The secret of change, according to Socrates

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The secret of change is to focus all of your energy
not on fighting the old, but on building
the new. ~ Socrates.

In my post, ‘Things turn out best for people like this,’ I talk about experiencing the soul-wrenching disappointment when our best laid plans end up going to hell in a hand basket instead. But the more I reflected on how the circumstances of my wake-up call played through, the more convinced I became that, when it appears the bottom fell out, what might be taking shape is the formation of a safety net. Maybe that one thing I had been prepping for, anticipating with every fiber of my being, would not have been in my best interests. Perhaps it would’ve placed me further from my hopes and dreams—the goals that comprise my daily attention. Instead of focusing my energy on fighting the old—the past—however, my eyes are now fixed on the present and building the new.

How do you respond to change?

Image courtesy of mrpuen at

Practicing patience, perseverance

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[Image credit: David Castillo Dominici]

If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.
~ Lao Tzu

I was ticking off complaints to a friend the other day because I’ve been stuck in an uncomfortable season for…well, a season. Often I look for an easy way out, but I was reminded if I attempt to avoid discomfort, it’s possible I’ll forgo a boatload of newfound strength and courage. Plus, the easy way doesn’t always mean the right way. And, if something is worth fighting for, then all the disappointments and frustrations I endure will serve as a reminder to hold on even tighter once I’ve reached my destination. No need to worry if I’m not where I want to be or think I should be now. What’s most important, in my opinion, is practicing patience and perseverance, while finding peace in the present.

What’s your MO for handling a difficult season?

A happy soul

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Happy is the soul that has something to look backward to with pride,
and something to look forward to with hope. ~ Oliver G. Wilson

Unfortunately, when I stop to look backward, it’s easy for me to get stuck on the poor choices, the lessons it’s taken me countless re-tries to learn, the selfishness that held me back from being a better mother, daughter and friend.  But then I realize that there are twice as many wise decisions that have come out of the eventual lessons learned.  And I understand that time has afforded me a second chance time and time again to get it right.  With that insight, my soul is happy as I look forward with hope.  Because the pride, for me, comes in picking myself up and not allowing myself to dwell on what I didn’t do right, but what I improved upon.  After all, life is practice, not perfect.

How easy is it for you to look backward with pride, and forward with hope?

That was then, this is now


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Davy Jones and The Monkees were a big part of my ‘tween years.  Yesterday, the heartthrob of many young girls (including me) passed away at the age of 66.  Much loved TV shows from the ’70s and ’80s are either distant recollections or in syndication on a remote channel, while contemporary sitcoms easily slide into the new “favorites” category.  The year my daughter was born, Minnesota’s Mall of America, boasting its indoor theme park named Camp Snoopy, celebrated its grand opening.  After several years, the park transformed into Nickelodeon, with some rides the same and a few new, but with a different premise.  My old neighborhood theater still shows films for a dollar, but in place of the kitty-corner drug store, a wine bar and café — definitely an improvement in my opinion — welcomes an eclectic group of patrons.  Our pasts and our presents are intertwined so much so, that for me it’s hard to say goodbye to meaningful icons or landmarks … it’s as if I’m closing the door to a piece of my heritage.  But thankfully, the memories remain.  And new ones are continually filling in the gaps.

What people or places help define your journey?