The Life of Experience and Changing Perspectives

An out-of-state friend and I text back and forth. Setting a time to call and discuss a book we were reading.

(Which of course, often turns into a catch-up-and-gab time. Oh, and let’s-talk-about-the-book before we hang up time.)

We decide to call tomorrow. 2:00

Tomorrow arrives, and after looking at my calendar that morning, I remember the scheduled chat. I even remember once again as I was eating lunch.

Next thing I knew the sun was setting, I was cleaning up dinner plates, and 2:00 had clearly come and gone.

It wasn’t the first self-made plan that hadn’t taken shape at my house. Nor will it be the last.

I know this fact – that plans can fail to turn out as planned — as deeply as I know my name. Time and experience have instilled this in my mind multiple times over. (As if I keep forgetting it and need to be reminded yet again.)

I texted my friend. “Dear me!!! I think we both forgot we were going to talk today at 2:00. Oh well! Life!!”

And I could almost hear her laughing an hour later when she texted back.

Learning from life experiences changes everything. Suddenly those things you thought mattered so much, don't really. Because now you have perspective.Learning from life experiences changes everything. Suddenly those things you thought mattered so much, don't really. Because now you have perspective.Learning from life experiences changes everything. Suddenly those things you thought mattered so much, don't really. Because now you have perspective.

 

Life’s Education.

 

Life has a way of educating us. Smoothing us. Calming us. Providing perspective.

If this had happened in my earlier days, say my 20’s. I would have been horrified I forgot to call. Embarrassed and worried when she didn’t call me. Stressed that I had somehow given her the wrong impression of me or my intensions. I may have even worried it into a shape bigger than a bread box and asked my husband’s opinion. By bedtime, I would have worried it into the shape of an empty room complete with a trapped rhino.

And this I know for a fact. Rhinos are not good bed fellows. They keep you up with all their moving and leg kicking. And then their horn is pretty sharp, so you have to be careful of where their head is located, in relation to you.

By the first light of dawn, I would have had blood shot eyes from lack of sleep. And convinced myself that I was now facing a mini crisis.

I do not miss those sleepless days where I doubted and mico-analyzed myself and life.

Nope, I have told that rhino to sleep elsewhere. That the bed is to small for him to sleep with me anymore.

Yup, after life educating me over and over with anything and everything not going as planned, and still the world not collapsing in on itself like a black hole sucking me into another dimension, I am much calmer and am able to take things more in stride.

At least most of the time.

Because I am done with churning stomachs and stress and worry turning into a downward funnel that sucks my joy into nothingness.

Well, at least most days.

And if I catch myself soon enough, the rhino is only a squirrel.

Learning from life experiences changes everything. Suddenly those things you thought mattered so much, don't really. Because now you have perspective.

 

In the big scheme of things (and life), it probably doesn’t matter that much.

 

That’s what I have learned over the years.

After many mishaps and things going zig and zag, instead of linear as I planned in my Day-Timer and brain. I have realized that most things don’t carry as much weight as I initially think they may.

What things? You may be asking?

Not getting dinner made.

Forgetting someone’s name and calling them something totally unrelated.

Little boys peeing in the front yard. 

Babies shooting things from both ends onto my clothes.

Showing up a day late for a birthday party.

Tossing the unopened Amazon box out and the garbage team collecting it before I remember.

Forgetting to bring food to the potluck.

My son’s bird pooping on a guest.

My child having a meltdown during church.

Being late. Being early. Not even showing up.

Not getting the bible study lesson read before the meeting.

Burning dinner minutes before company arrives.

Forgetting to call my friend at 2:00.

Yup. Things like this happen to most people. (Even if they don’t admit it.)

This is all just part of life. (Or at least my life.)

Learning from life experiences changes everything. Suddenly those things you thought mattered so much, don't really. Because now you have perspective.Learning from life experiences changes everything. Suddenly those things you thought mattered so much, don't really. Because now you have perspective.Learning from life experiences changes everything. Suddenly those things you thought mattered so much, don't really. Because now you have perspective.

 

The benefits of perspective.

 

Finally learning that life rarely goes as planned, but instead takes detours and crosses mountain passes without warning, has its benefits.

I am calmer.

I can laugh at myself and life more.

I can save my energy for more important things, like that afternoon nap.

I can just breathe and let it go.

And I try not to base my worth on what I do or don’t do.

I have also leaned grace and compassion for myself and others. (Because I see their life not going as planned sometimes!)

Yup, if your kid has a meltdown in swim class, I am more sympathetic and don’t judge. I think, hey, I can relate. And will probably toss you a smile and words of encouragement. Because I have been there.

That’s the great thing about the Life of Experience. It slowly chips away and changes your perspective.

You begin to take yourself and the detours of life a little less seriously.

And that’s a beautiful thing.

Learning from life experiences changes everything. Suddenly those things you thought mattered so much, don't really. Because now you have perspective.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


Having trouble enjoying life? Reconciling your current reality with how you wish life really was? Get a free PDF with 12 tips to help you enjoy your life right now. Subscribe and join the journey. You will also receive weekly encouragement and hope tied up with some humor. Because life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: How has your perspective changed over the years?

Learning from life experiences changes everything. Suddenly those things you thought mattered so much, don't really. Because now you have perspective.

May link up at Kelly Balarie (#purposeful faitht), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Maree Dee (#Grace & Truth), and Kristin Hill Taylor (#porchstories).


Sometimes you meet a friendly, but wild squirel, who wants a little petting!

Learning from life experiences changes everything. Suddenly those things you thought mattered so much, don't really. Because now you have perspective.Learning from life experiences changes everything. Suddenly those things you thought mattered so much, don't really. Because now you have perspective.Learning from life experiences changes everything. Suddenly those things you thought mattered so much, don't really. Because now you have perspective.

Learning from life experiences changes everything. Suddenly those things you thought mattered so much, don't really. Because now you have perspective.

Why Flowers?

Flower pictures are my go-to pictures. They pop up everywhere.

Why flowers, you may be thinking? Doesn’t she have any friends or know any people?

Attempting to get to the bottom of your questions, and my fascination with flowers, I conducted a Q & A.

 

It is hard for me to see flowers and not be happy. They make me smile due to their cheeriness and bright colors. They remind me of sunshine and warm weather.It is hard for me to see flowers and not be happy. They make me smile due to their cheeriness and bright colors. They remind me of sunshine and warm weather.It is hard for me to see flowers and not be happy. They make me smile due to their cheeriness and bright colors. They remind me of sunshine and warm weather.Question: Do you have any camera skills?

Answer: None. Zip. I see people with those fancy cameras turning the round lens thing and I wish I knew what they were doing. I have a simple phone camera, which I keep trying to remember not to hold upside down.

I grew up with an old-style camera. Yes, back in the day when cameras used rolls of film. Film cost money. And was not to be wasted. In those days, I took one photo, two if it was a special occasion, and hoped no more than half the people had their eyes closed or were blurry when the film was finally developed (which cost more money).

Here is how I learned to take pictures. I stepped back from the people. Stepped back some more. And then retreated even more. I wanted as much background as possible. (A whole mountain was better than part of a mountain.) People were an accessory to the photo. Also, the farther back you were, the less you saw that someone was picking their nose, scrunching their eyes closed, or slapping their sibling.

It is hard for me to see flowers and not be happy. They make me smile due to their cheeriness and bright colors. They remind me of sunshine and warm weather.Question: How come you don’t you use photos with people?

Answer: Everyone I know hates getting their picture taken. Seriously!  You should hear them complain and moan when they see a camera pointed at them. If and when I do happen to catch them in a picture, they are usually making faces, holding up rabbit ears, looking seriously pained, or not paying attention.

My family also wants no social foot print. Which according to the fine print, means no photos.

Not to be deterred, I once spent a day trying to get random people to pose for me at the grocery store, the park, and around town. They turned out to be even more uncooperative than my family and friends.

It is hard for me to see flowers and not be happy. They make me smile due to their cheeriness and bright colors. They remind me of sunshine and warm weather.Question: Why not use stock photos?

Answer: I have a hard-enough time deciding what to wear every morning. Trying to find the right stock photo for my posts seems about as complicated as filing my taxes.  (If A applies, move to B. If B applies, turn to Z. If Z applies, order form 2564 via reindeer mail.)

 

Question: How did you decide on flowers? 

Answer: I was thinking about stating a blog and noticed that pictures were necessary. I already knew I could not use photos of my house or family. I also had no miniature goats, fluffy chickens, talking squirrels, or anything I deemed picture worthy.

That winter we were in Hawaii at the botanical garden and I about fell over when I walked into the lush canopy and saw the flowers. These were not your typical daisy and pansy flowers. These were exotic flowers like I had never seen before.

Suddenly I had the urge to capture them on camera.  I kept taking closer and closer photos of the flowers. My son was helping me by pointing out flowers and cheering me on. I remember turning to him about 10 photos in and said, “Why don’t I post pictures of flowers on my blog?” He praised my idea, and the rest is history.

It is hard for me to see flowers and not be happy. They make me smile due to their cheeriness and bright colors. They remind me of sunshine and warm weather.Question: Why close ups of flowers?

Answer: I want viewers to focus on the flowers, not be distracted by the background. Flowers are so fragile, delicate, and beautiful. When I see them close up, I am reminded of the glory of God and his attention to small details.

 

Question: Have you always loved flowers?

Answer: No. I never thought about them until I was in my 20’s and charged with keeping some geraniums alive. I was sure I would kill them. They survived, despite me.

Powered by the geranium success, I filled our first deck with 20 pots of roses and flowers. The next year my husband double dug a huge flower garden for me. I planted 50 roses and all sorts of flowers. The more I took care of them, the more I was fascinated by them.

It would be years, though, before I thought about taking pictures of them.

It is hard for me to see flowers and not be happy. They make me smile due to their cheeriness and bright colors. They remind me of sunshine and warm weather.

Question: When it comes to taking pictures, how are flowers and people different?

Answer: Are you serious? There is no comparison.

1. Flowers don’t back talk and whine when you want to take their picture.

2. Flowers stay rooted in place. They don’t run away or make faces while you are trying to capture their image.

3. Flowers can’t hide your camera to keep you from taking their picture.

4. Flowers are always smiling.

5. Flowers don’t need to be told to hurry up and get ready for a picture. They are always ready.

6. Flowers require no bribing. (“Come on, people. Please! Just one picture. And if you let me take 2 pictures, you can have pizza.”)

 

Question: Do you still like flowers?

Answer: Yes. It is hard for me to see flowers and not be happy. They make me smile. They are cheery. Their colors are so bright. They remind me of sunshine and warm weather.

Flowers can be an extravagant or simple gift. I want readers of my blog to receive a bouquet of flowers every time they visit.  I want them to feel happy, cared for, and loved. Flowers do this for me, and hopefully they do it for my readers.

 

It is hard for me to see flowers and not be happy. They make me smile due to their cheeriness and bright colors. They remind me of sunshine and warm weather. Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: Leave any other questions for Theresa below, and she will gladly answer them.

It is hard for me to see flowers and not be happy. They make me smile due to their cheeriness and bright colors. They remind me of sunshine and warm weather.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

It is hard for me to see flowers and not be happy. They make me smile due to their cheeriness and bright colors. They remind me of sunshine and warm weather.Why do I use flower pictures and not people or something else? #Humer

15 Ways to Kill a Friendship (What Not to Do)

Perhaps you are someone with too many friends.

They flock to you like ants to chocolate frosting. They take your time and energy, giving little in return. Instead of being a joy, they are turning into a chore.

Well I am here to help.

Follow these 15 steps and you will kill your current friendships. Even halt future friendships. And don’t worry, these steps work on all types of relationships. Mates, co-workers, besties, children of all ages, peeps, pesky you know who’s, and neighbors. Pretty much on anybody, except maybe your loyalist dog.

I do have a few warnings. Make sure you are ready to start?  Killing a friendship can take some concentrated effort. Sometimes even some hard work. It can also take some time. Some friends drop quickly, others take longer. Make sure this is what you want. Once you start implementing these 15 ideas, you won’t be able to return to the earlier days.

Wondering how to kill a friendship? Here are 15 things you can do to guarantee your friendships dissolve. Or you can do the opposite of this and build and encourage your current friendships.Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Wondering how to kill a friendship? Here are 15 things you can do to guarantee your friendships dissolve. Or you can do the opposite of this and build and encourage your current friendships.15 ways to kill a friendship:

 

1. Compare yourself with them. Always and for everything. If you win, you can feel smug and superior. Don’t forget to point out to them that you are better than them in this area. If they win, you can pout, dislike them, and be jealous. Either way, it causes friction between the two of you and helps the friendship turn south.

2.Make them feel guilty for their good fortune. Whine, complain, and show them the injustice of their place in life whenever they are doing better than you. Play the victim. Question why life is so hard on you in multiple texts and conversations. Wallow in your envy. The goal is to make them feel bad

3. Always think the worst of them. Are they late for your date? Assume it is because they are avoiding you. Did they forget to wish you happy birthday by 8 AM? Assume they hate you and are trying to ignore you. Did they buy their favorite ice cream and not yours? Assume it is because you don’t matter anymore, and they have a new and better friend.

You may have to work at this. But eventually with practice you will get the hang of assuming the worst. Remember every action, communication, manner, and situation can be seen negatively.

Wondering how to kill a friendship? Here are 15 things you can do to guarantee your friendships dissolve. Or you can do the opposite of this and build and encourage your current friendships.4. Don’t ever make the first move. We are playing a game of chicken here. Don’t call first (unless you are calling to whine and complain per #2). Instead, make them call you. Don’t text to see how they are doing. Make them text you to see how you are doing.

Think about it this way. You are to busy and important to think about them. Wonder about them. Or plain spend any time on them. When, and only after they have made the first move, then get back to them. But not to quickly. Remember, their job is to pursue you, not the other way around.

5. Never encourage or compliment them. There are enough special snowflakes already. Don’t make any more.

Your job is not to hand out false praise and dangerously build them up. No, be practical and helpful. Offer liberal criticism and let them know their faults and where they need improvement. You can be the friend that helps them reach their potential and teaches them that life is not eating a bowl of cherries on an amusement ride. Life is hard, demanding, striving for perfection.  Teach them their best is never quite good enough for you.

6. Focus on yourself. Talk only of yourself. Brag about yourself and your accomplishments. Promote your ideas and opinions. The last thing you want to do is ask them a question or their opinion. Remember, it is all about you.

7. Never apologize or admit you are wrong. If they try to point the accusation spotlight on you, blame and shame them. Intimidate them. Make excuses and then point out how they are more in the wrong than you.

If they apologize first, still don’t apologize. Step back and thank them for their apology. Then focus on how they were wrong, giving suggestions on how they can do a better job in the future. Make sure they are penitent enough before once again extending the olive oil of friendship.

Wondering how to kill a friendship? Here are 15 things you can do to guarantee your friendships dissolve. Or you can do the opposite of this and build and encourage your current friendships.Wondering how to kill a friendship? Here are 15 things you can do to guarantee your friendships dissolve. Or you can do the opposite of this and build and encourage your current friendships.8. Put them down and make fun of them. Take every possible opportunity to make them the heel of the joke. If they don’t laugh, tell them you are just joking. Then accuse them of being to serious and not having a sense of humor.

9. Pretend you are perfect. Show no vulnerability. You want them to think you have life figured out and you have everything together. If you don’t, well don’t tell them.

10. Be kinder to yourself than you are to them. Give yourself grace and patience and many tries to get something right. But don’t extend these to them unless they really have worked hard and deserve it. Give them an inch and they will want the Grand Canyon.

11. Hold a grudge for as long as you can. Show them you have more will power than they do. And when you finally decide to loosen the grip of your grudge, bring the incident which prompted the grudge up on a continual and regular basis.

12. Expect more from them than you do yourself. You have high and exacting standards and expectations for yourself, and that has made you into who you are today. Do them a favor and have high expectations and standards for them. You will be helping them see where they have room for improvement.

Always find something they didn’t quite do right and point it out to them. Remember you are doing them a service and trying to get them to achieve their potential. Being disappointed in them is a great motivator.

13. Gossip about them. Feel free to share all the gossip you hear about them (or you learn about them firsthand) with your other friends and acquaintances. If you are trying to help them, or someone in the process, gossip is good.

14. Make everything in life a competition. Provide some friendly fun by competing in every area of life with them. Make sure you have the greatest husband. The cutest dog. The best dressed children. The most volunteer hours. The highest heels. The reddest dress. The sexiest smile. The most social likes.

See number 6. Brag and then brag some more to encourage them to strive harder. Which in turn keeps you working and doing your best to win. See number 2 if they are pulling ahead in any category.

15. Constantly correct them. Especially in front of others. This will alert them to areas where they need improvement. Correct their grammar. “The correct word is ‘affect,’ not ‘effect.'” Their posture. “Stand up straight. You look like a limp pole.” Their stories. “It was January and the time was 3:52.” Their facts. “Everyone knows people love chocolate ice cream more, not vanilla.” Focus on all the glaring little faults you see.

Little things can make or ruin an image. Once again think of it as doing them a service. Sure, they may glare at you in the moment, but years down the road they may be contacting you via Instagram to thank you for helping them become a better and sharper image of them self.

 

It’s your choice.

 

Now that you know what will make many of your friends start running for cover and away from you, leaving only your toughest skinned and ready to grow and improve themselves friends, you can start implementing these 15 items.

If on the other hand, you want a few more friends. Or want to encourage the ones you currently have, then I suggest you do exactly the opposite of the above. Not only will you be well liked. You may win the best friend of the year award.

And as you will have not driven all your friends away, you can host a large party and celebrate together. Because that’s what real friends do.

Wondering how to kill a friendship? Here are 15 things you can do to guarantee your friendships dissolve. Or you can do the opposite of this and build and encourage your current friendships.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 

P.S. Want to know why we need friendships, take a look at The Friendship Moment of Change. And if you are looking for ideas about what you and your friends can do, see When Was Your Last Playdate?


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What things have you seen dissolve a friendship faster than a melting ice cube?   

Wondering how to kill a friendship? Here are 15 things you can do to guarantee your friendships dissolve. Or you can do the opposite of this and build and encourage your current friendships.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Wondering how to kill a friendship? Here are 15 things you can do to guarantee your friendships dissolve. Or you can do the opposite of this and build and encourage your current friendships.

Wondering how to kill a friendship? Here are 15 things you can do to guarantee your friendships dissolve. Or you can do the opposite of this and build and encourage your current friendships. #relationships #friendships #humor