A blog series on balance wouldn't be complete without addressing the one overriding issue of how our attitude affects everything else in life.
I'm going to be very honest here: I've seen and dealt with a lot of people with sassy, snippy attitudes that seem to believe they can force the world to conform to their expectations and bow to their wishes. Then they wonder why good things don't happen to them and why they keep getting "bum luck." Their ignorance absolutely amazes me. I simply don't understand how people can go through life with a two ton chip on their shoulder and expect good things to come to them when all they send out is negative energy. And yet, it seems to be a huge problem. It's a problem everywhere. It's a problem all the time. I'd dare to say, it's been a problem since the dawn of human history.
I know I talk about reaping and sowing a lot, and I certainly don't mean to beat you with a Bible. So I'll put it in worldly terms that should make sense to everybody.
What would you think if you planted tomatoes and cucumbers grew? You'd probably be surprised and angry. Those were tomato seeds, so how the heck did cucumbers come out of the ground? That's not right. You'd say okay, somebody sold me the wrong seeds, or something went wrong. Fortunately, that doesn't happen. If you plant tomatoes, you get tomatoes. It's how nature operates. It's how the world works.
Well, that sense or order and balance extends through all of nature and folks, I know you don't like to believe it but you are part of nature. No, you aren't the center of the universe. You aren't the center of the world. You aren't even the center of the little blip you occupy in the space/time continum. You're part of a whole, and that whole has a sense of balance to it that simply can't - or won't - be violated.
There's only so much energy in the universe and much like those seeds, you can only get back what you put out. So if you're rude and confrontational, you aren't going to make friends because people aren't going to trust you. They will, in fact, go to great pains to not only avoid you, but they won't be inclined to help you either. As the saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. You can't get a blessing if you send out curses. That's just the way it is. Sorry folks, I don't make the rules. I'm just as insignificant a blip on the horizon as you are and I'm just reporting the facts. As Mark Twain once said, "the world doesn't care what you want. It was here first."
I'm saying this not only because it's true, but because I really hate to see people make their life harder than it has to be. I certainly don't mean for this to be a reprimand or a dressing down, but if you feel chastised, well, maybe it's not altogether a bad thing. Life is unpredictable and difficult enough. There's no need to make it harder by being a jerk. And if you're a jerk, it will be harder because you set up unnecessary struggles and create problems that you don't need to have. I shake my head at people going around with their bad selves because their attitude is screaming "come and get me! I dare you!" to the universe - and that's a challenge that's always answered. There are more than a few people I'd hate to be. They might have whipped things into shape for a time, but I wouldn't want to be them when they pay the price for their attitude. That's going to be a mighty painful one to pay up when it comes due.
I'll be frank. We all tend to get out of line from time to time. Every woman in the world can be a witch with a capital "B." Every man in the world can be a jerk. It's our human nature to show our ugly when the going gets tough, or when we feel challenged. We must remember, though, that human nature is imperfect. If we want the riches of grace and blessing to come our way, we have to overcome those base instincts and strive for the higher calling of decency, integrity, stability, and kindness. Yes, that is a challenge sometimes, but if we want a better tomorrow, then we have to be a better person today.
Alrighty folks, that's my soapbox speech for the night. I hope you have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a great weekend. Take care if you're in the path of that winter weather.
Is change. Life is always in motion, and if there's one thing we can bet on, it's that nothing stays the same forever.
This is the season where this truth seems to really hit us. It's when the families are gathering around the table and the decorations come out of the attic. All those memory triggers of holidays past reminds us of how things aren't what they used to be - and makes us wonder how much longer they will stay as they are. Memories of times gone by can make this season happier by discovering the richness of what we've developed in life, or sad when we consider what's lost. A lot is a matter of perspective. We all face growth and loss. It can be a tough emotional rollar coaster to deal with the satisfaction of great accomplishments mixed with the grief of those not here to celebrate with you.
All of this makes the holidays a complex time. Some people are better with dealing with change than others. There are those that adapt, adjust, and roll along, just happy to be where they are. And there are others that have a very hard time dealing with change and fight tooth and nail to keep things the same, even though it's apparant that the "old ways" won't work anymore. Invariably, it seems those types will be mixed within the same friend and/or family group. Oh, the cell phone conversations I overhear this time of the year!
I did a blog series last year on surviving the holidays and I believe the one key thing I kept coming back to was that if you're doing your best, then be satisfied with it. Other people have two choices: Take it or leave it. People may gripe (naturally), but in the end they usually settle down and decide the holidays will be merrier if they choose the path of acceptance over the path of resistance. In most cases, anyway (that's not to say there aren't some that thrive on conflict, but that is an issue I addressed in my blog series earlier this year on villians - I believe it was around Easter).
I'll add one more lesson I've discovered of late. You can't let other people or situations bother you. They're going to do what they're going to do, and it's a waste of emotional energy to let it fly all over you and go into a tizzy over. Likewise with situations - there are so many things you can't control, and to worry about it is a merry-go-round of defeat. Deal with situations the best way you can and move on. I recently realized that I wasted a great deal of time and emotional energy complaining and fretting over what other people do, and it's a 100% waste. They're gonna do what they're gonna do, and they aren't changing for anybody. So deal with them and the situations that come up in life the best you can, and move on. Worry, fussing, and fretting get you nowhere - it's action that counts. So spend your time thinking, reflecting and acting on what is, plan wisely, and trust that things will work out, or that you will know how to deal if a wrench flies into your plans.
Sometimes making the best of the holidays requires changing the way we think about things, and that can be hard. In fact, I believe that changing the way you think is the hardest thing you can do.But it can be done. I can tell you that from experience. I can also tell you that while it's hard, it's well worth it. Changing your life starts with changing how you think, and this holiday season might be the perfect time to make an early resolution that you aren't going to be consumed with stress, anxiety, grief, anguish, or fear over making it the perfect holiday. In fact, let's make Change #1 right now: Don't try to make it perfect. We live in an imperfect world, and an expectation like that will fail. Make it the best you can and decide you'll be happy with it.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that those of you on the road home today have safe travels. Here's hoping you have a good week, and welcome to the 2012 Holiday Season!
Hi folks; I hope you're having a good week. It's been really busy the past couple of weeks, and not just with writing. It seems everything in life has exploded recently in every area. It's like that sometimes, and I should have figured. The summer was relatively sedate - as sedate as it gets in my life, anyway - so I guess it was bound to happen.
*Sigh* It seems that the older I get, the more complicated life gets. Everything keeps growing. Don't get me wrong - of course, we all want to see the fruits of our labor and to see things grow in our life. I'm very glad to add "independent author" to my life, and I've worked 10 years for this, and hope it keeps moving forward. That's the whole purpose, after all. Life in the 21st century seems to be a complicated web of activity. Everything's always in motion.
Or perhaps that's just the nature of life. Maybe it's always been that way.
The ironic thing is; I don't want to give up anything..(Well, if my writing did well enough to not make a full time job necessary, I'd gladly let that pass out of my life :) But seriously, my point is that I wish everything would take it's proper turn. It seems everything happens all at once. Does my work schedule HAVE to fill up with meetings right when I'm trying to get publicity stuff done for my writing? Do things have to take off with church committees when friends are coming in from out of town to visit? Do people addicted to drama have to start acting up (or rather, acting like themselves) when all of this is going on at once? Does Chloe's neck spasms have to start back up when there are things at home that need immediate attention?
And yet again, I say it's probably the nature of life. I hear others complain of this problem. The fact is that the world keeps turning, and it doesnt' stop because it would be convenient to hit a "pause" button for a while. Each and every one of us must find a way to cope and to keep on moving. Because life does, whether we feel like it or not.
So I suppose the point of this blog is to say that my life is rolling along, just like everybody elses'. Life on Planet Earth is progressing as it always does. We're all still here and alive, and by the grace of God, we'll make it.
That's all today. Happy Friday to you. Hang in there and I hope you have a great weekend.
Hi all; I hope you're off to a great start to the new week. It's going better for me.
First thing's first. I found out why the power went out Friday. Turns out the power company cut it off on purpose because a tree fell on a car up the road. Now tell me, what are the chances of that? A car is merrily on it's way and BOOM! A tree falls on it. Folks, that's just a "truth is stranger than fiction" one there. I'm glad the people are ok but, well, that's just weird.
What's stranger is that as soon as Rick and I finally sat down to watch "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I," Sunday night, the power went out AGAIN. And AGAIN, a tree fell and knocked it out. So both times I tried to watch TV over the weekend, the power went out. At least this time it was on DVD, so we finished watching it last night.
And again, that's just plain weird. But at least I have answered the proverbial question: If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Absolutely. It's the sound of everybody living in the surrounding area saying "oh crap!!" when it knocks their power out.
That being said, I have learned an important lesson. I will not get hooked on any more TV shows. Once Supernatural goes off the air, I'm done. If they run another Star Trek series I may give it a chance but otherwise - no. I'm done.
And folks, that's life in the rabbit hole!
In other news, yesterday was our wedding anniversary. We've been married 13 years. Man, that's unbelievable in this day and time. What's more unbelievable is that I realized that the kids that got married 13 years ago are gone. Yea, we've grown up. It's been progressive in some ways and butt kicking shocks in others, but it's happened. I don't think the quest for finding your authentic self ever ends. Every new thing life brings makes it continue. I know. A year ago, two major changes caused me to fight to protect my right to define myself and to lead my own life. It's only now that the battle is over that I have the chance to ponder: Who is this person I fought such a bloody battle to protect? Who am I now?
That is the continuing question not just for me, but for us all. And once we find that answer, life will pull it's usual trick of shaking things up and causing the snow dome of reality to swirl and shift once more. No, I'm not the same person I was 13 years ago when I got married, and I won't be the same person 13 years from now. And such is the nature of life.
Ok, that's enough for now - plus, it's thundering and lightening out there now so I better shut down, lest another tree should fall. :)
Here's hoping you have a good rest of the week. See you later.
Hi all; I hope you're doing well and off to a great start to the week. Well, summer's here. Oh, I know the calendar says not for over a month, but here in the South, it's summer. How can I tell? The obvious signs, of course!
1. It's hot, plain and simple. Highs in the 80's. Lows in the 50's - 60's. Time for sunshades in cars and AC on day and night.
2. We have to run the sprinklers again. Significant rain stops in May and starts again around November. Sure, we get occasional wrath-of-God thunderstorms, but it's never enough rainfall to save you from sprinkler duty for long!
3. Days are longer. Light lingers in the sky until after 8PM.
4. Season finale's of TV shows start running this week. (I still can't believe Smallville is running their last episode Friday!)
5. Pack up the socks and polish the toenails! Every day is sandal day now.
6. Nature is singing - the roses are blooming and the birds are eating like crazy (wild and domestic, but please don't tell Chloe I put it in such an "undignified" way!).
7. Rick wants ice cream in the freezer at all times.
8. Standardized testing at the schools!
9. Big movie releases every Friday.
10. Writer's block! My muse has slacked off, thereby signaling the end of the winter writing blitz.
Hey, everybody's definition of summer is different and this is mine. It might be a bit early, but I don't see the harm in starting it a bit early. Why not? All signs point to the summer pattern starting now. Let's hope it's a good one. And not too many 100+ degree days this year!