Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Whats With That?!

I have been housesitting since sometime around last July. It was a bit daunting, throwing caution to the wind and having no fixed abode. I was fortunate enough to have to amazing backup plans – my daughter and her family, in Brisbane, who I had, up until then been living with, and my awesome friend, Karen and her family, who lived on the Sunshine Coast, which was where I
was heading.
There was also the fear of ‘going it alone’ again. After all, it hadn’t worked so well those first few years after Butch passed away. Would I end up ‘losing myself’ again, or struggling to look after and nurture me? So many questions and so many ‘I don’t know’ answers!
Having always been a ‘list’  person, who planned everything down to the last possible item, I hoped housesitting might encourage me to be a bit more spontaneous.
I had been wanting to do it for quite some time, but needed to make sure that I procured a job first, because, that’s how I roll… It seemed exciting and scary in alternate doses, especially staying with someone other than a family member. I had had a pretty daunting experience several years ago, while staying with a friend, and wasn’t sure if I wanted this friendship to end in a similar vein. There is nothing like projecting a past misfortune on a current one, even though so much of it was going to be entirely different…but hey, we all tend to do that.
My first night with Karen, Johno and their family, was nerve-racking…for about five minutes! They made me feel so welcome. I was made to feel like part of the family, right down to the teasing and ribbing that families do when you visit.
I had only been up on the Coast for five weeks, when I received an email to say the company I worked for could no longer afford to employ me. I must admit this was the first time I had ever lost a job I loved, so it was tempting to just pack it in and go back to the way it was. Tempting as it was, I persevered, telling myself that if things hadn’t improved by December, I would leave.
It has been four months, I don’t have a job, and I am trying to exist on a benefit. Not quite what I had in mind when I moved here…
The first housesit I did was perfect; they appreciated everything I did, their pet and I bonded to the point that I cried as I left after two weeks…
There have been quite a few since then, full of highs, lows, disasters, frustration, peace, relaxation, nature, stamina, energy….
I have adapted to the lifestyle quite well, and have quickly become ‘in demand’ as word of what I do spreads. However, there are always drawbacks. It can be quite lonely sometimes. Sure there is a pet to keep me company, but sometimes I crave a good chat…and dare I say it, even a hug…
I am fortunate that Karen and I spend time together, chatting, planning our classes and working with our pamper packages, but I don’t want her to feel she needs to boost me, or that she’s my only port of call. If there is a long break between housesits, I will go and visit my family in Brisbane, but there is this empty feeling that kinda settles on and around me sometimes.
I have always been the odd man out, even as a child. I was the weird, kooky, non conformist strange girl that never quite fit in. That didn’t change, even as a young adult. I met Butch and he accepted me as I was and helped me to embrace it, instead of rejecting who I really was. I didn’t have to try and fit in any more, after all Butch thought I was okay, and that was good enough for me. We weren’t the most sociable of couples, preferring to spend the majority of our time together at home.
After Butch passed, being a widow brought another aspect of ‘being an outsider’ into my life. Not only had I lost my main cheerleader, but I suddenly became the ‘Watch out, she’s a widow now. She’ll probably steal your husband’ variety of outcast. Firm friends became fast friends, as they sped out of my life. They weren’t the only ones to give me a wide berth, women would eye me suspiciously as I spoke to their men. *sigh* I understand that everyone wants to be in a couple (except me) and hold onto what they have…but it doesn’t mean I am interested in having what you’ve got.
We had an awesome relationship, so looking for someone else isn’t in my plan right now. I sometimes feel as if there is life after Butch, but it is such a slow and painful process, I wonder if I will actually survive it long enough to notice. 
I embraced my psychic-ness not long after and oh boy!, I wasn’t prepared for the way people would view me from that perspective as well. However, there are just as many people out there who accept that side of me, and I am willing to share…
This morning as I was walking, I was pondering on life in general. I came to the conclusion that housesitting has actually compounded my loneliness. I’m not in one place long enough to make friends and socialise, to join a club, or even a yoga group.
I broke my little toe about a month ago – this is the third time in eight years that I have broken this same toe. I have knocked it continuously during this time, so it is still red, swollen and has a slight twist to it now.
My belief is that any injury or illness is a reflection of our emotions and energy. So, what does a small toe on a right foot mean to me. Well, the right side of our body is connected to our action/movement, so clearly I am not ‘stepping’ in the direction I want to.
A little toe, well, that is all about ‘connection’. I am feeling disconnected from the rest of the world, my old friends, a job, my family (by distance), myself, the ability to do what I truly want – thanks to a lack of funds.
To fix my issue with this toe, I don’t need to ‘make up’ with my old friends, but I do need to start looking at how I can connect, to make a bigger effort than I have done. I need to stop expecting things to change just because I’m not happy about them. I need to change my view on life, declutter what isn’t working for me and begin to see things with fresh eyes.
On the bright side, being unemployed and housesitting has enabled me to focus more on my writing. I have also learned I don’t need a lot of possessions to make me happy – everything I need, including a massage table and two cases of massage towels, doesn’t even fill my car to the brim.

What to do next? Hmm, I have no idea. However, I am going to say that being aware of the problem is a 'step' in the right direction

Monday, 29 July 2013

Keeping it real...

I saw the most amazing thing this morning. I was stuck in traffic near a park for quite a while. I was watching this young man practising shooting hoops. He didn't just stand in one place while he threw the ball. Oh no, he was competing against an entire team. He was grabbing the ball, intercepting it from up high, turning his back so he could block the other player, fighting to get his arms up above the rest of the team. He was continually on the move and definitely the best player there...Actually, he was the only player there.
What I loved about watching him, was that he was living his dream. He wasn't just shooting hoops, he was 'in the game', in the zone' and 'in his dream'. He knew that people driving or walking by could see him, but he wasn't focused on what other people thought or said. His intent was completely on being the best basketball player ever.
As I drove off, I couldn't help thinking I should have paid more attention to what he looked like, so that when he achieves his dream, I will be able to say 'I knew he would!'
How often do we only air part of our dreams and aspirations, in case others make fun of us or tell us we're wrong? And how often do we just step boldly into our dream, without worrying or seeing what is happening on the outer limits? for though, isn't it?

Friday, 12 July 2013

Awesome is as Awesome Does

I want to share a story with you about something that happened to me this week. On Monday a customer came into work and he was introducing himself to our new staff members. They asked him what he thought of me. He pointed over and told them jokingly, that I was 'Grumpy Smurf'.
Well, I was devastated. My ego was crushed and my feelings were in tatters. I pride myself on always being cheerful, on always making customers happy, feel good about doing business with me and I always, always provide the best customer service I can. It doesn't matter what mood I am in or what is going on in my life, I always ensure the customer never suspects and I treat them as if they are the most important person on the earth until they leave.
I'm sure he was only trying to be funny, but some of my workmates thought there might be an 'element of truth' to what he said and there was a little teasing went on behind the scenes.
That night I asked family and a couple of friends if they had ever known me to be grumpy. They did say that I sometimes had my cranky pants on, but when I did, I would withdraw until I was feeling more balanced and it was only because they knew me so well, that they recognised what I was doing.
By Thursday morning, I had had enough of the not so subtle jokes. When my supervisor called me into their office, saying 'Come on Grumpy Smurf, lets talk about this.... Oh my goodness, that's so funny, I think that name is going to stick!', I knew it had gone on for long enough.
I pulled myself up tall and said to her 'If you want grumpy, you just keep on calling me grumpy, because what you say about me and what you believe about me is who I will become. I believe I chose my attitude every hour of every day. I choose to be awesome. I choose to give awesome service to my customers and they all get exactly that!'
On the way home I was thinking about this 'conversation'. How often do we hear others talking about us, or allow them to 'label' us in such a way that we eventually become what they believe us to be? How often does someone who is told they are lazy start acting lazy. How many times does the weird person stay weird, or the 'no hoper' remain that way? Unless we have the fire and determination to stand up and say 'This is not my story. This is not who I am!', we can easily self fulfill the prophecy of perception of those around us.
So next time someone labels you, ask yourself 'Is this who I am?' and if the answer is no, either prove them wrong by showing them who you truly are, or speak your truth so they are left in no doubt that they are wrong.
And take a moment to look at your self talk...are you putting yourself down? Are you belittling yourself or failing to see how awesome you really are? What you think about yourself is who you will become....always, but always, choose 'awesome'!
Stay true to you
~ Cherie ~