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Feb
16
2012

The only thing constant is change

in Life Lessons

Photo by ba1969 on www.sxc.hu

I have heard the saying a thousand times, “the only thing constant is change.”

People age. Pets die. Jobs require relocation. Kids struggle. Illnesses come.  Jobs are lost. Change is constant.

I have always been one that could find the silver lining in everyone else’s life though I could rarely see it in my own. As my 21-day happiness pledge comes to an end, I think I have finally learned to see the “good” that exists even within the struggles.

  • People age, but with age comes wisdom.
  • Jobs require relocation, but that leads to new experiences.
  • Kids struggle, but the light bulb moments make the struggles worthwhile.
  • Illnesses come, but they help you appreciate a vomit-free, cough-free, fever-free family even more.
  • Jobs are lost, but new opportunities await that we may never have otherwise seized.
  • Change is constant, but with struggles come a deeper understanding of who we are at our core.

I cannot say that I have become an optimist in 21 days, but I can say that I have gained the ability to look for the silver lining when there appears to be none–especially when I am standing so close to the cloud that any lining at all is difficult to see.

I did not start this pledge to change the world or anyone in it other than myself. I truly believe that making positive change starts from within. I feel like I accomplished that.

I have also learned a lot about friendship through the challenge. I have discovered that I have some friends with a real knack for finding the good, some with a habit of always seeing the bad, and a lot that lie somewhere in the middle. While I totally get that sometimes a person just needs to vent, I think there is a huge difference between venting and dwelling.

I am choosing to make an effort to not to dwell in darkness.

I finally saw the evidence of how much I have changed in 21 days when I sat down today and realized that my writing deadlines had slipped, my laundry was piled high, I had a sink full of dishes, and I had 47 emails that I needed to answer while one kid had a bloody nose and another was screaming about how it was not his fault. Rather than curling up in a ball and saying “woe is me,” I started thanking my kids for each of the nice things I have seen them do since they got home. I highlighted the good rather than the bad. I smiled, I laughed, and I remembered that THIS fight, THIS pressure, THIS stress is only here for today. THESE problems will pass. My life will move forward with or without clean clothes, and paper plates work just as well as the real ones.

I have to let it go. That’s my 21-day “take home.” Let it go because the only thing constant is that things are going to change.

I sincerely appreciate the friends and total strangers who took this pledge along side me. Though I will not continue to cover my author page with three happy thoughts each day, I will continue to try to find the silver lining and encourage others all that I can. If you took the challenge and are willing to share, I would love to hear what you learned along the way.

For now… I’m off to prepare to find the silver lining in the clouds that are predicted to cover my son’s 4th birthday party as we go camping this weekend.

 


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