Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I am letting go of more things and people.  People is the sad part of this, but it needs to be done.  Actually, it is one person, a woman who was supportive when everything hit the fan, even lending me her sewing machine during the time I was homeless.

That sad part is not so much letting her go, although that is terrible, but that she now feels that I owe her unquestioning compliance and to present myself as being in full agreement with her in a program that we are supposed to co-manage.  I have tried, but some of the things she is proposing are not as ethical as I need them to be, and the amount of control she needs right now is just too uncomfortable.  I guess that I am not breaking our professional relationship, but maybe just taking a break from it.   I love her and I love the work, so it is my hope that I am able to return to the program.  It is also necessary that I need to have less attachment to, how can I say this, to what is right for me, and to be more flexible within the group and program dynamic.  After decades of not having choices, having the ability to make my own choices and decisions is a heady experience and I do not want to become too invested in having what I think I need, especially if it might conflict with the work I am doing with other people.  I am stuck on this.

So, anyway, I need to pay attention to the positive parts of my life.  Ordinary abundance is something that I am noticing more often.  The little things that are not all that little.

I have friends, like real friends, meaningful work, a safe and warm place to live, enough food and the means to keep everything going most of the time.

I appreciate the relative safety this place provides, but I get a little thrill when I pass by the bedroom door and see my bed and when I go to bed I do not have to lock the door and push the bed against the door for extra protection.  I no longer have to keep a cell phone tucked into my bra in case I need to call for help.  This one is not little.  It is huge and I am grateful every single day/night.

Finding gasoline at a newly reduced price and having a full tank of the stuff in the car.  I am usually able to put just a quarter tank in at a time, maybe half a tank, and this filled tank feels so rich.  I am gas rich.  In a good way.  Cool.

As things settle down, and I finally get around to unpacking my stuff (most of which was boxed up and stored by my friends and recently returned to me), I am finding that I have gone from having hardly anything to having way too much stuff.  I am grateful to my friends and to actually having all of this stuff, but most of it needs to go to people who need it more than I do.  I now have abundance to share.  Cool.

Starting this week, I will be walking to work.  I should have started doing this when the weather was nice and before the snow season began, but I am going to do it as often as it is safe.  Same thing for walking downtown to my therapy and group meetings.  Exercise by default.  Painful to begin, but eventually entering the cool zone.

As a volunteer, I am grateful to be able to do whatever they will let me, and having the director (of the place where I volunteer to help with employment and referrals to social services) give me full opportunity to add an extension of that program in any way that needs be, is just the most wonderful feeling.  I have worked hard to get this far with the work, but it could not have been done without the support of, well, just everyone in the place.  It is difficult to remember the blessings in my life; I need to be better at that, instead of allowing fear to rule what I do.

I have the financial ability to cover all of my basic needs.  I am struggling with the knowledge that raising my furnace temperature to 62F is going to raise my utility bill, but I am pretty sure that it will not make other bills difficult to pay.  Being warmer this winter is so wonderful.  One of the things I found when unpacking these new boxes is a couple of blankets and some socks.  Even during those below zero weeks to come, I will be comfortable in my little flat.  I also bought and made some things to help reduce the drafts in this old Victorian and darling building.  It has already made a difference for the outer door, still needs a few additions of wind-blocking materials, but so easy to do.  Way cool.

Whilst I still miss some foods, I am managing with the discount markets and have increased my abilities to be resourceful and inventive with ingredients.  I try to buy only what I can eat in a week or two and that is helping me to dramatically reduce food wasting.  Very cool.

Some things need more work. 

I need to be a better housekeeper.  I am organized, but messy sometimes.  
I need to recycle more.  I just do.
I need to find a church and actually show up for services.  I think I have found one, but do not attend often.
I need to be a better friend.  Spend more time with people I like.  Exert myself to find new friends.
I need to exercise more.  I live within walking distance of a facility that I could join. 
I need to spend more time with family.  Finances prevent this, so maybe I could make and sell stuff.  But, what is the problem.  I have few skills in that area.

I need to do all of these things, get better at them, sure, but there is so much more.  Cool.


  1. J, I love reading about how you are going and how you are progressing. It is just so,! :-)

  2. Thanks. I really have come a long way. I guess it is cool. A friend asked me yesterday what it was like to not have all of that stress and fear and I told her that it was nice. I guess she wanted more details, because she laughed and said, "Nice? It is just nice?"

    And, I had to admit that it was just nice. No drama, no hiding, no nothing bad. Nice is a fine damn feeling to have. Yep.

  3. It sounds like you are progressing very well in your life :) This is your time,keep embracing it!