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All Is Well In My World… When I Practice Acceptance

Acceptance is really the key to happiness. When I accept that things are exactly as they are supposed to be, and the people in my life are exactly who they are supposed to be, all is well in my world.

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When things are bothering me, and I am feeling unsettled, the truth is that it is because I am finding some person, place, thing, or situation unacceptable to me. I read that recently and it has stuck with me. It made me realize that those occasional feelings of uneasiness, the trouble sleeping, the anxious thoughts… they are a result of me wishing that some person would act better, or that situation would resolve itself, and so on.

I have to remind myself of one very important truth. That truth is that nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. I believe that to the core of my being. If I am trying to control another person or a situation, I am saying that I know better than God.

So the bottom line is this… I have to accept that things are the way they are supposed to be, whether I like it or not. If I can honestly accept that, only then can I find the peace.

Today, I have that sense of peace. Today, I concentrate on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes, instead of looking at what needs to be changed in my world. When I can accept that I am who I am, and things are as they are supposed to be, then all will be well with my world!

~ Patti Crowley

 

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Old Age Beats the Alternative

alternativeThis cracked me up… It is exactly how I feel today. One year closer to half a century old. Okay, okay, so I have a few years left before I turn the big 5-0. For the past 6-7 years, I have said each year on my birthday that old age is still far better than the alternative. Oh, how true!

Growing older brings about feelings of what we could’ve done, should’ve done, and have yet to do before time runs out. Pretty dismal thoughts, right? But the truth is, I am at a place in my life where I simply do not want to live with regrets. I wake up each day and try to do the next right thing. Sure, there are things I have yet to do. I will get to them, and hopefully sooner rather than later.

So today is my birthday. My children are still in Illinois, and I am here in Arizona. I miss them so very much, but they both called to wish me a happy birthday. Trust me, the fact that my 21 year old son remembered AND actually called me is a miracle in and of itself. Not having them here gives me too much time to think about the actual birthday event, and in thinking of turning 47, I suppose I should be making a bucket list. Then I wonder, “What’s the point?” As things come up that I want to do or accomplish, I can either set my mind to make them happen, like making this move to Arizona, or I can decide they aren’t really all that important after all. I look at people who have made up bucket lists with things like the following:

1. Climb Mt. Everest.

2. Skydive.

3. Drive a race car.

I mean, seriously, how important are these types of bucket list items? If you want to climb Mt. Everest, start collecting your spare change in a jar marked “mountains”.  If you want to drive a race car, post something on facebook. Chances are you have a friend somewhere, who knows someone, who knows someone with a race car hobby.

I say, forget the lists. Start living now. Want something to happen? Damnit, make it happen. Have a dream? Start living it right this very minute. There is no dream worth putting off. If it seems unattainable, figure out a way to make it attainable. Where there is a will, there is a way. Believe me on this!

~ Patti Crowley

Life Isn’t About Finding Yourself… It’s About Creating Yourself

Browsing around Barnes and Noble, I saw a plaque with the following saying on it:

Creating yourself

Believe it or not, I had never heard that quote before. The funny thing is, when I moved from IL to AZ just under a month ago, many of my friends asked if I was trying to find myself. I laughed it off, and said that I’ve been looking for a long time and haven’t found anything yet!

I suppose that answers the question for me. I will never “find” myself. The only self I will be showing to the world is the self which I create. I don’t want to find myself… Instead, I want to create the me that I want to be.

We have the power to be who we want to be, do what we want to do, and go where we want to go. I proved that to myself by picking up my life, packing it all in a 20 foot U-Haul truck, and moving myself across the country on a leap of faith. I want to create a “me” with whom I could see myself being best friends. Think about it… don’t we all want to be the person that others want to be around.

I am creating, and re-creating, myself each and every day. I am not looking to find out who I am. I will never know that for sure. So here I sit, writing, looking forward to each new day, and praying for the guidance to help me be the best ME I can be!

~ Patti Crowley

Laughter is an Instant Vacation

laughterI have not laughed as much in years as I have this past week. Having my daughter here in town with her best friend has been wonderful. There has not been a dull moment, to say the least. Why is it that when you finally settle down after a huge laughing session, that you feel so spent? What an amazing feeling!

Milton Berle said it best: “Laughter is an instant vacation.” I have spent many years taking myself too seriously, drudging through each day as if I was on some sort of mission, thinking only of the destination instead of the journey. But it is when we live in each moment that we find the most happiness. I remember working myself to exhaustion, just trying to get through until my next day off. But I can have an instant vacation if I simply live in the moment and enjoy every second, finding humor in mundane things.

The other night I went down to the pool with the girls after a long day at work. They were reenacting the scene from Dirty Dancing where Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey were practicing lifts in the lake. Now, may I remind you that these girls are 18 years old. I laughed so hard that I was crying. I realize this is one of those stories where you “had to be there” to find it funny, but I had to pass it along anyway.

lifts

As I sat there with my feet in the pool and tears streaming down my face, I realized that this week, I have been living in the moment. Even at my new job, I have been enjoying getting to know the residents in the community which I manage. I have been taking the time to laugh with them, and listen to their stories, even though I may have files piling up which I know I will get to eventually. It is those little things that make life worthwhile. Laughing at silly stories, taking time to look at the mountains on my drive in to work, sipping a cup of fresh coffee that has just been brewed.

Life is beautiful, not to mention FUNNY, if we simply take the time to look around.

~ Patti Crowley

 

 

I Searched For My Soul

I searched for my soul but my soul I could not see.seeking

I searched for God but he eluded me.

I searched for my brother and found all three. Anon

 

This was heard last night, spoken by a new friend. I had to ask him to repeat it, as it took my breath away, literally. As a woman who just moved across country, alone, I found myself feeling a bit isolated one evening. All of the anticipation of this move, all of the excitement of a fresh start, a new career, and unlimited potential, slipped away for one short evening. However, that short evening felt like an eternity as the reality of my life appeared before me.

I came here to the mountains for many things. But the most important thing which I was seeking, was serenity. I prayed, hoping to find answers, and hoping to seek my soul that I had believed was hidden deep within the chaos of my life back home. But it is within me, waiting to be brought out. I thought I might find God, here in the mountains. But the truth of the matter is this… when I can connect with another human being, on a spiritual level, I have the opportunity to see my God and my soul…. maybe they are one in the same.

So, I will not isolate. I will continue to get out and say hello to every stranger I meet. For it is in connecting with another human being that I will find for what it is that I am looking. This cannot be misinterpreted as meaning that I will only find happiness in another. I believe we, as humans, are meant to connect with others. We cannot survive in isolation. We crave the human touch. We crave that personal connection we find in others. So I will seek those things daily. In so doing, I hope to find all of the wonderful things I have hoped to find. Truthfully, I don’t need to live near the mountains to find it, but it sure makes it more fun for me! 🙂

~ Patti Crowley

See Ya Later


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Last week, I piled everything I own on a truck, hooked my car up for the tow, and drove from Chicago to Arizona. To say this was challenging would be putting it mildly. However, the real challenge was leaving behind my kids, who I hope will eventually join me permanently. My 22 year old son is already out living on his own, but my 18 year old daughter will be staying behind her first year to attend her freshman year of college in IL. She is planning to move to AZ next year to attend school here. But for now, this is the hardest thing I have ever done. I did not realize how much I would miss her. I kept saying to her, “Meg, it’s okay. It will just be like you are leaving me to go to college a little early.” The truth is… I was the one leaving her.

I was in my 30’s, married with children, when my parents decided to pack up and move to Nevada. I was devastated, and thought they were being selfish. But as time went on, I understood that it was something they had desperately wanted to do, maybe even needed to do. They spent the last years of their lives enjoying life in the mountains.

So as Megan and I packed up all of our things, we had different boxes for her. Some were labeled “Arizona”, for when she comes to visit, and others were labeled “college”. We sat on the floor of her room packing those boxes, and I believe that is when the reality of it all set in. I always worried that I would have such a rough time when my baby left for college, but here I was doing the leaving first.

Saying goodbye was heartbreaking, for both of us. But it isn’t goodbye… just see ya later! As I drove away, with tears in my eyes, hauling everything I own in that 20 foot truck, I realized what I carried on that truck was just STUFF. What I really have is love… love for my children, love for the friends I left behind, and love of the life we have all built together. None of that goes away… life changes, relationships change… but they don’t end. Meg comes out to visit this weekend, and I cannot wait to see her! When she leaves to go back and prepare for her first year of college, it won’t be goodbye. We will just say, “See ya later”.

~ Patti Crowley

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Coming Out of the Fog

fog

 

St. Roberts, Missouri was the first stop along my 27 hour journey from Illinois to Arizona.  I did not intend to stop, since I was determined to drive later into that first night. However, when I was driving along the winding, hilly road at around 11pm, I found myself driving in and out of a thick fog. I would get up to the top of a hill, become blinded by the fog, only to drop down into a clearing. This up and down, in and out, went on for several miles, until I finally decided it was time to play it safe and find a place to sleep for the night.

I woke early, refreshed, and ready to start back out on my journey. Driving long distances gives one plenty of time to think and reflect. I thought about that fog, and how I had felt such anxiety while in the midst of it, only to come out on the other end into a place of clarity. As the fog was in my rear view mirror, I had felt such a sense of relief and peace at having come out of it.

Such has been my life. How many times have I felt the anxiety of the unknown, the fear of what I cannot see in front of me? Eventually, after each fog in my life cleared, I would have that same sense of peace at having made it through. The fog never lasts forever. Yet each time I have found myself coming out of one, I feel that I have grown stronger for the experience, with lessons learned along the way. The knowledge that this too shall pass never seems to be enough when you are in the middle of a fog, vision impaired. However, once you come out of the other side, there is a sense of strength and accomplishment. So for now, I am happy to be in a place of clarity… at least until the next fog arrives. But then, this too shall pass!

~ Patti Crowley