PerspectiveI rarely cry. I’m not kidding.  I probably break down in tears 2 or 3 times a year.  I’ve just never been one to cry (probably because I’m an ugly crier). Granted, I avoid sad movies and that horrible Sarah McLachlan commercial with the sad animals, but still. I rarely cry.

As you may know, I’ve had some health issues for about a year and a half and for some reason they continue. I’m not sure if it’s because the universe thinks I can take it, or if this is its way of bitch-slapping me.

It’s probably 50/50.

I take a positive approach to everything and have tried to take this on the chin, but it’s getting kind of difficult. I feel crappy all the time and feel like I’m losing a sense of myself because I’m usually a zombie from the medicines. Lately I’ve felt like if I could cry, I might feel better, but then again, I can’t cry.  (See above.)

So today I was feeling especially miserable so I emailed my husband.  I didn’t want to talk but wanted to touch base with him as we normally do throughout the day. I told him I was frustrated.

And then he sent me the most perfect email that changed everything.  He told me he loved our perfect marriage and our life together, and he told me to watch this.

And just like that, I began to cry. No, I began to wail like a baby.

Every negative thought I had about anything just drifted away. I was laying in bed watching this with Shady Jack at my side staring at me, Max at my feet and Bentley licking my tears away. I thought about how my husband was so thoughtful to say that this song reminded him of me and that he knew I needed this. I needed to cry. I needed to be reminded that things aren’t really that bad.

All of a sudden I realized that my life is amazing. Not because I have a huge house or an enormous diamond (because I don’t).  But because I have so many things that are invaluable to me. My dogs, my sweet niece, and my amazing husband. What else did I need?

I realized that what I really needed wasn’t necessarily to cry, but to gain some perspective. The universe wasn’t bitch-slapping me to be mean–it was bitch-slapping me because I needed it. I needed to focus on what’s really important in life. Somehow I got lost along the way worrying about paying the bills and when I’ll be able to return to work.

Yes, those things matter but they don’t matter as much as the love that surrounds me. That’s the real joy and that’s what life is all about.

My mom always says “The best things in life aren’t things.” I’ve always tried to live by that motto, but it’s good to be reminded of it every now and then.

So take a look around you. Not at what you physically have, but at the love that surrounds you. I bet you take it for granted.  I know I did.  But don’t.

There is nothing more important or precious than those you love, and that should be what gets you through those hard times. It isn’t money to pay the bills or having the newest gadget. It’s who makes you feel good about yourself and who supports you no matter what.

I’m so thankful for the bitch-slap. I needed it. Hopefully this post will bitch-slap you too.


 

Other Places I’m On The Web This Week!

8 Ridiculously Petty Fights My Husband And I Actually Had (with funny gifs!)

10 “Wierd” Things That Couples Do That Are Actually Totally Normal

15 Things That Will Surprise You About Men When You Move In

 

**WARNING: There are several cliches in this post, although I think they apply, which is why I’m using them. I apologize in advance.

As many of you know, I’ve been dealing with some medical struggles lately. I am doing very well and treatment has been very
successful. I am returning to work and will be avoiding exercise and mocking myself in no time..so basically…I will be back to business as usual.

Through this experience I’ve learned a few things I’d like to impart onto you. Enjoy life. Enjoy every moment and take nothing for granted. Make a point every day to stop and think of 3 things you’re grateful for. The sun, the first signs of spring, the sound of your spouse’s laugh. Stop and appreciate these little things each day because they’re not really little things. They’re THE things that make your life so great.

Be positive and refuse to let others bring you down. Negativity breeds more negativity so remove it from your life. Surrounding yourself with those who gossip, speak poorly of others and are just overly negative will do nothing but make you feel bad about yourself. Avoid those people and say a prayer that they find their happiness. Hope that whatever is so horrible in their lives that is making them behave so poorly is soon removed and they can see life for the joy that it is.

Remember, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” That couldn’t be more true. Don’t give your consent to feel negative about yourself or behave negatively. The high road is a much better route.

Some people will never change, and you must accept that. But YOU can. You choose to see life the way you want to. Each morning you make a decision to either enjoy the day or dread it. It’s up to you and I encourage you to make the positive choice. Negative things will always happen, but the way we handle them is what truly defines us. Looking for the positive in even the smallest of negative things is the key to truly finding your happiness.

Look at the world through rose colored glasses. I assure you the view is beautiful.

So my friends, treat each person you encounter with respect. Remember that they have struggles and burdens too. The person who cut you off in traffic may be racing to the ER because his wife had a stroke. The clerk who snapped at you may be miserable because she’s working a 12 hour shift. You choose how you react and I encourage you to react in a positive way. I try my best to live this way and I’ve found it’s part of what has kept me so upbeat during this time.

People won’t remember you based on your house, your clothes or your car. They will remember how you made them feel. That’s what defines you as a person. Nothing else matters. Make sure your legacy is a good one. Otherwise, your time here on Earth is pointless.

Remember that life is short and precious. Live it each day and don’t take things for granted. Enjoy the ones you love and go for your dreams. If you’ve always wanted to go to Europe, plan it. Don’t wait. If you want to lose that weight, start the diet and take it one day at a time. Each day of life is a success…each moment a triumph.

Difficult times will come upon us. They’re inevitable, but how we handle them is what defines us. Anyone can be kind and positive when times are good. It takes a strong person to remain that way when times are bad.

I find strength and inspiration in quotes, and this quote has brought me so much hope during this challenging time.

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”
–Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s so true. Going through difficult times makes us stronger if we approach it with the right attitude.

I leave you with this, my dear readers. Don’t take life for granted. Smile each day and remind yourself daily how lucky you are for the shoes on your feet and the sun overhead. Although the little negative things don’t matter, the little positive things make all the difference.

Thanks to each of you!

Lisa Newlin

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At the Ritz in West Palm beach

Based on the title of this post, you are probably thinking I’m going to talk about Christina Aguilera’s song “Survivor” in this post.  Unfortunately, that is not the case, although I would encourage you to hum that song while you read.

Seriously.  Hum it.

As some of you may know, I’m struggling with some medical issues.  It’s not something I’ve discussed with many people, nor do I intend to.  Although most of my life is an open book, this is one of the few things I want to keep private, and I appreciate people supporting my wishes.

I’m off work for treatment and although it’s a bit early to tell if it’s working, I am confident it will.

With that said, the point of this post isn’t to talk about me, but to encourage all of you to do a few things .(One of those is obviously to hum Christina Aguilera tunes, but you should already be doing that).

First, I encourage you to know your family health history.  Many medical conditions are either genetic or conditions that run in families.  Because of this it’s important to know the medical histories of your parents, grandparents, etc., if at all possible.

My favorite spa in the world!  The Eau Spa at the Ritz Carlton in West Palm Beach, Florida.  This is my happy place.

My favorite spa in the world! The Eau Spa at the Ritz Carlton in West Palm Beach, Florida. This is my happy place.

Knowing these things can make you more aware of predispositions you may have to things, and ultimately, could save your life.

Second, I encourage you to embrace and appreciate those around you.  Okay, maybe don’t physically embrace them, as the cashier at the checkout might not find your hug quite as endearing as you would like.  You might find your way to an assault charge if you take this advice literally.

Rather, simply appreciate those around you.  Yes, it’s cold and the snow can be a pain, but it’s also beautiful and provides a brightness that is otherwise missing during the winter months.  Yes, work can be difficult but it also provides a paycheck to allow you to live your life.

Not only should you appreciate those little things around you, but appreciate your loved ones as well.  I can say from my recent experiences that my family and close friends have been invaluable to me.  Every now and then stop and take stock of your life and all the amazing people you have in it.

The women's jacuzzi room at the Eau Spa.  The shower changes colors and the lounge chairs are heated stone that contour to your body.

The women’s jacuzzi room at the Eau Spa. The shower changes colors and the lounge chairs are heated stone that contour to your body.

I’ve never been so grateful for my husband as I have been these past few months.  I’ve realized some of the friends I have are the best friends anyone could ever ask for. I’m not sure I would have come to that conclusion until now, and I’m grateful this has made me aware of it.

Although I’m certainly upset with my diagnosis, among other things, it’s shown me  how many amazing people I have in my life.  It’s sad that something had to happen to demonstrate that to me, but I’m glad I’ve had that realization.

I’m hoping to impart that to you.  Don’t wait for something bad to come into your life.  Tell the people who matter how much they mean to you.  They need to know, and you need to realize just how much amazing people can impact your life.

I will get through this time and emerge a stronger woman on the other side.  I’m confident of that, but only because I have such an amazing group of people supporting me.

My father had a brain tumor several years ago.  The doctors weren’t hopeful but operated anyway, as they had nothing to lose.  Fortunately, my father survived and has been cancer-free for 25 years.

I have no idea how my dad fought through that, especially with the added stress of being self-employed and having a wife and children to support.  I also have no idea how my mom made it through that time.  Both of them are stronger than I will ever be.

My feet in one of the reflection pools

My feet in one of the reflection pools

With that said, I know I can do this.  If my parents could get through such a grim diagnosis, I can certainly deal with mine and move forward with my life.  So can you.  So can anyone.

I truly believe the positive attitude they have is part of what led to his successful treatment.  The love and support of others was also a big component as well.

A few years ago, his only sibling was diagnosed with cancer as well.  She also went through successful treatment and is still the amazing woman she was before her diagnosis.

I tell you these stories not only to demonstrate how awesome my family is, but for two reasons.  First, to demonstrate how important knowledge of your family medical history can be.

I'm thankful for the beach.  It's truly where I'm the happiest.

I’m thankful for the beach. It’s truly where I’m the happiest.

Both siblings had a cancer diagnosis, which is certainly telling that it can run in the family.  Sure, this could be a coincidence, but based upon other family history, I suspect it is not.

Second, this story demonstrates the importance of enjoying each moment and cherishing those around you.  We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, and all we can do is live for today.  Enjoy every possible moment with your loved ones.

Enjoy your pets, the taste of a good dinner and the fresh air outside.  Soak in every wonderful moment of life, as you never know what the future could bring.

I’m grateful for my husband.  He’s been the most amazing and understanding person and I couldn’t go through this without him.  I’m thankful for my family, who knows and understands what I’m going through, and is always there to support me.

I’m grateful for my friends.  Although only those closest to me know my struggles, I’m overwhelmed with the support they’ve shown.  My dearest friends show support and love everyday, from going with me for frozen yogurt to just sitting with me when I need that.

lisa at beach

Life really is a beach…especially if you’re on one!

I’m grateful for my dogs, as they have been the best snuggle buddies a girl could ever ask for.  I’m grateful for my employer, who has been nothing short of amazing with me taking time off.

I’m also thankful for each of you.  Knowing you enjoy reading what I write is so rewarding.  There’s nothing better than when someone tells me my writing made their day.  If you’ve ever done that, allow me to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Maybe this random post is just to encourage you to enjoy your life, pay attention to those people and things that matter, and forget the rest.  Life is too short to get caught up in trivial things that don’t matter.  It’s not worth your time or your energy.

I’d like to think that when I pass, my eulogy won’t be about how I was a lawyer, worked hard, and made a good life for myself.  I’d like to think it will be about how I lived my life for every moment and how I saw the humor in situations.

I’m taking that advice now, and will move forward with smiles and laughter.  Fortunately, I have amazing people who will help make that happen.  I encourage all of you to do the same.

Now go download Christina Aguilera.

I'm a survivor