Thursday, August 20, 2009

A good thing...

I have found it difficult to write about the good things in my life as many self-help writers have suggested. But in the last few days lots of good things have happened, so maybe this is the place to write about them:
First, I found out that after all the years of teaching, I can now retire with a sufficient income! No more worrying about living in a cardboard box and sharing dog food with Stanley! What a relief this is!
Second. I have been surrounded recently by fabulous friends who are so much fun and are so helpful!
Third, i got my car fixed by the nicest man who is so organized and is (I think) very cheap and good.
And fourth, I went to a fast food restaurant and used the facilities before ordering. Some how, I caught my finger in a the door (?) and when I went to order, I realized I was bleeding. I ordered the iced tea and then was going to go look for a napkin. The young woman behind the counter came around as I was l looking for a napkin and brought me a bandaid, and even put it on me! I just was amazed at that small act of compassion!
and the band aid was blue!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Write a long list!

Now that I am home for the summer, I am inundated with many projects that I want to do, have to do, need to do and needed to do and have procrastinated about. So I am now using my own strategies in the Procrastinator's Lab to get them done. This week I am trying something Kelly Bliss (of the Plus Size Yellow told me about. She starts at the beginning of the week and writes everything down she hopes to accomplish on Monday. Then she gets them all done by Friday! Yes, it's a trick of the mind, but a good one!
I tried it last week and it did work. I know that I can't accomplish all the things on the list in one day, and it is liberating to know that I don't have to. I just need to write it all down and get it done within a reasonable time frame. I have always suspected that we Procrastinators were perfectionists and over achievers who tried to get too much done in too little time and then backed off in fear and trembling.
And as if that wasn't enough confirmation, here's the reading from the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost:2 Corinthians 8:11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

The willingness is there.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Call yourself

Sometimes when you get down, a call from a friend will totally cheer you up. But if you’re like me, I don’t usually call friends to ask them to call me back and cheer me up. So I decided one night to call my house phone from my cell phone and leave a message on the voice mail that was uplifting.
I call myself all the time mainly to remind me about some thing at home. But this time I called and told myself that this was a bad day—6 hours and that it was over and now I could start anew tomorrow. Sometimes I need to remind myself that this is not a chronic condition but a temporary one.
Now, when I am down I call myself and sometimes I disguise my voice to make it lower. Then I speak in Spanish and pretend to be Mario Cimarro and he tells me I am beautiful and that I deserve alegria mucho. And I feel better!

So! Call yourself!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Everything Book

I have a book I bought at a thrift store that I use for my everything book. It is a thick address book with indexed tabs. I started using it for my all purpose address book. Then I decided i needed a place to put reminders for events I "forget." For example, I was getting bad stomach aches and not remembering what to take for them (I know, I know! How I could I not remember?) So I put the remedy I used under S in the everything book. Then I put ideas for potlucks--I am clueless about what to bring to them---under P. Now I use the book for it all. Where to find the best turkey for sandwiches, it's all there! I love my every thing book!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

How to help yourself make a decision

This weekend I had to make a decision about 1. whether to confront someone about her controlling nature (that had impacted me) and 2. whether to take early retirement with a (less than) "golden handshake." 
So, I decided to email a friend with whom I could frontload the whole story regarding the controller and then launch into having her help me make a decision about the (not so) "golden handshake." I started to compose the email and got the story started and the whole thing became clear: Of course I wasn't going to confront the controller. And I was going to express my interest in the (more brass than) "golden handshake," while getting advice and figuring if I could make it as a retiree. Writing the email (or it could have been a letter) to an actual person was very helpful in putting all the information down in a narrative form, which can be better for some people than the old columns with positives and negatives. In this case there are lots of positives. The negatives are that I am afraid of living in a cardboard box. (But then I am afraid of that a lot!) And that negative carries a lot of weight! So, I like the idea of writing a friend an email or letter. Did I say that I sent it? No, I didn't send it. Once I could see where I was going with the decision, I stopped writing and sent it to myself instead. And there it was as I opened it: a clear explanation of my problem and my decision. 
The other thing I learned is that I can make what I call a decision-step. This is where I make a small step toward the final decision. This is very helpful when deciding to be fit. The first decision-step is to get a fitness video and watch it--carefully (and with chips, if necessary!)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Seeing into the Heart of Others

I come from a tradition of  being "religious" rather than spiritual. Although in my former life (read cult) we were admonished to be spiritual rather than religious, it was really the other way around. So when I gave up the old life, I pretty much rejected the idea of prayer as a way to solve problems or to relieve stress or to bless someone. My idea of prayer was  a shopping list of things I needed and that the Supreme Being would never supply, so why do it.
Last year I came across a person who was, in my opinion, the most evil person on the planet after all the terrorists and people like Hitler and Pol Pot. In a way I could forgive the terrorists since they were doing it for "religious" reasons. But I could not understand why this person (and I am not being coy when I don't reference the person. I think that person could sue me!) could be so mean and horrible and yes, essentially evil.  But I started a self help program designed by me that included praying for that person. What I said was, "God, you know how I feel. I ask you to do with (that person) what you will. It is in your hands." I also did yoga and meditation. I read from A Course in Miracles and made several altered books with themes that reflected how I was dealing with evil. In addition, I documented every time I saw this person and email the docs to my home computer. I printed them out and kept them in a notebook that became three inches thick. My point being that God will not help you if you don't document (or more conventionally, help yourself). All the documentation that was appropriate went to the union headquarters as well. God's angels come in human form. Then I was saved from the evil by transferring to another location.
I stopped praying about this person and prayed for the people "left behind" to suffer under the evilness.
Then YESTERDAY as I was going into the bathroom after doing  Altar Guild duties because the people who were supposed to forgot I got this look into this person's mind and heart that just stopped me in my tracks. I could see this person. I could understand this person. I could feel this person. And it wasn't evil that I felt but insecurity and fear and anger and a sense of misplaced entitlement and shame. There was a sense of heightened responsibility and accountability that meant that we, the workers were going to be the instruments for proving what a good and effective leader this person was. There was an intensity of drive and ambition based solely on the idea that this person would prove how good they were. And while it appeared that the proof would be on the backs of the workers, this person drove himself/herself harder than the workers. This person arrived early and stayed late, working sometimes 14 hours. And this person was constantly thinking how to improve the improvements--making no adjustment for the workers' confusion. There was just this huge, enormous, gigantic feeling of lack and insecurity and fear, fear, fear. Fear of being fired. Fear of being made fun of. Fear of being rejected. Fear of being humiliated. Fear of being considered stupid. Fear--Complete and total. And the fear was driving this person and giving back pain so hard and sharp and deep and heavy that I had to sit down. 
And now what do I do with this? I prayed for God to do something with this person and that was his business not mine. But now, I see that I must pray for this person. Now I see that my next step is to pray for this person who I thought was evil. In my never ending world of "What's in it for Me?" I wonder what God will do with that. Right now I do not ever want to be friends with this person--but with God, it's never say never. 
And I learned that prayer does help. Not in the way you expect. 
Now let's see if hanging St. Anthony of Padua upside down is going to do anything!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Help Yourself!

I am starting to think about the ways we often want to improve ourselves and how we invest in so many things only to fail. The answers are in us! We are going to make our own self help book and figure out how to really help ourselves with all our own resources! Let's do it!