Monday, November 21, 2016

What is Your Life Motto?

Monday Motivation: What's your life slogan?  Explain what words or mantra that keep you going and why.

I feel like in many ways, this post is similar to week one's Quote Inspiration post.  I don't have just one life motto, because as a mood cycler, often the message I need to send myself is not the same from day to day. When I'm in a hypomanic cycle, I might need to remind myself to reign it in, slow down, focus on smaller things. In a depressed cycle, I might need to motivate myself by reminding myself that I'm worth it, that my efforts help people, that I'm not hopeless. But here are a few thoughts/sayings/quotes that keep me going. As mentioned, I've already written about my favorite from Charles M.  Schultz as part of this challenge, so I'll leave that one out here. As always, these are in particular order. 

The first two are from my Grandma Ventura, that have become somewhat iconic in my family. 
  •  When asked how to get through to get through a difficult time, my grandma used to say "You put one foot in front of the other." It reminds me that you don't have to always get through something perfectly or gracefully. You just have to get through it. I picture someone walking through some sort of murk or mist, not being able to see anything but their feet moving beneath them. They don't even realize the progress they're making, but they are making it, by putting one foot in front of the other. 
  • The second one is less poignant. "If it ain't your ass, it's your elbow." Basically, it's always going to be something. Which reminds me not to wait until everything's perfect. It's never going to be. If it's not one thing, it'll be another. Try not to let it stop you. 
My grandma also used to say "Cream and bastards rise to the top", but I'm not really sure I apply that to daily life, other than to hope that when I do "rise", it's because I'm the former. 

The other things that get me through life regularly are oddly morose. Which is particularly strange, to me at least, for someone who blogs on mental health and suicide prevention.  But possibly because of that, because I often am addressing the topic of life and death head on in my efforts, it makes me think about it beyond just causes for which I advocate. I try to live my life according to the following: 
  • What will the person giving my eulogy one day say? To clarify, this is not something I think about because of suicidal thoughts. It's oddly, something I think about when I'm focused on life and the future, focused on living.  It reminds me to live in a manner that I would be proud for people to speak about one day.  
  • What will my legacy be? I think about when each of my grandmothers passed away. I think of the stories we told about them. I think about how we talked about their best qualities, how we laughed at the funny things they did and said. I think about how no matter what might have happened in the past, the whole extended family came together to share in their legacy, even if just for a little while. I think about what they've left of themselves (in "spirit", which I'm using in a non-religious way here) to pass down among the generations.  What do I want people to be passing down about me?  What will I have to show for my life at the end of it - whether it be something I've done, who I am as a person, or some combination of that? Am I truly, deep down, proud of what that would be? 
  • If something happened to me tomorrow, will I be proud of how I spent my last days? Did I spend it focusing mostly on "to do" lists, tasks, chores, work, etc? Or did I spend it focusing on what I love most - my friends, my families, my causes for helping others? What where my priorities? Should they have been, if I were to look back, knowing they were the last things I'd say and do? 

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