Monthly Archives: October 2018

Hidden silver linings

No cats were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

There’s not much these days that gets under my skin. For the most part, I take things in stride. I guess I’m learning — slowly — that things have a way of working out.

Remember this post from the other day? Remember how excited I was about that discovery? Well, lo and behold, today I noticed the Colored. Bars. ARE. GONE.

Now the problem came when I jumped to an erroneous conclusion. Someone suggested that I was working too fast (with not enough accuracy) and part of that conversation referenced the colored bars. And so the problem was then exacerbated when I took it personally. (Girl, see Agreement 2 of The Four Agreements.)

Once you jump to a conclusion and take things personally, it’s harder to “let it be.” Harder to say and mean, “perfect, what’s next?” Hard to remember “yes, and.”

As a matter of fact, the experience of jumping and taking creates an almost tangible thing that you have to carry around with you. What I was carrying was a black bag, possibly full of cats. The bag was moving an awful lot. Like someone was inside punching outward. Or the cats were trying to escape.

So now we have not only the jump to the conclusion and the taking it personally, we now also have this black bag requiring attention and physical presence to keep from dropping the jumping thing.

Finally, the official word comes back. No one knew the bars were gone and they had most likely disappeared during the most recent software update.

No one was targeting my speed. No one was trying to impact my work. NO ONE WAS EVEN THINKING ABOUT ME AT ALL!

And while I could immediately drop the erroneous conclusion and realize it wasn’t about me (AS PER USUAL!), the black bag remained for awhile as the cats slunk out one by one.

That silver lining though. When I decided they were targeting me (ludicrous, I know), I decided to switch out of super-efficient mode into more of an “ok, I will do it your way, precisely, to the letter.” I stopped doing all the little tricks I do to more efficiently and went back to the job exactly as it was designed.

I like being efficient, but I discovered after a few hours that my little tricks have been contributing to the stress of my job, something about which I have been worrying lately.

I love this work, but I don’t love what it does to me physically. Always feeling pressured, always revved up inside, skipping breaks, and allowing the adrenaline to be a raging river within.

When I simply gave up, simply submitted to doing it as designed, the stress went away. I’m looking forward to my next shift when I won’t have to juggle the black bag and can just calmly do the job without worrying about anything.

And who knows — maybe the colored bars will return at some point. Whether they do or don’t I’ll be fine. They were a fun little puzzle to solve on every item, and therefore were a pleasurable part of the day, but I learned that I will be fine without them.

“Yes” the bars are gone, “and” look what came out of that!



Privilege Malfunction Today


You know how it is … the people who set policy are not always very in touch with the people who have to carry it out. There’s probably even a name for the phenomenon. The disconnect occurs in government, schools, companies, anywhere there is an org chart.

Unfortunately, there are way too many times when the policy that is set is actually not possible to implement successfully. No matter how much the policy makers want it.

I do think I have lived in a state of some privilege not to have experienced this phenomenon much at all. I realize that there are people for whom this is a reality; people who cannot extricate themselves from difficult situations.

Now I’m almost always up for a challenge. I am energized by meeting and exceeding expectations. But when you have the responsibility but not the authority, that’s a recipe for disaster.

I may have recently been told about a metric I am to meet. As much as I would like to succeed, I am not the only person involved. Others must do their part in order for everyone to succeed. And for whatever reason, when all the puzzle pieces aren’t on the table, you can’t possibly finish the puzzle.

(Whew, I’m full of metaphors today.)

And I let this expectation get into my head today. For awhile. But ain’t no way that unrealistic expectation gets to steal my joy.

I’ll admit; I had to do some fancy footwork to shift my internal state. But I knew it was possible and I decided to focus on the possible rather than the impossible.

So like Rainer Maria Rilke said, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”



I love an Addict

I’m gonna wrap my heart

in thick, bright tape

lots and lots of it

to stop the pain of loving

this precious child whose

heart is broken.

im gonna wrap my brain

with brown paper and green string

to hide the worry that he won’t make it

that his love for altered states

will make it impossible

to live in a world of beauty

hidden under heartbreak.

No. Wait.

i will not turn off my life

my love, my thoughts, my dreams

i will hold on to believing

that he has what it takes

to beat this. To win.

to be the  beautiful person he is

beneath the lies and thief of addiction

my child.

my child.

my child.



Housekeeping 101


I’m always behind in my housecleaning. You know how it is. You complete one thing, and not only does it get busy right that second getting dirty again, but there are items EVERYWHERE that need to be cleaned, dusted, straightened, folded, put away, and trashed.

I decided that since it’s a reality that I always feel behind, maybe it would be helpful if I created a chart where I could simply note the date I last did a chore. It’s kind of the same idea as a to-do list, which I love to make and cross off items one by one.

One might think that a chart could contribute to self-judgment, and I suppose it could, but it’s not like I’m not already judging myself because I haven’t gotten to the … floor, windows, vacuuming, dusting, you name it. The chart actually soothes me as it shows me concrete evidence that these things ARE getting done. Maybe not as often as the Perfect Homemaker® might do it, but nobody likes her anyway.

Having the chart is motivation to me to do the tasks listed thereon. I have a chart in the bathroom, two in the kitchen, and one down the basement. Here’s an excerpt:


With the actual data there, I am FREE to decide to do something more often because I don’t have this nebulous free-floating anxiety about Not Being Caught Up.

Thanks, as always, for reading!