Turning Over A New Leaf Brings Happiness

November 11, 2018 Published by
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Turning Over A New Leaf

Turning over a new leaf: To start over, to act differently or change your attitude about something.

I often share that I love to write in the wee hours of the morning. I also like to write on airplanes. The constant sound of the engines, the constancy of my ultimate concierge next to me and the newness of our four-month-old puppy, America, fast asleep in his arms, sets a peaceful setting for writing, so I open up my computer to a blank page in Word, to start my story for today.

In the 1500s people called the pages in their books, leaves. When they turned over a ‘new leaf,’ they were really turning over a blank page in their book to start writing something new. The ‘new leaf’ term endured and now means, to change your attitude. I love the term because I visualize, not a page, but a gorgeous tropical large shiny leaf to place my life adventures on.

You see, darlings, we can change course whenever we want. We can exchange our unnecessary worries and bad habits for a new adventure, new knowledge and an abundance of curiosity. We are our own agents to do and undo whatever our little hearts desire.

That is why I like to combine the meaning of a new leaf with happiness. A new leaf means to refresh. Refreshing our lifestyles, after 50, brings new mental and emotional growth.

Ask yourself, “What would you like to do differently?” Go to the gym more often? Lead a more balanced lifestyle? Let your hair turn grey? Die it pink? Release your curiosity? Make new friends? Redo a room in your home? Go back to college? Go on your dream vacation. Become a writer? Involve yourself in a charity? Stop smoking?

Turning over a new leaf in just one area of your life will create a feeling of pleasure, meaning, and happiness. When a woman’s life is purposeful, she is happy. I am telling you this because I have learned that I can endure some emotional pain and still be happy overall. So, can you.

A Small Step Towards Happiness

Yesterday, I was walking through Trader Joe’s. I was exhausted. We arrived in California the day before, and I had so much on my plate. As I walked the aisles in a funk, my eye spied a green tomato. I instantly became curious because I had never tasted a green tomato! Putting it in my shopping cart, I felt happy and couldn’t wait to show it to my ultimate concierge and slice it up for dinner. I left the store entirely out of my funk. My curiosity over the green tomatoes had a profound change in my attitude. In the simplest of ways, I turned over a new leaf, and I was happy.

The story does not end with my purchase of the green tomatoes. I arrived home and carried my groceries into the kitchen. My housekeeper, Rosa, was in the kitchen. She has become a dear friend. We have been together for the past twenty-six years. She was also tired from helping me, but when she saw the green tomato her eyes opened wide, and she said, “I am going to plant the seeds and see if I can grow green tomatoes!” She was so happy. And, then I said, “I want to plant some seeds and grow green tomatoes, too.” Darlings, look how happy the two of us became over the green tomatoes.

However, happiness and peace are not always found at your local grocery store! If only we could always put our worries to rest in the produce department. 😉 The green tomato is really just a metaphor for choosing to see the silver lining when thinsg get tough.

I’ve been so blessed and yet, a personal situation has been weighing on me heavily of late. And I have been wondering if I took the right path on this particular leg of my  journey.

I often write that we should take the high road. I believe this because it is behavior that is morally right. Most times it is not that hard to do because, as wise women after 50, we recognize that there is little to gain by being drawn into a conflict.

I believe two words define the happy state of a woman: Be kind and be grateful. When a woman is kind and grateful, it is a win-win… for all. An attitude of gratitude is game-changing.

So, what does a kind woman do when conflict roars in? Try at the beginning of an ugly situation or altercation to take the high road. Try more than once because more often than not the high road is the right road.

Turning a New Leaf

Was I Wrong in Taking the High Road?

But there are those times, darlings when niceness becomes your folly. There are times when you should strike back. If you are faced with a despicable encounter, you should pass on taking the high road. You should stop the person in their tracks.

If another person’s goal is to do you harm, hold them accountable. Let them know in no uncertain terms there are consequences for their actions.

If you don’t stop some people, they will continue to hurt you. They will never stop.

I took the high road three years ago. I did this by keeping my silence. My silence turned out to be very damaging to many.

What has been the outcome? I am going to be very open with you. Looking back over the past three years, I made an error by taking the high, paired with penning conciliatory notes in an effort to build a bridge, as they say. In my case, this was absolutely the wrong path. I am grateful that in time, I learned this lesson. I am thankful that the universe reminded me that sometimes a visible, vibrant woman has to speak up against others unkindness. The high road is not always a quiet one.

In retrospect, when this situation arose several years ago, I should have roared. I suppose I still can. I am in thinking mode.

How we handle our massive hiccups ultimately reflects back on our well-being. I am trying, with difficulty, to come to terms, in this instance, with my passive actions. I made the wrong decision, and it has cost me dearly.

The lesson? When you have tried more than a few times to offer an olive branch, and the problem persists, take action and defend yourself to the hilt. Fight back.

And so, while this situation pains me, I find happiness in turning a new leaf. I will re-write this story on my terms. My new leaf will be a gorgeous and vibrant shiny green because I turned it over and the real me emerged.

Have you turned a new leaf? Have you been forced to find a new way to deal with conflict? What have you learned? How did you emerge?

I would so love to hear from you on TwitterFacebookPinterest, Instagram or in the comments section below.

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16 Comments

  • Rebecca says:

    Oh Honey, I enjoyed reading your story today! You are so encouraging and wise! I will read this again, and soak up all your wisdom! Have a happy Sunday!
    😊 Rebecca

  • Lois says:

    I never thought I would be 65 and still going thru hurt feeling of being left out from people I know and love.
    I can’t tell you how many times your blog hit home for me and gave me the advise I needed at that time.
    I work in a school and I hear the girls crying to the counselor about hurt feeling and I want to say to them, learn to deal it never goes away.

  • Linda says:

    I agree, Honey, that some people will continue to hurt you if they are not stopped. Not only that, they will hurt others as well…..it’s what they do, it’s who they are. Therefore, calling them out for what they have done and exposing them for who they are will help to heal you, and will hopefully prevent them from causing harm to others in the future.

  • Laura says:

    I am so surprised that so many women over 60 feel invisible just like me! This will be a great resource for me! Thank you!

    • Susan "Honey" Good says:

      You are in the majority by far. If you involve yourself in something that makes you happy you will ‘feel’ relevant and visible. Warmly, Honey

  • Susan Henry says:

    Honey – Sending you love and understanding this morning. Sue

  • Karen Reiner says:

    Hi Honey, I am new to your website. Your posting is right on point, you are so wise. It is hard to always know the right thing to do. Even when you are over 50. I think your site will teach me a lot.
    Thank you
    Karen

    • Susan "Honey" Good says:

      We constantly keep learning valuable lessons. It is part of the scheme of life. I am so glad you are with me on Honey Good. Warmly, Honey

  • Geri Blackwelder says:

    I was in a similar situation recently and stood my ground. A woman in my life is constantly being hurtful to people I love. This time, when she was being inappropriate, I told her. I surprised myself, but the people I love felt that someone had stood for them and protected them. I’m not sorry for my actionsl

  • Oh my Honey , that was another great story.. keep them coming you are so blessed . Colette

  • I cannot believe this is my third post after just joining the lilypad a few minutes ago? Golly! Honey’s story and the many comments remind me of something Ruth Bader Ginsberg shared about her mother’s advice: “My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” I embrace this definition as “being a lady” does not mean to acquiesce but knowing and feeling whether something is just or fair and acting accordingly; like a lady. If your leaf is not turning over as fast as you might like, get inspiration from the notorious RBG!

    • Susan "Honey" Good says:

      Love what you messaged me. I saw the documentary. I did enjoy learning about her life. Thank you for sharing. Warmly, Honey

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