Of mice, men and me

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“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” – Seneca

It is crazy how things change from one day to the next, so the best thing to do is to embrace whatever is happening at the moment, be it good or bad. If something good is happening then jump in head first, take a bath in it, enjoy it to the fullest.  If something bad is happening, look for the lesson in it, brace yourself, learn the lesson and move on.  Everything passes.  Everything leaves a mark and a memory.

Work has been difficult lately.  Or is it me?  I guess my hormones are out of whack as I have been on the verge of crying at work every day last week and so far today again.   I thought that by now I was immune to this industry, to these men that lack manners and think they are Gods.

Two days in a row I walk into work and in the kitchen a mouse has just been caught on a glue trap.  The mouse could have been removed before I got here but my male co-workers either were too scared or thought it was funny to see me scream and run away.

I realize it is not an employee’s job to catch mice but what happened to men being a gentleman, being strong and coming to a lady’s rescue?  The mouse was only removed much later when a braver/nicer co-worker arrived.  By the way the super of the building is useless.  He goes out of his way to be difficult.

This is a hard industry. Hard on women, hard on minorities.  I have been in it for over 20 years, often immune to the antics, but it still stings.  But the other side of the coin is that it affords me a good life.  It affords me the ability of helping my family, which is something that is extremely important to me.

The brokers want to do whatever they want ignoring guidelines set up for a reason.  Requests go ignored.  Not only that, the language and behavior are at an all-time low.  It is locker room behavior everyday here.  Nothing is said to me or about me (as far as I know), but still I am within earshot of the crude remarks.  I feel caught in the middle.  I am both one of the employees and also one of the bosses/partners.  If I complain to the big boss he will take my side but I don’t want to be like the tattletale sister, and in the end nothing really changes.

At this moment I feel like a complainer playing the victim.  There are no victims here (or anywhere really).  I fell into this industry by accident.  After 5 years I had had enough of it and quit.  Then I realized that it was something I was good at and it also paid well. I was back after a year.

The mice incidents happened and it made me feel completely powerless and dependent on men to rescue me.  I tried mustering all the courage in the world to get it myself but I couldn’t do it. I hate depending on people.  These episodes made me furious and more aware of their behavior.

I guess it is easy to grow immune to things, until an event highlights it and brings it to the surface.

I just want a little more kindness and respect.  I guess my office is just a microcosm of the world at large.  We need more kindness in the world.  We need more people helping people.  We need more people being aware of the feelings of others.  We need more respect, more manners, more compassion.

We are not alone, so let’s stop behaving as if our needs are the only ones that count.

I don’t believe in complaining, I don’t believe in playing the victim.  So please forgive me for digressing and going on and on.  I believe in changing whatever is threatening one’s happiness.  But I also believe in being practical and realistic.  It is a juggling act.

So I alternate among:

  • Telling them exactly what I think (That they have no manners, that certain behavior is not acceptable, etc) to which some will say sorry while others will try to justify the behavior.
  • Crying out of frustration (of course I don’t let them see it, but I wear my heart on the sleeve so they know how I feel). It lets my emotions out but I feel worse later realizing that crying makes me feel even more powerless.
  • Ignoring and trying not to let it affect me.  It often works.  I tune them out, they are meaningless to me.
  • Plotting my escape (which is pie in the sky at this point), but it is fun to dream of doing something completely different.

One thing I am totally incapable of doing is retaliating.  A broker gets me mad one day and I tell myself that next time they need something I won’t be so quick to help, or next time I will accidentally forget to reimburse them for their expense report.  Instead I continue the same way, jumping up any time they need something.  I will always err on the side of helping and treating people how I want to be treated.

So I continue on, reminding myself that at the end of the day I do have a great job with many perks and great pay.  No one tells me what to do, and the not so strict environment is not all that bad.  No job is perfect and it is not my whole life just a part of it.  I guess I have a love-hate relationship with my job.

In the end this is not a complaint, just a mere observation.  I am grateful for my job.  I feel blessed for having it.

A mouse made me write this!

“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.” – Maya Angelou

Apprehensive, but still grateful

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“Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.” – Albert Schweitzer

CAR

A decision has been made and I am now driving a Honda HRV (the CRV’s little brother).  I have chosen to lease it and the color I picked is Mulberry.  Mulberry is the color of eggplant and depending on how the light hits it it appears black.   Psychologically I like owning things, paying for something and then returning it feels like a waste of money, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and go for it.  I was attracted by the low monthly payments ($160.00) and the fact that I will not have to spend money with maintenance.

I was able to find a parking space for my other car.  It is at a municipal lot a few blocks from my home.  It was just sheer luck to get it and I am so happy things have fallen in place.

So far I am very happy with the new car.  It is very different from driving a 30 year old Mercedes.   I will eventually sell the Mercedes as having 2 cars is just silly and an unnecessary expense.  Paying for insurance, parking space and maintenance adds up.  I don’t know how much it is worth so I don’t know how much to ask, until then I am keeping it.

Feeling blessed, telling myself not to take things for granted.  Being grateful and realizing that hard work pays off.  Hard works gives us options and possibilities.

MOM

After another trip to Brazil Mom has returned with me to stay 1 month.  It is crazy and sad to see how age has finally caught up with her.  She just turned 82 on May 1st and even though she looks amazing and much younger than that, the truth is the 82 is a big number.  She has many issues: Lower back pain, diabetes, hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, heart disease, but was doing very well until a couple of years ago when she had a mild night time stroke.  Since then she has never been 100%.

It is hard for me to see her weak and frail.  The passage of time is merciless.  It is a reminder of life’s finite quality and the value of time.  Could my mother’s health be better now if she had paid more attention to her diet and lifestyle? Am I doing all I can to have a good aging process?  The answer to that last question is a resounding no.

I go out of my way for my family. At this moment I am taking my mom to a traditional Chinese doctor and paying an arm and a leg for a Chinese tea that is supposed to improve her health.  No worries I am not that gullible but I do believe in western medicine.  Also I know 3 people that have gone to this doctor and all have had great results.  If there is a chance of any improvement to my mother’s situation I am willing to try.

I believe in the power of faith.  Mom and I believe that this tea (combined with acupuncture and cupping) will help.  She is still taking all the medication prescribed by the regular doctors, she is eating better, and making sure she is not overdoing physically (she tends to be stubborn like me and think that she can do it all).

I feel powerless and keep reminding myself that I am not in control of anything.  I can only do my best, the rest is up to God.

Knowing that  time is limited makes each second more valuable.  Wasting time is no longer an option.

DATING

I am still online but any time my mother is here I spend most of my free time with her instead of meeting new people.

I am getting to the conclusion that it is becoming harder for me to find The One for me.  Not because of them, but because of me.  I have established a pretty nice, comfortable life and I am not about to let anyone in without making sure that they will be an addition to it.

How can I be sure of anything without taking a leap of faith?  I thought that I really wanted someone and that I was willing to be vulnerable and put myself out there.  Now I am not so sure.  I put myself out there physically but emotionally I am probably more guarded than ever.  Time to re-think and re-evaluate.

Being vulnerable, being able to trust, willing to risk being hurt are all some of the price for the chance of experiencing love.  There is no

Collecting disappointments, I mean, lessons!

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When you think you have a new friend they show their true colors.  I was happy that I had finally gotten a dance partner.  I had a couple of dates with him, then I felt he was playing games and decided that I was not interested in him romantically. I wrote about him in the past.  Still we decided to became friends and dance partners.

Now I realized that he was never okay with my not wanting to date him.  Last Wednesday after dance class I had agreed to go to dinner with him.  He always wants to go to dinner after class but I often decline.  This time I said yes.

At dinner he was curious to find out about my second date with this one guy I had mentioned to him.  Since we had become friends I thought it was okay to share dating stories with him.  I told him about the date and why there were probably not going to be a third date in the future.  He took that opportunity to tell that I am too hard on people.  That I don’t give men a chance.

From there he proceeded to say what a rude person I was.  He said that he couldnt wait for the classes to be over because I had been rude from day 1.  I was shocked!  For a minute I searched my brain for an instance that I could have been rude to him, and I just couldnt find.

I was so shocked with and how he was telling me that tears started running down my face. He was being so rude and harsh, I should have gotten up and walked away, instead I sat down and cried.

I asked him to tell me of a time where I had been rude and after he searched his brain for awhile he said that I would keep pushing his arm up.  I used to do that to remind him to keep his posture and he never had any problem with that.

From the first dance lesson he has been always apologetic for not keeping up and I always go out of my way to tell him that there is no problem.  That I enjoy going and getting reminded of the dance steps.  I always trying to compliment him and say he is getting better and not to show any disappointment.

For a few minutes I thought to myself: is it possible that I have been this rude and never realized

After a sleepless night I realized that I can be too honest and upfront but I have never been rude to him.  If anything I have been extra nice to him.

I wasted my money on lessons where I learned nothing because it was all focused on him learning to get to my level.

I have bought him 4 books to help him deal with his daughter and life.  I have spent hours after class talking to him, letting him vent and providing advice.  I have been nothing but supportive.  All of a sudden for him to attack me was not only shocking it was uncalled for.  He was the rude one for making me cry and not even apologizing.

After he said what he said he also said that he wants to take the last lesson (we have one left).  I said you can go ahead and take it alone.  If I have been so awful why endure one more lesson.

I told the dance instructor about it. And the first thing she asked was if he was not interested in me.  She also said that perhaps he will call and apologize, which an apology this late in the game is meaningless to me.

I think that he was interested in lessons because he wanted to date me, and since I havent changed my mind and will not change my mind he lashed out on me, on behalf of every guy I turned down before, I guess.

I accept criticism and the truth but in this case there is no truth to it.

I was hurt for a couple of days, but now I am over it.  I will not accept someone disrespecting me and talking to me in such a way.  I deserve better and in my life there is no room for poor treatment.

I am just disappointed that I thought of him as a friend.  And he was just a snake in the grass.  But I am happy that I got to find his true colors now.

Friends may fight, disagree and not see eye to eye, but friends to not go out of their way to hurt you, belittle you, and make you feel insignificant.  That is not a friend, that is an insecure person that to feel good about themselves they need to put another person down. Run. 

 

Birthdays, car choices, honesty and little embarrassments

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“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll

Another birthday and a ghost’s visit!

My birthday came and went on March 28, 2017.  It was uneventful.  Cupcakes at work and that is it.  The “that is it” is not disappointment, it is just what it is.  I was going to treat myself to a massage but it was rainy and cold and I got home and got lazy.

Many of my friends didn’t remember it, and really, I am ok with that, but everyone likes to be remembered.   I forget everyone’s birthday so I never expect anyone to remember mine.

Ex, the one that was the cause of this blog starting sent me 2 emails.

He sent me a long one the day before my birthday.  And on the day he sent me a shorter one talking about how we met. Saying how grateful he was that I said yes and he and his son asked me out to lunch.  I would find it poetic if I was not so annoyed at his audacity.

Why? Why? Why?

Of course I didn’t reply and I will not ever.  It is in the past, I have forgiven and moved on.

***

To be or not to be honest

All has been quiet in the dating area.  I have had a date here and there but nothing that I thought it was worth pursuing.

The last guy that asked me on a second date I turned him down even though the first date was a lot fun.   It was days before my birthday and he even bought me a small gift at the gift shop at the Botanical Garden.

When he asked me on a second date I was honest and said he was great but that I didn’t feel there would be any romance in our future.  He never replied.

Should I have gone on a second date knowing that I had no interest in him romantically?  To me that would be deceitful.  But perhaps if I had gone on a second date it would show to him that at least I had made more of an effort.

 

I never want to waste anybody’s time under false pretenses.

“It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” – Noel Coward

***

Buy or Lease

I am now serious about getting a second car.  I don’t need 2 cars, but for now I don’t want to sell my 30 year old baby (560SL).  I didn’t get a second car yet because I am having trouble locating a garage or parking space to store my current car.

I think I have decided on the Honda HRV (a tad smaller than the CRV).  The other 2 cars in the running were the Subaru Cross-trek and the Jeep Renegade.  The reasons why those were the cars in the running is because I wanted a small (narrow) car that would drive well in the winter.

I can’t decide if I should buy or lease.  Psychologically I always liked the idea of owning things but this time I am thinking of leasing.

The pros for me about leasing:

  • Smaller monthly payments
  • After 3 years return and get a new one, so I don’t have to deal with repairs as a car gets old

The pros for me about buying:

  • After 3 years I don’t have to worry about returning the car and coming up with another down payment for another lease
  • At the end of 5 years or less (if that is how long I finance) the car is mine

Any advice?  Opinions?

***

To tell or not to tell?

The other day I was with a co-worker at the bagel store as a man passed by me I noticed his zipper was open and I mentioned it to him.

My co-worker, who was a male, looked embarrassed and told me that I should have not said anything.  I asked him: If your zipper was open do you want someone to tell you or not and he said no.  I, on the hand, always want someone to tell me if my zipper is open, if I have food on my teeth or any other potentially embarrassing situation.

What at about you?  Do you want someone to tell you or would you rather find out later on your own?

***

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” – Roy T. Bennett

 

 

Dating in the age of Google

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“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”  – Meister Eckhart

I am excited about someone… and also scared.  Do you know how you have been wanting something for so long and then you get it and you start questioning if you really wanted it in the first place?

I think it is fear creeping in.  My life is good, predictable, comfortable.  My heart is right here where I can guard it.  Do I want to just hand it to someone else?  Do I want to chance it again?  Do I want to risk being cheated on, betrayed, my heart broken and my mind crippled?

I can see I already am in my “let’s find something wrong with this person”mode so that I can continue to be alone.   That involves infinite googling.  And I did. And I found. Not about him, but about a relative.  I decided to relax a bit, to take a day at a time, and not to hold him accountable for the sins of others.

We are from 2 completely different worlds, but it seems that we appreciate some of the same qualities, such as honesty and respect.  Even though I mostly have good to great dates, what made this date amazing was that immediately it was if we have been best friends forever.  Not only that, but there were sparks from the get go.

Our date was yesterday, Friday, St. Patrick’s Day.  We met at the corner of my work and from there we walked to a Korean Restaurant that was awesome.  It had a fun vibe and they had an amazing passion fruit drink.  We had so much fun there that we didn’t want the date to end.

From there we went to his apartment where dropped his bag off.  I never did that before and I don’t recommend it, but I knew this guy enough and knew I would have no issues going into his apartment.  And I didn’t.  We walked in he dropped his bag off, I went to the bathroom, and then we left.  We went to another 2 different bars/pubs and we danced and laughed.  Then he took me to the train station.  We said good bye dying to see each other again.

oh yeah, we kissed and the world seemed to stop.  I can’t wait for the second date.

“Don’t you long for something different to happen, something so exciting and new it carries you along with it like a great tide, something that lets your life blaze and burn so the whole world can see it?”  – JulietMarillier

The above was written the day following that date.  And here, a week later,  the story continues, or should I say, it ends:

After our mutual excitement to see each other he mentioned he would meet at the corner of my work like the first date unless he came up with other plans.

Then on the afternoon of the date he gave me the name of a Pub near my office to meet him.  The place was very loud and busy.  I got there 3 minutes after him and he already had a beer in his hand.  I ordered a drink, but I was thinking that we would eventually leave to go to a restaurant where we didn’t have to yell to talk to each other.

Slowly it dawned on me that this was the date.

Then he makes a point of telling me what a big lunch he had and that he will not eat anything the rest of day/night.   And I thought ours was a dinner date.

The whole vibe was off.  We managed to talk but it was not easy like the first date.

As the evening progressed I knew that was that last time I would see him.  There was a certain sorrow and sadness in that realization, mixed with relief and elation.

I am not sure what had changed, but it did. Perhaps I was already biased by what I found online about his relative (which he confirmed was true).  Perhaps it was the cheap beer and lack of food.  Perhaps because after talking more I realized that we don’t really want the same things in life and have different views about certain subjects.

Perhaps I have too many expectations, but I expected more from a guy that was dying to see me.   Specially after an amazing first date, I thought the second would be even better. I don’t mind cheap places and just meeting for a drink, but let me know that is the plan.

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” – Alexander Pope

After being in this bar for over 2 hours, I had 2 small drinks and he had 6 beers.  He walked me to the train station.  We hugged good bye and he said it was an awesome date, and I said:  No it was not.  That seemed to shock him, but it shouldn’t have, after all he was there with me.

Still we have texted niceties since yesterday but that is it.  I had intentions of inviting him to go watch a friend sing tonight, but after last night it seems our worlds are farther apart then I had previously thought.

He is still a great guy, but not for me.  There wasn’t anything horrendous about his actions, and he will probably make another girl very happy. But to me the magic and chemistry was broken and I don’t think we can get it back. It is all about how a person makes you feel, and he made me feel irrelevant.

And then all of a sudden my heart is not going anywhere and I am surrounded by the comfort and safety of being alone again.

And the search continues…

“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” – Hunter S. Thompson

Back from the cold and into the colder

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The view from my room at the Beaver Run in Breckenridge, CO

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I have been back from my vacation in Breckenridge, Colorado for one week now, but it feels more like an old memory.  Work, family, life takes over immediately.

Before my trip I was not even sure if I was going to be able to ski due to my issues with back, hip and TOS-neck/shoulder/arm pain.  I am glad to say that I skied and took lessons 4 afternoons.

On the last day the instructor took us on blues and I could feel the fear creeping in.  When that happens I lose my form and everything starts hurting.   So later when he decided to go on harder blues I decided that was enough for me.   I just aspire to be more comfortable on skis and go at my own pace.  I really have no desire to do harder blues and blacks at this point, if that happens it happens.  It is not necessary for me to be enjoy skiing.

I love the thrill, the challenge and the freedom of skiing! So just being there on skis is amazing to me.

While there I met with couple of guys that had contacted me through an ad I placed on Craigslist.  And I must stress here that I am extremely safe when being on Craigslist.  I only communicate with people that I can ascertain that they are who they say they are.

I met 3 guys.  Went to dinner with 2 and they were perfect gentlemen.  The third one we had met in the afternoon and were supposed to go to dinner later but I decided not to go through with it as his intentions seemed very different than mine.

The only minor issue I had on the trip was the altitude sickness.  I never felt 100%.  I had some dizziness, headaches and was short of breath daily.  This will make me stay away from Colorado for awhile.

All in all my trip was a success and I was very happy I went!

***

I was back for 2 days, happy to be in my own bed, then storm Stella was making its way to NY and I had to stay in a hotel in NY City to be close to work for 2 nights.   I wasn’t planning on it so I hadn’t packed any clothes or anything.  The only store open was Duane Read, so I had to make do with what they had to sell.  So for 2 days I were men’s undershirt, men’s sock and underwear (women’s) from Duane Read.  I loved the socks.  From now on I may only buy Duane Read’s men’s socks.

***

Now that I am back I am seeing an Eastern Medicine doctor for my issues.  I have seen him twice. He did acupuncture, cupping, a few chiropractic moves and taught me an exercise to do at home.  I see some improvement.  The back and hip are doing great, the collarbone is still protruding, which I don’t expect to go back in place any time soon, and I still have the feeling of the muscles being pulled down and the numbness of the arm at night. I figure it will take time to be 100% again.

***

My dating life has been very active this past week.  I will write about it on my next post.

Everyone please have a wonderful week ahead.  No matter what life throws at you, smile and keep forgiveness and peace in your heart!

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city”  – Roman Payne

No Pain, No change, No learning

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“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore, trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.” – Kahlil Gibran

After being evaluated by the doctor and doing an X-ray he determined I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).  The x-ray didn’t show any tumors but there is still the possibility I have herniated discs in my neck.  I will need a MRI to determine that, but at this point I will follow the treatment for TOS and if there is no response than I will do an MRI.

TOS is an irritation of blood vessels and muscles behind and around the clavicle bone.   TOS can happen because of injury, bad posture, repetitive movements, stress, a variety of reasons, but often times there is no specific cause.  In my case I know that stress has been a contributing factor.  I have had the pain in the neck shooting down for the past several months, ignoring it was not the best thing to do.  Were not for the bone sticking out and being noticeable I would probably just continue to be in pain and do nothing about it.

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” – James Baldwin

On Tuesday I went to the doctor for the first treatment, but as faith would have my back and hip was so painful that I chose to address that first.  During the evaluation the doctor had already mentioned that he was more concerned with my hip and back.  I have had herniated discs in back since I was 25 and for the last 4 years I have bursitis and arthritis in my right hip.

My identical twin sister has herniated discs in her neck and in the past 10 days she can barely walk because of her back.  It is interesting that, even though living countries apart, we struggle with the same ailments.  We have always had similar pains at similar times or days apart.

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” – Dalai Lama XIV

All these ailments are putting a damper on my upcoming skiing trip.  I tried to cancel it, but only got the lift tickets and the skiing lessons refunded.  The hotel and flight was non-refundable, which may turn out to be a good thing as I do need to take some time away from everything.

Not skiing is not the end of the world.  I will focus on what I can do and not what I can’t.  I am blessed to be able to take a vacation and go to a beautiful place like Breckenridge. I am not going to dare to complain about a little detail such a not being able to ski.

Today I return to the doctor for another treatment.  Since the back and hip is feeling a little better I will have him focus on the collarbone.

On a side note I went to mass yesterday.  Yes I am all proud of myself!  The sermon was about the fact that God is in control so we have nothing to worry about, and on that note I go on knowing that all is taken care of.  No worries!

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” – C.S. Lewis

Joel Osteen spoke to me!

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When asked about my religion I say I am Catholic.  I had my First communion but besides that I never really went to church.  I was blessed to grow up exposed to all kinds of faiths.  I went to Baptist Bible School.  Once a week I went to Seicho-no-ie meetings.  My mother was heavily into Spiritism and would impart upon us the spiritual teachings.

Some ideas have been ingrained in me since I was a child: The idea of always doing good, helping the less fortunate, doing/ speaking/thinking no evil, the power of positive thinking, the idea of reaping what you sow, karma, etc.  I am grateful for that!  Today I am open minded and believe there is good in any religion;.  I was taught not to believe that one religion is better than the other and to see any kind of fanatical belief as bad.  It was never about the religion itself, but how I chose to behave and act that showed my faith.

Two years ago I had friends spending the weekend at my apartment.  They never miss Sunday Mass so we found a church near my home and I went with them.  Since then I try to go to mass every now and then.  I went 2 weeks ago.  This past Sunday morning at 8am I was still in bed talking to myself about going to mass.  Mass is at 9 and the church is 2 blocks from my home so I had plenty of time to go, but still I debating the idea.

Laziness, or whatever the right word is, won out.  I justified staying at home by telling myself that I don’t need to be in church to pray.  I can just stay at home and watch Joel Osteen’s Sunday sermon.  Lately I have been watching his sermons and I really enjoy them.  I find his messages always positive and uplifting.

On a side note, I mentioned to a friend that I enjoyed him and he pointed out to me that he makes millions of dollars preaching.  I said:  what does that have to do with anything?  I enjoy his message.  How much money he has and what he chooses to do with it is not for me to judge. That is between him and his God.

So I made breakfast and sat at the table and turned on Joel Osteen’s last week’s sermon.  I am always one week behind watching his TV show.

He started speaking and I couldn’t believe my ears.  The message was to me.  The sermon was called: Better Together.

The main idea was the importance of attending a religious service, but I got more than that.  We can pray at home but there is an extra benefit to going to church.  We benefit from being in a community.  Going to a service is not only what it give us but what we give to it, and to others.

The combination of faithful together heals each other.  It recharges us for the week ahead.  Going to church is not because we need something,  we are in pain, we are needy.  Going to church is to give thanks, is to honor a Higher power.   To go to church is to help others, is to lend strength, to emanate positive energy, to bring an uplifting smile, to combine faith, to share your presence with others.

“When 2 or 3 are gathered in the name of Jesus, God is in the midst.”

Joel Osteen was taking about going to a religious service, but the message rang through further than that.  It meant a whole way of looking at my life. The message to me is that we don’t have to do life alone.

I learned early on not to wait for others to do anything I want to do.  I learned not to wait for anyone’s help.  I learned to love being self sufficient, and alone.

I am a loner. I don’t feel lonely, I just value solitude.  I go out with friends and on dates but I love getting back to my quiet dark apartment.  Everywhere I go I cannot wait to get back home.  Even vacations that I love, after a few days I want to go home.

I do online dating not only to look for a partner, but to force myself to dress up and get out of the house. Even great dates have me wanting to go home.

This week alone I met 2 great guys: Without giving too many details, the first one is an adventure writer.  He has lived, and continues to live an amazing life.  He has so many stories to tell.  The second is an international attorney that happens to be the attorney for one of the biggest Brazilian singers.  He took me to an amazing restaurant.  We were actually the last ones to leave the place.  But here is what these 2 dates had in common besides being great: Once I realized how great they were,  I spent the whole time looking for reasons not to see them again.  I wanted them to fail in some way so that I could go back to being alone.

At this point I realize I need to step it up.   I have to pick a guy and date for more than a couple of weeks, and not spend the time looking for flaws.   But I need to do more, make more of an effort to make new friends and reconnect with old ones.  Perhaps church is the beginning.

Life is best when is tempered with things that we must do with things we want do.  Doing only what I want is great, feels indulgent, but it is not the path for the great future that awaits me.

“A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke”  – Vincent Van Gogh

Ignoring pain until a bone stares you in the face.

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I have had back issues (herniated disk, sciatic pain) forever,  and hip pain (a tear, bursitis and arthritis) for the past 4 years.  The last pain that showed up is a pain in my neck that shoots down my arm.  I have a high tolerance for pain so I have been ignoring this pain for almost a year.  My sister has had the same pain for the past 7 years, only getting better after she visited an osteopathic doctor.

Last week in dance class my arm was so painful it was hard to hold position. Even though my partner was holding my arm up it was still painful.  This week in class I looked in the mirror and realized that my collarbone was really visible, I thought it was odd since I didn’t really lose weight.  Since I was in class the thought just came and went.   The following evening after I showered I looked in the mirror and realized that my right collarbone is 3 times larger than the left one.  I panicked.

Immediately I started Googling and, of course, thoughts of tumors and cancer came into my mind making me totally paranoid.  In my mind I am already canceling my skiing trip that is less than 2 weeks away.

On Friday I searched for a doctor.  I called a Orthopedic surgeon but was told that I need to go to a spine doctor first.  My first choice for a spine doctor didn’t take my insurance, my second choice didn’t have an opening until April. Finally I was able to make an appointment with one for Tuesday.  He had awful reviews but I figure I need to see someone asap.

In the meantime I was reminded that we have a Physical Therapy business right in the building I work at.  So I decided to stop by and ask them for a referral for a doctor.  I got there and ended up speaking to a chiropractor/sports medicine doctor. I immediately felt at easy with him.  I canceled the doctor I had on Tuesday and made an appointment with him for Monday for a full evaluation.

Many people I speak with disagree with me and tell me I should see a “real doctor”.  But I am confident in my decision. I feel the whole right side of my body is broken so I like the idea that a doctor will look at my whole body and not just the separate parts.  I can always re-schedule with a “real doctor” later.

Also,  I was very disappointed with the treatment I got for my hip.  After all kinds of tests, MRIs, cortisone shot and physical therapy, the moment that I attempted to take one tennis lesson the pain came back as if had never left.

The protruding clavicle bone is not terrifying me anymore and I am hoping it has only shifted and it didn’t really grow.  But we shall see what the verdict is tomorrow. I decided not to worry until I have to worry.

In the meantime this is a wake up call for me.   I put everyone’s needs before my own. I never want to spend the time or money to take care of myself and that attitude is just dumb.  I have to stop ignoring my body.  I have to get serious about maintaining my weight, taking my vitamins, doing my morning stretches, getting yearly physicals, etc.

“I feel keeping a promise to yourself is a direct reflection of the love you have for yourself. I used to make promises to myself and find them easy to break. Today, I love myself enough to not only make a promise to myself, but I love myself enough to keep that promise” – Steve Maraboli

*****

 

Meet me in Colorado!

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“It is not for me to judge another man’s life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone.” – Hermann Hesse

As I mentioned before, I wasn’t sure what to do with an offer I had received.  A guy I met on Match is going skiing in Big Sky at the end of the month.  He said his hotel room had 2 beds and he offered me one as a friend.  I was really tempted but in the end I just couldn’t accept it.

I met him in person and we are still exchanging messages and phone calls as friends.  He lives 2 hours away and there wasn’t chemistry enough to bridge that distance for me.  He seems like a great person and adores skiing.

It would have been 7 days with someone I barely know.  It could turn out to be an amazing experience, getting to know someone and getting skiing tips.  But It could turn out unpleasant, uncomfortable, and perhaps even dangerous.

Some may think I sometimes over-think things, but why take a chance of being in a hotel room with somebody I barely know?  I guess I will always err on the side of safety.

I am all about taking chances and expecting miracles, but I also believe in making sure I am doing my part in being safe.  I like to jump and try to fly but all the while having a firm footing.

I very much believe in taking chances and getting out of my comfort zone  but when it involves other people then I have to take a step back, as I never know what people have in their minds and what is their agenda.

“We are our choices.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

I guess I take measured chances.  I research, I process, I take the pros and cons into account and in the end I decide using both my heart and mind.

Big sky will have to wait.  I told him exactly how I feel and even though he didn’t understand it, I am glad that he didn’t try changing my mind.

Since skipping my skiing vacation is not acceptable, I impulsively yet carefully chose a destination.  I have this baseless fear that if I skip skiing one year skiing will be forever over for me.  I am new at it and still struggle and need all the miles on skis I can get.

The chosen destination is Breckenridge, CO.  I chose Breckenridge because of easier access from the Denver airport.

I am going to be there the first week of March.

If you either live there, or will be there at the same time, how about a drink or bite to eat?  I always vacation alone and have no trouble doing that, but lately I miss someone at dinner time.  Food time is more fun when it is shared.

Say hi and let’s meet up!

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson