• The Hopefulist

You get better or worse

Doesn't this picture want to make you just curl up in a scarf by a roaring fire with a good book? Pictures like this make me work harder toward what I want so I can live the type of life I choose. I want to have more cozy moments like this.

As I continue down my own path in this thing we call life it occurred to me that we are either getting better or we are getting worse. And either scenario is up to you. I've been focusing on how I have been a pessimist most of my life and how hard I've worked to change that. And in order to do that I had to change my way of thinking. Yes, it felt unnatural at first. Yes, it seemed like a lot of work. I obviously thought it was worth it. And I was absolutely right (I love when I'm right). I am not exaggerating when I say I am at the happiest I've ever been amidst some of the most personal disappointments in my life. Thanks to my change in attitude I don't let these things get me down. I do let them get me sad from time to time. Angry from time to time. And there are times that I feel sorry for myself. But I have learned how to not wallow in it. I have learned that it's okay to feel the feelings and not bogged down in them. I am far from perfect. I am not yet at a place where I can forgive people who hurt me greatly. But I don't let it dictate my daily life. I go about my life in the best way I know possible and I'm happy. I call that progress. Nobody is perfect but I'm so far from where I used to be.

I've been referring back to my mother a lot this week. She was obviously a powerful force in my life, like it or not. And I am very much like her, like it or not. But I got to a point in my life where I wanted to be a better, happier version of myself. That's not true. I wanted to be someone completely different. I didn't like myself at all. I always had issues with my mom and since I saw so much of myself in her I had the same issues with myself. But as I started to try to become a happier person I realized that I could still have some faults. I realized that those traits that I deemed bad weren't always bad. It was all in the way I used them. My greatest example of this is how reactive I am and how I let people get me all riled up. It's something I always saw as bad. But when I was beyond frustrated with the condo board where I lived to the point that I put my condo up for sale just to send them a message a they were making my life pure hell it ended up working in my favor. Not that I thought they really cared I just needed to do something. We ultimately sold that condo in five days which brought us to our current location that I love so much. So in that case it worked out well for us. It doesn't in most cases but it has helped me to embrace the parts of me I don't necessarily like knowing they can be useful at times.

And as I have worked on myself through the years I realize that you really do become a better version of yourself or a worse version of yourself. My mother became worse over the years. She became more bitter and resentful as the years went on. She would see others get what they want and be jealous rather than recognizing that these people worked really hard to get where they were. My mother was very content sitting home watching t-v day in, day out and never wanted to do anything. Yet she was jealous of those she deemed as having more than her. I just don't understand how she could never recognize that the power of her happiness was in her own hands. She wanted to be seen as a doting grandmother but never wanted to do what the kids wanted to do. She just wanted them to surround her while she watched t-v. She wanted to be seen as a great mother but she never wanted to go out of her way for her kids. She expected us to worship her because she raised us. And when things didn't turn out the way she expected she became more and more unhappy.

My stepfather has told me that before my mother went into the hospital that final time they were in church one day and she just started crying. He asked what was wrong and she just said, the kids. Was she just looking sympathy? Was she feeling sorry for herself? I do believe she was genuinely unhappy about how her relationship with her children had deteriorated over the years but she never wanted to take any responsibility for how that happened. I told my stepfather that if she was upset then why didn't she reach out to us? I would have always been open to a heart felt conversation about the state of our relationship. I wanted it to be better too but she only seemed to have expectations without feeling the need to reciprocate in any way. I did have conversations with her over the last few years telling her that she made me feel less than and not good enough. She never seemed sorry. She would only ever tell me that she didn't mean it that way.

All I can do from this point forward is try to live my life the happiest way I can. And I have learned from my mother that will never happen sitting in front of a t-v all day. Being a happier, better version of yourself takes work. It can be tempting to, especially as we get older, sit around and do nothing because we feel we deserve it. But it's not the way to happiness. We need to work on ourselves. We need to try to improve ourselves and our lives or we will just be sliding backwards. We will be getting worse instead of better. This is not what I want for you. I want you to live your life to the fullest!

It is I wish it were cocktail Friday Thursday. Think about the people in your life who seem to have gotten worse over the years instead of better. Look at them as an example of who not to be. Now, go make it your best day yet.

Listen to me discuss this topic today on my daily podcast available at Hopefulist.com, on Apple, Spotify, YouTube, and TuneIn. Just search for "The Hopefulist"!

Please check out my website. It’s your one stop spot for everything “The Hopefulist”. Hopefulist.com.

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