Monthly Archives: August 2015

Business

seagulls and masts. Is this image serene or is it "so much to do, so little time"?

seagulls and masts. Is this image serene or is it “so much to do, so little time”?

Last week I made appointments and this week I followed through.

On Wednesday I gave a talk at Gilda’s Club.  They’re starting a series called “Members Speak”, and the series is front loaded with members who have public speaking experience.   My talk was the second in the once a month series.  Timing at the end of August is tricky.  Things are generally slow in the clubhouse as everyone is either taking their last vacation or getting the kids back to school.  Even so, I had more than double the attendance from the July talk!

My speech was titled: “Ooops I Did It Again!”.  I spoke about the differences both medically and personally that I’ve seen with two cancer diagnoses 24 years apart.  I talked about the niggly voice in your head, and anyone who has had cancer knows it, that wonders what will happen if you have to face cancer again. I talked about how important reading Gilda Radner’s book was to me 24 years ago, and how disappointed I was that a clubhouse like that didn’t exist.  I talked about how valuable my experience with Gilda’s Club has been this past year, as a member and a volunteer.  I got good feedback.  When I was done and we chatted after everyone stayed and was engaged in the conversation.

The Riverboat cruises all the way down the Mississippi. Sounds like a fun escape!

The Riverboat cruises all the way down the Mississippi. Sounds like a fun escape!

I met with a professional seamstress/tailor about what to do with my wardrobe.  She’s a friend I haven’t seen in some time so it was nice to catch up.  I got a tour of her gardens along with a lovely cup of tea.   What was fun was going through my basket of fabrics I’ve collected over the years.  We have similar tastes in fabric and styles.   I’m excited to be turning clutter into function.  This week we’ll go shopping for patterns and notions.

Having a meeting in the sunshine on a sailboat. YES!

Having a meeting in the sunshine on a sailboat. YES!

The photo gallery is from this weekend and my meeting with a web designer.  This is definitely the way to do a meeting.  We had perfect weather and wind for a sail, a lovely conversation, and we also determined that we are a good “fit” in terms of taste and style.  She will be sending me a “to-do” list, essentially holding my hand through the process of producing an up to date website that actually serves as a promotion tool.

School starts, and I maintain that I am enculturated to also start new things in the fall.   It’s when my energy is geared up and willing to take on new tasks.  Some of that is the drop in average daily temperature.   It’s easier to be active when it’s just a little cooler and the air isn’t as thick.

What are you starting this fall?

Baby Steps

Fear of success is very common, and I’m no exception.   I’m one of those people who does well out of the gate, and then fades back into the pack.   I get distracted, or bored, or overwhelmed.   Sometimes it takes a bit, but if I care enough I’ll usually put on my “big girl panties” and buck up.

This is the time of year when that often happens.  In the U.S. we are enculturated to start things in the fall, with the start of the school year.  This also means temperatures are a little cooler, which I prefer.  There is less humidity (and pollen) so breathing is easier.  I also know in 8-10 weeks I’ll be running into the holidays and I’d like a head start!

Last week was a week of “getting ready”.  I don’t feel as though I actually accomplished much, but I did set up some important appointments.  I had some networking opportunities and I’m preparing a presentation for later this week.  I started sending off my dry-cleaning (I have a lot as I’m still cleaning out closets  of oversized clothing).  I even took a gander at flylady.net!

I made an appointment with a tailor to talk about wardrobe and alterations.  I made an appointment with a professional web developer. (Getting free help from friends hasn’t been a rousing success so it’s time to bite the bullet!) I signed a contract to have a piece included in a new anthology (Burying the lead? More on this when there’s a publishing date.)

Rather than being grumpy, I’m looking forward to this week filled with possibilities.  I still will be “getting ready”, but I seem to have energy for moving forward again.  It’s a good change in the weather.

Critical Grumpy-pants

It’s Monday.  I wrote a blog.  I don’t like it. (Critical grumpy-pants!)  It’s not like I didn’t have a good week!  We volunteered at Gilda’s Golf benefit.  We went to my friend Karen Lund’s book launch party at the Como Park Conservatory and Japanese Gardens.  We saw Inside Out at the Cinema Grill.  I performed 3 rituals.   Maybe I’m just tired.  Here are some photos.

 

I helped make the prize board

I helped make the prize board

Great venue

Great venue

We greeted folks as they came in for the banquet

We greeted folks as they came in for the banquet

I've always loved this beautiful old building

I’ve always loved this beautiful old building

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The Japanese Gardens are delightful

The Japanese Gardens are delightful

You have to have a reservation for the teahouse, but Orion and I did a selfie at the gate

You have to have a reservation for the teahouse, but Orion and I did a selfie at the gate

The lilies were blooming

The lilies were blooming

Orion couldn't go on ALL of the path, but he could get to all the good spots

Orion couldn’t go on ALL of the path, but he could get to all the good spots

 

Comedy/Tragedy

It’s been a challenging week.  I took on the role of being a supportive friend.  This week my community lost an old friend of mine to metastatic pancreatic cancer.  He went quickly, having just announced his diagnosis a month ago.

Safe journey Keith

Safe journey Keith

Many people in my circles were still coming to terms with his diagnosis when he passed away.  There is a lot of shock, and grief.  There is also a coming together of kindness and support as stories, memories, are shared.

This community pulled together to support my friend in his passing and to provide him with the send off he desired.  There is documentation and journaling and a promise of a resource guide.  Those who participated in that process are all posting “I want to go like this” on their Facebook pages.

I have stayed in the background, offering quiet support to those I am closer to.  I have mostly listened and acknowledged that this man’s passing is a great loss to the community at large.  I have encouraged people to check in on each other.  I have passed on the news to folks who knew this man, but are outside of our community.

I have another friend who is building a career as an entertainer.  She had a set at a comedy club as part of a contest.  So I went to the club to be supportive.  She didn’t move ahead in the contest, but I had a great time.  PART_1439219447889_20150806_221928

Laughter is often the best medicine when dealing with stress, grief, anger and other difficult emotions.  Our bodies need the release, and so do our souls.  It seemed odd being at a comedy club when so many of my friends were looking to join in toasting the life of this man.  Still, for me, it was the better choice.

I got to support another friend.  I got a night out (which my regular readers know is a big treat).  I got to laugh, which was good for me.

Bad Example

My Dad has been home from the hospital for over a week now and they are starting to find their routine.  I on the other hand am struggling to get back to my regularly scheduled life.

Anyone who’s ever been through a trauma knows some surprise at finding that, although for you time seemed to stop, the rest of the world didn’t.   It’s not that I’ve had my head in the sand.  I’ve done some grocery shopping, some reading, some cleaning, some laundry.  Orion is going to his day program bathed, dressed for the weather, and with a packed lunch.

I’ve kept up with my blog.  I’ve officiated at the coven’s Lammas circle.  I baked a pie.  What I haven’t done is pay the bills, return library books before they’ve become overdue, and turn in the end of the month time cards.  The lawn really needs mowing.  Weeding is not even on the list!

Daily practice for me is often my cue to pay attention to my choices.  It’s an opportunity for me to accept the responsibilities I’d rather avoid and reframe them as part of my spiritual practice.

Paying the bills may not seem like a particularly spiritual pursuit.  However, “a witch’s power is her word” so if I’ve incurred a debt that obligation is tied to my personal power.  I also recognize money as a form of energy, it ebbs and flows.  As I send it out I hope it will return three-fold (in value anyway).

Maintaining good financial practices does pay back.  I got a call from one of my creditors.  I’ve had a long-term relationship and always paid my bills on time.  They didn’t get a payment and wondered what happened.  I’m pretty sure I sent it, but maybe not.  In any case it’s taken care of now, and because of the history I wasn’t charged extra.

So I’d best get on my ritual gear.  I should pull out my magic wand (pen) and get writing.  Visa isn’t going to wait!

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