Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Trees, Hugging, Change, and Moving Forward...


I’m a nostalgic person.

I know it’s probably not healthy to look to the past as much as I do… but one of my favorite things is to look back and see how all the little pieces of life have woven together, creating a pathway that in no way seems like a coincidence.

I try to live my life in a way so I’m aware of events happening in the moment—so I don’t have to look back and wish I had been more alert to the special nature of the moment. But more often than not, moments pass by and I don’t realize what I had until it’s gone.

Sometimes this depresses me… but as life speeds forward, the one thing that brings comfort is being able to see how I have grown or how other people have grown or how we’ve overcome trials and become better for it.  As I reflect on the past year, there might be times I wish I could push the pause button on and relive, but this has been a year where I’m beyond grateful to be where I am now!


Last Year: Exactly a year ago I was wearing a heart monitor and passing out every day, knowing that I wasn’t going to live to see the next morning. (Sounds dramatic, but true)

Now: Totally healthy—running 2-7 miles a day, loving life!

Last Year: Not having a handle on what I wanted as a writer, which decision was best for me, which pathway to take.

Now: I have clear direction and know exactly what I want and what I’m going to push for.

Last Year: In total fear for my cancer boy’s life, dealing with unforeseen circumstances.

Now: Have most of the new issues under control and managed.

Last Year: Overextending myself to try and please others. Giving other people the power to hurt me.

Now: Managing my time better with friends. Only aligning myself with people who I really want to give time to—with people I want to know forever. Weeding out the negative.

Last Year: I let fear paralyze me. I allowed doubt to take over my life and stop any kind of progression.

Now: I’m not afraid anymore. There are still things I wish I had answers to, but the fear of not knowing doesn’t control me anymore.


And the list goes on.

I know that if any of you were to make a list like this, you would be able to see the change as well. It’s been one of those years I wouldn’t want to relive, but like I said above, I’m also grateful for all the ups and downs. It’s such a cool thing to look back and see how much has changed—for the better.

This isn’t to say I still don’t have a list of things I need to conquer and overcome, but I’m choosing to focus on the good (and here comes the cheesy part of my post) … 
This is a pic I had my 7 yo take of me hugging (sort of) this tree. If you look on my instagram account, you can see how the tree used to be full and yellow and gorgeous, but now is barren. When I saw it, I pulled off to the side of the road because I was so struck with the change that had happened in such a short amount of time. It only reminded me that in a blink, the tree would be full of life again… which totally made me cry as I thought about my own life and how life comes back to us even when we think we're at our lowest and we'll never feel passion again. 

That's what this year has been. A cycle, just like this tree. Sigh. 

Anything you want to share? What is the biggest difference in your life right now that didn’t exist a year ago?


Red. Head. Out. <3

68 comments:

  1. Hi Morgan .. you've been through a lot - but sounds as though things are way better now and generally life is settling down ... swinging and hugging your tree will bring forth new life ... it needs nurturing now .. and the same for you - for me ... things be happening ... so I'll nurture and grow too ... cheers Hilary

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  2. Good to hear you're feeling a better sense of direction. We can learn a lot from a tree. If on;y we are quiet and listen.

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  3. I need to have a comment for this post, but my brain can't put the pieces together, right now.
    That's what happens when you don't sleep. (long story) (okay, now a long story but longer than I have at the moment)

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  4. Morgan, you went through a lot. The heart monitor and all that must've been the scariest.
    Everything has a season. And there is always a season of growth, even when it doesn't seem like anything is happening.
    Just keep growing and believing and holding on to that faith.

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  5. Morgan, sending you lots of good vibes. You've been through a lot but you persevered and are so strong for it. Just keep going. Keep swimming. Keep growing. Keep wanting. Keep making things happen…and I know you'll get there. <3

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  6. So beautiful, Morgan - you, your words, your son, the tree. Thank you for sharing. You've overcome so much, and that tree is going to be full of leaves again soon. :) Keep running, writing, swimming, and growing.
    I'll be praying for you, and smiling when I see your pics on instagram. :)

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  7. I'm so happy that you're in a healthier place, in many different ways. It sounds like this past year has been a struggle any of us wouldn't particularly want to go through, but you've managed with a whole lot more grace than I could have :) Love the tree, and the thought!!

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  8. I try to savor each day a little, knowing that things could turn bad at any moment. You certainly seem to have gone through a lot this last year. Congratulations on making it through the tough times.

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  9. Change is the only thing constant. What better way to deal with it but to embrace it. Enjoy this journey!

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  10. What a terrific, courageous post. This past year has been one of great change and challenge for me as well. I am still reeling from the emotional impact of losing my husband and my mother this year, so I am not able to clearly articulate the changes for the good. However, I do know that I am still getting up everyday and finding things to do and not allowing myself to fall into that deep dark pit of depression. Sometimes I feel like I am clinging to the edge with my fingernails, though. (smile) And I can still smile and laugh. That's a good thing.

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  11. I feel like it's been a while since I've heard from you, so I'm sorry to hear about your struggles. I've had some of my own this year too. Same as you, nothing I'd ever want to go through again, but I know now that it had a purpose, and I feel stronger for having experienced the pain and trials. I hope things continue to get better for you and your sweet family! <3 <3 <3

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  12. Wow. Sorry for what you had to endure, but happy for the stronger, wiser you that you've become.

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  13. I visited your instagram...loved the too red for a redhead :)

    I'm a guy...what can I say about all the other stuff...beyond me...sigh

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  14. So glad this past year has had so many positives for you! Especially as you're dealing with some pretty ginormous issues! Hope the next year is even better!

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  15. Sounds like you're in a way better place now :) My life is pretty much the exact same ... which is kinda depressing in a way.

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  16. Wow! What a year. But you are coming through a much stronger. wiser, and better person. Wifey and I have been through a lot too and she's still going through very challenging times. But in a few months I'm confident we'll be giving positive praise reports too!

    And love the autumn creek leaves pic on Instagram. I'm from Michigan and greatly miss the seasonal changes. Fall is still my favorite.

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  17. What a difference one year can make. It's critical we remember that when thing are at there suckiest. I'm so glad to hear your health and happiness are better. :)

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  18. I think it's totally cool to look back and see the growth, and if you can't do that, then look for the changes you'd like to make for the future. I think the tree idea is totally a neat spectrum of what life is all about. the leaves change, fall, and come again alive and new creating this beautiful thing all over again...spring trees. just like every change or adjustment in life, it makes us want to fall, give up, but in the end we prevail and create something beautiful. BIG RED head hugs to ya :)

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  19. Yay! So glad to have an update from you, Morgan. *hugs*

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  20. Morgan, what a crazy year you've had. I tell ya, we can handle so much in life, right? But when it comes to children, and their health or worries, it's seems that is our achilles heel. I'm so glad you've written this post--a positive reflection on a year that seems full of negatives. I'm thankful for you in my life, and I'm thankful that you and your son are doing better. *hugs*

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  21. Sounds like you've gone through a lot in the past year. Facing your own mortality would definitely have a way of making you feel grateful for all you've achieved. All we can do is keep growing. My growth? Not so drastic. But I'm still always looking forward, which is all I can do. :)

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  22. I had no idea you were going through so much. I'm so happy you've come through it all with such a wonderfully positive attitude. You inspire me ♥

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  23. Everything comes back around, just takes time which is the most annoying part. Been there with the whole not knowing if you'll wake up thing, but got through at my zoo too.

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  24. That is something we all need to keep in mind, but it's difficult to do when you're in the midst of serious trials. Good for you, Morgan. You've come a long way. :)

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  25. I'm glad to hear your health has improved so much and that you feel most of your life is under control now. That's huge! Have a lovely week. :)

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  26. Hey Morgan! Isn't it great to see how much life can change for the better in the space of one year? I'm so glad you recovered. I'm really, really glad to hear the cancer is at least under control. I know how scary the trial of a child's sickness can be. Christopher still has many steps to climb as he fights his Sturge-Weber Syndrome. It is so great to hear from you. Stick around. You're missed.

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  27. Those are not tiny steps you've taken.

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  28. I love the fact that, through it all, you still kept that positive, upbeat, attitude. Nostalgia is good and looking towards the future is even better :)

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  29. That list must have been hard to get through, step, by step-- the challenges you faced seem like you climbed a mountain, barehanded.

    Here's to more challenges overcome, and a new, more beautiful year ahead.

    That's an awesome photo, btw, especially now that we know the backstory. Thank you for sharing your life, and inspiring us all.

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  30. What a truly beautiful post! I can't believe how much has changed in a year and you are an inspiration to us all. A great reminder that life may seem low, but we never know what is around the corner. Your positive outlook is one we can all learn from. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. :)
    ~Jess

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  31. To cherish the good times, we have to survive the bad. You are one of the most courageous women I know and at times, I wish I had your strength. I'm so happy to hear life is brighter for you and your family, hugs and <3!!

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  32. As the bible quote goes: "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven..." and then goes on to talk about important matters of our lives. I think that the world is made meaningful via these patterns and cycles that are here for us to discover.
    Some are happy times, others sad; some are productive while others seem wasteful; some inspire peace and others bring pain.
    As difficult as some challenges may be, all of them are necessary for us to learn, grow, and evolve as spiritual beings.
    Thanks for the inspiring post, Morgan.

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  33. You are a constant inspiration for me. You help me remember what it means to think outside of myself and be thankful, grateful for what I have in my life. This is such an uplifting post because of the honest sincerity you have written it with. Thank you so much for sharing it with us... I LOVE the photo and the story behind it.

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  34. I believe that everything that happens to us happens for a reason, and mostly it helps us to become a stronger, more settled version of ourselves. It's not always pleasant when we go through it, but looking back - like you have - you see everything clearly. Such a positive post!

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  35. Sometimes the only way to know if we are making progress is to look back.

    I see your red hair is getting really long!

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  36. Glad to hear things are simmering down for you. I hope things continue going smoothly for you and your family after what you've gone through.

    Last year around this time I was just coming off the nightmare with my ex-roommate. I still see her at community events and services all the time, but I've barely said more than five words to her in the last year.

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  37. Beautiful post, Morgan. Love the list and that you took the time to stop, take the tree picture, and take in what it meant to you. There are trees that every time I see them I feel like they are teaching me something. God is good. He always speaks to us in ways we can hear him.

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  38. I look back, seeing all the good and bad, and look at now, seeing the amazing and crummy, and take it all in, knowing there's a purpose to it all, and try to help make me a better me.

    So proud to have you as a friend, and humbled that you'd consider me someone you'd have in your circle of people you don't mind hanging out with, even if it's in LA once a year. :)

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  39. If we don't look back from time to time, then we can't discover all the ways we have grown and changed. :)

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  40. This is a great reminder for me. I have a tendency to dwell on everything going wrong now, I don't take time appreciate everything I've been able to overcome. Big hugs to you, Morgan!

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  41. This was a beautiful post about growth. I like to look back, but only long enough to make sure I don't make the same mistakes twice. :) And everyday I wake up, I feel like it's a gift. Better not to waste it. I am working on saying "No." So hard for a people pleaser like me, but definitely a necessity for my sanity. Also, I had to work on weeding a lot of the "drainers" out of my life. Another hard lesson to learn, when you want to help everyone. After years of "helping" some people, I finally woke up and realized they didn't truly want my help and I was just enabling them. None of these lessons were learned the easy way. But that's life, isn't it?

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  42. What a beautiful post. You are seriously so amazing. Thank you so much for the reminder to appreciate the good things in life more.

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  43. I could not imagine going through a year as you have, Morgan, but golly, I am glad things are turning around for the better. And you've experienced growth for having overcome. :)

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  44. Wow! That had to be a tough year, and you were so pleasant through it! You are an amazing woman! Hope this year is a whole lot better!

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  45. Morgan, I never leave your blog without feeling inspired. I'm so happy to hear that you're in a better place with a clearer mindset now. What a difficult year you had. It's amazing that you took those tough things and grew from them. My family is currently in one of those limbo phases where we're making some big life decisions, so this is exactly what I needed to read right now. And hugging trees is never cheesy! Hug away! I'm a lover of all things leafy, so I can relate lol. Thanks for sharing this heartfelt post! :)

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  46. Morgan, you inspire me to be a better person everyday. I see your posts on FB and IG and here and I just heart you! You have gone thru so much and you still have a beautiful outlook on life and share your beautiful smile. Your family is blessed! I love reading your posts!

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  47. So sorry you've had such a difficult year, but I'm rejoicing that you're finding your strength and in a better place. Thanks for the tree picture and the reminder. I needed to hear this message. Now I just need to hold on for a better place in the cycle.

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  48. I commented earlier but apparently comment didn't come up. Life has it's ups and downs but we get through them to see what's next for us. I am glad that things are looking up now and Erin's right your blog is very inspiring. Years ago I was extremely depressed and suicidal, if I never got through it I wouldn't be here today. The tree hugging is cute.

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  49. I think more people need to read this so they can see what a positive attitude and perspective can do to make their life better. Often times circumstances don't change, but a different perspective can make a WORLD of difference. But it's GREAT to read that you've been able to have circumstantial change, too.

    That's something I've been working toward for a few years. Making sure that I don't focus on the negative so much. When I don't like something about my life, learning what I can do to make changes that make it better. It's a long process, and I have my share of breakdowns every couple of months, but they're fewer and farther between than they used to be, and they're not nearly as extreme.

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  50. It's so great you've come through all that and you're in a much better place now. I'm really glad for you.

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  51. Dear Morgan,

    Looking back on last year has taught you how grateful you are, one year on. For, my lovely friend, you live life with realistic positive anticipation, rather than negative speculation.

    You dare to challenge and you win.

    Thank you for this, dear Morgan.

    Your friend,

    Gary :)

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  52. I think looking back is normally not a good idea, but in your case, you're doing it to see how far you've come...and to appreciate your life the way it is now. SO glad things are going so much better for you.

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  53. You are so wonderful! What a difference a year makes, right?? You bring light to the world, my friend.

    I wish you a terrific weekend, Morgan :)

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  54. Very powerful point. When we don't look back we can't see the progress we've made and can easily become discouraged, feeling as if we haven't grown or changed and are stuck in the same place.

    I am so happy that you are able to look back and see from where you've come and where you are now.

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  55. Sounds like you have had a wonderful year--Looking back I will have to say the past year has been pretty good to me, too.

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  56. I didn't know you went through all that. I'm glad you're in a much better place. I can relate, since I felt like I was at rock bottom about seven years ago and slowly pulled myself into a much better place through hard work, throwing out the negative people in my life, and focusing on my goals.

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  57. I think we all handle time in different ways. It sounds like that nostalgia brings you some kind of comfort, and reading your list makes me realize you've done a lot to make yourself happy. Congratulations. As for me, I think I'm more of a man of the future as I consider the present as something been built upon mistake after mistake after mistake. The future is the place that holds the most promise for me (and always will).

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  58. Gosh. Hindsight can be a treasure and a curse. You're wise to look back and see how much you've learned. Progress is why we're here. If we're not trucking forward, what are we doing?

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  59. Each of those are indeed successes worth celebrating! Congrats to you for being such a positive force for good in the world:)

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  60. Are you okay? Just checking. You're probably writing. <3

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    1. Oh, thank you, Robyn! Doing well. *Hugs*

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  61. Just wanted to say how much I love you, Red. Change. It's hard to embrace at times, but the more open to it we are, the more we realize it's opportunity and not crisis, the better we adjust. Always here for you.

    - Mike

    M.L. Swift, Writer

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  62. I'm thankful everything is working out for you. I knew someday you'd find happiness. Just wanted you to know that.

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    1. Oh goodness…Thank you. :) I'm certainly not whole, but I'm doing my best to be… hopefully some day. I always have hope for the future and it's something that's always on my mind. <3 <3 <3

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  63. Wow! You are so strong and brave! I'm so thankful that things are getting better, and I hope they continue to improve.

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  64. I think about the past too much, as well. The future, too. I keep hearing we need to live in the present, but I admit I have trouble doing so. I love your list of positives! I've never thought to look at where I was in various things and where I am now. I may have to sit down and hash that one out.

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  65. Just realized that I haven't been following your blog, which is clearly a mistake on my part. ^_^ I am glad that things are going better for you this year, especially after where you were last year. Gah. You're right that things do change a great deal, and often very quickly, and it's too easy to look back and wonder how it all happened and why we hardly noticed.

    As for myself, the change I'm moving toward is finally leaving this state and getting a job elsewhere, a place where I actually want to live. (Long story.) I've been searching for a job in Seattle for nearly a year, with no luck, so next year I'm just going to move there and hope for the best. Wish me luck. ^_^

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  66. Every time I read something you post, it's like a direct reflection of what I'm going through. I can relate! You will find your peace, my friend. Believe me! It seems like you are already on that path. :)

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