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.
The other day I went to visit my doctor. As usual, he asked how I was doing and if I was seeing anyone. My doctor likes to keep tabs on me since he knew the issues that occurred before and during the divorce. He always asks how my children are coping as well.
Am I seeing anyone? No, not really. But do I want to be? Well, that got me to thinking. Then the next day I read a brief article on the benefits of being single. That got me thinking even more. There are a lot of benefits to being single. You are the only one spending your income, so you choose where it goes. You decide if you use a credit card for a high-cost item or if you decide to save up before purchasing it. You decide how to pay off debt (like divorce debt), and how you allot your dollars. You decide how to decorate your home. Are you a minimalist or do you like to fill your home with things? Your choice. You decide if you want a pet, and if so, what kind? Do you want to travel? Where do you want to go?
Here’s the best one. You become utterly and solely you. When in a relationship, partners tend to pick up on certain pieces of the other partner’s personality. Quirks, sayings, behaviours. These things tend to blend. The dominant personality tends to overshadow the less dominant personality. You essentially become the same person. However, when you choose a life of being single, you know that who you are is simply you. And that is a good feeling.
Everyday life sometimes gets between us and our dreams. We work to pay the bills but there is oftentimes an underlying passion that sits there. An unrealized dream.
Sometimes things happen in our lives to make us remember these things. They send us down a path where we face them again and again, re-sparking that passion that was lingering with a slow burn under the layers of drudgery that is daily life.
When that happens, we are almost forced to listen. We see it there, hazy like waking from a slumber, where it is all but forgotten. That is when you know you need to pay attention to those dreams. To determine how you can make those dreams a reality. To set goals to achieve what it is you’ve always wanted. Don’t back down now. Something out there is calling to you.
You live this life once. Don’t let your opportunities pass you by. Find your way. Find your happiness. Because when you do, you won’t have regrets at the end of your days. Live your dream.
Everyone has a story inside of them just waiting to get out. I truly believe that. We may not all feel like authors, but we all have a story to tell. The question is, how will you tell the world your tale? Will it be a written novel? A short story? Poetry? Will it be through dance? Or do you tell a story with painting or other forms of visual art? Perhaps your story gets told traditionally, being passed down through generations by word of mouth until someone commits the verbal word to text.
No matter how you choose to tell your story, take the opportunity to do it your way. Every story is worth hearing.
With the days getting longer, I can feel spring is just around the corner. The sun is almost cresting the horizon as my alarm calls me to wake in the mornings, which makes it easier and more pleasant when I start my day. I am sure that many others feel the same way.
Winter can take a hold on us. Seasonal Affective Disorder makes it harder and harder to get through the day for many living in the northern hemisphere. I have discovered how it truly can affect our mood and outlook. It’s like a seasonal depression that you can feel being lifted with the longer days and warmer temperatures slowly returning to us. I have also found that taking the time for self care and physical exercise also helps quite a bit. It gives me a bit more energy even when I think I’m tapped out.
I take that as a reminder that looking out for our physical health is a key factor in our mental health also. It is a natural anti-depressant that helps me to keep going. So do what works for you. Go for a run, take a class, lift some weights, join a yoga studio. Meditate. Breathe. Accept yourself and carry forward.
I have had a week where I was able to spend time doing the things I enjoy. There were still things that needed to get done, like take the little ones to school and make dinner, but I did these things in a way that I preferred.
We walked to school, which is a convenient 5 minute walk. We brought the dog both ways. We didn’t need to use before and after school care this week, and that made a huge difference in how much time we had to do things together and the free time they had without having homework or meal time. Our days suddenly gained a lot of time.
We made meals that were fun and delicious with organic whole foods that were deliciously vegetarian. Dinner became a joy instead of a chore.
It’s amazing how the simple things take on more enjoyment when you have time. Less stuff means less to clean. Less to own means less to owe. This gives way to freedom. The less you need to work to pay the bills for the stuff you need to clean. Seems pretty straightforward, no? With less, you can do more of what you love.
This past week I spent a fair amount of time going back and forth to the library. I have discovered that you can borrow movies for free! Now, this isn’t something new, but I have never actually done it myself. I decided it was a good time to give it a try, what with my decluttering and minimalist outlook. Plus, I decided that in order to watch the movies, I have to spend at least an hour on my spin bike while watching one. So not only do I get to watch movies I wanted to see without having to pay for them, I am doing myself some good in the process.
I also borrowed some books for my bedtime reading. One book I borrowed was a “self-help” book called Unsingle. Honestly, not worthy of the time it took to read it. It is basically one girl’s experience of imagining having a boyfriend until one actually showed up. There’s your cole’s notes version. One out of five stars. However, this book is contrary to one of the movies I rented: How to be Single. Now, this movie starring Rebel Wilson, was hilariously funny at so many times. It showed the downside of being single when you so desperately want to be in a relationship. It also showed all the great things about being single as the main character came to terms with her unattached status.
I pondered both sides of things, but in the end, for me I am most decidedly single. At least unless the right guy comes along. I’ve had my share of users and abusers. The narcissist, the self-absorbed, the desperate. They have all taught me that there is some good in these experiences. Surely they have shown me what I want to steer clear of if nothing else!
Being single doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time alone either, ladies. I have developed some wonderful friendships that provide so much happiness! I have the freedom to be friends with other women and with men…something my ex-husband absolutely would not have “tolerated”. And I have to say, I love it! There is no expectation of putting out after an evening out. No commitment to have to get together every Friday night. I can do what I want. Sure, Valentine’s day is coming up. Guess what? I have a date and I will be going out. One of my single girl friends and I have a date with each other, and it will very likely be the best Valentine’s day I will ever have!
So, to those who are sad or feeling depressed because you’re single with the upcoming so-called most romantic day of the year, try and take a look at it from the other side. You have everything you need inside yourself already. Take yourself out on a date! Buy yourself flowers and candy if you like. Happiness comes from within, never allow someone else to be the reason for your happiness.
Be happily single.
Is there such a thing as just an ordinary girl? As I observed the women’s marches that had occurred yesterday and viewed the posts in social media, I realized just how diverse we are. So what is ordinary anyway? I feel like there is some 1950s-eque stereotype that is attached to the words ordinary girl. You know, the type who has the house clean, dinner ready, and standing at the door waiting for her dear husband with pipe and slippers in hand.
Those days are gone.
What I see now is everything but ordinary. I see women working as welders and carpenters. Artists, doctors, dentists, marine biologists, paleontologists, corrections officers. I see body builders and make up artists.
The only common thread I see is that we are all different. We all dance to the beat of our own drummers. I believe the ordinary girl is no longer. We are all uniquely individual, and I think it’s wonderful. We are all strong in our own right, just as it should be.
There is a lot of discussion about Minimialism, particularly since the documentary about Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (http://www.theminimalists.com) came out. It really isn’t anything new, but perhaps new to the masses who are caught up in commercialization.
I have been on my in and out journey through minimalism for years and years. I know that I do feel better when my life is uncluttered. I feel stress and anxiety when there is too much stuff in my house and in my life. And I could suspect that you feel the same too, whether you recognize it at this moment or not.
I look at minimalism as a component of simplification of one’s life. I think simplification truly is an art to achieve these days, what with all the social media and marketing proclaiming how we need this and we must have that. Why you’re just not important if you don’t have x, y, and z. I call bullshit. We don’t need any of that stuff. The big corporations need us to want that stuff. The CEOs who make six, maybe even seven figures a year because they have convinced the masses that all this stuff is necessary in our lives.
They’re wrong. So very very wrong. We don’t need all that crap. We don’t need to have the latest and greatest phone or computer. We don’t need to spend a million dollars on a house just because that is what is expected.
What we need is to live within our means. What we need is to be comfortable saying no to consumerism. What we need is to spend more time with family and loved ones. To spend time enjoying life without worrying about debt or clutter or how popular we are or how many friends we have and how we compare financially. We need to get back to basics. To live simply in all aspects of our lives. To find joy everyday in the little things and be thankful for the chance to be here…the chance to wake up in the morning. Not everyone has that same luxury.
Life in its simplicity is finding joy in the small things. Recall that motto I posted a while back? Life is lived in the mundane. Let’s live.
In the aftermath of the holiday season, I find myself pleased with the quiet. Comfortable with the clean and open space once the decorations are put away for the year, I find this is the time of year where I start looking at and resetting my goals for the year. This is the time of year when we look at where we have been, where we should be going, and how are we going to get there. It isn’t always an easy answer either.
I have a few goals for this year, none of which I plan to post publicly. Each of these goals has a plan of how I hope to achieve them. I have plans for accountability to myself, and follow up lists to ensure I stay on task. January is a time of renewal for me, and this is part of the process that I tend to go through.
Who else does this? What is your January like?