Yesterday was painful. I'm determined to have a better day.
As the days grow brighter and warmer things at Casa Bueno start heating up as well. We get busier during the spring and summer, and with that comes a whole new load of challenges. We've got a fairly young crew. Okay, they're green as Easter grass. When we start getting busy, they have a tendency to panic. Its hard not to get caught up in that feeling. The energy that surrounds you almost always has an effect on you whether you like it or not.
I try really hard not to let the things around me get me down. I wear bracelets and necklaces to help me contain my personal energy and keep my auric "fingers" as Kitten likes to call them turned inward. Sometimes it works. Sometimes its not so effective. Its difficult sometimes to take a deep breath and remember that its not the end of the world. Things go wrong, but if you handle them calmly, a lot of times things can go much smoother. Guests, I've observed, are usually more understanding and patient if you communicate with them, and if you can keep the look of terror off of your face. Of course, the way my coworkers react also makes a difference.
When everyone else is in crisis mode, its hard to stay calm. Its difficult to get people to teamwork with you. Its difficult to get anything done. When everyone is so focused on their own panic they can't see the world around them, well, they stop doing the neccesary things like stocking, teamworking, and breathing.
I bartend today, which means things will probably move at a slower pace for me. I don't mind it, honestly. Will I miss those extra three tables in my section? I doubt it. We have to be seriously busy for everyone to have a full section. Our restaurant seats 300. If we are that busy, I'll have other things to worry about. Its nice, too, because that extra bit of wiggle room gives me a chance to help others out, maybe make things a little easier than they are at the moment.
I'm trying very hard to remember that with the big holidays for us approaching (St. Pat's, Cinco, Mother's Day) my crew is going to be put to the test. I'm a senior crew member. I need to be there for them. I need to help them, to give them the tools they need to succeed. Because honestly, if they don't, I suffer too. I've trained a lot of our crew. I want them to be able to use the tools I give them to be happy, hard, efficient workers who make a lot of money and draw guests into the store. I hope I can do that.
In other news, I am having a weird work week this coming week because we are driving up to Kansas City MO to go see Katie Herzig in concert. I'm looking forward to it. A couple of days off with the girls will be a good time. Precious is coming with us, so we'll have a nice time with her. While we're on our way home we're going to stop off in Cat's city to say hello to her and spend some time with her, since she's moving in a couple of weeks. Maybe next week. I think next week. It'll be nice to see her. We also have a gift certificate to Hastings, which was a very generous Yule gift, and I'm looking forward to spending it. It'll be nice to have access to a bookstore that isn't Barnes and Noble.
Speaking of books, I was looking at my shelves and I realized I probably need to do a cull of them. I have a lot of books and we accquire them at an alarming rate. We've gotten about ten books in the last week alone. I need new shelves and I don't have anywhere to put them. In better news that's related, I think Oscelot is giving up her bed. We talked about it yesterday and its awesome, because that will give us a little more wiggle room. It also gives me the opportunity to do some much needed rearranging in the house. Also, more room for bookshelves. Our bookshelf with Pagan books on it is overflowing now, and I need a bigger one. Between Hedgewitch and I, we've got quite a collection started.
I also need to read them. I've got a few I've read cover to cover, but most of them I pull out as I need them, which is not as useful. I'd rather know what's in all of them, it makes research go much faster. It also makes other work go much faster. I've got a list four people long of natal charts I need to cast.
My list of witch responsibilites is growing. We've been looking at formally structuring the coven, starting the Wicca 101 and 102 type classes for learning purposes. We also have to start establishing degree structures, so that we all know what we're working for. I've done the research and its looking like based on most coven structures I'm almost second degree. I'm a lot farther along than I thought I was. Still, I have a long way to go. We're thinking on Beltane we're going to start the official year and a day process for the coven seekers, so we can formalize that too. I'm not too far from becoming an official gartered preistess. Its exciting.
I also have a lot of work to do as far as spells and learning goes, and I know it. I have some friends who are looking to get together and "conjure mojo" as they lovingly call it. I have no problem working with practitioners outside my coven, sometimes its a breath of fresh air. Of course, there are other people who are learning about what I do, and that's good too. It gives them an opportunity to look inside the practicing Wiccan mind and the mind of my spiritual family. I think there's also a prospective new coven candidate out there, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that goes.
Oastara is almost upon me, and I have to plan ritual for it. I might actually be able to do this one outdoors, which I am looking forward to. The winter months are difficult because we can't spend as much time outside as we like. I'm looking forward to getting back in touch with the earth around me, it makes me feel more grounded.
Outside of the natal charts and spell work, I'm learning hoodoo right now. Well, the basics of it. Its an interesting form of spellcraft, and I think our group can benefit from it if we use it in the right way.
Kitten has taken a real shine to herbal work, and I'm rather suprised to see her excelling in herbalism. I thought it would be Oscelot that fell into herbalism and kitchen witching. Somehow, though, I feel like I shouldn't be shocked. Kitten is a god cook, and she understand the importance and beauty of herbs. She's always had a natual bent towards healing. Its good to see her actively pursuing a part of the craft she loves. I think sometimes she gets frustrated because there are things she doesn't naturally excel at, and that makes her feel like she's behind. I keep trying to impress upon her that she holds herself to a hard standard, seeing as Hedgewitch and I have been practicing for a much longer time. It takes a lot of time and focus to learn how to control your energy and the energies around you. Hell, I'm still not great at it sometimes. In a control setting, yeah I'm awesome, but put me in a practical setting and I struggle every now and again.
Herbalism will be great for her. Last night she made me an infustion for a headache and she not only knocked the headache out, but put me to sleep before nine (a near impossibility without drugging me) and I slept a solid 11 hours. Its impressive. Although, according to them, when I went to bed I was completely incoherent, and nearly drooling on myself, so maybe, youknow, moderation in couple of those herbs, but otherwise she did a fine job.
Oscelot had her birthday yesterday. We got her a set of runestones. I think she'll really enjoy using them. I look forward to seeing her find something she really excels at too. I want to see everyone in our group succeed, and I think this may be her foothold into the practice.
As for myself, I know where I need to go and what I need to do. Unfortunately, its everywhere. But I think if I sit down and work out a regimen for myself, a schedule of studies, my life will be easier. I read quickly. I absorb well, so I think I can manage. The trick, for me, will be pairing all this new knowledge with spiritual growth.
Its on that note that I want to conclude. You see, sometimes I think we don't pay too much attention to they way we are, how we change and how we grow. I'm really aware of it. I think part of that has to do with the fact that by the time I came back to Kitten, I was in a bad place. I had made strides to change myself and I had...but it wasn't in the way I wanted. I had let myself down. Since then, in the last four years, I think I've had a lot of time to think about who I am and what I want to be.
I realized how far I had come the other day. I had a phone conversation with my ex Beloved. She and I have, uh, very different life outlooks. In the course of our discussion she asked me if I really thought I had changed since I stopped seeing her, because honestly, she didn't see much change. Now, granted, we see each other maybe twice a year and we talk infrequently...not as much as maybe I'd like to...but I suppose that's life. We had been discussing Kitten's impending departure, and some of the troubles I had faced recently with Oscelot.
Point is, she pointed out that there was more to life than love. That it doesn't matter sometimes how much you love a person, because eventually the reality of life steps in, and you are inevitably disappointed with that person. She thinks that relationships that don't work out aren't successful. She thinks that there has to be a constant grounding in reality and you have to focus on the practicalities of life. The reality of who and what a person is. In the end, to Beloved, you look out for yourself and you make yourself independent.
Idon't agree with her at all. I think at one point, I might have. I think that I might have even tried doing that for myself. I think she has some points. Yes, you should be independent. You should look out for yourself. But I also think there's a sadness about the idea you can't trust anyone but yourself. I know personally that sometiems you can't even do that.
Here's my idea...you trust people. Not to the point of stupidity, but you should give them a chance. When they let you down, you access the damage to your relationship and move on from there. You work hard to repair it. If you can't, yeah, you move on and its painful. But you never cut the cord of a relationship lightly. People will let you down. We have free will and sometimes the choices we make are bad ones. That's okay. Karma takes care of that. If a relationship doesn't work out...well, you and that persona are not failures. You're different. Its okay. Take what you can from it, remember what that person gave you and taught you. That's what makes even a "failed" relationship a success.
I don't like the idea of complete independence either. I'm dependent on my partners and my friends. I need them. They give me perspective and keep me motivated. They keep me in line when I need to be, and help me let my hair down. They remind me of my better qualities when I do fail, and they support me in all my successes. I would be terribly sad, and much less fulfilled, if I didn't have a degree of dependence on them. I think they feel the same way about me. I think that I'm there to do those things for them.
I've grown so much the last four years. I'm a mature woman now. I have my health in good control. I know how to deal with my pain and anger. I've learned when to walk away from a fight and when to stand my ground. I've learned compassion in ways I never thought I could. I've learned love in ways that amaze me every day. I learned how to look into myself to find peace, and how to look everywhere to see divinity. That's a beautiful thing. I think anyone who's read me for any time that exceeds the length of this blog could tell you I've changed. Yeah, do I puton my best face when I write? I try to. But still, the person I am seeps through. And I think the person you see now is a better, more whole one than before. I'm proud of that. I plan on making that something that doesn't change.
Over the years, I think I'll look back and be satified with what I've done for myself. I think my friends will be proud of me. I think the changes I make will become more apparent as time goes on. I'm glad for it.
Here's to another day where I get the chance to grow. I'll report back and let you know how it goes.