Tag Archives: contrast

Expectations of Happiness

How does one define happiness, and why is our own definition so illusive?

It’s a weird rhetorical question.

I have no solid answer myself, as I can find my happiness sitting alone in a room, meditating, during a quiet massage session, or sitting in my hammock.

On the same token there are times that I feel like I should be happy when I’m not.

Today is the 4th of July. Former president Trump and 2020 ruined what shred was left of my patriotism. I should be happy to celebrate this holiday, but I have been grumpy all day long. At the same time I am fighting a desired to run away.

I could apply for a management position at what is now my part-time second job, they are hiring for many positions with an impending new building opening. It would be a massive promotion and I’m certain they want me to do so. It could be equivalent to income I make from the clinic, maybe a hair more, and the work would likely be much easier on me physically. However, the stress levels would be high, I’d probably be on-call a lot, and likely end up working as much, if not more, than I do now. It’s not my own business, and it’s not the intentional community I desired.

The skills might help with my dream community, but at this point I have a strong awareness that I can learn anything I need in a very short span of time, so the learning lesson is much less of a draw these days. Beyond that, 2020 again ruined my desire to work with elderly in any fashion, and I am already considering quitting the part-time work because of it. I would have much less headache and Saturday afternoons off, something that seems really appealing with our new mess related to dialysis.

The clinic still has me occupied 5 to 6 days a week and I feel like I work with platonic family. It is a good feeling and I know my work there is genuinely helping many people. Literally the only real drawback is that it is hard on my body and requires many hours of self care. Also because of that, I know my income will always be limited and I have likely already reached my maximum.

If I stay where I am and doing what I am doing then life will be fairly unchanged for years to come. It’s not really a horrible thing, but I am simply just tired of bearing the weight of a family alone. I have done it for almost 16 years and on very few occasions Nathan or I had to grovel to our parents for assistance. Most of them were right after we moved to Kansas city and turned around to deal with his hospital stay. It was a very rough period and the only period that I had to beg for parental assistance more than once. Out of 16 years I’ve asked my mom for money 4 times, and Nathan’s mom about the same (maybe a couple more times). The rest of the 16 years has fallen squarely on our shoulders, and only the last 10 have been my sole responsibility. When I state it that way, it doesn’t seem like that much, but my experience of it is just wearing me out.

I’ve been contemplating grad school, but know I can’t get a loan. So to that end I’m contemplating taking the MCAT and Mensa tests. It’s my hope to get scholarship if I do well enough, but I’ve set no direct commitment yet, only inquiries on tests and chiropractic college.

I’m also contemplating simply looking into a loan to start a massage school of actual merit. THAT I already have enough knowledge and commitment for. God knows KC needs a decent massage school, or I’d be able to find a quality trade partner easier. It would be a ton of legwork and writing on the front end, skimping by financially until a student body could be acquired and actual classes could begin. There would be accreditation processes and board certification processes, course management and all of the regular business and accounting issues to deal with, all out of whatever loan I managed to procure. It would be fast paced and grueling for several months to get set-up and functional, and everything would ride on loans until students began enrollment. Not impossible- my massage school had just done that when I enrolled 14 years ago and they are still functional.

This week the chiropractor encouraged me to shift my business to a full LLC, and I wondered if that was my cue to lean that direction. I simply don’t know.

Part of me is perfectly fine with settling and riding the calm waters of maintaining what I’ve already created. Especially if I quit the part-time job and get my Saturdays back for relaxation and fun.

Part of me knows this is not really my Atira, and is downtrodden over the prospects that I may never see my actual dream manifest. That’s the part of me that wants to run away.

I simply don’t know, and my tired brain just wants the elusive happiness all the time. It’s there when I have the time and space to find it, but I have a hell of a time keeping it in me.

For now I leave you with my rhetorical question and ramblings.

May you find your happiness, know your expectations, and find a way to maintain it regardless. May you instill in your children the ability to maintain their happiness while also lifting our world up. May we all enjoy our lives mostly and find ease in navigating the paths of life. May you be comfortable with your life regardless of where the roads lead you. May you see that everything happens for a reason, sometimes to just give you clarity on what you don’t want. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

Rainbows and smiles

Yesterday was my weekly day off. I had a list of things to do, but as is often the case with a family, my list did not go as planned. Families are rarely well oiled machines like jobs. It is what it is.

What I did manage to accomplish was my poster for kids to learn Abraham Hicks’ emotional scale.

My goal was to take these two found images:

Then add graphics for my kids to understand.

My first blush was smilies like on phones/tablets, they seem to be a major factor in communication these days and kids are supposedly born “cable ready” so to speak. My 6 year old navigates a tablet amazingly well for someone that can’t really read the language he speaks. So if I’m trying to help him, I pretty much have to utilize what he knows.

So I built smilies from scratch in CorelDraw. I added them to a 20×30 inch document, the desired size for printing. I made my own version of a rainbow mirrored tornado/vortex. Then I added all the words that are in the original emotional scale, and a couple extra simple ones my kids frequently use. I placed smilies and hearts and stars, but stopped short of adding a tombstone at the bottom of the negatives.

My first attempt at printing was met with disaster because Walgreens print software tells it to fill the page and eliminate any white space, which caused the top and bottom to be chopped off. I actually had intended to have the white space for more focus. But, since their software did that, I had to add a background for it to print properly. I chose bubbles to match the shape of the smiley faces.

An hour later I had a poster to hang on the wall to help teach my children. This is the final image.

If you’re wanting this to print you’ll get about a 6×8 that is clear and readable. If you want larger than that, reach out to me and I’ll be happy to supply your desired size at a small fee.

Anyway, it is now hung in the hallway between rooms so that my whole family can see it frequently.

I was happy I finally got to it, and accomplished a creative helpful tool for my kids to learn. It’s a quadruple accomplishment in my book. That puts me right at the top of that emotional scale 🤪🤩!

Then today, I worked and did clerical and front desk at the clinic. I was the ‘head cheeze’ on this day. It wasn’t too bad, I only got frustrated a couple of times when something wasn’t processing correctly. But I was constantly fighting off the negatives of that darn scale, on the invisible mental spectrum.

Some were definitely mine, related to my feelings about things in my 3D experience. Some felt external though, old familiar sensations in my body activating with them, telling me whom they might apply to.

Either way I’m pretty sure I climbed that emotional scale over a dozen times today, and only really lost twice. Once just before leaving work, I was sitting quietly waiting, and the emotions hit so hard I started crying and tossed my mask at the computer. The other was after getting home. I’ve managed to climb back up from both, which is good.

In-between, after climbing up from mask-toss, I was greeted by rainbows on my way home. They were beautiful. I managed to get pictures, pulling over 3 times to snap phone shots.

I wanted to share, because I acknowledged that I love the sun, and I love rainbows, and you can’t have rainbows without both the sun and the rain. There will always be a little of something you don’t love, even when it’s mostly something you do love.

So here are my beautiful rainbow pictures:

I hope you have an easy time climbing the emotional scale. May you make peace with the undesired, especially when something desired is your object of attention. May you find quadruple accomplishments. May you enjoy your days mostly and find emotional stability when you need it most. May you know that God loves and supports you in everything that you do.

Om Shanti

Ding-Dong KO

Ok, so sometimes my addictions, turn into a Multi-player Mortal Kombat round. I’m just as proud of myself, if the worst one of the ‘enemies’ is the one knocked out, as I would be winning a duel.

Sometimes it really is about picking your battle, and knowing that if only one was knocked out, then at least I didn’t die, and I’ll make it another round.

I am doing a lot better than I used to, but my addictions win more often than I would like. It’s a battle I’ve been practicing at for over 7 years and I still loose occasionally, but the little voice of inspiration said that I make it look too easy, and I need everyone to know it’s not.

The text conversation at the beginning of this post, was from the middle of a 5 hour shift yesterday. I was working front desk and it was a little slower for a change. Usually not a bad thing, so I never complain when it’s slow. The one exception caused my message to Nathan, I didn’t say a word to other staff because of embarrassment.

I was feeling weak, and probably could have used help, but it might as well have been the conversation I had to have over a shotgun which I couldn’t get out of my mind. I simply couldn’t have that conversation, over goodies, and with people that don’t really care about me to begin with. They care that I show up, do my job, and when shit hits the fan that I can handle it. They simply don’t want to have a conversation about, “hey, can you hide the goodies from me, my brain is torturing me already, …please?”

So I didn’t say anything.

An hour in, I had already looked at the box of Ding-Dongs over a dozen times. The brand new unopened box of Godiva chocolates had almost had as many views, but because it was unopened I wasn’t certain it was for staff, and kept telling myself someone would come pick it up any minute.

At one point I got so flustered that I got up abruptly, and quickly walked to the mail room, forgetting there’s a camera in there. As soon as the black globe caught my periphery, I froze in blush. Quick thinking, I gestured like I was looking for something and left. Only problem was, I noticed the box of brittle, I’d forgotten about, on the mailroom counter as I turned to leave.

I stood in the empty hall trying to figure out what I was doing, why, and what I needed to do. On my way back to the desk seat, I grabbed my seaweed pack and consumed it crunchily instead.

I drank a full bottle of water.

I amused myself on my phone for a little bit.

Then I noticed one too many glances in the directions of goodies again. At that point, I was lone staff, because the other person was delivering day-sheets throughout the building.

I got up and paced the floor. I refilled my water bottle and glanced at the brittle again on my way past. I grabbed my celery and sat to eat it, not quite even having gotten to hour two yet. I thought ‘better not eat it all, just in case’.

It was a little limp for not having eaten my sticks for 3 days. I’m burnt out on celery and it’s lost any appeal it ever did have, even the peanut-butter is losing any appeal to my taste buds. I ate about 6 celery sticks, each dipped once in peanut-butter. That was more than enough. I closed lids and left it sitting right in front of me.

Approximately 30 minutes later, my text to Nathan (above) went out as I was losing my resolve. Almost 3 hours into my shift, the Ding-Dongs were looking far too tempting. How was I going to make it another two?

I decided if I couldn’t managed a TKO, then at least the worst option should go down in flames. Instead of: gluten, and red-40, and chocolate, and sugar, and chemicals (all things found in Ding-Dongs that are bad for my system); I chose to go for the least impact, especially since the Godiva box was unopened and questionable. So Brittle won, and Ding-Dongs and chocolate were knocked-out!

Me and brittle. Mmmmm.

When I went to retrieve a piece, I got a big chunk with two smaller ones stuck to it. I decided I’d eat the two small bits and save the big one for later.

As my last two hours ticked by it was: celery stick with pb, pause, brittle, pause, celery stick, pause, brittle, pause, celery stick, pause, brittle and so on. Every few minutes a nibble of something. I also worked on a non-vital computer task to distract myself.

It worked. I ended up eating only brittle beyond my regular celery and seaweed I take everyday.

In the ring we have Valentine Ding-Dongs, Godiva Assortiment, Apple Pie Peanut Brittle, and Treasa with her green shit. And let the fight begin! …. Oh Treasa is taking some hard hits there, but she stays standing every time. Oh, she’s fighting back, 1-2, oh, the right hook…. Now APPB has sided with her, oh my folks, who’s going to win this battle royale! … And the winning team is Treasa with greens and Apple Pie Brittle! …Crowd goes wild!…. Aaaaa!

Sorry for the corney ring-side joke, I grew up on things like that.

Anyway, my point is, I didn’t say anything to anyone except Nathan, and he even only got a couple of texts. But for me it was 5 hours of torture, mostly mental – granted, and a very strategic battle to overcome the worst damages of losing altogether. It’s hard to know what’s going on inside another person’s head, and it’s even harder when they have 20 years of experience hiding it. I’m not perfect at anything, but I highly doubt the other two people that worked via the front office yesterday, had any clue I was even having a mental battle, let alone that the two culprits to trigger it were within reach all day.

They were oblivious to my mental torture, because I’ve spent 20 years either fighting it silently, or withdrawing from the world. When I withdraw, I’ve either lost the battle and given in fully, or I sleep it off and hope I wake to less triggering things. I’m glad to report that these days, my withdrawal periods are few, fairly well distanced from one another, and short lived.

So if you’re struggling with an addiction, even if it is “just food”, know it’s hard. It sucks, and takes everything you’ve got to function as normal as possible, but it’s worth it. On one hand my addiction won’t kill me with one oopse (overdose), but it’s so many places in life that it’s super easy to get and often people readily supply the worst versions for me. I don’t even have to pay anything for mine to be triggered. And those people that say it’s just food… They have no clue the chemical storm that an addiction stirrs in your brain, regardless of what the trigger is. I would also add that known reactions to chemicals used in some foods, are indicative of some of the same known reactions to some recreational drugs. Sugar has been compared to hard drugs like cocaine in numerous studies on brain function. So, it may be just food, but it’s still very much an addiction.

It’s time that everyone get some slack for how hard we’re all working to overcome challenges, especially when many of us are very much addicted to “just food”. An addiction is hard no matter what “it” is. If you’re fighting at all then you deserve a damned medal.

Be kind to yourself and give yourself some love for it.

Also, find people you can confide in. I have my Nathan, but he gets tired of hearing of some the same things repeatedly, we all do. You need enough people to confide in that they don’t get sick of it, but don’t utilize having more options as a reason for complaining more. Keep in mind everything you talk about and focus on brings more of it, so if you focus on the battle too much you’ll just get more battle. So, regardless of my embarrassment, I still do my best to talk about my battles as little as possible, in an attempt to reduce their frequency. It is working, just very slowly.

Those of us fighting the good fight, we rock. Anyone that wants to put you down or belittle your efforts can take a hike or KMA. We are fighting addictions of a wide variety that didn’t exist 100 years ago. We have a bigger challenge than most in older generations would even consider. Appreciate your own efforts and thank your body every single day, that you have a chance to try again. Give your own self some love for all the things you survived, and apologize to every organ sincerely explaining your doing your level best with all the challenges that come your way.

Know it could be worse, there always something that’s worse. But also know that you are winning a tough battle and that makes you amazing.

May you triggers always be conveniently out of reach, literally or metaphorically. May you know you have loving support if you need it, and the ability to discern if it’s better to distract yourself and attempt to attract fewer battles. May you have confidence in your ability to overcome and succeed in all endeavors. May you love yourself for all that you have managed to accomplish. May you know you’re on the right track. May you know you are loved and supported by God in all that you do, and everything you need.

Om Shanti