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A New Year, A New Attitude

08 Jan

It’s difficult living with constant stress. I’m sure that I’m preaching to the choir. The past month has been an incredibly stressful one. I’d say it’s been the most stressful a period I’ve had in years. Health, personal and professional issues abound and I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I had a restful night’s sleep. It’s interesting how we often take for granted the periods of time when life seems to be uneventful and become crippled when it turns upside down.

I hate rumors and hearsay. I’m open enough as a person that I feel as though if someone has an issue with me or questions my motives, they can come to me directly and simply ask. Personally or professionally I don’t hide anything. So it’s hurtful when things are said about you, as I’ve recently discovered, that makes you feel as though no one really knows who you are. For the past month I have lived with the knowledge that I may not be seen or appreciated for the person that I really am.

It’s hard, knowing that you really have little control over people’s perceptions. And yes, there is some solace in knowing that I am very happy with the person that I am. However, it is exhausting when you feel that your best isn’t good enough. You know the feeling, when there are whispers and glares that you had somehow missed before. You find yourself constantly inside your head, trapped with your thoughts, becoming paranoid. You feel caged, unhappy and lost.

While it’s no way to start a new year, these feelings come and go at any time throughout the year. Remaining upbeat and optimistic is sometimes simply not possible. I’m re-learning how to cope with these feelings. It’s a part of being an adult. I certainly feel that as I get older, I am becoming better able to cope with them. I no longer always feel complete gloom or that life is over.

I’ve decided that although I truly love the work that I do, if I can no longer do it, I’ll start over. Starting over is not always something we want to or are prepared to do. We become so comfortable in the lives that we lead. As such, we tend to forget that life has an odd sense of humor. It’s often so easy to fall into such despair over the things that are outside of our control. Life is anything but easy. I’m not sure why we are so surprised or get disappointed when life follows through on that point. The best thing to do is always be proactive rather than being reactive. Contingency plans are great so you’re never caught completely unprepared. They’re not always ideal but they leave you with a safety net.

With the new year still in its infancy, it’s still early enough to resolve that it’s never too early or late to take control of yourself. 2013 is behind us and 2014 is the year that we put ourselves in the driver’s seat. Appreciate what you have but if it’s lost, be grateful that we can still pick ourselves up and start again. It won’t be easy and it may even cause some sleepless nights and general irritation but everything happens for a reason. Even if we don’t understand those reasons at the time, stay strong in who you are and don’t allow life’s issues to make you become bitter. You really only live once and it’s up to us how we let life affect us.

This article appeared appeared on page 5A in the 1/8/14 issue of The Union-Recorder.

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