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In the last few weeks I have really pulled away from this blog.

To be completely honest, I have pulled away from most of the things in my life. I’m having a constant, never-ending battle with my health and I feel like I’m always losing. Just when I think I’ve taken a step in the right direction, I get pulled down again. The longer this tug of war drags on, the more hopeless and depressed I become.

I no longer have interest in my hobbies. I’m exhausted all the time so anything beyond watching tv seems like too much effort. On the other hand, I feel restless sitting in front of the TV all night, I need to do something else but at the same time I don’t feel up to doing anything else. I feel stuck. I need to move but it’s safer to stay put.

I have no desire to pursue my passions. I can’t even read a book for long periods without feeling impatient and anxious. I’ve put all of my projects on hold and have given up trying anything new. I’m irritable, often snapping at my husband for no good reason and besides him and a few close friends, I could really care less about the rest of the world. I know I will eventually see the light again and will be able to come out from behind my rock but for now, this is where I am stuck.

The land of the dark is my home away from home and I’m not sure when this visit will end. Some people have suggested I see a doctor and get on some hard-core medication but my stubborn mind refuses to accept “depression” as anything more than an emotion I’m currently facing. I absolutely believe that clinical depression is a serious and very real thing, and by no means am I trying to say otherwise, but for me personally, I will not admit that it is a possibility. I refuse to believe because to me, I would feel like I’ve given up. If you know me at all, you’d know that I don’t like taking pills of any kind, even when I have an excruciating migraine I will fight through it on my own to prove that I’m strong enough. The thought of relying on a pill to make me happy is ludicrous.

Whether it’s the right choice or not, I’m choosing to believe that this is nothing more than an emotion, no different than sadness or anger. I could very well be making things worse for myself by refusing medical help but the way I see it, I’m the queen of happiness and should be able to dig myself out of this hole. I’m really hoping that with a bit of support and encouragement from those I love, some permitted down time to submit to the darkness and sit with this emotion and the slightest win in my direction against my health will be enough to pull me back.

During this time, I ask for patience and understanding. I do not enjoy feeling like a burden. All I wish for is some tolerance and compassion from those around me. Please know that I would fix this if I could and I truly am trying to the best of my ability to fight this. Thank you to those who have been in my corner and have allowed me the time I need to win this. I will be forever grateful for your kindness.

I may feel alone and hopeless right now but I have decided that I’m going to fight for my life. I’ve come too far to give up now.

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I decided last week that I would stop posting to this blog each and every day. I initially intended to only take a day or two off but I ended up staying away for an entire week and you know what? I loved it! I didn’t realize how much pressure and stress I had been feeling due to this blog. I should clarify, I realize that it wasn’t the blog per se that was causing my stress; it was my own expectations of myself and the demands I had placed upon me. 

I recently posted about lowering my expectations and as such, I have decided to lower my expectation of myself as well as others. In essence, I am letting myself off the hook and I can’t even describe just how happy this has made me! I no longer fret over what to write about or the fact that my minimal free time is running out and I haven’t posted anything yet. I don’t care as much about my site stats, who’s viewing and who isn’t. All I care about is doing what makes me happy. So if I feel like writing, I will. And when I don’t have the time or I just don’t feel like it, I won’t. It’s really that simple. Bonus: Since I don’t have to go on the computer each day to post, I’m finding that most days I don’t go on the computer at all! Less screen time = more free time. Yay!

Now, obviously we can’t let ourselves off the hook for everything, all the time, as there are some things that we really must do, but for these non-critical, hobby type endeavors, I say let  it go. Shut ‘er down if you don’t feel up for it today and do something fun with your free time instead. We only have time for a limited amount of hobbies and passions so we need to choose wisely on how we want to spend the precious free time that we have. Hobbies are meant to be enjoyed but if you are beginning to dread them, ease up a bit. I’m choosing to do just that and spend my time doing what makes me happy right now. 🙂

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When I started this blog at the beginning of the year I made a goal of writing something each and every day. I had a lot I wanted to share and thought that setting a daily frequency would help to form a habit…and it has, but it has also created a lot of stress in my life which is certainly not in line with my happiness journey. 

There are some days when I feel incredibly motivated, inspired and have lots of free time to write, but more frequently as of late, I seem to be scrambling to pull something together last minute as I either just don’t have the time or frankly, I just can’t be bothered to put my heart into it. Needless to say, having my daily post goal adds a lot of unnecessary stress to those uninspired, time-lacking days. 

With that being said, I’ve decided to follow my own advice and prioritize my happiness instead of prioritizing this blog. I will still continue to update it on a regular basis but I will no longer coerce myself into posting each and every day. Besides, I think we’d all rather read a good quality, inspired post once a week rather than skim through bland filler posts every day. 🙂 

Happy reading!

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This is a fabulous post from tiybuddha.com written by Lisa Illichmann. I just absolutely love this! It just goes to show that our attitude, and our attitude alone, can make the difference between a good day and a very bad one. What’s your perspective?

One Experience, Two Stories: Interpretation Is Everything

“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” – Pema Chodron

I was walking down the street the other day looking for a new client’s office and I was having a little trouble finding it. I really didn’t know that end of town very well so I was concentrating more on the numbers on the buildings than where I was going.

As I turned the corner—hopeful I was headed in the right direction—I heard a loud clattering sound and looked up. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a huge man on a bicycle careening down the sidewalk, arms and legs flailing. He was obviously unable to steer, let alone stop.

Immediately realizing the danger, I dropped my briefcase and dove head-first into the nearby bushes, narrowly escaping an accident with an overweight hit-and-run cyclist.

I popped out of the shrubbery, branches in my hair, and looked down the sidewalk. He was gone.

What a jerk! What was he doing on the sidewalk with that bike? And anyway, what was he doing on a bicycle in the first place, when he clearly wasn’t able to ride one. He should be off learning somewhere else. The nerve.

He could have killed me! How unbelievably dangerous. What on earth did he think we have streets for? Sidewalks are for pedestrians, not bikes – especially not for out of control ones. What if an old lady had been in his way? She would have had no chance at all. Imagine. The gall of this guy.

And look at my clothes. I was a mess. My jacket was torn, my knees were scrubbed, my hands were dirty and I broke one of my heels off. Damn shoes were expensive too. I couldn’t possibly go to my appointment like this. I was really pissed off, and rightly so. The cyclist was clearly at fault.

I pulled out my telephone, which probably was broken, although it looked okay and cancelled my appointment. I found my briefcase lying in the dirt next to the bushes. The leather was scratched and all my papers had fallen out. The laptop was probably ruined, but I decided to check that later. I gathered all my things, took the broken shoe off and limped back to my car.

What a jerk.

… One more time…

I was walking down the street the other day looking for a new client’s office, and I was having a little trouble finding it. I really didn’t know that end of town very well and so I was concentrating more on the numbers on the buildings than where I was going.

As I turned the corner, hopeful I was headed in the right direction, I heard a loud clattering sound and looked up. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a huge man on a bicycle careening down the sidewalk, arms and legs flailing. He was obviously unable to steer, let alone stop.

Immediately realizing the danger, I dropped my briefcase and dove head first into the nearby bushes, narrowly escaping an accident with an overweight hit-and-run cyclist.

I popped out of the shrubbery, branches in my hair, and looked down the sidewalk. He was gone.

Wow. That guy could have killed me. I couldn’t believe it. My response time was unbelievable. Imagine. I was in those bushes within a fraction of a second. Incredible. And with high heels on. Oops. Make that high heel – one of them didn’t survive. I broke the heel off of the other shoe so I could walk straight. Thank goodness I bought expensive shoes—they even looked good without heels.

I was impressed. My years of working with horses had definitely paid off; I could really get out of the way fast. I gave myself an emotional pat on the back. I’d like to see my son move like that. Downright elegant the way I dove into those shrubs. I brushed the dirt off my pants, pleased I had worn brown.

Most people I know would have been flattened. They wouldn’t have had a chance. I snickered smugly and plucked the leaves from my hair.

Feeling ever so athletic, I gathered all my scattered papers, shoved my laptop back into my briefcase and checked the address. Yep, this was the right building. Wasn’t even late. I wiped my hands on the lining of my jacket and rang the buzzer.

Look out world, here I come.

Same bike. Same bush. Different meaning. Different day.

Happy diving.

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Quote of the Week

“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” ~ James Gordon, M.D.

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My friend was kind enough to email me this story and since it so perfectly illustrates my one general piece of advice, I just had to share it. 🙂

Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full.
The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

”Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things – your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions – and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else – the small stuff.”

”If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children.
Spend time with your parents.
Visit with grandparents.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your spouse out to dinner.
Play another 18.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

Take care of the golf balls first – the things that really matter.

Set your priorities.

The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.”

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“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

When performing small acts of kindness I often wonder if it’s worth it. Is my time and effort (and money) being spent wisely? Am I actually improving someone’s day or is my thoughtfulness being strewn aside?  Am I even making a difference? 

There are days when I feel incredibly inspired and can easily find the motivation to perform kind acts but on those other days, the days where it all seems meaningless and I feel discouraged, I think of this story. I can’t remember where I first heard this but it has stuck with me ever since. 

A couple was walking along the shoreline at low tide. The beach was littered with tens of thousands of starfish that had been left behind on the sand when the tide went out and lay dying in the hot sun. The man picked up a starfish and hurled it into the sea, then another, then another.

His companion laughed at his efforts saying that he could hardly make a difference given that there were so many stranded starfish scattered along the shoreline.

Undaunted, the man picked up another starfish and as he hurled it into the surf he said “made a difference to that one.” 

If you’re like me and you find yourself questioning the influence of your actions, remember this story and remember that you only need to transform the life of one person to be successful. That smile you shared or that positive note you left behind may be the very thing that changed someone’s life.

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