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Secrets of Life

We all know how busy life can be. And there seems to always be several interruptions along the way. The most important thing to remember is to just let life happen. Some days, you won't feel like being busy, so take the day off as best as you can. That sounds too simple, but that's the best advice I can give you. 

As most of you can attest to as well, I can't count the number of times I've had to put off the plans in my life because something else came up. I'm not a selfish person, and as I will discuss more at some point, that made me feel like I had to be a people pleaser. And I'm not lazy, so I've always felt like I had to be busy doing something. Guess what? Reading a good book is something that I enjoy doing on days I need to give my muscles and/or brain a day off. 

God, after all, did give us orders to rest 1 full day each week.  So, I am starting to do that now. That doesn't mean that I don't do anything on that day of rest, but I make our meals at a slower pace - not in a mad rush. I take time to enjoy being with my family and the meal I prepared. I read a book or I work on a craft that hasn't had any attention in a while. And sometimes, I take the next day off to do the same thing again. 😆

secrets of life
Image courtesy of Sylwia Bartyzel via Unsplash

  • My first secret is to start the day off with God. Thank Him for the day He has created for you. Ask Him for any help you need in your life. Pray for others. Read a small devotion or read a few scriptures from the Holy Bible. Maybe listen to a couple of gospel songs or a God-inspired podcast. Give yourself time to meditate on what you've read or heard and feel God's presence. If you need to get up about 10 or 15 minutes earlier in order to do this before your hectic day begins, then do it. Trust me, it's a small sacrifice. Your day will go much more smoothly regardless of the busyness or interruptions.
  • Second, it's okay to have a day or two each week to relax. Even if  you do something, do it at a slower pace. If you have a family, just enjoy being with them. Place a DoorDash order for dinner. Or make that special dinner that takes several hours, because you have the time to make it.
  • Next, don't wait until the holidays to make special dinners. Kids move or make their own holiday plans, parents pass away, or you're competing with the families of your children's better half. So, have those special meals when you have time throughout the year instead. Plus, that will give the cook the day off with the rest of the family on the holidays.
  • There's never enough time in the day for everything you want to get done - especially as we age. Getting older doesn't mean that I do nothing. I don't ever see myself doing nothing all day, even on my days of rest. I have learned that when I get tired, I stop doing that chore for the day. If it's time to start making dinner, I stop doing whatever else I'm doing to make that meal. 
  • P.S. you don't have to make a 4-course meal to satisfy yours and your family's hunger. One-pot meals, a simple hotdog, or tacos work just fine.
  • Make dinner at about the same time every day so the family knows when they should be home, finish their Xbox game, come in from the garage, etc.
  • Have family devotions after dinner. It doesn't have to be long. Just a quick reading of Bible scripture with a small discussion is fine.
  • Be kind to those who will let you be kind to them. Most people will appreciate your kindness. Some people refuse it. For those whom you have tried over and over to be kind to and they continually refuse it, I recommend avoiding them. Some people simply refuse to be happy. It's not you they're unhappy with; it's everyone and everything that makes them unhappy. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 10:14 NLT, "If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave." This means you can wash your hands of them and move on to those who will appreciate your kindness.
  • It's okay to mess up. Everybody makes mistakes. If you break something, throw it away. If you burn dinner, order out. Ask someone to forgive you if that mistake involves hurting another person. Then forgive yourself and move on.
  • Get out of debt as quickly as possible. That's not as easy as it sounds. Believe me, I know. But you can do it, even if you have to cut a few corners on a few things to make this happen. What can you do without for a while? If you go to sleep watching TV, can you set a timer to turn the TV off instead of leaving it on all night? Can you replace incandescent lights for LED lights, which are cool (reduces the number of times your air conditioner will come on), last longer, and cost less when they're on? Can you put on a sweater and turn down the heat? Be aggressive when you think about your strategies to get the money to pay off those debts.
  • Love life. So many people are unhappy with life. I can't understand why. God selected each of us to live. It's no mistake that we're here. Love yourself. Love the weather. Love the fact that you have the energy to do your daily work. Love your daily work. You have things to do because God has blessed you with things and family and friends. Love the people who support you. Love those who aren't nice to you. You don't have to go around the not nice people; just love them from afar. Hate or dislike is another stress factor you need to avoid. No matter how stressed I've been in the past, I have always loved life.
  • Forgive others. Again, this doesn't mean you have to go around them so they can make you miserable. But you do need to forgive them.
  • Have a positive attitude.
  • Make a list of things you're grateful for and focus on those things, especially on difficult days.
  • Life is a beautiful experience. Inconveniences happen. Mistakes and rude people are part of the experience. We learn something new about life every day. Sometimes, it feels like you're getting pounded with tomatoes all day long. Other days are like floating on a cloud. God is there every step of the way. Please Him, and less stress will follow.
I've been living my life to please someone else's whims, trying to be "perfect", or working around someone else's schedule. So, needles to say, I've been overly stressed my whole life. Learning these simple secrets and actually implementing them in my life has actually made me a better person. The stress made me grouchy and extremely tired. It was hard for me to make these changes, but those who love me agree that the changes were necessary. They don't think I'm lazy or selfish when I take a day off to rest. They don't think the house is dirty if I don't clean it all in 1 day. They actually like the new, less-stressed me. I hope these simple secrets of life help you feel less stressed too.

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