Learning to let go

Perhaps because we are all fond of our memories and detest change, I’ve always tried to figure out why it is so hard to let go? Let go of old habits, past hurts, fading fond memories? Why is it so difficult to demolish these old bridges and move forward???

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Perhaps we hold on to illusions of what we think is “right.”  We can’t move forward if we are stuck in a misconception of reality.  And what causes us to distort our perceived perception of truth.

The older we get the more difficult it becomes to welcome change. I see it at work, I see it with my mom and definitely I saw this with dad.

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”
C. JoyBell C.

What baffles the mind is why people hold on to things which create and cause only pain?

Advertisements

Being married means being part of a team

You are no longer responsible for yourself.  You are part of a unit which you agreed upon (taking a solemn oath or vow.)

Sadly, I think many Americans forgo these promises and continue working independently from the unit.

Am not saying you are your spouse’s keeper.

God no! 😦

What I am saying is that each and every adult out there, who is in a serious and committed relationship, take personal responsibility over themselves, their actions.

With that being said, when those of us, like myself, who’ve been more single than attached, we can sometimes forget that there is another person in the equation. Their happiness, their self-worth becomes entangled with the every-day-to-day doldrums of simply existing.

Though my parents’ marriage was by no means perfect, they stuck together through it all. And, this is the template I go by.

Mom and dad took their vows quite literally, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.

That’s why I can’t seem to understand how people easily discard the sacred vows they went into freely…eyes wide open.

I’ve been part of team my entire adult life. The military taught me about self-sacrifice for the betterment of the whole. In marriage, we will make sacrifices for our spouses, as long as these acts are not taken for granted.

I see too many couples who settle into a comfortable and habitual day to day married life. The wants of the one outweigh the needs of the two.

When this happens communication is the key. Yes, I’ve beaten up this topic to death on this blog but wow….when it comes to such a sacred institution as marriage, when you love someone……when you truly love them….sacrifices will be made if not today…then tomorrow. And if you feel like your voice isn’t being heard, speak up…being married means being part of a team.

Don’t be that silent partner.

Sometimes it’s a relief to complain

index

Everyone does it. Every day, several times a day…whether they realize it or not.

We are all under deadlines, unrealistic expectations, boring jobs, difficult relationships, financially strapped….you name it.

When we release our inner-demons of despair it feels good.

Get it off your chest….

Yell it to the hills. Scream if you must.

But in the end find a solution.

Complaining is healthy. If we kept our true feelings bottled inside sooner or later (maybe sooner) the stress reveals its ugly head in your emotional and physical well-being.

Everyone has a right to bitch. There’s no question about it.

However, if all we do is complain about “our lot in life” without formulating a plan then all we are doing is bitching and you can end up either alone or chasing your tail trying to figure out what is what.

I’d rather find a solution than bury my head in the sand.

Accepting change

“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” ~Karen Kaiser Clark

I think for those of us “older” folks embracing change, (whatever that may be) is a challenging task. We are deeply rooted in our habits, down to ways of thinking.

When something comes along pulling us out of that comfortable world….we either fight or flight.

All my life I’ve had to deal with shifts in thoughts, action, and feelings stemming from a dramatic circumstance. Sometimes life moves faster than what we are willing to accept.

Whether it be a new job, a new relationship, illness, anything which shakes us to the core creates a static resistance.

In accepting change we can grow, but only if we are receptive. Perhaps past griefs and mistakes make us hesitant to move forward because we place so much emphasis on the past.

When we deny change (especially if it could be positive) has its costs. It can cost us our peace of mind and ultimately our health.

Whatever the catalyst was to create internal dissension has to be reexamine.  Living life this way is simply miserable.  Sometimes it’s therapeutic to write things down, the positive and negative points of what changes are about to happen and those you are currently going through.  Check to see what you can live with and what parts of your life need removal. Sounds simple in theory but acting upon it…well…that’s the kicker.  Sometimes we tend to stick with things we know, even if it’s bad for us because it is “the familiar.” The question you have to ask yourself is this: What can I live with?

Yes, it’s that simple:

“There are things I can’t force. I must adjust. There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint.” ~ Denis Diderot

Another year older

As I am often wont to do, I reflect back on the past year when my birthday comes around. I think about my accomplishments….my failures and check to see if I “learned” anything from them.

I realized I am not the same person I was a year ago or even a few months. I like to think I would always have room to learn and grow…to still figure out “who” and “what” I am.

I am more than just a daughter, sister, mother, and wife. Am more than an employee…veteran. I am all these things and even more.

It’s been a difficult year in some aspects, culminating a few weeks ago when I received a health scare. I realize that I need to worry less and enjoy life more. At times I’ve felt quite overwhelmed, hormonal, waiting for change….something to pick me up and move me forward.

However, only I can do that.

I think quite a few of us, come up with good-intentions–resolute to create an even better year as our birthdays roll around.

Whatever our goals, we must never discount the many times we’ve succeeded (no matter if deemed quite small)….each action, each instance builds itself up into who and what we are today.

“Think of your life as an hourglass. You know there are thousands of grains of sand in the top of the hourglass; and they all pass slowly and evenly through the narrow neck in the middle. Nothing you or I could do would make more than one grain of sand pass through this narrow neck without impairing the hourglass. You and I and everyone else are like this hourglass…if we do not take [tasks] one at a time and let them pass…slowly and evenly, then we are bound to break our own…structure.”
― Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Hyprocrisy at its finest

1800422_584586928312276_5829320478725468737_n

hy·poc·ri·sy
hiˈpäkrisē/
noun
noun: hypocrisy; plural noun: hypocrisies
The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
What I can never understand is how people can go around acting in a certain manner but God forbid if you did the exact same thing there’s hell to pay.

I’ve seen various relationships affected by this so-called “double standard” from family, marriages, friendships and yes, even coworkers.

If said individuals cannot get a grip on themselves then it’s best to either discover the root of the problem (if possible) and if solve it.

 
HOW they can justify their behavior and yet criticize you for doing the same is beyond my mental and emotional capacity.

If said person continues to be a toxic element in your life the best (and at least for me…most L.O.G.I.C.A.L. solution is to simply get rid of them by leaving or if forced to interact (such as with a coworker) do so as sparingly as possible–if only to to simply preserve your own precarious sanity.  🙂

Are we witnessing an historic moment?

10547475_10154565367655651_5502964771552661496_n

Race relations in my country have always been a maelstrom.  Not just because of Blacks being brought here by Whites as slaves but also due to the volatile nature of our socioeconomic condition.  Ferguson, MO used to be an all White community until the “great white flight” of the 1960’s when inner-city Blacks moved into the neighborhoods. In order to understand what is going on in this local suburb read up on its past.

black-and-white-baby-together

Good or bad (trust me everyone has an opinion), the past events have culminated into the currently volatile situation we now have almost at my front door. I am by far no expert on race relations.  I only know what I’ve seen and heard with my own eyes and ears. I grew up with racism, was the subject of such prejudice and chose to overcome it.

images1

I have seen racists slurs directed by both Blacks and Whites against each other. No one is innocent here.  It takes a conscientious effort on all of us to remember that despite our skin color underneath we are the same.  And because of this, we should treat one another with respect and dignity.

images

I know it’s easier said than done, but frankly I am sick and tired of the violence and abuse. Overseas we have Civil War, genocide, starvation, pollution, etc and here at home we have our own economic struggles, our poverty…the list goes on and on.

I grew up within a community that is still for the most part 99.9% Caucasian.  I received real-time, real life diversity training at school from my peers, who didn’t know how to handle a bi-racial kid, all the way down to the Caribbean where cousins firmly told me I was not Puerto Rican enough, that I was a “Gringa.” So, here was this Midwestern Irish/Puerto Rican gal who lived in perpetual limbo. I was quickly educated on where “my place” was.

But I did not stay there.

I joined the Army

I went to College

I became a Mother

images2

Maybe it’s easier said than done for some…I don’t know. Life is absolutely relative…but….if you desire to better yourself down to your community—–it starts with y.o.u. YOU need to pick yourself up and make YOUR community a better place and pay it forward.

Time for me to get off my soapbox.

I will leave you with this:

If we don’t start at home, where everything begins….nothing will change, and the ugly head of racism, self-entitlement, and violence will continue it’s cyclical course.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

 

Can stress kill you?

…yes….yes it can:

Stress is a well-known contributor to heart disease with elevated adrenaline levels and increases cortisol (secreted by the adrenal glands) and then there is arterial inflammation within the blood vessels causing the narrowing of the arteries and build up of plaque.

And those who are emotional eaters will gravitate towards sinfully delicious foods which typically contain sugary or fatty goodness.

According to Dr. Ashly and Dr. Michael Arn, in their article: “What are Symptoms of Stress?” these are the symptoms of stress (how many of you can check mark these items off?).

The key is finding manageable and healthy ways to deal with the every day stresses in life. Those that you can control, find a way to manage such as finding a better job if your current employment is the epicenter of your discontent, talk to your partner if there are issues in the relationship, fix your finances etc, those you cannot learn new coping skills that can make you better able to deal such as exercise, better eating habits, change your current sleeping pattern…whatever it takes to “fix” you.

What are long-term symptoms of stress?

  • All of the Short Term Symptoms
  • Aches and Pains
  • Frequent Colds and Viruses
  • Depression
  • Sexual Disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Lethargy
  • Obesity
  • Premature Aging
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Drinking Alcohol/smoking
  • Taking Medications
  • Unhealthy Eating Habits
  • Heart Disease
  • Ulcers
  • Restlessness
  • Skin Conditions

Short-term symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Elevated Heart Beat
  • Increased Sweating
  • Cool Skin
  • Cold Hands and Feet
  • Mood Swings
  • Recent Unhealthy Eating Habits
  • Poor Memory
  • Poor Concentration
  • Pessimistic Attitude
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Constant Urination
  • Feelings of Nausea or Butterflies in your stomach
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Tense Muscles
  • Dry Mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Problems with Digestion
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Decreased Sex Drive
  • Constantly feeling Tired or Worn out

All eyes on St. Louis

I come from a cop family. My sweet husband is a retired detective, my paternal grandfather was Chief of Police back in my home state of Indiana and a maternal uncle was Chief of Police in Puerto Rico. Eventually one of his sons became a cop. His other son was shot in the chest and killed in PR years ago by a cop because he was dealing drugs. My cousin was unarmed. He left behind a wife and daughter. He was only in his early 20’s. I thought about becoming a police officer, was even a police officer intern in college but my mom was dead set against the career so I had to switch to something else. Not all cops are bad just like not all Blacks or Hispanics are bad. Unfortunately we are portrayed badly in the media and Hollywood. What needs to happen is that our community leaders need to come together, the law enforcement agencies come together and have a peaceful town hall type of meeting. something to encourage better community relations. I really do feel for the mother of Michael. She even stated she didn’t want any more violence. This violence does nothing but disrespect her son, her grieving process and I as a mother completely understand. The black community and the white community need to come together and resolve these issues. There is so much sadness in the world. Too much in fact. We all need to make this a better place somehow. The whole world knows what’s going on here. We have the mike. Let’s make what we have to say worth saying and yes, find resolutions.

Who are you?

Have you ever felt like your life has been one huge counterproductive mistake? That the decisions which you thought were the right ones turned out to be completely the opposite?

Why is it our younger selves (who think we’re so invincible) try to tackle head on issues which we know nothing about? Our parents, elders, and “more experienced” individuals tend to evoke a rebellious attitude?
I saw this in myself, and I currently see it in today’s generation.
Doesn’t matter if it’s your son or daughter straining against your loving parental advice or the kid next door rolling their eyes at your well meaning good intentions.  Today’s youth (no matter the generation) seems to always be in the wrong. 

Could it be as parents we coddled our children far longer than what’s deemed socially acceptable? Has the technological boom generated an entire generation of socially awkward and selfish little bastards? Could it be the growing number of single-parent households (either due to divorce or out of wedlock marriages?
I am considered part of Generation X and even during the tender years of my youth I was lucky enough to experience life as it’s meant to be instead of it all being crammed into social media or gaming.
I think spending too much time behind the computer screen and create socially stunted adults.  Kids become lazy or complacent in their anonymity and choose the “easier way out.”
Far more American children are becoming obese.  According to the website Teenhelp, over 12% of our children are overweight.
As parents it is our responsibility to encourage our children to delve out of their comfortable couch comfort zone and mingle with the “real” world.  I think we parents too become lazy ourselves, caught up in our own adult problems, leaving our kids behind to fend for themselves.  My generation was that of the latch key kid. I was lucky in that I had my mom to come home to every day while dad worked. Not all kids are so fortunate.
Just remember, these kids of today will be the ones changing our socioeconomic world….and that in and of itself should be food for thought.