As a child of the 80s, one of my favorite pastimes was making collages. I would make them of my favorite bands, TV shows, places I wanted to visit, basically anything. They adorned my walls and my notebooks, and truth be told, I still have a few from my college years.
In December, I had the opportunity to go on a work trip to Seattle that allowed me to “just be me.” I didn’t have to take care of anyone but myself. I was able to connect with friends who have known me longer than my husband has. The bed was all mine. I could shower when I wanted, for as long as I wanted with no interruptions. My meals were all that I wanted to eat, and they were hot!
Though it was for work and only three nights away, I remember feeling refreshed in a way I hadn’t been in a while. In fact, I had been taking antidepressants to help with stress and anxiety, but in Seattle, they no longer seemed necessary. On the flight home, I forced myself to really think about why this trip was so different.
The trip was basically a flashback to the same trip, thirteen years ago. I reflected back on all the changes I’ve experienced in the past thirteen years: marriage, homeownership, miscarriage, children, managing life-threatening allergies for my family, near loss of my father-in-law, and much. No wonder I had lost my sparkle.
Shortly after my return, I had my annual physical, and my doctor asked me if I wanted to continue with the meds. “Are they working?” he asked. As I stopped to think about it, my heart knew the answer. “No.” I was using them to put a bandaid on my issues and continue to push through life. On the car ride home, I remembered what a dear friend and mentor told me she does when at a crossroad….make a vision board.
I spent my winter break #teacherlife researching vision board and chuckled that all things old are new again. Vision boards are Gen X’s collages. I could totally get behind this; the only problem was, who had magazines anymore? As a hoarder, I was able to find a dozen, and on January 1st, coffee, scissors, and a glue stick in hand, I got to work.
My boys watched as I cut, arranged, rearranged, glued, and finally sat back to admire my work. The end result hangs in my bedroom, so it’s among the first and last things I see every day. This helps me set my intentions for the day, and it’s been working! I no longer take any medication because my vision board makes my heart sing and my soul stronger.
My vision board is not a quick fix, nor does it have an expiration date. What it is, is an ode to my youth and the key to my future.