Monthly Archives: October 2016

On the Hunt For Happiness!

There is a pursuit out there that has many of us on the lookout for it. I don’t know a single person that says they have too much of this in their life. Believe it or not – it’s not money, nor is it love. It’s happiness.

There are many people who need a little happiness in their lives, but how do we achieve happiness, especially if we’re on the other end of the spectrum? Many of us are not where we wish to be and many of us are somewhere in the middle, but the actuality of happiness eludes us. We are constantly asking ourselves, “What will make me happy…. or happier?” It seems we’re always looking for it – as though it’s hiding and we’re playing a game of hide and seek. One day, we all expect that it’ll just show up and we’re all going to be in a place of blissful happiness. We tell ourselves that happiness isn’t a destination – it’s the journey. What does that even mean?

543_picture

What is the definition of happiness? It means – the state of being happy. Synonyms for happy are: pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, etc. It goes on to give a dozen words that have to do with being lighthearted and cheerful or joyful. So – our pursuit is a search for certain contentment or satisfaction with our life, right? Perhaps we need to implement a few essential commitments into our lives on a consistent basis. I know, for myself, I am in a better place when I incorporate certain elements into my life.

These are not in any particular order, with the exception of this first one. I believe this needs to be a priority before the others are set to coincide with your life circumstances.

1) A commitment to happiness needs to be a priority. This commitment entails a resolution to allow happiness to be a very real aspect of your life. If you are not resolved to be happy and you find it acceptable to be miserable, then a realization of happiness will forever elude you.

2) Set a Goal. When we are working toward something, we are driven onward and we keep our mind occupied with what could be as opposed with what is at this moment. It also gives us something to look forward to in life. Perhaps it’s just to look forward to the achievement of the goal, nevertheless, we look forward and it helps keep the negativity at bay.

3) Plan something for your future. Maybe it’ll just be the next six months or so, but some sort of excitement to keep you moving toward the event. Whether it be a trip, or someone special coming to see you, or perhaps a new house, whatever it may be it’ll always give you a sense of hope when you’ve got something exciting to happen down the road.

4) Stop thinking about the past. Even if the past is a pleasure to remember, it overshadows the future. In most cases, the future will be brighter than the past, but you have to leave the past where it is and move on!

5) Turn off the TV! Have a little silence in your life. Sometimes we are so inundated with noise that we can’t hear our inner spirit, the Holy Spirit, our subconscious – whatever you call it – speak to us. Take a few moments to just reflect on the positive aspects of your life. If you are having a difficult time doing that then just look at the basics…. you woke up this morning, you have air in your lungs, you have a roof over your head right now, you have food in your belly. They don’t have to be astronomical aspects for which to be grateful, just enough to know that you have positive things happening in your life. This is strictly my opinion, but I think there is a lot of toxic TV and we just don’t need it in our daily lives. Maybe it’s your way of relaxing, and that is perfectly okay…. just turn it off every once in a while, and learn to be content without the constant distraction.happiness

6) Three health elements in your life to work on – your mental health, your spiritual health and your physical health. Keep your mind active. It’s easy to push the button on auto-pilot on your way home from work and quit exercising your brain until you need it the next day, but an active brain is a young brain. We all know that the brain is a muscle and needs to be worked. It has memory, like all muscles in our body and if it gets accustomed to being shut down at 5:00, then it’s going to continue to shut down at 5:00. When we begin to ‘veg out’ with the TV at 5:00, our brains become vegetative, making us sluggish and difficult for us to continue to move our bodies, as well as our minds.

7) Physical exercise should speak for itself, but so often we ignore it. Part of the reason why is that we want to ‘veg out’ and our mind is telling our bodies that it’s too tired to do anything, because our minds shut down at 5:00. What the mind does, the body soon follows. Get your sweat on a little bit, and you’ll see a difference in your reaction to your life.

8) Spiritual exercise. This is key, but again, sometimes we just don’t know what we’re doing. I’m not talking about religion at this point, I’m talking about taking care of the spirit. Serve others, maybe…pray for others, perhaps…. read something that fortifies you with goodness and kindness. Just remember – garbage in/garbage out. Be careful what you ingest into your body because often it will simply be regurgitated back up into the world.

9) Lastly, you’ve got to eat properly. I know this sounds crazy, but if I eat poorly throughout my weekend, and especially on Sunday, I pay for it on Monday. I have been known to feel weepy during work on Mondays because I feel so unhappy, but it is directly related to the fact that I had too many carbs and I vegged out all day on Sunday. It’s awful. Why do we dread Monday’s? It’s because we gave into ourselves all weekend and didn’t say NO to the sugar and carbohydrates all day!  I’m not saying that everyone is like this, but it is important to pay attention to what we eat. Again – garbage in – garbage out!

These are simply some suggestions. If you’re like me – you would consider yourself to be relatively happy, however we might have moments of being uncomfortable with where we are in life. That’s a good time to look at these suggestions, and see what might be off. We might not have to make drastic changes in our lives – just little adjustments here and there – but we must be committed to our own happiness and take responsibility for it. It’s no one else’s job to make us happy – it’s strictly an inside job.

I hope these suggestions help someone. It’s important to pay attention to ourselves and invest in our own well-being. Become content by enjoying your own company, then no matter where you are, you can find your spot of happiness.

Thanks for stopping in – please let me know what you think. I welcome your thoughts! Stay blessed and be a blessing to others!

Celebrate Your Mid-Life!

When I was 48, my husband and I became empty nesters.   As much as I loved raising our children, I was looking forward to this next stage in my life when I could start living again. This raised the question, though, hadn’t I been living all along? Well, not exactly. I had been living for my children and invested in raising them and caring for my husband, instead of investing in myself. After all, isn’t that what motherhood is all about anyway?

I felt that my ‘job’ was all but finished by the time my fourth child moved out of the house and onto her studies at college. Even though, I realized that I was still going to be needed, my 24/7 gig was behind me and I could then focus on myself and my husband. My husband didn’t share the same ideal of his job being behind him; he still felt that 24/7 responsibility more so than I did. So, while I was ready to move beyond, he was still lagging behind in the parental mode.

Some would refer to that ‘mid-life thing’ to be a crisis, but my girlfriend and I were discussing it and she referred to it as a ‘mid-life awakening’. I prefer awakening so much more than crisis. Because in thinking back, I experienced an awakening to all of the possibilities around me. I began to look at what could be, as opposed to the limitations of time, and physical ability and money.

96390a1bad5e15c6201a350d311e3ac0

Many people go through these mid-life awakenings in their lives and they begin to branch out in ways that are uncharacteristic for them up to that point. For instance, I had always wanted a convertible. So, when the situation opened up and I saw it as a possibility rather than the limitation – I got my convertible. While my daughter called it a mid-life crisis – I saw it as a fulfillment of a long time dream. I began to awaken to the opportunity of owning a convertible because I no longer needed the van or an SUV because my children were all out of the house. The fact that my daughter never knew that I had always wanted a convertible gave way to her thinking that I was having something of a crisis and trying to recapture my youth. While the convertible offers me a feeling of freedom when driving with the top down and letting the wind blow through my hair, it in no way recaptures my youth because I can appreciate it so much more with the life experiences I’ve had to this point in my life.

This awakening comes at a point in our lives when what we’ve known for many years is giving way to the unknown future which earns the term – mid-life. Typically, the years between 25 – 50, are given to raising children, and the years following are considered the retirement years. However, retirement customarily doesn’t occur until our sixties sometimes even our seventies. So what do we do between the years of 50 – 60/70, while we’re still working and we don’t have the 24/7 responsibilities at home? We do all the things that we’re able to do while we have the flow of income and our body is still able to do it. Sometimes that looks as though we are trying to recapture something that we’ve missed out on – as though we are having a crisis. Truth is the opportunities just happen to be ripe for the picking……and we’re picking them! Pick the fruit of opportunity in your life while you can!

I hope that you are able to experience a mid-life awakening! Allow yourself to participate in your own life rather than being a spectator, sitting on the sidelines. Go out and make something happen! You’re not having a crisis – you’ve just awakened to your life and all the open doors available to you!

Thanks for stopping in! Be Blessed – but more than that – be a blessing to others!

Peace,
a94744a14eccce943f9276197e8a1691Ann

Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder!

The Canadian Snow Birds Airshow was here in Owensboro this weekend. I didn’t get to watch them except for today. It was amazing to watch these formations and routines that they carry out for our viewing pleasure!

As they dive one toward the other only to have one flip over and slide under the other as they fly by at 600 miles per hour, I suck my breath in waiting to see the crash, but somehow – the crash never happens. They turn their smoke jets on behind them and make a giant heart with the smoke – to let us know that they appreciate our support in coming out to watch them.

The sky is their playground and it’s an incredible sight to see. It’s as though these planes are telling a story with their winding and waving back and forth and all around. The engines roaring and soaring bring tears to my eyes knowing the pleasure of the day can turn into tomorrow’s work of a different kind for those planes and their pilots. Perhaps not for these exact planes and pilots, but for those that are quite similar.

As we walked up, the loud-speaker was announcing that the pilot finishing up his show was 75 years of age. Back in the day, perhaps it was the Korean War where he began his flying career. I’m sure he didn’t master those stunts then when he was concentrating on merely staying alive and getting the job done!

The F-18 Hornet was impressive. The fly by just shy of breaking the sound bearer was almost unbearable to take. My insides trembled as I bent over because it seemed so close it could take my head off, but realizing that the sound was seconds after the plane had flown past and that it was long gone by the time the sound affected me. Crazy awesome!

14572339_10210774871558839_5564682541127159392_n

As the Snow Birds flew in formation only to split in multiple directions – I felt it was a prayer of sorts to cover all of us from all walks of life. Such gratitude I felt watching them. So reverent were the formations and flyovers. Very ceremonious were they in the patterns of flight. Standards held at their highest. Perhaps we can learn something from that. If we carried ourselves and performed with the highest of standards in mind, what a difference this world could be.

I can’t post this without giving a shout out to my nephew, Chris Corley!  He’s in the United States Air Force!  He knows these planes and has been up in many of them.  I am very proud of him and all that he has accomplished in his military career!

What a fun afternoon spending it downtown with the city of Owensboro. Thank you, Owensboro, for giving this to us – for free – for our enjoyment. I truly did enjoy it and I hope the city of Owensboro is as grateful as I am for such an opportunity!

Thanks for stopping in and I truly hope you have a blessed day!

Peace,
Ann