Becoming Inspired While Down & Out

Even A Little Light Quells the Darkness

abstract-539960_640Lost, confused, overwhelmed, and at times, hopeless, are feelings I’ve been experiencing on a frequent basis lately. I knew I was in trouble when the one thing I could always count on (this is a story for another day), now seemed so elusive.

Dealing with significant elder care issues while simultaneously trying to run an online business, blogging, managing four social media accounts, advocating, babysitting my grandson, and the resulting panic attacks has left me with little time to breathe. Even though I know better playing the comparison game with unrealistic expectations, only serves to magnify my confused state and FALSE ineptitude.

While a dark cloud of gloom has settled for the time being, whenever a ray of light comes my way I grab hold and let it seep into my being to fuel and propel me forward. Case in point, I hadn’t planned on writing today and was surprised when a ray of light presented itself as a reminder of who I am through the work of another.

Blind Motherhood Rebirth

Holly Bonner, the woman behind Blind Motherhood, has worked tirelessly to refresh this comprehensive resource for parents, families, and individuals living with sight loss. The thing that gets me is—over the past few months Holly recreated Blind Motherhood, continued working for her employer, authored many pieces for several organizations, took care of her husband and their two little girls—she did all of this while dealing with illness.

Holly is standing on a lawn holding Aoife in her left arm, with her white cane in her right hand and Nuala standing beside her.
Nuala, Holly and Aoife

Like Holly, Blind Motherhood is striking, professional and extremely organized. The theme suits her well because it represents Holly’s creative genius and her life as a blind mom. Though it doesn’t take much to excite me I just had to list, then go into a little more detail on my favorite highlights on the site:

  • Consistent Branding
  • Aesthetically Pleasing
  • Homey Theme
  • Ease of Navigation
  • Thorough Content

Branding: The Blind Motherhood logo—a silhouette of a mom with white cane leading the way in her left hand and her two toddlers bringing up the rear (mom’s right hand holding the hand of the oldest child who in turn is holding the hand of the youngest)—is uniquely Holly. Shades of teal as an accent color is used consistently throughout the site and on social media platforms.

Aesthetics: All the images on the site are high quality, interesting and invite visitors to stay awhile and explore, while the layout, fonts, contrast and color scheme makes the text easy to read. The “About” menu is next to the Home menu so there is no guesswork in determining the “why” of the site. A site without an “About” section misses out on a critical trust-building opportunity.

Theme: Contrasting textures of fringed fabric, wooden plank and painted/weathered wood evoke an inviting feeling of home.

Navigation: The main menu consisting of Home, About, Motherhood, Blind Diaries, Resources and Contact is intuitively organized and contain well structured submenus.

Content: Blind Motherhood has well written articles and thought-provoking content as well as links to other helpful resources. From pregnancy through the stages of childhood to guide dogs, humor, reviews, recipes, inspirational stories, accessibility and much more, there is something for just everyone.

Wrap up

At the beginning of this post I talked about feeling lost mainly because of the chaos in my mind and unrealistic expectations. Thankfully Holly’s fabulous website reminded me of my appreciation of talent, order, aesthetics and advocacy.

One of the things that really excited me about Blind Motherhood is knowing the concept was from a person who has very little remaining vision. This one point is testimony to while an individual may not be able to physically see they can be creative and appreciate beauty.

What Holly has done here is what Bold Blind Beauty is all about – changing perceptions. Each of us are uniquely gifted individuals; as long as we are authentic in our pursuits, and focus on our abilities we can and should joyously celebrate the achievements of others.


  1. That’s good stuff – and thanks for all the info about Blind-Motherhood. Amazing!!!!! Definitely inspiring.

  2. Keep in mind to get an offset keyboard…I was reading reviews and it never occurred to me that it wouldn’t be until a review did… 🙂

  3. Glad you were able to get the second link to work. I use a standard key board although I was toying with the idea of getting one from ZoomText. The one I saw has large keys and yellow/black contrast.

  4. I was able to get the other link to work by copying it into my browser and then it found it…gotta love computers!! 🙂
    Hey I wanted to ask you, I am going to buy my mother a keyboard that has extra large keys and letters, do you use any like that and if so, do you recommend any particular kind. I was looking at the Chester Creek keyboards…thanks. You don’t have to answer tonight, answer when it’s convenient for you!!

  5. Thanks Steph! Yeah I actually wake up about 5 in the morning and my body has a vibration to it, that’s the best way I can describe it, and the anxiety and depression begin knowing I have to get up and go face another day. Even tonight I hate to go to bed because that means Monday morning is coming… 🙁
    Thanks for the link I look forward to reading it!! Let’s try to count our blessings and feel grateful and let the anxiety go into thin air!! Breath in….breath out…xo

  6. Hey Deb, sorry to hear about the grief with your job. I remember not too long ago feeling some angst with my job and it was almost a relief when i got laid off/retired. Just the thought of being amongst the ranks of the employed makes me nauseous, but of course other things have filled in my empty job slot. I remember reading a survey on job satisfaction among employed US citizens and wasn’t surprised to learn most people are not satisfied with their jobs.

    I’m not sure of the reason so many of us live with anxiety but I bet conscientiousness or perfectionism ranks high on the list. Here is the link to the article I mentioned earlier.

  7. Thanks Steph! My job is my main reason for my anxiety and panic attacks. I often have to leave my desk and go into the bathroom to cry. I remember watching Oprah and Maya Angelou talking and Oprah was saying how she was crying about something and Maya would tell her to just say Thank you to God, and Oprah said she wouldn’t know why but she would thank God, so that’s what I do I sit there and cry and say thank you to God. I know it’s supposed to be in appreciation for all that He has done for me and to stop feeling sorry for myself but when you feel that all is sitting on your shoulders and you are trapped and you have to show up at work day after day it’s awful! I keep saying I have to find myself a new job, but even that is easier said than done. I’ve started to work on my resume but haven’t finished it, I must make the time and just do so. Thank you I look forward to reading the article. Oh you are so not alone…so why is it that so many of us suffer from anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed…is it because we are too conscientious? Hmmm. Hang in there…we’ll keep each other puffed up!! xo

  8. Steph,

    I enjoyed reading this wonderful blog. I can understand how stressed you can be feeling; and I still pray for you and all the family. It’s amazing how organized we blind and low-vision have to be.
    Miss you,


  9. Yeah Deb, I think there is something in the air. Yesterday on of my paratransit friends and I were talking about anxiety symptoms and how they are manifested differently in people who have this issue. There are many days I feel like I’m going crazy b/c I know my thinking is off. I saw a article on the things we don’t talk about when we have anxiety and I relieved to find out I’m not alone. As soon as my grandson leaves this afternoon I’ll send you the link to the article. I love your daily gratitude posts for the same reasons you outlined.

  10. Oh Steph, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling, there must be something in the air!! This past year and a half has been the worst I can remember. I know exactly what you speak of when you talk about feeling overwhelmed and anxiety attacks, that’s what I’ve been experiencing too. I do my daily post to try and remind me to look at the bright side and to be grateful for everything, but some days that’s just not so easy. I’ve talked to God more than I ever have, which is actually a good thing and I think that’s my silver lining. If you are a Libra, which I am, you are supposed to be in for a great 13 months starting Sept. 10 til Oct 10, 2017. Hey I’ll grab onto anything that says my year is going to be great!! I hope whatever has left you that you used to be able to count on is replaced by your own inner strength. You can’t do it all…even though we think we can!! TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF! It really is most important. When I talk to God I will ask Him to place His Hand on you and release you from your anxiety! Take a deep breath…exhale! xo

  11. This post was very insightful and goes to show that in adversity comes ideas to help yourself and/ or others! Very good post for those who feel at a loss.

  12. You’re welcome, Steph. It was nice to have a chance to hear Holly’s story. 🙂

  13. It can’t be easy with all the burden but I love your spirit and instead of wallowing in the overwhelming emotions seeking little spots of inspiration is so uplifting. Thank you for this heartfelt post. The struggle is real but with grace we triumph.

  14. I hope so too, thanks Bun! What I like most about Holly is she tells it like it is, she has a great sense of humor and she lives for her family. Thanks for coming by.

  15. Steph, lets face it, you have a lot going on, and I am not surprised things get a bit overwhelming at times. And, being the inspiration that you are, you found some light in Holly’s amazing blog, I am so pleased. Thank you for sharing Steph, and have a beautiful weekend. 🙂

  16. I can’t imagine doing all that you do, PLUS living with an ailment. Kudos Stephanae, you’re always an unsung hero in my book. As far as Holly is concerned, all I can really say is WoW! I love that you continue to highlight everyday inspirations that we might implicitly ignore.

  17. No, I picked it up at a long ago Vendanta Society seminar. It kinda got stuck in some obscure synapse until your post summoned it forth.

  18. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been rather stressed over the last few weeks, Steph. I know the recent health issues with your mother can’t have made things any easier. I hope everything sorts itself out soon.

    Incidentally, the Blind Motherhood blog sounded interesting so I went over to have a look. You were right: it was a good site. I read a very enjoyable post about how the occasional irritations or raising kids are more compensated for by the joy they bring. That’s how I feel about it too. 🙂

  19. Another excellent post. And then there is the tale of the ruler who said to his wizard that he wanted to be able to control his moods and that the wizard must provide something he could use when sad to make himself happy or when happy to make himself sad. The wizard meditated on the quest then came to the ruler and shared the following: “If you wish to change your mood from happy to sad or from sad to happy, first contemplate your situation and then say, this too will change.”

  20. I am sorry you felt like that Stephanae but you do have a lot on your plate. You manage to be an inspiration to everyone.

  21. Thank you Peggy. One of the things that keeps me going is knowing the darkness only lasts a season and I’m so grateful that even when I’m knee deep in it there are still shining moments. Goldmine-that’s an excellent word to describe Holly’s site. 💖

  22. You know I recently saw this quote somewhere and when I was writing I tried to unsuccessfully recall some of the wording. Thank you very much for coming by and leaving this, I appreciate it greatly. 💖

  23. Thank you Katelon💖. I’m hoping to begin looking for an intern next week because I’ve realized for some time I cannot continue managing everything on my own.

  24. Judith, you are absolutely correct when you speak of being grateful. Obviously it is more challenging when we are up against the wall but then life in general is a challenge. I know a few people who’ve incurred a brain injury either through an accident, stroke or other issues-not an easy situation to endure and I thank you for sharing a small portion of your story here. Knowing that everyone has their struggles helps us understand we are more connected than we might think. Sending virtual hugs your way. 💌

  25. Just brilliant! Applicable and practical to those with challenges other than physical as well. One of Satan’s most powerful weapons is discouragement, most of which is borne of his lies (which, as you know, he is quite adept at). You shine, lady!

  26. You’re doing a wonderful job. Don’t let it get you down. There is a quote that goes “Do not let your difficulties fill you with anxiety, after all it is only in the darkest nights that stars shine more brightly.”

  27. Oh Stephanie thanks for this post. We all feel overwhelmed at times for whatever our particular reason, mine is the Brain injury suffered in an accident. But we have to always be aware that there are always things for which to be grateful. Keep the positive thoughts and the darkness will lift letting in more light. xx

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