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Turning a page and starting a new chapter…

Stagnation is just a plateau, a place to rest and plan. I don’t necessarily see being in that puddle as a bad thing. But if you get comfy there, you drown. Sinking down into the mud that was originally holding you up and providing the ability to breathe.

I’m at that point. One of my long-term office mates left the office at the beginning of the year. She spent time contemplating and things just opened up for her. Now I’m there with her. I’m starting to work with a business coach, mainly because I have so many ideas in my head about how to merge everything I do. Right now they’re all split into different jobs and it’s pulling me in so many different directions that I could be considered an archaeological dig.

On top of that, I’m hitting that age where I need to start paying more attention to myself. That realization that I have been ignoring myself, my health, and just my general sanity. Weeks go by where I fail to institute basic self care, because I’m constantly running around – too much. Mainly because I sit and talk about setting boundaries, then I fail to do so. I manifest what I want, then walk it back. Acting like I’m feeling guilty about receiving something I worked for and deserve.

The story of my life? Or the story of my conditioning? I always talk about what our society does to us, telling us we’re not enough because we don’t make enough money, we’re not swindlers, money-makers, or anything that would put us in a position where we’re not always running in all directions with our pants on fire.

The fact is, we’re all being conned and we buy into it. Every day. We follow so-called influencers for the next big thing, or place to go and be seen. We chase around that opportunity that’s going to bring us that big pay day. But at what cost? Spending no time with our families until there’s no time to spend? Wasting our best days on an office and looking at pictures of places that are disappearing in our own lifetimes? What difference are we making with that? None, and when we make the decision to walk away we seek to monetize our “good deeds”.

It’s mindblowing what our culture is doing to us, as if we didn’t grow up on those Sci-Fi novels that we’re using as blueprints instead of cautions.

Vagueries…

Maybe it’s finally catching up to me, my hatred of arguing. It’s too time consuming to pull a few paragraph research paper together for the sake of persuasion on someone’t thread or blog. But here I am, being faced with a serious accusation that at the least should have prompted the asking for an example – except it wasn’t. It was tabled as a one-off that has appeared to have blossomed into something bigger, but has it?

At this moment, I feel like it’s time for a major change. Every time I’ve done something like this, it’s been a process. Not a stop, delete, re-enter. I’m feeling pulled to delete an entire program, not only wipe the computer memory, but to buy an entirely new system. In my spiritual life, one of the deities I work with is demanding and isn’t one to suffer vagueries. There’s an extent to which I feel pulled to not only put my foot down, but to break out the steel toed stompy boots to do so. It’s not fair to me, given my drives and motivations and it’s not fair to those I work with who don’t have a problem with me and might possibly be floored at what’s being thrown at me.

It’s also said a lot about the people where I’m at. I’ve always believed in the power of a support system and this includes in a place of employment. When I am in the acting roll of the employer, I have always had my staff’s back. Before anything was ever leveled anywhere, a discussion would be had to get the gray area between the black and white. It made for a happier staff and while the clients wouldn’t always be happy [to find they were misguided or jumped to a conclusion without all the evidence], they would be taken care of and ultimately respect the decisions. Same went with the staff when the opposite happened.

I have no real clue where I’m going with all of this, though, I guess it’s a note to anyone who reads this. If you have an issue with someone or some place, be as specific as possible. I always tell my athletes to try and be as specific as they can when describing an issue or a fear, because we can work to overcome that. But when the complaint is vague, with no real definition, we can’t form a plan to work through it.

If I need to change something about my approach to what I do, I need to know what it is that needs to change before I can make a plan to do so. I’ve never had an issue with self-reflection – more often than not to the point of gaslighting myself. But right now, while I’m leaning in that direction, my stompy boots are on and are telling me that I know what I know, and I haven’t done anything that has warranted the level of accusation that I have received. But it is making me question other things, and that is not a bad thing.

Kids these days…

We all remember being hard-headed as a kid. Having to learn some of our major lessons through experience and not through the wisdom of others. It’s one of the things that, as an adult, I’m now learning how to sit back and let it happen.

Working with kids can be both amazing and frustrating. Sometimes, all rolled into one moment. Working with them in a challenging sport just maximizes both ends of the spectrum. These kids put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect in this sport (competitive gymnastics) that adding pressure as a coach runs a fine line. Especially if there’s a parent on the back end complicating it.

I got lucky as a kid. Gymnastics was my sport, just as Hockey was my brother’s. Sure, my dad was a coach in his own right, but neither of us felt pressured by him so much as we learned patience from him. Neither of my parents put pressure on my performances. In fact, whenever I questioned whether or not I wanted to continue, they led me through the breaks, the restarts and let me process the frustrations. In the end, I pushed through to my first year of college and ultimately made the decision that it was time to retire and move on to my next sport.

But what I find interesting, is to see the development of where a child’s psychology comes in, as I get to see the generational intersection at competitions. There’s an extent to which I do become sad, because I’m one of those people who firmly believes in self-reflection and not passing on my bad habits to those who come after me. And in some of these cases I see that the internal work wasn’t done (or no one ever called them on the habit) and the issue just gets handed down like great grandma’s formal china.

When I see these habits, I do what I can to provide an alternative view point, counteract where I can, and hopefully stop that habit in its tracks by teaching a method of self-reflection and encouraging that. But I also have to let go when the idea doesn’t root and hope that the continuation eventually hits a point where the fact can’t be denied – whether it becomes from a positive or negative experience.

Ultimately, our goal as adults in a child’s life is two-fold: provide guidance where and when we can and be an example to strive beyond. Instead of raising them in our image, we should be teaching them how to be better than ourselves.

Seems life is getting away…

Apparently, I write, then forget to publish. Hence the multiple posts this last week. Oops. Most of that is due to the fact that I’m being flooded with spring-inspired ideas, both personally and professionally. So I pretty much dove into that pool and have been busy with that. So I guess some of you will get 2-fer-1 deals. 😀

At the moment, I’m trying to get my life in order by trying to get my house in order. It’s amazing how the inside of one’s house is a pretty good indicator of one’s internal order. As a severe introvert who works in fields where I’m required to be highly extroverted, self care has not included cleaning. It’s mostly been sitting around and allowing my brain to just zen out. I’m getting better – one room at a time.

My husband did a deep clean up of the squirrel room, put all the wood and tree branches she had to eat and climb around on outside. The room looks good and is ready for us to start looking at the renovations. I made sense of our kitchen table, since I tend to bring all the outside table things in during winter. Slowly, slowly.

The mind has been occupied with some of the things I want to do, and some of the things I have to do. Taxes has taken a large chunk, trying to find the money for my new certifications while weathering the changes at the office that put me on a short-term bind doesn’t help. But I think I’ll get through it. I’ve had a lot of signs come my way, discussing work/life balance, whether it exists and what the future brings for folks in the US. I am concerned. But I also see where I need to go and I’m working towards that end. Down to trying to figure out a week, here soon, where I can take time off of my office and focus on myself and the things I need to get done outside of there. But it is looking good, I’ll say that much. Hoping that effort will resonate out and back in.

I also need to get back into the habit of scheduling my days. I’ve been slacking on that, hence my posting getting a little erratic. But I won’t promise, yet. Just know that I’m working on it.

That point when my anxiety spikes….

Because life likes to do that to me. This is mainly around my professional life because that tends to be the source of it. Life was going pretty well, but I’ve been restless, like I’m missing something. There has been a path that I’ve been working towards, but every time I start to take a step on it the universe likes to throw a monkey wrench at me.

This time around, I started making the renovations that everyone has asked of me. Now they’ve all left. My long-time office mate, in trying to build her business, has chosen to move elsewhere. There’s an extent to which I’m happy for her, but stressed out from where it puts me.

But this time, I’ve determined I’m not letting it sideline me. In fact, it’s energized me to a certain extent and is pushing me to move in the direction that I started to – but side tracked because that whole “gotta make money” thing. Over the weekend, I sat down and catalogued what I need to do, set up a post to get me back where I need to be, and now I’m looking at how to finance it all. And therein lies the stress.

It’s the downside for those of us who choose to not sit at an office, but instead choose to be the people that those who do make that choice seek out when the stress rains down on them. I guess it’s a weird dichotomy in this world that we live in.

I do think we’re on a cusp of change. In the past, that was where my anxiety stemmed from. But this last year and a half, I’ve felt a calming – like we’re no longer building up to it and are now in the midst of it. I know this change has caused many to have their own anxiety (which I can understand given the current political climate we live in). But I’m seeing the choices that many are taking and I’m heartened by it.

And now I’m rambling. 🙂

But back to the subject, I have been needing to make a vision board. I have a written plan, will probably add some of that here as I progress.

A little over a year ago I rescued a Southern Flying Squirrel. My cats started bringing them in 2 Februarys ago, in their baby stages. The first one came in on the back of its momma and only lived a couple of days. I didn’t know much then, but I learned quickly.

Our next one was Tiny One. She was old enough to have fur, but wasn’t quite old enough to be romping around without mom. So we kept her warm, fed her, and soon she was tormenting the cats thinking they were playmates.

As she grew we eventually gave her one of the spare rooms in our house. Her and her sister (another that the cats brought in, but was intended to be released once the hard freeze was over) were constantly heard jumping around the obstacle course we created for them. Eventually, Little escaped, finding some space between the drywall in the closet to the attic. From there she chewed a hole and out she went.

Tiny stayed and moved back into her bachelorette pad that consisted of a towel folded over a clothes hanging rod filled with pillow stuffing. She loved June bugs and thought cicadas were the most prized delicacy when we were able to catch them for her.

In Little’s escape, another squirrel showed up and was caught up in the live trap we put up. Since there was a hole, there was a good chance she was going to come back, so into the room she went. Call placed to have the hole blocked and in that time, we suddenly had 4 babies join the family. So momma and kids stayed. Tiny eventually became the awesome aunt until it was time for them to go outside.

A couple of weeks ago, I started repeatedly catching another squirrel in the trap. So, same thing occurs. Call placed, waiting on the person to come patch the hole. But this time Tiny didn’t get to play the awesome aunt. We don’t know what exactly happened, but I found her unresponsive and I’m choosing to believe it was natural and not from a fight between them. I’m overwhelmed with grief, as during the short lifespan she was an anchor as I lost 2 cats that I’ve had for the last 20 years. Her squirreliness and love of climbing all over me, hiding nuts in my hair and all over my clothes, brought some kind of peace to what I was feeling.

Watching her learn to fly was even more awesome. Her and Little used to chase each other up my legs and onto my shoulders where they would jump and fly off to a shelf or the floor, then turn around and run back up. Just like kids who discover sledding or the most awesome slide in the world. The same went when I brought in her favourite bugs or nuts. You could see the absolute joy in her being when she realized what was in front of her.

I’m trying to come to terms with everything. Part of me is saying that this is just nature cycling, as the other squirrel has yet to return to my attic, despite the hole still being somewhere. The fact that it was on Imbolc when I found her and our running joke was that she put out in squirrel mail that we were awesome folks who were willing to take care of them during winter resulted in additional guests during the cold snaps.

But you never know what’s going to worm its way into your heart. And it’s hard to think I can’t walk into her room and have a face hugger coming at my head from the closet anymore (it was her favourite thing to do to us when we walked in). Or holding one of my cats and watching her jump on the cat’s face and sniff her then bound away.

I take solace in the fact that my cats no longer kill them and bring them in. My oldest brings me the baby babies (last one had just gotten its fur, but only lasted a couple of hours). But since Little, they haven’t brought any in that were harmed.

Randomness…

There have been a lot of changes on the horizon for me, both personally and professionally. It’s been a bit of a rush with a ton of anxiety because it’s a change that will ultimately, I hope, benefit others but it puts me into a realm of unknown and regrouping.

But that’s what winter is about, isn’t it? Going into the depths of the dark, seeking out the unknown, confronting it, then growing from it. At this point, I’m just trying to come to terms with what has been thrown at me. I have a track that I’m on and I’m actively forcing myself to stay on it, despite these last minute changes. Especially because it puts me in a bind with some of my previous choices that focused on professional growth in my office and required additional funds that needed to be directed that way.

But as with nature, the cold frost hits and kills things off. A little warmth steps in and allows seeds to crack so those first roots can tap the depths; before the fingers can reach up towards the surface and draw in the sun and the warmth.