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I should have said..."
October 21, 2014

October 21, 2014 Issue #103

Stop playing the "I should have said" game

Much of the single life is lived inside our minds. We have more time alone to think than married folks do, and sometimes that causes problems.

Does this sound familiar? Your boss or a coworker says something critical to you during the day, then when you come home at night, you replay the conversation over and over, thinking of rude comebacks you should have said but couldn't think of at the time.

I wish I had back the thousands of hours I threw away over my lifetime, fuming over those "missed opportunities" to put someone in their place. What an enormous waste of time!

This month we'll be looking at the phenomenon of "I should have said…" It's not unique to singles, of course, but it's another one of those mistakes I made during my life that I DON'T want you to make.

Find out the important lesson I learned by playing the game of "I should have said…"

Better things

Building up or tearing down
were two roads that arose.
And though the way seemed obvious,
it's not the route I chose.

I brooded and I thought about
the things I couldn't change.
I spent my time on what was gone;
a very poor exchange.

I decided I would trust in God
and what I know is true.
I dropped the hurts of yesterday.
I have better things to do.

I have better things to do
than make myself feel bad.
By reliving all my past mistakes,
missing things I never had.

I focus on my future,
and it makes each day feel new.
I choose the way of hope and joy.
I have better things to do.

It starts with a decision.
You can make it too.
Pick the path that leads to life.
You have better things to do.

~ Jack Zavada, 2014 ~

October's Quote is from 'Silent Cal'

Our October quotation of the month comes from Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States of America:

I've never been hurt by anything I didn't say.
~ Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) ~

As I've gotten older, I've learned to talk less and listen more. My Dad, one of the wisest men I've known, used to say, "You can't learn anything when you're talking. You can only learn when you're listening."

We singles often talk too much out of nervousness or insecurity. We feel we need to fill the blank space. As my self-esteem has improved over the decades, I don't do that any more. I would rather learn about the other person. I would rather ask questions than spout my own opinions.

I've also learned, through painful experience, to hold my tongue. Sarcasm can be hurtful. A stinging reply may make you seem clever for a moment, but it can hurt another person for years. Coolidge learned that when you don't say it at all, you can't hurt yourself--or others.

Is loneliness 'mandatory' for singles?

Yes, we're approaching that dreaded holiday season again, when many singles would rather just crawl under the covers for two months until it's over.

If loneliness is a paralyzing problem for you, my ebook, Outsmarting Loneliness may be able to help.

This is a practical guide, with real, doable actions you can take to ease the pain of loneliness. I wrote it so you can step out gradually, one stage at a time, at a pace you feel comfortable with. A little victory, then move on to a little bigger one.

You'll learn a secret that will help you overcome shyness. How to watch TV so it doesn't make you feel even lonelier. How to overcome life's "lamest excuse." How to be wiser than your emotions…and much more!

Outsmarting Loneliness is a PDF format ebook and costs only $7.97.

If you own a Kindle, you can now get Outsmarting Loneliness in a Kindle edition.

Treat yourself with kindness

If you haven't already guessed, this month's theme is "treat yourself with kindness."

It's a real temptation to blame yourself for your singleness--which would be a mistake. Often factors outside our control have a great effect on our lives, so give yourself a break.

Here are some articles and quotes to put you back on the path of being nice to yourself:

Stop beating yourself up--right now!

How to guard your thoughts

Why your human weakness is a gift from God

Is comparisonitis more dangerous than Ebola?

Leave the broken, irreversible past in God's hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.
Oswald Chambers

Before God could bring me to this place He has broken me a thousand times.
Smith Wigglesworth

Many people are reluctant to show mercy because they don't understand the difference between trust and forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Trust has to do with future behavior.
Rick Warren

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
Karl Barth

Remember, your worth is founded in Jesus Christ.
Warren Wiersbe

As we pour out our bitterness, God pours in his peace.
F.B. Meyer

If you're going in the wrong direction, turning around is the only right direction.
Woodrow Kroll

Life never stands still

It's autumn here in Illinois, in the midwest United States, which means a harsh winter may be coming. When you live where the seasons change every three months, it's a reminder that life never stands still.

I hope this Inspire-O-Gram has been a reminder to you to look for hope in your future. The road you have traveled has brought you where you are, but your wise choices from now on will take you where you want to be many years from now.

Work continues on my "secret project," which I hope to share with you by Christmas. I think for many of you, it will help you understand something of great importance to your life.

Occasionally, I direct you to my friend Mary Fairchild's fine web site, In keeping with the theme of this newsletter, here's a great piece Mary wrote about Overcoming Despair.

As always, I appreciate your comments and suggestions on these newsletters. I try to make the material as relevant to the single life as I can. If you have ideas on subjects you'd like to see covered in the future, please let me know via our potpourri-free contact form.

Thanks again for reading. I hope things are happy in your part of the world, but especially in your heart.

Keep the faith!

Jack Zavada
401 Indiana Ave
Streator, IL 61364 USA

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