growing in the right direction

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I set up this blog one year ago for my AT journey; my intensions were to blog while I was on the trial trail. I’ve written about all this before from different angles; the trail, the personal journey, failing completing the trail, trying to find work and improve myself. 2017 is (so far) the most memorable year in my life bar none. One significant part of reinventing myself that I have only mentioned, not really talked about, is spirituality or religion.

One’s spirituality is as personal and individual as a fingerprint; a one-to-one relationship with the Divine is no one else’s business *Matt. 6:6. Religion is different, religion is communal; whether or not you go to church says one thing about you and which church you go to says another. Religion is as divisive, if not more so, than politics, therefore, many (meek, intelligent, peace-loving) people completely avoid placing themselves in a position to be judged by not speaking of their own spirituality or religion. A good friend of mine admits that she is a closet Christian (my words) because there is so much animosity toward religious/Christian people. I cannot claim I know of what she speaks because I never discuss my spiritual preferences/beliefs except on WP. One not going to church, not belonging to organized religion is not synonymous with lacking a belief in the Divine or being a spiritual person.

A glimpse of my background: I did not grow up in a family that spoke of God or religion or the Bible…ever. But, somehow, I had an idea of a God at a young age ~ 7 years or so ~ and I fervently prayed to Him for (deliverance) because I was such a depressed child I wanted help. I have no idea now how I went about that other than pleading for relief. Years later I met a Jehovah’s Witness, studied the Bible, attended meetings, became baptized and continued to pray for help, deliverance, a ‘real’ relationship with Him along with ‘studying’ my ass off. I love learning so it is no surprise that I put some significant energy and time into reading the Bible. However, the whole process from beginning to ‘end’ did nothing for me. I became more and more depressed and eventually just stopped going to meetings and became agnostic. I was pretty sure there was a God or some massive intelligent energy source that has a ‘hand’ in the world and humans but I decided that having a relationship wasn’t part of the grand design — at least not for me. I felt I’d been a reject from the beginning and God and I agreed to disagree and that was that.

I believe in energy…energy in all things. I’m not a science brainiac and I cannot quote theories or laws of nature or science but there’s no doubt about how amazing everything is: the earth, life on earth for all living things, space and planets, the solar system, galaxies, and on and on. I just find it hard to believe that it’s all just happenstance and I know it seems even harder to believe in a ‘spirit person,’ the Alpha and Omega, an “invisible” Supreme Intelligent Being that created all we know about and more.

Atheists claim that way-back-when the ‘stories’ of God, Adam & Eve, and creationism was ‘made up’ because there was so much people did not know and humans need answers — we can’t abide not knowing. And I will be the first to admit, I am not a big fan of some of the contents in the Bible ~ actually quite a bit of it seems repugnant and I certainly cannot visualize God as a “father” figure or even a man. I find that repulsive.

Toward the end of 2017 with my own situation and the national/global ‘current events’, I started thinking more about “why are we here?, how likely is the world going to survive mankind?, is there a Divine? what’s my purpose?”…, etc., etc. While I was taking on reinventing myself as a full-time job I couldn’t overlook the fact that I needed help. If I was going to become less depressed and hopeless then I needed to find a reason not to be and it wasn’t sufficient to claim I have hope because I have a family or I am healthy or I have ‘so much’ in comparison to others – it’s all relative and it doesn’t help me feel any better. I had to look outside myself to find myself. I started reading and listening to more encouraging things * and you know when you click on one thing online you start seeing more of the same popup everywhere*. I’ve read self-help books before so I refocused on what I’d already learned and encompassed that into all the new stuff I was seeing and hearing. I honed my focus to only “good stuff” and eliminated negative stuff. I also started to pray – not to “God” but just imagining the universe, the energy, nature and I tried to tap into that consciously while I ‘talked’ to the universe. Sometimes I thought in terms of “God” or the “Divine” or “Yahweh” but mostly I just visualized a universal or global positive energy and I also did this while in the nature because that just feels closer to ‘real’ for me but I also prayed while driving, in the morning and before bed. Basically whenever I ‘thought’ of it or had something to express or ask.

The more I focused on rewiring my brain to be grateful, live in the present (or be conscious), to think positive, to allow what is and not judge or question, to write and write and write my thoughts, to reread over and over particular quotes I’d written down and taped where I looked at it everyday, to visualize things I wanted and to not dwell on what I did not want or what I feared, to make myself through sheer will not worry about what I cannot do anything about but just deal with what happens when it happens (again, being in the moment and not thinking of the past or the future), watching what I call inspirational videos and praying: declaring that I need help, guidance and that I – obviously – do not know what is best for me in the sense that I can decide and focus on a particular job but not really knowing whether or not it is in my best interests but that maybe another job would be a better fit for me, my genuine gratitude for what I do have – a year off from work to spend doing what I want .. even if I was unsure when I would be employed again. The combination of all this, all the time eventually was paying off. I became relaxed even though I had no idea what I was going to do for work but I decided to appreciate the time not working but hiking, spending time with family and most importantly focusing on me and making myself better. I justified that the longer I was unemployed must mean that I needed to work on me more so that’s what I have been doing.

Eventually I did get that job offer and I am relieved but that doesn’t change my drive to be more and do more. I still want to be relevant, find happiness, live life to my fullest and a sense of accomplishment in what I do and in my life so seeking the ‘Divine’ or guidance is a constant part of my daily consciousness. An important part of life I’ve come to realize is the difference between making or forcing something and allowing something. If I want something I do what I can to work toward that goal but the key difference is that once I’ve done all I can do…leave the rest up to the universe – so to speak; don’t obsess over it and don’t try to make it happen, if it’s meant to be, it will be. And that includes being in the moment, being aware and noticing ‘signs’ or that gut feeling or “coincidence”/opportunities. When something is ‘meant to be’, things just fall into place but paying attention in life opens those doors – when we become too focused on what we think we want or deserve or need we miss the indications that we are on the wrong path, we are not allowing the energy of the universe flow naturally to get us to where we should be.

All this does not mean that it all becomes easy – no, challenges are a part of life and they are what make us grow so we can never expect that even if we are doing ‘the right thing’, being ‘a good person’ that there won’t be challenges or upsets – there will be, no one escapes bad things, hurt, pain, heartache. The challenge is how we handle it, what we do with it, how we USE it to improve ourselves or serve others – somehow, and that’s what we have to find out, that’s how we ‘grow’.

So, there’s some background about me and what I’ve been doing for the last year (plus all those painful years prior). I will say right now that I am feeling the best I’ve EVER felt; about myself and about the world – even though it seems hopeless sometimes (which is why I don’t watch/read ‘news’) and the only thing that has changed is how I perceive it. What matters isn’t if I believe in God or not, if I pray or not – what matters is that what I believe makes me feel hopeful and then, in turn, I can be more optimistic and happier and I can do more with my time/life for myself and for others.

Daily Prompt: constant

 

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back to Vermont

I called a friend that I hadn’t talked with for about a month…can’t let good relationships shrivel up. They had been on vacation, a cruise and visiting friends/family and when they returned they both came down with the flu. Anyway, they had a pre-existing arrangement with all the family and extended to meet up at a lake and snowmobile, etc. Unknowingly, I had asked my friend if she had any plans for the weekend, thinking we could get together and catchup, and she invited me up for the day. I felt like an intruder on their winter activities ‘family’ day so I compromised and said I’d be there in the afternoon (it’s a two hour drive) to which she responded that I should stay overnight and we’d go for a snowshoe on Sunday; it was agreed upon.

I knew there was a “snow-storm” forecasted for Saturday night and my mother, during a phone call, had said that I should not go because ‘you never know up north’ but I don’t worry about snow…and, I had no where to be on Monday if I did end up not going home.

It was a nice afternoon; there was plenty of food and hot beverages and discussions about current events and such as the sun slowly set and it got much colder without the sun-rays. At my friend’s house we talked and then watched movies until the very wee-hour of the next day. Sunday I drove a snowmobile (not part of the weekend plan) for a little while. I hadn’t done that since I was in high school and it felt familiar and a little intimidating; it was fun too. Then my friend and I went on a ‘little three-mile hike’ around another lake that seemed a lot longer than three miles but it was beautiful with the new-fallen snow! By the time we finished it was after 2:30 and I needed to head back home. I don’t mind the drive because I usually listen to pod-casts or audio books (this time American Marriage, I posted a few days ago) and I talked a little with my sister in NC.

It was a great time away and it always makes me reminiscent of living in Vermont. Taking some time away from my routine, as long as I don’t make plans with time constraints or boisterous activities that make me tired, is rejuvenating.

Daily Prompt: compromise

procrastination….

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Second attempt: I’ve conjured the sun…It’s weakly peaking through the cloud-filled sky. I have to get out for a walk to clear my head and set up my priorities. I realized yesterday my limited free time is getting away from me while I babysit and play on WP: I love both but they are sucking my time up. I have a few things I have to get done before I go back to work and they won’t take long but they are things I’d rather not do so I keep procrastinating and then it becomes the weight on my shoulders and in my mind, clogging my creativity.

Have a great day everyone…see you on the flip side 🙂

~ 12:28 Mon. 2/12/18

 

knuckle-mnemonics

320px-Month_-_Knuckles_(en).svgAt a loss as to what to write for this daily prompt I did what I always do: type the word into the Google window and see what comes up. Most times when it’s just one word typed, the first thing that comes up is a dictionary definition. Today the definition came up first but to the right was this little handy mnemonic. I have never seen this and I think its pretty handy ;-P  I can never remember which months have 31 days, knowing it’s almost always (JULY_AUGUST) alternating months but where to start? Now I can count on my fingers and use my knuckles to determine which month has 31 days.

Daily Prompt: mnemonic

#friendships: CH

I was reading a post several hours ago from Musings from Melbourne and I was reminded of an old friendship that I had forgotten all about; it seemed the ripe time to write about it.

The time had to be seventeen, eighteen years ago and so many details are deeply buried and dusted over in the grey matter, never to be remembered, and that’s fine. We met at work; she is older than I and had years more experience in the field. I don’t remember why or how we became friends other than the usual stuff in common; work, kids and I guess we both were comfortable talking to each other. You know how you meet people and they are easier to befriend than most, you somehow expand the relationship from work to outside work and, unlike many other people, she lived closer to me.

Unlike me, CH had a husband so sometimes the kids and I went over there for dinner — which was nice, not many friends invite the single-mom and kids over, and other times we met up for lunch or a movie. I remember the relationship being comfortable and I remember she had a funny and easy laugh. She could be a little neurotic but it didn’t bother me other than wondering why someone worried about what I considered trifle problems. I baby-sat her children so she and her husband could go out once in a while. Oh, and I forgot, her husband put down the tile in my kitchen. I was willing to pay but, you know how friends are, she said no. I bought the tile and he had it done in a weekend.

Anyway…at some point she left the facility we both worked at and eventually so did I. She was responsible for getting me a different job at the company she went to work for and she was, in the chain of command, immediately above me. I did not take advantage of that, that’s not in my personality to do, but I did do my best because when your friend helps get you a job you don’t want to let them down…at least that’s how I am. We saw each other little during the work day but were in touch. It all seemed okay to me but neither of us really cared for the company and, due to her nature and possibly her position, that stressed her more than it did I.

One summer she and her husband found a new home – I can’t even remember the house they moved from but the one they bought CH believed needed a lot of work. I remember entire rooms in the process of complete renovation and, because he was that kind of handy guy, he was doing all the work … she was supervising. I remember standing in the, well what would be the living room, two story ceiling and a wall of sliding glass doors, huge stone fireplace and the carpet had been removed. I do remember helping her with work on the house but I do not remember particulars. It was a tense time for them, as it is for any couple/family; moving, home repairs and all the upheaval. But they got through it as we all do.

Autumn was approaching and the work environment was getting worse, eventually, after I left, the company went belly-up. I don’t know if she was still there or if she’d gotten out first, by then we weren’t friends but meanwhile the work stress was starting to get to CH, she felt that they were trying to fire her. I have no idea if that was the case or if she was paranoid but I said the things friends say and just tried to do my job as best I could under the circumstances so that wouldn’t compound any work problems. Regardless, somewhere in here things between us got murky.

I remember we had planned on being together for Thanksgiving, the kids and I were going to her house. At work, CH was tense and it seemed to seep into our relationship. She did not say anything to me about anything, she became very curt in our communication and I became unsettled, after all, she was my supervisor and I had no idea what was going on so I treaded lightly. Thanksgiving was cancelled and shortly afterward I bought a card and wrote something in it to the effect that I valued our friendship, blah blah. Worked remained unchanged. She communicated only what she had to and was professional but cold. I even remember approaching her desk and asking her if I’d done something wrong or offended her, if she was mad at me (duh) and to do that was very, very hard for me — at the time. “No,” was her only answer.

I had bought her kids Christmas gifts so one evening, in the dark and cold a week or so before Christmas I went over to deliver them and hopefully talk. I knocked on the door and she answered. Obviously she could see the packages but she did not invite me in nor was she any less like a stone. I gave her the gifs, which I remember thinking probably went right into the trash, and left.

I was, and remain, completely baffled by the whole thing. I remember trying to figure out what I’d done or said that could have been so egregious that she wouldn’t even bring it up. I do remember wondering, absurdly, if someone had gossiped or planted a seed about her husband and I. I say “absurdly” because I barely knew him, I rarely saw him only when we were all at the house but something about a single-mom makes people think we are always desperately seeking a man. Because I knew that I had not done or said anything that would cause her to no longer like me I grasp for feeble straws and the husband thing was all I could come up with, which I dismissed because…well, it was just too far-fetched

I never saw her again until about two years ago. At a conference, I was walking to the end of the lunch line which she was in so I stopped and smiled and said hello and asked her how she was doing. She smiled and said good, and you? And I said good and that was it. I had since forgotten all about her but I do remember hearing that she and her husband had divorced, I don’t know when, and she had gone back to a job she had prior to where we had met. Now that I am reflecting on the whole thing, it is still bewildering.

Daily Prompt: bewildered

 

insurance and all that stuff

Another gorgeous day to DO stuff. I am so glad to turn on my PC and see my beautiful site to write on!! It’s gloomy here with a temp. of 23. I don’t have much to say because I have enrollment online paperwork to fill out. I guess employees don’t meet with a real person anymore to fill out all the necessary paperwork – ugh. I haven’t had to do this for decades and, as you may know from yesterday’s post, online stuff is scary. I’m sure its dummy proof and I can’t lose anything so after this post I need to get going.

I already counted out the 76 days ~~ yes, 76 days from date of hire (and I hope they don’t change that date) for eligibility for insurance coverage and made my dental appointment. I am pretty sure I’m going to need a root-canal and/or a crown because it is sometimes painful in one spot so I’ve been avoiding crunchy or ‘tough’ (steak) foods overall and particularly chewing on that side. I’ve had a tooth ‘fall apart’ and had to wait to get to the dentist and I don’t want that experience again.

I also have to find…FIND all my historical immunization records – God knows where they are because I probably no longer have proof of my Hep B vaccine series, 3 shots over time *mandatory for HCW* , from over 20 years ago and a bunch of other stuff. I know its has been recommended to re-immunize for things that I had as a child ~ which I did NOT do, because I am of the belief that we are better off letting our bodies develop a healthy immune system instead of the artificial (and God only knows what else these pharma companies are putting into the “mix”) serums that are being injected into everyone and their brother these days. Let me state for the record: I am NEVER sick; no flu – never, no colds, no sore throat, chest colds, etc. I’ve had bronchitis once over a decade ago, “cat-scratch-fever” (it’s a real thing) 9 years ago and sometimes I have migraines (rarely) or “the trots” (diarrhea; I have IBS). So I am not interested if fucking up my health track record because government/”healthcare” system think they know best ~ I take care of those who followed their advice and it’s not pretty.

BTW: does anyone know how to fix the automatic capped “I” when typing a parentheses or semi-colon? I don’t know why my computer started doing this but I have to always go back and retype to uncap, even then sometimes PC won’t allow it. ?

OKay…see you all later!!

Daily Prompt: enroll

how a hospital can be worse than a prison

It’s a beautiful sunny, 13 degree day here in NH, another wonderful day to do stuff: write, read, sew, hike and keep my momentum going! I feel like I have so many balls in the air right now and I don’t know which one I want to play with (well, obviously it the WP one ‘cuz here I am) and I’m going to write about something that was prompted by the daily prompt: sympathize.

I won’t spend a lot of time on this but I am thinking about my new job and how to handle the obstacles that I anticipate — its part of the job, people. More specifically nasty, demanding, entitled, mean people. As a nursing friend pointed out, I’ll have a whole different demographic to work with so maybe things will be different – I certainly hope so. I can sympathize with people when they are sick or in pain or experience fear and anxiety, I can overlook some behaviors due to these intense feelings. But that is not what historically I’ve been exposed to-not entirely.

Laypeople, in my experience, visualize these pathetic sick people in hospitals who just need to be understood and taken care of but, in reality, the real world, that’s not the case. For example: anyone who has even a cursory exposure to social media can attest to the vitriol of people. All you have to do to have even a minimal understanding of what healthcare professionals deal with (not doctors, people are usually on their best behavior when THEY are in the room – I’ll never understand that) is imagine a few of those people who you have ‘observed’ dishing out (hate, bigotry, misogyny, etc.) on social media being in the same room you are, and it’s “your job” to make them comfortable or ‘fix’ them, or medicate them at a certain time. Imagine how these people react when they don’t get their way especially when it’s just the nurse or lab tech or therapist — some peon whose job it is to follow orders (and that’s those are the key words that are specific to hospital jargon “follow orders,” like you are a dumb slave).

Yeah. There’s a reason that hospital personnel — usually nurses but they are supported by other staff — boycott and demand better treatment at their facilities because for decades now the management who sit behind desks and do not deal with the dirty job of patients do NOT support hospital staff when they have been spit on, punched, kicked, verbally abused as in yelled at with all varieties of profanity, threatened (“I’ll report you and you won’t have a job”) and in some cases *and I’ve witnessed this* knifed and been thrown to the floor and beaten to unconsciousness; innumerable healthcare personnel have had to go on disability due to what a patient did to them. If you think peoples’ behavior has declined to a point that you never thought you’d see, you haven’t seen them in a hospital setting where they are dependent on staff for everything and they are the ‘customer.’

In other words, a healthcare worker should get “hazard pay” because working in a hospital is, IMHO, no different from working in a high-security prison except that we can’t ‘fight back,’ we have no recourse, patients don’t get penalized, we are just the expendable margin of safety between mean people and the doctors and management.

But, I’m going to be positive and do my best and see how it goes. IF I encounter ‘customers’ in the majority that are no different from my previous work experience, I’m done. I can survive a lot better in a different job even if it means I take a pay cut to do it. My mental, emotional and physical health is more important to me than someone who thinks I don’t have any rights.
socs-badge-2017-18-e1503097084778  #SoSC: …In other words…

Daily Prompt: sympathize