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Know What You’re Asking For

image of sun rising

Dark Valley
Sunset over the Diablo Mountains in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, San Luis Obispo County, California Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

This blog post was going to be about a very different topic. While my journey from one topic to another is kind of embarrassing, I’m glad to not be writing the whine-one-one post I’d originally planned. I’m weary of dwelling in that not-happy place. Besides, you can catch the highlights on Facebook as it unfolded. Or perhaps I should call them the lowlights.

So, instead of whining, I’m going to catalog my journey from whining to d’oh, or at least try to.

So, the beginning. It all began one hot, summer day—oh wait, that’s a little TOO far back. lol

Okay, it’s a little hard to pinpoint exactly, but I gradually realized I was having some issues with, well, uncertainty. I think I forgot that life isn’t certain and never has been. It happens. It’s the name of this blog, for Pete’s sake. And we mostly don’t see Life coming. Or when it arrives, it looks different from what we expected.

I told you it was embarrassing.

But the level of uncertainty has increased a lot. The hubs and I used to be able to see further down the road. But right now, we’re kind if a spot without much view and a lot of fog rolling in. It’s not a bad spot. I just like seeing a little further ahead. Okay, I like my comfort zone.

I became aware of my, um, disquiet when my left leg started going numb while I was sitting at my desk. I struggle with TMS (I wrote about this last December), and unexplained and random weirdness is the first sign that my stress is getting out of hand. For once I stopped, looked, listened, and realized what my problem actually was: uncertainty.

That was promising. Too bad I muffed the next part.

My, um, next—I hate calling it a mistake—because the desire to do better is not a mistake—but one should be careful what one asks for.

When we want to learn something new, whether it is a skill or a character trait, it isn’t simply a matter of reading a book or, even saying, “I want this.” You don’t think, “Okay, read it, now I’ve got this.” That’s not how—I’ll call it deep learning—works. Knowing isn’t knowing until you can make it work in your real life.

You’d think I’d know this. I raised some kids, a husband, and finished raising myself after I got married (okay, I had some help from the hubs, the kids, friends, etc and maybe I’m not actually ‘raised’ yet.).

So I wanted to deal better with uncertainty, to feel at peace in the face of change, to be calm about not knowing. To not have my leg go numb because I wasn’t sure where we’ll be living in six or twelve months. And, looking back, I wanted actual calm to happen while I “learned” calm. lol

So I resolved to do better. To not react. To accept that Stuff Happens, but I don’t have to go bat crap crazy in it. Have you ever noticed the resolutions always seem to result in some push back? I have. I know this and yet, I don’t know, I still wasn’t watching for it.

And I may have gone a little bat crap crazy when this little storm hit to help me learn inner peace better.

I’m not giving up on calm, or myself. I still want this, I actually need this, and I believe I can still change. But I’ve also learned a few things about, well, learning in this little storm. Or perhaps it’s that I’ve remembered that all the important things I’ve learned while navigating this thing called Life, the stuff that really mattered, and the things have helped me the most, I’ve learned while being in the crucible, either for myself, or with those I care about.

So memo to myself: you’re not gonna learn about uncertainty from a place of certainty, or calm from a place of calm. I can try to better prepare ahead, but the learning happens IN the storms.

So what about you? Have you thought you were asking for one thing, or trying to change something and been surprised by an “opportunity to excel” that you didn’t see coming?

You know I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value).  Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.

Perilously yours,

Pauline

P.S. Since none of my books are what you’d call “calm,” I had a hard time linking one, even loosely to this post. LOL It’s even hard to pick which character gets hosed the most, though I think Vi would insist that going through a category 5 hurricane ought to win her that honor. And this week, Sucker Punch is releasing (will be writing about it on Wednesday), so let’s go with Core Punch for book with Worst Hosing of Characters Ever in One of my Novels.

cover for Core Punch

“The evil he’s hunting is hunting them…”