Tag Archives: future

What if?

‘Letters to Juliet’ is unashamedly a girlie rom-com, chick-flick, and yes, I cry. But towards the end of the film we hear the letter that ‘Juliet’ writes back to Claire – after a period of 50 years:what if greg plitt

Dear Claire,

“What” and “If” are two words as non-threatening as words can be.

But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life:

What if?

What if?

What if?

I don’t know how your story ended but if what you felt then was true love, then it’s never too late. If it was true then, why wouldn’t it be true now? You need only the courage to follow your heart.

I don’t know what a love like Juliet’s feels like – love to leave loved ones for, love to cross oceans for but I’d like to believe if I ever were to feel it, that I will have the courage to seize it.

And, Claire, if you didn’t, I hope one day that you will.

All my love, Juliet

 

And it’s true.

“What if” does have the power to haunt you.

What if I had done this, what if I had done that?

All those regrets that hang on those 2 words. Things you wish you could have done, should have said, etc.

But holding on to the “what ifs” doesn’t do anyone any favours – believe me, I know.

I’ve learned that we can’t change the past, no matter how hard we try. We have to live for the present and use our past experiences to shape our future ones, so that we no longer think “what if” but live a full life with no regrets.

At the end of the day, if things don’t work out the way you planned or wanted – for example you didn’t get the job, promotion, house, etc, then maybe it wasn’t meant to be and maybe, just maybe life has something better lined up for you.

That’s a hard one to get your head around sometimes, especially if you feel that your whole world is collapsing around you, but it does get better.

You just have to believe in 3 things: in yourself, in other people and that anything is possible.

And sometimes you’ll find that something in the most unlikely of places when you’re least expecting it.

These days I don’t think “what if” and try to second-guess the future or over-analyse every little minute detail of life, I just let life flow.

I have finally learned that “you can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf!” and it’s actually great fun.

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Perpetual Sacrifice

I have just started reading an amazing book, called “The Ascent of Humanity”, by Charles Eisenstein.

Now, normally I would skim read and finish a book within a matter of hours, however this book is very thick, in-depth and makes you think. So I am taking my time to read, inwardly digest and re-read to ensure I have the right understanding of the matter.

I’m only on Chapter 2, but there was a phrase used which got me thinking.

“Perpetual sacrifice”

The idea being that we constantly live in this state of being, in a state of perpetual sacrifice. Where we effectively put off chasing our dreams, in order to survive today, or as the author puts it sacrificing the present for the future…which never comes!

You see it and hear it constantly – “work before play”, “no pain, no gain”, “control yourself”, etc.

How many of us have unfulfilled dreams that seem as far off achieving today and when we first started dreaming about them, whether it be travelling the world, writing a novel or even something as mundane like starting a new hobby?

How many of us always seem to say “too busy, too much to do, I’ll do it tomorrow!”

But in reality, does tomorrow ever come?

It generally transpires that all those hopes and dreams we cling to, that we will get round to doing tomorrow never get done and at the end of our days we will say “I wish I’d done that!”

I’m not saying we should all throw in our jobs and just go off follow our dreams, but we should make time to at least start fulfilling some of them, shouldn’t we?

All personal coaches and the such talk about a work-life balance and being able to create a good one.

However, in reality, doesn’t work always seem to win out over the ‘life’ part.

Despite all the technology at our disposal, life doesn’t seem to get easier, we work harder, longer and how many of you take androids, tablets, blackberry’s and other hand-held devices on holiday, on family outings in order to ‘stay in touch’ with the office?

And why? Is it because it is the norm, and it is expected of you? Is it a case of if you don’t then you will be seen to be not working as hard as someone who does? Who decided this?

I’ll admit, I don’t have a job working for someone else, so I don’t understand office politics and games. But, going off topic slightly, I did get addicted, for want of a better word, to checking my emails, phone message, posting on social media sites, etc. I then took SC on holiday and for that week apart from my mobile, which only calls and texts, I did not ‘check in’ once – and let me tell you it was liberating 😉

But getting back on track, sacrifice.

How do we ‘make time’ in a constantly demanding world where the work part takes an ever-increasing amount of time away from us – time we could spend with our family, our health, our leisure activities?

Should we just, maybe, say “enough is enough” and when we get home in the evening forget about work, and at the weekend turn off all ‘work-related’ devices?

Or should we just continue the path we are walking and let the future stay as far ahead as ever?

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The A-Z of Life – Unknown

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown!” (Supernatural Horror in Literature by HP Lovecraft)

“People are supposed to fear the unknown, but ignorance is bliss when knowledge is so damn frightening.”  (The Laughing Corpse, Laurell K Hamilton)

“One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.”  (Jiddu Krishnamurti)

“How can you know what you’re capable of if you don’t embrace the unknown?”  (Conquistadora, Esmerelda Santiago)

“It is the unknown that excites the ardour of scholars, who, in the known alone, would shrivel up with boredom.” (Wallace Stevens)

“Even just seconds ahead is unknown; even just seconds after is open to infinite possibilities.”  (Mehmet Murat Ildan)

 

Every day we wake up to an unknown future.

Sure we know we are going to read the newspaper, go to work, relax with a hobby, but what about the unknown element to life.

We don’t know who we are going to meet who might change our future in some way.

We don’t know what is going to happen that might affect our future in some way.

And sometimes the unknown doesn’t have to be a big global disaster, it can be a simple gesture from a stranger, or a letter that can have the biggest impact on your life.

Do we fear the unknown?

Or do we embrace it?

Patrick Overton in his collection of poems entitled “The Leaning Tree” he wrote “When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.”

Sometimes taking that first step into an unknown future is the scariest thing to do and it is the biggest leap of faith you will ever take.

Things happen in our lives for a reason – be they good or bad.

Destiny, karma, call it what you like.

But we all have to trust that by journeying on into the unknown we are following our personal, and pre-destined passage through life.

We all know where our ultimate destination lies!

Everyone’s destination is the same, but how we get there varies enormously.

But what about ‘unknowns’ of the past?

Things that happen and you just don’t know the real reason behind it.

Sometimes it really is a case of ignorance is bliss, because in some cases knowing the truth could be more painful than just filing it under “unknown”

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The Psychology of Me

Psychology is all about studying how we think, feel and act.

So I thought it might be quite amusing to try to work out the psychology of me!

 

I think too much. I feel too much. I act too little.

I think with my soul. I feel with my heart. I act with my conscience.

I think kind thoughts. I feel compassion. I act with empathy.

I think of love. I feel hurt. I act like I don’t care.

I think of life. I feel time passing too quickly. I act too slowly.

I think of work. I feel stressed. I act upon my instincts.

I think of the future. I feel afraid. I act to protect myself.

I think of fun. I feel happy. I act like a child.

I think of people who have hurt me. I feel abused. I act like a victim.

I think of family. I feel blessed. I act grateful.

I think of you. I feel alive. I can act as myself.

I think of happiness. I feel blessed. I act positive.

I think of life. I feel glad. I act happy.

 

But what I think, feel and act, sometimes are at complete odds with each other – because:

I’m the girl that smiles even when I’m broken.

I’m the girl that thinks of others, even when I have no one.

I’m the girl who trusts too much in the hope that one day someone will not let me down.

I’m the girl who acts as if she hasn’t a care in the world, when actually I’m worried to the pit of my stomach about everything.

I’m the girl who looks strong, but would easily break.

But I’m the girl who picks herself up every time she falls.

 

 

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Can Women Have It All?

The perfect life – good job, lovely home, happy family, no money worries – you know the one.juggling-woman

In a nutshell, no.

I don’t believe that women can have it all – believe me, I’ve tried.

It’s a big balancing act, but however hard we try something has to give.

And being a single mum makes life just that little bit more … interesting, lets say 😉

Life is all about choices.

I chose not to go back to what I did BC (Before Child) as I wanted to enjoy every single precious moment of his baby/toddler hood. It was my choice. I was lucky in that I was not reliant on having to go back to work, as I had enough ‘rainy day’ budget in the funds (in my own right, not Mr Wrong No. 2) to be able to just about afford to.

Obviously, like with all rainy day funds they dry up eventually and when that time came I searched around to find something that would fit around SC, school holidays, etc. Now I know jobs like these are as rare as hen’s teeth, so I chose to invest in a franchise.

It seemed like a good potential – something different to the norm, work my own hours around SC.

But in trying to juggle getting a business off the ground (especially in the current economy), looking after SC, and doing all the other things that I do – 3 years on I find my self reflecting that I have failed to do anything anywhere near as perfect as a superwoman should be able to manage. (Obviously then I realise that I don’t have a nanny, a PA, a cleaner, a personal shopper, etc to do all these things for me, whilst I just go off and get manicured, coiffured and spray tanned!)

SC has remained the top of my priority list and therefore I have not put as much effort into building a business as I should. Failure on the good job front!

The effort I have put into building some business has meant that SC has not had me around as much. Failure on the happy family front!

The lack of business means that I worry about just about everything pretty much 24 hours a day. Failure on the stress front!

Buying a franchise, especially those that target mothers who want to work around their children, should really have a warning notice attached saying “this is only suitable for women with a husband who only need a little bit of extra income, and not those looking to make a living out of it!”.

And I’m deadly serious about that. In the network I belong to I would stake that not one of the women working takes home anything near enough to put food on the table, pay a mortgage and bills, plus all the other things having children comes with, let alone buying clothes for themselves!

My priority is SC and the need to provide for him.

I am therefore faced with a dilemma.

I need to provide a secure future for him, the only way I can see me being able to do that is to go back to what I did do – always supposing I can get back into it. But by doing this, I will not be able to do the school run, or take him to his after-school activities, or the other mummy things that get done during the week. Failure on the being a good mummy front!

If I continue with what I am doing I will not be able to provide for him. Failure on every front imaginable!

So no, women can’t have it all.

You end up being a jack-of-all-trades but master of none!

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Ready for New Beginnings?

The walls are beginning to crack and I can see daylight appearing.

It’s a long, tough job, but if it means at the end of the day I am happier and open to whatever possibilities and opportunities come my way that’s only got to be a good thing, hasn’t it?

After forgiving others, I must turn to look at myself.

I am responsible for my happiness, no one else. And if I’m not happy, it’s down to me and the choices I made.

If I’m brutally honest with myself I’ve always painted me as the victim. Oh, I’m not saying that bad things haven’t happened, but rather than learn and grow, I’ve allowed myself to become a victim.

So if something bad happens it’s because I deserved it and I wallow, letting self-pity and self-loathing wash over me, until I end up believing that I am a bad person and don’t deserve happiness like everyone else.

I’m making excuses. I’m allowing myself to be a victim. I’m choosing to be unhappy.

That’s just wrong!

Everyone deserves happiness, even me 😉

I need to throw off the victim cloak.

I can’t change the past. The things that have happened, happened. But I can decide and choose whether or not I want to be happy now and in the future.

But how do I do this?

It’s going to take one major league change of mentality and it’s not going to be done in one big leap. Small steps are probably the best way to go.

Maybe the best way to start on the path to happiness is by looking at life as a child again, something wonderful and new with discoveries to be made and adventures to be had every day.

When did life stop being wonderful and why?

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Life is all…

… should have, would have, could have, don’t you think?

I should have bought a house years ago, instead of dithering about wondering whether prices would go down before they sky-rocketed into the stratosphere!

I would have gone to New Zealand to visit the ‘rellies’ had I actually booked a flight instead of waiting until I am now to petrified to actually get on a plane – although I’m getting over this one and actually planning to take SC for a visit … initially (plans are afoot, but more about that in another post) 😉

I could have gone to work abroad, if I’d accepted the contract, instead of passing up the opportunity to try to keep hold of a relationship that was going nowhere!

But there’ s no sense regretting any of it. After all as Eleanor Roosevelt said “the past is history, the future is a mystery and today is a gift that’s why it is called the present!”

Each day is a gift, and I try to live each day to its fullest – with no regrets 😉

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