Memorable

The first time we went to church, Jeff was reluctant to ask if anyone knew our caller. I’m not sure why. When I asked about it, he just said, “Next time.” I didn’t push it, because, well, I wasn’t the reason we were there.

The second time we went, I encouraged him to ask. Jeff said, “Ok.” He slid down the pew to ask a woman he sort-of knew. He remembered her name from years ago, as a friend of Nannee. Surprisingly, she remembered Jeff quite well, and enveloped him in a back-slapping hug.

It was surprising, to me, at the time. You’d think after about the 100th time someone he hadn’t seen in 30-40 years recognized him, remembered him and was happy to see him – that I wouldn’t be astonished.

I never got used to it, certainly never expected it. It happened a lot. Like the time Jeff and I were standing in line to pay at the food auction. When we were just a few people back from cashing out, Jeff left me to pay while he went to get the car. The woman behind me tapped me on the should and asked, “Is that Jeff?” I confirmed and she lit up with a huge smile. “I was his teacher!” As she told me he was such a nice young man, I was picturing a junior high connection.

When Jeff came back in to load up our purchases, he was greeted with a hug. He explained that she was one of his early grade-school teachers.  (3rd grade, maybe?) That surprised me because I’m sure he was a little shorter and had a lesser amount of facial hair at that age. I’d never seen him sans mustache ad beard, and momentarily wondered if I’d recognize him at first glance without them. 

The final recognition surprise came a few days after Jeff passed. I received a phone call from the coroner’s office. It was the medical examiner offering personal condolences with the explanation that he had been Jeff’s pediatrician when Jeff was very young. He wanted me to know that he remembered Jeff very well and fondly, too.

Thinking about it now, so many people saw something in Jeff that could easily be dismissed as recognition; but I think what they were really remembering was his never-changing soul.

(And the fact that his laugh was so distinct, someone an aisle over in the grocery store would rush around the corner and exclaim, “I knew it HAD to be YOU!” Happened. More than once.)

Quote for the Week:

2018 02 06 faces are easily recognizable jakorte

Bonus School Photo Collage (a gift, compiled by my niece):

Jeff school photo collage 20180206_190706~2

 

Dissolution of a Down

Forcing the issue isn’t working. The ‘Don’t Resolution’ is perhaps the swiftest failure of a New Year’s plan: to date, qualifyingly leaving space for possible worse scenarios.

I’ve been in-the-making of collages since I entered the social cyber world. Storing away tidbits of uplift for encouragement, aimed at providing a gentle environment to embolden and nurture with an occasional reflective cutting remark, allowing for some fun. I’ve plenty of fodder for those in trouble, in need, down-cast, insecure or out-cast, but none of them seem for me.

It’s hard to be inspirational when you’re feeling semi-permanently uninspired, labeled ‘semi’ for the sincere hope that someday the down-talk will cease. I call myself out, which isn’t much of a solution; like a carousel with no brass ring, just endless, relentless strips of self-assessing log. Mentally beating myself up hurts just as badly, if not worse, than anyone else’s ‘helpful’ fault-points. My call-downs are not vague. Specificity is sharp, slicing cleanly, making it that much harder to heal.

Soul stitching, like wound stitching, can be self-endured. Minor reachable fixes in cases of emergency, where we grab the needle without even thinking and try to put our lives back together again, not realizing there may be damages we cannot reach, and wounds we don’t even know are there.

Put-downs are easily learned, and difficult to unlearn. The highest muster of self-praise comes down to a check-box: I got the mail. I moved a box. I did something that needed to be done under micro-self-management, and two-seconds after acknowledging a ‘win,’ my heart hears the shake of my head as “really?” Wind-swiftly, whatever the opposite of a pat-on-the-back may be, swoops in ~ brushing contentment right off my shoulders.

Rooting the negativity spot, dust-piles of former praise, formerly minor bumps – have somehow turned into mountains covered in annoying scraps of optimism. The only way to break through is to tear them off, one-at-a-time, chewing slowly, digesting thoroughly before ever moving on. One-a-day, or one-for-two days, or one-for-a-week or month, if it’s particularly hard to swallow; but not a year. There will be no room to stand if standing still is the plan.

Push is as different from drive as self-motivation is from force-feeding. Push requires someone to move you; drive requires you to move yourself. Forward, then, I cannot promise 52, or Mondays or Saturday or any other day. I will not play catch-up, and will not regret it.

I will pick one. Carefully consider. Pass it on.

Encourage dissolution of downs.

Quote for the Week:

Standing Still 01 13 2015

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Don’t worry: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/3-reasons-to-stop-worrying-about-your-negative-thoughts/

Just Stop: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_articles.asp?id=614

Defined: http://www.themms.com/corporate-education?id=110

The Don’t Resolution

.

Oh.

Here we go, again, into a new year pursuing weight-loss, budget-wrangling, perfection, idealism.

Here I go again, beginning the obligatory self-preaching routine: these are the things I need to do.

 

Here’s what I’ve learned: what I think I want isn’t always the prize I hoped or thought it would be.

Here’s what I’ve decided: it’s ridiculous to keep chasing the same carrot.

 

This year isn’t going to be the year I do the things I want to do.

This will be the year of not doing the things I don’t want to do.

 

I don’t want to wait.

I don’t want to deny.

I don’t want to worry.

I don’t want to dislike.

I don’t want to be difficult for any reason.

I don’t want to bow to unreasonableness.

I don’t want to scrutinize my shortcomings.

I don’t want to focus on the way things have been.

I don’t want to find out I should have or could have.

I don’t want to attempt to be something I never will be.

I don’t want to hold out anti-achievements as future possibilities.

I don’t want to accept this is all there is to here and now and forever.

.

Quote for the Week:

It’s ridiculous to keep chasing the same carrot

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Don’t Outsmart Your Common Sense: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcI15ose120

Don’t Miss This: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5AkNqLuVgY

Live Like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9TShlMkQnc

The Most Reliable Failure

It started in October. Offers and counter offers, inspections, concessions, estimates, paperwork, more paperwork, more paperwork. At the time it seemed it was all moving too slowly. So slowly that I had plenty of time to think, and rethink. Pros and cons constantly circling for landings were scrawled everywhere: sticky note, paper pads, the electronic note pad on my phone, texts and emails and voice memos from me to me. What about this? What about that?  What if, what if, what if?

More than once, I was ready to walk away. Just as many times, I was ready to run. The more I learned about the place, the less appealing it became. The more I had to say, “I sent that to you last night,” or yesterday or the day before, the less confident I became in my team. I didn’t get answers fast enough. The processing wasn’t fast enough. The details weren’t always clear. The pushing and pushing back was wearing. Slamming the door was constantly at war with the notion that playing nice would be a better idea.

Honestly, I played nice. I promised myself when this was all over I would explain everyone else’s shortcomings to them… in great detail. When it was done, after one final week of “is this or is this not going to happen,” it happened. Now, I know it’s normal to get cold feet. I wasn’t having cold feet. I was deep frozen. I was also 100% sure that I would have an easy out.

Ann Arbor is an interesting market. Housing is at 90% making it difficult for those whose lives swing with the academic schedule: schools of professorial and doctoral fish flood the spring and fall markets. The condo was offered off calendar. I tried a search about a year and a half ago, during spring flip. Bidding wars and $20K appraisal gaps eventually wore me down. After enough frog-leapt-over-mine offers, the searching stopped. I managed to find a rental in the neighborhood, and talked myself into a two-year lease, provided the carpet was replaced. I offered to pay half. The rent went up by a reasonable amount for half the carpet, then on move-in day, I realized, the landlord had only replaced half the carpet.

All summer 2014, I thought about my lack of outdoor space, and envied the porches all around me. Especially the kitty corner one, the one with a privacy fence fully in view from my couch. I spent many early morning weekend walks wandering through the commons, hoping to see for-sale signs, knowing I was locked in for another 6 months and not truly believing I would win in the next swell season, either.

I saw a sign early on a Sunday morning loop. Open House – kitty corner, with the privacy fence fully in view from my couch. I jumped on the wagon, started it in motion only to be met with no call-backs and “I’m really busy.” Obviously, I got what I thought I wanted. Until I learned what I would get, and the back-peddle plan began. Confidence in trouble comes easily to me. Probably because trouble comes easily, as well. Still coping with the frustratingly slow forward process, despite my ever-growing reluctance, I always had that back-of-the-mind comfort that comes with knowing the market and at what point the deal might fail to my advantage.

The most reliable failure would be the appraisal. The huge gaps of spring 2013 might be less in 2014, but it’s a rarity that an Ann Arbor property appraises for more than offer or asking. That would be my final line; that would be my back-away.

I often joke about unluckiness. In the realm of normal, it would be an immensely coveted situation to find, as a buyer, that appraisal has valued at more than cost. Valued at more than offered. Valued at more than asked. My stop-action rip-cord had failed, and the 30-year mortgage was mine. Without a doubt, the weirdest unlucky ever, was walking away from the closing table with equity.

Quote for the Week:

Value is as changeable as our minds

 

Enjoy the Week’s Discovery Links:

Walking Away from Home Purchase: https://www.discover.com/home-loans/blog/facts-about-walking-away-from-a-home-purchase-contract

About Equity: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/home-equity/what-home-equity-debt-is-1.aspx

Home Rate of Return Calculator: http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/home-rate-of-return/

Transplantation

Is it possible that reincarnation holds a different purpose than supposed?

Perhaps it’s not the worst souls that are re-sent to repair, but instead the best transplanted in overlay for those who need a second chance.

Perhaps this is why I questioningly cock my head when hearing something that has never come forth from someone I believed I knew so well.

When offering to pull someone out, there is always a chance that they don’t want to move. There’s disbelief in the removal of danger; believing it safer to remain with a known pain than to travel toward pains unknown.

There may not be the awareness; professing desire for assistance, but living resistance. Anchors can the cruelest double-edged swords.

We tie down to remain placid, stay our ground; float safely where we think we want to be. The mistake is found in not cutting free in the limited moments between a rational storm and a fury that will not abate.

I’m afraid most of us are no longer looking for a way to change the world; we’re trying to survive it.

It’s an unhappy circumstance we’re not truly surviving anything. We’re not waltzing either. There is a difference between trudging and dancing, between walking and dancing, between running and dancing.

Metaphorically, of course. If the body will not dance, let the mind do it for you. Stare a while at a gyrating screen saver; you’ll feel real movement, although inanimate.

The thing is this isn’t an unusual day trip. This is imagined immunity through imagined thick skin where perpetual schooling remains a need, and where sometimes adults are the slowest learners.

Based on the jadedness of our lives – love lingers where it shouldn’t, tied down and anchored, waiting for the next wave, declaring just-one-more-time.

Because we’re stubborn or desperate or afraid that if we don’t hold on through the storm, we won’t know where we are when it’s all over.

Finally, a recommendation, self and otherwise: Embrace the movement.

Allow transplantation. Dance with a new soul.

 

 

Quote for the Week:

  Embrace the movement 10 07 2014

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Anchors, Go Away: http://www.theminimalists.com/saved/

Science of Reincarnation, NPR: http://www.npr.org/2014/01/05/259886077/searching-for-science-behind-reincarnation

Immunity to Change, Robert Kegan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFYnVmGu9ZI

simply non-absorbing

Canceled flights, postponed meetings, put downs, over-waiting, under-eating, the over-ignored melancholy of having missed the importance of affections; meltdown. The unusually stacked, short-time string of dismissals tweaked me one tiny notch too far.

The result was a temper tantrum; the kind that comes about when I haven’t gotten my way in a really long time. The sort pressure-cooker steam-off that surfaces when my worths (self or external) are ignored or devalued.

I never know when that’s going to be. I only know when I get there.

It wasn’t entirely my fault. Truly, I may have been headed toward angry-ville anyway, but I had an over-sufficient amount of help getting there. A few fast-run to dead-stop power kicks helped punt me through the uprights, and the wide-open door to furyland.

I could have kept shrugging my shoulders, knowing from experience, the weight of the world loses its heft when you religiously exercise the muscles holding it up. I just chose not to.

Instead, I walked away. Literally, down sidewalks, around corners, unconcerned. If my random turnings turned me around, GPS would just have to guide me back. As usual, I made it on my own. A few miles and almost an hour later, I was tangled up in spent.

I de-shoed, de-capped, de-socked and de-shorted and decided I couldn’t decide what needed to happen next. Too confused to eat, too upset to make sense; too watery-eyed to read texts, I couched.

I really do try to avoid confrontations. It wasn’t always that way, and it’s not that easy for me now. Even though a trying moment might have ended, I can’t always get over it. I can’t always let go.

I’d like enlighten, enrich, and make the world a better place by pointing out bad faith and false profession, but history has shown there’s not much success in that approach.

I try not to tell it like it is, and give myself credit for having learned something over the years.

Nobody wants to hear the truth. Nobody wants to know if they are bossy, or inconsiderate, or lazy… or bordering on mean for no good reason. I know this, because I’m one of those nobody’s too.

I’ve examined the clichés, the verses and the proverbs. I cannot find any evidence to support the notion that we are all supposed to be sop-ups. Nothing requires any of us to be an emotional sponge.

Soaking in the dramatic static of others’ lives just isn’t healthy; repeated wringing wears away our civil surface and unprotects the soul.

So, while I strive to seem pacifistically accepting, I embrace an entirely different definitive power beneath my stoic surface. This is my solvent and my equilibrium.

I am no longer swaying with or subscribing to the soak and squeeze.

I am only self-obligated to osmose the good stuff, at my determination.

If there can’t be any of that, I’ll stand here silently; simply non-absorbing.

Quote for the week:

I am responsible. Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have life itself.  ~ Walter Anderson

Enjoy this week’s discovery links:

Osmosis for Kids: http://www.ehow.com/info_8650496_osmosis-kids.html

Minimize Drama: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/7-crucial-steps-to-minimize-drama-in-your-life/

In-depth Goal Posting: http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-build-a-goal-post/index.html

Soaking in the dramatic static of