Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall (Oh, wait…that was me)

ImageI haven’t written in a while, but its not because of a lack of inspiration.  Thanks to climate change, mother nature or simply this horrible winter, I fell on snow and broke a limb.  

I’ve said this for years…Falling humbles real people real fast!  I recall a couple of years ago when my husband (then fiancee) kept forgetting to take out the trash. I’d constantly remind him “don’t forget to take out the trash” and he’d say “I won’t.” Then he’d forget anyway.  

One morning I was already in a bad mood and he left out of the house without taking the trash AGAIN. So I quickly went outside right behind him (trash in hand) and dumped it into the can. When I was walking away, I slipped on ice and fell flat on my behind.  All of my attitude and sassiness left immediately.

I laughed about it later with coworkers sharing my theory that falling (especially in front of someone as an adult takes us down a few notches).  No matter how mad or tough we may be in a situation, tripping and falling will bring you down a few levels.

So this more serious fall that resulted in surgery reeaallyy made me humble. For the first week or so, I couldn’t get around on my own because of the pain and I was just beginning to use the crutches.  I had to depend on others to drive me to doctor’s appointments, get me food, even help me make it to the bathroom.  (I had 3 minor slips after the big one, hey, it was my first time on crutches, you understand).  I never had to rely on anyone like this before.  Frustrating, yet humbling.

So aside from being humbled after dealing with my emotions of sadness and anger because I couldn’t go to work, I’ve gained an appreciation for people with disabilities and anyone dealing with injuries in general.  I was sitting around feeling sorry for myself, but then I’d run across people on TV who lost a limb in war or who were in some crazy accident. I thought to myself, hey, I got off easy compared to these folks.  Now, though not fully recovered, I am definitely more inspired and looking forward to blessings to come. 

#ThingsCouldBeWorse #CountingMyBlessings

Sharing in Happiness

So I wanted to take some time to write about happiness.  I’m a firmly believe that we are in charge of our own happiness.  Sure there are things that piss us off from time to time, or our circumstances help lead us into a state of depression. But, while these things contribute to our feelings, we ultimately decide to be happy or not.

ImageWith that said, I think it is really important for us to rejoice in other people’s happiness.  We obviously have a choice when it comes to this as well.  If your coworker gets a another job opportunity before you  (even though you both have been working feverishly to find one), you can choose to be happy for them (or not).

I recently experienced a similar situation. I told my coworker about a new opportunity and was immediately met with anger and disappointment. Now, while I will definitely miss my old job and coworkers (some of whom became dear friends), I’m excited for the opportunities to come.  I was expecting some ambivalence and maybe a little sadness because we won’t get to work together daily, but not outright anger.  To be clear, this isn’t a situation of “hating”–it really is just a choice to be angry instead of sharing in my happiness.

ImageIts important for us to share in the happiness of our friends and family because we all want that for ourselves at some point.  I mean how can we truly be happy for ourselves, if we can’t delight in the happiness of a loved one?

Your friend graduated in four years (it took you five), your cousin buys a house (but you were looking for one first and still haven’t found one), your sister has five kids (and you can’t seem to have one).  All reasons to feel a little sad about your particular situation, but no reason to harbor resentment or not be happy for others.  Someone once said to me, “if you cannot be happy for someone’s blessings, then you’ll never get blessed.”  True statement.

ImageSo to my unhappy coworker, whom I’ll miss despite our recent clash, I will continue to be happy for you as things continue to look up.  Great things are in store for you, I know it! To others who are reading, be genuinely happy for your loved ones as they experience great things (even if it happens when you’re experiencing a rough patch)! I mean after all we “don’t need no hateration, holleration’ in this dancery”.   Besides, your friends can usually tell if your faking it.

#NoHaters

What I learned from a 2 year old

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There’s a story that I like to share with friends who are overburdened or overwhelmed.  This can be due to family/work/school responsibilities or a combination of everything.

A few years back my daughter was going through what everyone refers to as the “terrible twos”.  She was strong-willed, wild and did all those things that two year old’s typically do (sticking things in her mouth, pouring salt on the floor, bumping her head while hiding under the coffee table).  You name it, she did it.

I would say to her (in my I’m your mom so you’re going to me voice) “just sit down for a few minutes so I can get my head together” to which she would reply “NO!”  It drove me crazy! No matter what I asked her to do, the answer was “NO.”  After losing my mind a little bit and her becoming (slightly) more calm and easier to handle, the word that she kept saying was stuck in my head. “No”…”No”..”No”

I had been previously guilty of saying “yes” or “I’ll see what I can do” to friends and family who need my help or money for their own situations.  Taking on the problems of others, while having my own responsibilities had taken its toll on me.  I’d realized that I was taking on too many responsibilities. In addition to being a mom, I was working, going to school and dealing with family issues.  I was that overburdened friend who needed to be counseled.

That word “No” started to go through my mind more and more often and guess what?  I started using it! I started saying “No” to requests that were adding extra stress that my body could no longer afford to handle.  I said “No” to requests for money from people who squandered their own.  I said “No” to babysitting other people’s children almost as often as I had to deal with my own.  I said “No” not “I’ll see what I can do” and I felt liberated.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t stop helping family and friends completely.  But, I did ask myself Do I have to help this person? How would they get through this if I wasn’t an option?  I helped, but on my terms and when I felt less stressed.  I got interesting reactions to this new me. They ranged from blank stares to “you’re selfish.”  These reactions were coming from people I constantly helped and were simply not used to hearing me say “no.”

I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I felt bad for saying “no,” but I slowly realized that when I was saying “no” to them, I was really saying “yes” to me.  Saying no allowed me to say yes to spending more time with my daughter, reading a book, or simply taking a nap.

I learned one word that liberated me from unnecessary stress. And to think a two year old had to teach it to me. I will never forget that word. It helped me keep my sanity.

#No