Choice Is King – My New Years Post 2017

 

It’s a New Year. I wonder how many articles, blogs or puff pieces have started with those four words. It is true none the less and here we are fatter, thinner, richer, poorer, wiser or as the real case may be, dumber. What ever little New Years resolution we did or did not live up to, we have arrived at the beginning of one fresh, unspoiled, hopeful year and left that begging, harsh no good tramp of 2016 in our dust. This year will be the BEST. YEAR. EVER!

At least that’s our plans.

But as Judith Vorst helped Alexander discover in his ‘terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day”, life has a way of taking all your plans, looking at us dead in the eye as if to say, ” Oh THIS is your plan? Ha! You stupid, stupid girl (or preferred identity )…”. Then she crumples up all our plans and does a hat dance on top of our hard thought out goals. And life can do a pretty good hat dance too, she’s quite agile.

What are we left with as we stare longingly down at all our dreams laying broken on the ground? Our choices.

As good old Albus Dumbledore said to Harry in The Chamber of Secrets, “It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.” This statement seems contrite and very “easy for you to say” in the face of an uncertain future, joblessness, death of a friend, depression or anything that is less than a perfect life. We as humans have come to expect that nothing bad should happen. This is the future dammit! Long past are the days of famine and misfortune. We have dentists, doctors and take out Chinese food! We demand that life gives us the best and that we rise to the top like cream.

Dr. Seuss put it best in Oh The Places You’ll Go! A book that at any chance I get, I buy and give to small children, teenagers and adults alike. It is the best self help and life guidance you will ever get. He writes (excuse the long excerpt):

“You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.”

We live in an alternate reality called Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or even this here blog. We judge ourselves and our lives and how it should all be sailing by the people online. It doesn’t stop there, commercials and life styles of the rich and famous reinforce these thoughts. We are so surrounded by all of these perfect pictures of how life is supposed to go ( at least in our heads) that when we are thrown a curve ball or bite down on a lemon, we crumble.

Back to that Choice bit. We have a decision to make when life fails to live up to our expectations. We can shake our fists in the air, blaming the economy, the boss, the wife, the president, the parents, etc and so forth, No matter whose fault it is, if any is to be assigned, in the end it’s our fault if we choose to lay down and just grumble. Our other choice is to pull up our big girl panties and get on with it. That doesn’t mean we can’t grieve or get angry. It means to choose each day how much you are going to let a situation or failed resolve to affect the rest of your day. How much power will you give it? Some days will be harder, you will fail and that’s okay. You can start again the next day or even the next hour. The right choice isn’t always the easy ( or the most attractive, lucrative or fun)one.

I write these words to encourage anyone who is still reading  this and also to encourage myself. Like many of you, it’s been a hell of a year. I don’t think 2017 will be a magic elixir that will make 2016 seem worth it. I do believe that if I set my will and work hard towards my goals and choose each day what I’m going to give power to and how I will react, that my days will be better and I will be better for it, not just better but happier. Happiness isn’t a feeling, like love, it is a chosen path.

What ever your resolve this year, get thinner, establish a better routine, not eat so many muffins (me), if shit blows up, just remember to choose where to point that fan.

Be happier this year folks.

From Rose Colored Glasses to Written Word Vomitting.

My mom often has said that she knows that she views life through rose colored glasses. Meaning, that her take on things is not always the reality of what is actually happening or happened.

I say we all view life this way. We hold our standards and ideas as absolutes and they became the basis by which we judge life, people and circumstance. When I find myself overly angry at someone or about something, often if  step back, I can see that I am upset only because that person or circumstance didn’t live up to my expectations or moralistic ideas. As often as I would point a finger and lecture on not judging others based on your own set of “do’s and don’ts”, I am probably most guilty of this.

Seventy-five percent of getting better is just letting go. I could say some hippy mumbo-jumbo bull shit about closing your eyes and picturing yourself holding a balloon and letting go of the big red orb and watching it float carelessly away………but I think we all know that the road to letting go is not quite as easy as just opening your hand.

However, it doesn’t have to be so hard either .

The truth is we like excuses for why we are having a hard time changing, at least I know I do. There’s always a big reason why emotionally I am not ready, why physically it hurts and why I deserve this big bowl of ice cream complete with hot fudge and a side of vodka. I like, no wait, I love excuses. Yet if someone told me just that, I would argue to the death that I was working hard enough and that they didn’t understand and yada, yada, yada. In fact, I think just recently I defended myself unjustly about such things.

Changing isn’t hard. I know, stay with me. It isn’t as hard once you realize it’s your pride that’s hurt, not your feelings. It’s the acceptance of your failures that is the hardest pill to swallow. Finally, it’s the movement forward that seems backward to a well dug in habit relying person that makes you want to run back to the comforting arms of self loathing. Sometimes it can be the most comfortable place to be, and also the most dangerous for a person looking to let go. But as I said, letting go of that warm place is 75% of changing, the other 25 is just good old elbow grease and will power.

Having read over this blog I am writing right now, I sit here thinking back on my blog. It is somehow been a self-help blog, oh god help me!!! A quote comes to mind by someone of some importance who is so important I seem to have forgotten the name and the exact quote but it went something like this. All writers are damaged and we write to try to figure things out.

I didn’t set out to write about my journey through dark waters on the world wide internet, not that the mention dark waters are that bad ( wow that was dramatic wasn’t it?). But oddly that’s what has come out. And why is it public? Hell, don’t know that either. Maybe it’s wanting to be heard, maybe it’s that I don’t care or maybe it’s that when I was a small child I fell out of a tree and crushed a squirrel and somehow that really damaged my psyche and now I feel the need to throw up these words in a very public way. I simply don’t know.

Whatever it is, I’m glad your listening….or laughing. Hell, I don’t care, just as long as someone is reading this shit.

Behind and catching up.

Today I ran out of coffee. I know, I don’t know how it happened and I am so ashamed. Luckily, I happened to have some Lapsang Souchong lying around from when my mom brought over tea. Lapsang Souchong is a smokey black tea, though now that I say that, it could be a roobis tea. Either way it is delicious and is hitting the spot. So This morning I am thankful for tea and the hands that brought it to me, my mom.

I am a bit behind on the thankfulness train. It’s not that it has been terribly busy, but at the same time I also feel like I haven’t had the time to sit down. So I think I owe two more thanks and who know maybe I will throw in a another for the hell of it.

Last night myself and my children along with my cousin and her kids went over to my Aunt Teresa’s (my cuz’s mom) and met her and my mom for food and wine. The kids played and we ate and drank for several hours. It was a lot of fun. It’s been a long time since all of us have been in the same spot so it was very nice and to have the time together. Growing up my cousin and I were as close as sisters. We have remained close. Of course now we are both married and we both have 2 kids and hopefully our conversation is more mature (though that might be debatable). It has been a bit of a tradition since we were kids for the four of us (moms and daughters) to get together and do stuff when we could and though it had been many years, that tradition was carried on again last night. So, I am thankful for the ladies involved in this group, my mom, my Aunt Teresa and my Cousin Crystal. I hope for may more years of this.

Okay One to go.

The other day a friend of mine traveled an hour to do my daughter’s hair, which was really awesome. Hattie is now sporting black and pink. She loves it and I am so happy she was able to get it done. Growing up restraints on music and clothing and hair were never put on me and it was possibly one of the greatest gifts my folks could have passed on. I just feel that there are far more important things to put your foot down on, hair shouldn’t be one of them.

The Lady Hattie-Belle

And last not least, I received a blog award! So I am very thankful for that because that means you like me, you really like me! I will blog about this in my next blog. It truly helped to turn a mad day of not so great things, into a better and beautiful day.