Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Inevitable Gratitude Post. No Barfing.

Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself
and know that everything in this life has a purpose.
There are no mistakes, no coincidences,
all events are blessings given to us to learn from.

~ Elizabeth K├╝bler-Ross

Yeah. What she said.

As I deal with my current "blessings" I wish countless others on you, my friends. Not the "learning experience" kind I'm going through, but the kind that bring you true joy and happiness.

My current gratitude list:

  • My daughters - significant of all things hopeful in my life

  • My Sue - my angel

  • My dogs - my familiars - the source of all unconditional love

  • My friends - thank you for being here

  • My health

  • My education and qualifications and certifications, aka all the framed docs on "The Ego Wall" (thank gawd I got that done)

  • Forgiveness, in general

  • Colorful paperclips

  • My Krusty the Klown pen that screams supportive happy thoughts at about 20 gazillion db (thanks Cornelius)

  • Elvis Presley, Katy Perry, Brandy Carlile, Mozart, Pavarotti, Journey, The Who, ACDC, Seether, Miranda Lambert, Pink, the chicks and everything else I've cranked up to deal

  • My magic 8 ball - for all those big life decisions

From the bottom of my heart...Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Internal Joy, aka the Positive Mental Attitude

Typically, extraordinarily happy people make me fantasize about performing violent acts. I'm talking about the kind with one emotion, crazy happy, bubble headed dorks who are just always...happy. The kind that are borderline insane, and they always have a ridiculous smile on their faces.

You just know they're not really that happy, all the damn time. There has to be some psychosis there, just under the surface.

Lately, as I don my "management mask" for work, I've had the fake happy. The kind you have to portray to your coworkers and subordinates when you're supposed to pretend like everything's okay, because attitude is everything and there's no "I" in "team" and every other crappy team building slogan you've ever been forced to memorize. You know...the McCain kind of smile. The kind that looks like it just has to hurt. The kind of smile that makes a little crackle noise, because it took every muscle in your face straining at full capacity to make it happen. It has somewhat resembled the psycho happy, just not as ridiculous.

This weekend I became fully aware of internal joy. Not mine (yet), but someone elses. I've known this woman - we'll call her Monica - for years, and always been aware of her positive attitude, but observing her Saturday drove it all home.

I volunteered to proctor a certification exam this weekend. I'd done it in shorter stints before, and if you've never proctored a four and a half hour exam before I can describe it to you pretty easily: Four and one half hours of the equivalent to watching paint dry or grass grow. Part of the duties of the proctor include watching examinees to ensure that they don't attempt any mischief. (I added the duties to seem less stalkerish - I don't just stare at people.) I suffer from ADHD, so by the time it was over I was ready to run around the parking lot a few times and take the building down block by block, but I digress...

Monica took the exam this weekend. Monica is always positive, supportive and nurturing. She very rarely complains, and she always tries to find the good in any situation. She's what I aspire to be in the emotional health spectrum.

I watched her take the exam this weekend, and do you know that during times of such concentration and frustration, computing accounting equations, she still smiled and had a calm and peaceful demeanor? Her calculator stopped working mid-exam, and she STILL maintained that inner peace.

In the recent past, I described my current work situation to her, and she helped me to see how the huge positives outweighed the one negative by quoting one of Covey's messages in Seven Habits.

I want to be that. I want to be wise and serene and peaceful. I want my current situations to have less of a negative impact on my behavior and demeanor than they do now. I don't want to be Snatchy McGrouchypants, and I'm tired of allowing others' actions dictate my mood.

Is that a superpower, or is that Prozac? Can someone fill me in?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Forever the optimist...

Y'all know how I roll. I try to find the good in every situation or experience (shaddap. I do try to, I'm just not always successful).

So the current hell I find myself in has some wonderful points:

1) I no longer am hiding anything from the people closest to me. Well almost all of those people, anyway.

There is no longer a giant stinky glowing laughing skeleton in my closet, and that big monkey on my back?

2) I have discovered who I can (and cannot) count on when hell arrives on my doorstep and makes itself comfy.

I had an e-mail from my beautiful wonderful sister-in-law (brother's wife) that
made me cry happy tears last night. The best line in that e-mail that I'll remember for the rest of my life..."...and you are OUR family". That's just a smidge of the support that's been pouring in from people that I know (now) that care about me. Its nice to have that reaffirmed, I just wish it didn't take a crisis to remember that people love me. I should just know and I'm the stupid one for not knowing.

3) I can find pleasure in simple things.

Like the way my lil dog snuggles up next to me, lays his head in my lap and looks at me as if to say "its all good mama". Or the incredible kindness and helpfulness that comes from my oldest. Or the way my youngest gives the best neck hugs, or her crazy laugh. Or that end of the day purge ritual with Sue that just makes everything okay. Or just how amazingly blue the sky is today...

4.) I now understand that the only thing constant is this world is change, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

One simply must not take anything at all in this world for granted. When you become attached to something is exactly the point in time when the universe decides you need to become detached from it. So my job is not secure. No one's is right now. This is my opportunity. I could find something with more security that provides more professional growth. Companies are always going to need people to count their money. Until we switch back to bartering, I think I'm good. I have been at the rock bottom - on welfare, on food stamps, starving - and I've made it out. I can do this. I can handle it. Change is good.

Change is good.

5.) I know now that settling is for wusses.

I deserve every happiness. I deserve to be cherished and loved enough to be told the truth. I deserve to be with someone that wants to be with me. I deserve companionship and honesty and love. I don't have to put anyone (except my kids) before my own personal comfort and well-being unless I choose to.

6.) I know that everything's going to be fine.

I came out of my last two hells (1994 and 2002) stronger, better, happier and more confident. This is the dawn of a new era. A housecleaning, so to speak. I'll be stronger, better, happier and more confident on the other side. Best of all, I'm finally being true to myself. Its a good feeling.

Doesn't mean I'm not scared to death, though.

7.) My kids are more mature than I ever realized.

They're also happiest when I'm happy too. I was scared and hesitating and it was totally unnecessary. They never cease to amaze me. They are hands-down the two best humans on this earth. Its unconditional love, and it never waivers. They're awesome.

8.) There's two catalysts out there responsible for the biggest changes in my life.

One, I'd like to strangle and/or flying bitch slap (when a regular one just won't do) for a complete lack of judgement and otherwise selfish behavior. The other I thank the gods for every single day. The single brightest light happiest ending best story ever, and it makes everything else worth while. Thank you Cornelius for being that light at the end of my very dim tunnel.

9.) I have met the COOLEST people during this process.

Those who have been there/done that, those who have opened their hearts and shared their stories with me, and those who have just quietly supported me by just their presence. (dang that sounded Obama-ish). There are a bunch of bloggers out there that I read religiously just because I can look at their lives now and go "that'll be me in a couple of years". I do it mostly anonymously, because otherwise I'd seem a little...cyberstalker-like. They're all in my favorites list. There are countless others, and they do NOT include Joe the Plumber.

So here's my preemptive and premature thankfulness entry. There will be more. I'm trying to find something to be grateful for every single day.