Sunday, September 18, 2016

Synchronicities 3

Be careful what you ask for.

It just might happen.

I ended my last post on synchronicities wishing I could trust and let go in more areas of my life as I had learned to trust in the process of the solar project for my house I had undertaken.

I think I am.

Maybe.

The other day, I flipped open the cover of my iPad. The clock showed 11:11.

A couple of days later, I got in my car, started the engine and out of habit I checked the clock as I turned on the radio. Well, they're right next to each other. It was 11:11.

A few days later I was walking around my house talking on the phone. Now, when I talk with my mother or a friend, I usually sit. When I'm talking with a sales- or repair person, I walk around. I happened to glance at the clock in my guest room and yes, it was 11:11.

Three 11:11s.

So, what does all that mean? When too many "coincidences" like this happen, many in the spiritual or consciousness awakening communities suggest that the Universe is affirming that you are moving in the right direction. Any choices or decisions you have made are for your best, even if they are a bit frightening or painful; like a spiritual reassurance, if you will. Also, many mediums believe a loved one is reaching out to you with some type of message. Some others believe it is a suggestion that something unusual will take place soon.

I believe it means whatever resonates with you.

Just a few days after the third 11:11, a hawk landed on the back of one of my patio chairs. Now, I've had hawks in my yard before, usually with a nice choice pigeon for their lunch. While eating, the hawk is on the ground, or maybe perched in a tree shielding itself and its prey. As this hawk was perched on the back of a chair, watching me through the sliding glass door, I considered it a bit unusual. I checked out Hawk Medicine in my Shamanic reference books and it suggested that since hawks fly high above the earth to gather a larger or broader perspective as they search for prey, perhaps I should also check my perspective. So, I have taken a step back to look at some areas of my life, changed my perspective and began to feel a bit lighter. At least in spirit. And I feel better about an important decision I need to make and therefore act on, soon.
The hawk took off seconds after I snapped this shot

And the synchronicities keep coming.

I was anxious for the final step of my solar project; the installation of the solar meter by my utility company, and I was eventually given a six week timeframe. One morning as I was waiting for a package to arrive before heading out for some errands, the mail carrier knocked on the door and asked about the savings on my electric bill as he had noticed the solar inverter on my house. Alas, I had to tell him I couldn't answer that as I was still waiting for the solar meter to be installed so I could turn the system on. Chuckling, he handed me my package, thanked me anyway and left. And I went to run my errands.

Stepping out of my car now back in my garage, I heard someone call to me "Can you please open the gate?" (My house is right in front of the gate to my community and I hadn't shut the garage door, yet.) I went to open the gate, and the guy said he was looking for a particular street which just happened to be mine. I looked at his truck, he was from my utility company, so I asked if he was looking for my house number to install my solar meter. Yes!! he was. Now, this was only three days after I was initially given the six week window with no email or phone call to schedule the installation! It was meant to be. I found the timing of his arrival also quite interesting as we arrived within moments of each other as I hadn't even unlocked the door to my house yet. And the coincidence that the mail carrier inquired about my system only to have the installer show up unscheduled that same day to finish the job wasn't lost on me, either.

It all came to be.

The installer took out the old meter, installed the new solar-ready one and sat down to fill out some paperwork regarding the old meter.

"Well, I never," he said. "I must take a picture of this for my buddy. I have never seen anything like this."

I am thinking this is weird for him to be vocalizing all this, and ask, "What?"

He explains how he was taught to read the meter, and I'm not going into the details, because frankly I don't remember them. But he shows me the meter and all the little needles are pointing up. "Okay," I remember thinking, "yeah, that is odd."

"See this one here," he points to the far right one, "it reads a 9."

"Okay." If he says so. Yes, the needle is just past the 9, not quite to the 0.

"And this one here is also a 9, by default." It's actually on the zero.

He went on to finish the reading, 9-9-9-9-9.

Five 9s.

I took it as another simple synchronicity, an affirmation.

Then I remembered it was September, the ninth month. I also had to convince him it was actually the 10th that day. He kept insisting it was the 9th. I guess he was supposed to install my meter the day before but didn't get to, as the paperwork all had 9/9/16 as the installation date. (Okay, maybe that 9 doesn't count, since now it was actually the 10th.) But, if you add the digits in the year 2016 (2+0+1+6=9) that one does.

Seven 9s.

And I was just accepting it all.

Until he made this comment.

"Wow, with all these 9s, it's like the Universe is trying to tell you something."

Oh, no, no, no, he did not just say that! And that's when I began to freak out. Now, it seemed the Universe was using him to affirm the message, "Yes, the 9s mean something."

I looked up 9 symbolism and found several cultural interpretations, some positive, some not. But, the one that felt right to me was that 9 signifies an ending, but an ending for a new beginning to start, more of a transition into something bigger and better. I mean, what comes after 99,999 but 100,000.

I'm also just thinking this is yet another affirmation, albeit a strong one, that I'm moving forward in the direction the Universe has in mind for my greater good, and I'm letting go and just being.

Well, I'm trying to.

And I feel good about it.

 For more information on 11 11 please click on this link.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Changes

It's interesting what a huge difference just one change can make.

Over the last few years I've been working on making my house more of my home and less of the house I shared with my ex-husband.

For example, I turned his ugly orange office into my very peaceful library/meditation room, a change I find most ironic.

I hung more of my photography around my home.

I painted the kitchen (which we never had done) and added ceramic tiles to the soffit.

I bought some art from a wonderfully talented gay artist and proudly displayed it on my walls.

I took my time with these changes as mood, time, energy, and most importantly, budget, allowed. Yet, there was one piece of furniture that I had a hard time replacing. Not because I didn't want to replace it, I did. Badly. I hated that piece ever since we bought it.

So, why did we buy it?

Well, when we went to buy a flat screen television, we needed a new stand and this was our only choice at the time. It was silver particle board with two smoke colored tempered glass shelves and matching glass top. It was oval shaped. It was ugly but as I said, we had no choice at that moment in that store, which is known more for electronics than furniture.

I hated it, but my ex loved it.

My style is a blend of Arts and Crafts and California Mission which is mostly wooden furniture with minimal ornamentation. Quite a contrast from the television stand. As much as I tried to hide it, I couldn't completely. I lost the television in the divorce, but unfortunately not the stand. So, I turned it into a plant stand and placed it in front of the window. Plants need light, right? I loved my plants, and wanted the best for them.

Meanwhile, I kept entertaining ways to get rid of the stand or at least disguise it more; I kept adding plants and especially those that would drape and cover it, like spider plants and English ivy. I thought of painting it, but disassembling, sanding, painting and then reassembling it seemed daunting. I started looking for its replacement in a style a little closer to my own but couldn't find anything that met my requirements in height, length and depth. I thought of getting an appropriately styled table and trading places with another piece I already had that would work under the window but then that might entail rearranging the art that was hanging over the original table to now be centered over the new table. Too much work. And I liked the original piece where it was. But, wait a minute...
The Ugly Stand

The piece I wanted to move would work, but the color was a bit off for the effect I wanted to achieve under the window. But, what if...?

I found the same piece on sale in a more appropriate color plus I had a coupon for an additional twenty dollars off.

So, I bought it, assembled it and placed it under the window.

Now, what to do with the ugly stand? 


I contemplated my options:
  1. I could put it out on the street for someone to take, but in the meantime the glass might get broken and injure someone. 
  2. I could sell it, but then I would have strangers coming to my house. And it had fallen apart a couple of times which suggested selling it might not be the ethical thing to do.
  3. I could donate it to a charity, but if it's falling apart, it might not be the ethical thing to do. 
  4. I could simply throw it away.
And that's just what I did.

But, how to get it into the trash bins as each piece was too tall to fit, and it would take a few trash collections to get rid of all the pieces.

The two glass shelves would fit in the large recycling bin and the three small support pieces between the wooden base and top would fit in the smaller trash bin. But the base and top, and the tempered glass top piece were all way too big to fit in their appropriate bin. But...

Taking my saw to the wooden pieces and a hammer to the tempered glass brought such a relief. It relieved stress, it relieved frustration and did a whole lot more.

I didn't realize how much I hated that piece. It was also the last piece that had my ex written all over it as it was more his style than mine.

This new piece isn't as deep as I wanted, so I had to relocate some of my green babies around the house, which is not an easy thing to do as I'm running out of window space for them. But, it works and the plants are thriving.

And this change has done something else, too.  

Although this new piece is slightly longer yet narrower than the ugly stand, it has allowed me to move the sofa a bit closer into the living room making it a much more intimate conversation area. And it just seems so much neater, tidier and cozier with this new piece. 

So much so, sometimes I just like to sit and marvel at the difference it has made.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Trust

I've recently noticed trust has become a big theme with me lately.

I decided to add solar panels to my house which has involved actual structural work on my house; the installation of the panels on the roof and an upgraded electrical panel. There were about three men on my roof installing the panels and two more attaching the inverter to the side of the house. I trust that they all knew what they were doing; that none of the ceramic tiles on my roof were cracked, that there will be no leaking should we ever get rain again in Southern California. I trust the inverter will work properly and there will be no seepage into the holes they drilled in the side of my house. I also am trusting the electricians who installed the new electrical panel and trust that they connected it correctly. I am also trusting the plasterer who came the next day to seal around the newer, larger panel that there will be no leakage should we ever get rain again in Southern California. I am also trusting the city inspector who signed off on the the new panel that he knew what he was looking for and found it. I'm also trusting the inspection from the utility company will take place in a timely manner and go smoothly. I'm also trusting the entire system will work properly once it's working. I'm also trusting there will be NO financial surprises down the road other than the savings I'll be generating.

I've written extensively about an unorthodox, yet deeply connected, relationship I was in. The ending of that relationship has naturally left me a bit distrusting of getting too close to someone. And because we had a very deep connection, the longer and more difficult it has become to want to trust again. It's only natural to be wary after having your heart and soul shattered. In time, I may heal. Life must go on.

I also wrote about how some very well-meaning friends offered their advice, albeit unsolicited, regarding the relationship I was pursuing and how they were focused on what I wasn't getting from him rather than on what I was getting no matter how much I stated the positive mattered more to me. It has left me a bit distrusting about sharing that particular aspect of my life any further. I play that hand quite close to my chest now, if I play it at all.

The ending of the relationship and the unsolicited advice have now joined forces to cause me to trust my own judgment in choices I may make in the future. Maybe it's best I not make any. For a long while, at least.

At one point, I felt I might be ready to move on, so I began chatting online with some guys only to find they were, for the most part; fakes, phonies or just plain horny. The sheer number of them has also left me somewhat distrusting of gay men as well.

I also find myself guarded around people who are supportive of me, an openly gay person, then turn and support politicians and organizations that denigrate LGBTQ people and/or wish to strip us of our hard fought rights and encourage anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Actually, I think it's natural for us to be so guarded, as people have sold us down the river for years.

Perhaps the biggest area where trust has become an issue for me is in Life itself. I am trying to learn simply to trust in the process that what will be, will be. I cannot control what will happen, but I can control my reaction to whatever occurs in my life. Or at least try to control my reaction.

All in all, it seems I find it a bit easier to trust my house, my home, to complete strangers than to trust people with my heart.

At least for now.




Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Synchronicities 2

I've posted before I believe in synchronicities, those repetitive circumstantial coincidences and patterns the keep showing up so frequently that you figure they must mean something, they must be a 'sign.'

I also believe things happen for a reason. My husband asked for a divorce which then allowed me to grow as a person, and become more of a writer/blogger.

For a couple of years, I had considered installing solar panels on my house. The offers were always for "no money down." Hmmm, a deal too good to be true usually is, so I never followed up.

Until this summer.

On an impulse, I stopped by a table at my local Home Depot. After a short discussion, I agreed to a free no-obligation consultation. About three days after the consultation, I agreed and signed the contracts. I asked the representative how long the entire process should take and she replied, it could take maybe two to three months, all told, as there were many steps to take. And we would be dealing with the city bureaucracy (building permits, inspections) and the utility company as well. And they are usually backlogged.

I was hoping to have this all taken care of before I returned to school in about six weeks for the start of a new year. She grimaced and said it was possible, but not likely and cited the other entities involved, and that the utility company usually drags its feet as it is losing a paying customer.

What will be, will be.

My solar company kept me in the loop, either by posting updates to my progress page of my account, by emails or by direct phone calls. After all the necessary documents were signed, I was notified the system was designed and ready for installation. I called to schedule the installation and was told a crew would be there that same day, if I wanted, instead of the maybe week or so I was anticipating.

I later received another call, on a Wednesday, from my project manager to update me on the entire process and answer any questions I might have. She informed me they had sent payment to the electrical contractor to upgrade my electrical panel and I should receive a call from someone within the next week. I was called the next morning, Thursday, to schedule the panel upgrade and was told an appointment was available the next day, Friday! I seized it figuring I could go play with my camera some other day as this was more important. So, where my project manager thought, through her own experience, that I would be waiting maybe two weeks to at least hear from the contractor, the new panel was installed, inspected and sealed in three days. The city inspector had to come the day after the panel was installed when the workman was here to patch the stucco and make the new panel waterproof.

It seems the project was moving along at quite the quick pace! With everything falling into place so quickly and much faster than what I was expecting, and what others told me, it seems this was the right time for me to make the switch. While the process is not quite finished, (I'm now just waiting on the utility to do its job, the notorious slow part) I'm learning to trust in the system that things will happen at the time they are supposed to. If it's meant to be, it will.

Now, if I could only apply that thought to other areas of my life.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Finding Happiness

"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."-Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Those who know me well know me to be a Potterhead; I don't know how many times I've read the books, listened to the audiobooks, or watched the movies. At one time, I had the entire series in English, Spanish, French, German, and a few other languages I had studied at one time because, well, why not? As I've begun downsizing, some of the sets have found more useful homes.

The quote above was included in a set of four prints of quotes by Professor Dumbledore which I have hung throughout my house. While all four resonate with me as I make this long and often difficult transition to my new life of whatever and wherever it leads, this one is striking a chord right now. 

I was blessed to be able to get this photograph, Ketchikan, AK
As I recently posted, life has been difficult. Life has thrown me many challenges to the point where I've begun to feel I don't matter, nor does life. I realize that is foolish, but sometimes it's a hard feeling to shake when so many changes are happening around you all at once; relationships ending, seeing your basic human rights being threatened, seeing your career under attack, wondering if your sanity will make it to retirement and the sudden death of a dear friend. Let's not forget the violence and vitriol on the news and social media. I've had a hard time remaining positive. But, as Professor Dumbledore said we can find happiness, if we remember to look for it. And that is where the difficulty lies; remembering to look when times are tough. So, I'm going to look around a bit.

Teachers, especially elementary teachers, don't often hear about the impact we make on our students' lives. Yet, I received a letter at the end of last year from a student expressing her gratitude for my recognizing her giftedness, my believing in her gifts and talents, how my encouragement as well as my recommendation of her to a National Honors program all kept her in school to graduate. She is now pursuing a career in Criminal Science. Bless her.

I took my car in for a recall, nothing serious, but a possible potential problem. As I checked my tires before taking my car in, I suspected I might need new ones, and said something to the service representative. After he did the intake on my car, he reassured me I didn't. Not yet, anyway. Bless him.

Recently, I had to repair the central air/heat system in my house. After being told it would take a week to get the part (during the hottest week of the year, so far) I resigned myself to a fate of a week of sleepless nights. To my surprise, the next morning I received a call that the exact parts I needed turned up in the neighboring city and they could install it that very same day. Bless them.

I made the decision to go solar. After a few initial steps, I received a call at 9:00 a.m. that the company was now ready to install the panels. I asked when they had available and was told they could have a crew at my house between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. that same day! I made the decision to go ahead, quickly showered and ran a couple of quick errands fully intending to be back by 11:00 well ahead of the crew's possible arrival. When I got home, the crew was already waiting for me, an hour early! After they had left, I discovered they accidentally bumped the highly sensitive earthquake sensor on my gas main, completely shutting off the gas to my house. I called the crew leader back and asked him if they had done it and he said it was possible and offered to talk me thorough the process of resetting it. I replied I was too nervous and he then offered to have someone from his office come help me and make sure all the pilot lights were lit. After all, if his crew had done it, it was their responsibility to correct it. His words, not mine. Fifteen minutes later, he called back to say someone was on the way. Fifteen minutes or so later, one of the crew members showed up with his young son in tow, evidently having come from home. (He later explained he lives three blocks away.) He showed me how to reset the sensor, made sure I got the pilot on the water heater lit, and that the stove worked. He also apologized, and said that it was the crew's responsibility as they had probably bumped it. Both men were very pleasant, happy to help and quite professional throughout this situation. Bless them.

I later went to turn on the now repaired air conditioner and noticed a strange sound I didn't recall hearing before and with the issue of the gas main still on my mind, I recalled the heater runs on gas, and had a pilot that also needed to be lit. I also know the blower that pushes the air into the house, either from the air conditioner or heater is connected to the furnace in the attic. In my mind, if the pilot wasn't lit, the blower wouldn't work. The sound I heard reminded me of the sound of leaking gas, but I didn't smell anything. Still, I called the gas company. They had a two week wait to come check a pilot. Two weeks with no air conditioning would be too much especially in the middle of summer. I called the repair company who assured me they could come check but it would be a service call. I agreed as I wanted my air conditioning back. The representative I spoke with said he pulled some strings and could get someone to me between 12:00-2:00 p.m. that day since I was a good customer. 2:00 came and no one showed up, but I did get a call saying the technician was running late and it would be closer to 3:30. Okay, I'd wait it out, as the technician assigned to me had diagnosed the original problem so we already had a working relationship. The technician then called me and asked me to describe the problem as he really didn't want to have to charge me for a service call, after having charged me for the repairs  just the week before. He assured me I would be fine, as the blower, while connected to the furnace, runs independent of the heating unit. And there is no constantly lit gas pilot, I have an electronic ignition. Bless him and his company too.

Writers, like teachers, don't often hear about the impact our words have. Sometimes we get feedback, most times we don't. I can check the statistics page and see the global reach of my blog, and also see which posts are being viewed the most. While I write mostly for me to help organize my thoughts and emotions, I can only hope I am reaching someone somewhere and helping them through something similar. I recently received such a confirmation. A friend on social media recently shared with me how a real life friend of his enjoyed reading my blog. A while back, a different social media friend made it a point to share how much he enjoys our varied interactions and that I had helped and inspired him in many instances. Bless them all.

It is amazing how the Universe recognizes what we need and when. Now, if we only remember to look for it. And sometimes we find it in the most unusual of places.

Nature itself is such a blessing, Skagway AK

Friday, July 22, 2016

Remaining Positive


It's been very difficult to remain positive lately. 

So many things have been running through my mind, causing many emotions to run through my heart. I'm not going to belabor, yet again, a potential relationship having deteriorated. I've beaten that dead horse to a pulp many times over. 

I've tried moving on. It seems it's not even time to do that. So, I guess I won't. Or maybe there's still something I'm supposed to learn or accomplish now. Time will tell, and fucking soon, I hope.

The men I've tried chatting with have, for the most part, turned out to be phony with the exception of just a teeny-tiny handful. I thought I could go along with chatting with the phonies, knowing exactly what they were and what they were after. But, I was only kidding myself. While I wasn't getting attached to them in an emotional/romantic sense, maybe I was in a Platonic way. Or maybe the sheer number of them following the same pattern has been discouraging. Anyway, I am done.

My summer break from teaching has been a bit of a let-down. I had egregious plans of reading, writing, relaxing, traveling and accomplishing those household/life chores that needed more of my attention as I had more free time to accomplish them.

So far, I have managed to:
  • take care of things I needed to-
    • address discrepancies on my credit report;
    • made necessary appointments-financial advisor, optometrist, though I'm avoiding the dentist;
    • deep clean my house; I've yet to tackle the refrigerator and stove;
    • clean out clothes I no longer wear;
    • clean out my office to make it more creativity inducing-well, I started to;
    • service my car due to a recall;
    • replace some of the dead and dying plants in my garden.
  • take care of things I wanted to-
    • have solar panels installed;
    • have my TV mounted on the wall;
    • get out and play with my new camera-okay, I did that only once;
  • take care of things I suddenly had to-
    • repair the air conditioning (so no little day trips due to the unexpected expense);
    I have also managed (in the less productive category) to:
    • binge a couple of old TV shows;
    • start to get caught up on a film franchise I've been wanting to see;
    • become completely turned off to the idea of a relationship-again (see above);
    • become nearly completely disillusioned in humanity at large (see below);
    • become nearly engrossed in some games on my iPad.
    I have yet to crack open a book and read; shame on me, I know. Or sit down and write a plethora of pages on either of my novels. 

    Something else running through my mind/heart is wondering if my sanity will make it through to my projected retirement date of 2020. It is just four years away. But it is still four years of teaching, parents, grades, report cards, conferences, professional development, students and continued attacks on teachers. I am seriously beginning to doubt I will last. Yet, can I afford to retire early? No. I may just have to leap and pray the net will appear.

    The massacre in the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida and the murders of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, the police officers of Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana as well as all the other attacks around the world have taken a very heavy toll on me. The vehemently venomous vocalizations around this election have also been challenging to listen to and read. As well as the anti-LGBTQ hatred spewing forth from some candidates and their party.

    Maybe its all piled up and hit me so hard because I've been in such an emotional confusion over the directions my life is taking, or seems to be moving in. Or maybe because my empathy is becoming stronger. So much stronger I have semi-jokingly told two people I want to move.

    Far away.

    Very far.

    Like Mars.

    Or at least a cabin in the woods. Alone.

    But, that would solve nothing, as it would all still be in my head. And if society did turn itself around, I would not be aware of it.

    Sometimes things get darkest before the dawn.

    There's always a day after every night.

    A light at the end of the tunnel.

    Can we please just get there?? And soon, please??? 

    It's becoming increasingly difficult to remain positive.

    Or, at a minimum, very overwhelmed...

    Monday, June 6, 2016

    Moving forward

    Letting go and moving on is hard.

    Especially when the love is still there.

    And especially when the connection is was extremely deep.

    And even more so when he still haunts you, because you focus on why you should be together instead of why you aren't.

    And when guys you meet just don't come up to the standard he has now set which, admittedly, will be nearly impossible to surpass.

    Nor do they touch my soul the way he did.

    Pathway, Franklin Canyon
    I guess I just need to try harder to focus on the last thing he said to me, "I'm just not ready."

    Which leaves me in limbo, because he may never be ready for a relationship with me. Or if he ever decides he is ready, will he have the courage to find me?

    And will I then have the courage to trust him?

    I could just allow life and time to take their course and see what happens.

    And as long as I'm true to myself, I see no harm in that.

    In fact, I see it as healthy.

    But, I also struggle with the other question: if no one meets the very high standard he has now set, will I be settling for someone just to be with someone? Yes, I know each relationship is different, because each person is different, and each set of people interacts differently based on numerous factors; age, past histories, upbringing, self-image, ethnicity, national origin- and the list goes on.

    But, as a human, it's only natural to question and wonder.

    And if I move on, and if I meet someone, and if I start something, and then he comes back, what then?

    I'll just have to cross that bridge...if I get to it.

    Bridge, Sepulveda Wildlife Refuge