I saw a quote on my calendar today, and I have to disagree respectfully. I get where the person is going, but I let go of some of my perfectionism over the years, and it has freed up my task list tremendously. The quote… If better is possible, good is not enough. – unknown-
I superimposed my mini-me Bitmoji avatar onto a favorite vacation spot in Ireland. I have it as my screen saver on my computer and iPhone as a reminder that every day matters when you are going about your everyday matters.
The round rocks in the Giant’s Causeway are a result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. They are beautiful and the view is breathtaking.
Life is short. Sometimes it feels like we are in a hamster wheel repeating each day like ground-hog-day. Days blur together and it seems like one day is no different than the next. Lather, rinse and repeat. It may feel that way, but it is not true. Every day matters and everything we say and do in that day matters as we go about our everyday matters.
Why does it matter that I superimposed a comic image over a volcanic rock? It matters to me. It represents a few things.
- I acted on a commitment to myself. (I took a vacation with friends and family)
- My path may be rocky at times, but my foundation is smooth and strong.
- What am I going to do with my life today? Good reminder to start my day mindful.
My decision to live my best life after a brain-bleed inspired spending quality time with family and friends, to get out of the house more, take more vacations and stress less about work. Ireland was a new vacation spot for me in my quest to experience new things. The rocks are round and smooth but the path to the top can be a bit rocky. Pun intended. I love this photo. As I walked up the path I thought ‘I’m okay with a rocky path because I know my foundation is strong like the columns that formed these rocks bursting through the fissures.’
How we respond to life’s eruptions matter. For that matter, we are in full control. We can choose our response, our reactions. We can stay positive and mindful or we can spiral out of control and lash out at those around us.
How we spend our day is not a trivial matter. In fact, it is a matter to take quite seriously. What matters most is that you are true to yourself each day. As a matter of fact, staying in your integrity is one of the few things we have control of when we make decisions that matter or in our response to someone when we have asked them if something is the matter.
Please trust me in these matters. Life is short and the days are shorter. Don’t waste them especially when it comes to matters of the heart.
Today’s daily prompt put me in a retrospective frame of mind. I’ve been trying to practice being more mindful and staying present both at work and in my personal life. I can definitely see the benefits. It has helped me savor the moments, be more engaged and focused.
I’m a project manager and at the end of a project we take a retrospective look back at what worked and didn’t work. The comments are discussed, documented and procedures are tweaked as applicable for the next project. I realized my mindful practice helped me to break down the issues more readily than in past projects. Having a present awareness during the project seemed to store things in my long-term-memory for easier recall when it came time to drill into the lessons learned. Is this possible or is it my imagination? Anyone else have similar experiences?
Today’s daily prompt Mallet reminded me to be mindful of watching for signs that I am repeating patterns. Do you ever find yourself saying “why does this keep happening?” When I find myself thinking What the? Again? I take a moment to see if there is a pattern. If there is a pattern, I try to figure out if there is a life lesson that is trying to hit me over the head like a mallet until I get it.
I think the saying time heals all wounds was meant to be soothing, but it can also be a double edge sword. Time can make you hold on to resentments. It can also keep you from giving people the opportunity to change, to see them in a different light. You continue to react to them based on their past behaviors setting up a continuous cycle. Waiting on time to heal your wound wastes the time you could have spent cherishing what precious time we have left. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. While you are letting “time” heal your wounds, you may lose the opportunity to bridge that friendship or relationship.
I never put much thought into the saying never go to bed angry until my brain bleed. What if the person you are mad at dies before you have forgiven them? What if someone dies before they have forgiven you? Things you wish you could have said or heard will never leave your lips or pass your ears. Moments you could have spent together during your cooling off period are lost forever.
I remember my sister telling me some ten years ago that she was afraid to make me mad because she was afraid I would cut her out of my life. Our parents had passed,
Establishing goals is all right if you don’t let them deprive you of interesting detours.-Doug Larson-
I think we have all heard the saying “when one door closes, another one opens.” It might feel like that door is more like a small window you have to maneuver through or sometimes it might feel like beautiful French doors that pop wide open. Whatever the case it’s important to see the blessings in life’s little detours.
A few years ago I worked for a company that moved me into a position that was “best for the needs of the company.” My title remained the same, I was just working in a different business unit. I was transferred from the IT area to another business area in operations. I tried to fight it. I was unsuccessful. The move shifted the trajectory I thought I was on. It was hard not to feel like a marionette puppet. Even harder not to be bitter. I had a choice; I could leave. I decided to stay and change my perception and see it as one of life’s detours.
Instead of taking it personally, I thought of the monthly emails announcing position changes and the emails announcing as of today x is no longer working here. It was common practice to move people around the company chess board. I will admit, in the past when I read those emails I felt they were playing Russian roulette with the employees. We were the “bullets” in the chamber and with an almost quarterly spin, you could be shot out like a cannon or hang back in the chamber waiting for the next spin. Recognizing it was a business and of course, the needs of the company was a factor in each of our career paths, I took a tuck and roll approach. I adjusted with each change and over the years, I had several more in “the best interest of the company” moves.
For the moment the dust has settled. Things have stabilized. I work with a great team. They are both collaborative and supportive of each other. My position allows me to use all of my strengths and I’m able to learn new things, which is important to me. I’m in a good place while I wait for the next spin.
Embrace the detours. Thinking back they seemed to arrive around the time I was getting comfortable and nestled in, and quite possibly limiting my opportunity for growth. I was given the chance to make delicious lemonade from a basket of perceived Lemons. Maybe it wasn’t the company making the changes, but the universe setting things in motion for my highest good. Sure feels like that now.
When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things– Not the great occasions– that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness. – Bob Hope
I had a glow of happiness today. During a meeting, I volunteered to draft out a detailed plan design of a project we are starting. After I hung up I wondered if it were possible to get everything documented in two days. I opened up my “shell” template for the plan design and realized I had already started it when we passed one of the main stage-gates a few months back. Bonus, I was far along in the documentation. The sweet glow of happiness filled the room.
Don’t forget to count these moments when you reflect on the things you are grateful for. I’m with Bob. These simple things are gems!
Daily Prompt Particular.
I remember in basic training when we were learning how to march in formation, our instructor would yell out “I am about to show you a maneuver, pay close attention to this part of my body.” He would either motion like Vanna White to the lower or upper half of his body. I thought it was funny, but in hindsight, I realized how profound his process was. What a gift to have the lesson you are about to receive clearly spelled out so you know exactly what to focus on.
Years later a friend made a comment about repeating patterns in a relationship and that until you learn whatever lesson was being sent your way, that pattern would continue to repeat itself. For example, picking a person that is safe to avoid being hurt or picking a person that is emotionally unavailable because on some level we might not be ready for a full connection or believe we are not worthy.
One of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits involved a person visiting a psychiatrist. For the entire session no matter what the patient said, the response from the psychiatrist was “look to yourself.” It cracked me up and stayed with me. I realized it was intended for entertainment, but it made me think, what an excellent response. Looking at patterns and figuring out any lessons you can gain from them may move you forward and break the cycle. Patterns that crop up every few years are on a smaller scale and admittedly harder to recognize, but are equally important to analyze.
Being mindful and present of your patterns helps you watch for life’s lessons with eyes-wide-open. If you keep having the same type of experience and you want to make a shift, pay attention to your patterns and the next time when the universe yells out, “I’m about to execute a life lesson, pay particular attention to your relationship,” look closely at any patterns you may be repeating.
Is there a Panacea for restlessness? There are so many reasons we become restless and it touches so many areas of our lives. We become restless in our relationships, our jobs, our friendships. Is it possible to have one Panacea, one solution?
I have learned after numerous cycles of making drastic changes, switching jobs every five years and changing relationships that chasing the next shiny object, starting over with something or someone new isn’t necessarily the best answer. The excitement is short-lived. When the newness wears off, the feelings stir again, and the cycle repeats. Instead, I realized that making small tweaks along the journey makes all the difference.
For me, the one solution that keeps me from feeling restless or feeling like I am in a rut is to always do something that inspires me. No matter how small. Plant a garden, learn a new language, write a daily word prompt. As long as I am growing, learning and staying inspired, the rest of my life balances out. When my focus changes to nose against the grindstone all work and no play, everything shifts and I start to feel like I am in a perpetual rut, stuck running the hamster wheel of life.
Stay inspired my friends!
I blogged on Gratitude earlier, but since it is today’s prompt, I pulled a section out of the earlier blog.
Having gratitude for the blessings in your life keeps you in a positive frame of mind versus focusing on what you feel is wrong in your life.
Gratitude is a recognition that you have many things in your life to be grateful for and I don’t mean stuff. For me, it is having loving and supportive people in my life, having my health, having a job I enjoy, and knowing that if something happened I would be able to shift a negative experience to an opportunity for growth. When one door closes, another door opens. A negative experience can bring gratitude as well. For example losing a job, maybe what is needed to redirect you to a better opportunity that you may not have taken if you stayed in your comfort zone. Starting your day with gratitude shifts the brain into a positive frame of mind helping shape your day. It can help you stay calmer and less reactive as your day unfolds. You choose the type of day you are going to have when you recognize and acknowledge everything you are grateful for. If you start your day negative, guess what kind of day you are going to have. Yep, more than likely a negative one.