Tagged: happiness

Enough is Enough

Working with older youth, it’s common to discuss goals. Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten? What kind of education will you seek? What kind of career do you want? What is important to you?

Five years? They’ll say. I don’t know where I’ll live next month, let alone 5 years.

Ten years? They laugh.

Education? I don’t know. I want to make something of myself.

Career? I want to make good money. I want to provide for myself.

What’s important? Family. Happiness.

The answers are so vague, yet so clear. These kids want what we all want, I think. When it comes down to it, we all want to be loved. We all want to feel like we have succeeded in our accomplishments. Whatever path we take with school and work, we all just want to look back and say “I am happy”. Sure, we want the nice paycheck and a lavish home to go to after a long day at work, but that’s not what really matters. What matters is that when we lay down to bed at night, we can say that we are healthy, we are happy, we are grateful.

Sometimes life can seem overwhelming. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what path to take. Sometimes it’s easier to take no path at all; to succumb to the “I can’t” attitude. Sometimes, though, all it takes is a gentle reminder that the every day subtleties; your morning cup of coffee, your favorite song on the radio, a night in with your family… those are enough.

This life is enough, even if you haven’t got it all figured out just yet.

xo,

A

Advertisements

They’re Walkin’ in a Straight Line, But That’s Not Really Her Style

You want the things you’re saying, doing, planning, dreaming about, to matter. You want to believe that there is all some bigger purpose to life than the day to day monotony. Surely life isn’t all 8-5’s, health insurance premiums and pension plans, right? Everything that you do all year; the stress, the extra hours at the office, the anxiety over raises and promotions… is it all for one week of vacation? Is your life a waiting game for that one little slice of time where you allow yourself to “let loose”, to do the things you really want to do, to be truly happy? Not “oh I found this really inspiring quote on Pinterest that I’ll post on my Facebook and subsequently my Instagram (with a selfie)” happy, but legitimately happy. That logic is really hard for me to wrap my head around.

I mean, what is it exactly that we are all trying to do here? I understand the materialistic side of things, I really do. I want the clothes, the car, the house, the level of comfort that having money provides. I also understand hard work, dedication and a sense of responsibility. I subscribe to all of those beliefs and find them to be important qualities for the general population to pride themselves on. BUT… is that what life is? It’s really sad for me to think that my life up until this point has been geared 100% towards obtaining some kind of skill/education that allowed me to begin a career. Now that I have that, the rest of my life is just planning for retirement? I know that we’re supposed to be thankful for the little things. I should be grateful that I’m lying in bed on Sunday night typing away in bed. I have a candle lit (a lovely soy candle called “sunshine” that I bought in Sarasota, Fl. this year on vacation), my tummy is full from dinner and I have a job to go to in the morning. I’m grateful for all of those things; but, can’t I be both grateful and still want for more? Maybe I don’t want for “more” but for “different”. I want spontaneity. I want crafts. I want travel. I want love- the ache in your stomach when they walk in the room kind of love. I want French-pressed coffee with whip cream and I want possibilities. I feel like I can have all of those things if I let go of this traditional way of living that everyone is so convinced they MUST live by.

You can be a cliche and note that you only live once; but I prefer the add-on to that saying. “But if you do it right, once is enough.”

So the question you have to ask yourself is, are you doing it right?

Live Like You Were Dying

I spent most of the next days
Looking at the x-rays
Talkin’ ’bout the options
And talkin’ ’bout sweet time”
I asked him
“When it sank in
That this might really be the real end
How’s it hit you
When you get that kind of news?
Man, what’d you do?”

-Tim McGraw, Live Like You Were Dying

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” ― Robert Frost

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Albert Einstein

There are countless quotes about life and how it is unfair, amazing, beautiful, short-lived, under-appreciated and incredible; all at the same time. We all know people who are miserable and unnecessarily grouchy in their everyday lives; and we all know people who are filled to the brim with positivity and happiness. What dictates this seemingly uneven scale of attitudes? Obviously everybody has some days that are better than others, and sometimes life can get you down no matter how positive you try to be; but how is it that more often than not, we let the gift of life slip through our hands? Life, no matter what your profession or path you choose should be valued and cherished as the amazing thing that it is; not repeatedly complained about due to mundane daily annoyances. So you have some past due bills? Somebody out there is sleeping on the streets and eating scraps out of a dumpster behind the store you shop at. So your friend ditched out on plans you had together? Someone out there is all alone; no friends, no family, nothing. So you had a bad day at work? Somebody, many people in fact, can’t even obtain gainful employment. There are countless more examples, but the message is clear: be thankful for what you have. In this world, we have to put our problems into perspective and appreciate the life that is in front of us instead of always concentrating on the things we are lacking. I understand that your worst problem, though it may be menial to some, is important and huge to you. I’m not denying that. However, I still think it is important to take a step back and realize that it could always, always be worse. Most of the things that we complain about on a daily basis are outright silly. I am absolutely no exception. “Ugh, I don’t feel like going to work today.” “I don’t feel like going to get groceries.” “Traffic was so annoying.”

REALLY?! If those are honestly the biggest problems in my life then I would say that I’m doing pretty well. I am healthy, I have an amazing circle of friends and family that are incredibly supportive and I have a boyfriend that I hope to somebody call my husband. Life is better than good; it is amazing. It is insanely naive and asinine to think that my life is less because I can’t go shopping at the drop of a hat, or afford my dream car. Life is so much more than material things; and while I do appreciate that the world revolves around money, my happiness and overall mood do not need to rely on it. Furthermore, if you can maintain a positive and determined attitude, your finances are going to reflect that because you’re going to bust your ass to achieve your goals.

The reason I’m going on this whole rant is because while on a mini-vacation to Niagara Falls, I streamed a video on my hotel’s WIFI (this girl can’t afford roaming charges!) about a teenager named Zach Sobiech. Zach was diagnosed with a osteosarcoma, a terminal form of cancer. Instead of lying in his hospital bed waiting for death, Zach decided to live his life to the fullest and do all the things that made him happy. He spent time with his family, his girlfriend, his bandmate and wrote an incredible song called Clouds (which is available on Itunes and Spotify). He spent his last few months like we should all spend our entire lives; with positivity and a smile on his face. Though he was only 18 years old, he was able to say goodbye to the people closest to him through the outlet that helped him the most; music. If you haven’t already seen the video through Facebook, please watch it now. It’s 22-some minutes out of your life but I promise you, it is worth it. This kid is one of the most inspiring people I have ever seen.

Zack Sobiech lost his battle to cancer on May 20, 2013. Watch the video here.

So please, take a step back and put your “problems” into perspective. It’s not that bad. Life is beautiful. As Zach stated, “You don’t have to find out that you’re dying to start living.”

If you would like to donate to the fund that has been set up in Zach’s memory, visit this link via the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

-Azach

zach2

Change of Scenery

Ok well this is just getting pathetic. One week between posts? It’s amazing that people are still checking in on me.. but I do appreciate it. 🙂 It gives me some sort of incentive to keep writing- though for some reason lately I’m having a really hard time with it! It’s not as if I have any shortage of things that upset me- I read/watch the news every day- trust me, I have plenty to say. It’s also not as if there is nothing going on in my life.. if anything, there’s too much! Yet… no posts. (Not even on my fun craft blog!)

I think I’ve found the problem, though; I need a change of scenery! Day in and day out, I’m doing the same exact things. Sure, I’m busy- but I’m writing papers, reading for class (ok so I rarely actually do this, but still), studying (rare again), driving, working, loading/unloading the dishwasher, sweeping, dusting, laundry, shooing crazy geese away from my car (or running in terror, whatever)… etc, etc. they’re the same TERRIBLY BORING tasks EVERY SINGLE DAY! I honestly can’t take it anymore! The semester is almost over but then I’ll be working 5 days a week, and trying to find things to do to fill in all the empty space that was taken up by school! It’s a terrible cycle.

I’m going on vacation in a few months, so that’s something to look forward to- and trust me, I am- but what do I do until then? Day trips? Spontaneously quit my job? (HA HA..) Find a new hobby? Spend more time on the ones I already have?

It’s a strange thing to not be either unhappy or happy; instead  simply going through the motions, not really noticing the day of the week or anything at all.

This is not okay with me. Therefore, I’m going to spend the summer writing about all the ways that I’m going to change things up. Life is far too short to be merely “content” and I refuse to settle. I don’t think I’m going to structure it or anything like I did with the Happiness Project- nope, I’m just going to be. It just sounds peaceful, doesn’t it?

I hope you’ll come along with me- it’s going to be a memorable summer!

Til next time-A

Epiphany’s at the Mall

Today marks the halfway point of week one of my Happiness Project. So how am I doing, you ask? Well this week is most definitely testing my patience, that’s for sure. I found out today that the new part for my car won’t be in until Friday, rendering poor Maxwell useless until then. :/ I spent the better part of my afternoon trying not to be upset but for the most part, I was just faking it. That is until I was aimlessly walking around the mall (retail therapy really does work, and I have the purple running shoes to prove it) when one of my goals for this week popped in my head.

“Accept setbacks.”

So my car wouldn’t be fixed today. So it was an inconvenience. So I had to change up my routine a little bit. So this, so that… so what? I seriously had to stop and think about the things I was grateful for to prevent myself from slipping into a terrible, bitter mood.

  • I’m healthy
  • I’m spending time with B
  • I caught up on all my homework today
  • It’s a nice day

And so on and so forth. The goods news is, it worked. The bad news is, I had a legitimate conversation with myself in public. Oh well. Baby steps, right?

On a side note, I picked up a couple of things for my Save the Dates for the wedding. I’m going to be making those and probably the invitations during Spring Break next month. Hopefully I’ll be going dress shopping too and I’m so excited! Of course one of my major goals for the year is to concentrate more on my marriage than my wedding but come on, a girl can still have fun. And worry not, I will be having a lot of vintage-y, DIY fun. 🙂

Til next time-A