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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Does God Ever Need A Beer?

He watches over us from above. He sees everything we do and knows what is in our hearts and minds. He notices when we do good and knows when we do bad. No, I am not talking about Santa Claus. I am referring to God. He is all around us whether we notice or not. He built this world for us hoping we cherish it and do something positive in it and for it. What happens when we don’t?

Most of us have good intentions and we mean well. We live our lives to do good for our family, our friends, and our community. There are more decent people doing good than the other way around. Day in and day out, we try our best and don’t mean any harm. “Our best” is different for every person. Our talents, motivations, intentions, needs, and wants are all different from each other’s. We are put on this Earth to grow, learn, help each other out, and do good. What happens when we don’t?

I often wonder how God, All Knowing and All Mighty, deals with things and handles things when we as humans, mess up. When He points us in a direction and we go the other way, does He shake His head? When we miss the obvious, does He put His hands over His eyes? When we do something negative, does He take a deep breath to calm Himself? Having a whole world to watch over, does God ever need a beer?

I sometimes picture God in His throne with a beer relaxing “at the end of a day.” I wonder how He could not need a beer when us as humans are constantly needing help, redirection, advice, and improvement in our lives. In my opinion, He must be so great and so strong in order to deal with billions of people. How great is it that He loves us no matter what we do or what we say. Even with that said, I still wonder if God ever needs a beer?

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.

Life Is About Balance

 

When one walks on a tight rope, balance is the key. When someone stands on one foot, balance is the key. Life is all about balance. Too much of anything is not good for you. Too much of anything will over whelm a person. Too many sweets gets a person sick. Too much work makes a person dull and stressed. Too much play can have a negative effect on a person. Even too much water is not good for you! Your life and even your day is about balance.

Creating balance in one’s life can be difficult. It’s easy to get wrapped up in life and forget why we are all here in the first place. It’s easy to get so down on life where all you think about is yourself. It’s also easy to be so high on life where all you think about is yourself. It all comes down to balance.

Think of the man or woman who works 60 plus hours a week. They may or may not enjoy the work, but either way it’s stressful. There is no balance.

What about the man or woman who stays home with the kids. There is no break. It’s all about the kids, tending to their needs, driving them here and there. Yes the parent loves their kids and wouldn’t trade it for anything, but where is the balance? How do they relax? It’s all about balance.

Think of the anorexic who does not eat, but exercises too much. Or the opposite habits in some people. There is no balance to this kind of life either.

Think of the depressed person who can’t leave the house on some days or get anything done on some days. There is a soul in that person waiting to be set free and soar. Too much depression in one’s life, and quite frankly, the opposite of that, is not good. It all comes down to balance.

There is time to hold on and a time to let go. There is a time for work and a time for play. There is a time for family & friends and a time for yourself. There is a time to splurge and a time to hold back. There will be down times in a person’s life and high moments in a person’s life. It is so simply really, but difficult at the same time to keep balance in one’s life. The key to life, if you can find it, is balance.

Six Ways To A More Meaningful Life

“It was not the feeling of completeness I so needed, but the feeling of not being empty.” – Jonathan Safran Foer

My walk Sept 11 2013 015Do you ever wake up to start your day and feel like pulling the covers back over your head so you can go back to sleep? This is common from time to time, but feeling this way a lot is not an easy life to live. The feeling of emptiness that humans have is not an easy pattern to break, but it is possible. All humans need a sense of purpose or meaning to get out of bed each day. Some have more trouble with this. Others it comes easy. Whether you are one to climb out of bed most day with a purpose or not so much, read on to find ways to stop the empty feeling inside and bring more meaning to your life.

1. Change things up in your daily or weekly routine. Some routines are hard to change. For example, taking care of your kids/family, work, school, and appointments are just a few examples of everyday tasks that are difficult to change. However, volunteering, joining a club, and finding a new hobby, are a few examples of doing something different. Meeting new people and doing new things introduces a new purpose in your life.

2. Take control of your life. Are you doing things that you want to do or are you doing things because your family or society says you have to? Are you studying what you want in college or are you studying what your parents want you to or what your friends are studying? Do you have the job you want or do you have a job because society says you should have this job? Are you doing things that you truly want to do or are you doing things that just looks good to other people? Take a break, a breath, and determine what it is you want to do with your life, not what anyone else wants you to do.

3. Stay away from the habits that make you feel empty. This seems obvious, but it is easy to hang around with the wrong crowd, drink & eat too much, watch too much TV, play too many video games, etc… These harmful habits play a role in why people have these empty feelings. Have a healthy lifestyle and that will in turn, make you feel better.

4. Spend time with people who truly support you and want what is best for you. This may be family, friends, church friends, or co-workers. Stay away from people who do not have your best interest at heart.

5. Consider adopting a pet. If you have the time and money, pets are a wonderful way to bring a smile to your day. They know how to bring purpose to your everyday life.

6. Seek help. Whether it is a trusted family member, friend or a therapist, find someone to talk to. Talking to someone you trust and keeping a journal, can help you feel better and find purpose and meaning to your everyday life.

These few steps can help build your life back to a feeling of fullness. Adding these positive changes to you life, plus some of your own, will contribute a well balanced life.

Look and Learn From Each Other

There comes a time in everyone’s life when it really hits them that not only is there someone else out there going through something worse, but there is someone else going through a situation in which no one wants to trade places with, regardless of how much or little drama is involved. It opens up their eyes and helps them realize everyone has something to deal with. Everybody has their own set of issues. Some problems are more serious than others, but it does not mean they are any more or less important. Everyone has a cross to bear. There are people who are struggling to survive. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. There are other people just going through the emotions of life and not really experiencing life to the fullest. They are either too busy, going through life too fast, or not paying attention. There are few people who live life to the fullest no matter what is thrown at them. Every single person has high points and low points of their life. It is not necessarily the actual high points or low points of a person’s life that matters, but how a person deals with those high and low points. Do they grow and learn from those high and low points or do they act out and ignore the potential lessons that come from those things in life? Every single person has done both. This is how people grow and learn.

Picture the homeless man living in a box on a dangerous corner downtown. He lost his job and not able to pay his bills. He was forced out of his home. Now people pass by him, judge him, and look at him with contempt.

Picture the loving wife and mother addicted to alcohol. She hides bottles in the attics, closets, and under a loose floorboard. She easily explains away lost money. She tries to quit over and over, but keeps relapsing.

Picture a troubled teenager. She comes from a loving, close family. Somehow she starts hanging around with the wrong crowd. She doesn’t do her homework and discovered drugs and alcohol. She is out of control, angry, and unhappy. Her parents are doing everything in their power to try and help her, but she refuses any kind of help.

Picture a healthy, elderly man living alone. His wife passed away recently. He is lonely. He pushed his friends away. He doesn’t want help from his kids. He is depressed and tired all the time. He has little interest in anything. He doesn’t want to talk and doesn’t want any outside help.

Are any one of these situations more important than the other? No. How many people would want to be in any of these situations? No one. Life happens. There are some situations in which people have no choice in how certain matters turn out. People have control over some things, but then there are other things in which they don’t. People need to judge less and leave the judging to God. People need to realize they are not the only ones hurting in this world. We all are. We are all dealing with something. Learn from each other. Put yourself in another person’s shoes and picture what they are going through. Look at what they are dealing with. Everyone is in this world to help each other. What matters to everyone in the four scenarios described above is that they are not alone. They want to know someone cares for them. They want to know that when they are ready to change their life and turn it around for the better, not only is not too late, but at least one person will be there to help them. Look around. What can we as a society and individuals do to help someone today? When people help others, they not only help improve someones life, but they improve their own as well.

Spring Cleaning My Life

SpringCleaningAfter many long months of the cold weather as well as blowing and falling snow, spring is finally here. There are still times in which the weather does not feel like it is spring, but according to the calendar, spring is here. It was a very long winter for most of us, especially me. I am not a fan of winter. I don’t even like to leave my house unless I have to when it is so cold. It is very difficult for me to do certain things in the winter time. I have to push myself to do things and I don’t like that trait about myself. Thankfully that is over with for a while. Now that the nicer weather is here, I am ready for some sprucing up and spring cleaning. That not only includes my house, but my life too as well.

I am at a point in my life where I feel just about every area needs a major overhaul and quickly. I am my worst critic, my own worst enemy, and can be my best friend all wrapped into one. I can be my own patient and a therapist at the same time. I can be own coach and player at the same time. Well, you get the picture! When I want something done, I want it done now. If I get something in my head that I want done or improved, I can’t let it go until it is done or I at least started it. However, there are many projects around the house that I don’t care about. Just ask my husband and extended family! How about that wallpaper in our bedroom that I started to take down 2 years ago and it is still not done? I bet 90% of people in my life forgot about that! How about the basement my husband and I said we’d begin to finish? Well, we haven’t even started it! What about putting up pictures on the walls of our house that we moved into 2 and a half years ago? Well, we haven’t got to it! The older I get, the more I realize that is not really important. To some it is. To me, it is not. There are more important things in life than that.

Spiritually and religiously, my life needs an improvement. I have always been more of a spiritual person than a religious person. I will always be that way. However, even that area has slipped away from me. It is time for me to get back to basics. For me, going to church and reading the Bible is very peaceful. It makes me feel better and brings peace to my soul. So why don’t I make time for something that brings me peace? Why don’t I do this on a regular basis? This to me is more important than taking wallpaper down in my bedroom. Scheduling time for spiritual activities is something I want to start doing and need to start doing.

I am a fairly healthy person with a few minor issues. I go to the dentist and doctor on a regular basis and everything is always normal. I have no major issues. I make sure and do some form of exercise every day. I either do some housework, yard work, running, riding my bike, or walking every day unless something gets in the way. A vacation can mess up my exercise schedule. The holidays and being sick can as well. When this happens, it is very difficult for me to get back into exercise. I have to really push myself back into my routine. Same thing with healthy eating habits. I have fairly healthy eating habits, but a day or two a week I don’t do so well. Okay, some weeks it is more than that! Even though I am a fairly healthy person, I feel my health needs a little bit of an overhaul as well.

My career is another area I am struggling with. Currently, this is my biggest struggle. I used to live near Lake Michigan, which is two hours west of where I am now. I had a great part time job that I loved. I didn’t want to give it up when I moved. I was forced to move for my husband’s job. For a while I thought about keeping the job since it was pretty much on my own schedule, but I realized it just wouldn’t work. I had to give it up. Without going into a long story, I have been in and out of two jobs of where I live now. Things happen and my career life is the pits. This is the area where I feel I have a lot to offer, but I am currently in a hole the size of our planet and I can’t get myself out. This has brought the most pain and depression to my life. This area of my life needs a huge improvement.

Everyone has area’s of their life that they want improved. For me, it is just about every single area and I want it improved now! There are times I have patience and other times I do not. I want to wake up tomorrow with every area of my life fixed and improved. However, it doesn’t work that way. That brings me to spring cleaning my life. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. I sat my husband down and talked with him about what is going on with me. That was step number one. I checked out some books from the library on self improvement. That was step number two. I love books and could have my nose shoved in a book 24/7. I then sat myself down and started to think about what I want out of life. That was step number three. Keeping a journal, or in my case multiple journals for multiple area’s of my life, was step number four. I put all of that together and hopefully I can de-clutter my life. I want the cob webs out of my life and my feet back on the ground. In time, I will succeed.