When you look around most horse facilities, barnyards, farmsteads and other places that feed hay to their animals, you’re likely to see bales of hay piled high. This time of year folks are laying in their supply, getting ready for winter-feeding.

And because hay is heavy when it’s stacked in bales, and has a tendency to slide, you’ll often see something propping it up.

In this case, two long wooden poles fit the bill and miraculously provide enough tension to keep the whole shebang from sliding into a messy heap.

Seeing this made me think about what in my life props me up and keeps me functioning.

Some days I’d love to have something so obvious as two wooden poles, whose only job was to support me. Doesn’t that sound easy? And comforting?

But I’m not a stack of hay, so my needs are somewhat more complex. I’m guessing yours are too.

When I first started to write this, I thought it would be easy. But as I‘ve gotten into it, I realize that I don’t always know what keeps me going. I’ve had to dig deep and really look at myself. Good thing I’ve had a lot of coffee to fuel all this introspection!

So, here, in no particular order, is the first half of what I’ve come up with. I’ll continue with the second half in tomorrow’s post.

** Spoiler alert: This is about people so it’s going to be mushy.

  • My husband. We’re a team and we hold each other up. He’s someone I trust with my life. When the chips are down, I know he will always there for me. We’re not a perfect couple, because honestly is there such a thing? But we do know how to take care of each other, and for that I am grateful every single day.
  • My two sisters mean the world to me. They’re the people who’ve known me the longest; they know my faults and love me in spite of them. They are the connection to my roots, and remind me where I came from.
  • My son, his wife and my wonderful, amazing grandson fill me up every time I think about them. They’re my present and my future. I love them wildly and cannot imagine life without them.
  • My extended family. Ours is a small family, so every person matters. Well, really every person matters no matter if the family is large or small. My husband brought lovely, caring people into my life when we married, and I’m grateful for them. I have nieces and nephews that I don’t see often enough, but who add to the strength of my supportive beams.
  • My friends. I’m a “people-person.” Always have been. I am blessed with an amazing, cadre of friends. Weeks will go by without our seeing each other, and yet, we are as connected as if we were together every day. Simply put, my friends rock!

There you have it. Part 1. I hope it encourages you to think about your own system of support. Stay tuned for my next installment tomorrow.


In the meantime, feel free to chew on this: What holds you up?