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Square Peg Round Hole

Story of my life, for a while anyway.

Do you ever feel like you keep trying to force a square peg into the round hole of life? Hello?

Sometimes no matter how many rules you follow, how good you are, how hard you try, how many classes you take or how many late hours you work, things just don’t pan out.

Life can be hard. So can careers, families and relationships.

This brings to mind a popular quote many Americans live by from Friedrich Nietzsche, a 19th century philosopher and writer: That which does not kill us makes us stronger.  

Hooey! I know plenty of people who were not made stronger by their challenges and they were not killed, but just left to linger in a limbo of confused despair. We can do better than that.

Sometimes following the rules, thinking inside the box can kill you … or worse yet, might make you wish you were dead.

Compromise is a necessary quality. Knowing when not to is salvation.

Maybe, just maybe, if it’s too hard and it feels like its breaking you…it might be.  Maybe you should be exploring another route; a different way, a different career, relationship or lifestyle.

 Not to say that I don’t believe in the virtue of perseverance.  But rather, that perseverance should be coupled with an open mind and enough creative thinking to find a route that will produce less collateral damage and get you where you want to go.

When doors slam shut, when lies and deceit compromise relationships, or when employers mistreat staff, it rarely occurs to us that it might be life’s way of showing us that we shouldn’t be there in the first place; a polite way of showing us the door.

When a goal is rendered unaccomplished, another dream is waiting to be fulfilled.

Think of Lucille Ball (who doesn’t love Lucy?). All she ever wanted to be was a dancer. When she broke her leg before a big Follies’ show, she was shown the door. With a strong need to eat and pay the bills, she temporarily turned to acting. The rest is history.

The tried and true should be revered but not worshiped.

In these tough economic times, it’s hard to remember what we are good at, what we want out of life and what makes us happy. Instead we see only the square peg and the round hole. Think again.

Break the rules, think out of the box, plan scheme and plot, dream big. 

Save yourself before you try to conquer the world and it’s gold. YOU are worth much more than either.

Maybe it’s time to make your own history.


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Sue Cove - Just what I needed to hear.
Thanks Tammy. You rock!

Kellie - U r right on point as usual my friend! Kel

Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - Tammy:

I like your line: “Compromise is necessary. Knowing when not to is salvation.” That has been the crux of the matter for me.

Often in life we find a very thin line between courage and stupidity. That is when I go inside and check with my inner wisdom. When I turn off my rational mind for a short time and listen carefully to this unique resource, I always get the answer that works for me! – Laura Lee

Tricia Linden - It has been said that most men (and women) live lives of quiet desperation. We often perfer to settle rather than rock the boat. Not good IMHO. I’d rather take a chance, take a risk, and be happy or be sad but be better off knowing I tried. Go forth and rock the boat. yeah.
Enjoy always, T

Tammy - Sue, we have a perfect relationship … it is just what I needed to say! So happy it spoke to you. Thanks for being here!

Tammy - Kellie, I am rarely right, but God bless you for saying so! So very happy to have you on the other side of my posts.

Tammy - Laura Lee, I couldn’t agree with you more, my dear. Knowing the difference between courage and stupidity is a whole other blog and I am in the process of putting the finishing touches on those thoughts. But knowing when not to compromise, well, it’s golden. As always, thanks for being here.

Tammy - Tricia, Boat rocker is my middle name. Loved your post. So right on. And, I’m with you all the way, although I do wish I had been better at some of my risk taking. All in the learning curve, right? Keep doing what you’re doing, you’ve got my respect. Thanks for posting!

Jeff Davidson - Not always easy to do but so true. Time to let go of what doesn’t work and try something new. Now all I have to do is figure out what!
Risks are good and the rewards are so much greater. I think someone took a personal risk with you and is now reaping the rewards!

Kris Henderson - I’ve always said that “perserverance” is my middle name – and it is – but you’re right, it’s also about recognizing when it’s time to let go because “the fit” isn’t right for you. Sometimes we shouldn’t be where we’re at because it’s NOT the right fit, and it’s about trusting your instincts enough to know….it’s time to move on. Thanks for YOUR insights!

Tammy - Jeff, you’re right, of course, finding your passion and purpose is ironically a lifetime pursuit…if we are lucky. And I’d like to think that my special someone is reaping rewards for taking a chance on me. I know I am. So happy you are here. Thanks for posting.

Tammy - Kris, timing is ALMOST everything. Letting go rarely comes easy. Most believe it’s better to stay with the devil we know that to venture and face the unknown. Not so. Venturing saves us if our courage allows it to speak to us. My two cents. Clearly we are sisters from another mother! So gald to have you on the other end of my posts. Untill next time.

HaitianPhoenix - This is just what I needed to hear. I’m going through a rough patch with someone I’m dating and like you said it may be time to take another road. It really shouldn’t be that difficult.

Tammy - Phoenix, Only you can be the judge of that move. It might be a case of your judgement waiting for your courage to catch up. Every woman alive knows what this is like. This needs to be about YOU. Let me know how it all works out. Thanks for posting – happy to have you here.

Sid Sperry - Your post reminds me of two old quotes that are among my most favorite: “Postponing a decision, or deciding not to decide, is a decision made, in and of itself.” And, “See the happy moron? He doesn’t give a damn. I wish I were a moron; my God, perhaps I am!” Far too many people choose to linger in the black hole of self doubt and inaction. The best days of my life have been when I’ve chosen to risk, and have then moved forward with action on my decision. I may still be a ‘moron,’ but at least when I risk, I’m a moron that’s moving forward! Great post, Tammy! Keep moving forward! Hugs!

Jennifer Eubanks - Tammy,

I would love for you to be saying all of this in front of an entire crowd of women/men/teens. It is difficult for a lot of people to realize or focus on their own self worth (ah hem). Many of us simply don’t know where to begin. You always seem to have the words my ears need to hear! xoxo

Kesha Brown - Tammy, I love this statement:

“…Compromise is a necessary quality. Knowing when not to is salvation…”

I have to think about that myself ever so often – when I should be compromising. I have learned a lot from past mistakes on doing so and, though balance is the word of the day, I tend to be on the other end of the spectrum these days 🙂

I was talking to a cousin of mine just today who really needs to read this post and I will be sending it to her. She’s going through some things right now with learning what makes her happy and your post is a good one to start the healing process (at least I think so!) 🙂


Tammy - Sid, I have never heard those quotes before, I just love them. I have most often chosen the side of risk. Big payoffs and big upsets. Still, I never wanted to wonder what might have happened if I had tried this or that. I’d much rather be contemplating how amazing it was to live through or how much better I will do things next time. Moving forward seems harder to do as I get older. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the having been “burned too many times” routine. A survival instinct. So, I feel the fear and do it anyway. Onward and upward for us, my friend. Thank you for posting.

Tammy - Jenn, Thanks for those thoughts, I’m working on it. As far as having the words you need to hear, it might surprise you to know that they are the words I need to hear too. Thinking it, saying it, writing it … then living it. The hard part is believing it. And I … believe … in you. Now, it’s your turn. Thanks for posting, Missy.

Tammy - Kesha, there is no more flattering thing than to have your work shared. I’m thrilled. I would love to have your cousin in the fold. In being here, I hope she gains a little wisdom, a few laughs and a great sense that she is not alone. You’re right, balance is hard to find and even harder to maintain. Compromise is the crust of our relationships, including the one we have with ourself. Compromise nothing when it comes to being who you know you are. Great having you here, thanks for posting!

Make up tips - Thanks a lot for being the lecturer on this area. We enjoyed your own article quite definitely and most of all cherished how you handled the issues I widely known as controversial. You happen to be always quite kind towards readers much like me and help me in my lifestyle. Thank you.

Pj Zafra - Hey Tammy, great post here!

We should definitely have the right mindset when it comes to certain challenges in life. Very very important! I believe the challenges in life are not meant to break us, but make us. That’s a totally different view on things and it makes a challenge more of a test for us to become stronger individuals.

Great post and keep it up! 😀 Thanks for the inspiration!

Tammy - Pj, I’d love to be a stronger individual. Some days I am, others, not so much. It’s a bit like my belief that I should have buns of steel for the many times that I walk up and down the stairs. But I don’t, they are still mushy as ever. I also believe that I should be pretty close to the strongest person I know, having weathered all kinds of life’s “lessons”. But alas, I’m still learning. Always the student. We are all but students and one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is when to walk away. Tricky business. Grateful to have you here, thanks for the post!

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