365 Days of Hope Starts Tomorrow

June 1st is the day, all! The day that we start our 365 Days of Hope campaign.  We are off to a good start: 107 items, places, and activities so far for us to take photos with/of in our Hope gear.  We have everything from sitting in a new coffee shop to being on top of a human pyramid, so don’t be shy about your suggestions! (Note:  it’s a family friendly project, and we would like to keep out of jail or the hospital, and keep our day job! :-). 

Why? Because we want to reach people in all places of all ages who enjoy all different types of things.  Chronic illness can feel isolating, and we want to let these people know that, whoever they are, wherever they are, whatever they like to do, they are not alone, even when it feels like it. And maybe we’ll even make them smile a little.

So fire away! Have a favorite outdoor activity? A favorite historic site, landmark, or city? Maybe you want to see us do something silly, or relive our childhood? We’ll be running through sprinklers and swinging on a swing set, so feel free to add more! We don’t mind being a little goofy in order to spread a little hope to those who need it. In fact, we’re pretty much kids at heart!

We don’t have an endless supply of money, so we may need to improvise on some suggestions, but we’ll do our best to make them happen!

Can’t wait to see your ideas!

Much love and hope to you all!

 

 

 

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Things That Give Me Hope

Here I go, using the all-encompassing “things” again. But it’s early in the week and it’s dreary and I’m having a MECFS flareup, so that’s all I have, I’m sad to say.  And because it’s early in the week and it’s dreary, I thought it might be nice to share those items, situations, occurrences that give me hope.  Perhaps it’ll spark a memory for you, and do the same. They are in no particular order.

  • Being out and about in a city as it wakes up for the day.
  • Relaxing with an early morning cup of coffee.
  • Warm summer mornings.
  • Dog snuggles. With any amenable dog, not even just my own.
  • Waking up in a new town or city on vacation.
  • A good belly laugh. The kind where you laugh so hard you cry. Especially when it serves as a bonding moment with someone else.
  • Falling asleep to the sound of the rain.
  • Standing on top of a mountain after a hike, seeing everything below
  • Quality time with loved ones
  • Participating in activities that remind me of childhood- games I played as a kid, scavenger hunts, obstacle courses, pillow fights, etc.

What are some activities or experiences that bring you hope?

365 Days of Hope

We’re rolling out a fun new campaign! One that we didn’t list in the May blog post, but hey, sometimes ideas just pop up out of nowhere. So here we go.

We’re gathering 365 ideas of “things” – anything, really – that we can take photos with in our Hope shirts. It can be anything from a cup of coffee to a sunset to the Eiffel Tower or even an activity (that won’t get us arrested/fired). Hey, you might even get us to see or try something new! So far, we’ve been given suggestions such as:

  • A rainbow
  • A wild animal in the wild (where we can do so safely!)
  • The beach
  • A music festival
  • A brewery
  • A famous art sculpture
  • An alpaca
  • Riding a bike

As you can see, your suggestions can be as specific or as general as you’d like. We might need to be creative at times, but we’re going to try to post one each day (some of which may have to be “later grams”, since we can’t really determine when we might see things like a rainbow or a wild animal in the wild). You are allowed to give us a specific place, but if you are not the proprietor of said place, we just need to ask their permission to tag them and prove it’s there. If we are not allowed to, we may need to generalize the suggestion (i.e. to “a coffee shop” or “a brewery”). If you are the proprietor, by all means, thank you for letting us take a photo there!

So please, fire away! There’s no bad suggestion, assuming it’s not illegal, immoral, or might injure us.  We’d love to experience new things and have new adventures along the way, so have at it! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

A Hug From Us To You

This morning, I really needed a hug. It was just one of those mornings – tired, stressed, battling some depression and anxiety, and trying to hold it all in. And finally, I let it all out, and I got not one hug, but two. It didn’t solve all of my troubles, or any of them, but it felt good. It felt like someone was there for me, even if they couldn’t quite understand what I was going through. Sometimes, knowing that someone is there to support you, even if only in that instance, can help you put one foot in front of the other and make it through the day – or at least the hour, which is a start.

So here is a hug, from us to you. We were lucky enough to get them when we needed it, and so we’re passing it along, in an effort to spread support and hope. Please, do the same. You never know who might be struggling in silence, who may feel that nobody understands, that no one is there for them.  Let them know that you are. It may even make you feel better too.

 

 

Mental Health Month

May is known for a lot of things. May Day. May Flowers. Memorial Weekend and the unofficial start of summer. And while I enjoy all of these things, May is also important for another reason that’s close to my heart… and brain. May is Mental Health Month. While I personally think every month should be mental health month, because the topic needs that much awareness and education and support, I appreciate the designation. It brings to the forefront, or makes an effort to at least, a topic that so many still feel is taboo.  It gives those who may not always feel comfortable talking about it a “reason” to do so. It helps those who might be on the fence about standing up to fight against stigma a gentle nudge in that direction – after all, so many people are talking about it, and there’s “safety in numbers” right? And while I wish society didn’t need this “permission”, this “safety”, the bottom line is, it does.  So at least Mental Health Month gives us a place to start.

Throughout out the month, the Spread Hope Project will be ramping up our efforts. I mentioned some of our upcoming plans in my last post, and I’m sure I’ll have a few surprises up my sleeve – even to myself.  The benefit of a brain that’s thought patterns look like spaghetti flung against the wall is that you do often come up with new and creative ideas when you least expect it (like at 2am, or in the shower, for instance). Of course, I’m always open to ideas too!

So please, follow along on our Mental Health Month journey on here, on Instagram, and on twitter hashtag with the #spreadhopeproject. Heck, use it yourself! In fact, you know what? Let’s start right now (random spaghetti at the wall idea that came to me as I was writing this):  Let’s see how many people we can get to use the hashtag #spreadhopeproject on twitter today! If you want to follow me, you can do so here. But even if you don’t (I won’t be offended, don’t worry), give the Spread Hope Project a shout out with the hashtag above.

Thanks for the love, and the HOPE!