You need to quit

Not quite in keeping with the theme of my last few posts, right?
But please allow me to explain….

I still believe that we should not quit, or give up…. but am only adamant about this when it’s application is ‘for living’. 

As bad, or as good; as difficult or as easy; as sad or as happy – you have ONE life to live, and I encourage you to NEVER quit on it… or the people who care for you, love you, and who you (sometimes unknowingly) inspire and have a positive effect on.

But sometimes we need to ‘take stock’, and sometimes we need help from others, to help us discern which things IN our lives may need quitting. 

I was in a very abusive relationship – abusive in every way.
By the end of the first year, I am told that the ‘light was gone’ from my eyes, and I know that although I was still in there, I was lost. Young, vulnerable, and lost.
And very much alone. Seemingly no way out. Everyone had turned their backs on me – most of my family had written me off and the general consensus was : ‘that’s who she chose, she made her bed, now she must lie in it’.
IT HURT!
But yes, I HAD chosen him – I just didn’t realise all that was involved when I made that choice.
And life sucked – I was miserable.
Someone showed me that I could make a new choice, and they offered me their help – and it opened the door for me to be able to leave. It took TEN YEARS!

BUT, if I hadn’t ‘quit that marriage’? I may not have had life now. And that’s the reality.
I HAD to give up, and quit, in order to live.

That example is a bit extreme, I know. But the important lesson from it is this :

Sometimes we need to shift our focus, and instead of growing our knowledge in the areas of ‘winning and having a happy and successful life’, we need to perhaps also concentrate on ways to grow in wisdom, and discernment.
To be honest with ourselves and ask the hard questions. To be honest enough to accept the difficult answers, and make the changes that we need to.

Sometimes we need others to help guide us. I am not saying that other people will always know what is best FOR YOU. But having another opinion, someone who has been there, perhaps someone a little wiser? That always helps us as far as perspective goes, and sometimes we need ‘a different opinion’ to get us on the right path – or perhaps their perspective will just confirm for us that the path we are on IS in fact the correct one.

I suppose you could say that another important skill in this life is this :

We need to know WHEN to quit, when to change direction, when to walk away from a toxic friendship or relationship (is it hurting you, are you hurting them, has it become unhealthy? etc), when to give up on something that isn’t working and move on.

When we ‘take stock’, it’s helpful to identify these things and quit/give up…

But just so we’re clear 😉 :

NEVER GIVE UP… ON LIFE ITSELF! 

Suddenly

Isn’t is amazing how quickly things can change?

On Wednesday, we were adjusting to the ‘return to school’ routine – very different to the usual school time routines, and not only because times had changed, but also from the perspective of the current pandemic and all the checks and sanitising, before and during school hours. Then of course, repeating it all upon returning home.

On Thursday evening, our President announced that schools would close again on Friday, for a month. My daughter got three days of ‘normalcy’, and then was thrown back into ‘stay at home’. I found myself singing Billy Ocean’s song ‘Suddenly‘, but of course only the word ‘Suddenly’ really applied.

I noticed the change in her after the announcement – like a switch had been flipped. 

She has been ‘fine’ throughout our situation here – despite not seeing anyone for more than 100 days (I believe our very strict lock down has been over 140 days now – crazy! That means it’s been that long since I have had any social time with my friends too! We’re not allowed to visit in each others homes – it’s against the law. BUT we can go to the casino together and expose ourselves there?!?!?!)
It’s been strange to have her coping so well, simply because she is the most social of the three of us. She is a teen girl who has always thrived being around others – definitely not an introvert by any means. It’s almost like she has always ‘fed off the energy of others’.
But two weeks ago, she had a melt down. She came to me, laughing about something, and I started laughing too – then all of a sudden, her face changed and she burst into tears.

I feared someone had said something to upset her – apparently not. Her words were, ”I don’t know what’s wrong. I think I am losing my mind. This lock down is making me crazy”. We spoke for a long while, and the upside for her was that in a week she would see people again, with the return to school. She was back to her bright, chatty, almost impossible ( 😛 ) self when I fetched her that first day! The announcement had a huge impact.

A couple of months ago, she started with a strange breathing problem. I have stayed on the alert since then, checking for other symptoms, but it’s definitely not the virus. She would be breathing, big gasps almost, saying that it felt like that last little bit just wasn’t filling her lungs. Now… I get the same when I am too anxious… and I wondered if it was possible that she was now anxious because of the current situation.
I had to take her to the doctor for her shoulder on Friday. She did something to it during one of her Zoom dancing classes. Apparently the trapezius muscle is in spasm and is strained – I told her ‘I knew you were too funny’, and then had to explain – trapeze = circus = clown. It’s a running joke in our house how she misses the humor – and yes, she laughs about it too!
SO… while we were at the doctor, I explained about her breathing. He checked her oxygen levels, which were 99%!!!! And listened to her chest – no issues there. Then he asked her a few questions, and yes, it’s anxiety. He gave her a few tips, and suggested a proven, herbal pill to help her cope.

I found myself humming ‘Suddenly’ on the way home… and actually disappeared to my room to listen to it when we got home. And I found something in there for her, and I, and the anxiety and pandemic, ha ha ha! It’s funny how our brains operate, and find things in the strangest of places – like finding inspiration and a sense of peace in a love song, to apply to something that has nothing to do with romantic love 😛

(And please don’t get me wrong, this does not come from a ‘place of perfection’. I have not achieved the ultimate 24 hour peace and happiness, as such. I still have moments where I am tearful, or angry. I still struggle sometimes to make sense of it all, and it affects the way I am feeling. Sometimes it only lasts an hour, sometimes it lasts a day. But then I retake the stock in my attitude and emotions, and make a come back 😉 Seeing the effects manifest in my beautiful teenage ‘baby girl’ hurt me deeply, and I was sad – and angry – about it on Friday, for a good few hours.)

I let her listen to the song – and after that she kind of rolled her eyes and said, ”MOM! That’s a love song!!!! How does that help me?”
The gist of what followed was this :

Suddenly, in this pandemic, life has new meaning – although some would say there is just no meaning at all. We look at what is happening in our country, and the rules and regulations that make absolutely no sense, and there is little meaning in it all. 
We cannot control anything that is happening around us and to us as a result. 
But we still have our own feelings, perspectives, attitudes – which we can control. 

As bad and sad as we may feel, we need to remember that there is still beauty in this world, and in our lives. Our vision is blurred by the situation and circumstances, and so we need to make an effort to seek it out, and we’ll find it. It may be in something small, but it’s better than nothing at all. It’s in the things we forget to take notice of – the silly things sometimes too. There may be little about the pandemic to love, but there is still much about ourselves and our lives that we can love. 

She was quiet for a few minutes, and then she started laughing. I gave her my raised eyebrow / questioning look, and she answered me 😉
”Well, I don’t have to see Jared and have awkward moments for another month (he’s her ‘ex boyfriend’); and I can shower and put on a new pair of pj’s when I don’t have dancing; and I can still video call with my friends and not have to stop myself from randomly hugging them.” Yesterday, she came through to my room laughing, because her and her two best friends had come up with four other advantages to the current situation.

Here’s hoping that we all find the parts of life that we can love, despite the circumstances. That we notice the beauty in our current stressful and unusual situations. And that when we find that we are lacking in reasons to laugh, that we find the courage to be honest, and reach out, and ask our friends and family to help us to. 

 

Touching on Success

success

As with many things in life, success has different meanings in different situations.
By it’s definition, it is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

And although I know that I know this, sometimes I still forget some of the aspects related to the word ‘success’.

I was reading Ed Mylett’s book, and he was talking about when he first started out – the early days of his entrepreneurship. When he wasn’t a successful entrepreneur.

He speaks of how they had nothing. Bills hadn’t been paid, utilities had been shut off. He and his wife had to sneak down to the apartment complex’s swimming pool before others woke up to use the showers there, and then he’d don his business suit and ‘pretend’ to be a successful entrepreneur. He mentions that the showers were open ones, and so he would hold a towel for his wife to try and ‘protect her privacy’.

What struck me, as I read those words, was this :

Yes, he wasn’t yet a successful entrepreneur, BUT in my eyes (based on the story he told) he was pretty successful as a husband.

I don’t read Success magazine, but I liked what I found in Wikipedia…

~~According to the company, the magazine “focuses on people who take full responsibility for their own development and income,” and provides personal and professional development.~~ 

Because here’s the thing : we are fully responsible for our own personal and professional development, and the success thereof. While circumstances may play a part in delaying our ‘success’, I think that a lot of the time the fact that we just continue to persevere is successful in itself!

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a friend who was being poached by another company – according to her she was really happy in her current placement, but the other company was offering her a much better salary package. She asked me what she should do. I told her to speak to her boss, and see if he could perhaps counteroffer. Naturally, she was worried that the other company would still be offering her more – and what then? My reply was ‘to determine what it was she was chasing – if she’s happy where she is, and that is what she wants from life, then she should stay. If her aim was to make more money, then she should change jobs’.
I don’t know that this was the best advice (since then, her current company came in with a better offer and she is staying where she is) but I do know this :

Success is largely about perspective, and it’s personal. What it means to me may not necessarily be what it means to you. 
I found this article about 9 famous people who spoke of what success is – to them. There were some interesting things in there, so I thought I’d share it in case you wanted to do some further reading 😉

aim

Photo credit : quotefancy.com

I love the quote above. It’s something I often refer to, and is a reminder for me to ‘think big’.

But I find that I have to regularly argue with myself. (An article for reference because I am not crazy 😛 )

And I know I am not alone when I say that I am ‘my own worst enemy’ and that the main thing ‘standing in my way is ME’!

I have to argue with myself because I have not yet conquered all those limiting beliefs, and one of the biggest ones that I struggle with is the one that tells me I will never be successful.

do think it is all about perspective though – and it’s personal. Because what I want to be successful at? I think I am slowly but surely achieving. I doubt it’s going to make me famous though 😛

My definition of success is just that – it’s mine. It’s looking at my aims and purposes (goals) and celebrating when I achieve them.

I like to dance… so I think I am going to go with an optimistic view on this :

optimist-someone-who-figures-that-taking-a-step-backward-after-29160354

Photo credit : me.me

For now I will just keep doing my best, work on believing in myself, continue learning and growing so that I can be a better version of me, and keep checking my list of what I want to achieve.

And I will celebrate each small success (my perception of it) along the way!

Feel free to reward yourself now, since you have successfully completed reading this blog post 😉