Tag Archives: 2012

Endings and Beginnings: Thoughts For The Day

I awoke to a beautiful sunrise this morning.  There weren’t many clouds to help accentuate it, but in the cold winter morning air the puffs of exhaust coming out of the smoke stacks of the various buildings here in the city were PINK!  It looked like cotton candy billowing into the sky!  I imagine that’s what it would be made of in Candyland, but unfortunately in reality, it means pollution spewing into the air.  Not a pleasant thought, but it was still really pretty to look at.

So it’s the 21st of December in the year 2012 and YAY we’re all still here!  Not that I ever doubted it, but it’s fun to joke around about it and interesting to muse over various end-of-the-world theories.  When they try and use science and tie it in with astronomy I find it all very intriguing.  Of course not knowing a whole lot about that stuff myself, I have no idea if those various theories have their facts straight or not, but it’s still interesting to me.

We’re all just searching for the answers and the meaning of life aren’t we?  We look at history and ancient times to try and find out where we come from, and use that information alongside with current understanding and knowledge of the universe to try to find out where we are going.  Well, some of us do.  I suppose some of us could care less about all of that searching mumbo jumbo and just want to absorb ourselves in entertainment and in whatever pleasures this life has to offer.  And some of us (I fall into this category) try not to worry about knowing all the answers to the universe, but enjoy learning, discovering, and keeping an open mind to various possibilities while simply just trying to live each day with meaning and love.

Some days I’m better at doing that than others, lately I’ve been down right stressed out as I mentioned in my last post.  But as the sun rises and another new day dawns, I have another opportunity to try again.  I’m thankful for this new day, and glad the world didn’t end just yet.  😉  Whatever this day brings I will try to face it with hope, in joy, and with courage.

Regardless of when the world ends, we should always try and make the most of each day, each moment, because either way, our time here is brief and we should not ever take that for granted.  And while we’re here, no matter who we are, where we’ve come from, or where we are going, we should love and take care of each other and the earth, our home.

And speaking of moments, for what it’s worth… today is the Winter Solstice which means the moments of daylight are going to start getting longer!  Well, depending on where you reside on the planet anyway, for some of you it may be the exact opposite.  Sorry.  😉

And speaking of winter… although I look forward to longer days and then eventually spring and getting back out in my garden, I’m not going to rush winter along just yet, it has a beauty all its own.

I snapped these a few weeks ago during a winter snowstorm we had here in Minnesota.  This was the view outside my bedroom window…DSCF0266c

And after it was all said and done…

DSCF0314a

Yes, it’s cold, and wet and sucks to shovel, but it’s also lovely!

~

And just because this song has been running through my mind…

😀

Stinkin’ Thinkin’

“Has this ever happened to you?” 

You’re just going along on your merry way.  You’re doing your best to live each day with meaning and joy, when all of the sudden these thoughts start coming in and begin invading your mind with all sorts of negative and depressing things. Sucking the very life and light right out of you and sending you down into that dark place that’s cold and empty and filled with despair and hopelessness.

I know that’s quite a dramatic description, but you get my meaning…

It’s actually not really an “all of the sudden,” it’s usually more of a gradual process.

Our minds, and our way of thinking, literally have the power to shape our lives.  And it not only affects our mental health, but can also have a huge impact on our physical health as well.

In general, I am a happy and positive person ~ an optimist, if you will.  Not in a sickeningly way (at least I hope not to those who have to be around me on a regular basis), but I usually seem to have a cheerful attitude and the ability to “look at the bright-side” on most occasions.

But there are times when I get that stinkin’ thinkin’ and find myself feeling quite dismal.  And somehow it seems to multiply and accumulate like a snowball rolling down a hill.

Depending on what may be going on in my life at the present moment and/or even where I’m at in my hormonal cycle, the intensity of these thoughts varies.  But oh boy it is not fun…

During those times I want to shout curses at all of positive and disillusioned dreamers out there.  I hate every love song that comes on the radio and want to bash the tv in when anything comes on that is feel-good or romantic.  It’s all such a crock!  And if you are one of the dear friends who dares to try and say anything even remotely positive to me I will eat your face off and spit out the pieces.

Scary huh?  Yep.  And that’s not the real me at all.  But this is what happens when we give ourselves over to the dark side of the force and get into that stinkin’ way of thinkin.’

Don’t get me wrong… you gotta be real.  You gotta let your emotions run their course and go through your process when you’re dealing with a particular life issue.  But… you also have to be cautious.  Those darn emotions can sometimes run a muck.

“A muck a muck a muck.”

Sorry for the distraction there, but that’s how my brain operates.  😀  Everything reminds me of a song, a movie, or a tv commercial etc.

Anyways, moving right along…

We have to be careful not to let our emotions and/or even more importantly… our thoughts, run a muck.  We can allow ourselves to go there, but must not stay there.  And that can be a very delicate balancing act…

One of which I failed on this New Year’s.  I was feeling melancholy and sat and thought about all of the horrible, hurtful things that happened to me in 2011 instead of focusing on all of the wonderful, beautiful things in my life to be thankful for.  I had little glimpses of  things I was grateful for ~ simple things like just having a reliable and completely paid for vehicle to drive as my daughter and I were heading out to have a special New Year’s dinner at our favorite restaurant.  But then I let the stinkin’ thinkin’ come in and thought “Yeah, but I wonder how long it’ll keep being reliable.  And how will I be able to afford any repairs that it might need down the road.”  Those dang negative ‘what ifs’ will steal your joy and sense of peace every time…

Oh, but I had every valid reason to think those thoughts though.  I have lost so much and it seems like I just keep having more things taken away from me, so why not have car problems next?   See… it’s like we feel we’re entitled to think that way.  Watch out!  Run!  It’s a trap!   “Danger Will Robinson!”

If you stay there too long, you’ll get stuck there and before you even realize it those negative thoughts will be what comes naturally to mind.  And it will continue to grow… like a cancer, until you find yourself a very miserable, unhappy person.  But hey you’re entitled right?

I don’t know about you, but I want to be happy.  And being happy starts with your frame of mind.  It’s a choice.  I’m reminded of a quote here…

“Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”                      ~ Abraham Lincoln

Here’s another…

“You don’t go to find meaning in life, you bring meaning to your life.  Meaning isn’t something out there waiting for you to discover. The meaning of your life is what you infuse it with – beauty or ugliness, happiness or sadness. It is totally your choice.”

I don’t know who said that last quote, but it’s such a good one.  Meaning of life is what we infuse it with…

So it seems fitting that as I enter a new year ~ that I try to make good choices in what I infuse my life with, and no more of that stinkin’ thinkin’.

Reflections & Resolutions

So a new year is right around the corner here and I’ve got a lot on my mind as it approaches.  Things past, things present, and things yet to come are all converging at once and simultaneously scrambling around in my head at the moment.  It’s gettin’ kinda crowded in there and I’m tempted to try and lock it all away behind a firewall of sorts somewhere within the depths of my brain.

Ordinarily I do more of a “New Year’s resolution” type thing around my birthday time.  I figure that’s really when a new year of my life begins ~ not the calendar year, but I still find myself contemplating life along with everyone else during this time of the year…

The past few years have been some of the most difficult of my life so far and there were times when I didn’t know how I was even going to continue on.  Hopeless, seemingly helpless, and dark times where it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But by living one moment at a time, simply concentrating on breathing in and out, and taking one step and then another, I got through it ~ along with a lot of support and encouragement from good friends and precious family, the companionship and comfort of my furry pets, and my faith in God.

~

But in just reflecting on the calendar year of 2011…

January began with the dissolution of my 21 year marriage as my divorce became final after over a year of horrendous upheaval and turmoil.  I know that divorce is common in our society these days, but what I went through was anything but “common” to me.  Such hurt, betrayal and regret.  I’m sure at some point I will blog about that whole process in more detail, but right now all I will say is that although my heart is still a bit bruised and battered ~ I am profoundly grateful to be free from that relationship.  And… that I’m doing okay.

In February I met someone new.  Yeah, I know… a month is hardly enough time to wait in between a tumultuous divorce and entering into a new relationship, but I didn’t mean for it to happen and believe me… I resisted.  But he was very persistent and before I knew it he had sneaked his way fully into my heart .  Also, I must confess that after feeling abandoned and discarded by my husband it just felt so darn good to be pursued and wanted.  And not only was this new guy the exact polar opposite of my ex, but he seemingly adored everything about me ~ even the things my ex had hated and complained about.  I fell hard.  Real hard.  And I am still not over the break-up of that relationship which was just this past October.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, my Dad passed away this past June after a valiant fight against colon cancer.  The pain and loss I have experienced through that and getting through the holidays has been especially difficult for me.

~

But now the holidays are over.  Well not quite… New Years is here now = reason for this post.

Ever since the realization of my impending divorce began, I have been trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.  I didn’t have a career during my marriage because my focus was on raising our daughter, being a good wife, and taking care of my home.  I worked at my daughter’s school for 11 years and loved every minute of it.  Well… not every minute, but I enjoyed it very much and cherish the relationships I built during my time there.   It wasn’t just a job to me and I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be.  But in June of 2010, I was let go along with 20 or so other people as the school did some restructuring and cutting back.  So not only was I in the middle losing my marriage, but I had lost a job that I loved and a strong connection with a community that had grown to be like an extended family to me.

I knew in getting divorced that I was going to have to eventually find a different job that would support me financially, but I had also hoped that maybe I could stay working at the school and collect spousal maintenance until I figured out what to do next.  Maybe take some classes in this or that to try and rediscover my interests.  Up to that point my life had just been so wrapped up in being a wife and a mom that I hadn’t really given much thought to anything else.

Thankfully I am receiving some spousal maintenance, but the amount I’m getting will soon be drastically reduced and here I sit ~ jobless and still without a clue of which path to take.

So as this new year approaches I guess one of my top resolutions should/will be to really dig into the depths of my heart and mind and try and figure it all out huh?

That along with… eating healthier, taking better care of myself and a myriad of other things I want to change and/or improve in my life…  😉  I’m sure you can relate.

Out of curiosity I decided to Google the top ten new year’s resolutions and was not surprised to find they were:

1.  Spend more time with family & friends

2.  Make time for fitness

3.  Tame the bulge

4.  Quit smoking

5.  Enjoy life more

6.  Quit drinking

7.  Get out of debt

8.  Learn something new

9.  Help others

10.  Get organized

Sounds good to me.  And you know… 2012 is supposedly the end of the line, so we had better make the most of it!