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On Stupid Appliances and Ditching the Dread

I got an expansive hate comment on my blog long ago. I was accused of living a charmed life full of manicures and antiquing trips. If you saw me on a real day in my life this past week/month, you’d be equally amused as I am at that thought.

While I concede that I am still living a first world life with running water and a roof that doesn’t leak, everyone has some rotten days and bad luck they must live through. Right? Or do they?in my didningroom on Shalavee.com

I got to wondering if there are some people who live in Grace Bubbles. When they have an appliance go up on Christmas Eve, they know just the right person to call to have it taken care of and have a set aside fund for appliance emergencies. Or they are so Zen with their faith that they know the solution will come soon and they’ll hang until it finds them? Because I want to live those people’s lives. This is what happened to me instead.

Our dryer ceased to work around Wednesday. By Friday, I had ordered another heatcoil hoping that, like the last time it broke maybe 5 years ago, we could replace it and be in the drying business again. I do a happy dance when the coil comes the following Wednesday. But after Mark puts it in and there’s still no heat, I concede that it’s a “brain” part that’s died and we’re buying a new dryer. With the bickering kids in the backseat, I head down that evening to the our local Lowes (appliances and DIY store) where I find out that they won’t have the one that we want, the one that matches the washer we just replaced and paid off, for another two weeks. House in Easton on SHalavee.com

Option two was me buying one from a store in the neighboring state by phone which will be tax free but undeliverable (and thus uninstallable by anyone other than my husband) to our address. Mark will now be picking up said dryer and then de-installing both the washer and dryer (the sink blocks a straight in entry) and reinstalling the dryer and washer on Saturday midst the birthday party set up. I told him to get another man with a strong young back to help.

What does my brain do when all of this is happening? Well I panic that I won’t be able to do my job, especially when I was just about to go medieval with Fiona’s potty training and the quantity of pee soaked clothing is exponential when you take a way the pull-ups/diapers. And I can also tell that my inner control freak doesn’t like situations where I am not in control. Period. But what I also hear myself doing is flipping the “It’ll never be good” and the “It’ll always be bad” coin. These are my go-to cognitive distortions .

And then I actually caught myself catastrophizing this morning as I was saying, “I’ve nothing to look forward to soon and have no me-time planned either”. The birthday party planning isn’t apparently ending in a fun birthday party for me. This may or may not be true but I’ll enjoy it all the same. So when Fiona threw her nap for a second day in a row today, I didn’t even dwell on it because this I actually expect. Adjusting my expectations accordingly is a tricky business. I can let go of the frustration of my inability to control her. Easton on Shalavee.com

And that brings me to my last Aha. For this whole month, I have been really working hard in all aspects of my life. I’ve worked daily at getting what I needed done in a way that removes the dread and anticipation away from any given task by placing one foot in front of the other until its done. Because if you combine dread with those cognitive distortions of “it’ll always be this way’ and you’ve got a cocktail for paralysis ready to be swilled down without another thought. But this month was about shedding the fear and doing that which I recognize needs doing. Conceding to my lack of control and doing what I can. And doing it until it’s done without thinking too much. It’s about having a little faith beyond the circumstances in what you and your life will provide you. Knowing that if you do your best you’ll always get better than not.

I pretty much called out every little response and behavior that I knew wasn’t creating good feelings within me and set my sights on recognizing the negative thoughts sooner. I also decided to post seven days in a row of posts on gratitude on Instagram. Because you can’t feel sad or mopey when you are Grateful! I worked super hard this week, gave myself credit for it, and am feeling slightly better for it.

Anything you have to add, please do?

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Daggone Appliances

Last Saturday morning, my microwave committed hari kari. I punched the go button and it yelled at me. I yelled back. Stupid microwave. Turns out, the date on the inside said 2003. Really? I could not believe it had been almost eight years since I bought it. It was older than my six year old. It looked good still. Not like all the other disposed of microwaves in the world.

I couldn’t stand the gaping hole in the cabinet. So I drove a long way to get a new one from Sears. I looked for the same one and purchased its current equal, paying an extra twenty five dollars for the stainless steel version. I got it home and wouldn’t you know, it was a half inch larger in every direction. All fine until the up direction which forced me to remove the shelf above.

And I still had minutes to spare for “operation replace microwave” until I notice that the plug was different. Where the previous plug was straight, this one was the right angled kind. The kind that lays flat behind the appliance. Fine if the receptacle is located behind the appliance. But we’d stuck it above the cabinet where the cord had to snake through holes in the shelves. Holes that were too small now. In ten minutes, I’d drilled holes and taken my jigsaw in an unkosher fashion to open those holes up and accommodate the right angly plug. I was just in time to meet the school bus outside the house.

Today I broke the carafe to my coffee pot. That’s what I get for having a cast iron sink And I wasn’t really in the mood to be domestic as I went to wash the pot out for tomorrow. In fact, I usually let my husband do that since he makes the coffee being the first one up. Don’t clean the kitchen angry. I pitched a fit as I went down to fetch the old coffee maker from the basement. Us coffee addicts are always prepared. I even had an extra carafe for the old coffee pot. Fat lot of good it does me with the pot I broke today.

Husband suggested looking online for a new carafe. Not a bad idea considering that’s the way I’ve replaced a part for my refrigerator (plastic parts holding the weight of two crisper drawers is a design flaw) and the heating element to our dryer that went out on the day after Christmas, of course. My visiting sister dried the last of her clothes, the dryer broke, and she said adios. Husband wedged himself behind the dryer and took out the twenty hex head screws to discover the manual inside and directions that had him opening up the front of the machine, of course.

The dishwasher gave it up two years ago. And the water heater was replaced nine years ago. The oven and clothes washer are both almost six years old. Which appliance is the next up for catastrophe? Adjustable expectations may be the only way to save yourself. Always expect the Spanish inquisition.

Tidy isn’t the Same as Clean

Look around at my house and most of the time, it is tidy. I try to pick up after the mini tornado creators every day and a half. The feeling I have seeing no clutter beats the chaos I feel when I look around and see stuff everywhere. But there’s still the layer below that that niggles at me. The secret filth that I know is lurking everywhere that I will never conquer.Tidy isn't the same as clean on Shalavee.com

There’s the grease that flies around the kitchen because there’s no exhaust fan in there. It covers the back stairs and the fan and the top of the refrigerator. Eventually, I stab at it with degreaser but really there’s no winning that war. Until I get an exhaust fan.

There’s the scuffed up dirty wooden floors that need to be revamped and haven’t seen a good mopping in I can’t remember how long. Clean doesn’t comprise just vacuuming but when the floors look this bad, who cares.Tidy isn't the same as clean on Shalavee.com

There’s the layers of dust in hard places I can’t see that are too hard to reach. And the filth under the appliances that are too hard to move to care to get to. See, there’s an understanding that dirt is literally lurking everywhere and while I take a stab at scrubbing it off the windows every season and waxing my kitchen floor every month, there will never ever be a moment when I am alive that this house will be clean.Tidy isn't the same as clean on Shalavee.com

So I settle for tidy. And hope no one with white gloves comes for a visit.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Post Holiday Re-entry and My Feelings of a New Year of Me

I’ve been in sort of auto-pilot mode for the past couple months. Knowing I could only handle so much, hoping the world wouldn’t hand me anymore and resenting anyone and anything that did. I was fearful of the thing that would come along and tip my precariously balanced mirage of “all good” over. I chewed my lip and kept putting one foot in front of another. I awaited the post holiday unbuttoning of the pants.

And while everyone I loved was taken care of as best I could, my own introverted creative needs for solace and thought were abandoned. Yes, I am a mother with mother duties and no I’m not resentful. It is what it is. A noble attempt to provide a chaos-free happy Christmas to the ones I love in remembrance of all those holidays I lived in chaos and misery. Holiday Re-Entry on Shalavee.com

I can not find fault in my recreation of holiday traditions that feel safe and joyful. And the moment I was out of obligation-land, I turned my eye in to resee who I am and what I need. And what I found was that I was still in tact, had not given up, and was ready to revisit my goals and intentions for the new year of me with a newly angled view.

See, I know I did my best. Through the month and a half of holidays and the accompanying trials and tribulations of family matters and dying appliances, I did my best. I kept putting one foot in front of another and I held it together as I produced another special event that sparkled and giggled and tasted as good as it smelled. I am proud of myself for keeping the car on the road. And the earned pride and knowledge that I am the best person to be with when the plane crashes assures me that whatever I’ve got coming up will work out better than I ever imagine.Holiday Re-Entry on Shalavee.com

What I decided is that it’s my perception of what will happen, based on whether I think I’m capable or not, that brings up the feelings of fear and dread. But we really don’t need to dread our own lives. Instead, I’d like to hold the view of what I’m doing with a child’s curiosity. I want to want to see what’s going to happen looking forward to what I might earn that will make me better. My anticipation of failure only serves to squash the fun. But being present and doing everything for my satisfaction first has proven an unfailing method to stay true to me.

Holiday Re-Entry on Shalavee.com

As I sat here this morning responding to a prompt on Instagram of What I want for 2018, I came up with these words

to guide my choices this year:

Perspective ..Safety……Joy……Inspiration…..Value……Chances…..Strength…..Hope.

My feelings of my life is what I am truly living every day. So let my eyes be wide enough to see all the wonder and possibility.

 

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Hallway Renovation Update

I notice that sometimes there are items that will sit on my to-do list for an uncomfortably long time, taunting me with their incompletion. The reasons why they are not being accomplished had evaded me. But they linger like a pain deep in my hip saying there’s something worth an x-ray going on in there. And this hallway renovation had become “one of those things”.

I recognized the hold up sometime ago when I wrote about the stalled renovations in this post titled Weird Spaces and a Plan and what I realized it meant in the bigger picture. I had yet to see myself as my future self. I was stuck in a purgatory between who I used to be and who I’d yet to decide I’d become. And so the hallway sat, halfway undecorated, dark, and a victim to whatever fell there. Until I began to decide to stand for what I am already. When I decided to be me again. And I bought this beautiful kilim rug.Hallway update on Shalavee.com

I hadn’t spent any money on anything new for the house, other than appliances, in a very very long time. But I suddenly became obsessed with the idea that I wanted a kilim rug and that once I had the rug of my dreams, everything else would fall into place. True and truth.

Once the rug was in place, I felt hopeful. And then I began to plan my daughter’s birthday party. And I had to renovate something because, as we all know, parties are really just an excuse to renovate. So I scheduled the hallway painting for this week. Which meant, working backwards, I had to buy the paint beforehand. And this meant, I had to choose the paint colors. So one morning a couple weeks ago, I sat down on the rug in the sunshine and I picked out all the colors.

But it wasn’t until yesterday standing on the ladder with a roller in my hand, that it hit me. This hall was being completely transformed in one week’s time and this had taken me ten years to give myself permission to do. Yes there had been a question of how to “deal” with the bas relief diamonds I had so cleverly adhered to the walls 15 years ago. And then the other day I realized I just needed to spackle over them. Duh. So queen of the spackle bucket went and bought a $20 bucket of spackle, which seems to have gotten way heavier in ten years, and in one day the walls were ready.Hallway update on Shalavee.com

We are not ready until we are ready. The lesson isn’t about time restraints or monetary resources. The lesson is about being ready and being patient until you are. I can’t say I have all the details hammered out yet. Because sometimes we need to be in process to decide and sometimes we need to live with stuff before we can make a decision. And of course, I may also need to change my mind about any of the redecoration choices I have made. The point is, you will start when you are ready and finish when you are done. And allowing that to be the truth will save you many years of judgement on yourself and others.

It is what it is until it isn’t anymore.

Here’s to having most of it completed when the birthday party happens in a month!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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