The last few weeks have been ones of introspection for me…I’ve been thinking about my past–mistakes, triumphs, goals reached, etc. I thought about all the things that I wished I could do differently, but then I corrected myself and realized that there is nothing that I would change. If some things had not happened then I would not be who I am today. Every person who has ever walked away, every mistake I have ever made, and every goal I have ever reached have all molded me into the woman who stands strong now. Without those things, I believe I would be a completely different person. Thinking about that reminds me of the food we eat. Many of us cannot eat food without adding some seasoning to it. The most usual seasoning is salt. Without salt, many foods are bland and inedible. We do not appreciate the foods as much because they do not have a pleasant taste on our palates. I envision myself much like those foods. In my natural state I was good, but there was nothing extraordinary about me. I needed some things to make me more palatable. When things started to happen in my life, some things I wanted and many things that I would not have wanted to go through, these all added seasoning to my life. This is especially the case with the mistakes I made, and the lessons I had to learn because of those mistakes. My mess ups humbled me, and they took away my pride. Instead of arrogance, I learned confidence. Instead of judgment, I learned empathy. All of this occurred because I messed up. Because I became confident, empathetic, and humble instead of arrogant, judgmental, and prideful, this allowed people to be able to “digest” me more. My flavor was more in demand because the experiences added salt to my life. So when I look back on things now, I see that each experience was a different seasoning. I no longer stress when things go differently than I planned. I see each experience as a necessary one to my growth and development. The end result is this. Know that is ok when you experience things that were unplanned, or you make a mistake. Everything that happens in your life adds to your flavor, and in the end it’s all going to make you better. After all, we all need a little salt.
As I look around I am overwhelmed by all the red and pink balloons, flowers, candy, etc. It seems that everywhere I look there is something hinting towards Valentine’s. I could not escape the day if I wanted to. But why would I want to? I realize that Valentine’s has become extremely commercialized. People can go the rest of the year hating each other, but on that one day everyone wants to have someone to express their love to. It does not matter to some that their expression of love is temporary, and the next day they will be back to trying to fill the void that was never quite filled to begin with. There is some good to the day though. The entire point of Valentine’s is to express love to someone who is special in our lives. I enjoy expressing love, and I love to give. I am one who will indulge in the many gifts and bundles of candy available for Valentine’s simply because I love giving to someone else even if I get nothing in return. I realize the commercialism, but for me it is just another opportunity to give. Unlike some, I give throughout the year, so Valentine’s is just another day to give to the people I care the most about. I have heard it said already that some hate Valentine’s because it is depressing, or some hate Valentine’s because it is commercialized. Admittedly, Valentine’s has become a bit much; however, holidays and special occasions are what we make of them. We can spend our time being upset. We can disdain Valentine’s Day, or we can take the opportunity to show love, even if we are not in a relationship. I am really big on self-love, so Valentine’s is a great day to shower one’s self with love–pamper yourself. Take yourself out to dinner. These are things that even if I were single I would do because Valentine’s is about love, and love starts with me.
Today was one of those days when I had a moment to do nothing, and I chose to use that moment playing a game of solitaire on my cell phone. I played a few games, then I came to one game that frustrated me. I could see that I was supposed to win that game, but I could not see how. Because I could not see how I could reach the end result of winning that particular game, I started to press the reset button to begin a new game. Right before I pressed the button for a new game, I saw the exact card I needed to help me win the game. It was funny to me that a solitaire game taught me a lesson about life. Life, while serious, can be equated to a game of solitaire in which you have to choose which card to play at a given time. Your choice of cards determines the outcome. Sometimes with solitaire you get stuck and then you have to start all over. Other times you think you’re stuck and then you find the exact card you need to win the game. Still, at other times, you may just need to step away from the game briefly to get a fresh perspective. Such is life. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut, and we have to start over. Other times we seem to find exactly what we need at the time we need it. Then there are those times when we are completely frustrated, and it does not seem like anything will ever work out in the end. In those times it helps to step away from the problem for a moment and come back to it in a new frame of mind. Unfortunately life is not as inconsequential as a game of solitaire, so in either of these situations we have to make sure we are making the right choice. What we decide in a moment can have repercussions for years. Know that it is possible though, when things are completely annoying, or we do not know which way to turn, to still win in the end. Instead of allowing our frustration to overshadow the solution that may be waiting when we take another look, we have to be able to take a breath. So while life is not a game, we can learn something from a simple game of solitaire. There may be many cards to play, and some hands you may lose, but in the end it is guaranteed that you will win at least one hand. Maybe you think that you have been dealt cards out of the wrong deck your entire life. Maybe it even seems that you cannot see a solution to your current problem. Know that in the end if you keep pushing then you will win.