Does It Really Matter?

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How do you find gratitude while you’re spiraling down to the place you don’t want to go? The ebb and flow of life guarantees rough spells and calm ones as well. You ride out each wave the best you can and wait to see what the next day holds. It’s a dangerous thing when you are stuck in a bad place, focusing only on the hopelessness and pain you may feel in a particular moment. In the course of a lifetime, what will it matter? I remember seeing this quote for the first time and thinking, what a great practice to instill in my own life.  Focusing on the details of every day is like holding onto a bunch of balloons that lift you up and take you straight to hell. I’ve been there a few times and I am in no hurry to go back. In hindsight, those frustrations that seemed enormous at the time aren’t so big anymore. 

There will be situations that weigh you down and test the courage and strength you thought were inside of you. It’s during these times that you must quiet the storm and reach for your calm. It is there. Find it and hold onto that instead. The sun really will come out tomorrow and if it doesn’t, just wait, it will make an appearance soon.

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Dear Worry

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Dear Worry,

I think it’s time for us to finally break up. We have tried to make this relationship work for a long time now and it just doesn’t feel good anymore. I have stuck by you and all the while you have dragged me down. You’ve become almost an obsession for me and I don’t know where you end and I begin.  Maybe it’s time you leave and find someone who will welcome you. There is a better partner for you out there somewhere but I am not the one. You have wasted enough of my time and I want to feel the freedom again of being on my own. I want to experience life without you by my side tainting my perception of every experience. I want to stand alone and see how it feels to take that first step without you holding me back. There comes a time for everything and this is the time we must part. I want a partner that makes me feel happy and alive and confident that everything will be okay. You are not that one. I know that now. Pack your bags, go away and never try to force yourself back into my life. I’m done. We’re done. It’s time to start a new life without you in it. Are you listening? Just go. 

Me

Our Connection Is Broken

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Sometimes it seems like people are so disconnected. They wander around, rarely taking the time to look up from their cell phone. I like to observe people. I just can’t help myself. It’s fascinating to me and yes, there are days, I don’t have anything better to do. I can’t help but wonder, what is going on behind those sad eyes or why is the person so excited that is sitting in the corner smiling and phoning a friend?

Today I dropped my son off at school and I made a quick trip into Walgreens. There was a girl standing in front of me that had a look of dread on her face. You could almost feel her pain as she patiently waited for the cashier to ring her up. Then I saw it on the counter. It was a pregnancy test and it was obvious that it was not something she wanted to be buying today. I am guessing she was in her young 20’s but not yet married. I really felt for the girl in that moment. She looked sick as she walked away from the counter, bag in hand.

Pay attention to what is going on around you. It’s easy to get caught up in that own little world we create for ourselves. The truth is, life is going on all around us and there are people everywhere feeling so many different emotions. Some are experiencing pain and challenges and others may be having the best day of their entire life. Just notice. Reconnect. Be there.

Yes, I heard You!

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Yes, you heard my voice but you didn’t hear a single word I said. Am I the only one who feels this way? Have you ever found yourself in a conversation with someone who is not entirely present? You know the person I am talking about, the light is on but nobody’s home. I don’t know if it’s because people jump ahead in their thinking that they lose focus on the actual words or because they are so confident they are hearing something particular that they assume their assumption is the truth. Often times I long for someone to give me the time and attention it takes to really connect and understand me on a deeper level. It’s hard for me to continue to converse with the ones who jump ahead and come to a conclusion that is quite opposite of what I’m trying to convey. So someone please tell me? How do I stop myself from becoming so exasperated while nicely trying to explain myself in a way someone will hear and understand? You can’t only hear what you want to hear. You can’t twist someone’s words into a preconceived notion of what you think they believe. You must find a way to listen through the distractions in your own head and the external ones all around you. Can anybody hear me? Oh never mind. 

The Happiness Myth

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Happiness. Where do we find it? We look for it in a multitude of  places only to be reminded it comes from inside of us. What if we don’t feel any happiness inside? What if we don’t even believe it is in there? I imagine it must be so frustrating for someone that searches their own soul only to come up empty and discouraged. I do know our perception of our own lives has a direct influence on the way we feel. Our attitude and our outlook are extremely important.  I guess what it means is that no one else can make us happy but someone can sure make us feel happy. Is there really a difference? Maybe we should focus more on what makes us feel happy and simply do more of that. The struggle to feel happy can be a long and frustrating one. We look at people around us who are always on top of the world and we can’t help but wonder, what is wrong with me? Maybe it’s not realistic to believe we can be happy all the time. Maybe the concept of happiness is just a myth. I do know that when we make a conscious effort to do the things that make us happy and spend time around people that make us feel loved and happy, life is more enjoyable. Simple as that. Maybe the gift of happiness in wrapped up in the little things that make us feel big like a call from an old friend or a random act of kindness. Maybe it’s in a warm cup of coffee or a piece of our favorite pie. Maybe happiness really can be found anywhere if we stop searching so hard to find it. What do you think? 

When The Point Gets Lost

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Why does everything boil down to competition and having to be the best? Some will argue competition is necessary and improves the performance of most at the end of a season. I beg to differ though as to what is actually better. 

My daughter is part of a fundraising committee for high school. The kids compete against each other to raise the most money. There was one kid actually trying to sneak the online contributions that clearly belonged to other classmates. The sneakiness and the cut throat battle to be the best did result in something but unfortunately not what I was hoping for. Somewhere, in the midst of trying to one up one another, these kids were cheated the beautiful experience of coming together for the greater good. What should and could have been a meaningful bonding together to make a difference in something selfless and important turned into a selfish battle to wear the crown of who brought in the most money. Maybe if the emphasis was really about raising money for the charity while setting an overall goal with no credit to who did less or who did more, maybe then they would discover the real reason behind giving in the first place, to help others and feel good about doing it.  Maybe we should stop patting the best on the back and pat everyone on the back for doing their best. I guess I’m just a dreamer and my ideas are not shared by the norm but giving without getting something in return is a beautiful gift for the whole world. Did the kids raise more money because this was a competition? Maybe, but was it worth the valuable lesson that somehow got skipped over in the blur of going round after round in the center ring? I don’t think so. What do you think? Imagine a contest that encouraged the winner be the most honest or the most altruistic.

Living and Succeeding With ADD

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It seems like an eternity since Chase had been diagnosed with ADD. He is learning to compensate and has worked hard on becoming more organized and accountable for his own work. It is such a huge accomplishment to know he his getting his work done, doing well and remembering to hand most of it in. Today I got a surprise note rom a teacher that just about moved me to tears. It was a note requesting a conference with me to discuss advanced placement in math. Never, did I ever believe anyone would recognize how bright he really is. Never did I imagine, a teacher would see through his struggles and appreciate how much harder he has to work to keep up with others. My heart is happy, and my spirit full. There are no words to express how much it means to me that he is doing so well and on his own. I know medication is not the right choice for everyone, but it has truly changed our lives. ADD is not a disability, it is an uncharted map that uses a different route to reach a destination that most wouldn’t dare to travel. I am so proud of him and happy to see his self confidence grow. Life has not come easy for him but at the end of the day, all these lessons and all these struggles will make him a better person by teaching him that with a little faith, patience and perseverance, anything is possible.

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