Seeing the Silver Lining

by Marianne  - July 11, 2011

Hi everyone,

Lately I have been finding myself looking back over the last few years and searching for meaning in a personal relationship which I thought would last my lifetime. Although not in the way I had planned, this relationship could still prove to be one of the most influential in my life.

This may seem very like a very personal topic for me to be talking about here but I think it helps add to the character of what this site represents. Although mostly fitness-related I like to consider this site a close-knit community of people all trying to do the best that they can, with what they’ve got πŸ™‚ And we all care about each other and the struggles we each have to face.

All aspects of our lives are interlinked and often have lasting influences on how we see ourselves, how we behave and whether we allow things, such as the people we know, the comments people make, the mood we are in, the changes that take place, to hold us back or propel us forward. This is why I think it is an important topic for me to talk about. I want to show that there is always a silver lining and there is always hope, because even the roughest paths have to lead somewhere and it is up to us to make the best of it.

Finding your way through life’s trials is meant to be challenging and we don’t always get things right. You can only do what you believe to be right at the time and accepting that is key, or else we would all live a life of regret and bitterness. I try to see the good in everything I have done, even the stuff I wish I’d done differently.

What I have learned lately, on the back of my recent break up, is the role certain people play in your life is not always what you believed it would be.

It’s easy to say “what a waste of time that was” or “why did I have to go through that?” or “why me?”, but the reality is there is simply nothing you can do to change what has already happened. So it’s better to see it for what it is than to question every last detail of “why”! I choose to believe that this relationship was a stepping stone to a new chapter in my life. I choose to see my life as one of those books you never want to put down, like you know the best is yet to come. I choose to live in hope.

“Fate”, “destiny”, “God’s Will” – call it what you wish, but I believe I would not be where I am today, had I not met Andrew. I would never have been taught how to lift weights properly, never ventured into the Strength and Conditioning room on my own, never have understood that women can lift heavy. From this, I would never have started Kettlebells or …. Because of Andrew (and my drive to make the most of my interests), I now have so many amazing people in my life and so many things to look forward to.Β  Now as one chapter fades, a new start is looming.Β  I prefer to view life like this because it gives everything meaning.

While Andrew steered me in this direction, I was the one who was in the driver’s seat and I took action!

My point is, that even in the depths of what may seem like “the end”, there is always a choice and always action to be taken. Make the most of the opportunities that come your way, because they are merely fleeting moments in a life that is just too short.

Never drift through life expecting others to carry you, to make you happy, or to take the blame when things go wrong. It is you who is responsible for both your actions AND in-actions.

What I did was make the most of my new found love of fitness and saw that I could inspire and help others. Look at what has come of that simple plan. No point in just thinking about what you want or wondering about “what life might be like if…” – follow through!

A few things I have learned:

  • Don’t ponder your life away.
  • Don’t live in regret.
  • Look for the silver-lining (I tell you, it’s there).
  • Think about what you do have, rather than on what you don’t.
  • Don’t expect the answers to land in your lap, if you have done nothing to seek them.
  • And don’t expect results to happen just because you can know all the answers. Results happen when you use your knowledge, experience or lessons to take action.

At the end of the day actions speak louder than any thought or any word.Β  Even if things don’t work out as planned, at least you know you tried!

I really hope this hasn’t just been a rambling mess of a post today or a lecture :-/Β  With the amount of thinking I have been doing I needed a positive outlet. What better way to do that than share my inner “ray” of hope.

It is only when we stand back and look at the path we have traveled can we truly see the direction it has taken us.

Given the chance, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am more proud of myself now than ever and I feel I have more value and purpose in my life because of how I have come through the other side of each and every hurdle.Β Β  Yes, there are still times when I am upset that the path I thought I was on has gone, and I wish for the familiar back again, but over the last while I have come to realise that this hurting is a natural response to change.Β  I was being burdened with a responsibility that was not mine to take and something had to give. Letting this go has be difficult but when have I ever run away from a challenge (except when Snatches are involved πŸ˜‰ lol)!

Everything in our lives has an impact on our health, well-being and our training, so why shouldn’t we share the other challenges we have overcome or are working on – it’s all important πŸ™‚

I posted this quote of Facebook the other day and I love it so much:

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” – Anatole France

Hopefully no one will mind my thoughts on this as I only want to share how everything seems to come together in the most unexpected ways.Β  πŸ˜€

All the best for now.



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  1. Hi Marianne,well that was really beatutiful,not a rambling at all,more of a ” my thoughts on paper” (or on-line) just a bit like a personal diary,a young lady who i know (the daughter of a friend who passed away almost 4 yrs ago),she has been struggling recentley,what with her 17th birthday,4th anniversary of her fathers death,and having relationship probs with her bf,i gently explained that lifes probems do not go away just by sitting around moping,that i knew how hard it was this time of year for her and that some relationships take work,effort,that things just dont go as smooth as silk,but you gotta keep your chin up,grit your teeth,try to smile at this thing called life & say c’mon gimme ya best shot,i like to think that her family & i had sort of snapped her out of it,cos now she’s back to enjoying life & love,so keep YOUR chin up girl,you are right,the silver lining IS there,it just appears when you least expect it,take it easy girl,regards,M.T.

    1. Thanks Mick. That must have been a very tough time for her. I can’t even imagine what that pain would be like. But it is good advice, that life’s problems don’t go away just because we stop living life.

      I’m going from strength to strength πŸ™‚


  2. Marianne,
    You are a truely inspirational young woman, with a wisdom beyond your years and a generosity of spirit that is quite awesome.
    You display a very brave attitude to life, not only with the physical challenges you set yourself but with the way you allow your vunerabilities to show. Your life path may have branched off in a direction you did not forsee but your strength of spirit will allow you to travel whichever road is ahead.I do believe that in this life you get back what you give many-fold and as you give so much so generously then you Marianne are in for a great return.

  3. Great post. I visit your site to get new ideas on workouts but this post is awesome. Life can be seen through a million different lenses with infinite number viewpoints. Bad, good or indifferent life still goes on. Keep on “Truckin” Marianne..

    Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.
    ~King Whitney Jr.~

  4. Marrianne,welcome to maturity. As you mature, you will gain more and more wisdom. This is just the start for you and I must say you are on the right path of life. Enjoy the ride. Remember to reflect back at where you’ve been but concentrate on this day forward because this will be the last time you see this day, so live it as it was your last.
    God bless you and keep you safe.Amen.

    1. Thank you Jim. I hope I am on the right path now. You are right to say that it’s good to reflect and make plans, but not too long or “the NOW” will pass you by!


  5. Marianne,

    Hi. Life has twists and turns, which leaves us thinking. WHY???? Through my life I have had my own trials and thought, “I did my best” and “Why me?” But looking back now, it has made me who I am now. It just depends on how you deal with things as they come up. There is nothing wrong with a good cry or anything that will help you get through it. I am sure that this relationship has made you a more assertive and driven person. There is nothing wrong with you Marianne. This is just life (though at times it SUCKS). If it is a workout or your thoughts, I enjoy your site. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Thank you Maria! There has been plenty of tears, anger and questions! But now there are more smiles, laughs and hope πŸ˜€ The page is turning and everyone here is helping me through it.

      Time for a good workout I think πŸ˜‰

  6. Marianne,
    Love your post. Here’s what I know for sure.

    Don’t sit around waiting for somebody else to make you happy.
    Happy is a do it yourself kind of thing.
    Be true to yourself and what you want out of life.
    Broken hearts heal, but…. Broken dreams don’t .
    Plan accordingly.

    Things do happen for a reason. I stay away from negative people.
    That silver lining you speak of? Yeah it’s ALWAY’S there!
    I thank God every morning when I awake, am grateful for all I have and
    do all I can to help those around me. Life is good 

    1. Great Minnie! You are amazing πŸ˜€

      “Be true to yourself and what you want out of life.
      Broken hearts heal, but…. Broken dreams don’t .
      Plan accordingly”

      Love it! And thank you πŸ™‚

  7. So true. A weapon cannot be forged without a fire. It is what we go through in life that shapes and makes us. Without the negative events, we would not improve, and we’d have nothing by which to judge and truly appreciate all the positive. I’m glad you are well.

    (I’m still lurking about while I do ETK!)


      1. Painful! Lol!! I’ve decided that by the end I will either be completely bad ass or dead. It’s especially hard on my shoulders (my weak link) so I have to be careful to rest them on my off or variety days. I’ve noticed VAST improvements though. My last heavy day I did a total of 40 C&P per side with 12kg and 40 pull-ups assisted with a 25 lb band, followed by 16 minutes of one handed swings with the 16kg. And yesterday on my light day I did 8/20 of my pull-ups unassisted!! I was so proud! I was really afraid at first that I would lose strength in my squats and such but the other day I front squatted 2 X 20kg kbs after cardio and it wasn’t really difficult so no worries there! (Pre ETK I could barely manage to get back up with that much weight!)

        1. Wow! Sable, that’s great!! Sounds like you are getting really strong! 2 x 20kg squats is TOUGH, so good on you πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ You should be proud of everything you are doing!

    1. Sable I love the line a weapon cannot be forged without a fire. That line is so beautiful on so many different levels. If you don’t mind I will be using that its an amazing quote. Thank you for sharing that.

  8. Wow Marianne…I am just thinking that your post couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. My husband of almost 9 years and I recently became separated. I actually was served TODAY with the divorce papers. The past few months for me have been so overwhelming and stressful to say the least. I knew we were headed for divorce but until you actually recieve those papers…well it is indescribable and I wept like a baby all day! Just the finality of it takes your breath away. This is not what I expected of how my life would end up. Right now I feel so many emotions, sadness, anger, dissappointment for what could have been. Your post really reached out to me and I just hope that I too can reach a place where I can see the hope and silver lining. I am not there yet but I know I will get there. I have a huge mountain to climb ahead of me and I just want to thak you for such a beautiful, honest post from a such a beautiful woman inside and out! You are an inspiration to me! Thank you!

    Lori B.

    1. Oh Lori, I am so sorry to hear about your divorce! That must have been gut-wrenching to have those papers arrive. But, one step at a time, you will get to see your silver lining and it IS there. You must mourn for the loss first and there are always going to be things that set us back, but this is when amazing things seem to happen; A friend reaches out at the right time, you read a blog post to help give you hope, and you have everyone here behind you. Even if we do not know each other, we can all identify with your emotions.

      Throughout this whole process with my breakup, I was reluctant to take one final step – to go to the City Hall, cancel and refund the wedding booking. It wasn’t about whether I wanted to marry Andrew, because I knew it was not right, but it symbolised “the end”. Last Friday, I DID IT!!

      There are small milestones you reach each day, you may not notice them at first – but these are your silver lining πŸ™‚

      I did not know you have been going through this Lori and I send my positive thoughts and big cyber-hugs to you πŸ˜€

    2. Lori, I’d like to say that I went down the same path as you 33 years ago. I was devistated by the divorce papers, but then I came to relize that it was her loss and not mine. I remarried 30 years ago and it has been great. I wish you all the luck in the world, but always remember it was his loss.

  9. Here’s a great thought to add to yours… it’s from Eat Pray Love – yes, the most chic of chic books.. but a great thought πŸ™‚

    “People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal anohter layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it.” pg. 149, EPL

    Love the silver lining girl πŸ™‚

    1. That is a great quote Alli. Trust you to find a great one πŸ˜‰

      I agree that there are certain people who come into our lives to reveal another layer or show us a different path and then they leave. You never know it at the time, but after time you start to see why.


  10. Thanks Marianne for those inspiring words. I will briefly relate my story to you as another challenge from another point of view. Although, I suffered a different type “breakup” so to speak. You see, I was married to the same women for 32 years before she was suddenly taken from me via heart attack. She was 52 years old (much too young). I can’t begin to tell you how lost I was in the beginning but after awhile, I began to get myself (and my life back together…although it would never be the same). The things that you have learned, I’m still learning

    Don’t ponder life away (there’s always the question “what if” but it’s not important anymore).

    Don’t live in regret (one did what one did….right or wrong).

    Look for the silver lining (I have committed myself to my health and well-being and you’ve been a part of this with your workouts and motivation).

    Think about what you have (I have 2 wonderful children who have made me so very proud and I’ve also been very lucky to have found someone who makes me laugh and also shares my commitment to fitness).

    Don’t expect answers to land in your lap (That is very true but going out to look for those answers will get you…..

    The results you’ve been seeking. Being honest and humble will reward you 1000 times over.

    So what have I done? I have volunteered my time tutoring young school children. Helping them read, understand and (try) to guide them in the right direction. My Dad was a school teacher and I guess it rubbed off on me a little πŸ™‚

    Even though I’m 65 years old (still very active), I feel I still have a lot more time to give of myself and to help those who need it as best I can.

    You are an inspiration, Marianne. Happiness is just around the bend. You will know it when you see it and feel it. And when you do, make sure you tell ALL OF US!!!!

    PS. Thanks to everyone who has shared their thoughts and feelings. Sometimes one feels alone but not in THIS community!

    1. Garry, I am sad for your heartbreak, really I cannot imagine the pain you must have felt to lose your wife. But you seem to have really turned a corner and are making the most of everything you have.

      You are an inspiration to me! Keep doing what you are doing Garry, because you have so much to offer and your children must be so proud of you too πŸ™‚

  11. Spot-on, Marianne…and so true. I read this post while watching Thomas The Train with my youngest “silver lining”…enjoy the ride.

    1. Is Thomas the Train the same as Thomas the Tank Engine? Is he Blue?? I used to watch that, Gordon was my favorite because he was so grumpy all the time LOL!

      Thank you John πŸ˜€

  12. Marianne, I have to say that your thoughts far exceed you age… I mean, I would never have expected such level-headed considered thought from one so young, especially in the midst of the struggle and turmoil! Good on you!

    One of the things we always seek is to understand why, and that often takes time before it is revealed. As long as you stay true to yourself and your beliefs, you are on the right track. We have all benefited from sharing your path, even this short time.

    I do have a quote you might like: Dax Moy uses it, but I think it is attributed to W.L. Bateman — If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always had. So if you seek change in your life, you have to make change.

    ~ Gillian

    1. Thanks Gillian. I’m not always this level-headed LOL πŸ˜‰ But I am starting to see things differently AND want to break out of the patterns I have always followed.

      I love that quote! It is so true πŸ™‚


  13. You are truly blessed to have such perspective, acceptance, positivity and grace at such a tender age, M.

    We grow through pain. I have a wise old American friend called Ed. He is 88 years young. He often says – “God never sends us any more than we can handle. BUT ONLY JUST!” How true that feels when our world is caving in around us, or so it seems?

    Ed also says that he displays his gratitude not in words, for words are fickle, but in his actions – by being the best version of himself he can be on any given day. I like that.

    Good on you Marianne. All you have to do now is breathe in deeply (in with anger) and slowly exhale (out with love) when you are being given the run around by estate agents πŸ˜‰

    Thank you for all your posts, in the gym and without. It is good to know there are kindred spirits, like you, in this mad, mad world.


    1. I like the sound of your friend Ed, he is very wise!

      You are welcome. This post kind of just “happened”. Glad you liked it. Kindred spirits indeed πŸ˜€

  14. I don’t mind at all Marianne πŸ™‚ and am totally encouraged by your transparency and blessed too. I struggle with the negatives so much of the time and forget to see the blessings in the challenging experiences of life whatever they may be. Thank you for sharing once again.

    1. Mark, it is so easy to get caught in the negatives, but they do drag you down. I am guilty of complaining a lot, especially on Facebook LOL, but I am thinking more and more that seeing what I have in my life, rather than what I don’t, makes such a difference.

      I have also found that if I spend time with negative people, I become more negative – this was happening to me and I have now put it to a stop!

      Remember, we need to take action for anything to change πŸ™‚


      1. Marianne,

        That is so true a lesson I too had to learn, you are what you surround yourself with. If everyone you associate with are negative you too will have their negative outlook. But hang around people who motivate, encourage and inspire and that is who you will become. You are a wonderful person and we all truly appreciate you. Please keep sharing!

  15. My life took a turn for the unexpected not too long ago as well and I will most definitely back you up 100% that there ARE silver linings, lessons to be learned, and still a road untraveled. After finally settling into a relationship that was my intention to have forever the marriage ended in 8 months. Most of the people involved still don’t see how we went thru what we did and came out better people. I say, really?? We’re human. We love triumph over tragedy. We crave adversity because it gives us the paradoxical representation on which we base the good times. It comes to a point where a ‘bad experience’ is a perception only, and with few exceptions we are most assuredly stronger than we see ourselves and if we allow ourselves that strength, more strength comes of it. Adversely, if we allow the negative to overwhelm us, it will be all the easier for the negative to continue to overwhelm us. Simple physics really, like attracts like. My eye opener was meeting my ideal mate after all this other relationship stuff happened and although I don’t think that person shares my perception it doesn’t matter, the proof of the pudding is: what we seek is out there, but not always where we expect to find it and until we push our borders a little, how do we expect to find the new and shiny? Thank you Marianne for sharing, I apologize for my own rambles but your post hit home on a topic I have been living every day for nearly a year now and I get very excited by it. I always enjoy your posts but this has been my favorite and we thank you, as always, for sharing πŸ™‚

    1. Brian, I am very encouraged by your story, it gives me even more hope! Especially:

      “what we seek is out there, but not always where we expect to find it and until we push our borders a little,, how do we expect to find the new and shiny?”

      I love this! Thank you πŸ˜€ Your message has helped a lot! You see, this is a proper community and I love it πŸ™‚

  16. Hi Marianne
    I’m so happy with my life at the present and who knows how long it will last, but some time in the future my life will change. It’s guaranteed because things can’t stay the same forever. But when things do change I’ll try to remember the wise words you’ve written today. Great reading. Keep smiling, keep training, stay strong.

    1. Thanks Darren, this means a lot πŸ™‚ You are right, we need to be equiped for things to change, but not put our lives on hold waiting for things to change.

      Same to you Darren πŸ˜€

  17. You always need to take the good with the bad.. when God closes a door, a window will surely open in the near future, if not another door πŸ™‚ The most important thing when stuff is not going our way is to accept, learn from it and move on.. Glad to see you did this.. all the best to you in the future.

  18. Hi Marianne

    I felt the need to leave a coment here after reading your post. Life does takes you on many paths, it may have seemed that you got a bit lost and your trajectory and final destination have changed, but I like you belive many things happen for a reason. I think it is wonderful that you can look at things so positivly, something that I am trying to do with my life just now.

    Change can be frightening, but can also be good, like you said, meeting Andrew got you into Kettlebells and look at how much you give everyone who logs on to our site and gives your workouts a go.

    You are on a different path now, but as long as you can see the sun shining overhead, and carry on even though you may not be entirly sure where you are going, I am sure you will have an amazing journey.

    “I choose to see my life as one of those books you never want to put down, like you know the best is yet to come. I choose to live in hope.”

    You are always quoting others, well I will be sure to quote you in the future. I think you are an inspirational and strong woman, not just physically but in your heart and mind.

    thank you for being you xx

    1. Wow, thank you Sara! I am just doing the best I can, with what I’ve got πŸ™‚ Everyone here keeps me going and I thank everyone for trying my workouts, challenging me and sharing their experiences too. I love this site!

      Thank you for commenting, it means a lot x

  19. Reading this I can totally relate!

    I was in a relationship a number of years ago, but things inevitably fell apart for a number of reasons. This person was training to run a half marathon, had a solid training plan in place, and had a group of people she ran with. Up until that point, I would never have given thought to running any long distances.

    After things ended, I went out for a run one night and realized I could run steadily for an hour. So I started to think to myself, “Maybe I’ll try adding 10 minutes a week…”. Before I knew it, I was running an hour and a half straight, and I signed up for my first half marathon!

    So despite the disappointment of things not working out, I came out of the relationship with a new-found love of running, which I still do to this day (and I’m pretty sure I would have never dreamed running longer than 5km had it not been for meeting her)!


    1. Thanks for sharing this Marty! It really is amazing how people are with us for a period of time to “guide” us, or make us ready for a new chapter.


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