Recap, Regroup and Relearn: Lessons from October

Leaping coyote

Lessons Learned in October

  1. I have discovered that I am a challenge junkie. For the second year in a row I accepted the #write31day challenge for October, and I survived another year. This time around, I wrote about my daughter’s journey with mental illness, which meant constant consultation with a busy college student. Thanks to her gracious assistance and partnership in the process (as well as my incredibly creative and helpful older daughter), I managed to post once a day for 31 days (although one post didn’t make it up until ten pm).
  2. I love encouraging other people who join challenges because it makes me happy to see them work on their dreams. Conversely, as other people experience success, it encourages ME! Anyone else have a FitBit and want to friend me?  I love cheering people on as they meet their exercise goals, too.  My FitBit email is: kettleheadhats@gmail.com.
  3. During the first week of the challenge, we had a quick getaway that included a day in Yellowstone National Park and a night in the Tetons. I love both of these parks. I also discovered that they will both host half-marathons in June—just one week apart. That would be almost like running a marathon…will I resist the challenge (does anyone want to join me)?
  4. In writing about our daughter’s mental illness, I discovered how incredibly supportive people are if you’re willing to expose your vulnerabilities. Exposing myself does NOT come naturally to me. I learned that exposure opens me up to the blessings of kind words and encouragement and the knowledge that I am not alone in my journey. Thank you to everyone who cheered me on.
  5. The biggest lesson I (re)learned? God will always walk with me through life’s darkest hours. When I reach the bottom of my capacity to ‘handle’ things, he stands right there, waiting for me to lift my hands in praise. Once I uncover my eyes and get my hands where they belong, I can clearly see that even if my next step looks uncertain, Someone holds my hand. Once I uncover my eyes and raise my hands in praise, Jesus takes my hand and leads me. Click To Tweet
  6. Prayer warrior friends have value beyond comparison. In those hellish moments when all I could do was sob, my prayer warrior friends prayed the specifics—freeing me to lift my hands in praise.
  7. And a random, last minute lesson I learned has to do with a controversial topic that’s totally off-the subject of #write31days or caregiving. I’d like to thank Chad R. Allen for his thoughtful opinion about Halloween. It’s not a holiday that I ever celebrated and it’s possible I’ve always felt a little self-righteous because I never trick-or-treated or dressed in a costume.
  8. Last, but not least, for those of you following our journey, the next post in the series will appear tomorrow morning.

What did you learn in October? Share with me in the comments section, or shoot me an email (I answer back ☺ ).

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Glad you got this up!
    Susan Shipe recently posted…what i learned in octoberMy Profile

    • I keep thinking things will slow down in November…obviously, they haven’t because I haven’t even had time to go back and reply to comments from weeks ago!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Don’t Dwell, Become the DwellMy Profile

  • Tara

    Love this! You are a fantastic encourager. I always smile when you cheer me on my FitBit. Being vulnerable is scary….trust me, I know but it opens Windows to the Mose encouraging encourages.

  • Ok so I navigated through the 31 days you wrote in October. I’m still lost though. Where is Sarah now? Is she okay? I feel disjointed about Andrew too!? Is he okay? It appears that Caregivers press forward in faith but the final answers are His. Trusting day by day. Praying for you and the many caregivers including myself. We each struggle as parents, and it is a sweet joy to know that we make it through day by day and our children grown and change in positive ways. As do we. With grace, jenn
    jennifer recently posted…Dwell, Because Pausing is NecessaryMy Profile

    • Sorry to leave you hanging, Jennifer :)! I have a few more posts left in my #write31days series (which stretched out into November). Sarah is safe and doing well back at college–she flies home for Thanksgiving tomorrow and I’m so excited! Andrew (Carol’s son) is now a healthy teenager.
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Don’t Dwell, Become the DwellMy Profile