Mixed Messages

Last Thursday I was told by my sister that she and my other sister believe my goals to move out of state were just “a pipe dream and were never going to happen”. It cut deeply. I thought they finally had my back now that Mom was out of the middle stirring up conflict. I thought I finally wasn’t alone and I finally had my sisters back. This betrayal made me doubt if I would be able to achieve my goals. If I would ever be stable enough to get my own place, ie buy a house somewhere, and live a life by my standards, rules and means. If they don’t have faith in me, how can I have faith in me? I spent the evening fighting those thoughts and tears of anger while I tried to be productive as an essentialist.

After my shower I found someone had slid a package under my door. I had been expecting fountain pens in the mail and completely forgot about the tin signs I had ordered weeks ago.

These images are now on my mirror in the bathroom so I can see them every day to remind me of my potential and my strength.

The best message came today during prayer. I asked if He believed in my goals and the warmth and hope radiating from my heart brought tears to my eyes. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And I will.

Essential Goals

It’s a new month which means it GOAL TIME again. I’m stymied. I write S.M.A.R.T. goals. And I’ve been very good about writing a set of goals that cover EVERYTHING I have an interest in. I write my goals with the same maxim my Mom used for selling mobile homes: If you throw enough crap on the wall, eventually something will stick. And, I guess in a purely numbers game, it’s not a bad practice. My goals aren’t numbers and the purpose of them is to propel me towards the ultimate goals in my life. Instead, I’ve filled my life with busy work so I can avoid the one thing I’ve always wanted since I was 11: To Be a Published Author!

Ellen suggested I read (listen) to a book called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. So, I started listening on my way into work. I’m generally to tired and/or brain dead to listen to anything other than fluff on the way home otherwise I’d be done by now. He coaches leaders and management teams in the reality most management staff enthusiastically ignores: Everything is NOT important. Companies and people try to do everything for everyone and fail in providing anything of true value to anyone. His example was we try to go a millimeter in every direction instead of marshalling our energies to go in one direction where we can truly make a difference in our lives, our families and the world. That description summed up my goals perfectly. I was trying to achieve a little bit in financial goals, in spiritual goals, work goals, writing goals, family goals, health goals…..and on and on and on and on….and never really getting anywhere.

This book has come into my life at a very important time. I am no longer trying to dig myself out of the crap-hole I was in before and directly after the apocalypse. I am actively looking for a template, a concept or a philosophy to destroy the stumbling blocks of my past so I can build a strong foundation for my new life. The one blessing to be had beyond surviving the abuse and major depression is to to design and write my life the way I want it to be. I’m replacing the old psychological tapes with bright shiny CD’s of brave self-talk and I’m making the choices instead of letting the choices make me. I am scared witless, (honestly, when am I not?), but Mr. McKeown is helping me see through the fog of fear right now.

My journal entry on Saturday narrowed down the top goal, the only real goal I’ve had my whole life: To be a published author. All of my goals before had a writing component to it, but it also had spirituality, financial, educational, work, health and Misc. section where I was pushing through the whole year to mark off boxes on an annual To Do list instead of moving forward in one purposeful direction. I’m not saying spirituality, financial stability, health and education aren’t important I’m saying they are no longer on par with the ONE goal. There is a component of each of those ancillary goals in the larger one but time is finite and my share of it not committed to work and commute is even smaller.

I haven’t finished the book yet. I’m hoping he tells me there is an app that opens up when I try to enter a task or appointment and asks “Is this going to help you to be where you want to be in 5 years?” (The current goal is to be published in 5 years) so I don’t just willy-nilly say yes to someone/something that really won’t push me along the path I want to be on. I’ve made some decisions though. I’m not going to do my Christmas project like I did last year. I wanted to do hats and scarves for the homeless, or send them off to the refugees of Ukraine but I need to be writing. I will still crochet because it helps me when I need to work through a knot in a plot or I just need quiet time to let things ferment before I write. If I get some hats and scarves together before Christmas I will find homes for them but the “project” part has been abandoned. I feel bad, like I’m a bad person for choosing my goals over charity, and honestly, as I’m writing this I’m still questioning it. Another example McKeon made was a quote of a friend of his. “If it’s not a Hell Ya! it’s a no.” The project isn’t a Hell ya! Then again, exercise isn’t a Hell Ya! either but I have to do it anyway, both for health and to grow my stamina to write. I wonder how Mr. McKeown would advise me on that?

More to follow…..

Now, off to the goals…….

The Birthday Blues ~ Early

Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending.

Carl Bard

My birthday is close to the middle of July and traditionally a few days before and a few days after I’m moody. I’m a Cancer, I’m moody. Honestly, moody is my default setting in July. But it’s June. It’s the end of June but it doesn’t make it any less June. The evil Pixie has been telling me I’m almost 60, I’m unemployed, I have four years before I retire and then what am I going to do? My writing career is a blog no one reads and a few unfinished manuscripts with plenty of good intentions to wrap it up in a bow but it’s not a solid retirement plan. I’m going to have to work upto a week or two before I die, or so is the current plan.

To distract myself from the tears I got a notification a friend of mine had posted something on her facebook page and I was curious. I read the post, and it was a happy little thing about meeting up with people who put you on a path which positively changes your life for eternity, and I smiled. I scrolled down and the quote above by Carl Bard was tucked away few posts down and it was an ah-ha kind of moment. I can make a new ending. I don’t know how fabulously it will live up to my expectations, but I have to try…..I mean honestly, it’s not like I have much of a choice. It’s that or become destitute, live off my family and endure their barbed supportive comments or I can keep moving forward.

Speaking of moving forward…..

I did go on an interview today. I’m not sure I want the job, and I’m thinking I don’t have to take the job if it’s offered. I know that kind of contradicts the statement about living off my family, etc, but it’s sitting in front of monitors for 12 hrs a day. The only thing I liked about it was the 3 12hr. shifts per week so I would have four days off. It’s not sticking people with needles, but it’s just for a short time. I have another interview on the 5th. I’m not so worn down by the evil Pixie that I can’t put on a happy face and convince people I am more normal than I am (Being more normal than I was) and isn’t as draining as it was in the past. I was affable, confident and charming in the interview and I’ll hear Friday if I was convincing enough to get the job.

If the Blue Mood keeps up though I’m going to add more Ashwagandha to my medication protocol until the birthday is over. I’m not planning anything with the family, and they rarely plan anything for me so I think I’m going to go to the beach somewhere and work in my journal. It’s been so long since I sat with my journal it should be a nice treat. I generally go through my goals for the year and adjust what needs to be change, prune what is overreaching and give myself a gold star (or a really nice dinner) for what I’ve accomplished so far in the year. That is the one thing that is absolutely spectacular about having a birthday in the middle of the year; it gives me a chance for a year-in-review and still have time to get it all done before the end….of the year…..not the final end….that hopefully is still evolving to something less blue.