Guest Column: ‘Quest for Living’ columnist reflects on TRRT’s 25 years

Lisa Rubin Johnson

Editor’s note: The Rock River Times will feature various items from previous columnists and contributors throughout the year as we celebrate 25 years in publication. The following is from former columnist Lisa Rubin Johnson, who wrote the “Quest for Living” column.

By Lisa Rubin Johnson

Introductory note:

Dear Frank [Schier, editor and publisher],

Congratulations on celebrating the 25th year of The Rock River Times. The Rock River Times has served the Rockford community with news items that stimulate and encourage.

I would like to acknowledge my years as one of the colulmnists who forged ahead under the direction of John Gile … the Phelps family … and onward to Frank.

Using a childish expression “I loved writing for the newspaper,” I basked in words that I shared with the readers. I was constantly learning from my writing, and also from each of the editors I worked with.

My fastidious nature insisted I write a column with perfection. It would take me one whole week to complete the perfect column. I learned so much throughout those years, researching — probing into words and archives.

When I resigned, I felt my well had run dry. To pick up, however, I served for two years as president of the Rockford Writers Guild, which allowed mingling with other writers.

Writing is a talent not given to many. I have cherished God’s writing gift. I have honored my writing skills well. My column, “Quest for Living,” was inspirational and motivating. It helped many readers to cope with stress, along with enjoying life to the fullest.

The enclosed “Life is not a stationary commodity” is my gift to you. I wanted to share “me” again with The Rock River Times as it celebrates its 25th year of giving. It takes many minds to achieve success. Peace, be well.

Lisa Rubin Johnson
Quest for Living” columnist, The Rock River Times

Quest for Living: Life is not a stationary commodity

I have studied the writings of many who are involved in assisting people coping with retirement, the loss of a loved one or living through trauma and grief.

It is a phenomenal moment to live with a sudden crisis in your life. When a loved one is stricken with a debilitating illness, or a loved one passes on, leaving us filled with pain and grief, something deep inside us fights to understand the moment. We survive the only way we know how, and that is to fight back and try to survive this moment of loss and disbelief.

The title “Life is not a stationary commodity” came invisibly, like from outer space, while I was sipping on a cup of coffee. It probably stemmed from many of my own tragic dramas that called for me to stand up and fight or die. I, too, am a victim of one of those moments when my life changed in a second. I learned through this experience to accept, as I had no other alternative.

How to cope with big changes is a big, big question. Change is inevitable. Change affects all people at some time in their lives, as we all know that life does not guarantee permanence. It silently reminds us of change. Life is not a stationary commodity. Life is movement in all dimensions.

How do people react to change? Some falter completely. Others fight back and survive. There are no set patterns. It is wise to put on your warrior’s armor and charge ahead in spite of your grief and sorrow. The warrior’s spirit is demonstrated by your invisible strength and courage, now surfacing to hold you together in this unexpected fight to survive.

We can overcome these periods of defeat. How? After the battle, a new dawn awakens within us. We begin to see life with new anticipation. We begin to smile more. We feel an inner glow of peace surfacing to assist us. Those feelings of lethargic inertia have been replaced with new desires and new anticipations to live our lives with action again.

When you begin to create new plans, you begin to glow. When you begin to change, you begin to replace the old with the new. When you move into action, you take on a new feeling of self-worth. When we remember that our ideas are needed to keep the world alive with creativity, it triggers more ideas and action.

No human being can sit and lull his time away. To live with inactivity is defeating. We must not stop growing. Action keeps our spirit alive. It fuels our souls with joy and enthusiasm. When we recapture the essence that each of us is important and unique, the movement to live again will begin to prod us into action.

One last thought? I have learned that to live with old memories stymies the moment. In overcoming change, we cannot harbor sorrow and nostalgia for too long regarding yesterday’s life.This is not conducive to new beginnings.

Leave yesterday’s memories as your heirlooms. Store them. Once in a while, we peek into their closed doors. Touch base but briefly. Let them remain as yesterday and be done with it.

Daily repeat upon arising that you are thankful to view a new dawn. I relinquish yesterday to my historical archives.

Remember that the most important element in our growth is having respect for our own mind to be nurtured and used daily and keep on appreciating who you are.

Stay tuned to your present surroundings. It’s counter-productive to dwell on what was when we are creating what will be.

Remember, the world needs people like you who make things happen. So, go ahead and anticipate a new dawn. Anticipate a new lifestyle. Anticipate that you have only today. That will give you food for thought.

Life is not a stationary commodity. Life was designed for change. Grasp every moment. Live your life to the fullest.

Lisa Rubin Johnson of Rockford is a certified social worker, community volunteer and former president of the Rockford Writers Guild.

From the Dec. 5-11, 2012, issue

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