abertsquirrel

Thoughts for the Day

Figure Out Happiness July 27, 2011

Filed under: Coping with Everyday Life,Family — stormskyblue @ 10:20 pm

My dad figured out new ways to be happy in his life.  He explored various avenues for his creative talent.  He learned about lapidary and silversmithing before and after he retired from his career as a high school business teacher.  This creative portion of his lifetime spanned about 10 years.  He didn’t know anything about the subject when he started and in the end he had created works that will carry into future generations.  The struggle was in the learning process and even after he settled on this pursuit, he wasn’t sure it was the answer.

I remember him saying,  “What makes a happy life?”  I was a teenager at the time and I had no idea.  I was still trying to figure out where I fit into the world.  He would answer the question by saying,  “You have to figure out what makes you happy and then do that.”  Dad was right.  It takes some figuring to know what that is.

Two sides of my brain are at odds with each other.  The side that analyzes and reasons tries to figure out the details of whether my interests deserve or are worthy of enjoyment and appreciation.  The creative side feels happiness free of the challenge of details and obstacles.

Dad would examine his creations and determine whether it was made well.  Did he do a good job soldering?  Were there any rough edges?  He was his worst critic (as we often are) and sometimes would show a piece to Mom & I thinking it wasn’t very good.  We had different criteria for determining it’s value.  Did we like how it looked?  Would we want to wear it?

The real question is:  Was Dad happy creating jewelry?  He struggled with the process of learning.  He made mistakes and was frustrated.  He had success and was  pleased with his work.  Through it all, I never remember him judging himself.  He accepted his ability as he gained knowledge.

I believe the key to being happy is self acceptance and self love.  It is knowing with your heart and not your head when you are happy.

We go through our day making choices and feeling one way or another.  I think the key is to realize we deserve and are worthy of being happy no matter what the challenges or how much we achieve.  Self acceptance and love allows us to be natural and… happy.

I love having the jewelry my Dad made and it makes me happy to wear it.  Not because of the object, but because of the love that went into creating it.  My Dad never told me he loved me , it wasn’t in his nature to say those words.  I chose now to feel the love when I treasure his creations.  I also know he enjoyed making them.  The combination of the love he put into his art and the gifts he left for me communicate love.  I figured out that’s one important thing that makes me happy.

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Curves Ahead July 9, 2011

Filed under: Coping with Everyday Life — stormskyblue @ 9:30 pm

Just when I thought I could handle the curves in life, one hit me I wasn’t prepared for. 

Prepared for.  That’s funny.  I even saw the sign and kept going anyway.

I couldn’t see what the curve was going to be, until I got there.  Guess I should have slowed down even more.

The events that threw me could have been in anyone’s life.  I was apprehensive about spending the weekend with some people I didn’t know.  Even though I had a family member with me, it still didn’t work out.

  The road, my journey, appeared so smooth.  I was in control of my travel.

  When will I learn the one thing I am  in control of:  myself.

  The people I was with irritated me.  I can’t stand when people don’t make  eye contact, interrupt me or bulldoze a conversation and then change the subject.

I realize it’s about control, but some people are just rude.

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So the weekend had cracks in it.  My road became quite rough.

I cried when I couldn’t handle it.  Was I weak?  Did I make poor choices?

I know I could have left.  Got in my car and drove away.  Somehow that seemed like the weaker choice to me.

So I stuck it out, but I was so happy to drive away.

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  Boundaries.  I am required to set my own boundaries.  It’s weird.  The one person was rude, yet I felt if I said something about it, or if I got up and walked away from the conversation, I would be rude.

Why do I feel I have to stay and take it?

Maybe it’s an old program in my head… to keep quiet and not disturb.

I don’t like that program and I’m the only one who can change it.

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Knowing I have a choice.  It’s a powerful thing.

I don’t have to agree with you.  You don’t have to agree with me.

I don’t have to approve of your choices, but it’s OK  to say what I believe in.

My truth may not be YOUR truth.

I suppose some people feel they must force their views onto others by being rude.

                 I don’t agree with that method of communication.

I say good-bye to those folks and I thank them for the lesson I learned.  I enjoy the polite dance of good conversation with eye contact and taking turns.  Thanks for reminding me how good I am at it and demonstrating the opposite.

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Hopefully, I’ll grip the wheel and handle my destiny stronger when I encounter the future curves ahead.

 

Information Arrives and Plans Change June 29, 2011

Filed under: Coping with Everyday Life — stormskyblue @ 6:08 pm

I have plans for this weekend.  Plans that include other people.  Last week, I was so certain how it all was going to unfold, but last night I heard things may not go that way.  It rocked my world and not in a good way.

I choose to look at events that push my buttons and study them.  I initially was upset and wanting to lash out, cry or scream.  None of those choices were going to help me to be happy.  I wrote down the facts and looked at them.  I thought, any rational person reading this would be upset also.  OK, then what?  Plans change, am I willing to change with them?  Am I going to stand in the middle of my road like a stubborn child with arms crossed saying,  “This isn’t fair!  I want MY way!” or am I willing to step back and look at the situation through another person’s eyes.

Time is passing and the weekend will be here soon.  New information will arrive and plans will change.  I choose to be happy along the journey.

 

Clearing for the Flow June 13, 2011

Filed under: Coping with Everyday Life — stormskyblue @ 4:54 pm

A clogged drain flows with a sluggish slowness.  Water pools and doesn’t move as it should.  This morning I unscrewed the decorative cap on my bathroom drain and used long tweezers to pull out gunky-looking hair.  Maybe you didn’t want to read that, but it needed to happen to help the drain.  It wasn’t glamorous or pleasant in any way; but the concentration of impeding material had to be removed for the good of the flow.

My life can get clogged up too.  It becomes necessary to clear out some of the junk to make my life flow easier.  Stopping  to do that isn’t always pleasant; for I’d much rather be doing other things.  I desire to just keep going, but if I don’t stop and realize I even HAVE entanglements, then I can’t make the changes.

The hair got in my drain a little bit at a time.  Hair by hair.  I even thought I was being careful not to let them go down the drain, but they did anyway.  I think I’m being careful to not get bogged down in my thinking, but I do.  I must clear out the negativity, on purpose, for my life to flow the way it should.

Taking the time to clear out the minor junk in our lives can help the day run more smoothly.  We might even be amazed how much junk we had accumulated.

 

Deserving Happiness, I’m Worth it.

Filed under: Coping with Everyday Life — stormskyblue @ 7:13 am

I’m finally worth more than I’ve been led to in the past.  I finally get that.  I don’t have to be more or do more to win someone’s approval.  I don’t have to give up a part of myself.  I don’t have to sacrifice my morals, dignity or most of all my self worth just to be with someone.  No, I deserve more than that, finally.
I’ve waited a long time.  I’ve thought the other person would come around and BE.  Be happy.  Be kind.  Be honest.  Be forthright.  Be brave.  I couldn’t change any of them.  God knows I tried.  I tried to help.  I thought being me would be enough for them to be happy, kind, honest, forthright and brave.  But I couldn’t give them what they were lacking.  I cried over the effort and the responses.  I cried for the hurt.  Then I found happiness and kindness.  Friends showed me love and compassion.  I gained confidence and became forthright and brave.  I realize I could not find those things in others when I lacked them in myself.  Now there is no one looking at me.  No one calling me and making plans.  No one wanting to take me somewhere.  I look at myself in the mirror and I think positive things.  I talk to myself and make my own plans.  I decide when I want to go and where.  All my life I’ve been waiting for someone to tell me about myself when all along I’m the only one that knew.  Hello me, it’s nice to meet you.  Maybe someday there will be a man who knows himself and would like to meet the true me.  In the meantime, I’m going to just be the best me I can be.  Happiness:  I desire and deserve it.  Finally.

 

Wait a Time in Patience

Filed under: Coping with Everyday Life — stormskyblue @ 1:08 am

Be Patient.  Just wait.  In a little while.  Not quite yet.  Wait your turn.  After a while.

Most of the time, I am a very patient person.  I’m polite and I can wait my turn.  Sometimes I want to hurry things up; but sometimes, that’s just impossible.

I can’t make time move faster.  I can’t make the people in front of me hurry up.

It can be frustrating; but I know the one thing I can control is how I view the situation.  If I have to wait anyway, I might as well take the opportunity to look around and notice things.  Be positive while I’m being patient.

Sometimes I remember things while I’m waiting.  Things I really needed to remember and would have been mad at myself if I hadn’t done them.  So, perhaps my time in waiting was actually serving a purpose.

I like to think I’m the one in control of my day.  I have it all planned out.  I make lists and check the things off.  I’m efficient.  Then something happens that delays me and my schedule is thrown off.  Sometimes I add things in that I hadn’t planned on because they are convenient.  Sometimes I try to accomplish one thing and I have to come back later to get it done.

It’s just the way it is sometimes.  I don’t think there is a lesson to be learned with every little thing that happens throughout every single day; but then again, how do we know?

Maybe there are lessons to be learned in the waiting.  It’s possible it may be as simple as reminding us to be grateful.

I’m thankful I don’t have to move through this world as a desert tortoise or a bull snake.  Both creatures move pretty slowly; but within their minds, they move at just the right speed.  It’s all they know.

We move at a fast pace these days but there are still times we have to wait.   I desire to be grateful and maybe figure out the reason why I had to  “wait a time in patience”.

 

 

 

Don’t take it June 9, 2011

Filed under: Coping with Everyday Life — stormskyblue @ 3:06 am

I have heard the line:  Don’t take it personally  many times.  We all know it’s a choice whether we do or not.  I’ve made a decision to try harder and I’m noticing a difference.  My technique is to not participate in a conversation that begins to sound like a personal attack.  I’m a nice person who believes in the Golden Rule… Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  I try never to purposely hurt someones feelings; but I guess there are mean people out there who feel better (or superior) by putting others down.  I can’t be sure I’ll deflect all the attacks that may come my way, but I’m trying.  One way to think about conversation is like email, only “in person”.   The talk begins, you “open” yourself to take in what they say.  Just like electronic mail that I look forward to reading, I feel certain I’ll hear positive sentences from good friends of mine.  On the contrary, others can start off a conversation with fighting words and my personal defenses are triggered.  That’s when I hear “Don’t take it personally” in my head.  It’s difficult when the words are just not true.  I have learned some lines from friends of mine that work at this point.  “I’m going to have to disagree with you,” is a good line to break up the direct words meant  just for me.  Another good idea is to ask a question.  Say,  “Let me ask you this,”  then pause to collect your thoughts and pose a non-threatening question.  I’ve been aware lately of those pauses.  If you have the “floor” to speak anyway, why not just stop in the middle of a sentence and take the time to decide what to say.  I used to admire people who could speak in rapid-fire, adding funny lines and moving from one topic to another at lightning speed.  I like to put people at ease when I speak and one of the aspects of ease is understanding what is being said.  I used to pretend I understood what someone said, even when I didn’t.  Now I don’t have a problem asking for clarification.  Sometimes that comes out as, “WHAT?”; but I am usually smiling when I say that.  Facial expressions are another communication avenue  adding to the words said, or sometimes all on their own.  I have felt judged by someone rolling or squinting their eyes and shaking their head.  I’ve had someone open their mouth and eyes wide and stare at me in shock.  Were those good or bad?  Here’s the deal.  Everyone wants to experience approval.  Notice I didn’t say feel.  We should not be living by what we feel, but rather by what we know is the truth.  Confidently put your trust in the truth and know everything is personal if you are a person.  Sometimes I have to sing a few lines of “Jesus Loves Me” to remember who my judge really is.  So put on your Teflon defense and head out into the world, determined not to take it personally.