Thursday, April 16, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Learning

Sorry for falling behind again. Life got a bit hectic for me two days ago, so I haven't been able to write at all.

One of the big things I'm learning from 2014 and the subsequent fallout this year is... well, to learn from it.

Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but I can't really think of a better way to put it.

I mean, yes, I've always learned from my life. There are always mistakes made. Always things to learn.

Usually, though, it takes me a few months to gain the perspective needed for the process to happen automatically.

Waiting for the process to kick in didn't feel quite right this time, though. For one simple reason: I've spent a horrible year. I don't want to take months dwelling on it.

So this time I picked my theme so that I could purposefully look for those lessons and the positive aspects to what I've gone through. That way, I have to look at things from the right perspective.

Any you know what? It's really helping me. Writing about the things I've learned makes the things that have happened seem so much smaller in my mind. Yes, they're big. They had huge implications and ramifications in my life. But once the fallout is completely over (and I'm hoping that will be soon), the implications and ramifications that follow will be completely positive. And that positive effect on my life makes even the terrible year I've had worthwhile. It gives it meaning. A good meaning.That means I might one day look back on a year I would otherwise have written off, smiling.

Do you also sometimes push yourself to learn from your life? 

Monday, April 13, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Kindness

During my very bad 2014, I've been thinking a lot about that saying. You know the one:

Always be kind, because everyone is struggling with something. 

It's really one of those things that really hits home once you get nice and acquainted with struggle. See the thing is, we tend not to talk about our problems. Partly because we (often times correctly) assume that the person we're talking to won't want to hear it. Or sometimes because of pride. Or because it hurts too much. The reasons are endless.

Thus, most people could be struggling with huge, seemingly insurmountable problems and they won't talk about it.

And although we do it ourselves all the time, we forget this is true for other people. So the woman who's working three jobs to put food on the table becomes rude instead of exhausted. The man who's facing financial ruin becomes short-tempered instead of stressed out of his mind.

Then on top of this, the way we react toward such people make them withdraw even more. Just like you do when someone adds hurt on top of the bad stuff you're going through.

So yeah, I've come to realize just how important it is to be kind. If for no other reason, because I've been in a situation where even a tiny amount of true kindness means so much.

Have you ever been in a tough place, and the people around you made it just a bit worse? 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Journey

Sometimes, I'm tempted to look back on this past year and wonder why any of it had happened. I mean, why go to the heights of excitement only to have the rug yanked out from under your feet more often than not?

That's a question I still don't really have an answer to. Yes, for some of it, I was stupid. Other times, I'd been careful. Life still went awry more often than not.

I do believe, though, that it's all part of the journey. No road is just a smooth, endless straight line to some destination. There will be ups and downs. And if I look up from those ups and downs and look around, I might actually see some beautiful scenery.

Like the way me and my family stood together through the harshest of times. And how we're continuing to do so while facing the fall-out.

Like those blessings I'd mentioned on the 2nd.

There is beauty all around, even in the darkest moments.

I have to look up from the road to see it, though.

Which is part of the reason why I'm continuing to write these posts even though some of them are very hard to do. There's beauty in learning too. And I'm hoping that these lessons are all part of preparing for the next leg of my journey.

A way to smooth the road just a little more.


Friday, April 10, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Intuition

I have, for as long as I can imagine, had a very sharp intuition about people. I guess it's part of the reason why I'm very good at characterization when writing. It's also part of the reason why I'm actually much more cynical than people realize. 

I do, however, make an effort at seeing the good along with the bad, because I realized that not doing so would probably turn me into a hermit. Really. I have no intention of being a hermit. Although, in December, I'd relished moving to a farm veeeeeeeery far from everything. Sadly, just not far enough from everyone

The point is. In the process of looking for the bright side, I've let my family talk me into ignoring my gut instinct time and again. 

And those ones are the ones I always regretted. 

I mean, no one's perfect, but some people just send alarm bells ringing. But since I know my alarm system is highly sensitive, I've been ignoring when the alarm gets triggered. 

And last year, to say the least, showed me why that's really a bad idea. 

So now, I'm reviewing my system. No. I'm not going to refuse to trust people. Because that just give those people who hurt me actually got to hurt me even more. 

I am, however, going to pay much closer attention to the alarms next time. 

Anyone else ignore their intuitions to your own detriment? 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Humor

As I mentioned before, 2014 was bad, but the fallout of it only really hit between January and March 2015 and I'm still dealing with it even now while I'm writing this. I really wish that it wasn't so, because I'd really hoped that by the end of 2014, everything would have been dealt with and I could go on to (much) better things.

That said, things are going better now than it had been in February (which was the decided low point). Mostly, I'm trying to get through all this by looking for the positive rather than the negatives. It does help.

One aspect to this is by laughing. A lot. It means finding the funny side to things, because laughing about them means that I can realize there's more to life than the bad. And even the bad parts aren't all that big if looked at from the right perspective.

It makes me think of probably my favorite book opening of any books I've ever read.

"He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." 
(Scaramouche by Raphael Sabatini) 

The world is mad and some people living in it are mad. Sometimes, things seem to happen for no reason, or if there is a reason, that reason is often driven by someone's selfishness, greed, small mindedness... and on and on.

Our being dour and not enjoying our lives won't make that go away. So really, we might as well laugh, and find ways to deal with the serious stuff as best we can.

Want to tell us your favorite joke?