suddenlysinglewomen

Becoming the best version of yourself

When You’re “Inconvenient”

I’ve enjoyed this share by my cute red-headed dynamo gal pal because many times I’ve thought these things “out loud” to others to see if they agree?

One of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with being a “single woman” of a certain age, is how many of my “couple friends” tend to “move on” once you become inconvenient.  I choose to hope they don’t do it on purpose, but you make every group an “odd” number when you’re single.  Tables are set in even numbers of chairs:  2, 4, 6, 8, 10!

So if you’re one of my married followers, remember your single gal pals out there.  They’d LOVE to join you for a movie or HH some evening!!

https://www.purewow.com/wellness/what-is-singlism?utm_medium=email&utm_source=national&utm_campaign=31356&utm_content=Health_and_Heart_editorial

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Strength – Find It In Yourself!

As always, I’m grateful to those strong women in MY life who see articles and send to me for the possibility of sharing with you all!!

Eleven years ago when I “emerged” from my divorce, I felt weak and battered emotionally.  I never thought I’d be strong then or now.  I was wrong.  My “inner” strong rose to the surface.

I hope you’ve found yours no matter whether you’re single or in a relationship.  Never EVER lose yourself.

Thanks Char!!

https://www.buggzodiac.com/strong-women-would-n/

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Being One of Those “Happy” People!

Thanks as always to my readers (and friends) for sharing with me great “thoughts” and reads for my blog.   This is one from sweet Carol!!  (You know who you are!!)  One of the “smiling’est” people I know, clearly she practices what she shares.  : -)

7 Habits You’ll Notice the Happiest People Practicing

(but Most of Us Rarely Do)

How many of us can say we live this way?

by

So much has been written about the burgeoning happiness movement. While combing through my own research and notes on what happy and successful people do, it struck me how intentional they are about choosing the right mindset to become happier and more optimistic.

While countless books have been written on happiness, I’m narrowing this article down to a workingtemplate for living life to the fullest.

Here are seven sure signs of the happiest people.

1. They choose to have healthy relationships.

I’ve learned to be picky over the years about whom I let into my inner circle of friends. Why? Because I believe close relationships are the key to sustaining happiness.

One profound longitudinal study proves this. For 80 years, researchers followed 268 men who entered Harvard in the late 1930s through war, career, marriage and divorce, parenthood and grandparenthood, and old age.

Robert Waldinger, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the current director of the study, told the Harvard Gazette: “The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health. Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.”

For participants, half of whom are still alive as of this writing, the only thing that really mattered was their relationships to other people.

2. Have a mindset of giving.

The late Jim Rohn said, “Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.”​

In the book The Go-Giver, the main character, Joe, learns that changing his focus from getting to giving–putting others’ interests first and consistently adding value to their lives–ultimately leads to unexpected returns.

Now science confirms that giving makes us feel happy, is good for our health, and evokes gratitude. One Harvard Business School report even concluded that the emotional rewards are the greatestwhen our generosity is connected to others, like contributing to a cancer-stricken friend’s GoFundMe Campaign.

And before you restrict your giving to financial generosity to something or someone, consider the positive impact of giving of your time, mentoring others, supporting a cause, fighting injustice, and having a pay-it-forward mentality.

3. Make all your decisions in integrity.

Living, working, and leading in integrity means that we don’t question ourselves. When we listen to our hearts and do the right thing, life becomes simple, and we live in peace. Our actions are now open for everyone to see, and we don’t have to worry about hiding anything.

Billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, does not mince words when it comes to the importance of integrity. In choosing the people you hire, he said:

Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.

4. Practice mindfulness.

Positive and happy people make the daily choice of surrendering their thoughts and feelings to the moment.

By being mindful and focusing your awareness in the here and now, by calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings and thoughts, you attain great peace and free yourself from worry.

The great thing about mindfulness is that it blocks distractions that try to derail you from your dreams and goals.

5. Have good emotional boundaries.

Negativity is rampant. We can’t scroll Facebook updates before being hammered by someone’s political rant or hatred.

Happy people remain in the positive because they control what they let in — whether on social media or in people interactions.

So take the stand of a happy person: Protect yourself by limiting exposure to negative things and negative people; seek out friendships with people who will lift you up; and read stories about the good things happening around the world.

6. Exercise patience.

Patience is a virtue I wish more people practiced. It helps you relax and rethink your decisions.

In one 2012 study, researchers found that patient people made more progress toward their goals and were more satisfied when they achieved them (particularly if those goals were difficult) compared with less patient people.

Other research also found that patient people tend to experience less depression and negative emotions and can cope better with stressful situations. Additionally, they feel more gratitude, more connection to others, and experience a greater sense of abundance.

Finally, patience helps you see the innocence in other people during those really frustrating moments when you’d like fist to meet wall.

7. Upgrade your happiness to joy.

While we’re highlighting the habits of happy people here, you may be surprised to find that there’s a big difference between happiness and joy. Joy is more serene, stable, and deeper, whereas happiness can be fleeting, emotional, and temporary (like watching a movie you’ve been dying to see).

Being in a state of joy comes down to choice, and making that choice has long-term psychological benefits. Brain research by Wataru Sato of Kyoto University says that when you choose joyful behaviors (like gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, or kindness), you hold the key to rewiring a region of the brain called the precuneus.

By rewiring your brain with new habits that lead to joy, you’ll be able to control your sense of well-being and purpose. So if you’re caught in a vicious circle of nasty emotions like doubt, fear, and uncertainty, your best course of action is to replace those emotions by consciously and intentionally choosing joyful behaviors.

Use the tools of meditation, prayer, journaling, and mindfulness to aid you in the process. Check in with close friends and family after a few weeks and ask if they have noticed a difference in you. You’ll be surprised by what they’ll tell you.

Originally published at www.inc.com.

— Published on August 13, 2018

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Here’s To Being $$ Smart!

When I was married, I got 0% input on our financial decisions.  When I got divorced I was terrified I’d be able (read “smart enough”) to take care of decisions involving money and investments.

I found some amazing financial advisors, and this is one of their articles that they share with their clients.  Read and think about your situation – are you savvy with your financial future?

“When it comes to personal finance, women tend to downplay their abilities—and often delegate control. Yet even if they’re not ready, they’re likely to be primary financial decision makers at some point in their lives. Here’s a guide to getting more engaged.”

https://www.alliancebernstein.com/sites/library/women-building-wealth-five-things-you-need-to-know.htm?mid=bmi&seg=66

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Just Because – – –

Sometimes you need a little humor!!  Bye Bye Summer, getting ready for Fall!!

 

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Unfulfilled Promises?

I’ve been holding onto a program, passed out at church a while back, because of a part of the sermon that touched a chord.  I had to grab a pen and write down what was said because I knew I’d want to circle back around to it someday – and maybe even share it?

Whether you are particularly religious, or spiritual, or not – and I never mean to “preach” here – I thought this was worth a few thoughts.

The sermon was entitled “Commitment and Compassion” and I won’t get into the message per se or the scripture, but the following statement stuck with me.

“A divine delay is not the same as a cancelled promise.”

We’ve all had promises made to us, and subsequently broken.  Disappointing to say the least.  One of the biggest being broken promises made when two people exchange vows at their wedding.

Perhaps promises should not be made so easily, unless you’re sure you can deliver?

Anyway, in relation to this sermon, the message to drive home was that maybe the promises are not broken, or cancelled – maybe they’re just delayed a bit.  If the promise of “happily ever after” isn’t delivered by your spouse, does that necessarily mean you can’t be happy?

If I’m waiting for another person to gift me my “happily ever after”, boy am I gonna be in for a huge let down.  I think I’ll be working on my “happily ever after” myself, and if getting there is delayed a bit – so be it.

I promise not to let myself down.  : -)

 

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When The Travel Bug Hits – – –

– – – but you’re all by yourself?   Be brave!!  Earlier in the summer I accomplished my “50 state goal” of having traveled to all 50 states.  I know, it took me a while, but hey – it still feels great.

Next goal??  Well, guess it involves crossing large bodies of water!!  So when I saw this article from Travel and Leisure, I knew I had to read it, save it and most importantly “share it”!!  Who’s with me??

Enjoy and Dream!  : -)

https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/solo-travel/best-european-cities-solo-travelers?utm_source=travelandleisure.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=social-button-sharing

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Random Thoughts On A Day Of Travel – – –

It was my first birthday “divorced”, and I decided to take a trip so being “alone” wouldn’t feel so “alone” at home.  It was 2008, June, and hot in Texas so clearly I was headed north.

I’d seen advertisements for The Grand Hotel, on Mackinac Island, Michigan.  June was their Lilac Festival – It had been in a movie, it looked beautiful and perfect.  I made a reservation for a week.  After all, traveling eats up a whole day on the front end and the back end.

What brings me down this walk on memory lane you say?

When cleaning out the other day I came across a small (really small) journal of sorts that I’d only written in two pages.  One page had a list of yarn colors for a needlepoint pillow I had done, guessing that my reasoning was if I ever wanted to do a companion piece, I’d know which colors of wool yarn I’d used.  Pretty sure they don’t even make that yarn anymore, LOL!

The other page was full of short, random thoughts and questions that I’d obviously written on the first couple of days of that trip to Mackinac Island back in 2008.  Clearly journaling didn’t last long for me.  But reading through these thoughts, and wondering what on earth I must’ve been thinking was entertaining at this point of my life’s journey.

I’m a people person, I had hated being alone.  I tried to find someone to go on this adventure with me.  There was no one interested in going on the trip with me whether due to the time of the year, the cost, the distance . . . or maybe just me?

Some thoughts are clear, some I’m struggling to remember what I must’ve meant, but thought it would be interesting to share them with you.  My closest friends know I can be really random at times, this certainly helps their case.

Here goes:

“4:30 alarm

Detroit delay, canceled, lost luggage by Delta, everyone on the plane calling someone about their cancelation, no one for me to call (unhappy face drawn here)

Chamber of Commerce?  where do I stay, call Grand operator for help, Steven at the Grand, it’s an island, no more ferries even if I can get to Mackinac City

Darth Vader, slut, wind chill, bugs, driving rain and wind

Ladies from Alabama on a girls trip – I’m alone

Clothing memo – I’m in bright orange

Island?  What island, only clouds and fog

Have I mentioned it’s cold?

The dress code, everyone is a “couple”

Barbara from yesterday, from Alabama, just said hello, that’s nice – are things looking up?

Smile, the bridge, can see it now

Really rough waters, is this a lake?

Note to self, travel with a granola bar . . . and change, and diet coke – this is a Pepsi state (another unhappy face!)

Lone sailboat – just like me, on rough waters of life

I see the island.  I see the Grand – rises above all

Bathing suits – HA!

Ferry, cases of drinks, plants for landscape – an island after all

Carriages – not like my pampered pony!”

And then the writing ends.  I did make it to the island, and I did eventually fill up my days with activities and had no time to write any more random thoughts.  As I look back, I’m proud of being brave, of going it alone, and discovering that even though I prefer to have a pal – I don’t have to have one.

I sense from those notes the pain I was feeling at the time, but I don’t regret it because you have to go through the darkness to find the dawn, to find the light once again.

Here it is 10 years later, and I’m still taking trips alone because I’m no longer going to “wait”!  Because what it tomorrow does’t come?

 

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“Loving My Actual Life” – – –

A promise?  Or a book?

Both!

It started with reading that book:  “Loving My Actual Life” written and lived by Alexandra Kuykendall.  She called it an experiment in “relishing what’s right in front of me.”

I call it a challenge, the gauntlet has been thrown down and can I do it?

I think so.  I’ve been heading that direction for quite some time now.  Baby steps.  Or how’s about this one?  Rome was not built in a day!

The hardest part is beginning, trying to be more positive when everything around you is screaming “pity party”!!

When I got divorced at age 54, I had been well on my way to knowing exactly where I was headed in life.  Then the wall of divorce was built around me and tried as I might, I couldn’t seem to find the ladders to get over that wall.  I started chipping away at the bricks and mortar of that wall and piece by piece found that my “post divorce” actual life was something that I could love.

Easy?  No!  Possible?  Abso-freakin’lutely!

It starts with beginning to pay very close attention to what you really love to do, what brings you joy?  Do you have a goal, a dream, a passion?  I do, I have many.  Once I started to focus on my needs, vs everyone else’s the possibilities were endless.  Not easy, and there are roadblocks, but do-able.

Author of the book, Ms. Kuykendall says:

I know this idea of paying attention to what I love to do can feel like a luxury, but if I don’t pay attention to it I can quickly move from gratitude for this life to resentment of others’ needs.

There is something wired in each of us that wants to live on purpose for a purpose.  Some of our great cultural icons have spoken on passion.  From Nelson Mandela, who said, “there is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living,” to Steve Jobs:  “You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right.  If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.”  It’s about something bigger than here and now.  It’s about possibilities.  And it’s about what we are each driven to work toward.”

What are your dreams and passions?  What are your opportunities?  Baby steps . . .

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Opportunities!

Advice columnist Ann Landers said:  “Opportunities are often disguised as hard work.  Most people fail to recognize them.”

Suffice to say not all people are on board with “hard work”.  There are those that expect things to be handed over to them without so much as lifting a finger to deserve it.  Irritating? Yup!  Universal?  Double Yup!

Author James MacDonald said:  “Those who study human experience agree almost universally that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you choose to respond.”

It gives me pause, and it should, because how I choose to respond to something could change my life and those around me for a very long time.  We’re not always dealt the hand that we want to play with – but unlike golf, there aren’t many “mulligans” in that life.

Your decisions and your attitudes play a huge part in taking advantage of opportunities.  And yes, it does indeed require hard work.  I leave you with a quote from another author, Charles Swindoll, on the power of being positive with your possibilities!

“Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitude . . . I believe the single most important decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my attitude choice.  It’s more important than my past.  It’s more important than my education or my bankroll or my success or my failures.  My attitude choice is more important than my fame or my pain or what others think or say about me or my position or my circumstances.  Attitudes keep me going or cripple my progress.  Attitude alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope.  When my attitude is right, there is no barrier too high nor valley too deep nor dream too extreme nor challenge too great for me.”

What are your opportunities today?

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