Intention

Just got back from an impromptu shift at my part time job and I realized I didn’t write yesterday. To be honest I was pretty spent after work and just the entire week’s events in general. TGIF!!

So today I finally put some solid hours into my volunteer marketing project for the high school where I mentor. As a brief history, I met with the director of development and events coordinator 1.5 weeks ago and the parameters of the project as described by both parties included a “simple event program with biographies of the participants.” I was also told that the events coordinator would be providing all content to me; I even stopped by her office the following day to add files to my zip drive, which proved later to be incomplete because she did not have everything as promised. Now at present day after several exchanges via e-mail, I have had to hunt and peck for the remaining information, and also handed a new list of “wants” for the program. Did I mention this was volunteer??

My intention when I accepted this project was to get my foot in the door and have some face-to-face time with the administrators at the high school. It never occurred to me until now that I am also getting an idea of what it would be like to work with some of these people if I were to work there full time. (Imagine how many jobs you would have walked away from had you been a fly on the wall for just 10 minutes before accepting the offer?) Today when I received another e-mail from the events coordinator with a line that started with “I may have forgotten to tell you…” I had to smile. Regardless if they like the finished program or not, my intention has been fulfilled. I think I have had plenty of face time. πŸ™‚

(sigh.)

Longest 8 hours of my life. Well, I’m sure there have been other long days, but this was different in that I spent most of it worrying about my cats. Logically I knew that they would be fine. They were getting their teeth cleaned of all things! But the idea of them being put under, then recovering, and how scared they would be all alone…I could go on and on. Why do I worry? It certainly was not comforting to worry all day. And it didn’t change the outcome of their dental cleaning. I think somewhere deep down since I felt bad putting the cats through this stress, worrying about them was a way of making it up to them. Strange logic for sure since again, none of it changed the outcome.

I realize that I do this a lot. I can feel bad when others are feeling bad, as if I am absorbing part of their feeling bad. Am I too sensitive? Probably. Being aware of this is one thing but figuring out how to change it is another. An example would be when we were home for the holidays and my mom and brother were arguing over where we would be eating Christmas dinner. From the outside looking in, my sister and husband and brother-in-law and I were all in agreement that it doesn’t matter where we eat as long as we are all together. It wasn’t that simple of a solution though, as displayed for a good 48 hours by my mom who was beyond hurt and angry. To me, her feelings seemed to permeate the air. I could honestly feel her anger–physically and emotionally– despite my attempts to completely avoid the situation. So what could have I done differently?

Something my life coach said to me a while back: What if you just let that person have their feelings? huh. I was stunned. I had no words then, and today I struggle with this approach. There are many ways to respond, but for the example I have used with my mom I wasn’t letting her have her feelings because it was encroaching on MY good time at home and MY holiday. In other words, I was pissed she was pissed. (For my sister, “The shit was on the shit!”) If I were to go back in time and let my mom have her feelings, I am almost certain I would have stayed out late with my siblingsΒ  one night, or gone to a high school happy hour, and most importantly, the outcome would have been the same: we would eat dinner together as a family and mom would be okay and still love us.

As I finish writing this, my big orange cat is sprawled out on the couch next to me purring so loud that I can hardly hear myself type. Glad to see he has bounced back from the dental cleaning, and I can’t wait until I do the same! πŸ™‚

‘Twas a good day

Last night while we were eating an amazing homemade batch of beef stroganoff for dinner I had this sense that my husband and I had rounded a corner, so to speak, on the whole settling in to our new surroundings. It was a great feeling. Besides the obvious that it’s great to feel and be aware of “happy” in your life, it was a significant revelation because it came on an ordinary Sunday: It wasn’t a holiday; our favorite team had not won; no one got engaged or announced an expecting delivery. We both actually had to work for most of the day and this dinner was our first moment we had to sit down and chat. When I said what I was thinking out loud to him, he responded, “Totally.” πŸ˜‰

So what’s different now that wasn’t there before? Hard to say. I know he has gotten really great feedback from his job so far and that’s important for a dude. For me, I am slowly getting closer to what I would like to be doing and at the same time not feeling so much pressure to get there right away. The winter weather has been mild here with lots of sunshine. Holiday travels are over and we have put away our luggage for longer than two weeks. And I think most important of all, we’re on the same page about stuff. In his words, Totally.

πŸ™‚

Going to your happy place

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting my new dentist for a routine cleaning. Since I am a new patient they wanted me to arrive an hour early to go through the pre-cleaning examination. I should have been suspicious when I also had to download seven “new patient” forms to bring with me to the appointment. I get there and thankfully the dr sees me right away. He explains how he’s going to take a few pictures first–not x-rays, pictures–and then move on the soft tissue exam. Okaaayy…One blood pressure reading, three x-rays, and a lengthy discussion about a possible-but-he’s-not-even-sure tooth later, I am sent back to the waiting room until my cleaning. Yowsa.

Back in the chair the dental hygenist says she is going to scrape first which is standard procedure for any cleaning. I took a deep breath to relax and closed my eyes as the scraping began. 25 minutes into this 45 minute scraping my mouth was cramping and I was practically gagging on my own saliva. I had tried everything to go to my happy place: focusing on my breathing, thinking of my nieces and nephew, staring at the posters they hung on the ceiling, nothing worked. Anyway I looked it, this just plain sucked. By the time the cleaning was over I had been at the dentist for 2 hours and I had the worst headache. I got home, popped some Tylenol, and laid in the recliner with my orange cat to relax.

The whole experience makes me contemplate the saying “go to your happy place.” Yes, this method can work for most situations, but other times challenging circumstances are so in your face you just have to admit that things suck, and realize that it will soon be over. I guess it’s what people call acceptance. Perhaps accepting the awful dentist scraping first, and then going to my happy place, may have been a more productive tactic. The same can be said for the uncomfortableness of new surroundings. The sooner I accepted that I felt lost and confused here in this new space, the sooner I was able to comfort myself. I’d like to say that I will remember this the next time something comes up, but it seems as though I have been learning this lesson for a while. πŸ™‚