Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekly Quotes Part 2

[I]t doesn’t matter whom you love or where you move from or to, you always take yourself with you. If you don’t know who you are, or if you’ve forgotten or misplaced her, then you’ll always feel as if you don’t belong. Anywhere. (xiii)
— Sarah Breathnach, Moving On: Creating Your House of Belonging with Simple Abundance

This is one of those life lessons that is very hard to learn.  Wherever you go, there you are, as Jon Kabat-Zinn says.  And it is hard to believe that making even the most radical life change will not change anything but when you consider how much what we carry inside informs our experience, it only makes sense that there really are only a few things that can happen to use that will ever truly change who and what we are.  Ultimately, the greatest quest and the most fulfilling remains knowing the self and the greatest need is to love the self.  Once these two impossibly simple things are mastered, the rest of life is a piece of cake.

Life is not made up of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years, but of moments. You must experience each one before you can appreciate it. (22)
— Sarah Breathnach, Moving On: Creating Your House of Belonging with Simple Abundance

Even now, there are still days so beautiful, I almost believe in God. (132)
— Ann Hood, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief

Today expect something good to happen to you no matter what occurred yesterday. Realize the past no longer holds you captive. It can only continue to hurt you if you hold on to it. Let the past go. A simply abundant world awaits. (January 11)
— Sarah Breathnach, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy

In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility. (17)
— Victoria Moran, Younger by the Day: 365 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body and Revitalize Your Spirit

This is how women self-sabotage and self-destruct. Unless we have constant witnesses to our hard work, we are convinced we pull off every day of our lives through smoke and mirrors. (27)
— Sarah Breathnach, Peace and Plenty

Oh dear.  This is me.  I confess.  If I blog and there are no comments, I feel I am not blogging right or good enough.  When I write something--a short story or a poem--and someone doesn't tell me they read it, I assume they are being painfully polite and saying nothing because they have nothing nice to say. And how is it I can't believe that what I do is good unless someone else acknowledges it?  I don't understand this drive for external validation.  Even now, I know the newsletter that just went out is good but I also know I'll only believe it when someone who has read it says, "I really enjoyed the newsletter this month" or "This is just what I needed to read.  Thanks!"  So for all that I say "I know the newsletter" is good, some perverse part of me needs someone else to see it that way too.

Perhaps this is why I feel so beautiful and loved because I am surrounded by people who look at me with appreciation and adoration.

Not having money to spend doesn’t mean we can’t have well-spent moments every day. (42)
— Sarah Breathnach (Peace and Plenty)

You Ungrateful Little Bitch!

So last night as I was snuggling down in my oh-so-warm bed it occurred to me that I am an ungrateful little bitch.  How dare I complain about not being able to get bedding I like, that we are financially forced to settle for something that will do rather than invest in something that we love?

How many people who have been unemployed for four years have the resources with which to buy new bedding for a guest?

That lasted for a few minutes before I shoved it aside.  Okay.  I was ungrateful.  I admit it.  Suck it up.  Move on.

Typically, I am very grateful.  I think I express it more or less as best I can.  I think yesterday was more about my frustration at my limitations.  I thought it was about my finances:  I can't afford the best so I have to buy whatever fits my budget. Really what it was about was my frustration with all of the limitations I perceive in my life at this time.  Like how I find certain yoga asanas a torture and how endlessly tired I've been feeling lately.  Because seriously . . . do I really believe that Rob's mother is going to look at the blanket pattern and think, "Ewww" or "That is such a butch bed"?  Or do I think and know she is going to be thrilled to see her son, delighted to be visiting us, and hoping to find a way to avoid the dogs for a few minutes?

I had a friend (notice the past tense) who would come over and she would assess my home.  "I don't like that," she would say, pointing to a dresser that I too didn't like.  I couldn't disagree with her.  But as I sat there, unemployed and unhappy with my health, I realized that I hadn't asked her what she thought of my furniture and I certainly didn't ask her to tell me her opinion. In fact, I thought to myself, "Whatever happened to saying nothing if you have nothing nice to say?"

I didn't say any of this and the next time she came over and did it again, pointing out another piece of furniture I didn't love myself, I started noticing a pattern of criticism in her that was personally unwelcome.

I'm fully capable of criticizing and judging myself, thank you very much, and I don't need anyone's help.

Hence the past tense highlighted parenthetically because I decided that this person is no longer welcome in my home.

Which is how Tarepanda ended up on the bed. Obviously, a panda belongs on a black and white plaid bed.  Plus, Tarepanda was popular among adult men in Japan.  But here in the US I think it's safe to say that big plushy pandas are a girl thing.  And that little panda by the lamp was a Valentine's Day gift from Rob.  Quite the dashing fellow, holding a rose, with his white starch collar and red bow tie.

Okay.  So it is still more masculine that I would have liked and I look forward to the day that the sheets on the guest bed are so soft they feel like soft as silk but warm and fluffy as cotton balls.

And I appreciate and am truly grateful for the fact that I can buy something to make a guest feel welcome and, hopefully, a little more comfortable.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Guest Room is Killing Me

Once upon a time, Rob and I bought a set of sheets, a star patchwork quilt, and some thick towels.  All for our guests and the guest room.  The quilt was in a taupe, creamy white, black, and a golden rod yellow, just feminine and masculine enough to be please us both.  The sheets were a high thread count and had a lovely sheen.

But the sheets were the wrong size for the bed so we had to start over.

Rob went to the store and returned everything, exchanging them for a deep red set of sheets that were not soft or smooth but actually felt scratchy against my skin.  The quilt was reversible with a hideous floral pattern on one side (same red with pink, yellow, and even purple flowers and green leaves) while the other side was striped (same colors in different thicknesses).

I never did tell Rob I hated the set as much as I did but I did.  And when Rob slept in the guest bedroom once, he complained about the sheets which he said were irritating to his skin.  (We owe Saila a thousand apologies for causing her suffering during her visit.)

So today, in honor of his mother's visit, we tried to get the bed ready for her visit only to discover that one of the scratchy red sheets is gone.  The fitted one, no less.  *sigh*  Which means we had to go to the store to buy a new bedding set.  Rob knew to pick something not too feminine nor too masculine.  We had throw pillows in sage green and marroon and gold which matched the hideous quilt and actually made the bed look much nicer.

Room Essentials® Black...
He went to the store without me and returned with this.

How many obvious problems would I have with this black & white plaid with white striped sheets that have thin black stripes on them?  I don't even have time to enumerate them all.

However, I like this slightly better than the other one.

All of the throw pillows are useless and now homeless.  They don't look right on this bed at all.  And I honestly can't think how I would make this look feminine.  It's totally masculine.  Short of buying neon pink sheets, this is a guy's bed.  And I am not buying neon pink sheets for this bed.

One day my guest room will look the way I want it to look and people will come over and feel as loved and lovely as they are.  In the meantime, grab a beer, scratch your balls, and come spend the night.  *sigh*

The Never Ending To-Do List

Stephen Covey's matrix ofo apparent urgency and ultimate importanceToday is the 13th and, with barely half of January behind me, I am falling behind on far too many things.  I’ve wanted to email my cousin since before Christmas and two others since before New Years.  Instead, I am trying to keep up with the job search and allowing the urgent to supercede the important.

But I am letting some important self-nurturing things fall to the side and, as a result, I am missing out on opportunities.  So last night I made a list of things I would like to do by the end of this month.  These things are in addition to the obvious: exercise daily, apply to jobs, follow-up on contacts made.  There are tasks that are simply not on the list like doing laundry or organizing my desk.

Even my list is incomplete.  Nevertheless, I need to start prioritizing and focusing my energy.  I said that I wanted to focus on sharing some new things in this journal beginning with this new year.  I won’t make that happen if I don’t make time for it and if I give that time to something or someone else then I want that to be a conscious choice and not one that leaves me at the end of the day wondering what, if anything, I actually accomplished.

You can see the list in the sidebar.  I'll be adding to it and shuffling it around, striking through things I've completed (so I can see that I am indeed accomplishing something, dammit!) and basically know that if I am not slowing down it's because I really don't have the time to do so right now.  January is already nearly two weeks finished and I have so many other things left to do . . . 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

3 Ways To Comfort Unemployed Friends | LearnVest

3 Ways To Comfort Unemployed Friends | LearnVest
1. Pretend You're Oprah.
2. Use the Forward Key Liberally.
3. Entertain On The Cheap.
For more details on the above, click the link and read on! (I'm not sure about tip #2 although offering to proofread the resume and borrow clothes for an interview are good ones. I find it annoying when I am told new ways to spend money I don't have.)

Unique Qualities of Reiki

Unique Qualities of Reiki
This article lists some of the benefits of Reiki. Click the link for further explanations on each point.
1. Reiki energy is osmotic.
2. Reiki energy is all-encompassing.
3. Reiki energy flows automatically.
4. Reiki energy is complementary.
5. Reiki energy is universal and limitless.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Miracles Abound

Sterling Silver Allow... My poor engagement ring.  The center diamond is loose and we are afraid if I wear it I'll lose the diamond altogether.  Rather than allow that to happen, I have stopped wearing it.  Unfortunately, because my wedding band is actually too large and my engagement ring was holding it in place, I had to remove it as well.  (The wedding band is a family band, one Rob's aunt used to wear and has deep emotional relevance for him.)

So I replaced it with a ring I already own.  This one that says "Allow Miracles."  A few years ago I bought this ring for myself.  I also bought one for my mother and one for my daughter.  Two other friends were given the ring as well.

It's so easy sometimes, to get caught up in "things."  This morning I woke up and the snow is crusted over with ice and the street outside is already beginning to show signs of breaking free from the blanket that was there before.

Still, there was this wonderful silence. Fewer cars on the road and the muffled ambient noise was hardly discernible.  We so rarely get real snow days in Georgia that when they come they wreak havoc but it is also so very magical.

My friend Rossana pulled off a crust of ice shaped like a heart.  She said it's weird.  I think it's wonderful.  Sometimes weird is wonderful or maybe I'm just wonderfully weird in how I think.

Rossana Finds Something Weird & Wonderful

I kinda like the thorny bit on the upper right curve.  Feelings can be like that sometimes.  Pricking in unexpected ways.

Apparently, Bibi had fun with crusty ice as well, throwing it around.  I can imagine how delighted she found the crunch and squeak of the noise that snow makes, how it explodes when it falls apart, rather than shatters.  Or maybe she's just touching her toes here.  I may be mistaken but I am pretty sure that, whether she was throwing crust or not, she was having a blast yesterday.

Bibi Delighting in Miraculous Snow
Marc should be able to drive his car home sometime today but he doesn't have to work so the two of us will be playing a game.  Possibly Agricola or Civilization.  Now that we know how to play the former, it's time to learn how to play the latter.  Maybe not the miracle that six inches of snow in Georgia is . . . still, the day promises to be a pleasure. 

Monday, January 10, 2011


Me:  If I'm with someone, I don't know.  If I'm not, something else.

This is response to his question:  What dvd would you watch?

My answer:  I don't know or something else.

Really?  Could I vague that up any more for him?

Snow Day!

Marc actually went to work and then arrived there only to be told by the day manager that they were not opening.  So he helped clean up a bit in back and brought home a bunch of pastries.  Scones.  Muffins.  Brownies.  More.

So I took some over to our landlords.  And then some to our neighbors across the street.  And then walked about 1/4 mile up to another neighbor where Marc’s car was stranded.  He really shouldn’t have gone to work but he’s stubborn (like his mother) and responsible (not like his mother) and now that he’s home it doesn’t matter. 

I had fun walking the ½ mile there and back in the snow and have discovered that I walk better in snow than I do on solid ground.  Unfortunately, underneath the snow is ice.  I don’t walk well on that but, then, who does?  Oh wait.  Puppies.  Puppies walk and run and . . . well, they enjoy the snow sooooo much!

Back home, two grumbly men were muttering about the snow while I was bouncing around saying, “Who wants some hot chocolate?  This is going to be fun!  We should watch White Christmas!  Oh boy!  Let's learn how to play Civilization.  C'mon!  It's a snow day!”  

Then I muttered, “God, I’m like a little kid.”  

“Yeah you are,” they muttered. 

I think I live with a Scrooge and a Grinch!

Here is Romanov, enjoying the cold weather by taking a nap on my puma slippers.

And here is a picture of Snowdoll enjoying the snowy weather by running around outside. 

This pretty much says it all, doesn't it?