Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life is growth, and growth demands change. Virend Singh

Living in the present moment.  Enjoying everything there is to enjoy in our lives. Are we living life to the utmost or are we waiting? If we are waiting what are we waiting for? Are we waiting for a certain stage of life when we can… Are we waiting for the money to come in when we can finally… Are we waiting for someone else to tell us the direction our life will take… Are we waiting to get married, divorced, have children, or the children to grow up and have lives of their own? What are we waiting for? When are we going to feel like this is it, this is our time? Or are we thinking about our time back in the day when we were…

Have we made the most of every decade of our lives? Have we laughed enough, played enough, dreamed enough, loved enough, forgiven enough, and been grateful enough for the lives we’ve lived?

It is easy for me as a woman of a “certain age” to be jaded about where our world is heading. But, we are living life forward and it is probably true the best is yet to come. I’ve been very lucky I haven’t had a lot of misfortune or angst in my life. I didn’t live through turmoil, war, or scarcity. I was born lucky with parents who built a farm and created an idyllic life for growing kids. We had animals of all kinds and wide-open spaces to ride horses.

I loved growing up on the farm and yet I never wanted it for my future. I still think I would like to ride more horses. I have stables near enough to me that I could go riding, but I never have. Why have I deprived myself of this simple and not that expensive of a pleasure? Is it a form of penance I’ve imposed on myself? I wanted to backpack across Europe, but I didn’t want to do it alone. I had no one to go with but that is probably just an excuse. Why didn’t I make it happen?

What does it say about us, the things we make happen, and the things we don’t? Why can we pour our heart and soul into some enterprises and give up so easily on others? I don’t know the answers to the questions I ask. I know achievement feels better than failure. I know looking back over accomplishments feels better than looking at where we gave up on a dream, even small ones that no one else knows about.

Transformation is not five minutes from now; it’s a present activity. In this moment you can make a different choice, and it’s these small choices and successes that build up over time to help cultivate a healthy self-image and self-esteem. Jillian Michaels

I know sometimes we have to get through to the other side of whatever our problem, challenge, or crisis is. Life doesn’t seem fair in how it metes out trouble and misfortune to some, and luck and good fortune to others. Reading and listening to people’s stories it seems greatness doesn’t come from easy lives. Perhaps that is the reward for the hardships they’ve faced.

We need to be careful because, “Hard times create strong men, and easy times create weak men.” Even in good and easy times, we need to be challenging ourselves enough so we don’t become too soft, weak, and undisciplined that we can’t handle what could be around the corner.

I’m listening to an audiobook “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins. He talks about an army instructor that taught navy seals how to open an airway in the neck if someone couldn’t breathe. The next day they had to perform that procedure on him to save his life. Listening to some of these books on military training I can see how we would all be better off if we went through some of this training.

Switzerland hasn’t taken part in armed conflict for over 500 years. To maintain a fighting force, all men are required to do military service. They also have to keep a weapon, or stock it in an armory, meaning Switzerland has some of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world. They might be the epitome of, “I’d rather be a soldier in a garden than a gardener in a war.” Jordan Peterson tells us, ” Meek is not weak it is having a sheathed sword and knowing how to use it.”

It is always a good time to take stock of our lives. What we want to accomplish, how we want to improve, learn, and grow. What are the goals we are working on? Who do we need to forgive? Sometimes the person we most need to forgive is ourselves because we haven’t been or done what we’d hoped. We need to go forward better. We can only change ourselves not other people and often what we know for sure is someone else has to change. Sometimes when we change ourselves we will see other people miraculously change. This is our life what do we need to do, be, or change?

Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision, and change. Richard Branson

One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again. Abraham Maslow

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living. Gail Sheehy

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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