Embrace the struggle: every good story contains conflict

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We must let go of the life we have planned,
so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
~ Joseph Campbell

Nearly 18 months ago, I embarked on a rite of passage: the admittance into “Club 50“—a new season I embraced with enthusiasm, positivity and sparkles. Oh, the places I’ll go, to coin a favorite Dr. Seuss book title. I began to plan this next half century, my hopes and dreams—my bucket list—with gusto and determination. Yet, here I am, a year and a half later, my bucket filled with these same goals, along with a few plot twists along the way: loss, disappointment, unrequited dreams. But, if we release our plans—or, at the very least, loosen the reins—perhaps, in turn, we invite opportunities to build character and deepen relationships through our struggles. In the process, we might even create space to dream a new dream. And to share that dream with others.

What plan(s) do you need to release?

When others rain on your parade: dance in the storm

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When we change our thought patterns, we change our livesSpend enough time with Debbie Downer, or Negative Nick, and you will begin to notice more of the cracks and blemishes rather than the silver linings. What can go wrong will go wrong. It’s hard to remain sparkly when others in your circle focus on the dark clouds or even try to rain on your parade. However, I believe this is when we’re supposed to learn how to dance in the storm. Admittedly, over the past several weeks, I’ve allowed others to dampen my spirit and dim my sparkle. But, now that I’m jotting my blessings down daily, it’s easier to recognize other steps I need to take toward self-improvement. One area I’ve recommitted myself to is a healthier lifestyle to better manage my heart health and overall well-being. There are just too many blessings waiting for me to do anything but dance—and sparkle my way—through this one life.

How do you weather the daily storms?

Image courtesy of radnatt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Club 50: it just keeps getting better (wear the tiara)

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My daughter called me the other day and said she’d read an article that seemed like something I’d write: “50 Life Lessons Written by a 50-Year-Old Woman.” I wish I could say I had penned it because it was that good. And perfect. The cool thing is, I’ve already discovered most of these lessons and apply the majority in my own life. There are others I plan to put into practice, and even more that I’d like to add: 51) Pamper yourself often: buy the flowers, new dress or new shoes; splurge on a fresh “do” or mani and pedi. 52) Find something you’re wildly passionate about and pursue it, fearlessly. Or reignite an old passion, boldly. 53) Love others and love yourself; be kind always. 54) Cultivate a healthy body image. But my all-time favorite is the author’s closing tip: wear a tiara whenever you want to (and not just on your birthday). I think this might be my life’s new motto.

What is your life’s motto?