Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gifts, Love & Karma

After a rough couple of weeks, and after a post about gratitude, I was pretty happy when I got the mail yesterday. First, I had two things I had been waiting for in the that will make things a lot less of a struggle for now. But, the best thing I got was a wonderful surprise and note from an Etsy seller.

I've found some wonderful things on Etsy over the years...from some very nice, talented, artistic people - as well as some great vintage pieces. In the process, I've met some great people, and even made some friends.

In this particular case, somehow a vintage scarf I ordered didn't make it to my address. I was bummed out about this - as was the seller - but I said that it would either show up later, as it somehow went to the wrong address, or someone would be blessed with not only a beautiful scarf but the extra gift the seller had so graciously put in the package.

But, what a wonderful surprise when I opened a large envelope on Friday that had a gorgeous silk scarf in it. It was a gift from the seller who had sent the original package that was lost. Now, it certainly wasn't the seller's fault the package was lost, and I never expected this extra surprise present. I just had to take a photo of the gift, and the beautiful note that was enclosed. With a burgundy bow tied around the card, the note said: "I believe in love and karma. You deserve both."

It's a keeper, and she's an absolute sweetheart. It brought tears to my eyes when I read it. Thank you for ending an awful week on such a high note. Your generosity, and especially your thoughtful words, were such a blessing...received at just the right time.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Good Advice

I've always been a pretty positive person. I try to always see the best in people, and I try to look at even the tough things in life as a learning experience.  But, the last couple of weeks, and especially today, I've been really negative.

Losing my long-term job a couple of weeks ago probably pushed this into full gear. I suppose the downright dishonesty and cruelty that was turned toward me from the management at that aforementioned job didn't help - nor did the fact that I am the last in a long line of long-term employees to go. But, as one of them reminded me, "They're the ones who are dysfunctional, not us." We all got thrown under the bus. 

Unfortunately, stress does a number on all people, but for people with Multiple Sclerosis, it can bring on major symptoms like headaches, blurred vision, and an overwhelming fatigue. In the blog, Yoga-Love-Multiple Sclerosis, she says:
"I choose not to talk about my symptoms all the time, cos talking about them gives them power and turns me into a victim. I am not a victim nor will I ever be. Period. I am strong, I'm a Rugby midlands girl (think Trainspotting with an English accent, and ecstasy instead of heroin), we can take care of ourselves. Sure, I'm soft, gentle and very patient, but I will not be controlled by any disease or anyone. You can push and push and push me, but when push comes to shove, I will find my inner fire and will power and I will get what I need to survive with grace and integrity."
The fact is, the job was eating me up - the crisis situations and ridiculous expectations made me neglect taking care of myself for way too long. I know the stress of late is causing some pretty major headaches, but the negativity isn't helping. It's scary to suddenly be without health insurance for the first time in many years, especially when you have a chronic illness. But, after reading the end of her post, I knew it was time to pick myself up, and print this out to keep in front of me:
"Every morning I say a prayer asking for help and strength for a safe and positive day. I offer gratitude for my life, for my kids, parents, friends, teachers, career, abundance, nature, safety, strength and health. And, throughout the day, I work at catching myself going into negative thought patterns and consciously turn them into positive thoughts when I notice them.
Throughout the day, as often as I can, I say thank you for anything I can think to thank. The wind in the trees, the cozy sweater I'm wearing, the computer I'm typing on. Then, at the end of the day, when I'm falling asleep, I go through a mental thank you list for the day that's been, my safe travels, the phone call from my friend, the unexpected gift, the great parking spot."
This is nothing new, but on a day of way too many negative thoughts and words, it's most definitely timely.

Monday, February 6, 2012

No More Daily Crisis

After over seven years at a crazy job, I'm now on my own to make a fresh start. I knew it was coming...and had been warned I'd be the next to go. I watched several excellent people leave before me. With all the self-created drama of that place, working with mentally ill clients was actually a cake walk in comparison. I do thank my former clients. What an opportunity to work with such interesting, strong, great people with wonderful stories...who have, in turn, inspired me for the next chapter. 

Admittedly, I won't miss the constant phone calls, the constant crisis situations, and the total lack of appreciation from a clueless and repeatedly cruel employer. Take it as a learning experience...moving on. They didn't even see me cry, because I didn't.

Finally, the free spirit in me won't be beaten down, and squelched any longer. Or, let's just say it in French: Au revoir à la dysfonction et dramatiques! 

By Gary Larson, The Far Side, FarWorks, Inc.