Monday, January 21, 2013

Living It Up in 2013

Happy New Year!!!

OK, I know I'm a bit late, but between the holidays and battling a vicious cold epidemic in our area, I've been a little busy.  So, here we are more than half way through the first month of 2013, can you believe it?!?  

For those of you diligently sticking to your New Year's Resolutions, I applaud you!   Personally, I've never bought in to the whole resolution thing.  By now, I probably would have conceded defeat and resigned myself to trying again next year.  Instead, I prefer to reflect on the lessons learned and celebrate the goals I achieved during the previous year.  Now, you might think that being home for the past 9 months would mean that there wouldn't be that much for me to recall, but you'd be wrong!  I'm not going to go through all of my events in 2012 - we don't have that kind of time and quite frankly, there are some moments that I'd rather not relive even in memory - instead, I'll share with you the 3 most important things I've learned (in no particular order.)

1. Live out your passion and you will find happiness - Yes, I sound like a fortune cookie, but truth is truth.  I've been working since I was 16 years old and have done everything from retail sales to Veterinary Technician work.  I dedicated myself to giving 100% to each and every task that I did, no matter how big or small (and trust me, this is hard to do this when your day includes cleaning out kennels and litter boxes.)  My last job was an Administrative Assistant role and I was in it for almost 12 years...yes, 12 long and (for the last 3) miserable years.  Did I love it? No. Was I good at it? Yes. 
Was I ever happy with it? To be honest, no, I was comfortable and since the majority of the other roles didn't appeal to me, I stayed.  Since being freed of my corporate shackles (how's that for dramatic?!) I've been able to focus on pursuing my passions for owning my own business and creating fashion designs.  I'm not delusional enough to think that I'm going to be some overnight success and I already know it's tough and takes A LOT of hard work to be a successful entrepreneur.  Despite these harsh facts, I'm unbelievably happy about the path that I'm on and it shows in my voice, my attitude and my outlook on each day!   You better believe I'm going to be sure to keep this going for 2013!!

2.  Eliminate negativity - Life is too short to let negative influences or reminders weigh you down.  I don't care if it's a person, place or thing - if it is not adding something positive to your life, then it must go!  We've all had or maybe still have at least one friend or acquaintance who just never has anything good to say about anything.  Or maybe there's an object in your home that serves as a reminder of a dark time in your past;  whatever the case may be, it's time to let it all go.  I know it's not easy...many things worth doing aren't.  While Spring cleaning last year I came across a folder that I created when I was probably 11 or 12 years old.  Inside were newspaper articles and poems I wrote in memory of friends who had taken their own lives or were severely  troubled and considered a danger to themselves.  Since I did not attend their funerals and knew that I would not be allowed to visit anyone in a troubled youth facility, this folder was my way of mourning.  This may seem a bit strange to some of you, I know, but at the time it was almost therapeutic for me.  At any rate, last Spring I decided it was finally time to toss the folder and the sadness associated with it, out of my life.  It wasn't easy, but once I did it I literally felt at ease and sort of relieved to have lifted that spiritual weight off my shoulders.  From that moment on, I decided to purge myself of anything or anyone that brings me down.  As the saying goes, "Misery loves company"  Well, Misery is not welcome here and if you catch her trying to creep in to your world, I suggest you slam the door shut and lock it tight!

3.  Be the victor, not the victim The first step in achieving your goals is to believe in yourself, if you can't do that, then don't even bother trying.  Life is never perfect and some face more trials and tribulations than others, but how you react to it is what determines your victory or defeat.  In my 20 years of employment,  I've been laid off twice.  Both times I've been able to use the opportunities to my benefit and pursue more satisfying endeavors.  In fact, the first time it happened, I was fortunate enough to have a friend working at a staffing agency in the same office building, so that afternoon, after packing up my desk, I went straight to her office and helped out for the rest of the day.  I mentioned earlier, that last year's lay off afforded me the opportunity to pursue my passions, but more importantly, it allowed me to spend some real quality time with my twins and get them prepared for going to school.  These may not sound like tremendous victories to you, but the point is that I turned negative situations in to positive opportunities, instead of wallowing in self pity or claiming to be a victim of circumstance.  I had no idea how things were going to work out then, nor do I know how they'll be this go around, but between my self confidence and the support of my family, there will be no "going gentle in to that good night";  I will forever rage on!  

As I said, these are just a few of the lessons learned that I'll be practicing this year.  What about you all?  I would love to hear what you'll be doing differently this year to live a happier, more balanced life?  Remember, knowledge is power, so don't be shy - share!

Until next time, be well & take care!

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