As I went through the mundane tasks I set for myself today and cooked a couple of healthy meals, enjoying cooking meditations which I saw suggested somewhere, my mind was allowed to wander where it might, and,  as usual, it took advantage of the situation.

The first place it wandered was into the realm of jobs and how people approach them.  I have some friends who have been extremely dedicated, working when they were sick, putting in long hours, missing holidays with family, all for a job with few rewards and which they professed to hate.  While I admire their sense of responsibility, (and at one time, but only for a few years, I was there as well) I have to wonder why someone who is so focused, so responsible, so dedicated, wastes the better part of their lives working at a job they hate, for a company that couldn’t give a rat’s hind end about them, and a far lesser rate of pay than they could expect if they just bit the bullet and went elsewhere.  Sure, there could be the issue of security, but as many of these friends work (or worked) for a company which was dependent upon government funding, security just doesn’t exist.  One such friend, having survived the last few rounds of layoffs, knows that in the next round, her number could still come up. 

While another friend was speaking a little enviously about my seemingly irresponsible, easy-going lifestyle, I had to point out to her that she gets a regular paycheck while I don’t.  To many, maybe most, that little factor is enough to keep them in a company they despise, doing work they detest. 

One thing I’m finding right now while I’m being more cautious about my outflow until the inflow increases again is that all of the times I went out for a meal weren’t all that satisfying.  All of the food I ended up throwing away because I ate out too often and it went bad embarrasses me, at the very least.  Standing in the kitchen, chopping veggies or cooking something on the stove has become incredibly satisfying.  I can chat with the cats or listen to music while I prepare something for myself which is healthy and tasty.  I can buy those veggies that just came out of the field because I know that by the end of the day, I will have prepared something healthy and delicious, and I’ll have leftovers for those days when I’m less inclined to take my time preparing a meal. 

For the last few weeks, I’ve been buying fresh veggies and making up a big bowl of gazpacho.  The first week, it was gone in a few days as it was pretty much all I ate.  The second batch lasted about a week.  The current batch is going on two weeks, but I’ve found that I mix it up and eat other things, or I use it as a side dish if I don’t feel like putting together a salad.  But by Wednesday, when I do my grocery shopping after going to the gym, I’ll probably be ready to build another batch.  Meanwhile, I have leftover turkey taco meat from tonight, and the fixin’s for a lovely stir fry which I’ll probably put together tomorrow.  By then, I’ll have enough leftovers to take care of lunches and dinners for a week or better. 

This long, drawn-out ramble, simply stated, is me finding that a slower pace to life which allows me to enjoy some of the simpler things is incredibly satisfying.  While I haven’t attended a single concert and what I’m doing for the kids right now is minimal, I don’t believe anyone feels slighted. 

Although I’m seriously considering putting in a vegetable garden, I need to do something about the yard right now before I commit to taking care of more stuff.  I have weeds to pull, trees to trim and sprinklers to fix before I take on something as time consuming as a vegetable garden.  Fortunately, I live in an area which has almost a year-round growing season, so whenever I’m ready, I can put something in. 

I had also been beating myself up a bit over what I’m not getting done.  Sure, I only found myself actually working on my book twice this week, but it’s twice more than I did last week or the week before.  In the meantime, my kitchen remains tidy, the laundry is getting done every week, I’m eating regular, healthy meals and I’m getting to the gym, if not my hoped for 3 times a week, at least twice!  My bed is made every day, and my blog is updated almost every day (I missed one day in the last 17 or so), and unless I’m busy the whole day, I manage to get at least an hour of meditating in daily as well.

Sure, it’s not the life of a mega successful person like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet.  It’s the life of someone who has tired of the corporate games, and of working hard so someone else has a healthy retirement.  Yes, it’s also not being the one to take the risks that owning and operating a business require. 

But it’s also not one which has me dragging myself out of bed each day to go do something I hate.  It’s not one which has me asking  “Is it Friday yet???”.  In fact, half the time, I have no idea what day it is, nor do I really care.  I do whatever I want or need to, regardless of the day of the week, unless I have something scheduled which is dependent on someone else’s time.  If I want to read all day and work on chores until midnight or 2 AM, I do.  If I want to go to bed at 10 so I can start my day earlier, I’ll do that too. 

I’ve also found that I watch less TV, as it no longer holds my interest.  I take time to look things up when I hear something which sounds intriguing.  I think a lot and follow those thoughts, wherever they might take me.  I’m happy and relaxed and able to allow just about anything to roll off of me.  Negativity just doesn’t stick, in the rare event that it even tries to visit. 

***WARNING**** Complete change of topic coming.

After waking from a dream about a single dad and his daughter this morning, I found myself thinking:  “Was I always oblivious to the attentions of the male of the species, or did something trigger it?”  OK, it wasn’t just the dream, but a conversation I had with a friend last night.  We were talking about going to the gym, and she mentioned that an old guy was hitting on her when she was there.  I responded with my usual: “I’m so oblivious, if someone was hitting on me, I wouldn’t even notice! I go to the gym to get my workout in.  I put my headphones in my ears and focus on what I’m doing.  My social outlet is dancing, not going to the gym.”  But I did have a man approach me last week while doing ball squats.  I didn’t think anything of it, just spoke to him for a couple of minutes about it, then went  on with my day.  But now, I wonder.  Did I miss something?

As for when it started, I was able to remember an event which might have caused me to close myself off.  My freshman year in high school, there was a guy who showed an interest in me (a senior!!!) and, for awhile I enjoyed his company.  I remember one occasion when we went to see “Planet of the Apes” and his best friend joined us (sorry, but his name no longer remains in my memory banks).  Later that year, I somehow got the idea that he’d invited me to prom, and my mom took me to buy a dress.  (I even remember the dress. It was full length, pale blue with an empire waist.  There was a band of embroidered flowers on it and it had short sleeves.)  Long story short, I must have misunderstood as I didn’t go to his prom and, as far as I remember, I never wore the dress.  Thankfully, I also don’t recall my mom saying anything about buying a dress for nothing.  At any rate, I think that’s when I unconsciously turned off my radar.  I no longer saw anything more than casual conversation in a man paying attention to me.  In some ways, it’s been just as well, because I still, to this day, get all tongue tied and stupid if I find a man more than casually attractive. 

At any rate, I didn’t blame the boy for the miscommunication then, and I certainly don’t now.  In so many interpersonal relationships, one party or another simply hears what they want to hear, and that’s likely what happened.  He certainly wasn’t the type to do something hurtful.  It just wasn’t his nature.  Heaven knows, I’ve been the one refusing to recognize the obvious on more than one occasion! 

Actually, as I think about it, this might make a good story!  I’ll have to put it in my collection of story ideas!  Awkward teenageness becomes even more awkward adultness. 🙂  A story about learning to just love yourself and to heck with all of the other nonsense!

Coming back around to the beginning of this post, I am grateful that I learned that I don’t have to keep going to a job that doesn’t fulfill me, even if I have to give up the security of a regular paycheck.  When I make myself happy, the means will come.  I just have to keep looking at the sticky on top of my monitor which says “FAITH” and keep holding onto it.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for life’s lessons.
2. I am even more grateful for learning further lessons from my life lessons.
3. I am grateful for a life that I love, even when I find myself a little bored.
4. I am grateful for things (like boredom) which help me refocus on what’s important.
5. I am grateful to be out of the rat race!

Love and light.

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