Graceful Exits (How to Walk Away)

 

One of my favorite pieces. I wrote this one a year ago, and it has become timely for me once again. I needed the reminder today. This must be something that we all struggle with, because this is one of my posts that is found most often via Internet searches.

There are times when we need to walk away.  Different situations and relationships reach their inevitable conclusion, and we must determine the best way to extricate ourselves.  We need to keep in mind that how we choose to exit impacts both us and those we leave behind.

Make a graceful exit from the workplace.  Most of us will switch jobs at least once in our lifetime.  You may receive a better offer, you may find you can no longer tolerate the environment, or you may be seeking to find career alternatives.  No matter the reason, I advise you to proceed with caution in how you exit.  (Yes, this is the voice of experience speaking.)
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This Is Not Goodbye

When I started this blog eighteen months ago I also began following a blogger who quickly became one of my favorites.  He wrote insightful, eloquent pieces that conveyed messages that have stayed with me.  He opened my mind to new viewpoints and invited me to question how I interact with people.

I was more than a little surprised when he decided to step away from his blog six months later.  As a new blogger I could not understand why a popular blogger with thousands of followers would (gasp!) stop blogging.  He was confident, though, that the time had come.  He felt as if he was on the verge of something, even if he could not yet articulate what it was.

I wished him well, told him I was thankful that our paths had crossed, and applauded him for knowing when to move on.  He told me that he felt I would know, too, when it would be my turn to move on.  I believe he foresaw this moment long before I could even imagine it.

I understand now his inkling of being “on the verge”.  I have been feeling for the past several weeks that this life, already a good, good life, is about to become amazing.  I have no idea what is coming, or where it is coming from, but I am ready to receive it with arms wide open.

I have renewed my dedication to making my body and my soul as healthy as possible through exercise, healthy eating, and positive interactions.  This feels like an essential piece of whatever this new journey may be.  I am also forcing my introverted self out the door and into face-to-face connections. I find myself overwhelmed with the need to be out in the world, to be of it, searching for signs of what is to come next.  All of which is leading to less time spent online.

While this is not a goodbye, I do feel the need to share with you the reasons for my periods of absence and the infrequency of my postings.  I owe you all that for the simple fact that you have taken time in your life to be a part of mine.  Believe me when I tell you that your presence here has made a lasting impact on my life.  It is due in no small part to your support and encouragement that I have the courage to take these next steps.

I have no idea how long my blogging hiatus will last.  I may feel compelled to write a post tomorrow, next week, or next month.  I do know that I will continue to write, be it here or elsewhere.  This blogging experience has reminded me that I need to write much as I need to breathe (a feeling I am sure many of you share).  I intend to take the plunge and start submitting pieces for possible publication.  Again, I would not have contemplated such a step without the feedback I have received here.

I follow over 400 blogs here on WordPress and other sites.  I will continue to be here, reading and commenting on your posts.  You are all an essential part of my journey.  I thank you for simply being a part of my life and for choosing to spend even one minute of your time here.  I have been blessed to make the most amazing connections and friendships through this blog.  I hope that you will stick around!

Wherever you go, whatever path you choose to walk, please remember to walk it with love and kindness in your heart.  Be amazed, look for the magic, wonder at the miracles, and opt for happiness.  Above all, be grateful, always and in all ways.  Cheers! Karen

Sunday Smiles – Connections

There are days when the internet makes me twitchy.  I log on to Facebook to be met head on with a barrage of negativity.  This candidate is a hate monger.  That candidate is a criminal.  I see “friends” tearing one another apart with snide comments, all because they sit on different sides of the political fence.  I read post after post disparaging this group or that, this thing or that.  Cops suck, the weather sucks, the traffic sucks, this restaurant sucks, work sucks…everything just sucks.

I “unfollow” a few political pages (I could have sworn I had removed them all).  I hit the “hide post” option multiple times as I scroll through my newsfeed.  I am almost thankful to come across a few cute cat memes.  I “like” a picture of an idyllic beach in Aruba.

I scroll a bit further, sigh a discouraged sigh, and prepare to log off.  But wait, what’s this?  Could it be?  An uplifting post?  Yes!  I click happily on a story about a former classmate’s 11-year-old son reporting on the NCAA Tournament for Sports Illustrated Kids.  I read with delight about one of the coaches taking the time to applaud this young man for his thoughtful question.  (You can view more about this here.)

Feeling hopeful, I read some other posts.  Oh look, a friend received good news on a medical issue.  Another friend just finished her first half marathon.  Yet another is celebrating buying a new home.  Yay! Here it is!  The good stuff!

Now it comes back to me, and I remember why I still log on to Facebook every day.  I do it not to learn the political leanings of friends and family.  I do it so that I can hear the news of their lives.  I continue to scroll and read in order to tie the past in with the present.  I put up with the negative aspects to reap the benefits of the positive ones.

I return again and again because of the connections.  We can cross the miles, cross the years, and cross the distance to come together as if we had never been apart.  We can share in each others’ victories and console one another during trying times.  We can use words to convey emotions from afar, as sure as the touch of a comforting hand on a shoulder.

Yes, it is the connections that I crave and that I seek.   It is the connections that lead me back to this blog after a writing sabbatical.  It is the connections that sustain our souls the way that food sustains our bodies.  It is the connections that bond us together as humans, in friendship and in love.

Thank you for being one of my connections.  Cheers! Karen

Stay connected with me and “like” Fill Your Own Glass on Facebook here!

photo credit:  www.pixabay.com

Resolving Not to Resolve (Choosing to Be Goalless in the New Year)

I do hereby resolve to remain resolute in my decision to not make any resolutions for the new year.  There, I said it, and I meant it.  I will not make a list, a plan, or an agenda.  There will be no repentance for the things I did or did not do in 2015.  There will be no judgments over the goals I did not complete during the past year.  There will be only an open mind and an open heart as the sun descends on one year and arises upon another.

No, I will not vow to give up this thing, that thing, or any thing.  The only thing I will get rid of is the negative self-talk that leads me to believe there is something(s) wrong with me that requires me to have to give things up, or that something(s) need fixing.  Other than that one thing I will be a keeper of things, even a gatherer of things.  Only these things won’t be actual physical things, rather they will take shape in experiences, moments, and memories.

I will draw these intangibles close and hold them tight.  I will live in each moment, I will feel deeply each experience, and I will savor every memory.  I will breathe in and fill up my lungs with the events of my days as though they are the oxygen that keeps me alive.  For they are…in their own way they are.

I will gather in and embrace the people who make the moments memorable.  I will continue breaking down the walls of privacy I have been kicking furiously at for the past few years.  I will do my best to eliminate the last tenuous hold I have on my personal space barriers.  I will answer the knock of strangers upon the door to my life, and I will welcome them across the threshold with a “thank you for coming” and a hug.  I will find ways every day to let the friends and family who make me whole know how much they are valued.

No, I will not set up any timetables or schedules for the coming year.  The word deadline is not welcome here.  Come to think of it, neither is the word goal.  Let’s throw out objective, aim, and target while we’re at it.

This year I will gift myself with the freedom of being goalless.  I shall recognize and accept that what I am happy doing today may not make me happy tomorrow.  I reserve the right to change my mind, and my direction, on at least 365 days next year.  My success with be measured only by my joy.

No, I will not have a plan.  I will invite my old nemesis spontaneity to the party.  I may even tell him to bring his buddy, my arch rival, impulse along for the ride.  Watch me step off of the path that has been so carefully trodden for years.  See how I spread my arms wide and step out onto the tightrope, welcoming adventure with a smile.  Don’t be too surprised to see me running in the rain with joyous laughter trailing behind me. I will daily remember and acknowledge that all of my very best moments have followed the precious seconds when I dropped my guard, my need for a plan for everything, and simply allowed life to be. 



My life will not be stifled by the vision of what I or anyone else imagines it should be.  It will not follow a cookie cutter blueprint of what a life should look like.  It will be what I, along with a good bit of help from karma and fate, choose to make it.  It will be my unique, messy, silly, beautiful, happy life. 

 Yes, I will remain resolute in my resolve concerning New Year’s resolutions.  Or will I?

Thank you for joining me and being a part of my journey in 2015.  You are the people that I speak of who make the moments memorable.  I wish you all the freedom to love yourself in 2016 and beyond.  Cheers! Karen

Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com

Thank-full

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My car has a full tank of gas.  It isn’t the latest model, but it gets me where I’m going.

Our pantry is full of food.  It isn’t always as healthy as it should be, but we never go hungry.

Our closets are full of clothes and shoes.  We don’t have any designer couture, but we are warm and comfortable.

We are far from wealthy, but we have enough to spare and enough to share.  My heart is full of thanks that we are in a position to help others.

My gratitude for the amazing people in my life is boundless.  These people have given me a life full of laughter and love.

My glass is full.  I am thankful that I have learned to fill it myself.  I am grateful to the universe for helping me to choose happy.

Yes, I am thankful, and I am thank-full.  From my little space here at Fill Your Own Glass, I wish you & yours a Happy Thanksgiving! Believe, and be love!  Cheers! Karen

Photo credit:  www.pixabay.com

When the World Makes Me Weary

I think it happens to all of us from time to time.  The world comes rushing at us, jabbing us with vicious punches of violence and hatred.  The clamor and outcries climb toward their shattering crescendo.  The feeling of all the feels becomes overwhelming.  The noise goes from grating to unbearable in sixty seconds flat.  Our internal alarms sound, and we know we must seek shelter in our safe places.

This week has been a test for me, and, Im sure, for many of you as well.  The news of the horrid, cowardly attacks in Paris have left us reeling, and they have left us feeling.  The thought of possible pending attacks has left us edgy and guarded.  I have run the spectrum of emotions from sadness, to anger, to hopelessness, and back to hope again.

In addition to the news of the terrorist attacks we have the ongoing onslaught of political debate that will ride our backs until next November.  Social media has become a perilous place laced with opinions and anger.  Oh, how I long for the days when my newsfeed was overrun with pictures of friends’ ridiculously cute little ones doing all manner of ridiculously cute things.

Off internet, I have friends who are struggling through difficult days.  Friends who have lost loved ones or are watching as their loved ones deteriorate.  I want to pull them all into a collective hug so tight it will squeeze the pain away.  If I could chose one superpower it would be to have the ability to heal.

When you are an empath, or even if you have empathetic tendencies, your life is directly and seriously impacted by the feelings of those around you.  You feel others’ emotions as deeply as you feel your own, and your energy is affected by the things that surround you.  You can imagine the sensory overload that can result, and you can see why it leads to a bone-deep fatigue.

It is difficult, at times such as these, to maintain a positive outlook.  It would be far easier to revert back to one’s prior negative tendencies.  Allowing that to happen, though, would be allowing the wrong people and the wrong things to win.  And so we find ways to fight back, to climb out of the darkness, and to continue to look for the good.

When the world makes me weary, I look to each of you.  I pause to think of the amazing traits that you possess that led me to welcome you into my circle.  I recall the pure and kind acts that I have witnessed you perform.  I remember your words – words that changed a day, a week, a life.  I feel the warmth and the safety that radiates from each of you, and I am enveloped by love and compassion.

When the world makes me weary, it is each of you who restores my energy.  It is you who guides me back toward the light and drives me to continue to encourage and motivate those around me.  It is each of you using your collective superpowers to heal a damaged should.  It is you who makes me whole again.

The Most Important Job

I am an insurance agent.  You are a writer.  She is a physical therapist.  He is a stay-at-home dad.

We have jobs to perform.  We have careers to build.  We have schedules to adhere to and meetings to attend.  We meet deadlines, make appointments, and multitask our way through the days.

We navigate the hustle and bustle of society.  We ride out the ebbs and flows of the economic system.  We create trends, and then we buck them in favor of the next latest, greatest thing.

Some struggle to wade through the mundane hours of their workday.  Others strive to climb the ladder and achieve new heights of career elevation.  The luckiest of us grab ahold of that thing that sparks our passion and find a way to make both a living and a life with it.

We make products and sell ideas.  We analyze data and seek ways to make the graphs move in the right direction.  We offer our art and our talent to the world.  We create, teach, and serve.  We provide customer service support, financial advice, and care.

We hold various positions and titles.  We run the gamut from entry-level clerks to sous chefs to CEOs.  We each offer a service that allows society to function as it does.  Yet we collectively, as humans, have a far more important job that we cannot ignore and must not neglect.

We need to remember, as we start each new day, what our primary purpose truly is.  What is, in fact, the very reason for our being.  It has little to do with earning a paycheck.  It has everything to do with love.

The single greatest job we can aspire to is to love the people who surround us.  It is, I believe, our responsibly, our duty, and our destiny.  We can offer nothing better to one another than the love within our hearts.  Live a legacy of love that you may leave a legacy of love.

A moment spent comforting a wounded soul is worth more than countless hours in a boardroom.  A day of fishing and hiking with your children trumps the highest salary.  A romantic getaway strengthening a relationship.  A weekend laughing with friends and making memories.  These are the best ways to build a “resume”.

Love like it is the most important job you will ever have…because it is.

Photo credit:  www.pixabay.com

What Is the Point of a Life if Not to Live It?

A man has a medical scare that lands him in the hospital for several days.  He pulls through, and he is discharged.  He is sent home with some dietary restrictions and a timetable for resuming different daily activities such as driving, exercising, and lifting heavy objects.  He has received that most frightening wake up call, and he realizes that he needs to make changes.

He now understands that he must practice moderation.  He knows that the previous years’ excesses have brought him to this place.  He is willing to cut back on the unhealthy foods and increase his fitness level.

His loved ones, with all of the best intentions, prefer elimination to moderation.  No, you cannot drink that.  No, you cannot eat that.  No, you cannot do that.  No, no, no!  Be careful with this.  Watch out for that.  Careful, careful, careful!  They mean well, and they want him to stick around for a long time to come.

He lives, yet his life has changed.  It is now full of cannots and cautions.  He begins to wonder if this is what he survived for.  Is this why he was given another chance?  What is the point of a life if not to live it?  Is he living, or is he merely existing?

I look at this man, and I am sad for him.  I want him to be healthy, but one must be happy in order to be truly healthy.  He needs to change his diet and exercise habits to be sure, but he should not be deprived of the occasional treat.  He should not be forced to spend his days strapped into an invisible safety harness.  There has to be an acceptable balance that allows him to continue to live his life, not just to survive.

A young woman is diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.  She undergoes what is known as the “Mother of All Surgeries” (MOAS), and she endures a slow, painful recovery that lasts for more than a year.  She winds up minus a few body parts and with permanent damage to others.  Things are touch and go for a long time.  There are numerous repeat admissions to hospitals, tests after tests, and treatments upon treatments.

Today, she lives.  And when I tell you that she lives, I mean she lives.  She embraces life.  She devours it.  She throws herself into it with beautiful abandon.  She appreciates every extra minute that grace has bestowed upon her.

She has limits and restrictions, too.  She has days when her body delivers a less-than-kind reminder of those limitations.  On those days she knows that she must retreat for a time, only so that she may charge right back into life and living.

She has come to understand the necessity of balance, the give and take that allows her to continue finding joy in many of her dayst  Har friends and family understand and readily accept that there will be some missed events and some rescheduled plans, thankful that there will be future days spent together.  Each December we celebrate her birthday, and each June we acknowledge the anniversary of the MOAS and the rebirth of the woman who chooses to live.

I watch her, and I smile.  She teaches me how to recover, how to persevere, and how to be stronger than a “weakened” body should allow.  I look to her, and I know that the point of a life is indeed to live it.

This post is dedicated to my friend Liz, whose beautiful and passionate spirit has taught me a thing or two about how to live a life.  Cheers! Karen

Defiance is Your Destiny

Defy the odds.  Defy expectations.  Defy predictions.  Defy suppositions.

Defy limits, boundaries, and borders.

Defy the critics and the detractors.  Defy the cynics and the skeptics.  Defy the naysayers and the nonbelievers.

Defy prejudices, presumptions, and preconceived notions.

Defy ordinary.  Defy normal.  Defy unrealistic.  Defy impractical.

Defy the word can’t.  Defy the word shouldn’t.  Defy the word impossible.  Defy the word no.

Defy the negative self-talk.  Defy the self-doubt.  Defy your own attempts to destroy your self-confidence.

Defy the lines not to be colored outside of.  Defy the box not to be thought outside of.

Defy, that you may find deliverance.  Defy, that you may define yourself.  Defy, that you may find your destiny.

Photo credit:  www.pixabay.com

Keep Believing- 3 Day Quote Challenge (Day 3)

I would like to thank A Momma’s View for nominating me to participate in the 3 Day Quote Challenge.  I do not usually join in on many of the blogging challenges, but the theme of “Keep Believing” that A Momma’s View chose struck a chord with me.  At a time when I feel my motivation and creativity has been drained this challenge may provide a much needed spark.  As a believer in signs I will gladly accept this one!

Rules for the 3 Day Quote Challenge:
1) Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2) Publish 3 quotes on 3 consecutive days on your blog. It can be your own or from a book, movie, or from anyone who inspires you.
3) Nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this endeavor.

Here is my quote for Day 3 of the challenge:

“No matter what happens, no matter how far you seem to be away from where you want to be, never stop believing that you will somehow make it.  Have an unrelenting belief that things will work out, that the long road has purpose, that the things that you desire may not happen today, but they will happen.  Continue to persist and persevere.” ~ Brad Gast


Here are the bloggers I’d like to nominate today (no obligation, folks):

An Armchair Perfectionist

Charles French Words Reading and Writing

Joeyfully Stated

Cheers!
Karen

Photo copyright @Karen B. Pearce