What a year!
2012 has taught me many things. Some of those things I’ve learned the hard way, others I thought I already knew, but apparently hadn’t retained. I’ve gathered friends and family a little closer this year. I’ve vowed to tell the people I love that I love them as often as possible, and then some. I have committed myself to living my life with purpose and to making that positive dent in the world that will last long beyond me. I’ve cried a lot and laughed more and realized that I will be as happy as I decide to be in any given moment. If I had to put it into just a few words I’ve embraced life…my life…life in general. What have you learned and where will it take you this year?
Thank you all for your friendship and your lessons. Sending you love and wishes for a joyful 2013.
Here’s to embracing life!
If the world ended tomorrow and, hey I didn’t start this rumor, would you go out knowing you had said all the things you wanted to say and done all that you wanted to do and loved with an open and full heart? Did you make this world a better place for your being here?I keep thinking that maybe many years ago some wise Mayan thought at this point in history we might all need a reset button and a way to start fresh. I’d have to agree considering recent events.
So it’s not too late to change.
I propose that we all end our worlds as we know them today and start over tomorrow.
Instead of buying survival gear and dehydrated rations, send someone flowers, a note or a quick call to say hello.
Instead of putting the last minute touches on the bunker, do something to make the world a little brighter.
Instead of stockpiling food and water, go and work in a food pantry, donate, volunteer.
Instead of gathering zombie repellant, spend some time thinking about what it is that you should be doing every day to reset this world that will surely be here come Friday morning and then again on Saturday and so on. Maybe the end of the current world and the creation of a world we can all really live in is not such a bad idea.
What can you do right now to change your world tomorrow?
“The more I see, the less I know for sure.”― John Lennon
There is a mistake many of us may be making in these days of social media and the advertising of our lives. We tend to believe everything we read and see at face value.
We were told to be wary of the news in sound bites, but do we hold the same level of cautionary awareness to life in Facebook posts and twitter messages? Are our blog posts of amusing incidents indicative of our lives? Are the quick glimpses of happiness posted in Instagram just brief bits of joy we prefer to look upon while we look away from the day to day?
There is a tendency to believe that other people’s lives are like a TV sitcom where life is full of parties, vacations, and fantastic achievements surrounded by family and friends who offer unconditional love and approval. The pitfall is that we may look at our own lives and wonder why we are still sitting in our robe, with that bum knee, and the extra 20 pounds, wondering how to pay the bills and why one of the children isn’t speaking to you.
Sometimes life is all of these things. It’s a moody, ungrateful child who is the joy of your life. It’s the lovely vacation where everyone got a stomach bug. It’s the great job that keeps you awake at night worrying over money and how to get it all done. It’s the enviable relationship that looks so perfect but in reality has a history complete with hurt and disappointment that rivals its’ joyful moments.
The moral of this story is that at a time of the yearly holiday card and updates and lavish New Years celebrations where the perception is that everyone else’s life may seem so perfect; keep in mind that there is always another side to every picture or post. The good walks hand in hand with the difficult in everyone’s life and it’s a matter of choice where you put your focus.
“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” ― Aldous Huxley
When does one problem take precedence over another? Whose sorrows or worries are more important than another’s and at what point is okay to just roll over and say you can’t take it anymore? My guess is that is never the answer. Once you roll over there is that daunting task of getting back up again. So, many of us just keep going whether we want to or not. Quietly, or not, going about the business of life.
It’s the priorities of the world with which I struggle. I can’t be the only person absolutely appalled by the amount of time and effort put into saving the Twinkie? I understand that jobs hang in the balance but this is obviously a ploy by management to force a settlement that will insure large salaried corporate jobs with cuts to those that can afford it least. Another thing I’m having trouble listening to is the scandal of some repulsive looking little man and his botoxed, silicone enhanced, gaggle that give intelligent woman a bad name. All this while we all but ignore the people dying in their homes across the world from mine in the Middle East and others who are still homeless due to a hurricane in my own backyard.
I have been unusually quiet over the last few months due to a combination of alternately mourning (friends, family, my past life…pick one) and trying to make several new ventures come together at once. It’s been one of those times where my life resembles a puzzle for which I’ve lost the box. There is no picture to work off of and I have no idea what it’s going to look like when I’m done. I work better off the picture, but I have a feeling that life is bigger and better when you stop trying to engineer the outcome. So instead of whining (in public, anyhow) I’ve gotten very quiet, put my head down and gotten to work. Sometimes I look up and like what I see and other times I want to hide in the corner.
I suppose the key is to measure the good and the bad and possibly remind yourself that we have the choice to focus on what we choose to give attention and the power to make a difference, whether it is a world issue or a personal one. Of course, there are those times when the only thing we have any control over is our attitude and those are the times that we trudge on, keep our fingers crossed, and try to discern what is important and what is just taking up too much space in out world.
Have a thoughtful and happy Thanksgiving everyone. Focus on something positive and thank you for following, caring, and reading this, my 100th post!
Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
Viktor E. Frankl
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible…
We are the miraculous, the true wonders of this world
Free to choose our ends, and our new beginnings
That is when, and only when…
We come to it
Incredible Ted talk by a woman who clearly decided to be the change she wanted to see in the world.
It always seems impossible …
until it’s done.
This week I began step one in the plan to launch the nonprofit I’ve been working on. I suppose it’s not really step one because I’ve been doing many things, including mountains of paper work and putting a board together, but this week began a more public launch. I made the first steps to teach in a community development organization. It’s important for me to partner with other local nonprofits in order to make mine successful, so this feels like the beginning. My NPO will have a workplace literacy component, so getting back to teaching adult ESL courses is something I’ve been looking forward to. The students are all recent immigrants and, as always, there are a few students that really knock me out. This time it was a couple from a small African country that had been in the U.S. a mere two months and were already a month in to an English language class. Their lives, and that of their two children, have been difficult, yet there was no trace of self-pity. They have been through things that would have crushed most people, yet they are optimistic. They have lost every material possession, yet they are grateful. There is a mix of pain and beauty in their eyes as they struggle with the language. It moves my heart in ways I can’t describe and makes me so sure that I am moving in the right direction. I am so honored to have the chance to touch their lives. People, my own age, starting over with nothing but their spirit and determination for something better. It is humbling, and it should be.
It made me wonder about people I know. People with every opportunity, yet they continue to be angry for all that isn’t handed to them. Instead of working harder, they continue to find fault with everything around them rarely looking at their own hand in the way their lives have turned out. Is it easier to place blame? Well, maybe in the short run. Is it narcissism that causes some people to blame everyone around them for their own circumstances? Is it having so very little that causes others to just work that much harder when life is unfair?
It didn’t take long but I’ve learned more than I taught, and I’m sure that nothing is impossible unless you decide it is.
When I let go of what I am,
I become what I might be.
This past weekend I went home.
It seems odd to say that because I have lived in Massachusetts for almost 14 years and moved around quite a bit before landing here. But, I am a New Yorker at heart and it has nothing to do with geography. New Yorkers are a different breed of people. First of all, they are funnier than any other group of people. That edginess is bred into them. An “attitude” is a requirement of living there. As good as all of that feels to me, it is the particular people I left behind that make it home for me. There is nothing like rehashing the time you fell off your bicycle going over the ramp you built in the street with someone who remembers the goofy shoes you wore in first grade. No words can describe the feeling of talking about your first boyfriend or your first baby with the friend who was actually there for it all. Oh, maybe one word.
Home. I miss it already.
You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right. ~Maya Angelou