The Years Are Slipping By

I see the hours go by faster and faster. The days and weeks fly by and there is nothing I can do about it. I turn the calendar months over so fast that it makes me wonder where the month has gone. Another year approaching the end. Didn’t I just buy a 2014 calendar? Didn’t I just celebrate the new year? Didn’t I just say 2014 is going to be the year? The year to do what? I don’t remember. Another year is almost gone and I don’t remember what I wanted to accomplish.

In a few months, I will be another year older. In a few years I will be 40. I see it up a head. It is there, waiting for me. I still feel like I am in my 20’s. I remember my hopes and wants when I was younger. What happened to them? Did I brush them aside? Did they disappear? Did I give up on them? I never truly knew what I wanted to do with my life career wise. Not in high school, not in college, and sadly, not now. I never was one of those lucky people who know right away what career path and life path to take.  In reality, how many of us do?

As another year goes by, calendar year and biological year, I see my motivation slipping by. I am slipping down a slippery slope that I can’t get myself out of. It is like drowning in quick sand, only mentally. I am being swept out to sea and not able to swim back. Some days I make a little progress towards shore, some days I tread water, and other days I am being swept back out to sea. I sometimes wish I could start over. Maybe go back to my niece or nephew’s age and start all over. Other times, I wonder what drugs I am on to be thinking that!

All in all, I am doing the best I can, at the moment, with the life I have been dealt. My son should be approaching 13 years old. I can’t even imagine a teenager in the house. My daughter would be approaching 11 years old. She’d be giving me the hard time I gave my parents. I can’t even imagine myself a parent to a 13 and 11 year old. Did my dreams die with them? They must have. That is where they went. They are gone. I see them out there in the distance, but they are unreachable. Maybe, just maybe, one year when I say, “This will be the year….”, it actually will be.

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Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

Each experience we go through changes us. Each situation, good & bad, shapes us. Little by little we learn something from life’s challenges. We don’t learn it all at once. It takes time. It can take months, years, or a lifetime. It takes many lessons through life to get to the point of patience, acceptance, tolerance, listening, and asking for help. We don’t even have to go through the experience ourselves; Just watching someone else go through it, we should recognize a light bulb go on in our minds. We should be able to learn from any situation whether we ourselves go through it or not. It really doesn’t have to be a hard lesson to learn; it can be minor. If we keep our eyes open, we will learn from any good or bad situation, or we will be presented with it again.

Acceptance is a big lesson for me personally. I will never be a millionaire, live in Hawaii, have a huge house, or that perfect job. I compare myself to my family, friends, and to people I have never met. It’s hard not to. I feel I should be at a certain point in my life, or have accomplished this and that, and I am not and I don’t. I could have worked harder. I could have pushed myself more. I could have accomplished more. I also know there are others out there wishing they were in my shoes.

With the help of God, family, and friends, we fight our own battles. We have our responsibilities, problems, accomplishments, and failures. We should not compare ourselves to others. We are all different. We all learn at our own pace. We go through different challenges and sometimes the same challenges, which affect us all differently. We are all built and made different from each other. Accept it. Tolerate it. Have patience. Don’t compare yourself to others. It will get you nowhere.

It’s Not Too Late

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Credit goes to quotesinn.com

I am at a point in my life where I am closer to 40 years old than 30 years old. I know what most people are thinking; another blog post about someone feeling sorry for themselves about growing older. Nope, not going there, so give me a moment and keep reading. In fact, I would never want to be back in my teenage years or 20’s. Being a teenager and young adult is tough these days and I wouldn’t want to go back there.

I remember when I turned 30 and how hard of a time I had emotionally. I just couldn’t believe I was 30! Where does the time go? Now I am closer to 40 than 30. Six years later at the age of 36 and once again I am asking, “Where does the time go?” I am also a point in my life where I am asking, “What have I done with my life? What have I accomplished? What could I have done differently? Why didn’t I have the motivation, drive, or determination to accomplish more?” I do believe many people have times in their life where they ask these questions to themselves.

I am grateful I am asking myself these questions now when I am healthy and hopefully have many years ahead of me instead of the alternative. I can get that determination and motivation to do what I truly want to do. Instead of asking, “Why didn’t I do this?”, or “Why didn’t I try harder at this?”, I can ask ask myself, “What am I going to do now to go after what I want?”

I know I am not the only one asking myself these questions. We all do. Know matter how old we get, there is still time to accomplish what we want to do. There is still time to change our thinking. There is still time to help others. There is still time to live our life the way we want to. Whatever is holding us back, I encourage everyone to work through it, so we can have the life we dreamed of.

Another Birthday, Another Year

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Another Birthday, Another Year

As kids, birthday’s are a source of entertainment. There is fun, cake, and gifts. They can’t wait for their special day to come along so they can play games, eat birthday cake, and open up their gifts. The next best thing to them is going to another kid’s party for fun, games, and sweets. They can’t wait to grow up. Kids would age a lot faster if it meant receiving gifts & eating sweets all the time. Thankfully, birthday’s have a different meaning as we age. The older we get, sweets & gifts mean less to us, or they should, while being with family & friends mean more.

I tend to analyze my life every year at this time. Self improvement, accomplishments and goals tend to be on my mind more so on my birthday than on any other time of the year. With another year behind me, I have been analyzing how far I have come, thinking about how my goals have changed, how to accomplish those goals, & how to improve my life.

As I age, my birthday seems to be more of a “self reflection” than a celebration. How much can a person do with a birthday in February living in Michigan anyway? I see the wind blowing and snow on the ground and that right there makes my birthday no big deal. As my father in law used to say on his birthday’s, “it’s just another day.” I used to say, “Howard, it’s your birthday! Celebrate!” Now here I am saying, “it’s just another day.”

I hope as people age, their birthday’s are a big deal. Don’t follow my lead, or my father in law’s lead and think it’s just another day. Celebrate another year of your life. No matter how old you are, there are people who do not live to be the age you are. See your family and friends and do something fun. Don’t spend all of your birthday analyzing your life. You never know when it’s your last birthday or your loved one’s last birthday, so spend it doing something fun!

“When you reach…

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“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Have you ever reached a point in your life when you think “how much more can I handle?” Or “how much more can I take?” Have you ever wanted to throw in the towel and give up on everything you worked so hard to accomplish? I think maybe most of us have been there at some point. Most of us have wanted to give up something or quit something and many of us have. In a world full of failed attempts, failed businesses, failed creations, failed marriages, and failed friendships, there are some of us who don’t give up easily. Believe it or not, there are some of us who after being hit in the face and knocked down, do stand back up and keep going. It can be extremely difficult to do, but you are showing the people around you, the people who know you, and the world how strong of a person you are. You are showing everyone you can handle everything that is thrown at you. Like Thomas Jefferson said, when you reach the end of your rope…..hang on. Don’t let go so easily.

Keeping Motivation In Your Life

It happens to all of us at some point in our lives. If you are like me, it happens not once, but many times. We lose our motivation to do certain things. It could be a new week, month, or year and there is excitement in the air for wanting to accomplish what you did not do last week, last month, or last year. Then all of the sudden, that eagerness is gone. What happened to it? Putting things off seems to be the norm in many people’s lives, myself included. Here it is the last day of September 2013. Where did the summer go? Where did the year go? Fall is here. Winter is coming and the holidays will be here soon. Did you get everything done this month that you wanted done? In another month or so the news will start airing stories about motivation and new years resolutions. Why is that we need these reminders year after year? What keeps us from improving our lives? What can we do to put that motivation back into our lives?

A simple definition from psychologytoday.com on motivation, is “…the desire to do things.”  First you have to want to accomplish something. If that want is not there, there is no desire. You cannot have that desire given to you. You have to want it for yourself. Many of us have it to start with. Along the way many of us encounter a road block and instead of going over it, through it, or around it, we turn around and quit. For myself, I can honestly say I have never turned around and quit. I have lost my motivation, but I do not turn around and quit. I sit at that road block and think about how to go around it. It may take me months to go around it, but I do not quit. Motivation comes and goes in my life, but the key is never giving up.

There are so many examples I could talk about and this piece on motivation may turn into an ongoing blog article. There is so much to write about on losing, keeping, and struggling with motivation. One example for me is over the last several years I have started running for exercise. Growing up, two of my brothers were runners and they were running stars in my eyes. They were awesome and I was jealous because I had no motivation to do that. It wasn’t until much later in life, into adulthood, where I had that motivation to run. I started running on my treadmill first because I was too shy to get outside and run. I started out slow, but always had a goal in mind for the next run. It really didn’t take long and that desire to run was there. I found myself missing it on the days I did not run. I was able to run longer and a little bit faster. I started to enjoy running and thought nothing could break me away from it. I was wrong! Suddenly my desire to run was gone. It has happened many times before. It could be a vacation, a long weekend get a way, or the holidays and that disrupts my regular running schedule. As soon as my running schedule is disrupted, my desire to run is gone. It takes me a while to get back into it. It happened recently once again because of a week long vacation in August. We went on vacation and once I was home, that desire to run was gone. It took me a while, but I forced myself to get out there and run once again. For me, it only takes that one time and I am back. The desire is back and the want is back. Today is my day off from running and I sit here thinking about tomorrow when I can go for another run.

Going through this whole process of having the motivation and losing the motivation and gaining it back again has made me wonder, why can’t I keep this motivation at all times? Why do I have to lose the desire to run? How do I keep the desire with me at all times? What I have learned for myself is that talking to myself helps. It sounds strange, but when I tell myself what a good job I am doing with my running it keeps me going. Motivate yourself! Talk positive to yourself. Say uplifting things for encouragement to keep yourself going. Another thing that helps me is to have a goal in mind and focus on it. The longest run I have accomplished is 5.5 miles and I haven’t been back there in a couple of years! My longest run now is 4 miles. My goal is to keep the motivation going and reach that 5.5 mile mark once again. Something else that will help keep that desire going is to drop the bad habits. Whatever is getting in your way of accomplishing your goal, get rid of it! My bad habit that gets in the way of my running is negative talk. I have been the one that compares myself to others and I have to tell myself over and over that my running is not a race. I run for me. If it takes me longer to run and longer overall to reach my goal, fine, just don’t give up! One last, but certainly not least piece of motivation that keeps me going is my brothers. You see I grew up with three older brothers and no sisters. Two of my brothers were cross country and track runners while the other was physically and mentally disabled. I now only have one living brother. He lives close by with his wife and two kids and he continues to be motivation to keep my running going. My oldest brother, another running star, keeps me going even though his physical body is not here anymore. When I run I hear his voice. I run for him because he is not here to do so anymore. My other wonderful brother that has passed on did not have an easy life. When I run I think of him. I run for him because he was not able to do so in this life. All three of my brothers are my motivation in their own way.

So whatever is causing you to lose your motivation, find your way back. It is not easy, but if that desire is there, you will accomplish your goal. You will have road blocks along the way, but you will learn to go around them instead of turning around and quitting. Stay positive. Say encouraging things to yourself along the way. Surround yourself with positive people and drop the bad habits. If you focus on your goal and never lose that focus, you will have that desire to keep going.

In A Perfect World

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In a perfect world…..

  • There would be no war. There would be peace only. We’d all get along.
  • Every dog and cat would have a home.
  • We’d all be happy with our looks.
  • We would not discriminate towards others.
  • There would be no judging of other people.
  • There would be freedom for all.
  • There would be no reason to worry. Everything would always work out just fine.
  • Sickness would not exist.
  • Everyone would be happy. There would be no mental health disabilities.
  • Physical handicaps would not exist.
  • Know one would understand what the word “abuse” meant because it does not exist.
  • Plants and flowers would not die.
  • There would be no pain.
  • We would not label other people.
  • Hate would not exist.
  • Crying would be only for happy moments.
  • We would accept one another as they are.
  • There would be no poverty.
  • No one would go hungry.
  • Everyone would throw their trash away instead of on the ground.
  • There would be more forgiveness.
  • There would be more sharing.
  • Everyone that wanted a job would have one.
  • People would respect mother nature.
  • World disasters would not happen.
  • Everyone would believe in miracles.
  • There would be no shootings in schools, in the workplace, in neighborhoods, etc…

Can you imagine living in a world where all of this were true? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Can you think of other things to add to the list? Isn’t it sad that it does not exist here on Earth? It is sad to say that I don’t think these things will ever happen here on Earth. There will always be sickness. There will always be disasters. Some people will always judge and discriminate. I wish everyone would start doing one good thing for someone a day. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It is the little things that matter most. Hold a door open for someone. Call an old friend. Help a neighbor. Or do one positive thing to make this a better world to live in. Donate your time or money to an organization. Clean up mother nature by picking trash up. Spend more time with family and friends. We are all here for just a short time. I think the majority of people have learned that lesson. Lets make this world a better place to live in.