Archive for the ‘Recovery’ Category

The Surprise

February 24, 2009

My adult daughter (20 years old) started the day the other day out of sorts and ‘pissy.’ Ah, yes, how familiar. I am trying to use a positive approach to combating morning pissiness, with her and with myself. “Oh, you never know,” I said. “I bet the day will surprise you. Something will happen today that you totally won’t expect and it will be a pleasant surprise.”

Well, off she went. I dropped her off at her program (she has special needs and attends developmental therapy about five hours every week day). Albeit, she was dragging profusely all through the morning routine and I was taking in a lot of deep breaths to help me with patience in getting her out the door. All things considered, though, we got through it pretty smoothly.

Later that same day, I met some friends for a casual lunch at a restaurant that specializes in pizza, sandwiches, and salads. There were about 5 people ahead of me in line, none of whom I knew. We ordered and paid, and the cooks placed the finished orders up on the raised counter above their cooking area and announced our names: “Tom!”…”Sally!”…”Gerrard!” The place was buzzing with hungry patrons fetching food. “Jody!”… I bounced up to the counter to grab my half-chef salad, only it was a half-chicken salad. “Oh, I ordered a ‘chef’ not ‘chicken!'” I said to the cook, pointing at the salad.
“Are you ‘Jody?'” the cook asked.
“Yes!” I said.
“Well,” said the cook, pointing to the lady standing a couple of paces to my left. “This salad is for that ‘Jody,’ ”
“Oh!” I said, backing up a step to make way for the other Jody to fetch her half chicken salad.

About three seconds later the cook made a half chef salad appear on the counter. “Jody!” he called out, looking at me, his upper lip in a curl. We two Jody’s exchanged sidelong glances and self-conscious laughs as I reached for my salad.

What were the odds of two Jody’s being called up to fetch half salads at the same time in the same restaurant? It was a funny thing: My day had surprised me. I chuckled over the thought of two Jody’s with half-salads the rest of the day.

When I picked up my daughter later that same day, I asked her, “Did you have a surprise in your day?”

“No.” she said flatly.

Let Life Piss … er… Please You!

February 22, 2009

“Let life please you if it will.” I came across these words a couple of years ago. How novel the idea was! “Let life please you if it will,” was a complete departure from the stuff in my head, which was more akin to, “Let life totally piss you off because it will.”

And it did much of the time. I experienced a lot of “A-ha!” moments that confirmed it: The human condition sucked! Also there’s plenty in the news to confirm it, horrible things happening everywhere. “Humans are a sorry lot, myself included!” I would passionately declare to myself and to anyone who would listen. I had other mantras in my head that I would call to service during fitting situations: “AH yes, all the little things that are sent to try us!” or, “Some days, peanuts, some days shells!” Then of course, “Situation normal, all f_ _ _ ed up!” Let life please you, eh? To me the world was broken and I was broken. Verdict: “Not fixable.” We are born, we suffer, we die.

But somewhere along the way a shift in my thinking has occurred: What if the world isn’t broken? What if life could please me if only I would let it? Of course life can piss me off. In spades! Can it please me? Yes! But maybe it’s up to me to let it.

Things are pretty good in my life right now. And it seems like it should be easier to let life please a person when things are good, peaceful, healthy, abundant. But then, relative to what? How are these things defined? Life is what it is.

What if the universe has everything one needs – no matter how dire or desperate one’s circumstances? We are formed from dust, to dust we return. We all face life’s seemingly endless challenges, tragedies, losses, deaths of those we love, and ultimately, our own death.

Through it all, life is our friend, love is our companion. I am growing into this, shedding my cloak of ‘pissiness’ whenever I have the mind to and inviting life to please me – opening my eyes to see it: I have all I need.