Change and challenge,  Choices and decisions,  Personal growth

How to fix things

“Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.” ~Maya Angelou

This is the time of year when I focus intently on fixing things I don’t like about myself, or things that aren’t working in my life. Self-improvement, after all, usually involves effort as well as introspection.

But when something is broken beyond repair, or a bad situation is totally out of my control, the best thing I can do is adjust my attitude. I can change how many calories I consume in a day, for instance, but I can’t change the weather report. Likewise, I can’t change the rude behavior of strangers, but I can work harder to practice courtesy and kindness wherever I go.

I’ve wasted a lot of time agonizing over problems that aren’t in my power to fix, and I regret that I can’t get that wasted time back. As Maya Angelou suggests, when I can’t change things I don’t like, I can change the way I perceive and deal with them. ~CL

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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