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Advice is easy, but life is hard

March 31, 2016
By Joyce Schenk , Westfield Republican

(Due to an unexpected computer problem, this week I'm sharing a Golden Oldie from way back in 2008. See you next week. Love, Joyce)

My friend, Amy, is a working mother of four. Her youngest in is in high school. The others are on their own or in college.

Last week I received a surprising note from Amy. In it, she asked my advice on what she should be doing with her life. Should she continue in her current position as an editor and writer, devoting her evenings and weekends to teaching in various programs throughout the area? Or, should she go back to college for her PhD with an eye to joining a college faculty?

For quite a while, I thought over Amy's questions, as well as her current situation. After all, this woman had turned to me, expecting me to share some measure of wisdom gained through my longer life walk.

Unfortunately, the answer to "What should I do next with my life?" can only come from within. Each of us has to make such difficult decisions for ourselves. When the road of life hits a fork, it's up to each individual traveler to weigh the options and decide which path to take.

After long thought, I finally sent Amy this reply:

"The best advice I can give you is to look ahead five years. Where do you want to be in your life at that time? Once you find your answer, do whatever it takes to get there."

I don't know what choices Amy will make. But as with each of us, she must continually adjust to situations that arise over which she has no control, adapt to changes as they come along and show both flexibility and determination. That's what life is all about.

These days, the choices we are making seem more challenging than ever, given the many and varied stresses sweeping our world. But it's important to look for a silver lining, no matter how small. That's what sent me to my collection of wise and witty quotations on the subject of life. Here are a few of the best.

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit." - Nelson Henderson

"Life is like an onion: you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep."

"The secret of life is not to do what you like, but to like what you do." - Anonymous

"When I hear somebody sigh that 'life is hard' I'm tempted to ask, Compared to what?" - Sidney J. Harris



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