Ever had a bad day? A cloudy day does not necessarily mean that there’s more bad weather ahead. It’s Groundhog’s Day. We’ll find out whether Phil the Groundhog will see his shadow and predict six more weeks of bad weather or if he won’t and spring might be on its way.
My life has certainly been full of cloudy days (a little more about that later) as I’m sure is the case for us all. The question is how can we use those to move us toward sunny days ahead? Hard times don’t mean that life will continue to be difficult.
Take Jennifer Hudson, for example. She tragically lost her mother, brother, and 7-year old nephew when they were murdered by William Balfour in 2008. Rather than let that awful situation get the best of her, she established the Julian D. King Gift Foundation in honor of her nephew.
The Julian D. King Gift Foundation was established to provide stability, support, and positive experiences for chidlren of all backgrounds to help enable them to grown o be productive, confident, and happy adults.
So rather than let her tragedy overwhelm her, she used her cloudy day to help others.
I only hope that I can be half as resilient.
A Bad Day. Really?
In 2012, I decided to leave corporate America to start my own business. My children needed me. It meant leaving a career where I was making great money to start something unknown. During my journey of over 4 years, I’ve made less money than when I worked for the wealth management firm, but I’m so much happier and I know with continued hard work, I can get back there one day.
I’ve recently gone through a divorce from my husband of 7 years. Divorce is an already difficult process that I wish that no one had to experience. My ex-husband, however, decided that he isn’t going to play nice as we try to move forward with our lives. He started calling my clients and saying unkind things about me. He continued his mission by making complaints against me with various regulatory agencies, including the IRS. The amounted to nothing as there was nothing to find, but I still had to go through the process of responding to all of his claims. Court orders requesting him to stop have done nothing to slow him down even to this day. It has been and continues to be stressful.
The worst part was that it caused me to lose clients. They (understandably) did not want to be involved in what was amounting to a domestic dispute. I didn’t blame them one bit, but it hit me hard financially. For a while, I let it get the best of me. I felt sorry for myself and let life overwhelm me. Then I decided I couldn’t let him get what he wanted (to make life miserable) and I needed to get my act together. For my children and myself.
At that point, I decided to blog. I had been a complete mess, but I made a conscious effort to start celebrating life every single day and to help others do the same. That change has saved me. I love writing. I love helping others, and I love celebrating (who doesn’t) and this process has put me on the road to better days.
The kids and I recently moved to be closer to my parents and friends. My ex-husband and I had lived in a city where neither of us had any family and so now living in a city as a single mom had become difficult. I was required to give me ex-husband notification that I wanted to move and allow him a chance to object. I thought that would be easy. The visitation schedule would be the same, and since I bring the children to him, there would be no inconvenience on his part. He did not attend the children’s school events and so there was no missing out.
Well, I was wrong. He made a motion to the court to prevent me from moving. I began to have doubts. The kids were in a school that they loved where they’d spent most of their school careers. The new city we were coming to had a wonderful school system where the kids already had a couple of friends, but I was still worried. Terrified. What if I made the wrong decision? What if they hated their new school? Was I making this fight for nothing? So in addition to having to fight my ex, I was fighting with myself. It was a hard time for me.
Turns out, that worry was all for nothing. The kids have made the transition beautifully. During her fist month, my daughter was elected as the shining star of her class. My son has made a bunch of friends and loves his new situation. We are all loving our new house and living just down the street from my family. Sunny days are here indeed! While there is more of a fight ahead, each day gets a little bit better.
Even celebrities have to overcome hardship to get to where they are today. I’m always inspired by Oprah’s story. She came from a small, rural Mississippi town where she lived in poverty. She experienced sexual abuse as a child, pregnancy as a young teen, and the loss of a child. Not only did she survive all of this, she has gone on to be one of the most well-known, influential people in the world.
What experiences have you had? How have your cloudy days paved the way for the spring to come? Your story just might be what someone else needs to hear. I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes you have to take things one second at a time.
Every day is not going to be perfectly sunny. Some of those days that seem the best will make us want to run and hid and those cloudy days are there to let us know that spring is just around the corner.
So on those cloudy days, still look for a reason to celebrate. We’re rooting for the chance that Groundhog Phil won’t see his shadow. We’re going to need a cloudy day for that.
Keep on celebrating!