A couple went for a sail in a small boat. A storm blew in out of no where and they lost their sail. They were getting blown out of the bay and out to open sea, when they noticed a rock coming out of the ocean. On the rock was a rusty anchor and some chain.
With much struggle they were able to guide the boat to the rock during a lull in the storm. They attached the chain to the boat. The top of the rock was flat and the anchor would not attach to it. They did not want the storm to bash their boat against the rock, so they drifted out a bit and dropped the anchor. It steadied them at a safe distance and they stopped floating out to sea.
They were grateful for finding the anchor. It steadied them and gave them hope. They might be found or rescued after the storm.
But the storm got worse and the swells increased that night.
By morning, they realized that the anchor was no longer catching against anything. They pulled it into the boat in the hopes they could use it again later.
A new storm rose again in the mid morning. It was fierce and worse than the last. Their boat started to sink. They had an inflatable life raft, and scrambled to get it inflated and into before the little sail boat was lost. They managed to bring some water, a life preserver and at the last minute they brought their ‘lucky’ anchor just in case it might be needed like before.
They floated all day and had no chance to drop anchor nor see anyone that might help. In the evening a new storm picked up and the ‘lucky anchor’ scratched a small hole in the raft. They worked to bail and re-inflate the raft and even patch it.
But the patch did not hold and the water came in to fast and eventually the life raft was lost, and yet in the distance they could now see the distant lights of a shore.
They decided to try and swim towards the lights, an obvious choice. They wanted to maintain their last bit of luck and clung to their ‘lucky anchor’ while they shared the life preserver.
They kicked and pulled trying to make progress. The anchor was dragging in the water behind them. They were holding on by the link of the chain. In some of the swells that were mild now by comparison to the night before, their preserver would bob under the wave by a few feet before barely pulling them back up.
The good luck that had gifted them the anchor was now holding them back, but they held on.
In the late hours of the morning, they got tired. They decided that they would take turns sleeping. One person would hang inside the preserver with their arms over top the ring. The other would hold the preserver with one hand and the anchor with the other and kick them towards land or at least hold them in place.
This did not work well. The swells were lessoning so they didn’t bob under the waves, but they were losing ground and the shore looked farther away than ever.
They had both had fitful naps a couple of times, but not enough to renew their energy. They were exhausted and tired and cold and hungry and losing hope.
All they had were each other, their life preserver and their lucky anchor.
They tried to boost each others spirits and thanked their luck for finding the anchor the day before. For if they had not found it, they would have surely drifted even further into the ocean and the jet stream would have pulled them into much colder waters. They’d probably be dead of hypothermia by now if that had happened.
They couldn’t wait to get on shore and show and tell the world about their great fortune in finding the anchor. They were tired and didn’t want to risk dropping their good luck anchor, so they found a way to tie the chain around their waists. This freed up both their arms and helped them paddle even further together towards shore.
They never once considered letting go of their anchor and swimming to shore faster with a lighter load, and that’s why when the tides changed, they were swept further out to see and the larger swells eventually pulled them under and they didn’t bob back up and they didn’t make it to land and they didn’t tell their story.
We know of this story because the locals on that shore hear the story of the couple every evening after a large storm rolls through. The spirits of the couple pull themselves up on shore and tell of their good luck in finding their good luck anchor and how it saved them, right before they recede with the tide back to their eternal resting spot at the bottom of the ocean.
It’s been quite sometime since I added some new thoughts here. Last night, I was finishing a Netflix series called ‘The Gift’. It’s set in Istanbul and is better with subtitles than it is with the voice over in English. (The acting connects more in the original language, even if you do not speak it.)
There’s a scene where a character is guided to focus on their pain…
People say where you hurt the most is where your spirit is.
The Gift ~ Netflix TV series.
Much of my writing on this particular blog captures my spirit when it is hurting. This is an obvious double edged sword as I personally do not want to hurt and yet savor being in touch with my spirit.
Numb and Move
Pain is not the only conduit to our spirit. Throughout much of the last year, I’ve worked to numb and move despite the pain that I felt.
I started 2019 recovering from a failed relationship, struggling to make ends meet trying to keep my nose above water in a home I was challenged to afford alone. I dove into some new opportunities, in parallel as I had no option to abandon the work that was paying something, even though not enough.
Just as the new opportunities were getting a little traction, my father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. I took on even more in the aftermath of his passing, working with my family to hold things together for all of us.
The seeds of very old web development opportunities started sprouting and by mid summer I was engaged in 3 different businesses, business development for my father’s former business, web development for my old business and systems integrations between ERP / CRM / Automation tools in the new business.
I’m a web developer by profession mostly these days. I haven’t written professionally since the financial crisis started in 2008.
I numbed myself in staying busy. I started to contain and get caught up on some of my financial problems. A new relationship rekindled out of the ashes of the previously failed relationship. I enjoyed summer a bit. I encountered a couple odd injuries during yoga, and my practice of the same faltered.
Life was generally going in positive directions. I was not living in balance. However, I was correcting some deficiencies from times when I was mentally/physically/spiritually more in tune.
My Aunt passed away in the fall after a rapid fight with cancer. The onset of cancer was sudden and the fight lasted a few months and she was gone.
Again my family and I were dealing with another loss. At the same time, one of my large web development projects came to an end soon after. It had been a chaotic project with biweekly changes in direction from the client, their team and a series of 3 different CEO’s. The chaos of this project had driven me nutty and at the same time, the money had helped me fix a lot of things.
I did a lot of good work, but was not allowed to do my best work. It conflicted me when it arrived, as it happened and since it ended.
The rest of the year saw a mad dash to wrap up other projects ranging in size from large to medium to small. Without the anchor of the large project that had ended, every week and month felt like a struggle to make ends meet.
Christmas felt like it would be my undoing trying to make ends meet let alone make a holiday for my children and family and make a trip to bring them all together come off.
With non stop work, and help from my mother and family, I made it happen. It was not easy to get into any kind of holiday spirit.
Just Surviving with a bit of Life re-Building
December of 2019 was a month where I just tried to survive. I kept telling myself, I don’t think I can get through another holiday like this. I don’t think I want to try anything like this again.
And yet, I also remembered my Father’s ability to pull out all the stops to bring Christmas together. He loved Christmas. The rest of the year might be great or it might be terrible. He might have behaved poorly or well, but during Christmas, he’d try to atone for everything.
In so doing, it could make christmas awesome and sometimes very stressful too.
He saved my Christmas a few years back at a time soon after my divorce when I was in a place that seemed like yet another rock bottom.
The weird thing about rock bottom, is that this is often where we find our spirit, where that pain allows us to connect. Its the place where the seeds get planted and from which the roots nestle in and we grow out of the ground again.
So in the current holiday, I told my departed Father that I loved him everyday and did my best to make due. I accepted some of the gifts offered and this helped as well.
I made it all the way to January 4th, where I sit now on my yoga mat looking out on a gray day with the sun not quite breaking through the clouds.
I came home from the holidays with a coughing chest cold that had me wiped out for a good 2 days. I survived through the beginning of the month and can pay most of my bills. This was an important accomplishment as none of this was certain 4, 3 or 2 weeks ago.
It wasn’t even certain 48 hours ago.
I have entered 2020 with many of the same conditional driven anxiety that I brought into 2019.
Things are very different Now
I came into 2019 fighting to survive. I made new opportunities and opened up to new options. I said yes to almost everything that was thrown at me.
I used wisdom to say no to a few things.
Staying busy and taking on more helped fuel me through the year. This is and had long been one of my super powers. The more I have to do, the more I am able to get done.
Too few things to do is my kryptonite and the source of procrastination and ADHD or whatever.
Things are different now, because I was able to get caught up on a lot of things in 2019. I got caught up on many debts (not all, but many). I took a big financial hit to help buy my youngest daughter braces, completing a trilogy and I’m still paying off half of this.
I invested a lot of time and money in a new aspect of business. Its a new area of work for me that allows me to wed my experience and skills and education in finance and accounting with my web development and business development skills.
I’m in the midst of taking my new systems integration and automation medicine.
A few years back I put together a vision board or two that put me on a path to automating more of my business. I can not personally scale. I needed better systems and processes to bring the magic out of my head and into an actual business. I had operated like an artist for many years. I needed to systematize the art, so that it could scale and help more people.
I needed it to scale such that I could earn enough to move beyond surviving.
I’m making that happen now. In November, I started consolidating and merging my former systems into a single integrated unit.
In a business sense, I’m aligning the mind body and soul of my essence in business in a way that I can manage it and grow it with others in the future.
A 2020 plan emerging
I do not have my resolutions or plan for 2020 ready yet. I am still finishing up some important action items from the end of 2019. These are some problem areas that need attention.
Finances – I am working on a fast track plan to clean up the rest of my finances this coming year. There have been several problem areas in my life that I simply had no way of addressing in a few of the last years. I’m getting other things sorted and can tackle these soon.
Health – For several years, I have started to envision a future where I might leave meat behind. It started just after my separation years ago. Back then I ran like crazy and then lost a lot more fluff when I took up yoga 6 days a week. A few months later, I met my girlfriend who introduced me to some amazing foods. She is not a vegetarian and yet through choice and necessity looks at foods as part of her medicine. The long and short of it is, she helped me experience that healthy food can be prepared in ways that taste amazing. In 2020, I may or may not go meatless. I’m going to approach my food differently. I’m renewing my focus to emphasize a lot more plant based foods. I may even go vegan someday. Not ready for a commitment, but definitely headed in that direction.
Business Growth – I have lots of work to do here. Again, I need to finish my 2019 work and develop this more.
Travel – This has not been easy over the recent years. Its been several years since I traveled on a regular basis for work and personal reasons. This year I am changing this. I am long overdue to make travel a central part of my life.
Writing – And finally I get to what I am doing in this current moment. I need to make space and time to connect with my writing spirit. I know how to connect with my spirit even without having to focus on the pain. I can also do this through nature, through dance, through beauty, through food, music, story, art. The thing is that I’m alone mostly. There’s a part of my (fun to observe) ego that needs to be witnessed. If I don’t open up and share my spirit, then its just a tree falling in the woods unobserved, unheard. If I don’t write it, its as if I wasn’t there at all in too many ways.
So I will make more time… I will allow more time to write again and share the connection with my spirit with you. Whether you are just one person or many, alone or in the lonely company of others, I’m hear. I’m trying to shine and hope to witness your shine on as well. I am not the tree alone in the woods waiting to fall alone and unobserved and neither are you
It’s been a little over two weeks since my father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. I’m working not to focus on counting the days.
For me counting the days leads to rumination and isn’t healthy.
Disclosure – This is just my effort to process and to assess where I am and share that. I have a need to be witnessed. If you read, I thank you for witnessing what I’m going through. I do ask and hope that my sharing will not invite comparisons. I’m not looking to be compared nor am I inviting others to compare themselves to me. I’ve found that comparisons in either direction have been less than helpful, not terribly health either…
I have experience with other types of grief and how the grief cycle plays on my emotions. I’m trying to use this hard earned self knowledge to grieve in a healthy way and if I’m lucky, suffer less.
In the past when I have grieved I have sometimes been able to keep other aspects of my personal & professional life on track and sometimes my personal or professional life has gone completely off the rails.
In the early day or two after my father passed, I was able to keep the plates of my professional life spinning. Forward momentum, doing things helped me dip my toes into the pool of grief. I slowly inched in at times and at others collapsed backwards into the deep end.
Now, a couple weeks later, some of my professional life seems to be a little off the rails. My bank account is empty, literally. I lost one new client project all together, it was a bit flaky and wasn’t looking like a good project. Still if I had been on my game better, I might have done something useful with it.
I have a couple others where the combination of my communication challenges while grieving mixed with general communications challenges that seem to be everywhere have stalled 2 other projects.
The bottom line is that as I attempted to spin up these 2 plates, they never realized a healthy velocity, wobbled and crashed.
I have been able to inch forward on super small maintenance projects, but that’s not remotely sustaining in a financial way.
My father’s passing has required of me in a real sense and even more in an emotional sense the need to help. I’ve been working day and night, compelled to try and bring order out of the chaos of the plates he was spinning with his own business. This is a short term necessity for my emotional health and for my mother’s finances. I am not doing this alone, my mother and my brother are very engaged in this work as well. It’s taking all of us, our combined effort to figure things out and keep things going.
At times this has helped me to continue to only dip my toes in the pool of grief. It kept me busy with practical things.
I definitely still grieved. I did not avoid grief. I definitely have run through all the phases and emotions of the grief cycle repeatedly.
Keeping busy simply helped give my mind a break from grieving 24/7.
And the anxiety of my own finances running out is becoming a bit critical. I’m currently at my mother’s home, 750 miles or so from home. I don’t have the cash to return home let alone cover any of my bills when I get there.
I’ve got 7 days to get my house in order, literally. I’ve pulled that together before and I might again. It simply means picking up new plates and trying to balance and spin them again.
Regardless, as a person that experiences anxiety and has learned many ways of managing it, this new anxiety mixed with the emotions of grief and the circumstances, is not easy.
Again, being able to help other people is an emotional comfort. It’s helping me to manage the anxiety levels and keep things at a level 5 or 6 instead of a 9 or a 10.
I’m grateful for being able to help.
I’m anxious about not being able to do much to help myself.
I’m writing this partly to simply get it off my chest. I’ve shared this anxiety, fear with others and I’m grateful that they were able to hear me out.
I’m doing things to try and get the plates spinning again. I’m just not ‘there’ yet. It’s party challenging as well because this month started on such a positive note. It was one of the first months I’ve had in years where I could see the light at the tunnel, could almost feel the warmth. Large sustaining projects that might have been enough to help me build a new future entirely were in my grasp.
Now, I can’t tell where that is at all. Communications problems on that front have obscured the light and the money I thought would be here by now, is probably at least another month away.
So that’s where I’m at today. I’m trying to help where I can, its the only momentum I have going for me at the moment. I’m working mentally and physically every day (splitting my time between accounting work and equipment work for my dad’s business) and trying to get things started again with my own projects. I crash from exhaustion each night just before 10 and wake up to repeat around 7.
I’m grateful to be getting enough sleep in terms of quantity. The quality isn’t always there. I’ve had a lot of dreams including or involving my Dad. I’ve had a lot of nights where I wake up a half dozen times per night and typically get back to sleep in minutes if not 20-30 minutes at worst.
I’m eating ok. Not outright unhealthy and not as healthy as I would like. A lot of cookies and deserts delivered by caring friends and family right after my father’s passing, have been consumed by yours truly in the last two weeks. I’ve been walking or running a couple miles almost everyday as well, even doing most of that with my Dad’s large dog, Diesel.
Diesel, a Bernese Mountain Dog, may need a new home at some point in the future. He was my Dad’s and he is large. My Mom has not decided to re-home him yet, lots of conflicting emotions, however that might be a next step.
Diesel’s a great dog, but for reasons that might be obvious above, I can’t take him myself. While he was the runt of the litter and maybe two-thirds the size of a normal Bernese, he’s still about 100 lbs and with all the fluff, looks to be 140 lbs. My lease allows for one small pet, something the size of a cat and I’ve got one of those already.
So life is complicated. I write this on a Sunday morning as I prepare to head to Aldi’s and get some yogurt, sweat tea and granola with the last of the money in my bank account.
I’ll be ok. I’ll get through this. I’m not having thoughts of self-harm or ideation or anything. I’m ok enough given the circumstances. I’m just grieving. This is where I’m at.
It’s been less than two weeks since my father passed away suddenly, unexpectedly. I have run through the grief cycle with emotions. For about the last twenty four hours, I’ve been hovering in and out of a general feeling of sadness and depression.
Intellectually, I know that I need to feel what I need to feel. I know that I’m going to touch base with all the feels eventually as I go through the grief cycle. Knowing this isn’t making the current step of grief any easier.
I’m feeling very impatient about feeling depressed.
I do not have time for depression. Generally, I cope with anxiety on a regular basis. That’s tera firma for me. I stress about the future and I’m hopeful that I’ll work through it and figure it out.
The depression that caught up with me yesterday started after looking at a pile of pictures. We’d put together a few picture boards for the viewing last week. I was sorting through them, some mine and some belonging to other members of my family. I snapped pictures of pictures (using my iphone) to get copies of some of the pictures I did not have.
When we put the picture boards together, I was concerned we wouldn’t find enough happy, smiling pictures of my Dad.
I was pleasantly surprised that we found a lot of them. It made me happy at the time.
Then yesterday as I was getting copies of these pictures, it struck me that he looked very happy and at the same time was no longer here with us.
I hit a bit of over load with the whole thing and had to move into self care mode. I took a nap, woke up, practice yoga, then went for a run, ate some healthy food, spent some time with his dog (big fluffy dog named Diesel), watched some Mozart in the Jungle with my Mom.
I got a good night of sleep (quantity about 8 hours, with multiple times when I woke up and went back to sleep.)
Today, I got a number of things done, and then around 4pm needed another nap.
The depression I’m feeling is spurred on by my father’s passing, but it’s all wrapped up in my own personal, current crap.
Just before he passed, a number of good things were coming together for me. I was finally starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
That hasn’t changed, but my feelings about how well that is or isn’t working out feels depressed today.
It’s just a feeling.
I can take a step back and intellectually see that things are still looking up. But the feeling is sucking a little wind out of my sails.
I’m writing this, sharing it as I need to exorcise these thoughts. I do not have time to be stuck in a depressed stage of the grief cycle right now.
I may need to feel the feels, but I need to survive as well. Some of this is going to have to wait to be felt a different day. I’m well aware of this risk. Not working through emotions in the present usually leads to a bit of festering of emotions.
I simply don’t have the space to eat the entire whale of grief right now. I have a few too many other challenges that have to be dealt with or else, the whale of grief will be even more difficult.
So that’s where I am today. Speaking some of my pain and depression, trying to unload a bit of it, get it out of my system, air the laundry of my mind, take a bite of the grief cycle and swallow it. So that I can move forward a bit further, solve more problems and go from there.
Last week it was the end of the month and my February is not over yet. All week I was trying to get some big rocks into my jar.
You’ve probably seen the science like repeatable, experiment. Given large rocks, a jar, some water, sand and medium sized pebbles, you are asked to put it all in a jar.
If you put the sand and small rocks in first, the rest will not fit.
If you put the big rocks in first, then the smaller pebbles and then sand and water, it works. The smaller items settle around the big items.
Its a nice visual metaphor for life and priorities.
The human lesson we learn from this physical experiment is to take care of your big priorities first. Later, fit the small worries into place.
I have been working at this with intention all year.
And as the short month of February wound up, I had to refocus. I had new big rocks to contend with.
I worked on getting them into the jar.
February ended, and the big rocks were still not in the jar.February 1st, 2nd, 3rd came and went, still no big rocks in the jar.
Now its Monday the 4th.
My jar is still pretty much empty.
I am real close to having a big and important rock in the jar…. and empty is still empty.
Stupid, Friggin Metaphorical Breakdown
The thing about metaphors, is they are visual examples of a bigger more complex system.
They help us bring clarity of vision and purpose to a universe can appear much more chaotic.
We apply our metaphor, our belief system, our past history, our models of what should work, and we do our best.
When the Metaphorical tire goes flat
And sometimes any of those, might not work in a situation.
Then we have to do the supremely human thing, and adapt a new model.
That’s me today.
Instead of putting all the rocks into a jar at one time.
I need to focus on rapidly putting one bunch of things in at a time. Next I’ll carry it across the room, dump it in a collection bin race back and repeat.
My ultimate goal in my new metaphor is not to fill a jar, and see the accomplishment and be ‘all done’.
I have to shift.
Today, I have to see that the jar was meant to transport and not hold the things. It was not the ultimate destination.
I have no ultimate destination today.
I have flow, I have movement and so will all of my rocks.
The benefit of moving all those rocks out of the way
I’m going to declutter my rock pile. Get most of it moved. I need the space and clarity to refocus on those big rocks.
Sometimes, yes we need to get the big rocks in the jar.
The jar is just a tool. The jar is not even real!
We don’t have to hold ourselves hostage to our beliefs, our mental models about how it ‘should’ be.
We use those models when we need em and shift to the next when its time.
So how might you shift today, this week, this month?
Have you been following
served you very well in the past,
tried and true method for being successful, and
its not working any more?
Well, now is your chance to use that amazing human adaptability talent and just change it up!
Love to hear your experience and progress with this or lack there of…. Its not all break throughs.
I was stuck on one of my recent big rocks for 4 days, chipping away at it, rolling it around, finding and trying new angles to fit it in and not succeeding, but so so very close.
Sometimes, it helps to simply share where and how we are stuck. I’m not offering to fix nor help here. 🙂
Its your rock and not mine.
However, we are all in this together too. We are flying through space on a common big rock.
Sure it is a paradox and nothing wrong with that.
The funny thing is, funny in another unique human way as opposed to funny ‘ha ha’, sometimes as soon as we express how we are stuck, complain about it even, vent, dump, whatever,
That can clear the air for us, and suddenly we can see through the dissipating smoke and observe the obvious answer. It might have been there all the time. We just needed to expel some hot air and blow the fog away.
Do you have a movie that you watch everytime it comes on?
Maybe more than one?
I have several. Ground Hog’s Day with Bill Murray is one of those movies for me. Raiders of the Lost Ark is another. Defending your Life, Victor Victoria, Support Your Local Sheriff, Paint Your Wagon, The Fifth Element, The Name of the Rose, The Man Who knew to Little, Stargate, Dune… My list is long.
Ground Hog’s Day is one of the special ones. There’ magic in this movie. Phil, the newscaster played by Bill Murray wakes up at 6 am every day and its Ground Hog’s Day.
Now waking up at 6 am everyday, that’s kind of its own special hell in my world. I’m more of a 7:30 kind of person.
But the magic kicks in when Phil starts to realize that there is potential in his repeats.
He’s immortal. He can learn. He can attempt to achieve the perfect day. He can manipulate people. He can save people. Eventually, he can let it all go and just ‘be’.
Tonight, I watched the Netflix trailer for Russian Doll. It’s a bit of a spin off of Ground Hog’s Day. The character repeats the same night, trying not to die. Every night she dies.
I’m not providing a spoiler. This was all in the trailer.
I started thinking about how someone could flip this plot.
How do you flip Ground Hog’s day?
I’m not talking spinning it off like Russian Doll. I’m talking a full flip.
A flip would have to involve something repeating still or maybe its nothing repeating?
Maybe everyday Phil wakes up and its the day before?
He could incrementally travel back in time re-living his life in reverse. Sort of a Benjamin Button meets Piers Anthony Immortal series with Chronos.
Maybe everyday Phil wakes up and its a new day, the next day, and the thing that repeats is Phil. Phil does every single thing the same. The day is different. The results of the day are different. But Phil himself is on repeat, like a robot. Maybe in his mind he’s aware that he’s on repeat and he’s trying to find the way to break himself from the pattern.
What can he do? His body does every thing the same. Only his thoughts are different.
Maybe the flip is external to Phil. Maybe Phil finds himself in a reality where everyone else is stuck in their own individual Ground Hog’s day. They might all be repeating. They know it, and maybe even confide in it to Phil. But he goes forward each day looking for a way to get everyone else unstuck from their repeat. Maybe every person has to find their own individual way to self -actualize as Phil did in the original. Only after they self-actualize can they become unstuck. Then slowly, one by one it starts to happen and Phil is there to witness everyone ascending out of their Ground Hog’s day.
Or maybe as Phil progresses through each day, he encounters one person each day that is stuck and has to help guide them forward, how to get unstuck. He becomes a kungfu Ground Hog’s day master waking the ‘stuck’, Exorcising them from their suffering.
It’s just a thought.
It comes to me as I think about how much I have been repeating my own days lately. Its winter, February, and I am not getting out much. I’m working on me. I’m working on my future. But I am also sort of looping through the days.
I have the feeling of doing the same sorts of things each day. Its a new day and it feels like the same day mostly.
It’s a phase. I have lived phases where not much happened. I have lived phases where too much happens.
Today, I celebrated two straight days of nothing weird happening, two very ‘normal’ days.
I was sure ready for a normal day or two. It was a bit of a vacation for me. Tomorrow, when I wake up and my phone alarm is playing,
Then put your little hand in mine There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb Babe I got you babe I got you babe
Cher ~ I Got You Babe
It will be time for me to start a new loop, a new repeat. Another chance to actualize myself just a bit more, go further, live more, become more of em, let go of who I am not, do for others as best I can, enjoy, love and trust in the next day that will follow.
Tomorrow night is my story telling group. The topic or prompt is flight. The thing is that I’m not coming up with a ‘story’. I’m sort of stuck on a ‘feeling’. And while its nice sometimes to share where we are or what we are feeling, I need to move myself into more of a story mode. I’ve been stuck in feeling mode for at least a week and a half.
That’s not working for me. I’ve written a half dozen failed attempts at stories. They all shared the commonality of being an essay on what I was feeling.
That’s what this is below. The others I have mostly just canned. They were as good or as bad as this one.
imho a little too literary and way too vague.
maybe, probably not worth reading at all. But canning them and trashing them or worse saving them to clutter up my hard drive unseen at all, that process has not gotten me out of this ‘story tellers’ block that I’m in.
Its sort of worse than writers block. I’m writing, its just not necessarily worth telling about or is it?
I don’t know, I give it up to you to choose.
Flight is my current dream. It’s not what I want. Its just the thing I dream of when the fear starts to crawl up my spine.
Run away, leave and get to a safe place.
I do not know where that is. I haven’t felt safe in several years.
My fear tells me that I’m not safe here.
But I stay and fight. I get knocked down by life. I get divorced. I lose my home and then lose the next home and the next home after that too. I lose the new love of my life on top of all of that.
I want to take flight, but I don’t know where to go.
I stay and fight primarily for my kids. They are getting older and better able to take care of themselves, but not all the way yet.
My youngest child has special challenges and might need a parent far longer than many kids. I can’t leave.
But I keep losing my fights.
I am not sure how much I can keep helping my children. I want to help, and then feel like I’m not.
I witness example after example where I do help them. I am happy to do so and don’t know if I can keep that up.
My finances are upside down, twisted and squeezed to the point where they almost do not exist. My once pristine credit is too ugly to even look at even more. It’s at that level of ‘too ugly’ where it prevents a person from getting a job.
I’ve reached out to try and get help and only learned that I make too much money. My earnings are above the poverty level and above the level of many starting position jobs.
And I struggle to make it work. It’s still too low for a family of four.
I am self employed as I’m the only person that can afford to risk employing me at this point.
I have improved and grown my business month after month for months now, and its no where near enough to cover this months expenses.
It’s this feeling of improving and succeeding to make things better and still failing….
This makes me want to take flight.
Maybe time and space could let me get somewhere that I could fix everything and get caught up with myself.
And yet I know that life doesn’t stop just because we need a time out.
I meditate and meditate and work on my psyche. Its the only thing that keeps me calm enough to keep slogging through the improvements and growth to some day break my hand through the surface of the water and give the signal, “I’m drowning!”
I write this while breathing deeply. I’m soaking in the tub loaded up with baking soda and epson salt. I’m trying to sweat out the toxic cocktail of stress hormones, cortisol and more.
They do not help me hold it together. Cortisol is my enemy. It drives me like a cave man to ‘Get up and fix the problem asshole!’ And like a caveman, or at least like we imagine a caveman, its using all the wrong skills and tools.
The caveman in me wants to clean or fix things that don’t matter. It wants to declutter and throw things out in preparation for a retreat.
It’s not useful at all at fueling the actual work that is paying off December’s bills.
So I’m trying to soak it out. I need clarity so that I can solve a challenge for a client’s IMDB profile.
I need to get an invoice out to another client also. I have been helping her get some interesting results and traction for her podcasting project. And I’m not feeling terribly appreciated.
I’ve done probably a dozen or more hours of work for free on her project. I don’t think she even believes in her own project at this point.
I do. I can see the path towards her success. I can help her get there. I’m trying to help her get there.
I tell myself if I can help her, it might give me the great example I need for a case study, something that might help me generate more business from clients like her.
Except maybe they’ll appreciate me and pay for the extra hours.
Or maybe I’ll learn just enough from this where I will be able to achieve the results with a more elegant formulae, no extra hours needed.
I feel like a gambler that sees every near miss as a win. I recognize this feeling, and there’s not much I can do about it.
I have to pull the lever one more time, because I don’t have any other levers to pull. It’s my one and only machine that’s paying anything.
I can even see that its paying more, about 4% more than last year even.
A 4% raise on top of too little to pay the bills and cover extra expenses isn’t very satisfactory of a thing.
I build my mouse trap better every week, every month, every year. At any moment, it could be the moment when things start to zing.
And then I step back and look at the mouse trap and realize its no where even as good as the mousetraps I make for any of my clients.
I have something that grew on my shoulder late last November. It feels like a knot in my shoulder at times. I’m getting a biopsy in a week or so.
It too makes me want to fly away.
It’s probably nothing and yet its still there.
Maybe its a mini me, probably nothing and yet still here.
More deep breaths.
My story has no beginning and no endings yet.
Its just a whole lot of spirals in the middle.
Even if I did take flight, I’d probably just be stuck in a holding pattern myself, spiraling round and round and never quite landing.
Are you approaching conversations thinking people are out to get you?
Do you think people that you encounter on social media are trying to harm you directly or harm the world and therefore you indirectly as a person of this world?
How do you feel about the conversations you are having on social media?
Are you even talking with anyone?
What if you could open up and connect with people and realize and choose to know that they are doing the best they can trying to make things better.
Their direction may be different than your own. After all people are not the same.
We ARE each very different. Its no wonder that we might each do things very differently.
When we choose to approach conversations in real life or on social media, knowing that people are different and will approach things different…
We choose to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to be positive, open up and share some helpful insight, we can be grateful and choose to pursue the idea exercising curiosity.
We might learn something new. We might affirm a lesson learned or find a more effective way to apply a lesson and be successful.
We just need to let go of the idea that we are the center of the universe, not everything is about us. We can realize that not all people we interact with are trying to do us harm, nor do the world harm.
We can connect and learn and build trust with people doing the best they can with the experiences life has granted them.
Continuing on from Episode 7 where we discussed Emotionally Managing Expectations, today we talk tie it all together and start to look at consequences.
Boundaries imply a consequence. If someone crosses this point, a sequence of events will unfold.
The point of a healthy boundary is not to control someone else. it is simply a way that we communicate the choices we will make following an event or sequence of events.
So we’ve talked about witnessing the actions of people on social media without taking on emotions for their perceived failure to meet ‘our’ expectations of them.
We can be objective and we can still enforce healthy boundaries, even when we observe hate speech or racist activity.
Nothing about this is easy.
However, we can learn to witness and act. We can choose to set and communicate healthy boundaries too. We can also simply act without communicating. We have free will and no obligation to telegraph our actions.
Healthy boundaries with people that we DO have relations with can include communicating our intent.