Life is a series of lessons

pyramid with life circles (2013_07_03 19_07_39 UTC)The older we get, the more we learn.  Life is a series of lessons, sometimes easy, sometimes hard.

When I was younger, I was a hard knock lesson learner.  I knew better than anyone older than me, and my experiences were going to be different.  (insert laugh)

As I’ve gotten older and hopefully a little wiser, I am learning to let go.  I’m learning to listen to my intuition more and trust my gut. I guess you could say I got tired of beating my head against the proverbial brick wall.

This makes it harder for my circle to comprehend but I trust, as they mature, they will follow suit.

I have learned change can be hard.  However, if we keep an open mind, we soon realize change is inevitable and most of the time, it ends up being what we needed.  For anyone who has read the book, “Who Moved My Cheese?” by the late author Spencer Johnson, a fable about how to cope positively with change, you’ll know what I mean.   WMMC is a fable about four characters who live in a maze and they all love cheese. When the cheese disappears, Scurry and Sniff (two little people) enthusiastically head out into the maze to find new cheese. On the other hand Hem and Haw (mice) feel betrayed and complain. They waste their time and energy hoping the old cheese will return. Haw realizes the old cheese won’t return so he sets out into the maze in search for new cheese. He writes what he learns on the walls hoping that Hem will follow him. Eventually he discovers new cheese and sees that Scurry and Sniff were already there. Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life. It could be a good job, loving relationship, money or health. The very core message of the book is this: things constantly change so we must adapt. The quicker we adapt to a change the more satisfied we’ll be with life.

It was a required read when I was working on a project for the State of California and I quickly learned prior to the end of that contracted project, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, how much this book helped me get through everything I had to do to save my life.  If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do.  It still helps me today.

It has helped me get through all my family issues I’ve had to deal with these last few years.  It has kept me sane and even though the move to CO depressed me, I pushed through it because my “cheese” was my husband whom I love with all my heart.  I was there because that is where he thought he wanted to be until his “cheese” moved! Luckily, we were gnawing on the same piece and when it moved, we both found it in GA!!

My step son’s cheese moved this past weekend and he finds himself now living with his sister.  My only hope is he doesn’t keep gnawing on that cheese when it grows old and moldy.  I hope he keeps his options open and moves through the maze of life following different brands of cheeses. Time will tell.

Life is not only a series of lessons but it’s also a series of changes.  The sooner we learn from our mistakes (life lessons) and the sooner we embrace change, the happier we will ultimately be.  Don’t lie on your death bed filled with regrets, leave this world knowing you did the very best with what God gave you.

How People See You

3 Dimensions

A funny thing happened the other day when my brother and his wife were visiting us.  We were talking about our kids at first.  And then my brother said something to me which took me aback.  He said, “It’s a good thing you met your husband when you did, because you’d be homeless right now.” He laughed after he said it, so I thought maybe he was joking.  But after thinking about it, I decided he really did believe this about me.  I had to set him straight about his thinking.  You see, I may have had hard times but I have always risen above them and have come out successful in the end.

He didn’t know when I sold all my belongs except for my clothing, it was because I was planning on leaving the country.  I had just gotten my TESOL certificate and was heading either to China or Costa Rica to teach English as a second language.  However, my mom ended up with breast cancer and I decided to move in with her to take care of her and drive her to her many doctor appointments.  Lucky she didn’t need chemo but because she was HER-2 positive, she needed infusions of Herceptin.  My plan was as soon as she was better, I was leaving.  I was still in college earning my BA degree, and I ended up graduating with high honors.  I’m not sure how that equates to being homeless or almost homeless.  I’ve always paid my rent or mortgage on time as well as my bills. I was never overly rich but I was comfortable.

Granted during Obama’s reign, I had to improvise how I earned my money.  I had gotten laid off of my construction job and I started my own business as a Professional Organizer, which I ran for seven years, which paid my bills as well as my rent.  I helped  a Medical Marijuana grower, and I was a packer for a moving company.  So, homeless was never in my mindset.  And I never saw myself as being destitute, I had to tighten my belt but in my mind that was survival skills many people don’t possess.  I am able to live without certain luxuries.  I bartered my hair services, I stopped getting my nails done, and I certainly had enough clothes to wear.  As far as food goes, I was doing Medifast, so my food was delivered and I only had to purchase chicken breast and salad stuff.

How I would like others to see me:  A strong, independent woman who has survived being a single mother of two, a woman who fought and survived a breast cancer diagnosis, a woman who, for fourteen years, didn’t have a man to rely on and made it anyway.  A woman who is a jack of all trades and a master of none.  A person who is loyal as a friend, who is honest, sincere, fierce in her beliefs, and will help anyone in need.  If you cross me, I will forget you.  If you lie to me, I will forget you. If you choose to talk about me behind my back or make up stories, I will forget you.

As I sit here writing this, I am glad I went through the struggles life brought me.  I can say it now that it’s passed me.  And even though I am not an overly religious person, I do know there was someone or something looking out for me.  Perseverance comes to mind.  I’m happy I met my husband when I did.  It meant I was ready to share my life again with someone.  And we are perfect for each other.  I deserve him as he deserves me.  He often tells me he’s not sorry he ruined my plans!  And neither am I.

The saying, “What you think of me is none of my business” still rings true for me today.  I don’t need anyone’s approval to do anything.  I am my own seasoned person.  I love my life.  It may not be perfect, but it’s perfect for me.  The closer the distance between these three dimensions, the more at peace I am.  Don’t always surmise you know a person, unless you really do know that person.