80. Dog Poop Is Everywhere, Even The Beach

Keep going.  Life might get tough, but keep at it.  I have been lucky enough to be able to keep traveling,  even though I need help in doing absolutely everything.  I even went all the way to Ireland, years ago now, but still when I needed help with everything.  We had an awesome trip, but it was not without a few bumps in the road.  That vacation, like all of the ones I have been on, get better and better, as time goes on.  You tend to forget the crummy bits of your holiday and just remember the good bits.

Having a good time can be hard work.  It’s not all fun and games, but, it’s worth it.   It can be tough.  It is tough on the person who needs help, and tough for the person doing the helping.  I have broken a finger in Florida, and had more than my share of bumps and bruises in many other states.  Currently, my foot is a lovely color of green and yellow, transitioning from blue and purple.  That’s what happens when you try to move a person who cannot move into a toilet located in a closet.  After a week or so, we have almost made it a pain-free task,  and when it’s not, well that’s why God made Vicodin.

Fun isn’t always what it appears to be.  We often look at other people and think they’re having the time of their lives.  We get jealous, and wish our lives could be just as great.  But, looks can be deceiving.  Right now, you may know that I am in sunny Florida, instead of cold and windy Indiana.  Well, that’s true, and it is much, much warmer where I am.  I’m not missing the Indiana winter weather one bit.  When you look at my Facebook posts, I will post the fun stuff, just like everyone else does.  You won’t see my swollen and bruised foot, or that I have my window open, but I am freezing, as usual, and have on a sweater, two blankets and a heating pad.  Of course, my husband has on short sleeves, so I am just always cold.  But, the point is, things may not be what they appear to be.  Life might not be perfect, ever, or fun all the time, but that’s okay.

A friend of mine has a career which allows her to get a glimpse inside many of the big gorgeous, million dollar houses that many of us just drive by.  She said it’s amazing how many of those homes are practically empty inside.  The owners spend all their money on the outside appearances, and have nothing left to spend in decorating the interior.  They don’t worry about that, because no one sees that part of the house.  Things aren’t always as they appear.

Nothing is perfect.  I guess we shouldn’t expect it to be.  Learn to appreciate what you have, or appreciate the good stuff, even though there may be some bad stuff mixed in.  You probably usually think of the beach as a relaxing place to be.  It can be, and it usually is, but besides the sand, and sun on the beach, you will also find dog poop, just like everywhere else.  Just step over it and keep going!

 

 

 

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76. One Goal In Life

You only need one goal in your life, and that is to feel good.  That’s it.  If you are always working towards that, then the rest will work itself out.  You only need to pay attention to the things in your life that make you feel good, and those that make you feel bad.  Do more of the ones that make you feel good, and less, or none, of the ones that make you feel bad.  I know that is not always possible.  Maybe learning math holds no joy for you, and you could care less what X equals in Algebra.  You might be forced to learn that, even if your goal in life is to do something with as little math as possible, and you will never use Algebra in your lifetime.  When you have a choice, do what brings you joy and happiness.  Don’t worry about the rest.

Pay attention to the stories that you tell.  Which ones make you feel good?  Which ones make you feel bad?  Stop telling the stories that make you feel bad.  What things do you observe that make you feel good?  What things do you observe that make you feel bad? Do you find yourself watching the news, or reading the news and then talking about how it makes you mad, or tweeting about it?  You get more upset the more you think about it?  Then, don’t read the news!  Or, at the very least, don’t tweet about it!  Don’t put out a post that you know will generate controversy, just so you can argue and yell online, or in person, and be angry.  You will only end up upset and probably with a headache, or ulcer, or if this is common behavior, something even worse.

Which people do you hang around that make you feel good?  Which people do you hang around with that make you feel bad?  Why would you hang around with people who make you feel bad?  I guess, if they are related, it makes it difficult to stop seeing them, but, that’s what holidays are for!  Seeing all of your annoying, and yet beloved relatives!  But, if they are not related, seriously, stop hanging out with them!  Life is too short!

If all you concentrate on is being happy, and feeling good, that really would make life much simpler.  Easier, because if you are looking for a job, you wouldn’t choose one just because you made a lot of money.  You would choose one you love.  You would not say yes to something you really didn’t want to do, if you wouldn’t be happy in doing it.  That also could make life much more difficult, because that’s not how people generally live their lives.  We do things to make other people happy, not ourselves.  We choose money over the joy we receive in choosing a career.   So living a life in which you try to always feel good might require a significant amount of change, depending on how happy you are at the moment.  For instance, I used to love my job working as a Visual Merchandiser, but did not really like any of the people who I worked with at one particular job site.  They were very rude, and not friendly at all.  I was lucky,  in that my job did not require me to interact with any of these people on a daily basis.  So I made it work for a couple of years, then decided I had enough of them, and quit working there.  Change is not always easy, but it can be refreshing.

What you’re supposed to do
when you don’t like a thing is change it.
If you can’t change it,
change the way you think about it.”
― Maya Angelou

To live a life where your main goal is to be happy, and enjoy yourself, wow, what an idea! That seems to be easier the older you get.  Maybe people just have had enough of doing things they really don’t want to do, and just quit doing it when they hit a certain age.  But, to try to do things the way you want to, from the get go, that would be awesome! We all seem to get stuck somewhere along the line, with a job you don’t like, or a marriage you are not happy in, or something.  If you’ve gone to school for years and years to become a doctor, or a lawyer, or something that requires a lot of work, then realize you really don’t want that job, it would be difficult to make a change after all that work.  But, to be happy, maybe that’s what you need to do.  Or, if you’ve been married for years, it might seem too hard to make a change, and leave a life you’ve grown accustomed to.  Or maybe you have been married three times already, and don’t want to feel like you’ve failed again to make something work.  Just do it!  If it will mean happiness, or living a life of unhappiness, then really, you have little choice.  That goes for anything.  Maybe you would feel better being vegan, but you know your entire family will make jokes about you suddenly not eating like they do.  Who cares!?  They will get over it!  There are any number of situations you might find hard to change.  Life is all about change.  If you don’t like something and it is in your power to it change, then change! Be happy!

“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”
― Maya Angelou

Do whatever you need to do to live your best life.  You will never be finished.  Keep striving for more, and more goodness, more happiness.  Keep changing.  Living happily ever after.

 

64. There Is Only Yes

There is only yes.  That is the way the world works.  It might have been nice if someone would have included this in my elementary school curriculum!  Why does no one  mention this?  Maybe that’s one of the long forgotten truths known to the people of biblical times.  I always thought that people of that time must have known things that we don’t know today.  You know, like the answer to how the pyramids were built.

Your life is made up of what you give your attention to.  All that you give your attention to,  both the things wanted and unwanted.  If you think about it, and put your focus on it, the Universe says yes, and you bring it into your reality.  Now, it is more complicated than that, but it is also just that simple.  It is not immediate,  for one thing.  Just because you think about cancer doesn’t mean you are getting cancer.  And, if you focus on getting the chair in front of you to move without picking it up and moving it, it really won’t move by itself!  Believe me, I’ve tried (you know because of the whole lack of muscles issue I have)!

The trouble begins when you decide what you don’t want, and don’t want it so much, that all you do is think about how much you do not want it, and put all of your attention on the thing that you really, really, really don’t want!  You may find yourself thinking about things that you don’t want, because, after all, you can’t know what you do want, until you know what you don’t want!  The Universe listens to you and sees what you are giving all your attention to, and it manifests in your life.  But, it is so very hard for us to not focus on the here and now, when it is so prevalent.  I do not want to be sick, but when I am feeling bad, and my illness seems to be in every aspect of my life, it is all I put my attention on.  It is hard to think about anything else.  If you have very little money, and all you want is more money… but all you can think about is how it is not fair that you work so hard, yet have little money… and you wish you had money… and you have never have had enough money…  and you have so many bills… and you need a new job, and if you could get a better job, maybe you could get more money, etc..  You are focusing on your lack of money.  You are focusing on what is.  You need to focus on what is, less of the time.  You can’t focus on what is in the present moment if you don’t want what is in that moment.  Does that make sense?  If you are able to put your attention on how great it will feel to have all the money you need, then your money will eventually come to you.  It doesn’t mean the money will magically fall from the sky (or maybe it will).   But, maybe you will suddenly come across a better paying job, and you will get hired.  Or maybe you will win the lottery.  You won’t know how the Universe will send money your way, but it will.  I know, it has happened to me.  I have literally had money appear out of blue.  Not just once, but several times, and all in different ways.  Now, if I could only get the good health to appear!  I know I’m on the right track, because I have survived for many years past what doctors told me was possible.

If this all sounds crazy to you, then don’t do it.  It’s that simple.  If your life is great, and you wouldn’t change a thing, then you must be doing something right.  But, if there are things you want to change, then focus on what you want to happen.  I believe life doesn’t have to be all struggle, and hard work to get what you want.  It can be as simple as focusing your attention on what you want to show up in your life.

63. Find Your Bliss

One thing a serious illness will do, is help you get your priorities straight.  The more serious the illness, the faster you figure out what you want to spend your time doing.  When I was diagnosed, I think it took me all of 10 minutes to decide I didn’t want to spend 40 hours a week working.  I turned in my two weeks notice almost immediately. That all changed though, after I had spent several weeks at home.  After working 40 hours a week, running errands, managing a household, taking care of two young children, etcetera, suddenly having an extra 47 ½ hours (work hours,  plus commute time) a week was a tough adjustment.  So, after realizing how much I enjoyed my work, when the opportunity to work 20 hours a week came along, I went back to my old job.  As my illness progressed, and things changed, so did my work schedule.  I was lucky enough to have a job where I could work part-time,  and fortunate to work for a company who eventually set me up to work from home.  That was back when working from home,  online,  was not such a common occurrence.  In the last few months of work, I worked as a consultant and just checked in weekly.  Finely leaving for the second time, five years later.

You will hopefully find yourself spending the minimal amount of time possible doing mundane everyday tasks. Maybe having a perfectly spotless house won’t seem so important anymore.  You might find yourself doing things you would probably never have done before.  You might just walk through the rain shower to get to your car at the back of the parking lot, instead of running through it.  You may discover that you enjoy the time to yourself as you mow the yard.  I found out that I really didn’t mind cleaning my house, but also didn’t want to spend all my time doing it.  Many people who are diagnosed with serious illness, especially one without an easy fix, start searching for alternative treatments,  which generally takes up a lot of time.

Find your bliss.  Do what makes you happy.  While we all have to the mundane everyday chores, don’t spend all your time on those tasks.  If you dread Monday’s because you don’t want to go to work, maybe you need a different job.  What’s that saying, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”?  It’s true.  Dragging yourself to a job you hate day after day can literally drag you down. That means more sick days, and the chance for serious illnesses to creep into your life.  I think that’s why it’s possible for the barista at your local coffeehouse to live such a happy and healthy life, while the president of the local bank is dragging themselves out of bed and into that coffeehouse for a jolt of caffeine just to make it into their job at the bank around the corner.  They may be making more money, but the high stress job is making them unhappy.

The moral of this story, is that you don’t have to wait for an illness to strike before you take stock of your life and how much you are enjoying yourself.  Don’t wait.  Do it now.  Make changes if you need to, before you have to.    Follow your bliss.  The rest will take care of itself.  Just be happy, that’s really the most important thing there is in life.

60. Trust In The Process Of Life

Life knows what it’s doing,  we just have to have trust in it.  That’s the tough part for us.  Animals seem to have it down,  but we humans like to be in charge at all times.  Trust is a hard thing for most of us.  Life runs pretty well all on its own,  we just need to give it the space to do its thing.

I am trying to do that today.  Today,  because today my mom went to the hospital, very sick.  The local hospital which I have very little trust in.  But, I have to remember that the Universe / God /The Great Spirit has her back.  All I need to do is ask for healing (more to make myself feel good than God needs reminding),  and trust that it will happen.  I believe all the prayers sent up into the Universe will work.  It doesn’t matter what we ask for,  or how we ask for it.  I don’t think you have to kneel, or follow any certain procedure.  Just the fact that people are thinking about someone can do so much for them.  Sending good and loving thoughts is all it takes to make a difference in any situation.

Trust.  Stop worrying and wondering what might be or might not be.  Those thoughts just drag us down and do no good,  they serve no purpose.  They only slow down the good stuff,  the progress that you want.  Everything will work out,  if we only trust.  We have to remember that our schedule is only our schedule,  not that of the Universe.  We can’t see the future (well, most of us),  so we often don’t know what might be the best for us.  Hold fast to your dreams and wishes.  Think of them with love and happiness.  They will come. Know it.  Trust it.

49. Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes

 

Changes.  They are everywhere.  It seems that no one likes change,  unless you are talking about some nice change,  like a bonus at work, or winning the lottery.  But,  let’s face it,  changes usually involve something more along the lines of a health problem,  or maybe the transmission in your car goes out,  or some such extremely expensive thing.  Your significant other may move on without you,  you might lose your job, or something else similarly earth shattering happens.  Those are the changes we expect,  and receive with all too much regularity.  Sometimes those big changes that we hate the most,  end up being the best for us.  I have a friend who got divorced,  and while she had all kinds of mixed emotions about it at the time,  I think now, she would say it was the best thing she ever did,

But,  what if you try to embrace the change?  Can’t change be a good thing? Without change,  life would end.  Nature has it all figured out.  Nature embraces change,  or at the very least,  goes along with it,  as we all should.  What’s the point of going along kicking and screaming,  it’s going to happen anyway,  so you might as well find a way to accept it.  David Bowie had it figured out.  He said,  we should turn and face the strange.  Yes,  that’s right,  he said strange,  not change.  Aren’t changes all unusually strange at first?  Then,  as we begin to accept them and get used to them, we become okay with them.  Guess what happens next?  Yep,  another change!  Bam!  Over and over.  You would think we would get the hint after a while,  but we seem to be slow learners in general,  because we humans do everything we can to hold onto our traditions and stay in our patterns.   We do whatever we can to prevent change in our lives.

Changes.  Life might just go along a bit easier if we accepted change with a little more enthusiasm.  Nobody hates change more than someone with ALS.  Change for us usually means losing another muscle,  another ability gone down the drain.  But,  I try to go with the flow,  so to speak,  by coming up with some of my own changes.  I might do something,  like move all my furniture around,  or take a month-long vacation,  or something,  anything to shake things up a bit.  It won’t stop the changes I don’t want to happen,  but it might make it easier to accept change.  I know, it doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things,  but,  it’s a change.  What can you do to experience change on your own terms?  Try a new food?  Try a new hair style.  Learn a new language,  and then visit a country where they speak that language.  Switch jobs.  Do something different, anything different.  Start small,  and work your way up to the big changes.  Face the strange, and accept the changes.