Living Simple

a happy & healthy way of life

Archive for the tag “happiness”

Finding Your Independence

At the beginning of the year I wrote about a friendship break-up.  After approximately 6 weeks of not speaking to one of my girlfriends she sent me a text and we ended up talking again(we will call her Ms Dependent).  I have mixed feelings about the reasons why I decided to let her back into my life. At this point I have learned to not let her venting effect me the way it use to but she still frustrates me.  It really isn’t just her venting but how she seems to want others to feel sorry for her.  She tells her problems to any sympathetic ear and will even go as far as to ask for advice but unfortunately she never takes it.  Her problems range from dealing with her boyfriend and kids, stress at work, and all the different ailments she seems to have mounting…I understand everyone has their issues but she can be exhausting.

When I considered all the things she would tell me about I felt sorry for her.  I took her side when she would tell me situations with her boyfriend or the kids but now I find myself thinking…stop with the negativity & complaining and do something about it!  I guess as I write this I realize that accepting her back into my life was probably a mistake.  I tried to set guidelines to the friendship but of course those have been crossed too many times to count by now.  As much as I hate to admit it she just seems to have a negative effect on me.

I have worked hard to be a more positive person and establish healthy routines in my life.  I want to surround myself with friends who really listen, learn and want to better themselves.  I can look at other friends and see where they have removed themselves from jobs that make them unhappy or relationships that are unhealthy.  These women are not afraid to make decisions for themselves in order to find happiness.  They are not afraid to take action and take risks even if it means times may be hard for a while.   Then I look at Ms Dependent and I see a woman who is scared of change or taking a risk.  Ms Dependent is just that… too dependent on her current lifestyle.  So instead of doing something to find her happiness she just complains endlessly about her current situation.

There was a time when I completely related to her because I was in the same boat.  I kept wishing someone would come along and make it all better. Finally, one day I realized that the only person that can make things better is me.  At one time I had issues with my job, my relationship and my health just like her… I wasn’t happy.  After the first big step of getting a divorce I steadily began proving to myself that I was capable of taking care of myself.

At this point I have accomplished so many things, like taking continuing education courses that have made me more valuable in my career.  I kept putting off surgery that I needed because I didn’t have health insurance but I did my research and ended up paying for it on my own.  I have saved money and  now I have health insurance and I even set up a Roth IRA and life insurance policy. I have received support along the way but at this point I have paid my debts and can honestly say that I can fully support myself.

With each passing year I add to my education and stability a little bit more. It isn’t always easy to sacrifice and sometimes I let my wants outweigh my needs. My goal is to surround myself with happy, successful people who are on the same path of self fulfillment.  What is it they say…Birds of a feather flock together.  Unfortunately, after all this time, I do not see Ms. Dependent doing any of these things and yet again I realize how much I have outgrown my friendship with her.

So as my independence grows I know in my heart that I am moving on.  I will do my best to accept her and not judge.  I know eventually our paths will only take us further apart. The best word to describe my feelings is frustration. I  had hoped she would be a person I could grow with because we were once in the same place in life and both so eager to find our independence. I know that God puts people in our lives for a reason and she was my closest friend at that time in my life.  She was going through the same thing and it was nice to be able to relate to someone but I am no longer that person.  Sadly, she seems to be stuck in that same place. I have learned many lessons and taken advice and I am happier and healthier than ever. I can no longer wait for her to move forward with me, I must move forward even if that means leaving her behind.


Without a doubt a smile is the number one way to create beauty.  Everyone knows at least one person that has a radiant way about them…when they are around you just feel their happiness. When they laugh it is contagious and when they smile they light up a room. My daughter is one of these people and she swears she gets it from me. I hope she is right!

I haven’t always been positive in my life.  When I look back now I realize when I was in my early twenties my attitude attracted negativity.  After living a little I know now that attitude is everything and it is my own choice what attitude to have.  I no longer let those around me dictate how I feel. This since of freedom to choose is powerful and leads to a life of beauty.  To be able to create the exact kind of day, week, month or year you want to have by just choosing to make it a great day.

Yes, this is much easier said than done and some days it is much harder than others.  However, with much practice and staying aware of the moment you are in, it can completely change your life.  I have found a few methods that really work for creating a positive attitude and I will share them with you.

First of all I wake up each morning and list all the things in my life that I am thankful for…from the hot water in my shower to the car that takes me to my office and so on.  It is the first basic principle of happiness, you must be thankful for what you have before you can ask for more.

Second, appreciate what you have by speaking positive words and avoiding negative words.  If you and your boyfriend have an argument don’t list off all the reasons he made you mad with your girlfriends the next day at lunch.  Instead choose to list all the wonderful things about him and before long you will forget why you even had the argument.  Speak only positive and do not give credit to the negative and in turn you will have more positive in your life, this brings me to number three…

Treat others how you want to be treated.  This is a tried and true lesson that our Moms taught us from school age.  It is one of the best lessons anyone can learn in any relationship.  If you wouldn’t like it said or done to you then do not say or do it to others. It is a lesson that if learned early will make life so much easier.

Method number five, live in the moment! Stop worrying about the past or the future and simply focus on this very moment.  Life can be wasted away with regrets and guilt of mistakes made and opportunities missed in the past and the what ifs of the future. It really is not worth it!  The only thing you can really control is what happens to you in this very moment so make every minute count and make it good!

The final method I practice to keep my life positive will be different for everyone.  It is something special and unique to each of us as individuals who all create special parts of one big unit in our world.  Find something, or maybe more than one thing, that you are truly passionate about and do it every day. I have a whole list of things I love and I make sure I do something on that list every day.  Letting yourself be absorbed by something you truly love will give your life a positive outlet, keeping the mind, body and soul happy.

Honestly, I have found the more I do the things I love, the more I appreciate the simpler things in life….and to me…simple is beautiful!  

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