It starts with a choice

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When something bad happens, you have three choices.
You can let it define you, let it destroy you,
or you can let it strengthen you. ~ Anonymous

In the course of my lifetime, ‘bad’ things have happened. A decade ago my family was devastated by a drunk driving accident. Both of my parents died within a five-year span. My adult daughter and I were estranged for months. The definition of ‘bad’ is subjective, but how we choose to react to the bad something is always the same. We can allow it to 1) name the person we are (Victim, Loser, Etc.), 2) cause us to quit or give in or 3) inspire us to better ourselves. Of late, instead of using the bad things as learning tools, I emulate Einstein’s definition of insanity: Do the same thing over and over again but expect different results. It’s high time I jump off the treadmill, count my blessings and stop playing the victim.

What’s your MO when bad things happen?

[Image credit: Stuart Miles,]

The pursuit of happiness

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The pursuit of happiness

[Image credit: khunaspix]

When I review many of the blogs I’ve written, I see the topic of happiness come up a lot — the pursuit of and the desire for.  Conducting a cyber search reveals more of the same.  Thankfully, I’ve discovered those things in my life which bring me joy in small doses.  But what about a life filled with minute-by-minute happiness?  And what does being happy truly mean?  For me, the definition is subjective.  What makes one person happy may do nothing for the next person.  Some say it’s a deliberate choice, while others base their happiness on their circumstances.  I’m learning that a life of pure happiness means living transparently rather than simply surviving.  And that this only happens by moving forward in all my good, bad and ugly, grateful for the precious few traveling with me — the ones who accept my flaws and celebrate my strengths along the way.  Because the more I can be myself, the closer I become to minute-by-minute happiness.

What’s your definition of happiness?

The eye of the beholder


[Image credit: Danilo Rizzuti]

A couple of weekends ago I learned a little about subjectivity.  Last year, my family embarked on a business venture as landlords.  When the lease was up, we decided it wasn’t for us and prepared the home for sale.  After spending hours cleaning, I realized the concept of cleanliness is subjective.  Many other things in life are reflected in shades of gray rather than black and white.  I wonder, then, who becomes the determining judge … who wins the argument.  In the case of our rental property, we expected the home to be left in the same condition it was when we rented it out.  Immaculate.  What we walked into was a year’s worth of dust covering each ceiling fan, scorched flat top glass stove, blackened baseboards, stained toilets.  It was disheartening, but a bit of a lesson.  First, it confirmed our decision to dissolve our venture and second, we realized sometimes even the little things need to be spelled out.

What is a subjective in your life?