I don’t usually know what the new year has in store for me, but this year is a little different. I know change looms in the distance. I cannot continue in my current circumstances. It is impossible. I also know I might be looking at several changes this year, the timing of which are unknown to me. It’s not the change that has me anxious, it is the unknown aspect of it all. Will I like it? Will it be another ‘try to make the best of a crappy situation’ scenario? Will it bring me to a new city and if so, will I like it and the city or just one of the two? All I know is that if the change doesn’t come, I really will lose everything so the change MUST come!!!
My resolutions look different this year too! My list is more abstract than concrete. During the year of quarantine I have been doing a lot of reading. I’ve been really working on fixing some parts of myself that need fixing. I’ve also been learning more about my God from a different perspective. If you’ve read anything I’ve written, you know I am technically Christian and 100% spiritual and I’ve been diving into a sister religion this past year. It’s not the first time either. But this is a much more in-depth exploration that I’ve ever done in the past. And that’s what I am calling it, an exploration. I know a lot about God, the Son, and probably too much about the humans around Him. Who I don’t know is God, the Father, and that’s who I am getting to know and I am loving what I am learning.
As for my resolutions, it would be easy to say that it all really depends on how this year plays out, on what God graces me with in terms of employment and what not, but that’s not really true. As I sit here looking over my list, I can see how I can still work on each one regardless of whether I get saved from complete devastation or if I get swept into the trash to be chomped or burned. Maybe that’s not the right analogy, but it is how I am feeling this New Year’s Eve.
First and foremost, I want to really start combating my initial response to everything which is self-sabotage. I’m definitely one to run when I shouldn’t and I absolutely love talking myself out of everything and I am really creative when it comes to finding ways to make myself an outsider. I could seriously write a best-seller on how to make everything fall to pieces every single time. I should have played baseball because I can bat any opportunity that comes my way out of the park. And I’m good at batting people out too. These are just some of the things I need to stop doing. Maybe I will call this an exploration too! Instead of using my handy vocabulary of “No”, “I don’t want to”, and “I don’t like it”, I will start using words like “yes”, “okay” or “it’s not my thing, but I’ll give it a try”.
Second, I really want to get back to more of who I was before I quit drinking eight years ago. I want to CDE as I call it - Create, Design, Explore. I need more of that in my life and it doesn’t have to necessarily be in the way that I perceive it either. I just need that energy back in my life. I had all of these ideas that I never moved on and they are all still good ideas so maybe this year I can at least move toward that energy since a lot of it is dependent on my financial status.
And last, but not least, my finances are my final resolution for 2021. I really need to dig myself out of a rather large hole that is getting bigger and bigger as each day passes. Yes, a fair amount of this resolution is dependent on my next job, however, there are some things I can do on my end to at least keep the hole from getting any bigger and I am prepared to do those things. I’ve actually been mentally preparing for a month.
So here’s to a happy, healthy and rewarding year ahead. May what we write on paper become our new reality. Much love and light and laughter to you and yours!
Oh my, it’s been a minute! 2020 has been both good and bad to me. How about you? On the good side, my entire family has been able to remain COVID free. On the bad side, I have been unemployed for over a year at this point. I am working for a big box retailer doing online order fulfillment making like 20% of what I did make. Ouch! I don’t really have enough to spread around, but I am trying. Another plus that is also a minus is my holiday 6 days a week and can you always stay much later than scheduled schedule. I like what I am doing in that the hours fly by because I am so busy, but my body is taking a beating. Being on my feet and walking and stooping and lifting and all for 8+ hours a day is absolutely brutal. I had just started a workout and eating program to try and loose the weight I have gained too! I can only try to eat right at this point because my body can’t do much beyond stretching and resting. And so this extra weight isn’t going anywhere just like my debt. I’m trying not to let my circumstances get to me, but it is difficult. I am beyond scared for myself and my future and my ability to take care of future me, which is non-existent right now. I have always joked about not having a funeral and just plunging off a cliff into the sea to become fish food… Perhaps I should not have joked about this… it might be my future. In the same way I should have never joked about my tanning bed being my bright, sunny coffin - that’s how melanoma came into my life.
Anywho, I don’t want to be too down because there are some good things coming out of what I am going through. And I am learning how to make the most of what is right now. Like something simple I could have done months ago was flip my schedule. I have always been a yoga in the morning and a workout at night kinda girl. But I have flipped my schedule and am trying to do pilates or simple weight training in the morning and stretching out my body at night with recovery yoga. IDK. Sometimes intellectuals have the biggest problems with the most simplest things.
I have also finally relented and am taking something to help with my EXTREME temper. One day I came home from this job I have ready to kill everyone. I was crying every morning and crying at work and crying when I drove home. The stress was palpable. I’ve been told many times in my life that I care too much in the wrong way. I’ve never really been able to understand, but one night driving home it clicked. I know that many people in recovery take prescription or herbal medications to help take the edge off or help with that part of them that cannot deal with reality. Anyone who has read my blog all the way back knows that I have major PTSD type symptoms from a prescription drug that gave me a psychotic break and so I don’t like prescription drugs or medicine in general. I just kept thinking that at some point I would get enough healing or growth and be “okay” like other people. Eight years into sobriety I was pushed past my edge and relented. I obviously don’t have insurance right now (another issue because I have something I need to see a doctor for and I can’t so prayers - PLEASE) and so I went to Sprouts and looked in the emotional well being isle and just prayed that I would pick the right one. I ended up with a Stress Response bottle from Gaia Herbs and it has changed my life. I have no idea how it works or what it is doing other than the fact that I am me - only better. Stuff doesn’t bother me anymore. Heck, I can even go to the grocery store and run ten errands after work if I need to and I am not bothered by it at all. (I have previously mentioned my sincere hatred for grocery stores and pharmacies). I am me, but calm. Apparently I have an over-reactive stress response to basically anything that is required of me. IDK. Perhaps that’s why I’m an addict. I don’t know. But I am hopeful that this herbal supplement will continue to work for me because it is doing what I cannot do for myself. It also lets me know that it wasn’t me and no amount of will power would have ever changed me - it’s a chemical and/or biological response that I cannot control on my own. If it weren’t for this whole crazy 2020 situation I am in - I don’t know that I would have figured this out. And that is priceless!
I am also working on being really grateful right now in all things. One night at work, I helped a disabled man out of the store. I found out he also works in retail for a different big box retailer. He actually does some of the same things I do just a at a much slower pace. He is so grateful to this retailer (Kohls) for giving him this job and allowing him to do it in his best way. It made me think that I should be grateful for my job too. After all, as much trouble as I am having physically and financially he is doing a similar job with a physical handicap that probably makes it even harder on him and he is grateful and I am not. God really slapped me in the face with that one. God gets you like that sometimes.
A rabbi recently spoke on Jacob and how he always tried to put conditions on his good deeds. Like if he was trying to barter with God to get what he wanted by saying if You do blank ,then I will do blank for the rest of my life or the rest of this year, etc. The rabbi mentioned how disgraceful this was and how Jacob should not really be a hero at all other than the fact that we slowly see him change and grow through all of his mistakes and wrong choices. You can’t please God my bartering with him and you can’t please God doing good deeds because you are trying to get a certain outcome. The only way to please God is to do what is right because it is the right thing to do. End of story. No questions.
And so I am trying to be grateful in all things and I am trying to do what is right in my encounters with my fellow humans for the sake of doing what is right and nothing more. Especially, now that I am not a raging lunatic ;-) Besides, doing good deeds to try and get a certain outcome only makes you bitter and resentful. It’s a trap I have found myself in too many times. And so I guess that is another vicious cycle I am being freed from in crazy 2020. My hope is that I can keep these lessons with me as I continue to adjust to my circumstances whatever they may be in the future.
How about you? How as 2020 kicked you butt? How has it blessed you beyond measure?
My brain is a noisy place. The constant chatter can make it easy for me to feel confused about something as simple as what I want to eat. How am I supposed to make major decisions when I can easily become confused about eating? This is something I have been contemplating lately. I just feel lost. Very lost. So lost that I don’t even know if I am capable of being found. Life hasn’t turned out the way I wanted it to and I am finding it harder and harder to navigate. I feel like I wouldn’t know what I wanted even if it was staring me in the face! All the voices of the world keep telling me I am capable and I am strong and I can become anything I want to be - Well, what if I cannot choose? What if every choice I have made has been a wrong turn? What then? How do I stop manifesting what I don’t want? How do I find out what I do want? It’s like I’ve gone down so many wrong paths that I can’t even make myself choose anymore because I know it will be wrong!
This isn’t new to me. I have done the same thing with dating. I just stopped. I gave up on the fairy tale because every man I chose was very, very bad to me. I’m not talking douchebaggery here, I’m talking ill intentions of the worst variety and I chose them every time! Do I still want to get married - yes. Do I still want a family - yes. But I don’t trust myself and I’m sure not going to go looking for trouble until I can prove to myself that I can start liking guys who at least aren’t going to intentionally do things to destroy me.
Still - I have a problem choosing. I need to choose better. But how?
I think it has something to do with that still small voice deep inside me. Some people call it the God voice, others call it the voice of the higher self or one’s intuition. Whatever it is to you - it exists. But can it be heard over all the noise?
I’ve been trying to listen for it more intently and what I have discovered is that this still small voice is always there and always speaking. I just don’t always hear what it has to say or I shrug it off or I bat it out of my thoughts. That still small voice is so small it is easily missed. Often times it is nothing more than a thought that doesn’t make sense. And I also have noticed that the thought often comes with a barely noticeable string to my heart or soul. It is hard to explain - like I hear or see the thought and feel the thought in my heart region. The problem is it is often a fleeting millisecond of an experience.
One day I had gone outside to put tags on my car. As I walked back up to the front porch I saw and felt the word “mail”. It came out of nowhere and seemed out of place. I started to shrug it off and go inside as it was freezing out, but I turned around and made the trek down to the mail box. After all, I was trying to listen to that still small voice. It turns out, all of my tax documents had arrived in the mail that day. Point - still small voice.
Another recent incident involves my phone. I was worried. I had noticed that it was taking a lot longer for my device to charge and that it wasn’t holding its charge very long. Financially speaking, I did not need to need a new phone right now. I was going to research it - the phone, the battery and what not, but I just heard and felt the word “cord”. Again, I didn’t think it meant anything, but since I am trying to pay attention to that still small voice I decided to find some other USB cords I had around the house. Interestingly enough, the old cords worked. The phone started charging fast again and held the charge like it used to when it was new. It was indeed the cord - point still small voice.
These seem like simple moments, but my question to myself right now is how can I harness that same knowledge for the bigger things in life? I mean if my life is not how I want it - how can I harness that knowledge to make it what I want? I keep feeling like there is so much more inside me. That I have completely missed my path in life, lost my potential and am literally sitting in the middle of a field yelling how did I get here! What I should be yelling is how do I get out of here and how do I tap into my potential.
This post isn’t for any of you - it’s for me. I just felt led to sit down at the computer and write about that still small voice. I didn’t feel like I could. I haven’t been logging my experiences like I wanted to - but maybe I didn’t need to - Maybe I just need to start listening for and following that still small voice and see where it leads. I guess that’s gonna be my spiritual cultivation for 2020. Acknowledging and honoring that still small voice. What about you? What is your spiritual cultivation for 2020? Care to share?
I am sitting on the floor in my room with my MacBook in my lap with a hot cup of water beside me. It is Tuesday, December 31st of 2019. My festivities for the night include writing out some new year resolutions to guide me in 2020 and to veg out in front of the television for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow, January 1 of 2020, I will be attending a First Day Hike - something state parks around the country do ever New Year’s Day. This hike includes some presentations on birds of prey as well as a chance to get a picture with an owl! Since the owl is one of my power animals - I am stoked! I am starting off the New Year on a trail with some friends and an owl! Sounds about right for me. What about you? How are you starting off 2020?
I found my resolutions from last year and looked them over. I, apparently, wanted to be more service minded and find another good service position. I do recall starting off last year with an AA chair commitment that ended up lasting two months. I also recall having a meeting with someone at my church to try to find some service opportunities within the church. Aside from assisting in service every once in a while - that meeting fell flat along with any attempts at being of service to anyone except myself. Funny thing is I have recently come to know a few people who have the best presence or energy ever. The kind of people that just lift you up whether you want to be lifted up or not! I was just speaking with my Higher Power about how I’d love to be one of those people, but I have no idea how to get there! I’m thinking last year’s resolution is coming back in a slightly different form for 2020.
Another thing I lost sight of was my debt. I did have it all paid off at one time. Then things went sideways. In all actuality, I lost myself in the day to day. I forgot about my plan and I forgot about what I ultimately wanted. Execution has always been an issue for me, but these days it is killing me. Two and a half years ago, when I moved home - I did so with the intention of getting a job that could propel me forward while I paid off my debt, saved up money and would then jump back out into this crazy world - preferably somewhere on the west coast. What had happened was…. Propeller Job combusted and I got laid off and so I found another job (not a propeller job, but was decent money) and then that combusted and I found myself laid off again. While working the second job I was bored out of my mind and I found myself spending money like it was growing on a tree in my back yard. To be fair to myself, I have to admit that half of my debt was from medical bills for two separate, but costly medical issues but still - I spent a lot of cash. My main takeaway is that I let circumstances dictate my reality and interrupt my plan. In other words, instead of swerving, I got on a totally different interstate and I drove in the wrong direction! My second lay off in a row comes at a time when I have a lot of debt, which means the salary has to be that much higher for me to relocate. And relocate I probably could have - if I didn’t have this debt! Out of all of the jobs I have applied to - only a couple of opportunities have come up in or near my current city. All of the rest of the opportunities have come from the west coast, which is where I intended on going mind you! I should have never let the circumstances change my plan! I had three ops in California and seven in the PNW. Oh it stings! I’d love to live there - the cooler weather, the hiking, the beauty right outside your door. Ugh. I don’t know what happened… I kinda gave up I think. I don’t have friends here so I am very lonely and that loneliness is translating to depression. I have my family and I love having my family, but I need more than that to be happy.
One thing I did do that was on my list was plan a trip - an actual vacation. It’s been a long time since I could have any sort of vacation since I keep having to start over - over and over and over again. This last lay off was my 4th. I had wanted to go on a yoga retreat, an excursion and see my favorite band if they were in the US this year. I kind of combined it all into one short vacation to Los Angeles. I went to Camp Mars and saw my dudes, well, one of them and I made new friends and I got to see some old friends from LA. I went to the beach, did a beach cliff hike and enjoyed a yummy dinner. It was sweet and nostalgic. I used to drive the 101 from Encino to Agoura Hills every day. There’s just something about LA. Maybe it is who I was when I was there. I felt empowered, I had great friends, a great spiritual home (Mosaic) and adventures in the mountains or on the sea every weekend. Maybe it’s not that LA is magical.. Maybe I was magical while I was there. Maybe that is what I need to get back into my life - the magic of being alive! If I am going to be staying put for a while - which it looks like I am - maybe I need to do whatever it takes to find my people and create some magic in this town. I mean I did like living here at one point.. .Maybe I can like it again.
Okay so that was my wrap up for 2019. Now looking forward into 2020 and what do I want to see? Well, I know Mars is out of the question this year so maybe a yoga retreat? I also want to go see the Redwoods and maybe Lake Tahoe. I’ve spoken with a friend who lives in central California about a possible girls trip. Once I have a new job, I will reach back out to her and see if we can plan something. As for the yoga retreat - I know of one I want to go on - I will just have to see what the job brings in terms of leave benefits and what all I get during my unending first year. On a personal level, I do want to be better about being intentional with my interactions. I want so badly to be one of those people who has that unmistakable and contagious energy. That, I will have to leave up to Jesus - I can’t even fathom how to get there from where I am right now.
So in more clear terms my resolutions/goals for 2020 are below: