The Start of a New Year

Attention!

Attention…

It is January 28!

We are well on our way to the rest of the year, folks. Three weeks have passed and the new year’s resolutions for most have died off or disappeared. What have the last few weeks held in store for you? How has your year treated you so far? Are you sticking with your new year’s resolutions? Have you accomplished any goals?

My year has proved busy, successful and well, unexpected. I’ve…

Worked quite a bit,
Gone to the stock show,
Drank approximately 32 ounces of water every day (or more),
Attended a mammoth game,
Had a few beers,
Encouraged a few writer friends to pursue their dreams and keep going,
Helped organize and clean an office,
Tried a new restaurant,
Started taking an online marketing course,
Actively participated in watching football,
Mourned Alan Rickman’s death,
Drank some wine,
Played some Sims 3 and Sims 4,
Started cooking at home more,
Started packing better lunches for work,
Posted more social media content,
Took more pictures,
And drew a panda (featured image), just to list a few.

All in all? It’s not a bad start. Drinking water, for me, was a big one. I was lucky if I managed to drink 8 ounces all day. Now I’m finishing off at least 32 ounces, or more, within the day before five o’clock.

And football?
Oh man, football. I’m not a huge fan. Never really have been, but I made a point to try and attempt to pay attention, know the scores and be enthusiastic when the right team scored.

I didn’t set any specific new year resolutions, necessarily. Why? Partly, I was lazy in planning and didn’t know what I wanted to fix. I’m a mess in so many areas and when looking in the mirror, I couldn’t figure out where to start.

With that in mind, it seemed hopeless. I felt like I should have some sort of epic, award-winning moment in my life that would spill all of the knowledge I needed as soon as the clock struck midnight.

Do you know what really happened? I watched the ball drop and then glanced around the faces on the television to see their reactions. Most were laughing and having a blast. Then my gaze focused on Demi Lovato’s expression on the screen.

Her smile turned upside down, but only in the corners of her mouth. Her eyes lost the glimmer for a few small seconds. I watched her look around and she seemed unhappy, envious of those around her. For a moment, I knew that we were in the same boat. We were disappointed. The confetti fell from the sky and people were everywhere but there were no award-winning moments, no grandiose light shows nor words of wisdom.

Now, I don’t know her personally. I’ve never met her or had the pleasure of conversing with her. But I know what unhappy looks like. I felt like I could relate with the “so… this is it” expression. It was as if she didn’t want to enjoy the moment she was in, though everyone else around her were. I could relate. It was as if we both realized one thing…

It was just another year, another time, another midnight.

Every year, we get older. Every year, we watch the time fade and we wonder what happened. I didn’t want to feel like that anymore and personally decided to make this year one to find and enjoy the things that I love. I want to learn more about me and do what I want to do. I hope beyond all hope that I am wrong about Demi and that maybe she really wasn’t feeling well. Or maybe she naturally smiles like that. I will never know for certain.

What I do know?
Life is far too short to not enjoy what we’re doing with it.

You only get one life, one moment to take that chance, one shot to make your life what you want it to be.

What will your face look like next year, when you watch the ball drop for another year? Will you regret what you’ve done? Or will your entire body be filled with elation that everyone around you can’t help but smile with you? Are you doing what makes you happy? Something you’re passionate about?

If not, what are you waiting for?

Don’t wait for everyone else. If you do, you’ll be standing in a crowded room on New Year’s Eve wondering what your life means. You run the risk of being unhappy or disappointed with the “new year.”

Embrace this life.

Embrace you.

Until next time, my darlings…

– Shay <3

Journey of Chaos: Encouragement and Positivity

Everyone needs encouragement.
Whether we want to admit it or not.

We crave it.

I am most guilty of all.
I look to other people and their affirmations in order to encourage myself. Now, this isn’t always bad… But it can be! Here’s why.

1.) I think that I’m doing a horrible job until someone tells me otherwise.
2.) I won’t ask for someone to tell me I’m doing a good job, or set them up, but when they don’t, it makes me sad.
3.) I watch as others compliment another person’s hard work, and notice that they ignore mine.

Moral of the story?

I get jealous.
When I see others getting “encouraging words” or recognition of sorts (like a raise, or a thank you note), I instantly get jealous. It’s almost like, “Hey now… I do that stuff too… Why didn’t anyone notice me for doing that?” Let me just say, that’s not the frame of mind that I want to have. Let’s continue, shall we?

I get discouraged.
I watch as others get congratulated or rewarded then automatically think that I’m doing something wrong. I’m not doing anything wrong! I am doing everything humanly possible when I give my 100%, I just have to remember that.

I feel defeated/down.
My mood changes based on the encouragement levels that I receive. Ultimately, I shouldn’t let my mood change or fluctuate based on others. That’s a downward spiral waiting to combust. I want a healthier, steadier life. (:

I know that it’s not healthy.
I can’t rely on others to make me feel worth it, or good enough. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with those scenarios. Most of which leave me in a depressed state. No one -wants- to be depressed. Or, at least, I hope not…

So I start with me.

I allow myself time for just me. Time to get ready, time to eat, time to write, time to sleep, the list goes on and on. This isn’t verbal, but it helps me to realize that the time that I dedicate to myself is worth it. It’s valuable, for me and -only I- can dedicate that time to me.

I read encouraging things. Often times, we’re bombarded with negative news, stories and events from others, including stress. If I give myself something to read that I know will be beneficial, then it’s going to give me something positive to think about.

I think of the things that I’m grateful for. Listing my thankful items, even if it’s only three, puts me in a better mindset and helps me stay positive throughout the day because it takes the focus off of me.

I encourage others. Again, adjusting my focus to something other than myself helps me stay positive. It’s not that others don’t see what I’m doing, rather, it’s everyone is so busy that we don’t take time to tell others how they’re doing and how they help you.

Selfishly?
I want to hear all of the good that I do and what I do right.
We all do.
But, life isn’t like that.

All I can hope to do is try to encourage another person so that they don’t have to feel that way. We’re a team on this earth. It’s time we started acting like it. (;

So I challenge each of you, my dear readers. Make it a point to tell people positive, encouraging and truthful things. [Don’t feed blanket statements or lies.] Fill your environment with positivity and encouraging truths. You might be surprised by the change it makes in your life as well as theirs.

Remember: You are important! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If the environment you are in today is not the one you want, transform it. You are powerful and have the ability to do whatever you choose.

How do you stay encouraged? How do you stay positive? What do you say/do daily to make your environment better? Feel free to share your encouraging thoughts and activities in the comment section.

Until Next Time,
Shay <3

P.s. Keep an eye out for tips on how to encourage others in my post: 15 Inexpensive Ways to Encourage. It should be here before the end of the year. (;