Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Different Perspective
 Spring is finally here and I am once again able to start my day sipping coffee on the deck. I've planted a new flower bed, a small veggie garden and put up a bird feeding station right where I can see them from my chair on the deck.
I've gotten great enjoyment in watching the birds at my feeder. I get bright red cardinals, brilliant blue indigo buntings, and stunning bluebirds. The other day when I walked to the mailbox, I heard a beautiful bird song and looked up to see what kind of bird was making the sounds and saw that it was a majestic yellow goldfinch. I hope it will find it's way to my feeding station so I can enjoy it's colors and it's song while I'm sitting on the deck.
In my flower bed, I planted red, white and purple verbena. When I chose those flowers, I didn't remember that they attract butterflies. So I've had some unexpected pleasure watching them flutter around the blooms.
Such beauty and joy I created in our little side yard. But I came to realize that there was something I didn't consider when I arranged things. In the 26 years I was single and lived alone, I became accustomed to arranging everything to MY perspective. I guess old habits die hard. This morning, I decided to sit in my husband's chair on the deck instead of where I usually sit. And I quickly saw that, from his chair,  he could not see any of the joyful sights I got such pleasure from when I sat in my chair. It made me understand that every one's perspective is different and that we all experience life and our surroundings from where we're sitting. Not only am I now going to plant some more flower beds that my husband can see from his chair, but I'm also going to try harder to see things from his perspective.
I'm glad I have a patient, understanding husband who is giving me all the time I need to learn how to not be so self-centered and to think about someone else too. Patient husbands are a good thing. Being married is a growing experience for me. Growth is a good thing too. See there! I found two good things just from sitting in my husband's chair on the deck!
Keep looking for the good!!! :)

Here's a pic of the flower bed when I first planted it. There will be hanging baskets on the shepards hooks. More good to look at! :)


Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Good In Riding Out The Storm

It has been many months since I wrote in my blog and soooo much has happened since then. I have an entirely different life now and live in an entirely different world. I now see that as a really good thing but at first I wasn't so sure.

In June, I shut down my business of 23 years in Raleigh and moved 600 miles to live with a man I met online last December. For the first three months, I cried my guts out every day and thought about running back to what was familiar. I was scared to death to be living in a strange place with a drastically different culture than what I was used to. I was extremely uncomfortable having no income of my own and being dependent on someone else to feed me and provide me with what I needed. I felt like I had lost all of my independence and all of my power. In some ways, I felt very much like a dependent child and that was horribly uncomfortable for me. My independence has always been extremely important to me. I tried to get some business, but wasn't having very good luck. And then I started having some health issues that made me fear I was suddenly no longer able to work at all and support myself. That thought was terrifying. I felt as if my whole world had come unravelled.

Eventually, I did start getting some customers and one of the first ones happened to be a psychotherapist (another angel story?), She saw that I was a basket case and agreed to trade her services for cleaning service. In the therapy session we had, she said that she could see that I was "biologically depressed", which was a term I'd never heard before. She strongly encouraged me to not make any decisions about moving back to Raleigh or staying here until I got on some medication for the depression and extreme anxiety I was experiencing. As much as I hate taking medication, I knew she was right. So I made an appointment with a doctor and got some meds.

After a while, the anxiety subsided and the veil of depression started to lift and I was able to see things from a different, more positive perspective. During the first few months I was here and was so fearful and confused, there was always something inside of me that was telling me I was in a good place and should stay. With the help of the medication and a couple of therapy sessions, I began to see the good in the new life I had and the new companion I had. I began to, as I always preach, LOOK for the good in my new world. And, as always, I found lots of it!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day and Jim and I had a wonderful wonderful day together, just him and me and my doggy Bossy. Together we cooked a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and celebrated our first holiday together as a couple. We even bought some new dishes to use for special ocassions. We hug and kiss a lot now and every day we say "I love you". I've got a handful of customers now and am learning my way around and adjusting to the new culture I now live in. I love living in a little log cabin in the woods. Jim and I have created a very cozy home together. I've come to really love and trust him. And Bossy loves Jim too. They're buds! :)

I'm very thankful for the people (angels?) who have crossed my path just when I needed them and helped me to stay the course and ride out the storm. Once the dust settled, I looked around and saw a lotta lotta good in the world around me. And that's a good thing! Keep looking for the good!

Here's our Thanksgiving table!  Happy! :)

I should add that our new dishes came from the Dollar Tree and it only cost a total of $13 for the beautiful table settings. More good! Yay! :D

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Angels don't say "Duh!"

It's been a while since I've had, or at least been aware of, an "angel experience" as I call them. Maybe it's happened and I wasn't paying attention. Today I was paying attention.

The saga continues with my 21 year old Jeep Cherokee. I swear, she has more mood swings than I do. And she never seems to have them in front of a mechanic! She saves her episodes just for me. Today I went to the grocery store and, when I came out with my groceries and unlocked the car door, the security alarm started beeping. I turned the key a couple times, which is supposed to reset the alarm. But it just kept beeping and beeping. This is the second time this has happened.

So there I was in the grocery store parking lot with the security alarm beeping and the lights flashing on my car. I kept turning the key back and forth but to no avail. I loaded my groceries in the car and then started turning the key again.....still to no avail.  People were walking by without even looking up. I'm not really sure what good those security alarms are since nobody pays attention to them.

Suddenly I heard a voice saying "Do you need some help?" I looked around to see where the voice was coming from and what did I see but a Kevin Costner look alike coming towards me with his steel blue eyes fixed right on me! Part of me was glad to be having car trouble at this particular moment! LOL

I threw my hands up and said I didn't know what to do and explained to him that it was a security alarm issue. He said "It won't let the car start will it?" I confirmed that, indeed, I could not start the car as long as the alarm system was disabling it. I had to get the alarm to stop. I told him that normally I can turn the key back and forth a couple times and it resets the alarm. But this time it wasn't working.

After a short silence, Kevin or whatever his name was, suggested I try the passenger side door. He said maybe the driver's side lock was worn out. My eyes widened and I said "OMG, I can't believe I didn't think to do that!" I walked around to the passenger side, turned the key twice, and off went the alarm! I wanted to hug Kevin. Well, I wanted to hug him anyway, but now I had to restrain myself. I laughed and told him he was my favorite person in the world. He just laughed and said he was glad I got it worked out. And then he just dissappeared into a cloud.

I know Kevin was an angel because he didn't say "Duh! You big dummy! Why didn't YOU think of trying the other door!" A mortal would have! LOL

OK, I have to make a couple confessions. The guy didn't really look anything like Kevin Costner and he didn't really dissappear into a cloud. He actually got into an old blue Firebird or Camaro or something like that. I added those things to make the story more interesting. It's a writer's perogative! hee hee :D

But the experience came at a time when I've been feeling kinda helpless in some ways, especially when it comes to my car. It gave me renewed faith in humanity and a renewed sense of security. When I look back over my life, there have been so many times that help has come from out of nowhere just in my time of need, just like that man did today. I had forgotten what I have written many times in this blog and that is that we will always have what we need when we need it. Sometimes we don't know where it will come from. Sometimes it doesn't come till the midnight hour. But it always comes.

I'm feeling a little less insecure now. And that's a good thing. I'm gonna keep looking for the good! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Good in Rain

I recently went on a long road trip to visit a friend and it was gray and rainy the whole weekend. I had a great rental car with a sunroof! But no sun to be found! My first leg of the trip coming back was done at night, in pouring rain, which made the driving stressful, to say the least. There were times when the rain was so hard you couldn't see the lines in the road to tell which lane you were in. And sometimes there would be flashes of lightening that would blind me for a second or two. Very scary and tense! When I finally made it to my hotel room, I just about collapsed into the bed from exhaustion and went straight to sleep.

The next morning I was awakened by what sounded like rain! I got up and looked out the window and, sure enough, it was STILL gray and rainy, though not as bad as the night before. I closed the curtains and laid back down on the bed and almost cried at the thought of more driving in rain.  I was not in a very good frame of mind! I called my friend, who I had just visited and lamented about how tense the driving was the night before and now here I was having to do even more of it. But I knew I had to do it, so I showered and packed my stuff up and headed out for the road again.

For the first half hour or so, I had an attitude. Here I was with this great rental car with a sunroof and can't see any sun! I had six hours of driving in this crap! And I didn't even really want to be going back home. I had enjoyed my time with my friend and was kind of wishing I could just stay there with him. But before long, I started seeing a different picture.

As I began to descend from the mountains, the clouds broke and the rain stopped. There was a mist hovering above the mountain tops and the wet rocks glistened beautifully in the sunlight that was peeping through the clouds. The heavy rains had created majestic waterfalls coming down the side of the mountains. It was quite surreal, very much like the scenes you see in movies where a person has gone to heaven.

My grouchy attitude was replaced with a feeling of peace and serenity and my perspective changed. I was able to see a different picture. And even though the rain started again and I never did get to open that sunroof, the rest of the trip back was quite nice. Instead of complaining about what was bad about the trip, I decided to think about all the wonderfulness of it. And I realized that driving in heavy rain was the ONLY thing about the trip that was not wonderful! But I'm now glad that I had that one "bad" aspect of my trip because it helped me to practice looking for the good in the trip! And I thought of good things that I might not have thought about if the "bad" thing had not forced me to deliberately look for something good. And THAT is a good thing!!!!  Keep looking for the good!!!! :D

Friday, September 23, 2011

Trying this again

It has been nearly two years since I started writing this blog! When I first started writing it, I was trying to pull myself up out of a depression and change my thinking so I would have a better life. I figured that looking for something good to write about in my blog would help me develop the habit of looking for good things in my life. And it did! For about a year and a half, I had a great time writing in my blog and spending my days looking for good stuff to write about. But somehow, somewhere along the line, I slacked off on doing that and I allowed myself to slip back into a pretty deep depression, just like before I started this blog. I don't know why I slacked off or why I slipped. But slip I did!

I guess it's the same as the way I've slipped back into my old eating habits and have gained back some of the weight I lost in 2007. I haven't gained it all back but I've gained some of it back. I'm also not sure why I went back to my old ways of eating. Or my old ways of thinking. But one thing I do know is that I sure was a lot happier when I was a positive thinking size 6!!!! :D

So with this post, I'm pledging to get back to looking for good stuff to write about in my blog. And I'm pledging to break up with Ronald McDonald once and for all and get back to  eating right and exercising regularly .... and getting back into all the cute size 6 clothes I have.

So here's what was good about today.

* The weather was beautiful. Perfect temps, blue skies, a warm breeze.
* I felt genuinely good and happy today. I don't know why but I did and I enjoyed every minute of it.
* I spoke to a person today who gave me some info that may possibly make a huge difference in my life financially.
* I talked to a really cute guy! Didn't get his number but he was still fun to talk to and to look at! LOL!
* I stayed on my diet.
* I exercised.
* I got the idea of working as a volunteer at the farm near where I used to live and I sent in an email about it.
* I got the idea that I need to find places to go where people are having fun. Then even if I'm not doing anything with them, I can have fun vicariously through them by watching them and that will give me "fun" mentality.
* I talked to a really cute guy! Oh, I said that one already. Hee hee. :D
* I finally figured out something I had been thinking about for a long time with regard to what kind of male companion I'd like to have. The really cute guy I talked to today woulda been a good start! :D
* I felt pretty for the first time in a long time. I wonder if the really cute guy thought I was pretty. :D
* I felt strong for the first time in a while.
* I felt safe and peaceful for the first time in a long time.
* I'm writing in my blog for the first time in a while.
* I felt like looking for the good for the first time in a while.

I really think that exercise and meditation is what's pulling me back up from the depression. A couple of weeks ago, I woke up with that "something" inside me telling me to go for a walk instead of sitting around drinking coffee. And somehow I managed to push myself out the door and go for that walk. I had been so so depressed for quite a while and just that one walk made a huge difference in my mental outlook. It really perked me up better than any drug I've ever taken for depression. I was amazed at the dramatic difference. I've continued to exercise and I've started meditating again too and I can tell I'm releasing something when I do that. It also is helping me to stay in the present moment. I had been having a lot of anxiety and feelings of fear. But when I brought myself back to the present moment in meditation, all that went away. I think I'm on to something here!!!! Of course, every self-help book I've ever read said to exercise and meditate. Duh!

This post hasn't been "philosophical" like my other posts. But I really wanted to say what I've said in this post both to encourage anybody who might read it and to recommit myself to being the looking for the good girl! And being the looking for the good girl is a good thing! There! I found some good! :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Don't ever tell me there's no God!

Although I'm not a religious person, I am very close to the God of my understanding. And there are times when I get an undeniable sense, or awareness, of "something or someone" walking in front of me to open my doors for me like a true gentleman. The last couple days have been one of those times. Here's the story. Follow close now because this is one of my stories that has some twists and turns. Like life!
A couple weeks ago, my beloved old Jeep Cherokee started having yet another little quirk. It got to where I couldn't turn the key far enough to start the car. At first, I could jiggle it or play with it a little and it would turn. But the problem quickly became more frequent and quite aggravating. Being the slacker that I am, I made a couple phone calls about it but did nothing to get it repaired.

Yesterday, the problem occurred several times. The last time it happened was, well, the last time it happened! That's because when I stopped off at the grocery store, the key wouldn't turn at all no matter what I did. I was stranded!!!! I had planned to go straight home after I cleaned my last house so that if I got stranded, at least I'd be stranded at home. But I just had to have some sodas for the weekend so I decided to chance it. That's when the switch died and I knew I would have to get towed. The first problem was, I only had $38 to my name! I have AAA so I knew the tow wouldn't cost me. But I also knew $38 wasn't going to cover a repair. What to do???? Think! Think! Wait! No! Don't think, you big dummy! Thinking is what gets you in trouble! Be still. Breathe. Let the answers come to you.

After breathing and listening to that still, small voice inside me, I realized I was only a couple miles from the customer whose house I needed to clean today. I've been with them for years so I was comfortable calling them to ask if they'd consider paying me a day early for their cleaning so I can have the money for the car repair. They didn't mind a bit and they brought the money to me. Then I remembered that the customer whose house I had JUST cleaned had not left me a check, because I had told her to wait till the end of the month and write me one big check. I was only half a mile from her house. I called her and asked her to go ahead and write me the check. They brought the money to me too. Now I had about $148 instead of just the $38 I had before. That felt better but I still wasn't sure it would be enough. All I could do was wait and see. It's worth noting that if I hadn't stopped for the sodas, I would have been stranded at home instead of being stranded closeby the two customers who brought me money!

While I was on the phone with my customer, a AAA tow truck drove right by me!!! I wanted to jump out of the car and yell for him. But I knew I'd have to call AAA and go through the process. So I did. And while I was still on the phone with AAA, I saw in my rear view mirror that same tow truck that had just gone by. Wow! Great service! :) Out of the tow truck hopped this really hot guy. He looked like a tin soldier!!! But I guess that's not relavent to my story, huh? It WAS a nice little treat though in the midst of this situation. LOL! Jonathan put my car up on his truck and drove me to my house and dropped me off. I live on a main street and I had told him just to stop in front of the house and not try to get into my driveway. When I got out of the tow truck to cross the street to my house, he noticed that the traffic kept coming and I couldn't get across the street. Sometimes it takes me several minutes to get across the street when I go for my walk. Well, Jonathan pulled his big ole tow truck right out into the street and blocked the traffic so I could get across. My hero!!!! Did I mention he was really hot and looked like a tin soldier??? :D

Anyway, I digress! :D

After I got home and settled in for the evening, I starting thinking about what I was going to do today. My car was at the shop but I was not! How was I going to get over to pick up my car? I am such a loner that I don't have, or didn't think I had, any friends I could call to help me out. (Note to self: Quit being a loner or else buy a new car! LOL!)

The challenge of how to get to my car was solved this morning with the poor service from my mechanic, or should I say my FORMER mechanic! I'd had my car towed to his shop because he'd helped me in the past. His shop was about ten miles from my house. The last time I stopped by there for some help, he was not helpful like before but I thought maybe he was just having a bad day. I could see he was busy with a big job and didn't want to be bothered with my little issue. So I let him slide on that one. But this morning when I called him, he said he didn't know what was wrong with the car and wasn't sure if he could look at it today. And even though I told him what I thought the problem was, he still wouldn't give me any idea about the price or whether he could fix it. My little voice told me I'd had my car towed to the wrong place. I won't be going back to him any more.

The issue with my car was related to the key so it occurred to me that maybe a locksmith could do the job. So I called one and, sure enough, it was something he could do. But I had to get the car to him which meant another tow. So, again, I called AAA and told them where to tow it to. But I still had the issue of how to get myself to where the car was. But the locksmith place was only about three miles from my house so I knew I could walk if I had to. So it was getting better!

As soon as I hung up the phone from AAA, I got a text message telling me the minutes on my prepaid cellphone had run out and I needed to reload. Grrrrr. I had no money in the account I usually use for that so I had to walk up to the drug store, only one mile away, and buy a reload card. While I was at the drug store, I was telling one of the employees there about my situation with my car. Well, turned out she was getting off work early and she offered to drive me over to where my car was. Whew! Thank God! Of course! :)

It seemed like everything was coming together, just as I knew it would. But there was still one issue that was unresolved. He had told me over the phone that the repair, if I was right about what was wrong, would be about $165. I only had $148. A tiny shortage but still. But even that worked itself out because I was NOT right about what was wrong and the repair ended up only costing $100!

I am now mobile again and I even had some money to buy some groceries for the weekend. I am totally amazed sometimes at how things fall into place when I get still and quiet and just have faith that it will work out. So to all those people who took part in helping me get through this little challenge with my car, I say thank you sooo much! And to that "somebody or something" that always seems to be watching over me, no words can express how thankful I am to know I'm taken care of. Oh, and sorry about being such a drama queen when I forget I'm taken care of. :)

I have in my wallet a tattered and worn old card that has printed on it the Prayer for Protection. I received it in the mail years ago when I requested prayer from Silent Unity and I have carried it with me ever since. It goes like this.

"The light of God surrounds me;
The love of God enfolds me;
The power of God protects me;
The presence of God watches over me;
Wherever I am, God is! "

Wherever I am, God is. And that's a very very good thing! Keep looking for the good!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Latest Angel

For months now, my business has been down and I've really struggled financially. The stress from that has triggered some depression and anxiety which has triggered more stress. And the cycle continues. I've been caught up in that cycle before and I'm ashamed to say that this time I was giving in to it. I felt very defeated and helpless. In addition to the financial issues, I had some personal issues that were weighing on me and I seriously felt like I was down for the count. I felt like I had lost my power.

As far as my income goes, the housecleaning business is a high demand business even during economic down times. So I can always find new customers and increase my income.....if I try. To get new business, I typically distribute fliers in the neighborhoods I like to work in. But my income has been so low that I haven't been able to afford to get any fliers printed up. I should have put out fliers when I didn't need any new business so that I'd have a waiting list of customers instead of a waiting list of bills to be paid. But I didn't.

Finally, it occurred to me that I had accumulated some points on my Wachovia Rewards program and might be able to redeem the points for a gift card at Staples and use that to get some fliers printed up. After checking my account, I saw that I had enough points to get a $25 card. I knew that wouldn't buy me too many fliers but it would buy SOME and if I just got even one job from those fliers then I'd have some money to print up some more fliers. So yesterday I went to Staples to get the fliers made.

The guy at the copy shop was not very friendly and moved in slow motion. I found myself getting annoyed with him because it was taking him so long to wait on me. We had to work out how many copies I could afford to get with my $25 and he was taking forever to figure it out. I wanted to get two fliers per sheet but the photo on my flier didn't look very good that way so he was trying to fix that for me. Finally he got it looking good enough, though not as good as I had hoped. I told him to go ahead and print them like that. I also asked for colored paper, which costs more and he had to cut the sheets in half since there were two fliers per sheet. That was another additional charge. I knew that from when I've had fliers printed up before. I told him to just print up as many fliers as he could for the $25 I had to spend. He said he'd do them while I waited and I went and walked around the store for a while.

When I went back to the copy shop, the guy seemed to be ignoring me and was waiting on everyone else instead of me. Again I got annoyed with him but didn't say anything. Boy was I glad I didn't open my stupid mouth and make a fool of myself. After all the other customers were gone and the manager was not around, the guy leaned over to me and, in a quiet voice, said "Today is my last day on the job here so I made you 500 copies for the price of 250." And he put his finger to his mouth to say "Shhh". Well, you better believe I shhhhh'ed!!!  I thanked him very  much and took my fliers and left. When I got to the car, I looked at the receipt and saw that he also didn't charge me for cutting the sheets or for the colored paper. I ended up with 1000 fliers for $25! Once I get them distributed, I will probably get all the customers I need to fill my calendar back up and get my income where it needs to be!

I was kind of uncomfortable with this copy shop guy at first because of his physical appearance and because he never once looked up at me and was so slow moving and unfriendly and never smiled a single time. But what he did for me will make a tremendous difference in my life in the way of helping me get control of my finances and in giving me back my power that I felt I had lost. So he's on my angel list now and, once again, I've learned that angels don't usually have blond hair and wings. Some of them have ear gages and big sideburns. And I've learned that you never know what kind of heart a person has inside them regardless of how they look or act on the outside.

I doubt if that guy realized how much he helped me and he probably didn't think one bit more about me after I left the store. So I think another thing I've learned is that we never really know how our actions affect others and how we might be making a big difference in someone's life without even realizing it. And that's a good thing. I found some good! :D