“If we went to high school together, I would have hated you.” 

“Wait – what??”

“You’re one of those girls who has everything!  You are pretty, outgoing, have lots of friends and got straight A’s”

 The irony and utter madness of the words spoken by one of my closest friends on the planet, struck me deeply.  Not only one of my closest friends, but in my eyes, she is the girl who has it all!

It got me thinking about life – about perspective and gratitude. 

This friend has a wonderful relationship with her husband, a strong and loving family, deep and meaningful friendships.  She has travelled.  She has a great, warm personality and is one of those people you can trust with the depths of your soul.  Her parents are actively involved in her children’s lives.  She has been through some battles, having overcome breast cancer and has a daughter with cerebral palsy, and manages to make every bitter situation sweet.  Her strength is simply amazing.  She is positive and upbeat, always focused on the needs of other people.   Her childhood was filled with love, security and fond memories, and she is passing this same legacy on to her own little ones.   She has a great career, doing what she loves with hours that allow her time with the family that is so close to her. 

 Everything I would want in life, she has.    And here she is, saying to me, that I am ‘one of those girls’, thinking that I have everything!

As we are starting a New Year, it made me stop and assess who I want to be this year, and how each one of us can be “That girl who has everything”

 Acknowledge what you have

Even in the midst of tough times, make a list of the things you DO have and love about your life.  The friends you have, the hobbies you enjoy, the stolen moments with a glass of wine, your children, even your new haircut.

 Focus on the Positive

Life is full of experiences – challenges and victories, difficult times and enjoyable times.  Even in the midst of the most trying and difficult times in your life, find time for something you love – coffee with a friend, time to enjoy that hobby, make time for that glass of wine no matter how bad a day you’ve had.    Tickle your children, get your hair done.  Focus on all the things you love in life!

 Choose to be Happy

More and more I am realizing that happiness is a choice.  Circumstances in my life lately have been a little rocky, but when I start to feel down or overwhelmed I have learned to instantly do something to change my emotional state.  (It often involves playing music that I love and singing along like a fool!)    Happiness is chosen and created in small actions.  It is intentionally adopting a new perspective.  

 Create Goals and a Plan

Who exactly is the girl who has everything?  To you?  Is she the one who is in great shape?  Join a gym.  Is she the one with a lot of friends?  Get involved.  Join clubs or organisations that line up with your interests to meet people who are likeminded.  Is she pretty?  I have a personal opinion that beauty is seen in a persons’ happiness and in the way they care for themselves and FEEL.  Do something that makes you feel beautiful - Take time to do your nails.  Get a new haircut.  A new lipstick.   Is she career oriented?  What can you do today to prepare for the career you would secretly love to have? 

Define who you want to be, and create goals and steps to become that person.

 Embrace Diversity

I have friends who are complete opposites of each other and yet each connect with a different part of my own personality, and on a deep, irreplaceable level.  I have other friends that have completely different personalities and interests than I do.    I love the fact that they think differently.  Being around them naturally expands who I am as a person, and broadens my own perspectives on life.  The friends who are different than me introduce me to new worlds and new interests that I would not have discovered.

 One step at a time, take matters into your own hands to become the person you want to be.    Life is all about perspective and action.   My friend gave me a new perspective.   And in 2014, I am purposed to hold on to that perspective, to define, for me, who IS the girl who has everything?  And to become that girl!