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Monday Musings and Motivations — On Living a Life — Part Forty-Seven

From Whee! to meh to Waaaah! Again and again.  That's life.

From Wheeeee! to meh to Waaaah! Again and again.
That’s life.

The older I get the more I realize what living a life means.  It means really fantastically wonderful, make you want to scream at the sheer joy of living times and seriously suck-ass bad, make you want to scream and curl up in the fetal position times.  It means going through the motions when you don’t want to.  Giving to people when you think you just don’t have it in you to give.  It means becoming a person you’d like to hang out with.

How do we do this?  Become that person?   Through observation, trial and error.  Through making mistakes and forgiving ourselves for those mistakes and, here’s the really hard part, forgiving others for their mistakes.  Through realizing that each of us do the best we can with the circumstances that are in front of us.  And I’m not talking about the really evil people; we all know who they are.

After Half a Century You Learn Some Stuff

50 is the new 30?  With the right lighting, photography, filters, makeup, fillers, smoothing. Nevermind.  It's not.  50 is not the new 30.

50 is the new 30? With the right lighting, photography, filters, makeup, fillers, smoothers, bleaches, whiteners, brighteners.
Nevermind. It’s not. 50 is not the new 30. No, no no. NO.

You do, you learn.  I look at my parents, people I admire and others who’ve hurt me and I them, through an objective lens.  The good and bad experiences, people who have had a major affect on the tragectory of my life.  I know now, with a surety, that we all were doing the best we could at the time.

I realized this more after my Dad died.  I can remember thinking sometimes when I was younger, he wasn’t always “there” for me.  He always was, in his way.  I thought this when I was younger, when I thought I’d have him forever.

That’s what you do when you’re young, as you should and as you’re learning life’s lessons.  Learning who those people are who really know you.  The ones that look you in the eye and have the strength to tell you if you’re effing up or doing it right.  The ones you can call in the middle of the night.

At my Dad’s funeral, I talked to people who knew him when he was a boy, a teenager, a young man.  I talked to him at his bedside, really talked to him.  I learned who he was.  Before he was my Dad.  Just him, as a man.  An artist.  A person who wanted to do wonderous, great things.  He did some and didn’t do others.  I wish I’d learned this earlier, but regrets, like hindsight, can eat you up or set you free.  I choose the latter.

The Path to Greatness — It’s All How You Look at It

Aren’t we all like that?  Don’t we all want to aspire to greatness?  We have dreams and they may change as we age, but there is always this something inside us, that we aspire to do.  It’s personal and beautiful and unique for each of us.

One of my dreams.  This one was visiting a lighthouse in Maine.  I did.  This one.

One of my dreams. This one was visiting a lighthouse in Maine. I did. This one.

Here’s the rub:  In the grand scheme of things, whether we do or don’t do them (in our wildest dreams of that thing) doesn’t matter.  We do do some of that greatness here and there, throughout our lives, in small measures and some times, big flashy ones.  There’s a quote I like, written in my book of quotes that I have and refer to:  The road is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself.  Something like that, but very true.

Each of us has a greatness that shines.  Terrific things that we’re proud of — tell people about.  Put on our resumes.  Think about it right now.  Really think about it and you’ll find that you’ve reached that “greatness” already.  Whether it’s a portion or sliver of that dream, you had and maybe still have, you’ve done it or are doing it right now.  Maybe it’s everything you thought it would be or maybe that thing has changed.

All that matters is that we are at peace with our decisions, mistakes, successes and so-called failures.  Where we are right now, at this time in our life.  Because really, that’s all we got — right now.

Dreams — They Come and They Go

We live some dreams and let go of others.  It’s about who we love and who loves us back.  Each person, each experience molds us into becoming who we are and hopefully someone we, ourselves, would love to hang out with.

That’s what I try to do anyway.  When I look at myself in the mirror and see the changes there, I try to be gentle with myself.  This me, right now.  Because I’ve lived some amazing experiences and some dreams I had came true.  I know I’ve got many ahead of me and new aspirations as well.

babylove

I may not be here yet, but I’m working on it.

What’s even more important, I look at me in the mirror and think to myself on really good days, “You’re okay.  You’re someone I’d like to hang out with.”

That’s pretty freaking great in my book.

Happy Monday everyone and enjoy some Stones.

***

What are some of your dreams of greatness?  What dreams of yours have come true?  Have they changed over the years?  Share and don’t hold back — go big as if you could do anything if given the time and means to do so.  Tell it, baby — tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine.

About Brigitte

Writer/Editor/Wanderer

Discussion

31 thoughts on “Monday Musings and Motivations — On Living a Life — Part Forty-Seven

  1. Right now I feel really horrible about myself as a human being. What compounds the matter more is an individual’s attempt to malign me. This post made me feel slightly better.

    Posted by Maulika Hegde | September 23, 2013, 9:11 am
    • Hi M, welcome. Ouch, that’s not good. I hope you’ll stop feeling that way soon! Remember (and I’m big on quotes here) what Eleanor Roosevelt said: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

      I’m glad you feel slightly better. I hope you’ll feel GREAT very soon!

      Posted by Brigitte | September 23, 2013, 9:53 am
  2. Brigitte,
    I so love your posts. I think that as I age, my dreams become more short-term – completing a piece of jewelry, having a great photo-shoot, cooking a wonderful dinner, sitting down and playing the piano, planning a great vacation (we’re going diving in a couple of months, Yaay!). I don’t think that it’s really that I feel my time here is short, I’m not that old, but I do think that for me, life is more about choosing day-to-day triumphs, dreams, pleasures. This has definitely changed from when I was younger. That’s what I get from your post today – we’re probably of the same accord. I’d like to write a book – or maybe do that coffee table photography volume :-) . But if I don’t get that done in this lifetime, that’s okay too.
    Cathy

    Posted by Cathy Ulrich | September 23, 2013, 9:38 am
    • Thanks, Cathy. I hope to be a wise old sage one day, wear braids and maybe get a tattoo. Mind you, this will be decades from now. Ha! And yes, you get what I’m trying to express (in my long-winded way) about those dreams being more “short-term.” It IS the day-to-day. It’s not that we can’t have grandiose dreams — go big or go home, right? — it’s that if things don’t turn out the way I thought they would, those dreams come in different forms. I want to visit Europe.

      And that book thing, that’s my dream too. Now that I have the time to do it, life has settled down a lot lately, I think that time is now. It’s the doing it part that is difficult! Half a century sounds old, but it’s not, right? Thank you my friend.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 23, 2013, 9:51 am
  3. I like your post and your choice of music. Life ebbs and flows and I have found that the bad times don’t last forever and the good times are gone too soon, but we get a chance to start over each day (many times a day some days).

    Posted by Allan G. Smorra | September 23, 2013, 10:38 am
  4. Good morning Brigitte. As always, a timely musing penned by one of my favorite writers. I made a decision yesterday, followed through with it this morning and feel pretty, as you say, whaaaaaaaa about it. Insert hefty sigh.
    It is what it is.. Hard not to beat yourself up and to just accept ones limitations.
    Any hoo. You always getting me thinking.
    No dreams here… Just grinding it out on a daily basis and happily so.
    Happy Monday! Lighthouse is super coolio

    Posted by unfetteredbs | September 23, 2013, 11:00 am
    • Good morning, Audra. Thank you. I feel as if I’m really rusty these days and coming from one of my favorite writers, that means ALOT that I got you to thinking.

      What did you do? You’ll have to email me. It is difficult sometimes not to beat yourself up. I used to be great at that. I’m getting better at not doing it so much now. Nah, I still do it. Ha! Grind it out, babe — it seems to be working quite nicely for you. Happy Monday back and as always, THANK YOU!! xo

      Posted by Brigitte | September 23, 2013, 11:08 am
  5. “Through making mistakes and forgiving ourselves for those mistakes”—I find it infinitely harder to forgive my own mistakes than those of others. It’s amazing how self-critical we humans can be. And I agree–we don’t always get to know our family as ‘real people’—how they interact in their worlds, worlds that may be very different from our own.

    Posted by Carrie Rubin | September 23, 2013, 12:56 pm
  6. My big dream now is to write a book. I used to care about whether or not it would be a great book. Now, I just want to write it while my mother is still living. So, yeah, that dream has totally changed. And, I don’t expect it will make me famous either or rich, but I just want people to read it. This post hit the spot today. Oh, and I’d like to visit more lighthouses. I have a thing for them. Great post, Brigitte!

    Posted by The Bumble Files | September 23, 2013, 1:53 pm
    • Amy, you and I have the same dream. And I feel the exact same way — I just want to finish what I started! I’m glad you could relate to the post. And I love lighthouses too! That whole beacon in the night thing is comforting — literally and metaphorically. Thank you.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 23, 2013, 1:56 pm
  7. “It means becoming a person you’d like to hang out with.”

    Brigitte, that is exactly what I’ve realized and tried to do over the last ten years or so. And it has been one of the driving factors behind my blogging, both posting and commenting. In fact, I’ve described the blog as “the me I aspire to be.” I want to be helpful and supportive of others in their creative endeavors, whether that’s offering encouragement when someone doubts their abilities or helping writers with “cover reveals” and interviews on their new releases.

    I’d love to have my stories reach the point where I think they’re ready to share with the world. And I’d love for some people to enjoy reading them. But even if that doesn’t happen, I’ll be happy to stand on the sideline and cheer on others who are getting there.

    Posted by jmmcdowell | September 23, 2013, 2:04 pm
    • JM, I try to do the same! I love the way you describe your blog “as the me I aspire to be” and you are one of the kindest bloggers I know so whatever you’re doing, please keep doing it. I know that I always enjoy stopping at your place and you are what you say you want to be: “helpful and supportive of others in their creative endeavors, whether that’s offering encouragement when someone doubts their abilities or helping writers with “cover reveals” and interviews on their new releases.”

      You are and more than that. I’m always so happy when I see a comment from you — it inspires me as does your wonderful writing. Thank you and Happy Monday.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 23, 2013, 2:10 pm
  8. Nicely said. I do wish a lot of times (now that I’m older) that I had taken advantage of learning about my grandparents when I was with them as a teen. I just viewed them as my grandparents–and that was the end. Oh, the foolishness of youth. But you’re right, we move on and do our best, keep dreaming and aspiring to dreams and become the best Us we can be.

    Posted by char | September 23, 2013, 2:29 pm
    • Hi Char yeah I guess we all do that. I suppose all that foolishness accounts for something though and is just a part of what we go through to become the best we can be, right? That’s what I’d like to think anyway. Thank you, Char.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 23, 2013, 2:42 pm
  9. Ah, I needed this post! Thanks for launching the week with it. I just gave myself a big smooch! T. (Book project? Fiction or non-fiction? Exciting! Where are you in the process?)

    Posted by Theadora Brack | September 23, 2013, 3:36 pm
  10. Life is, or should be, a period of constant growth. I think it’s important, as you allude, to love yourself at any age. I haven’t come to the point where I wish I were younger (although I often wish that “I’d known then what I know now…”), because the life I had when I was younger, wasn’t as good as the one I had now. It was fun–I’m not knocking it, but it wasn’t meaningful. My younger self would be ill-prepared for the life I have now, and I wouldn’t give THAT up for all the tea in China.

    Posted by Smaktakula | September 23, 2013, 6:39 pm
    • Smak, always so good to see you here and read your, as always, well-written and wonderful comments. I don’t wish I were younger and like you, my life is so very good now. Those rough patches prove one’s mettle and maybe it’s best we don’t know when we’re very young. That’d kind of spoil the whole learning the lesson thing, you know? And I’m with you, what I got now, well it’s the best. Thank you.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 23, 2013, 8:30 pm
  11. No, 50 is NOT the new 30. Not by any stretch. Though I think 50 may be better than it’s ever been before. I’m slightly over so I can now speak with some experience! lol

    Re: forgiveness… self first, then others. It takes some humility to really embrace our own faults (admit them first, if we haven’t yet done so… will be a shocker for some who don’t believe they HAVE any faults! lol) and still love ourselves. It may be the biggest reason people find forgiveness so hard; they think it’s something they have to GIVE to someone else when they likely feel they’ve given more than enough already.

    Re: realizing dreams vs realizing that right now is most important… it’s kind of like that candy we used to eat as kids–Now N Laters–remember them? Some you eat now; some you save for later. :)

    Posted by Sue J | September 24, 2013, 12:54 pm
    • Hey Sue, I’m slightly over myself so I know what you speak of my friend! It takes humility, maturity and just going through some stuff to get to that point. But it feels good when you do (forgive yourself) and then as you say, you can forgive others. Holding on to all that stuff is no way to live. Forgiving others is also for one’s self. It feels good to just drop all that negative stuff and let it go.

      The older I get, the more I’m realizing that. That right now, I want it now, just wires me up! I try to remind myself that I’m in a good place and all good things take time. Thank you, Sue. You always bring a fresh and beautiful perspective. Have a stress-less day, ok? :).

      Posted by Brigitte | September 24, 2013, 12:58 pm
  12. You struck a chord with the father comment Brigitte. I remember when i came to know my dad as another human being with hopes and dreams and with successes and failures. Most important, I discovered he had a wonderful sense of humor, that I could tease him, and that we could be friends. –Curt

    Posted by Curt Mekemson | September 24, 2013, 6:14 pm
    • Hi Curt. It’s nice when we remember that, isn’t it? I’m glad you had this time with your Dad and learned something new and wonderful about him. Thank you!

      Posted by Brigitte | September 26, 2013, 5:04 pm
  13. Brig, if I could wish for anything it would be simply to be able to support myself from my writing and not to ever have to work one more second at The Grind which has devoured so my decades of my life, I think I merit combat pay. What I’d like is that cliche: freedom from oppression. I spend so much time working a job I loathe at a company that caters to the 1% but pays the staff wages not much higher than a potato and health insurance. I can’t even afford to have a TV anymore, but I’m surrounded by clueless fat cats leaving their half finished $6 coffees lying around that I have to discard chatting me up about how much they love watching Homeland. They’re completely blind to the ratio of income inequality to foaming at the mouth hostility. Even though there is all this blathering about 50 being the new 30 and “you can have it all” sentiment, I think much of it rings hollow and life is a caste system where it’s close to impossible to ascend to the next level. My energy is not anything like what it was when I was 30 and I don’t think anything gets easier with age, but what’s the alternative? Giving up is defeatist. Yet I view the future with a fat dose of cynicism. Sorry to get Debbie Downer on you, but that’s the report from my trench. Full disclosure: I do get plenty of pleasure and I don’t sit around wallowing in despair, but I am also a realist. It’s a crowded planet and shock of shocks, I am probably far more common than I am unique and the same can be said of just about everyone. Your optimism after all the hell you’ve been through is admirable though.

    Posted by lameadventures | September 24, 2013, 11:29 pm
    • I hear you, V. That’s always been one of mine. I know what it’s like working at a job that you hate. It’s hard to keep that hope alive when you’re doing something you feel is soul-sucking instead of soul-searching! I hate that you’re in an environment like that because trust me, I’ve been there and encountered many similar things — some pretty ugly things — when I once worked in a place that wasn’t a good fit. Eventually I left that place but I can understand your cynicism. I don’t think of you as “common” whatever that means. You’ve actually written a book — you’ve put your soul, your words, your work down on paper and many have read and laughed and felt good after reading them. That’s pretty great, V. I think you have enormous talent which is also great. And I’m not always optimistic. I have my down days too and plenty of them for the past year. But I do know what goes down must go back up. And it will. It does. Thanks, my friend.

      Posted by Brigitte | September 26, 2013, 5:09 pm

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