I wanted movement.

Lots of things are happening now.

This week will be crazy. I am volunteering Mondays and Thursdays for the American Cancer Society. This Wednesday will be my last time at the Women’s Center, although they said I have cat-petting privileges anytime. If I need to pet a cat, I can always go there and pet Taser and Luna.

Also this week, I do tutoring on Monday and Wednesday. I saw my student last week. She knows nothing about Excel and has two projects to do. We worked on one, looking at the policy differences of various unions she deals with. I showed her what she wanted and then showed her a much easier-to-print way to do it in Word. So she decided to do it in Word, seeing as there are no actual calculations in this project that would make Excel a better choice. I don’t see my job as being an “Excel Tutor” but rather as a “Solution Finder.” She said she knew of others that need help with Excel, so this could grow into something.

And there are miscellaneous things this week. Such as getting my hair cut Monday night. I haven’t had a trim in probably eight months and I’d rather give the business to a friend than pay a stranger. In addition, I am making peanut butter balls with my former Protestant minister’s wife. They are such good people that they give Christians a good name and there aren’t a lot of such folks left in this world. We’ve been doing this for probably twenty years. She’s been having some health problems and memory issues, so I am unsure how many more years we will be doing this.

Of course, Christmas is coming up. I just mailed cards with money orders to Barry’s grandsons in Algonac. I made him do the writing in the cards but I did the envelopes because it is important that the postal service find them legible. And we just mailed a card to his daughter up in Clare county, with our address sticker on the envelope.

Why is that significant? Because nobody, and I do mean nobody, in his family has our address. We moved a little over a year ago and left no forwarding address–on purpose. His sisters pretended to offer help and then when I tried to get actual assistance, the response was, “Now is not a good time.” Seriously? Is it ever a good time to be in a crisis and need help? So I basically told them to go screw themselves and not to contact us further. And so far, so good. The only time I ask any of them for anything (or ever will) and the answer is no. And I was asking for very little. Really? Gee, I am so sorry I inconvenienced you.

Back to Bailey, his daughter. I called her ex’s mom (the grandsons’ grandmother) and it turned out that Bailey wanted our phone number so a friend could contact us. Reality check: we know none of her friends. Never have. In other words, she wants money. Why doesn’t she have our phone number? Barry has been calling her every other Friday since she turned 18. He only gets her machine, but that’s not the point. She doesn’t have caller ID? Before we switched to Verizon probably five years ago, we still had a land line with the exact same number! An old phone book would do the trick.

Anyhow, Jeff’s mom said she wants she and her husband to come with Jeff and the boys to Lansing. I said we would take them to Smokey Bones and the boys could buy what they wanted at Dick’s, which is just across the parking lot. At this point, every event with Barry has to be treated like possibly the last one ever.

I told Barry about all of this and at first told him his daughter was not welcome. He says, “Why not?” I reminded him that she threw a fit when she found out we saw the boys this past February and referred to Barry as “that child molester.” Funny how no one can even imagine Barry doing anything remotely inappropriate and he said, “I can’t even molest myself.” Such a guy thing to say. I said I might call 911 if she shows up because I don’t want her anywhere near us.

But then I reconsidered and told him he could see her if I’m not there because I can’t guarantee what I would do if I saw her. We haven’t seen her since Christmas  of 2014. That is a marriage and a divorce ago. I have always had the policy of not interfering with Barry and Bailey seeing each other. Until I heard about her throwing a hissy fit when Jeff brought the boys for a visit and referring to her dad as a child molester. That’s why giving her our address is such a big deal.

Then it struck me like a ton of bricks. Maybe she wants her inheritance now. Barry wants her to have $2500 when he dies and it sounds like she is totally broke up north. I don’t care when she gets it. If that’s what she wants, we can arrange that. I can stick it into an account somewhere and let her know about it when she wants it.

Is this the closure Barry has been waiting for? Is this what he is living for?

Either absolutely nothing is changing or more is happening than I can keep track of. But a lot of movement beats being stuck any day.


Feast or Famine

I am getting movement.

The American Society likes me as a volunteer. I love doing actual administrative stuff. Still not getting paid, but it looks a whole lot better on my resume than Target would have. They even want to show me their banking procedures. I think they really need help. They don’t even know how ridiculously over-educated I am. They got a bargain and don’t even know it.

Still practicing my MS Office. Office Team sent an email about potential opportunities and one looked right up my alley. So I called and asked how many hours a week it would be. Forty. I’ve already told them that that is simply not doable with my husband still alive. They asked about my availability and I told them about ACS and that I wasn’t sure what they wanted from me.

That was yesterday. Today, I got an email from Davenport’s career coordinator asking if I would be willing to tutor (her IPAD auto-“corrected” to “turtle”, too funny) someone in Excel for money and I said yes. I have emailed the potential student. I expect to hear from her soon. I would love to turtle someone. I’ve been practicing for a couple months now. I will be sure to show them the difference between what they learn in business school versus what the average person in the real world actually needs to know.

Either everyone wants me or nobody wants anything to do with me. This is all very intriguing.

Tipping Points versus Faith

I have been listening lately a lot to Abraham Hicks recordings. Some of it sounds faith-based (just believe and it will happen), which I know from personal experience is simply false. If prayer actually worked, my life would be very, very different from what it is. I’ve seen too many people “have faith” and take zero responsibility for their lives. “The Lord will provide,” they say. Tell that to the six million Jews in the Holocaust.

Why do I think Abraham/Hicks are on to something? Because they talk about finding the good feeling and tipping points. Feeling good is always better than feeling like crap. Taking responsibility for how one feels is the ultimate in taking responsibility for oneself.

Tipping points are fascinating and real. This is how they work: you input something into a container (your mind, the world, whatever) and keep adding into it and eventually, and often quite suddenly, things change permanently. Think Archimedes in the tub. Why should a metal ship float on lighter water? He thought and thought and thought…and then relaxed in the tub. The dots were all in his left brain, he relaxed, the dots moved over to his right brain, and voila! They instantly connected. He did the work first but could not force a solution (the displacement of water). It had nothing to do with faith. He did the work. But could not force a result.

Socially, I think we are looking at many similar situations. Elections are the perfect example. In my opinion, the results of the 2016 and 2017 elections happened that way. Conservatives were pissed for many years and every single one of them voted and now Trump is President. Fast forward to 2017 and now the liberals are equally pissed and made huge strides. You don’t see the day-to-day emotions of every single voter, but you see the final result on election day. Things are happening behind the scenes. Faith not required or relevant.

I think I am seeing results from strange directions. For example, a few months ago this one girl at the Blessing was annoying me. I wanted her gone, but, to some degree, this was none of my business. Then, about six weeks ago, she was rude to someone else and was told she couldn’t act like that. She could not promise to do it again, so she decided not to come back. I got my way and didn’t have to life a finger! This was not how I expected things to go down.

Also, a few months ago, I thought it would be nice if there weren’t so many people competing for the one washer and dryer on our end of the building. About a week ago, someone broke into the laundry rooms and raided the money from the machines. So management disabled the machines and everyone is now going elsewhere to do their laundry. Nobody in their right mind is going to move into an apartment complex that has no laundry facilities. My neighbors are livid. People just may start to move out. I guess I got my way!

The point is that I am getting some of what I want, but not in the ways I expected. I am trying to figure this out. I seem to create the what and have nothing to do with the how. I am not understanding how this works. At all.

All I know is that I have spent years feeling like crap. Faith is a joke. Prayer is simply Christians telling themselves what they want to hear. Been there, done that.

Perhaps I am just telling myself what I want to hear. I’m just doing it with my eyes wide open and my goal is crystal clear: to feel good.

Meanwhile, I can increase various skills and make myself more valuable in the job market. You have to collect the dots before you can connect them. This is something I have learned. I have had personal experiences with sudden insight. I know how this works and am now applying it to every area of my life. One day, you read something you have read dozens of times and suddenly understand how it applies to every level of your life.

Whoever does hire me is going to be very lucky and they have no idea.

Learning to Focus

I am learning to be very particular about what I want to think about. It is just too easy to get depressed. I can’t go there anymore because “there” has nothing for me. I know what it’s like to not want to live. I know what it’s like to not be able to find a job. I know what it’s like to need help, be promised help, and then receive none. I don’t need to relearn those lessons.

Given the unbelievable slowness of time lately, I have had to be specific about what I want. It is too easy to “go with the flow” and not be deliberate about what I think about.

I think of today as yesterday’s creation. My goal is to do a lot less observing and a lot more imagining.

What I really want is to get on board the wave of change. Change is the only thing one can count on and I want to use it to my benefit.

What other people think is not the point. I reached that point a couple years ago. If they aren’t going to help, they don’t get a vote! Their opinions are worthless.

I am going to think new thoughts.

Long Nights

Time has been going unbelievably slowly lately. So I’ve gotten a lot done. I’ve been studying my MS Office. And listening to many law of attraction and binaural beat recordings.

I am looking for things that get me excited. I am having a hard time at this. Part of this is my history of over-involvement with things that offer me nothing. Getting my emotional ass kicked by subconscious unmet emotional needs.

The last time I got really excited by anything was when I discovered Eastern Orthodoxy. It met my current (at that time) intellectual questions and provided the structure I craved. I went looking for hesychia (silence and stillness) and found a Greek country club. I looked for structure and found a pastor incapable of being supportive of any opinion that he had not previously approved.

The upside is that the Greek Orthodox church cured me of my religious addiction. Permanently.

The downside is that I am wary of anything that excites me. How do I know I’m not just going on another emotional roller coaster that ends with me still (and always) being responsible for everything in my life, as well as now having made a new huge commitment that has zero ability to meet any real-world need of mine? I can’t blame others. I was attracted to this crap. It’s all me.

But I have to find something to get enthusiastic about. Life without any positive expectation whatsoever has no color or interest. Kill me now. I need a new perspective. Badly. Otherwise, I am so depressed that I can’t find a job that I pray not to wake up.

Meanwhile, the nights crawl by. But I can at least do some serious reading and listening. I need a new direction. I feel like the momentum is g-o-n-e. Perhaps this works for the best, but it’s hard to have perspective at the bottom of the valley.

The Underbelly of Change

It hit me last night that every issue in my life is about change. Too fast, too slow, my degree of control within a given situation, and the corporate concept of “change management” (which may simply be delusional). Perhaps one can manage one’s response to change, but manage change itself? I am not convinced.

What I am obsessed with right now is the superficial versus deeper levels of reality. Depth, intuition, inner knowing, stillness, etc., are all right brain endeavors. Quantum entanglement, the spiritual world, and nature all operate in this realm.

But people are so overwhelmed that all they typically see is the topmost layer. And then the surface changes and almost everyone is shocked. The people not shocked are the ones paying attention to the quiet details that most overlook. I’ve seen it with Michigan’s economy. The jobs stopped paying a living wage, thereby driving away educated career-minded job-seekers. Now that there are more jobs, there are almost no qualified people to fill them. When there were no jobs, nobody noticed exodus of educated young people. I saw what was happening with every U-Haul. I knew those people weren’t moving to Lansing.

Another realm is with Barry’s health. I’ve seen this with other people’s health. Someone’s immune system goes downhill very, very slowly. There is no disruption to the routine. Everything goes on like it always has. Then, the person gets a cold (or some other normally inconsequential malady) and dies. The family is shocked. But they were doing so well! What happened? The changes were going on beneath the surface. I believe Barry could go on like this for a few years, catch a cold, and perish. Michigan winters are brutal. On everyone. I do not know the timing because I am not in his body. I know his cough is getting worse, but that’s been true for a while. I just don’t know.

My emphasis right now is improving myself. I am meditating a lot, trying to spark my intuition. I am studying Word, Excel, and Access. Part of that is because I know that when I start working, I will have zero energy to essentially do homework while taking care of Barry. When I do find volunteer work or paying work, everything could change quickly.

On the surface, absolutely nothing is changing. The lack of change has made me wonder if I was a serial killer in a previous life. To feel this stuck for so long is not even real sometimes. The lack of change is what makes me wonder if I am cursed or if there is some bizarre lesson I need to learn. I never thought it would this hard to find volunteer work.

What I know is that when change seems sudden, it only generally seems so to the people not paying attention. The surface has collapsed, but often those “in the know” have been watching the process for years. I’m not saying there are never surprises, but most shocking things happen after long years of something consistently not being addressed. That’s my opinion. Remember Columbine? Klebold and Harris had been picked on for years. You never know what state of mind someone is in when when you speak to them.

I truly feel that part of my purpose in life is to help midwife (or hospice) people and organizations through change. I see hospice workers as midwives to the other side. I feel like I have been preparing for this my whole life. Every ending is a beginning. Imagine if everyone ever alive was still alive and no one had ever died. No cemeteries. Talk about the family reunions from hell! Eight-hundred-year-old relatives telling you about when they helped build that Gothic cathedral in France.

I want to understand more about “manifestation” because I have never been able to get things from my mind to successfully give me what I need. I feel like I make all the right effort…to no avail.  I have not mastered getting things from the invisible realm to real life.

Change is reality. I’m trying to take responsibility for the things I can. Impermanence is one of the Buddhist three marks of reality, along with no-self and suffering. It is the bedrock I am building my life upon.

Right Brain Turn

Just lately, I have realized that I have gone as far as I can with my left brain. The left brain is logical and good at preparation. But it can’t give a sense of meaning or purpose. The left brain is all about the how.

The how without the why, however, is, literally, meaningless. Part of my issue for the past few years is that I have not had a sufficient why. I can do this, that, or the other thing, but so-freaking-what? I feel like I have spent my whole life preparing to live. And never actually living. It’s pretty bad when you envy your drug-addled siblings because at least they had fun!

I’ve always been too logical for that. I did not want to experience some of the more negative consequences of their behavior. In other words, keep your drugs and alcohol away from me, my car, and my residence. Life is hard enough without being paranoid the cops will pull you over and find pot seeds in the ashtray. Also, I always knew that Barry was, is, and always will be 16 years older than I am. So, I made sure I got an education so I could support myself someday. Then he got cancer and I made preparations for him to die. We have plots, a grave marker, and much of those final expenses already paid for. And then he did not die.

Meanwhile, I have spent years praying for my own demise. It’s just the burden of doing everything for two without a light at the end of the tunnel. For years. Putting my life on hold waiting for him to die while the employment gap on my resume grows by the day.

Then I reached a point where it just doesn’t matter anymore. I have to find something to do to put on my resume. I can’t let the gap keep growing, regardless of Barry’s health or lack thereof. I would never, ever have dropped out of the workforce if I seriously believed for one second that it would be 2017 and he would still be alive.

You get the point. Everything I have done has been ridiculously logical and reasonable. And meaningless. I have taken preparation to its extreme logical conclusion. And this left-brained philosophy has reached its ultimate culmination in my praying for my own death, just to have this phase of my life over.

When do I get to stop preparing to live and start actually living?

I have been doing many logical things lately, following up on other people’s ideas, that kind of thing. I have been practicing Word, Excel, and Access. I bought an SAT study guide because I might try tutoring high school students for the SAT. Why not? I kind of think of these things as giving my left brain a bone to chew on, something productive to do, as opposed to waiting for death to take me.

The real effort for the next phase of my life, however, is going to be delving into my right brain. I have realized that all of my spiritual desires can only be met by my right brain: silence, stillness, intuition, etc., are all right brain tasks. Meditation? Right brain. Chanting? Maybe both, but mostly right brain.

I need a why because how just doesn’t cut it anymore and hasn’t for a very long time.