I know many people can say the same but it seems for the last year and half my life has been busy, unreal busy and drama filled. Just to give you a peek into my little drama filled busy world in a three week period I have had three immediate family members – husband, stepson, mom – go through four surgeries. And yes if you were paying attention that means one of them had two surgeries in that same three week period – actually, for my husband, it was two surgeries in a two week period. And I have played nurse to all of them and some of them at the same time. It is a role that I embrace but it does make planning and being productive more than a little challenging. And hitting one’s goals sometimes take a back burner.
I was taught some very important lessons that keep me sane when life’s interruptions seems to sidetrack goals. Not that life’s interruptions are a bad thing, sometimes they can be good surprises. It helps me through the insane and to bounce back despite of what was going on.
1. Everything Has a Season
My most valuable lesson was that everything has a season. This too shall pass. Every time I look back on my life, I can see moments that seemed like never ending lifetimes when I was experiencing them. But as their season passed, life went back to, as my husband loves saying, normal. Some seasons are longer than others but in the end, all of them passed into the next. That’s the nature of life, always changing. There is wonderful, peaceful comfort in knowing that this too shall pass. There is always another day. Whatever you are going through is going to pass. Nothing lasts forever but it is somehow serving you. Its important to remember to surrender and to trust the process knowing that you will come out on the other side better.
2. Have No Regrets
People find it difficult to comprehend when I say, honestly, “I have no regrets in life but there are things I wish I’d done differently.” Every moment, every decision, every life that has touched mine, that I have touched has shaped who I am today and I would not be me, if it had not been for each and every situation, every experience that I have had. I cannot and do not regret any part of that. To do so would be to regret who I am. However, there are things that I have done along the way that I have learned from and in learning from them, I wish I had not done them or chosen to do them differently. And because I recognize that, I can chose to not do it in the future.
Stop looking at what was in the past as something to hold you back, to keep you stuck. Move forward without regret. To not regret is a continuous decision to be made every day. The key is in this moment. Its knowing and accepting that where ever you are is the path and journey you are intended to be on. Its trusting that the journey and going through the journey, regardless of the good, the bad, the joys, the pain and the sorrows, will make you a better person. When you learn from and trust the journey, there is no other outcome possible.
3. Stay Grounded
My personal faith gives me the confidence and knowledge that all things are working out for the betterment of my highest good. Its not always easy to see God’s plan but my faith tells me there is one. My father use to say, “It’s hard to remember your job was to clear the swamp when your up to your butt in alligators.” And he is absolutely right. When you are surrounded by chaos – good or bad – its hard to remember what you were working toward or where you were going. When the baby’s crying, the toddler is throwing up, dog’s are barking, laundry’s piling up, the toilet overflowed, and your husband wants to know what’s for dinner as soon as he walks in the door, its really hard to remember that you are a wife, mom and homeowner with goals, plans and responsibilities when you feel more like a referee. That’s when staying grounded is so important.
4. Adversity Reveals and Builds One’s Character
I can honestly say that there have been times that I have not liked what it revealed. But that’s an opportunity to learn what needs to change. And without adversity, we don’t know if the changes we wanted to make to our character have really happened. I am a work in progress and perfectly imperfect.
Challenges force us to grow and growth is painful. I’m reminded of true physical growing pains that occur when your body physically grows and changes. Its painful at times but is necessary for you to become the physical you. There is a lesson in everything – we may not see or understand but know that it is there and is designed to build and grow up for your betterment.
5. Breakthroughs are NOT Possible without Breakdowns
“Everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.” I love this quote because it truly sums up life’s ever changing experiences. Change comes from chaos, not from the day to day expected. The valley experiences we have allow us to springboard into the next best thing. Think about it. If we are comfortable where we are, then there is no incentive to change, to grow. It is through those moments of discomfort, especially when it has gotten too uncomfortable, that we grow, seek help and seek change. On the other hand, when chaos finds us, it invites us to grow, to learn about ourselves and become better.
It’s when things feel like they are all falling apart that in reality they are just coming together. Many people give up in the middle of valley’s low, assuming that things are not working. But you have to keep going on your path. Life is built of the ups and downs. So in the end, if it’s not okay, then your not done growing.
I remember when I was at a former employer and had an extremely challenging boss who was pretty much out to get me fired. My work experience had become unhealthy and hostile. At the same time, my relationship with my boyfriend of 5 years was clearly coming to an end and my grandmother had just passed away. I actually ended up on medical leave due to severe clinical depression as a result of my employment situation. You could say it was definitely a breakdown – really a breakdown. But in that chaos, I was able to find comfort in the control of my own business and it was the catalyst to move out of that job. In doing so, it set up a chain of events that lead to me meeting and marrying my husband.
6. Reinvent Yourself
As I said, I do not regret my past but I have learned from it. And as I do, I am constantly reinventing myself. The past is the past; we cannot change it (well unless someone invents a time machine and if they did I might not be writing this but that’s too philosophical and definitely too paradoxical for 10:45pm). I have found what keeps us from moving forward is holding on to the past. Every single day is a brand new day that we get to decide what it will be. New cannot happen if the past is taking up too much room.
There is a great song by Garth Brooks that fully embodies this concept. “She’s gonna make it. He never will. He’s at the foot of that mountain. She’s over that hill.” When we hold on to our past, let it rule us, then it becomes a mountain that we will never over come. But when we can look at our past, embrace it, accept it, learn from it and let go of it, then it becomes a hill – something we can overcome. Its about where you are today. Its about having the discipline to decide your own thought process daily. Who you are today. When I find myself bogged down by life’s interruptions and what they may be shifting in my life – goals, to dos, etc. – it’s not about dwelling on what I didn’t get done. I try to embrace where I am at, and move on from yesterday and decide today who do I need to be today to achieve what I want today. After all, tomorrow is another day to start again.
One area I frequently have to reinvent myself is in my health. I have a few annoying chronic conditions that can derail me from my personal health goals. I could focus on how in these last three weeks I have not once hit my 11,600 daily steps not once. It could stall me in my goals or even stop them. But I choose each day to get up and reinvent myself into a Fitbit wearing, goal reaching, walking strong and getting it done queen! And if I don’t reach the goal today, then tomorrow, I’ll reinvent myself into her again.
7. Understand That Sometimes Reality and Expectations Just Don’t Meet
I had a fabulous training that has stuck with me and I find myself using a lot lately. It was on the relationship between reality and expectations. When our reality and expectations meet, all is good. When reality and expectations don’t meet, then we have frustration and often defeatism. There is a gap. Our reality keeps us from reaching our expectations. The only way to create harmony is for them to meet. The key in doing that is determining which one has to move – do you raise your reality or lower your expectations? During life’s unexpected interruptions, I find that the later is often the case. And that’s ok. Because when the season has passed, then you can raise your reality again.
In the case of these last three weeks, my expectations to get everything I wanted to do for personal and professional business didn’t happen. Understandable but frustration would have built up had I not re-evaluated where I was at and decide to lower my current expectations. For these three weeks, it became an expectation that what needed to be done got done and the rest could wait. In reality, that’s what I have been doing.
8. Expect the Push Back
Physics teaches for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. Believe it or not, this law applies to all areas of life. When ever you start something new or start working on your goals, expect an equally proportionate reaction or push back. The bigger the goal, the bigger the push back. If you don’t expect the push back, then you can get deterred from your goals and perhaps even derailed. Its really tempting right now and sometimes it would be so easy to drop my health goals and put them off into the future. But because I know what I’m doing is going to cause an equal and opposite reaction, I can see a push back for what it is. A normal part of any goal or plan. Knowing that, it makes it easier to not give in and keep going.
9. Spend Some time with You
Learning about yourself is so very important. Its about investing in yourself and remembering who you are. Its easy to forget when the chaos of life’s interruptions try to take over and wear you down that you are a powerful being, created to do amazing and wonderful things. There is never a time that you are not, even when we forget. It is so important to draw from this when chaos surrounds – good or bad – as it gives you the strength to work through whatever is going on.
Its also about learning about what you need to stay physically and mentally strong. Get familiar with your body’s signs that it is needing a recharge. And then recharge it with what you honestly need to recharge. For me, I know when my body is ready to rest and is getting overwhelmed – it tells me. Actually to be honest it screams in protest in every possible manner it can muster – acne from out of nowhere, headaches, backaches, memory farts, an upset stomach and sinuses gone haywire. You’d think after twenty-nine-ish (girl math – 29 plus some years equals 29) years, I’d learn the early warning signs but there are none. I have learned something. I know that my body will go full speed and stop at a dead halt – no slow down. And I’ve learned that is my body’s sign for alone time. It will take whatever I can give it, but it needs it. Learning about you is so important in being able to bounce back.
10. Bounce Back with Renewed Vigor
Life will always throw us stumbling blocks – or at least what we think are stumbling blocks. They may just be stepping stones in disguise. The truth of the matter is simple. Once the chaos has passed or you have managed it enough to get back on track, the only real option, the only one that moves you forward is to bounce back from it. And do so with renewed vigor for whatever you were working toward. The exciting thing about bouncing back is that its like starting brand new, only from a different starting line. Its something to get excited about and to approach with excitement. To do any less does not honor the powerful being you are. To do any less, holds on to regrets and doesn’t let go of the past, moving forward with the lesson.
I have found that like diamonds, there are the “Cs” of life – Choices, Chances and Change. The choices we make decide the chances that come our way and the changes are inevitable. Even if you make the choice to stand still, chances are you will get left behind wondering what happened when the world changes around you. Our life is all about choices – some we make well and others, well, not so much. Its really about how we choose daily to act, react and do that decides everything. For me, I’m going to continue to live in the moment of caring for my recovering from surgery family. Its about being there for them and that fulfills my decision to be a good wife, mother and daughter. I will continue to do what needs to be done to make sure my businesses and house function. And I look forward to jumping back into the projects and goals that are on a low burn now!
Until next post!