Friday, January 13, 2012

Does Life Ever Get You Down?

Some of us may think that we have known the hardships, disappointments, sadness, etc. of life like no one else in the world ever has. And we may have. But, comparatively speaking, I am not so sure.

I mean, my brother has never thrown me out of the family. I've not been married multiple times having each attempt end badly. I've never been abused by anyone- physically, mentally, intellectually, verbally, etc. I've never wondered where my next meal will come from or had to 'farm out' my children until I could support them financially or provide for their safety.

I've just completed When Ties Break A Memoir About How to Thrive After Loss and I can honestly say that I have never come across someone in this life who has been through as many...life obstacles, deterrents to happiness...whatever you want to call them. as Margaret Norton has.

So, what sets her apart from any other stories out there? Margaret conquers fears. She clear those insurmountable obstacles. She keeps trying even after experiencing defeat, time after time after time. After time.

I'm pretty sure I would have given up long, long ago. Not to mention held some grudges. But not Margaret.

Want to know how she was able to forgive? How she picked herself back up and started over again every single time? Want to know how she kept plugging along even though every hand she was dealt seemed to be a bad one? Want to know what she has learned through all her trials?

Then you're in luck! Because she's giving away a copy of her book to one of YOU! All you have to do is tell me in the comment section that you'd love to win a copy and you will be entered!

Meanwhile, please enjoy this guest post from Margaret on change.


Change.  Good, Bad or Indifferent?

“You must like change” is a comment I often hear. My family and friends believe that I do change well because I do it frequently.  It’s a skill that I’ve been perfecting my whole life. My father moved seven times before I graduated from high school, forcing me to deal with change as a young child.

When my first husband walked out on me, leaving me with two young children, I was forced to make many difficult changes. Life as I knew it ended and I was angry for a very long time. Why should I have to change because he no longer wanted what I had to offer?

For the past 17 years I’ve worked in the mortgage industry, laid off numerous times. The first time it happened, I was forced to make unwanted lifestyle changes. But each layoff got easier and I came to view those times as new adventures.

What have I learned from all the changes I’ve experienced? If we instigate change does that make it easier? Is change good, bad or indifferent? As I approach my sixtieth birthday, these are my beliefs about change. Most of these I write about in my memoir, When Ties Break. 

  • Change is a vital part of life. Nothing ever stays the same. Dale Carnegie said “When you’re green you’re growing, when you’re ripe you’re rotten.”  I discovered a long time ago that I preferred ripe to rotten and I was the one who could control that. 
  • Change is hard. We get comfortable with our lifestyles. We form patterns, routines, and know what to expect. Even when we’re unhappy, we often choose to stay that way because we fear the unknown. We often go to great links to avoid change. 
  • Attitude is everything. When making a change it is much easier if we focus on the positive. If we fight the inevitable this makes it harder. On the other hand, if we embrace change with a positive attitude it seems to be easier. Some people believe that nothing is good or bad but rather it’s our attitude that creates the circumstances. 
  • Prospective is important. When faced with difficult changes it helps to remember that this too shall pass. Nothing lasts forever. The Bible says there is a time and season for everything. It helps when dealing with unwanted change to remember that this leads to something else. The something else can actually be better than what you have now. 
  • Most of the things that we fear never happen. Change involves the unknown which is the breeding ground for all kinds of fears. “What if” we ask ourselves over and over? Fear of failure prevents many individuals from pursuing change, when in reality most of the things we dread never come to be. 
  • Don’t let anyone else define your goals and dreams or your success and failure. We worry too much about what others think about us. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t value their opinions but we need to learn to trust our intuition. So many times we allow others to talk us out of something because of their fears or insecurities. 
  • What’s your motivation to change? Sometimes we change for all the wrong reasons – to get back at someone, to prove something, etc. This is never a good idea and we end up suffering. Sometimes we put off making a change because of how it might affect someone else. Rather than making spur of the moment – fly by the seat of your pants decisions – its best if you analyze the change before implementing it. Determine what your real motivation is. 
  • Change can be good. It forces us to grow and expand. Different experiences make us more interesting, while increasing our knowledge and making us more rounded individuals.   Sometimes we have to experience the bad before we get to the good. 
  • Develop your sense of humor. Change is stressful and we need outlets to relieve the stress. Don’t take yourself seriously and learn to laugh at yourself. My second husband was better than my first, my third husband was better than my second, and my fourth husband needs to be rich. 
  • It’s okay to ask for help. Some change, like a difficult divorce, is too much to handle alone. Sometimes it’s necessary to consult a professional counselor, rely on the help of a good friend or engage the services of a Personal Life Coach. I just happen to know someone who I can recommend.
 

Interested in more Margaret?
Independent Rep for    http://www.margaretnorton.itworks.net  
Personal Life Coach, Writer, Speaker
Find me on    http://twitter.com/#!/margaretnorton   and   Facebook
Want to win a copy of When Ties Break?
Just leave a comment that you'd like to be entered!

16 comments:

  1. Hi Pam. What a great post, and what an inspirational woman Margaret Norton is. I will certainly put her book on my 'to read' list, but yes please, I would like to be entered in your giveaway. Hope you have a lovely weekend over there, and I hope it keeps cool for you!!

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  2. I would love to win this book!

    I need inspiration and encouragement and sounds like the answer lies within these pages.

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  3. Sounds like an interesting story! Sure, please enter me in the drawing. :-)

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  4. Wow there is a lot there. I think those are all excellent way to live.
    Thanks for sharing about this book. Do I have to say enter me? Okay I just did. Thanks

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  5. I always look for great, inspirational reads - I would love to win a copy of this book. Raw human experience is beautiful, even when its tragic. What a great giveaway! :)

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  6. Sounds like a great book and a strong woman. Thanks for sharing her story with us.

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  7. Probably the hardest step of all - for most of us - is to ask for help.

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  8. Life is hard. I know what it is to be in a verbally mentally abusive relationship. I also finally figured out how to get out. It took me two different teachers to get me there, but I figured it out. Right now I am struggling with cancer. I just lost my dad last year and my aunt is dying. She has less than a week. I am about to embrace a huge change in our family. Change is hard. Especially the ones that leave huge gaping holes in your family. I am finally adjusting to the fact that my ex-husband's kids will never be mine and I have to let that go. Just accept and be whatever those relationships will be. Not easy. It is another change. I am still struggling with trying to get better. I refuse to just roll over and stay sick and that means fighting for change all of the time. I could tell you I want this book, but I think I NEED this book.

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  9. Diane- She is quite an inspiration! You're entered!

    Gail- You are entered! Good luck!

    Judy- Her story is interesting. Especially the way she keeps on trying! You're entered!

    FG- You're right, there is a lot there! And yes, you have to 'say' it. LOL

    MA- I couldn't have said it better myself! You're entered!

    Betty- Her story is incredible- especially her determination.

    Stephanie-Amen to that!

    Robin- Wow. That's an awful lot on your plate but you sound determined. Not unlike Margaret! You're entered! Good luck!

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  10. Sounds like a good read. Thank you for this post. There are some wonderful things to think about and work at.

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  11. I forgot to say that I would like to be entered!

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  12. Excellent guest post by Margaret. I do a fair amount of research with teachers and their students. It is remarkable to me how that fear of uncertainty permeates so much of what and how they teach (teachers) and how they view and engage in learning (students).

    Yes, please. Enter me in that drawing! Happy Friday! Michele

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  13. Debby- You are entered! Thanks! She is very inspiring!

    Michele- That fear of uncertainty is one reason we still live right here. Change is not something I welcome all the time and yet, my experiences haven't been all that negative. Go figure. LOL You're entered! Thanks!

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  14. Sounds like an awesome and great book. Please include me in your drawing.
    Have a great weekend Pam. Blessings!!

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  15. Sign me up dear!I want to win.

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  16. Julie- It was a good read! You are entered!

    Patrice- You're signed up! Winning is great, isn't it? LOL

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It makes me feel connected to everyone even though we may live far apart! Have a wonderful day!

 
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