Saturday, March 31, 2012

Getting over myself - Wild Horses

I am adjusting to the new level of intensity at work. It feels like the old days in my old world where work was king and that wasn't even given a second thought.

I am not that person anymore maybe it is age or spiritual maturity I don't know. Don't get me wrong I love being busy especially in a career I chose by default. It is also good for me to face some the obstacles that being the keeper of your own time forces you to be.

Last week I was mad most of the week. I was jealous some of the week and just worn out the rest of the week.

First lets address mad. I was mad because I found myself working for days on something I wasn't getting paid for and it was my fault. So I was mad at myself mostly for letting this happen. Then I was mad because the customer didn't appreciate the time and energy I put into their project. Of course they didn't know but that didn't keep me from being mad about it.

So then I was jealous. I was jealous that my partner is working four days a week on big jobs and I am working six on really small jobs. This isn't a revelation and has been going on for over a year. I felt under appreciated.

I took two days off last week even with the deadlines looming over me. Sunday we drove to a place the rescues wild horses and other various farm animals from slaughter. I saw it on a Meet-up email and decided I needed to go.

It was an hour and a half away and we got there just when they were feeding the horses. When I touched the horse I was overwhelmed with emotion for a moment. Looking into her eyes there seem to be a lot sadness there. That was it a brief encounter with one horse and we got in the car and drove back.

Having two days off and a little road trip quelled my mood this week. I got over myself and faced my daily task like a big girl.

This week I appreciate my own work and learned once again not to get sucked into doing work that I am not getting paid for. I am a people pleaser at the core and although I feel I have out grown that for the most part being in sales I get tested every day. It is a fine line between customer service and working for free.

As far as my partner goes we will work this out. The small jobs keep the business going between the big jobs and are working towards a plan so we get equal pay. The truth is I like the small jobs. I get to meet people and get in an out quickly. I am just adjusting to volume of juggling so many at the same time. A really good thing.

I get stressed when I feel like I am not meeting the expectations of my customers. Of course these are my expectations that I assume they have. I can't read their minds so I don't really know. I always do my best and have to accept the outcome.

Believing that I will always be taken care of even if I can't see how is how I have made it this far. Letting go of the outcome is my lesson in this life. I am happy this is all just normal stuff I am dealing with and happy that I am not where I was a year ago.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Know yourself - Trying to find balance

I am tired today and still have a lot of work left to do before I go home. This week sped by and some parts were not too productive. I have to acknowledge that part of it is my own problem solving style that holds me back.

When I am tackling a project that has too many parts and pieces and no way to streamline the process my brain gets fried and I get stuck in one place too long. I usually try to tuck something else in the middle of the task for relief or wait until I am feeling more capable. This week none of that worked.

I kept moving forward and after spending a day sorting out plumbing for a customers bathroom I found out what we thought would work wouldn't. I had to start the whole selection process over again. If I could I would delegate this to someone else.

I really felt stressed because I knew the customer was waiting for me and it is taking me too long. I am pretty patient with other peoples personalty quirks but with my own I never meet my own standards.

This whole stuck in the quagmire happens a lot when I am over loaded. I feel bad because I can't meet every one's expectations. It isn't good to disappoint when you work on commission.

I finished the above project this morning and sent it off in email. It took me too long and I might have lost the job but I did my best even if it wasn't good enough.

Knowing myself and accepting that everything does work out helps sooth me when I feel that I am not working too efficiently.

I worked six days this week which is part of the problem. I am planning on being off Sunday and Monday even if I will be further behind. I am trying to find some balance.

Not so cheery today. Hope everyone is enjoying the early spring it is finally raining here and that does make me happy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stealing copper and a lot of hot air

Busy here. I wrote a long post yesterday apparently for myself because when I got finished with I lost interest and didn't post it. Here I am today trying again. It is 7:15 PM and the day has been very crazy and exciting in the world of kitchen and bath design.

It is hot in the showroom because some vandals stole the copper from one of our ac units. Luckily my office is in the back so I still have air. It was in the 80's today and we will have to get it fixed soon. We are considering a welded cage to go over it.

To be truthful we have had homeless folks sleeping on that side of the building from time to time. The brush has gotten out of control and so the units are hidden. This particular one the pipe had been ran up the side the building. The other units pipe go directly into the building and would have been a lot more work.

We are in a warehouse industrial area and it backs up to a low income area. We have our share of pan handlers I am just happy it is no one I know. Life sucks for a lot of people these days and the already down trodden have been pushed a little lower.

The copper issue is pretty common these days. I am not sure what we can do, maybe we can make things less appealing. Do we clean out the brush so the ac will be more visible and more enticing or do we leave it so it won't be hidden and less tempting.

That is the news here I am busy and happy to be busy. Working more hours than I have in a long time. Life is good and I feel grateful to be out of my head for a change.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sitting on the Beach - Catching our breath

I love Saturdays at the shop it is quiet here. I usually have a few customers come in but I don't have to deal with the usual work week interruptions.

I haven't had a chance to write and really didn't think I had anything that interesting to write about this week. But today I felt I needed to get some words out. Writing for me is like exercise I never really want to do it but I feel better once I do.

Life has been exhausting over the past few years and summoning the courage to keep moving has been really hard. I know I am not alone in this I see it all around me especially in my business. Those of us that are still here are catching our breath, surveying the damage and deciding what to do next.

When you are in crisis you can't think about anyone else. You feel like you are alone your ships going down and you preoccupied with bailing out the water with a paper cup. It is all you can do until either you drown or you reach shore.

We have reached the shore here in our business and are sitting here on the beach for a brief moment making decisions about our future. Our boat is still here but not too sea worthy at this point. Can it be fixed or do we need a new boat?

While we are making that decision we are steadily patching up the old boat and making plans to build a new one at the same time. I am not sure if it is a good idea to have divided energy but we are stubborn and a little sentimental and with the recent storm holding on to anything that feels familiar.

It is good to have a moment in the sunshine here on the beach. We know that we can't linger here too long and that is ok too.

We will never be the same and maybe that is the point of a storm. To root our complacency and bring courage we didn't know we had to the surface.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Can a leopard change it spots? - Harmony

We have had situation come up where someone we work with has betrayed our trust.

We have known him a really long time and our company had stopped using him because he has an ego the size of Texas and if he has a mind to he will throw you under the bus in a heart beat. All is fair in love and making a buck.

Why would we start up with him. He has a good product and is close by and with the past 12 months being so bad it seemed like a good idea to mend that fence. He was really humble at that point but now that business is better he is feeling a little more like his old self.

I was tossing and turning over the situation last night. I had a meeting with him this morning on a job we previously committed to and was planning to bring up the issue. He doesn't know that we know. It didn't happen which is just as well I think I need more time to meditate on this problem.

In my angst last night I pulled out my Angel cards and the first card was Harmony. The passage was try to see a troubled situation from a higher place. I thought I am really PO'd and not feeling too high minded at this point.

During my all night reflection I woke up with two thoughts about the situation. First I can't really let it go because that is too much like all the years of being silent in my relationships. Accepting unacceptable behavior. I can say it without being mean, I can be truthful that if he doesn't own up to what is going then it will affect our relationship. That will be the consequences of breaching our trust.

The second thought is that I believe that everything comes back that you put out. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You could call it karma. It isn't my place to pass judgement only to address how it affect me. If I accept unacceptable behavior then that is my decision.

Is it possible for a leopard to change his spots? I think it is I have changed mine many times. I also think our core characteristics regularly pull us back to, in some cases, not so great behavior. That is why we continue to take personal inventory to make sure we don't go back to where we started.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Whats love got to do with it? - 4th step

Saturday I made food for a friend as a kind of a birthday dinner. I made shrimp and then I made roasted corn and black bean soup with fresh avocado and cilantro added just before serving.

It felt pretty surreal there in the kitchen cooking. I was thinking I don't know that I have ever made shrimp in this house.

My life of cooking seems so far away like I lost some part of me a long time ago. I remember the zen feeling cooking always gave me. The focus involved in chopping and preparing food for the people I loved and I thought loved me. I am not so sure about the second part anymore. I think I created some loving family with my ex's family that only existed in my mind.

During dinner the topic of love came up. The birthday girl is 73 and fell in love for the first time three years ago. It is over for various reasons and he recently moved away to live with his kids. We thought that was sad to have to wait until your 73 to find love. I guess that is better than never finding love at all.

Driving home I was thinking about falling in love. I stopped at a beach access where I use to meet someone who I thought I was in love with. They were not available emotionally or otherwise so I had to let it go. A moment in time caught up in admiration that only new attraction offers.

I had just been jilted and the idea of by-passing the grief process was very appealing. I knew what grief was about and was hoping I was going to be spared. It doesn't work that way grief has to be dealt with now or later, your choice.

I sat there by the sea and watched droves of young people headed out to the water. It was dark and I was content to just sit there and think about love and lust.

I went home and decided to write about my own experiences with love and lust. A kind of chronological 4th step.

Leaving home at 16 I was pretty free to do what I wanted with whomever I wanted. I did marry at 21 but definitely had my share of love and or so called love before then.

I was lost and the indifference my family had towards me sent me looking for love in all the wrong places. I was never reckless because I was a control freak but I did attract people that were as needy I was. Two holes don't make a whole.

When I met my husband I was emotionally exhausted. I chose him with my head not my heart I even ask him to marry me. I remember thinking he was nice why couldn't I love someone that was nice to me. I did fall in love with him because he never stop believing in me. He accepted me the way I was and when I finally was able to trust him I was in love.

He was enthusiastic and put his heart into everything until the alcoholism progressed. He became mean and used what he knew about me to hurt and control me. I thought it was something I had done. We do our best even if it isn't good enough.

The writing was a good exercise. I saw where I hurt people with my own indifference and how I really didn't know what love was and maybe I still don't. I believe I have loved and been loved even it it didn't work out. It all seems clearer now since I have been able to shed the painful suit of armor I once carried.

The only thing that brought up emotion was the person I use to meet at the beach. I was very sick and desperate and we were both looking for a quick escape. It has been four years and it is clear now that I escaped nothing.

I am looking forward to love in the future. It will be different because I already love myself and won't need someone to fill the hole for me. The person will be as emotionally well as I that is always the case.

picture from

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Being willing - Amends and other stuff

I just got a call from someone I still un-officially sponsor. She is sad because her brother is in town and hanging out with her sister and she wasn't invited.

She hasn't been the easiest person to be around (her words) most her life but now the program has changed her and she wants to be included.

It is hard to accept the consequences of your own actions sometimes. In Al-Anon we are taught to not get between the alcoholic and the natural consequences of drinking your life away. We don't like to admit what the drinking has done to us and the consequences we may have to face.

Living with the affects of alcoholism in my own life made me bitter and resentful. Really unpleasant to be around because I was helpless and wrapped up in trying to make someone else act right. I only had time for the alcoholic in my life and everyone else, including myself were left on the shelf to collect dust.

Even when I didn't live with active alcoholism for the 13 years after my marriage ended I wasn't willing to see how my part in my alienating myself from my own family. I wanted them to be there for me but I really wasn't there for them and I made no effort to mend those fences.

Just the past year I have been able to see that I have been just like them. Totally wrapped up in myself and my own pain to think about anyone else. Even though I fully expected my sister to reach out to me.

I wasn't mature enough to get over myself and see that I could choose a higher path and accept them the way they were. I could work with what I had instead of waiting from them to change. Instead I sulked for most of my life, like a child waiting to be noticed.

I am not beating myself up, don't get me wrong, it was just where I was and now I am free to be happy without it depending on the actions of someone else. I is no one's job but my own to make myself feel good, worthy and loved.

You might think well shouldn't I expect to be appreciated? What I have realized is only as much as I appreciate someone else. I expected other people to appreciate me even when I didn't reciprocate those feelings.

I was focused on convincing myself that I was valuable by pointing out all the things I did for other people and how little they noticed me. I needed to be noticed desperately because this is where my value came from otherwise I was nothing.

I am not sure where all that came from. I think my conversation with my friend today made me realize how far I have come. I have made some amends to my sister and her kids for not really being there. I accept my part in our relationship.

I did my best and I know my friend has done her best too. We are lucky if we can see our own part in a situation and don't get stuck in blaming someone else for our woes. It is a miracle to see just how far we can come if we are willing.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spiritual Awakenings - The hard way

I has been an extremely busy week so far and for that I am grateful.

The previous owner, oh how I like the sound of that, came in a couple of times this week. He has gotten over feeling pushed aside and realizes it is time to let us do what needs to be done to get the business moving.

We had one of our long spiritual talks today. His church is breaking apart because their minister has a drinking a pill problem. His wife has forced him out of the house and he is living with the former owner. He told me the minister's wife took pictures of him to prove to him how drunk he was. Does that sound familiar to any Alanon out there?

He has been forced to go to AA but doesn't feel he is like those people. Does that sound familiar to any AA or Alanon out there? I hear, I am special no body understands me or what I am going through. Lets face it we are not that special our problems are the same human problems people have been having since we have been here.

He is losing everything and as we all know sometimes that is what it takes to see what the problem really is our own thinking. My best thinking got me here. I don't envy the great spiritual awakening heading his way, if he is chooses spiritual enlightenment.

From my own experience I have to endure some pretty major pain before I become humble and learn from my own mistakes. When I get to the other side I think "really God" couldn't you just send me a note or an instruction book. Do we have to do this every time?

Instead I have to get to the point where I don't care about anything. I am at zero an empty vessel waiting to be filled. It is the ultimate letting go where you have no answers or for me at this point not even any questions.

I feel bad for the minister and his family but we all have to work things out for ourselves. Nobody can rescue anyone. You might postpone the inevitable pain that someone must go through bur life usually catches up with you.

Postponing the pain inevitably postpones the spiritual awakening waiting on the other side.

I feel bad for the previous owner he really put this man own a pedestal. Another lesson I guess. Addiction doesn't discriminate and doesn't leave anyone untouched anywhere.