suddenlysinglewomen

Becoming the best version of yourself

A Great Share – – – Because Who Of Any Of Us Is Perfect?

Written by Vicki Archer and shared with me from the always amazing Carol S.

 

Who is perfect? What is perfect? Where is perfect?

Nothing is ever perfect and yet we strain ourselves constantly in this fruitless quest. I was guilty of this. Always striving to create the perfect everything and it is exhausting. Perfectionism is a bit of a fool’s game and those who play set themselves up for disaster. A lack of confidence, a feeling of discontent and perennial dissatisfaction are only some of the downsides.

Our best selves do not need to be perfect.

That doesn’t mean to say, near enough is good enough; doing our very best is everything. It doesn’t need to break us or depress us; trying to be the best version of us should be uplifting and create happiness. Once the unattainable idea of “perfect” interferes, trouble starts.

Some are perfectionists and some aren’t.

I have always believed it is a bit of a curse. Yes, it can lead to massive creativity and great levels of achievement but that standard of self-expectation is tough. Nothing ever eventuates as you imagined and a job is never done.

It’s a hard habit to break.

My Better Not Younger philosophy has helped me think this through.

Aging in the most fortunate case is not something we escape and it does have challenges; it is foolish to pretend otherwise. I want to turn the challenges into positives, into advantages. Focusing on what I can do in a real sense is very important while at the same time maintaining an active and healthy appetite for those challenges.

Trying to be perfect is not going to cut it anymore. It is a thankless pursuit. I do not want to encourage laziness or lack of adventure and spirit – far from it – but I do want to take the stress out. Perfectionism can foster a fear of failure and that’s the last thing we want.

 

How do we dial down the perfect and continue to be productive?

Relax.

Take the stress out and enjoy the process. If we are relaxed so will everything else.

 

Understand value.

Sometimes the value is disproportionate to the amount of time we spend on it. It is important to think clearly and be aware of what “value” is. Will a dinner party be a disaster if you seek help or fuss less? Most likely not. The joy is in the inviting and spending time with friends.

 

Remove unrealistic expectations.

Don’t we all have these? We push ourselves too hard.

 

Don’t overthink.

Overthinking, wanting to get it “just right” is a direct path to inaction. Making decisions, even when they don’t feel “perfect” can be liberating and set about a course of action that’s truly life-changing. Waiting in the wings, being an understudy is not where we want to stay. We have one chance, let’s take it.

 

Who wants to be perfect? Not me anymore. xv

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Where Has The Summer Gone?

OK – admittedly in the southwest where I’m from, summer is still in full fiery rage.  Heat advisories popping up in my inbox and on my phone.  It’s an inferno out there.  It’s why I run away and hide in cooler climes for a little “Rocky Mountain High”.  Tho’ whether John Denver meant a different kind of high, I’m all about the higher altitude for cooler weather.

Hummingbirds, summer flowers, afternoon showers, a flowing river still high from snow melt, windows open at night – yup, my summer is all about my “alternative universe”.  My family just left from a week long visit – lots of activities, especially to keep the “youngers” busy, because we all know a bored “younger” can get into all kinds of trouble.  (Of course, so can an adventurous elder with my newly favorited summer drink – F’rose, pronounced “fro-zay”)  But I digress . . .

This summer has been an interesting one, few things have gone my way, but I still find myself to be one incredibly lucky individual.   When my dogs escaped through a broken invisible fence, two good samaritans stopped to help retrieve.  When my car died in the garage, more good samaritans changed my battery and got me “drivable”.  When I needed help of the “IT” variety, a friend jumped in and got me hooked up again.

Every where I look, I’ve had help from friends and strangers.  I proclaimed in January that this was going to be “my year”!  Not really knowing what exactly that would bring along, I just knew it was my turn.  Even though I’ve had great acts of kindness shown to me, at the end of the day – it’s up to me to decide if I’m going to let Murphy’s Law tank me?  Or shall I make the most/best of what life dishes out and keep looking forward?

It’s now been almost 12 years since my divorce and it’s incredible the way I have flourished and grown, much more so than I ever thought I would.  I’ve survived two bad accidents and a frivolous lawsuit.  I’ve published a book and become a #1 Best Seller on Amazon.  I’ve had two sons get married, become a grandmother four times and broadened my friend base since my life took that 180 degree turn around back in 2006/2007.

So I guess instead of asking “where has the summer gone?” I should really be wondering where has the last 12 years gone?  Just keep being happy friends!

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A Daily Reminder!

So many different versions of this, but the message is always the same.

With all we are bombarded with in the media these days, it’s hard to believe there is truly anyone out there that has “it”.  That’s Integrity with a capital “I”.

What do YOU do when no one is watching?  I’d like to think that it comes second nature to us all  I’d also like to think that I will always do the right thing, no matter whether I have an audience or not.

I think I do, I certainly try hard to.  But maybe I’ll use this reminder today just to make sure.

Integrity is the key for good societal behavior, especially when no one is watching you.  Will you display it today?

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The Older I Get, The More I Come To Realize – – –

Do you sometimes wonder if you’ve ever really had anyone like that in your life??  Someone that loves you no matter what??  If you have, then you’re lucky.

Too many people and situations put “conditions” on a relationship.    If this, then that – maybe.  I’ll be with you if . . .    I’ll love you if . . .  Conditions.

Look for those real people today, and every day.  There might not be many, but cherish the ones that you do have.  Be grateful for those few who want to make you smile, and to see you happy.

And just maybe, you will be that person to make someone else smile?

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For Today, And Every Day . . .

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Now, it’s your turn…

Now, it’s your turn…

“… I sincerely hope this has inspired you to LIVE your life TODAY…

Don’t ignore death (or any form of pain), but don’t be afraid of it either.  Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action on what matters most.  Truth be told, death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive and breathing.

Be bold.  Be courageous.  Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.

Do the hard things you know you need to for yourself!

Every.  Single.  Day.”

 

As I wrap up this 10 part series of shared posts, I’m reminded of a great line in the movie “Flashdance” (yes I’m dating myself).  The heroine is contemplating giving up her dream of learning “classical Ballet/dance”.  Her romantic interest tells her, “You give up your dreams?  You die.”

Doesn’t a little part of us die inside every time we give up on our dreams?  On ourselves?

Remember.  This is OUR year!  Live life LARGE.

Every.  Single.  Day!

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10.  Don’t be afraid of other people’s empty judgments.

10.  Don’t be afraid of other people’s empty judgments.

“The greatest and most gratifying experiences in life cannot be seen or touched.  They must be felt with the heart from the inside out.  There’s nothing more inspiring than the complexity and beauty of human, heartfelt feelings.  Sadly though, many people let the fear of judgment numb and silence them.  Their deepest thoughts and feelings often go unspoken, and thus barely understood.

Do NOT let people invalidate or minimize how you feel.  If you feel something, you feel it and it’s real to you.  Nothing anyone says has the power to invalidate that, ever.  No one else occupies your body, or sees life through your eyes.  No one else has lived through your exact experiences.  And so, no one else has the right to dictate or judge how you feel.  Your feelings are important.  Never let anyone or any circumstance lead you to believe otherwise.

Remind yourself that there is a great freedom in leaving others to their opinions, and there is a huge weight lifted when you take nothing personally.”

 

This is a great last part of this series of posts I’ve been sharing.  It is so validating to me to read this and I’ll tell you why.

When I published my book on divorce recovery and “survival” as a newly single woman, one of the first points I tried to get across to my readers was “your feelings are YOUR feelings”.  Don’t ever let people judge you or tell you HOW to feel, and WHEN to feel and WHAT to feel.

People are always going to try to tell you what to do, when to do it, how to do it, how THEY would do it, and so on.

Friends and family (one hopes) want what’s best for you – that’s great.  However, you have to walk the path of your life yourself, in the way that you feel is best for you.  You’re going to make some people mad; you’re going to receive  some criticism both behind your back and to your face.  You may have to live with knowing you’ve disappointed those who are closest to you . . .

Let it roll off like water on a duck’s back.

If we’re trying to be the best version of ourselves this year, then we need to listen to our hearts.

Can you hear it?

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9.  Don’t be afraid to live out some of your dreams.

9.  Don’t be afraid to live out some of your dreams.

“There are thousands of people who live their entire lives on the default settings, never realizing they can customize everything.  Don’t settle for the default settings in life.  Don’t hide behind laziness.  Find your loves, talents and passions, and embrace them fully.

Seriously, too many people dream only at night in the quiet of their own minds, and then awake to find it was all an illusion.  Don’t be one of them.  Dream by day, too.  Be one of the people who dream with their eyes wide open, and who works to make some of them come true.

And forget popularity too.  Just do your thing with passion, humility, and honesty.  Do what you do, not for an applause, but because it’s what’s right.  Pursue it a little bit each day, no matter what anyone else thinks.  That’s how dreams are achieved.”  

(Read Tuesdays with Morrie.)

 

Sounds so simple doesn’t it?  I’ve now entered what I lovingly refer to as the last 1/3 of my life.  OK, so my Mom just turned 100 on Christmas Eve, so maybe I’ve got a bit more time, but seriously?

What am I waiting for?  If it’s not something that is holding you back (like finances) but something that you can dream about, then accomplish – what are you waiting for?

I’ve mentioned before, the last year of college, I set myself some life goals.  Of the five, I didn’t finish the fifth and final one till last year.  I graduated college in 1975, you can do the math.

So now I’m setting myself new goals.  They’re also larger goals.  I may not make them all, but I surely won’t if I don’t dream about them then plan for them.

What are your dreams?  What are you goals?

Are you with me?

 

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8.  Don’t be afraid to learn something new.

8.  Don’t be afraid to learn something new.

“As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.”  Life is a book and those who do not educate themselves read only a few pages.

When you know better, you live better.  Period.

And remember that all education is self-education.  It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in a college classroom or a coffee shop.  We don’t learn anything we don’t want to learn.  Those of us who take the time and initiative to pursue knowledge on their own time are the only ones who earn a real education in this world.  Take a look at any widely acclaimed scholar, entrepreneur or historical figure you can think of.  Formal education or not, you’ll find that he or she is a product of continuous self-education.”

 

Whether you’re reading a new book on a subject you’re interested in, taking a continuing education class in a school or university, learning a new craft or skill, beginning a new job, or learning a new method in an old job – it’s learning.

Challenge your mind, challenge yourself.  Keep that brain working.  As easy as a crossword puzzle, or playing Words With Friends on your phone, your brain should never be at rest.  Like the Nike ads:  Just do it!

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7.  Don’t be afraid to make more time for the right relationships.

7.  Don’t be afraid to make more time for the right relationships.

“Not everyone will appreciate what you do for them.  You have to figure out who’s worth your attention and who’s just taking advantage of you.  If your time and energy is misspent on the wrong relationships, or on too many activities that force you to neglect your good relationships, you can end up in a tedious cycle of fleeting friendships, superficial romances that are as thrilling as they are meaningless, and a general sense of wondering why you always seem to be chasing affection.

Choose yourself rather than settle for those who treat you as ordinary.  YOU certainly aren’t.  Never settle for being someone’s option when you have the potential to be someone’s priority.  You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with.  If you hang with the wrong people too often, they will bring you down.  But if you hang with the right people, they will help you grow into your best self.  These people will love all the things about you that others are intimidated by.”

 

Flashback – it’s like my Mother is sitting here as I write this and I’m typing quickly to get all her words in.

Doesn’t this sound like a lecture/piece of advice we all received in Middle School (OK, it was called Junior High when I was there!) from our parents??

If we’d listened, would we be happier today?  Well, it’s never too late because re-reading that which I’ve shared above is something you cannot do too few times.

I’ve joked that in the past years, I’ve whittled down my Christmas card list to the real people, the true friends.  But that’s just a simple way of saying I know who the best people in my life are now.  And this means either gender in my life, friends and/or family.

Do not accept bad treatment from anyone, do not sink to their level and allow them to bring you down.

You’re worth so much more.

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