not the case for me.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE being a Mother to my precious daughter and I absolutely love my Mother.  I honestly wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for the support of this amazing woman who raised me almost entirely on her own, but this isn’t about that.

Yesterday I was hit with an enormous amount of depression.  It literally came out of nowhere.  I was severely depressed and fighting anxiety.  I suffer from clinical depression, which means I am lacking a certain chemical in my brain to keep me evenly keeled.  (love my technical terms? lol) Because I am lacking this chemical, I have to put forth a lot more energy to be happy and positive, which tends to take so much out of me that I am usually down for a day or two after a period of time.

I must say that my daughter is the most amazing little girl out there because she did everything in her power to put that smile back on my face that was there when I woke up, but nothing she could do put it back.  I did make sure she knew that my “mood” wasn’t due to anything she did because she is so wonderful.  She made me peanut butter cracker sandwiches for lunch, helped me fold the laundry, put her clothes away, offered to make my bed for me, and even asked if I needed her to hang out with me.

When I say she is amazing, I am not exaggerating, because she is truly the best child ever.  For Mother’s Day she made me a coupon book with personalized coupons for me to use whenever I want and they do not expire.  My favorite coupon is for her to play with my hair and give me a massage.  She also made me a Happy Mother’s Day sign decorated with glitter.  It just upset me more that no matter what she did, I just wasn’t happy and it brought her down.  I don’t think anyone understands how much it hurts when you know the people around you who love you are also hurting because of this “mood”.

Before you say, “have you thought about taking medication,” I have been down that road with no success.  I am trying to work through it the best I can in my own way and I have been having more good days then bad days, but the bad days still suck.  There are times when I just need a vacation from my self because the constant battle inside my body is so exhausting that I am unsure if I will ever catch up on the sleep I’ve been missing out on.  I do have amazing friends that are there for me, but being me, I don’t always lean on them because I’m always worried about what they have going on and don’t want to burden them with MY issues on top of their already piled high plate.  (I get yelled at a lot about that and they all remind me I’m not a burden.)  The strange thing is, I don’t always run to them with my problems, but constantly tell them they can come to me with theirs.  I think it’s a way for me to completely forget about what I have going on and gives me a way to focus on something else other than myself, but that only makes it worse because ignoring my feelings for a short time doesn’t make them go away.  This may be where my anxiety comes in because I keep allowing it all to pile on until it spills over and the panic attacks come at me.

What I want to get across is that depression is not fun, it’s not easy, and it never comes at a convenient time, usually it’s the MOST inconvenient time.  I love my life, love my daughter, love my friends, and couldn’t be more grateful for all I have, but know that I am human and I have to exert more energy than most to put on a happy face.  There will be times that I just cannot smile, but that doesn’t mean I’m not happy, I’m just fighting a war inside my head and will take some time to get back to me.  We have to try not to allow it to take control of your life.  Easier said than done, I know, but it’s possible.

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-signs-and-symptoms.htm

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/what-is-depression#1

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-what-you-need-to-know/index.shtml

Please know you are not alone and there is help out there.  I am here, your friends are there, your family, and professionals.  I am always here to listen.  I am not a professional, so I cannot give medical advice, however I can be a shoulder to cry on or vent on, and I will do my best to point you in the right direction to get the help you need and will not leave your side until you tell me to.  There is always a way out and always, always, always someone willing to listen.

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Call 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday