Life Lessons from Maya Angelou

Awhile back when Maya Angelou passed away, I saved an article called “21 Life Lessons from Maya Angelou.”  Today, as I was looking through some post ideas, I stumbled upon it.  July has been quite the transitional month for me, so a little reminder of some life lessons should be excellent.

It is Marvelous Monday, after all.  I’m linking up with Katie.

I picked out some of the lessons that most strongly resonated with me.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. Do not complain. 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.”

Holy cow, do I need to remember this one!  I have been working hard to follow this idea.  I try not to complain too much (although, I admit, I do spill it out on my fiance and sister in law every once in awhile).  The real effort for me is also underlined.  When something is bothering me, I really try to take a step back and ask myself if there is anything I can do to make a change.  If there is, I try to do it.  If not, I need to reframe my thinking and find a way to let it go (or at least deal with it).

“I did what I knew…. When I knew better, I did better.”

This quote is so simple, yet it speaks volumes.  I have encountered this in soooooo many stages of my life.

  • Running my first 5K, and improving from there.

5K finish

  • Choosing friends that may not have appreciated or accepted me, and learning to move away from those people later’
  • Allowing my fear of flying to keep me away from amazing views like this, and then deciding to bite the bullet and travel!
  • 01ce48fc8a26c648b7898917661f3889639c9ed243
  • Running too hard in marathon training until I injured myself, then having to lay off much more than I wanted to.
  • Teaching my first yoga class and trying to be someone else.  Now, I have to be myself!


“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

Yes, even my messy hair is enough. Photo Credit: Mel Koossy, Shala Plus

Yes, even my messy hair is enough.
Photo Credit: Mel Koossy, Shala Plus

This is something I am constantly trying to remember in my big career change.

I know that people, even those closest to me, have judged my decision and even maybe bashed it behind my back.  At first, it bugged me a little.  Now, I see it totally differently.  I know that what I am doing is the right thing for me.  Whatever people may think about it doesn’t matter.  I am working hard to be successful and do what makes me happy, I have a fiance who backs me 100% in this, and that is all I need.

Do any of these lessons resonate with you?  Tell me your story!


Can’ts into Cans Wednesday: Running my first 5K

With my blog being entitled “Can’ts into Can’s,” I want to take some time to focus on some ways to turn doubts into success.  Enter Can’ts into Cans Wednesdays!

I would like to turn this into a weekly series in which I highlight a way someone turned a “can’t” into a “can.”  I would love to pull in all sorts of people and all sorts of victories, big and small.  I figured Wednesday would be a good day, as it is halfway through the week and might serve as a little inspiration to get us all through to the weekend.

This week’s little victory will highlight one of my greatest accomplishments, which started me on the path to a healthier, happier me: my first 5K.

Finishing my first 5K!

Finishing my first 5K!

Several years ago (I’m thinking five, but I’m not sure anymore, haha), my admiration for runners boiled over, and I decided to give it a shot.  I did some Internet research and found the Couch to 5K program, which really helped me take it one step at a time and build a foundation without becoming terribly frustrated.

After gaining some confidence in my running, I decided to give it a try to run with my best friend Amanda (you’ve heard about her when I discussed making my workout fun by sticking with a buddy).  She had been running for ages, and I really wanted to impress her.

I remember her telling me (prefaced by a “no offense, but…”) that she was impressed at my form and how well I did.  That really gave me a boost, and, soon enough, we were talking about running a 5K together.

To start, my goal was simply to finish.  However, in true Amanda fashion, she planted the seed in my head one day that she thought I could do it in less than half an hour.

When Amanda throws a goal out there, I can’t help but go for it.

So, I trained.  I was nervous.  I thought there was no way I would hit that goal.  In fact, I stayed out later than I expected the night before, didn’t eat super healthy, and didn’t expect it to go well at all.

Before I knew it, I found myself in the last mile of the race.  I was feeling pretty good, but starting to panic.  So, I socialized a little.  Amanda quickly put the kibosh on that one.  🙂  Finally, just as I started to get discouraged and thinking I wouldn’t get there, I turned the corner to the finish.

I didn’t know if I could go any faster, but I sure tried.  I heard my brother-in-law scream my name, and I tried harder.

Sure enough, I crossed the finish line at 29:39…meeting my goal by 21 seconds.  I must add that my amazing running buddy let me finish in front of her.  🙂

Amanda and I walking it off afterward so I didn't keel over...

Amanda and I walking it off afterward so I didn’t keel over…

It sure was not easy, but I did it!  This little victory started me on the path to more races and WAY more confidence.

Have you ever run a 5K?  What did you think?