No money, more worries

Today is just one of those days where I want to curl up away from everything or I will cry.

It isn’t exactly an abnormal day… There are the usual conflicts to solve, and the picky eaters… It has more to do with the lack of food in the house, and not having the funds to go get more. Technically I do have a teeny tiny bit, but it is earmarked for gas and that is rather important as I really would like the hubby to come home from the airport tonight.

I hate money. I hate the dependence on it and how much power it holds. I hate that it can make me feel like crying and yet so elated when there is extra. People say money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy groceries which is enough to make me happy any day!!

I say to hubby “Perhaps I should go get a part time job. At least it would be extra income”. Hubby says I work hard enough during the day, but it never feels like I am doing enough. Perhaps I have gotten too used to holding 3 jobs and 2 is too quiet?

But I really want my free time! I quit the Weekend job because I missed the time with my family and really needed the downtime for my own sanity. I want to work on my home business, not someone else’s….

But it is that minimum wage job that guarantees a paycheque is coming…

Wait a sec. Did I just write that I want my free time so I can work? Umm… Yup. I guess so. Something to think about.

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Needing a rock for the rock

I think I just GOT why community is so important. Why friendship is needed. Why giving to strangers is necessary. I don’t mean I thought a community had little value – of course it does! It is a necessary part of our social lives. I just GOT why in a different perspective.

When your child is struggling in school or hurt, what do you do? You call on the expertise of the village. But first you are your child’s ROCK. You are strong, supportive, always there, never changing. You are SAFE. But who supports the rock? The community does, right? This is what I now get. I can only be a rock for so long though, before the ground gives way to the extra weight from above. This rock needs a firmer base! If I have many little rocks I can draw strength on… then maybe I can be strong enough to endure the hardship of those I support.

Little rock 1: is the friend. A dear friend or sister, the one you know you can call in tears and they will be there to help.

Little rock 2: is the system. Mini communities of strangers already inviting you to contact them. They arm you with bullets of information to shoot your fears.

Little rock 3: is the Neighbourhood. Sometimes great neighbours notice you need a hand. They mow your lawn or watch your kids in a pinch.

Little rock 4: is the Random Act of Kindness (ROAK). When life is good these things are so nice to hear/experience. A ROAK makes your day sing. But when the rock is giving way to the pressure from above (much like your muscle does with that second last rep at the gym), a ROAK is a miracle! A gift like none before! In fact, ALL these little rocks make a miracle!

I need to go be a rock for awhile now. I need to be strong for those that are being strong for another. Just like gravity, the weight will be dispersed to all the rocks below. Just like a pyramid, I can do it if I have rocks below me too. I hope my rocks don’t mind.

Those pyramids are pretty amazing come to think of it…

I love her

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I love her randomness, the way she surprises me everyday. I love that she has not been told to only wear girl clothes, and loves her brother’s hand-me-downs. I love it when nothing matches because she loves both pieces regardless of whether they belong together. I love that she is so giving and makes presents for everyone! She is my girl, and I want to be more like her.

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I am just ONE. I cannot write something you will agree with completely (but I love you for it)

I have been following different ways of viewing the world for a couple of years now. I  have changed, seen things from the other side, and allowed the veil to be lifted…so to speak.

In particular, I have been bothered by the changes happening in our neighbours to the south (yet followed out of curiosity, and wanting to cheer for the underdog). The USA has had a lot of downs, and most of us Canadians (or at least me) cannot fathom having these things happen to us. I am talking about losing your home and your whole family living in your car for months on end. Trying to have a voice to protest how these circumstances have come about (Occupy Wall Street), yet The Man keeps you down with pepper spray and legal wrangling. Anything to keep the Fat Cat’s pockets Fat. I am reading about the HATE that is spewed between Religious groups and leaders, including leaders of said country. I read their posts as everyday people like us argue back and forth to defend their views and try to best out the other…

I am digesting all this stress from them, and attributing it to a potential future of Canada. Such future cannot be defined by me, but we all try to forecast, right? We want to be prepared? Have all our nuts in a row?

Perhaps it isn’t something I should digest. Perhaps this is one of those times where ignorance is bliss. Some will disagree with me, and I love you for it. Some of you will agree and I love you too. Some of you are indifferent and I love you for who you are. You see, as much as this internet thing has allowed us to share and express our thoughts and opinions to masses more than ever before (and the irony hits me how I am doing this as I talk about it) I can’t help but to think I am only one.

One being.

One mother.

One sister.

One friend.

I am not capable of expressing every point of view fairly because I have not experienced life more than this one way.  I am ok that I am wrong in not expressing it so you agree. 

I am not capable of helping every person or group in need in this community, town, province, country or continent. I am ok with helping someone when I can, even though your experiences tell you I could have chosen someone more deserving.

I am only one.

The funny thing is with everyONE that we have in this funny world with their own unique perspective, we CAN take care of everyONE, everything. By agreeing to disagree and allowing ourselves to be ok with believing something different from the other we actually can take care of everything. Perhaps we take too much comfort in banding together over a cause. It gives us a sense of security! We think we must be right if all these others are jumping on the band wagon! The funny thing is we let RIGHT be dictated by others’ moral compass and not our own… we need to own our own compass to be at peace with ourselves, don’t you think?

This is where the little girl in me wants you to agree and tell me I am RIGHT so I can have my ego boost, and believe I am a good girl. Did I deserve an A for this thought? A pat on the head?

The new part of me doesn’t really care because I need to love myself for who I am at this moment, and I will love you for where you are in your moment.

Sigh… At the same time I cannot help but to feel as though I have inadequately explained the thoughts I am having. Perhaps these thoughts are too lengthy for one blog post. Perhaps I go too easily off on a tangent at 11pm. Perhaps the little girl in me thinks this essay is not good enough for the teacher to praise and once again I have disappointed… but that is the lesson to learn, right? Be happy with myself in the moment, and not let other define what is Right?

In short (not good at being short, or writing – but it doesn’t matter, right?) – you take care of the polar bears, I will take care of the kids, and let’s divide up the rest of the problems between the remaining population. On the other hand, if we each take care of the neighbour to our right, we should come full circle. Or is the Earth flat again? Doesn’t matter. I’ll go on the left.

Peace 🙂

I had a dream last night…

…that brought me to a place of authority. A police station. I was there for questioning, it seemed. I felt exposed, observed, and vulnerable. But I trusted. These were the good guys, right? I dreamed that I was there for safe keeping, and it would be a bit so they offered me a temporary bed. One like those padded examining tables you find in the Doctor’s office. I was given one of those thick, dusty grey blankets that will keep you warm, but offers no security. It had two windows, and a door with a window which all looked onto other parts of the station, such as the office’s and the hall. I had no control over the blinds for these windows as they were only on the other sides of the rooms. I still felt vulnerable.

Time passed and I fell asleep. It seemed as though I somehow lost a couple pieces of clothing while sleeping, and was woken up gently from someone of trust, and told it was time to get up. I was aware of being exposed, and decided to comment to this officer that I can see they are enjoying having a woman in this room for once as they have been taking advantage of the view, and staring a little more than usual into the room.

Respect!

Moments later the curtains were closed and I had complete privacy to get up and get dressed. I walked out of the room and was escorted to a meeting/break room down the hall. Many jovial faces were gathered there. They wanted to show their appreciation to me! Not sure why, but somehow I had touched them. They appreciated me. They showed their appreciation by giving me a present. I unwrapped the large rectangular object from its paper. It appeared to be a frame the size of a flat screen TV, but instead of a screen there were wires, gears, springs and other strange mechanical parts in the space. As I tilted the frame these parts moved with gravity. The boss told me with pride that it was the latest technology for having a second screen. It could duplicate the image from the original TV and project it into the space.

I awoke shortly after, wondering what to make of this dream. Being vulnerable is something common to everyone. Being naked in public often expresses that in a dream. So it may be representing what happens if I allow myself to truly express who I am inside without fear. To trust that those with ‘authority’ will see the real me and respect me and my thoughts. Perhaps once I can do that there will be rewards in life I can’t yet fathom.

Could it really be that simple?

I don’t normally share dreams. They are extremely personal and often of wild fantasy/horror/sci-fi/embarrassment. Perhaps this is the first step of allowing my true self to shine, and not worry about what others think?

Perhaps this blog is part of a new transformation for me that will lead to mysterious new horizons as I learn to be honest and open.

Perhaps I could get hurt, but I will do my best to understand that in the end only I can decide what hurts me.

***

Upon further reflection, I find myself wondering about the representation of the second screen. It is futuristic, projects, but only projects what is currently playing on another screen…. Did a tree just fall in the woods or was I not there to hear it?? I think it is time to sleep. I cannot ponder that one right now.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you.

Love Barb

Lefty-ness?

My sweet little girl has been doing quite well in Junior Kindergarten so far. She is fairly quick at learning to copy the letters, and can remember many of them. She is a lefty like her daddy and me, so the spatial awareness and artistic abilities may come easier to her in life.
However so far she has a funny little quirk…

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She writes in reverse or mirror image!

I can’t blame her, being a lefty too. After all how many times have I cursed the appearance of ink on my hand and the smudged letters on the page? Ok, that may be a rhetorical question, but enough to make me choose smudge-proof ink! I have seen others bend their wrists at impossible angles or twist their papers to avoid such annoyances.

Watching her learn to write has made me realize how tailored instructional writing is to the right handed people of the world. The way they write number 5 works great for them, but never did work for me! As my son struggles with his printing skills I am becoming even more aware of pushing vs. pulling mechanisms, posture, and angle. These rules developed for learning the easier way to print a letter were all based on right handed people!

The mirrored writing she does makes perfect sense to me, and I think I will enjoy looking back on her little quirk for years to come. Perhaps we will glance at each other in the future and share a private joke about the ink smudges on our hands, and how us lefties should have been taught ‘backwards’.

Career Decisions

Choosing to leave a career path (yes, I consider retail a career) that one has done for 12 years isn’t an easy task. It burdened my mind with What If’s and feelings of guilt. I constantly reminded myself that any decision I make affects my family for better or worse. Regardless of what desires I have, I still am responsible for my share of the bills! A steady salary means predictability. Following my dreams could be a turbulent road, and how dare I put the stability of my family at risk! Right?

Well it turns out that stability isn’t all I thought it was cracked up to be. First, the hours affected my relationship with my kids! After saying goodnight to my kids over the phone for the third time one week, even my boss was tearing up because I was missing out on life. I also had no clue what my kids were doing at school anymore. When I was off after my daughter was born, I felt so involved in my son’s school, and cherished the relationships made with other parents. Having steady income seemed to equal living life through Facebook only. Kudos to all the parents that have figured out how to do this with a career!

My steady income job also meant I got to gas up the car at inflated rates. What a joy to watch my money disappear into the gas tank. Only a few months ago I was in tears because I didn’t even have enough left after paying the bills to buy gas to get to work so I could earn money to pay the bills!

It just wasn’t adding up – financially and emotionally.

Eventually I had to put happiness into the equation and see if income can join it. The problem is, you see, I get crazy ideas all the time, and over-excited at the possibilities of a different, magical life. For example, I once told him “Since you want to go to the Caribbean so much, why don’t we move there! Look, here’s a job site, ooh look! You can do tech support in Hawaii. Or Bahamas! What do you think?”  My hubby then looks at me as though I am from another planet when I tell him these wondrous things, and I begin to doubt myself. I realized even if I believe in my ideas they would only happen with the support of my family. For over a year I have debated on starting a Daycare in my home to meet these emotional and financial needs, but Hubby wasn’t sure if that career choice would meet his emotional needs. For example, after a long day at work how would he feel coming home to many kids running around his house? What about having our house look more like a playroom than a home? After many ‘discussions’ he has come to say “If it makes you happy, and it will pay the bills, go for it.”

Woohoo!! …. But what will make me happy?

I defined my Happiness by asking myself a few questions:

  • I feel happiest at work when…
  • I feel happiest at home when…
  • What is more important? A career (A.K.A.  adult time), or time with kids?

Simple, really. Kind of dumb, but I needed to define them… the hard part was that I tend to think too far ahead into the future. Say, 10 years. What if by deciding to stay at home with my kids damages a future career? What if I won’t be worth enough money to pay our bills? Will I regret it?

But if I am missing out on the kid’s lives that much because of work, won’t I regret that more?

Yes. Yes I would.

The funny thing is I couldn’t decide until I told myself to forget about the future and do what makes me happy NOW. Say we only had 7 years left to do that bucket list, and do what we value most. For me it would be exploring the world around us with my kids. I want to share and teach them – and others! I feel fulfilled when their faces light up with excitement through discovery! I feel loved! In 7 years if I stayed in the career, I could only experience that on weekends. Somehow there is never the time to explore the world between breakfast and school, or homework and dinner.

I guess when it comes down to it a career is only a title, and by allowing a title to define who I am I lose who I am when the title is taken away. Not sure if that made sense, but let’s put it this way. If you allow your work to define who you are, what happens when you get fired? Who are you then? Are you nobody? Of course not. You are a system of values. I think what I am realizing is that the career was merely a title and reward system that doesn’t always reward my core values. If I think of fulfilling my core values, then it is no longer work and I am happy. I don’t need a title to define that.

So who am I now that I have decided to quit my corporate retail title?

I am happy. I am loving. I am free. I am teaching. I am exploring. I am living in the moment, and I don’t want to stop! By opening my home to other children in a Daycare setting, I can be all of these things and still afford to pay our bills.

I am happy!

 

May you discover more to love today,

Barb

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