suddenlysinglewomen

Becoming the best version of yourself

“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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The Two “B’s” . . .

Do I have you thinking??  What do you think the two “B’s” are?

Breakfast or Brunch?

Bats and Balls?

Bend or Break?

Biggio and Bagwell?  (OK, that’s only for real baseball fans!)

OK, I’ll stop now!  : -)  For the purposes of this post, my two “B’s” are “better” and “bitter“.

I’ve covered this before, but a recent incident brought it back in memory and it’s OK to sometimes rehash a thought.  With the exception on one little letter, which one are you?  How can changing that one little letter make you a happier person?

No matter if you started following this post because of your own divorce, or you just signed up to make me feel better (and hopefully yourself!), this covers everyone.

Sometimes in those critical moments of making a decision on how to react to a situation, you come to a crossroads, a fork in the path.  You make a choice and it can either make you a happier person, or doubt can lead you to falter, or down a darker pathway.

“The circumstances of life either shrink or stretch your faith.  Either you get better or you get bitter.  The choice is yours.”

I hope that in life, I have made the “better” choices, because choosing to be bitter only hurts you!  In closing, take heart in the positiveness of this old gospel banner:

Doubt see the obstacles.

Faith sees the way.

Doubt sees the darkest night.

Faith sees the way.

Doubt dreads to take a step.

Faith soars on high.

Doubt questions, “Who believes?”

Faith answers, “I”

 

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Short and Sweet – – –

A quick share today – a poem!  Author is unknown but I saw it and wanted to share with my blog family:

 

Of the themes that men have known

One supremely stands alone.

Love is the theme, Love is supreme.

Sweeter it grows, glory bestows.

Bright as the sun, ever it glows.

Love is the theme, The eternal theme.

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Little Thought, Big Message –

I’m lucky in that I have friends in all age ranges!  You might think that wisdom comes mostly from those who have “lived” life – not always!

I borrow this from the Facebook post of one of the “youngsters” I’m privileged to know.  She’s somewhere in the age range of “25”, but otherwise very worldly in her thoughts.  Not sure where she borrowed this from, but when I read it, I knew it had to be shared with you all.

“Everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain,

But you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.”

Few words, huge message!

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Thanks To FR For These Pearls!

50 Timeless Pieces Of Advice About Love & Relationships.

1.

Don’t stay with someone who antagonizes you or belittles you.

2.

If you feel lonely, you’re better off being alone.

3.

Know when to walk away.

4.

You can gauge a person’s love for you by how they treat you when they are upset with you.

5.

Love is a verb, not a noun.

6.

When a lightbulb goes out, you fix the lightbulb. You don’t get a new house.

7.

Don’t settle for someone who has zero regard for your feelings or wants just because you’ve been together a long time.

8.

Just because you love each other does not mean that you’re good together long-term.

9.

No relationship is perfect and there will be conflict. What matters is the desire to solve the problem.

10.

Always fight the problem, not the other person. If you keep this in mind when arguing, you’ll be able to actually resolve the issue than be mad at each other.

11.

Don’t look for a girl you want to treat like a princess, look for a girl you want to treat like a partner.

12.

Don’t disparage your SO behind their back.

13.

Confidence isn’t “I know she likes me”, confidence is “I’ll be okay whether she likes me or not.”

14.

There are a number of people you can be compatible with. No one is perfect. You have to work at love.

15.

You’re not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.

16.

Marry the one who gives you the same feeling you get when you see food coming at a restaurant.

17.

The grass is not greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it.

18.

Stop trying to find the right person and start trying to BE the right person.

19.

The person who cares least in the relationship has the most control.

20.

Don’t listen to other people’s comments. Make your own relationship rules.

21.

It’s better to be happy than to be right.

22.

Always be the first to genuinely apologize after a fight.

23.

You can’t expect someone to love you when you can’t love yourself.

24.

Just because you liked the friend-version of someone doesn’t mean you’ll like the relationship-version of them.

25.

Before you move in with your partner, go on a road trip with them.

26.

Don’t be afraid to open up and be vulnerable. Vulnerability can bring you closer together and strengthen the two of you.

27.

When you and your SO are arguing, remember—it’s you and them VS the problem. Not you VS them.

28.

Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

29.

Don’t fall in love with someone’s potential.

30.

It takes two happy individuals to make a happy relationship.

31.

If the world didn’t give each other second chances, we would all be single.

32.

Everyone is searching for the perfect person, but no one is trying to be the perfect person.

33.

If you love the memories more than the relationship, it’s time to move on.

34.

Just because a person is right or perfect for you, you may not be the right one for them.

35.

If it’s broken, fix it. If you’ve lost count of how many times it’s broken, or the cost of repair far outweighs the initial outlay, throw it away and move on.

36.

Out of all the things needed for a successful relationship, love barely makes the top 5. Honesty, loyalty, trust, and communication all have to be there.

37.

Always hold hands when talking about the hard stuff. It helps to keep the negative emotions in check & shows you care.

38.

Be the man or woman you would want your future or current child dating.

39.

Love is about appreciation, not possession.

40.

Don’t go to bed angry. Everything will be there and worse in the morning.

41.

Always seduce your lover, even if you are in a committed relationship. Otherwise, another person will.

42.

Talk to each other about problems, not friends and family.

43.

Keep no secrets, tell no lies.

44.

Sometimes you gotta wise up and let go. Yes, it hurts. But it’ll hurt more in the future.

45.

Relationships aren’t hard. If it is hard, you are probably with the wrong person.

46.

Love is not a feeling. Feelings fade, change, respond to situations and events. Love is a choice.

47.

If it feels wrong at the beginning, it probably won’t get better.

48.

If you’re keeping score you already lost.

49.

Love is an action, not a feeling. It’s learned and developed skill, not an experience. Not that the romantic feeling doesn’t exist or isn’t a wonderful part of the relationship, but it doesn’t make it last.

50.

The best sign of a healthy relationship is no sign of it on Facebook

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7) Happiness Is Found Within

I’ve known this one a long time – but it doesn’t make it any easier to accomplish.

I guess I was really a witness to this in my marriage.  When things start to go south, there’s alot of blame being hurled around.  One of those accusations???  “I’m not happy anymore, you don’t make me happy.”

You wanna scream – “It’s not my job!”    But it also isn’t that easy.

In any relationship, you certainly want to do nice things for the other person, to put a smile on their face, to show your love, that you care, that they are important to you.  However, what if that person is so miserable, and can’t see that it starts with him or her?  They may toss your kindness and love right back in your face.  How does that make you feel?

Like not trying anymore.  And so the relationship break down begins.

Don’t let their misery bring you down – let’s hope your happiness is infectious.  Let’s hope that some day they understand that “Happiness Is Found Within”!

 

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5) Judgements Are A Confession of Character

Have you ever heard of the Meyers Briggs Personality Assessment?

If you are ever curious about the reasons behind why you make certain decisions, how you might handle a certain situation or are contemplating a relationship – go do this test!  It’s an eye opener.

I did one years ago, as part of a leadership group I was participating in.  Boy did it open my eyes to some of my personality traits.  What was even MORE eye opening several years later, was after my “then” husband did one for work.  We compared our scores.  It should have been a warning.

I scored very highly on the “judger” judgmental part of the test.  I’d never had that trait identified like that before.   I really had to focus on being more understanding of other’s opinions and personalities and seeing that I could not put how “I” would handle something on them, as an expectation.

I think I have a pretty good character – and most of the time I’m a really good person, but it is still a daily struggle at times to let those judgements go.  What can I say but that I’m a constant work in progress!

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When Someone Says It Better – – –

Then I plan to just “share”.   After all, why reinvent the wheel, as they say??  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and gather wisdom from her very wise words!  Thoughts for a Monday morning!

 

Better Not Younger: In The Moment

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Here’s To Finding “Contentment” . . .

“Today may there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us”.

I believe in some corners this is referred to as the Serenity Prayer.  Serenity, contentment, are these things that we can strive for and ever find in our busy lives?

I recently took a Meditation and Happiness class.  It was two classes, offered on consecutive Friday evenings at a nearby University.  Sure, why not?  What else am I doing on a Friday night?  Wink Wink . . .

The teacher had been trained by Tibetan Monks, had spent time with the Dali Lama.  (Did I spell that right?)   He had the lose flowing garments, and looked like a yogi.  He had his floor mat and pillow, spoke soothingly, taught us about breathing and releasing the mind.  I came closer to “getting it” than I ever have before, but still . . .

His mantra was much shorter than the one above, and focused on seeking “happiness”.  I have a friend who refers to it as seeking “quiet”.  Semantics.

I do believe that as I get older, it is important for me to move farther away from the frenetic life I used to thrive on, and those people who keep it that way.  Therefore, as it says above, I desire to be content with myself, and allow my soul the freedom, and dare I add – joy, to sing, dance, praise and love!

I wish these things for all of  you.

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