Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ch-ch-changes... (my apologies to David Bowie)

One thing that can be expected is change. Daily, sometimes even hourly change.

Today I moved into my new office, and by all rights should love it. However, I was kind of content in my smaller office with the view of the capital bridge. Now I look out on the KY History Center, and can see some pretty tall hills beyond. Lots more room, lots more like. Kind of the corner office with a view, if I lived in the corporate world.

There is a part of me though that asks the jaded questions.
First, someone else had to be moved out for me to have this space.
Second, I had finally adjusted all the vents in the old office to just the right angles to provide me with my subzero air conditioning I love so much.
And I was in a rut.
I like ruts.
Not unlike a hog, but that is the topic of another post.

I have hired a RN as an assistant now. She is already stepping up and taking on some work so I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I am giving her the old office - but I will adjust the vents as she is normal and does not like to be kept at cool 62 degrees at all times like I do. This is going to give me some time back. I might even get a day off occasionally. I might get to see what things called "weekends" are that other people talk about.

However, this may also give me time to look at the other things in my life that are not working.

The upside to being a workaholic is that I don't have to look at the rest of the mess called my life.

Today someone made the comment to me that "it is lonely at the top." I never see myself as at the top. Sure, I am the boss at the place where I work, only answering to the owners (who are a couple of counties away, trust my judgement and back me on almost everything). But because I have been so immersed in this work thing, feeling compelled because I have a family to support and my income has been the one to pay the bills for so long, it feels like the bottom. Of a shoe, or a doormat.

It's all about perspective, I suppose.

This, too, shall change.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


In All-Anon it is said that expectations are premeditated resentments. I am learning this over and over again, and it is a bitter lesson.

Yesterday was my 7th wedding anniversary. I had kept my expectations low. All I really planned was us going to lunch together about a block away from the house. I left open the possibility of going to an early (matinee) movie, because I am low on money. I know that if we were to actually do anything for our anniversary, I would have to be the one to pay for it, because July 3 marks an entire year since he has had any kind of job.

So I moved heaven and earth and had to come up with plans and contingency plans and arrangements out the whazoo to be able to take the afternoon off of work.

I came home to pick him up to go to lunch, and he says he is not hungry, not interested in going to lunch, and not going anywhere. Of course, the 6 year old hears me mention lunch and so she wakes up - yes, he had her sleeping until noon - and I end up taking my 6 year old to our anniversary plans instead of my husband. At lunch I am so resentful and angry, because in my mind he is getting another day of puttering around the house, and now he doesn't even have to be bothered with his own kid.

Then I realize, that was my expectation. And my marriage does not work for me because of my expectations.

I expect my husband to honor basic plans with me like I see other couples do.

I expect my husband to work a job, like I see other husbands do.

I expect to see him apply for a job or look for work in some tangible way. I do not accept that he is "looking for work online," when he won't answer any calls on his phone. I expect someone who is looking for work would use their phone number and accept calls as a call might be a potential employer or job interview.

I expect my husband to fulfill some sort of fatherly role in supporting his child.

I expect him to try to financially support himself in some way.

I expect to have some sort of relationship.

So after lunch, instead of going home and sitting in my room, I got in my car and drove. I took Tara, the 6 year old, with me, as I didn't want to be alone and she is really the only one in the household who wants to be with me even when I don't have much money. We drove and checked out a bookstore cafe about 40 miles from my house a couple of counties away. We walked through the historic downtown there and I watched her enjoy herself. About halfway through the day the husband sends me a text message that says "Don't go back to work." I stayed out with my daughter and had a decent time. I talked to complete strangers at the cafe, and everyone was very nice.

When I got home I went to bed. About 3 hours later the husband stated he would go to supper with me. At this point I was thinking that I could afford lunch, not supper, and that is why I suggested it instead. But we went to a Mexican meal. At the meal he told me he did not know why I was so stressed out about work. I stated that I take my job seriously. He stated he did not know, if I am working a program, "why [I] let people live rent free in [my] head."

I wanted to say :"The same reason why I have let you live rent free in my home for the last year, and for most of the last 7 years, even when you had a job and should have paid some rent."

I said instead - and he interrupted me before I could get it out the first time, but I interrupted him and firmly made my point: "I am not going to listen to any criticism of what I am doing or what program I am working, because I am at least making an effort and doing something, from someone who is not."

We had planned on going to a movie as well. It stared raining pretty heavily during supper and I realized I had no desire to force any more type of facade from this day. I had been disappointed by this situation for far too long already. The day was a wash. And I could not afford, after paying for a lunch that he would not attend, and then supper, to pay for a movie with all the drinks and popcorn then. So we went back home, and I went back to bed.

So I have realized two things from this day:

1. Anything I expect from another human being on this planet most likely will not happen. I cannot ask or trust anyone to do anything I want or need them to do.

2. Others expect far too much of me. If I were to not fulfill their expectations even a small percentage of the time - much as they continue to not fulfill mine - they could probably learn to do for themselves, just as I have. The people at work could probably do their jobs or get fired. The adults in my household would have to work and support themselves or they would be homeless. The children would be less spoiled.

As far as the future? I expect God is working it out, loud and clear.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A weekend almost free

This weekend I actually got a Saturday off! After I recovered from the shock, Tara and I went to Lexington, got haircuts, Orange Leaf yogurt and then went to Joseph-Beth Booksellers and Whole Foods. We then came home and then I went out on the town with St Timothy of the Internest. St Timothy and I walked around downtown, and I was reminded of why I like living in this town. I appeared that I had missed the concert at Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe by a night, but there was a really awesome outdoor show happening down the street at the Cornerstone Art and Event Center. It was the Blues on Broadway show of The Paul Childers Band. I, of course, had the trusty iPhone in tow, and took two short videos more to capture the sound rather than the visual....

After a bit of eavesdropping we walked to the The Dragon Pub, where a DJ was spinning Top 40 songs that reminded me of going dancing in gay bars in the 90s. So we took off, went and got the kids a pizza and went home and crashed.

Since I got over 5 hours of sleep, I woke up this morning with a migraine from hell. I napped off and on this morning, trying to "sleep off" the headache, but gave up around noon, when the goofy work phone calls started. I took work calls and did computer stuff to help the calling clueless until about 9PM, when I decided that, in lieu of migraine medicine I would down some Midol and attempt to clean my bedroom. I got about 75% of it picked up and I feel much better with the room cleared a bit. I appears that I was listening to Hay House Radio and one of the solutions that was discussed for someone else - but sounded like good sense - was to clear out our physical spaces to get our minds together.

So the headache still clings but just barely. And I am still in shock because I got 24 hours of a break!!!!! I could so go for this.

I have been congratulating myself repeatedly in petitioning and getting to hire some help at work. I am looking forward to hopefully some more realistic work weeks - less than 100 hours per week anyway - and some balance back in my world....

The whole universe is as it should be.

Finally decided that my life was too short to try to force myself to read really bad novels. I have finally given up on Angelology by Danielle Trussoni. It still lies splayed face down on the bed next to me. Yet I cannot make myself read any further; it's that bad.

So what am I reading instead? Well, The Celestine Prophecy, Doreen Virtue's The Angel Therapy Handbook, and I am saving the latest Charlene Harris for a guilty pleasure treat. I have been having far too few of those, and definitely need to look for no calorie treats at this point....

Friday, June 10, 2011

Time, distilled.

I am spending the weekend sitting with a sick friend in the hospital, so it appears that time is going to slow down for me. I hope to get some writing done - most of it will unfortunately be work-related - and some reading done as well. I brought that damn Angelology novel, hoping being in an enclosed place and not able to leave, that I will be able to finish it. If this doesn't do it, it is definitely getting pitched. I'll at least get to do a blog or two, catch up on reading all the blogs that I love but have not had a chance to read in months, and maybe even get some catnaps in. I don't sleep well in anything but darkness so this may not be the best sleep. But I am so exhausted it will be what it will be.

At any rate, it has been an eventful week. Lots of work. Lots of just dropping into bed exhausted. Lots of being so tired that I have not bothered to always be kind. This disappoints me, as I was re-energized and re-purposed after attending the Step Workshop last weekend. I had asked that my character defects be taken from me, but alas, I took them right back. I suck like that.

One of my character defects is anger. Nasty, bitchy, raw and bitter anger. The white lightning, white hot, red hot, flaming kind of fury that will visit wrath in its path. I have the typical Irish temper, with some hot sauce thrown in. It costs me more than it costs anyone else. It makes me feel all indignant and righteous for a split second, and then I feel like shit. I feel like tucking my tail between my legs and not facing anyone because of my bad behavior. Because that's what it is. Bad behavior. A perfect example, today. I had a staff meeting and I looked out into their bland, blank faces, and I acted like an ass. I yelled at them. I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. But it was damn mean. And for that I apologize. To you, dear reader. But not to them. My amends will come, and they will come soon.

Another character defect I have is self-centeredness. I can't shut up about myself. This is most disturbing whenever someone tries to have a conversation with me and I hear myself use the word "I." The blog is where I will have to dump my navel-gazing musings. Sorry, dear reader. But the rest of the world thanks you. It's almost as if in the process of acquiring the practically useless Masters degree in counseling and hearing about relating to others, my verbal diarrhea-ic mouth took over. Boring stories suck. And unfortunately, I am full of them.

Yet another character defect I have is indecisiveness. I see this everywhere in my life: my inability to decide what I want to be when I grow up, my inability to make a decision about my marriage, my family, raising my children, or what have you... basically all of it. However, this character defect is being helped by my choosing to let go and let g*d/Higher Power take some of the freneticism away. Praying for guidance, that whole bit. Still it would be nice to have a sense of certainty about something.

I am sure of one thing. I am sure I love my daughters. They are very unique, beautiful people, and I wish I could see them every day, and spend time with them. Working as many hours as I do, and working every day as I do, I don't get to spend time with them like other parents. I hear other mothers talk about spending time with their children, days even, and I am at a loss. I see my children for minutes, maybe an hour a day, and in the next few days it appears that I will not be seeing them at all. Tim has said he will bring Tara by for a few minutes for the next few days, and I am grateful for that.

Last character defect - well, the last one I am going to talk about it this post - is my forgetfulness about gratitude. So I close with a list:

I am grateful for:
1. My daughters
2. I have a place to live
3. I have a job
4. Some people have helped me alot this week
5. My Al-Anon program
6. My Al-Anon friends
7. My cell phone that I can use to ask for help when I need it
8. My health
9. My dog
10. The people who have helped me this week

Time in a bottle

If I could save time in a bottle, I would put it on a high shelf and keep it away from my staff and everyone else on the planet with the exception of my children and my friends.

The unfortunate problem is that I don't even have time to write a blog entry, as I have 5 people in my office talking to me all at once.... maybe I will get a chance to try again this weekend.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

June, Writing, the Will of a Higher Power

Welcome to the lovely, hot month of June. Already this summer is proving to be a hot one as we look at our first full week of 90+ degree days here in the capital city. And last night I came home in the 92 degree heat to a house that was 88 degrees. Yep, the air conditioning has died for the second time this summer. Good times.

Prior to the air conditioning fiasco, I had spent the better part of the day at an Al-Anon 12 Step Workshop. It is one of those rubber meets the road opportunities for those of us who know that the spiritual solution to living with those who have addictions lies in the Steps themselves. The same Steps that addicts and alcoholics have to work if they are to be able to survive with their disease.

I have worked the Steps before. I worked them with the help of two sponsors and a group of Al-Anons - some of them black-belt Al-Anons. But this time it was different. For one, I was there with a group of about 20 who were working the Steps themselves. And we were being led to take the Steps by a person with 30 days in his program. And just from talking to him, I think his program was not the kind, gentle kind, but the kind that truly knows that the Steps are the Steps to survival - failure to work and take the Steps is just a choice to die with the disease.

See, in Al-Anon, we are not addicted to alcohol. We are just enmeshed, intertwined, and mired down into the life of an alcoholic to the point that it hijacks our own lives and experiences and takes us to an ugly, desperate, evil, frantic, obsessing, miserable, dank, dark, deadly place. And drops us off. Without cab fare.

We fool ourselves and say that we are the ones who have to hold the family, the household, the household budget, and the alcoholic/addict together. When in reality, all it does is tear us down and apart.

Deconstruction at its most efficient.

And so, with the same Steps that the alcoholic/addict has available to him/her to see a glimmer of light, we can claw ourselves out.

It is clawing, because it is a fight for survival, the same as it is for the alcoholic.

I am drifting off into a place I want to do a separate blog post about....

Yesterday, one of the exercises was to do a free writing exercise after a meditation/prayer opening of asking for your God's/Higher Power's will. We wrote whatever came into our minds for five minutes. At the end of the exercise I could no longer read my own handwriting - carpal tunnel be damned. Then we read out loud the phrases that we had written. This part was so we could know if someone else had a thought that could be meant for, or used by us.

Knowing me, you know that I loved this exercise. I have been doing freewriting since I started educating myself in the craft of writing at the age 17 by reading Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones.And of course, being a fan/student of Doreen Virtue, I *knew* that someone else had gotten a thought I could use.

My own knockout: "Live not in fear."

The line I got from someone else: "Writing is what makes me sane."

So without further ado, I knew immediately at least some of my Higher Power's will.

I have made it thus far. WIth my current health and lifestyle, I've probably made it at least 60-75% of my current travail here on this planet. And so there's really nothing I have to fear or dread. Or as one of my friends says, "What are they going to do? Eat me?"

And there is a message out there waiting for me. For all I know, there is a message hiding in that miasma of a synapse between my brain and finger for someone else.

Writing keeps me sane.

So that's what I'm going to do.