Posted in Inspiration, Tara's Tales

It Can’t Rain on Your Parade Without Your Consent

Picture this: a perfect Cleveland spring day….HA! And by that, I mean that we start out the morning with a winter coat, brace for rain/snow/mix, and go coatless by mid-afternoon with that sunshine glow! You know, the usual. Because the high was predicted to be 70 degrees today, I had decided to wake up early and go for a walk at my favorite place–Brunswick Lake. The sun was just peeking over the top of Giant Eagle and the avid morning dog-walkers were in full swing. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Then, as if straight out of a movie, (I find that many of my day-to-day actions appear as cinematic moments) the sky became dark and all those eager walkers had disappeared. I was the only one brave enough (or perhaps silly enough) to withstand the oncoming rain. Then, another woman got out of her mini-van and joined me on the path.

My first initial thought was, “I hope she walks the opposite way. It will be awkward if she’s dragging right behind me. Maybe I should run.” (but if being completely honest, did I want to run? NOPE! Plan = foiled).

“Man, I thought I was going to beat the rain,” she exclaimed as the rain started to fall upon our faces. *Me: Who is she talking to? Oh…I guess me. Don’t be rude, RESPOND!*

“Oh yeah, isn’t it so refreshing?” And there I went…striking up a conversation of no return. She stuck to my side and became my unofficial walking buddy.

Yeah, it was a tad awkward at first. I mean, I still don’t even know her name. BUT I can tell you that she attended college over the span of 22 years, with a total of 9 degrees ranging from a psychology, public health, nursing, and journalism. She’s basically been in school for the duration of my entire life…INSANE. She has 6 kids and has even bigger dreams for her posterity than she’s ever had for herself. She has a huge heart and has gone through a pit of bad luck. She gave me life advice on keeping my bones safe from osteoporosis and provided encouragement I didn’t know I needed. She told me way too much about her personal life, but we shared a few laughs nonetheless.

So why am I sharing this? As mentioned in my previous blog, “Room for Cream?” it is absolutely essential that we work hard to treasure the little moments in life. Far too often we are quick to overlook and don’t realize the importance of things until it is too late. Needless to say, I thought I would have rather enjoyed a walk to myself; however, I ended up walking just shy of 2 miles with a complete stranger that shed a new light on my day (even though it was terribly dark outside). We walked until our heads were soaked and parted just as friends would when going separate ways.

Next time it rains (figuratively, literally, or in this case…both!), choose to make it a positive experience for yourself and perhaps a stranger. You never know what may happen.

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Posted in Inspiration, Tara's Tales

reSOLUTIONS

New Year, new you, right? Well, at least what people used to say–I know I certainly have utilized it in my new year’s vernacular. However, I’ve noticed that this phrase has actually gained a negative connotation recently. People roll their eyes or look down on others that set these big expectations for the new year because they think they are wise enough to know that most people never actually reach their resolutions and fizzle out towards the end of January. That may be true for some, and I’m sure we are all guilty of setting resolutions we never follow up on, but for others, is the ever-so-easy eye roll or degrading Twitter meme stifling to those looking to make big changes or dream big dreams in the new year? Maybe it’s time we rethink the way we see resolutions because being on either end of this spectrum isn’t going to help anyone this new year.

I’m a huge advocate for setting goals and making lists, so planning new year’s resolutions is a field day for me. I’ve always been the type to make large goals and plans because it seems to give the tradition more meaning. I recently came across my 2011 list of resolutions (in which I had 11 to be exact). Now you’re probably wondering, did you actually achieve all 11? Of course not. That’s because I did it wrong. I listed all of the things I wanted to do, but in no way did I indicate how I was going to do them. They were all quality initiatives with great intentions; however, without a real plan of execution, there truly was no way to gauge the success of the goal.

Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to roll our eyes at those that say these big changes they want to make…because we are basing it solely on the words we hear and not actions we witness, which may be rightfully so. Also, it may be attributed to the fact that people that want change to come with the new year are seeing the previous year as bad and coming out of it with a salty perspective. Okay, who am I to dictate who had a good and bad year…clearly I can’t do that. But I can encourage those that feel that way to truly dig deep and find just one positive thing that happened in the previous year and use that as fuel to set fire to the new year. You’d be surprised…positivity is actually more flammable than negativity. So, if you are actually looking to enact theΒ change you’ve been desiring, pour positivity in your tank and get going. That is what’s going to make your new year the year you need it to be.

Now, if resolutions aren’t your thing, that’s completely okay. You do you, my friend. I would never say that you have to have resolutions to have a meaningful year. However, let this thought simmer: if we all work together as a support system for each other (particularly for those that get in to the resolution business), imagine the increase in success rates for new year’s resolutions. If you use positivity to plan your resolutions, imagine the greater depths you can reach. If we set goals designed to improve instead of setting unrealistic ideas with no substance to back it up, imagine the growth you can achieve. You can make this year anything you want it to be.

So next time you hear someone talk about their resolutions, smile and hold their hand along the way. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big–after all, maybe that can be the solution to our resolutions.

 

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