fear

Personalized A.D.D.

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Nothing accomplished.  December has become another month to just make it through.  To handle all the crises that came our way and try to do it without total self destruction.  Look at me, it’s only the 2oth and I am already writing the month off.

I am in New York, and last night  hearing my son tell me he is never ever moving back to Ohio makes me wonder than why the heck am I staying here?  My daughter would like us to move some where near the east coast, so she could visit more easily when she wanted.   My youngest son just wants to have his own room again.  Heavy sigh. (he just informed me, So Cal.)

I don’t know how to handle a situation I can not control.  We are not in a position to move anywhere, except maybe locally.  Do you know how scarey it is to have to sell your house, and it doesn’t sell?  Fourteen months on the market, not one offer.  I never want to be there again.  I also am not hip on getting a house that requires a bunch of repairs, but we are limited by our budget.

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t  know how other people do it.  How do they just start over? That’s one of our issues, we can’t start completely over, because we have commitments and constraints. We hold certain cards, and without picking up a pair of aces I think we are working with a measurable handicap.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t change, it’s just means we have to plan around everything.

For about a week, for maybe 5 days, we thought we had an answer. We believed we made a choice.  But now, I am no longer interested in that. Too far and too close at the same time…why bother?

Just got our yearly Christmas news letter from some relatives.  I mean seriously, I had to read it twice  to make sure my sour mood wasn’t clouding my judgement.  Nope, it wasn’t, still as pretentious as ever.  Most years I don’t even read it.

Why did I choose to read it today?  Because I am an idiot, who feels bad, and wanted to feel worse?  No.  I think I was honestly hoping for a twinkle light of inspiration. Not to be.

Have I mentioned how stressful the holidays are for me?  I swear, the biggest luxury for me would be to avoid the entire Thanksgiving to New Years Day season.

I want to move beyond my dissatisfaction,  but it’s inside me tightly holding hands with my lack of clarity.

I can’t tell myself what to do anymore.  I can read my own advice and that helps in certain areas, but not this “where to live topic, how to get there, is it the right choice” dilemma.  So so complicated.

I am flailing.  Holding myself together, with avoidance, denial, and distractions.  My own personal brand of ADD.   A mental cocktail of sorts.  I highly recommended it for anyone, in a messed up situation.

About to go out to dinner…..it’ will be great, I will  be in full ADD mode.   Cheers!

Huge Motivator, It’s Really Small

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I can’t believe I have done it once again.  I am setting myself up for one more let down only this time it’s going to be the U.S. court system that delivers the blow.

This poor guy, I imagine he is poor now.  According to court records his 17 parcels are all on the chopping block.  Well I decided to try to take one off his hands.  This new possible house, I’ll call it No.3, is small.   Not unlike the house in my original plan, the small house in my journey to living better with less.

Here’s the kicker; all offers must be approved by the court.  So we put our offer in and wait.  Thus giving me enough time to question myself, and ponder the pros and cons of this “maybe ” purchase.

Love this, maybe someday

No.3 is  a small brick house with a pointy peak over the front door.  Nothing I currently own will fit in this house, therefore I am going to literally have to get rid of nearly everything.  Just like I said I was going to do before, but I still held on with a storage unit.  I told myself it was  because I didn’t know exactly where I would be living next.  (still true, but I think I was holding one to our past life)

Until we hear back, I’ll spend my time on Apartment Therapy looking at ways to make small look wonderful.   I’ll learn how to make form and function work with simple design and create spaces that fit our lives.  This will be fun.

All this time, what I am really learning through this process is even if most things don’t work out  eventually “some” thing will work out .

Then in creeps FUD; fear, uncertainty and doubt.

This house could be a bad decision, but then again, it could be a great decision.  As we get older we can clearly see the trail we have left behind.  Hindsight, that 20/20 bullsh*t that relentlessly gnaws at our psyche.  For some reason seeing that old trail we’ve left behind leads us to believe we have the super-power see our path into the future.  This is not good.

Thinking we know anything for certain about the future is ridiculous.  These thoughts beliefs can hold us back from looking things objectively, making changes, and it holds us back from taking risks.  We are conditioned by events throughout our entire lives, and somehow we decide that however we saw things,  that vision or” fact” should be set in stone.  Oh yeah, that’s what happens when you do” this” or ” that.”

Twenty years ago, I would buy this house and never look back.  It would be what it would be.   And no matter what happened after the purchase I would never look back and say, ” I suspected, I imagined,  I knew that would happen.”  No, I would just accept it, whatever happened, and I would move-on to whatever happened to be next.

How limited is our exposure?  Can you really say you’ve seen it all?  Have I witnessed everything you have witnessed.  Not a chance.

My point here is: forget about it.  Our minds are powerful, take the expiration off your brain and live again.

There’s an entire world of possibilities out there, just waiting.

Cheers!

Tip: Follow your instinct even if everyone disagrees. Repeat as necessary.

Inspiration:“People are disturbed not by things, but by the view they take of them.”~Epictetus

One-day one-thing: Correct negative thoughts in your brain when they happen, don’t dwell in fear.

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

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Student protesting peacefully on their campus assaulted by police.

“Freedom of assembly, sometimes used interchangeably with the freedom of association, is the individual right to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests. The right to freedom of association is recognized as a human right, a political freedom and a civil liberty.”

I don’t care what side of the political landscape anyone is on, this is wrong and can not be tolerated.

Don’t be afraid to support our human rights, our political freedoms, or our civil liberties.

More coverage.

Silent protest video and article a must see.

 

Holding On but Wanting Change.

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I lost an entire post I wrote on my phone late last night.   I was in bed, writing on my iPhone.  I hate writing on that tiny thing.  (Thus the reason for my enormous laptop.)

When I was awake and writing, nothing I wrote made sense.  It all lacked purpose and focus.  I was getting very frustrated.  That’s when I asked my husband what should I write about?  He answered, “Write about losing the house.”

I said,” No. I’ve already whined about that enough.”

He said, “Well you haven’t stopped around me.”

Sigh.  He was right.  I have been moaning and putting myself down because I knew in my gut that we should have bid higher, but instead I listened to someone else.

He surprised me when he said,” You need to figure out why you can’t let it go. Is there something subconsciously stopping you for moving forward?  We can’t change the past.  We’ll never get another house because in your eyes nothing will ever be as good as the “one that got away.”  So maybe there something inside [you] that is causing you to close your mind.  I’m not saying there is, but it’s worth a look.”

Well, how nice, I thought to myself.  I took what he said to heart and really tried to figure it out.  I couldn’t think of anything except that maybe I no longer trusted my instincts.  But that wasn’t it.  So I went to bed with my phone.

(don’t sleep with your phone if you want restful sleep )

I was half  asleep when a light bulb in my head switch on.   That’s it, I figured it out!

The house that got away, was perfect.  It had a place for every one and a place for every thing.  It felt like it was ours.  I confessed I had already seen myself moving heavy sand stone and prepping the garden.  I visualize all of us there this holiday season, with candles glowing while we lazed around in pjs.  Cozy and comfortable.  Even my old furniture would fit.  It was going to be just like home.  There in lies the issue, I loved this place so much because basically the only real change would have been our zip code.  The familiarity and the easy comfort fiercely drew me in and wouldn’t let me go.  It was as though this new house would cause losing our old home, and everything we went through, to seamlessly disappear.

Snap back to reality.

I remember when we lost our home, we decided that we would take this as an opportunity to re-scuplt and redesign our lives.  I decided to have less stuff and focus more on living.  My journey to living better with less began.  I still want that and I am making progress but the final destination is under construction.  What form it will eventually take on is completely unknown at this point.  I recognized that this perfect house wasn’t anything new, it didn’t really fit anywhere within the changing our lives category.

Have you ever thought you wanted to change something but it never happens?  Could it be because you are holding on to old beliefs and ideas?  Are you limiting yourself by staying in a comfort zone?  Do you have trouble letting go?  Are you afraid of taking risks?

I can tell you this has really hit home for me on many levels.  All the be the change you want to see and /or want to be can’t happen if we [I] continue to hold onto old ideas and beliefs.  If  “comfort” and “familiarity” take over there won’t be any room left for change, adventure, and risk.  No matter what the issue;  job, relationships, losing weight, quitting smoking or starting your own business.  You can’t begin to change yourself until you let go of your old self.

this is a clue

You’ll know I’m crazy when I tell you I think we found “it.”  Without even seeing this new place in person, I am thinking it is the one for us.  Insane, I know.  It’s risky and different.  It’s exciting and unexpected. I guess I’m a *hopeless-optimists. (*that is when I’m not sad)

Maybe it’s the alignment of the stars, or the yoga, but I feel more grounded, more in touch with what change really means.

I ‘ll keep you posted.  Cheers!

Tip: Have faith in yourself,  if you fail, try a different way.

Inspiration: ” The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.”~ Bill Clinton

One-day one-thing:  Eat a healthy salad for dinner. :)

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

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Usually I would keep my business to myself, but I am tired of that. 

We put an offer in on a house.  There is a tiny sticky issue.   The house has received at least  seven offers.  Seven freakin’ offers.  Dang.  And we will not know anything for seven to ten days as to who’s offer gets the house.

It’s not my house in the country.  It’s not my house on the beach. It’s not the prefab that I so adored.  It’s not a loft in Brooklyn.  It’s exactly what I thought, maybe I even said, I would never do.   No other specifics just yet, because I don’t want to jinx anything.

Side note: Realize whenever you say “never”  that will be your future.

Immediately, when we walked into the house it felt like it was mine, as if it belonged to me.   No ifs, ands, or buts about it, everyone agreed.  That never happens.  Well it happened this time.  I find myself daydreaming and placing furniture in the rooms, and making mental images of what we will fix first.  Then I force myself to stop.  Don’t get attached.  Sort something.  Write something.  Do something to take your mind off it.  Too late.

Metaphor for my life, maybe your's also?

Crazy I know.  But what is crazier is that I know mentally, I can’t I don’t want to take on another disappointment.  Days before we made our offer I asked for advice from my son.  He’s level headed, smart and lucky- emphasis on lucky. I never met anyone else that lucky.  I kept asking him, what if we don’t get this house? How am I going to handle it?  I always have such high hopes, sky-high expectations and I am an eternal optimist. (that is except when I’m sad and longing for the day to end. )

I wanted an answer as to how I was going to recover if our bid didn’t win.  I wanted some sort of reassurance that magic fairy dust would fall from the sky and gentle cover me and make everything beautiful and all sparkle-ly.  I wanted to hear something other than, “it wasn’t meant to be” or “this just means the next opportunity will be better.”

I sound like a spoiled brat. (<-dislike)

In my reality, and in my logical mind, I know it won’t be the end of the world if we don’t get it.  I know that.  I know whatever happens I will be fine.  I already am an incredibly fortunate person.  Life will go an and it will be great. I know this to be true.

I even met someone who owes hens.

But that’s not my entire point here.  This time when the cards are stacked against us,  I’d like to be on the side that wins.  I once won a Little Playmate cooler when I was senior in high school.  Woo-hoo!  It was fun to win.  Plus this blue and white cooler, our school colors, held a six pack of 3.2 beer perfectly.  School spirit when drinking. Yay! Needless to say it’s been awhile.   Winning might actually freak me out, but I will happily suffer the freak out.

Am I being too selfish to want something more, like this house?  I don’t know.  Where is the line?  I have no clue.  I certainly don’t want to cross the line.  I don’t want to be greedy.

So that’s my news of the day.  I am back on the roller coaster of my life.  I think that’s just the way my life rolls.  No matter what, the coaster keeps coming back, it stops right in front of me, and I willingly hop in anxious for yet another ride.  My choice, I know, and I am good with that.  No hands always!

Cheers.

Tip: Use the word never when you want something to happen.

Inspiration: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ” ~ Mark Twain

One-day one-thing: Treat you body and mind, take a drop-in yoga class.

This is exactly what I won.

I could be a drug addict.

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Magically, some how I was able to paint, raise children, work, clean, list paintings to sell, walk the dogs and go shopping, carpool kids, plan vacations, watch sporting events, join friends for lectures, belong to book clubs and enjoy social events, all at  same time.  I was super woman.

What the h*ll happened to me?

Devastation and deep depression.  Only the devastation was far less to be worried about, now looking backwards.  The depression, which I definitely categorize as pure sadness was so real.  Our business was struggling, my Mother became ill, my children were all leaving the house for college at the same time, a lifetime friend betrayed me, my other good friend died, and we couldn’t sell our house which had become to expensive for us.  And don’t even get me started regarding the IRS.  Dealing with all these issues was difficult at best.

So this is what I did.  I started a blog just for me.  I called it my sad blog.  I wrote how I felt.  If nothing more it provided an outlet.  Every morning I would sit down get coffee and listen to two songs and I would write as they played. Sometimes I  replayed them over and over again.

I played this one first:  the house that built me

Then I would play this one: you haven’t seen the last of me.

These songs brought me comfort and put a voice and words to my feelings.  However they also made me cry.  You see I  could  barely speak during this time.  Most times I would try to talk, tears would start flowing, all on their own.  Sad slow tears would well-up and peacefully roll down my cheeks.  I was a mess.   I wore sunglasses to work,  closed my office door, fell behind on everything I needed to do.  I stared out the windows or at the screen. There was no relief.  None.

During this dark period there were moments when everything was going to be fixed.  Once we were close to working a deal with the bank, or the time we almost merged with a company in Connecticut.   We were in final stages in both instances.  Hopes were high, everything was making perfect sense, everything look good, then boom.  Neither deal closed.  Up and down, hope and disappointment. Repeatedly.

I was broken.

I continued to do what I could, which wasn’t much.  Here is one entry from my personal  blog:

Sad but True

The best part of my day is knowing it will end.

Right now I can say I am better.  Much better.  I have listed some of the things and people who helped me to  pull myself up and out of my sea of despair. (btw- I am allergic to all antidepressants, so they ended up not being an option)

1.)  I joined Cross-fit. (thanks Libby ) That helped me with my energy level, attitude and it boosted my self confidence. Plus I got stronger. Even though it was really expensive it was well worth the investment.

2.) I started to get rid of all the useless stuff in my life.  Thus the birth of the “Unpack the Rat.” I was doing the work anyway and I thought I may as well write about it, so I could recognize my wins and grow though the process.

3.) I started to embrace ideas which I always admired but I never truly believed they could ever fit into my life.  I made room for new ideas.  In other words, I believe in possibilities once again.

4.) I started reading these bloggers – Thanks James and Claudia. Highly recommended.

5.) I stopped trying to prove myself to anyone.  I am what I am, either like me or not.

6.) I let go of any shame.  The financial disaster didn’t just hit our business  it was global.  Our business was categorized as “small enough to fail.”  (my choice words for the “selected” bails-outs sound like this @#$% ^%$@#%)

7.) I stopped pretending everything was okay. Then I identified what I could change and what I couldn’t change.

8.) I learned who had my back.  It wasn’t my siblings or in-laws.  I acknowledge that those family members are never going to change.  I stopped wishing for, hoping for and expecting something that never did, and never will exist.

9.) I looked to my husband.  I realized without him I am nothing.  He is the love of my life.  And he is my rock.  He has my back – forever and always.

10.) My children are among my greatest loves.  They are my  are super heroes, helping, never complaining, and always offering up the bright side of life.  I can’t even list how many ways they have supported and inspired me during my life.  I am so very proud of each of them.

The list could go on and on, so many other people deserve my gratitude.  Some of these people I know well.  Others, I don’t even know their names.

Anyway, time eventually ran out and  I had to tell my kids we were losing their childhood home.  I felt we let them down. I was ashamed to tell them we sold our house to the bank.  (We were lucky to do that, we  avoided foreclosure.)

My one son said to me, ” It doesn’t matter Mom.  Home is where ever my family is.”  I was stunned by his comment.  I will never forget his kind and wise words.

Perspectives from those I love and those who love me helped pull me through.  I take it one step at a time, and I still have a long way to go.  But I have faith we will get there some day.  And that “there” will be a place that we all will call “home.”

(I would like to add, this took me well over a year.  Maybe as long as 18 months, and still to this day sadness creeps in.  At least now I know I can somehow, some way, make it not hurt as much.)

Tip: Know who is your real family, and always keep the door open for new members related or not.

Inspiration: One of my daughter’s message of encouragement.

I woke up to this message, my daughter had primed the entire kitchen during the night while I slept.

One-day one-thing: Getting back to de-cluttering:  Sort your cosmetics, first-aid inventory and general bathroom supplies. These items expire, forget how much you paid for them, they are useless clutter.

PostScript: Just moments after writing this I was slammed with yet one more enormous disappointment.   I know why people turn to drugs, prescriptions or not.  I know.  I am growing so very tired of the fight, but I can’t give up, I’ve work too hard to get here.  I’m grabbing a beer.  And maybe I’ll read my own posts, how to stay up, and faith in not knowing  and then again maybe I won’t.

Cheers with a smile. :)

How many journals does it take to screw in a light bulb?

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The answer: zero.

A brand new journal sat before me.  I longed to pour my heart out on the pages so that some day I could see where I had been and how deeply I felt.  I wanted nothing more than to fill my journals with beautiful words that would read like a novel.  I created images in my mind of sipping tea and peacefully writing by candlelight, no less.

I was delusional.

Journal-ing became huge when my children were in grade school.  They started at the third grade level and I thought it looked like a good idea.  So I attempted it.  I think my longest consecutive journal-ing lasted four days, tops.

When I was a kid, I was given a diary and told, “Never put anything in writing that will come back to bite you.”   Well that wasn’t any fun, so I wrote in code.  A code that means absolutely nothing to me now, pure gibberish.

What I carried forward into my adult life from that was fear.  The fear of putting things in writing.  My fear extended into me sharing very little, being secretive and guarding my thoughts.  I admit, I am a very private person.  But maybe it stems from the intense code of secrecy I was taught to live by. 

( in all honesty I never even considered that before writing this – that’s the light bulb here)

The really funny thing is no one really cares what someone else thinks or writes, especially when it’s in their journal hidden in a drawer under lock and key. So write to your hearts content, tell stories, write about your dreams, swear, use slang, forget grammer – it doesn’t matter at all.

I have collected all my partially filled journals.  I am not even going to read them.  I am letting go, yet again.  Letting go of one more belief that held me back.  It feels good.

Cheers!

Tip: Question authority.

Inspiration: “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.” ~Elvis Presley

One-day one thing:  Sort old documents, letters and cards.  Paper clutter is among the worse, because it lingers and grows when you are not looking.