Archives for December 2013

24Dec

Christmas Eve and I am Bereft…

For whatever reason, the universe gives to me a Christmas Eve bereft of children.  It actually makes sense to me.   There is someone at work that I have great pity for, because she sees her grown child as her life and as her retirement.  I have advised my friend at work “you must get a life for yourself.”   I told my manicurist on Saturday that “you cannot depend on your kids to live your life.”  I said “get a man”, to which she snapped back, “well, men aren’t dependable either” I then said, in a completely machiavellian manner “yes, but men can distract you from your children”.

Your kids do not owe you their life.  It is wonderful and quite fine to have their allegiance and their attention, but, to force it because you need attention is not the thing to do.  I know this, I preach and teach this and yet here I am feeling abandoned and neglected because of all of the grandchildren that I have (and there are more than a dozen) and for all of the money I have spent on this Christmas (and it is quite a bit) there is not one kid, there is not one grandchild, there is not one family member who could grace me with their presence on Christmas Eve.

Usually, in families of our size there is at least one ‘sacrificial lamb’ who will keep the parents entertained at the behest of all of the other siblings.  This year, in both of our families (mine and my husband’s) our sacrificial lamb (normally the youngest sibling) got busy by having their own child.  My husband’s youngest daughter had a second son in August and my youngest son had a daughter in November.  As I have avoided all of the complicated questions around aging (Are you relevant?  Will you be alone? Is there enough money?) I now find myself smack-dab in the conversation because here we are, alone on Christmas Eve.

I think it is probably fitting that this thing has happened to us because of all of the preaching and teaching I have been doing. ‘You teach best, what you most need to learn.’

14Dec

Charity

I was listening to the radio the other day and apparently the USA is the most charitable nation in the world.  We donate more to charity than any other country.

I think that if this is true, we do not do a very good job of it.  We are not efficient and we are not effective.  We have embarrassing health care statistics and we have embarrassing childhood poverty rates.  In every city all over the country, we have large numbers of homeless, mentally ill and even more people are marginalized and cannot live on our “minimum wage” established by a congress that makes sure that it has health care and enough of an income so that they do not have to work for the rest of their life – once a senator or member of the house of representatives.

We live in a country where if you do not have health insurance and you get cancer, you will probably die.  We live in a country where the established minimum wage is not enough to rent a property to live in.  All around us families continue to lose their homes to foreclosure because of a ravaged bank system decimated by crooks who are now living on tropical islands.

I am not saying that my country is a bad country; I can hear in the back of my head the old veterans saying “if you don’t like it here, get out of the country and go somewhere else.”  I am not saying that this country is inherently bad.  What I am saying is that we do not do a great job with money and its relationship to humanity.

In our country it takes money for people to live, it takes money for humans to survive in the USA.

The other thing I hear on the radio is a lot of advertisement for charities.  At ____ department store, you can buy perfume and 1% will be donated to your favorite charity.  When I hear this I am very frustrated – the reason being – is that I think if you want to give – you should do it person to person, to buy yourself something extravagant and to think that pennies will go to a charity somewhere, from you, is nothing more than a hedonist’s guilt assuaged by falsity.  You cannot spend $100 on yourself with a leftover profit going to a charity and actually believe you have done something good – it is just not real.

So back to efficiency and effectiveness in the good old USA: we must do better.  We are a great country founded on independence and freedom and we must now be a great country known for its great ability to be humane.  We must go the next step, we cannot pound our chest about our accomplishments when malnutrition and childhood poverty and homelessness exist here!  We simply cannot!  We have the money, we just need to use it more effectively and efficiently, if we truly are the most generous country in the world, let’s make it count for something.

11Dec

The Wisdom that I Seek

Years ago when I was working on the concept of forgiveness, I had a very difficult time getting to forgiveness because I equated it with allowing the person the opportunity to commit the same crime against me.  What I mean by crime is any sort of betrayal or other wrong done to harm me.  I thought that by forgiving the person, I was allowing the person back into my life and that allowance would give the person the means to hurt me again and again.  I thought that by hanging on to my anger and grief I could ward off future attempts made to hurt me.  I realized that my hurt and anger would NOT protect me from further harm and that forgiveness was the only way that I was going to be able to live with MYSELF.  To heck with learning how to live with others, my hurt, grief and anger was keeping me from living with myself.

I now struggle with acceptance.  Once again, I use anger with concepts and people to protect me.  I use anger as a motivator to action.  If I perceive someone has done me wrong, my anger motivates me to take action in response to the wrong doing.  My fear is that being accepting is equal to agreement with wrong-doing.  Of course, I cannot have betrayal, meanness and thievery in my life.  I cannot agree with wrongness and I cannot agree with inequality or mean behavior or any of those things.  How do I have acceptance as a state of being without my brain turning it into a perceived permission for wrong-doing towards me and others?

I think the key to my answer is in my last question.  I can be accepting of my life, accepting of my circumstances, accepting of my present life without agreeing with the concepts that are perpetuated in the moment.  What I mean by this is that, if there is meanness towards me or someone I love, I can accept the fact that it is, in fact happening, and not agree with the act of meanness.  I must bring all of me to the moment-in-time when the meanness occurs so that I can respond appropriately in that moment.  This has been a difficulty for me, and if my reading is correct, it is difficult for all humans, as we respond to conflict through our primal self which tells us fight or flight.   I am usually one who uses flight, to fight seems beyond me.  The only reason I have ever fought was because someone innocent or young was being attacked and needed to be protected.  Although occasionally, I have felt threatened enough to come out fighting.

This past year has been a tough one for me, as I have experienced significantly more meanness from others than I can ever remember.  I am sure that in the minds of those who strike out at me, I have earned their ire for some unknown reason.  Because I have not been in a position of power, indeed, most of my relationships have been shaky at best; I have instead harbored resentment and anger, rather than to engage in fighting.  Herein lies my desire to learn acceptance.  When you are in power, or otherwise wealthy or controlling, it is quite easy to be accepting of others behavior.  I want to be accepting of others because I do not want to have a life of resentment and anger and also; more-importantly, want genuine relationships with people that are not based on power, wealth and prestige.  By learning acceptance I can give myself a break from resentment and I can also enjoy genuine relationships.

I do not think that it is noteworthy for humans to say they are accepting and authentic, when what is really true is that they are powerful and / or wealthy and therefore live in a false environment that lacks genuine feedback.

I want to be accepting in a way that allows true response either in the moment or close enough, such that my relationships are clean and clear.  When I am with you, I do not feel the anger of yesterday, I feel only what we do right now, in this moment. 

Acceptance is the path of my relationship with myself, not my relationship with others.  Being in the moment is not the same as agreeing with the moment.  Agreement is an activity of my mind and what I search for is deeper than that.  Knowing that the universe is as it is – that is the wisdom that I seek.

09Dec

The Kind of Person I Am

I know that I am not everything I wish to be, but this is where I am headed…I want to live the rest of my life in the present moment.  I wish to be free from old beliefs, old thought processes which trigger feelings in me that are not a response to the present.  The present may not be fantastic, it may not be filled with pleasure, but it is my present, my experience, my life.

I want to be capable of acceptance of all things, events and experiences.  Acceptance does not equate to condoning or agreeing or any of those things.  Being accepting still allows for all of the other emotions that are possible, accepting keeps those emotions from controlling the present.

I want to have unconditional positive regard for everyone.  It was Carl Rogers who coined the phrase and Rogerian technique is something I have always strived for.  Even when people are treating me badly I want to be able to offer them unconditional positive regard. 

I want to be loving.  I want to offer love and support in each moment and in each encounter.

I want to be unflinchingly, unfailingly honest.  I don’t want to compromise my truth in order to get by, nor do I need to share my truth 100% of the time.  I want to always be able to know my own truth.

09Dec

Keeping Score

The point is that I do not want to keep score, I do not want to be unhappy more than not and in some ways that requires keeping score (or not).  I must be vigorously self-conscious to know if and when an event is going to cause me to feel resentful.  This is difficult work because often I will say to myself “this is important to you, so let’s just do it.”  Comedians will tell you that you are just saving points when you do this kind of peace-keeping and that’s because there is an expectation that whoever you have set aside your preferences for, now they must also set aside their preferences for you the next time that there is a question.  My husband calls it tit for tat. 

I know that it is a game that the brain plays, but I sincerely do not want my brain playing this game.  I would dearly love to just live from moment to moment, responding to now and if I do not like what my partner likes then to just be able to say “No!”  If I am then persuaded to join my partner anyway then I should get points and for the next time, my partner must allow my preference to win.  Ah well, it is tit for tat isn’t it?

08Dec

My Daughter Writes a Letter to Assholes

Ok so I’m going to rant! This needs to be said! I have had flood gates open to arrogance lately! Maybe it’s the cold weather when all the stupid people decide to come out! Idk! But
There is a stigma about bartenders/servers especially attractive ones! And I’d like to address this topic!
We are not dumb human beings!
Who else can multi task like a boss (I’m damn good at it) (boom) have an elongated conversation about how your girlfriend cheated on you how your boss sucks and someone pissed in your corn flakes? Make you laugh after your terrible day?
I for one genuinely like people! I like being busy I like the hustle and bustle of the hospitality industry! I like to hear people’s stories. And have learned never not once can you ever judge a book by its cover! (Bartenders see & hear everything btw) so while you running your mouths sitting on your bar stools we hear it ALL! (And judging) (because you’re just fuckin dumb)
Like anything else in life there’s the good with the bad! But sometimes the bad is just down right mind flipping boggling!
Put your finger down or I’ll bite it off don’t yell at me or I’ll yell back don’t demand I get you something or I’ll remind you of your manners that your mother should have instilled in you ( clearly not!) We are not your bitches maids or slaves!!
Don’t talk about getting a “real job” because I’ll laugh my way to the bank everytime (get real!) (cash) 90 percent of the people I work with have degrees are in school getting degrees have their own businesses who are in the business because it’s that good of money and they like what they do (minus the douche bags) (ie: this rant) who have day jobs as well, engineers, attorneys, paying their loans off, moms, dads, etc etc!
Yes I’m attractive (blame my mom sorry) (not at all that’s sarcasm) but I don’t give 2 flippin craps about looks! And it doesn’t make me stupid!
I bought my first house @19 owned my own business @23 have 2 beautiful little boys am a single mom and will own several businesses in my near future when my sons get older and I have time! Right now they are what’s most important! My days with them, school, parks, crafts, hanging out, teaching them, their moms time is what matters most period! (Bartending gives this mom that financial capability and freedom) I cry at every Disney movie I climb trees I like to wear heels get dressed up (instant feeling like a woman) I’am OCD about a lot of things especially clothes in drawers and their particular places, I like cars and fixing them, I do my own oil changes (when I can) I’ll change a tire, I want world peace, I’m super goofy and LOVE music etc etc! (Omg you’re so nice and cool I thought you were a *bleep*) wait what? why? Oh because you’re attractive! (Are you serious? Really?) come on people!!!!
Point of the story! Stop judging! Be respectful! Everyone has a “story” and you have not an iota of a clue what that is unless you actually care to know and ask! (Which bartenders always do)
Your money your looks nor your profession defines you!
How you treat human beings does!
This is a message to all! Get your noses out of the air and come back down to earth! So the next time you go out to drink, self Medicaid yourself complain and whine about your life and have the edacity to judge the person who just served you listened to you with actual concern only to tip a dollar, judge, demand, or act a fool! I’ll serve you a big glass of reality! You suck you’re clearly your own worst enemy WAKE UP take responsibility for your life and actions kick rocks and oh there might be something weird in your beer!
(Just kidding;) karma is a nasty little lady I have faith in her! I need not do anything! (Get a grip)
Good night moon!
07Dec

I am always so jealous when other people get to play with my grandchildren if I cannot… What is wrong with me?

I am always so jealous when other people get to play with my grandchildren if I cannot… What is wrong with me?  I totally wish to be with them and somewhere in my brain, my grandchildren are mine!  Get your hands off of them, I want to have them and keep them 🙂