Thoughtful Tuesday – September 3, 2013

Greetings fair travellers, friends and the voices inside my head!

Welcome to a new series of blogs that I’m planning to explore over the next few months, starting today! Why start a new ‘venture’ at the end of the calendar year, you ask?
Why not? We start school (traditionally) in September, many companies start their fiscal years in July or August…And I’ve always been a fan of starting a new goal with either a new month, or special attention to an end date, i.e. ending on the last day of the month, etc.
As my intent is to stick to a set schedule of days I’m writing on with no end date in sight, it seemed most logical to start with a new month – and so here we are!

Why “Thoughtful Tuesday”?
If you’ve poked around on the blog at all, you may have noticed I’m a fan of alliteration. I’m pretty it’s one of those “rules of writing” you’re not supposed to overuse, but I like the sound of these things in my head when I’m writing, and that’s why we write publically, isn’t it? To allow our mental voice(s) out in a socially accepted format. As to the “thoughtful” part:

I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, and one of the boards I post a lot of things to is my “Words to Live By.” When I was younger, I had notebooks filled with catchy sayings, quotes, etc, that I saw stitched, or printed or wherever. I collected these sayings to include in my dayplanner/agenda for school where there was space (because who actually uses those things to write homework assignments?!) or occasionally to be added to a cross stich piece I was working on.

Looking back, it was a very one-dimensional collection. I collected sayings because I thought they sounded cool, or the quotes made me look smart. Hey, I was a tween. What did I know?
Now, the collecting is different.
Not only do I go through and prune the collection, to weed out duplicates (Pinterest is pretty good about recognizing if you’ve pinned the same link twice – but it doesn’t help you when you’ve pinned the same statement from two different originating links), but also to keep out conflicting thoughts and beliefs. I don’t see the board as a history of “what I lived by and how I live now”, but as a ongoing reflection of how I feel at present. I haven’t needed to remove many things that I no longer agree with, I’ve probably discovered more miss-pins then anything else. (Really, as life changing as a pin about a Life Hack to keep my jewelry from tangling while I travel is, it has its own board to live on!)

But I don’t want to just pin a pretty picture with some text on it. I want to examine for myself WHY I feel those words are worth thinking about in more then the five seconds it takes me to pin to a board. What use is pinning, or underlining a quote in a book (or highlighting in a digital copy) if you say to yourself “yes, this resonates with me” – but don’t explore WHY that resonance is there? So I decided to take a selection of the quotes every week, and examine the (sometimes loosely related) theme that connects them.

This week’s theme revolves around those “little” life changes that we experience as we write the story of our life, and how we react to them.

The first three thoughts could really have been used in conjunction with a blog I wrote in May, entitled:
“Failure. Emotion. Apprehension. Regret. None of these do I FEAR.”

Edna Mode, The Incredibles
Oh Edna. So much sass, wisdom and insanity packed into your little digital pixels.
This is something I have tried to do throughout my lifetime. You cannot be fully invested in what you are currently doing in your present life if you are constantly looking over your shoulder at your past, wishing something was the way it once was or regretting choices that you’ve made. You won’t learn anything if you don’t take lessons from your choices you made. There are so many things to experience and learn in life, why waste time repeating history?

 

Buddah
This is a rare example of a thought that I don’t completely agree with, or at least not the phrasing of it.
I disagree that you should not put some thought towards the dreams of your future – if you don’t, how else can you make sure that your present course of action is setting you up for successfully attaining those dreams? I suppose the intended meaning is that you shouldn’t live only in the future of possibilities, playing the what-if game, and ignore the present. And that I do agree with, quite strongly.

 

 

Change is Scary. Regret is Worse. In the last three months, I made several major life changes. I not only agreed to end my marriage, (and with it came the end of an eight year relationship) but I left a job and a team that I was passionate about, and moved home to Canada. They say when you end a relationship (although I suspect it could also be applied to a friendship, or even a working environment), that you should avoid making any major changes in your life, to allow yourself time to heal from the situation. Guess I missed that memo, oops.

What struck me as I started to let people know that changes were coming, was the number of friends who came forward and admitted they weren’t happy with where they were, be it with their job, marriage or just general happiness with their overall lot in life. While I certainly don’t advocate making a snap decision about anything, you and you alone are the one person who can decide if you need to make a change to improve your happiness. We all get so *comfortable,* that is our true jailor. Change is scary, sure. I get that. But living in a day-to-day world where you’re miserable just seems so nonsensical. Yes, in making change there is an undeniable fact that you are going to impact and maybe even hurt others who are in your life in different ways. But sometimes you have to stand back and say: that pain is fleeting, but the eventual happiness is what is deserved for all involved.
So take that step, survive the pain, and come out stronger for it.

 

Plot Twist!
This sentiment appeals to the performer in me. As an actor, I learned very early in life that Shakespeare’ famous soliloquy from “As You Like It” is applicable not to just actors, but that each of us preform every day of our lives, for our families, our co-workers and if a person is not able to be completely honest and naked about themselves, most dangerously, they preform for themselves.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts…

 

 

Admit Your Flaws Out Loud
The scariest thing I have ever have to do, was look in a mirror and tell myself the truth – out loud. About who I was. What I was feeling. But it is also the most empowering action I have ever found. Highly recommend it to anyone who needs that final push to do something intimidating. Because once you’ve looked yourself in the eye and admitted the truth, simultaneously hearing it with your own ears as you say it with your own mouth, what is left to be afraid of?
Other than Spiders. *shudder*
 

 

 

 

You make mistakes. So what?Somewhere along our lifetime, we go from being encouraged to try, to fail, and to learn from that failure. By its commonly accepted definition, “failure” is seen as negative, as less then what is desired, which is success. But we have to recognise that “failure” is part of the equation which ultimately leads to success. Unless failure results in the untimely death of your body, you can always pick yourself up and start over again. And in some faiths and beliefs, even death isn’t the final ending, just the closing of that mortal body’s chapter in life. So admit when you’re wrong, whether it’s in saying something to someone that’s been hurtful, or if you’ve gone down the wrong path in life. Why keep going in that incorrect direction? Every step you take just means it’s going to be a longer trip back in the other direction.

And who says the trip back will even retrace the same path you took? Who knows, maybe it’ll take you off in some other incredible direction? You won’t know, unless you turn around, take that first step and get started!