What is your definition of ‘Tough Times’?
Take a moment, do some soul searching, and think about what your answer would be. We will come back to this.
Personally, for me, the last two years have been trying. The biggest would be that I lost three of my dearest friends, in the span of about a year. Now, I am of an age where this could be happening more in my life, however, these three were all younger than me and taken way too soon. That was from the beginning of 2019 to the beginning of 2020. Then we all know what happened in early part of this year, the pandemic. That changed lives in ways we never dreamed. Being locked down, endless Zoom meetings, jobs lost, jobs on hold, being home with your family 24/7, being alone, no dining out, people sick, not understanding how to treat this thing, someone close to you having it and maybe even losing their lives to it, parents becoming teachers, and teachers becoming virtual teachers when they would rather be in a classroom with their kids, for some there was depression because they couldn’t see their family and friends in person or any reason that hit them close to home. It has been terrible. The list is endless of how the pandemic affected any person. And, of course, it was an election year like none other with all the tension around that. Yes, I had to use my hair root touch up a few times until I could see the hairdresser again, my belief is, not only because of time, but because the stress was causing more grays than usual. Then this week another person was taken too soon. She was more of an acquaintance than a friend. However, she had touched so many lives and in some ways, I didn’t realize how much she had touched mine until she was gone.
So, now that I have depressed you,
let’s talk about this from the side of what you can do and how you can change. In the first line, I asked you to do some soul searching on how you would answer what ‘tough times’ are to you. Did you do that? Have you come up with your answer?
Yes, many outside factors can trigger what we call, ‘tough times’ however, my belief is it is our attitude that determines how tough our times will be.
Allow my to tell you about my friend,
who was in the original three, who passed too soon. He taught me a lesson a few years back before we even thought about a pandemic, that changed my life and whole attitude on ‘tough times’. His wife is very ill, she has a debilitating disease and needs a lot of care. What I knew he was doing for her, would make me question if I was strong enough to take care of my husband the way he took care of her. It was amazing. She was his number one priority, yet he ran a business, took care of a family, cared for and about each of his clients and team, and put many others before himself. Oh, he wasn’t a total saint and had his days, however, I know he is in heaven for all he did. The reason for telling you this was, that even now when I believe that I am dealing with a ‘tough time’ my thoughts go to him, and very quickly, my true reality sets in, ‘it isn’t so bad’. I can get through this! Matter of fact, when people apologize to me for the things that may happen, or they feel like they need to give an apology, here is my stock answer to them, “No need to apologize if this is my biggest problem in life, I got none.” They generally smile and answer back with something like, ‘That is so true’ and just seem to be grateful. It makes both of us feel good. Attitude.
..It is the day after this very contentious election and we still don’t have a winner. However, yesterday someone posted on Facebook ‘Fill in this line; Tomorrow I will_______________”. My response, “I will get up go to work, and still love everyone around me”. Attitude. How would you have filled in that line? You see we only have control over one true thing in our lives and that is ourselves and our attitude. We can be defeated by ourselves or we can stub our toes, hop around a minute, curse the world and then and keep moving and try to win. My friend in the story above, I used to tell him, you get 15 minutes to go somewhere or sit in your car, yell, scream at the universe, cry, pray, do whatever you want to help get the frustration out. When the 15 minutes is over, it is over and now you keep moving. That is what he would do.
Here are some things I do when faced with a tough time:
- Use my 15 minutes
- Talk to a trusted friend, colleague, or my husband who can help me see the forest from the trees.
- Pray or talk to the universe.
- Think about my friend in the story above,
- Take inventory of the positives in my life,
- Think of the friends who stand by me.
- I don’t and won’t dwell in the past.
- Realize I can do more, I just have to change my attitude.
Realize how important right now is!
Changing your attitude can change your whole life.
Don’t dwell in the past. Use the past as a learning tool, not a ‘woe is me’ tool. That is not a tool. Think about a car, the rearview mirror is tiny compared to the windshield, because what is in front of you is far more important than what is behind you. And trust me, no matter what you are going through someone out there has it rougher than you. Because in your perception of things you can always find someone like that. Think of them and become grateful for your situation, you are learning from it.
Make your list of what you can do to help in your ‘tough time’ moments. All of us will have a little different list. Yours is important. Please share some of your list ideas below as another might add it to their list.
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