Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Can this marriage be saved? Motives

Sometimes when you have too much information about another person it can skew your views on a particular situation. You can read too much into what is going on and the motives of that person.

If you just met them you wouldn't have this underlying suspicion. Someone told me not too long ago that I was too trusting. I guess for me over the years I have wasted so much time thinking I knew what another person was going to do. When I was right it reinforced this idea I had special powers. When I was wrong I would dismiss it as a fluke. This is a trap that keeps you coming back for more.

I have been working with a cabinet builder that leases our building with us. He bought the business from our owner over 20 years ago. There has been some bad blood over the years between the two businesses. Since I started managing things I have be rebuilding this relationship. We have been doing a lot of small custom jobs and he has been building the cabinets for us. I thought that it seems like a no brainer when he shares our space.

He brought me a customer to design for and sell cabinetry to and I have been working with them for months. When they finally settled on a plan I sent them a final number. He met with them without telling me and they told him they were not happy with the overall project price. He offered to build the cabinets for a super low price. Everyone agreed that I should get paid for my time. When he told me yesterday I knew I would need some time to process what just happen.

I woke up after having a nightmare that he was attacking me. I did feel like he threw me under the bus. At four am I started reading to quiet my mind and meditate on why this is bothering me so much. Even though I am going to get paid the same it bothers me how it was handled.

I will have to have a little talk with him to clear the air. I like things to be out on the table and I can put the past behind us if he is upfront with me. This will be my terms for working together to save this marriage.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I woke up with fear - yogi talk

This morning I woke up with a sense of dread. Nothing I could really put my finger on exactly but there it was. I put on some music and said some prayers while getting dressed.

I tried to analyze if it was tied to any particular thoughts. The only thing I could think of was that things are going well for the first time in a long time and can I trust that.

In the last five minutes I just lost a job. The good news is they are going to pay me for the time I put into it and that would be equal to my commission. No money for the company though.

Changing the subject I went a gathering last night that included a yogi. He had a lot of wisdom and it seemed he repeated some of the very ideas I have been harping on here.

He said that all addiction is created by stress. That is not a big surprise is it? He also said that we try to balance the stress by using drugs or food or whatever we can to counter act the stress. He said finding balance in ones life was the only way to fight addiction. The imbalance is in our minds and the only way to get rid of it is to live in the present moment.

I am not a worshipper of men. I feel we are all equal and equally fallible. He has a pretty sweet life with people waiting on him 24/7. It is a good gig if you can get it. Someone did ask him who gave him his title of yogi and he said he gave it to himself. He also said he wrote a 12 step book from his perspective 40 years ago.

With that last sentence I thought, does he have personal experience with the 12 steps? It wasn't as well known 40 years ago as it is now and it doesn't really matter. He had some words of wisdom and as always take what you like and leave the rest.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Broken Glass

I got a call this morning from the other designer. She doesn't work on Saturday but decided to come in today. She said someone threw a big rock through the front window.

I finished getting dressed and headed in. By the time I got here she had cleaned up the mess and made a few calls. I was happy I didn't have to deal with it. We are calling one of our guys to put up plywood over the window.

We are in kind of an industrial area and close to a pretty depressed neighborhood. In 35 years we only had two incidence of vandalism.

Last time the shook up a can of soda and threw it through the window.

We don't have anything of much value here and take our lap tops home at night. We did buy a big screen TV to view designs and that is probably what they saw and probably what got them going.

Kids or drugs and alcohol who knows. Just another day in the office.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Turning towards the light

It was raining cats and dogs when I left my house this morning. We need the rain so I was feeling grateful. With water restrictions my grass looks pretty sad. My mind brought up the fact that when I got to work I would have to get my computer out of the car and it would get wet. Needless worry I thought.

I have a lovely 10 minute drive to work crossing over a small curved bridge. I love the view there sometimes the local college has their rowing team out for practice. On my way home the sun sets in that direction and if my timing is just right the picture is good enough for a post card.

So today just as I crossed that bridge the rain stopped and I was facing the most beautiful light. No worries today.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wait and see or Plan B

I am happily working many hours and doing many creative projects including my own house at the same time. I am running on all cylinders these days.

A friend of mine took me out for an early birthday dinner last night. Locally they are doing dinners at upscale restaurants for $25.00 a charity fundraiser. It is a set three course menu. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at one of the oldest restaurants in town. What a treat.

We talked about how much time in the past we have spent preparing for disasters that didn't happen. She has a trip planned for New Zealand and will be gone for a month. Her husband is suppose to go but his health has not been that great. Her daughter gave her the advice that she should plan to have someone else go or meet her. She replied that she would just wait and see. A lot can happen between now and November.

I remember before the program how when I was managing my life and the life of others I would never just be happy with what was I had to think of every way things could go wrong and have a plan B and C and D.

When I traveled I would take every kind of medication imaginable just in case I got sick. The fact is I never get sick and when I do I usually get by with some easily obtainable medication. I always knew something would spoil my fun.

What a waste of time preparing for the unknown. My imagination can really get the best of me thinking the worse case scenario. What about the best case scenario isn't that just as likely? Can I put the same amount of effort into thinking about how may ways something can go right? It seems that fear is always just below the surface.

The other designer just reminded me of this. I booked a trip for work that come back to here at 11:00 pm she said that was a mistake that it will run 2 hours late. I said that has never happened to me I guess I will have to wait and see.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Perspective - I can change mine if I want

Why is it that when you don't like the way things are you tend to focus on the shortcomings of others. What other people are not doing that you think they should.

I got to the office today and it is a real mess. It is not like it is a surprise to me because I was the last one here Saturday night. So unless angels came in on the Lord's special day I shouldn't expect things to look different.

Living my life through my own special glasses has kept me from seeing and accepting things as they are. The hope that magically they will be different is the real problem. When I choose to take them off then I have to adjust to reality, again even this is another version of my own reality.

The truth is I didn't have a totally restful nights sleep and I woke up with a little pain in my right hip. Nothing mysterious my gait is off and I did a lot of work around the house yesterday barefooted and aggravated it. It is already better.

Speaking of perspective while cleaning yesterday I got a painting out that I did 20 years ago. It was wrapped in paper from the move four years ago. I never liked it much. I painted in a class setting and it is of a swamp with blue herons. I took it out and propped it up in my studio. A friend came over for dinner and saw it and said I love this, who painted it? Obviously not my style. I made my confession and we finished dinner.

After dinner I asked him if he really liked it and he said yes. I asked him if he would he like to have it and he was really thrilled. A belated birthday present and a big step for me, letting go of my past even if it is something I don't like.

I am better now that I have written these words and vacuumed the showroom. Everything in my world is just as it should be and the only thing that needs changing is my perspective.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Message - Alway being present

I got home late last night and turned on the TV just as Oprah said "I am so happy you made a decision to step out of the pain of the past and live in present with all it's possibilities".

This keeps popping up everywhere for me. She was interviewing a boy who 13 years ago had parents that chained him up in the closet for extended periods of time. This had been going on for years. He was six when his older sister ran away and told the police. A case worker went to the house and saw no evidence that anything was wrong.

The police officer that heard the sister's story felt there was too many details for the story not be true. He required the parents to come an pick the daughter up and while they were there talked to the boy. He covered for his dad until the officer sad you dad wants you to tell me everything and he did.

He is an adult now and seemed to be Ok despite the years of abuse. Another woman on the show saw that story 13 years ago as a child and had the courage to tell someone her step father was abusing her. She said his story saved her life.

The message for me was that it is possible to overcome anything. He will be changed forever but he has decided to not let the pain of his past control his life now.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Productivity - Out the window

I have given up. What ever I hopes I had of accomplishing anything today has flown out the window. So I heaping unproductively upon unproductively and writing some general nonsense.

I did have some good news. I have a birthday coming up and my tag and drivers license needed to be renewed and I found out I can do it on-line. When I went to driving school (distant past post) I got the impression that you had to go in person for drivers license renewal. Because of Homeland Security you have to show two serious forms of id. A original birth certificate or passport and an original ss card. If your name has changed perhaps you got married and divorced then you need you divorce decree to prove you are who you say you are.

After I thought about it maybe she said it was if you were even one day past your birthday. She made us all pull out our licenses and look at the expiration. It is a good thing because I had know idea it was going to expire this year. She did say most people think you have until the end of the month of your birthday, but that is not true.

So maybe the reason I had to go to driving school was to find out my license was going to expire. This would prevent me getting pulled over (not that would ever get pulled over) and getting a ticket for an expired licence. I guess that is round about gratitude. Maybe someone out there needs to look at their own license.

Just a regular day, what a relief.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Life is a Jungle - Lets go on a Safari

I worked in my house the past couple of days. I was here in the office Saturday until 8PM getting my ducks in a row and enjoying being so busy. I decided that I would balance things out this week by taking two days off.

This new emotional freedom is hard to describe but it is really awesome just letting things flow on their own and not focusing on the outcome. I've always done my best but now I just let the rest go. This has given me so much energy instead of spinning my wheels and thinking about what more I should have done. I am on to the next thing. I can accept my best as being good enough.

I met one of my former sponsees this weekend to help her pick out an outrageous red for her dining room. After seeing all those colors I felt inspired to make some of my own changes. I picked out a Safari Green for my living and dining area.

It is color my niece picked for my sister's kitchen. I left the store at 5:00 and by 8:30 I had a new look. At first I thought it was too light. I have a lighter green in my kitchen that I despise. But as it dried it became richer and more developed.

I was just thinking how I always jump to conclusions and if take a step back and just observe I might be surprised how things turn out. Being still is what I have been forced to learn these past few years. I had to accept that there wasn't anything I could do to speed up my healing process.

Now I appreciate the clear mind God gave me. Only after losing it for a long time.

The definition of Safari is a journey or expedition to watch animals in their natural habitat. So I consider myself on a little Safari watching any drama I come upon from a distance I like it that way for now. If I feel the need to jump in I can do that too but it is my choice.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Telling Stories

I have been reading about the idea of each of us having our own story. A story that we have created by own perception of the circumstances of our lives. The ideas that we came up with on our own and some that were handed to us.

The book was written by the author of The Four Agreements. A very life changing book for me. I will have to leave that for another time.

This idea that it is our own minds that hurt us. That it is the reliving of the past in our own minds that keeps the pain alive. I think I finally understand this for myself. Could it really be that simple?

It made me think how in the morning we wake up and are free to begin again or we go over to the closet and put our old labels on. Our heavy coats covered with the labels we have given ourselves. The labels related to not being enough for ourselves or others. Everybody living within their own story.

Can I give up the novel that I have written about my life good and bad? Is it possible to live without the constant dialogue. The commentary or is it too scary to see how the words in my head are just that words in my head.

Can I go back to childhood before I knew too much to be happy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Foot-work or control?

I use to get caught up or I should say my mind would get caught up in deciding how much footwork God expects me to do to solve my own problems. It was always a trap a fine line between control and foot-work.

I decided that God really doesn't need my help. I can keep my eyes and ears open for direction but that is all that is required. I can't even start down the road of imagining how something will work because that is taking the control back. It is setting myself up for fear if I see the situation heading off in a different direction.

I recently decided to get out of the drivers seat and let God take over. I have let it all go and decided to just let things happen naturally. I let drumming up business go and I am so busy I can't keep up. I had a huge problem with a not so reasonable customer that accused me of lying and she called and apologized this morning. I had a builder who refused to send us a check and I got an email this week saying we could pick it up.

The foot work I am doing has to do with what is on my plate today. Not focusing on potential problems or the 99 ways something could go wrong or in some cases even right. It is a distraction I can't be peaceful while meddling in things that are not my business.

Just for today I can let go and let God.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Putting it all out there

The past couple of years I have bared my soul to any and all that would listen. I felt like a open wound walking around wait for the next painful strike. I didn't have a choice to show all my cards all the time. No restraint. Grief is like that.

But now I am past that on move on the facing the real world. How do I maneuver through each day without going back to the way I use to do things. How I would leave just enough space between me and you to keep you from knowing too much about my weak spots. What happens to that space is that something grow there a barrier sometimes it is just glass sometimes a thick hedge and sometimes a thick concrete wall.

I want to feel all the emotions and feel safe at the same time. It doesn't work that way. I can't enjoyed the depth of ocean if I am only willing to put my toe in the water. What if I drown? What if I swim with the dolphins? What if I swim with the dolphins and then I drown.

Is a life worth living if we stay away to stay safe. If we stay in the shallow waters without taking the chance. If we drown will we drown with a smile on our face. If we stay safe will we die with regret on our face.

I am sharing this link on vulnerability that provoked these thoughts.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Acceptance - My time is valuable

I am tired today. I was going to take off since I worked Monday but that didn't work out. It has been busy here and I am grateful for that.

I got a call this morning from a referral. The guy wanted a bid on a kitchen and his house is about an hour from here. I said that I had to charge him to come out and it would be applied towards the purchase. He said he called five other people and no one else charged to come out. He said that my time must be more valuable than theirs.

I agreed that my time was valuable and that given the distance I would have to charge him. It is the nature of the business and with the economy people are getting more bids. I have done my share of free estimates and actually I never got a job from someone not willing to pay for an estimate. I am on commission and if I am going to work for free then what is the point.

You could say that I might charm someone into using me but that isn't how it works. When someone is shopping solely on price then I will lose and if you have five bids that is what is important to you. I am service first and foremost and my prices are competitive but I am not the cheapest.

I provide my customers with more than most. It has been hard for me to get to the point of valuing my own time and worth. I have reached a point that I know what I offer will be valuable to some, but not to everyone. God sends me the people that are suppose to cross my path and I learn from each encounter.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Aunt Millie - A movie star

I was making a macaroni salad yesterday with some tuna that my friend brought back from Spain. The recipe was one that my Aunt Mildred taught me it was the second recipe that I learned to make from a written recipe.

Aunt Millie as everyone else calls her is a character. When we were kids she was bigger than life to us. She was like a movie star. She dressed like one and spent hours putting on make up. All us kids would sit like groupies around her dressing table while she applied layers upon layers of make up and tell us the most outrageous stories.

She is my Dad's brothers wife. Her character was a sharp contrast to my Dad's whole family who grew up on the farm. They were gentle quiet people and Aunt Millie was a city slicker from Chicago.

I think now she was one of the first crush on someone with that charismatic personality that I associate with alcoholism and addiction.

Over the years we have lost Aunt Millie to prescription pills. All my Dads siblings live within walking distance of each other on my grandfathers land. My uncle keeps Aunt Millie under wraps and makes all the familiar excuses for her absences at the family events.

When I visited a few years ago I didn't know all the unspoken rules about arriving unannounced. They told my Aunt Millie was not available to see me. I called and she answered and was so happy. She invited me right over. It was the middle of the day and she was in her pj's. She gave me a tour of the house and she said she was sorry about how I had been treated and wished I hadn't stayed away so long.

She gave me some things that belonged to my grandmother. My uncle was embarrassed by her and cut the visit short. He doesn't know just how much I know about loving someone with an addiction.

Yesterday when I thought of her I felt the pain and sadness the family is suffering. My cousin's lives have been forever changed by addiction and probably think there is nothing that will change the effects addiction has had on them. A lot of the pain caused by hiding and denying what is going on. Everybody knows we only think it is a secret.

Living with active addiction touches so many lives. I hope to visit more often and maybe share some of my own story when the timing is right.