Friday, July 17, 2009

Ask for what you want

The Daily Om seems to be on a roll this week. Today's tidbit is about asking for what you want and being very intentional, very detailed about the specifics.

Over and over, we have found this to be true and often caution each other to be careful about what we ask for! Perhaps if we visualized more details, it might help -- but some years ago it was suggested to me that I ask for 'this...or something better' and trust that the Universe will provide what we need.

Not that it happens instantly, mind you, nor are we without responsibility for acting on what we want. But when you align the mind and spirit to focus on what you want an outcome to be, you begin to take actions, often unconsciously, that will lead you in that direction.

And not that it always happens exactly as you planned, although -- thinking back just now -- we planned our house here in very specific detail, our move very intently, the timetable just so. All that happened just about exactly as we'd asked. What threw a bit of a loop in the plans was my getting sick about six months before we were to execute the plan, and ending up on disability, and then getting laid off. However, I had hated that job so much and was so desperately unhappy and stressed, and yet determined to stick it out until the move (nah--nothing stubborn about me), that it is no surprise, really, that I did get sick.

But we got what we asked for, even with the layoff. It just didn't happen quite as we'd envisioned.

Similarly, we asked for a job here, for something that would allow us to be together pretty much all the time, and that happened, although in ways we could never have anticipated -- I mean, selling real estate was never a career choice I'd have chosen previously, but I enjoyed it and wasn't bad at it!

And when that no longer was working for us, we asked the Universe for something else that would give us health insurance and some income, and we got it. Is it perfect? No. Does it do what we asked for? Definitely.

So I'm a believer in asking, in planning, in visualizing what you want. Even when you don't know exactly what you want, if you put out a plea for help, for clarity to see possibilities, it happens. Sometimes you have to pay very close attention to see it -- but it's always there.

What do you want? I'm still asking for what I want -- but I'm also taking steps to make it happen.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Puzzlements and information sources

I've spoken here previously about watching our loved ones walk their own paths, and how one thing I've learned this year is that we cannot love someone out of their life lessons.

Today's Daily Om talks of walking one's own path and honoring their right to do so.

And I'd been pondering -- again -- how to balance the acceptance of that right and our support for the person, partially prompted by the story of a young relative who has made some choices that are going to impact her in ways she hasn't even begun to think about.

It is not easy to do.

As a parent, I want to love my children unconditionally, to always be there for them. But the implementation of "being there for them" is where I am hanging up: what does that mean? How can I lovingly watch them walk their own path when I am fearful of where it is leading and without putting myself in the 'rescue' mode again? Does unconditional mean being willing to rescue over and over and over again with money and resources? But how do you watch someone you love struggle with the consequences of their own choices, not offering financial aid or getting caught up in yet another drama, without seeming cold and callous?

We live a largely drama-free life, and yes, we know we are lucky. So when exterior drama comes into our world, it impacts us through lost sleep, anxiety, worry, and always those scary ice weasels -- not so much for ourselves as for those we love. We know we are powerless over people, places and things. But how do you 'be there' for someone when they are in crisis without getting sucked into it yourself? How do you balance being in someone's life when they are in a place where you are so uncomfortable being with wanting them to know that you love and care for them? (yeah, so that sentence construction could use some work....)

Is a puzzlement.


Most newspapers are struggling to stay afloat, most are cutting costs and staff anywhere they can, including my own two daily papers, and that also means that my opportunities to write for them have been drastically reduced.

I found this post interesting. It was mentioned in a daily news feed I get about the industry -- all aspects. I know at least one little newspaper in Fayette, Mo., is considering an online subscription model; I'm really amazed that there are still so many out there that are free.

I understand that advertising dollars are tight with the state of our economy, and I know there are a lot of other places to put them that may be more effective. I know that newspaper subscriptions are dropping -- folks think they can get more news on the Internet or through TV, or that they can get anything they want to find online, and they don't need a newspaper.

Newspapers staffs are struggling to manage with fewer reporters, with doing more and more of the pagination and processing themselves, and with meeting the dollar figures demanded by parent companies. There aren't a lot of independent papers left, alas.

We all suffer, however. TV news gives us only kernels of information, not the whole ear. The news magazines, while they can go in-depth about some issues, often show a bias -- and I'll admit that newspapers do sometimes as well, even by the things they choose to cover. The Internet is full of 'news,' but sorting through it to learn what the issues really are, what the whole story is, can be daunting, especially if you aren't a die-hard news junkie and don't want to dig. There are reputable sources, but there are a lot of opinions labeled as news too.

I love the feel of the physical paper in my hands, I like the smell of the ink. I'm sure it's rooted in my childhood -- I do not remember ever not having a daily newspaper in the house. But I like browsing through the paper and reading bits of things that I would never think to search for online, or finding unusual stories in my own community, or reading an account of state or national news that then piques my interest enough that I'll go searching for more information.

It gets me out of my head, for one thing.

It helps me be an informed citizen, to make better voting choices, to know where my tax dollars go, to decide which issues to support and which to fight, to know what my friends and neighbors are involved with.

I hope you subscribe to a paper. It's a very small amount of money to pay for information that comes to your home every day, and that helps your community.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And moving ahead, with gratitude

Definitely a new beginnings-second chances sort of week....

One of last week's blessings was reasonably, unseasonably cool weather -- by that I mean highs in the lower 90s, as opposed to this week's 100+ temps. I did a lot of work inthe garden, hacking and pulling the stupid grasses out, although they spring back overnight almost. Got in three new tomato plants, a Japanese eggplant, another bell pepper, and put some mint and cilantro in pots to go with my back porch herb garden -- I have basil, thyme, sage, parsley, oregano already.

We loved sleeping with windows open and cool breezes. That's gone for now, but the swamp cooler -- good until it hits around 106, usually -- adds moisture to the air and cools very well. Right now outside temp is 104, but humidity is only 9 percent....

Tony built a great cat food protective box for the porch -- the deer were helping themselves all day long to the cat food, and I'd juryrigged a maze of string, scrap posts and plastic fencing to help keep them out, which really made the place look classy.....NOT. Can't say that the big box exactly adds to the outdoor decor, but it serves the purpose and allows the cats to eat, but not the deer. Let's face it: we live in the country. Our lawn is red dirt and rocks. There may eventually be some landscaping, but it won't be green lawn: we get too little water for that and it's too hot.

And I've gotten out of my ennui and am getting off my ample posterior and moving it. Yes, I'm actually getting up an hour earlier and we're walking on weekday mornings, around two miles. It's helped with the achey-breakys quite a bit, actually, and I feel very righteous. It's right out of bed and into the tennies -- I fix breakfast when we get back. But it's cool (as it's likely to get) at that hour, and quiet, and I usually wake up by the time we get back. Tony, the morning person, is tolerant of my unresponsiveness during the walk. It will help.

The universe has, once again, taken care of us when we've asked for 'this, or something better,' and we are very grateful for the fortune and blessing. Actually, we are grateful every day for each other, for our home and our kitties, for our friends, for so many things. Lunaea Weatherstone wrote such a wonderful post about that subject yesterday -- and I'm adopting her slogan as my new mantra: "All this, every day."

The bedroom remains to be dealt with; I'm slowly shredding accumulated office papers that then go into the garden as mulch, and have been cleaning off my incredibly messy desk. But I'm moving ahead, not standing still anymore -- literally or figuratively. It's a better place to be in.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Note to self: Get on with it already!

I feel like I've been in a sort of limbo since the play ended and my freelance jobs have dropped to so few. I've been tired, to be sure -- probably a psychic kind of tired more than a real physical tired. And I've slept. Last night was the best -- the weather has cooled from highs last week in the 100s to projected highs only in the low 90s, and things cooled overnight to the low 60s.

It's not for lack of things to do. The garden always needs weeding -- and we shall see if the tomatoes come back after the stupid water system guy turned off the water to the garden while he was doing his maintenance and then did not turn it back on -- which I discovered only yesterday morning, two days later. The bushes were loaded with green tomatoes. By afternoon, everything else had perked up. I am SO not happy.

There's still a ton of clothes and linens and such in my spare room that are waiting on me to put them away and sort through them. Drawers still need cleaning in every room. There's the matter of choosing what color rock to put out in front, and which drought-and-deer-resistant plants to plant in the areas so neatly defined by the retaining walls we had put in a year ago. And then, of course, doing it.

Mostly it's finding a new direction. Will it be an eBay store? Should I pursue new freelance opportunity in hopes of finding something a little more lucrative (not that it would take much to be more!) Should I concentrate on fixing up what I've needed to do around here, and not worry about making money just now? Should I really and truly start investigating and planning a book project?

Definitely on my list is doing something physical. I feel like a giant slug. I can tell muscle tone is poor, my balance (never great) is shaky, I feel loggy. We eat very healthily, despite our propensity for sweets which we control pretty well with low- or no-sugar things, and I only use salt when it's necessary for something to cook or bake properly. I grow veggies -- well, when I'm not foiled by deer or careless maintenance people. It's in the physical exercise that I am very lax, partly because I do not like exercise, partly because there are a million and one things I'd rather do. But I also know that lack of exercise will eventually contribute to a much earlier death than I hope to have, and that is a motivator.

So. New month, full moon, new beginning. We celebrate a friend's birthday tonight with ritual and lovely fresh food and gifties. It's time to leave the out-of-sorts feelings and get on with life.