Thursday, October 1, 2009


I talked to my cousin, Lori, today.  She lives in Flagstaff.  She's a great person to talk to when I'm feeling mired, because (apparently), she doesn't get mired.  She must get discouraged, tired, etc., but not stuck.  She reminds me not to plan so much.

Joan told me a story of loading the last of her stuff into a car headed west, while the painters went into her house which was still on the market.  She didn't wait around.  The realtor took care of everything, even when the appliances all took themselves out of their own miseries.  The realtor suggested raising the price of the house so the prospective buyer could finance the appliances of her choice, and that sealed the deal.

Linda told me a story about a friend who put her house on the market, then traveled through France.

I would like to rid myself of the illusion that I control the world around me.  Have you succeeded?  Tell me your story.

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Maria B said...

Uh, no, I have not succeeded in ridding myself of that illusion. I have moments where I can see beyond it, though, and that helps. There serenity prayer is good for this. You can say anything in place of "God" is the god thing is a problem. Just acknowledging that there are things you cannot change and things that you can, and that you need to figure out which is which.

I have this great book by a buddhist monk, or is is a monkette if it's a woman? it's called "When Things Fall Apart". I got it during my first breast cancer. She writes about this illusion of control and the opportunity for enlightenment if you embrace the absence of that illusion. I think about that to deal with my health issues, my parents' decline, and other stuff that I would define as a crisis of control. But I think you can use it proactively, too, by deciding to let go of control instead of just reacting to the realization that you don't have it. Meditation helps with that, so she says.

I think also that it might be helpful to break things down into little parts. We cannot control outcomes, but we can do what AA calls the "footwork" of pursuing our goals. So, for me, this means that today I work on this one post-doc application and maybe add a little extra bit or two to my dissertation. That's about as big as it can get before I freak out today. Other days, I can think bigger, and others, I just have to rest my body because I'm still in recovery.

I hope some of that helped. We miss you guys. Maybe we can get together soon?

¡Vizcacha! said...

Oh, I know the book you mean, although her name escapes me, too. I read a lot of it a few months back, while I was approaching lay-off and thinking about Glen's death and Caroline's murder, etc.

I like that mindset, though, of taking steps. Even tiny steps. Keeps us moving ahead, but stops us from overwhelming ourselves. Some days I overwhelm myself thinking about my own inertia, so a step forward would be good on those days.

Yeah, let's get together soon!