An ongoing list of steps I'm building to nurture a happy heart...
5. Remember: everything happens for a reason...
My Type A personality has always driven me to be a person who is in control. I have a
plan, I work hard, and I make things happen. All that drive and determination
can, however, cause me to have a great deal of anxiety and a deep sense of
disappointment when things don't go the way that I think they should. I set a goal
for myself and am relentless in achieving it, keeping a positive attitude and never
letting anything deter me. But, sometimes, things don't work out, plans change, life
gets in the way. It took me a long time to understand that, to appreciate that no matter
how hard I work and plan and prepare, things aren't always meant to go a certain way,
least of all MY way. Ultimately, things happen for a reason and the reasoning is not
within my control. Looking back at all of my past failures and complications, I can tell
you with certainty that the things that didn't work out the way that I had planned
them actually worked out for the better. My mama always told me that when one
thing doesn't work out, it's because something better is waiting in the wings. She is so
right. With each year that goes by, with each growing experience that I endure, I
am constantly reminded that I do not need to be worried about controlling every
single situation. The most important thing to do is to strive to succeed, to work hard,
and to enjoy the ride. The rest is fate, all in the hands of something much larger
than myself. And when I feel disappointed or saddened because something didn't work
out the way that I envisioned, I must remember that there is a reason. And the reason
is almost always perfectly perfect in its own way.
6. Turn the music up...
Music is a part of me, the thread that holds me together. My earliest childhood
memories involve my brother and I teaching ourselves to play guitar along to my
mama's records. We learned to harmonize to "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" by
John Denver, singing it over and over until we had it just right. We weren't allowed to
watch very much television growing up, my mom always pushed us outdoors or to
dance class or choir practice. She was smart to do so, my mama. Music was always
around us, a part of our everyday life, and it has always lifted my spirits and made me
feel more alive. My younger cousins always roll their eyes when I talk about how lucky
I feel to have been a teenager during the 90's grunge era, how blessed I am to have
grown up with a real musical identity. Music that meant and stood for something. And
then I married a musician, a man who fills our home with my favorite sounds: guitars
and drums and harmonicas and bass. Our girls have a constant beat to hum along to,
from rock to blues to country and folk. To hear a song and let it take me somewhere
else: that is a magical feeling for me, one that soothes my mind and mends my heart.
My song for the week is here. It reminds me of date night, blooming night jasmine,
Abita Strawberry, deep belly laughs. It takes me somewhere like only a good