Good Morning! Hope your Monday is off and running smoothly. I had a great weekend, and in case you missed it here’s the recap! Splendid.
While attending our church service yesterday, I felt a special connection to the message and wanted to reflect on it today. And before you think differently, I promise that anyone with any religious background can relate to this one.
Actually, talking about what I take home from services has sparked the first post of a new series I hope you will enjoy reading here on the blog!
I named it Coffee Talk because I want it to be the type of subjects you would enjoy reading or discussing with a friend over cup of coffee. Think of it as a virtual heart to heart, if you will.
I included Food For Thought into the title because I want to questions to come up that come up to make you think! I would love you to engage back into the conversation with me and use the comments section to discuss the topics at hand. So without further adieu, let’s start the first one!
Coffee Talk: Moving Past What Doesn’t Matter
It’s no secret that Scott and I have been through more than our fair share of adjustments and transitions over the past few years. In fact, since the day we exchanged wedding vows, everything about our every day lives has changed. My last name, the city we call home, our ability to see Orlando friends and family every day, wardrobes, licenses, and occupations are just a handful.
With any new life changing situation or new chapter, there also comes a set of challenges and obstacles we encounter. Transitions. Things that pop up in our “plan” of how we see our lives unfolding.
Most of these things come as a surprise, and aren’t exactly what we were hoping for. Sometimes these things are people. Sometimes these things are the environments we live and work in. And sometimes, we build our hopes up so high that everything is supposed to happen “this” way, and as a result, we get frustrated about what these new situations are and what they aren’t: what you’re used to.
That’s just it. The concept of change. Transition, adjustment, moving forward… all of these things equate to taking an unfamiliar step into a new direction we can’t predict the results of.
So what do we do? We live for the day and take it in baby steps, day by day. We see how everything turns out, and the smart ones do so without those preconceived expectations in tow.
They accept change, take situations for what they are, and move on. They find and create their own happiness.
The biggest take-home I got from our pastor was to live in the NOW. Stop thinking about “one day” or in the future when things might go a certain way. Quit wasting the time you have and start living life to it’s fullest.
Feeling extremely connected to this concept at this point in my life, I started taking notes and jotted down three questions he asked the congregation:
• How much time do we spend or waste worrying about things?
Oh man. Who doesn’t waste time worrying about things?
At this moment in time, I am surrounded by silly life worries and stress about petty things. Things that don’t matter. Things that are frustrating and annoying. Rumors and gossip. Who did this or who said that. Things that, unfortunately, I find myself guilty of stressing myself over as well.
At the end of the day, who really cares? None of us should. Things happen, and how you deal with it is the only thing you can control. Basically, you have three options:
1) Complain about it being different.
2) Do something to change it.
3) Realize it is what it is and move on.
I know I am guilty of the first two, and the third is what really takes my focus and determination to follow through. As someone who has gone through a multitude of changes in the past few years, I feel like I have been faced with these situations over and over. Every day, around every corner I turn, something is different than what I am used to… and usually I don’t like it. Because it’s new, and change isn’t an easy concept to grasp and accept.
But, over the past few months, I have finally realized that I choose my own happiness. I can’t always control the situations I am put in, but I can control how I let them affect me. I have started to separate what I used to know with what I know now, and I appreciate the two categories separately.
We are all handed things in our lives for a reason, and with every challenge or frustration, we also have the opportunity to learn a lesson. Is this going to change? Is there anything I can do to change it? If not, then don’t stress over it.
The sooner you realize that, the more you will learn and get out of every hard spot handed to you.
• Do you experience frustrations with people that are dominating your thoughts?
Of course. If I am frustrated with something, that situation or person completely takes over my thoughts and energy at that point in time.
Whether I keep what is going on to myself, or share it with loved ones, I allow it to consume time out of my day to dwell on it and ninety-nine percent of the time, I get mad at myself for allowing myself to worry over silly things I can’t change. (See point above!)
Once again, if you have frustrations with something or someone, only you can fix them. If it’s a case or situation that is simply un-fixable, stop giving them the time of day. Instead, focus your energy on the positive things and people surrounding you!
• Have those things ever gotten so full that you miss what is going on around you?
Absolutely! Friday was a perfect example for this.
Since I usually spend my weekend at events, games, practices, or outings, I try to dedicate a good part of my Fridays to cleaning the house. As soon as I finished my work for the day, I went upstairs to tackle some laundry and start the cleaning process. Right then, I encountered a situation I instantly became frustrated with. No matter how hard I tried to change it, the answer was clear and no budging was going to happen.
So I got angry. I shared my frustrations with loved ones and I ended up spending the entire afternoon on the phone. I got zero cleaning done, and I barely even took a break from it to get outside and run before the sunset. Umm… that’s crazy. Why do we allow ourselves to get so frustrated with things we can’t change that it ends up consuming our hours, days, weeks, and even years?
Instead of getting what I needed to get done, I completely stopped my day and plans to get wrapped up in frustrations. Why?
It’s really silly, and there comes a point when you have to tell yourself you are not going to let it affect you anymore.
Separate it from your day, your mood, what you are doing when you encounter it, and put it on a shelf far, far away from anything that concerns you. It’s really not worth it.
Food For Thought
I do my best to try to listen to my own advice, and when I do I am a much happier, more productive person. Change and challenges happen and we are the only ones that can control what happens next.
You get the choice to spend your time in the spotlight and on things that matter, or caught up in the background on things that really don’t.
If you ever get in a place where you can’t distinguish exactly how to handle it, or if it is even worth stressing over, think about how it will directly affect you a year from now. Better yet, five years from now. Are the things and people you are worried about still going to be there? If not, then they certainly aren’t worth your trouble.
Whenever I find myself at wits end, I have to take myself out of the situation and become emotionless. I can’t care. If something is the way it is, and I have tried to change it the best I know how, and it still isn’t ever going to budge… why persist? Accept what it is and move on.
Let those you worry about do the worrying for you. At the end of the day you will be the one enjoying life in the meantime.
And there it is, friends. Our first Coffee Talk! I hope you enjoyed reading my little nuggets of perspective every once in a while, and I welcome you to join in on the conversation below!
Questions of the Day
• Are you good at walking away from stress, or do you let it affect your mood/day/life?
• Any tips on how to go about your day without getting wrapped up in it?