Article by Wendy McCance
This has been a crazy, stressful year. This has also been an incredibly productive year. I have been doing a lot of reflecting on what I have achieved and what lessons I can share with my kids.
The kids have seen me lose a job when my plant closed. I went through all of our savings trying to stay above water, lost our home and a rental property and in the end moved into another house. I went back to school and switched my career. I started writing and ended up writing 2 blogs in The Oakland Press. This blog which was started at the end of February 2012 went from nothing to 205 posts, over 24,000 views to date and over 1,000 followers. I had never blogged before this and had stumbled on a love of writing by accident.
The kids have seen how I’ve handled failure. They have witnessed my strength and determination to get us back on solid footing. They have seen me find opportunities where none seemed to exist. How to survive and never give up, that’s what I want them to learn.
I had two choices. Option 1 would be to fill myself with pity for my situation and drown in sorrow. Option 2 would be to get pissed off about my situation and fight my way out of it. I just could not accept that my life would be anything but successful. I have children to raise and dreams of how I wanted them to live. I was not going to let all of the bad moments consume me.
Every time I got going, something else would throw me back down to the ground. For a while there, I felt as though I couldn’t even take a breath. I knew deep down that there was only so much tragedy that could come my way before there would be a break in the clouds. It’s just life. Good and bad moments happen. There will never be one or the other extreme for forever. Life just doesn’t work that way. I knew that I needed to stay open and look for the break in the clouds. When I saw it, I needed to take full advantage of whatever I was given.
This is the lesson I want the kids to know. Look for opportunity. It’s always there if you stay open to it. When a moment presents itself, no matter how unrealistic it might seem or how much your confidence is at a low, don’t over analyze it, just go for it. You never know how it might work out.
When I began writing, I did it to get all of the bad feelings out of my system. I never figured I would get the response that I did. I was hoping that someone might read what I wrote and have some good advice or at least a comment of understanding because they had been in a similar position. The blog gave me so much confidence and was incredibly helpful in getting through those rough times. Along the way, I learned quite a bit about social media. I began to find great websites, knowledgable people and stumbled across the right person to get in front of to pitch my ideas for The Oakland Press. None of this was planned. I had no way of seeing this happening.
It has only been a year and a half since we had to start over in a new home in a new city with brand new jobs (my husband had worked at the plant as well). It is possible to start all over and be okay. Look, I am in my mid 40′s and had to begin again from square one.
The secret to turning your bad luck around and finding success is:
1. Don’t accept your situation. Know that you are worth more and are able to have a better life. Look for any way possible to gain experience, get in front of the right people and be open to change.
2. Follow your feelings. I wrote because it made me feel better. I went into real estate because I had always wanted to. I never tried a career in real estate because I was afraid of a lack of income. When you hit bottom, it’s much easier to go after your dreams because you have nothing else to lose.
3. Look for the good in every moment. It doesn’t matter how big or small the moment is. When you are at a really low point in your life, the simplest thing can brighten your day. If you look for the bright moments and celebrate them, it’s amazing what amount of gratitude you will have for things once taken for granted. Personally, I think it’s a better more wide awake way to live your life.
4. Nothings impossible unless you don’t move. If you don’t make any movement what so ever, how are you ever going to change your circumstances. There is no definitive right path. Don’t worry, just start moving. Go after whatever makes you feel good and better times will follow.
5. The worst moments in life give you the most insight into the world in which you live and knowledge of what you are all about. You will come out the other side as a more understanding and strong individual if you face the bad times head on and work through them.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
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