Ch-ch-ch-changes

This is my response to Anyone Else Feel Like a Total Screw Up? | Doug’s Scribbles and Ramblings https://gleanermansblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/anyone-else-feel-like-a-total-screw-up/

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Time marches on

Check out this beautiful blog written by my older brother. Proud of him for being able to express these feelings and super proud of my nephews and niece who are amazing human beings.

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If you would have told me five years ago that things would be as they are now, I would have scoffed.  Never would I have imagined the life changes that have occurred in the past two years. Sure, in the scheme of family life, the kids grow older, go to college, move away white time moves us along as they begin to move forward to form their lives and their futures. Some of those life changing events brought me to the darkest period of my life thus far. My kids mean the world to me, and not being around them much due to the inevitable “growing up” has been a tough adjustment for this recently divorced father.

Yesterday I had one of those moments where emotion takes you down fast.  Being the end of the semester, dad duties include picking up no longer needed furniture for the move back home for summer.  The boys and…

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Be your Best Friend: Advice to Myself

Today’s words of wisdom stem from a conversation with a dear friend and co-worker.  She is working hard on trying to improve herself and her situation so she asked me for my honest opinion on something.  She asked, “Will you give me 3 areas in my life you think I could improve on?”

The answers to this came way too easily.  You see, this girl is 10 years younger than me and is also a single mother.  We’ve been there for each other through a lot of stuff over the last couple of years.  She reminds me a lot of myself.  So I realized as I was typing these things, I wasn’t only speaking to her – I was speaking from my own experiences, what other wise people have taught me, and I was speaking to myself on the things I constantly need reminders of.

So today – here are 3 areas in life I think we could all improve on . . .

  1. Love yourself.  I know that we hear this a lot, but many of us have been taught that loving ourselves is selfish.  The issue is, we spend so much time trying to do for others, that we have nothing left to give.  We were given these bodies and these lives to TAKE CARE OF.  We have to meet our own basic needs if we want to reach our full potential and have the capability and energy to love others.

    So . . . GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK.  You have overcome so much in your life!  SO MUCH.  Maybe you had a horrible childhood.  Or maybe you survived the severe mental illness of a family member.  Maybe you survived a horrific accident and had to learn to live your life all over again.  Maybe you survived an unhealthy marriage or learned to move on after a betrayal.  Maybe you’re a single parent who struggles to make ends meet.  Everyone has a story and everyone has a struggle, whether they admit it to others or not.  The important thing to remember is – YOU ARE STILL HERE. You haven’t given up yet!

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    SO STOP BEING SO HARD ON YOURSELF.  You are making it.  You are making progress.  And your hard work and perseverance WILL PAY OFF in the long run.

  2. Learn how to “teach others how to treat you.”  Meaning, if you continue to allow people to treat you badly, they will continue to do it.  Set clear boundaries on how you are okay with being treated and what you will absolutely not allow.  And then let people know when they are doing a good job or when they are not.  This applies for families, friends, co-workers, and yes, even bosses, managers, superiors, etc.  We all need to be able to set personal boundaries in our lives.

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  3. Pay attention to your body and your emotions.  Notice when you start to feel stressed and prepare for it.  Preparation includes scheduling guilt-free alone time to pray, meditate, sleep – whatever you need to get through it.  (Don’t think you have time to meditate or just spend quiet time alone?  Check out this article on Pattern Interrupts.)

    Start a journal.  Even if it is as simple as writing down what you eat and what your emotions were that day – it is a step to learning more about yourself and what you need to survive.

    Another tip, especially if you’re an emotional eater like I am, always have a favorite healthy snack nearby to devour in times of need.

    The more you learn about yourself – the easier it will be to notice things and make the best choices for YOU.

I also wanted to share one final thing (okay, so actually it’s FOUR) that has been a huge help in my own personal growth.  I’m still working on each of these in my own life – but the second agreement was one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done.  I dealt with so much fear and shame in my own life, all because of what I was afraid others thought of me.  (And I was probably making wrong ASSUMPTIONS anyway.)

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Click on the picture to learn more about The Four Agreements book.

So, Congratulations to everyone who is doing their best every day and making steps (no matter how small) to better themselves.  YOU’VE GOT THIS!

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Is There Anybody Listening?

These words
by Chris DeGarmo and Geoff Tate of Queensryche
say it better than I ever could. . . .

You and I
Long to live like wind upon the water
If we close our eyes
We’ll maybe realize
There’s more to life than what we have known

And I can’t believe I’ve spent so long
Living lies I knew were wrong inside
I’ve just begun to see the light

Long ago, there was a dream
Had to make a choice or two
Leaving all I loved behind
For what nobody knew

Stepped out on the stage
A life under lights and judging eyes
Now the applause has died and I can dream again…

Is there anybody listening?
Is there anyone that sees what’s going on?

Read between the lines
Criticize the words they’re selling
Think for yourself and feel the walls
Become sand beneath your feet

Feel the breeze?
Time’s so near
You can almost taste the freedom

There’s a
Warm wind from the south
Hoist the sail
And we’ll be gone
By morning, this will all seem like a dream

And if I don’t return
To sing the song, maybe just as well
I’ve seen the news
And there’s not much I can do… Alone

Is there anybody listening?
Is there anyone who smiles without a mask?

What’s behind the words
Images they know will please us?
I’ll take what’s real
Bring up the lights

Is there anybody listening?
Is there anyone that sees what’s going on?

Read between the lines
Criticize the words they’re selling
Think for yourself and feel the walls
Become sand
Beneath your feet

Do one thing

comfortzone

Any of my followers who might wonder where I have been, I have been busy stepping out of my comfort zone.  I was kind of forced to do it – but am glad that I did.  I am not going to go into detail just yet – but let’s just say that this 40 year old body aches every night, but is getting more activity than it has in a very long time.

I used to be so fearless, and I lost my confidence along the way.  I’m slowly gaining it back and having a blast doing it.  So I thought I would stop in long enough to encourage each of you to step out of your comfort zone and do the thing that scares you.  I think it is worth it.

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Where I want to be

There are many times I wish I could go back in time and smack myself into realizing how much I would someday miss the times I took for granted. The only thing we can do now is make the best of the time we are in now and live life in the best way we can.

It’s A Love Thing…Featured Blogs #9

Thank you Jacqueline!!

a cooking pot and twisted tales

For the next few days till my Valentine Shindig I will be featuring several blogs a day on one post, as a way of showing some love to fellow awesome and supportive blogger friends of mine. 1454511643782[1]

You can share the fun and the love by sharing the party invitation as much as you can. Bring your Bae, your sweetheart, your neighbourlybloggers, your old lady, your old man, even your dogs and cats are invited.

It’s a way to connect with other bloggers and hey, who knows, you might hit it off with someone 😉

Please share and share alike. Thank you very much.

For today’s features, I am showing some love to the bloggers listed below:

‘Above all, love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins.’ 1 Peter 4:8

Gpicone thank you Sir. You are one of the very first bloggers that followed me right from the…

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Writing is in my Blood

I have known for a long time that I come from a long line of storytellers.  Writers, musicians, poets, thespians, and artists abound in my family tree.  However, I was unaware that my paternal grandmother was not only a brilliant seamstress and artist, but she was also an aspiring writer.

This week, a gift was shared with me by a cousin: folders of written pages by my Grandma when she was taking Composition classes at our local university a couple years after my Grandpa died suddenly of a heart attack.  I have so enjoyed getting to know my Grandma a little bit more (she died of cancer when I was in high school) through these yellowed handwritten (and a few typed on a TYPEWRITER) pages.  I thought it would be fun to share some of it here on this blog.

The following was written during an in-class free-writing exercise..  I am sure many of you will relate to her words as I did.

Why must I write this essay?

by Martha Williams

I am handed two sheets of clean white paper, along with the rest of the English composition class, and told to take my pen and free write for about twenty minutes.  The topic is on “The Persuasive Theme” and my mind is as blank as the paper before me.

Now, anyone who knows me will tell you I am an argumentative son-of-a-gun and will take sides at the drop of a hat, any side, both sides, up one side and down the middle.

The girl next to me who has been writing steadily, suddenly crumples up her paper and tosses it in the wastebasket and the class gets a laugh and I agree, out loud, that “that is how I feel, too.”

Surely in my head, that has been crammed with ideas and knowledge since childhood, there must be something I can write about with some intelligence, presenting one side clearly and yet showing the opposite side for reasonable doubt.  What does one do on the days when no sensible thought appears?

For two days, and longer, this essay has been on the edge of my mind.  I’ve known the whole semester that I would have to do it some day and I still am here, stymied, dumb, no thoughts at all in my head.

Would the teacher accept a note with the explanation that I just couldn’t think of a thing to write about?  No – I don’t think so.  She might be sympathetic, but since she’s passed this way before, she’d expect me to come up with something.  After all, she did it, didn’t she?

“The Zoo at Glen Miller Park is Shameful.”  Now there’s a really good subject and I can get into it with both feet.  I love animals, especially exotic ones; lions, tigers, peacocks, and all the little woods animals; the bear, the silly monkeys that look like members of my family tree; they are beautiful, cuddly, and soft.  Or are they?  Out at the Glen, they’re dirty and cross and smelly and evil looking and who wouldn’t be?  Now the other side of the argument – there isn’t one.  Well, scrap that idea.

My little friend in the next seat is going through a painful period of finding her worth in a world of people whom she thinks have everything while God has somehow passed her by.  I could write on that theme.  I certainly know a few things about that.  Some day she’ll learn that the pain she’s going through is her growth in body, mind, and spirit and she’ll recognize it and be thankful for it.  Her sorrow is only one of many kinds, but I can’t tell her that.  When you hurt, you hurt and no one else’s pain compares at all with yours.  She’s OK and she’s going to be better.  I don’t want to get into that subject anyhow.  I can solve my own problems and no one ever is popular who preaches one way or another on any phase of religion.  Who wants to be told, “just forget it, it’s happened before”?

It’s time to pass papers around for editing and ideas.  Good, that always helps and if I need anything at all today, I need help for this paper.

The first gal doesn’t really think I’m serious because I’ve been so silly today.  She is kind and laughs at my silliness, but the young man is trying to help and makes me a list of good reasons for why I should write a debating paper.  Bless them both.

Well why should I?  I’m working for credits for this course.  I have to earn them, no one’s going to say, poor little old lady, we’ll give her good grades as our good deed for today.  At least I hope no one is going to do that!  And then, even with earned credits, I’ll be a freshman for thirty years at the rate I’m going.  As kind as the good Lord has been to me, I don’t think He’ll be that patient.  So why do I work so hard?

Well, what if I do have time to earn a B.A. degree; to take all the subjects I’ve yearned with all my heart to take for 42 years?  To fill my self with the knowledge that this little gal has got a lot on the ball after all these years?  Wouldn’t I crow?  From the top of the highest tree I would!

So I’d better stop foolin’ around and get busy.

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written sometime around 1980 for Composition I at Indiana University East

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I was so touched to know that my Grandma would be proud of me.  Although she never got to finish her B.A. degree, I did; and now I know that when I was handed that diploma from Indiana University East 25 years later, she was smiling down on me.