Five Thoughts To Get You Back On Top

Pairs Well With… “Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you?” – Unknown

Thanksgiving is over and the holidays are in full swing.  It’s not long before my favorite Mariah, Kelly and *Nsync holiday tunes are in full rotation, and this house becomes its own little winter wonderland.  Deck the halls.  Hang the friggin’ mistletoe.  Create the “One Take Wonder” 2016 Christmas music video…

Put on that wonderfully ugly holiday attire. And Mom, please make me a batch of those “calories don’t count because they are bite-sized” little spritz cookies I love.  I am grateful for all of the holiday cheer.

Oh, the holidays…how fast they showed up – again!  Where the heck did this year go? (Says everyone.  Every year.)  It’s like we’re surprised that the holidays happen year after year…after year.  None the less, I love looking forward to celebrating old traditions, making new ones and wearing shimmer and sparkle all darn December long.

With a violent clap of thunder (in November? WTF!), I snapped out of my holiday daydreaming and back to reality when the noise caused me to spill my cup of decaf all over myself. This miserable and manic Minneapolis weather encouraged me to think warm and sunny thoughts.  Sitting with my back against my dresser (for no particular reason) in the middle of my room (because it’s where I felt like writing today), I drifted back to where I spent the Christmas last year: Palm Springs.

Somehow, Palm Springs caused me to think about 2016 coming to a close, which led to the biggest lesson I learned this year, and I want to achieve next, as well as the kind of adulting I want (or not want) to do.  All that enriching, useful self-reflection stuff.

Is it just me, or do we all ask ourselves at least one a year, if not more, “What do I want to do with my life?”  I digress.

Where you decide to go next in life depends on where you’ve been, perhaps even what you learned, and how you apply it.  My most substantial lesson this year was how to be resilient: how to bounce back and make the best of a situation when life kicked me down, how to calm the freakouts when life got chaotic, how to let things (and people) not bother me, how to just…be…

…and how to come out on top.

Overcoming, in any regard, takes so much practice.  Maybe it’s more patience than anything else to get to perfection – if there is such a thing.  While certainly not perfected, I’ve most definitely made a progressive start.

Here are five thoughts to get you back on top:

Control what you can.  There are certain things in life we can’t control: other people, weather, traffic, how good pizza tastes – and most of our life.  Let those things go!  Put your energies where they matter: your goals, how you treat people, the lessons you want to learn and keeping a positive mindset.  Someone shared this quote by Erma Bombeck with me last year: “Worry is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do, but never gets you anywhere.”  True story.

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Emphasize the positive.  Some life wins are big, but others small.  Don’t discount them! See the importance in all that surrounds you, and take the time to recognize that small steps in a good direction are still forward progress.  Celebrate the wins and focus on what is going right.  No one likes a Debbie Downer.

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Do not dwell.  Sure, life gets us down now and again, but how long are you going to linger in misery?  How long do you want to remain in gloom?  Happiness is a choice, and the choice is up to you!  Take time to mourn, to heal, to process, to regroup. Whatever you do, make sure you have plans to check out of Hotel Misery.  The longer you stay, the harder it is to leave. What is waiting on the other side is sure to be much more enchanting.

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Do not look back.  You know that voice that creeps in and causes you to look over your shoulder?  Stop right there.  Don’t do it.  Think about the last time someone said to you, “Oh hey! I made significant backward progress today!”  Nope. Never happened.  It’s just not a real thing.  Remember the reason you made your decision in the first place and trust yourself.  You know yourself better than anyone else, and your gut will never steer you wrong.

Once Upon A Time Dont Do It GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Make a bold move.  What are you waiting for?  Stirrup pants to come back in style? Good, because fashion reports state that they are making a comeback.  So, moral of the story is, if stirrup pants can make a comeback, SO CAN YOU!  When in doubt, make a snap judgment call based on intuition, and then figure out the rest of the pieces as you move along.  I do this all the time.  Nine times out of ten it all works out like it should. Scary as hell but worth every penny.

What are the best and biggest lessons YOU have learned in 2017?

4 Responses to “Five Thoughts To Get You Back On Top”


      Thanks Liz! I still ebb and flow myself, but I keep the list short and focused, which helps me make these easily actionable!

  1. Angie Otis

    Good read Carin. I must admit, I’m one that looks back and wishes to change so many things.. but I need to focus on the present!


      Up until recently, I also did that time and again. I made sure to make peace with the few key things that I had wanted to change, but the rest are dust in the wind! I’m moving forward.


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