Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I called my licensing person (one must be licensed by the state to provide adult foster care in my state), to ask him a question about paper work yesterday and found out that he is retiring at the end of the week. I am so glad that brain kept nagging me to remember to call because I would have missed having a chance to thank him for his service and wish him well.
Several years ago I was at some conference, chatting with other providers and the topic turned to licensing. This guys name came up as one of the toughest, meanest licensing people in the history of licensing. Two weeks later He called me to tell me he had picked up my area and would be making a visit within the week.
I will admit to being a little nervous (okay, train wreck might be a more apt description) the morning he was to arrive, but when I opened the door the fact that he looked normal enough (not a horn to be found) calmed me a bit. Turns out he is a really nice guy!
He dinged my license a bit (my water was a tad too hot and one of the pill bottle's label did not match the dose I was giving per verbal order from the doctor), but the way I figure it, if he doesn't find something I can do better at, either he isn't doing his job to the best of his ability or he is wasting my time. We made a plan of correction to fix those problems that day and then both went about doing our jobs.
Over the past couple of years he has always been prompt in addressing my needs/questions, and I have never perceived him to be harsh or "out to get me," just very good at his job. I will miss working with him directly, but in chatting yesterday found that he is a hospice volunteer so I am guessing that our paths will cross again in the future.
That is the funny thing about perceptions; they are rarely totally accurate. Everything one brings to a relationship clouds every particle of the relationship making it unique to each of us. The guy that some of us think of as a jerk might be some one's really great husband and father. That lady that drives us crazy with her - fill-in-the-blank - may be using that same skill to the benefit of others. (yes she could be!)
So here is a little activity for you to try from the Course in Miracles... The next time you are feeling less than loving towards someone say (to yourself so as not to get carted away), "The spirit of God/Love/Whatever in me salutes the spirit of God/Love/Whatever in you." And then continue the encounter noting if anything changes, either in physical form or simply in your attitude. This is no guarantee that it will stop people from having jerk-like behaviors, but it might assist you in not getting all worked up about it, or at least seeing that jerk-they-may-be they are also a fellow human being wanting to be loved and accepted.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Did you hear that some woman advertised for a hit man to murder her lover's wife on Craig's List?
Made me wonder about the depth of her desperation? Or maybe she just wanted attention? To see if she could get away with it? What would compel someone to act in this manner?
First, Craig's List was no-way involved, or at fault so keep using it for the purpose it was intended for. Apparently, the couple of people that answered this add for "employment" called the police once they determined the woman was not joking.
Second, the woman was married herself, which doesn't give me good feelings for her lover. Back when I was checking out on-line dating services I used to get these e-mails from married men whose "wives didn't understand them." I would write them back and tell them to treat their wives like the most special person in the entire world for two full months and if she still "didn't understand them" I would "consider" chatting with them. Interestingly enough I NEVER heard from them again.
When I discovered my first husband's affair I ask for a meeting with the two of them. His girlfriend said to me, "So what if we are sleeping together." My words for her, "Last time I checked sleeping with another man's wife would classify one as a whore. So I guess if you don't have a problem with the label than neither do I." The look on her face gave me much more satisfaction than having her killed ever could.
Getting on my soapbox for a minute so feel free to scroll past it...
Have enough respect for yourself to be honest in, and about your relationships. Whether a marriage, partnership, friendship, or working relationship invest in the relationship what you want to get out of it. Not all relationships are meant to last forever, and it IS possible to have an amicable ending. If you have given to your relationship what you have, and it isn't working respect the relationship enough to find a resolution to it. And just for the record, lying, cheating, and deception are not acceptable ways to resolve things. These things really suck when they are done to you, but much more importantly they eventually destroy the person you are if you continue to practice them. Stepping down now...
When I hear stories like this one, I try and imagine what would have to occur for me to put a hit out on someone. I will admit to screaming at my kids things like, "Knock off the fighting or I'm going to end it for you both" a time or two. Heck, in my most dysfunctional moments I have even picked up a knife and threatened with it, but since I have also been at the other end of a knife a couple of times I can say with authority these were just threats, and not designed for lasting harm. What I have learned, one bad relationship at a time, is that if I so desire there can always be another bad relationship out there for me to screw up if I want it, without risking be imprisoned by the penal system. Move along people and forget the hit man. The drama fix it might give you is just not worth it.
Maybe I should have (my) Mister step in here and take an oath or something that the only role knifes play in our relationship these days is in food prep, and neither of us think we are in a bad relationship, but it might be more interesting to keep ya all wondering.
Fortunately for me, I finally learned how to love and respect myself. It was only at that time that I could appreciate the goodness of someone like (my) Mister and enter into a positive relationship with him. Translation...No need to snoop through my Craig's List account honey to see what I was up to while you were gone for the weekend. You already know what's listed there.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
The answers are in regards to 2007:
1) Where did you begin 2007?
The same place I have begun the new year for as long as I can remember; asleep in my bed. the way I see it, the arrival is one of those things that is going to happen with or without my participation in the event. So far I have been right.
2) What was your status on Valentine's Day?
Celebrating my seventh wedding anniversary to (my) Mister (we married on February 13, 2000)
3) Were you in school anytime this year?
The older I get the more I am enrolled in the school of life, searching to learn from the day in and day out. I also took a three day course to learn the art of Thai Massage to feel the needed requirement for continuing education credits to keep my P.T.A. licence valid, and a Reiki level one class.
4) How do you earn your money?
The care and feeding of seniors ( OPs, Grandpa/grandma/ whatever your term you use). Within this context I am able to help those at the end of their lives have the type of dying experience they want. This is my favorite part of my job and I hope to grow it to be able to assist more families in 2008.
5) Did you have to go to the hospital?
Yes. On September 14 I was stretching my youngest's hamstrings, standing on a soft bed, fell and messed up the bones in my left wrist. I had to have outpatient surgery the following week to re-align the bones and have a plate and four screws put in to hold it in place.
6) Did you have any encounters with the police?
Not that I can recall. My normal encounters with the police are waving at them as they drive by my house patrolling the area.
7) Where did you go on vacation?
2007 was a good year for travel. In February I went to New Orleans, took a five day cruise to Mexico, and then met my oldest back in New Orleans and we ran a half-marathon and spent a couple of days sight-seeing. In August I flew to Denver and met Random for the first time. She picked me up at the airport and we drove to Spearfish, SD to do a half-marathon together. We had a blast and felt like we had known one another for our entire lives. On December 26 of 2007 (my) Mister, youngest and her BF went to Cozumel for a week. See why that debt isn't getting paid off?
8) What did you purchase that was over 1000$?
We converted a sun room into living space to extend the size of the television room where we hang out with the OPs. The total cost was around $11,000.00 and we paid cash. We also shelled put $9,000.00 to have a brick parking pad added to the front yard, also with cash. And there was the Cozumel vacation, $5,0000 for us to go, and $1000.00 to pay someone to care for the OPs so that we could go($6,000.00 cash out-of-budget). I sooooo could be out of debt!
9) Did you know anybody who got married?
Not a legal/recognized by our government kind of wedding.
10) Did you know anyone who passed away?
Yes. We had three hospice patients pass away in 2007.
11) Did you move anywhere?
Still in the same residence, I did a lot of moving in regards to my spiritual growth, moving into a more loving place towards myself as well as others. This was a great move but also an on-going one.
12) How did you celebrate your birthday?
I turned fifty this year and completed my first marathon to celebrate the event. My entire family (well, except for my son) participated with me. When I crossed the finish line my oldest (who had finished two hours plus before me, grabbed the mike and sang, "We are Family," as I requested of her, and then the announcer came on and said, "Happy Birthday." It was great, but at the time all I could do was sob because I had beat the cut-off time by six minutes and had "Officially" finished, and all I wanted to do was get to a porta-potty and get rid of the pile of crap I had been carrying for the past six miles due to (in my opinion anyway) poor placement of porta-potties on the race course.
13) What concerts/shows did you go to?
Went to a mini lecture by a Voodoo Priestess as part of a cemetery tour we took when in New Orleans. That would be it...I don't get out much.
14) Are you registered to vote?
Yes! And I take my right to vote very seriously and exercise that right each time it is offered. I am a firm believer that if one does not vote they lose their right to bitch about the government. Not giving up that right, as there isn't much else in my life to bitch about.
15) Where do you live now?
In a really great house, in a quiet neighborhood (if one doesn't count screaming children in summer), in small town America. More importantly is the fact that I am living in the moment more and more instead of planning for something in the future while life passes me by. I heard (again) just the other day: "Life is what happens while we are planning for it."
16) How did you spend your summer break?
I rarely get a weekend break since my job is 24/7, let alone a summer break. Not complaining, I like my job.
17) What's one thing you thought you'd never do but did in 2007?
Be in shape enough to complete a full marathon. Improved upon NOT getting upset/frustrated/angry about things other people chose to do. Ditto in regards to letting other people's choices affect me negatively.
18) What has been your favorite moment?
I have reached a point in my life where I Cherish all the moments in my life, even those others might see as negative because those are the ones I learn the most from. To answer the question I will pick the moment the surgeon that repaired my wrist told me if I gave him two weeks without running he would get me repaired and set up to continue with my plans for to run the marathon. 5.5 months of complete focus on one goal would not be wasted after all!
19) What's something that you learned about yourself?
How to give up a little more of my ego control, and when I do this life is much more joyful.
20) What was your worst month?
Life is good, and each month had something good in it. Sorry to be a downer.
21) What music will you remember 2007 by?
Batting zero here folks. I don't listen to that much music. Pressured to pick I would have to say the race play list I have on my XM portable that I listen to when I run as my overall focus for 2007 was training for the marathon.
22) Who has been your best drinking buddy?
I usually drink alone, while sitting in my hot tub relaxing. I did this maybe five or six times over the course of the year. Wait! I did have a drinking buddy, my dog Emma. She loved to crawl along the side of the tub and lick the coldness of the glass. And don't scream I would let her have a drop or two when I was down to the end of the glass. I used it as training to get her to go out on the ledge. Ever know a dog that loved Cosmos?
23) Made new friends?
Again, I don't get out much. I cultivated the relationships that I have with the hospice staff, and a couple of them blossomed into friendships. Since I have made blogger friends over the past year I guess I am not a total loser!
24) What was your best month?
25) Overall, how would you rate 2007 out of 10?
26) Have any car accidents?
Nope. Sometimes not getting out much has its perks.
27) Did you have a New Year's Resolution?
I gave up making resolutions years ago as it was to self-defeating to not keep them. This year I came up with some mantras to help with my growth. "The check is in the mail," and "Everything will turn out as it is suppose two," are the ones I am currently focusing on and they are working fabulously.
28) Do anything embarrassing?
More than I can remember I am sure. One that comes to mind was the time I came up from downstairs to get dinner started. As I was in the kitchen, I said to my resident with Dementia, "____ there is no one in there with you. You're talking to yourself again" only to have her daughter peak her head into my line of view and say, "No she's not. I'm in here with her." Nice Patty! Her daughter didn't seem to think anything about it so maybe it didn't sound as bad as I thought it was.
29) Buy anything from E-bay?
No. I have never bought anything from there.
30) Get married?
31) Get arrested?
Do handcuffs in the bedroom count? JUST KIDDING, really!
32) Did you get sick in 2007?
No. I worked the day I broke my wrist, the day of surgery, and all the days of my recovery.
33) Been snowboarding?
Years ago I had one experience with skis and hills; the BUNNY hill. I can still see my body covered in bruises after that "fun" experience. In other words...NO!
34) Are you happy to see 2007 go?
I am only happy to see 2007 go because I am so excited to see what 2008 has to bring to my life.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Walking through the television room yesterday I heard the question, "What is the most you have ever spent on a pair of shoes?"
I checked with my youngest and we determined it was $60.00 (for a pair that regular price was $300.00). Considering that some people think nothing of spending a thousand bucks on a pair of shoes I guess my shoe splurges are pretty pathetic.
What about you? And Random, if you think hubby might see your response some day, it is okay for you to apply selective memory when answering.
Dr. Oz had a chef as his guest on yesterday's show. A writer for Esquire did a piece on the two of them regarding how the career of a heart surgeon and a chef are similar.
Dr. Oz ask this chef if he could pick, what would his last meal be. The chef actually took the question up a notch and told how he had been ask a similar question that added, "where would it be, and what kind of music would be playing?"
I still haven't come up with my final menu, but I actually like to eat very simply. Since I know the place, a sunny beach, and the music, the surf splashing against the shore, I am thinking that pre-sliced fruits and veggies maybe with a little cheese would go well with the scene. What would make those foods special is someone else preparing them for me. Of course it would have to be someone close to me because I don't like strangers touching my food (but that is another post). And of course all those close to me would be there to share the meal with me, just dying to do something for me, so this little quirk of mine would not be a problem.
What about you? What would you pick for your last meal, including the surroundings and who would be there?
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
This past weekend my youngest and I participated in a fifteen mile trail race about three hours north of our home. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth I took note of the fact that she wasn't complaining about going to the race when we had to leave later than expected, AND her boyfriend was unable to go with us for the weekend. It wasn't until we met our friend at the race and she told him she was there because it was my Christmas present that I remembered I had told her I wanted her to run with me for my present in mid- December. Makes me wonder what other things I forget and as a result lose out on?
One of the campgrounds we are members at is only fifteen minutes from the race so we went up there Friday night and hung out in our trailer for the day on Saturday since the race didn't start until 6:30 in the evening. I was so excited to do a nighttime race, just because I had never done one before.
It was cold outside (8 degrees when we started the race, the bank sign said 2 degrees when we drove home after the race), and for some strange reason this added to the excitement for me. Me against the elements I guess. While waiting for the race to start I kept second guessing myself about adding an extra layer, but ended up going with what I normally wear. Good thing too because I was plenty warm, and dripping wet with sweat by race end.
We did the race as a relay, each of us to do 7.5 miles, and I got to go first. As usual, I fell to the back of the pack and got to enjoy the peace and stillness of the woods without interruption. The sky was clear so between the stars and my headlight I had no problem maneuvering the course and staying on track. It was beautiful! The snow was much deeper than anything I had ran on so far this year so just before hitting the seven mile mark I got really tired and ask my angels to carry me for a bit. They did much better than that...They provided a really long downhill that I flew down. At the end of it I recognized the big bulky form in the distance as (my) Mister's winter parka. My youngest and I made the exchange, she took off down the road, and we took off back to the town hall so I could change out of my wet clothes.
I had some idea of when to expect my youngest at the finish line, but more importantly I have a strong intuition when it comes to my kids. I knew that my youngest really was only doing this for me (like I did the para sailing for her) and while I kept hoping she was having a little fun my gut was telling me different. Enough time had passed that (my) Mister was saying she should be coming, but I knew "not yet." Finally I said, "she is almost here" and jumped out to meet her at the finish line. As I was watching to see the headlight turn into her form I heard talking beside and behind me and turned to see her getting out of a van. I was right about her arrival time, but not about the method of arrival.
Since I had placed her in last, the guys on the four wheelers were following close behind her (they did this to make sure everyone made it back to the end of the race) and this bothered her. Finally she told them, "I don't like to be followed" and they back way off. Then the cold made her Ipod stop working and this was not only her distraction device, but her watch and this really sent her spinning out of control. I was right, SHE WAS NOT HAVING FUN! After about four miles she finally came to the conclusion that there was no reason to keep going if it was going to leave her with a bad taste for running/racing in her mind so she let the guys catch up to her and ask, "Can I be done now?"
I can't tell you how proud I was of her for giving the race a go, while at the same time getting that since we run for fun when it isn't fun anymore it is time to call it a day. There are so many things in life in which we have to tough it out no matter what and she is a star at doing this. I think it shows a great deal of inner maturity that she doesn't do this across the board. My poor self-esteem would never had allowed me to "let myself be done" at her age.
We were not in the car two minutes when she was unveiling plans for next years race. She wants to find two more runners so we can have two teams and she and I can do a leg together. Now that REALLY sounds like fun! Any takers?
Thursday, January 17, 2008
This is post 499.
I took note that post 500 was coming last week sometime and I have been thinking about how to celebrate the moment. I thought I needed to do so because I have seen other bloggers make note of their 500TH post and determined from that it is blog protocol. God knows that quest to be perfect directs me to follow the proper protocol. Even in blog land.
My thinking about how to make 500 special lead me to think that to do so would to be going against my personal style. The more I thought about noting 500, the more I kept thinking about how many years it has been since I have done something simply because that was what the crowd does, and/or that I normally avoid swimming with the crowd.
That lead to remembering things like milestone birthdays. 30, 40, and 50 were not big transitions because I spent the years of 29, 39, and 49, preparing to face them. It was almost a relief when they arrived so I could move my focus along to something else.
So, this is it folks, the big milestone post, and then post 500 will be more in keeping with my style; just an ordinary, everyday post that talks about what I need to talk about. No hidden, special meaning.
This is how I have decided to make post 499 special:
Four (4) things I want to ask forgiveness for:
1. To (my) Mister I would like to ask forgiveness for driving so irresponsibly the other day and getting a speeding ticket. I understand there are many other things that $120.00 (and that for a mere five MPH over) could have been spent on. I appreciate how hard you work to provide for us, both financially and emotionally. I totally took for granted how great it was that you didn't get upset at all when I shared my "little surprise" with you. Forgive me for both.
2. To my youngest I would like to ask for forgiveness for selfishly keeping you on the phone yesterday for a mini-lecture on the proper way to balance a checkbook when your focus was on doing homework. I tend to think that my needs are more important than the rest of the family at times, and I am sorry for that. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of you, and how hard you are working to get your adult life off to a great start.
3. To the two drivers that scared the crap out of me with their lack of driving ability the other night I would like to ask forgiveness for calling you (both) an idiot. And then, even as I heard the voice in my head tell me it wasn't a very loving thing to do, I continued to view you in a negative light for several minutes after I was safely out of your range. Not only did it serve no higher good, if you read number one above this might be considered the pot calling the kettle black and very bad form.
4. To all my blog readers, forgive me for totally coping out and picking four for things to ask forgiveness for. Of course I could have thought of nine, but of course I prefer to think of things that I do well or feel good about rather than examples of how far from perfect I am. I think I share enough of those for you to all get the idea loud and clear; I am about as far from perfect as possible. At least I am lovable so hopefully that makes up for not being perfect.
Nine (9) things I have not shared with blog land, and maybe not with anyone in the past...
1. I have a mole on my face. A not very glamorous one, along my jaw line. I have always wished I had a glamorous one like Marilyn or Ginger (from Gilligan's Island). A few times I have even tried drawing one on, above my lip but I always chickened out and wiped it off before leaving the house.
2. Back when I believed we got into Heaven by our works I did something for someone else (I actually did the something first so it really was something done by a pure heart), and never told anyone about it so that I would have an ace in the hole, a wild card if you were to assure my admittance to the big house. You see, the way the belief went if you told someone of your good works they no longer counted.
3. Did you notice that I used the word "something" and still didn't spill the beans? What was the big thing I did that I believed to be my ticket to Heaven? One day I was on my way somewhere, noticed a need, and pulled over along the side of the road, got out of my car and helped a blind man cross the street. Am I insane or what? That was what I chose to keep a secret as some of my best work? I've been keeping THAT a secret for over twenty years? I guess it is a really good thing that I don't believe that secret works are the ticket to heaven anymore, but that love is the answer. And one needn't hide that love under a bushel.
4. When I was in junior high school I didn't want to have to take P.E./gym class, so I signed up for choir to get out of it. As much as I enjoyed singing I was not at all good at it so I had to be in the girls glee club instead of the "real" choir. I hated this (but apparently NOT as much as I hated exercise at the time because I stuck it out, and stayed in the glee club) and felt like a lower class citizen. To make it not matter to me, I became as invisible as possible in the class and mouthed most of the songs to be assured I was not picked for solos (like I was good enough in the first place). Unfortunately I was as short then as I am now so I had to stand in the front row, no way out of that one.
5. One of my proudest moments in junior high school was the night that that lower class glee club got a standing ovation. Ya, today I can see that it might have been a pity standing ovation that some of the parents pre-planned and everyone else went along with as they were shocked that anyone would give the girls glee club (also might have been referred to as girls geek club, and this before geek was a good thing) any kind of praise let alone an standing ovation. But that night, for just a moment, I felt part of something bigger than myself for the first time ever.
6. I am a total freak about washing clothes right Vs. wrong side out. I swear, those items that have the tag that recommend washing the garment wrong side out could totally be the death of me as my mind plays out a VERY dramatic scene of me coming to terms with either forcing hand to put it in the washer inside out, or brain being pissed because I would rather "ruin" the garment than wash it as recommended.
7. I am a loner at heart. No, really. I know that I CAN chat non-stop to anyone, anywhere. I know that I have freely invited people into my home so that I am NEVER alone here. I know I have a people orientated occupation, but all of these things have been born out of my need to learn to trust other people. Even now that I have learned to do that with (select) others, the yearning to not have to do remains pretty strong. I am thinking I must have been a monk in a past life or something since I am so good at interacting with people, speaking to a group, and inviting people into my space for their benefit, yet given a choice I would move to a deserted island in a heartbeat.
8. I have (a couple of) craft projects that I started over twenty years ago and are no where near completion. Talk about hanging on to the past. As each year passes the odds of me ever finishing them grows ever greater and yet I remain hopeful/optimistic that the day will come that they will be completed. I could probably increase those odds if I actually picked them up and worked on them, but that is an entirely different issue...
9. I really like the television show Rob and Big that is on M-TV. First off I don't watch M-TV. When my kids were home that channel was banned in our house (which means they only watched it when mom was gone). If any of you have seen the show you might better understand why this show doesn't fit my personality. Like last night, the episode was about someone going #2 in their pool and their retaliation. I don't even have a pool! Oh, and Rob is a skateboarder and I (think) Big has something to do with music. What happen was one day I was wasting time in front of the television and happen upon a show that had this dog that was so ugly he was cute (Meaty is his name). They were having a Rob and Big marathon and by the time they got to the episode where they get a mini horse (named mini-horse) I was hooked. Even though they live in the Hollywood hills they built this little horse a mini-stable-palace, and it is very clear that they love their animals. I think what I like about the show is that in every episode they play. In fact, as far as I can tell, they do little with their lives but play. Must be they speak to my inner child. Oh! If you plan on checking out the show, be warned that there IS adult language and subject matter.
Finally, nine things (in no particular order of importance) I learned in blog land today...
1. Daniele is still waiting for her mattress to arrive
2. Random got a new shower curtain, and Miss Daisy got some new snow boots.
3. Amy shared a wonderful quote about grief and loss.
4. Sheri continues to bless those around her even as she speaks of how she herself feels blessed.
5. Nancy held plank position for 120 seconds. Wait-a-go Nancy!
6. Lena ran into an old friend in the grocery and had a good "catch up" with her.
7. Maria wrote a wonderful letter to her seventeen-year-old-self, and warns her against dying her hair red at age thirty-five (and gives herself lots of other really great advice as well).
8. Elizabeth got a job! Wait-a-go girl!
9. T-girl has embarked on a spiritual journey, and is feeling better about life in general.
Thanks to all my blogger friends, and don't be upset if I didn't get to you on the list. I would have added more than nine, but this post has already consumed much more time than it should have (I started it last Thursday...Life has been extra busy as of late) and I really need to wrap it up. I really appreciate all the blogs I read and being able to share in the ups and downs of your lives. Every single one of you are important to me and enrich my life though your blogs.
So there is is everyone...Patty's idea of a special post. Here's to another 499 for better or worse, and the hope that mostly they lean towards the better.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
A self-made millionaire was asked to what he attributed his success...he had come from a very poor home with adopted parents who made it clear that they really didn't think he'd really amount to anything. So when asked, his answer was,
"I had all the disadvantages required for success."
After this quote, the following question was posed:
Have you ever wondered how someone can turn their rags into riches?
That is exactly my take on my early childhood experiences, and while I am making some of my living from my transformation I am talking more about spiritual/inner riches here.
Close on the heels of my parent's death (five months apart when I was eight years old), was a less than stellar stay at a less than stellar foster home. Without a doubt, my time there had a direct correlation on the way I chose to parent; EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF THE WAY I HAD BEEN TREATED. Considering the way my kids have turned out the negative treatment I received as a child was worthwhile.
In addition to my parents, a couple of "adopted" parents, and some special nursing home patients, the death of three of my five siblings has all played a role in my coming to terms with the process of death and dying.
I have gone from someone that used to get the willies just driving past a funeral home, to someone that willingly invites death into my home, AND sees the process as a gift. It didn't happen over-night, and some of the loses were harder on me than others, but in retrospect they all played a role in my being able to feel the way I do about the transition from this world, as well as my ability to help others when their loved ones transition. I can't begin to tell you how being able to do so blesses me and makes me feel like I am fulfilling my life purpose. I have yet to find a better feeling than knowing I am fulfilling my life purpose, doing "what I am suppose to be doing."
So what hardships have you overcome and turned into blessings; for you or others? What are you going through right now that you might look at a different way and turn it into a positive? I would love to hear about your rags to riches experiences. Maybe you could blog about them? If you do let me know.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Later that afternoon, my youngest came home from work/school and ask if I could loan her some money until pay day because she bought an extra book for her chemistry class for the bargain price of $195.00. ONE BOOK! One more reason I am not going back to school...
After I calmed down about the cost (not that she bought it, just that a text book could cost so much) I ask her why she didn't ask her sister for the money to cover the book. For a graduation present her sister offered to pay for her books for her first year of college. Pretty great gift wasn't it?
My youngest went on to explain that the book wasn't required and she felt bad for her sister about the cost of the required books ($460.00 for this semester), which changed the conversation to me wondering why she (the youngest) never feels bad when she gets money from me for things, blah, blah, yada, yada...
That is the background. The entire time the two of us are having the conversation (my) Mister kept interjecting unwelcome, unsolicited comments. Okay, what I really want to say is stupid comments so there I said it. I tried to keep my cool and ignore them thinking maybe he would get the hint since he and I have discussed his eaves dropping on my conversations with others in the past. Not just him, it is a personal pet peeve of mine and I don't like it when anyone does it.
Finally (my) Mister says, "So when can you start drawing off your 529 account?" and I turned on him like a mother bear turns on someone too close to her cubs. Fortunately I had just trimmed my nails so the attack was just verbal. He knows the plan is the 529 $ is for university and that we are cash-flowing her first two years at junior college, and she and I had been finished talking about money ten minutes previous and were onto a totally different subject, and I could write twenty more excuses but I will spare you...
The point is I guess my first thought on what I need to work on was right on, and apparently it is going to take a bit more thought than I gave it originally. Possibly part of the lesson from above is that I need to practice being more mindful of what leads up to my temper flairs? Maybe I should learn that being in a family means one can't have exclusive conversations but this one just doesn't seem right to me so I WILL need the Holy Spirit to hit me over the head with that lesson. Maybe it has more to do with something my youngest said to me the other day...
I was in bed watching television and the plastic bag that I keep my sleeping mask and earplugs in was covering a tiny little spot on the corner of the the television screen. It is a see through bag, and certainly didn't obstruct my view of the program but it was bugging me. About five seconds after I noticed it my youngest walked through the room (remember my "bedroom" is currently the corner of our downstairs family room) so I ask her to move it out of my way. After she did so, she kind of chuckled so I ask her what was funny. Her reply: "The big things in life don't phase you at all, but the little things drive you crazy. That's weird."
But oh so true!
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I read the following during my morning quiet time today:
We make our own expressions.
How true is that? Regardless the situation we can chose to smile, frown, clench our teeth, or let our mouth hang open in disbelief. Whatever expression we wear is a reflection of what is going on inside of us (except, of course for those of you that have mastered the "poker" face).
In a reflective question akin to, "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" I believe that our inner thoughts and feelings take lead over our facial expressions. In that case it is more beneficial to us to work on our inner stuff knowing that our outer expression will fall in line with whatever we are feeling.
I am sure you have all seen a person that in the midst of crisis continues to look peaceful and serene. This is a person that has not only discovered who and what they are, but discovered how to be comfortable with who and what they are. I want to be that person...
So I keep working towards moving through my fears, speaking my gratitude out loud, and practicing self-love. And just in case you're reading Doctor Phil, it's working just great for me!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
With our new hospice resident, (my) Mister and I are back to shift sleeping for a couple of nights. The man is cracking me up, trying to pull one over on me.
I took the first shift last night and would have stayed up later but I wanting to be coherent when the hospice nurse came at eight this morning I woke him up at 2:00 AM. Mind you he laid down at 8:30 PM and that was more sleep than he gets on any given normal evening.
I am either up or sleeping. (my) Mister can fall asleep at a moments notice, get up and instantly be back asleep as his head hits the pillow, so for the rest of the evening he napped and did hourly checks. He (finally) got to go back and lay down at 9:30 AM, and slept until 1:30 PM. At 5:30 PM he went "back to lay down" and will sleep until I wake him up because I can no longer keep my eyes open. He must still be recovering from getting back into his work routine and not being able to snag the daily naps he had while we were on vacation.
Least you think I am slamming on poor Mister, Let me end this post by saying he is the best help-mate on Earth and I could not be doing this work without his love and support. I am NOT complaining about him or anything, it just struck me as amusing so I thought I would share with you. Maybe it is only funny if one is sleep deprived???
Friday, January 11, 2008
When I was on vacation I would listen to my XM radio and discovered that Marianne Williamston was going to be doing a Course in Miracles on the Oprah Channel this year. I got the book years ago, and at that time, quite honestly, trying to understand the lessons gave me a headache so the book went up on a shelf after the first twenty pages of so. This sounded like a great opportunity to see if I had grown into it yet.
It is so much easier having someone explain the lessons to me, kind of like a group bible study, and I am enjoying it immensely.
Listening to the lessons has increased my notice of the daily blessings in my life. A couple of days into the new year I had the idea of writing down the blessings to keep track of them better. A day or two after that I had the brilliant idea to post them in blog form, so in my spare time I have been getting it set up, and up to date. I am now ready to share it with all of you.
My new blog can be found at:
Check it out. And enjoy!
Thursday, January 10, 2008
In addition to updating my business information, the nurse at hospice ask me if I would put together an in service on stress and the benefits of massage. I love doing stuff like that, but it has taken up most of my time the last two days (it turned out great) so no lengthy post today.
There is someone that is near and dear to my heart (and the hearts of our entire family) who is going through some health issues right now. For privacy's sake I am not going to give out details beyond she is having a procedure done on Tuesday, January fifteenth, and I would appreciate you keeping her in your thoughts and prayers as collectively dear readers you have a very strong faith. If you refer to her as that "precious person in Patty's life" the powers that be will know who you are talking about as well as all the necessary details.
Thanks so much for your help. I am so fortunate and blessed to have the love and support of so many people in blog land. You are the best!
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
The first two mornings of vacation I got up and did a quick run to the outskirts of Cozumel and back, round trip about thirty minutes. At the end of day two there was talk of wanting to go into town and do some shopping. I suggested that we walk the distance into town and assured everyone that since I got to the outskirts in such a short time it couldn't be that much farther to the heart of town (they all know what a slow runner I am). (my) Mister tried to disagree with me, but my confidence won out and a plan was hatched to walk to town after breakfast the following day.
As you have probably already guessed, the distance turned out to be farther than we could cover in thirty minutes (my prediction), and after we had been walking for an hour I had a small mutiny on my hands (NOT (my) Mister of course...He knows better). The boyfriend had worn new sandals and had sprouted a couple of blisters, and he and my youngest threw in the towel and hailed a cab. Silly kids, look what they missed:
This beautiful water feature
and the opportunity to try and put their heads in the lion's mouth
For the record, When we took a taxi back to our hotel (I knew there would be no point in even trying to get them to walk back) the cost was seven dollars. When I ask the kids what it cost them for their taxi ride they told me two dollars. Oh! Ya! And that it was "TOTALLY worth it." The point of the fact that getting there was the best part of the journey had been totally lost on them.
About ten minutes after the kids had jumped into a cab, (my) Mister and I caught up to them in a store. I was feeling energized and ready to do some damage to our spending money fund. The response to my question of, "Where do you want to go first" was, "Back to the hotel. We are too tired from walking to enjoy shopping." Do you believe that? Such feather weights I hang out with!
So we piled into a cab and headed back to nap on the beach, leaving the shopping for another day. And that folks was my experience walking to Cozumel.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
(my) Mister HATES to write. No clue why, but it is so true. If I bug him enough he sometimes leaves me little sticky notes on the coffee pot. Imagine my glee this morning when I went to start the coffee and found a full page of paper taped to the pot. My first thought was it was the race entry form I ask him to fill out for me (I told you all I was spoiled), but when I peeked at it, I saw that it was an actual letter in his hand writing. ALMOST A FULL PAGE! Made me go instantly mushy all over. WHAT A GREAT GUY!
I savored the moment of reading the letter by doing all of my regular wake-up routine things first, and then sat down to enjoy it. I know many of you grew up on e-mails, but to me they don't hold a candle to an (archaic) hand-written note. This is what I read...
My Dearest Tricia, (good start)
I screwed up. (It's 6:00 AM, what could he have possibly done already?) I didn't push record at 10 PM and didn't get "Medium" started until 10:40 PM. I feel terrible letting you down again. I know that you will be disappointed with not seeing the show. I love you and hope you will forgive me.
Was it really me who said I was fine with the old fashion recording system and didn't need one of those TIVO/DVR/high tech recorder gizmos that does everything automatically? Maybe I was wrong?
Not that I had any clue what the letter would contain, but this information was not even close to being on my radar screen. I do think it was pretty clever of him to confess in a letter, knowing that he will be 60 miles away from me physically for the next eight hours. I have to have calmed down by then. Right?
And how many of you guys out there are feeling sympathy pangs for dear ole Mister, having to beg forgiveness for forgetting to record one little TV show? Trust me, he has a history as far as this goes, and ya I know I can watch it in re-run season, but when the power goes out just as you are settling back to watch the big game know it is Karma settling the score!
What makes this funny is that it is a typical case in point about our thoughts creating our reality. Since we got back from vacation I have been reminding him that I wanted him to tape Medium for me. Every marriage has a division of labor doesn't it? What is wrong with him having the job of taping TV shows? He tapes them, and I watch them during the day while he is at work. Sounds fair to me. I have waited months for a new episode of the show (when did I ever say I had a real life?) and was very excited.
When the TV section came last Saturday (my) Mister studied it like one would study for the SATs and plotted out everything I wanted recorded for the week. YES! The man takes making me happy VERY seriously. I was of the opinion that House was also suppose to be new last night so it took him several minutes and three promises that he would "check just to be sure the paper wasn't wrong" to get through the remainder of the television viewing week and on to his next task, but hey! am I not worth it?
When he came home from work yesterday I told him it might be a good idea to do a test run of the VCR, make sure everything was working (if you miss the first five minutes you miss a lot), and would he please check the current edition of the paper to double check about House? When I came back from my run he assured me that everything was set and he was on top of it. Since I didn't think anything else about it, I can only assume that (my) Mister spent the night thinking thoughts like, "I'll forget to record the show and she will kill me," or, "l forget to push record, I'm dead meat." and his thoughts became his (terror-filled) reality.
The antidote to negative thoughts? Love of course. For every time the bonehead has forgotten to push record there are thousands of examples of other things he has done to insure my happiness and the happiness of our marriage. Is he perfect? Not by a long shot (no matter what his ego would like us all to believe), but truth be told neither am I. I choose to believe that the world will not end because I can't watch Medium this morning (even though I did extra chores yesterday in preparation for the event she says to throw a little more guilt on the flames). Heck, I am going to go all out and choose to believe that something even better is going to come along to replace the show. Why? Because I can. There was a time when I would have needed to hang onto another's mistake to make myself feel superior. The more I come to understand that we are all inter-connected the easier it is becoming to not nurture a grudge, but instead practice the Golden Rule. What was it I said about having miracles in my week in yesterday's post? In other words, relax honey...You're off the hook.
Monday, January 07, 2008
I mentioned how I am poised for change in my life, and trying not to put constraints on the path towards change. Upon returning from vacation, I had two business networking invitations waiting for me. They may or may not turn out to start me in a certain direction, but I won't know until after participating in them, so plans are in the works to do just that.
About a year ago I had an old friend design a simple web site for me as well as get it up and running on the world wide web. He set me all up so I could make changes/additions myself. Yesterday I finally got around to doing so. I have little patience with computer programs beyond simple word processing (it took me months, and countless attempts to learn how to post pics on my blog and I STILL can't figure out how to rotate a pic so people don't have to look at it sideways) so rather than update I just stopped telling people I had a web site. Not the best use of my marketing dollar, but kept ego from suffering embarrassment.
After investing five hours my web page now has pictures and is completely updated. I still want to add one more page, but I can't tell you how proud and excited I was when I finally figured out how to get the new page I did add to link IN BOTH DIRECTIONS with the pages that were already there. I know if you get the whole web design thing it is no big deal, a click here, a URL there, but it is to me. Kinda like I felt when I finally figured out how to communicate with the guy that ran the juice bar on vacation. "No agave (sugar), and Mucho ice" (as opposed to two cups of ice because he thought that meant I wanted to glasses of the juice concoction) became the code needed to get the spinach-carrot-celery-pineapple concoction I indulged in after my morning run. But I digress...
This post would not be complete without an expression of gratitude for (my) Mister's assistance yesterday. Along with tossing our sheets in the washer/dryer, and monitoring the television viewing of the OPs, his assistance with the web page was priceless. Here are some of his helpful comments:
I am suppose to be taking over the web page at work...Just as soon as I learn how.
Would you stop clicking everything so fast?
Well, here is the problem...
I don't know what to do about it.
Hyperlink? I don't know.
Would you PLEASE scroll down slower?
I AM TO trying to figure it out.
Could I PLEASE see it, for just a second. PLEASE!
Once again his continued patience and support got me through. I wish I could give you all the address to the site so you could take a peek at how brilliant I am, but that would kinda go against the whole anonymity of my blog now wouldn't it? You're just gonna have to trust me on it I guess.
I also polished my brochure and business cards up yesterday. Now all I have to do is figure out what I am going to say when it is my turn to introduce my business. This may be my opportunity to further transition from full time care to increased respite care. I need to get the community to see the valuable need for more respite care to help me build a large enough client base to make my dream a reality.
When I finished with the business update I went for a nice and easy three mile run and gave thanks for the mild weather we have been having. January and I am running in shirt sleeves and no gloves! How great is that?
Here's to a great week, full of miracles and blessings for us all. Be on the look out...
Friday, January 04, 2008
I have mentioned before how much my families willingness to run on a relay team beside me while I completed my marathon meant to me. For some silly reason they love para sailing like I love running and wanted to share the joy with me. Did I mention that I am not a fan of heights?
Being the loving, giving person I am I couldn't deny their request after what they had done for me. In other words, I was going as a way of cancelling my debt. "I go up in the air, consider yourself paid in full" was more like how it came across to them. Regardless I agreed and we piled into the boat along with two other couples.
I insisted on being first, knowing if I watched anyone else do it I would not be able to go through with my plans. The tears began as we pulled away from the dock, and my last words to the guy as he told me to sit down and relax was, "take me up for thirty seconds and then get me down."
Apparently he thought I was joking...
As the wind caught my sail and I went up and off the boat I gave in to the complete and utter terror of the situation. It was almost as if I were having an out of body experience because one part of my mind was watching myself hanging high over the ocean, eyes squeezed tightly shut so as not to see how high, hands gripping the ropes, tears streaming, screaming at the top of my lungs, "I want to come down" while at the same time thinking, "What is wrong with you silly girl? Do you really think they would do this if it wasn't safe?"
And still I choose to let the fear envelope me, swallow me, and penetrate every fiber of my being. I ended up having exactly the experience I wanted to have, maybe needed to have.
Of course nothing physical happen to me, eventually the boat got me low enough that the others heard my screams and my ride mercifully ended. Poor Mister all he could do was hold me and repeat over and over that he was very proud of me and I never had to do it again. How right he is about that!
Since that afternoon I have been using that experience as a way of working on the expanded notion that I/we choose how we react to every life circumstances. It is very clear to me that I deliberately stayed in the fear of the moment when I could have talked myself right through it and enjoyed the ride as much as the rest of the participants did. I think, at the time, I was more interested in proving that I could do something for someone else that I had no desire to do more than I was interested in sharing the experience with them. Why in the world would I think this makes me more noble, possibly even superior? SO NOT the case!
When we left for home there was a pretty big wind storm going on, making for a rocky take-off and much turbulence and yet I wasn't the least bit frightened. Isn't that interesting? This fact simply supports my idea that I chose to not be afraid in the airplane just as I chose to wallow in fear a couple of days before.
The moral of this story?
The first step in conquering our fears is to face them. Introduce yourself to your fear and then ask the fear what it has to teach you about yourself and about life. Only then can you make an informed choice of whether or not to embrace and stay in the fear to learn that lesson, or move on through it to learn a different one.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
I have been enjoying all the new year blogs and reading people's recaps of 2007 as well as plans for 2008. Reading these has caused me to reflect on my own 2007, but before I get into that I need to tie up the twelve days of Christmas...
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true loves gave to me, a coupon good for one evening of OP care so (my) Mister and I can go out for dinner and a movie, and an additional mixing bowl for my Kitchen Aid mixer. I have been wanting one of those for a couple of years because certain recipes call for mixing one thing and then another (like beating egg whites) and it is a pain to have to transfer things from one bowl to another and then back again to combine. All in all I think I took in a pretty good haul this Christmas season. Add that to all the love in my life and I can only say that I am blessed beyond measure.
2007 was a year of amazing inner changes for me. On the outside, I am at the same weight as a year ago (this is notable as it is further confirmation that my love affair with food is ended), My hair is just a tad shorter than a year ago when I started growing it out to donate it to locks of love, and my over all health continues to be great. I am doing the same job as a year ago, and continue to be married to the same great guy (for a third marriage I think I HAD to put in this plug). With all of these outward things being the same I am no where close to being the same person that rang in 2007.
I have always been perceived as a confident person, but over the year I have gained an even greater inner peace that translates into greater confidence about everything. For the past couple of years I have been "practicing" inner peace and letting go of worry. Now I feel like those things are simply a part of my thought process and I don't have to work at or fool myself into thinking they exist.
As far as inner growth is concerned, my running also continued to serve me well in 2007. A year ago I was celebrating a victory of being able to run three miles without stopping, within a month of major surgery. Somewhere in the dead of winter the plans for a full marathon took hold of my soul and by spring I was fully committed. Crossing that finish line this past October confirmed for me that there is nothing I cannot accomplish if I put my heart and soul into it. If something day to day is hard I only have to remember the feeling I had when I saw the mile 26 sign to shrug off my doubts and finish the task.
I am starting off 2008 with significantly less income than I was bringing in at the start of 2007. I keep telling myself that maybe I should be concerned about this, but I just can't manifest worry over it. We have been riding a seesaw of income for so many years now, and not once have our needs gone unmet. I know this time will be no different. In addition to having this confidence, I am just so happy and content with my life it is hard to go down a path of negative thinking. Sure the bank account might be low right now, but I have an abundance of the important things in life; love, laughter, and an extremely supportive husband. With these things firmly established in my life it is really hard to sweat the small stuff.
Having no concrete idea of where 2008 is going to lead me I am excited beyond measure. I know I have lessons to learn and changes to accomplish. The difference this year is I am only embracing the possibility and not trying to control the circumstances. Having been a control freak for many years this is probably the biggest change of 2007. I know without a doubt that six months from now my life is going to be very different from what it is today, and I couldn't articulate one thing that will be changed. Once upon a time this would cause me to start planning and grabbing hold of whatever I could. Now I am just going to sit back and enjoy the ride, confident that my journey is going to be the best one I have ever been on. With much joy and gratitude I can only say, "whatever it brings, 2008 is going to be great!"