It is Day 30 of my thirty day June ‘Accentuate the Positive’ challenge. I have been officially retired for a solid year and I have proven to myself that I can still pull together the focus, the capability, and the inspiration to succeed – on time and on budget! 🤣🤣
I have thought about this final post for pretty much the past month. I was pretty confident the entire post would ‘Accentuate’ my sense of accomplishment. However, “the best laid plans of mice and men” has declared that today I must share the spotlight. Last night I received a text from our granddaughter.
After seventeen years of filling our lives with hugs and kisses, giggles and ladybug liberties, our Genie has graduated – along with her partner in cuteness, Alec. Congratulations you two!
Genie was also officially diagnosed with h-eds this week. That may not sound like a positive but it so is. You cannot deal with, access the treatment and therapy you require, or get your physician to consider that you have, an all-encompassing condition, until you have a legit diagnosis on your medical records. I know this because Genie’s siblings are affected, her mother (my daughter Jenn) is affected, I have been affected, and my Mother was affected. Lack of a proper diagnosis has caused enough unnecessary pain and issues for our family. So yea, this is a positive!
Back to me… I have thoroughly enjoyed this challenge that I set for myself. It has helped me to appreciate the positive in my life. For those who have been following, or dropping in from time to time, I hope that your moments with me have been enjoyable and a little bit uplifting. I genuinely appreciated your comments, compliments and thumbs up (likes).
The reason I chose the “Accentuate the Positive” challenge for June was because there has been so much struggling and suffering around for so long. Covid, difficult economic times, political issues, crime and violence, anger and frustration, mental health issues, racial issues and the like, are all wearing people down. I felt that posting a little warm and fuzzy every day was just a nice and timely thing to do.
I know that my June blogs have not fixed all that ails our world. I did not expect them to. But, I am no quitter! 🤣 Tomorrow I am starting a new series of blogs. It will not be a challenge (because I know I’ve got this). It will simply be my mission for July. I hope you will drop by from time to time to check it out.
This year, I have chosen to focus on PEACE. Each morning I write out a number of affirmations relative to peace. Every night, I try to fall asleep with peaceful thoughts and feelings. Throughout the day I try to make peace my priority.
Typically, the harder I try to focus on improving one aspect of my life, the more obstacles life throws in my path. This year has proven no different. There is virtually no area of my life that has been easy and peaceful. Personally, there have been health issues, financial issues, family issues, work issues and of course technical issues. In a broader sense, our city, province, country, and world seem to be going to hell in a handbasket.
It would be easy to give up, but I have endeavoured to keep focussing on peace. On the fiftieth day of 2020, I have finally made a significant breakthrough. By making peace my priority, I have released the overwhelming urge to control everything in and around my life. This alone has brought me the peace I desire.
As humans, we all have the power to choose. The first thing we need to choose is where our priorities lie. Life is dicey and insecure, more so now than ever, in my mind. We are reminded daily that there is little to no security for ourselves and our loved ones. It is easy to become so insecure that we move into survival mode. We try to control everyone and everything around us. We justify becoming aggressive and trying to deprive others of their right to choose. This never ends well for anyone.
The only path to personal peace and growth is to focus on our own priorities, while respecting and allowing others to focus on their’s. There are any number of ways to accomplish this. Here are a few of my suggestions:
1) If there are issues at work, focus on your task at hand. Ignore the office politics, the gloom and doom of company rumors, employers and co-workers who are being unreasonable or ignorant. You are there to do your job, you are being paid to do your job. Just do it. Focus on doing it well. Regardless of anything else that happens, you will gain confidence from a job well done and it will help you to develop an exit strategy, if leaving your position becomes inevitable.
2) Having health issues can easily become overwhelming. However, they can be made tolerable for yourself and those around you. The first step is to accept and acknowledge your health issues. The second step is to deal with your health issues with professional help you can trust, informing yourself about your condition, and doing everything you can to minimize the effects of your health issues – be it with diet, exercise or lifestyle changes and focussing on any improvement you can make. I am amazed at the accomplishments and legacies of people who have been affected or are affected by overwhelming health issues.
3) Financial issues are another of life’s challenges that can easily become overwhelming. I have been there. I know how difficult it can be. I have sold pop bottles to buy milk for my babies and have worked multiple jobs to provide for my teenagers. I have lived so close to the edge that an unanticipated car repair was virtually catastrophic. I survived – somehow you do, as long as you have faith that you will and you keep working towards financial stability. Once again the first step is to acknowledge and accept your situation. The second is to get professional help if you need it and make the changes you need to make. Keep working towards increasing your income and cutting your expenses and you will slowly start to get ahead. It isn’t easy, there are times when it seems your efforts are totally futile, but if you keep working at it, it will happen. I have reached a point in my life where major unexpected expenses are frustrating, but I have to keep it in perspective and be grateful that we have the means to cover them.
4) Relationships can be particularly challenging. There are times when one must admit that a relationship is unhealthy, unsafe and the right thing to do is to terminate it. If every relationship starts out great, is great, and ends up in termination and anger, the problem is probably you. The thing with relationships is that they take respect, consideration, compromise, and trust. You cannot always be right. You cannot always be in control, you cannot always be ‘the winner’. No one else can give you the perfect relationship. You have to do your part.
5) No matter how much you love anyone – even your own children, you must allow them to make their own choices and suffer the consequences of poor choices. Inevitably, you will be forced to, so they can learn and grow. You can offer them a hand up if they are legitimately making the good choices – to a point. They are still the ones who need to put in the hard work. To encourage them to make poor choices or to pave every road for them is enabling them, undermining them, keeping them dependent on you, and serves neither of you in the long run. You have to step back and trust that your children will learn, grow, and live the life that they are meant to.
6) Regardless of how passionate you are about any cause or point of view, others are equally passionate about theirs – and have every right to be. In Canada, there is currently and increasingly, a divide between those who are passionate about the environment and those who are passionate about the economy. The two sides become further apart as they fight for control and an overwhelming win. The harder they fight, the less likely it is that anyone will . Regardless of which side we support, we need to be open to compromise, respect and mutual concern for both the economy and the environment. We need to work together to ensure that those who drive the economy, respect the environment. We need to recognize the importance of a strong vibrant economy and recognize the efforts that industries make to operate in an environmentally responsible manner. It works both ways or it does not work at all.
Regardless of what the issues are, or whether they are personal, global, or anywhere in between, the solution is the same. We need to get our priorities in order, focus on what is important to us, release control of what is not, and approach the issues with peaceful hearts and minds. 🕊️
In my mind, the secret to success in any venture is to add more value to the situation than you take out of it. Period! This is true of pretty much anything that I can think of – relationships, employment, business, education, property, sports, anything. That seems so basic!
So why does it seem like there are so many people who believe the exact opposite? People who seem to think that if they are not taking out more than they are putting in, they are wasting their time and they are being shortchanged? They go through life putting in minimal effort while sucking the life out of every opportunity that comes their way. Then they are shocked that every opportunity in life turns to trash for them.
These people go into every relationship for what they can get out of it, and complain when it falls apart. They do as little as possible at their job and then complain when the company fails to thrive and they do not get the raise or bonus they were counting on. They get a new vehicle, drive it into the ground, fail to maintain it and then complain because it is worthless junk. Their failures in life mount and they become self pitying victims of circumstance.
Seriously people? What do you expect will happen?
Are there really so many of these people out there or am I just a magnet for their type?
Everyone suffers from stress in their lifetime, some more than others. I tend to be one of those others. As a result of being easily stressed, I have tried a number of methods for dealing with my stress and I have taken note of how others tend to deal with theirs. These are some of the worst methods for dealing with stress that I have discovered over the years.
1. Self medicate. Whether it is alcohol, illegal drugs or over the counter medication, it is not a solution and will inevitably create more stress for you in the long run. 🍺
2. Blame others. First it will add bitterness, anger and resentment to your stress. Second it will deprive you of finding and using effective methods to deal with your stress. It does not matter why you are stressed. It does not matter if someone else caused your stress. Once you are stressed, that stress is yours, you need to own it and you need to deal with it. 😤
3. Avoid your stress. (Or the things that are causing you stress). That ugly file on your desk – quit trying to bury it, financial problems – quit trying to pretend they don’t exist, relationship problems – quit waiting for your partner to deal with them. Your stress will not go away by hiding from the problems that are causing it.🙃
4. Using counterproductive measures. Stressed out because you have financial issues? – skipping work won’t help, binge shopping won’t help, wasting your money in a bar or casino won’t help. Stressed out over failing grades? – skipping school won’t help, avoiding your homework won’t help. Stressed out because you have a nagging cough ? – smoking won’t help. 🙄
5. Banishing toxic people from yourlife. (Unless we are talking about a seriously manipulative, hurtful person who is a danger to you and your well-being). For your friend or your mother or your co-worker who has annoyed you, or had a disagreement with you, or inadvertently hurt your feelings – no! Talk to them, compromise with them, consider what it means to have them in your life before you kick them to the curb. If this is your go to method, you are going to cause yourself stress by losing loved ones, having to avoid loved ones and causing difficult situations with people who love you and your banished friends and family. 😢
6. Take your stress out on others. Stress is not an excuse to mistreat others – ever. Mistreating others will not make you feel any better. It certainly will not make them feel any better. Just don’t do it. 🤯
7. Give up. Never give up. Stress sucks. Stress makes life so much harder and more miserable than it needs to be. There are many healthy, effective methods of dealing with stress. You will find ones that work for you as long as you keep looking! 👍
I hope if you having been struggling with stress, that this post helps you avoid some pitfalls in looking for relief. In my next post, I will note some of the best ways that I have found for dealing with my stress💖.