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?

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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.

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.

Finding My Strength: Where Does Your’s Come From?

Strength-Picture-Quote

credit to addicted2success.com

I am starting a new adventure in my life and what may not seem like a big deal to some, it is a big deal to me. I am volunteering with a local, three person hospice house. After working with hospice patients indirectly in the past, I have never worked directly with them. Now is my chance to do something I have always wanted to do. I won’t only be part of a team helping others, but they will help me too. I am looking forward to starting this new phase in my life. I feel like my whole life has built me up to this point to be able to do this mentally and physically. What I have gone through and dealt with in my past, has prepared me for this new phase in my life. It is a challenge I am excited about starting. It something I feel I was called to do. There is not much in my life where I feel I am called on by God to do, but this is one thing I feel very strongly about doing.

I was asked today, in not so many words, how I deal with the losses in my life. In my almost thirteen years of marriage, I have not only lost four babies, but two brothers, grandparents, and my in-laws in the same year. What marriage can survive that is beyond me. Many “someone’s” are watching over my husband and I. The answer that came out of my mouth was one, talking. Talking to someone I trust is a must. If I don’t let it out, I would scream. Two, writing. Writing is another way to let it out when I don’t feel like talking. Three, volunteering and helping others. I realized in my 36 years of life that helping others is an important way to give back and not only make yourself feel better, but help the other person feel better. It is a win-win situation. The last answer that came out of my mouth has to do with my parents and grandparents. I know many people feel this way about their parents and that is great! However, three of the people that I look up to in my life are my mom, dad, and my maternal grandma. My grandma passed away in April 2003, but she is someone that to this day, I look up to. Those are the three top people in my life that I see strength in and where my strength comes from. They are very, very strong people and I can’t express that enough. If it was not for them, I would have given up on life a long, long time ago.

I hope everyone out there has someone or someone’s they look up to for strength. I hope there is someone out there keeps you going and keeps you from giving up. I have overcame a lot in my life that I didn’t think I could. I have moved on and moved past a lot of things that would have done anyone else in. It is time for me to give credit to where credit is due, which is God, my parents and my grandparents. It is also time for me to give back to the community. I have found strength that I never thought I had and it is time to use it!

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.