suddenlysinglewomen

Surviving the unwanted divorce

The Season of Thanksgiving!

Are we still in it?

Logic would tell me that we should be in it all year round, it’s just more visible this time of the year?

I saw a quote the other day:  “Gratitude is the Attitude that sets the Altitude for living”, by James MacDonald.

His premise is that you can live in the depressing low-lands of the world, or have a high-altitude attitude!  Sounds good, but is it really that easy?

He says that living in this high-altitude attitude is up where the air is clean, the sun is shining and the future is bright, where life soars above and refuses to focus on the negative.   I jokingly think that all I have to do to find that attitude, is drive to the mountains to get that feeling, but seriously . . .

How nice would it be to have that attitude 365 days of each year?  How refreshing would it be to surround yourself with people who have that attitude as well?

They say change begins with you, and I personally happen to see the benefit to living a higher altitude attitude.  I’m “over” the negative nellies who are so unhappy that they choose to bring you down as well.  I’m sorry for them, I do empathize with them, but do not want to be around them.

It’s a constant effort – but so worth it.  I am thankful for all the positiveness around me; I am thankful that 2017 has been so much happier than 2016.  That feels so odd to say since 2016 was the year I accomplished my goal of publishing my book, and became an Amazon Best Selling author.

I am hopeful that we can all live a season of Thanksgiving – all year round.  The view in that higher altitude is pretty darned spectacular!

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Complaining – It’s Everywhere . . .

Recently I wrote about changing your attitudes, being more positive!  Safe to say, I have less than positive feelings about complaining!

People who complain alot – do they really think that’s going to change anything?  I’ve admitted in the past that I used to REALLY complain about bad drivers.  EGAD – where are these people from?  But I have made a concerted effort lately to not let it rattle me as much.

(Is that called “practice what you preach”?)

Are you hurting the other person?  Nope.  Are you changing the other person’s behavior?  Most likely not.  Complaining hurts me; it leads to anger, headaches, bitterness, negativity, raised blood pressure, and I’m pretty sure my eyes cross and I get those frown wrinkles between my brows.  Botox anyone?

I found a definition of the action:  “Complaining is expressing dissatisfaction with a circumstance that is not wrong and about which I’m doing nothing to correct.”

Just because it’s wrong in my opinion, does it necessarily make it wrong?  Deep thoughts to leave you with:

Criticism involves people; complaining involves circumstances.”

In the season of Thanksgiving, definitely something to be aware of as we go about our busy daily lives.

 

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Giving Thanks For All Of You!

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Thought For The Day (and always):

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Some Patterns Are Good . . . Others? Not So Much

I’m a “former” teacher.  I was always looking for patterns of good behavior.  I rewarded that good behavior, did the same as a mother when my sons were young.  The ol’ saying you can catch alot more flies with honey than vinegar was alive and well growing up in my house.

Don’t get me wrong, bad behavior was dealt with, I didn’t just ignore it, but I really really searched out the positive to draw attention to.

A book I completed this summer really had me focusing on attitudes, and how pervasive they are in our lives – both yours, and those around you.  One of the sub-topics in the book was:

“Attitudes are patterns of thinking formed over a long period of time.”

Could it be that those same attitudes are learned by mimicking those people we are around the most?

If you exhibit good behavior, and surround yourself with those who also show good behavior, does it then become a pattern of life?  Wouldn’t that be nice?

As I read in this book:

“Our attitudes are patterns of thinking – formed over a long period of time.  Wrong attitudes are hard to change because they are habitual, harmful ways of thinking about life and circumstances.  Patterns of thinking are so deeply ingrained in our hearts that we hardly even notice them.  We get so used to reacting a certain way that our choices become automatic, and in time we cease to see them as actual choices.  We feel like we are trapped, but we are not.  Tragically, the consequences are also automatic, and that is the cycle that we are trying to break.”

Thing is, we may have a bad attitude, we may be surrounded by alot of bad attitude, but we can change it.   The author offered this:  “You can’t change an attitude until you admit you chose it. But if you’re willing to say, “I choose my attitude,” then a different choice becomes your option.  By admitting you made the choice, you put yourself in a position to make a different choice next time.”

There has been SOOOOO very much negativity in our country over the past year.    If these people were my students, I’d be bald by now from pulling my hair out looking for the positive behaviors to reward.  At least I know I can own my behavior, and change it if need be.

Can you share a good attitude today . . . and make it a pattern?

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A “Share” From One of the “Smilingest” People I Know!

A while back, I got an email from my sweet friend CS with a great “share” idea!  We all want to smile, we all want to be happy.  So maybe below, might be a few ways to help us find our smile again!

 

WHAT IS THE MOST OBVIOUS BEAUTY SECRET OF ALL?

Is the beauty “secret” we take for granted, the one we struggle with and the one we rely on others for, on top of your list?

I am thinking it is happiness, with a capital H.

 

Happiness is directly related to inner beauty and our inner beauty is what truly makes us shine.

It is easy to take happiness as a given and it’s not; it is not something we should ever rely on.  Life is messy and unpredictable every single day and we never know what might be coming our way. Our “guaranteed” happiness can be snuffed out in an instant.

 

What is important to know is happiness will re-appear but it might not happen alone. It is a work in progress and like most of what is worth pursuing, it takes practise.

 

Some people would seem to be born with a penchant for happiness.

They make happy look effortless as if cares and troubles are not on their radar. It’s not true; everyone has problems, tragedies and disappointments to overcome. We are not immune and it is a question of how we deal with darkness that makes or breaks.

 

The simple pleasure of feeling happy can oftentimes seem to be unattainable, but in my experience, all it takes is a little know-how and dedication.

 

How do we re-discover happiness?

 

Happiness starts with ourselves.

It is important to look within to find our own contentment and ultimate joy and we cannot depend on others to do the work for us. I try and reconnect with old pleasures that brought a smile in the past; it is so easy to forget when they are lost in the layers of everyday life. Once we understand our own happiness we can share it with others and pay it forward. It is a quality that has no bounds and no limits and truly, more is more.

 

Happiness is not a given.

We won’t necessarily wake up happy each and every day. Life intervenes and moods can swing and good spirits can require routine and perseverance. Expectations should be realistic so we don’t set ourselves up for disappointment. It is okay to have a bad day, a day where nothing seems promising. The art is to recognise, define and accept those feelings and to be aware they will not be permanent.

 

Happiness is about the practical.

A problem solved is one way to feeling happier. Losing the weight of worry can help us channel our brighter feelings. Dealing with problems and compartmentalising, so they don’t suck the positivity from our lives, is an important skill.

 

I find exercise is one way to relieve stress and allow happiness its rightful place. The other is to spoil ourselves in ways that please; to do what you enjoy not what you think you should be doing. Read the romance novel if it brings a smile, the Economist can wait. Watch the latest TV series in a binge; the housekeeping is going nowhere. Treat yourself in small ways and see huge effects. Use escapism to re-set the balance and recover some light heartedness, remembering it is a short-term fix.

 

Happiness breeds happiness.

Spending time with others who are upbeat is like an injection of positivity and nothing feels better than being around happy, I find it is infectious. The opposite can be said for those who view the glass half full.

 

Happiness in small bites.

Happiness does not always come super sized, life does not allow for that. Take the small wins and be thankful for those. We need happiness to be attainable, not elusive. There is much to be gained from small blessings.

 

Happiness and appreciation.

We can appreciate the beauty around us or we can ignore it. I choose to appreciate the beauty in the everyday and I acknowledge some days are harder than others. The smallest glimpse can elevate our mood and release happiness. It may be fleeting at times, but in my view it all counts. It is about riches but not about wealth. I have known those with so much who have so little and those with so little who have so much. I try and believe if we are grateful for the small, the rest will follow.

 

 

Happiness, there is no better feeling. xv

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Part Five – – –

The last of the attitude posts is one that will be harder to put into words, so bear with me.

Replace a rebellious attitude, with an attitude of submission.

In the book, they refer to six sources of rebellion.  However you choose to think of “rebellion” it could be something as juvenile as a two year old’s temper tantrum, or as significant as the overthrow of a government.  However you see rebellion – it’s certainly nothing close to laying down and always going with the “status quo”.

6 Sources of Rebellion as defined in the book are;

Jealousy

Delusion

Ungratefulness

Stubbornness

Disappointment

Distrust

Yes, I’ve had all those feelings at one time or another although I don’t see myself as being particularly rebellious.

I was the good kid, I did not go out of my way ever, to upset the apple cart.  As a parent, I was the kid you wanted.   I lied to my parents once in High School, about who I was going out with one night, and got caught.  Go figure.  Just wasn’t worth “the look” I got of utter disappointment.

But then life catches up with you as you get older, and things don’t always go your way.   OK, things rarely go completely your way!  That is when I can identify with the six sources of rebellion listed above.

Life’s challenges are going to get you when you least expect them.  Will we give the attitude of submission a try?  Hmmmmm?

The author says:  “Submission, when properly understood and applied, replaces the pain and strife of rebellion and greatly increases human happiness.”

I think the best way for me to understand this submission thing, is to look at it as a way of not upsetting the apple cart.  I’m not saying not to have free will, or submit to overbearing or (heaven forbid) illegal things.  I look at it more like James MacDonald explains:

“Be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit.  In a word, submissive – finding your place of humility and cooperation under the influence of others.”

Wasn’t it Sesame Street who asked us, “Can’t we all just get along?”

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Part Four – – –

Replace a doubting attitude, with an attitude of faith!

Faith – sometimes you feel like it leaves you.  You begin to doubt everything that you learned growing up, because most likely few of us have the lives today we thought we were going to.

Am I right?

My Father and I had a special relationship.  He was my hero, I miss him every day.  If he said he was going to do something, and the creek didn’t rise, he did it.  You could count on him and I did.  I never had any doubt in him.

Doubt was something that entered my life in college.  Was I good enough?  Was I smart enough?  Would I get a job?  Could I support myself?  He had always been my rock and my foundation making sure to bolster my self confidence and make me believe in myself.

As an adult, doubt enters your life many times – and suddenly your hero isn’t there for you any more.  Others that you depend on let you down, you fell abandoned.  You lose faith in all you were taught to believe in.

I’ve had the chance over the past ten years to face my doubts, and to re-establish my faith, both in people and in my own spirituality.  Don’t get me wrong, people will still let me down.  The difference is now I have the faith to move past those disappointments.  I have the faith that I am going to be alright!

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Part Three – – –

The third “attitude” change from the book:

“Lord, Change My Attitude Before It’s Too Late”  

by:  James MacDonald

Replace a critical attitude, with an attitude of love.

This is a tough one; we all can be critical of people, places and things when we’re having a really bad day.  It just comes out whether we mean it to or not.

Case in point, never have a witnessed such a “divide” in our country since the last Presidential election.   NO – I’m not going to talk politics here, but I use as an example a severe case of criticism from all sides.  Mudslinging – It’s everywhere, there’s no escaping it.

People are unfriending people because of it.  When does it stop?  Where does it end?

It stops and ends when we begin as a nation, to change our attitudes to ones of more love, kindness and tolerance.

I’ve witnessed this first hand the last month + after Hurricane Harvey devastated my hometown of Houston and many surrounding areas.  Though Harvey made landfall over Rockport, TX, what you saw on the national news was all related to Houston.

A miraculous thing happened.  Neighbor began helping neighbor.  Strangers began helping strangers.  Everyone put aside their “critical attitudes” and showed tremendous amounts of love and compassion.  Critical attitudes were forgotten, and an outpouring of love such as I’ve never/ever seen replaced it.

Will this replace all the hate?  Sadly no, but it’s a start.  Proud of my city and state for coming together and showing a nation how it can be done.  Let’s keep it up!

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Part Two – – –

Continuing on from the Book:

“Lord, Change My Attitude Before It’s Too Late”

OK – tell the truth, have you been thinking of the things you’re grateful/thankful for?  Hope so!

Here’s the second installment!

Replace a Covetous Attitude with an Attitude of Contentment!

Covet, kind of an old fashioned word.  Synonymous with envy?  I googled it and found this:

“Covetous, greedy, acquisitive, grasping, avaricious mean having or showing a strong desire for especially material possessions.  Covetous implies inordinate desire often for another’s possessions.”

Strong words – makes me picture a snarling and drooling wild hound.  You get the drift though.  It’s never being happy with what you have.  It’s a “have not’s” kind of jealousy of the “have’s”.  I admit that I sometimes used to covet the loving relationships that some of my friends have with their husbands or significant others.  Does that make me a bad person?  No, probably just makes me a “real” person.  It also doesn’t get me anywhere toward the goal of being a happy person.

Contentment with what you have is something I think you acquire the older and wiser you get.  You learn that “things” don’t make you happy.  You learn that “people” don’t have the responsibility to make you happy.  YOU make you happy.

Sure, who doesn’t want to get that new pair of shoes you saw in the magazine, but when you have plenty of shoes already – shouldn’t you be content?  Looking around the world today, I’m often reminded of just how content I should be with the freedoms of this country, the friends and family who care for me, the pantry and fridge that are full of nutrition for my body, the resources that allow me to pay my bills and have a roof over my head, the nature that is food for my soul.

It’s not quite as fun as High School graduation was, but I can say that I have graduated.  I can feel the contentment settle over me every day now.  I may not have chosen the status of divorced single woman of a “certain” age approaching the age medicare – but it gave me the opportunity to learn how to be a content woman – and that’s worth all the tea in China!

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