Learning to let go

Perhaps because we are all fond of our memories and detest change, I’ve always tried to figure out why it is so hard to let go? Let go of old habits, past hurts, fading fond memories? Why is it so difficult to demolish these old bridges and move forward???

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Perhaps we hold on to illusions of what we think is “right.”  We can’t move forward if we are stuck in a misconception of reality.  And what causes us to distort our perceived perception of truth.

The older we get the more difficult it becomes to welcome change. I see it at work, I see it with my mom and definitely I saw this with dad.

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”
C. JoyBell C.

What baffles the mind is why people hold on to things which create and cause only pain?

Being married means being part of a team

You are no longer responsible for yourself.  You are part of a unit which you agreed upon (taking a solemn oath or vow.)

Sadly, I think many Americans forgo these promises and continue working independently from the unit.

Am not saying you are your spouse’s keeper.

God no! :(

What I am saying is that each and every adult out there, who is in a serious and committed relationship, take personal responsibility over themselves, their actions.

With that being said, when those of us, like myself, who’ve been more single than attached, we can sometimes forget that there is another person in the equation. Their happiness, their self-worth becomes entangled with the every-day-to-day doldrums of simply existing.

Though my parents’ marriage was by no means perfect, they stuck together through it all. And, this is the template I go by.

Mom and dad took their vows quite literally, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.

That’s why I can’t seem to understand how people easily discard the sacred vows they went into freely…eyes wide open.

I’ve been part of team my entire adult life. The military taught me about self-sacrifice for the betterment of the whole. In marriage, we will make sacrifices for our spouses, as long as these acts are not taken for granted.

I see too many couples who settle into a comfortable and habitual day to day married life. The wants of the one outweigh the needs of the two.

When this happens communication is the key. Yes, I’ve beaten up this topic to death on this blog but wow….when it comes to such a sacred institution as marriage, when you love someone……when you truly love them….sacrifices will be made if not today…then tomorrow. And if you feel like your voice isn’t being heard, speak up…being married means being part of a team.

Don’t be that silent partner.

Sometimes it’s a relief to complain

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Everyone does it. Every day, several times a day…whether they realize it or not.

We are all under deadlines, unrealistic expectations, boring jobs, difficult relationships, financially strapped….you name it.

When we release our inner-demons of despair it feels good.

Get it off your chest….

Yell it to the hills. Scream if you must.

But in the end find a solution.

Complaining is healthy. If we kept our true feelings bottled inside sooner or later (maybe sooner) the stress reveals its ugly head in your emotional and physical well-being.

Everyone has a right to bitch. There’s no question about it.

However, if all we do is complain about “our lot in life” without formulating a plan then all we are doing is bitching and you can end up either alone or chasing your tail trying to figure out what is what.

I’d rather find a solution than bury my head in the sand.

Accepting change

“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” ~Karen Kaiser Clark

I think for those of us “older” folks embracing change, (whatever that may be) is a challenging task. We are deeply rooted in our habits, down to ways of thinking.

When something comes along pulling us out of that comfortable world….we either fight or flight.

All my life I’ve had to deal with shifts in thoughts, action, and feelings stemming from a dramatic circumstance. Sometimes life moves faster than what we are willing to accept.

Whether it be a new job, a new relationship, illness, anything which shakes us to the core creates a static resistance.

In accepting change we can grow, but only if we are receptive. Perhaps past griefs and mistakes make us hesitant to move forward because we place so much emphasis on the past.

When we deny change (especially if it could be positive) has its costs. It can cost us our peace of mind and ultimately our health.

Whatever the catalyst was to create internal dissension has to be reexamine.  Living life this way is simply miserable.  Sometimes it’s therapeutic to write things down, the positive and negative points of what changes are about to happen and those you are currently going through.  Check to see what you can live with and what parts of your life need removal. Sounds simple in theory but acting upon it…well…that’s the kicker.  Sometimes we tend to stick with things we know, even if it’s bad for us because it is “the familiar.” The question you have to ask yourself is this: What can I live with?

Yes, it’s that simple:

“There are things I can’t force. I must adjust. There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint.” ~ Denis Diderot

Another year older

As I am often wont to do, I reflect back on the past year when my birthday comes around. I think about my accomplishments….my failures and check to see if I “learned” anything from them.

I realized I am not the same person I was a year ago or even a few months. I like to think I would always have room to learn and grow…to still figure out “who” and “what” I am.

I am more than just a daughter, sister, mother, and wife. Am more than an employee…veteran. I am all these things and even more.

It’s been a difficult year in some aspects, culminating a few weeks ago when I received a health scare. I realize that I need to worry less and enjoy life more. At times I’ve felt quite overwhelmed, hormonal, waiting for change….something to pick me up and move me forward.

However, only I can do that.

I think quite a few of us, come up with good-intentions–resolute to create an even better year as our birthdays roll around.

Whatever our goals, we must never discount the many times we’ve succeeded (no matter if deemed quite small)….each action, each instance builds itself up into who and what we are today.

“Think of your life as an hourglass. You know there are thousands of grains of sand in the top of the hourglass; and they all pass slowly and evenly through the narrow neck in the middle. Nothing you or I could do would make more than one grain of sand pass through this narrow neck without impairing the hourglass. You and I and everyone else are like this hourglass…if we do not take [tasks] one at a time and let them pass…slowly and evenly, then we are bound to break our own…structure.”
― Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Integrity comes in many forms

“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.”
Barbara De Angelis

WHY it’s so difficult for some to attain this classical human trait is beyond my own personal realm of understanding…..

Pitching an idea

My wonderful husband gifted me Microsoft Word for my birthday.  For someone like myself, who usually is quite practical, I plan on using my program to its fullest.  I have a manuscript which I plan on submitting to various publishing houses.

Am PRAYING it catches someone’s eye.  I really don’t want an agent, only because they do receive a part of your earnings. However, as a relatively novice in the literary world I know I may have to seek out their services.

Writing has always been not just a creative outlet but blissful therapy as well.  As a teen I would escape the confines of my surroundings and (at times) volatile environment) by drumming up a whole new world free from the constraints of teen angst or family problems.  Writing saved me.

And I haven’t quite given up on my storyline. I strongly feel (and yes I already know most new writers feel the same) about my manuscript.  Sometimes it’s who you know (like everywhere else) and right timing. Perhaps my story will be picked up and if not I will continue submitting until I find someone who believes in it as much as I do. :)

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WHY are interviews so stressful (and scary?)

indexThere are some individuals out there who are able to breeze through these things and not even break a sweat.

Myself? Ha….different story. Though I may look calm and composed on the outside inside my stomach is in knots.

Though am lucky I don’t have to sing for my supper, I would eventually like to progress up the government career ladder. My retirement will be here before you know it (well…have about a decade to go)…but with the federal government we employees receive 1% of our base pay for each year of federal service. Why it behooves those of us who served on active duty to buy back our time.

Ronnie Ann’s article in Work Coach Cafe, pinpoints some very real concerns most of us have regarding the process:

Why do you get so nervous during job interviews?

  • It’s scary and uncomfortable being judged.
  • It’s scary and uncomfortable being the focus and having to come up with good answers for whatever they ask you.
  • You don’t know what they’re going to ask.
  • You don’t know for sure if what you say is a good answer.
  • You don’t like talking about yourself.
  • You don’t feel comfortable “selling” yourself.
  • You don’t interview every day and so you aren’t sure you know how to do it well.
  • You really need a job.
  • You worry that if you don’t get this job there may not be another chance any time soon.
  • You worry that you’ll sound stupid.
  • You worry there’s something about you or your background they’ll hate.
  • You have no idea exactly what they’re looking for.
  • You hate the idea of being rejected based on just one short meeting.
  • You think you have to be more than you are.

(source)

As Ann states, it helps to understand the job hiring process, believing in yourself (confidence goes a long way….just don’t be cocky), and develop any weak areas that need further tweaking.

Cutting sugar out of my diet

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It’s a difficult thing considering I am addicted to this wonderful sweet substance.

Yes…addicted.

I take after both parents who absolutely love sugary snacks.  I realized last night I have a problem when I was scooping Nesquik powder for my hot chocolate and savoring the delectable  sweetness of it all. Indeed a tasty reward which is a tough habit to break. A relationship I need to end and terminate now!            :(

I decided to do a little research on this topic and found the following article written by Dr. Mark Hyman, which states there may indeed be a genetic connection:

The Genetics of Pleasure

In our brain, a little receptor, the dopamine receptor D2 (or DRD2 for short), must be activated or switched on for us to feel pleasure. The amino acid dopamine triggers this response. Sugar and other stimulating addictions increase dopamine in the short term.

The only problem is it appears that those with sugar addictions, compulsive eating, and obesity have DRD2 systems that need much more stimulation to feel pleasure. Those who have sugar addiction, it seems have fewer D2 dopamine receptors and they need extra stimulation to make them “turn on”.(i)

Functional MRI studies of teenagers, both lean and obese, found that the obese teenagers whose brains didn’t light up as much in the dopamine reward centers were more likely to be obese and gain weight later.(ii) They also were more likely to have the DRD2 gene that coded for fewer receptors.

(source)

Makes sense, especially when I have seen my parents eating habits.  There’s something existential about sugary rewards.

 

He goes on to discuss 5 signs you may be addicted to sugar, flour, and processed food:

  1. You consume certain foods even if you are not hungry because of cravings.
  2. You worry about cutting down on certain foods.
  3. You feel sluggish or fatigued from overeating.
  4. You have health or social problems (affecting school or work) because of food issues and yet keep eating the way you do despite negative consequences.
  5. You need more and more of the foods you crave to experience any pleasure or reduce negative emotions.

(source)

Time for me to detox