One of the things I talk about pretty often is not believing in Happy Endings. While you may be aghast at the thought…let me shed some light on my thinking and why I’ve chosen to be a Student 4 Life.
I don’t believe in happy endings.
First, fairytale happy endings are not happy endings at all. All fairytale happy endings just stop when the going got good or hit a high point. It’s a happy moment, but not a happy ending. Life goes on and it will not always be a picturesque scene with the perfectly cued music in the background. Cinderella had to learn how to live with Prince Charming and manage a castle, after all.
Second, I believe that our spirit goes on forever…therefore there is no ending. I am an eternal being that will never reach the end so therefore I’m not waiting for my happy ending…I better figure it out right now. If I can’t be happy right now then what’s the point? This fosters the belief that it’s ok to be happy today and not save it for a tomorrow that might never come.
Third and last, I always want to be becoming or arriving. I don’t want to become or arrive because that denotes an ending. I want to enjoy the journey not just the destination. Tim Ferris talks about mini-retirements in his book, The 4-Hour WorkWeek because he doesn’t want to arrive at retirement. He wants to enjoy life in the here and now. I like that idea.
If yesterday is gone and can only be used as a learning tool and you can’t touch a tomorrow, what does that leave us?
If you aren’t happy today, then what’s the point? There is something to be grateful for and happy about every single day, period. Even when going through hard times, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for and happy about. (Yes, I’m pretty sure that was a PollyAnna moment right there.)
Because of all of this I would like to dub myself a Student 4 Life. I always want to be striving for and learning new things. I want to be in a constant state of becoming. At this point in my life I believe I’ve shed the caterpillar part of me and have become a butterfly, but my journey doesn’t stop there.
I want to add more color to my wings.
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By Lauri Mackey — 5 years agoYou Are a Super HeroSuper Heroes vs VillainsI am a crazy movie addict. I will just admit that now and get it out of the way. I also am admittedly an OCD organizational freakazoid. That means that not only do I love movies with super heroes, but I had shelving built on one wall around my TV to house them, separated by genre AND alphabetized within their genre. Crazy, right? (Wait until you learn about how I send my birthday cards every year) Not only do I have them organized in such a way, but I have a list on my phone called “Movies”. Within that list are movies coming out that I want to see and the date they debut, movies I want to add to my collection, and a list of VHS tapes I have left to switch over to DVD’s. I love movies!
I am a sucker for a good tear-jerker, love the action films and chick-flicks, and Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightley is the one I’ve watched the most. Not only am I addicted to movies, but I believe I’m simply addicted to happy endings. I want to fly without wings, make people laugh like Lucille Ball, have magical powers like Samantha from Bewitched, be strong and have courage like Cinderella, sing like Queen Latifah, and kick ass like Lara Croft. That’s not asking too much, right?One of the things I’ve learned is that you cannot have heroes without villains. If the villains did not exist, super heroes would not be discovered or needed. The super heroes themselves might not ever know that they are super heroes because nothing challenged them to become more than they already were. In the latest Cinderella movie, her mother charged her to be strong and have courage. This was simply a dying wish of a mother to her daughter until the wicked stepmother and stepsisters entered her life to test her and try her. Wonder Woman (Linda Carter) was living an oblivious, innocent life in the Bermuda Triangle on an island paradise knowing nothing of the outside world until she took her invisible plane to the United States and discovered she could make a difference there and not let bad guys win. The Bionic Woman, Emma in Once Upon a Time, the latest Maleficent, the list goes on.
I believe so much in happy endings and in super heroes, that I’ve decided to create my own happy ending and become a super hero myself. A lofty goal you say? Mock me if you must, but I’m living the dream. No, not a dream…a reality. 20 years ago if you had told me I would grow up to be a super hero I would have laughed right out loud. Heck, even 10 years ago would have had me doubting through and through. But here I am, a living breathing super hero. Guess what? You are, too! Or can decide to be if that is your goal and that it’s what YOU want to be when you grow up.The good news is that it is never to late to decide to be a super hero. You cannot say, “I’m too old, or too worn out, or too many bad things have happened to me, or I’ve caused too many bad things to happen”. Those are just excuses that need to be kicked to the curb where they belong. Faith wins over fear if you will let it.Does being a super hero free you from ever having bad things happen to you again? NO! Superman had kryptonite and Lex Luthor. Lara Croft had the Luminoti, not to mention her own heart to worry about. Batman, The Arrow, X-Men, Wonder Woman, The Incredibles all had new villains to battle. I suppose that’s job security. Or, it is how you too can continue to learn that you are capable of more than you could ever imagine. I’ve watched The Flash get knocked down time and time again and still that dude is optimistic – how does he do that? Just when you thought you had learned every lesson, there was more of you to discover. Things you never knew you could do or imagined were possible. These villains make us stronger.So, who is your villain right now? For me, I might not have known I was even fighting a villain until the battle was over. Sometimes, I could see the villain coming from a mile away and I had to choose to run or stand up and fight. Other times it was a crime against my heart that hurt so bad I could barely breathe, or eat, or sleep. Others still were crimes brought to me unbidden, but had to be dealt with just the same.
Let me share one of my oldest villains with you. Teenage pregnancy. I don’t think any little girl sets her dream to be pregnant by the time she is 16, especially one that has a future as a super hero. While I do not have anyone to blame but myself, it is a fact that “most people end up in this situation in a misguided attempt to fulfill some pretty basic human needs. We all have a need to feel loved and worthwhile. We all seek to have joy and happiness in our lives.” (Ezra Taft Benson) If those needs are not met, we seek them in places that are unhealthy to ourselves and others. (Don’t ever fool yourself into thinking that your decisions effect only you…just like positive choices leave ripple effects, so do poor choices.)My villain changed my life and the lives of those around me. I was married at 16 1/2 years of age, having my first daughter at age 17. I did not finish high school and I did not attend Prom. My love for playing on the high school basketball team was squashed and my flute would gather dust for years. I had disappointed my parents and ignored all advice from people who were trying to help me take a better path and who cared about me a great deal.My decisions led me to many more poor choices in relationships for lots of years, but as I’ve told others before, I would rather change my course than be completely derailed. Because inevitably that is what happened…I was completely derailed, lying on the floor, unable to make another decision in my life, good or bad. All of my choices had led me to the side of my bed, on my knees, praying for help. Help to loosen these chains of bad habits in the area of my love life. I asked God to let me be happy with the life I had with my three beautiful daughters as a single mom. To be content with who I had become as a woman even if my relationship woes were unsightly to say the least.And you know what? He did so much more. Not everyone believes that there is a God and I’m not out to convert you with this blog, but I want to be honest in my story-telling here. When I turned my life over to Him, instead of pushing my own agenda, things changed. He was incredibly more kind to me than I ever had been to myself. He led me and guided me to a path that led to a beautiful marriage. A safe haven to figure out how to be a super hero despite any human frailties I may have experienced in my life to date. Just like SuperMan had to go away for awhile to get things figured out and learn of his true potential, I was given the gift of another second chance.
Just over 8 years ago, I married my hero, my best friend. My heart has been healed and my capacity to love has grown. While I had earned my GED as a teenager, I wanted my high school diploma because it was something I had deprived myself of. (As a side note, don’t try this at home…it is SO MUCH EASIER to pass high school as a teenager than an adult…TRUST ME!!) I went back to adult school and the math that I hated with a passion and earned my diploma. Not only was that super, crazy kind of hard, but I took graduation pictures, attained a class ring, and even spoke at my graduation where lots of friends and family were in attendance (including my tutor I had to get to pass math!). They didn’t even have the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam) when I was in high school! It seemed so unfair, but I passed! I graduated at the ripe old age of 41!Conquering a villain is an amazing feeling. After I graduated high school I felt like I could take on the world! I could do anything! Be anything! I took certificate courses online, became a Certified Holistic Health Coach, started teaching cooking classes locally. I just can’t stop! It is part of the reason I am writing this blog and pursuing a career as a public speaker. To help women realize their potential and to believe in this small, four-letter word…hope.There will be many more villains that will need their ass kicked and the only one to do it will be me because those villains are mine to fight. Whatever or whomever your latest villain is in your life, I want you to know that you can be the super hero in your life. You can have your happy ending. It will not be easy and may involve a lot of hard work. Learn to love work. Do something! If all you can do is just think it, think it. But then say it, whisper it if you need to. Then say it out loud. Now louder! Now take that first step. What action can you take to begin your journey?I believe in hope. I believe in faith. I believe in love.I believe in you. I believe in us.
By Lauri Mackey — 5 years agoPractice SmilingWhen I was interviewing Jo Ellen Soesbee for my podcast, she said something towards the end that I couldn’t stop thinking about. She was driving along and happened to notice that she could see the driver in front of her in his side-view mirror and she thought, “Does that mean that others can see me in my side-view mirror?”Apparently, the gentleman in front of her did not look very happy. In fact, he looked downright grumpy by all accounts. That’s when Jo Ellen decided to practice smiling. She didn’t want people to think that she was grumpy!This practice served her well when a client called and said, “I hired you because when I saw you in your truck, you were smiling.” Wow! Landing a job because you smiled while you were driving!Jo Ellen has practiced smiling so much that on a recent girl’s weekend her friends accused her of even smiling in her sleep! Now that’s some serious smile practicing if you ask me. 🙂I decided I would try it out and over this last week I’ve simply tried to smile while I was driving. Honestly, I felt pretty silly at first and if I knew someone was close enough to see me I acted as if I was listening to some funny comedian on the radio and laughed out loud!While I am not perfect at this smiling while I’m driving thing, it has changed my attitude while I drive to be a little more polite and a little more understanding of others while they drive.Smiling matters!!I will keep practicing, Jo Ellen! To hear more on Jo Ellen Soesbee come on over to the podcast, Lauri’s Lemonade Stand on Apple Podcasts by following this link: Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Positivity Podcast I bet you won’t be disappointed!
By Lauri Mackey — 2 years ago
Taking Out the Trash
For Real This Time…
I don’t know how many of you are Mac Users (I’m a Mac, not a PC), but there is a little to-do item that I sometimes forget about. It’s very important to do, especially on my laptop where I do all my work where there isn’t a lot of disk space to mess around with. It’s a little chore called, “Empty Trash”.
I delete stuff all the time on my computer! From emails to tossing out documents or photos or videos. Memes I’ve downloaded and used and then no longer need. Photos of items I’ve put on Craigslist and sold…months ago. Screenshots I’ve taken for a specific purpose and now that purpose has passed. I created a word document for a to-do list and now that chore has passed so I toss it out. I put it all in the trash. Out of sight, out of mind.
But just like the trash we throw into our trash cans outside for the garbage man to take away, it’s not like that stuff just disappears. In the case of our household trash, it ends up in a landfill doing damage to our planet earth. And the files in my computer? They sit in the trash until I go take one more step and EMPTY THE TRASH!
I’m not sure why we have to throw out the trash twice, but we do. Of course, in the case of our household trash, I try to limit what goes into the landfill. I try to reduce, re-use, and recycle as best I can so the impact I have is less. And on my computer, I try to make a habit of regularly taking out the trash so that stuff is not just out of sight, but permanently gone.
Sometimes we need to mentally take out the trash.
First, IT IS a good idea to simply reduce, re-use, and recycle the mental garbage. Trying to put better things into our creative and mental space is definitely the first line of defense. Does watching scary movies give you nightmares that keep you up at night? STOP WATCHING THEM in the first place! Stuck in a bad habit or need to simply create a new one like flossing twice a day? Take the first step towards either one. Remember that it takes baby steps…moving forward, however small, is the key.
Second, we may think that we have taken out the trash but just like my EMPTY TRASH button you may need to permanently take it out. Setting it aside is not enough. Sometimes we need to take that extra step and permanently let it go. Here are a few examples:
- You’ve quit coffee, but still own a coffeemaker and coffee is still in the cupboard.
- You’ve forgiven a friend, but are still hanging on to hurt feelings that we can’t quite release.
- You were in a horrible relationship, got out of it, then are still mentally bashing that other person or worse, ourselves for being in the relationship in the first place.
- How much mental space are you taking up by not permanently deleting the trash? By taking that extra step to let go for real this time?
I’m not saying it’s easy, but this blog is just about awareness. If you are in a situation where you haven’t permanently deleted your trash – you are the only one who truly knows. If you read this blog and instantly thought of something in your life that this applies to – then this article is for you.
Do some mental decluttering, some soul-searching, some meditation, whatever does it for you to start taking baby steps towards healing – and EMPTYING THE TRASH.
Would love to hear from you! Please comment below and let’s start some chatter!