How Heavy Is Your Glass of Water?


End of summer

This is for everyone to ponder.  It is usually around the end of summer, just prior to those upcoming, important and sentimental Holidays that we begin worrying.  That is, worrying more than usual perhaps.  Hopefully this will help you this year.  Let me know what you think.

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight Doesn’t Matter. It depends on how long I Hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to Put the Glass Down.

Glass of water

Four Little Words: I Don’t Have Time!


How often have you uttered the words, “I don’t have time?”  Were they ever conveyed to you?  Life can be challenging though manageable.  Inaction however harbors fear and fear breeds errors and inaccuracies.  William Shakespeare said, “Defer no time; delays have dangerous ends.”

I once worked with a manager who presented this type of problem to her team.  After shrieking “I don’t have time” an inordinate number of times to her team members, their work became fraught with errors.  They became fearful of making decisions on their own.  If they decided differently than she wanted, they dearly paid the price and no one wished to become jobless.  What she was left with was a team who lost creativity, excellence in problem-solving and their resourcefulness.  What the manager gained was a resentful team laden with distrust and trepidation of her.  A good manager is one who isn’t worried about his/her own career but rather the career of those who work for him/her.  Rather than accept what she had done, she shifted the blame to them presenting nails in the fence of life caused by abuse.

And parents who respond to pleas for their time from their children have done likewise.  Both moms and dads have become too busy and stressed out themselves with work demands, they no longer having sufficient time to know what their children are up to these days or who they’ve become.  Those parents do not realize what their children are going through with peer pressure of their own.  Bullying has become prevalent in schools, along with drugs, guns and other threats.  Life should not have to be this cruel.

If we don’t do something about our lives and relationships with our family, our friends and loved ones, then who will?  Ask yourself how you want your life to be.  Remember that we all have the same amount of hours per day as did Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Michelangelo, Albert Einstein, or Helen Keller.  They didn’t seem to think about time.  They took action when needed.  Which brings me to the following.

We have all heard or read about the epidemic of suicides in the United States.  Nearly 40,000 Americans commit suicide annually.  Almost 1,000,000 “attempt” suicide in American annually that we know of.  That figure could be higher.  And according to suicide statistics, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death nationally.  The latest data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 36,909 suicide deaths were reported in the U.S. in 2009.  That figure is rising annually and is the highest rate of suicide in 15 years.

Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable.  Blinded by feelings of self-loathing, hopelessness and isolation, a suicidal person can’t see any way of finding relief except through death.  But despite their desire for the pain to stop, most suicidal people are deeply conflicted about ending their own lives.  They wish there was an alternative, but they just cannot see one.

Don’t let yourself, your family, children, friends, or loved ones become a statistic.  Make time for yourself and your family and friends.  Be there for them.  There will be difficult decisions to make from time to time.  We can choose what path is best for us and have loving relationships.

 

I speak from some experience on the subject.  It’s difficult to leave a job, or speak up about the abuse whether at our employment or in our household or in school.  Yet we need to be strong and take action.  We need to confide in someone who cares enough to listen try to help.

My husband suffered from major depression, yet he hid it from everyone until the end.  I cannot tell you how many “what ifs” and could have or should haves I have suggested since that fateful day.  I’ve found what’s important is not the past, however, but how we react to it and create a better future.  Or even more important, what “action” we take to prevent further unnecessary acts going forward.

I chose to write and share my thoughts, experiences and the information learned with everyone I can reach.  I still have moments of pain and tears, though I’ve learned how to live through it.  But you don’t have to – not if you take action now.  What I hope for you is to see the world around you again as the beautiful, happy place it can be.  Life is NOT all pain and suffering.  That’s optional.  We can learn to fill our life with love and joy again by choosing what is most important to us and making improvements.  Much like a house, our life can become cracked from stress and abuse and needs rebuilding.

No matter what has happened in your past, remember it is the present and the future that matter most.  Everyone can start over.  It’s just a matter of deciding to do so.  Nothing stands in the way of you and your future happiness.

 

 

 

My Favorite Things


Maturity and time seem to make us nostalgic.  While we are purportedly mellow and somewhat wiser, a longing for days gone by consumes our thoughts.  Mostly what I remember are things I yearn for in my life as a mature adult.  Stuff which mirrored my happiness as a child growing up.  Remember summertime Carnivals and Fairs?  Those rides you eagerly awaited in line for to ride over and over again were happiness in motion.  The Tilt-A-Whirl was one of my very favorites.  Several kids held the single handle to the ride which was built like a half shell for your back.  The ride itself swirling about on a spherical track, while approximately 8 – 10 other half shells did the same thing on a larger sphere-shaped track.  

Oh and there’s Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia where the Summer Olympics were held in 1996 and I was there!  I never dreamed I would ever have the chance to view the Olympics live and up close.  It is definitely on my WOW list.  Even though there had been a plan devised to cancel the Games by creating a pipe bomb in a US Military Field Pack which did kill one and injured 111 others, officials and athletes agreed the Games should continue as planned.  And we all agreed as well.  We had awaited the very best of the best athletes who pursued their entry at the Games with vigor and spirit, and attendees were not going to let them down.  We also continued with spirit at each event we were so blessed to attend.   

Remember mom and dad reminding us, before we left the house to go play with friends in the neighborhood, to come home before the street lights came on?  Those were the days when parents didn’t worry if you played with your friends in the neighborhood.  There weren’t any kidnappings back then, it seemed.  Life was simpler, easy-going and more fun.  We rode our bikes, skateboarded (of course not anything like the skateboard of today) on what were usually homemade slats of wood with roller skate wheels attached to them.  We didn’t have the Wii or PlayStation or any other computer type games.  What we had was our own ingenuity and our friends.  We made do because we seemed to know what happiness meant to us back then. 

But in our 12+ hour workdays, two working parents’ households, the stress levels are sky high.  Happiness is often an ill-fated dream.  Whatever happened and when?  The transition seemed to grab hold before anyone ever realized.  I remember dad telling me, “One day you will look back and see our life today as better than anything you could invent in order to have fun.”  I never realized what he meant.  I just laughed it off and went outdoors to play.  Today, however, I covet those good ol’ days and the great fun we all had together. 

These are but some of my favorite things.  I could offer more, and I’m certain you all could share countless others and please feel free to share them here with us.  My wish for us all?  To never forget that adulthood and maturity do not stand for sedation and lack of adventure.  We still have that same spirit of the child within.  Let’s reach deep and rely upon it now and then.  How else can we release the stress of our days and show our children what it’s really like to act like kids again.

 

Keep the Faith in Yourself


 

Do you believe in yourself?  Do you believe you can accomplish your goals?  Do you have faith in yourself? 

A stressful habit we may have is lack of faith in ourselves.  We worry about whether we will be able to accomplish what we set out to achieve.  This worry causes stress.

You can obtain any goal you set your heart and mind to.  Whether you believe it or not is just a thought and we are free to choose our thoughts.  The majority of stress is caused because of thoughts we have about the future.

  I know a very successful man who earns $250,000+ yearly, has a great relationship with his wife and child, and has all the luxuries most people dream about.  He discovered his stress was coming from a belief he would be unable to sustain his business and his income.  However, there was no evidence to support that he would be unable to continue to be financially successful.  Matter of fact, all the evidence pointed to him always having clients waiting for his service.  What it all boiled down to was a belief that he would not achieve and lack of faith in himself.  This lack of faith was generated through a habit of his thought process, a belief that he could not obtain his goals. 

My friend has the power to obtain anything he sets his heart on.  We all have this power don’t we?  You can achieve all that you want.  How do I know this?  If you have made it this far in life (no matter how far that is), you are successful.  Look at all the things you have accomplished thus far.  Look at the relationships you have created, look at the jobs/careers you have or had, and look at all your successes so far.

Friends, you are capable of doing anything you set your heart and mind to.  All you have to do is set your heart and mind to it.  It’s a matter of attitude.  I’ve practiced this during my traumatic recovery process and it helps immensely.  My journey is ongoing, but I’m progressing and any forward movement proves I must keep the faith!


If you are having a hard time with having faith in yourself, try this exercise.  I’m working on it and it is helping me through my healing process and in successfully taking the baby steps needed to continue my journey. 
List all accomplishments and milestones in your life.  Include elementary school, Jr. high school, high school, sports, band, chorus, church, arts, relationships, vacations, careers, major purchases and anything else you can think of.  After you make this list, look back at these times and see how you did it.  Chances are you will see that you had ambition, desire, and drive.  I guarantee if you make this list and think over these accomplishments they will remind you how great you really are and how great you continue to be.

Sometimes as we get older, we stop setting goals and we become stagnant.  This may be happening to you and stagnation may increase doubt in yourself.  Remember all the goals you set and accomplished so far in your life and study them.  This will increase your faith in yourself.

Destress yourself by having faith in you and that you can accomplish your goals.  When you do this you’ll discover what you can create in your life.  When you destress yourself, you change your thoughts, feelings, actions and attitude from stressful to successful. 

If you’re stressing out, take back control by listing how far you’ve already come in your life.  Then work on where you want to go and keep the faith in yourself!