the ups and downs of life

Archive for the tag “living”

If only

There are so many if onlys in our lives. Or maybe it’s just my life. I reflect quite a bit. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. Maybe it’s because that’s just who I am. I appreciate things now. And I did appreciate things in the past.

I try to to live a life now with much more purpose. I don’t want to be in the future looking back at this point in time saying “if only.” There are way too many if onlys in my life.

If only I’d been more adventurous.

If only I’d said what I felt.

If only I’d trusted my heart.

If only I’d let go sooner.

If only I’d taken that ring off.

If only I’d never left.

If only I’d dreamed bigger.

If only I’d done more.

If only I’d taken better care of them.

If only I’d read between the lines.

If only I’d reached out.

If only I’d be been stronger.

If only I’d stood up for myself.

If only I’d fought back.

If only I had not trusted.

If only I saw the truth.

If only I smiled.

If only I’d said the right thing.

If only I didn’t care.

If only I could do more.

If only I was braver.

If only I hadn’t jumped.

If only I had hoped.

If only I quit worrying.

If only I’d closed my eyes.

If only I’d breathed.

If only I forgave myself.

If only I opened my heart to the world that awaits.

If only…


Rainy Thoughts

I am lying in my bed listening to the Rain. It’s one of my favorite sounds. I should try to sleep right now but I love the sound. It’s like Nature’s music. It’s almost hypnotic.

I’ve been stressed lately and it’s been hard to think about certain things. This soothing sound allows my brain to just kind of relax for a change. You would think that sleep would be relaxing. It’s not always relaxing for me. This sound is so relaxing.

I can think about whether or not I should make a trip to Asheville in the next few weeks. I want to go before the weather gets bad. I miss my friends. And I just miss Asheville.

I can think about the upcoming holidays. Typically I spend them alone. And that’s usually by choice. I’ve avoided the holidays for years. I love my family and friends but the holidays are not the easiest time for me. And this time of year is really not the easiest time for me because it’s the precursor to the holidays. But this year I am home–in Alabama. I spoke to one of my aunts the other day and she is so excited about Thanksgiving that she’s already planning it. And she invited me to come. I haven’t had a holiday with blood relatives in 21 years. That’s a long damn time. So the thought of the holidays has been a little bit overwhelming. But tonight I can think about it without having a panic attack. I can think about the fact that I’m going to spend time with people who are part of me. And that is such a foreign concept. It’s a little bit scary to.

And I can think about Christmas. I haven’t had a Christmas tree and all those years either. I was thinking about it and I’m going to have to really get going so that I can have ornaments for a tree. Thank goodness I’m crafty and artistic. And a friend of mine sent me some great ideas. So I’m going to start working on those. So that is something quite interesting. Amy with a Christmas tree. I just pray the cats will not climb the tree or knock the ornaments off. But it will be a learning experience for all of us.

So these are the things that I’ve been thinking about while lying in the bed listening to the rain. I know that they are scattered thoughts. But they’ve been things that I pushed to the side because they are difficult to think about under normal circumstances. They normally worry me and cause me to be anxious. And now I can just think about the whole thing and it’s going to be okay. And if not well we’ll just do the best we can.

I’m so thankful for the rain.


There are all types of courage in this world. Some people think that courage is only related to the things that scare you in a moment. For instance I am terrified of birds. I hate them and there’s a reason for that. My anxiety level goes up when birds get too close to me. I don’t like them near me at all. Especially if they’re large birds. Why? I was chased by a large turkey when I was 3 and he was going to try to kill me! Very traumatic. Now can I be around a bird if I have to be? Yes. I have faced my fear more than once. Do I like to be? Hell no! So I can be courageous from time to time and be around a bird if I have to be. I just choose not to.

There are other types of courage, though, as well. Some people are fearful of relationships and love. They’ve been hurt and they’ve closed themselves off. They don’t want to risk their heart being in pain like that again. I understand that. But I have overcome that fear and have determined that I would have the courage to still search for love that would eventually become a relationship. It’s not easy. Especially when you feel like you’ve had your heart ripped out and torn to shreds. But there are times when you have to weigh weather it’s easier to be alone or if you would prefer to have someone in your life that is meaningful. I choose meaningful and, therefore, I choose courage.

Another type of courage is actually what I’m doing right now. It takes a lot of courage for me to put my thoughts and feelings into words. Maybe no one will read them. Maybe someone will read them. I never know. But what I do know is that I’m putting myself out there for the world to see and judge. And that is not a very easy thing to do. Some people do it every day with no problem. But there are others who find it to be the scariest thing in the world. For a long time I questioned whether I should put any of my words down. Who cared what I thought? I cared. And after a while I mustered the courage to just put the words down and pray for the best.

So whatever you’re facing in your life just know that you are not the only person to ever have faced it. And it may feel like it. And sometimes you can get advice from others regarding that fear so that you can find a way to become more courageous and open to what it is that you need to overcome. And sometimes you don’t want to overcome it. And that’s okay. Whatever you feel is right and best for you can be the very best thing. Unless it is truly harmful then do what you think is best. Because sometimes the most courageous thing is just thinking about that fear. If you can take that next step and move forward and past it, then even better. But if not, don’t kick yourself. Just do the best you can.

You Never Know When It Will Happen

I spoke with one of my best friends today about death. It seemed to be an odd conversation for us because we were speaking of people we grew up with who had already passed. We’re not old-old. But we’re not spring chickens either.

But this leads to something else. You never know when death will happen. And it is going to happen. None of us escape it. Death doesn’t favor anyone. No matter how hard we fight it, we will inevitably end up drawing our last breath.

I learned at a young age to cherish loved ones. I lost both of my parents in my mid 20’s. I was not ready. Who is? But I truly wasn’t ready. It shook me to my core and shaped the rest of my life.

The loss of my parents made me realize how easily life can be taken. It also made me realize that I needed to show the people I still had in my life that I loved how much they mean to me. I rarely leave from seeing the people I love now without telling them that Ilove them and giving them a hug. You never know if that will be the last time you can do it.

Life is precious. Every moment we have on this earth should be treasured and lived with purpose. We have a finite amount of time here. We should love as much as possible. If we fail to give the love that we are capable of, we are only hurting ourselves. Give of yourself and your heart. You never know when you will be out of time.

Live Honestly

Life is not easy and we all have our own demons. There are times when we may not want to share everything we are going through with others. That’s fine. The thing is that when you are interacting with others, you need to live honestly. That doesn’t mean you have to share every feeling you have at every moment of every day.

It would be easy if we lived our lives in a bubble and all that we felt and went through stayed within the confines of that bubble. Unfortunately, life is not that way. Because we are a society and we do interact with others, there is bleedover. This is especially true when we try to have interpersonal relationships. What is happening in your life will come through no matter how hard you try to contain it.

Living as honestly as possible can help with any negative interactions with others. If you are open and honest, you have nothing to hide. If you hide your feelings and then interact with someone, the chances of something bad happening go up exponentially. Avoiding the truth or lying will only compound any negative interaction. Silence, sullenness and defensiveness are all things that are defense mechanisms that can make a bad situation into an extremely painful and dramatic situation.

Just be honest. Don’t give pat answers. Don’t hide from what you feel. Own it. When someone else is involved in those feelings, it is always best to be as thoughtful as possible. Your feelings are impacting their life, whether it is negative or positive. They don’t deserve to be blindsided.

I have recently been in situations where people weren’t honest with me. Had the people been honest with me, I would have been able to make different choices. I don’t know that I could have protected my heart, but at least I could have dealt honestly with things that were very painful.

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