You are a keeper.

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We are busy.  We forget to breathe.  We forget to stop.  We forget to look in the mirror and say "well done mama".  Never a day goes by when we don't love so much it hurts but always a day goes by when we forget to say it to ourselves.

Instagram makes it hard to separate reality from a photo.  We see it and think, "Wow what am I doing wrong?  How do they do it all? Look how happy, skinny, pretty, busy, successful, kind, silly, romantic, young, super, popular, gifted they are.  What is wrong with me?"  This happens to us daily.   But we never open a magazine and say "Wow that model is so ______ what is wrong with my life" so why do we do it on social media.  It's the same thing but more accessible so it hits closer to our hearts I guess.  

Yesterday was one of those days.  The past few years have been really trying times for us in so many ways. We are trying to figure out who we are after we had kids. What our new passions are for they have morphed. Who our friends are as paths change.  What we are great at besides kissing booboos and making butter pasta.  But at the same time these hard times were gifts.  The hard times caused us to become stronger, love more, and appreciate how nothing is what it seems for even "Salt looks like sugar."  But even through all of that we still have the daily feeling that we aren't doing enough, we aren't successful enough or good enough moms, friends, wives, selves..."  And then we were sent this... the tears began and the healing started.  (from LuckyOrangePants.com)

I am the keeper.

I am the keeper of schedules. Of practices, games, and lessons. Of projects, parties, and dinners. Of appointments and homework assignments.

I am the keeper of information. Who needs food 5 minutes before a meltdown occurs and who needs space when he gets angry. Whether there are clean clothes, whether bills are paid, and whether we are out of milk.

I am the keeper of solutions. Of bandaids and sewing kits and snacks in my purse. But also of emotional balms and metaphorical security blankets.

I am the keeper of preferences. Of likes and dislikes. Of nightly rituals and food aversions.

I am the keeper of reminders. To be kind, to pick up their trash, to do their dishes, to do their homework, to hold open doors and write thank you notes.

I am the keeper of rituals and memories. Of pumpkin patches and Easter egg hunts. I am the taker of pictures, the collector of special ornaments, and the writer of letters.

I am the keeper of emotional security. The repository of comfort, the navigator of bad moods, the holder of secrets and the soother of fears.

I am the keeper of the peace. The mediator of fights, the arbiter of disputes, the facilitator of language, the handler of differing personalities.

I am the keeper of worry. Theirs and my own.

I am the keeper of the good and the bad, the big and the small, the beautiful and the hard.

Most of the time, the weight of these things I keep resembles the upper elements on the periodic table – lighter than air, buoying me with a sense of purpose. It’s what I signed up for. It’s the one thing I am really good at.

But sometimes the weight of these things I keep pulls me down below the surface until I am kicking and struggling to break the surface and gasp for breath.

Because these things I keep are constantly flickering in the back of my brain, waiting to be forgotten. They scatter my thoughts and keep me awake long past my bedtime.

Because all these things I keep are invisible, intangible. They go unnoticed and unacknowledged until they are missed. They are not graded or peer reviewed or ruled on by a court. And sometimes they are taken for granted.

To all of you who are keepers, I see you.

I know the weight of the things you keep.

I know the invisible work you do—which doesn’t come with a pay check or sick leave—is what makes the world go round.

I see you.

And I salute you.

#LoveHard

We see ourselves.  We see you.  You are amazing.  Your work is worth your weight in diamonds.  You are a keeper and we love you.  

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