Friday, June 29, 2012

I Would Prefer She Didn't Empty Her Syringes Into Your Arms

I'm going to preface this post with a warning, I've been a little bit angsty, and I am getting all my issues off my chest right now. This my involve me talking about people in my life. It may mean it involves you. I'm sorry. But this is my space, and its time for me to leave everything on the table and move on. If you can keep handle of the on. 

Sometimes its difficult to remember that there's a plan. That I have one, and that life and the universe have one for me.

The last month or so has been really interesting for me. I've experienced a lot of growth. I've had a lot of change in my life. We have a new dedicant for our coven. I was getting on track with my bills (oh, my bills, the never ending game of catchup from all my prior bad decisions) I've been growing spiritually, I've been forming and reassessing new bonds with people. I felt like things were moving forward.

Then last week happened. And it rather feels like the rug has been pulled out from under my feet.

First things first, I suppose.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm an addict. I don't use now, but I used to. I'm 11 years clean and I take a lot of pride in that. I used to have a big problem. I recognize, too, that those feelings never really go away. Temptation is usually only a line, a pill or whatever away. So I stay away from that stuff. Anyone who has ever been invited into my home knows that's my one hard and fast rule - you never bring drugs of any kind into my home. If you do, that's the last time you step over my threshhold, and its a deal breaker for friendship. If you love me, you'll keep that shit away from me.

As you may have read, I had my wisdom teeth out not too long ago. (two weeks now?) They gave me some serious drugs for my pain. I appreciated it. I can't take any NSAIDS, so ibuprofen and aleve and all those guys are out. I can't have over the counter medication and quite a few of the prescription ones are off limits to me too. So I usually end up with opiates. This is fine, most of the time. I get what I need to get me through, and its over.

The wisdom tooth thing, however, brought to my mind the real trouble with being an addict. I unquestioningly took those pills every four hours for an entire week without thinking about what it was doing to my body. How sad and foolish of me. I know better. Within days my body had formed a habit for them. I didn't really realize it until last weekend when I left my pills at home when I went to work. Then my body reminded me how terrible a come down can be. I had cold sweats and hot flashes. (and let me tell you, when its a 100 degrees in the back of my restaurant, that's an amazing feat.) I was shaky, irritable and frightened. I was paranoid. I was tired and my body was threatening to do all sorts of things, from faint to go into full-blown migraine mode. I knew none of it was real. None of it. Still, when I got home, I took a pain pill because my (lack of) tooth was hurting. I instantly felt better.

By Monday I knew I was in trouble. I turned over the pills to Kitten  in the morning and told her not to give them back to me. I don't need them. Cue a really bad day at work where I spent most of my free time in the back station we don't keep open during the week sipping sweet tea really slowly and trying to pull myself together. I bit off Oscleot's head and I knew I was in trouble when Flyguy came to find me, tried to hug me and make me feel better and I couldn't even relax in his arms. He's the safest person I know outside of Kitten. Bad day.

I think the thing is, I'm really disappointed in myself. Sakura tells me not to be so hard on myself. I mean, I had to take the pain pills. There wasn't an option. And I can't help that my body formed an addiction so quickly. (I still, by the way, want one. Thank Goddess Kitten hid them in case my willpower gave out) Still, I should have waited when they wore off to see how long I could go before I needed another one. As I told Flyguy, other people letting you down is tolerable most of the time, but letting yourself down is impossibly horrible. You feel like the worst person on earth.

After a week of detoxing, and drinking lots of water and eating healthy foods, I've almost returned to normal. I can eat a meal without being sick to my stomach (turns out the doctor was right- that mystery illness I had last summer was a result of my former drug use. The symptoms are exactly the same) I can almost go to the bathroom with regularity. I have leveled out my moods. It will be okay. I'll never be that careless again. Lesson learned. Even if I do feel like a fool.

Over the weekend I also got to deal with work drama. There's always drama at work, but this time it actually involved me. I won't go into detail, but suffice to say, for the first time since I've become a supervisor at Casa Bueno, I stood up for myself. It didn't end well. There's was lots of confrontation to be had, and I hate confrontation. Especially now that I'm trying to get ahold of my anger issues. I don't want to loose my cool at my job. I fought for it this weekend. I was fortunate that I was able to maintain calm. But the long story short is one of our managers left the company and I'm pretty sure the staff thinks this is a direct result of what I did. It isn't, but it will be perceived that way. I'm bracing myself for all the drama that is going to fall out from that. The other supervisor who doesn't seem to particularly like me very well anymore (she used to) is good friends with the one that left, and I feel like I've got to be careful. I never meant to upset or offend anyone.

When we got paid on Wednesday, my check was significantly smaller than it had been. Yesterday I asked about that. It turns out I got served for a garnishment (hello, old unknown medical bills) and someone had signed for me. I missed my court date and chance to settle, and from what I understand, I would have been able to. Now I'll be having to call attorneys and crap to see if I can pay this old bill without the $2,000 interest that is going with it because of the garnishment. Stupid. And upsetting. And the upshot was, no one told me.

I felt like my world had moved a little off kilter. I'm going to try and take care of it next week, but it looks like I won't be getting paid for the work I do for the next two weeks or so...the courts move at a snail's pace. And I'll be working as a supervisor more the next few weeks, so I'm going to be working for free. I've done it before, I love my company so I don't mind taking the hit every now and again. I just wish I had time to prepare myself so I could have some money stacked away. I mean, I did just drop the $1,000 we had laying around on my teeth. Ouch and a half.

Our regional manager is coming in this weekend, and I'm terrified that it isn't going to go well for me. Our GM and HM are going to be out of town. This would be the perfect time for an angry and disillusioned supervisor to throw me under the bus. I'm praying that won't happen. If it does, I'm secure that my GM will get my back when he comes home. I want everything to run smoothly while he is away. So...I'm a little stressed about work.

Cue personal stress in the form of one former coven member who is taxing my limits of perfect love and perfect trust. I won't name names, because I'm a good person. But most of you who read me with regularity will notice when a person who was formerly in a lot of my posts disappears. Yeah. You have this one figured out.

Anyway. This person and I have had a conflict personally over the last few months. To my best understanding, it came from them telling me about some life decisions they were making that they were unsure about. I was clear I wasn't judging them, but I also told them that if they had to ask me how to feel about it, they probably already knew how to feel. One of those decisions involved their life partner, who is also someone I am close to, and it put me in a tough spot.

Over the next couple of weeks they became increasingly angry with me. They stopped coming to coven meetings. They bailed on a holiday. Then they disappeared, only to resurface long enough to try to make amends, get angry when I didn't throw fluffy bunnies and rainbows at them, and then disappear again. The trouble is, the coven notices that sort of thing, especially when the after-effects of their bad decisions start raining down on everyone in the group mind in the form of bad karma. And you know what? They had a right to know what was going on. But sometimes you're supposed to respect confidences.

Last week this person, along with all the coven members, received an email from me letting them know that we were finally putting our governing principles (think bylaws, or code of conduct) in place and that everyone would need to get together to read them and sign them. Its time for us to lay down the ground rules. I thought we could wait until our coven got bigger, but it became apparent to me that no, it couldn't. It was time to start playing a real game, and stop playing Calvin Ball. This person came to me and let me know they were sorry for their actions. Then they gracefully bowed out of membership, recognizing that the code of conduct we had set would probably be something they weren't ready for. I appreciated that, because it was mature, and also saved me the trouble of possibly having to throw them out at some later date.

I told this person, who is an old friend of mine, that they were still my friend, and that was something that would never change. This person decided to test that theory yesterday. I'll admit, I was already in a bad mood. I've been dealing with a lot, I'm post-pill grumpy and I just found out someone at my work screwed me (intentionally or otherwise) out of about two grand. I knew they were coming because we had talked about it. They were coming to have some buddy time and catch up because we haven't seen each other much.

When they got to work they had brought someone with them. I would have been delighted if it had been their partner, because I love their partner with all my heart. But it was someone else. Someone I could have gone the entirety of my life without meeting and been fine. This person was the root of the conflict this person and I had gone through and to me, it seemed like both a slap in the face and a colossal insult to my integrity. I couldn't believe they could be so insensitive. I ignored the part of my brain that said they were doing this on purpose, I want to think the best of people. Suffice to say, I was not charmed to meet this other person, and I was fighting with all the dignity I had to be cordial and polite. I'm not entirely sure I succeeded.

The staff, who knew that me and my friend (?) had been fighting were at first delighted to see that they were there being a pal. Then they asked who the other person was. When I explained they were aghast. Let me tell you something, when a grown adult can shock and horrify a teenager with their callous behavior, its bad. Maybe they just thought that my friends were better, more mature than that. I sure did. Either way, I got several loving pats on the back. At least my staff loves me, right?

So all of this bad stuff has left me feeling a little heavy, a little hurt and a little off kilter. I try to be an upbeat, inspiring person. That's what I was born to do. This week, its been hard. I've had a difficult time finding my serenity. I've been clutching at the straws of my happiness.

I will say this. I'm lucky to have wonderful people in my life. Sakura has kept a running dialog with me about the goings on, and has given me a lot of love. Felix, new to me as she is, has sent me love and light every day. Its an indicator, to me at least, that she's a good person to have in my life. Shorty came over and spent an evening with me. We had a nice time. Flyguy, for the first time in months, made it over to spend another evening with me. I got two whole uninterrupted hours with him. I realize now how very much I had missed his company. There's something wonderful about his sincerity and his lightness. He's like a constant recharge to my personal battery pack. He proves there are good people in the world. He's one of them. My partners have been loving and supportive in all of this. They spoil me rotten. They took me shopping so I'd feel pretty, they cooked me dinner so i'd eat. They held me when I was feeling awful. They understood when I needed space.

My world isn't ending. Last night, at the suggestion of my friend Batik, I went out into my back yard and just sat. I let the earth and the evening fill me up. I let the energy of the garden i love so much tend to me for a change. I watched all my stray kittens play in the yard. I watched the moon rise- and I swear she never glowed so brightly before. I realized this- despite how overwhelmed I feel, it only takes moments for me to be grounded. I have to trust that I make good decisions for myself. I have to give myself a little slack, because everyone makes mistakes.

I've been building a good life for myself. I used to work in construction. Let me tell you- there is never a project that was on time and on budget. There's extra expenses, nasty surprises and sometimes there's delays. Sometimes its so hot you can't hardly move for fear of suffocating. Sometimes it rains so hard all you can do is bail out and brood about how far behind you get. But every now and again everyone pitches in, you get the day's work done and there's time to do a little extra. The boss is pleased with your work. You collect your paycheck and head off to the bar for a beer and a moment to laugh and dance when you put your favorite song on the jukebox. Let me tell you a secret. My life is just like that.

I'm saving my quarters for the jukebox, because its not going to be long before the day comes that I'll be ready to let go and laugh.

I do it all the time, after all.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Its Brought Me To My Knees

My religion is a full time job. I am not saying this as a complaint, but a simple statement of fact. If you know me at all, you know I love my religion. I find so much peace and inspiration in it. But that doesn't mean its not work.

When I first started practicing I heard all these warnings about how you had to be careful to pay attention to your mundane life...make time for other people, do things that didn't involve coven work, read books that had nothing to do with witchcraft. I laughed. How in heaven's name could you get so involved?

Oh, sweet, silly me.

As I write this, I am feeling guilty because i have about seven pagan books sitting on my desk in front of me. I need to write a couple of tests for degree initiations. I need to write about six rituals, and none of them have anything to do with our upcoming holiday Lammas. I need to finish polishing up all of my degree requirements, because I'd like to be officially initiated into my second degree, since I am halfway though my requirements for the third degree. Trouble is, I'm accountable to myself, because I am the high priestess of my coven because I am the highest ranking, most knowledgeable female priestess.

On my days off, and my evenings off, I devote myself to learning and working with other members of our coven. I write the scratch outlines of my rituals when I am on break at work and I don't have my computer with me. I'm about five books behind on what I need to be learning, and frankly, it sometimes keeps me so busy I make notes on napkins as I have ideas while I'm working at the job that pays me.

Say nothing of the time I take to meditate every day because (believe it or not) being kind, wise and balanced is not something that comes naturally to me. Its easier than it was a couple of years ago, but its not a walk in the park. I have to constantly remind myself of my karma and what path I am choosing to walk. I have to make every decision with care because I believe i should live my life harming none. That takes a lot of thought. And I'm not always successful.

I have a coven to look after and help to learn too. That's a joy to me, a complete blessing. I was saying to Addidas last night that when you're called to a path of compassion and love for others, when your life purpose is to help other people learn to become what they are at their best- teaching them how to release the things that hold you back- its a blessing. You grow every time you do your work. But its also emotionally challenging, and sometimes painful. Its hard not to let the harmful energy that surrounds you on a day to day basis drag you down.  I'm trrying.

The rest of the world has a tendency to disappear when you let yourself get immersed. I was thinking just the other day that we're only three months out from new year. Well, for us. And i laughed at myself because the Gregorian calendar has almost disappeared for me. Summer is half over for me. The harvest is beginning. My year is almost done, and most people feel they are only halfway through. It changes the way you look at things, that's for sure. 

I'll say this- I am struggling this week. I am finding it hard to be in my own skin. I'm having difficulty focusing, and so i find myself trying to multitask so I get something rather than nothing done. I don't feel as inspired as I normally do...but I do feel that pull of the compulsion to work, and to let myself be guided by the spirits who know better than I do. That's the one beauty of being psychic. When I am unsure, I can let the Others take the wheel and fill me with the desire to do what needs to be done. I love that.

I'm back to working on those rituals and tests. I can do this.

Despite all the seeming moaning, it really does make me happy. And that's what really matters, right?


Sunday, June 24, 2012

I'm Wide Awake

I've had a wild week since Wednesday.

Work has been pretty intense. We've been much busier this week than we have been in the last few weeks, and it has kept me running, literally. This week we also started our new uniforms. I like them quite a bit. they look really sharp on everyone. We switched from our black pants and cotton colored polos to all black uniforms- long sleeve black button downs, black bistro aprons, and black pants. It looks good, although it is much hotter. I purchased a poplin shirt because it is a much lighter weight material than cotton. I don't know how the kids wearing cotton are making it. I've been sweating like crazy. When I woke up yesterday morning I was driving the girls to work and I smelled something terrible. It was like gym socks and dead was me! I think its time for me to upgrade my deodorant.I will say this- Spice made my day yesterday. I supervised, and now we are allowed to wear business casual dress when we sup. She told me I looked pretty several times. Vain as I am, I still feel rather unsettled about how I look (which is why I am so vain, btw) and it meant a lot to me for her to say that. Heck- Sakura and I went to breakfast and he said he didn't even recognize me when I got out of the car. (I do want to say, i wear skirts and dresses a lot. I look nice on a day to day basis. But there's something very different about me when I get into a nice formal look and wear an up-do and lots of makeup. I should have taken a picture.)

We also got a new car this week. She's an ancient blue Honda that Cat gave us because her and Brother bought a new vehicle. We named her Vanessa. She's a standard too...I know I'm going to love her already. I like to look out the window and see her sitting in front of our house. Kitten went to go pick her up on Tuesday with Mom.

I don't know if I mentioned it or not...Tuesday Addidas came and visited me in the morning. It was really nice to have the company while I chilled out on the couch and zoned from my medicines. My mouth is doing much better, although the place where my teeth were is rather starting to hurt. I'm sure it will heal up soon. I haven't been taking my meds to work with me, so I can make it through the day pain free- for the most part anyway. I've got another full day today at work, and I am hoping it goes smoothly and quickly.

Last night Sakura and I met with a new seeker for our coven, Felix. She's a really nice girl. I had a good time getting to know her. I sincerely hope she likes us and likes the group, because she seems like she fits right in. Her personal philosophy jives really well with ours, and she was very eager to learn. She even asked if we could send her home with a few starter books. I have no doubt in my mind she will have them read by this Thursday. I think she likes to read almost as much as I do, and that's something.

Kitten and Oscelot seem to like her really well. She meshed with everyone easily. I liked that. As is our normal custom with other friends, she was over pretty late, which I like despite the fact that I find myself sleepy when I wake up in the morning. (I've been making an effort not to go back to bed. If the girls can go without naps so can I!) She was really easy to talk to. If I didn't know better I would say that I knew her in a previous life. (Well, I actually don't know better, as of now, I suppose) It felt like I had known her for a long time. She was easy to chat with and I felt like I really related to her. I didn't have any trouble talking to her, and I'm pretty shy, so that's nice. I didn't feel intimidated or uneasy, and she seemed to be okay with my rather abrasive personality, so that made me really happy. I have high hopes that things will work out well.

I invited her to our next working night, because I think she'll like seeing us do our thing. I also invited her to our next Sabbat Lammas, which is coming up at the beginning of August. I'm a little stressed about that. Not her being there, just the Sabbat itself. Its coming up fast and Oscelot is supposed to be planning it with me, but she hasn't really sat down to talk to me about it. I've done some research and brainstorming, so hopefully I'll be able to get us on the ball. Its a long, hard slog and I don't want to get behind. I feel like I am already behind on that.

It seems to me like there are a thousand things I have to do, and I haven't gotten all of them done. Its going to be intense getting things caught up and trying to keep up with daily life as well. I have every faith I can do it, but I want to make sure I do it well. I did see a post on one of my friend's facebook walls the other day that I thought was completely appropriate to me. It said "Strive for Progress, not Perfection" I need to remember that. I have a bad habit of letting my perfectionism get in the way of other things. Like enjoying the moment. I asked myself for more discernment and patience. I need to work on that.

Speaking of rituals, Litha went really, really well. I was so happy about it. We got things done on time, meaning we were able to finish ritual before the sun went down. I was glad about that. There were a couple of flubs on my part, which more stemmed from overconfidence and maybe my pain killers than from lack of preparation, which i am okay with. The God and Goddess have a sense of humor, so I know they enjoyed watching me flounder for a moment. It made even me laugh. Otherwise, it was a very moving and exciting ritual. All the practice meant that I could enjoy it in a way that I normally am not able to. I was happy when I finished.

I also did a better job using the energy around me, so for the first time ever I wasn't exhausted the morning after Ritual. Sakura was very inspiring to me. He was also very patient with me. I felt a lot of power coming off of all of us. It proves to me that we are growing, and that we feel much more confident than we did. It was our first ritual where we had other members participate rather than just stay in the circle and learn and absorb energy. It made things feel much different.

Kitten has volunteered to take the Mabon ritual on with me. I'm so excited. This is the first time she has made an offer like that. It looks to me as if everyone who is a coven elder is looking to move forward with their work. We're definitely working more like a team. I like that. The group mind is becoming more solid again. I'll be interested to see what it feels like when Kitten and I work a circle together. Us being bound and sharing might make it a little different. I'll certainly report back on that. Anyway. I am interested to see how it works out. Mabon is one of my favorite holidays, so its extra special she's working on this one with me. I think all four of us are going to tackle Samhain (Halloween) together. It will be beautiful. It amazes me to see how fast the year has passed. I'm rounding the corner to my new year. It blows my mind sometimes.

Its okay though. I feel like I've made a lot of personal progress. I feel like I have made a lot of change for myself. I know I have better direction than I did before.

For those who are keeping track- I am way less angry than I used to be.

I'll let you run away for now. I have every intention of gathering my thoughts and making a post worth reading very soon.

Blessings to each of you.

Ps- sorry about the Katy Perry lyric for the title. Its Ironic, I promise, because I feel anything but wide awake at this moment.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

But Underneath There's Another Expression

If this were a Sesame Street Episode, I'd tell you that today's post is brought to you by the Sun, Transformation and the number 3. Actually, that's almost accurate. Lets see if I can get all three to drop into this post, eh?

Truth is, this week has been strange as all get out. First off, I got sent home from work on Sunday. Mind you, I wasn't in trouble, my face was so swollen I looked deranged, plus I was in a ton of pain. Swollen? You might ask. Alas, yes. I am a grown woman in my thirties and I have yet to get my wisdom teeth out. It accounts for why I have that adorable, crooked smile some of you like so much. It also accounts for why Saturday and Sunday were not plesant days for me.

I want to say this, I take care of my teeth. I brush and floss, I deep clean them with peroxide and baking soda. I do my best. Unfortunately, up until this last year, I hadn't been able to afford our company's dental insurance. So I haven't had an opportunity to get my wisdom teeth out since the time I was with (ex)Beloved and frankly, that's a while. Either way, I wanted them out. Sort of.

Here's the thing. I'm allergic to NSAIDS. Those are anti-inflammatory and over the counter pain medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, and aleve. So I know its going to suck getting my teeth out. I just knew it. I wouldn't be able to work for days because my face would be too swollen for me to work, I would be in massive amounts of pain -because guess how many dentists hand out meds that aren't nsaids for teeth extractions? None. They all have signs that say "we don't pass out narcotics." Yeah. Not to mention, all four of my wisdom teeth are impacted and that requires oral surgery and being put under, which quite frankly terrifies me.

Well, it did. Cue this weekend when I started to have a bit of a toothache in my wisdom teeth, which didn't worry me too much. Every now and then it happens. My teeth break through my gums, it hurts for a couple of days and then its over. I can be patient. Our insurance requires a 9 month waiting period before you get your wisdom teeth out. Fun, fun. I'm sure you can guess, I skipped that nine month wait. Well, I did on my left side teeth.

When I got sent home from work I went to the walk in clinic across the street because I was pretty sure I had an infection causing all that swelling and I was in a lot of pain. I was thinking antibiotics would be good, until I could get into a dentist, since there is not a single dentist in town open on Sunday. Not one. I'd like to say the walk in clinic was nice, but honestly, they poked and prodded me, listened to my chest, and then charged me a hundred bucks to tell me that they aren't dentists and I needed one, and in the mean time here's the antibiotics I asked for, and some Tylenol 3 for the pain, its enough to get me through until the morning. I think the doctor thought I was being a smart-ass when I told him I was concerned about infection. Teddy Roosevelt died from an infected tooth he let go untreated. That's scary. The doctor was all like-

"uh, yeah, bad things happen when you don't take care of your teeth. But I'm not a dentist."

Yep. You've told me that at least three times now. I know you aren't. Give me my antibiotics and let me go home and pass out.

The short version of this story is, I'm sure you're not surprised, I went to the dentist on Monday morning and had my two left wisdom teeth pulled. I did it with only local anesthesia and laughing gas, because I'm a boss like that. It wasn't so bad. I'm actually up and moving around, so I suppose it could have hurt a lot worse. I didn't have to be put out, which relieved me. The laughing gas made me so free of inhibition I actually asked if they would save my teeth so I could look at them. Surprisingly, the nurse did. She told me later that she understood, when she had her second child she had them video it so she could see what it was like in all its gory detail. She laughed and said her husband nearly passed out. I would have had a joke at her husband's expense, but I know Kitten got light headed watching me get my teeth pulled. They were very nice to let her stay and hold my hand the entire time.

I'll say this- the pain medication is keeping my nicotine cravings to a minimal level. Its only been bad once. I'm doing alright there. I'm not swollen like I thought I would be. I'm not in any pain to speak of. I had been worried I wouldn't be able to do ritual tonight, but I think I'll be fine. (Funny thing- this time last year I did Litha ritual while completely zoned on morphine because I had a must be the equinox making my body act all sorts of strange) On the other hand-and anyone who knows me will tell you how odd it is for me to say this- I am so sick of sweets I could cry. Most soft cold food is sweet. It just is. And despite the fact that I have been eating plenty of those things, I want good, solid, salty food. I like the raspberries and pears baby food I got, but what I really want is some stir fry and fried pork dumplings. I'm tired of having to wait until my food is cold to eat it. I want a hot, full meal where it doesn't tax me to open my mouth. Honestly, it hurts right now to eat anything that's not cut up really tiny, and believe me, I'm trying because I want normal food like you can't believe.

On the upside, Litha ritual is tonight, and I'll be able to do ritual with Sakura, which I am super excited about. I'm sure most of you know, today is the summer solstice, which means today is the longest day of the year. Its a fun celebration. We're focusing on balance, and on transforming ourselves. its time to evaluate the goals that we made at the beginning of the year and begin to press forward to keep making changes for ourselves. I think I've done pretty well so far. I was reaching for new friends, which I've made, and finding love in my life, which I am thankful to say i have plenty of. I'm very lucky like that. I also asked for better health, and I am obviously moving towards that. Outside of that one terrible menstrual cycle, i've been much healthier than normal, and i think that was a signal to me I needed to make sure I was taking care of myself. I've been much more concious of that the last couple of months.

I'm ready for all the wonderful things life has in store for me. I think I've got it nailed, really.

I will be back to tell you more tonight, I am sure. For now, I'll sign off with blessings for all of you, and the hope that you will find the will to make your life what you want it to be.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Now Tell Me What's Your Sign?

I just had to post this from Sakura's blog because it made me laugh and its totally true. 
 Guess what sign I am?
Zodiac Signs and how they deal with Anger
  • Taurus: Stop it. No, seriously, fucking STOP IT. HOLD STILL, STRUGGLING MAKES IT HARDER FOR ME TO CHOKE YOU.
  • Cancer: *sobbing silently in their own corner* Just leave me alone.
  • Leo: *INDISCERNIBLE NOISES OF RAGE* ...wait...what was I mad about again? Let's go get ice cream.
  • Virgo: No really, I'm fine. *writing out an extremely detailed plot of your eventual murder.*
  • Scorpio: Please, I don't get angry. I'm above that nonsense. Oh, but by the way? Your ass looks fat in those jeans, your makeup is atrocious, and you could stand to take a shower. No one really likes you.
  • Sagittarius: No. I'm right and you're wrong. Fuck your mother, I'M RIGHT! The moon landing was TOTALLY FAKED. I even have proof from *THREE* different websites that I skimmed! OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE, YOU'RE SUCH A PETTY DICKHEAD, I'M SO DONE WITH THIS. *slams door*
  • Capricorn: The honest to God problem here is that you don't like the fact that I'm better than you.
  • Aquarius: Excuse me, I have to go collect my eyes as I rolled them so hard they fell out of my head.
  • Pisces: Um guys, I really don't like fighting. Can we please get along? Oh GOD THIS IS ALL MY FAULT. I'M SUCH A HORRIBLE PERSON.
  • (Note that this is my own version of the "Zodiac Temperament" post that's floating around. These are more true to the characteristics that each sign actually embodies when angry. The Fire signs are passionate and quick to anger, the Earth signs are slow to anger, the Water signs are extremely emotional and will attempt to act as though they aren't angry, and the Air signs react quickly and directly. It's definitely not as funny as the other one, but it's at least more true to life.)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Witchy Woman

Yesterday was interesting. I'm not going to lie. Work was duller than it had been and that's saying something. Fortunately, Sakura and my mom made an appearance. It kept me from dying of boredom.

Last night Sakura came over and we worked on Litha again. I was really proud because i had the first part of The Charge of the Goddess memorized. (For anyone keeping track, I've got it almost completely as of this morning.) Things went very smoothly. I'm getting excited for the ritual.

When we came inside we had dinner. Dad had brought by his fantastic home made chili, and it was delicious. I'd been craving spicy food, so I was really happy. We talked over dinner while Dad chilled out in the living room and watched this DVD Kitten got for them that goes with a kit to make a solar powered generator. Its the kind of thing both of them love to it was fun. I made a couple of trips into the living room after dinner and they were running their own personal riftrack on the DVD. At one point they were both sitting in the floor wagging their feet and giggling. It made me happy to see it. I like when Kitten spends time with her family.

In the kitchen, I sat down to do some work. My mom had an injury at work about a week ago and hasn't been able to work since then. I made a poppet for her out of an old sock and today I will pick up a candle for her and give her instructions on how to use it. It should be fun. I'll say this, I am really pleased at my mom's burgeoning confidence in my abilities as a witch.

After I finished that we worked on making the straw god effigy for this ritual. It was...interesting up until the point we figured out that we didn't need to make the body out of wire first. Then things got a lot easier. Just as we were finishing up, Dad came in to chat to us. The conversation went as follows:

Dad: Whatcha doin?
Me: (with raffia between my teeth) Making a doll
Dad: A voodoo doll?
Me: No, I already did one of those
Dad: Who of?
Me: My mom
Dad: Cool. So this is what? A straw man you're going to burn?
Robert: A straw god we're going to burn
Me: For our next holiday
Dad: The solstice?
Me: Yes
Dad: Want me to come over and help? I'll wear my feathered headdress...

He proceeded to dance around the kitchen mumbling unintelligible noises and grunts. We all giggled. Then he said very seriously that every culture on earth celebrates the solstices and he thinks its nice we are too. Its one of the reasons I love Dad, and our whole family. They seem not to mind whatever it is we're doing. 

With the god effigy finished and the ritual well on its way to perfected, I'm pretty excited about the things we have coming up. It should be really nice. After my little rant yesterday, I managed to pull myself together and focus. I'm feeling much better. 

I will say this, I know I'm not the only one that has trouble letting go. Our group has been dealing with an issue for a while now, and its something we seem unable to let go of, however finished the problem might be. I think its difficult to look and some changes as anything but failures, and I know none of us like to feel like we failed at something. We'll move on, we'll let go. Its just...difficult. The one thing I will say about my family is that 3/4 of us are empathic, so we take things pretty hard when the emotions start running high. 

I've not got too much to say this morning. Mostly I wanted to share our little laugh from last night. Today we are going to look at a car that one of Kitten's mom's friends is selling. We'd like a second vehicle. It would make life simpler. Also, this car isn't so nice, and won't be so expensive that if Oscelot wrecks it we won't be able to recover from the loss. She's not what you'd call a great driver. She swears its always someone else's fault....but 4 accidents in two years...I'm glad she won't be on my insurance anyway. 

I'm off to be not productive for a little bit. Its nice to take a breather. 

Oh- if you want a good giggle, I discovered through Flyguy the series of youtube videos called " Will it Blend?" and it made me laugh. Especially the Justin Beiber episode.

Right. Have a nice sunday everyone. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Time of Day I Can't Recall

This has been a week of work for me. A lot of work. Honestly, as I was sitting down at the computer this morning I was asking myself whether or not I really wanted to be here, or whether or not I would like to go back to bed and have a nap. But I know that naps really don't do me too much good. I just end up more tired than I was in the first place.

I will say this, I went to a friends house earlier this week and went swimming. It was a nice time. The water was a little cold, because its still pretty early in the pool season, but it was good to get back in the water and splash around a bit. We grilled burgers and had a nice dinner together. It was a good time. But swimming wears me out. Actually, a lot of things wear me out right now.

Last night was one of those nights at work where I felt like I was going to fall asleep on my feet. Truly. We weren't very busy and I tried to keep myself distracted by doing a lot of extra cleaning. My hands are a little cracked this morning from the scrubbing and the degreaser. That's okay. I was trying to set a good example. We did get a little rush later in the evening, which I was thankful for. At least I made a little money. But, crawling into bed last night at ten, I was thinking to myself how tired I was, and I still had trouble falling asleep. I actually ended up passing out while chanting the Charge of the Goddess over and over to myself.

This week was an esbat week for us. (A review, esbat is a holiday of either a full or new moon where you do special spellwork) This time we made holy water and did protection shield meditations. Thursday we did a coven bonding spell to help draw us closer, we also worked a spell for Bobcat, who started her chemotherapy this week. I am, and my coven is, wishing her a very speedy recovery. I know how exhausting getting cancer treatment can be. I remember how it was for my grandmother when she got hers. It does put things in perspective. I mean, I may be tired, but I know Bobcat is much more tired than me, and her body is working far harder than mine is, so I really shouldn't complain.

The weeks are coming up fast now for Litha, which is our midsummer holiday. We've got the ritual written, and the numerous run throughs we have done have helped us work out all of the kinks in the process. Its all down to memorization now. That's the tough part. I remember doing theater when I was younger, and I don't remember it being this difficult. I remember when I was in choir, and when I worked with our regional opera, that I had almost perfect recall- listen to a song and the words once and I was solid, I never had to look at the sheet music again. Where did those days go?

Instead, I found myself sitting in the back of my restaurant, ritual in hand, saying aloud over and over the things I need to memorize. I've still got a long way to go. I have the invocation done, but its short. I need to reread my quarter calls and my circle casting, because they are different from the last time. I learned from experience this week I shouldn't wing it. When we had esbat the other night, and I was calling the quarters, I think all of them got a different call. It was a little loose. I need to work on that. Anyway, I'm working right now on memorizing The Charge of the Goddess and the Charge of the Star Goddess. They're from a piece of work called "Aradia, the Gospel of the Witches" by Charles Leland, and are part of classical text for ritual. I need to do it. I've been needing to do it. You use the charge every ritual and you cant draw down the moon unless you have the thing memorized. So, you know, I'm working on it. I'm about halfway through. I think I can have it complete by this evening if I work really hard. Then all I'll have left is the spellwork, the spellwork incantations, the devocations and the blessings. Its only thirteen pages or so. Easy right?

On top of all the fun of ritual, we're moving into doing aura and chakra work this week, and probably will be for the next few weeks. (brief lesson- aura is the energy field that surrounds your body, chakras are the main energy centers inside your body, occurring at 7 major places down the center of the body mass) This is a lot of fun, but its also very challenging for me. I've never seen auras very clearly, and that keeps me frustrated. I sense them, I know where they are, I can feel them, I can even tell you what color they are...but I very rarely see them. That means I've got a lot of improvement coming for me, and I know this will be a series that challenges the rest of our coven as well. On top of that, the Chakra work is going to be hellacious. Part of it is that I have a hard time keeping mine clean anyway, and opening some of them requires quite a bit of work on my part. I know for a fact that most of the people in our group struggle with this sort of work (the notable exception being Sakura, who should probably be teaching this week rather than me) so I sense that there will be a lot of tension over the next few working nights.  Part of the exercises over the next couple of weeks will also include clearing up auras and healing damaged ones, and I can tell you beyond doubt that everyone in our group has some damage to the aura. So this may be an emotional time as well.

When I'm not wearing my brain down I'm busy trying to keep the rest of my life in order. Work keeps me busy. We need to finish the new fire pit before Litha in two weeks. I need to find homes for my kittens. There's the endless parade of bills to be paid and obligations to be met. I'm still dealing with my little emotional/interpersonal problem that I mentioned a few posts ago...and on top of that, I've noticed that my anger has been rearing its ugly head again lately. I felt it last night, and I had a difficult time not thinking and speaking discordant thoughts. I tried my best to neutralize them, but its easier said than done when its a habit of many years. I know all of this indicates I am less balanced than I should be, so I need to center myself and work harder towards being in balance with the things around me. Its easy to lose sight of your goals, and when you skip meditation for a couple of days, its even easier to lose your focus. Honestly, I'd gotten in the habit of doing no-space meditation, and I worry now that maybe I was zoning out a bit too much, and I should bring my goals and affirmations back into focus.

I know that I am letting myself be overwhelmed, and I think that even this gives me a chance to gain perspective. I need to share more what's on my mind, and let other people help me when they have the opportunity. I can do better than this, in fact, I was doing better than this. I think I am on the brink of a downturn of the wheel, so I am preparing myself for more personal stress, and trying to think of what I can do to neutralize the things I know can harm me. Kitten surprised me this morning by telling me she is worried about me. I honestly thought I had been doing really well. I suppose its nice that there's someone looking out for me. I need to give myself a break every now and again.

I almost had a freak out in the gas station this morning, almost lost my temper, because I was mentioning to Oscelot that we were having the dress rehearsal for ritual this week. Turns out she had made plans on that day and she was telling me how she had thought it was another day and how she and her friends had specifically rearranged their schedules to accommodate me, or so they thought. I was upset. Then I realized that I could tell Oscelot to go and have a good time and do my own thing. And honestly, as I explained to Oscelot, if someone is making plans with me, they need to look at my planner, because I have a lot going on, and the only way I can keep track of everything is by using one. Of course, when I did tell her this she was annoyed and said, no they only wanted to hang out if I was there. Somehow, I think she was being a little dramatic, as is her wont, but maybe not. I told her I would email her friends and explain the situation and arrange a time for all of us to get together as soon as we had a day that meshed up, although it would probably be post Litha. She told me not to bother. But I realized as Kitten told me she was worried for me, that I feel like I have to please everyone all of the time and a lot of the time that means I won't please myself. I forget that I get a say in everything too. I have the chance to put my life in the order I want. And maybe, just maybe, I should be a little spontaneous, because people like lawyers and doctors need planners for everyday life. Waitresses probably shouldn't. (Although I bet most preachers do...)

Things I need to remember:

I can't win all the time.
Hard work is okay, but wearing myself out is not.
I am not a miracle worker
I cannot and should not be responsible for the actions of other people, including (unfortunately) members of my coven.
It is okay to take a break.
There is nothing wrong with having an off day
My health should be inmportant to me
My first obligation is to myself and my family.
Taking time for little things- like walking through my garden or playing with my cats- is healthy.
I can read a book that has no value except for entertainment
I have to trust that things will be okay
I need to make decisions for my highest good- nothing else is good enough for me
Not being successful on the first try does not make me a failure
I am much smarter than I give myself credit for
I have people in my life who support me, I should use that support system
The only expectations I have to live up to are my own
If I do my best, that's all I can do- it has to be enough.
I may know psychics, but I do not know mind readers, I need to communicate with my family.

Its a long list, but probably shorter than it would have been a year ago, and that's progress. I will say this, I am rewarding myself this Wednesday- Sakura and I have a dress rehearsal for ritual. We're going to be working with our new fire pit. As such, I invited two non-wiccan non coven friends over. We are all of us going to toast marshmallows and make smores just for fun. I might even make cider. Whatever we do...I am taking time to remember that there is more to life than just my responsibilities.  

I'm off to take some time to myself doing nothing important at all.


Also, I should mention, whenever I'm referring to my family, I assume you know most of the time I am referring to Kitten, Oscelot and Sakura. If I mean my blood relations, I'll clarify that.

Friday, June 1, 2012

It Feels Like Home

The last few days have been really good to me. I've had a really productive week and I feel like things are really lining up for me. I've been making a lot of personal progress, and things have been going well with the more nuts and bolts part of my life too. Its really nice.

This week we had a meeting at Casa Bueno. That may not sound very interesting, but in the five years I have worked there, I have never once seen a staff meeting. Not once, until now. This week our regional manager from corporate called a meeting and we got together to talk about changes the company is making. I'm pretty excited about it. The meeting itself wasn't full of too much news, not anything we hadn't heard already anyway. It was more of a chance for our RM to talk to us about company philosophy and the new direction we're moving. The interesting stuff is the actual changes that are going to be made.

Our stores are all going to be remodeled, over a period of time of course. The big note there is that we'll have to earn one, and frankly, I think we can do it. If the talk we had was any indicator, we're on track already. My staff know how to relate to guests. They know how to act like professionals. They are full of enthusiasm and energy when they work. I like that about our team. You only had to look at them at the meeting to see it. Outside of the people who had just finished a shift and were in uniform, everyone took the time to clean up and look nice, even though no one was going to see us. We care about what we do. Everyone sat close to each other, and though there is a little grouping off, the groups still talked to each other. Everyone had a good time together before we got to the brass tax part of the meeting. We're getting new uniforms, which I can't wait for. They'll look a lot more professional, much cleaner and much more in line with what we want for our company. We're designing new lines of food and new plating for old favorites. We're updating our style, and I think we're all excited about it.

I spoke to Mr. Boss yesterday about whether or not he would let me do some off the clock liquor classes. Its one of the few things I think we really need to work on. When you work in a Mexican restaurant, its pretty important to have a working knowledge of both tequila and import beers- if you want to sell them. I want us to, and an increase in liquor sales won't hurt anyone. My idea was I would come in and offer once a week to take volunteers to study tequila that we carry and learn how to sell it. The overagers would have a tasting class so they would be familiar with the flavors of the alcohol. I think it would work to all of our advantage. If I picked up a pizza and we relaxed, I think it would go over well. Almost every Italian restaurant I know of has something like this and I think we would benefit from advanced knowledge. If you, as a guest, don't know that an Anejo is better than a Reposado, and I don't tell you then I don't get that upsell and you don't get as nice a drink. We'll see. If he agrees and it works, I think some of our other trainers could offer classes on hospitality and menu knowledge, and we could really improve our personal product. That's where we can get better. Because really, our food is excellent, and having eaten there for five years (15000 meals, I've done the math) I would know.

In other non-work but still work related news, Sakura and I are making huge progress on our Litha ritual, which is the next holiday we have coming. We're already blocking it out, and its nice to see how things are shaping up. Usually I do ritual alone, and I won't have time to practice and this makes things much simpler. He and I (to the amusement of my neighbors, no doubt) have spent enough time wandering around in my back yard to start tanning. More important than our crispy skin, though, we've found where the kinks are in the ritual, and we're ironing them out. Spell supplies are almost completely purchased, and we've moved on to writing a detailed outline that rather looks like a play. It tells us exactly where to step, where to move and when to do it. I like it, because reading through it as we write it out helps me learn all the words. Because the memorization part is coming, and that's going to be the hardest part.

Most rituals run between and hour and an hour and a half. That is a lot of prose to keep in your head, even if you did write most of it. It is nice to have Sakura on board because that means I have half the memorizing to do, and I like that. My memory isn't what it used to be. On top of that, having him there means if I hit a wall, he can have my back because he knows exactly where we are headed. There are other challenges of course. We bought a fire pit this week. Prior to this we just used one that was dug out in the back yard. Unfortunately, or blessedly depending on how you look at it, Hydra -the giant five trunked walnut in our backyard, has gown so that she hangs over the fire pit. Good for her, until we light a fire. So, the fire pit must be moved. We've relocated farther back into the yard, but digging out another spot seemed like a pain in the butt. So when Kitten and I were last at Local Home Improvement Center, we looked at the fire pits. We found one that looks like a gigantic cauldron and fell in love. As soon as it stops raining (no, I am not complaining, we needed it badly) we're going to head out to the back and make a beautiful place for our new fire pit to rest.

Of course, the fire pit itself is only one of the challenges. We've got to figure out how to build a flammable figure that looks like a person (its not what you think, I promise) so we can chuck it in the fire. This little effigy also has to have a stomach that opens so we can put things in it. I'm thinking on it, and I haven't come up with a good solution yet. Given time, though, I'm sure we will. I just need to have it figured out by June 13, which is when we are doing our full practice run. (We are using a lot of fire, practice prevents accidents)

With all the work on Litha we have of course been thinking about personal transformation. This leads us to thoughts of our goals and what we want for the future. I think things are shaping up nicely. Sakura has decided (well, decided a while ago) that he wants to move up to Portland with us when we go. We've got another two or three years depending on how things shape out. We had discussed with him that of course if he came at the same time we did, which we expected, that he could stay in our home with us until he found a place of his own. Then the thought struck us all, why not get a house big enough for all four of us, and just do what we pretty well do now- spend every day together?

We liked it. Everyone agreed. Which meant a few days of sitting and planning out what sort of house we would like, how much space we would need, and how much money we would want when we finally took off for the rose city. The decision we reached was we wanted one with two master suites or with an in-laws quarters. We appreciate Sakura's need to have his own space and be able to be away from the ladies every now and again. We agreed a family room or a great room would be necessary, because he has a ton of books too, and a library is a must for all of us, and we'd like it not to be in our dining room area this time. We all agree we want a separate space set aside from the rest of the house to practice our Craft in, somewhere sacred and used only for that purpose. We want a big kitchen, a place to entertain guests. We also want a guest room, so our families and friends can come to visit us. For Sakura and I, there was also the yard. We need one. We need a big back yard, with a privacy fence and plenty of green. I want a deck or a covered porch to fill with ivy and climbing roses and put a hot tub on. The hot tub, for me, is not negotiable. I want one. It will be good for everyone's health. Plus its great after a long day at work.

It seems like a lot to want, but believe it or not, we found plenty of houses in Portland proper, not the suburbs, that fit this description, and most of them fell in the $170,000 to $250,000 range. That sounds like a lot of money, but we've all taken the time to do a budget as a family, and in three years we'll have approximately $100,000 to pay as a down payment on a house. Even at a 6% interest rate, lord save us, that would put us at a mortgage of about $400 a month, if we did a 20-30 year mortgage. That's less than what we pay now. Its completely feasible.

As if the Spirit has been hinting this at us all along, Sakura's lease on his apartment is up this month. Last week, the renters that we didn't care for in the house next to us moved out. The house will be for rent in a few day's time, and its well within Sakura's price range, especially now that he has a new job. There is no such thing as a coincidence. Ever. For us, this was a signal that we've got the right idea, and next door is the next best thing to in our house, which we would happily welcome him into now, were it not so effing small. 900 square feet is barely enough for three plus the cats. There's no way any of us would be happy if we added more.

Either way, we spent most of last night looking at homes. We took time to break, study the lesson for this week, and do our meditations. But, for the most part, we talked about our new home. We talked about budgeting, about what kinds of jobs we wanted and expected. We talked about school and financial investments. We talked about living in a child free household. We also daydreamed about box seats at the opera, symphony and ballet. (Yeah, we're snobs) It was a great evening for us, as a family. I feel more at home, happier and more on track. Kitten and I were talking about it Wednesday, that its nice to have people who help keep you on track, who give you perspective, and who push you towards your goals- not roughly, but with gentle love and encouragement. Sometimes its easy to lose sight of the big picture. But life is always a matter of how you frame it.

I've got a really beautiful life. I've got a lot of loving people who make life good for me. I'm lucky because when I do move, one of the best women I've ever met and her delightful husband are already waiting for us. The people I love will be coming with me. There's a few I'll be reluctant to leave behind, but that's not saying that over the next three years I can't talk them into coming with us too. As for my future home, I hope that I'll be able to fill it with as much love and laughter as the one I live in now. Those thing have a tendency to multiply, I know, so I don't think it will be too much a challenge.

Lucky, Lucky me. I'll leave the light on and the key out when I get there. You know you're welcome.