Sail with the Phase

“Only when your consciousness is totally focused on the  moment you are in, can you receive whatever gift, lesson, or delight that moment has to offer.” Barbara De Angelis

A life is full of many moments. Some I love, some I tend to resent. I remember when my children were young. Somedays would be more taxing than others. Often during those times a friend would say, ‘they are going through a phase, they will move into another soon.’

I gave that a lot of thought. If I hurried them through every phase, the end result would be to rush their lives. Lives are so short anyway. Why would I rush a life away?

Today, my children are adults. My parents have passed away. Illness and disease have come and gone. And I have asked myself again-would I wish away any of these phases of suffering?

My answer is, no. All the moments have made me who I am today. The good and delightful, and the sad and sorrowful. They comprise me.

Phases do come and go. Some are short, and some seem as though they will never pass. My goal is to keep moving through the phases. Embrace what I can and try not to get stuck in any one place.

“To reach a port, we must sail – sail, not tie at anchor, sail not drift.” Franklin D. Roosevelt


By the Light of the Silvery Moon

“For most people, we often marvel at the beauty of a sunrise or the magnificence of a full moon, but it is impossible to fathom the magnitude of the universe that surrounds us.” Richard H. Baker

Full moon

I love to see the full moon. Maybe it is because the moon creates a hole in the blackness. That very idea is inspiring to me. Sometimes life seems very dark. In the dark it is hard to find my way. It is difficult to see what lies ahead. In an effort to hurry through the dark place, I run. Running only leads to tripping. So, I have to be more patient. I have to inch along.

Then the full moon comes out! Things do not seem so dark. I still have to tread carefully, but I can see a step or two ahead of me. It wasn’t my eyes that gave me more sight. It was the universe. The moon reminds me that there is other help. There is more wisdom than I have alone. There is direction to be provided. The universe is bigger than me. It is good to be reminded of that.

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” Lao Tzu

Pro-Active Patience?

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait-it’s how we behave while we are waiting.” Joyce Meyer

“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.” Henry David Thoreau

Can we wait-be patient-yet maintain a conscious endeavor?  It seems that one or the other takes the lead. How do we balance the goal to be patient, yet have the wherewithal to maintain the conscious endeavor to make things happen?

While I am waiting for ‘something’ to occur, can I also be actively conducting activity to make it occur? I understand that I can actively do things to prepare myself when the ‘something’ occurs. But what if that ‘something’ doesn’t come for many days; or seemingly ever?  Can I hurry it along? hmmm. I guess that would make me impatient. Do I make follow-up phone calls, tweet, or otherwise engage in the ‘something’? hmmm. That would be pro-active, but not very patient. Do I sit back, drink my wine, and relax and wait for the ‘something’ to occur? hmmm. That would be patient, but not pro-active at all.

The complexities of daily living.

I suppose that I can make conscious endeavors to develop who I am as a person. I will proactively seek to be caring, sensitive, industrious, and dependable. Where I conduct these qualities, and with whom I share them, I suppose I will leave to destiny. Is that the compromise?

This blog has no concrete answer. I struggle with the balance of having patience-letting my journey unfold and being pro-active; where I chart the path for my journey to travel.

Oy vey.

Wine and iPads

I am not so good at waiting. I move at a fast pace. I don’t like unanswered questions or open endings.

Rushing has caused me some injuries. If I bump into a table, or turn into a door frame, I don’t do so casually. I ram into them. Because I am flying. In a hurry to get it all done.

Some say ‘Good things come to those who wait.’ Maybe so. I suppose the people who say that also say, ‘patience is a virtue.’ Maybe so.

I am not so certain that waiting makes good things come to you. But waiting does make you appreciate them more. If I want something new and immediately go out to purchase it, I will like it. I might love it. But if I save my money, research my options and I finally get to purchase the desired, chosen, purchase, I cherish it.

Did the waiting make it happen? No. But the waiting helped me to cherish it.

Prayer is similar. Did the prayer itself change the event? No. But it changed me as it helped me to embrace it.

In my fast rush to get through the daily demands of my life, I think it is helpful for me to be reminded to wait. To pause. To breathe. My tendency when called upon to wait-even 10-20 minutes-is to pull out my iPad, pour a glass of wine and say I am waiting. But I am still being active. True waiting, is silent, reflective, and restoring. It gives me a chance to catch up with myself.

So, in that vein, the saying, ‘good things come to those who wait’, I would agree. Waiting lets me catch up with me.

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceness as a beach-waiting for the gift from the sea.”  Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Oy Vey Ist Mir

“Sedulously eschew obfuscatory hyperverbosity and prolixity.” Roedy Green

What the hell does that mean? Deja Vu. I was there yesterday. I had asked a simple question. “Please provide for me the dates that go with visit 3, 4, and 5”. I am responsible for tracking those dates. We get paid by a sponsor for those dates.

Two days later, 8 emails, known and unknown people adding to the stream of computer discussions.

I still do not have an answer.

I think Green’s quote above is describing ‘obfuscate’. In other words- to go on and on, in circles, saying nothing, being unclear in a hope to bewilder the listener. If they do it long enough, they hope you will forget the original question.

Oy vey ist mir. Oh woe is me.

The transforming flow of emotions I experience when I deal with someone who obfuscates seems to follow a consistent pattern. Impatience-Anger-Resentment-Anger-Impatience-Anger-Resentment—-these roll along until I arrive at an exasperated frustration. I get spent out.

I suppose the obfuscater feels a little smile creep at the corners of their lips. I wonder if they embrace a sense of victory.

No matter. The fallen soldier gets back up. Needed a nice dinner, little wine, distracting movie and a good nights sleep. I think of George L Griggs saying, “Exasperation is the minds way of spinning its wheels until patience restores traction.”

The greater issue here is that I have responsibility without authority. Horrible place to be. You have visited there I am sure. It is not on Rick Steve’s 100 places to go before you die travel log.

So, when I am rested what do I do? I remind myself that this is not my circus, not my monkeys. I become a documentation specialist. I do what I can do, I let those who may have authority know, and then I have to let it go. I could be stubborn enough to push the question until I got the answer. In those cases, I might as well draw a circle on the wall of my office-at head level-walk up to it, as though it was my target, and bang my head against the wall. Right in the circle, right on target.

But what would I have done to myself? Obtained a headache and wasted my time. So I focus on what I can do. Where I can make a difference.

“You’ve done it before and you can do it now.  See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.” Ralph Marston

Patience-is it really all that necessary?

Must patience be a virtue?! I am so pro-active that waiting for something can take me over my acceptable frustration threshold. I suppose being pro-active is good. It can be helpful. It can also be devastating if I do not allow myself to wait for the right time.

We have broken ground for the new addition. There is a huge hole out my kitchen door that will be the stair case to the cellar. The staircase sits in the middle of what will be the new addition. The entire back yard has lost it’s green grass and graveled curved path. It now hosts piles of dirt which were dug up to create the huge hole. Concrete blocks are stacked in several locations. Two pyramids of pebbles and stones stand tall at the back of the yard. Cement trucks have compacted the ground. The yard shifts from dusty trails to muddy sludge.

cellar stair vault

This would be easier to take if it were only for a few days. I would like a team of young bucks to come and get that hole shaped into the cement slab I so richly deserve. That does cost money. My husband is a brilliant engineer and drew the plans and is totally capable of doing the job. One man, two arms. So…I wait and I try to be patient.

Part of my trouble is my pro-active planning. In my mind, I have moved beyond the open pit in the back yard. That will get done. I have moved on to concerns of how we will get the two story addition built. Remember, one man with two arms. He says don’t worry. It will get done.

So I worry. I stew. I try to visualize, how in the hell is he going to do that?!

Then I remember the workshop. He had to build it in one spot and move it to another. He built it on top of PVC tubing so that it could be rolled into place. Really? Rolled into place? I had never heard of such a thing. I could not imagine it. I worried. I stewed. I waited for my turn to say, ‘I knew this wouldn’t work’. But it did work! He and a friend used a truck and a chain and they moved that workshop into place.

Workshop pulling it Workshop finished

I love the cottage workshop. I will love the new addition. I remind myself that I could not imagine how the workshop would get done. But it did. So now, I remind myself that the addition will get done too. I need to be patient. I need to trust the plan and enjoy the journey.

“Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.”  Saadi

“He that can have patience can have what he will.” Benjamin Franklin

Patience with Imperfection

“Have patience with all things, but, first of all with yourself”  Saint Francis de Sales

Patience is a funny concept. Margaret Thatcher is quoted as saying “I’m extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end.”  Is that patience or persistence? I tend to think of that as persistent. Not giving up on what you want.

I think patience is different. As Saint Francis de Sales indicated; patience includes being patient with yourself. The first time I really thought about this concept was when I went through my divorce. I was at the end of my forties. I was facing being fifty. I had been married for 31 years. I had not dated anyone else for 33 years. In many ways I was terrified. I wondered ‘what if I make mistakes?’

My married life was wrapped up in a very conservative church. While the church taught that we were all sinners saved by grace, it behaved as though everyone had to be perfect. My husband was on staff at those churches. We were trained to be very perfect. When you are on the staff of these churches you live in a fish bowl. Everyone sees what you do and they all have an opinion. You may have heard the saying; three baptists-four opinions. You wear yourself out trying to please so many people. In fact, I often lost sight as to what I really thought or believed as I was so busy trying to pass the constant inspection. I had witnessed how the church responded to people who ‘made mistakes’–they were criticized, judged, and condemned.

I remember wondering why the church had the expectation that people would be perfect. They of course won’t say that. They will readily say, oh no, people are not perfect, they are sinners. Only God is perfect. You would think that with that mindset, the church membership would not be shocked every time someone ‘sinned’. They would expect it. Love them, help them and comfort them. That was not what I witnessed. So, people were afraid to make a mistake. In practice we all walked around trying to be perfect.

Then one day I told myself that I would make mistakes. Not that I might, but that I would. I was human. I was not God. I am not all knowing, all seeing and all present. I would make decisions the best that I could, but that I would make some mistakes along the way. I told myself that it was okay. It was okay to make a mistake. I was human.

I cannot tell you the relief that I experienced that day. The pressure to be perfect was lifted. I might mention that by the time I gave myself this freedom, I was out of the fishbowl. The divorce was final. The church rejected me-divorce you know. They count that as an unexpected sin. You drop right off the perfect pedestal.

Now I was able to think, and consider who I was, what I wanted, and how I wanted to live. I knew it would take time. I didn’t expect myself to heal over night. I knew it might take time to discover truths about myself.

Patience is defined as “an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay”. So I remind myself not to be annoyed or restless as I take time to become who I am. Or to recognize who that is. We are rehabbing an old house. We constantly make decisions what to keep, what to discard, and what to alter. Life is like that. And it all takes time. If I am inpatient, I will miss the pleasure of the journey.