.............................................................................................................................................Daily Doses of inspiration, encouragement and advice to help you get through those tough times. Remember your strength, be reminded of your resilience and find solace and peace.
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For those of us who are control freaks, I have a word of consolation.
Let me reassure you of something you've always feared:
Here it is: If you just let go of your rigidly, over-planned life for just one second, it'll still be okay.
The world will not spin apart, life will not end as you know it and everything will most likely be just fine.
If you take a vacation from work, the work will still get done and you will not get fired.
If you allow your spouse to spend time with the kids, they will still get fed, take their naps, have their diapers changed and be the healthy, adorable kids you know them to be.
If you eat one thing more than you intended for lunch, you will not gain five pounds.
If you show up five minutes late for your appointment (due to totally unforeseen circumstances), your client will understand - especially if you're normally on time.
Similarly, if your life has not turned out to be what you expected thus far, you still have time.
If you still haven't found that perfect mate, there's still hope.
And if you see no plan or purpose for your life at all - you still have today.
Here's a final note to those of us who are control freaks:
You cannot control anyone or anything. As a matter of fact, you can barely control yourself. You can only do what you can do when you are able to do it. You have done the absolute best you can with what you have and you will continue to do better as you heal emotionally and learn more about life.
You are not in control and you never will be. There will always be circumstances that will happen whether or not you plan for every contingency. You will now have to learn what words and phrases like "go with the flow" "be flexible" and "be prepared for anything" really mean. Because that's LIFE. Unpredictable, illogical, yet filled with wonder.
Let go. Take a vacation. Take a day off. Eat a bowl of ice cream. It's okay - the world will not end. Take today to enjoy what you have right where you are - acknowledging you have done your absolute best to accomplish your dreams, further your career and make a difference in this world.
Forgive yourself for anything you've done wrong and mentally prepare yourself for the next challenge you will surely face.
You fail your driving test once, they usually let you do it again.
You marry for all the wrong reasons the first time, you can usually found another mate.
You alienate your best friend through a misunderstanding once, she'll usually give you a chance to make it up to her.
Life often gives you second chances - but not always.
You may argue with your mother once, stop speaking for a year and then she unexpectedly passes away.
Or you do so badly on a presentation at work that instead of being understanding (like you expect them to), they fire you and you're unexpectedly out of a job.
Or you may think you'll have a second opportunity to apply for the police academy, until they institute a hiring freeze which outlasts your eligibility.
You almost always have a second chance, but not always.
The key is to do the best that you can when you can. Give your best, give your all and hope that this opportunity is the one. Prepare, practice, anticipate and strategize. Know what you want and be willing to do what is necessary to go after it.
And - whatever you do - don't you dare take opportunities for granted. Unless you are completely unprepared or distracted, make the most out of the doors that are opened to you. Don't assume you will get a second chance or that you can wait until next week or next year or 10 years from now to get done what you need to do.
DO IT NOW.
And - if by some tragedy you try and you fail, just hope and pray life will give you a second chance.
You may be married or in a serious relationship (or seriously hoping to be in one!).
You probably have children (or are contemplating having a child).
You have educational concerns.
The economy is tanking.
Your job may be moving you to a new location.
Plus, you're trying to get your weight to a certain level, or you're trying to get a new car or something is going on that desperately needs your attention.
The point is - you're busy.
As a matter of fact, busy should almost be eliminated from your vocabulary because when are you not? Busy could very easily be substituted for the word 'normal' because that is how your life pretty much always is.
This is why you should not attempt to multi-task.
Multi-tasking is highly inefficient. The more things you try to do at once, the less you can actually devote quality attention to any one of those things. It's possible to do two things at once reasonably well, but only if one of those tasks are not very challenging.
For example, you can watch tv (that doesn't take much mental energy) and write a letter, but it's very difficult for you to write a letter and program your DVD player at the same time (both require too much attention). Conversely, it's difficult to raise young children while going back to school or train for a marathon while putting in 80 hours a week at work.
You CAN have it all - just not all at the same time.
Meaning, you can focus on raising your small children this year and, when they get a little older, you can finally go back to school.
Or, you can put in 80 hours a week at your job for career advancement now and train for a marathon two years from now when your job is a little more secure (and you're a little better paid).
It's really, really, really hard to do more than one tough thing at a time well.
Focus instead on the most important and pressing thing you need to do today. Do that well and give it most of your energy. Of course, accomplish all those small things that you HAVE to do, like going to work, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, etc. But save the greater amount of your energy and drive for that most important thing.
And when that thing is accomplished (or well in hand), then move on to the next task.
Until you accomplish all those things that are important to you.
No matter how resiliently you put a smile on your face.
Jobs are downsized.
Nights are lonely.
And life is tough.
No matter how good you are, how competent you are, how good-looking you are, how spiritual you are or how much you've 'got it going on.'
Bad days will come.
But that's okay.
Because they happen to the best and worst of us.
Just like the sun shines on everyone, so does the rain come down on everyone.
Some things are fate, some things are bad luck and some things are karma. What goes around comes around and sometimes it's just your time.
Some things are meant to toughen you, some things are meant to toughen others and sometimes there are lessons to be learned and taught.
Sometimes it's just a down year or a down month or a down day.
But just as the bad days come, so do the good. These things are cyclical, so just as you're having the worst time in your life, your best time probably just right around the corner.
And - you know what? I bet you appreciate that good time so much more after getting through that rotten period of time. I am in no way suggesting that you should be happy about the pain - but I am CERTAINLY suggesting you should be happy knowing that this pain too shall pass.
And you'll smile again.
And you'll go see some silly movie and find yourself laughing out loud.
And your appetite will return.
And your hopes will be renewed.
Until you can't quite remember what it was that had you so down and blue in the first place.....
What are you waiting for? A sign from God? A miraculous event? Opportunity knocking at your door?
Why haven't you accomplished your goals? Wait - let me guess - you're too tired. Or too busy. You're too distracted or have enough on your hands just trying to make ends meet. Right?
No - it's the economy. No, not that - it's because your spouse is having problems. Or your mom. Or your sister is in bad health.
I'm sure it's at least one of these things. Or even things I haven't begun to imagine.
Know how I know? Because it's always something. There is always a perfectly valid reason or perfectly valid excuse for you not doing what needs to be done.
And there always will be.
Right up until the day you are old and gray.
Until you've put in 25 years at a job you hate.
Or spent 30 years with someone you don't like.
Or until your mom finally loosens her grip on your life.
Right up until, well, until it's the end of your life.
Are you willing to risk your life on the possibility of getting to your dream 'one day', 'some day', or 'hopefully soon?' I hope not. I hope you finally realize - TODAY - that even making one small step towards your dream can overcome a lifetime of apathy, distraction and wasted time.
What are you waiting for? A sign from God? A miraculous event? Opportunity knocking at your door?