Sunday, August 23, 2015

People just don't change - Or do they?

We had a meeting this week with the owner of the company he was telling us the plans to reorganize given the resignation of one of the companies key players.  He made a statement that made me want to raise my hand and object.  He said "people just don't change ".

I wanted to say "people don't change unless they want to" but I didn't think a sales meeting was really the place to bring that up. Sometimes people even change even when they don't want to. Life's circumstance can force you to rise up and be more courageous then you ever imagined you could be.

Sometimes you feel like you just got to flee knowing that you are choosing the hard way. You aren't willing to listen to reasons and something inside just has to make a change no matter what the consequences. My friend that left was stuck and jumping overboard seemed like the only answer to being stuck. I know it will work out no matter what.

In my own life I have been mostly forced to change.  I have a tendency to stay too long in my relationships whether they are personal or professional. My analytical mind calculates the time invested with the my fear that there isn't anything better out there. This idea together with the hope that the other person or company will somehow magically change keeps me stuck.

When I chose to leave my business and take a new job with this company it was the first time I moved on first. Granted I had a few years of stagnation before taking the leap. If you read my blog you know it wasn't a easy transition for me. I felt like I had been sent to boot camp except without any body telling me what I should be doing.

I am proud of myself for making the leap and surviving.  I really have learned a lot and have the resources I need to do as much business as I want to do without being managed too closely.

So I am here to say anybody can change. If you wake up unhappy most days it is probably time to make some kind of change. Even if it is something small it will start the ball rolling.

Don't expect a lot support from other people when you start to make changes because you are disturbing their idea of you. We put each other in little boxes in our mind it makes us feel good to think we really know someone. If they change we think we were wrong and question out judgement about them and everything else.

Since I have experienced many changes I learned to not hold on too tightly to anything or anyone. I try to enjoy what is happening now and accept that everything is always changing even if I can't see it on the surface.  It is the way life is and holding on only tires us out.

Making changes to make us happier is always a good choice eventually.  Sometimes is small changes are enough to make our days lighter and we can be more loving to the people that love us.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Black clouds and parades

I wrote a post yesterday that made my already bad mood even worse so at the end of it I decided not to post it. It all started last week when I got the news that someone I am close to at work is leaving. It wasn't a surprise they have been dragging a black cloud along with them for months now. Directing all their life problems toward their job and the business.

I have watched this for awhile and tried my best to share what I have learned about looking outside of myself for blame. I know I can't really change anyone and only when they are ready if ever they will see who is really causing them pain.  It is a loss for me personally and professionally but who knows I might be happier not having someone rain on my parade every day.

That was the beginning of the week and by yesterday after six working days in a row I was tired. This always comes as a surprise to me that I need a recharge day. I always have so much hope for my days off and all the things I can accomplish only when they arrive I am uninterested in doing anything.  I look around the house and see all that needs to be accomplish but I do nothing.

This makes me feel bad about my lack of interest in my personal life. I think back to a time when my life was so busy and I had so many friends that I was flying high. Of course that led to my ultimate crash and a long road of recovery. I was busy because I was afraid that if I stopped scheduling every minute that all the emotions I buried would come to the top.

I was right to be afraid because as you know I checked out. I am starting over now and I don't know exactly where I fit in anymore and this scares me. Only about once a week when I am alone and uninspired and and I realize the number of people I can reach out to has dwindled to almost nothing. Whose fault is this I ask myself . This leads to blame and reviewing all the bad decisions I have made that led me to today where I don't want to be.

Luckily yesterday I decided to get dressed and get out. I called someone and they were available for dinner and a visit. My head is not always a good place to go especially when I am tired and feeling lonely. We had a nice visit and she said what I needed to hear that I need to get out an meet people more like me.

I am not sure how to go about doing that especially with my hours but I have to do something. I am going to take a Zumba class offered locally by the school system. That will be interesting.  I did decide I need to do something that is more physical than mental. Mindless fun that is what I am looking for right now.

I hasn't helped my mood that it has be raining here non-stop even as I write this it is pouring and I can hear cracks of thunder. Everything is mushy, wet and moldy. Yuck.

I woke up today feeling better and dreaming about getting my life in order. I did a few drawings of my own kitchen makeover. I wrote list of what I want to do and how much it will cost. I also drew some sketches of some place else I would like to live. An urban structure small easy to maintain with an adjacent studio space and store front. This is an on going dream of mine.

So today I am dreaming a scheming which tells me I have bounced back from where I was yesterday. Tomorrow I will be back to work and no time to think at all.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Nothing last forever

My slump at work ended abruptly and threw me in to over drive this week ending the week with four appointments yesterday,  Today my introverted self feels like I have just returned from a long trip. I stayed in bed this morning and watched a movie "Extremely Lound and Incredilbly Close" a story of a nine year old coping with the death of his father on 9/11.

It was an excellent movie about grief and our ability to try to make sense on something that just doesn't make sense especially to a nine year old. Death at an early age can distort your view of the world and your whole life. You know are changed but how much you are not sure.  You imagine that everyone around you has a safe and secure life while you are out there flapping in the wind.

You get use to it the isolation mostly self created. You learn to make the best of it and entertain yourself. The adults seem too wrapped up in there on suffering to see how things really are and maybe give you some direction. Truthfully you don't want the extra attention another burden to lay upon them. What is the point?  No one can do anything to change what has happen and your resolve sets in to just accept that you are alone and you are left to heal yourself.

None of this is intentional of course. Life slips by quickly and everyone is just trying to forget what happened but you can't. The world isn't safe anymore and you have to learn how to live with it. You manage no matter what and adapt to the situation around you no matter how extreme it becomes. I was treated as if nothing every happen. There was no discussion ever and we just went on as if my mother never existed.

Today I understand it intellectually and don't blame anyone anymore for my circumstance. It is still true that I was permanently changed all those years ago. I feel like I learned to live without being connected too deeply to other people. When a relationship ends emotionally I never look back. I submerge the hurt until  it surfaces as depression. When I am left the child in me thinks it had to be my fault even though I know it wasn't there is that little bit of doubt.

Today it is just easier to stop making the effort to connect especially with my family. I am too tired to try to make something out of nothing. My sister makes and effort by calling me at 1 AM because that is what is convenient for her. She is busy and so am I so how important is it to maintain this thread of connection. It doesn't feel real or genuine to me.

As you can tell I am just feeling tired and overwhelmed today. The movie set off some emotions for me and I am just working them out here.  I am wanting a new connection today even though I am too tired to do anything about it. I am feeling stuck in the thought that I will always feel like I do today.

I will get past this as I always do nothing last forever good or bad.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Love letters - Endings - Final Step

I feel like things are ending. I am not sure why I feel this way maybe because I am not running so much to keep up at work. I am feeling more comfortable in my own skin and less like I need strive to be better at what I do. I am at a place where I want to just stop and take care of the other parts of my life that have been neglected.

I recently got this idea that I wanted to write some love letters.  It came to me when one of my friends had a birthday and I thought about how much I admired her. I didn't write it but I still can. I also thought what if I write to all the people in my life that have made a difference whether they are still around or not.

I can admit now that I have been lost in the story of me for a long time.  That story eventually led me to a spiritual and emotional breakdown and then to recovery. This is an old story now but during my life and especially during the blackest times I couldn't see anything but my own pain. I don't think I really ever saw the good in my relationships I always focused on what could be improved and what I wasn't getting.

The 12 step programs does suggest letters of amends and maybe this is what I am doing. I don't think I would necessary send them out but I think it would be good for me to acknowledge that I did have help and there were people that stayed with me even when I could not be with them. As for the people that left me I also want to at least acknowledge the gifts they gave me instead the pain of when they left.

I am definitely not planning to give them to anyone not in my life now because I don't expect or want them back in my life I don't think. I am not the same and they are not same either our time together has passed. I just would like to acknowledge that they meant something to me even if it is different now.

For the people in my life now how could it hurt to let them know exactly how I feel about them. This is what I always wanted from the people in my life. Someone to just say how much they loved and appreciated me.

I have to admit that I don't think I really ever heard that and if I did I probably didn't believe it because I was sure I never going to be enough even for myself. I was never too generous with my own love an appreciation either always looking for improvement criticizing others as much as I did myself.

I am at an ending now which means I am also at a beginning. I want to be free to just enjoy life and writing love letters might be the final step for me.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Letting go - Seeing the magic happen

I have been cocooning and have not been inspired to do much of anything including writing.  I have felt more than a little blah since I helped a friend move the furniture we used to stage his house back to both our houses.  The furniture and some boxes are still just where we left them all over my house.

I have had a few small health issues I think related to over doing things.  I am known for my manic spurts of inspired doing and sometimes over doing.  If I decide I am ready to do something I jump up and start doing it. If I wait and plan I lose interest or if I think too much about it I feel overwhelmed and lay down.

The past two weeks I have been doing the least I can get by with and trying not to judge myself for it. I still judge myself but so far the spaces I have created by doing nothing has been filled by nice surprises.  At work old customers have shown up ready and with checks in hand. My friend after selling his house gave me a nice check for my help getting it sold. This was certainly not expected but appreciated.

I am always surprised how letting go generally yields great benefits. It goes against our nature or certainly our culture to not take the bull by the horns and work every angle to get what we think we want or need. To think that it is our responsibility to do something every minute instead of trusting and letting life come to us and seeing the magic happen.

I have let go in the past but mostly because everything was out of my hands. I was emotionally bankrupt and had no choice.  It was mostly surrender and not voluntarily.

In the past turned things over to god that I had no control over just to give myself some peace. What I am doing now is eliminating the first part - exhausting every possible thing I thought I should do to get what I thought I wanted and needed.  I have decided that I don't really know what I want or need so why shouldn't I just let go.

Every bad thing that has happened to me even years of depression has resulted in a lighter more whole and healthy person. I can see and accept that everything was always in perfect order certainly not the order I wanted. Even the depression burned off all those ideas I had about who I thought I was the person that only existed in my mind and caused me pain. The person that exhausted me.

I have clean slate to work with now and during my cocooning I am watching ideas float by seeing if any of them inspire me. I am resting in the idea that everything is in perfect order today.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sabbatical - One day at a time

The word sabbatical came from the Jewish idea of the sabbatical year. When the fields were left fallow every seven years. A rest. I also pertains to those who observe the sabbath as a day of rest and worship.  This came to me while sitting on my porch this morning trying to decide whether I had to work today or not.

I have been off the past three days because of the holiday we were closed. Normally I would have worked this weekend and been off today if I so desired. I could work. I can always work I have the kind of job where you have imaginary customers until they sign so you are always working on jobs you may never get.

This makes me have judgements about myself and wonder why some jobs I get and some I don't. When I am spiritually where I want to be I just accept that all I can do is be myself and accept what comes my way. I do my best and so far it has worked out for me.

The idea of a sabbatical seems very appealing. I think today most people associate it with professors taking a sabbatical from teaching for research and travel. The dictionary said paid but it is an old dictionary.  I am not sure how many people get paid sabbaticals these days.

This morning I was questioning the past three days of doing nothing. It wasn't exactly nothing but close to it I did go out to small music jam fest yesterday for a couple of hours. I was close to 90 degrees and 100% humidity so not exactly pleasant. Our sketch group was meeting there to sketch the musicians.

Afterword a couple of us went to Chili's for dinner. The power went out and our order was lost and my food arrived cold two hours later we finished dinner. I took it all in stride and they took my meal off the bill. I felt that going out was a mistake after all.

I wasn't inspired this weekend to do anything. I was going to work on my house but the urge passed and here I am today deciding not to go to the office.

The idea of a sabbatical sounds about right to me. I thought when the idea popped up in my mind that it was interesting that it was every 7 years. I have been here 7 years and it has been seven years since the life I knew ended abruptly.

Just for today (ok it has been 4 days) I am going to do what I want and not worry about the imaginary consequences.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Gray - Fear

After reading some of the post today about both marriage equality and  the shooting in South Carolina I feel both encourage and saddened. I think that it is hard for people to accept that the world is becoming more and more gray. Some things changing and some things staying the same.

I imagine that the supreme court decision struck fear into the hearts of many this past week.  I heard someone at work state that this would lead to church losing their tax exempt status if they don't accept gays. I was on the other side of the wall and had to laugh what a leap. It is always about the money isn't it?

The world is becoming more and more interconnected it is getting harder to isolate ourselves with people that think like we do. This scares people that liked the world when everything was black and white and you knew what was right and wrong. Especially the generation before me.

It was clear who the good guys were and everyone rallied around the TV and the 4 stations if you count PBS and were told exactly what we needed to know and life was simpler. Life has never been simple and it was just easier before the information age to pretend it was.

We have to think more than we ever have had to before. Today everything out there is testing what we thought we knew to be true. It requires us to live in the moment and make judgements in our lives on a day to day basis and that constant shifting is stressful and too much for some people.

The truth that life can never be totally safe goes against everything we live for. We just want to be safe and happy and with change it wakes us up sometimes with a hammer like the shootings and the supreme court decision. Showing us that the dream we are living in isn't real.

We have to step out of the world created by our own thinking and see that we live there alone and that other bigger things are happening. We have to accept that other people live in a different worlds than our own.  Sometime those worlds can collide and the result isn't always positive.

I am sad about the shooting and know that such an act was inspired by fear of change. Seeing ones inner truth tested by outer reality can be too much. Denial is in my opinion trumps everything and you can be right all the up until the minute you see you are wrong. Some people can't accept being wrong no matter what the consequences.

I think shootings will always happen. We live in our minds and if the story we tell ourselves is destructive of fixed on blaming someone else for our problems it can end in violence.  By nature I think we want someone to be responsible for how we feel it is easier than taking responsibility for our own lives. Luckily it doesn't normally result in attacking someone physically but this idea can take over our lives and feel us with fear and hate.

I feel lucky that I was raised by parents that believed and equality and love. Christ message was ultimately love one another. They also taught me that you have to be responsible for yourself and you would be accountable for your own decisions.  This along with if you don't do right you will go to hell.  I have chosen to focus on equality and love and dismiss the hell part.

I am happy today to be off in celebration of the 4th. Three days to work on my house and celebrate my mental and emotional freedom.  Hope everyone is celebrating something with someone.