08 November 2012

Feeling the Weight of the World


I'm sitting at my computer writing this post and eating a delicious hot meal.  I have a blanket wrapped around me and a little heater on at my feet.  We're having apple crisp for dessert.

Across the street from us is where they are bringing many of the evacuees from Far Rockaway.  As I sit here, I can look out my window and see the cots - row after row - where people are laying down. They have been there over a week now.  There are two semi trucks permanently affixed on the street where they are keeping supplies.  Yesterday they had the street blocked off as they said they were bringing in showers for the residents.  There is another evacuee shelter nearby at a high school a few blocks away and it broke out with a stomach virus today.   :(

It's one thing to see this all on the news.  It's another to see it in the neighborhoods that we know and love...and to see it from our living room window.  It's been difficult to feel normal when so many people around us are without.  Luckily, it was not a big deal to cancel our IVF a few days after the hurricane due to gas/power/subways & a pharmacy shortage.  It can easily wait another month.  I wish others had that kind of flexibility with their lives right now.

My thoughts about blog posts have been strained.  I've felt a little paralyzed - not sure what to write.  I feel a desire to say something inspiring - to be a good influence to those in need, cause I live for the opportunity to do that.  But at the same time, I am seeking inspiration myself.  I am working to keep myself well so that I can continue to offer my best to others.

-I'm diligently walking and running daily (it's amazing.  I can't recommend it enough.  This has changed my life more than once in times of need.)

-I'm listening to talks, meditations and music to refuel me.  Right at this moments, it's Les Miserables.

-I'm letting my husband's words soak into me:  "I believe in you.  I couldn't do what you do.  You have talents that I don't have.  I love you for all that you do." 

I know my weight is so little right now.  So very little.  But it never ceases to amaze me how even the smallest burden we carry can interrupt our ability to be our best.  So tonight, just as I recommend to all of you, I will pursue virtues.  I will pursue love and gratitude (!) for my dear husband (that man, oh my goodness).  Gratitude for all of you who have so thoughtfully written us so much heartfelt kindness this last year and given me confidence in pouring my heart out to you.  Love for all the New Yorkers (& beyond) who need our efforts, thoughts and prayers at this time.  Patience with myself as I get myself back on track.   

Thanks for all you do for us,

Mara


P.S.  Does it take a lot out of you emotionally to write?  I'm so curious how it is for other people.  At times, I prepare a post rather quickly.  Other times I hit some bumps and start over.  I mean - LOVE...can you believe I am trying to tackle something as complicated as a blog about love?  :)  haha.  It's a lot to handle.  And I'm trying to do it justice :)  Luckily, the reward of doing this is so great that I happily continue. 


(image source via kate spade)

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27 comments:

  1. Wow, it's so hard to imagine what things are like in NY from afar. This really puts it in perspective. Sending lots of love your way!

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  2. Hi Mara, hang in there!! For some inspiration, here's a link to the blog of a wonderful artist who lives very near to you I think. If you haven't read her blog or seen your work, I know it will cheer you immensely today. And thanks for all your hard work, there are many anonymous people out there (like me!) who read your blog on a daily basis and you make a difference just by being you.
    http://bigbangstudio.blogspot.com/

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    1. Marlene - you are right. that blog is amazing. SO much talent. Thank you for sharing !

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  3. Thanks for your honesty and for giving what you have. Your gift is so beautiful and genuine--to your neighborhood, your blog readers, your marriage, etc. And it is causing such a huge ripple affect in the lives around you. I know this first-hand :)

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    1. Marie - thank you so much! So sweet of you to write. Your note means so much.

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  4. Oh, sweet Mara! I can feel the weight on you all the way here in Chicago. Bless you for what you are doing. Each and every small action makes a difference in someone's life. Your acts of kindness will lift someone up today. I only hope you can feel all the good thoughts and prayers coming your way to keep your spirit up! Thanks for sharing at such a difficult time.

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  5. Mara, this was a great post. As someone who has family and friends affected by the storm (even just a few short hours away in my hometown), I feel so fortunate to never lose power and to have been safe and warm throughout. There's a level of guilt that goes along with that. I'm feeling guilty that my poor sweet grandparents were without power for a few days, when their apartment dipped down to 58 degrees. What can I do about it? What can I, one person without an abundance of resources or money, do for those that have so much less. I feel blessed that I could donate at my job where a man will be driving up to the shore this weekend to help. I was able to buy toothbrushes and toothpaste, dog beds and bowls, and trash bags. I knew it was coming from a bank account that is heavily budgeted. I knew that and yet it didn't feel like enough. It warmed my heart and I was glad to carry my loot in to work and to see the donation boxes teeming with supplies. But yet, how can it ever be enough when others are hurting and sad?! I just hope that the love we pour out can be felt and taken to heart by those who need it the most. Love to you and Danny for being shining examples of love, especially given the situation around you and all of us.

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  6. Beautifully said Mara. I hear ya. But you are a leader and inspiration to those around you—si se puede!

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  7. Oh, Mara - I'm sorry you had to postpone your IVF. That's so emotional with or without a major disaster. The work you've done, getting out there to help folks at the shelter, distributing food and supplies, raising awareness for those in need is incredible and inspiring. I wish I was nearby to give you a big hug. For all that you do for others, it's okay to feel those heavy feelings and to reach out for support. Many times the best writing is the most difficult. I love you, sweet sister.

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  8. Oh boy do I know about the emotions of writing. I do it full-time and the burnout is soooo easy to feel! Not like busywork that you can just switch on and off. It can get rough. I usually just have to ride it out until some blessed creativity starts flowing again! In the meantime, I put on running shoes as well :)

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    1. oh man - running. Glad to hear I'm not the only one. Let's keep it up. It's like magic for writing and creativity - and everything else.

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  9. Dear Mara,
    If only all of us could do as you do, or say things in the way that you say them, or better yet act on those things. You remind me of "world peace", maybe we should get politicians to read your blog.

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  10. Hi Mara,
    I am just wondering if you have a book recommendations on the love of god. I am LDS and of course read the BOM but I am wondering if there is another book that you have found that helps explain and grasp that HUGE concept.... I know that you have a lot on your plate so please take your time to reply. My prayers are with you and all those who are in need right now! Thank you for everything!

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    1. YES! A Light in the Wilderness by M. Catherine Thomas. Simply amazing. I have no words, really. She's my favorite author on love and all things spiritual. She is LDS, as well, but I think her words would touch just about anyone.

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  11. This is one of my favorite posts of yours. So vulnerable and relevant. I've actually loved every single one of yours posts, so that's saying something... Thank you for the reality check of what it's like in NYC right now, and what it's like to be heavy laden with sadness. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing. NOBODY has the talents you do, which is why no one else has written as a blog like this before.

    P.S. I'm really sorry about the postponed IVF. :(

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    1. ohhh. Sometimes these comments just make me melt. Thank you for this. I really appreciate it.

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  12. The light & love that radiates throughout this blog is so amazing that I cannot put it into words (like you do so well) how revolutionary & amazing a blog about love is. It is to be expected to hit bumps in our creative lives just as we do in our real lives. Don't be too hard on yourself Mara dear you are truly a gifted & an amazing woman & I am SO thankful for you & what you are doing!!!

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  13. My best friend is serving his mission there and was in Far Rockaway until last transfer. Now he's in Freeport in a less damaged area, but they get shipped in to Far Rockaway to help with what they can. Can't believe how crazy it must be out there. Lots of prayers.

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  14. Dear Mara & Danny,
    I've been meaning to comment for a month or so now and I think today is the perfect day for it. I can't thank you enough for the way your blog has changed my life. I am also dealing with infertility - secondary infertility this time. My husband is wonderful, but is starting a new business and is almost never home these days. I had let these things (along with a knee injury that has kept me from running for a year and half) create a lot of sadness and resentment inside of me. It wasn't until a friend recommended your blog to me that I realized that I was poisoning myself and my relationship with my husband. I am still in awe of my total change of heart since reading your first week of posts and discovering that I can CHOOSE to be happy. My gratitude for all of my blessings skyrocketed and even though my situation has not changed, I am so truly happy. I am LDS and have probably heard many of the things you talk about hundreds of times. Something about the way you write and the practical tips you give has finally helped me internalize those principles. I could go on and on, but you probably have other things to do besides read this. :) I have been recommending your blog to everyone!

    I am so sorry about having to postpone your IVF and for the problems caused by Sandy. Thank you for making us West-coasters aware of what's really going on.

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  15. You are real and you have your unique voice, a voice coming from inside you and surrounding you and your man, your entire life. Other people might continue to blog even in the most terrible days because they can post about anything irrelevant to what is happening around them, they simply choose to inspire others with visual images or tunes or anything they have chosen to blog about. But you can't do it, as you have chosen to blog with your heart, your thoughts, your experiences, your news, your life. And this is why we keep coming to your blog, because anyone can have a blog, but only you can have this successful resource of love, reality, humor, hope, humanity and inspiration all in one place!
    A big hug for you from far far away :)

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  16. Yes, yes. I do understand that feeling 100%. It's challenging to move out of when you feel so weighed down by things happening around you (and within you).

    You seem to be doing a great job as you use your time and talents to help others. Well done Mara. So proud of you. xo

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  17. Writing is extremely emotional for me. It's why I've tabled so many of the topics I've wanted to address, I often don't have the time or energy to process all of the emotion it takes to write them after spending all day mothering. They come in pieces. I really understand where you're coming from with the engines stalled in the writing process when I'm trying to refuel.

    I love what you continue to share here. I often find myself thinking of things you've written, especially as several close to me are going through divorce. I wish your blog was required reading for those facing that trial! Thank you for all you do- you're incredible!

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  18. Mara, you remind me to keep it simple. Overcoming those emotional blocks sometimes cause me to make things more complicated. I want to write courageous, overcoming, reaffirming stories. But I am such a novice at such things, that I feel insecure even attempting to put them down in print. I try to follow your example: don't give up and keep reading, observing and loving.

    Shawni Pothier wrote a great post the other day about how many days aren't sunshine and rainbows, but instead they are real and hard and not what they seem.

    Thank you for keeping us abreast of the realities of Sandy. Your tweets and posts of the past week have helped me comprehend what is happening. My husband's family lives on Long Island, and we have loved ones in Connecticut where my husband grew up. Our hearts are here in Arizona wishing we could be there to help.

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  19. Is it hard to write/pour out your soul? Yes! Absolutely! It's exhausting to confront our feelings, not to mention vocalize them--especially for the world to read. I am in awe of you (and other bloggers, friends, people) for being able to do that so well. It's much easier to just say "I'm fine" and then move along like most of us do. Thanks for helping us readers have the courage to open up more to see and feel the beauty and love all around!

    ps -- enjoy the Sandy clean-up efforts (which sounds weird to say). Oh, but that awesome feeling of community when you're working with others to help...so fulfilling!

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  20. Dear mara,

    I am one of perhaps many who check your blog daily for new posts but rarely leaves comments, out of a general shyness or awkwardness for such things. But please know that for me your blog is a daily sanctuary, a time to stop and think about the bigger picture, to refocus on what really matters, to let the light shine in, and to remind me to let my heart shine a little brighter.

    Thankyou for your courage in sharing your innermost thoughts and perspective, it has for me given me greater confidence to share my own experience more freely with my loved ones, with warming results. Please know also that you and Danny have been in my daily thoughts since sandy struck, and in your days without posts I sent you invisible hugs :) even though we don't know each other you feel like a good friend. (actually I am hypothyroid and gluten free also). Anyway I'm not sure where I'm going with this!

    Every day feels like it is a matter of urgency that we bring our loving kindness, generosity, and forgiveness to all that we do and all whom we encounter. Events like sandy just serve to make this urgency all the more clear.

    May god bless you and Danny for spreading a spirit of love on this blog about love. You are contributing to an online community in the same way you have been assisting in your local community.

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  21. Always remember storms make oaks take roots.
    Stay bless.

    Jacqueline.

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