Is today hard?

Is today hard?  It feels hard.  Maybe it’s just me.

Maybe it’s the weather.  Or the stress of Hailey doing her finals and me being overwhelmed with everything.  Today feels like everything is wrong and dusty and too much and not enough.  Today feels like everyone hates everyone else because they feel like they were hated first, even though probably none of this is even real…it’s all just me and my fucked up brain chemistry feeling like everything is about to fall apart.

I know it’s not.  Logically.  Rationally.  I know that things are going well.

My editor sends me a third round of edits and loves what I’d done with the book.  It’s so close to being done and a year ago I thought I’d never finish it.  The bookstore is overwhelming and terrifying and Elizabeth and Victor are on edge with the impossible amount of what still has to be done but realistically this is normal and expected and the incredible support of the book club membership has saved us during these extra months of paying rent and construction on a building that won’t be ready until February or March.

There is far more good than bad but still I feel underwater today…panicky.

I take Hailey to a local university so she can take her finals for her online high school courses.  It’s pass or fail, these seven tests, and it means a half year of work could go up in smoke during a bout of test-taking anxiety and I try not to let my contagious anxiety rub off on her.  While she sits in the room with the proctors I wander the grounds of the convent that started the university.  I walk through the cemetery of women buried 100 years ago under the names they chose as nuns.  Everyone for what seems like a mile is Sister Mary.  Then a Joan of Arc.  The graves from the last 30 years are smaller as the cemetery starts to run out of room.  The bodies are buried three to a grave, one on top of the other.  I wonder if that will be a problem during the resurrection but I suspect if there is a resurrection you’re probably safer with a bunch of tough-ass zombie nuns around to make sure everyone is out.

I say a little prayer asking forgiveness for laughing about zombie nuns in case there is a God, and then I say another one for wondering if there is and then I realize I’ll be there forever asking for forgiveness if I don’t stop and besides, I’ve known a few nuns and former nuns and most of them had a fairly strong sense of humor so it’s probably fine.

I sit on a bench and read about the women here who battled with bishops and cardinals over control of the places they made their own, and about this convent that focused on education and on helping those less fortunate.  I read about how they insisted on integration in their schools long before desegregation began and about the women laying here who struggled in their own ways…who died far too young in many cases…whose stories I can’t research because they are buried under the names of women who came before them…and who were known for their struggles as well.

Something landed on my foot.  A dead butterfly.

Only it wasn’t.  It was hard and beautiful and fragile and in the exact shape of a butterfly or moth.  Like something hand-crafted from the pages of an old book.

And then there was another one.

They were everywhere, suddenly.  These tiny, rustling, not-quite- butterflies that were picked up in the wind.  I followed them to a garden owned by one of the nuns. There were dozens of birdhouses hanging from trees and little fairy-like-houses and finally a climbing vine reaching toward the sun, thick with green clusters of flowery seed pods.


And underneath, dozens of butterflies.  When the seed pods dry up they wither and fall and turn into butterflies, and fly away to begin again….or to land on someone’s foot when they need some sort of distraction….like some sort of sign that everything will be okay in the end.

It will.

For me and for you.  Whether we are fighting a seemingly impossible battle with something real or with the terror in our own heads, it will be okay.  We will fight and we will win and sometimes that victory will simply look like laughing in a graveyard.  The battles last forever.  Longer than we will.  But victories can last just as long.

We are all climbing….looking for the sunshine…blooming wherever we can.  We light up the world if it’s looking. We will not last.  We will wither eventually.  But it’s not the end.  We fly on and leave behind strange and beautiful things that grow anew.  You and me and Hailey and the women beneath my feet and everyone else you know and will ever know.

But right now you are green and beautiful in your own specific way that is unique to you and I’m so glad to know you, even if only through a screen.

And suddenly, somehow, the day feels just a little less hard.

I hope it does for you too.


373 thoughts on “Is today hard?

Read comments below or add one.

  1. My mom’s name in the convent was Sr. Claire David. It always seemed to me that nuns had at least one “boys” name. I think everyone I met from my husband’s high school crowd was Mary X: Mary Alice, Mary Victoria, Mary Catherine, Mary Elizabeth, and they all dropped the Mary. Catholics are weird.

  2. Today is hard, though a little less so now that you’ve reminded me of your new book’s imminence. Something to look forward to. Keep conjuring butterflies, Jenny. They travel farther then you know.

  3. Just beautiful. My “hard” today was digging a pipe out from under very wet clay gumbo. But then all of a sudden it was done, there was the pipe, and I got to clean up and move on. I think I would have preferred your not-butterfly to my exposed broken pipe!

  4. That makes my whole day better. I hope it is for you, too. Thank you for all you do for us.

  5. The day IS hard-it isn’t just you . I am having some of my worst days -like do not want to be here at all worst. Sorry to hear you had some tough times today too. Sounds like it is better for you.

  6. I don’t always have time to read your posts, even though I subscribed so I won’t miss a one! But I stopped and made the time today, and my heart is in my throat. I needed this post today. Thank you so much for sharing. Also, what is the plant? I need to plant one! <3

  7. Thank you Jenny, I needed this today. More than any other day. I appreciate you and all you’ve done to help me and others. You make the world make sense. ❤️

  8. The world is better for your presence, Jenny. Thank you for not only sharing with us, good and bad, but for being the point around which so many wonderful communities have been able to form, even if only on a screen. I know there are times when one of them has made me feel less alone and like it’s going to be okay.

    We’re so much stronger together.

  9. sometimes all i can say is thank you. i feel stupid for writing it, for thinking it. for taking valuable comment space from someone better than me. someone worth more than me, more articulate, more deserving, just… more. then i write thank you. and i click post comment. and i try not to think about it.

  10. Love your butterfly. If that isn’t a symbol of life and hope, I don’t know what is. I think the nuns were trying to tell you that they appreciate you appreciating them and their sense of humor. Good luck to Hailey, not that she needs it.

  11. Today is a high pain day and this was needed. Thank you to you and the nuns and the dead butterflies. All of them and our collective energy will ensure Hailey does well!

  12. Thanks for this. The skies have been grey in Texas. My father in law is on meth again and I’m trying to hold on the remission of my depression…to not let weather and other people’s mistakes drag me down into the hole of despair that’s always waiting just out of sight. It’s good to not be alone. It’s good to be seen, even if it’s your an internet friend and not a person standing right in front of me. Something beautiful and healing will come out of this mess, and it’s almost guaranteed to look nothing like what I expect. I wish the same for you💚

  13. Today has been so damn hard for no real discernible reason. Thank you for making it less so, at least a little.

  14. My heart is sobbing but my brain is demanding to know what that butterfly-seed plant is please? (My brain may be a jerk but at least it has some manners.) Thank you anyone who answers!!

    (I looked it up. It’s called a “butterfly vine”. 🙂 ~ Jenny)

  15. “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” -Julian of Norwich

  16. This is exactly what I needed today. I’m in round 3 of 16 rounds of chemo, and some days are drowning, some are hopeful. This is the stuff that helps on a bad one.

    Also, if you haven’t already watched it, Dracula on Netflix is worth it (imo) for Sister Agatha Van Helsing alone. She’s just wonderful in every way.

    I’m hoping Nowhere is ready when I’m cleared, because I’m absolutely coming down to shop!

  17. This is beautiful and a perfect thing to read on a grey January day. Also- zombie nuns are always amazing, and would be totally kick-ass. Sending good vibes to all of you.

  18. I am also having a hard day. This post was everything and I thank you so very much for it. Sending a warm hug for you, Jenny.

  19. Today is hard. Found out this morning bthat my Grandmother was admitted to the hospital. She has internal bleeding. She is 92 and they give her a 50/50 chance.


  20. My mother worked at a Catholic hospital back in the day when nuns ran things, and she convinced a coworker that when the nursery needed goat’s milk for a baby, they had to go down to the basement to milk a baby goat. Head nun-lady was passing by soon after. Mom suggested her coworker ask the head nun lady for confirmation. Head nun lady went along with the story, confirming that when the goat is not needed at the hospital, it stays at a nearby farm.

  21. Thank you …. I really needed this today.

    Just found out that after years of being misdiagnosed with everything from depression to stroke to faking it, husband has a degenerative neurological disease similar to MS. He’s still in the hospital, waiting for the rehab to fight it out with the insurance so he can get the therapy he needs to walk again, and it all seems so overwhelming to both of us.

    I know this’ll get better and we’ll adjust – the Scripture says, “yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow…”, not “yea, though I live in this friggin’ valley forever…”, but still….. sigh. Your post made a big difference. Thank you.

  22. Today DOES feel harder than most days, today is a struggle, today I feel tired, today I’m not myself. BUT this encounter of you with those butterfly pods is awesome, as are all those ladies buried there in that cemetery. You are awesome Jenny!

  23. I wish I could be even a little bit like you. You are so strong and brave and beautiful and wonderful. I am nothing and I’m not sure I can keep being nothing for much longer, 38 years is a long time. But for today I will read your words and pretend that I can be a little like you if I try harder. Today I’ll keep trying.

  24. Wow, just wow. Thanks so much for sharing yourself and your words with us, both are a treasure!

  25. Thank you. It’s been a terrible few weeks and today was the worst. This too shall pass, as my momma always used to say 🦋

  26. Beautiful. Thank you. I needed to hear that too.

    We can do hard things, even when it doesn’t feel like we can.

    All Will Be Well.

    And nuns will administrate the Zombie Resurrection and keep it orderly. <3

  27. There is this wonderful book called You Already Are that made me think of you because I know you feel hope AND despair intensely, as do I, and it is a wonderfully realistic and also positive book. I was going to buy you a copy but realized I couldn’t mail it to you unless I got creepy and googled your address which I’m unwilling to do. Then, you wrote this post, which is the book but in different words, and I thought, maybe you’d consider selling it in your store. I have two daughters and have as of yet been unable to read any of the book to them because the thought that they might have any doubt about the wonder they spread like glitter makes me cry til I can’t breathe- but it truly is such a beautiful book.
    Thank you for writing this post. We all always have been and always will be, especially when we lean into life and share whatever we can with the people we encounter.
    I am grateful to be sharing my time on Earth with you, Jenny, and the whole wonderful tribe that has changed my life and so many others by extension.

  28. You, my dear, are an AMAZING HUMAN with a BEAUTIFUL HEART!! Stay you forever, and we will be here to support you through life’s maze of ups and downs!!

  29. If you two are up for it, hit up Cappyccino’s just down the road. My recommendation: order loaded potato chips (not on the menu but amazing) and the homemade ginger ale. Break a leg in those tests, ladies!

  30. Today is hard. I have the every day hard stuff as usual, but today I hit a brick wall with what I can handle. My grandpa died about two weeks ago and I haven’t mourned properly. My aunt on the same side of the family died just a week later. I haven’t even started being able to handle that one yet. So this morning when my daughter dropped her phone in the toilet and we had to scramble to get a new one and then my dog woke up literally screaming in pain from arthritis all the not-mourning and not-handling I’ve been doing crashed onto me. Fortunately I could take the day off of work (or more accurately, work from home). There are still a billion undone things niggling at my back. I know the crash isn’t complete. Today is hard and tomorrow will be hard and a lot of tomorrows will be hard. I’ll keep an eye out for the sign that it’s not all for naught.

  31. Today is the 11th anniversary of the day my baby boy died in my arms. It is most definitely a hard day. We just got home from the cemetery and I’m about to take a nap. I’m glad I saw your post before I laid down. ❤️ Hugs to all who are struggling today.

  32. Hey Blogess,
    Howdy from an old crippled fat man.
    Thanks for your wonderfully expressed remarks.
    I’m one of those blooms that are slowly fading. Your fears and tears are noted. As all of ours have. Yes, I believe God certainly has a sense of humor. He might be chuckling right now about the uplifting sign you found in the garden. As well as your ironically funny musings.
    I wonder, is it possible that there really is a God? Does HE send us reminders that we’re all in this together ?

    Thanks again.

    Peace out!
    Grandad in Katy, Texas

  33. I needed this so much and didn’t even fully realize that I needed it until I had it. Thank you, and I love you.

  34. Today feels hard for me too. I am making some strides in my career, but I am still stuck in a city I hate, and in taking a new job in November I pretty much need to stay here 2-3 more years to make the job change worth it. I like my house, but want to move to a different house in a school district that is more accepting of exchange students.

    It just feels like so much of my life is at a standstill right now…and I wish there was more movement and living.

  35. I’m on the get-things-done high of a new semester, which is showing me exactly how bad of shape I was in at the end of the last one (in case the 2.5 week sinus infection wasn’t a clue). I was so burned out, injured from training and running half-marathons, and full of apathy for my job, which I normally love. I know I’ll slide back down into a slower rhythm, and I’m starting to realize it’s OK when I do. That I get a lot done sometimes and other times I watch YouTube videos for hours. For the first time, I can see this clearly. I think reading your writings and listening to what you have to say has helped me. Anyway, I send you love as you navigate all of this and if I could send you some of my energy, I would. And I say bring on the nun Zombies because, they will get it done.

  36. I’m climbing out of a 7 month depression where I fought some of my worst demons yet. Today is hard, I had been seeing less from you on fb but this was at the top of my feed. A million thank yous. I needed this today and it found me. Much love on your journey. Xx

  37. Thank you so much for continuing to post your thoughts no matter what they are.
    You can’t imagine how many people benefit from your writing.

  38. i had to know, so some googling turns out that your butterfly is the seed pod of the Yellow butterfly vine (gallinita, Mascagnia macroptera). i think i might try to grow some. i need more stuff like that in my life. thank you for sharing that with us.

  39. Love this. Especially the part about the zombie nuns. You know they would appreciate that. 🙂

  40. You’re not alone. Ever.

    That’s not a spiritual reference. Just an observation about this tribe of weirdos who are SO with you, no matter what.

    Well, maybe that IS a spiritual reference. I’m not religious, but maybe there’s something spiritual about a whole bunch of total strangers all pulling for you and for each other.

    Anyway, the “something in the air” of it all made me want to share this story about Saturn and Pluto connecting in Capricorn for the first time in 500 years to fuck with us all:

    Sounds like we’re all in for a bumpy ride. THANKS, universe!

  41. Thank you Jenny. Thank you for being you. For letting us be us. For putting into beautiful words what people like me can only feel, giving us a voice. Thank you.

  42. I needed that today. Thank you. Things are rough lately as I deal with a lot of things, and that was just beautiful and REALLY needed.

  43. This day has been hard for me, too – both in reality and in the way my mind has been messing with me about it. But this post made it a thousand times better! A new book coming, the bookstore coming along, bad-ass zombie nuns, petrified-butterfly seed pods raining down – it has everything I didn’t even know I needed. Thank you!

  44. That ended on a fantastic note……up up and away!!! How wonderful that you got to walk in Sacred Ground and those lovely ;’butterfly s ‘ Hailey will be FINE…..Cheers

  45. Today is hard. This month is hard.


    I appreciate your post. It makes me feel less alone.

  46. Today is so hard. Today I cried to my professional mentor because I don’t know if the job I’ve been working towards for the last year is what I really want to do. I feel like I’ve been walking through wet cement. The holidays and the twinkle lights pushed the depression out and now it’s back, and it ate a lot of cookies over the holidays so it’s extra heavy. I tried to google search for a local psychiatrist because I want someone who can help me work through the depression AND write a prescription, but I got no where. I don’t think my current medication is working and my last psychologist 1. called me by my formal name and not what I go by, which feels impersonal and b. left me waiting in the waiting room for half an hour the last time, so I just walked out and said I would reschedule.

    I say this not for sympathy – but to be relatable. Keep pushing through the cement and pretty soon it will melt away and all of this won’t be so hard.

  47. I’ve been feeling the same way since yesterday. I think I had my first panic attack early this morning. Thank you for this post.

  48. Last week’s been rough. Ended up in Alamo heights to get something from Central market and saw the bookshop and I felt a little better knowing I’m not alone. Thank you.

  49. Thank you. Today has been hard, despite starting out so much better than yesterday. That somehow makes it worse. Here’s hoping tomorrow starts and remains good. Breathe.

  50. Thank you, Jenny. How did you know? My sister would be 54 today. She took her own life in 2002 after twenty years of fighting her mental illness. Time has helped, but her birthday and anniversary are always hard. Grief is the price we pay for love.

  51. I just got a call from my son’s online high school. He has not signed into any classes nor done any work for a week. I am so mad I’m sick, both at him and myself. When my kids screw up so badly it just puts me in a complete tail spin. I wish I had a peaceful place or person to center me again but sadly I don’t.

  52. Today has been so hard. I tend to be stoic, but today I cried. I cried in my therapist’s office, I cried in her bathroom, and I cried on the way home. Then, I wiped my tears and went back to just being.

  53. Thank you so much dear, beautiful Jenny. I love you so much. I too live with and struggle with mental illness and am writing a book about it, and your books have helped me so much. You are brave and strong and you save more of us than you will ever know. Bless you honey. I hold you in my heart and prayers…. Love, Maitri

  54. I’ve felt the same lately and in sure it’s a combination of stress for my French final, super important to be able to keep going since the people here don’t speak English, the weather and getting over some illness. I keep having anxiety attacks while trying to sleep and waking up exhausted. Been feeling like every thing is going wrong and I’m not enough, but I know I am. So you are definitely not alone. Between some wonderful ladies and my lovely dog that I think of as an unofficial emotional support dog I’m getting through. So fingers crossed things will be better soon. I’m anxiously awaiting your new book, good anxious, they always make me feel like I can really be me and that’s great

  55. Several of us were just looking at each other in the office and going “What the hell is it with people today?” Everyone is short-tempered, or repeating themselves louder in hopes it will change the answer or insisting that their issue is the single most important thing in the whole wide world until I want to install a number ticket machine at my desk to make them fucking get in line and come at me one at a time….

    Anyway, it’s not just you.

    And I needed to read this.

  56. INaturalist was even stumped by this plant. I’m on the case. Love you Jenny. I’ve been having so many hard days. Getting your posts is a bright spot. I hope you have someone who picks you up the way you pick up all of us. Or maybe that is our job? Hoping you have a better day.

  57. The world is a better place because you are here and when you write posts like this we get a heart-wrenching glimpse of what it’s like to see the world through your eyes. The pain, the triumph, the sheer genius. Thank you

  58. You and your words, Jenny. So beautiful. So raw. So real. The ending … I was there, with you, for real, and it made me cry…in a good and true and honest way.

  59. Love you Jenny. Thank you for sharing your stories and connecting us across time and distance.

  60. It was a horrible day yesterday – I have a deadline and my brain was completely blocked and I was panicking. Came to work today and it’s like it never happened and the words flowed. I hate that my brain does this to me ALL OF THE TIME. Glad the sun is a little shinier for you too. FYI – when I attended Catholic school from K-12, the nuns all had Mary as their first name then whatever other name they picked when they took their vows. We always called them by that taken name, the Mary was a given.

  61. Thank you💖Thank you💖Thank you💖 for giving me some loving beauty…..💐

  62. And just like that butterfly, your blog showed up just when I needed it most.

                        Jennifer Rittenhouse 
  63. Winter is here, fragile yes. I need some sun, maybe it would help.
    I have a vacation coming and have planned every possible reason I can’t go. Airports will be closed
    Can’t get to the airport.. again the weather thing.
    Thanks for your writing. I feel less small and insignificant.

  64. Yes… honestly, yes. Today really did feel hard. Not in a huge earth-shattering way… but in a heart-squeezing, lumpy-throat, go-away-anxiety way. The timing of your post was perfect… gave me a little smile, so thank you. And I hope your tomorrow is much easier than your today!

  65. I needed this today.. I battle anxiety myself and lately it’s been terrible. Today “had been” one of those days for me too… but I had a an unplanned gift that changed its course as well, so beautiful when that happens. I would’ve love to have walked that cemetery with you.. strange to say, but I love walking cemeteries, especially really old ones.. all the history there!! Have a fabulous rest of your week and I hope Hailey passed with flying colors!! ~~hugs from an internet friend 🤗

  66. I did something today that filled me with anxiety, and it was hard, and I did it. Thanks for the butterflies–they’re as beautiful as you are:-)

  67. Today is hard. Yesterday was emotionally taxing so today I did nothing and have eaten so many peanut butter M&M’s I think I’m going to be sick. And I know that it’s going to make things harder tomorrow but in this moment I don’t care. I did try to do some good today. Told people that if they needed to hear something good about themselves to like or comment on my post and I’d tell them something honest and good about them. It made my feel better. But I wish other people would do the same because liking a post is easier than saying “I feel like crap and need to hear something good.” And I’ll admit I’ve been a little sad that it hasn’t caught on because I need some good in this world so that when the messed up stuff happens things don’t feel so bleak. If we were real life friends and you had liked the post I’d tell you how strong and hilarious you are and that because of you there are many out there who’s lives have been saved because you’re like a real-life superhero that wears costumes and everything. My thank you for helping us not okay is a drop in the bucket, but thank you.

  68. Thank you. The last few days I have been exhausted from a MS flair up. I know it could be a lot worse, but I miss my energy.

  69. So much good here. I struggle with worrying myself. I am so happy today to remember that the line of crotchety women battling for their place stretches back forever, and I am a link in that chain. And that the natural world is an infinite, terrible wonder if you remember to look. Thank you, Jenny.

  70. Thank you for this beautiful reminder that it will all be okay. ❤️ Love your sweet heart and kind soul. 💗

  71. Thank you, Jenny. You have been with me through many a poopy day and reading this has made today a little less poopy.

  72. My year has been terrible. More than terrible. It’s broken my heart and spirit and the only thing saving my ass is The Viking. I’m so happy you are finding a way to see the joy in the world. I’m trying but some days are harder than others. 😕

  73. I love your spirit! ♥️
    The fact that you were led to a cemetery today, morbid as it can be, is actually quite beautiful. We all have our “stuff” and struggles in life, including nuns! May we abide through this together and keep lifting each other up in a spirit of love, humor/laughter, and prayer. God is here for each one of us! As I told my class today before reading this post, “He made only one of me, their won’t be another.” As he made each child in my classroom of 5th/6th graders, I also care enough about each one of them to pull them out of their own abyss.

    May He bless you and your family always! ♥️🙏😀

  74. Sending “good test vibes” to Haley! (time traveling “good test vibes” of course).
    Today’s post was just magical. 🙂

  75. I just want to thank you for writing “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.” My bff gave me the book after my daughter was born 24 weeks early and I was living at the NICU hours from home. I found humor and inspiration in your book.

  76. It’s okay. Yesterday was a bitch for me. Today is better. Tomorrow will be better for you. And when I was little every doll I owned was named Mary. No, I’m not Catholic.

  77. I love you. I wish everything was just a little bit ok today. Depression is weighing on me like a cinder block in a damp, cold basement with no windows. I’m glad you can see the light. I’m not there yet.

  78. It has been an odd day. Started in the early morning during a dream. It was a good dream and not a nightmare for once. We have only met via the screen between keyboards and in your books and blog. But somehow you, Jenny were in my dream. You were sitting with me, talking about life, and books, and having tea. I went to reach for my copy of your 3 books to ask for a signature, yet, couldn’t find them. I rarely have good dreams. Too many years of being a social worker seeing the worst the humans can do to each other and yet, treating all with kindness and compassion. I still do, but now as a librarian. And you were in my first good dream in 5 years. And it was about books. I’m hoping this means my brain and mind are finally healing from the trauma of others. Thank you for showing your kindness during the hard times.

  79. Thank you for that. I’d like to think the butterfly landed on you so you would know that it will all be OK, and share it with us.

  80. Wow! You are quiet and pensive today. That was beautiful. 🙂 Please don’t forget to brag on Hailey when you find she’s rocked those tests!! 🙂

  81. Thank you for posting this, i needed to read it. I didn’t know i needed it until i read it and started crying at my desk. Everything seems so hard these days and i feel like i’m just waiting for the veil to lift. You always make it better with your wonderful perspective and raw honesty. I’m sure Hailey will pass with flying colors.

  82. Today it is snowing; and it is sunny, which means I saw a rainbow. And then I burst into tears, because my son, who lost his battle with addiction in May, asked when he was very young, “shouldn’t they be called snowbows if it is snowing?”
    And they should! And smiled through tears to remember what joy he brought.

  83. DISCLAIMER: NOT a cheery post.

    I think I am too far gone because after I read your post all I keep thinking is a line from a book titled Surviving Survival – “sometimes the bear wins”. That’s how I feel all the time now. (The bear in the book is an actual bear, not a metaphor. It’s from a story of someone who was attacked by a bear & they made it 20 years before they couldn’t go on. Plus, I’m paraphrasing. The details are correct but the line could be “sometimes the darkness or _______ wins”. In my head, it’s the word ‘bear’.) I’m an avid gardener and I couldn’t even chuckle over the beautiful seed pod that landed at your feet. I did recognize the beauty of it but I no longer believe in signs or such as that.

    I’m just all … flattened. Sixty years of traumas one after another. Multiple car wrecks, a mugging, two assaults, 45 surgeries, MST in the military, very bad childhood in a hate based religious cult. And, as of 2 years ago, I’m the only one left from my family. All gone too soon; all for tragic reasons. It’s really odd being the only one left. I still have days where I realize I can’t call or text my siblings anymore and it knocks me sideways. I’ve had people refuse to be friends because once they get to know even a tiny bit of my life, I hear “bad luck is all the luck you have” and they’re gone. (Even doctors say this. Tell me my bad luck might be contagious [they say this with no irony, which is so disappointing] so they won’t accept me as a patient. It’s happened so often that after going in positive & hopeful now I don’t even react. I just sigh and leave and start the search over.) I do understand the impulse. Sometimes all I can do is shake my head at my own damn life. It’d be surreal and darkly funny if is wasn’t so wearing.

    Until the past 6 months I have managed to keep going due to two reasons: I believed the line “it has to get better/it will get better/it’ll all work out in the end” (eternally optimistic – or stupidly optimistic, not sure) and because I’m stubborn. I’m 60 now and recently I finally realized and accepted that that line is a lot of hooey. For me. I’m talking about my life, no one else’s. Sometimes it doesn’t get better. Sometimes making it through another day is the win, not the always elusive “it’ll get better”.

    I’ll keep going. If only because I’m still stubborn. And, my pets need cared for. Plus, yeah, I know it could all be worse. I know people have it far worse than me. I’m not locked up indefinitely in a cage. I’m still breathing. My various parts mostly work most of the time. I can afford to have my few pets. It’s bad but it’s not worse. There’s that. So, three good reasons – stubbornness, pets, it’s not worse.

    Thanks for your post Jenny. Thank you for the space to write what it stirred up. I feel a speck better. Maybe a speck isn’t too shabby.

    Good luck to you and yours. Good luck with all your endeavors. Maybe one day I can meander my way across multiple states to visit your bookstore. I do love a good bookstore and yours is going to be amazing.

  84. Today is semi hard. Tomorrow will be super hard because we will bury my Dad. He was 87 and I was blessed to have had him for 59 years and one day.

  85. I love you Jenny. For so many reasons but most of all…for the way you make me feel about myself. Thank you.

  86. Butterfly vine! So lovely! I love your reflections and how the universe conspires to send you love and a cheer up when needed. Hugs.

  87. Jenny, I’m the person who posted on your “escape” post nearly 2 years ago about my infant daughter passing away. I still have that page open, because it helps me every time I start to fall into that chasm of grief. Today is a hard day, not for any particular reason, just because occasionally, despite the goodness and joy in my life, I feel the grief of losing my sweet little girl as acutely as the day it happened. A smell, a song, a conversation. Anything can trigger it. The grief will pass in time. I think this post will also remain open for me, because its always good to have the reminder that even in the darkest moments, beautiful things can be just around the corner.

  88. You could paint some of those dried butterflies and hang them somewhere in the house – or make holiday ornaments out of them! (Or mail them to me and I’ll do it for you!)

  89. Thank you. Today is very hard. I said goodbye to my mother this morning, in a small room with a few family and friends. It was sad and it was lovely, and I miss my Mum. Your post is a touch of grace in this sadness.

  90. If ever I needed to read something, here it is. I’ve been struggling so much lately. Thank you for sharing. Hugs

  91. PS: Yellow Butterfly Vine (Mascagnia macroptera) The clusters of dainty flowers on Butterfly Vine shine as brilliant as the summer sun. But it’s the seed pods that give the plant its name. During summer, chartreuse ‘wings’ unfold on the seed pods that look like butterflies.

  92. First off, Elizabeth #37 I was JUST going to post that quote by Mother Julian of Norwich. 😯😯😯 Her book “Revelations of Divine Love” is so fascinating, transcendent, and inspiring. The book is based on the holy encounters that medieval anchoress (Mother Julian) had with God. Her book is the earliest example to date of an English written book by a female author.

    She was refreshingly surprisingly jubilant in her approach to her faith. I think (?) she wrote a passage about how laughter is a gift from God that enriches our souls so Jenny, you’re on the right track! Also I think God probably prefers your prayer style to be informal and funny because you’re being your genuine wonderful Jenny self when you do that. No pinkies up with Jesus! 🤣😂

    I’m glad you enjoyed spending time w/the dearly departed nuns. It’s humbling…the sacrifices they made in their lives for God and for the betterment of humanity. Women have to be very strong to be nuns-it’s a very difficult life, and I wish that the church took better care of their nuns. Well, I wish the organization itself did a lot of things differently… but that’s for another day!

    Thank you for this post Jenny and reminding me that “all shall be well.” ☺️

  93. It’s so hard to feel green or beautiful right now. I just feel…like gravity has tripled; but only for me. But I read this today, and that is more than yesterday. So, thank you.

  94. The next time I feel overwhelmed because everything seems impossible I will think of butterflies that magically appear when you most need them. And bad-ass nuns. And I’ll remember that things will be fine. And that I will be fine, Thank you.

  95. Fucking hard. A dear friend, a soul sister, died this morning. She had a stroke over a week ago and declined to be kept alive with tubes and stuff. So I’ve been waiting for this news and when it came this morning it wasn’t unexpected but still hard.
    I visited her in hospice last week. I held her hand and told her I loved her. Then I asked her if she could put off dying until November so she could vote. She couldn’t speak but she gave me the Stink Eye, so I guess that was a no.
    I’m going to miss her so much.

  96. I was feeling really empty and sad and I came to your site to see if you’d posted anything new, because you so often make me feel better… and this post just appeared. <3 And all these other people are saying today is hard, too. Thanks for helping us all remember we’re not alone. You’re not either. Sending love your way. <3 <3

  97. Today was indeed hard; in my case, having my annual physical with all that entailed, and dealing with a student doctor to boot (he was lovely, but saying everything twice is annoying to me — but I’m glad to be a guinea pig for them to learn). And having to discuss my brain (literally) and stroke risk and when to go to the ER and when to not (increasingly I’m of the opinion I want to stay home and fuck the stroke if it happens, it’s easier than dealing with the stroke team who fall back on “oh, she’s just a psych patient” and they ignore the structure in my brain giving me strokes and TIAs).

    Fuck today.

  98. Today has been incredibly hard because one year ago ti I said goodbye to my beloved cat Darwin. He was the love of my life. My sunshine. My rock through all the hard times. I only made it through the terrible soul sucking year since his death by knowing he was watching over me and wanting me to survive. My anxiety hit an all time high since he died and brought panic attacks into the mix. But things like this do help. You’ve actually helped me more than you know. So thank you. For this and all the rest. Thank you. ❤️

  99. Tears are streaming and I feel so grateful for your words today..they’re what I needed to read at this very moment. Thank you so much, you beautiful soul!

  100. I’m in the middle of a med change. I’ve tried 9 medications over the last year and a half. Still not balanced on week 5 of something that doesn’t let me dream at night but gave me 1 full minute of feeling ok. So it might be working…. maybe

    I’m sitting in my ex’s parents car they loaned me because not 1 but both of my microchip keys broke within 36 hours of each other, one in my ignition. I’m dealing with bankruptcy of which I share half the blame and a divorce. It’s -40C which is actually the same -40F. My loaner car has been frozen up twice because when I plugged it and my roommates car in ( see- block heaters) my breaker blew. So I have to say life seems very hard…. Very…. very hard.

    But I have good people in my life and all the times it’s hard someone I know will step up and help me. There are little blessings even in my own special brand of help

    Ultimately everything will be ok life will continue on.

  101. I really needed this. It’s my birthday and my brain and body are refusing to cooperate. So, thank you for the encouragement. 🙂

  102. Dammit, my mascara is running down my cheeks. But I’m so glad that I took a moment to read your words today. Thank you.

  103. I love you so much! You’re awesome and I hope you always have that knowledge in the back of your mind. It’s hard today. But someday it won’t be hard for a while. You’ll get through this. And we’re all here to help.

  104. Thank you, I am recently widowed, went to a support group yesterday. The leader warned us that today might be tough. She was right. I accomplished a little bit early this morning, then my brain started to hurt, I needed to do nothing and nap. I will watch Jeopardy tonight and that is all.

  105. SO very lovely. Thank you.

    And it’s nice to read a positive mention of nuns. I was taught by nuns for 16 years and got a great education from dedicated, bright, thoughtful, loving women. I didn’t see the abuses some have experienced, thank heavens; and the stereotypes are largely the product of ignorance. I appreciate your recognizing the dedication of so many of these pioneering educators.

  106. Just nice to know I’m not alone. Things have been especially difficult this week so I decided, perhaps in a hypomanic mind, to dye my gray hair purple, lavender actually. I just want something to lighten things up. If we all hang in there and keep our eyes open for butterflies and shades of purple, maybe we can make it though. Thanks Jenny!

  107. I hope your day, week, month gets better! I also feel sort of futile a lot of time and have feelings of, ‘why am I even doing this, what will it matter?’ But you are such a good writer and I really enjoyed this post and all your posts. I wish I lived near you so I could visit your bookstore.

  108. When the Big Picture(tm) is overwhelming like today, look toward the little pictures – like little butterfly seed pods. I’ve never seen those before. They’re fascinating and they come in green and brown. See … little things…

  109. Life has been really hard for me since I lost my dad in November. His passing wasn’t sudden we knew that it was coming. What I didn’t know was the deep and dark depression that was going to follow. I thought I was prepared and was going through morning while he was still with is.

    Thank you for reminding me that even though I’m not okay now I will be. You give me hope on days I really need it.

  110. Thank you, Jenny. Today was so hard. My husband lost his job; the only one he ever in our 22 years together that paid well, had benefits, and allowed him to be home with our son and me at night and on weekends. Today he interviewed for another, similar job, but has very little confidence in himself. We fought about it, about our future, about our direction and our approach. But we made up. I know we’ll get through this…and until we feel secure again, I will look for the little things to keep us going.

  111. I needed to hear this. Thank you again, Jenny, for being brave and funny and generous. ❤️

  112. You’re beautiful, Jenny. Thank you for this. Today was hard. Tomorrow probably will be, too. Hell, maybe the next couple of months, or more. I know it will get better, eventually. It has to, right? It can’t be this way forever, can it?

  113. Today was extraordinarily hard. But reading your words definitely helped brighten my day.❤

  114. My dog passed away a few days ago and it’s been hard. I feel like I’m cracking and healing over and over again but reading this helped. Love you Jenny.

  115. Today is hard….very hard. They say blue Monday is just a few days off, well I have hit Blue Tuesday. I have this blanket over overwhelming sadness that has come over me. I can’t shake it off. The only thing I feel like doing is watching old movies on TCM and when in doubt sleep. I have never battled deep depression before. But happy New Year to me, this is twice so far this month that everything seems too difficult. I feel lost, alone and I can’t figure out where I belong. My doc tells me it’s menopause, lordy lordy thought I was over that. I have just done a bunch of research and found out I am an empah. Makes sense to me, the way I feel things so incredibly deeply. Right now I would give ANYTHING to not feel anything at all. People like you help Jenny, I wish I had your strength, your wit, your ability to put things into words. I have lost my niche…I lost my best friend of 30 years, and I found out through fb. Her obituary popped up. That was in October, the 30th to be exact. I lack ambition, and I feel immobilized unless there is something written on my calendar that I cannot back out of. Thank you for letting me post here. I don’t have anyone else to talk to. It helps to put it “out there”.

  116. Today was really hard. In fact I can think of very few days in my life that were this hard. Today I realised that for the first time I don’t even know what I can possibly do that will bring me to a point where I feel ok about my life and what I can do in it. I work so hard to do the practically nothing that I do, fighting my dysfunctional body every step of the way, and I still end up with what feels like nothing. And if I can’t see anything that will help, then I don’t know what to do, I don’t know my next step. And this thought crushed me.
    Today was hard, and opening your blog and seeing that first line really touched me. Thank you. I still don’t know what to do, I still feel helpless and hopeless, but it still helped to see your post.

  117. I loved this and I love you Jenny. My heart feels all squishy. I love this quote from Buckminster Fuller “there is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly “.

  118. Thank you. I needed this. I have been falling apart about the fires in Australia. I can’t stop thinking about all the animals and I found a lovely tribute drawing earlier and it just broke the floodgates. I’ve been crying on and off since. I made a donation to a charity helping the wildlife there, but I feel so helpless.

    And crap, I just realized that in 3 days it will be the anniversary of finding out of a friend taking her own life. Maybe that is what’s going on too…

    But thank you. Furiously Happy helps keep the PTSD away so I can feel safe trying to sleep.

  119. Aside from your books that all make me laugh so hard I pee, this is my favorite thing you’ve ever written. I’m sharing it because it will mean so much to so many people so thank you from me and all of them, too. You are a wonderful messenger. Looking forward to your new book, too! XO

  120. Thank you, Jenny. I’m having a rough time and I just started bawling when I saw this post, because I guess I just needed to hear that I’m not alone in this. I hope you and everyone else who is struggling have better days soon. And good luck Hailey!

  121. Add me to list of folks who also had a hard day and so much needed to hear this. Thank you.

  122. Another hard day here. So grateful you shared your words with us. They definitely make things a little easier to take. Hang in there everyone!

  123. Your post was the butterfly blossom that landed on my feet today. Thank you. I bet Hailey did exceptionally well.

  124. Thank you for not making me feel alone. I just had to put my cat, my best friend, to sleep. Freaking cancer took another loved one from me and all feels lost. He legit was the only reason I kept going most days. Now I have no clue what will motivate me to not give up. So your little “butterfly” is a type of sign I need.

  125. I love your discovery of the butterflies! There is a convent cemetery like the one you visited near me. I’ll be thinking of you when next I visit there! I’m having a weird day, too. All shall be well. Eventually. Yes?

  126. Your posts that do me the most good, also leave me the least able to express it. So I’ll just say I feel the love here. Thank you.

  127. Thank you for posting this. It came at a time for me as I’m dealing with what feels like an insurmountable level
    of overwhelming stress and anxiety and depression. My teenage daughter just came in my room, having a panicky breakdown of her own about school, after school theatre projects, etc. Somehow, I’m able to help
    her through her anxiety and make a plan of attack for her to take things one step at a time, but it’s not so easy for me to do that for myself. I appreciated this post for its ability to bring me a bit of clarity during a time of emotional cloudiness.

  128. I’m just now emerging from two weeks of a depression-fog-cocoon. Thank you for this. <3

  129. The past couple of days have been hard for me too so thank you for this. It’s much appreciated. ♥️

  130. I wasn’t even having a particularly rough day, but this post has hit unexpectedly, and now I’m fighting tears. “The battles last forever. Longer than we will. But victories can last just as long.” This is some exquisite writing, Jenny.

    Knock, knock, motherfucker. This is Victory reminding you of just how far you’ve come.

  131. I’m sending you good vibes because I know how hard life can get. I can’t wait to read your new book and someday visit your book store. My life felt like that all of last year. Now I’m starting to feel better because of your blog and my tribe.

  132. I opened this article earlier today and kept thinking in the back of my mind, I need to read it…. I need to read it… today has been tough, low fever and lots of pain from my botched up L/R heart cath that forced surgery for my femoral artery. Only 4 months earlier I learned I had an Auto Immune. I have been up and way down and down and up and super down. Today was one of those really rough days as I struggled through work, pain, crying, eye twitching etc. ….and I finally read your post.

    I really needed it.

    Bring on the butterflies and strong and amazing women.

  133. Thank you for distracting me from my own discomforts, even if only for a little while. My mantra is always: right here, in this discreet moment in time, I am well. Just for now. Even if I feel like complete and utter shit, just for a microsecond all is well. And the next microsecond, and possibly the next. And then butterflies. Thank you.

  134. Oh, I needed this. I’m in day 2 of a new-to-me job and I’m overwhelmed and stunned, while having moments of being bored silly because I don’t know what to do. The emotional yo-yo is exhausting. This was exactly the post I needed right now. Than you!

  135. Today is hard. It’s my dad’s birthday. He died 10 years ago. Whenever I was upset or having a tough time, he’d say “things always look better in the morning.” Your line ‘everything will be okay in the end’ reminded me of that, of him. Thank you, Jenny.

  136. This was lovely. Today’s hard was a newly two year-old in near-constant meltdown. But maybe I’ll get to pee alone (or at least without her in my lap) tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

  137. Your words are beautiful, but what brought tears to my eyes was the image of that leaf-butterfly. Just sublime.

  138. That dried-wooden-butterfly-amazing-something-or-other is truly delightful. Thank you for sharing that beautiful moment with us.

  139. Thank you Jenny! I cannot even say it enough! Lots of things about today were hard-but like any other hard day it’s not the end of the world and I know there are bigger problems out there-even if mental illness tends to magnify small ones. The last week has been a lot of coming to terms with aging-i had to order my first pair of progressive lenses for my glasses. Lots of thoughts about how as we age-we are just slowly decaying before we actually die and even hit the grave. Thoyggts about why we age…like really…can’t we just live out the rest of our days on earth in our 20 something or even 30 something bodies? Just lots of why in general and kind of feeling like that annoying toddler but with more complex questions. But its OK. Not every day or every week is hard-there are glimmers of hope and light.

  140. Jenny, you make my day it seems everyday. You’ve carried me through some dark times – whoosh. You, Dot, Ferris, Hunter, Rolly, Hailey & Victor – be well & keep shining your light.

  141. Thank you. I so needed this today. At this very moment when everything was feeling like it was falling apart. Even though it probably isnt. Thank you, Jenny.

  142. You have no idea how this spoke to my damn soul today. It’s been a week or more of my feeling off and without any spark.
    Your words hit home and brightened my day!

  143. This is exactly what I needed to read before bed after a long, exhausting day. You lift me up with these words. Thank you for being, jg

  144. Beautiful, honest, timely. Thank you, dear Jenny, for opening your heart and spreading a bit of joy even on a day that feels yucky. Especially on a day that feels yucky. It feels a lot better now. I would gather the lovely fauxflutterbys and give them out whenever someone needs a little smile.

  145. I grew up in the same area of Texas and my grandma had one of those butterfly bushes. I have never seen them anywhere else. Thank you for the reminder of my grandma and the memories of a childhood with butterfly seed tucked in my hair.

  146. Thank you so much. I don’t know why but today, my whole house woke up feeling very crunchy. I really focused on making our morning gratitude list on the way to school. It helped play that stupid song “yeah Toast” on YouTube. Then this post helped my tired mommy heart. I hope you laugh till you cry soon.

  147. Finishing the last episode of Anne with an E then reading this? All the lovely bittersweet tears today

  148. Many days have been hard here for quite awhile, as Australia burns and friends and family deal with evacuating, property loss, wildlife loss, stress and anguish.

  149. Thank you for this. Thank you for posting on the hard days, and reminding us while you remind yourself that everything will be alright. I’ve been struggling a bit lately, just got two medication-doses increased yesterday (and then the pharmacy screwed up the increase when I picked them up today, so I can’t start them until tomorrow)… I keep feeling like I’m on that edge between kinda-okay and true-depression. Today was hard. Tomorrow will be harder, when I have to force myself to go to work for the first time this month/year.

  150. RE: “I sit on a bench and read about the women here who battled with bishops and cardinals over control of the places they made their own, and about this convent that focused on education and on helping those less fortunate. I read about how they insisted on integration in their schools long before desegregation began and about the women laying here who struggled in their own ways…” (1) I doubt that the nuns were battling with bishops/cardinals for “control.” (2) Being such an advocate for integration and desegregation is oh-so-easy in 2020. Hard part was in the 40s-60s. Post-2000, everyone jumps on the bandwagon 50 years late yet pretends to be so brave.

  151. Thank you. It’s felt really hard lately. I’m working on getting to a better place, because I should be able to be in a happy life where I’m not just waiting for the next thing to go pear shaped.

  152. Thank you for sharing this post. My father has just died and I was feeling sad, lost and alone.
    You always make me feeling as if I belong to your tribe. I need to feel that.

  153. I really neede to hear this today, mine has been really rough too just like yours, but reading this gave me courage to face another day. Thanks Jenny

  154. I left a comment that I meant to be anonymous but it still got linked to my account. I’d like to delete it, how can I contact you about that?

  155. You cannot (or you can) believe how much I needed this today. Your writing turns the most ugly things beautiful. I am waiting for the biopsy tests of my mum, who probably have cancer(we all hope not) and my colleague’s 14 yo son is in the operation room right now for a brain tumor that can either kill him, or paralyze him. waiting and praying for whatever is up there running this world,for a little mercy… Wishing for green and beautiful <3

  156. Thank you💚So many hugs, baskets of gratitude and love to the moon and back.

  157. Beautiful, moving, and just what I needed. I’m so glad to know you also, Jenny – if only through this screen and your wonderful books! ♥️♥️♥️

  158. Whenever I need more to get me past the now, I have often found a story written in 2011 about towels and a giant metal chicken and I laugh again. Thank you, Jenny, for yourself.

  159. Today was hard. The job I love is facing serious troubles as an organization and I’m terrified of what is to come. I have a staff that looks to me and genuinely needs their jobs. Next week is a big come to Jesus meeting and the anxiety is starting to eat me up inside. Entirely too much at stake.

  160. I’m feeling a bit dusty and angsty and dried up inside over here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They were, as always, on point and just what I needed to hear. I am not alone.

  161. This is truly beautiful and so are you. Thank you for reminding us that beauty and and hope can still grab us and demand to be recognized (and make us smile!) in a dark world. Thank you!!

  162. It was a message – to have it’s greatest shine, a diamond must be cut and polished. To be an incredible weapon, metal has to be forged and shaped. You take the challenges of life and turn them into a prism that lets your tribe see the commonality of experience and that they are NEVER alone. I look at and for your incredible rainbow filter often. Hugs to Hailey for her finals.

  163. Dang it – I left the extra ‘ in there and I meant to edit it out! Grammar is tough sometimes! Its vs it’s

  164. Yesterday WAS hard. And today is hard. But we got through yesterday. So we’ll get through today. Thank you for reminding us of the power of being still and observing. And of accepting what small things that surround us make the biggest impact to our seemingly monotonous and hard days.

  165. This is beautiful. I love wandering through graveyards and wondering about the people buried in them. I can always count on a graveyard to be contemplatively quiet and calming.

    I worked at a nursing home for retired/sick nuns for six years in high school/college, and the majority of them had delightful senses of humor (and they loved to party). Don’t worry about God being mad about you laughing in a graveyard. As the movie “Dogma” says at the beginning: “even God has a sense of humor. Just look at the platypus.”

  166. I love how you shared this moment with all of us and I pictured you there and it made me smile. Thank you. What sort of plant was that from? I would love to plant it in my garden. Thank you Jenny!

  167. Thank you so much for your post.
    My mom died in hospice on Friday. I was with her and it was not easy or pretty or a good death. She was the glue that held our small dysfunctional family together. I haven’t really cried except immediately after she passed when I experienced grief unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. And then my brain packed everything away in a box and I haven’t been able to open it.

    Thank you for reminding me that life goes on.

  168. The way this starts it could be me. I even have a daughter named Hailey, spelled the same, who also suffers from anxiety. And I am struggling to handle it all. Trying to look for the butterflies.

  169. Yesterday was very hard. Even my husband was frazzled and short tempered. Thank you for the unexpected butterflies! <3

  170. I so needed this. I don’t have depression, but it has been a week at work (and it has only been 2.5 days). I spent a large chunk of the morning looking for a new job, and I really don’t want a new job. This put a smile on my face, Thank you.

  171. Sometimes the universe gives you butterflies. Or the beauty of a leaf in the wind. Or the sparrow landing nearby. If you always look for beauty in nature you will find it, or it will find you, if you let it. Look for the butterflies.

  172. I must be allergic to petrified butterflies because there’s something in my eye.

  173. This was the best possible thing that could have crossed my path at this very moment. A deep and profound thank you.

  174. Jenny, you are just what’s needed in reaching out to people and allowing them to feel the way you do. You are so needed in today’s world where all the horrible events are occurring sometimes in spite of our best efforts.
    Keep rolling with the punches, sometimes hard and sometimes less so but still nonetheless so telling and sometimes so draining of the spirits.
    Keep the faith, people, it’s got to get better and when it’s not getting better, be convinced that when we reach the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up! 😉

  175. Everything always feels hardest in January, to me. It’s dark and usually cold and there are no good holidays. But it’s about half way over so YAY! Good luck to Hailey!!!

  176. I am so incredibly grateful to you for this. I needed it so. My own life’s version of your bookstore is kicking my ass – but it’s all good – and I needed your reminder that it is. And that the darkness can hang out in my soul, but it’s transient and false.

    Thank you.

  177. You are amazing and have a beautiful skill of making others feel better. There is seriously nothing better in life. Hang in there!

  178. It was a very hard day until I read this. A day late but I’m always late these days. Thanks Jenny. The world needs more Jennys. And Haileys too.


  179. Dear Jenny,

    I’m not sure if you are actually able to read every comment because you have so many, but thank you for your posts, and thank you for allowing us a space to see that we are not alone. Today was so hard, but I was numb to it. I didn’t even realize how numb I was until I read your post and watched your Tedx Talk and then broke down crying. I desperately needed to cry, so thank you. I come from a Japanese, Texan, Christian background, all of which tell you to suck it up and push it down and hold it in and cover everything up with a smile. I acknowledge that I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I acknowledge that I take medication, but I think deep down it is still so hard to admit that days are hard, and things are hard, and depression and anxiety are really hard. So thank you so much for your blog and your honesty and who you are, because you help us be honest with ourselves and others.

  180. This came at a very appropriate time for me, thank you. Today was especially hard for me. My youngest daughter officially became one day older than her sister. 8 years, 1 month, 1 day. Had I left the house today, I would hope that I would have found some butterflies too.

  181. Today is hard….yesterday was hard…tomorrow will be hard….my father, who is 69 years old and was perfectly healthy with the exception of a bum knee/leg from the military is lying in the VA hospital, my mother at his side, in his final days after being diagnosed with metastatic esophageal cancer less than six weeks ago. Moments of despair and utter gut wrenching heartbreak are interspersed with detached calm as I help manage, advocate, and coordinate his care. Thank you for this….I need some of those butterflies right about now.

  182. Oh, thank you! So many people might have just ticked it off from a list of Little-Known Flutterbys, but you’ve shared it here, giving so many of us something needed to smile about. Thank you also to that volume of the butterfly book! 8>o<8 (Trying to emoji is hard!)

  183. Wow, I am usually just a stalker on your thread, but you do not know how much I needed this today. I think I might just actually get out of bed.

  184. My day was going pretty badly with mosquito bites turning into blisters due to some new allergy I have contracted…then I glanced down. The one on my thigh had turned into an enormous mottled bruise, taking up most of my leg. I panicked as thoughts of flesh eating bacteria set in (google Buruli ulcer). Then reason kicked in… I had been building a mermaid grotto out of Lego for my daughter. I investigated and found I’d been sitting in a patch of dried purple and blue paint on the floorboards. It had rubbed onto my leg like eyeshadow. It was very realistic! Sent a photo to my family and my brother was like ‘get to the doctor NOW. that is NOT normal’. So my day turned into laughter without a butterfly, but with a mess creating laughter.

  185. Reading this a few days late but it is just as relevant today as it would have been a few days ago. hugs

  186. What a wonderful gift to receive when you are anxious. Kudos to Hayley for having the nerve to spend and that time studying and be able to walk in and take all those pass/ fail tests. Congratulations for having the ability to drive your dearly loved child when you are so anxious for her. Thank you to the person who sent me the most recent postcard and could not have come on a better day. And send lots of good wishes and congratulations to Jessica on Jeopardy who dealt with anxiety live in front of an audience. And how marvelous Alex Trebek is for the way he treats people. And here’s to all of us in this tribe who do what we can when we can. Hooray for all of us🎉

  187. I wanted to comment on this a few days ago but I forgot my stupid password so I had to reset it. It was HARD on Tuesday, for sure. I had a class A, level 10, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, go directly to the loonytoons farm anxiety attack.

    Must be something in the weather. Or something.

  188. I think I understand your pain. The absolute hardest days are the ones in which I see any of my daughters wrestle with the same afflictions as mine. (Migraine, anxiety, depression). It hurts all the way to my inner most soul.

  189. You speak to my heart. I’m a silent fan. This week has sucked. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone.

  190. I needed to read this post this morning and like one of your “butterflies” it appeared for me. Thank you.

  191. Did you know that people are bio luminescent but our eyes can’t perceive that light? So you are glowing and I am glowing and the ideas that we write can spiral around from mind to mind, or sit for a while on the Internet until the right person sits down here to see what’s up. Then your butterfly of an idea drops on their foot just at the right moment. And that makes all the difference. Thank you for that butterfly effect and for the way you glow.

  192. Jenny, thank you for the antelope, and the bookstore,and the nuns’ graveyard and what comfort you found in seedpods. I feel my age on days like this, when it’s cold outside and no stove is quite hot enough, and I wonder, now how many years are left when I can be of value–to myself, to others–and along comes a young woman (to me, a young woman) who reminds me that every day is a chance to have value. You don’t have to keep notes, or keep track, just being in it, sometimes, is enough.

  193. Thank you for this. Thank you for being willing to share your pain and thoughts. Thank you for helping others to find a way to voice their own (even if it’s silly nonsense to cover up the hurt). Thank you.

  194. Beautiful! I feel like that too sometimes and it helps to know you do too..A little less lonely.
    And sometimes touched by grace, or butterflies. Thanks 💕

  195. I was in San Antonio last weekend and I really wanted to visit this beautiful church but we didn’t have a car or a whole lot of free time. But, when I come back to visit your bookstore, I’ll make sure we have a car at least long enough to visit the store and the church while we’re there.

  196. thank you for this. sometimes all we need is some things as little as an encouragement, a nod, a validation, to keep going. Today is hard to be frank but we keep going.

  197. I dont want to live anymore.
    Im a chickenshit for not having the courage to go through with it. But in all honesty, I lost the purpose for living. I live with a person that I believe to see things like they are – and, well – there is no one sentence he can give me that is just encouraging – I “can be” this and that… but my mental state is inter fearing. So that is my life. Even if i have “ the potential” like they called it in school… obviously that is not fulfilled. I am nothing. Can do nothing. And in a world where i am so god damn competitive – I can’t live with being mediocre … not to even dare to say bad.
    I have no reason to live.
    And I cant get the courage to die.
    What now.

    (I’ve been there. All I can say is that you are needed and would be missed. You deserve to be happy and depression can tell terrible lies. I hear them all when things get bad. Talk to your dr. Talk to loved ones. Keep fighting. You’re worth it. ~ Jenny)

  198. I’m so glad I decided to catch up on posts I missed. I really needed this today…been struggling with feeling everything is way too hard today.

  199. Thank you. I’ve been struggling for the past few months and the last couple of days have been especially hard. I don’t really know why. Nothing is worse or better than it was a week ago. But your story gives me a comfort knowing I’m not alone in the way I feel. I will start keeping an eye out for my “butterflies”.

  200. I’m reading this post almost a month late because that’s where my RSS feed is. But I really needed this today. It doesn’t make the struggles go away, but I do feel better.

  201. Ive had your book, Ferociously Happy since it was released. I tried so hard to read it then. Today I made it, I read it while hiding in my studio for five days now. You’re amazing. I bought two more for my therapist and my psychiatrist. They both said that they see you in me. I came out about my mental illness this year because I need my child to know it’s something not to be ashamed of. Two week ago, I looked at my bottle of pills and for thirty seconds I debated taking the whole bottle just to make the horrible things that a lawyer said about me and then made my monsters in my head start screaming. I just needed it to stop. I didn’t want to die, I just wanted to make everything stop.
    Thank you. Thank you so much. Reading your blog and your books made me realize that I wouldn’t be hurting myself. I’d be hurting the people who love me. You were able to convince me, a stranger, that the monsters are big fat liars. That I just needed to hold on. Live a minute, then another. Even though I’m hiding right now, with a neurotic foster cat that had spent too much time in the shelter the she won’t let any one touch her and I’m one of the people they call to socialize them because that’s what I’m good at. I pop out occasionally to kiss my son’s head and hold my husband tight, trying them that I love them but I need to hide do I can live. Your book made me laugh so hard I peed a little. It made me cry so hard because I realized it wasn’t just me who felt these things. You don’t know me, but you saved me.
    I know this barely makes sense, but Thank You. Thank you so much for being open. You’re amazing.

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