Archives for category: self improvement

Your attitude is a choice.  Life comes at you fast and so many of those things are completely out of your control.  When things are at their worst I look for humor. It is that laughter that allows me to relief, if only through sarcasm and obnoxious observation that helps me get through the day and the courage to do it again the next day. Here is why I choose to Laugh My Ass Off.

L –  Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, yeah this book is like my life.  I don’t talk publicly about everything that goes on because quite honestly it is so grandiose it seems unbelievable.  The most bizarre things happen to me, I would have to be a Class-A Sociopath to bother an lie about all of it.  My life is really full of highest of highs and the lowest of lows, I look at it as God’s way of keeping me humble.

M- Mercury is in Retrograde. Again. Well as of October 4th. This period has me super nervous, I know a season of trouble awaits for me.  If you are ever worried about when Mercury is in Retrograde check it here.  And sense I know the bullshit is headed my way it is joke I play with myself to see how ugly things get. I have a very dark sense of humor.

A- Acknowledging depression. Depression is a real thing.  I suffered from bouts of it at least twice, once after I gave birth to my son and again after separating from my husband. Both times were just terrible and the root of it was about me denying my feelings. I don’t do that anymore. I have safe places and share what is bothering me.  We talk, we cry and by the end we laugh.

O- Optimism. I am, in my own life, a pessimist who has convinced herself she is a realist.  The truth is I am always planning for the worst in every situation. But in the midst of those plans I am learning to to keep a positive attitude even if it is filled with snark. Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. I have absolutely no guarantees in life, but I do know that the tough times don’t last forever so I just have to hold on for the sunshine on a rainy day.

Advertisements

Today I participated in a guest blogger event over at Tramuel.com celebrating the birthday of my e-boo Brian.  In honor of his birth month we wrote on the prompt Forever Young.  Each blogger submitted post was based on our youth: stories of love, childhood memories, music and culture, lessons we learned, etc.

My life has changed pretty rapidly since entering my 30’s and while I am not exactly sure where it is going I thought back as to what 30 meant to me when I was younger and how sure I was of what I would become.  My younger self was so amazing.

She is braver than I. She is smarter than I. She loves herself more than I do. I want to get her back.

I decided to have a conversation with my younger self and ask her what exactly made her so amazing. Why was she so fearless? Why was she able to look in the face of uncertainty and walk boldly into the unknown?  We both smile all the time, but her genuine toothy grin shines much brighter than my plastered reflex.

And so I did some reflection. She wasn’t simply young and naive. I wasn’t just older, colder and wiser. She was still in me. Combining what I have learned with age and the spirit of my youth and I will move mountains.

Young Haley

This has been a pretty amazing year for me. I went on my first cruise to the Eastern Caribbean with my BFF which was just indescribable, my daughter came home and transferred schools to Western Kentucky University, I had a romantic trip to Mexico which still makes me tear up,  a trip back to Cali with my favorite people and we still have two more vacations planned for the year,  eek!

image

But between these awesome peaks there have been some pretty low valleys. I live in this city because it’s my ex-husband hometown but the further I get from our divorce the more I want to leave as I have no true motivation to be here. I’ve purposed to find ways to make this city my own: joining networking groups like New2Lou,  exploring the city and taking in the opportunities it has to offer,  and inviting out-of-town friends to come visit. While I manage to have a good time I’m really not happy here.

And I’m pretty spoiled by my circle of friends. I have people who will drop everything and flyout or fly me out when I’m really feeling down and alone. Even my 76 year old grandfather flysout every other year for the past 12 years to visit me.  I make frequent trips to Atlanta, Indy, Cincy and Nashville to getaway for the weekend and we have an awesome time. But then I come back home and I’m left to deal with the reality that this isn’t where I want to be.

I have to take an active, longterm investment in my happiness. I cannot live on 3-day weekend trips out of town. It is super selfish of me to expect my friends to always be available because I am bored and in need of stimulation [just saying that outloud sounds absolutely terrible]. I have to deal with my issues of being alone. I need to put a plan in place to figure out where I want to be. I have to learn to self entertain. I have to learn to find happiness within my daily limitations and stop just living for weekend/quarterly vacations. I need to take daily responsibility for my own happiness.

My great-great aunt passed away.  She was 95 years old. The women in my family tend to live into their 90’s which means if I follow their example I am one-third of the way through this life. What the hell am I doing?

One-third

I am not having a crisis per se. I have not done everything I had hoped I would accomplish by this point but I am working toward fixing that.  I am incredibly goal driven but I am also incredibly impatient. There are things that I want now, but I know they come with time.

So here is a list of the things I hope to improve upon:

  • Learn to set boundaries. I am a giver. I give to anyone without even thinking. If I can do it for you, than I will.  The problem is there are so many times when people take advantage of my giving. Then I just become a bitch. There is a happy medium between Mother Theresa and Anne Coulter I just need to find it.
  • Learn to be my own best advocate.  I was a cheerleader in high school. Motivating and encouraging others is also natural for me. I can talk up everyone else, but I don’t do it enough for myself. I am confident in my abilities and I know what I am capable of I just need to be able to effectively advocate on my own behalf.
  • Learn to take a big risk.  I am incredibly left-brained. I live in logic.  I love rules.  I analyze a situation then decide the best course of action. But there are times when you need to step outside what is comfortable, what has the least risk, what is safe in order to obtain something that is great.
  • Give myself a break.  I am obsessed with doing the correct thing.  I am really hard on myself when I make a mistake.  Judgments of others tend not to bother me because I am much harder on myself than an outsider will ever be. I gotta chill and loosen the reigns a bit.
  • Learn to live in the gray. I hate gray areas.  I like black or white. Ones or Zeroes, On or Off, Up or Down. I do not understand what to do with maybe, so I usually take it as a negative connotation.  I wind myself up over ‘not right now’ accepting it as defeat and letting go.  Sometimes time is needed to think, feel and asses a situation before a decision can be made.  I need to get a grip that while I have already found the cheese, the other mice are still working their way through the maze.  I should probably just eat my cheese and wait instead of chewing a whole in the wall and going home because they didn’t want to play with me.

I’ve got sixty years left, I think that is plenty of time to make some course corrections.

I wanted to write to share my story because there were so many secrets that I was afraid would get out.  I let the fear of someone else revealing these secrets paralyze me.  Then I told myself, if you are worried about someone telling on you, why don’t you tell on yourself?

So what are you hiding? Tell on yourself!