suddenlysinglewomen

Becoming the best version of yourself

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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Some Days You Hear Sad Songs . . .

That moment when you realize that a 20+ year tradition, of one of your most favorite activities, has gone and left you behind?

That moment when all those fun memories haunt you because you have to come to realize, you’ll never have the opportunity to add to them?

That moment when you begin to come to grips with parts of your “old life” passing you by and there’s nothing you can do about it?  And people don’t really understand why it bothers you?

That moment when you try so hard not to let your heart hurt for another one of life’s disappointments?

There are going to be days like this.  You are going to have times where all you hear are the sad songs.  It’s OK.

But I promise that tomorrow you’ll feel better, I know I will.

I don’t normally “interrupt” when I’m sharing a “series” with you all, but I knew you’d understand my need to connect today, on a sad day.  Because just like that old fashioned bobber on the end of a cane pole fishing line, the weight of sadness will not keep me under water.  I’m a bobber, and I will pop right back up to that surface – because life’s sad days happen, but will never define me.

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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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6.  Don’t be afraid to give yourself enough mental and emotional space.

6.  Don’t be afraid to give yourself enough mental and emotional space.

“If you think and you think and you think, you will think yourself right out of happiness a thousand times over, and never once into it.  Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace and potential.  Stop over-thinking everything.  Life is just too short.

Your biggest limitations are the ones you make up in your mind.  The biggest causes of your unhappiness are the false beliefs you refuse to let go of.  You are capable of far more than you are often thinking, imagining, doing or being.  But in time you will gradually become what you habitually contemplate, so clear your mind and let your hopes, not your fears, shape your future.  How?  Meditate.  Run.  Breathe.  Write in your journal.  Find the space…. to set your mind free.”

 

You’re welcome.  I jus saved you thousands of dollars in therapists charges.  : -)   Mic Drop!

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5.  Don’t be afraid to say “no” to unnecessary obligations.

5.  Don’t be afraid to say “no” to unnecessary obligations.

“In a world with so much noise and clutter, you must make room for what matters.  That means pruning nonessential commitments and eliminating as many distractions as you possibly can.  No wasted time, no fluff, no regrets.

The mark of a successful and peaceful person is the ability to set aside the “somewhat important” things in order to accomplish the vital ones first.  When you’re crystal clear about your priorities, you can painlessly arrange them in the right order and discard the activities and commitments that do not support the ones at the top of your list.”

 

Hallelujah!  Priorities, right?  I think this one might also come along with age, and I mean that in a positive way.

When we’re younger, say . . . post college, and into that career rise and family growth mode, we take on the world.  We figure out a way to handle it, hopefully, with some balance if we’re lucky.  What we wear, who we associate with, how our children perform in school, how our passion to save the world (or at least make it a better place) ignites us with a call to action.

As we get older, and more accepting of our limitations, we can come to peace (grips) with our inability (or desire) to be all things to all people.  We understand that it’s OK to focus on our own needs.

Ditch the noise and the clutter, make room for what matters – taking care of #1 as my Dad used to say.

Because no one else will.

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4.  Don’t be afraid to craft a daily routine that’s right for YOU.

4.  Don’t be afraid to craft a daily routine that’s right for YOU.

“If your life is going to mean anything, you have to live it yourself.  You have to choose the path that feels right to YOU, not the one that simply looks right to everyone else.  It’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb, than the top of the one you don’t.  So don’t wait until you’re halfway up the wrong ladder to listen to your intuition.  Every morning, ask yourself what is truly important, and then find the courage, wisdom and willpower to build your day around your answer.

In the end, it’s not what you say, but how you spend your time that counts.  If you want to do something, you’ll find a way… if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the Rituals chapter of our New York Times bestseller, Getting Back to Happy: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality, and Turn Your Trials into Triumphs.)

 

Routine is really good for me.  My Father was a United States Army Colonel, he was a structured man.  Our home was structured, but it was comforting.  Later in life when I decided to become a Special Education teacher, I was reminded how valuable structure is to those who are physically and intellectually challenged.  You had to keep chaos away from their daily routine.

Choosing a daily path that is right for you is so important in attaining and keeping happiness in your life.

Pay attention to that last sentence above.  “If you want to do something, you’ll find a way . . . if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

No excuses!!  Go find your path, live your life, and watch how all around you fall into place.

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3.  Don’t be afraid to live your truth.

3.  Don’t be afraid to live your truth.

“Tell yourself, “I am ENOUGH” anytime you begin to feel otherwise.  Accept your flaws.  Admit your mistakes.  Don’t hide and don’t lie.

Deal with the truth—your truth—every step of the way.  Learn the lessons, endure the consequences of reality, and move forward.  Your truth won’t penalize you.  Your mistakes won’t hurt you.  Only your denial and cover-up will.  Flawed and vulnerable people are powerful and strong.  Liars and phonies are not.  Every beautiful human being is made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions and finished with trials and errors.

So keep reminding yourself that you are YOU for a reason, and that the journey is worth it.  Ignore the distractions.  Listen to your own inner voice.  Mind your own business.  Keep your best wishes and your biggest desires close to your heart, and dedicate time to them every day.  Don’t be scared to walk alone sometimes, and don’t be scared to enjoy it.  And don’t let anyone’s ignorance, drama or negativity derail you.”

 

This is really good for me.  For years I let other’s negativity and their need for drama trauma get in the way of being true to myself.  There was nothing wrong with me; I was a valuable person with a big heart and a willingness to always help others.

These days I appreciate and value those qualities in myself.  Sure I have many flaws and have made many silly mistakes.  I’m OK with that, I’m human!

But the important thing I’ve learned?

I AM GOOD ENOUGH!!  Say that to yourself, mean it, embrace it, live it and be thankful everyday for being you!

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2.  Don’t be afraid to trust yourself.

2.  Don’t be afraid to trust yourself.

“You may not be where you want to be yet, but you’ve also come a long way from where you once were.  Appreciate how far you’ve come.  You’ve been through a lot, but you’ve grown a lot too.  Give yourself credit for your strength and resilience.  You have good reason to believe that you can trust yourself going forward, not because you’ve always made the right choices, but because you’ve survived and grown from the bad ones.

Good things take time, and you’re getting there.  So don’t allow yourself to be crippled by stress and self-loathing.  Everything is only as it is.  There’s no reason to let it cripple you.  Remind yourself to breathe—to let every moment be what it’s going to be.  What’s meant to be will come your way, and what’s not will fall away.  And remember that life’s best gifts may not always be wrapped the way you expect.”

 

Boy is this a good one for me.  For years I didn’t trust myself, not that you could tell that from the outside looking in.  My friends would have told you that I showed confidence, inside I was the total opposite.  When you live with a narcissist, and that person makes sure you know how much you “disappoint”, you start to believe.

When that person is no longer in your life, you begin to learn to trust yourself.  You begin to realize that all along, you were just fine.  People may not always agree with my decisions, but I trust myself to make the best ones FOR ME!

I am a work in progress, aren’t we all?  I spend more time now with the “go with the flow” instead of the “swimming upstream”.  You do learn to breathe, you do learn to be more relaxed.  And yes, I appreciate how far I’ve come because I remember well where I started.  I trust myself and have grown so much in the past post-divorce 11+ years.

I like “me”.

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1.  Don’t be afraid to accept and appreciate life’s changes.

1.  Don’t be afraid to accept and appreciate life’s changes.

“You’re not the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or a week ago.  You’re always growing.  Experiences don’t stop.  That’s life.

Sometimes there are things in our lives that aren’t meant to stay.  Sometimes the changes we don’t want are the changes we need to grow.  Let this sink in.  Growth and change may be painful sometimes, but nothing in life is as painful as staying stuck where you don’t belong.

The bottom line is that you can’t reach for anything new if you’re holding on to yesterday.  You may think holding on makes you strong, but oftentimes it’s letting go and starting anew that truly builds your inner strength.”

 

Seems appropriate for today, Valentine’s Day!  I relegated this “special day” to the rear view years ago, here’s why.  When in college, I got engaged on Valentine’s Day.  I also had a puppy that I named Valentine because of it.  After 9 months, he changed his mind and picked going to Law School over marrying me.  Heartbreaking at the time, but you move on.  Life’s changes.

Then along came serious love interest #2.  Our first date was on Valentine’s Day.  Not sure he realized it, but it certainly made the “remembering” our first date details much easier through the years.  Yes – we married but after 30 years, he called it quits.  Life’s changes.

It’d be very easy to feel sorry for myself, and I’m sure I did a bit after each failed relationship – BUT – looking back, those things are what made me the person I am today.  Strong, Independent and Happy – that’s a hard fought battle but you can get there.

So when it says to not be afraid of life’s changes, and to accept them and appreciate them – it’s a goal we can attain.   Accept change, embrace it, and know that you’re always growing.  2019 – the year of moving forward!

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Happy 7th Birthday?

Or is it 7th Anniversary?  Either way, I remembered today that 7 years ago on February 12, I wrote and posted my first “blog”.

Alot has happened in the past 7 years, some good, some bad – but all has made me the person who writes this to you all today.  I have grown.

Without you, my followers, I might not have made the progress that I’ve made, nor realized how happy I could become.  You are the wind beneath my wings, and I’m grateful for you all.

Thank you!

 

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