Shifting Our Focus

“Life seems sometimes like nothing more than a series of losses, from beginning to end. That’s the given. How you respond to those losses, what you make of what’s left, that’s the part you have to make up as you go.”

– Katherine Weber

I came across this quote today and it hit me like a slap in the face. I wasn’t searching for quotes; it was just there like it was meant for me to read. I really started to think about my life, my thoughts, and my attitude towards certain things. For the last number of years (too many years to put an exact number on), I have said to myself, “my life is a series of losses.” It is all I have been focusing on. My losses. My life has been one loss after another. Whether it is a loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of money, or a number of other things; my life is a series of losses. However, I am not the only one who is alive on this planet. So many others feel the same way as I do. So many others have it worse off than I do. Our eyes are sometimes open only to our pain and closed to the pain other people go through. We get lost in our own pain all too often. We forget what matters. We give up. Once we start shifting our focus to others and helping others, our own lives improve as well. Not only do we make someone else feel better, but we feel better for helping someone else. I will slip and lose my focus from time to time, but before my life ends, I am hoping to help other people see things in a more positive light. After all, isn’t that what we were put on this planet for?

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?

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.

 

 

If I Think I Can, I Can!

It has been a while since my last post. I have no great excuse. It is what it is and nothing more. I have had the want to write, but not the creativity. It has been hard to come up with ideas to write about, but I look around my life, this world, and even in the blog world and notice most people can find something to write about it. Anything can be a topic and turned into a great blog post. I need to try harder and push myself to do better. I love this quote I came across yesterday:

“Success is 90% psychology.” – Tony Robins

I have to keep reminding myself, if I think I can or can’t, I am right. Just like “we are what we eat”, I also believe, “we are what we think.” Every one of us have different beliefs, values, and mindsets. I believe most people are doing the best they can with what life throws at them.

I promise myself more than anyone else that I will do better with my blogging and writing.  It’s time to go back to brainstorming for idea’s and writing things down when they come to me.  I have skimmed many blogs today and loved every one of them. Other bloggers help me by providing inspiration and idea’s. There are many bloggers and writers out there that I hope to one day be like. I hope to one day have the talent that they do. If I think I can, I can!

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?

Breaking Out Of A Rut

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Why is it that doing something good for yourself, doing something that benefits your health and well being can be difficult? Eating right, exercising, thinking positively, and surrounding yourself with positive people are all ways to improve yourself and can make you happier. In addition, volunteering in the community and having a satisfying job will also make your happier. So why is it that many of us don’t do it? It just goes to show you how easy it is for all of us to be stuck in a rut and fall into a period of depression. There are many people out there in this world that think people with a mental illness can magically become better on their own and that getting rid of their mental illness will happen quickly. How the rest of us wish that were true! Recovery is a long process. It does not happen overnight.

This blog is not just to help me, but to help others. If one person reads this and finds some hope, motivation, and inspiration, I will be happy. It no longer matters to me that my family and friends know what I have been dealing with for so long. If one person gains something positive out of this, it is all good.

One thing I have started doing that I didn’t believe in before is thinking positively. It is said that thinking positive can help you in any situation. I have heard from numerous people, “if you think you can or can’t, you are right.” People who deal with physical illnesses, such as cancer, can live longer just by thinking positively. I have started doing this. Instead of negative thoughts going through my mind, I have begun to think that everything will be okay. I will accomplish what I was put on this Earth to do. Things will improve. Draining out the negative thoughts will not happen overnight, but over time, there will be less negative thinking.

Something else I started doing is volunteering. I have to admit, I can’t always push myself out the door to do it, but I am getting better. I love animals, so I am volunteering at the local animal shelter. Those animals will put a smile on my face any day! Also, I joined our local Lions Club. There are many ways to become involved in your community through a club or an organization. Meeting new people and helping others is the key to feeling better about yourself.

As difficult as it can be for anyone, let alone for someone who has a mental illness, exercise is another key component. I have been lacking in that area for some time now, but I promised myself after Thanksgiving, it is time to get back to exercising. Moving your body in any way for any amount of time will benefit you and your attitude. It is hard to get back into exercise, but what I find for myself is once I do it once, the second time is easier!

Something I thought of last night to improve myself is the Nike Slogan, “Just Do It.” Pushing myself to do certain things takes days, if not weeks. Over time, the thought will become an action and I will “Just Do It.”

There are many ways to help yourself out of a rut or a period of depression. Some people live with it the rest of their lives. Some people have to cope with their mental illness instead of overcoming it. Medication and/or counseling does not help everyone. Some go through this year after year with no end in sight. I am thankful that I feel like I can overcome this. Being the stubborn person that I am, I am determined to overcome it on my own.  I have become my own patient and counselor at the same time! Over time, even if you are not able to overcome your depression, your rut, or work through your mental illness, there are ways to cope with it. It is not easy, I know. I have dealt with this most of my life. It is possible to have a life and cope with your mental illness. It is possible that some people may have to deal with it the rest of their lives. Some people will overcome it. Whatever the case, there is help. There are options. There are ways to make your life better, happier, and more enjoyable!