“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” ~Lao Tzu
In the middle of a storm, it is difficult to see any way out. But on the other side, we usually can recognize a silver lining—something we gained from the experience that enhanced our lives in some way.
When my husband unexpectedly died and left me a single mother to three young children, I could not conceptualize anything good coming out of it.
Yet, years later, I am here to tell you that the gutting, heart-wrenching experience taught me invaluable lessons that have helped me to not just survive but …
“Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles, and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?” ~Lao Tzu
I don’t know why, and I don’t know when it exactly begins, but somehow, we are socialized to believe that happiness depends on the stars aligning, and we subscribe to the notion of a happily-ever-after, whereupon life is supposed to be smooth sailing.
It sounds ridiculous just saying it out loud, but yes, we do this. I’m guilty.
If we could only get into this school, have that job, find a …
“Every moment of your life is a second chance.” ~Rick Price
We are constantly telling ourselves stories about who we are and what we are capable of achieving.
These stories are sometimes the nostalgia of once-upon-a-time that whispers longingly to us. The stories can be the remnants of hardened pain that want us to trace over the lines of old scars. They can also be the tales we invent about imagined futures—what we think will happen.
All of the narratives that we repeat to ourselves—both of the fiction and nonfiction varieties—are what we internalize and use to create self-identity.
“What will mess you up most in life is the picture in your head of how it is supposed to be.” ~Unknown
I expected to get into college. I expected to have a career after a lot of hard work, and that one day I’d meet a nice man and we would get married. We would buy our first house together and start a family, picking out a crib and the baby’s “going home” outfit and organizing a drawer full of diapers. We’d have more babies and go on vacations and grow old together.
I expected that one day I’d …
“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” ~Stephen Covey
One ordinary night after an ordinary day of work and family, I went to bed a mother, wife, teacher, writer-person.
I remember falling asleep between sentences exchanged with my husband after an evening spent with just the two of us on our patio, something we rarely seemed to find the time to do in our busy lives. We promised each other that we’d make a concerted effort to have more of these “dates.”
The next morning, on what was supposed to be another …
“Doing your best means never stop trying.” ~Unknown
As a teacher, the summer season is special, sacred time when I recover from a busy school year and prepare for the next one. The bonus is that I also use the time as a personal blank slate to be as productive as I can be in the other areas of my life that got neglected when all of my energy went into teaching.
June began with a long list of goals and a meticulously planned schedule for every day and hour of the week. I had big eyes and high hopes …