Tag Archives: turning over

Focus on the Priority

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“Contemplate the extent and stability of the heavens, and then at least cease to admire worthless things.”
— Boethius

I choose to interpret this to mean that we are being called to dig deeper, to focus on the really important things. We can put our selves to better use if we trust the extent and stability of the Heavens (our higher power, the Universe, God, or whatever you want to call it). And then, standing firmly on that trust, stop with the whining, the focus on materialistics, the focus on others, and get our own acts together.

Today’s worthless item we need to stop admiring/giving undue attention to:
Comparing ourselves to others. Our vision of what we SHOULD be doing, looking like, or having enough money to do is one of those worthless wastes of time. You know that. I know that. But sometimes we need reminders to stop whining and move on to the priority in your life now.

We are called to prioritize our attentions so that we can prioritize our actions. Thoughts lead to actions, and daily actions lead to habits. For me, that priority is to focus on the present person in the room. This morning it is my work–I need to stick with it and have trust that I can figure out the best action to take next with that difficult client. Last night it was the kid with a scratchy throat. Tonight the priority will be my boyfriend because I invited him to dinner, and that means share a meal, not turn him into the Chore Boy.

Sometimes the priority in the room is actually us, and we need to stop with the dishes and put our butts to bed so we can be mentally ready for the next day. Priorities are just choices for where we put our focus.
matters

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Napping

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I had some surgery last week, and it was serious enough that I stayed in the hospital one night. I am ok, it was planned, and no more surgery is expected. But I have been told it could take 6 weeks to recover… 6 weeks?!?! When my doctor initially told me that, I burst out crying. That was 2 months ago, and I am still struggling with the concept of being restful for weeks at a time. I told my boss I would be back at work after 2 weeks- probably not realistic, but it was the only way I could tell him I wouldn’t be there for 2 weeks…

I have been told to “rest as much as possible, and don’t do too much too soon”. Hmmmm- but what if “doing as much as possible as soon as possible” is the way I have survived as a single parent for the last 9 years? This space in my life is definitely a brain twister. How can I be my productive self if I am laying around on the couch?!? Is this me? Will I get swallowed up and lose myself in my pillows and blankets for these weeks?

I am hoping that at the least, I get a little perspective on my life during these 2-3 weeks of time off of work (probably the only 2-3 weeks I have spent off of work since I graduated from high school a hundred years ago). And of course, at the most, I would like to 1)get all of my pictures arranged and organized in my computer (my music too), 2) get the last 10 boxes unpacked from our move in November, 3) get my and my kids’ closets organized, 4) have devised the miracle budget combination that allows me to save and yet live abundantly, 5) blog meaningfully on a regular basis, 6) write some hand written notes that are overdue, and 7) do research on parenting teenagers and significantly improve my parenting. That is the first 7 items of my 21 item To Do List. (I figured I could complete one a day)

The problem is, I keep having to sit down because I get tired after being awake for 2 hours. But yet I really hate napping… I am having anxiety dreams every time I fall asleep, that is part of the lack of allure of naps… I am actually anxious and nervous about this time off. What if I become a couch slug and NEVER get back to my prior life of athletic health and productivity? What if I cannot convince myself after all of this that my job is meaningful? What if I really like working part time and cannot go back to full time? What if I cannot finish all 21 To Do items?

You know the answers to all of these questions: This time off IS going to change my outlook on life and my job, and the point is to come up with some changes in me, not necessarily my house and its organization or lack there of. And all I can do is turn over this time, ask for help from God and my friends, and do the best today, this hour, taking care of my body and mind and wait to see the miracles that occur.

Left Foot, Right Foot, Left Foot, Breathe

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The title of this blog is from advice I found in Anne Lamotte’s book “Plan B and Further Thoughts on Faith”. She got the advice from a friend named Tom when she was sad and frustrated and over the top with gunk raining down on her. It is really all we can do: put footsteps and time between us and anything that is terribly disappointing.

I don’t know why we sometimes think we can no longer “handle it”, that this is “the last straw”. Because it isn’t. We do end up getting out of bed, limping into the bathroom, doing the teeth-hair-clothes bit and getting out the door. Eventually.

This morning I had to have a good wail. I was pissed. And sad. I ended up, at the very bottom of it, mad at God. You see, I had asked very specifically for God to take care of me, protect me, and told God I knew he had my back, that he takes care of my kids when I am not looking, took care that my house purchase went through ok, takes care of my finances, and so I told God over the last months/years/decade (that REALLY pissed me off at God, that I have been asking for a decade now?!) that I know he has the perfect divinely right partner in mind for me and is preparing me for him. And preparing the dude for me. Today, it doesn’t seem that way… I am feeling like I am actually out in the cold on this companion bit, and God could care less if I find or have this companion in my life. Wow. That feels harsh. It feels possible.

But God- what else am I supposed to think? How else could/should I interpret this mess?

I heard in Alanon (the 12-step group for families and friends of alcoholics, which means they have a bunch of slogans too) that “Figuring it out is not a slogan”. So I don’t get to know God’s plan, I have to step out again in blind faith; walk by faith and not by sight. Damn it.

Left foot, right foot, left foot yet again, breathe. I thought my plan was pretty good, but I guess he has a different one.

Like a Moth, Going Towards the Light

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Here is the latest:

I decided last night that I need and want, deserve, and am going to have a man that will protect me and cherish me.  It made me cry just thinking that would be possible…  So I have been fantasizing and calling in a cute man who looks and acts pretty much like a fireman- you know how sexy those guys are! : ) and that feels really good.  I am definitely praying a lot about it, talking it all over with God and letting him know I am ready for “my fireman” to arrive.

 In the meantime, I have had all these wonderful, yet unavailable (a.k.a. married) men give me kindness and warmth- the cable guy was so sweet with his follow-up and re follow-up on cable issues I was having; a coworker gave me an apology card after being pissy and belligerent with me during a meeting; another coworker has been laughing and joking with me about the difficulty of our project these days, sharing inside jokes and hilarious puns with me on it; the youth director awarded my daughter a really robust scholarship to go on the Church ski trip this weekend; an old friend is keeping me company on text, encouraging me and offering sweet support and kindness; and another coworker has been tirelessly and cheerfully helping me with some really boring aspects of the project.

 I am experiencing sweet men in my life, and it is reminding me that there really are some very good ones out there!

 CG (who has been re-named Goober, becasue he is not a Cute Guy after all- I don’t care how much turmoil you have in your life, it is not ok to start a fling iwth a single mom colleague who clearly has other ideas about you…) has been out of the office for the last 2 days, working from home.  Goober is in today.  I happen to be wearing a really cute sweater dress that looks pretty good on me.  (I am calling that Fireman in!!!)  Goober passed by an office where I was talking with someone and I saw him take in the whole view with a cold eye.  I am focusing completely on that Fireman, and attempting to not care less what Goober thinks, what Goober says, or what Goober does.  Goober-Man is not about protecting and cherishing me.

 Instead, I am channeling, growing, feeling, God’s love and infinite care for me.  And I have received 3 (!) really fun invitations from women friends for this weekend!  So, onward and upward, toward the Light.  I will let you know what happens next.Image

Raindrops, Copper Kettles, and Mittens Won’t Work

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I really liked the Sound of Music movie. I watched it 29 times as a 6th grader, memorized the songs, idolized Greta, and wanted to marry someone just like Mr. Von Trapp.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens…
You know the song-
…These are a few of my favorite things. When I’m feeling sad, I only remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad!

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Ha! I was running the other day, grumpy, tired, on the verge of catching a cold, thinking that I should make a list of some of My Favorite Things, because I need a little more fire power than a pair of mittens Julie!

So here goes:
1. A pedicure with Sandy, my friend who is a single mom of 4 and a great laugher

2. A trip to the library where I can get a stack of free books, immediately, and nobody asks for my credit card

3. A bag of potato chips at work to eat loudly in my cubicle at 9 am

4. An appointment to get my hair done- just the appointment helps me feel better because soon my hair will look better

5. Plan a road trip with my kids somewhere that I have been meaning to take them (just plan it, don’t have to take it yet)

6. Eat chocolate chip cookies and milk in front of the TV for hours watching something mindless, alone or with my kids

7. Have a long phone conversation with Liz, my sometimes single mom (her husband works overseas a lot) who has known my kids since conception and has the same set of issues with her daughters. She will pray for me, and let’s me know I am not as crazy as I feel. She also puts into words what I cannot (i.e. the “Jackhammer Approach” our kids take to get something from us- “Can I mom? You said I could. Why can’t I? Can I please? Why not?” etc times 12. I also go for walks with Delia, and she never fails to say “Oh yes, that must be so hard…” and my bristles and prickles and thorns all subside and I can breath again.

8. I would say drink tequila, but actually, that throws me backwards, as I really don’t like to feel hungover. I am a wimp.

9. Have a conversation with my daughter about her service plan of stopping the world’s slave trade by writing a play about it and performing it at her school’s Talent Show (she is completely out of my league, and I have no idea where she gets her inspiration, but she inspires me to get off of my pity pot)

10. Write a blog entry about anything or nothing at all

11. Read my faith-based books on my bedside and actually get on my knees and asking God for some help. Ideally I would do this one first, THEN eat chocolate chip cookies for hours, get a pedicure with Sandy or talk to Liz, and FINALLY write a blog to you about it all so that you get the happily ever after ending.

I am lucky. Over the last year, I have realized that I have many more friends than I imagined possible. I can’t even name off all of you! Friends are the best medicine. Thanks so much for being there : )

Advice only counts when we are giving it

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I just finished last night, encouraging my friend (we will just call her Sarah, not her real name) that she is in the right place at the right time, it was a great experience for her, and that life is going along on the perfect plan, just for her. She told me about a 1-night stand with a gorgeous waiter at a restaurant last Friday night where she had met a blind date. Yeah, this friend of mine was able to simultaneously drop the deadbeat and pick up the gorgeous dude. She felt yucky, kind of like she had used or been used, and had gotten too drunk to turn it in to something better. I asked her if she had fun, and she said “Oh yeah”. I replied that it was the perfect experience then, and resulted in exactly what was supposed to happen. Isn’t that smart and sweet and wise of me? I felt very smug.

So today, it is difficult to imagine that CG (Cute Guy) is going to step up to the plate… We emailed a tiny bit last week and on Monday, but he has chosen not to reply to my last one, not to ask me out again, AND, I saw him in the hallway a moment ago, and he looked down, grabbing at his shirt as if he lost his pen or something very important like that RATHER than say “Hey, how are you? What are you doing this weekend, because I cannot wait to see you. I cannot bear to spend another weekend without you!”.

So, Big Goober is his new nickname. BG. I am grumpy and pissed and want to make faces at my computer screen. My wisdom to Sarah certainly does not apply to me, even though I also had a fabulous time and enjoyed every minute of it and wanted to be content with being myself and enjoying myself for 2 hours on our date.

I don’t want to be happy and pleased about my rather gray-ish situation, or chalk it up to experience, or anything I told me friend Sarah to do. I want to pout and be grumpy rather than imagine that something else, much better will come along, or that maybe he is too afraid anyway of actually seeing me or doing any more than hugging me. I don’t want to imagine that maybe he just needs time. I have magically transformed into a 14-year old who wants the boy to ask her to Homecoming, damn it!I don’t want to think that also, maybe I need more time, or that we have all the time in the world. I don’t, I wanted a cute boyfriend by Thanksgiving.

I also told Sarah that tomorrow she would feel differently. I might consider that is true for me too.

Post-Party Rush

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The party was really fun yesterday. “Cute Guy” was not there, but other cute and fun people were, and I really enjoyed laughing with friends. I was probably the oldest one there, and had jello shots and “shotskis” (shots in a line with others because the shot glasses were epoxied onto a downhill ski- for togetherness, I guess). Not many people were couples, so it was really easy to just enjoy everyone’s company. (I did NOT get smashed, SG. I just had a very good time. All good!)

There was one couple there, and it was inspiring… the guy was such an obvious immature jerk to her and the world in general that it kicked in my gratitude at not having that element in my home any more.

Every now and then, I get this contented feeling that all is well, I am on God’s path for me, and will meet just the right man at just the right time to really love and enjoy each other. It is a very trusting feeling that results in me feeling no impulse whatsoever to go on match.com, or pof.com, or whatever the latest dating site is. It just is not necessary if I am living my life happily and being exactly who I want to be. The man will show up.

I get so trusting in this feeling that I go a step further and realize with a slap upside the head “Oh my, I have a lot of things to enjoy doing in this time alone. I need to keep on 1) being completely spontaneous with my social plans, vacations with kids, and my finances, reporting in to no one, 2) eating peanut butter toast for dinner with watermelon because I hate cooking, 3) leaving stuff all over my bathroom floor for days, 4) spontaneously talk with my teenager until wee hours of the night about their life, their worries, their stuff…” You know all those things we get to do as people outside of relationships. Because someday those spontaneous moments won’t be so spontaneous or so common in my life.

That makes turning my heart and my yearning for companionship over to God and enjoying the moments today much much easier.