February 2 - Step 23  Staying positive by staying connected

Today I met and worked with several women who have different but relatively challenging situations to deal with.  Housing, finances, family conflict, rebellious teens.... to name a few.  Real people with real tough situations make up the bulk of the work that I do as a family support worker.  Some days go smoothly, other days it feels like the winds from the north, south, east and west are converging together to create maximum chaos for the families we work with.

Staying positive and grounded in the face of less daunting situations than the ones I have described above is hard for most of us and when our basic needs or family supports are lost, for whatever reason, staying grounded and positive is almost impossible. Yet, in my experience the one big difference that plays into making it possible is our sense of community and belonging.  That others care and are willing to listen, to practically help if they can and who do not point out our foibles and follies.

When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, one of the most important aspects of my recovery that helped me and remain optimistic and positive were the friends who were prepared to walk with me on that journey.  Driving me to the hospital, sending flowers and cards, making meals, being at the end of the telephone and decorating the house for my daughters seventh birthday party.  I still have all the cards in a book and the memories of that difficult time are precious.

Finding and making friends can be tough and if, like me, you have a small family and no other adult family member close by feeling connected may be a challenge.  However quality relationships with a few people are, in my opinion, way more important than having a 1000 facebook friends who you hardly know.   We can also create a sense of belonging by joining a club, a society, a church or other place of worship.  Finding people who enjoy similar activities who may not become our "BFF's" but whose company we can enjoy on a hike, or going to the movies. 

Step 23

Think about who you are close to, who is important in your life and who could be counted on to be your cheerleader in a time of crisis.  Who are you a cheerleader for?  If you haven't called or spoken to them in a while give them a call, or drop them a line - tell them how important they are.

I had a lovely email today from a work colleague saying "sending you healing wishes".  It was soo nice and really helped me through the first day back after the ugly bug.   And yes, I felt more positive after reading it, because she showed me she cared:-)

Don't forget to record your successes and challenges -

My successes:
Getting back to work
Not taking "on" others problems

Not getting to curves since last week
Maintaining weight loss - thanks to above!

Quote for the Day

"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."
---Oprah Winfrey

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