Tag Archives: empowerment
We just returned from going to the phone place.
I brought the old phone, just in case. It turned out to be a good thing, because the kind lady transferred the SIM card from the old phone to the new one. I wanted a screen protector and carrier this time, since my previous phone had a hard life and had actually fallen out of the carrier I had been using for years. The nice lady put on the screen protector and then the carrier for us.
I’m still feeling very good that we managed to do the updates here at home, as well as transfer my information to the new phone.
I feel empowered now, with a phone that is not overheating, as my old one did, and doesn’t cut my fingers on the chips on the screen.
Little could happen the rest of the day that would dampen my spirits. :0)
Learning to be happy is a skill.
With all the awful things happening in our world today, our hearts are ripped out of our chests on a daily basis. Hate seems to reverberate from the walls, causing defensiveness, if not hostility, in return.
We can simply turn off and be numb to all going on around us, or we can LOOK for positive things that help us deal with the bad as well as possible. Being happy is a deep-down choice you make. It comes from within you, recognizing all the good you have around you and filling your heart with it.
When you decide to be happy, it flows outward, affecting those around you. All you have to do to test this is to smile at people you don’t know when you’re out in public. Most of the time, people may look surprised, but they smile back. Not a word has been said, but you’ve communicated and both of you feel better.
This blog is a place where I can share the good things I find with you. I hope that some of it lifts YOUR spirits, too. :0)
Even if I had read this years ago, when I was in junior high, I wouldn’t have been smart enough to heed the wisdom of it.
I’ve spent most of my life waiting. When I was in junior high (14 years old) I met my husband-to-be just before he joined the Marine Corps. I waited for a letter each day. I would watch out the window for the mailman. He knew I was in love – and was a wonderful guy – so he would break the rules and put the red flag on the mailbox up if there were a letter from him for me. He would grin ear to ear as I came flying out of the house, running down the driveway to get the mail.
I waited for my husband-to-be to get leave from the Marines, when I could start to live again. We were inseparable, of course, watched carefully by both sets of parents, until he had to leave again. I remember one leaving-taking in particular, when my mother-in-law-to-be allowed me to ride to the airport with them and see him off. I cried my heart out, nose against the glass as his plane went down the runway.
When he got out of the Marine Corps, I went to Oklahoma State University. He went to the University of Tulsa, so I waited for weekends and holidays. My parents said I had to finish school before we could marry. They finally compromised when a program opened up where I could do my practice teaching in Tulsa, and we were married. I waited so long to marry him that I cried on the way back down the aisle that we were finally together and I could begin to live.
I feel stupid typing this. I wasted so much of my life ignoring what was around me, focused on the next time my life ‘would start.’ How much I missed, marking days off the calendar until the next “big thing” in my life. I’ve spent a lot of my working life wishing Mondays away, waiting for Fridays. Waiting for vacations. Wishing days, weeks, months and years away.
So, even though I was too stupid to realize what I was doing, or unable or unwilling to change my behavior if I DID realize, I think living in the moment is THE most important thing I have ever learned. Better late than never. Better some than none.
NOW is what is important – the people you are lucky enough to know and love – what is happening right – this – minute.
Wring every drop of joy out of whatever you are lucky enough to have.
Appreciate your life.
I don’t know why, but when I was growing up, I felt that I ‘should already know how to do things’ before doing them out in public. If my class at school announced that we would have a roller skating party, I would beg my mom to take me to the rink so that I could practice before the party, in a panic about the idea of embarrassing myself in front of other people.
Gradually, over the years, I gave myself ‘permission’ to admit that I had no clue about certain things, that I had never tried something, etc. It still bothers me a bit, but I’ve FINALLY learned to try the new thing to see if I enjoy it, rather than ‘standing back in my own mind’ seeing myself falling in a heap when everyone else seems to be able to do it with no problem.
I don’t know if others share my lack of confidence, but it caused me to miss out on several things when I was young. I still admire people who seem to be fearless, who throw themselves headlong into whatever it the situation is, with a ‘can do’ attitude, or the idea that it will be fun.
One thing I did that helped me deal with this was when I was teaching swimming each summer from the time I was 14 through college. We taught beginning swimming to young children, but we also taught older, experienced swimmers who wanted to work on their technique, stamina, or just wanted the workout.
My favorite thing was our “Mothers Classes.” These ladies sat on the benches in the hot, steamy, indoor pool area so that their kids could learn to swim. What we discovered was that the reason for this many times was that THEY were scared of the water, had never learned to swim, and wished they could. I ended up with some impressive scratches sometimes from women who were petrified, but I felt that the time we spent getting them over their fear was priceless for all of us. We taught them to relax and let the water hold them up. We showed them that they could actually float! Helping women find the confidence to try to overcome years of fear and avoidance helped ME, too. Seeing them learn to swim across the deep end on their own, laughing with joy, made me see my own problems in a different, more healthy light.
Are you with me? Got your T-shirt?
This doesn’t have to mean HUGE changes in your life. It can mean carving out a bit of time for yourself each day. Use it to do something you really enjoy, something that brings you pleasure, brings you peace, makes you smile. If you can’t DO something, you always have your mind and your heart. You can escape for a bit, if you need to – listen to music, read a book, sit in your chair with your eyes closed. Be sure to do something each and every day.
“Learn to value yourself, which means: Fight for your happiness.” ~ Ayn Rand
Managing stress is super-important.
Stress crawls into all your nooks and crannies, wreaking havoc in your mindset, your health, your ability to function. It colors EVERYTHING – painting with a broad brush.
I’ve been having some, due to various things, such as having to have one of our dogs euthanized due to cancer and health issues with my husband. I’ve been aware of it, but have just shoved it down deep, staying busy – rather than actively trying to deal with it. I finally decided to get proactive when my doctor asked how I was and tears sprang up.
Now I am thinking of ways I can help myself. My situation is not going to change. In fact, it will get worse. I’m actively gathering ideas for what I can do to take care of myself so that I will be strong enough to deal with whatever is ahead.
- Value the family members and friends who care. They allow me to vent whenever I need to – I try not to abuse the privilege – but knowing they are there is everything.
- Make a plan for each day, listing ONE thing I would like to accomplish. (Today it is listing my newest earrings on EyecatchingEarrings at Etsy)
- Eat right and exercise daily ( we are on Month #2 of the South Beach diet. DIY dinner tonight – bacon-wrapped chicken breast and salad – now that the main yard cleanup is finished, I’ll go back to my elliptical trainer and yoga)
- Dive into a good book daily – I’m enjoying the Rise of the Iliri series by Auryn Hadley. I’m on book # 6 now.
- Spend time in my art room – Even if it’s just messing around, something usually grabs me. I play some of my favorite music while I’m up there, making it a double-escape, creative time.
- Work in my garden or flower planters. Right now we’re having a bit cooler temperatures with lower humidity, so it’s lovely outside.
- Listen to music. I either arrange a mini-concert of some of my favorites via YouTube, or spread out in my recliner and plug myself into my MP3 player.
- Actively plan for FUN daily – something that brings me pleasure – for the moment or longer term.
AND, as I do these things, my problems lessen – allowing me to get a better perspective and be thankful for all I have.
I hope that YOU can plan for some FUN in YOUR day, too!
You have to have a certain amount of confidence in order to accept this.
I don’t know why, but as a child, I felt I had to ‘master’ something – at least be reasonably good at something – before I did it in public. I definitely wanted to AVOID stumbling at all costs. I keenly felt in competition with my older brother, never measuring up.
An example would be an invitation to go bowling. Instead of just going, learning the best way I could and having FUN with it, I would accept the invitation, then go a few days ahead of time and bowl several games in order to try to avoid looking like an idiot. It was almost a panicky thing for me.
Now that I’m older than dirt, I no longer feel embarrassment at not having done something before. I won’t say I embrace completely new things with wide open arms yet, but I openly say I’ve never done something before and don’t agonize over looking silly or inept. Life is too short for that. I accept that all of us have strengths and weaknesses and that we are NOT competing – and that no one CARES if I suck at something or not. The point is learning something I didn’t know before and enjoying the experience of learning, sticking my neck out and trying something new – just for the joy of it.
Even though I may stumble a lot these days :0) – I’m having more and more fun dancing!
I find this to be a really great motivator.
I don’t have many ‘fears,’ but I’ve seen lots of friends whose lives simple dwindle. Their world implodes, becoming smaller and smaller until they’ve given up old interests and don’t want to welcome new ones.
I have more interests than I have time or energy for the day. It seems I barely get started and the day is over.
This time next year, I want to be the best ‘me’ ever. I would like to look back and feel that I’ve used my time well. I hope that I will have shown friends and family how much I love them in so many ways they laugh about it. I want to be as healthy as I can be – taking good care of myself and my husband. I want to fill each day with things that bring me joy.
Where do YOU want to be at this same time next year?
My husband and I are getting over the cold I brought home from my trip and graciously gave to him. :0) Each day we’re stronger, though we both still feel we’ve been run over by a truck.
Today my husband spent much of the day talking to a Level 3 Microsoft person, trying to get Windows Office installed on his computer. This is a computer guru having trouble with something that is supposed to be so easy, but in truth took the EXPERT much of the day to do it. He finally said it was Windows’ problem, making my husband feel better about the need to ask for help. My husband has a LOT of important files in Word and Excel, so it was crucial that he get the program installed and working.
My SIL was kind enough to send me ‘cards’ on my phone, listing some contact information. I had trouble getting the files to ‘open,’ then FINALLY got the idea to check my gmail account online and see if they showed up in my contacts. After a LOT of fiddling around (I am NOT a computer guru and technology is basically ‘magic’ to me) I finally got my contacts to show. I found numerous duplication, due to my ineptness, and then went on to correct some outdated information, add more contacts, etc. so that now I have ONE list that also shows up on my phone. I feel empowered!!!!
I also have finally made it through the maze of getting the Visa gift cards promised to us when we installed the ADT security system in our home recently. It started with each of the people involved pointing to the other, but FINALLY I now have the certificates and codes needed to fill out the application forms. My husband was threatening to tear out the whole system, but I managed with firmness, rather than threats, to get what we needed.
I was contacted yesterday by a relative we haven’t seen in years, reaching out to us to let us know one of my relatives is having serious health issues. I can’t believe his kindness in essentially reaching out to a stranger, and in an incredibly kind way, letting us know what was happening in his family. I wrote back, thanking him profusely, asking more questions. He answered me today, again making me feel glad he reached out. Sometimes people can make you tear up with their generosity.
So, we’ve had a productive, good day and are getting ready to relax for a bit.
I hope YOU had a good day, too.