Monthly Archives: March 2013

Gremlins

Every now and then, life offers an opportunity to see how far you’ve come. It provides the chance to test your resolve and to see if you will fall into the old habits of behavior, or whip out your shiny new learnings and do something different. Lissa Rankin, a blogger, public speaker and motivational person calls this dealing with your “gremlins.” Gremlins are those nagging doubts, insecurities and ineffective patters of behavior that we all have.

Something happened the other day that sent me for a loop and got my gremlins all in a tizzy. I had a relationship for a couple of years with someone that I cared about a great deal. Things went south, and I ended the relationship that we had because it had become toxic for both of us. Since then, she has reached out in her way, but what she was doing wasn’t working for me and left me feeling upset and frustrated.

Time for Something Different

I received a message from her a couple of days ago, and I decided that it was time to establish my boundaries with her. This is something that I really struggle with but have been working on in all of my relationships. Her response was really awful—attacking and hurtful. The strength of the anger in the note made me jump back in the chair when I read it.

Me vs. Gremlins

It took me a little while to process it, and though I really wanted to, I decided to not respond. My inner nurterer wanted to reach out to her as I know she’s hurting. I didn’t because it’s not ok to violate my boundary, and it’s not ok to attack someone like that. She’s now at an age that she needs to learn this lesson. I also felt a need to smooth things over and I didn’t because I don’t want to get back onto that emotional roller coaster that we once called a relationship. Maybe at some point we can try again, but it’s clear in my mind that the time is not now.

A New Chapter

I tend to internalize things and slowly, I’m learning that it’s not always about me. It’s my responsibility to set boundaries and if someone has an issue with that, it’s their issue. As a child, we don’t have much of a choice with many of our relationships. As an adult, I won’t apologize for making sure relationships feel good. I’ll do what I can to fix things and if I can’t, then I’m learning to let go.

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Ripple Effect

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© Kirsty Pargeter | Dreamstime Stock Photos 

Ever have one of those days when something happens that sets your brain off spinning? 

I just got back from a long weekend in Los Angeles visiting friends. It was an amazing time filled with lots of laughter, good food and wine, ocean walks, hikes and other fun. I left feeling energized and very happy.

On the drive home, I noticed it was getting rather toasty in my car and realized that the air conditioning was no longer working. Of course it was right as I was hitting the “Desert Center” area between LA and Phoenix, the hottest part of the drive.

I tried to laugh it off. The last time my air conditioning died, it was a 114 day and hotter than Hades. Literally.

I woke this morning with my mind spinning. Replacing my air conditioner the last time cost several thousand dollars—more than my car is worth at this point. I’ve been enjoying my life and my freedom greatly, but needing a new car will likely send me back to full-time employment for a while.

My brain went into a cyclone that went something like this:

 I don’t want to go back to corporate work. I won’t enjoy my life back in corporate hell. It will be awful. I will DIE if I have to work in a cubicle again. I don’t want to die; I like my life. I will become miserable, depressed and sick. I will hurt all the time and end up hunched over in pain as my back will hurt. My back hurts now. Maybe there’s something wrong.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

I can’t control what will happen with my car. I can control my response to it. I can let it ruin my day, or, I can decide that at least I still have my freedom now, and make the very best of it that I can.

Tomorrow I may need to dance in a corporate existence for a little while longer, but that’s ok. I’ve done it before and though it’s not what I want now, I’m grateful to have something to aim for.

Our view of life is a matter of perspective of how we perceive our surroundings. It can change so quickly, for the negative or the positive. And we can influence our view—sometimes all it takes is a smile to change things around.

So, if you see someone smiling for what seems to be no good reason, maybe they are happy. Or maybe they are just having a really bad day and are trying to turn it around. Try smiling back. You might set both of your days off in a whole new direction.

 

Inner Peace

On some days, I have that “go get ‘em” attitude and go charging out of the gate, ready to conquer the world. On other days it’s subtle, but it’s there. But what about the days when it’s not?

Today was one of those days. Three years ago, I said goodbye to my best buddy and soul dog, Harmon. I had never before had to make that “dreaded decision of love” and though it was such a difficult thing to do, I knew it was time. I can’t think of any better way to pass than comfortably and painlessly in loving arms. I am so very grateful for the wonderful time that we had together and my sweet boy will forever be in my thoughts.

I woke up today and it was definitely not there. So, I decided to listen to myself and honor what I need. Here’s my plan for the day:

  • Go hiking with one of my dogs. Harmon loved hiking when I first adopted him, and I have lots of fun memories enjoying it together that I’d like to share with my dog.
  • Whatever feels good.

It has taken me a long time to stop and recognized that on some days, my soul needs to be nurtured and that I shouldn’t just push my way through a day of things that I should do, but should step back, feel what I need, and do that.

Today is going to be a great day, because I want it to be. And I’m going to enjoy hiking with a pup that wants nothing more than to be with me. With this, I honor myself, and honor my love for my Harmon. Today, I will make sure to do a lot of smiling when I think of him.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss

I love you, Harmon, my doggie doodlebutt. You will forever be etched in my soul.

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Living in the Now

I’ve always been a future-oriented person, with a strong inner belief that today’s sacrifice makes tomorrow better. When I went to college, I drained my savings in my first year. I worked a lot of hours, working full-time plus over every school break trying to save enough for my next semester. With the help of some financial aid, I managed to make it through my second year. In my third year, my grandparents helped with my rent so I wouldn’t have to take a semester off to work, as even the financial aid didn’t fill the gap of what I needed.

I remember my grandparents’ visit in my senior year of college. They stayed at a hotel near campus, and invited me to stay with them. It was a treat. I fell asleep before them but woke up and heard them talking. My grandmother was telling my grandfather how worried she was about me. I never let her know I heard that, but it stuck with me. For years, I have been afraid of going back to that place where I didn’t know how I was going to pay my bills and swore that I would work hard to be sure that would never happen to me again. I was willing to do whatever it took to be sure that wouldn’t ever be my life again.

I sacrificed a lot to get through college, and went into my working life with the same attitude. I would do whatever it took to do well, to prove my worth to my employers. I’d lose large periods of time, only working and going home, but I was sure that it would make my future brighter.

It didn’t. It just made me a willing sacrifice for others to take advantage of.

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When I got laid off last fall, I was determined to take a few months off to enjoy myself. I devoted myself to doing things that felt good, and focused on me: my health and my volunteering. It felt great. When my friends would ask me, “What are you going to do? Aren’t you worried about the future?” I answered no, that I wasn’t giving it much thought. It was scary when I did think about it, so I decided to not to and instead focused on enjoying my time. 

I decided to start my business late last year and thought of it as channeling energy into my short-term future. My goal with the business is to generate income to live on doing work that I find mentally stimulating and interesting with people that I enjoy. I am not trying to map out my long-term future, but to ensure my short-term happiness.

It feels wonderful. Where I used to spend much of my day either planning for the future, or doing things that didn’t feel good because it would help my future, I now spend my day doing what feels good now. It has made all the difference in my happiness.

My future may not be defined; it’s uncertain, and yes, that can be a scary. But I know that that tomorrow will be ok, and that it will come, regardless of how much time I spend worrying about it. I choose to live NOW.