moving on

Nature and My Nature

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The only thing I can count on is nature. I can count on it to do whatever the h%ll it wants when it wants, except for the bazillion things it does everyday that is expected and necessary for the world to continue.

I mean the sun rising is a good thing. Even if it is behind the clouds, it’s there. In the the spring, seedlings spout. In the winter, snow falls….I am sure you get my point.

I also would like to run the idea past you that weather is the expression of nature’s feelings and they are all required to make everything work. Just like we need to express our feelings. We can’t fake it. Even when we try many people can see right through a disingenuous nature.

Here’s my issue, maybe you can relate.

I expect too much out of everybody and everything. So a few years ago I decided I would drop all that. I would stop expecting anything. When I first started this it was great, nothing bothered me. Nothing. I expected nothing, which in turn created a shield. This shield was nothing more than me caring less, an “I could care less” attitude.

The truth is that I do care. And by transferring my expectations to a place that would protect me, (into the “I don’t care” category) I gave away pieces of myself. Face it, if you get disappointed or hurt because your “too high” expectations aren’t met, then get rid of those feelings (expectations) and lose the pain. This is a failed policy – do not attempt.

When you lower your expectations, you then are surrounded with less of the standards that got you through your entire life. If I expect nothing, I will get nothing, and that will be okay. Only it’s not okay. It’s just lowering yourself to where nothing matters, because if it mattered then you would have expectations.

birds of a feather.......

I say raise your expectations. Raise them first for yourself, then for those around you. Raise them as high as you want. The higher the better. The sky is the limit!

Those people and issues that disappoint you are going to disappoint you whether or not you care. By actually caring, you’ll be able to identify more clearly that which you want to keep in your life and that which you want to dis-card.

And since this blog is about de-cluttering this sounds like a perfect opportunity to recognize for once and for all – some people and some situations will never be a good fit for your life. Forget about them. Donate them to people who are similar birds. Move on and find a flock that is a better fit.

Phew- I feel better getting this out of my system. Cheers!!!!

Post script: This post stems from being told my entire life that I expect too much out of people. But that is only according to the low standards of the person who drilled that message into my head.

Tip: Try to learn something new everyday.

Inspiration: ” Set your expectations high; find men and women whose integrity and values you respect; get their agreement on a course of action; and give them your ultimate trust.” ~ John Akers

One-day one-thing: Write a letter to yourself.

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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!

Lost

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I think I have lost something.

I’ve lost the ability to vividly day dream.   Many years ago I would visualize things, I didn’t realize I was doing this.  I did it as if it was second nature.  I envisioned having three children and watching them play in my yard in Colorado.   I clearly visualize living a stones throw from the beach on the west coast.  I even visualized living in an apartment with my drafting table set up such that I could look out the window.  I vividly remember driving down Huntington Boulevard, and looking down at my hand and visualizing my wedding ring.

That ring is now on my finger.  I do have three children.  Everything came true except living in Colorado.  Maybe those were grand children playing in the yard with the back drop of mountains.  I don’t know.

When I daydream now it’s a blank.  There’s nothing there.  Okay, that’s not completely true but it’s close.  At times I can focus on a generic ocean waves rolling in once and in awhile and  sometimes  I see myself in a garden of green plants with sunshine bearing down on the greenery, but that is about it.   I got nothing else playing on the screen in my head.

This is an issue, I used to say “problem”, but several years ago at work we switch that word to “issue”  and it stuck.

The Geography of Stuck

It’s nearly mortifying for me to even consider answering that age old question: “So where do you see yourself in five years, in ten years?”  Have you recently asked yourself those questions?

I am living in the land of “stuck” right now, and that’s okay for today, it’s my tomorrows I am contemplating.  There always good everywhere, and I have no doubt hope what ever we decide will the right choice.

Other people who reach crossroads seem to already know exactly what they want to do.  Is it because they planned it years ago and stuck with it, or are they just better at making the tough decisions?   I really don’t know.

I am going to try to figure this out one way or another, but at the moment I have nothing to go on.  No vision. I’m just living in limbo. Right foot, left foot, repeat.

Tip: Remember this to0 shall pass.

Inspiration: ” Every man’s life lies within the present; for the past is spent and done with, and the future is uncertain.” – Marcus Aurelius

One-day one-thing: Do not worry about the future, concern yourself with now.

She did it, Can I?

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I stumbled on this blog yesterday, and I can not stop thinking about it. Primarily I read about the woman herself. I wanted to know and learned what made her succeed at changing her life. More about me -How I got to paradise.

I believe that if we really stop.  Stop what we are doing at this moment, and ask ourselves, “Is this where I want to be?”  Many of us may answer, “not really.” Other will answer, “yes.”  They need not read any further.

I’m in the “not really” category.  I thought I was getting closer to figuring it all out and then poof, I determined I had to adjust my thinking.   Which has lead me nowhere, but back to limbo of not being able to formulate concrete goals.

I didn’t place my bid on the No.3 (small) house.  I woke in the middle of the night and I thought OMG what if I can’t sell it, I’ll be stuck there forever.  And that quite frankly scared the sh*t out of me.

All the cheer-leading I did yesterday didn’t even work for me. That’s another topic for a post, those who can tell others what to do, but can’t seem to do it themselves. I fell back to second guessing myself, and asking myself,” wow is this it?  Is this the final destination?”  I couldn’t make it be.  I couldn’t pull the trigger and commit to this area.  Even though we have other commitments here, my gut told me not to make that decision. At least not right now.

I listened to my intuition – I get credit for that , because in the past I have ignored my gut feelings thus leading to my own peril.

We [I] need to determine what it is that keeps us inside the boxes we have made for ourselves.  The boxes can be our location, our job, our eating habits, or exercise non-habits, it can be any box at all.  It’s what ever has you stuck.  I don’t like feeling stuck.  Feeling stuck is both terrifying and depressing.

So I am returning to square one.  Back to the basics. Time to reevaluate everything.  Again.  But know we have time, because it’s December.  And in December the world stops for awhile. There are holidays, and we even close the business for a week.  I am going to follow the 5 tips below:

1. Recognize that you are in a rut and have lost your ability to dream beyond your zip code.  First step always acknowledge the issue. (easy, check, done)

2. Determine that you are willing to make real changes in your life.  Start with small changes that you can turn into habits.  It takes 21 day for something to become a habit. (so I have read) Today is a good day to start.

3. Set goals, small and big, set at least 5 for starters.

4. Intention: concentrate on your attention on your goal with every choice you make.  Question everything, does this get me closer to my goal or not?  Only participate in those things that are in line with your goals.

5. Follow through.  No excuses.

At the end of December, review what you have accomplished and make 5 new goals for the next month.  This will at least get you[me] moving in a direction rather than,  floating aimlessly inside a box of limbo.

I recall hoping 2011 would be better than 2010, and I find I am wishing for the same thing this year.  Only this year it has to get better, or I may become a drug addict for real.  (and oddly enough that doesn’t scare me :)

I seriously can’t take much more.

Cheers!

Tip: Don’t beat yourself up, most people have no clue how to change their  lives.

Inspiration: ” Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are. “- Jose Ortega y Gasset

One-day one-thing: Clean your work area in you home, this will help you to gain focus.

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.

Giving up?

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Wow, can it be happening? Is giving up the same as surrendering?

I wish I knew.  Because I am trying , really trying hard to figure this all out.

I don’t think it is, but it’s awfully close.

Look at the note under my photo to the right.  I adjusted our goals.  I left the old “goals” there so I don’t lose sight of them.  Am I changing because we can’t get the other, am I finally learning that there are some things that can’t be left behind.

We all have commitments.  And the commitments that we can not or do not want to give up are what holds us back.  You can have all the open mind you want but you have to be realistic. Yuck!   I hate being realistic.   It’s no fun.

On the flip side, once you look at the circumstances realistically, it may be easier to focus.   Which is another one of my weakest skills.  Focus.  Blah.

I don’t like the idea of giving up.  I don’t like not getting what I want, in others words, “failing.”  And I hate to feel limited.  No one like those things.  To top that off, once again, I find I am quickly re-learning lessons of compromise and patience. (more of my weaknesses)

Sure, I can change my perspective.  Easy peasy.  Change your mind change your world.  (I do believe in  this)  But to do this at the same time I am redefining our goals, well, it seems a bit disingenuous.

So am I giving up?  Maybe.  But not without getting something out of this.  I have a plan to do something new, to try something, it’s a small independent business not like our other business at all.  It would be mine and have absolutely nothing to do with servers and corporate events.

I think I can manage to make this all work together.  And that idea right now is what is rumbling inside my brain and holding me together.  Keep thinking. Cheers!

Tip: Realize that life is full of unpredictable events, attempt to be flexible.

Inspiration: ” Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” ~ Albert Einstein

One-day one thing: On strike until the children go back to school. :)

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.