suddenlysinglewomen

Surviving the unwanted divorce

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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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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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 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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A “Five” Parter! Part One – – –

I’ve done alot of reading this summer.  At my age, I not only still need to keep my mind active, but it’s also a new tool I’m using to help me “power down” and relax before turning out the lights.  You see, I have a hard time falling asleep.  Have for a long time.  I figure that reading is better for me than Ambien.

Plus, I’m old-fashioned.  Even tho’ I own a Kindle and have about a dozen books downloaded to read, I’m clearing out my paperback stash!  (refer to the earlier “declutter” post!)

The book I’m almost finished with is:

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

by:  James MacDonald

Safe to say, we all know how our attitude can affect our daily lives and decisions.  It also affects how others perceive us AND treat us.  The author divides it into five parts.  I could see myself, and others, in all of those parts.  So for fun, and for the purpose of sharing, I thought I’d tell you about those five attitude changes you can make to be a happier and healthier person.  It’s never too late – right?

Part One:

Replace a Complaining Attitude with a Thankful Attitude!

I’ve written about this one before, from many different angles.  It is still something so important to think about – and so easy.

What does complaining really get you?  Does it get those things changed that drive you crazy?  Do you really think you’re going to change another person’s thoughts, actions, feelings by complaining?  Uhhhhh, really?  Yeah . . . no!

One of my biggest?

Drivers.   I’m a native Houstonian, I learned to drive in Houston (survival of the craziest!) and I can tell you that there are alot of really really (have I emphasized really?) bad drivers there.  I fuss at them out loud from the inside of my car.

I used to honk at them.  Now people carry guns so instead I just frown (I need BOTOX!) or glare.

They change lanes without looking.  They don’t use their blinkers.  They wait till the LAST minute to get over to the exit, even tho’ they knew five miles back that they needed to exit there.  They crawl along while talking on their cells.  They text.  They don’t follow directions.  They don’t use their mirrors.  They don’t follow signs saying “No Left Turn”.  They pull into the entrance of a store going 5 miles an hour . . . after not using their signal.

What is that getting me?  Nothing, just more anger.  It’s something I am really working on.  It sounds petty and silly but it’s my reality.  So now what to do?

When I feel a complaint coming on, what would happen if I started thinking of the things I’m thankful for?  In this book, it has a page you are to copy and list five things every day you are thankful for.  There have been FB challenges before to friends to list everyday, for a certain number of days, things you are grateful for.  This is the same concept.

So now every morning when I walk the dog, I think in my head – here are the five things I am grateful/thankful for today.  It could be as small as the sweet 11 year old German Shepherd rescue that I am so lucky “rescued” me, or as profound as receiving news that a son is having a baby and I am going to be a grandmother!

You and I – if we put our minds to it – have alot to be grateful/thankful for.  We just need to focus on those things more than the complaints.  So logical, but so glad that I was reminded of this.  Much easier to be a complainer, but much healthier to be full of thankfulness.

Are you up to the challenge???

 

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Chicken Soup – Third Share

This will be the last share, there are so many, but I also have so many others things to offer here that I’m going to move on after this one.

Chapter 100, pages 338-340 by Tena Beth Thompson:

“When I was newly divorced, I found life scary and intimidating.  At first, I felt I was being punished, but in reality I was given the opportunity to find myself and create a new life.  I had no idea where it would take me, but I was ready to take the leap.  Although I was frightened to travel in a new direction, it was also exciting to ponder my options.  I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but I knew what I didn’t want:  the old me.  I was not the same person I had misplaced all those years ago.  Prior to this time, my epitaph could have read, “She died without ever having lived.”  Thankfully, that would no longer be the case. I was now strong and embraced the courage I never knew I had.”

This can be your view no matter what has occurred to alter your “life as you knew it”.

I went from being a daughter, to a wife, to a mother.  I was never just me.  There were times I was made to feel like being “me” wasn’t good enough, or a part of “the plan” – even though I had very little input into that same plan.

Now I make the plan.  Now I can be “me”.  I have been given the gift of a new beginning and as it said on the cover of this book – I will “thrive”.  It’s not without it’s challenges, and scary times, but I’m going to be happier and stronger than ever before!

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Family . . . ‘Nuff Said

I grew up in a fairly small family, all things considered.  Mother, Father, brother and me.  My parents were older when they married (thanks to WWII and Korea), so I really only ever had one grandparent that I remember well.  My brother never married and we’re not that close.

My father’s sister never married, so not alot of aunts, uncles, cousins to speak of on the paternal side.  My mother’s siblings did marry and have kids but we never really saw them.  My ex had siblings that married, had kids, and now those kids are having kids.  As with most ex situations, for the most part post divorce, they moved on.  There are a few exceptions, but not many.

Suffice to say when I refer to my “family”, it’s mostly my mother, my sons and their wives, and three grandchildren.   At 98, my mother doesn’t travel any more, sadly we’re not in the same town.  My sons lives are full of their wives, jobs and children now.  It’s a weird ‘in the middle” place that I find myself.

The life plan had been to be happily approaching retirement at this age, and exploring the world again as it started when first married – “on our own”.  That plan left me ten years ago.  So being “in the middle” alone is kinda weird . . . and at times lonely.

To toss around some grammar here, I no longer seem to have either affect or effect on their decisions or their daily lives.  That is their choice.  I am no longer necessarily “necessary”.  Ours is not a “Matriarchal” family set up.  I am on the outside looking in through their bubble.  They are happy in their bubble, so when I saw this post above, it put into words what I was feeling.

I have to love them “exactly as they are now”.  To wish otherwise gains nothing.  I pray nightly for my family generation ahead of me, and behind me.   We all bring value to this world.

 

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Surround Yourself With The Best!

Probably you’re thinking that I mean products, things, or places – but I don’t.  Today I share from “The Rhythm of Life” and Matthew Kelly:

“The people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards.  They either help us to become the-best-version-of-ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves.  We become like our friends.”

I’ve been very introspective on friendships lately.  Could be because I’m getting older?  Could be because those I thought were friends I could depend on, disappointed me?  Could be because my circle of friends has become smaller yet tighter?

Maybe I’m making smarter, healthier choices because I really do want to become the-best-version-of-myself!

Wha’dya think?

 

 

 

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Same Song – Second Verse!

I’ve shared these thoughts before, and if you’re like me, after reading them you realize there are some people in your life, past or current, who fit the description.  We all have them.

The good news is, if you’re aware of it, you can change it – or at the very least, not let it alter your life in a negative way.  I’ve become very aware of how some personality types can try to manipulate you – my strength in resisting this has grown.  I feel sorry for them.

The better news is learning there are wonderful people in your life who do not feel that need to manipulate you, control you or drag you down.

The best news is going forward through what time on this earth I have remaining, and choosing to surround myself with happy, healthy and wholesome people who lift me up!  Today you too can choose to be one of those happy, healthy and wholesome people . . . and lift someone up.

We can make 2017 freakin’ awesome!  Who’s with me?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/9-signs-youre-dealing-with-an-emotional-manipulator_us_58a732fae4b026a89a7a2a2b?ncid=engmodushpmg00000006

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Cranky? Who . . . Me??

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My parents were a bit older when they married.  I believe WWII and Korea did that to many couples.  They rushed to get married, or put it off.  Mine met between the two, but Korea definitely pushed it up when my Dad’s regiment got called up.

The reason I mention having “older parents” is that while growing up, I was always around “older people”.  I can remember especially how cranky most of the “older women” seemed.  I wondered why, were they just mean?  Were they disappointed in life?  Were all their friends and family mean to them?

I promised myself I would never be cranky when I became one of those older women.  Now mind you, at that young age, most of these “older women” were probably in the late 40’s, early 50’s.  I’ve blown way past that age and I don’t feel “old”.  But sometimes I do feel cranky.

I don’t consider myself mean, I’ve had some challenges in life but I’m not disappointed in life, and most of my friends and family are not mean.  So why am I cranky?

When I saw the quote above, I had to laugh because it does describe me at my crankiest.   I’ve lost patience as I’ve aged.  When, in my opinion, things are not being done the way I would do them, I get irritated.  I have to stop and remind myself that often there are many ways to do the same thing, and my way may not be the only way or the right way or the fastest way . . . it’s just “my” way.

I shall try to be less controlling, as mentioned above.  I shall try to be less cranky as admitted to.  But if you happen to ask for my opinion . . . well . . .

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