Posts from the ‘Chance’ Category

To Resolve NOT To Resolve, It’s Not a Question At All

The dawning of a new year and this year, a new decade, is once again upon us. I could swear it was just yesterday we were all anxiously anticipating with trepidation the arrival of the dreaded Y2K virus that would accompany the new millennium. A new century full of potential and pitfalls at our doorsteps was a daunting, yet exciting, prospect. Now here we are knocking on the door of the next decade with the first 10 years already written. Those years have been ones of immense change that no one could have predicted with a crystal ball, not even the famed Ms. Cleo.

No matter how long the previous year seems as we navigate our way through it, looking back, it seems to have passed by in the blink of an eye, good times and challenging ones alike. Perhaps that perception is accelerated when viewed through the prism of age. I can’t swear by this theory, although in my case, it seems to be true. Time does indeed seem to fly when looking back on it.

I don’t usually tend to wax nostalgic, but the past year has been one of immense change, both for myself personally and for the world at large. Change, while sometimes welcome, is not always something that I embrace willingly. I’ve found though, that it comes along whether we are ready for it or not and you better be willing and able to hold on and roll with all that comes with it. The phrase coined by Thomas Paine “Lead, follow or get out of the way”, springs to mind when dealing with life’s twists and turns. Life marches on and you can either find a way to cope and enjoy it, or you’ll be left behind. It’s a powerful force that will not be stopped in favor our of inability to keep up.

In my life, I have the opportunity to interact with a broad spectrum of people. From the very young to those that have weathered many decades, one thing is clear. The world is definitely a very different place with very different mindsets from the one I grew up in. I know that this revelation isn’t something that is new amongst the generations that have come before mine. One thing that has changed drastically however, is the way the world views the future and the potential contained in it. Our willingness and eagerness to succeed and the coping skills that used to be fostered into our childhood lessons aren’t there anymore. I see faces with eyes that seem angry or worried or resigned to life rather than excited by it. The eyes are sometimes in the faces of those that are too young to have so much worry or no hope and drive for the future. So many divert those weary eyes and don’t know how to interact with everyone around them anymore. More and more people don’t look others in the eye anymore for fear of what they might see or give away in themselves.

I don’t mean to sound full of gloom and doom. Like it or not, and I don’t at times, I have never been able to fully extinguish that light at the end of the tunnel belief in my thoughts or in my own life. I’ve always known that every day is different and full of new possibilities. Some of those days will be worse than the one that came before it, and some will be so much better, you feel as if you are floating on air. That is the wonder of living itself. I will confess to wishing at times that life was not quite so colorful or full of the all the things that make me grow, while at the same time making me squirm from the lessons they try to teach me along the way.

The past year and particularly the last 5 months, have seen great changes in my life, some positive and some things that I would not have picked if given the choice. I lost a parent, moved to a new home from one that had been a refuge for the past 21 years and have faced a betrayal that I didn’t see until it rose up out of the blue. The past year has also seen the deepening of friendships that I didn’t know I needed, the memories made with children that are no longer small and constantly surprise and make me proud as they continue to grow into adults and precious times spent with my Dad that are priceless. I’ve learned to bend, learned to adapt. I had no choice and in doing so, have as always, learned about myself, my inner strengths and my resolve. Some things I handled well, others I’d probably do over and in a better manner, but that just isn’t something that we are afforded in life. You live and learn if you’re smart and use those lessons for the rest of your days.

Thomas Paine also said, “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” I believe he was right in this assertion. We all have within us the ability to make the best of whatever crosses our particular life path. We can make a difference in the lives of those around us if we put the effort into it, but at the same time, the sooner we realize that there are some things that are simply out of our control, the happier we will be. It’s a hard lesson to learn, particularly for me. I’m a nurturer by nature and at times a controller. It’s hard to let go and realize that you can only control your own path and hope that by example and deeds, your life will positively affect those whose paths you cross. I tend to want the best for those around me and to lessen the unnecessary pain of lessons that test the resolve of those I care for when it’s possible or when they will let me.

There’s that word again, resolve.

To me, it’s not something that can be done on the first day of a brand new year. It’s not something to pledge to blindly and stubbornly adhere to when you have no idea what the future may hold. Resolve, to me, is the backbone and strength to weather whatever storms and rainbows that appear along our journey on the road less traveled when they occur. In order to do that, you can’t lock yourself into a particular path or behavior in anticipation of things and events unknown.

This new year of 2011, as usual, instead of making resolutions, I intend to be resolute. To not just proclaim loudly or even privately to myself on a day that is meant to be full of hope and promise and without the constraints of a year yet lived, things that in a few weeks will be left by the wayside. Instead, I want to be resolute in the decisions I make throughout the year and see them through. To be firm and unwavering, yet not inflexible, and to make things happen that will benefit my life and the lives I touch daily. To do and follow through on the things I can actually accomplish right along with the occasional reaching for the stars and to not spin my wheels endlessly on lost causes. I’m resolute in my determination to screw up as little as humanly possible (screw-ups will occur) and to instead progress in positive ways, great and small.

So, once again, on the eve of the brand new year and brand new decade facing us, I resolve not to resolve anything. I’ll take things as they come and adapt, learn and hopefully grow from them as I enjoy all the nuances of life, both the good and the challenging.

To paraphrase the faux-wisdom that I not only have to say on airplanes, but also from a famous movie..fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night, ride and year. They all are, that is the only guarantee in life that we receive. Such is life, it is here to be lived and not observed.

The alternative is simply unacceptable.

Happy New Year!

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You Are Cordially Invited to a Tea Party

matson

There is an interesting phenomenon going on throughout our country today.  In ways not seen on this scale since the war protests of the 70’s, people are showing our government that they are fed up.  Americans young and old are sending the message loud and clear that we are tapped out as a nation and weary of yet more restrictions, bail-outs and tax burdens being heaped upon our shoulders and those of our future generations.

It is not a partisan effort, despite what the ultra-left wing branch of the Democratic party would lead you to believe.  There are Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike participating in this show of outrage and frustration.  We are exercising our Constitutional rights as Americans, whatever our political affiliations might be, to assembly and free speech.  We are, as a people, sending a message that while we respect the office of the President, many of us grow increasingly unhappy with the direction the country is being guided or shoved down a path we do not want.

So, today we protest our frustration and convey our disagreement with policies and new taxes and programs that it are being presented as what “we” want.  I for one, am tired of being told what is good for me and to just shut up, sit back and agree with those that do NOT represent my views, despite what they seem to believe.  I’m angry with the bail-outs that were passed “for our own good” even though the public outrage and opinion showed that Americans were soundly against their passage.

Washington and those currently in office better pay attention to what is being expressed by the people that have elected them as our representatives.  If they are smart, they will not put spin on it or tell us once again what they think we meant to say rather than listening to what we are actually SAYING to them.  This is a warning shot for those coming up for re-election that we the people, are paying attention and are discontented with their actions and disregard for what we think.

So, exercise your right to be heard.  Even if you believe no one is listening, it is a sure bet that you won’t be heard if you don’t even try.  In the past few election cycles it has vividly been shown that even a few individual votes do indeed count.  If you choose to sit on your backside, then don’t complain when you are not “bailed out” like the major corporations or fall through the cracks when you thought you’d be saved from your responsibilities and allowed a free pass.

Wake up and smell the tea brewing! 

Washington, you are not doing a good job at hearing the people you represent and that elected you.  This is not just a fluke or something that will go away if you put your fingers in your collective ears and cover your eyes.  To even give the impression, whether accurate or not, that the views of your constituents are falling on deaf ears would be a mistake if you wish to continue to serve the people that elected you.  Change is indeed brewing in this country, although I’m not sure that it’s quite the change the current administration envisioned.  I beg you, do not make the mistake of dismissing or alienating what is becoming a larger and larger section of the American people clammering to be heard..

On another little, purely personal note, I know that the original Tea Party was located in Boston in 1773.  However, we in the South know the TRUE value of tea.  Look in any refrigerator in a true Southern household, and you will find a gallon or two (or four) of the best SWEET tea that you’ll ever taste.  I know that the Yankees amongst us (hear that oh stoic one?), don’t recognize the simple indulgent pleasure in a glass of sweet tea and insist that having sugar on the table will somehow negate the fact that your restaurants don’t have it available on your menus up North.  You just don’t know what you’re missing.  Perhaps it’s why Southerners always have a smile on their face and something to say to everyone, even making actual eye contact as we do!!  We’re just infused with sweetness from birth through our tea! 😉

So, today in Atlanta, our tea party will have sweet tea flowing freely and our voices as proud Americans will be heard loud and clear.  The only question is, will those in Washington be smart enough to pay attention and react by rethinking some of their proposed actions?

Time will tell.  One thing is certain, ignoring it or making light of such a large group of Americans discontent would be foolish and ill-advised on their part.

 

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”  Thomas Jefferson

 

**The DHS bulletin released or “conveniently leaked” on April 7th is troubling in the fact that it seems to be a not so subtle hint that our freedom of speech is being threatened at least by threat of intimidation and at worst incrimination.  We all need to pay attention and be vigilant of such veiled threats against our freedoms.

These Are The Good Ole Days

anticipation

 

Anticipation.

 

Function: noun
1 the act of looking forward; especially : pleasurable expectation
2 visualization of a future event or state

 

These are just a couple of the benign definitions of the word “anticipation”, the clinical version of the word. We learn from an early age to anticipate events in our lives, both good and bad. We start to look forward in life and not backward. Some indications you’re anticipating something special are universal.  That sensation when you feel butterflies in your stomach, the feeling of being on pins and needles..unable to sit still without thought or movement, hoping that time will hurry and pass so that we can get to the “good” stuff, while at the same time praying that time will stand still…we all know the symptoms. I love to enjoy that time and find ways to heighten and savor the curve ahead of a special time.  In doing so, when what I’ve been yearning for so intently is finally happening, it’s not merely good, but spectacular…memorable.

When we are young, we learn to look forward to special treats. Remember the feeling of waking up on a summer’s day and knowing that “sometime” during the course of the afternoon, the ice cream truck might make a trip through your neighborhood? You prepared for it. Made sure that you alerted Mom to the possibility that you’d need money at a moment’s notice. You stayed almost on point, listening for the bell that heralded it’s arrival. You looked forward when you were young to any special treat promised for good behavior. Vacations or trips were planned and before you ever loaded up the car to head out, there had been weeks of preparation and sleepless nights when you absolutely couldn’t wait to leave and get started on your adventure.

If we are really clever, as we get older and travel along life’s paths, we learn how to use anticipation to draw out the time prior to good events we know are upcoming. We use anticipation almost as foreplay in the days leading up to special times we hope to cherish and remember always. We think about what special unexpected things might happen. We ponder the variables that could either enhance or detract from our experience. We dream of what might be, both when we are awake and sleeping. The time seems to crawl, but by the same token…that in itself can be delicious in piquing the senses if done correctly. We anticipate…we feel fully alive. It’s exciting, it’s vital to life itself to look forward to things.

We look forward to our first love, our first kiss. We look forward (hopefully) to our wedding. The birth of our first child is a time of worry, joy and hope.  Those feelings don’t diminish with all the children that follow, they are simply enhanced. We look forward to special vacations, to graduations. We anticipate with excitement and sometimes nervousness our new jobs, new relationships, anniversaries and the promise of a new home .

There are so many things, large and small, in life to look forward to and absolutely savor if we pay attention.  So many events to anticipate if we don’t wish our lives away by hoping that the time we have flies by rather than enjoying the journey to get there.  We need to learn to look at the paths we travel as part of the joy of living, even when times are hard.  Those lessons in anticipating our future and the possibilities it holds are valuable as well.

Some of us remember when Carly Simon brought the word to life in a song. She gave it texture and locked it in our minds, it was a theme song for many teenagers and 20 somethings as to what our lives would hold. (Of course, this was BEFORE the song was forever linked to ketchup slowly oozing it’s way out to give us something thick and tasty to eat…hmmmm, cum to think of it, that IS a great imagery of anticipation! Never mind. *batting my eyes*) Okay, back to my basic point…learn to feel anticipation again.

There are no guarantees in life of how something will turn out, learn to look forward to the possibilities anyway. Keep that childlike magic alive of wanting and yearning for something that is to come so that you don’t grow old and stagnant in your life. Don’t over plan or try to regiment every detail of life as we tend to do as adults.  Instead, try going with the flow and letting your dreams guide you. Take chances and go after the things that are important to you or rare in their occurrence without fear or second guessing.  Even in these difficult times, trust your intuition.

LET yourself feel the butterflies. Be on pins and needles, laugh out loud or share secrets with someone. Beforehand, daydream and “feel” whatever you’re most looking forward to in your most private thoughts. Want it, need it,  and embrace the special time before something special is about to happen, then enjoy the heck out of the actual event. Learn to live in the moment when you can…when the times allow for it, take a few chances. Let go and give yourself permission to reach out and grab what you need or want.

Take time for yourself.  It’s vitally important for both mental and physical health, especially in these trying times.

I know I always will. It’s amazing how time really does fly and the events in life you look forward to, do indeed arrive. Spectacularly.

 

************************************
 
 

Anticipation

Carly Simon

 

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway
And I wonder if I’m really with you now
Or just chasing after some finer day

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

And I tell you how easy it is to be with you
And how right your arms feel around me.
But I rehearsed those words just late last night
When I was thinking about how right tonight might be

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

And tomorrow we might not be together
I’m no prophet and I don’t know natures way
But I’ll try to see into your eyes right now
And stay right here
‘Cause these are the good old days.

Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?

time

 

Time…such a funny thing when you stop to think about it…

It can march on or stand still. You can squander it or take your sweet time getting things done.

Time is money, but money doesn’t give you more time.

Time flies, but at the same time can crawl.

We always need more of it, then complain when we have too much time in situations that make us uncomfortable.

You can’t buy time, but you can make time with someone.

We save time AND waste it. We take time for granted, then complain mightily about it’s loss…

Life can be the best of times, or the worst of times in the same sentence…

We can’t save time in a bottle for when it’s more convenient for us to pull it out and experience it or have it back when we want it.

I’ve been thinking a good bit about time in the past few months. As I watch the kids grow up and they are increasingly on the go, I sit and wonder where the time and years have gone. Now don’t get me wrong, there were and are STILL days that seem to go on forever! You know the ones…where everyone is in a pissy mood or thing after thing seems as if Murphy is sitting in your house writing his next installment of laws and you look up and actually mutter the words that you can’t wait until the day is over or until the kids are grown and gone.

Then poof, one day you look up and get your wish. Not only are the kids starting to turn into adults, but you’re a bit farther along in the adult process than you ever imagined yourself being. You still FEEL like a teenager with your thoughts or in the way you play your music.  Then one look in the mirror and you start to wonder where in the hell did those wrinkles come from? You’re slowly turning into your parents…and if you’re lucky enough to still have your parents here…you look at them and wonder how they suddenly got so old without you noticing.

That’s when it hits you (or should). WHAT are you doing with your life? I’m not talking about career or keeping up with the Jones…or even getting ready for retirement. Are you ready for the changes that are coming at light speed? Are you really using and appreciating all the little things in your life RIGHT now that might be overlooked in favor of letting the challenges over-shadow the good things that happen each and every day?

Are you courageous enough to reach out and not let things or people slip through your fingers that you hadn’t anticipated, to not let go even when it all might scare you with the feelings or implications involved? Can you give yourself permission to reach out for something, with no guarantees? Can you trust that whatever happens, it’s important not to take something special for granted and enjoy it to the fullest?  Can you trust yourself enough to let it happen and see what might happen, even if it wasn’t in your plans or ever anticipated?

Time isn’t an unlimited commodity to be traded like a stock. Life changes as we go along, as does our direction, no matter how much we try to keep to the path we had imagined for ourselves, and that’s okay.  The passage of time works things out for the best, even when we take detours we hadn’t planned. Do not take things for granted or throw them away.  Make time for simple pleasures and relax…trust that things are happening by a grand design that we aren’t always privy to.

I’m definitely not a polly-anna type of person. Anyone that knows me or that I let see that part of myself, knows I approach life with a realistic, cynical, sarcastic view of a lot of things. I’m opinionated and outspoken, and these days can be a full strength, un-diluted ME with those I trust. This alone makes me happy when I feel free enough to be myself. (I’m not sure about everyone around me gets the same warm fuzzies from my unfettered views as I do *grin*) What I do make sure that I accomplish each day, even on the days that would make Barney the Purple Dinosaur break down and cry, is to find SOMETHING in the day that was good or to smile over. Many times the things to smile over in today’s society might be minuscule, but there is always something to cause a grin if one looks for it.  Some days there is full bodied laughter and joy.  You have to take the time to enjoy the subtle nuances and ebb and flow of life in unexpected ways and places.

I enjoy life. Period.

Whether it’s challenging or exciting or ho-hum, I enjoy the simple fact that I’m breathing each and every day.  That fact alone leaves me with endless possibilities in front of me and another chance to make a change or a difference.

The challenges, the colors, the tastes, the smells, the experiences that let me know I’m living life and not just wandering blindly through life, all are precious.  Missing most of the flavors of life or making those around me miserable would be such a waste of the time granted to each of us since it is all too important to ever take for granted. 

We all start out each day with 24 hours. The same 60 minutes in each of those hours. The same 60 seconds in each minute. It’s time that can never be reclaimed once it passes.  You cannot bank it for later when you have the “time” to experience it. You can’t turn back the clock.

Will all things in life be pleasant or good? Heck no!!  I do know one thing though…you better live while you’ve got the chance. Life truly is TOO short to waste too many seconds of it. You should never look back and have to wonder “what if”.  Take a chance.

What matters most in life is what we do with our time here and if we make sure that at least PART of each day has something in it that you find to smile over. I don’t care if it’s as simple as the fact that your dog didn’t crap in the neighbor’s yard for once, that a cloud had an interesting shape or if you DIDN’T hear from that pain in the butt friend who makes you crazy. There is something in those 24 hours, EACH AND EVERY DAY, that can be smiled over. It may be something little, find it anyway and make the conscience decision to realize that it happened.

Life is truly how you face it and what you make of it. If you want to be miserable and make those around you feel the same way, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. You’ll wake up one day and wonder what happened to your life, why no one comes to see you, why you’re so lonely, so alone.

Don’t blame anyone else, fix yourself and get happy with yourself FIRST…don’t wait on someone else to do it for you. Accept what life hands you and find a way to make it work for you or to improve the areas where its needed. You’ll find when you are comfortable with yourself, others will be as well and will want to be around you.

Now, as often happens when I start typing…this didn’t start out to be a general pep talk about life. I was looking at old pictures and at the kids sitting around the house one night with their friends, and my mind wandered to time and it’s value. I’m making memories still and will always. I’m also savoring the memories already made and making sure to pass them along to future generations or friends so that they are never forgotten.

I’m also looking forward to finding many things for myself in the coming years. I’m not speaking of material possessions, although those are nice, but of the things that I’ve learned that are truly important to life and happiness. The things that I truly need or want for myself on other levels will not be neglected or taken for granted. None of us has a crystal ball to predict what those things will be or where we’ll be a year from now or with whom. TIME will tell, we can’t totally script our lives and be happy.

The past year has been a bit of a roller coaster, full of the highest highs and a couple of lows I hadn’t expected or foreseen amongst the good things happening to me. I’ve had relationship challenges and a family health scare, but over “time” and by sharing with someone special, everything works out…perhaps not perfectly, but in ways that have amazed me and have given me joy in the way those things are progressing.

It takes hard work, communication and at times blind faith in something or someone. Living your life takes courage and realizing there are some things that just are.  Situations unexplainable by logic or reason.  The things that are inexplicably and unexpectedly wonderful. Experiences that are needed to continue to grow, whether we planned them or not. Enjoy each one thoroughly and cherish each day.

Time, such a funny wonderful thing. It’s the ultimate gamble in life. We know we have a finite amount and yet we take a chance on how much time has been dealt us. It’s a question not one of us can answer with any certainty…don’t let your time pass you by.

 

 

~Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff that life is made of.~ Benjamin Franklin

All Along The Watchtower

shell_game

 

Each and every morning I wake to the news that yet another attempt to strip away the “rights” we take for granted as Americans is slowly being planned by the current administration.  With each fresh news cycle, more plans are unveiled that prove just how little regard the man we elected to be our President has for our way of life and for our country.  He is proving to have no loyalty but to himself and his agendas.   Agendas that are put forth as being for our own good and designed to “save” us from ourselves.  We’re told that we can’t possibly understand all the intricacies of whatever crisis of the day is being flailed at by those in charge.

For a liberal administration that preaches it’s abhorrence to torture, it seems that doesn’t apply to the American citizens.  Of course we’re not under a police state or in danger of being taken away in the middle of the night (yet) and it’s inconceivable that we ever would be.  The only problem with that theory is, there are so many basic tenants of our everyday life under assault that I never in my wildest dreams would have considered now happening, that I’m not sure anything is inconceivable anymore.

What is happening  is a death of our liberties by a thousand tiny cuts, which in my mind, amounts to the same thing as torture to all that makes our country what it was founded to be.  We count on our right to free speech without retribution.  We depend on our right to free enterprise and in return the equal right of success or failure.  We expect to be treated as adults and be able to make our own choices as to our health care and how or if we want to make a difference and contribute to those less fortunate.  We insist on the right to choose our own religion and worship how we see fit or not worship at all if we don’t find a reason to believe in a higher being.

All of these things are the threads that our founding fathers wove together to make our country into a wonderful, at times messy, mosaic of patterns and rhythms unlike any other country in the world.  They are part of what makes us resilient and sometimes called arrogant by the rest of the world, and yet, people from all over the world fight to live here and earn their chance at a better life.  As a country, we can be very selfish at times, but when push comes to shove, we always rise to the occasion and give of our resources and many times our manpower to aid those around the world in need.

We are far from a perfect country.  Anyone that proclaims in their personal life or in regard to our nation, that change never needs to occur, is a fool.  Change is necessary to growth.  Change isn’t always comfortable, but as long as it’s positive, it works out for the best over time.

Change just for the sake of change however, can be destructive.  Change when it contains the agenda of a few being imposed by force on the many, is dangerous.  Change when it alters the basic foundations of what our country was founded on, will erode some of the basic principles of life we count on. 

The things we need to fiercely protect with every fiber of our being are the less tangible ones, the things that we cannot always reach out and touch.  Those can start to slip away slowly..quietly..without much notice or fanfare, until we wake up one day and find we no longer have the comfort of feeling secure or safe in our own homes in our own country.  If we do not stand up and be counted against the assault on the rights afforded to us by the Constitution, our children will grow up in a much more oppressive and scary country…one we won’t recognize.

Yes, we’re all hurting due to the economy.  It’s frightening to not know what is around the corner.  We need to remember that things like income are fleeting and tend to ebb and flow with time and circumstance.  This is a time to get back to some of the basic principles of family that have been lost over the past few decades in favor of excess.  This is a time of opportunity to rediscover what should have been truly important to us all along and learn to get along or make do without all the static that has been clogging up our lives in the recent past. 

A lot of us that are in our 40’s and 50’s need to remember our own simpler childhoods and teach our children and grandchildren the pleasures we enjoyed growing up that didn’t require money or electronics to occupy our time.  We need to learn how to interact with each other on a personal level again, without throwing money at a problem.  Here’s an idea, throw your time and attention at things instead.  Start to pay attention to the world and people around you.

We are resilient people, but in these times, we also have to be resolute in our determination to rebuild our country in it’s own image.  We have to fight, be vigilant and not give away our liberties in favor of letting the government overtake every part of our lives, privacy and freedoms.  We are writing our country’s history and we better not screw it up.

Instead of using the catch phrase of a company being “too big to fail”, we need to remember first and foremost that our COUNTRY and it’s ideals are too IMPORTANT to fail.

Take a Chance on Life & Make it Count

chance1
Take chances…
Tell the truth…
Date someone totally wrong for you…Twice…
Say no…
Spend all your cash…
Fall in love…
Get to know someone random…
BE RANDOM…
Say “I love you”…
Trust even when it scares you…
Sing out loud…
Let someone know how much they mean to you…
Laugh at a stupid joke…
Cry…
Get revenge now and then…
Apologize…
Tell a jerk what you think of them…
Let someone know what they are missing…
Share your inner thoughts…
Occasionally give in to your secret urges…
Take a chance on someone…
Try new looks…
Take the road less traveled…
Don’t take yourself so seriously all the time…
Tell someone you miss them…
Be mysterious…
NEVER settle for less than you deserve or want…
And always,
 
LIVE LIFE!!
 

The ability or will to live outside our natural comfort zone is something that most people will never think of doing, much less attempt.  I’m not talking about abandoning all sense of responsibility or duty in day to day life.  Unfortunately,  that does seem to be a growing trait more and more people seem to be taking on in our society today.  Not accepting responsibility for their actions or not being prepared for consequences is something that a lot of my generation seems to be embracing themselves and then passing on to our children.  It’s much easier to shift blame or just ignore the facts of what our actions or words can cause. 

Is everyone this way?  No, thank goodness…there are still a majority of people that realize you have to be accountable and take a stand for what you truly believe in and let your life reflect those beliefs…and if things don’t work out the way you thought they would or should, take the consequences with grace and style…and move on.

HOWEVER, I have come to realize over time that there also has to be a balance, or rather there SHOULD be a balance in your life, that enables you to fulfill the duties and tasks you need to accomplish while at the same time always you not neglect the needs of your soul or the things that can make you happy.  The things that might take you outside that comfort zone a lot of us seem to fall into and never leave.

Is finding that balance an easy thing to do?  NO…it’s something that can and probably will cause that butterflies in your stomach feeling, sweaty palms and it’s pretty much guaranteed you will miss sleep while trying to find yourself.  Is it something necessary to live life to it’s fullest so that you can one day look back at your life and truly have no regrets?  No regrets for always having done what was always expected of you rather than what would have made you happy (even now and then)?

ABSOLUTELY!!! 

I see examples of so many bitter unhappy people merely walking through their lives these days.

There are those that are dissatisfied with their lives or standing in society.  The ones that are unhappy with their own choices and instead want to blame others rather than themselves when life doesn’t work out the way they planned.  They end up feeling alone or stupid because of decisions they have freely made.   It almost seems they take comfort in their misery and are almost anxious to wallow in their discomfort rather than take steps to improve the things making them miserable.

Next there are those that believe by taking care of everyone around them at the expense of themselves or their own happiness,  that they somehow are doing the right thing.  Instead, they end up cheating everyone around them, including themselves.  They are robbing those they love of ever knowing the true person living within. The people that will freely take from them without interest or care for the sacrifices being made are being done no favors.  The person that lives their life through the happiness of others is in essence wasting a huge part of themselves and their potential, often without anyone even noticing or caring.

Then there are some, and in my opinion, the worst…those that are intent on thinking themselves above it all and better than their fellow man, even though a lot of their own actions are purely hypocritical and the same or worse than those they try to belittle.  In the end, they only end up making themselves look foolish in the process and rarely see it.  I have found that I have no patience or sympathy for anyone that makes the choice to be vindictive, mean spirited or judgemental toward others instead of putting responsibility on themselves or living their own lives.  I do however, pity those stuck in that rut of unhappiness or deceit, and for the people that have to live with or interact with them over and over again.  The masks they think they wear so carefully are often instead transparent to everyone around them.

I know I can’t change all of the wrongs in the world by myself or always worry about what I cannot change in others.  I don’t plan to look back on my life one day and lament the fact that I missed out on things I should have taken a chance on. The things that at the time might have seemed crazy or scary or stupid…something not in my “comfort zone”. 

Over the last few years I have embraced this philosophy.  In doing so, at times the decisions I’ve made have turned out to be terrific ones where I’ve grown, learned and purely enjoyed.  At times, as will happen, some choices were ones in the end I’d have rather not made, but I still learned from those choices as well.  It turns out even tough lessons are valuable ones if you let them be. 

I plan to keep living life and taking chances outside what is merely expected of me.  In the process I will try to never purposely do harm to others or shirk responsibilities that are all important in life.  By the same token however, I also never plan to quit growing or experiencing the flavors and colors of life, or for that matter shrink away from confrontations if they are warranted.  I will not sacrifice my full potential or happiness out of fear or by trying to take care of everyone else but myself in a misguided attempt to be selfless or a martyr.

I will try to always take chances when I can, even when I’m uncertain of the outcome.  This is what keeps us vital and young and moving ahead.  It keeps us from becoming stagnant, unhappy or bitter because of missed opportunities or from blaming others for what we decide to do or not do with our lives.  It keeps us from having  disappointment in how our lives turn out.

So I’m living my life as I started this post, continuing to move forward with my eyes wide open, head held high and my mind open to what is to come, even in these uncertain times. 

Living your life well IS truly the best “revenge” against disappointment or being stuck in a rut with no chance of escape.  It’s not comfortable at times to believe in yourself, but life will certainly never be dull!

 

~Live well, laugh often, love passionately~