Go Get It

Just a reminder to everyone out there who has a partner, friend or employer who diminishes your desires.

Speaking from experience, I refuse to wait on someone who treats my needs like a hassle. Go out and get what you want; the intimacy, the coffee, the job…

timeforwhattheywant

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The Angry Optimist

saidatallI’m an optimist and I frequently get pissed off. I’m also a Buddhist, so the apparent juxtaposition doesn’t bother me. Nothing is permanent, everything is interconnected, and damn it, it’s all going to be ok!

The idea of ‘choice’ has recently come up a few times during discussions with friends, and even people who are not friends.

Choice. Choosing. Circumstance. Karmic energy. Discernment. Biscotti.

Yah, that was a choice today too, and I enjoyed one dipped in my one and only coffee of the day.

More recently I have been choosing optimism. You don’t know if you don’t try right? You can’t change your circumstance if you disengage from the world. Yet, you can’t make healthy choices if you engage with the wrong choices over and over; finances, relationship and wearing white socks for example.

Lately, I’ve liked the way that the word discernment rings a bell of mindfulness in my wee, little girl brain. I like the idea of self-respect, time and thought-management. That’s right, thought-management.

Most hurtful things have nothing to do with us, it has to do with the person you think is hurting you. It’s likely their issue, not yours. You just happen to offer a sounding-board, and you can either absorb their toxins, reflect it back, or better yet, convert that energy to something better for you.

Bad choices, selfish people, rude people, hurtful people sometimes make me sad or angry , and I’ve discovered that as I become more discerning, I also become more optimistic. Anger forces optimism. Huh?

For example, this morning started with a wash of bad news even before I made it to my writing desk. But the beauty of the darkness was that, it was not my darkness to absorb. It was darkness to reflect upon, and then choose how I would frame my day.

So the next time someone hurts you or disappoints you, or makes you angry, take a few moments to figure out what within yourself is hurt, and then go love the hell out of that wounded spot. All, day, long.  Go ahead and say the ‘F’ word if you need to. Say it a few times in different contexts if you need too.

Regardless of ‘F’ word or not, you will soon figure out that if you’re not satisfied with what you have, it will push you to something better, but you have to be angry enough to be an optimist, and that takes guts.

Happy Monday!

I NEED this mug!

There are so many deadlines looming I’m drawing straws

to see which one goes to the bottom of the list this morning.

Happy Monday to you.

My wish for you is a week full of met deadlines,

flowers on your desk,

and happy customers!

what deadline

 

Darkest Before the Dawn

"Surely a man has come to himself only when he has found the best that is in him, and has satisfied his heart with the highest achievement he is fit for.” ~Woodrow Wilson~

“Surely a man has come to himself only when he has found the best that is in him, and has satisfied his heart with the highest achievement he is fit for.”
~Woodrow Wilson~

Stick with this one darlings, it’s going to be a meandering read, but it will make sense in the end. I promise.

We all have days that mark significant changes in our lives.

Yesterday was one of them. Well,  for me anyway my juicy little plums.

It was the kind of day that demands a popped cork,some kind of celebration with someone special, and the quiet contemplation of feeling the satisfaction of accomplishment.

Although I love order,  knowing the next step, the next task, and the next expectation, I love happy endings even more. Which aren’t  endings at all really. They’re just bright shiny markers on the twisting, turning road of life.

I had definite plans in my head about how this long weekend would roll-out. I allowed myself the indulgence of daydreaming about seeing someone very special on Friday night, working my ass off on Saturday and Sunday, and relaxing on Monday.  Even though I had some work to do, I was ok with what I had thought my plans would be.  (Refer to How to Enjoy a Long Weekend).

But my plans went the way of good intentions around 9:30am yesterday morning.  I arrived home at least two hours later than I had planned and had to rush or entirely abandon all of my deliciously sinful daydreams. Instead, I  settled for a quick shower and threw on some comfy clothes.  It’s amazing what a combination of total freedom and stability can achieve emotionally.

So, although my day, and as it turns out, my evening was not what I had expected, I experienced one of the best days I’ve had in a long, long time. So good in fact, that my plans for working my ass off today and tomorrow have been abandoned. Apparently all of my hard work has already paid off for now, and I can take time to re-focus, creatively strategize, and allow myself the indulgence of a little hope.

Between work, parenting,  friendships and men, I’ve re-learned a few lessons this week;

1) Always believe, deep down in your core, that you have value and something wonderful to offer the world.

2) You never communicate as clearly and brilliantly as you think you do. Make space for intentional conversation with no expectations. Speak from your heart.

3) Logic will never speak the language of emotion. Sometimes our hearts take us to places more rich, a bit scarier and way more satisfying than our heads ever will. Be brave and pack a lunch.

4) Given the truth in item #2, there are always people out there who care about you more than you know or could even guess.

5) To be still and present in the darkness of the soul is a skill that takes practice and incredible courage. Learn to connect with your breath.

6) Prepare for the worst, expect the best, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday & The Glory of Bathroom Stalls

happyday…ah yes, the blessed beginning of the five day work week my darlings. Nemesis to the weekend and all things remotely relaxing and soul-inspiring.

But does it have to be that way? Do Mondays have to suck, preceded only by Tuesdays in the seemingly endless look to our sacred two days of weekend freedom?

No. They don’t have to stink, but often we put off our true calling until the weekend, or after five, or some such nonsense like that.

Do yourself a favour, today take a little time to plan your dreams, even if it’s taking refuge in the last bastion of solitude at the office; a bathroom stall.

Yes, I know, there’s no place like the toilet to make you feel uplifted. But, as my wig-wearing-80-something-year-old-auntie used to say, “Any port in a storm dear. Any port in a storm.”

So, today I wish you deep peace, and an even deeper knowing that you are worthy of whatever it is you are craving; prosperity, health, joy and yes my sweet little dumplings, even love.

 

Kindness and Her Annoying Little Brother, Sarcasm

1 flowerWhen you find someone whose sarcasm is sharp and quick, likely two things are true about them; they’ve had to develop their sarcasm as a weapon against cruelty, and they have been shown very little kindness.

But that’s not your problem.  It’s enough of an effort to cultivate deep compassion within yourself. When you do that, it will eventually radiate outward and infect those around you.

Kindness is a rare and beautiful quality these days. I mean real kindness, the kind that just kinda hangs around with someone all day despite their being tired, stressed or lonely. It is not some magical quality. No, darlings. It needs to be cultivated like that six-pack of abs, or your ability to cook.

Now, given that my last post was titled, ‘I Took Etiquette Lessons – Asshole’, I openly admit, that my supply of kindness runs out rather abruptly when I’m encountered with someone who is plainly rude in order to make themselves feel superior to me, or anyone else.

This morning a social media pal posted something about someone  pointing out that he had gained weight. His quick retort was funny, but my pal, with what I can only imagine was a voice in his head wondering loudly, how the heck anyone thinks saying something like that is appropriate.

I on the other hand tend to land retorts deep and quick in the guts of my passive aggressive commentators. When  a colleague called me ‘pretty good looking for being so stout’, I smiled and replied coyly that he wasn’t so bad for a fat old man himself. I looked in his eyes and smiled for a one-two-three beat, and then turned my back and walked away.

I try to say something positive and kind every day when I enter my workplace, when I’m greeted, or before I tuck my kiddo into bed. That doesn’t mean that I passively accept rudeness, mean-spirited comments, or bow to sarcasm. I kindly return the bitterness to the sender on a lovely silver platter with a smile, as little sarcasm and as much honesty as I can muster.

Kindness is; telling someone you like a certain outfit, rather than telling them that something makes them look fat.

Kindness is; passing a breath mint instead of waving your hand in front of your nose and telling someone their breath stinks.

Kindness is; asking someone who’s put on a few pounds if they’d like to go for a walk instead of pointing out their weight gain.

Kindness is; seeing someone in distress socially, and buoying them up with your smile and gentle defense.

Kindness is; handing back mean words, rude observations and a bad attitude so that the person generating negativity has a chance to reconsider and come up with something more positive for themselves and those around them.

Sometimes, kindness is also just keeping your mouth shut, coming home, putting on your stretchy pants and having a nice, cold, white-wine spritzer while listening to Solomon Burke….well, for some of us anyway.

The Amazing C and I often used to say to one another when asked our opinion, ” Do you want me to be honest, or do you want me to be nice?”

Well, I’ve done a lot of living since those days, and I believe that you can be honest and nice all at once. So now, instead of honesty, I want honesty delivered in a kind way.

We’re all old enough to know when we’ve done something stupid or been duped. We know that we make mistakes when we’re vulnerable and in love.

At the beginning of my study of the dharma with monastics, my partner at the time laughed at me when I became emotional and said something about wanting to be a more kind and gentle person. Having been known as a strong, independent woman, it took courage to want to tear down some psychological barriers and it took courage to confide  in him.

His response was not gentle or kind, but sharp sarcasm…and that my darlings, was the beginning of the end.  In that moment, I knew he was not the one. I did not need sarcasm, discouragement, or belittling. I needed kindness.

This Sunday morning, I give you this recitation by George Saunders….

Making a Name for Yourself

humpdayawesomeIt’s so very true. All we have in this world is our name and reputation.

Although in my writing life, I have a reputation of being sassy, single, and full of beans, the real me is a significant degree different.

Writing gives us an opportunity to be multi-personalitied (yes, that’s a word here in andshelaughs-world ) and creative.

Real life gives us the same opportunity, but often, when you’re working in a highly respected professional field, you become your name and reputation.

So today, regardless of the attitude you might get from that negative-ninny at your office, the sloppy work of some of your colleagues, or the seemingly endless stream of annoying questions, go out there and be awesome.

Unlike people who are born into family businesses, or have been fortunate enough to ‘know-somebody-who-knows-somebody’, you and I my darlings only have our name and reputation. At the end of the day it comes down to character.

Breathe deeply, recognize and respect your own value, and don’t be afraid to be kind.

 

Work Schmirk

Computer cubicles inside the Digital and Multi...

Computer cubicles inside the Digital and Multimedia Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WORK – noun, adjective, verb, worked or wrought/ working.

noun
1. Exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labour; toil.
Work, you know what I’m talking about right? That  nebulous, mundane thing that folks talk about doing every day?  The stuff you do to pay your bills and take your bi-annual much-deserved vacations?
Work – the very thing that makes some of you wonderful little plums dread Monday morning.
We all work. Whether it’s around the house, or in the yard, or on something we take up as a hobby. Perhaps it’s even your 9-5 pay-cheque gathering activity darling.
Of all the things people say about ‘work’, I think that this quote by the brilliant poet Charles Bukowski describes it best;
How in the hell could a person enjoy being awakened at 6:30am by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress,  force feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, fight traffic, to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?
I have met people who complain about their suffering because they have chosen long commutes over time with their young families. I have also met people who chose to ‘work’ as little as possible and pursue their happiness elsewhere.
Ideally, we all get the opportunity to work at something we find meaningful and feel passionately about.
At the very least we should all work just enough to be able to have time and resources to pursue our great loves; Family, Spirituality and Art.
Stay fabulous my delicate peaches, and don’t let work dull your sparkle.

Good-Bye’s

"True good-bye's are the ones never said or explained." ~Anonymous~

“True good-bye’s are the ones never said or explained.”
~Anonymous~

Saying good-bye is an emotional thing. Unless someone has over-stayed their welcome, and then it comes with a quick hug, little peck on the cheek and swift closing and locking the door.

As I say good-bye to a seven-and-a-half year run in my career, I have had to say numerous good-byes.  A lady can only be subjected to so much stress before she turns to booze, sex and the sultry tunes of Leonard Cohen. You’re all lucky I survived the trip!

After 30 days of good-bye’ing, I think I’m all good-byed out. I’m tired of hugging, kissing, and mourning.  I’m tired of the pull my heart feels every time I send an email, have a meeting, or am the honoured guest at a good-bye party. I have  professional-good-bye- burn-out.

Most of all, I’m tired of not crying.

Yes, you heard it right. I’m off on a new adventure, and I’m a little nervous. Good-bye parties and cake and cards make this stepping out into the unknown that much more real.  You can’t go back after everyone’s signed the card, that’s just bad manners my sweet little kumquats.

Everyone seemed to have the same question about moving along to a new station in my career, ” Aren’t you nervous?”, or a statement, “I’d be so scared if I were you.”

Way to make a girl feel confident.

My every trustworthy girl-gut is telling me that it’s all going to be great, that my next stop will be a challenge and a success. My intuition has never been wrong, and I’ve never ever thought that I would fail at anything.

We do become our thoughts, so I like to keep mine strong and positive.

This month has been a challenge. Getting through good-byes, and just peeking over a new horizon is pretty awesome stuff.  Not crying takes an incredible amount of energy for me…and as it turns out, some scotch, a little Willy Nelson, and a road trip…..but I digress…

I have hugged and re-hugged every co-worker except the one with whom I’ve held a peaceful truce throughout my stay. There’s always one, isn’t there my little darlings? I just know my professional nemesis is doing a happy dance somewhere right now.

A professional nemesis is good for the soul. They keep us humble, patient, and always ready for a good drink, or a long, sweaty, naked snog when we throw off the coils of the work day. Good-bye nemesis, I shall miss you. I promise to toast you with something icy on the patio tonight.

I’m so looking forward to getting back to my writing, my poetry, my music and the silliness that all of this good-bye’ing has put on hold.

As summer starts to roll out hot humid days, I will be donning ultra-conservative suits and starting a new journey. Please send bourbon, bubbly and a boy my way….