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Posts Tagged ‘life’

by Bookt.com

We all have those days (and weeks) when it just seems that work is totally overwhelming. Stacks of paperwork, ringing phones, endless emails, and continuous complications.  Days when nothing you touch is simple.

Those are the times when it’s a relief to admit it – work sucks! It’s confusing and frustrating, tedious and monotonous, and takes up every minute of your day.  Days when you sit in your little cubicle making phone calls and correcting mistakes and never even see the sun.

It’s good to admit that work isn’t always the “love your job and your career” utopia that some people enjoy. It can be a grind.  It’s a headache making, tiring whirlwind of forms, deadlines, and overflowing in-baskets.  Weeks when it’s seems your to-do list has been hit by a growth-ray of evil scientist proportions!

Luckily, a little venting goes a long ways.  Just knowing you’re not alone, that other people feel the same way can help.  Grumbling with your coworkers, as long as stays within reason, can help you feel like someone else appreciates the pressure you’re under.

A good old fashioned listing of your blessings never hurt either. All the reasons why you have this job in the first place.  Some of mine include:

  • It’s close to the house – within 5 miles.
  • It has great vacation time and a flexible schedule
  • The pay is good and so is the healthcare
  • It’s helping to finance my passions – music, drawing, movies, books, etc.
  • I get a steady set paycheck each week which helps me set a budget
  • I get satisfaction from helping other people by getting them what they’re entitled to

Your list doesn’t have to be spectacular – especially in this economy.  Everyone is different.  It just helps to know that there is some good in your job, even when it’s so taxing that you think about work in your off time.

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by elycefeliz

I know I’ve made mistakes, lots and lots of them. I’ve been rude, given the cold shoulder, let down a friend in need, and not lived up to my own expectations.  I’ve forgotten birthdays, skipped lunch and dinner invitations, and gotten so caught up in work that I’ve gone home tired, headachy and grouchy.

I’ve tried to become a writer, planned to open a store, and didn’t apply for better jobs when I had the chance.  I’ve not exercised, eaten far too much, and skipped cleaning the house when it needed it.

Isn’t it great?  Because all these mistakes mean I’m making progress. At least I’m working.  I’m doing something.  I have found so many things that don’t work for me over the past 20 years.  So I must be pretty darn close to figuring out the whole mystery of life.  (Well one can hope can’t they?)

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Thomas A. Edison

As every inventor knows, life is all about making mistakes –there would be no new inventions without them. Babies fall down more times than they stand, but they keep trying.  They know the goal is worth the effort – a whole new world awaits if they can just get it right.  Basketball players can miss half their shots and still win the game.  Even when you fail you can still succeed.

Don’t just look at your missteps and errors and not see the accomplishments, skills or lessons you’ve learned. Maybe you discovered you weren’t quite organized enough to run a business and you need to work on that first.  Perhaps you learned to arrive late like your best friend instead of wasting time waiting for her.  Maybe you saw that your passion for writing was not for a novel, but better suited to magazine articles, poems or some other shorter bits of material.

Making mistakes means making progress.  I forget this vital truth from time and time and need to remind myself.  There is relief in knowing that each blooper and blunders is just part of the journey.  The path you’re on may swerve in an unexpected direction – it’s up to you to decide which whether to keep going or not. It’s the adventure of life and we all live it.  Where will you’re adventure lead?

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by True_Bavarian

I started this blog to help people.  Myself, friends, family, strangers.  I want the world to be a brighter place.  And at times, it is so easy. Share a little laughter, some fun things from life, and all the willy-nilly topsy-turvy adventures of life.  Joy is everywhere.  A blog article I read recently reminded me of the joy of crunching leaves under your feet in autumn – a secret love of mine.  (Kim you know who you are.)  Something so simple, but just so fun.  The sharp woodsy aroma and the crackling crunching of the leaves is addicting.  So is looking at the sheer varity of shape, texture and color in every leaf.  I saw streaks, blobs, stripes, and all sorts of patterns.  It was highly entertaining.

Even TV can bring enlightenment.  While watching the TV show Deadliest Roads, I was reminded not only of how lucky we are to have safe and convenient roads in the states, but also of the luxury and wealth we take for granted.  While one truck driver was stuck in a traffic jam fuming and late, he saw some nomads camped on the side of the road. He shared a large container of candy he had bought himself for the road and several large watermelon with the hungry children, and spread smiles, laughter and joy.  He rejuvenated his mood and outlook, when he returned to driving suddenly things didn’t seem quite as bad as they had before.

Of course we all have days where the stress piles up one after.  Too many chores and errands, work that piles up endlessly making us feel like we’re drowning in it, traffic, burning dinner, ripping your favorite pants, or an unexpected car repair.  By themselves, these things are fairly easy to handle.  But add up two or three in a day, and suddenly our normal coping mechanisms flee and we lose our usual self control.

Taking these tips in mind, I think the best defense is a good offense.  Since we never know when stress will hit, our best plan of attack is to have a good game plan.  Some ideas work to help alleviate stress BEFORE it turns from a molehill into a mountain.  Other ideas can aid in the midst of the chaos.  Here’s a few ideas I’ve picked up along the way.

  1. Perspective – is this a big deal? Often we think the stress we are currently in is worse than anything we’ve endured before.  But is it really?  Are these deadlines and setbacks really going to interfere with our life, or does it just feel that way?  Do you even remember the annoying coworker from your last job who drove you crazy?  Did the expensive care repairs from 6 months ago really put you in debt or did you just give up a few dinners out to pay for it?  Most problems seem worse while we’re working to solve them.  The problems I had two years ago seem much smaller looking back now.
  2. Clarity – are you seeing the truth? Is your boss really out to get you?  Does your sister-in-law truly find ways to insult you at every get together?  Maybe these people treat everyone that way.  It’s possible they feel threatened by you in some way.  Are you really trapped at a job you hate?  Or did you choose your current position knowing it would give you job security and a good paycheck until you can find something better?  Could you leave if you really wanted to?
  3. Health – are you having fun? If you’re not taking time to have a little fun every day, something is wrong.  There should be at least a few minutes if not several hours a day, where you are doing what you love.  Doing the things we love bring us joy, passion, energy and peace.  Whether we’re doing yoga, fixing a car, making cupcakes, or reading a book, doing something you enjoy will bring you time to relax, unwind and bring some balance to your life.  You don’t know how busy you are until you make time to slow down and notice.  Don’t let life pass you by.
  4. Health  – mini breaks. Mini breaks are a life saver.  Taking as few as 2-3 minutes to step away from your stress can make a huge difference.  I stood outside the other day and did nothing but look at the day.  I heard the birds, saw the butterflies, the trees changing, the sun shining, the cool breeze, watched people going to and fro.  And I relished every minute knowing that while today is beautiful, tomorrow could be rainy or cold or windy.  Delight in the little things and you’ll be happier for it.
  5. Humor – Laugh at it. Exaggerate your problems.  I named the other day GUOSD “Gang up on Shirley Day.”  That was what it felt like.  Work piling up, problems for my attention and so on.  By exaggerating that everyone in the office was out to get me, I was able to laugh.  Then I could better focus and realize that not everything in the pile had to be done today.  Relieved, I focused on the priority and left the rest for later.
  6. Organize – Prioritize. I use a trick I picked up from some great source that I can’t remember.  I list three MIT’s (most important task) for each day.  Then I add a Pending file of items that need to be done after the MIT’s.  I usually move the Pending up to start my next MIT list, but some weeks the Pending stays the same for several days.  I always know I’m doing what needs to be done most and I don’t forget the smaller things, so I can relax more while I work.
  7. Humor – Nobody cares. This tip is a flip.  Nobody cares about my whining and complaining, just like I don’t want to hear theirs.  This makes me realize that I need to suck it up and deal with it.  Sometimes that means switching tasks, or asking for help, or even wait until the next day when I’m better rested.  My mom used to tease me when I was grumpy,  “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m gonna go eats worms!”  When you can see the humor during your pain, it helps.
  8. Goals – am I getting what I want? Sometimes we get weighed down by the mundane tasks we need to do to reach a goal.  This is the time to remind yourself of why you’re doing things in the first place.  Maybe your job is a way to save for a new house or car.  Maybe you’re working extra hard to earn a promotion.  Knowing why you do something can help you see it in a new light.  You do have a choice.  You can change your course whenever you realize you’re not headed in the direction you want to go.
  9. Goals – change what you can. Sometimes our problems may aggravate, annoy and frustrate us because they’re so repetitive.  Is there something about this habit, task or chore that I like or could change?  For instance, I like to sing and hum while I do the dishes, it helps me pass the time.  Having fun with your task can make it seem easier.  Maybe you could trade a coworker part of a job you don’t like.  Maybe she can type up the report if you do the research – or vice versa.

I’m no super genius, but these ideas have helped me and hopefully they could help you too.  If you have better ideas to share – feel free.  I will happily give you credit.  I’m wise enough to showcase people smarter than me.  :0)  Thanks for stopping by.

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AttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by WTL photos

In the middle of a savage zombie invasion, your heart beat increases, adrenaline flows through your body, and your muscles stiffen in anticipation of a possible impact to the body.

Luckily for most of us we won’t face the zombie apocalypse anytime soon.  But sometimes we can experience this same stress response in our daily lives.  One big problem, or a barrage of smaller ones, add up and overload both mind and body.  While we can recover from a day or two of such stress, week after week of “fight or flight” can leave us feeling overwhelmed and hopeless.

Why does this happen?  I know I’m not the only one waiting on hold forever, in endless line, or getting their paperwork wet in the rain that curses the fact that they got out of bed this morning.  On days like this, I don’t laugh off my over-reaction to muddy dog prints on the floor, I yell at the dog and angrily wipe them up while silently contemplating if anyone I know would like a new pet.

Recognizing this build-up before it gets to the blow-out point can be a lifesaver.  A good way to do this is to teach yourself to take a break each time you notice the worry, frustration, and anxiety are building up.  When you feel too busy to stop, that’s a good sign you need to slow down.

Like any other skill, it takes practice. There are several strategies you can use to do this.  One is to set times during the day to check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling. If for example, you notice at your 10:00 break that you are feeling worried, overwhelmed or upset, you can take a few minutes to do some deep breathing, put on some fun music or take a walk to change your focus. If you’re feeling fine, you can simply continue with your day.

You can also teach yourself to stop for a few minutes whenever you feel stressed. This is harder to do, as you have to consciously realize that you are feeling stressed.  Once you recognize the signals – shallow breathing, stiff shoulders or back, headache, tired eyes, etc, you can take a few moments to recover. Close your eyes and simply sit still for a few minutes.  If your mind is racing too much, count backwards from 50 to 1 or 100 to 1 until you are breathing deeper and feeling calmer.

Amazingly even 1-2 minutes of deep breathing can improve your mood. You’ll find longer lasting relief by taking a 10-15 minute break, but any break at all will help you refocus your attention, breaking the cycle of worry, complaining and anger you feel.

Because it’s hard to think of ideas to break your negative thinking while it’s happening, here are few ideas:

  • Relax. Close your eyes.  This rests your eyes and your mind.  In the fluorescent jungle the lights can dry our eyes and cause eyestrain bringing on a headache.  Taking a few minutes to rest can stop a headache before it starts.
  • Refocus. Keep some pictures, quotes or other inspiration material around.  Take a few minutes away from what you’re doing.  Let yourself just “be” for a moment.  Even 5 minutes of refocusing time can make a huge difference.
  • Change perspective. Play some music.  Classics can be soothing and calming, while rock, pop or disco are upbeat and energetic.  Chair dancing to some fun tunes can liven up almost any task.
  • Wake up. Get some air.  It’s surprising what a little fresh air can do for you.  You’ll breathe deeper, blink a little in the bright light, get your blood flowing by walking around and go back to work feel much more refreshed.
  • Fun. Do something fun for a few minutes.  Talk to a coworker, share a joke, read the comics or watch a cartoon on your MP3.  Doing something you enjoy can lighten your mood and when you return your hurdles won’t seem insurmountable anymore.
  • Get some support. Talk to a friend.  Give them a call or send an email.  Hearing a friendly voice or venting a little can take the stress down a level.  Knowing someone cares helps you feel loved and reminds you of your strengths.

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By jurvetson

Today is Gratitude Day. I’ve always loved writing down things I’m grateful for and then looking back at the happy memories later. It also helps you focus on the positive things in your life when things aren’t so grand.  Taking a moment to reflect on the good things in life helps make me a happier person.  Here are a few good things from this weekend and today:

Weekend:

I took a 3 day long weekend and was off yesterday.  I’m grateful for all the rest I got (up to 12 hours of sleep in one night!)  And I’m glad to have a shorter work week as a result.  I’m grateful for the sunny days I enjoyed and for the quiet and peacefulness of the mountains which I love so much.  I enjoyed finding the one apple on the new apple tree – it was really yummy.  I’m grateful for neighbors that let us eat some of the pears on their tree – double yummy.  Plus we made homemade blizzards this weekend that were just as good as Dairy Queen.  (Enjoy those summer perks while you still can.)

A list of things I’m grateful for today:

  • That I work indoors out of the heat.
  • That I have a job where I work at my own pace.
  • I’m glad I remember to get my stuff ready the night before so I don’t have to rush in the morning.  ( I like having time to wake-up before work.)
  • I’m glad I’ve updated my book list this week so I know which books to get from the library.  (I’m a big book lover so having a list of what you need in each series is essential!)
  • I’m happy to have accomplished a bunch of to-do items this weekend.
  • I’m super-excited that tomorrow is the start of fall.  Summer’s great, but I love that cool, crisp fall air, the changing leaves and drinking hot cocoa when it’s chilly.
  • I’m glad I’m learning to practice relaxing more and not letting problems affect how I feel.  (Though I have to practice this one a lot.)
  • I’m grateful my dog in is good health even though she’s 14 years old.
  • I’m glad I get to listen to a variety of music every day.  With my MP3 player and satellite TV I can be as eclectic as I want.
  • And so on. . .

And yes, much of this stuff are things I was grateful for before.  But isn’t it nice when you can just sit down and think for a few minutes and come up with a list of things to be happy about?  It definitely improves my mood and perspective. Plus there’s always a few things you forgot about or didn’t mention that you think of later.  That’s like bonus happiness points.  Gratitude Day reminds us that we really do have a lot to be happy about, if only we sit down and take a minute to appreciate it.

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by StGrundy

Nature is absolutely amazing.  Not only is a there a vast array of creatures on land and sea, but the subtle variations and unique adaptations are fascinating. The new show Life on Discovery channel, Sunday night at 8pm is a captivating insight into the world around us.

From the depths of the ocean to the oldest desert in the world, life survives and thrives in the harshest environments. (I meanly really – can’t they just move?)  Take the female chameleon for example.  In the heat of the Namib desert, she turns one half of her body black to better absorb the sun and regulate her body temperature, while leaving the other half white.  Her feet are adapted to the desert sand and she has lost the prehensile tail of her tree-dwelling relatives.

by Muddy Funkster

I was entranced by the intense but hilarious antics of the Giant Bullfrog as it fights for the right to mate. With their huge fat yellow bellies and strong back legs they launch from the water into each other in big awkward leaps.  It’s clumsy and off-balance and will make you laugh, but the ferocity of their attacks will leave you no doubt who is King of the Tadpoles.

I am constantly astonished at the unusual and somewhat bizarre behavior and features found in the animal kingdom. Even though I’ve seen them a thousand times, alligators continue to captivate me with their dinosaur-like look and primitive, but highly effective body armor.  However learning that some male garter snakes put out a pheromone that mimics the female so that he can “cheat”” and have all the other smalls males warm him up by rubbing against him in the futile hope of mating.

Let’s give a round of applause to the filmmakers and the camera crews who spend their time plodding through mud, climbing mountains and waiting in the rain for that one stupendous shot.  And let’s not forget the amazing slow-motion cameras where you can actually see the skill and precision it takes for the long sticky tongue of a frog to catch its prey, or the beauty of an eagle in flight.

Check it out yourself and enjoy the mystery and fun of Life.

LIFE : Panther Chameleon : Animal Planet

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boat-sunsetLoneliness by Wolfgang Staudt

Loneliness is paralyzing, because of the fear it produces. You start to believe the hallucinations your brain is showing you; of friends laughing and partying without you, or family members having a barbeque feast and ignoring you.  These images are usually false fear signals generated by the brain.  Simply by reaching out to others you will see them for the deception they are.

Loneliness is powerful because it builds upon itself. Last week I suffered a bout of this myself.  Every day that a friend didn’t call, or someone didn’t say hello, I felt more ignored, left out and alone.  But by simply being the first one to call, speak or wave hello I received friendly and often enthusiastic responses.  My own fear lead me to believe the worst, when it was simply the hurried pace that most people live in that caused the conflict – not a lack of caring.

Loneliness and sadness go together hand in hand. That’s because when you feel like people are ignoring you or leaving you behind, you feel unloved and hopeless.  If people aren’t making an effort to get together with you, they obviously must not value your relationship very much.

But fear is the trap. Once your mind begins a cycle of fear and sadness, it’s very hard to snap out of it. Your usual activities are not fulfilling and you feel listless and bored.  This is not the time to ignore your feelings.  Feelings of pain and sadness are just as important as happiness and joy.  They are there to tell you something.  One of the most effective techniques for getting over pain is to merely admit to yourself you have the pain.  Saying to yourself “I am lonely,” is very liberating and powerful.  By admitting to your seeming flaw and naming it, you take away the power of the unknown.

Even if you are unlucky enough to find out that people actually dislike you, it is always better to deal with the truth.  If they consider you unworthy or not enough, you must decide if they are right and you need to make changes, or if you have simply outgrown your relationship with this person.  It is healthier to move on from a poor relationship, than to struggle on together, growing more and more resentful and frustrated.

Here are a few ideas to help you deal with your loneliness:

1.  Call a friend. It’s highly likely that your friends are not ignoring you, but rather simply got caught up in the drama of their own lives.  Most of forget that each individual is the center of his or her own universe.  Make the call and get the understanding and face time you need.  (If you’re going to blame your friends for your loneliness, the least you can do is make sure they really are ignoring you.)

2.  Watch a movie. I don’t know why it works, but if you put on your favorite movie, the one you know line for line and have seen a thousand times, it has a miraculous power to heal your fear.  Perhaps just remembering how many of your family and friends love the same thing will remind of happy memories and help you pick up the phone or make a quick personal visit.

3.  Help someone. The best way to make yourself feel better is to help someone else.  You can send someone an uplifting email, write a heartfelt letter, pet-sit, baby-sit, run an errand or whatever other little task keeps you busy and makes you feel useful and good.

4.  Use your alone time. Instead of feeling lonely, choose to make the best of your time alone.  What do you love to do by yourself that you can’t do with others around?  Do you love to dance to loud music for 2 hours?  Or stay up late watching a horror-movie marathon?  How about eating pizza at 6am, or vacuuming the house at 10pm?  Do those quirky things you love while you have the chance.  It will cheer you up and put a positive spin on being by yourself.

5.  Do something you’re good at. Can you paint, or sew, or grow prize-winning bougainvillea?  If so, take on a new project.  Using your strengths will help you regain your confidence and maybe even meet new friends.  It will give you a much-needed boost to your self-esteem.  You can even combine it with #3 and paint a mural for a nursing home or hammer a home for a poor resident.  Your feel-good receptors will skyrocket!

6. Confide in your Teddy Bear. Whether it be of the stuffed variety or the cuddly pooch you nicknamed “Teddy,” sometimes just talking about your loneliness helps get it out of your system.  A lack of response can even be helpful by allowing you insight into your pain or fear without any possibility of a real person saying the wrong thing while trying to help.

7.  Admit your fear. Name your emotions and they loose their power over you.  Say aloud “I feel sad and lonely.  I think nobody cares about me.”  This can instantly reveal that your fear is false.  You may still be sad, but you will probably realize that people do care about you.  Once you recognize that, perhaps you can pick a person to call and open your heart to.

8.  Prayer and meditation. Sometimes when you find a soothing, safe, quiet place for reflection and open your heart, you can let your feelings out in a secure environment.  Soon you’ll feel a release of the pain you’ve been holding inside.  Without fear and pain blocking your path you can find the strength to reach out to others again.

What are some of the tips you have for coping with loneliness and sadness? What fun, unusual or useful ideas worked for you in the past?  Please feel free to share them here.  And for all of you still feeling lonely – there are people who care about you.  One of them is right here.

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