With the start of May, spring continues, although not in the idealized, mild, sunny days often pictured in stories. We are experiencing a typical San Diego spring, or ‘May Gray’ as it is called. The days have been overcast, we’ve even had some rain, which is grayer than normal. However, I am not in a hurry for hot temperatures, so I’ll make do with cloudy days and enjoy the sun when it peeps out for bit. While it is spring time, the pictures are for the theme of family. It is always interesting to see the pictures my son picks out for these themes, even if I don't stay on topic for them. :-)

Husband and Wife standing together

I went for a run and had a lovely encounter with a hummingbird. I was taking a breather by walking and was surprised to turn a corner and see see him hovering over a bush with flowers. Usually they take off when I get too close, but this one hung around and finished his meal before shooting across the path where he could keep an eye on me.  

When I am outside, walking or running, my mind is usually working through things in my life. There are times when I mull over past events, wondering how I could have done better or avoided some negative event. Part of my work for better mental health is to let go of those past incidents and focus on today, and not to stay in the past. In the last couple of weeks, I was thinking about one of these incidents and sighed that I was beating myself up for past behavior.

Family sitting around a kitchen table

On the heels of that thought, I realized that I am using the experience I gained from the past to judge those events. Yet, I did not have this experience until after I had tried something and did not succeed in a way I thought I should.  In other words, I had to fail first before I would have understanding on how to do better.

Friends talking outside

This insight gave me some peace that I haven’t had when thinking of the past. I made the connection that my younger self did not have enough experience to do better, yet I need to go through those events in order to know how to avoid them in the future. I continue to grow and I do my best to learn from my mistakes, although the lessons don’t always stick. And I can see that I have grown and continue to get more comfortable with who I am which also helps my mental health. I hope everyone else has these moments of peace in spite of the problems that pop up in our lives.

Pictures by J.T. Harpster