Everywhere You Go by mary elizabeth

Last weekend, my daughter and my friend Kerry and the world’s cutest dog went on a road trip.  This weekend I am working and getting ready for a visit from the landlord.  Last weekend was fun and full of laughs.  This one, not so much.  But – there’s a lot going on at work, at least, and I’m feeling sort of proud of myself because I’m not letting the landlord’s home invasion send me into a frenzy of fear and anxiety.  That may not sound like a big deal, but everything sends me into frenzies of fear and anxiety, so this is real progress.  Or – just a big fat load of denial.  I mean, there may actually be something to fear in this one.  It’s her house and she can through us out if she wants to.  But I’ve decided that all the anxious fear I can muster won’t change the situation, so let’s just tidy up and rock it like grown ups.  Grown ups with messy children.

I used to be a homeowner but now my ex is and I just get to nomadically move from rental to rental at the whim and misfortune of others.  My life, at least the physical manifestation of it, is in the hands of yet another power greater than myself.  But – as usual – that just pushes me to find a deeper, more spiritual life for which only I’m responsible.  Me and the good old universe.  What’s the opposite of fear and anxiety?  Comfort and balance, maybe.  And if I’ve learned anything at all in life, it’s that those only come from the inside.  Homes and jobs and things like that certainly help, but I can be a wreck with all of that – quite frequently am.  So – no hilarious road trip this weekend, but there’s still plenty to enjoy.   I’m going to go enjoy house work and try to remember that anywhere I go, there I am so I better be glad to see me.

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Big Picture by mary elizabeth

I’ve been feeling extra anxious lately.  And a little angry, too.  Anxiety’s an old friend but anger is something I would normally leave to the experts.  I recently had one of those flukey experiences that, although completely accidental and in no way indicative of the norm, confirm all of one’s paranoia and suspicions about the hostility of the universe.  Told you so, universe!  Anyhow – now that the initial shock and humiliation have started to wear off, I feel a tad miffed.  And I’m starting to lose my patience with some on-going frustrations in my life, too.  But – I don’t really know how to be angry and I certainly don’t want these external factors to influence my actual life, so I’m trying to find the courage to let it all go to a recently proven to be untrustworthy universe and get on with it.

My life is pretty good right now, to be honest, and all evidence points to its just getting better. When I can relax for a couple of seconds, I’m actually enjoying it.  Normally – every time a little stability comes along, I get restless and start making changes. Chaos feels natural; tranquility makes me anxious. Whatever…I’m trying to rock it a little differently now. Maybe feeling a little more outraged and a little less victimized is a part of the whole picture. The whole big picture of my life.  Or just some more monkeyshine.

Star Light, Star Bright…by mary elizabeth

As my very dear and also very wise friend Kate said, you can’t wish your self thinner. Evidently the law af attraction works on all sorts of things like money and matrimony and success – but if you want to lose a few pounds, you actually have to exercise and put that cookie down. I mean – believe it or not – ever since I put that “cash” in my wallet, we’ve been the happy recipients of all sorts of unexpected money. So,  I actually thought if I just wished hard enough, I could lose a few pounds. Evidently not.

Body image is a weird thing. It takes a really balanced person to see themselves as they are, let alone accept what they see.  I mean – let’s face it – if you can’t button your jeans anymore you’ve obviously put on some weight. But is that always a bad thing? I don’t think so. I’ve been pretty obsessed with my weight lately,though, whipping up a real midlife eating disorder. But of course, the issue isn’t the extra pounds. It’s my old friend self-esteem. And here in midlife, I know if I wake up twenty pounds lighter tomorrow I won’t actually feel any happier until I get myself back to a place of confidence, gratitude and inner peace. If I felt better about myself, I wouldn’t be all that concerned about a few pounds, and now that I think about it – would probably lose them, too. So – wait a minute – maybe I can wish those pounds away…

Walk of Shame by mary elizabeth

Here’s a funny story. My co-worker and I were walking to the grocery store the other evening. It was delightful! The weather was a little rainy, but not too cold or windy. We saw a seal frolicking in the river as we crossed the bridge. There was a beautiful sunny spot way out near the horizon on the majestic Pacific. The conversation was fun and intelligent. Just lovely. Anyhow – I was carrying the bluest, most Wal-Marty bag in the world as I’d recently been extorted into buying it and insist upon using it whenever I can. You can probably see it from space. Anyhow – after shopping we decided, rather impulsively, to stop at McDonald’s for fries. Keep in mind that we not only don’t spend a whole lot of time in either Wal-Mart or McDonald’s, we work for a company that promotes a significantly different lifestyle, to say the least. So, as we exited McDonald’s – salty grease on our lips, highly visible bags in hand – my friend commented on how awkward it would be if the owners of the company for which we work were to drive by just then. And then they did.

Typical, huh. And funny. I’d like to say, “Gee I just can’t get away with anything!” but that’s not what’s funny about this situation. What’s funny is that a grown woman A) thinks she has to sneak in and out of McDonald’s B) still views people like her employers as the authority figures from whom to hide such activity and C) feels the need to flaunt a Wal-Mart bag around town because she felt forced into paying twenty seven cents for it. Every once in while, I feel like I’m providing my children with a decent example of what it means to grow up – what maturity and adulthood are supposed to look like. But most of the time, I don’t. Oh well. At least we’re having some fun along the way. Maybe this weekend we’ll fill the Wal-Mart bag with homemade popcorn and generic sodas and try and sneak it into the movies.

What’d You Expect? by mary elizabeth

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and it made me mindful of all that “motherhood” means. There are so many varieties – from the Greek tragedy kind to the Blessed Mother herself. One is always fitting in to some archetype or another. Even when we feel we’re falling into one of the less Rockwellian types, there’s undoubtedly an historical example of worse back there somewhere. We need to be compassionate with ourselves if we aren’t fitting into our own expectations of what motherhood is, or anything else for that matter. Inner standards are the stuff of which pain is made.

Recently, I noticed one of the search terms that led to my blog was “things hurt”. Well good golly, ain’t that the truth, but I worry that my writing just sounds like one long keen of pain. Probably does. But seriously, as much pain as I may be in at any given moment is nothing compared to all the fabulously wonderful stuff in my life. I really am a glass-half-full kind of girl and do you know why? The glass is always at least half full. Always. Things do hurt, but that’s okay. It’s just life. Accepting life on life’s terms, learning to stop trying to live up to idealistic expectations and hanging on tight to those silver linings is the way to move from pain to healing.

Sunday Afternoon by mary elizabeth

Do you do your laundry at the laundromat or at home? I do mine at the laundromat and I’m actually getting a little sick of it. The novelty has definitely worn off. Not only does it eat up a chunk of my weekend, it confirms all my social phobias. I don’t like people talking to me under the best of circumstances. I really don’t like it when I’m trapped in a noisy room with my underwear in my hand. And let me just say for the record to all the men out there that might want to talk to me or any other woman in a laundromat: if you don’t have a washer and dryer, don’t waste your time.

Despite the fact that it’s Sunday and all our clothes are at the laundromat right now, abandoned to their fate while I write this, and that as soon as I put them in the dyer I  have to go to work for a little bit –  I am in a ridiculously good mood. It’s one of those rare days where I don’t feel like giving myself a hard time. I actually feel grateful for laundromats and jobs and all sorts of things I at which I usually look with squinty eyed distrust. Not today though. I must confess, the longer I’m sober the more naturally grateful I become. Didn’t see that coming. Anyhow – good news kids and boyfriend – your clothes are clean and I’m super glad about it! Happy Sunday!

Show Me the Money by mary elizabeth

I went to a class on vision boarding this afternoon. So much more pleasant than water boarding. Anyhow – I’ve been pretty overwhelmed by money troubles lately. Like, the I’m-going-to throw-up-if-I-think about-this-for-one-more-second kind of trouble, so I cut out some words like “cash” and “money” and “rich”. But when I started to make my board it just went in another direction. When I was all done, I realized none of those words made it on there and I felt a moment of panic. Oh no! Why’d I forget to put money in my vision? See – this is why you never have any cash, Mary Elizabeth! You can’t focus long enough to even paste the word on a piece of paper! Oh well – lots of great things are on my vision board and the class was great – empowering even. And a friend suggested I put the cut out word “cash” in my wallet. Perfect!

If we pay attention to the law of attraction at all, we know we shouldn’t worry about stuff because that’ll just bring it on. Not so easy. And – we can bring in the good stuff by thinking about it. Okay – but good stuff isn’t just going to come by wishing and bad stuff isn’t going to go away just by putting it out of our minds. We have to act. Rats. But I do believe that our actions towards what we really want will get easier if we focus on the results and the fact that we deserve them. And in the mean time, at least I’ve got “cash” in my wallet.