My blog usually posts a new entry daily at 5:30 a.m. I tend to write my posts – at the latest – on the night before I post them if not days in advance. It is not unusual for me to have a couple of posts in the works or scheduled a day or two in advance. As I have mentioned in previous posts, this blog is one of the coping mechanisms that I have in place to deal with the manic side of my bipolar nature. When my mind races, I blog. It helps me to focus my thoughts on a single subject, or it allows me to tangent in the many different directions that my thoughts race.
However, the blog also can be a coping mechanism for the down sides of my bipolar nature. That is today. It is hard to tell what is actually in play in days like today. I drove home to Minneapolis from Grand Forks, ND, last night as there was some “weather” predicted. I wanted to avoid that. However, that meant that I did not fall asleep until after 2:30 a.m. Perhaps I am just tired?
But I have been feeling the swing downward after a few months of an up swing. I guess we will have to see how things sort out as the day and week goes on before I decide if this is circumstance or biology.
Whether from the bipolar part of me or not getting enough sleep, I am completely uninspired today.
The horrible thing is that I have much to to be inspired by right now.
On Saturday, I spent the day as a judge at a high school speech meet where the boy and the girl competed. They are awesome! The boy recently returned to in person (vs online) high school in part so that he and his sister could compete in the duo category of speech. They rocked! They took first place! They each also placed in their individual categories with only a week’s preparation. This is inspiring!
Even the students whom I judged and who struggled with their performances are inspiring. To stand up in front of a group of eight peers and be judged by an adult (who – if it is me is a former English teacher and VERY critical!) for a minimum of three rounds is simply amazing. Even those who do not win are winners just for trying. I do not believe that everyone should get a medal for trying, but they all earn my respect. And they inspire me!
Inspiration continued on Sunday when the kids and I joined several family members to celebrate the 88th birthday of my maternal grandmother. Living that long should bring about inspiration alone, but then taking a look at her life adds even more inspiration.
Because her brothers went off to war when she was young, my grandmother left school at 8th grade and worked alongside her father on the family farm. She can dance, yodel, and tell it to you straight. She is the one who told me when I was pregnant with my first child only weeks after conceiving. She provided emotional support to my mother during a difficult marriage – encouraging moving across the ocean to try to save her marriage. And then, when the marriage crumbled, she allowed my mother, my brother, and myself to move in with her while we got our feet under us.
My grandmother became a widow around age 50, but that did not stop her from getting the most of life. She still works six days a week, goes to play Bingo with her friends, and remembers every family members’ birthday with a card and a “little something.” When I was in college, she sent me a letter with two dollars in it every week. She used to bake up a storm as many friend and relatives can attest to (ask them about how much weight they gained on a visit to her home!). My grandmother attends church at least once a week, and she serves as a greeter for the church. At 88, she often seems to have more energy than I do. She is an inspiration to me and to many others!
In the process of writing this post, I have realized that lacking inspiration is truly a flaw of my own introspection. Once I looked outside myself – even just to my own family members, I found that inspiration is easy to find. Imagine if I would have looked to my work place, my friends, or my extended family. After that, I can look to the rest of the nation, the world, and even history!
The next time I feel uninspired, I will sit down to write a blog post and consider who inspires me in that moment. Rather than wallow in my own feelings of inadequacy, selfishness, and pride, I just need to look outside of myself and realize that inspiration is not hard to find.
Once I see the inspiration around me, I then need to consider how I too can be an inspiration to others. This is not because I want people to say, “Wow – Stacy really inspired me!” Rather, I am called – because of my faith – to be an encouragement to others to do inspirational acts. Hebrews 10:24 – And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
I am thankful to my children and to my grandmother that, when I am feeling completely uninspired because of circumstance or biology, I can look to them as an example of love and good deeds. May we all find inspiration in one another. And may we all provide encouragement to others toward love and good deeds.