Happiness Is The Truth
Drum roll, please… Happiness. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen; happiness makes me most anxious. I bet you didn’t see that coming.
Whenever things are going well, I’m not talking about perfection but about having a good day. There is a spot in my mind that doesn’t trust it.
My life now has been the easiest it’s been in a very long time. I’m living with the man I love in a beautiful home in an area surrounded by the best nature has to offer. My children are settled, I have the cutest, most intelligent, happiest granddaughter on the planet, my job is fascinating, and my co-workers are now friends, and yet I find myself waiting for the shoe to drop.
I’ve researched and know that this thought process comes from my childhood. Doesn’t everything? I don’t blame my parents. Lord knows they did the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time. Neither one had an example of parenting, so we were experiments. They were much better at grandparenting.
When you know better, you do better, and hopefully, I did that with my children, and so on, until the cycle is broken.
Now, back to that old shoe about to drop. I learned that this feeling results from a confusion between approval and love and worth, which sounds right. Literally the story of my life.
Recently, actually yesterday, I was discussing my sudden sense of fear with a friend. We concluded that I have spent most of my adult life being superhuman in one way or another. Whether it was in my role at work or in my family. Always the dependable helper who would lay across a railroad track to shine for 2 seconds. Exhausting, right?
Having someone in your life who just gets it is so refreshing.
Fast forward to the present, where none of those needs exist. Oh, yea, it can rock your world. For the first time, probably since I left the womb, I don’t have the need to prove anything to anyone except myself. It’s the equivalent of landing in a foreign country without a translator.
I aim to accept that I am worthy of good things and that happiness should never make me feel like I’m about to lose my shit. Happiness is the truth!
Enjoy the Ride!
Well, now, this certainly has a different answer than other decades of my life. My response is Whole Foods. Oh, you think Saks 5th Avenue is expensive? Please, designer shoes have nothing on eggs these days. Am I wrong?
My first investment would be a freezer chest to store my stash, then it’s off to the fish, meat, and poultry section like my life depended on it, handing the butchers my list of demands, which would be simple and to the point, “Give me everything you have, hold the feet and anything that still has eyes.“
Next up, produce. I love me some fresh Whole Foods produce. Fruits, veggies, nuts, dried fruit, candy from that excellent bulk section nearby, and some pressed juices. This is equivalent to robbing a jewelry store.
While heading over to grab a large snowstorm survival kit, a/k/a milk bread, and eggs, I’m going to get some coffee, tea, vitamins, and maybe even a pair of those outrageously priced random socks handmade by a group of women somewhere in the world, who now are running a corporation from their hut, as indicated on the packaging. That backstory grabs the heartstrings, but not on my dime.
The middle section is somewhat affordable, so I’ll pass and head over to the frozen section. Come on, I’m not that greedy. More veggies, some prepared frozen lasagne, and of course, ice cream; that’s for the hubby, who is addicted. Maybe I should grab him some funky beers from the spirits section too?
Looks like I’m ready to checkout, just in time to grab some of those fantastic sales that constantly taunt me at the register, some gift cards, and let’s not forget the 14.99 magazines. Oh yes, I damn near fainted. When did that happen? I must really be out of the loop.
I’ll undoubtedly have one of two types of cashiers. The friendly, tattooed twenty-something who is only there for the discount while they pursue their passion after clocking out or the retired sixty-something, also there for the deals, who is still a twenty-something at heart. I think it’s the discount that makes them so happy.
Now that my bags are perfectly packed, I hand the cashier a gift card and hope the new freezer can handle the load.
Enjoy the Ride!
The Pain of a Pleasantry
How are you? It seems easy enough, but it’s a farce. I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t answer honestly. My automatic response is, “good, how about you?” Lies, all lies.
Over the years, I’ve learned that this can be a loaded question, especially sitting at the front desk at a doctor’s office. The elder community can be real comedians when they’re hit with this question; responding with “well, I’m vertical” or “how much time do you have?” without missing a beat always made me laugh, so I guess it has some good qualities. Take your show on the road, folks.
It comes down to the fact that this question is nothing more than a pleasantry. If we all answered it honestly, nothing would ever get done. The world would be one extensive therapy session after another. There aren’t enough sofas to handle that.
I take this question to another level, especially from someone I genuinely care about. The world’s weight could be on my shoulders, but I’ll never burden them with the truth. “I’m fine” is my go-to response because it’s easier than reality. Child trauma in the house.
I’ve learned that this is a conditioned reaction, and I’ve been trying to unlearn it over the years, but some situations arise where clamming up is more comforting than spilling my guts. Ironically, those closest to me know when I’m a clam, so I’m not even good at it; I just think I am. I’m such a Pisces.
Breaking these dysfunctional habits is a process and a long, complicated one at that. As always, recognizing the problem is the first step. Next is the unlearning process.
One of my favorite quotes on this subject comes from the book “The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse” by Charles Mackesy.
I wonder if there is a school of unlearning?
Recently, I took an accelerated course in unlearning. Have you heard of it? Oh, it’s crazy, and the class comes to you at the most inappropriate time. I was driving on a busy highway to see my granddaughter. My sister called, and I suddenly thought I was dying while we talked via Bluetooth. Oh, yeah, it’s called accelerated for a reason.
I pulled over and listened to my sister recite breathing instructions, prayers, and pearls of wisdom for almost 2 hours before my son arrived.
So, back to our original programming. The reason I hate to be asked, “How are you?” It’s a trigger. Yep, three little words sure know how to pack a punch. While I get back to doing my best to openly communicate my emotions without the fear of judgment or criticism, please, take the time to Enjoy the Ride!
What A Way To Make A Livin
Yes, yes, I do, and as a matter of fact, I’ve always enjoyed my jobs. Let me explain.
My first job as a teenager was at a linen store. This store only sold curtains, bedding, and towels. I know it sounds crazy since you’re able to buy eggs and sheets in the same building today, but there was a time when that was unacceptable.
At 15 years old, I didn’t know a damn thing about curtains other than they went on windows, but I worked with Mary, an older woman, who taught me everything I needed to know, and Shannon, who was a little older than me with hair like Marsha Brady. It was a win/win job, and I enjoyed it.
My real-world job started 3 days after I graduated from High School. I went from a classroom of all girls my age to an office where ages ranged from 18 to senior citizens.
I learned so much in my 7 years there; most had nothing to do with the job. This is where I learned about life. It was sort of like going to college but without grades and tuition.
Working there led me to a grand opportunity at a law firm. Oh, how I loved working in that environment! It was challenging and intense at times, but it is where I met a group of people who encouraged me to grow in many different directions, many of whom I’m still friends with today.
While working there, I got married and started a family. It was clear early on that I would not be able to be at the beck and call of this office and raise my children, so I left to take the position of a Domestic Engineer, a/k/a a stay-at-home mom of two under two.
Lord knows being at an office daily would be easier, and the big fat paycheck would be the icing on the cake, but in my heart, I knew that working for those two adorable tyrants would be worth it in the long run.
Now I’m at the point where my job will not make or break me. It’s something to keep me occupied until I hit retirement age. It’s interesting. It’s a mix of ages, which I love. It’s 6 minutes from my house, and I get paid to be there 5 hours a day, 4 days a week, which allows me plenty of freedom. It’s hard not to enjoy this gig.
I’ve learned from the young people in my life that they think about work in another light. If they’re not enjoying their job, they’re not hanging around to determine if it will change. They are out the door without batting an eye, which is much different from my generational thinking. Who knew you could just leave?
Enjoy the Ride!
I Say Goodbye, You Say Hello
Hmm, well, this is an unfortunately easy one for me to answer.
I said goodbye to my mom on 12/4/2020. Correction, 12/2, 12/3, and 12/4. I didn’t get the memo that death isn’t quick and peaceful like in the movies. You heard it here; it’s NOT.
On 12/2, I sat on a loveseat in my family room, watching my mother “sleep” in her bed. I talked about our good times together, especially our vacations at the shore with my kids and how much fun we had shell hunting and playing in the sand. I thanked her for being such a good mom for so long.
On 12/3, while sitting on that same loveseat, mom seemed very agitated, not peaceful. At one point, she screamed, “MOM, MOM!” with desperation so loud my daughter flew down the steps thinking it was me screaming. This was shocking because my mother was an orphan who had never seen so much as a photo of her own mother. It took us a minute to absorb what had just happened, and without saying a word, I returned to staring at the person I loved the longest, and my daughter returned to her work.
Have you ever cried so much you started wondering how many tears a human being has in their body? This was the theme of day 3. At 4:00 p.m. on 12/4/202, the tears of sorrow were replaced with relief for my mother and me.
In hindsight, I recognize that all the circumstances leading up to that goodbye happened for my benefit. However, the longevity of her life filled those final days with all sorts of emotions. As I was saying goodbye to a mother, I was fortunate enough to have, for 50-plus years, my mother had to leave this world at 94 to say hello to hers.
Enjoy the Ride!
I’m not sure this will be the “biggest,” but it’s something I find challenging.
Remember the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray living each day in a time loop? Well, that’s my challenge for the next six months and forever. Breaking free from the loop.
Every day I wake up grateful for my day. I pray and ask for protection, peace of mind, and mercy to get me through. I ask that this day be a better day than the one before it, and then it begins.
Challenges approach like Ninja’s to assist in my growth. Let’s just say some days are much better than others. But isn’t that what it’s all about? Learning, changing, and growing into the best versions of ourselves.
Relearning. Restricting. Pausing. These three know how to keep a girl on her toes. Sometimes I’m successful; other days, I feel like I’ve fought a war.
So, I will continue this journey to elevate my consciousness over the next six months. The challenge will be recognizing that the challenges I face along the way are coming from a place of lack, fear, and doubt, and I will need to pause before reacting with my comfortable reactive responses.
Enjoy the Ride!
Those Boots Were Made For Walking
After landing a job I never believed would be within my reach, I purchased a costly pair of short black boots made from the softest leather I had ever felt. Have you ever felt like Cinderella? Because that’s exactly how I felt when I slipped into those boots. Of course, they took me from point A to point B over time, but where they led me was a place I hadn’t recognized; my authentic self. They restored some of the self-worth I lost in a bad marriage and carried me to a new chapter in my life. Looking back at that price tag, they were worth every penny.
Morning Dawdler #16
Here is Rory’s latest set of questions:
Who do you think you might be in an alternate universe?
Everything fear prevented me from being while I was in this universe. The sky would be the limit!
What would be the most surreal situation you could imagine finding yourself in?
Going viral in a way that would bring joy to an enormous amount of people. I enjoy watching viral videos of babies, animals, and unsuspecting musical artists.
You have five minutes for a Supermarket Dash in the FoodHall – what will you fill your trolley/shopping cart with?
Everything organic that I could freeze to last.
You have 60 minutes to hide 50 million in hard currency [Notes] in your house – where would you put the money/cash – to avoid detection?
Now, wait a minute, what if I do win? You and everyone else will know where to look. Sounds like the plan of a Mastermind to me. Well played, Rory; well played indeed.
Enjoy the Ride!
Growth ans Fireflies
My sister is in the process of moving, most likely a plane ride away. Over the past two years, we’ve endlessly talked about her plans while I was processing my own.
A lot of significant changes were on the table. Relationship status, home sales, employment, and aging into a new decade.
Along the way, there were ups and downs, and all around with it, but in the end, everything fell into place as intended.
Now that we’re in the final stretch, the reality of getting on a plane to visit is sinking in on my end.
At 15 months apart, we were raised like twins dressing alike and doing everything together until our teenage years when we had different circles. As we grew into ourselves, we were back together again, having our children together and, most recently, becoming grandmothers.
We’ve been so busy cheering each other on that I haven’t thought about the enormity of this potential distance apart. Yes, I’m happy, proud, and excited about her future ventures, but suddenly I feel nostalgic about what was.
These feelings showed up in my dream last night. I dreamt I was approached by someone requesting I write a passage for their book. It was based on a missing woman, and I was to write it as if I knew the character when we were children. This is how it went.
We were two little girls with big imaginations playing in the basement of our rowhome. We always had each other, never needing outside playmates. As the younger of the duo, I would pretend to be a mother of 4 at the tender age of 9, providing our dolls with the nurturing they deserved. At the same time, my sister, who loved school, bypassed the teacher and went directly to playing a principal, making policy changes, and firing the Barbie and Dawn doll staff members.
On hot Summer nights, fresh from the bath and dressed in matching babydoll pajamas, we would grab our Maxwell House coffee cans with holes punched in the lids to catch fireflies in our yard. We went as far as adding grass to eat while they were being held captive, then, after counting our inventory, we let them go before heading to bed.
I woke up with mixed emotions as I wrote everything down not to forget a signal detail. It shook me on some level. The passages were vivid, and the memories were something I hadn’t thought about in decades. Why now?
Laying in bed, eyes wide open, I thought about those two little girls in the basement. Those roles now look more like survivor skills. Me providing the nurturing, I hungered while my sister did her best to gain control that was nowhere to be found in our house, both happening as we were still playful little girls catching fireflies.
Like us, our parents did the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time. I’m grateful for the consciousness to recognize this for what it is without casting blame on myself or my parents.
Now, off to work where things won’t be so deep ❤
Enjoy the Ride!
Has a Book Changed Your Life?
This question comes via the WordPress Bloganuary challenge for January 10th.
I’m just a day late and a dollar short, but I’m here now.
I’ve read many books, but to be honest, I read to be entertained. If it contains sex, scandal, or humor, I’m hooked, and I occasionally come across a biography or memoir that, if juicy enough, will grab me.
However, one book that is a constant in my home is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. A pearl of wisdom if there ever was one.
It changed the way I think and act in my daily life. Not every day, but I do my best.
It’s a reminder that life can be simple, but like anything else, you must be willing to do the work. Hence the fact that this book sits on a table in clear view. Too bad it doesn’t scream because I’ll admit, I don’t always look in that direction.
Enjoy the Ride!
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