A Time To Wallow

Foreword: This is probably the most self-serving post I have ever written, but I hope that it helps at least someone who may, like me, be going through a difficult time.

Thousands of movies, novels, and news stories show us that life is not always a fairy tale.  There are hiccups and bumps along this road and some of them can completely devastate you.  Everyone goes through hard times.  The most common theme is loss.  We lose family members, jobs, and spouses.  It’s painful and we may become unresponsive zombies in the wake of the overwhelming grief.  Tears are shed and hearts are broken during these periods of wallowing.  So, how do you deal with an emotional tailspin?  Here are some hopefully helpful tips to get you through the days where even breathing is difficult.

If they don’t work, there’s always tequila and cookie dough.

The Wonderland Registry (Jul)

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Happiness Starts With You

What makes you happy?  Are you getting enough of it?  If you’re not, why aren’t you?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the choices we make and the reasons we make them.  What I’ve discovered is that a lot—and I do mean a lot—of the decisions we make are because we are trying to make other people happy.  It makes sense.  We focus on families and loved ones because, in order to be seen as kind and selfless people, we must put their happiness above our own.  We justify it by saying things like “if they’re happy, I’m happy” or “their happiness is more important than my own.”  But is that always right?

The simple answer is no.

If we always put the needs of others before our own, we lose sight of what we need as individuals and can turn bitter and resentful.  There have been a great many times when I have witnessed or experienced the anger that comes when one’s own needs are forsaken for someone else’s.  The seed of resentment is a slow-growing emotion that once realized, is far stronger than you thought possible and incredibly hard to get rid of.  And let me tell you, it’s not pretty.

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Motivation’s Leave Of Absence

By its very definition, motivation is the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

We all have something that drives us to achieve.  For the woman who spends hours at the gym and counts every calorie, it’s fitting into a pair of jeans that was worn in high school and has since resided in the far recesses of a closet.  Others slave away at the office in order to buy a dream house or a lavish vacation for their family or even to stay afloat in the current economic state.  A father pitches ball after ball to his son in preparation for the one day he hits a home run.

Motivation is wonderful when it comes to giving you just what you need to move forward, to reach a goal, to take a risk.  It lifts you up and makes you believe that you will hit your target.

Unfortunately, motivation can sometimes be a neglectful character in our lives.

I started this blog as a New Year’s resolution and vowed to write something at least once a week.  When I began, it was incredibly easy.  I had a ton of topics I could dive into and I was eager to share my thoughts with whoever would bother to read them.  The novelty was like a bright and shiny new present in my life and I couldn’t get enough.

And then I hit a slump.

Yes, dear reader, you may have noticed the infrequency of my postings.  I have yet to break my New Year’s resolution, but I have begun to regard this blog as homework, something to be pushed off until the last-minute and then half-assed just to get it done.

It’s like that episode in Sex and the City where Carrie is going through a dating dry spell and resorts to writing about her sock drawer.  Yeah, that’s about how I’m feeling these days.  My blog has become my sock drawer.  My muse has gone and has left no trace of the sparkle she once bestowed upon me.

Should I cease this silly little blog or should I press on hoping that something will propel me into interesting thoughts once again?

I choose to keep going.

I find that I have been drawn to the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress and the plethora of new blogs I have been introduced to.  There are so many people out there who question life the way that I do, travel to places I long to see, and cook food that I would love to eat.  Plus, it is inspiring to see that others also struggle with writer’s block and the motivation to keep their posts coming.

Therein have I found my new motivation.

It’s not about what is not moving you along, it’s about what is.

The key to motivation is to keep going no matter what.  Maybe motivation camped out on the bleachers when you were running laps around the track.  Maybe motivation grabbed a tub of Ben & Jerry’s after that last horrible first date.  Maybe motivation was out sick the day you couldn’t finish the report at work.

The wonderful thing about motivation when it’s gone: it always comes back.  And it usually returns like a power surge.  All of a sudden, words flow again.  Ideas that once seemed completely lame appear to be relevant.

I found this to be true when I started spinning.

The first several classes were brutal.  The exercise was intense and I felt like the bottom of my pelvis would never fully recover from those brutally uncomfortable seats.  Months later, I am still spinning two days a week and everything has changed.  My endurance has increased, my speed is faster, my legs can push through tougher resistance, and my bottom is no longer bothered by the seat.  Plus, I burn at least 600 calories in each hour.  Not too shabby.

I guess what is important to remember is this: there are times when you will not find the motivation that you need to reach a particular goal, but pushing through those rough times will bring it back in full force.  You can hate the entire workout or day at the office or the time spent struggling to teach someone a new concept.  You’ve just got to keep going to reach that goal.

As Nike’s slogan says, “Just do it!”