Tag Archives: change

we all experience a little sadness

We all get into a funk from time to time, don’t we?  I did this week.  I had some changes occur in my life and I know I wasn’t responding to them in the most positive way.  I knew they were coming, it wasn’t as if I was blindsided.  I knew.  I was just…sad.  Sad for the changes because it wasn’t what I was wanting or looking for or even hoping on.

But it happened anyway.

Sometimes change can be difficult, particularly when we do not embrace it.  It is ok.  We are all allowed to be a little sad, or a little depressed, or in that funk.  I think the most important thing to remember is that when we do, we should acknowledge those feelings.  Let them be present.  Sit with them for a while, then let them pass on their merry way.  Without sadness, we do not know happiness.  Without the storm, we can’t recognize the calm.

Don’t be sad that it’s over, smile because it happened.  Who said that?  Dr. Seuss perhaps. It is a good mantra.  I will try to not be sad that it is over.  I am smiling because it happened.  I am pleased to have experienced it all and created the connections I did.  Some things are in our lives for a purpose, no matter how short the period is.  They are all significant in creating us who we are.

Onwards and upwards.

recognize what’s important

Life pulls us in so many directions.  There are endless avenues we can take, and someone or something pulling or pushing us into so many of them.  So, what is important? Which of these paths are the ones that mean the most to you?  Which ones do you travel down?

Tough call.

One may lead you down a successful career path.  Another may lead to a family centred life.  Yet another may be a life of travel and exotic locations.  Some may have children, others may leave you single and free of ties.

So, how do we know what is most important for us, each as individuals?

I think what we need to do is really listen…pay attention to what makes sense in our lives.  What we want, what we need, and who else we want involved.

No easy task.

Some things are laid out for us before getting to the point of asking these questions.  So we work with what we have.  But happiness should never be the cost.  There are always ways to find another path to that particular avenue that our souls so desperately want to be walking down.

What if you wanted to be an artist, but you were pushed into accounting?  There you are, working at a desk, crunching numbers all day.  Doing this without allowing yourself the freedom to do what you truly love is a slow and painful demise.  Maybe your evenings are spent painting or sculpting.  Maybe you take classes to develop your artistic skills.  Just because your career describes you as an accountant, that does not define who you are.

Where there is a will, there is a way.

I do what I do, professionally.  But personally, I am an artist, a writer, a photographer, an adventurer.

What’s not as important is how clean my floors are, how many dust bunnies live in the corners behind the sofa, how many weeds are growing in my garden, or how big the pile of laundry is.

We live this life but once.  None of us are getting out alive.  So do what makes you happy.  Recognize, and make time for what is most important for you.

the beginning of a new chapter

There is something to be said about spending a little time to reset yourself. A little ‘me time’. Solitude can be cleansing. This week I have spent time doing what I felt like doing. I took a couple road trips, reorganized part of my home, visited the farmers market, spent quality time with a special someone, and did a photo shoot for a dear friend whom I adore.

I woke when my body was ready, often still before 7am.  I practiced yoga. I meditated. I enjoyed a lot of time outdoors in the beauty of nature. I took it in, drank it up with my eyes and soul. I marvelled at her wonder in silence.  I appreciated the harmony of life in nature, as it is intended.

I feel a renewed sense of energy; a shift, as I prepared myself for the new opportunity that has begun for me.  I feel blessed for this new chapter, and I am ready for all it brings with it.

transition and gratitude

Here we are.  I am now at the eight week mark, and said my goodbyes to the career that I have worked for so many years. Two decades worth.  While not a complete shift, but more of an alternate path within the same general field, this transition is welcome, so very welcome.  I have spent two months being grateful for the people I worked with and for the successful career I have had. Thankful for the opportunities and doors that have opened for this next chapter in my work life. Thankful for the friendships and opportunities that arose socially during the past eight years. 

Thankful. 

I don’t think I have been as thankful for so many people and events as I have been with this transition.  Or at least not as consciously. Perhaps it’s because this transition is so key in my life right now, or perhaps it is because I am more intimately connected with my life and my inner self to see how valuable all my experiences were and how truly valuable this new adventure is. 

It is a gift. 

I have said it for the past two months. I have been given a gift. It is not just being handed to me. I worked for this. I will continue to work for this and at it. I will continue to prove that I was the right choice for the position. That I am capable and confident. That I can do more than expected. I will continue to earn the position every day. 

And I will also continue to be grateful for my past experiences. For they have helped to shape my perspective and helped me to grow. They have provided the people in my tribe and given me the support I needed. They have shaped me. I am who I am because of my past. 

Thankful. Thankful. Thankful. 

how much time in a week

What can you do in a week’s time when you put your mind and determination into it?  Turns out quite a bit.

This week, I had set a goal to give my son’s room a complete make over.  I wanted to have certain projects done by the end of July so that I could have a week of mental and physical rest before starting my next career chapter.  This included his room.  I have wanted to repaint his room since I bought our home, and the carpet in there simply had to go.  Well, this was the time to do it.  From Sunday last week to today, I worked a full week.  I had something going on every night after work, and then, once I finally got home, I got to work on his room.

I tore out the carpet and underlay.  Primed and painted the walls.  Stained some shelving pieces and pine crates to make him a creative shelving unit.  Laid down the new flooring.  Screwed the shelving unit together.  Put his furniture back in (but in a different configuration that makes the room much nicer).  Screwed his wall shelves back on the walls.  Hung some art.  Gave Jack the Tangerine Gecko a home right next to my son’s bed.

My hands are sore, my knee is a wreck, I am physically exhausted, but my heart is full and I await his reaction to his newly renovated room.  He knew I would be doing the work this week, but I wonder if he has thought about it while he’s been away at his father’s.  Oh how I wish his father wasn’t such an ass and would let me speak with them at least to say goodnight.  But I digress.

Alas, before he gets to see his new space, the plan is a picnic dinner in the park as soon as I get them back, and hunting Pokémon with them in Pokémon Go!  Such a treat and what great family time to be had!

the new path

This week I silently began to say goodbye to a career path that I have been on for the last fifteen to twenty years.  As I watched careers begin for others, I began to say goodbye to the one I have known for so many years.  It is not a sad goodbye, just not known to the world yet.  It is merely a new path; a vector if you will.

Yet, it feels right.  I am happy with this new path.  I feel like this is somehow where I was meant to be headed, and instead of being wrought with stress and fear of never being enough, I now feel valued and at peace.

This will be a long goodbye, I will do it right.  But as I do so, I look forward to what this new future will look like.  I am inspired and I feel my creativity surging yet again.  I feel the weight and heaviness of the old career melting away as I embrace my new endeavour.  And I’m happy.  I feel my energy returning.  I feel my posture beginning to straighten metaphorically (and perhaps physically), my eyes feel brighter, and my mind sharper.

I am ready.

rollercoaster ride

This week has been quite a ride!  There have been so many ups and downs that I really truly felt like I was on a rollercoaster at the fair. My mother went in for surgery at the beginning of the week that had me nervous and frightened for her.  Coupled with the fact that we live many miles apart, it is difficult to carry on with life as usual while my heart and thoughts are there with her.  Where things lie for her are still a little unknown for me, so there will be a quick trip home to see her in the not too distant future.

These are the times when you realize how things change with aging parents and the medical complications that arise with senior years.  I always assumed it would be my dad that would be needing extra care.  He always led a hard physical life with his work, and I just assumed that he would be the one with physical issues in his later years.  So far, he has still been going relatively strong.  My mother, on the other hand, she has had her challenges.  A couple of strokes, relatively minor and caught early enough for the interventions to be effective thankfully, cancer, and now this.

Life is unpredictable.

What this teaches me, is that you don’t wait to tell someone how you feel.  Don’t wait to say I love you…wear your heart on your sleeve.  Be vulnerable, be spontaneous, be silly.  Enjoy life.  Because you really don’t know what is around the corner.

happiness 

How many people have found happiness?  I mean, truly found happiness. Happiness isn’t exactly quantifiable, but really has a qualitative aspect, somewhat like quality of life does.  So how do we know if we have actually achieved happiness?

A tad bit philosophical for a Sunday morning.  Hmmm

I think it’s safe to say that we have all had bouts of happiness.  Something has gone extremely well and we are pleased with the results, or someone has made us feel special in that way that nobody else seems to be able to and therefore we experience happiness attached to that.

I feel like we all have our own definition of happiness.  Sure, I could do a literature search on the topic and find out what researchers have discovered if they did a qualitative study on happiness, but I don’t care to do such a thing on a Sunday morning after just having returned home from a work-related trip.  I did, however,  ponder the thought of happiness in my life during my commute to and from my destination.

As I reflected on the things in my life, I have discovered that I have had numerous times where I have experienced happiness and many where I found the exact opposite.  Many would say that your wedding day is the happiest, most important day of your life.  Not for me.  I believe that I knew (having looked upon my life in retrospect) this was a mistake. I cried through the entire wedding ceremony…what does that tell you?  Hmmm.  Mistake in progress.  Loyalty kept me there.  Fear kept me there.  Oppression kept me there.  There are many reasons I could cite as to why I stayed, but again, in retrospect, none of them were valid, and the majority of people would have had no clue as to the state of the relationship I had with the man I was married to because I didn’t allow anyone to see it.

The birth of your children, again, another hallmark of happiness.  And to risk being taboo or state the once unstatable, my first pregnancy was not expected or planned, and therefore I did not experience that happiness immediately.  Does that mean I did not wish for the child?  Of course not.  I adapted.  I kept those ‘wrong’ feelings hidden.  I had a bright future planned.  Yes, I was married when the child was conceived.  But now my plan of leaving the person I was married to was now gone.  Depression hit.  Pregnancy complications hit.  Postpartum depression hit.  A change in career path was necessary.  I adapted.  My happiness was not as important as the one I was now bringing into the world.  Fake it till you make it.  Keep smiling.  Nobody likes a girl with a frown on her face.  Ok.

For the record, I loved that child more than life itself.  The pregnancy had a very real chance of taking my life and I took the risk for that child.

Onward.

I worked, I attached success at work to personal happiness. Did it work?  Perhaps superficially.  I began to identify with my career and had nothing other than that and being a mother.  Where was I? Who was I?  These were questions I couldn’t even consider asking or looking for answers to.  Remember that fear, loyalty and oppression?  Still there.

Let’s fast forward.  Here we are to the point of marital breakdown some 20 years later.  The attacks on my personal self were becoming unbearable.  No, I was not fat at 102 pounds.  No, I do not want to see what I would look like at 85 pounds, how dare you ask me to even try.  No, affairs are not normal nor should I accept it.  Violence and personal attacks, not acceptable.  Not anymore.  But these things still have an effect on us.  It took me time.  Years to work thorough the effects.  I still am.  I still get the fight or flight response when I see an officer come into Starbucks still wearing his sidearm.  Will that effect ever go away? I don’t know, but for now, I recognize it, acknowledge its presence, and take some deep, cleansing breaths and remember, this is not the man I once was married to.

I had an amazing relationship that I attached happiness to.  He treated me better than I had ever been treated before.  Of course I was happy!  Until he left without any fights or arguments, no differences in opinions.  I was at a loss as to why he left.  I still am, if we are to be truthful.  But this in itself was a gift.  It was a couple of gifts..  One,  now I know what it means to be loved, to be truly loved and cherished.  The feeling was incredible.  It’s a drug, I most assuredly can attest.  Two, I found that not only can I survive the loss of that, but I could actually thrive.  My happiness was not to be dependent on having someone love me.  My happiness needed to be an internal thing.

I found that I was ok alone.  I found that I enjoyed my own company.  I was now either forced to live a life imprisoned in my own home and become a cat lady, or I could blossom and experience the world my way.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my cat, but cats really are bitches and they will cut you if you look at them the wrong way.

I took a healthy amount of grieving time.  I tried dating but did not find it to be engaging, and it really is quite time consuming.  It became a bit of a social experiment for me: how many dates will this one last if there is no physical contact (no hand holding or kiss goodnight). How long will this one last if trapped in my vehicle for a day trip to the mountains? Let’s face it, the majority of men in the adult dating pool are really just looking for a lay.  I’m over it.  So until the right one happens to fall into my life by divine intervention, I’m not looking.

I have discovered good things too.  I take art classes on my own, I have my photography club that I belong to.  I have friends to go to the movies with.  Me and my dog will go for long walks together and meet up with strangers and have friendly meaningless exchanges, but the underlying word here is friendly.

I have discovered the joy of waking up in my own home that has been decorated my way.   I have the love of my children and my pets.  I have healthy friendships with people I want to be associated with, not being told by anyone that I can’t be friends with this one because he’s a man or that one because he doesn’t like her.

And you know what else?  I have rediscovered that love of education that I have pushed away simply because that was the only definition I had of myself for those married years.  I have been finding my thoughts gravitating towards the PhD that I considered before.  Perhaps I am starting to feel ready and prepared for this.  The key factor that I noticed when considering this option was that it was not anxiety or fear that held my emotions when thinking about it.  It was happiness and excitement.  I think at the moment that I recognized that, I realized that I was truly happy.  Let’s not confuse happiness with perfection though.  My life is far from perfect, but as it is, I am happy.

spring

Welcome spring.  Welcome to new beginnings and change.  Welcome to the transformation and that feeling of morphing out of a chrysalis like the butterflies do.  Welcome to the beauty that we see or that perhaps that we cannot see plainly with our own eyes.  Embrace it and bask in it.

Today is Easter Sunday.  Whether religious or not, it is a day that many enjoy.  Whether spent rejoicing that He has risen, or taking part in the traditions of the Easter Bunny and egg hunts, Easter to me symbolizes growth and fresh beginnings.

I feel that my life is on the cusp of a new start, in some ways.  Perhaps in many ways.  Not that I care to get into details too quickly or prematurely, but I do feel that there are some things waiting for me.  Listening to the signs of the universe, there are things lining up.  I can read these things however I choose.  Opportunities arise all the time, but only when we are open to receive them, are when they come to fruition.  I have gone through a lot of difficulties in the past four years.  I have been broken down and beaten, metaphorically and literally.  I have had my strength and faith tested numerous times, and it has only strengthened my faith and spirituality more.  I have grown, and become who I am.  Who I was hiding all these years.  All the insecurities that have been pounded into me over the years are fading away.  Why?  Because I have learned to like me.  As I am.  I am responsible for my own growth, for feeling how I do.  Do you know what that does to a person?  It translates into feeling comfortable in one’s own skin.  This is revolutionary for me, something I have never felt.  It’s an incredible feeling.  I like me.  I like the me I am now.  I like who I am, who I have become.  I like the me that I am as an individual, not who I was forced, shaped and molded to be.  I have shed that skin, moulted like the outgrown skin the way a reptile does, and revealing a shiny new one that fits and feels so much better.

In this season of transformation, as the grass greens up and the flowers start to sprout out of the dirt, I hope you all feel the changes happening within you too.  I will leave you with one of my favourite and often used quotes to consider, a Zen Proverb:

May we exist like the lotus, at ease in muddy water.

change

“Sometimes the things we can’t change end up changing us instead.”

I read this somewhere this week and it resonates with me. Just like the rock that fell into the river. It can’t change the fact that it tumbled down the mountain, but the water rushing over the rock slowly, over time, changes the rock as it smooths down the sharp edges into soft curves. 

Life is like that. So many circumstances that we seemingly have no control over tend to change us, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. I think our attitudes toward whatever it is has a lot to do with how we end up changing. Looking for the positive even in the seemingly most negative things in life can still lead to a positive change within us. Heartbreak, divorce, death, loss of health, financial breakdown…these are all things that can break us. 

Or, they can help us blossom into something stronger, more beautiful. 

The choice is ours. I believe that my choices have helped me to become stronger, more positive with a stronger faith in the universe, more spiritual, and more loving despite the damaging things that have happened within my life. The reason is that I have chosen love, peace, forgiveness, and happiness over anger, revenge,bitterness and holding a grudge. There are far greater things than winning financially in a divorce or worse. I have greater stock in spiritual assets, and to me, that is a positive.