Pulling the Weeds and Trimming the Hedges.

And this just in:

“I’m making some changes in my life. If you don’t hear from me you were one of them.”~unknown

So nice, I had to say it twice! The second time doesn’t sound as cruel as the first. At this stage of your life change, it actually might be music to your ears.

Now that your mind has been recruited, it’s time to make a few necessary adjustments in the who, what, when, where and why’s of your social circle, both personal and professional. Not everyone will be happy with your steps towards change and you will find that you may need to change the people around you. No worries! Your change is for a better you not a bitter them.

Not all of your old friends and associates will be able to or even want to speak your new language. Running with the same crowd may make you feel like the odd man or woman out, especially if your goal is to change some of the mutual habits shared that you want to lose but they wish to keep.  Those behaviors may be a negative impact on all of the progress, regardless of how small, you have made and you just don’t need it! Switch it up. Find local or online groups of like-minded individuals that you can interact with. Go to museums, art galleries or do volunteer work at an agency of your choice that will keep you in step with your goals. Whatever compliments your mental framework, just do it!

Next, is it time to move on professionally? If your current employment venture is failing to adequately meet your needs, it may be. I don’t, however, recommend storming into your boss’s office spewing different forms of profanity and then quitting on the spot. While it may be a great source of temporary gratification, it would certainly be the end of work as you know it. Instead, brainstorm. Think about the possible options available to you. Is there room for advancement? Are there other departments that may be more suitable for your needs? If you do need to seek out other opportunities are you qualified to meet the demand or will you require formal educational training?

Whatever you decide, stick to the plan. Only you know where you want to go. If you have prepared yourself mentally, you will successfully navigate around issues as they occur. If you have begun cultivating an environment that will enable you to grow, you’ve already won half the battle. No plan is without flaws so you should expect setbacks, within reason. Do your best not to succumb to discouragement and just keep pushing!

 

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

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A Cup of Coffee

It’s amazing how normal everyday things can be a source of inspiration when you have the desire to write. Something as simple as a cup of coffee can help you tell a story.

Imagine sitting across from someone whom you haven’t seen in years. Imagine, placed between the two of you, a table on which sat two mugs of freshly brewed coffee. Imagine your surroundings. Are you at home or at a local coffee shop? Imagine the weather. Is the sun dominating the sky or are the clouds flexing their muscles? Imagine the face of a person who you’ve missed who now sits at this table with you and those two cups of coffee.

Here’s what I would want my person to know.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about the road that I’ve travelled. The experiences I’ve had and the lessons I’ve learned.

If we were having coffee, I would share stories about my children. You would be as proud of them as I am.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I still have not found anyone who could make cornbread and lemonade quite the way you do and, no matter how many times you gave me the recipe, I knew it just wouldn’t be the same.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how much I missed summers at your house when I was a little girl.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how I still laugh at the memories of you hopping from one foot to the next doing the ‘Ooga Booga’ dance just to get Vicky to eat.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you whatever happened to that blue blanket that Richie refused to leave home without. The one that you could only wash when he was asleep. Then I would tell you that you were a genius in successfully getting rid of it altogether.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how spoiled Freddy was but then you already knew because you were the one who did it. You spoiled me too.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to drink yours very slow so I could cherish every moment until it was time for us both to go. ❤

What would you say to your person?

 

Family Ties

It’s true. Our family are the first friends we have in life. They are the ones who witness just about all of our firsts. They are the ones who pick us up when we fall-after they laugh, of course. They are the ones who wear our clothes without permission or steal the last ice cream from the freezer even if they know you haven’t had any, only to share with you later-sometimes and wipe are tears when we cry.

Family, whether it’s your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings or cousins, are the first ones to teach you how to love, how to hate, how to dream. The bond you have with your family should be one that trumps all others. It should be a bond rooted in strength and forgiveness, kindness and trust. Family is home and home should be your sanctuary.

Times have changed so much. Nowadays, the family circle is broken and, in some cases, irreparably so. As we get older, we change. Our interests change. Our thoughts are overloaded with the sights, sounds, touches and tastes of our environment. We meet new people and adopt some of their qualities. We go through the many sequences of trying to shape-shift into who we are meant to be in our next stage of life and, sometimes we step away from our sanctuary.

Stepping away, in my opinion, is not the same as branching out. When you branch out, you remain rooted to your core. You still flourish from the nutritional strength that gave you life and maintained you and you can now expand it and make it stronger. This in no way declares eternal dependency. It, instead, develops independent success. When you step away, you detach yourself from that which you came. You can no longer gain sustenance and you can not add to it.

There may be many reasons why we step away from the roots of our beginning. Sometimes, the cause is so extensive that the only choice we have is to sever the ties. Sometimes, however, the cause is just a wrinkle that no one wants to straighten out. Sometimes our own mind magnifies a situation to imaginary proportions; other times, it’s our pride.

No one ever wants to be the first to say they’re sorry because, let’s face it, who likes to admit they’re wrong? In some cases, you may not even be the one who’s at fault. Those are the times we need to rise above the glass encased emotions that we harvest and recognize what’s really important. If you can remember a time when your family was crazy but cool, you should also remember some key factors in keeping them cool (the crazy will always represent itself):

  • Communication is one of the essential elements that keeps a family strong. Take time to talk to each other. Celebrate successes. Talk about future plans. Send a quick text to say hello. Keep it personal. Social media love isn’t always sufficient.
  • Be positive. The sun doesn’t always shine. Sometimes you have to bring your own light to illuminate someone else’s darkness. They’ll thank you for it and you’ll recognize their appreciation if you’re not, solely, looking for it.
  • Family night. A lot can happen in a week. Plan a day-maybe once a month-where everyone can get together to catch up. Have fun with each other, play games, reminisce. Make memories.
  • Be there for one another. Even the strongest shoulder needs someone to lean on. Let your family know that you are there for them. Even when you think they should know, say it anyway. Reinforcing how much you love and care for someone can move mountains.

There are so many ways you can maintain the bond with your family. It may take lots of creativity and patience but it’s well worth the effort. Just like you’ve changed, so have they. You all have so many NEW things to learn about each other. Take advantage of it.