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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

TED Talks, Changing Attitudes, and Thinking Outside of the Box


TED Talks, Changing Attitudes, and Thinking Outside of the Box

By S. E. Smith



Sometimes life throws you unexpected snowballs. A strange analogy, but so true. I won’t say my life has been difficult. I will admit that I’ve had many difficult times in it. It doesn’t help when you are a born worry-wart, but someone has to take the job, right?

So what does this have to do with the title of this blog? Everything! It is what is important to you at specific times during a specific time of your life that makes you who you are. As Andy Warhol said about his painting of 100 cans of Campbell soup when asked, that was all he could afford to buy to eat so it was important.

For those that don’t know, I’ve given up my day job to pursue the unknown. I am now a full time writer and my own boss. There was one condition that I had to promise to my husband when we talked about me transitioning from working a full-time job outside the home plus writing, to just writing full-time. That one condition was that I started taking time for me.

This, I must admit, is a relatively new concept for me. As the mother of four children, I never had time for me. There was always something or someone demanding my time. Once the kids were old enough to leave the nest, I turned all that energy and ‘new’ available time toward my job. I even worked a full-time job, part-time teaching position, and wrote!

Now, I don’t want to sound like I was this incredible superwoman. I’m not. In fact, for the last year my husband became increasingly concerned about my health. He knew that I couldn’t continue on the path I was going for much longer.

So, the choice came down to doing something I enjoyed compared to something I loved. My decision came mainly from the many readers who have posted the wonderful reviews and sent me emails encouraging me to continue sharing the many stories I have. My Facebook friends are the coolest group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking with. I enjoy our conversations, learn from them, and hold close the warmth they share when I am overwhelmed with doubt.

As part of the promise, I have been walking for an hour a day on the treadmill that my husband gave me for my birthday (I actually asked for it). While I’m working on improving my health, I also feed my mind.

I’ve always enjoyed TEDTalks (this one on how stress is good for you really hit home; watch to the very end) and have been especially enjoying them since I’ve decided to take this journey. What I am learning is that I made the right decision. I am following my passion, something that I am good at, and I’m facing my fears.

My attitude is slowing changing. I still work too much and too long, but I recognize that and am working on a strategy to put more balance in my life. The biggest change was when we were sitting at the dining room table and my hubby told me I looked younger, less stressed. I was surprised because I was exhausted from working fourteen hours straight. But, it dawned on me that it was a good fourteen hours. I didn’t feel like the weight of the world was on my shoulders because I was doing something that I was passionate about.

I’m beginning to really take a look at how I’ve been living my life. The world didn’t stop because I didn’t finish a project. People didn’t stop liking me because I was tired and didn’t answer them right away. The universe continued on its merry way totally oblivious to the fact my office was a disaster zone. And, I didn’t worry about it.

A part of my old self wants to keep that worry going. It wants to hide behind the fear of failure. It wants to remind me that I don’t have the self-confidence to be who I want to be. But, that is my old self. The one that I took a good long look at and said, it’s okay to worry, just keep it to the things that I can change. It’s okay to fail, you can learn from them and grow stronger. It’s okay to have self-doubt because it keeps you from losing who you are and what means the most to you; just remember you can do it in the end.

And so, when I think of things outside of the box, like Touch of Frost: Magic, New Mexico Book 1 where I mixed Sci-fi and Paranormal, I know that it will be alright. When I dream of doing things and make them happen, it is because I am stepping outside the box I have been standing in watching the world as it goes by. I like being outside the box. As I look back at it, I think it would make a very nice box for a garden. One where all kinds of wonderful ideas can grow. Oh, and that snowball I mentioned at the beginning? It has melted and I'm using the water for the flowers.

S. E. Smith is a USA Today and Amazon International Bestselling Author. Fans can reach her at SESmithFL@gmail.com or visit her web site at: http://sesmithfl.com. Join me for additional information about the books at http://pinterest.com/sesmithfl/s-e-smith/, http://twitter.com/sesmithfl, http://facebook.com/se.smith.5 and at my new book discussion forum at http://www.sesmithromance.com

 

7 comments:

Mia Aston said...

You asked your readers to share something that they have accomplished no matter how small. Here is mine. When I was a child I was diagnosed with Petite Mal Epilepsy. The doctor told my mom that I would never graduate high school (if I ever made it that far), would never hold down a job, support my family (if I got married), would basically be a burden on everyone. Well, I graduated high school (late, but still), held down a job, got married (on year 11 now), and am planning on going to college for my business degree around January of next year. To the doctors, I say suck it.

Anonymous said...

I was a single mom working three jobs to support my self and two children , one of which is on the Autism Spectrum with only having a high school education. I finally got my BA in psychology at the age of 47.

S. E. Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S. E. Smith said...

Both stories are a powerful testament to the courage it takes to overcome negativity. I would be lying if I didn't admit that both touched me and brought tears to my eyes. I hope you both share your stories with others. They both need to be told.

S. E. Smith said...

Julie Baker I'm 47, been a smoker since 14, I've taken the first step to stop. But I'm really proud of my daughter Melinda, dated the same guy from age 15, married at 18, husband joined the military, 4 kids by the time she was 25. No education but a high school diploma, bare foot and pregnant from age 18. Melinda and the kids suffered domestic abuse for years while being dragged pillow to post in the military. In October 2012, things escalated and Melinda was almost killed by her husband. The husband is now in jail. Melinda is now raising 4 kids by herself, going to collage full time to become a Surgeon, and working while all of them are going to therapy. She is doing this alone with no support from the state ( she makes to much money to get welfare ) no section 8 housing to help pay her rent. SHE IS A STRONG WOMEN AND I'M PROUD SHE IS MY DAUGHTER!!

Anonymous said...

I am here. I survived a extremely abusive home with a mother who hated because my father abused her. A biological father that was never there growing up and a step-father who saw me as a burden and decided I made a great punching bag. I have graduated high school even without help from my family. They truly believed or wanted me to believe I would never reach that goal. I did. I started to live on my own off and on from age sixteen. When I lived at home I paid rent from my own job to live there. I graduated at eighteen and moved out on my own. I started college and worked two jobs to cover my bills and college books. I have married which no one believed would last. We have now been married almost eighteen years and have two beautiful children. For all that suffered, I survived and I am here. I will finish my degree and watch as my daughter will go off to college next year. I have been given more than I could ever have asked for. I had a very hard start but it gave me the strength to go on a keep going no matter what. I have been blessed to live this life when in all honestly I did not think I would survive my childhood. Tina

S. E. Smith said...

Bravery comes in many different forms, Tina. What you have done is shown your children the incredible strength of the human spirit. I bet you are an awesome mom.

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