People are the most ridiculous of creatures. We trudge through our lives, letting inertia move us, and we do this every day, wondering when will it get better. When will life grant me ultimate happiness and why hasn’t it done so yet?
The sad thing is that life is entirely unfair and that even if you’re a good, hardworking, dedicated person, you still might not get what you wanted. And that’s okay. It took me a while to realize this, but the path to happiness doesn’t really lie in external factors that we can’t influence. It lies in ourselves and the ways we handle situations, both good and bad. It was a long road, but I’m finally where I want to be, and I want to share the way I got here.
The joy of writing
When I started writing, I never dreamed that it would get so out of hand. It was just a little hobby, a way to deal with stress, an outlet for my thoughts and feelings. But as I became consistent and turned the hobby into an everyday habit, I realized that I was changing. Writing things down gave me a new insight into things, and it’s how I slowly earned the most important quality that a person can possess – self-awareness. I was able to really look at my life, re-examine it, and realize that, while I had a pretty good thing going on, I could make it even better.
Once I became more aware of my own flaws, I stopped judging people for their own. I started looking at others, and listening to what they had to say. I did not like the fact that I used to be petty and mean, so I worked on changing that. If I couldn’t give someone a compliment, or constructive criticism, then I would say nothing at all. I started reading more, followed advice which I found at http://www.simplemindfulness.com and learning about everything that I could. Knowledge changes you, it lifts your spirits and as you become more curious, you start to understand just how many good things there are in this world, and how much you can do to help others.
To me, the most important thing has always been my family. I am loyal to the bone and nothing gives me greater joy than to take care of them and make them happy. That’s why I knew that I had to share my newly found desire to do some good. We started volunteering at the local soup kitchen, and we met a lot of very sad, yet wonderful people, then we did our best to help give them another chance. We became thoughtful about what we eat and what we wear. I realized that we threw away too much food, that we wasted money on clothes. I started buying everything second-hand at https://www.swap.com and my husband jumped at the idea. He found a lot of excellent men’s clothing and he helped me convince our three daughters to do the same. It was a real challenge to convince our teenager that she can still look cute even if her clothes aren’t expensive.
Embracing the new life
Sometimes we get overwhelmed with counting our carbon footprint, trying to use less water, recycling everything, paying attention to every single meal, and also juggling our family life. So, occasionally, we just don’t do it. Either because we forget, or because we’re just too tired. But I’ve come to realize, that as long as we try our best and are consistent, an occasional slip up can be forgiven. I’ve come to really love my life and my heart swells with pride when I look at my three daughters, growing up to become good, kind people, who want to change the world.
Making things better isn’t about grand gestures and money. It’s about the little, everyday things. It’s about being mindful of others, about paying attention, and taking a step forward each day. I am not always successful, and I don’t always know what the best thing to do is, but I try. To me, that’s enough.