When One Door Closes, Another Opens

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.  – Helen Keller

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. It wasn’t supposed to be this hard. It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. How many of us have said that to ourselves at some point in our lives? All of us, I assume. Growing up I had this vision of a perfect, happy, no problem life. Well, no major problems. I pictured myself doing well in school, doing well in college, getting a job I could be happy with, getting married & having it be easy, having kids, no major problems, the white picket fence outside the house, and of course owning a cat or two or as it turned out, three. How many of our visions actually turn out perfectly? How many of them turn out exactly liked we planned and hoped?

I have learned that I am not alone when it comes to visions and plans not working out. Life happens. Life intervenes. I did go to school and college and enjoyed it, but did not do well. I wasn’t the smart kid. I could have been if I applied myself. I have had jobs, but nothing I was extremely happy at. Does that job exist? Some say yes. I could have had that job if I applied myself. I did get married, but of course, it is not perfect. What marriage is? We tried to have kids, but going through loss after loss, we gave up. My point in all of this is, I had this perfect vision of my older life when I was younger and nothing has turned out the way I visioned it. It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way, but it did.

I decided to stop searching for answers as to why things did not work out. I decided to simply live and let go. Life has this funny little way of actually turning out. When a problem arises, nine times out ten, it works itself out. Either the problem is fixed or I accept it for what it is and move on. It is true what the say; when one door closes, another one opens. Looking back on my life, I realize that has happened many times in my life. I just didn’t see it until now. I have been going through my life on a fast pace, worrying, and not paying attention to detail. It is amazing when you start to slow your life down, stop worrying so much, and pay attention to your life’s wants and needs, things do work themselves out. Instead of saying, “it wasn’t supposed to turn out this way,” accept it for what it is, learn from it, let it go, and move on. Everything happens for a reason. It was supposed to happen that way. We were supposed to go through that, learn from it, and continue on with our lives. When one door closes, another one opens.

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Jump Out of Your Comfort Zone

A recent episode of the CBS TV show “Mike & Molly” made me think about getting out of my own comfort zone. The character Molly was trying to get her husband, Mike, out of his comfort zone. After having lunch out at their usual spot to celebrate her first published article, she did a number of things to get Mike out of his comfort zone. With being a police officer, Mike is set in his routine and has to be careful what he does. Molly does a good job of showing him some fun out on the town & she gets him to do some things he normally would never do. It was an enjoyable episode to watch and made me realize that I need to do the same thing.

Many of us are stuck in our routine and follow daily habits. Daily habits turn into weekly habits and before we know it, it has been years before we do something out of character. Depending on what it is, doing something out of character, can be healthy and fun. We tend to get bored with the same ole daily grind and even frustrated at times. We can become irritated with the people around us and our job. Yes, being in your comfort zone generally has little stress and little worry. Who wants the extra stress anyway? Jumping out of your comfort zone to do something you normally would not do would mean you might become nervous, have sweaty palms, your heart might race, and you might take on a little more stress. In the end, it would be good for you to jump out of your enclosed area to try something new. Do you tend to avoid social functions? Do you sit in the back row of church? Do you hold your tongue back when you shouldn’t say something? Okay, well, maybe on that one, it might be good to do just that! There are other things you can to do get yourself out of your comfort zone. You can do something once a week or do something daily for a week or however you want it, but thinking and doing a few things to get your heart racing and a little nervous is good for the body and soul.

Here are just a few ideas to do just that:

1. Do something different or out of character for you. Add some spice & fun to your life.

2. Recognize what makes you scared and change your thinking pattern on it.

3. Meet new people.

4. Whatever it is you keep putting off, do it and get it done.

5. Find a new hobby.

6. Change your daily routine.

7. Join a club or a committee.

8. Learn something new.

I believe doing some things that we don’t want to do or generally would not do, can help with personal growth and confidence within ourselves. Trying something to lift us out of our comfort zone could make us happier people. It could also make us become risk takers instead of watching the world go by. What are some things that make you uncomfortable? What are some things you fear, but always wanted to try? For me it is meeting new people. I tend to be a loner and I like that, I am okay with that, and that is me. When it comes to meeting new people, I don’t generally like to. I am happy with being in my house, working on my writing, and having a few close friends. What I need to work on this year is meeting new people, joining clubs, and networking more. This would get me out of my comfort zone. Whatever it is for you, change your thoughts on your fear, take a leap to get over your fear, and do whatever it is that makes you uncomfortable! You will be glad you did!

My Life’s Path

Yesterday I was sitting at my breakfast nook table looking out my window at the cold and snow. I was drinking a cup of hot, herbal tea and pondering my life. I have always been so concerned with not working in the traditional sense and bringing in an income. I feel I am not contributing to society. Regardless of the volunteer I work do with my local Humane Society and with my local Lions Club, I still feel it is not enough. I have many interests. However, not enough ambition. I want to contribute to society more and help more people. At the same time, I have no interest in working on another person’s time. I have this strong desire to work my own schedule. I will always be working for someone else. Working for someone else is not the issue. Whether my writing takes off or not, I will be working for someone else. As selfish as this sounds, I want to contribute to society more and help more people, but on my own time and my own work schedule.  I don’t care what everyone else does. I am concerned with me and my career life.

As I sat there looking out the window, a thought came to me that I am on the right path for my own life. I need to stop worrying about not working in the traditional sense, stop worrying what others think of me and go for what I want. I am on the right path for me. I am on the right path for my life. I believe all of my life experiences have shaped me to who I am today. They have shaped my interests and change my life course. In 35 years I have been through a lot. I have been through more than what most people think. I believe I am putting too much pressure on certain area’s of my life and not enough pressure on other parts. I am putting too much pressure on being someone I do not want to be and not enough pressure on being the person who I want to be. I need to let go of the stereotypes I put on myself and the stereotypes society puts on me. My life will work out if I I let certain things go and accept I am who I am.

I do not think I am alone when it comes to battling with what we want to do with our lives versus what society thinks we should do with our lives. I am here to tell you that we all need to let go of that. We need to go after what we want, not what society, our friends, family, or neighbors think we should be doing. I believe I am on the right path. I need to stop searching for my life’s purpose because I found it. I just need more ambition, more drive, and more confidence to go after it. What would this world be like if we all went after what we want instead of doing what society thinks we should be doing? Find your purpose. Find your ambition. What is that you want out of life? Stop worrying about all the “what if’s?” and let go of all that. It is time for not only me, but all of us to get out of our comfort zone and go after what we want!

Lessons Learned, Part Two

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Everyday is a new beginning. Everyday we wake up, we have a chance to achieve something, learn something, try something new, go a different direction with our life, or continue on our intended path. Each new day is an opportunity to learn something. Each passing day is a chance for growth. We can either focus on improvement and the good in our life or we can waste each day given to us by focusing on the bad and completely ignoring life all together. I wish I would have started earlier in life regarding things I have learned throughout my life. I am not talking about things learned out of a textbook. I am talking about life lessons. I wish I would written these things down, read them over, and learned from them. However, it is never too late to start!

The following list is a continuation of life lessons learned:

1. You can’t change anyone but yourself

2. Everyone tells lies at some point in their life. Second chances are often worth it. Learn to trust again.

3. Giving is better than receiving.

4. Life is short. Tell people you love them, spend time with people who matter to you, and do what you  love.

5. You will never learn it all, but never stop trying!

6. It is taking me longer than I expected to be the person I want to be.

7. We can keep on living even after we think we can’t.

8. Life can change in a matter of minutes, good or bad.

9. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. You always have a choice.

10. Change is the only constant thing.

Think about your own life and examine your own life lesson’s. You will be amazed on how much you write down and learn from what you write down. Add some humor to your list and don’t always focus on the serious side of life. Remember to  keep your list going. This would be a good “hand me down” for future generations and others to learn from. What are your own lesson’s learned?

Goals

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Goals

I came across this today while I was searching for inspiration regarding blog topics. I had multiple topics picked out, multiple quotes ready to blog about, but I wasn’t able to type anything. I had a blank look on my face and eventually logged out only to log back in.

Goals. I have never been one to set them, but maybe I should. I would probably achieve more and be more productive. I always have good intentions to start out with regarding a new goal and then I eventually stall out. Either it is not that important to me after all, I give up out of frustration, or I procrastinate and forget what I was working towards. The goals that stick with me, however, are the ones that matter. They are the ones that are in my head and in my heart. I don’t need to write them down to remember them and work towards them. My feet follow because my heart and head are in the lead. A near year and for me, a fresh start. Here’s to working harder towards what you want out of life. Life is way too short, so don’t take it for granted.

A New Year

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I say this every new year and I will say it again…where did the previous year go? Where did the last two years go? It seems like the older I get, time goes by faster. Is that a requirement as we age? Just like the older I get, the slower I drive, the bigger my purse gets, and I can no longer stay up late like I used to. Every year seems to go by faster and faster and every year I think of New Years resolutions. Most people don’t stick with them and give up shortly after making them, myself included. Once again, I have made New Year resolutions, but don’t really think of them as that. I think of them as “self improvements.”

For the last two years, I have been stuck in a rut so to speak. Some people are thinking, “really? Two years? And you haven’t done anything about it?” Well, like I previously said, time goes by fast. We fall into the same pattern every year and go about our daily life and don’t really think. We do the things that must be done and put up with the things that need to be changed or worked on.  Over the holiday break, it came to me that I don’t want to be 10 years older and still stuck in that rut. I feel like I have wasted the majority of the last two years of my life. I think back and haven’t really accomplished anything. My close friends and family may say differently. However, this is how I see not only the last 2 years of my life, but the majority of my whole life.

So after it finally hit me that I don’t want to feel this way 10 years from now, or even one year from now, I wrote down “self improvements” that I want to work on. They are in no particular order of importance. I just wrote down what I felt I wanted to change or work on regarding myself and my life.

1. Make my marriage stronger

2. Drink alcohol less

3. Eat healthier

4. Exercise more

5. Worry less

6. Find my career path (which I still believe is writing) and work towards it

7. Volunteer more

8. Not only write more, but also attend a writing group meeting

I don’t think of these as New Years resolutions, but things that I want to work on. If people think differently, in a more positive way, I believe we would accomplish more. I don’t want to go through the last half of my life, or how many years I have left on this Earth, and still feel the way I do. What I want is for 2014 to be better than 2012 & 2013 put together. I only know one way to do that and that is for me to make some changes and improvements. No one else can do that for me. My happiness is in my hands and my hands only. So those of you who are relying on other people for your own happiness and those of you who put up with the things that pull you down and depress you, there is no time like now to make a positive change. Make 2014 your year!