Life, family, business

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Decisions, decisions

It seems like there is always someone who wants to tell you what to do.  Some people really think they know what’s best for you, regardless of what you think.  Some people even feel entitled to go around telling others what they should or shouldn’t do, and actually expect people to listen!

The really sad part of this is that sometimes we actually do let other people tell us what to do!  Why would we do that?  Why do we care what other people think of us enough to let them determine the course of our lives?

Sometimes, life gets hard. We need to make decisions, and that can be hard too. What if we do the wrong thing?  Pick the wrong job? Buy the wrong house? We stress over what to do, and sometimes, when we aren’t sure what we should do, we let others tell us what to do.

But I ask you this: what if you do the right things? Pick the right job? Buy the right house?

There are so many possibilities in life, and we need to be able to consciously choose our own paths in life.  Living the life someone else picks for you will never be fulfilling.  Each of us has to pick for ourselves.

If you really have a hard time making decisions, I find the best way to get started is to make a list of pros, the things that are positive about each choice, and a list of cons, the things that are negative about each choice. Once you have done this, read over what you wrote. Listen to your heart, listen to your gut, what is your body telling you? What is your heart telling you? Do any of these choices feel more “right” than the others?

And if you still really can’t decide on one that seems better, just pick one.  What’s the worst thing that could happen? You’ll learn something.  You’ll get life experience.  You’ll find out what you don’t like.  Then, pick something else.  Find a different job.  Sell that house and buy something different.  Very few choices in life are permanent, but some are, and you should really think about that tattoo before you get it!  Some choices we make may not fit us as we get older and more mature, and that’s okay.  That’s how life works.  We live, and we learn. We learn, and we make better choices the next time around if we are growing and learning from our mistakes.  And we all make mistakes.  Its part of being human, and its part of living.

Living your own life is the only way you will ever be happy, the only way you can grow. Every one of us needs to grow in order to feel alive.  Don’t stifle yourself by doing what someone else thinks you should do, make your own decisions, follow your heart. You can do this!

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Goals for 2017

What are goals?  What’s the difference between a goal and a resolution?

A goal is something you’re working toward, something you want.  But a resolution can be any kind of change you plan on implementing in your life.  I’m going to be honest here and tell you that I’m not very good at resolutions.  I did make one last year, and I think I did pretty well.  My resolution was to stop procrastinating my book work, and have it caught up all the time.  I slipped a bit at the end of the year, but for the most part, I feel I did well.  I have made it a habit to get it done, and that makes all the difference.  Changing your habits is how you change your life.

But this year, I felt I needed goals.  I want something to work towards, something to give me the motivation to work hard, to be all I can be.  I sat with my journal, and really couldn’t come up with much.  In fact, it made me more frustrated the longer I pondered.  Here’s what I ended up writing:

What are goals anyway?  Is it just a wishlist of things to get done? A master plan for life? What if I don’t know what my goals are yet? What if I enjoy living life by the seat of my pants?

I don’t know what this life will bring-what this year will bring. How do I set goals in a place with no certainty? How does one set goals in a game with no rules?

If my goals are simply the ways I hope to change myself for the better, then aren’t they actually aspirations?

Can I choose the goal of having such a great life that I don’t need any goals? Can I trust the God of the Universe enough to stay motivated without having any said goals other than to just be myself?

I think that’s my true goal, to just be myself.  No more worrying about the opinions of other people, because truly, they don’t matter.  No more worrying about if what I said was taken the wrong way, or not understood correctly.  No more worrying about hurting other people’s feelings, especially when they aren’t worried about hurting mine.  Perhaps worrying is the thing I need to get rid of.  All right, so I’ll be my true self, and stop worrying.  There.  Its set.  Happy 2017!


The Dangers of Boredom

The snow flakes shimmer under a dull gray sky, twirling and whirling, and flying up in great swirls of wind.  The leafless trees stretch their naked trunks and branches upwards, into the gray, upon gray, upon gray.  The cold winds deter me from doing anything outside.  Even though outside is my favorite place, the unfavorable temperature and bone-chilling winds make it less bearable this time of year.

Here I remain, trapped indoors. The dogs are sleeping, as are the cats.  The husband and son gone for the morning and early afternoon.  What to do.  What to do…

So honestly, I have a ton of hobbies.  I think I’m one of those people who needs to have something to do.  I can sit and read quietly for only so long, and then I need to do SOMETHING.  Cleaning house is rewarding only to a certain extent.  I have to use my brain, my creativity, and my hands.  I love to paint, but my talent only goes so far.  I have a very large collection of houseplants that only need so much nurturing before they become angry in their winter hibernation.  I can only cook so much food for a small number of people.  I can write only so much before people stop reading it.  I used to enjoy sewing quilts for my children when they were young, but how many quilts does a person need?  I crochet to a certain extent, but its a time consuming process that yields yet another blanket, or set of dishcloths, or a scarf to add to my collection.  I make jewelry, and have a fabulous collection, even though I rarely wear jewelry. I have made rugs, sweaters, greeting cards, curtains, clothing, shelves; all sorts of things.  But what next?  What’s the next thing to do?

I think a lot of people struggle with the winter blahs: trapped indoors with no real sense of purpose.  Our great-grandmothers would probably tell us how lucky we are having all the modern appliances that make life so much easier.  I remember as a child, my grandmother had an old ringer washing machine, and doing the week’s laundry took the entire day.  They washed the clothes, ran them through the ringer-press to get the water out, and then hung them on the line to dry. Once dry, all the clothes had to be brought in, folded or ironed, and put away.  It was a great deal of work to keep their clothes clean.  For me to do a load of laundry, I simply put the clothes in, toss in a gel pack of detergent, close the lid and push the button.  Elapsed time: one minute.  Then I transfer the clothes to the dryer, toss in a softener sheet, close the door and press a button. Sure, I do have to fold them and put them away, but that takes a fraction of the time because I do a load every day or two and then fold and put away as I have time.  In fact, my washer is working right now as I sit and type; there’s nothing hands-on about it.

Our lives of chores have gotten easier, and I won’t complain about having a high efficiency washing machine, but now that the kids are older, I don’t have as much to do at home any more.  Its strange how the hurried days of childhood taper off so quickly.  I now have the time to do the things I always wanted to do, but it seems I’ve forgotten what those things are.  Perhaps I’ll learn a new language, or finally learn to play the piano. (I have one in my living room so I might as well!)  I think its important to always keep learning.  It helps occupy your brain, helps you use your creativity, and maybe its even something to do with your hands.  Never give in to boredom, there’s always something new to discover, or something to create.  I do treasure my time alone, since I don’t get a lot of it. But I still need to have something I want to do.  What are things that you do to occupy your time? I’d love to hear about them in the comment section! And thank you for reading!