January 24, 2009

Thank God for Cats

Thank God for cats and companion animals. Yesterday's encounter (see post below) was upsetting. So instead of crying or doing other bad things, I got a comfort meal from McDonald's and came home to my furry therapists. And purr therapy works. Add in a good book and sleep, stir gently and now I am ready to go to the cattery in a better mood. Renewed.

Training Fleas

I get to see all sorts of people as I work as a temp. Temping is the new field hand role. No one has to hire me. I have my own people. But I don't have my own economic fortress to go home to if I don't like where I am placed. The last two weeks were a real education in that. I spent a lot of money I didn't have to "live up" to my temp reps standard. I like eclectic clothes. Plaid skirts, turtleneck sweater and jackets on top are my usual office attire. I got placed into a firm where pencil skirts, button down shirts and office style jackets are the standard. Basically, I was told the new client liked uniforms. So I spent on an office uniform. And it looked as good as anything I have ever worn to an office. Sigh. But even so, I was treated like a fifth wheel and someone who was not trusted and not needed. Not by the bosses, they were sweet. As for training? The secretary couldn't train a pet flea. And she certainly didn't train me.

Training fleas, please............

January 23, 2009

Lighting the way

Isn't it always the way? Once the festival of lights is over and all the neighbors' holiday lights are packed away, I get gloomy because of the winter darkness. Today I have looked up some of the ways to combat darkness with lights designed to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (or S.A.D.). Gotta love those acronyms......

Here is the link http://www.livingincomfort.com/verilux.htm

Other less expensive solutions are Vitamin D as well as 5HTP. Both moderate mood swings.

January 21, 2009

Unwholesome Glee

I am no saint. Yesterday, I heard that Dick Cheney was in a wheelchair because he hurt his back moving boxes at his McLean home. And it reminded me of a page from the Jewish Daily Prayer Book....

  • The Gods We Worship. Through prayer we struggle to experience the Presence of God. Let us be sure that the One we invoke is the Most High, not a god of battles, of state or status or 'success' -- but the Source of peace and mercy and goodness. For, truly: "The gods we worship write their names on our faces, be sure of that. And we will worship something -- have no doubt of that either. We may think that our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of the heart -- but it will out. That which dominates our imagination and our thoughts will determine our life and character. Therefore it behooves us to be careful what we are worshipping, for what we are worshipping we are becoming." (Page 240. Shabbat Meditation, Gates of Prayer.)
And the sins of what you sanction will be something you bear on your back forever.


I read things quickly and sometimes miss the critical parts of the whole. It can be a source of amusement when it is something like the notice of who is making vet runs out at FOHA. For about a week I was thinking that the dog run people were competing in long distance runs like the marine marathon. Then I realized all at once that the dog people were merely putting individuals on call to take animals to the vet. Therefore, vet runs. Ah, the perils of reading lite...

Interesting transformations through integrity

Monday, January 19th, I helped out at the cattery. Talking with other volunteers who have similar interests is always inspiring. Working with animals is a bond that over comes a lot of antipathy and competition because we are there for the animals. We are not there to show off. Actually, some of the volunteers do come out to show off but it is easy to spot who is real and who is not. Much easier than in the work world. Showing up and thawing food on a day when the food shed froze solid is not a competition on how awesome you are ... it is just a fact of life. Just doing the job of the moment ... no matter how tough, how smelly and how tired you are. Here is the latest Tarot card for Monday that really gets into this attitude:

  • The King of Wands card suggests that my power today lies in personal power. I inspire transformation, respect and support by discrete but charismatic example and tolerance. I am an instrument for dynamic, responsible, or passionate expansion that serves or protects the greater good of my legacy. I am a master of the universe and I am empowered with a reputation of experience, credibility and momentum and I transform through integrity.

Riding the Wave...Living the Dream

Obama was sworn in on January 20th. What a day! The Ups and Downs of life. Truly a balancing act. Here is the Cancer OM horoscope to commemorate that day

  • January 20, 2009
  • Staying Afloat
  • Riding the Wave of Life
  • Our lives are continually in motion, buoyed by the wave that is the universe’s flow. As the wave rises and falls, we are carried forward, through life’s high and low points. The universe’s flow may take us to a place in life where we would rather not be. As tempting as it can be to fight the direction and size of this wave that propels us, riding the wave is intended to make life easier. When you ride the wave, your life can evolve naturally and with minimal effort. Riding the wave, however, is not a passive experience. It is an active process that requires you to be attentive, centered, and awake. You must also practice stillness so you can flow with, rather than resist the wave’s motion.

    Because life is dynamic and always changing, it is when we try to make the wave stand still or resist its direction that we are likely to get pulled under by its weight. If you try to move against the wave, you may feel as if you are trapped by it and have no control over your destiny. When you reach a low point while riding the wave and find your feet touching bottom, remember to stay standing so that you can leap forward along with the wave the next time it rises. Trying to resist life’s flow is a losing proposition and costly because you waste energy.

    Riding the wave allows you to move forward without expending too much of your own efforts. When you ride the wave, you are carried by it and your head can “stay above water” as you go wherever it takes you. It can be difficult to trust the universe and let go of the urge to fight life’s flow, and you may find it easier to ride the wave if you can stay calm and relaxed. Riding the wave will always take you where you need to go.

January 20, 2009

One more burden gone

Thank God, Bush is back in Texas. I wish him well and hope he is right about his place in history. Lord knows after 9/11, I was heartened by his forceful address to Congress about how we were going to get through the crisis. I grew to hate him, though, after all his policies of waterboarding, extraordinary rendition, invading the wrong country, misuse of the state National Guards, lack of oversight allowed within federal agencies from the EPA, USDA and others, culminating in the Wall Street disasters because there were no regulators watching carefully. By the end, I couldn't listen to the man without hitting something. I simply was that mad at him. I don't have to be that way now. I just hope I don't have that kind of hate festering again with anyone else. It weighed me down. But now, buoyed up by hope, by Obama, by change...we will see


Thank god for the inAugural. It was a long time coming. Too long. Perhaps we can legislate a quicker transfer of power. Perhaps that would be a bad idea because whoever wins will need the time to get a team in place. Obama has made this look like a duck in water. And of course, the part we see of the duck is calm but there are whirling legs paddling like crazy below our view. The next four years will need all the power that duck paddle can give it. C-Span was asking people if they thought we had too high an expectation for Obama. I fear so. It has taken a long time for us to get into this fix. Economically since the Reagan voodoo economics in the 1980s. Morally since the Vietnam/Watergate era. Nationally we have had heart cancer and have not dealt kindly with one another since the assassinations of the 1960s -- there are so many. Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, JFK and RFK. The loss of so many soldiers through out the 50 years since 1960. We have lost faith, lost hope, lost our way. When god no longer answers, government no longer cares, it becomes a national theme to take care of number one. Not our brothers, not our animals, not our environment. You can call it enlightened self interest or greed. Whatever it is, I hope that with the new president we will see one another and our responsibilities to each other as well as ourselves in the clarity of the 'now.'

Perhaps there will be peace

High Heel Shoes

Wow! My respect for Michelle Obama is high anyway but after watching her stand at the parade podium and wave for the bands while still in her high heels is inspiring. Strong arches, strong woman, good Under-Standing.....

January 18, 2009

Watching Animal Planet with my Cats

Oh good grief...my cats like to watch tv with me. At least the boys cats do. This afternoon though my elusive girl cat came down to watch Animal Planet Dogs 101 with me. That is just plain weird. Sweet, but weird....

Pride and the Elizabethan Collar

Cats are like teenagers. They hate being laughed at. And yet, what is funnier than a cat with an Elizabethan collar on. So today, I decided not to laugh and told the cat that the collar (which was blue) was actually a super cat cape. IDK if the cat believed me or not but wouldn't it be better to treat them as the super heros they really are rather than laugh at them....


Going to a Peace Rally at the JCC

Oh, Good Grief....here is an event I really don't want to go to. I am just not the rally girl for causes. I would rather work for those affected by the problem than march or rally to show my support for it. But in the case of Israel v. Gaza, I am conflicted. I truly am. I would no more tolerate anyone lobbing bombs at me and mine than the Israelis do. I would fight tooth and nail to protect those I love. So I understand them. On the other hand, the civilians in Gaza are motivated by the same fierce defense of their own. And why not? Why go after Hamas and create more enemies? Why? I disagree with the concept of war. If you must fight, make it fast and final. Don't leave anyone behind alive to hit you again. But this kind of war is horrible for both sides. Everyone suffers. I know it sounds weird for someone who converted to Judaism to say this but I believe in Peace Now. No settlements on the west bank. A state for the palestinians. And working on keeping other influences from intruding on the two sides. It will never happen. Not now. And it is sad. Both sides have vibrant and caring backgrounds. But when loved ones are killed in senseless conflict, there is no peace. Not unless there is a miracle. Let's pray for a miracle and work for peace.

Oh, Good Grief, The Horoscope Hits Home Again

No wonder I brought in lots of extra coffee, cookies and creamer today. Not to mention rearranged the kitchen. This article from my Cancer Daily Horoscope says it all.

  • January 18, 2009
  • Lost in Beauty
  • Cancer Daily Horoscope
  • Your creativity can serve you well today, whether you are endeavoring to complete a professional project or concentrating your attention on a hobby from which you derive pleasure. You may find yourself infusing everything to which you apply yourself with an atmosphere of artfulness that affords others a unique opportunity to appreciate beauty in everyday objects. The main beneficiary of your imaginative labors, however, will likely be you, as your devotion to loveliness ensures that your thoughts remain positive and upbeat at all times. You may also enjoy expanding your horizons through creative activities today, and the curiosity that blossoms within you as you create can become the seed of a lifelong quest for beauty.

    It is easy to put aside worldly cares when we lose ourselves in the beauty we are capable of creating, using little more than our imaginative minds. Our thoughts naturally revolve around all that is good and true rather than the challenges that are circumstantially thrust upon us in our daily lives. Because we are immersed in the rushing flood of the creative flow, we have little time or energy to devote to topics that fall outside of the range of our imaginations. The world is a much more pleasant place when we observe it through perception that is colored by our innovative vantage points. We can appreciate the loveliness that is inherent in simply living, without giving regard to the tension that is an established part of being. Your creativity will make the world seem like a brighter place today.

Bursting with Life, Bursting with Love, Living with Death

Life for the cats in the FIV house is really good. We offer care, love and sanctuary for cats who otherwise get euthanized routinely in vet offices. Uneducated vets kill for the best of their reasons. FIV is contagious. To control it, you kill the vector. A cat carries FIV - so the thinking goes - so the cat needs to be put down. It is not my philosophy though. My experience is that FIV cats are the happiest, sweetest, kindest, full of life animals I have ever met. When I sit in the FIV house, I am covered with cats within minutes. Covered. It seems odd that cats with FIV are so loving and yet when I consider it further....most cats with FIV are formerly feral cats. Feral cats get into fights and the virus is spread in saliva. My guess is that the friendliest cats are the ones who get bitten and therefore get the virus. How sad is that? Very sad. The friendlier the cats, potentially the sicker they may be. There is a correlation here. I hope that this is not the case with the little kitten I am so worried about. I really do. For such a young animal to be so bursting with live, love and death...is quite an impact. And I have to hold to the 'bumpy road' nostrum from Buddhism. Life is a bumpy road. The view from the top is breath-taking (like last week with the rescue of the kittens) and the subsequent bump to the rump is part of the same package.

Until all beings know peace, may peace be

Learning to potentially let go

Last week at the cattery was all about redemption and saving. One of our volunteers was contacted by a woman who needed support rescuing kittens from a farm where she boarded her horses. The man was abusive. Very abusive. Fact, not fiction. When you kill kittens to feed the bodies to your goats, that goes beyond any comprehension I have about cruelty. When you punch a horse in the head while a farrier looks on, that's documentable. I do not know the individual's name. I do believe that these kittens were abused because of how they looked when they came in. So while triumph enveloped me last week about rescuing the kittens, reality came home earlier this week when one of the kittens tested mildly positive as an FIV-L cat. The L stands for leukemia. I didn't realize at first just how bad FIV-L is. I didn't realize how contagious it is. I didn't realize how lethal it is. If an adult has it, there is a 3 year life expectancy. If a kitten acquires it, perhaps a year is the best anyone can hope for life wise. It is a crying shame. And it makes me stop and think about fragile life is and how little any one of us can control what happens. So, of course, my first reaction was denial. Of course, a kitten bursting with so much love will be fine. But no, that is not always the case. I will just continue to hold the little one in my heart while we wait the 60 days until the retest and the verdict. Life is about death and death is about life. It is two sides of the same coin. But sometimes it is hard to handle.

Until peace, may we all know peace.

Om Glasses

My mom died 9 years ago this month. Some of the things she left behind echo a bygone era. One of those is the crystal glasses for those gala dinners. Weird to me because she lived in a small town in Ohio. How many galas were there? But the 40s, 50s and 60s demanded formal dining. The odd thing is that just now I realized that her initials also spell OM. Go figure...on two points. How odd is it that the OM predicts my ultimate taking refuge in Buddhism and odder still that it took 8 years for me to realize the spelling was OM? Very odd. But then, considering I live backwards, it took me a while to figure that out.



Best three letters in the English language and funniest are b-u-t. It can be used to counter an argument, it can be made into a joke by just adding one extra 't' and certainly I use it a lot.


The old adage says, "Hindsight is 20-20." No kidding. But living backwards isn't hindsight. It is living being surprised by the moment, living without a plan for the future that is in 5 year increments, it is waking up. At least, that is how living backwards is for me. I am always surprised by my place in the world. I was surprised to be a parent so I hated the responsibility of always having to be 'in charge.' I was surprised to have worked at a law firm for 15 years so I hated the responsibility of the commute, being there on time, self correcting typos, dressing the part. And I am surprised that I didn't see it then -- only now. Some folks back 5 years ago, kept telling me (then 52 years old) to grow up. Now I realize they were calling me to my true self -- not growing up but be-coming. Waking up. Ahh, now I get it. Re-flection. There must be a meaning that relates to history or mulling. In Judaism it is called return. Return to the soul. Return to G-d. In Buddism is it calling out the Buddas' name and hearing him/her call back to you in response. In universal terms, it is knowing there is a circle, being a part and then recognizing you are a part of the whole. Stay focused. Use the eyes of the head, the heart and the soul. 360 vision. It works if you are a clam with eyes around your head or if you are Janus-like and see backwards and forwards.

Blessings for today. Stay warm.

January 17, 2009


The Romans had a god of doorways called Janus. He looked back and forward. Here is a link that will explain more if you are interested. www.pantheon.org/articles/j/janus.html I bring this up because January is named for this god and for a more personal observation. I seem to live my life backwards. I back into parking spaces far better than I pull forward into them. I had my kids way late in life. I am finding my way career-wise in my late 50s. I am becoming more organized late in life as well. I observe others on this path we call life. Others who start strong knowing what they are going to do and aiming themselves directly at their perceived targets. On the other hand, my meandering way has many benefits. It has taught me how to deal constructively with frustration. My buddhist magazine, Triangle, talks about how to deal with goals and targets and frustrations. See January's issue for the article. It summarizes fairly what I have learned in 57 years here. Dealing on the level of equanimity is not easy though. It takes mindful vigilance to weight what is and what is not a stumbling block in my way. No jumping to conclusions, no taking on more guilt, no taking on more responsibility, no, no and no. On the other hand, it is not a recipe for staying indoors to keep out of getting into life. It emphasizes working in the midst of life while staying steady and accepting and working towards setting my path towards helping others. Not towards helping myself. The focus is not me. And perhaps that is why I have found backing into things easier than going into them directly. In taking care of cats, I have found peace. And I never expected to find it. I just hoped to make a difference for them. I never figured it would make a difference for me. Who knew! Clearly, Buddha did. Clearly my daughter who teased me when I said I backed into parking spaces better than I did going forward into them that I was describing a metaphor of my life. Me? Not a clue. Epiphany on Saturday. Living my life like Janus who looks backwards and forwards and yet remains in the middle is my goal now. Pax

January 12, 2009

There is something about Fear

There is something about fear that kicks up my negativity. When I am scared, I start to doubt myself and others. Never the cats, though. Never the universe...well, mostly never the universe. When I am really on a negative kick, I can even doubt that any good things happen. That's when I know to do a full on meditation session in a circle of stones that I have collected over the years for protection. It takes a while to work though. So the best thing for me to do is blog every day and look back to see that I have had good days, I have had bad days and that they both balance each other out.

My horoscope for today says roughly the same thing.

Releasing Negativity

Try not to dwell on unpleasant experiences and do everything you can to avoid holding on to negative emotions. When you indulge in self-pity, you only make a bad day worse. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, release the notion that you are a victim, and notice the good that exists in your life.

yum, brownies

Yes, I love brownies. My daughter has discovered a new recipe using peanut butter cups layered between brownie mix. Bliss.

It must be the Moon

It must be the phase of the moon. My daily horoscope is soooo practical. Happily, though, with all the various jobs I have, I just don't have the time to drool about what I want. It is as much as I am worth to pay for what I need and have time to go find it at a good price.

Logical, Sensible, and Practical
Cancer Daily Horoscope

  • Today your sensible side may come to the forefront, helping you logically assess things like financial responsibilities. You may find yourself being practical rather than whimsical in a variety of situations. This can be very helpful in dealing with practical matters, but you want to be sure to balance these considerations with your heart and spirit as well. There are times when the sensible thing may be something that crushes your spirit, such as paying for additional insurance instead of dance lessons or giving up a vacation to pay off a debt. Today you can sensibly make balanced decisions to lead a full and balanced joyful life.

  • Budgeting may enter into such situations, which some find an unpleasant reminder of the things they can't have. However, it is just like choosing how we spend our energy or time. When we make a schedule, we are budgeting those things≈making choices toward the best use of our resources. We may want to remind ourselves of our goals before making such plans to be sure that we make decisions that are in line with who we truly are and who we want to become. This is where heart, mind, and intuition come together to help us make the best choices for our present in order to build our future. Today, though you may be feeling sensible, you can use your senses to make sure that you appreciate the fullness of life and all it has to offer.

Damn this one is depressing

Ok, not all the Tarot.com cards are full of joy and light and happiness. This one today is full of endings and beginnings. And I always cry at endings and beginnings. It is a good thing my daughters aren't getting married anytime too soon. I'd need flood insurance....

But there is some (no, actually, a lot) of truth in today's comment.

  • The Tower card suggests that my alter ego today is the Survivor, whose superpower for revolution lies in my epiphany for change, brought on with the aid of a serious reality check.
  • Today I have reached a turning point. It may be all over but the crying -- but I have the strength to move on and create a better situation for myself.
  • You may say that I never saw it coming or learned the hard way, but with profound change comes new opportunity. One door closes -- another opens.
  • So tear down the wall, and rebuild anew.

My hope is that this reflects what I have gone through since June in my stubborness about not working at a mega law firm again. Not working down town. Not really working in law-cum-law at all. Hopefully, changes came while I worked at the cattery. Hopefully, changes came while I worked at my first temp job. Hopefully, I havfe learned the lesson I need to survive a turning point. Hope...

January 11, 2009

Emotional Availability

One of the difficulties I have in life is to 'be' there. When I work with one of our cats who has control issues, I have to remind myself that I am on 'cat' time which does not recognize that constant mantra in my head of 'wash floors, do it now.' If I listen to the cat, and not the voice in my head, I will be able to help him/her. If I listen to the voice in my head, I get antsy and the cat picks up my tension and claws/bites at me. I have a lot of incentive to listen to the cat instead. It is a good way to keep my focus on the 'now.'

I just found a tarot.com card that describes emotional availability and perhaps that is what is happening with me and the cat. Lowering my drawbridges to allow access...

  • The King of Chalices card suggests that my power today lies in emotional availability.
  • I inspire, protect and nurture with reliable compassion, respect, and affection. I am a master in the art and am secure enough in my role to connect to, express and pursue my hearts desire while defending the greater good of those who rely on me.
  • I am empowered by consistency and patience while trust is my gift or Holy Grail.

I am not sure that trust is a holy grail except in the notion that I always have to seek after it. But I am sure trust is a two way gift we all give each other. When the cat sensing I am available, he/she relaxes and ultimately heals. We all know what happens when we don't listen. We get scratched and bite by whatever is lying in our way.

Until peace comes, know peace

January 8, 2009

Wait ... There's More Insight from Daily Om

I mean ... who knew that these ezines would be so instructive? Not I! It is amazing. And it is shamelessly cribbed..... The reason I say it is instructive is that I have felt horrible this week with the cold sore from hell. 1 centimeter across. It even impressed the doctor when I walked in and mumbled what was wrong. I took the first dose of medicine less than 4 hours ago and do not expect it to start to work until tomorrow. Nevertheless, my energy is back and I tore the house apart and put it back together again making sure that like things were with like things. That may not make sense until you realize that my office occupied two floors. I am not a big operation. I just never thought to bother with having the computer, printer and fax on the same table, let alone on the same floor. Talk about complicating my life. You are now in touch with the queen of making the simple into the impossibly complex. That is my life and I have a goal now. Simplify the physical as I have simplified the soul side of me. And I am pretty ok inside....not perfect, not without stress, but realizing that life is a bumpy road and the view from the top of the bump is sometimes worth the pain of the ride.

Inner Seclusion For Reflection
Cancer Daily Horoscope
  • You may find yourself pulling your energy inward, seeking seclusion within yourself. The need for inner reflection may make you feel private and introspective. Perhaps you have not been paying attention to your inner guidance, so you have been given this opportunity to create balance between your inner and outer worlds. It may be helpful to seclude yourself physically as well as emotionally by finding a peaceful and nurturing place to spend some time. This may mean retreating to your bedroom or a garden. You may find yourself drawn to places of spiritual observance where the atmosphere is already created for peaceful inward reflection. Once you have cleared away all distractions, you will likely find what your inner self seeks today.

    You can create a new atmosphere in familiar places by lighting candles, burning incense, or playing soothing music. By making a slight shift in your outer world, you indicate to your body and mind to also shift within. Following your senses inward, you can then focus on your breathing and let your thoughts drift by, listening for the silence. From this place of stillness you will find your connection to the universe’s energy. You may be nourished just by being in its presence, or perhaps you will want to release an intention into the stillness, creating a ripple of energy that will lead to the creation of your desire. Inspiration may come to you, giving you something to take with you into the world. By following your desire to go inward today, you renew your connection to self and the universe.

Extremely Useful Information -- Daily Om Again

  1. A Separate Reality
  2. Disconnecting from the Source
  3. We all experience periods where we feel separated from the loving ebb and flow of the universe. These times of feeling disconnected from the source may occur for many reasons, but self-sabotage is the most common cause for us choosing to cut ourselves off from the flow of the universe. We purposefully, though often unconsciously, cut ourselves off from this flow and from the embrace of humanity so we can avoid dealing with painful issues, shun the necessary steps for growth, or prevent the success that we are afraid of achieving from ever happening. When you choose to disconnect from the source, you block the flow of the universe’s energy from passing through you. You become like a sleepwalker who is not fully awake to life, and your hopes, plans, and dreams begin to appear as distant blurs on a faraway horizon. Universal support has never left you, but if you can remember that you became disconnected from source by choice, you can choose to reconnect.

    Reconnecting with the universe grounds you and is as easy as you making a concerted effort to become interested in the activities you love or responding to what nurtures or stimulates you. You may also want to make a list of the activities and kinds of experiences that touch your soul. Try to pinpoint the times when you have felt fully engaged and aware and ask yourself what you were doing. But one of the easiest ways to reconnect is simply by stating the intention of doing so.

    When you disconnect from the universe, your sense of purpose, creativity, and ability to be innovative are not as easy to access. You may also experience a deep and empty sense of longing or feel devoid of ideas or unworthy of love. It’s important, however, to recognize that being disconnected from the universe is never a permanent state, and it can be reversed any time you decide that you are ready to reconnect. When you are connected to the universe, all aspects of your being will feel alive as the flow of the universe pours through your being and into your life.

January 7, 2009

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Daily Tarot.com or Ain't It Da Truth:

  • The Six of Swords card suggests that my power today lies in transition.
  • I have what I need and am willing to trust the process order to move on, seek refuge or new opportunity.
  • I'm not willing to remain where my perceptions are invalidated but being vulnerable I must rely on guidance to move in a new direction or trust that I can make it or be led to security and new hope. 'Wherever you go, there you are.'
  • I am empowered by perseverance and my virtue is survival.
God knows, I am stubborn. Often, too stubborn for my own good.... So as this year unwinds today's comment reminds me to live in the solution, not wind myself up in false dreams I need to let go. And learn to trust that I will be led to an answer, to security and to new hope.

Until then, may all beings know peace

January 5, 2009

Growing the Human Heart in Inhuman Times

Times are hard. I have never had as little money in my bank account and as many bills and as few hours to work. It is scarey. And yet, my fallback work at the cattery moves on apace. I worked there 6 hours today and found peace and exhaustion. Six hours is more physical work than I have done in a while. If ever. I am a desk person. And yet...if this paid more...I'd eat raw meat to work there full time and have the strength. We have kittens who need socializing. We have older cats who need to learn trust. We have cats who need to learn to trust, period. We have plenty of physical work to do -- cleaning litter pans, washing bowls, feeding, giving medications, washing laundry for the cats and dogs and then folding it up and finding space for it to go. And yet, the most important thing we do there is 'listen'. Listen for the cough. Listen for the muted growl which presages a bite. Listen to other workers in the same financial position I am in or worse. Listen to the kittens squealing happily as they tear down the stacks of clean sheets in the isolation room where they are at the moment. Listen. If there is one thing we have forgotten to do in this country with the war, with the financial situation, with the Bush administration, is listen to one another. What we have done instead (character assassinations passing as conversation) is not listening. Listening means opening your ears which lead to your heart. Listen. Listen. Listen to the rain, listen to the sleet as it falls, listen to the cats snore, listen to the dogs bark. Listen to peace and find peace inside yourself. Namaste.

January 2, 2009

Tarot.com Strikes again

I was just typing a note to myself on strategy for the 2009 year. How to make lemonade 101. And now this email arrives from Tarot.com. Carpe Diem....

  • The Seven of Wands card suggests that my power today lies in seizing the day. I step in, recognize, or create opportunities to take it to the next level and communicate leadership or earn respect through performance. I am empowered to rise to the occasion by a window of opportunity and I transform through motivation.
It is fascinating how my life aligns with these emails.

January 1, 2009


What consoles me? Working with the cats. The good news is that I get paid to work with them and I am welcome out at the cattery anytime I can come and help. They will be seeing a lot of me until I find a place to rest. Who knows when LPI will come through? I sure don't. Who knows when I will become fully employed again? Same answer. I have never thought life was supposed to be easy. I have worked intensely at my jobs. I have driven long hours to get to and from work. I have grudged every minute of it. These last few months have been soul-filling. Blessings, really, in disguise. The next step then is to take a long look at how to get a job which I can manage without getting an asthma attack or a migraine. I need to take a step back and ask whether I want to be a rat in the rat race or find another type of administrative work which will allow me to work at my pace or even faster than my pace but which will not stress me out as much. As H would say, 'good luck with that.' Consolation comes at a price. And given the family, I don't have the luxury of saying 'no' to work...even work that I hate.

What I know

What I know from my talk this afternoon with D. is this...I need to call LPI and see about getting a position downtown. Even though I don't want to work downtown, even though I am scared of messing up because of inattentiveness which has plagued me all my working career, even though I am damaged in ways I cannot put in words by the way I was treated by my former law firm for 15 years.

The way I react to it now (after the fact) is what is important and what Mel and I need to work on. It took me 6 whole months to realize that this is why I have stalled on going back to work in any law firm. Even though LPI got me an interview with OP, I shied away in the interview. The first job I have gotten excited about is the one I just applied to as a Legal Administrator to a firm that would need me to drive from Arlington to Harrisonburg, Virginia on an 'as needed' basis. But D. is right. We don't have family health coverage that's affordable on COBRA. It is now $1,800+ a month and that's unsustainable. Grant me the grace to see my place in how to manage this paradigm shift in my thinking.

Faces of Fear and Noise

Another Amazingly Accurate Essay from Daily OM

Working Through Silence

Noise as a Distraction

Our lives are typically filled with noise. There are the noises from the outside world that we cannot control, and there are the noises we allow into our lives. These noises, from seemingly innocuous sources like the television and radio, can actually help us avoid dealing with uncomfortable thoughts and emotions. However, using noise as a distraction hurts more than it helps because you are numbing yourself to what may be internally bubbling up to the surface for you to look at and heal. Distracting yourself with talk-radio, television, or other background noises can also prevent you from finding closure to issues that haunt you.

Noise as a distraction can affect us in many ways. It can help you stay numb to emotions that you don’t want to feel, allow you to avoid dealing with problems, distract you from having to think, and make it easier for you to forget reality. Drowning out the thoughts and emotions you find uncomfortable or overwhelming can complicate your issues because it allows them to fester. By tuning out noise and relishing silence, you create the space to experience and express what you are hiding. It is only then that self-exploration can begin in earnest and you can stare down frightening issues. In silence, it becomes easier to let your strongest feelings come forth, deal with them, and find new ways of resolving your problems.

When you go within without the veil of noise to shield you from yourself, you’ll be able to figure out what you need to heal. Embracing silence and introspection allows you to work through your thoughts and emotions and transmute them. Free of the need for noise, you can accept your pain, anger, and frustration as they come up and turn them into opportunities to evolve.

  • So what was/is it I feared/fear so much that I needed the TV on ... I would have to say solvency, job esteem, a place in society. When I left D., I lost what I perceived as my society status holder. I was no longer a wife. I was no longer a full time mother. I was no longer a part of a family that D and I created 21 years ago. And it hurt. It hurt more than I have words to describe it.
  • When I was let go by S., I lost my job esteem, my solvency, my place in society as a wage earner. The difference now is that instead of TV being on like it was for D., it is quiet around here. Sure, I find other distractions. I read a ton. Really 11 books at a time from the library. Just a ton of reading. And a ton of sleeping. Sure, it helps with the pain. Sure, I need to recharge more often. Sure, stress gives me headaches. But it is also a really good escape from feelings of inadequacy. But I do take time to think as I sit here typing my thoughts in the evening.
  • Here is what I know. Even though I know I am good, talented, smart as a whip, I still haven't found a full time position. I am working almost every day 4 hour shifts. Either at G or at FOHA. And I am earning a third of what I used to make. No health benefits, no time off, nada, zip.
  • If I were honest with myself, I'd say I was overwhelmed. I am frozen in fear. But what exactly is at the bottom of the fear? If I can identify it, then I can take a closer look and figure out a way to deal with it. I need to contact the Fairfax County Retraining of Seniors people and see if they can help me identify whether I need to train up to a new career or just find something less challenging. I get overwhelmed thinking that I am a failure if I ask for help and wind up pushing the help away. I will be calling the Skills Group just to see what they would be able to offer me in retraining for another career or assisting me to find something that would help pay my rent and other issues. What I am truly scared of is having to move into low rent housing and having to face my girls and tell them I failed. They need me stable in their lives. I fear being in a new situation. But I suppose having done the tough stuff with D and moving out in 2004, I could do that if need be. After all K is driving now. Pragmatically, this is just stuff to walk through. Grant me the peace of soul and soles to walk this path littered with the sharp rocks of fear.

Tarot.com strikes again

The tarot.com website strikes again at the heart of the matter for me and oddly enough explains why I wandered over to G'town yesterday after learning that G___ had found a new person who is starting there Monday. My boss knew, HR knew, LPI knew and everyone expected the other 2 to tell me and help me plan for transition. Who didn't know? Me. I do not deal well with surprises. Probably why, then, when I drove home I took a completely different way. Superstition will tell you that I took a different way so that the vibes and attitudes from that encounter would not follow me home. And, indeed, it worked. By the time I got home, I was better. I was able to face the evening without coming apart and calling everyone under the sun to complain that the system of being a temp worked. I had worked myself, honorably, out of a job. I had found a really standup kind of boss who went to bat for me with HR and fussed at them for dropping the ball on who was to tell me that my services were no longer needed. I was able to call the temp agency and ask 'what's next' and get an answer that was very positive. So this card today tells me I am not done dealing with the aftermath but gives very good advice.

  • The Three of Swords card suggests that my power today lies in truth or consequences.
  • Denial or control is no longer an option and I am ready to experience a breakthrough. My suffering, fear, or emotional loss is/was valid, incredible and deserves to be acknowledged and expressed in order to heal or transform the sacrifice.
  • I am empowered by recognition and my virtue is choice.
So, does that mean a shift to FOHA? It surely looks like it. Does that mean I apply for the Borders or Barnes & Noble job? It surely looks like that would help as well. I told my faithful lawyer client I was available to work on his projects.

life is one foot in front of the other