I recently read an article by Jeff Goins encouraging writers to listen to critics of their work. Criticism, said Goins, is what helps us to grow and improve our craft as a writer. It is what molds and shapes us into even better versions of ourselves, if we are willing to listen to it with an open mind.
I sat there, nodding in agreement with what he was saying. It all sounded so good and reasonable.
Then I thought about applying this principle to my day-to-day interactions.
And I winced.
Three years ago, I found myself bruised and battered and lying handcuffed to a hospital bed.
The fall and winter of 2015 were nothing short of manic for me and my husband. Between planning for a late September wedding, a plethora of birthdays and anniversaries, and making the three hour drive to see my folks no less than 3 times between Thanksgiving and Christmas, by the last week of the year we had been run ragged.
My birthday was last Sunday. I woke up with such anticipation. I was going to snuggle with my husband, have a nice breakfast with him, go to church together, and then have some friends over in the evening for a potluck and outing to go see the last bit of Christmas lights in downtown Atlanta.
But my husband slept in and I didn’t want to wake him, so I ended up eating a bowl of cereal by myself, and he woke up just in time for us to rush off to church together.
I must be honest…I was pretty upset.
Happy new year! Can you believe it’s already 2016? I’ve been looking back a lot on 2015, reflecting on what I did right and where I can improve.
2015 was a year of huge change for me. I moved, quit my job, and started working as a freelance writer. I was engaged and then married a few months later. My now-husband also moved and started a new job. I had a major trip abroad, serious health issues, and a death in the family.
Many times I felt overwhelmed. I thought that I wasn’t strong enough, smart enough, or competent enough to get everything done. But there, I think, lies my biggest opportunity for improvement.
Just over 3 months ago, I married my best friend.
My wedding day was the closest thing to perfect I could have asked for. Perfect weather – both for the guests and the pictures afterwards – no logistical problems or emotional outbursts, lovely decorations, a fun reception, helpful staff and a great bridal party.
But that would have never been possible without the incredible amount of love and support we received from a plethora of people all over the world.
Yesterday I had a booth at a local artist’s market. It was the first time I’ve ever tried to sell my artwork, and by midday I was actually pretty disappointed.
I had spent dozens and dozens of hours over the last month making product to sell, and then hauled everything out to the market before 7:00 am on a cold Saturday morning to get set up. I was really putting myself out there, showing the world a piece of me that very few people had ever seen before. And it seemed like no one cared.
Thanksgiving day was yesterday, and consequently I’ve been thinking a lot about the subject of thankfulness. Thankfulness is something that almost everyone would agree is important, and yet at the same time almost everyone neglects to actually establish the habit of giving thanks. Why is that?
We’ve all been there. Wishing away our current circumstances in favor of the next stage of life. Getting jealous of our friends’ successes because they outshine our own. Telling ourselves that “if only…” then we’d truly be happy.
However, as I wrote about in more detail here, true happiness is a choice, not a situation. So how can you become a happier, more content person if you’re not feeling the love right now? Here are 3 fairly simple things you can do to boost your morale and increase your happiness.
Have you ever said “I’ll be happy when…” or “I’d be more content if…”? It doesn’t really matter how you choose to fill those blanks in; if you can relate to thinking along those sometimes, then you are in good company.
The vast majority of the world has suffered from “grass is always greener” syndrome at some point in their lives. And while it may be human nature to wish for what you don’t have, that doesn’t make it any better for you.