Change 

Change. 

It’s a word that makes me excited and strikes fear into my heart all at the same time. 

There’s lots of different types of change. I like to categorize them into four general groups.

The GOOD- This is the kind of change that all, any human welcomes eagerly. This change in life’s story involves something awesome happening that you’ve only dreamed of happening. And you embrace it, with all your heart. For example: You just won the lottery! 

The BAD- this change isn’t actually bad…it’s a great thing. Its change that is saving you from something bad–your saving grace. This second group of change is tough but it’s necessary. This type of change usually involves our willpower. We don’t eagerly accept it.  We fight through it because if we realize if we don’t change we are headed for disaster. Example: losing weight, getting out of a bad relationship, overcoming an addiction.

The UGLY- This type of change refers to situations in which we have no control over. It is thrust upon us without our choice.This change is usually very unexpected and often unpleasant (at first). Example: losing a job, getting bit by a super spider and becoming Spider-Man.

And then there’s that last category of change–the one the bulk of this post is about.

The CHOICE. This category of change is  when in life you find yourself facing a path which leads two, five, or seventeen different ways. Each one of them means change, you just have to decide which path to take. You know you can’t just stand there and not ever choose. These are the changes that you are in control of but often leave you with questions and the dreaded task of making a decision and sticking to it. This type of change involves taking a risk or a chance. And sometimes you don’t know how it will turn out. Haha! Can you guess which category of change I am facing right now!? ūüėČ 

As I was thinking about change and making a decision, this thought hit me. 

What really makes a good life? 

You do. 

It’s not money or a perfect job or a house on the beach…you make your life good. It’s up to you. Even though I’d love all those things….I can still be happy without them. There’s nothing more dangerous than waiting for something to happen to live and fully enjoy life. You’ve got to choose happiness where you’re at, you’ve got to choose to make the most of your life now. If you live each day to its fullest–smiling, thankful, laughing, building good relationships, loving people, helping people, exploring, etc., no matter where life takes you…rich or poor, moving here or there…you will have a good life. There are so many things we have no control over in life, but what we do have control over is our attitudes and actions. 

What’s the point of all of this? 

Change happens. Sometimes it’s good sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes you have a say in the matter and sometimes you don’t. But no matter what change brings your way…you can always be in charge of how you face it or reacte to it.

Stay positive! Do good! Make people know they matter! Try your best! Be the best possible version of yourself! Enjoy the little things! If you’re doing that…no matter what path you take, what change you embrace…it will be okay!

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Writing (such an original title, I know)

I think one thing that makes someone a writer is not just the urge to write…but the NEED.

I had a long weekend spent in Virginia…a weekend without a piece of paper or keyboard or a pen–not really, all of these objects were available–the real problem was¬†my inability to steal away and write. I think getting away from it all is always a good thing. Breaks work wonders for the mind and body! However,¬†I had that itch. You know that¬†feeling…where you have got to write (or it could get ugly…;) ). I made it back late Monday night, surviving with the¬†knowledge I could write to my hearts desire after I got off of work the next day. Then I checked my email. It’s past 1:00AM, I am lying in my bed,¬†I have to work¬†in the morning…and (after of course the¬†habitual checking of other social media sites)¬†I check my email.

One new message.

I bolt up to sitting position. It’s from a job I applied to. I have an interview! Then I realize the interview will take place…on Tuesday. What was then just about¬†16 hours away. If you have ever read my post about what happens to me during an interview (mind goes blank…panic mode turns on….etc.) you know I have to give interviews a lot of prep time so I am completely ready for anything blown my way. Thank goodness it was a phone interview…but still….the writing would have to wait.

I’ve heard people say writing¬†can be¬†therapeutic. I think that’s for me it’s absolutely true. After the interview I realized a move literally across the country to Seattle might be in my future (I couldn’t believe I actually heard back from a job so far away). Was this what I really wanted? Seattle? The same day I found out my best friend is moving…OUT OF THE COUNTRY. =( ¬†Life can change so quickly. The good news was my dreams of visiting Europe¬†felt more like a reality.¬†We decided we would meet up in Europe, (I threw out that we’d meet in Greece,¬†I’ve always wanted to see the Mediterranean )¬†when I finally have enough saved up to go. After the interview, after talking to my best friend…I felt I don’t know…sad and heavy. I¬†had the weight of making a huge decision on my shoulders and was already missing¬†my friend (kindred spirits don’t come around every day!). Writing seemed like the last thing I should do when I had a lot to think (worry…analyze) about.

Yesterday I brewed up some coffee….and instead of pondering life…¬†I¬†just wrote. And gosh, I felt so much better! Writing sometimes helps us focus on something different, helps us get our emotions out and share our hearts. Long story short,¬†I got some of that novel done (and wrote a poem!)….and felt refreshed and renewed. Writing was able to bring me that feeling you have on a really hot day, when your throat is parched and finally take that first sip of ice cold water. AAAHHH.

It counts

Sometimes there are things we simply cannot fix or change.

I’m thinking of those moments when a friend, co-worker,¬†¬†family member, acquaintance¬†is hurting. The sparkle in their eyes has been replaced with tears, they don’t smile anymore…it’s like part of them has been stolen, which is partially true. And¬†gosh, you just want to make them smile again, take away the pain and give them sunny skies.

There is¬†a group of personality types¬†out there I’d like to call the “fixers” and “helpers”. Fixers and helpers are driven to, as the name suggests, fix things…if we could, we would make the world¬†have sunshine every single day.Fixers love to see people happy and make people happy; when someone isn’t happy or¬†is hurting,¬†fixers instantly want to fix it, they feel driven to help.¬†Most, if not all¬†of us,¬†have a certain amount of this fixer/helper personality in us…it makes you human to care about another human.

But sometimes¬†there are¬† things you cannot fix. Sometimes the¬†hurt is so deep, too deep.¬†Or the hurt and pain is something¬†you cannot relate to at all… and¬†you feel powerless. You¬†want to help, but you can’t; you want to take the pain away, but you can’t. The person feels so far, so out of reach, and you don’t know what to do or say.

Today while I was at work printing paper after paper, this thought struck me: You may not be able to “fix” or take away someone’s pain…but you can be there. And just being there COUNTS. Just giving someone a hug COUNTS. Telling someone “Let me know what I can do to help” COUNTS. Even if you don’t see it, your presence counts to someone that is hurting.

People handle grief and disappointment differently…but we all appreciate when our friends and family are simply THERE for us–ready to talk to, ready to give a hug, ready to just sit in the same room with us.

Sometimes you may not feel like you are helping someone at all, you may feel like giving up…DON’T. You ARE making a difference…even if you don’t see it right now. BE AVAILABLE, GIVE PEOPLE HUGS (where words cannot go, touch often can!), AND DON’T GIVE UP…..IT COUNTS.