Monthly Archives: May 2005

Big problems, little problems

So, I have my big problems like “What should I do with my life?” and “When will I meet the love of my life?”

But then there are the little problems, like “how can I sufficiently dry out underneath my shower door enclosure so that I can caulk around the edge so that it will stop leaking and getting gross?”

Seriously, this is a problem that has plagued me for some time. About six months ago I did go at with the hair dryer and Q-tips prior to caulking, but evidentally I didn’t get all the moisture out because soon after holes developed in the caulk and my leaking problem was back. I’ve thought about taking down the door enclosure altogether and just getting a shower curtain, but then I would lose valuable towel rack space. So you see, right now I’m more concerned with the little problems than the big ones.

I don’t think that this is what they mean when they tell you to live in the moment.

The Now–It's very simple, but just not easy

“The present moment is what it is. Always. Can you let it be?” –Eckhart Tolle

Today I sat down on the floor of the Barnes and Noble across the street from Rittenhouse Square, in front of the New Age section. Most of the time I don’t seek out books on spiritual topics, I just let them come to me via my mom or the thriftstore. But today, when I wandered into the bookstore, the only shelves that called to me were the ones lined with books on angels, healing, miracles and love.

Sitting in the middle of the isle, my back to the sexuality section and flanked by Christian thought, I leafed through “Miracles of the Mind,” “A Deeper Surrender” and the hefty “Urantia.” Then I reached out for “Stillness Speaks” by Eckhart Tolle. I have his “The Power of Now” which I love but is also sometimes too dense for me to read more than a page at a time. But “Stillness Speaks” is simple a series of snippets, each one communicating a single thought.

The above quote leaped out at me, because I’ve been having trouble living in the moment. I get scared that there won’t be enough for me, that the future won’t hold good things for me. I get so concerned with the status of my future and so worried that it won’t be a productive, joyful or successful one that I can’t recognize the loveliness that is my present. I get focused on the fear that things will be scarce instead of abundant. These fears hold me back from experiencing the now, the moment in which I’m existing.

I’m trying though. Trying to heal my anxiety with love. Trying to give up my fears of scarity with sure knowledge that there is always enough, always abundance in all good things.

The craziest thing is that in my life, I’ve never really experienced scarcity or lack. My family and I have experienced much fear surrounded our anticipation of not enough, and yet, we’ve always had everything we needed (and then some). When my father sold his business the summer after I graduated from high school with no plans for a follow up career, I felt certain that it indicated the coming of lack, debt and sure poverty. That I wouldn’t be able to go to college. My mother and I would lay weeping in our little upstairs guest room, she on the bed and me on the floor, so convinced that our lives were wrecked, ruined and that soon we would be homeless and starving. Eventually, it did become necessary for my parents to move to a less expensive neighborhood during that time period, but the house they live in now is equal or better to the one we lived in while I was in high school. The homelessness did not come to be. We have never starved, we’ve always been able to pay our bills (sometimes with some creative use of credit, but hey, that’s what it’s there for) and our lives have always been loving and joyful ones.

So why have we been so shaken by the possibility of scarity when we’ve never actually experienced it? I really don’t know. When I actually put it in those terms, my intellectual brain can’t rationalize the fear, and yet it has existed. The things that are the most necessary, the support, love, care and faith have always been there, in abundance. Why was I so fearful the face of all those good things?

I live in a apartment, but yearn for a house. Typically, as I drive through neighborhoods I’d love to live in around Philly, I start to panic, filled with fear that I will never be able to afford a house that I’d like to live in, that I’ll stuck forever in my apartment (which is actually a terrific space in a desirable building and neighborhood in Center City, hardly a place to be stuck in). These are thoughts that are choosing and assuming scarcity instead of abundance, and so I’m doing my best to turn them around when the crop up. Yesterday, as I drove down Spruce Street, gazing at all the lovely row homes, craving an existence in one of them, instead of feeling fearful that I would never have an opportunity to live in a house that I loved, I tried to assume that I would. To picture myself moving and cooking and living in rooms that I loved. And it helped.

So today I continue to choose to live in the Now that Tolle advocates. I’m releasing some of my fear. I don’t think I’ll be able to get rid of it all today, but every day that I make it a goal, it will get a little bit better and a little bit more natural.

Wish me success.

The auction is over…thank god

So I’ve had a busy week. I keep thinking about blogging, and then I don’t.

But here I am, back and totally exhausted. Tonight was the church service auction, of which Cindy and I were co-chairs. We did pretty darn well, raising over $10,000 for the church, which is pretty awesome, if you ask me. It was such a comedy getting it all together though.

I got to the church today at around 2 pm with a load of stuff from the Acme. I did the drop off of sodas/mixers/snacks and picked up a check from the office for $800 (to pay the caterer, the food was awesome btw, Zorba’s on Fairmount, they did an amazing job). I then ran down to Jen’s house (because she’s on the board and has power to sign) got her signature on the check so that the caterer would actually accept it as legal tender and went back up the church.

When I got there I was informed of a “debaucle” that had occured the night before. It seems that the group that had rented the church basement was supposed to set up our tables and chairs after their event was over. Did they do it? No. But because the church administrator doesn’t like us, he did not ask the sextons to set our stuff up. So, while the sexton on duty watered the garden and pulled some weeds (while hanging around and smoking a cigarette) I got to wrestle about fifteen tables out of the closet and set up the room. (Talk about an aerobic workout, my run this morning was completely unnecessary)!

Around 4 pm volunteers started to show up and suddenly the room began to take shape. The problem with volunteers is that when they don’t like a job, they just walk away from it half done and then ten minutes later walk back up to me and ask for another job, while the original job I gave them languishes. There are two men at the church who are extremely socially awkward (as my mother would say, quoting some Adam Sandler movie, “They ain’t got what we call the social skills”), but keep showing up, because we’re nice to them (we’re Unitarians and have to be nice to everyone).

They came tonight to “help” but trying to think of jobs to give them was harder than it was to do the work ourselves! There were ten tables set up for people to eat at and we wanted to put bowls of peanuts on the tables for people to munch before dinner was ready. We gave this job to these two gentlemen, thinking that it wouldn’t be hard for them to fill up the ten bowls with nuts. Anthony started filling the bowls, but did so two peanuts at a time. His exact pattern was two peanuts in each bowl and then three peanuts in his mouth. George just wandered away, and when I looked again, he was examining the silent auction items with great interest. Half an hour later, the bowls still weren’t filled. It was a little crazy making, and yet completely humorous.  Finally Cindy asked Ingrid’s new boyfriend (and such a trooper) Nathan to “manage” our nut bowl fillers and the job finally got done.

For me the best part of the evening was when I got to be the auctioneer. There’s really nothing I love more (other than my mommy and my blankie) than getting to talk in front of a group of people. Don’t ask me why, but I just get a kick out of it. There are some who shun the limelight, but for me I say, bring it on! I do love me a microphone and a captive audience!

Anyway, I think that’s all I can say about the auction at the moment. I do have lots of things that have been floating around my head that I’d like to write, I’ll see if I can’t capture a couple of them tomorrow!

Broad Street Run: The conclusion

Well, I did it. I got out of bed this morning at 6:50, after a night of mediocre sleep and multiple anxiety dreams, made my way to Una’s house and got a ride to the starting line at Broad and Olney. The race was hard and there were moments when it took all of my effort to keep my body moving forward towards South Philly. It was terrific to have so many friends out there, cheering me on (Annelise, Carol, Seth, Una and Mike thanks!) and running with me (well, not exactly running WITH me [since I’m a slow poke], but running as well).

My goal was to run eight of ten miles and finish in under 2 hours and fifteen minutes. I ran about eight and half and finished at 2 hours and 8 minutes. If I hadn’t had to go to the bathroom at around the 4 mile mark, I probably would have done it in under 2 hours. So, consensus is, I done good.

I feel exhausted but happy, successful and proud of myself. I’m considering writing a letter to the orthopaedic surgeon who did my ankle eight years ago (who told me I’d never be able to run) and tell him about this accomplishment.

I’m definitely a little achy, I think an apple cider vinegar bath is in order later tonight. But it’s also the ache of completion, of hard work and of achievement, so I welcome it.

Thanks to all of you who sent me your thoughts and well-wishes, I appreciated every single one of them.