A Positive Change

Describe one positive change you have made in your life.

Since today has been pretty rough, I think I’ll just answer the daily blogging prompt. It is the perfect time to remind myself of the positive changes I’ve made in the past couple of years. The prompt asked for one, but I’ll share a couple. I’m quite proud of how much “personal growth” I’ve engaged in. It’s certainly making my “twilight years” more pleasant.

I made a new friend today, a hackberry emperor butterfly who sat on my arm for a long time. I enjoyed watching its proboscis.

The first positive change I’ve made is the most important. I figured out how to end the constant stream of negative self talk that had accompanied me my entire life. Looking back, I can see that I was always anxious and always felt like I could not please anyone, especially myself.

I’m not “cured” (everyone has down moments or days), but I’m so much better. I face each day in happy anticipation of enjoying beauty, learning new things, and contributing to the good in the world. I’m a better person for that!

I’m grateful to the support of my long-time therapist, my friends, and supportive family members as I stumbled through this process.

I found this particular beautiful thing in a parking lot.

The second thing I’ve done that has positively influenced my life is taking risks. Now, I’m not talking about skydiving or truly risky behaviors, but I’ve tried many new things and lived. Many of the things I’ve done with the horses are things I’d have hesitated to try earlier in my life. Good thing I listen to my encouraging trainer.

And of course, I always have a supportive donkey at my side. She’s usually just that close when I’m in the pasture.

The third thing is a work in progress. I’m way better about it, but I still slip into old patterns here. I am working to stop caring so much about what other people think of me and trying to get people to like me. This has been a long, hard road, but wow am I better now!

It all came to a head when I broke down and started crying and asked my neighbor to like me, because I wanted to remain his friend. He looked at me like I had three heads. Upon reflection I concluded that my life won’t be much different at all without him in my life and that caring about what he says about me would only make my life less serene. I’m just fine now and can just smile and be pleasant without worrying about whether I’m offending or providing gossip fodder.

I am not worried about what the cattle and cattle egrets think about the humans on the other side of the fence.

That’s because I’ve just about given up on caring what people think about me or say about me. I know who I am, and it’s not my job to explain myself to people who don’t care to take the time to get to know me or my perspective. I’m going to try to be kind and open to others’ perspectives, but not spend my time trying to present my ideas unless requested.

Goldie has the right idea: just enjoy the moment.

That’s so freeing! I have so many more opportunities to find peace and joy now that I let myself be whoever I am and like that person.

Such hard work. And still lots more to work on. But positive change is worth it.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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