Saturday, September 29, 2012

Food for Thought

This is probably a little known fact about me but I love reading quotes. I think they are inspirational and usually make you think a little differently about life, in a better way.

A year ago my mom brought me a printed off copy of a chain email. (That might be even worse then getting a chain email in the first place??) It was basically this article by Regina Brett. Unfortunately for her, she was labelled as a 90 year old lady that was reflecting on life, while she is really only in her 50s. At least they credited her name correctly so I was able to google the real article. At the time, I just put the paper in a stack in my often horribly messy office and forgot about it. As i was cleaning my office today, i found the printed email and decided to finally read it. I ended up really liking it and I want to share some of the quotes that i really liked. (a.k.a procrastinate from cleaning, hee hee):

- When in doubt, just take the next small step.

I know a lot of times if i am unsure about what to do next in a situation or how to handle the situation to begin with then i find myself just ignoring it or forgetting it all together. However, if I am feeling overwhelmed, i think I could still convince myself to take at least a small step. That small step could open a lot of new doors or make the correct path be more apparent and would take very little effort.

- Your job wont take care of you when you are sick. 
Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

I have been working A LOT lately. I'm talking close to 70 hour weeks. Granted it is mostly due to an extra project that was given to me at the end of June and that will end in December so at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but still. After 2 months of spending most of my waking hours at work, i started to get really depressed. It was greatly affecting my life. Finally, after coming home at 10:30pm one night crying and honestly thinking i could not make myself go back to work the next day, I had to make a change. 

I consider myself a hard worker and I think i have a very good work ethic but the other side of that is that money has never been *that* important to me. I'd much rather be outside, be active, be with family and friends. I like to just enjoy life. So it doesn't matter how much a job pays, if i can't enjoy life as well, then it just isn't worth it. Don't get me wrong, i didn't quit my job and i am still working on that project but I just set boundaries (mostly how many hours i would work a day) and i'm going to stick to them because, trust me, an employeer will make you work as long and as hard as you will let them. They don't care what it costs you because if you get burnt out, there is someone else waiting to take your place. And if you think the company can't survive without you then you, my friend, are delusional. 

- Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

Luckily i have always been pretty tight with money and good at saving it. I didn't start saving with my first paycheck but pretty darn close. I often hear about people using all their retirement for various things, or even just drawing some out of it. I just can't understand why someone would do that. The idea of working from 16 to 65 is really daunting and I don't want to make it any longer just so i can go on a trip to the beach or something. Saving for retirement is something i would really like to understand better and learn more about. Maybe i will try to figure out a small step to take to get that started...

- If you don't ask, you don't get. -

I feel this one should be pretty common knowledge but i still wanted to put it on here because i know a lot of people that spend a lot of time being unhappy just because they don't talk about the issue with the right person. Or they get mad they weren't considered for an opportunity when no one even knew they were interested. Whenever i have a problem or i'm interesting in something, i figure out who the contact person is and express my interest. Sure there are times it leads nowhere but more times than not, i have been given opportunities just because i expressed interest. Give it a try!

- Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.

I think this one applies to a wide range of things. From objects to friends to jobs, etc. Well, i dont mean get rid of your ugly friends...haha. You know what i mean. Don't hang around people that negatively influence your life. Don't keep useless junk around (i need to work on this), and don't stay at a job that you makes you miserable. This quote could apply to more than just these three things, i just gave them as examples.

- Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. 
Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special. -

I cannot tell you how many things I have "saved for a special occasion" only to never use them. They will inevitable get packed away and end up broken or just old and unusable. A few years ago I finally realized how dumb this is. I should enjoy these things when i get them because if not, what's the point in even buying them??? That's just silly.

- Over prepare, then go with the flow.

I like to think this has unknowingly been my motto most of my life. Many of my friends poke fun at me (lovingly) for over preparing for events but then i like to think that when the event arrives, i don't get stressed. I just go with the flow. Maybe that is why I didn't mind planning my wedding and I definitely wasn't stressed on the day of. So now, this will be my motto, knowingly. 

- Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

I have never really cared what people thought of my appearance. I mean, have you seen my hair? But i could definitely use a lesson in being eccentric. I love seeing those kids that really wanted to wear their cowboy boots and their superman shirt and their parents let them. I admire those kids and parents and hope those kids don't lose that eccentric personality just to become drones of society. 

- No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

This goes back to those people that constantly complain and spend their lives being so unhappy. I just don't understand it. I'm not saying it is easy to change your life but it is possible. You got yourself there in the first place and you can get yourself out. Refer back to the first quote - just start by taking small steps. I know a lady that had worked her way up to a fairly high management position at a big company but she hated her job and the people she worked with. One day she just decided life was too short and she wasn't going to waste hers anymore so she quit. I'm not advocating running out and quitting your job but in her case it was totally the right thing to do. She ended up getting a job at a fabric store because quilting was her favorite hobby. Sure, the pay wasn't near the same so she had to make adjustments in her way of life but she had a job she looked forward to every week and it was working with something she was very passionate about.

A lot of my examples have to do with jobs but it doesn't mean the quote can't relate to other things. Moving out to the country might make you happy. Or losing 15 pounds. Or getting a dog. I don't know what happiness is for you, it is different for everyone. The point is, decide what makes you happy and persure it. Don't let anyone or anything stop you.

- What other people think of you is none of your business. - 

I have actually heard this one before and love it. So many people spend so much time and energy worrying about what a co-worker or peer thinks of them. Why? It is always best that you don't know. Do you expect knowing will change anything? Because if it does, there is another problem in itself. 

- However good or bad a situation is, it will change - 

I like that this one points out that even good situations change. A lot of people will tell you that bad situations will get better but no one points out that you should take the time to really enjoy a good situation because it too will change. Not to be negative, just the facts. Life is a series of inevitable ups and downs. Take time to enjoy the ups and keep pushing through the downs.

- Envy is a waste of time. - 

Not only do i agree with this statement but it also reminds me of a different quote that i once read: "To cure jealously is to see it for what it is: a dissatisfaction with self" by Joan Didion. I think most people could benefit from taking a moment to figure out why they are feeling jealous or envious. Being happy for the other person and using the situation to make self improvement will make you happier with yourself and get you far more than jealously or envy ever could.

- No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up. - 

I really need to work on this one. I know it is good advice but i still have moments of weakness. There have been mornings where i have felt like crap but still managed to make myself get up at 5am to go to Yoga. After the class i am always so happy that i went and my day just goes so much better. However, there still manages to be mornings where the alarm goes off at 5am and i roll over and change it to 6:30am. Then i still feel crappy and on top of that i am disappointed in myself.

There have also been times when i cancelled plans only to regret it 10 minutes after i was suppose to be there. I am good at talking myself out of things and then seeing the truth after it is too late. I hate thinking that i missed out on potential good memories and experiences just because i wanted 10 more minutes of sleep, or didn't feel like getting out of my pajamas. I'm going to try to make this one a focus.

- A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write. - 

I confess, I completely put this one on here just for my friend Devon. I think she really wants to write and i think it really makes her happy but writing is easier said than done. I'm no aspiring writer but I can barely set time aside to make a grocery list each week, and you see how often i find time to blog, so I can see how trying to consistently set time aside to write (undistracted) would be difficult for anyone. It seems like a lot of established writers did something crazy to get their start like completely quit their jobs and lock themselves up in a room for a month. Who has time to realistically do that? That takes a huge leap of faith and probably causes some pretty hard, stressful times. If i could add an hour to the day (Where's David Bowie when you need him?) and teleport Devon to a room with just a table, some paper, and a pen i totally would. I hope Devon, and other aspiring writers out there, can find time to do what makes them happy. 

- Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present. - 

- Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. - 

- Forgive everyone everything. - 

These three i thought were good words of advice but I just really didn't have anything thing to add. So that's that. 

I know this was a ridiculously long entry. I appreciate you sticking it out and i hope out of all of these that at least one made you think differently about some aspect of life. For the better of course. Maybe even change your priorities a little to put your own happiness more towards the top. =)

I have one more for the road, i thought it would be good to end on. So, last but not least...

- The best is yet to come...