Awareness, why do we have so many dates within a year to remind us to be aware of some type of event, disease, moment in time. For decades there a day has been dedicated under the principles of government law. This is dated back to President Eisenhower when he established National Diabetes month. In 1922 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed one week for Fire Prevention Week. Fire Prevention week was started do to the Great Chicago Fired of 1871. Those who survived the brutal fire celebrated with tributes and observances for those who survived and eventually it turned into an opportunity to educate people about fire safety. The month of April has about 64 days to observe, not included international days. Is this to much?
Awareness campaigns have become valuable tools to start conversations, wither the conversation is about; to many Awareness days, what day to be aware of, of the Awareness day that you are compassionate about. Education on any one of the topics of Awareness can draw to an education conversation for most people. Kim Thiboldeaux stated “We believe that people impacted by cancer, or any serious illness, are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community. Awareness months may not be perfect, but they do make a difference.” (Thiboldeaus, 2017, para. 11).
So, why am I talking about Awareness? April is a month that has 64 days or so of dedication to different Awareness. Which one do you support? Which one does a company post on their website or make t-shirts for, or donate to? This is the same question I asked myself when trying to choose what sample items to make for our store or post on our website. It also brought me to this blog, and the questions of Awareness. What about Self-awareness?
I am working hard on my own self-awareness, strengths, and care. I have some good attributes; Courageous, Educated, Compassionate, Professional, Trustworthy, Understanding, Devoted and I know my list can go on. However, I have a huge list of negative attributes as well. Some of those negative attributes are; Inflexible, Moody, Compulsive, and Detached. We are all not perfect, have our own lists to own up to. It is not easy to turn a mirror onto yourself, feel down in the dumps, and still run your daily life, work, family, your own extracurricular activities and your families. Some may be dealing with a family members death, others may be a caregiver of a family member, some may be working on abstaining from substances or just got out of a relationship.
Daily life hits us from the time our feet hit the floor in the mornings and does not end when we go to bed. We may think our day is going to start of to be a good day and anything can happen before that cup of coffee. For me today, it was a call about my dad again. The hospital asking for him to pay his bill, it was not enough I just got the bill yesterday in the mail. So, what do you do? Well, I cried again, then just sat here and thought more.
Healing takes time, life changes take time and what has come from my dad's death is life-changing for me. I have learned more about my weaknesses and what strengths I have, what personas I have used as a bandage keeping me going or put on the strong front for everyone else. Where does this leave me today?
I am still searching for me, looking at what is next, what am I going to do for me and how am I going to do it. I have found, or should I say re-found some friends that I forgot I had support with that never left my side. Who in a time when it really mattered stepped up and resurfaced, are helping me find my way again. I am a turtle without her shell right now and I am rebuilding my armor to better protect myself, family and what I stand for.
It has been a long journey to this part of my life with many hurdles. I say hurdles as I can’t call anything I have done as a mistake. Everything in my past has made me who I am today. Without my challenges I may not be the strong women I am now. My strength come from my past, my past is a melting pot of those left overs you either love or dislike a whole lot. My Nana called it Goulash, everything BUT the kitchen sink. Not my favorite, but it was not bad at times. We all have a Goulash for a family. Family members we love and some not so much. Family that we see all the time and others only when they need something. We also have those who are around and then gone for a time until their life is not so good. Its life, it happens, but what I am learning, its not my fault or problem. The bottom line is they are family and we live them for who they are and where they are in life. We do not have to love them for what they do, just that they are family.
Learning about myself has helped me to understand my family, friends and surroundings. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am now still in the figuring out stages of self-awareness, but I will get there, and I will bring you along with me if you want.
So, what is coming up for menext? I am still working on leaving the house or just getting through the day without crying, I am going to DC to continue to advocate for our military caregivers, I have continued my hobby of photography and I love it, I am looking at finishing my PhD., and I made it to the movies with our little Azy. Now the movies were a challenge, but I had two great sidekicks with me to help me along the way. As for my children, well, they are just amazing. Summer and Tim have really been there for me through this, and it is I that is to be there for them. Astonishing, that they have taught me this last few months. I should not be amazed, but I am, they are my children, my babies, I am to care for them. They were injured, they need me right? It is my job to keep life perfect, going forward and them well protected. They dedicated their life to the military to keep us protected. Summer is my calm to the storm, amazing how she does it. She just cuddles with me in my chair and off to sleep we go. Tim is my talking buddy, we can talk about most anything and its a lot of fun to do this with him. Then there is Ms. Jessica, boy, she has grown into her own lady and kept me grounded the first week of my dad’s death. She is there for my calls, talks me off the ledge of just overwhelming fear of being alone and then the laughter she gives me with her just being Jess. This takes me to little Cheyenne, her heart as big as Texas, her calls to see how I am doing, her appearances of just to drop by to give me a hug. We then have Miss Azy, although my little granddaughter, she is still ours and has been our since she was 18 months old. She wakes up with a smile, bright eyes, and full of love. You can’t not smile when she giggles or just gives you those hugs. My favorite with her is her call to Summer asking her if when she was her age if they had cameras. I can’t forget Erica my daughter-in-law and Emily who have been there for me unconditionally. I don’t even know where to start with those two. I can only really say thank you and keep bringing on those smiles and the laughter. What about my husband, well, that’s another story by himself. I can tell you he is one amazing man, great husband, friend, dad, father, grandpa. I could not do this without him.
Thiboldeaus, K. (2017). Do Awareness Months Work? Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/do-awareness-months-work_b_8347646