Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Can Run

Just getting off the treadmill my friend gave me a couple of weeks ago. She is very generous to give it to me. I have a gym membership until the end of the year but I really only like to run. It will be great to be able to run at home.

I think it is funny that I have started running the past couple of years because I always claimed that I hated running. I have always fallen for runners, literally an figuratively and would never join them willingly when they ran.

When I first met my husband he was 22 and 6'4" and weighed 165 lbs. He always said he was built for speed and he could run like the wind. I of course at 5'2" was not built for speed and always felt inferior in many ways to him. He always wanted me to run with him and I couldn't keep up, I finally started riding my bike while he ran. This was early in our relationship when we still thought we should spend every minute together.

I think the reason I claimed to hate running was it seemed more important than me. It was immature of me, but my feelings were just a symptom of what was really going on. I felt left out and was trying to manipulate the situation which ended up putting more distance between us. In the end I was right they were running away.

It has taken me time and distance to accept that communication is hard even with someone you love. How is it that you start out in love and it feels like nothing can ever come between you and then one day you wake up with a stranger? How do you keep that from happening?

I had resentments about running and rebelled by not running. So I have to admit now that I do like to run. I will never run like the wind but I can crank up the music and get those endorfins flowing.

I feel strong tonignt physically and emotionally. I can let go of those resentments and the runners that go with them. They can just keep running.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturation and Sudoku

I woke up early this morning and felt like a million bucks. I started reading and having my morning cup of coffee and then dosed back off. The phone rang and it startled me I didn't feel like answering it, I could feel my mood had slipped.

I was having a dream that I was staying in a small cottage on someone else's property and when I walked in the door I interrupted a couple of robbers. I ran screaming from the house. I am sure there is a message here, but I will need more time to process this.

I have gone about my business today but I never got back to the elation I felt when I woke up the first time. I have finished a painting that I don't really like and I am not sure why I don't like it.

The picture was of some succulents I found in a magazine and using acrylics thinned like watercolors I painted it light and airy. I did this a few weeks ago and went back to it today to see if I could finish it. It felt too washed out and so I added more color and then more color. I hate it now. With painting is can be like cutting your own bangs when you were a kid and you just keep trying to even them up and end up going to school looking like a freak.

Sometime I get that way about life. A little seems good so a lot must be better. I am about extremes. I couldn't admit this until recent years and I have accused others of it plenty of times. You spot it you got it, right? When I am really into something I am really into it and then I am done.

Saturation is what I call it and I can never see it coming. I try really hard but inevitibly I hit the bottom exhausted and have no choice but to move on. Being ADD and complusive is not a great combination for a balanced peaceful life. It is my secret though, it isn't obvious to the outside world, only to my closest allies.

Once I spent an entire vacation in a hotel room (with three other people) doing Suduko puzzles. We had just discovered them and everyone was content to stay in the whole week pratically. After that week, I have never touched a Suduko puzzle again. After the trip they went on to higher levels etc. not me I was done.

So when does just enough turn into too much? Like today when is being alone with yourself and your introspective, analytical, complusive, ADD mind too long? I think I have answered my own question. Happy to get back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

God and me (and J)

I got a call last Saturday day from the bishop. The shop owner is a priest in a charismatic episcopal church and his bishop calls from time to time looking for him. I was there alone told him that the owner was at the church. It was a church work day.

He seemed surprised by this and went on to explain that he was doing a house blessing in the afternoon and didn't want to alone. He said the guy was in AA and didn't think the guy had any friends. I said if he is in AA he probably has a ton of friends, he said he didn't think that the people in AA really believed in God. I said I wasn't sure that was true and left it at that.

I thought about my own struggle with even the word God when I first started going to meetings. Raised in the Pentecost they talked about Jesus and Gods love along with the part about if you sinned and didn't ask for forgiveness before you died, even if it happened five minutes ago, you were quite literally toast.

My earliest memory of my connection to Jesus was when I was five and I thought when they said, Jesus was coming any minute, they meant any minute. I stood outside one night when I saw some big search lights in the sky, looking for Jesus. He didn't come, I least I don't think so. Once I got the gist of the burning in hell part I would pray every night to be forgiven for anything that might be a sin that I didn't know was a sin, I wanted to cover all my bases.

It was a lot of pressure and as I got older it took a toll on me, once as a teenager I had some evil spirits cast out of me, but that is a story for another time. That was the end of my desire to be apart of the trilogy, until turning 30 and attending

Until then everything was black and white. Either you are in or out none of the grey stuff or thinking for yourself. I was out, I knew that for sure because I wasn't perfect and was sinning so much that I really couldn't begin to keep up with the list.

So I had to start at the beginning unlearn all that had been imprinted on my young brain. I didn't want God in my life and I certainly didn't want to turn my will and my life over to him. But I got over that because I started feeling better so I just put on my denial cap and kept going.

When I finally faced the God of my understanding I acknowledged that he was an A-hole and let my mother die and my father marry a evil person and then let me marry an alcoholic. I understood him perfectly. I had been victimized by the God of my understanding.

So how does a person get past that kind of thinking, one day at a time of course. Actually, I don't know exactly, I think the biggest thing the steps taught me is that I was not a victim. I had to get past the warm fuzzy feeling it gave me to be a martyr and start over. It is hard to say my life sucks to a room full of people that can say right back, I can top that. So I guess I found out I wasn't special so I had to get on with living and I did.

I actually feel grateful for those life changing events now. Those events led me to the program and the program taught me that I didn't have to listen to the voice in my head and that people can change. It is really remarkable the transformation I have seen in other people and myself. Even now I have mini awakenings, when I see how my thinking is totally messed up. Is there more, oh I am sure there is.

Coming to terms with God and sifting through what I was taught and what are my own beliefs is true freedom in every since of the word. I always say to my friends when I can't deal with my religious up bringing I just pretend I was raised Methodist, they seem so much more peaceful.

So I am good with the trilogy now and I am not talking about The Lord of the Rings, although I like that one too. I can'tbcomplete this post without noting that it is very interesting that I ended up working with a man that is a charismatic priest. My God of course has a sense of humor.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shoulds and Spys - Character Defects

My day was full of I should be doing this and that, you can say it as many times as you like but if in your heart you have not intentions of actually doing anything about it, what is the point.

I have pretty much stop shoulding on myself over the years but occasionally like today I had envisioned so much productivity. First I was going to go to showroom since no one was there today and get some paper work done, but I couldn't make myself do it. Then I thought I would work on some much needed household projects, but I didn't do it. It was like the boss was on vacation and I was left at the office to keep things running and I decided to see how hard I could work at doing nothing.

This is my character defect that I use to think was an asset. I think I must be productive. Everything I am involved in must produce or accomplish something. It is even better if it serves multiple purposes. A good example is blogging, it helps me address daily spiritual issues, improves my writing skills and entertains me, for a short time.

Doing comes naturally to me and I can honestly say that I don't know how to do nothing or have fun for that matter. I tried to think of the last really fun thing I did and it was playing Cafe of facebook. I liked the cooking and serving it felt like I was really accomplishing something and then there was Farmtown, not to be confused with Farmville. Don't even get me started I created a second identity so I could have myself plow fields and work two farms and bonus I could get more stoves in Cafe.

I finally had to back away from the games because my virtual life was taking more time than my real life. I did get bored once I had the whole thing running efficiently as possible. So you can see I have a problem even defining fun most less downright goofing off.

So today the boss was on vacation and since I work for myself it is like having a spy in the office. I will have to come up with some pretty good excuses for myself when I get to the office tomorrow.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks - No Drama

I have returned from my meal and I think I am in a carb coma. It was really delightful everyone seemed open an genuine. I got hugs from strangers and the food was really good.

The matriarch of the family had everything down to a science. She of course had been up since 5 am and we ate at precisely 1 pm. The precision of the step up made me think, maybe an Al-Anoner, but she is a teacher so maybe that was where that organization came from.

With all the usual southern Thanksgiving fixins. Turkey with pan style dressing made with cornbread and sage, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, mac and cheese and potato salad. She went all out with the desserts, she made all of them except the coconut cake. There was banana pudding, key lime pie, cheesecake, sweet potato pie and peanut butter cake. I brought mac and cheese an she made her own or somebody else did.

No drama today, we ate cleaned up and it was all over in a couple of hours. All the tables (from the church) broken down and loaded up and it looked like nothing had ever happen.

It was pretty amazing to me because when I cook it looks like something exploded in the kitchen and I might do the dishes and then wait until the next day to finish getting things back to normal.

I asked her how she got to be so organized and she said she was a single mother for seven years and worked 60 hours a week and if she had a system for the housework she could spend more time with the kids. Nice.

Feeling grateful today and not thinking about the past. Accepting where I am in my life and feeling refreshed.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Making a change for the holiday

It is the first time in a couple of decades that I will actually be spending Thanksgiving with people I am actually related to and not my chosen family. I have been estranged from my family for most of my adult life. My sister loves me but her circumstances clashed with my circumstances over the years and we both have made other choices for the holidays.

When my dad died about six years ago and I went to the funeral his only living sister took an interest in me and started calling me. I didn't think it would last because that side of the family are not much for reaching out. I did good to hear from my dad once a year when I called him on his birthday. She has kept up with me and I actually stayed at her house last year.

Her son lives about an hour from here and they are coming to visit him for Thanksgiving. I have been to his house a couple times and his family is really nice. His wife called me and invited me for Thanksgiving.

I have spent the last hour making my deluxe Martha Stewart recipe for mac and cheese. It is basically fondue with macaroni in it. It will be a southern style meal and it should be fun I hope.

I have cooked Thanksgiving for a lot of years before I moved and last year my friend and I decided to skip it and we made apple pie and snow crab. I will miss my friends this year but it seems nice to actually have family interested enough to invite me.

This has been at the core of my life long insecurities not really being that important to my family. I have recreated this over and over in my relationships with emotionally distant people. I finally get it now after all these years these relationships felt like home.

My aunt gave me more insights into the dynamics of how my father was raised. She has said there was no affection only discipline by my grandfather. This helps me to understand my father and his limitations.

So tomorrow we will feast and I will find out what it is like to be with my family of origin on Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

First on emotions - then a family disease

It is the time of year for me that brings up a lot of emotions. Being dumped twice at Thanksgiving gives me cause to be just a little cautious this week. Deciding what are emotions from the past and what it is I am actually feeling today.

What I have learned is you don't have to be a slave to your emotions but ignoring emotions will only delay them. I dreamed this morning that my ex not only had an affair but was sleeping with everyone in our high rise apartment building. Everyone knew but me and they were all consoling me. We lived in a house not an apartment so I interpret this as me thinking I should have known. It is pointless to go there but it tells me my subconscious is still acknowledging the date.

I am feeling sadness just below the surface today. I can accept that this too shall past and know that leaning into it is the fastest way to move on. I have learned the hard way that resistance is where the pain lies.

I went to lunch with my co-worker and ran into my original sponsor and she said I was thinking about you last night. I was thinking about her last night too. So this afternoon I called her and we discussed the above issues. I have known her 20 years and she knows me probably better than anyone emotionally, all my fears and how my mind works and I trust her to be honest with me. I felt relieved after the call and went on with my day.

Just as I was getting back to the office my nephew called. I had to look twice because he has never called me before. Unfortunately he got his brain from our side of the family the analyzing side. Thinking too much, being keeper of all things the beacon in the storm. Most reliable in a crisis.

His dad is an angry adult child of two parents addicted to prescription drugs. His volatile unpredictable behavior over the years have brought out different traits in their three kids. My brother in law recently started taking medication himself to cope with his sister's addiction to drugs and they haven't seen much of him since.

My nephew is in his early 20's and is trying to decide a career path and his mother wants him to go to law school and take over her practice. She told him to call me because she thought since we have similar personalities I could maybe give him some insight. He started by giving me the run down on the Thanksgiving plan and how he's forcing the rest of the family to go the his aunts house because this is what his dad wants and if they buck then there will be a scene.

I feel for those kids and I know their road with be tough. My sister has done a good job raising them to be confident and not follow the crowd. But the things they have endured with their dad and my sister's denial will shape their lives forever.

This is why it is a family disease. The grandparents didn't need help because they were taking drugs prescribed by a doctor. They are both gone now leaving a legacy of addiction behind.

On the bright side they have me and they can have a program if they need and want some help. My sister has been to Al-Anon but didn't feel that she could relate since she isn't married to an alcoholic. She went because her husband sister's son needed someone to go with him. She did have some advice for the group. We have all the answers and I lives are still unmanageable.

What was my advice to him about his career? Well I said if he is like me he is probably ADD and will need a variety of different kinds of tasks to keep him busy. He is a people person and can be disciplined when he in interested in a subject so law might actually work.

Do what you love and you will be a success, at least in your own mind.

Monday, November 22, 2010

When is one day at a time denial?

I opted to go to a meeting at lunch today. It has been about 3 months since I went to a meeting, I just felt like it, so I went. The meeting was on gratitude to follow the Thanksgiving theme and I do feel grateful that the program gave me a new life and a new way of thinking.

After the meeting I got a sandwich at the AA snack bar and sat down at a table outside to enjoy the warm weather and eat my sandwich. I woman from my meeting was getting in her car and suddenly turned around and came back an sat beside me. She began to tell me how after 20 years her husband stop drinking and now he has been sober for a year and things have only gotten worse.

His friends did an intervention but when he got out of rehab he didn't go to AA. So she is living with a angry dry drunk. She has determined that she is in grief over the fact that sobriety didn't solve the problem and she is still alone. She has been in Al-Anon for the whole 20 years and now what is next?

She says she is just going to wait it out and live one day at a time and see what happens. I have done a lot of waiting in my own life because I thought if I just stuck it our some miracle would come along and things would be better. In my first marriage I waited while the alcohol virtually erased the man I was married to and by the time he left there was nothing left of me either.

Is the one day at a time scenario just a form of denial? I have used it when I was in crisis and could not imagine a way out. I know that it is another story for those staying sober one day at a time, but denial is dangerous and you can wake up and decades have past and nothing has changed.

This is how I felt about the conversation today a lot of people stuck and not thinking they deserve more or can't even imagine the possibility of more. It is easier than facing the unknown to stay in the cocoon of our own making. You will never turn into a butterfly if you don't eventually come out and it might turn into a body bag at some point.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Seasons come and go - Living in the wild

I am sitting on my porch here on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I bought this house almost three years ago, really just for the porch. It has a large porch over looking a little inlet off the river. The subdivision is tucked in between some apartments and some swanky riverfront homes. It has some pretty amazing wildlife mixed with the sounds or emergency vehicles and whatever is going on on the river.

The porch is on the second floor because I live on a hill, so it is like a tree house. I have been watching the squirrels and now I can hear a bird of some sort washing their wings. With all the growth this year I can't see but a patch of water, but I did venture out a few weeks ago when I heard the noise to see what it was. The bird was going under and then flapping it's wings to dry off.

The first year here I was catatonic for the most part and really don't remember much except for sitting on the porch. Last year I was better and decided that I should do something about all the critters I was living with. The raccoons were taking over and living on top of my porch. I saw a momma and two babies through the clerestory windows from the living room. The squirrels were living in the walls in the winter time and it wasn't until I came out on the porch and disturbed them that I decided to do something.

I can't kill anything except an occasional water bug so I just decided to just make things a little less inviting. I hired a friend to close up the holes around house including a mouse hole leading to my attic. When my air went out this summer the guy was in the attic and informed there was quite a party going on up there.

I have been out of it for a long time and when he said that I wasn't embarrassed in the least. Someone or something should enjoy this house because certainly I wasn't. I was lucky to find it when the market had tanked. I really needed this porch and a place to call home. I spent 13 years fixing up someone else's home and somehow I never felt like it was permanent. You would think I would relax at 10 years but I think somehow I knew it wasn't forever.

Being with an agnostic can be lonely at times. I think that they are probably happier than we are at times, always seeking the truth. When we met I was past the point of trying to change anyone and was in a place of accepting someone as they were. I know I will look back on this time and see how it was for my benefit. I was content in that relationship but I wouldn't say happy. I stayed because I thought I should be happy with being content. So here I am neither happy or content.

I am making progress though, I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning last night putting the finishing touches on the re-designing of my house. This is my core of happiness my home, my space and I haven't felt like I belonged here until now. I was resisting where I was at the core level, as long as I didn't acknowledge it, it didn't exist, just going through the motions.

It has been ugly, all of it, feeling like it was all a lie and facing that I am on my own again. None of that is really true but that is part of the acceptance the anger the denial. Today I am at peace and have a beautiful home to call my own and the ability to take care of myself. I have people that love me and a program that has expanded my life in ways I could never imagine. It was the program that taught me about freedom, freedom to be who you are and the freedom to change who that is daily. No rules, no limitations only the ones you give yourself.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Changing things back

I woke up this morning and decided that I didn't like some of the changes I made in my house. A few weeks ago I spent the weekend re-arranging my furniture and after living with for awhile I decided I didn't like it and I spent the evening changing some of it back.

It feels good to be see little glimpses of my old self coming to the surface after such a long period of grief and depression. At my lowest I didn't see any point in being alive most less moving the furniture. Everything seemed like such a monumental task, even small things like loading the dishwasher or even opening the mail seemed more like climbing Mt Everest.

Today I woke up feeling hopeful with no particular dread on my mind. I had my usual cup of coffee and wrote in my journal. I was scheming about changing the furniture back and then I felt my mood slip just a little when I thought about my life, the big picture. What will become of me and starting asking the big questions, is this all there is? Then I shook it off and got my butt in gear and left for work. This is how I know I am not depressed anymore. If I was still depressed I would have crawled back into bed with my clothes on and spent the day there.

It is a tough time of the year for me with both of my long term relationships ending at Thanksgiving and I have to be gentle with myself. The promises say we will not regret the past nor shut the door on it. For me that means accepting where I am and those relationships shaped who I am today and knowing it is all going to work out.

I a happy to not be where I was three years ago or three months ago I am moving forward with the faith that I will get the answers I am looking for when the time is right. For now I will settle for just changing the furniture back to the way it was and leaving everything else alone.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting Lost

Last night I got lost on my way to a Thanksgiving potluck dinner. This is not unusual for me, I have resisted getting one of the many talking navigators because I am oppose to yet another electronic running my life. Besides I like to think of myself as a good navigator despite the fact that I am lost a lot of the time. After an hour of driving around in an unfamiliar part of town I gave up and headed back home.

In life my navigation skills have taken me down many a wrong road. Sometimes I just became impatient with the process and took the first road I came to without much thought. Then I would eventually wake up to find myself in some kind of personal hell of my own making only to blame someone else or God for the situation I was in. Some of those choices changed the course of my life in ways I try not to think about now. There is no wrong path path just sometimes a shorter more pleasant path. I don't believe in regret and for me time eventually reveals the importance of every moment good or bad.

I recently decided to speed up one particular path and face something I have been avoiding for quite some time. A person that caused me a lot of pain and I wanted to get some answers some closure so I can move on. But it wasn't the right time because after three attempts to meet there has been one obstacle after another. Oddly enough I don't feel like it is so important anymore and maybe what I needed was to just let it go. I think the lesson was to just face my own pain and insecurity and move on.

The 12 steps and a spiritual path doesn't guarantee an easier life in fact being present and accountable for yourself at all times can be down right painful sometimes. When I realized I was totally responsible, I thought great and then it hit me, I have no one to blame anymore for my feelings.

What no one tells you when you start the steps is once you have that awakening there is no going back. This must be the way they felt after the apple incident in the garden.

So here I am working my program tailored by my higher power, just for me. Accepting that even when I feel I am lost I am always somewhere and I will eventually find my way home.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What do you want from me? - Expectations

I spent the afternoon with a friend yesterday and she talked of how she feels she has disappointed everyone in her life. She feels she is not a good friend, mother of wife. She said her aunt has been expecting her to call her an visit her regularly since her husband died and she just hasn't had the time. She lives four hours away.

We want to be loved and admired by the people that are important to us and even loved and admired by the people that are not. This is a slippery slope and ultimately a no win situation. First you have to start off as a mind reader because most relationships that I have been in no one is clearly communicating their expectations of me and sometimes those expectations change on a daily basis.

I still think I can read minds because as a child I became very good at analyzing a situation and performing in a way that was pleasing to others. This part of my personality went into over-drive after my mother died and I tried to be the daughter my step-mother wanted me to be. I dressed the way she wanted me to, I spoke the way she wanted me to and she still despised me. I know now it wasn't about me.

It made her happy for the moment and then she was mad again. I would regroup and reinvent myself and it worked for awhile until it didn't. This set me up with a pattern that I repeated in my alcoholic marriage and every relationship until the program.

I have been in a life long string of relationships where I get left. What my step-mother taught me was that I would never be enough. Every time someone leaves it makes me think that maybe it is true. What the program taught me is that it is true. I will never be enough for someone else, but I can choose to be enough for myself. I can do what is right for me and live in peace or I can try to meet the expectations of others and hope for the best.

Being the best person I can be, Step 11 takes care of that and accepting that as being enough is the only way for me to feel like enough, at least for myself. I want to be loved like everyone else, but what life has taught is it is impossible to meet the expectations of anyone or even the expectations I put on myself, for that matter.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Walking the Line - Trusting the Process

I have been walking the line between the past and the present over the last couple of weeks and I am not sure where I stand at the moment and wonder does it really matter. Trusting that everything is in perfect order can be a real stretch when you want something to turn out the way you picture it in your mind.

I know what I want or do I even know what I want and again, does it really matter. Step three, made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understand him, seems pretty easy if you put it that way but in practice the ability to let something go depends on how important the outcome is to you.

This is where I lose it. Have I done everything I can do without God's help? I can feel my heart aching for things to go my way and the my mind saying this situation is impossible and will never work. Don't get your hopes up verses expect a miracle. So which way do I go?

Before the program I felt I had all of the control and none of the control over my life. What I found out is that both are true, but the things I thought I had control over I didn't and things I thought I didn't I really did. I have control over my own thinking this was a big surprise to me. I can choose to let my thoughts ruin my day or know that they are just thoughts and I can be crazy another day.

The things I thought I could control, just about everything else, I had absolutely no power over. People just went out and did what ever they wanted without even getting my opinion. Couldn't they see the mistakes they were making?

So here I am back to the beginning, having to let things go and turning my will over. The truth is I don't know what is ultimately best for me. When I look at God's track record in my life, I can see a lot of successful decisions he has made for me. I can't take credit for any of the really great things that have happen to me because they were a result of some painful things that happened in my life. Things I would have never willing chosen to go through myself.

I will let go today and decide again tomorrow. Walking the line makes me feel anxious and powerless and I can make a decision be happy today, if I let go and trust the process.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thinking Small

I spent the morning judging builders here in the area that submitted remodeling projects to the builders association for recognition. The number is limited because it cost to submit and so only the bigger names actually are represented.

I was assigned a partner and we drove around and looked at some incredible spaces. It was hard to judge some of the smaller projects against the ones with unlimited budgets. One project, the house was taken to the ground and rebuilt the other was a cottage that the owners grandparents owned and had been empty for six years before the remodel. It was also gutted but the basic structure was the same.

My partner for the day was a interior designer and obviously passionate about what he did, we discussed the difficulty in finding people willing to pay for design services. He said he charges for every minute of his time and his belief in himself keeps him in business. He said even if he has to pass up on a potential customer he won't do a free consultation.

I was thinking about how easily I under value myself and especially what I do. I have a degree and I have spent a lot of time and energy keeping up with the current design trends within the industry. I have passion for what I do and I give my all with every project.

I was with a customer the other day and I said not to worry that I wouldn't let her make a bad decision and she said well you think highly of yourself. I said I support myself making design decisions and she wouldn't want to pay someone that isn't sure of their choices.

I was conditioned to think it is bad manners to be proud of your own skills or as my mother would say "don't toot your own horn". What is wrong with having confidence in your own skills. A lawyer wouldn't say oh I am not really that great, modesty wouldn't be an asset, so why should I down play my abilities.

So I am going to stop thinking small, it doesn't help me to not be confident or not appreciate my own abilities. If you are relying on the advice of someone don't you want them to have confidence, I do.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spoon Feeding - Expectations

I had to tell someone today that their kitchen would not be ready for Thanksgiving. I did not know until yesterday that this was the expectation. The project was turned over to the general contractor and he told me this morning that he was unaware of this expectation. It is part of the job.

I my business it is a delicate balance between the expectation of the customer and the reality of construction and design. I try to gently inform my customers the reality of the process of a renovation before we get started but most people don't want to hear it. There is no way to factor in the time it takes for people to make selections or if some unknown construction issue is found.

First it always cost more than you would expect and then it always takes longer than you think it will take. I have found that the process starts out based on generic selections and what happens when it gets down to it we want something nicer and that cost more a little here a little there. I call it spoon feeding and I do it to myself, I want to deny the reality and then I just adjust as each expenses comes along.

It has been a hard lesson for me to realize that not everyone really wants to know what it is really going to cost. I know what your thinking, you are thinking well I do and there is the rare bird that really does.

If I bring in my general contractor and he gives the whole cost up front every one thinks it is too much and they are in shock, even me. So they go off on their own and hire individuals and in the end it usually cost about the same. It just feels better not to see the big picture.

I think the remodeling senario translates to most situations. When I first came to the program I couldn't even see the alcoholism to admit my husband was an alcoholic seemed so permanent so uncurable a label, to much. Then finding out that I was the one with the problem whoa wait just one minute, then it started to sink in and I adjusted and started to see some truth in those words. If you told me it would take me this many years and I would always be in recovery myself, I would have walked out the door.

Life is a process and we have to accept things when we are ready and some people are never ready and that is not our responsibility. I can only do my best and accept that spoon feeding can be a little easier on everyone.

Monday, November 8, 2010

In the Dark - Gratitude

I am working today on my day off. I am happy to have the work and really need to close some new deals before I lose my momentum. I spent the day helping a customer with tile selection and then back to the office.

When I arrived my office or what I call my office, it was dark. I guess the big fixture over my desk went out. The owner decided that he should change the light bulbs, I tried to convince him that it was unlikely that all four went out at the same time, but he didn't listen. He is stubborn like me and had to see for himself. Then he proceeded to climb on top of my desk with my laptop sitting there open. After changing the bulbs surprise the light still didn't work. When he was moving the ladder out, he hadn't secured the cover and it came flying down and missed me by an inch.

It seems to me that when I am stressed and have a lot going on the universe starts conspiring against me and sends me a few extra things to deal with. I think we create our own reality and if we start thinking negatively then we get more of the same.

With that being said, the weather was beautiful today, my customer was good company and we got to eat lunch outside at one of my favorite restaurants. Further more, I have the kind of job that allows me moments such as this to stop and collect my thoughts and send them out into the world.

I hope your day was as lovely as mine.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What is the right thing to do?

My dog is very old 17 maybe 18 years old and can't see or hear at this point. She shows her age as old folks do sleeping all day and staying up all night.

We have this routine each night. I settle in around 1:00 am and fall asleep pretty quickly I usually sleep for a couple of hours and then I hear her nails tapping on the floor. Just as I leap up it is too late and she has relieved herself on the floor. It doesn't matter at this point because I have tile on the floor. I clean things up and go back to bed. At this point she is awake and starts wandering around the house bumping into things and about daylight will settle back in.

The other night I woke up and couldn't find her anywhere. I thought the doggy rapture had taken place. I searched the whole house and finally found her wedged underneath an ottoman coffee table I have at the end of the bed.

She is in pretty good health and her quality of life is still decent. It is me that is suffering. I know if I took her to the vet they would recommend putting her down. Taking a life, it is hard for me to even kill bugs most less something I love. I did make that choice for my other dog when she no longer could stand, that seemed clearer to me than this does.

I did try something different last night I put her in the kitchen and closed my door so I couldn't hear the tapping. I do feel more rested but it did seem strange not to feel her presence in the room.

I guess I will know when the time is right.