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Posts Tagged ‘life journey’

dresserI have learned a lot about Attachment. According to the dictionary, it is a feeling that binds one to a person, thing, cause, ideal, or the like; devotion; regard. In my case it was a fond attachment to furniture and clothing.

Blame it on my new dresser but I had to purge which sent me into a nesting mood. Seven new stately and majestic dovetail drawers stood in front of me. Once put into the place in my bedroom, this dresser or bureau was calling my name. First it was the begging for nurturing which came very quickly with a soft cloth and Murphy’s oil soap. And as if it was thankful for the care and concern, it suddenly took on a new life. As quick as the sparkle and shine came back to the weathered wood, it started begging me for attention. I heard the call loud and clear and wanted to answer that call. I wanted to offer my new family member the best I could give whether it be the tattered and torn or the new and stylish clothing stuffed in the back of shelves. Funny how a piece of furniture could be a call to action and in the process teach me a lesson in attachment.

As I have frequently mentioned in posts on face book, I have no closets and not a lot of space so this was a much needed addition. But with every addition there comes a change and learning curve. Could this fit into my life and be functional and not replace other furniture which has always been tried and true? I have always had a major attachment to my armoire which was unfinished furniture from Bradlees which I stained and put it all together by myself in my early twenties, saving my paychecks from Friendly’s in the Post Mall.

The minute I moved my armoire to the other room, I felt a strange sadness come over me. I opened the drawers and removed the clothing. I held up each item, piece by piece, examining and frequently reminiscing about when, where and if it was by my own purchase or a gift from others. Shirts from my college days (Up the Hill and Off the Wall Gallaudet Hall 6); Subway country shirts (employees got a t-shirt each time we opened a store in a new country); Myrtle Beach vacations while visiting my mom and dad, vacations taken with friends, partners and others. I never really understood the word attachment until I was saying goodbye to a vital and important part of my past and the times in my life which shaped and defined who I am today. As the trash bags got filled, I took each one to my car with a bit of melancholy. I felt that a piece of my past was leaving and it was a choice that was made without their knowledge or opinion. Not that clothes or material things have opinions but I believe they do hold the spirit of those who they belonged to in a sense.

I never considered that I had an attachment to clothes that were sizes too small or big; an attachment to things I have not worn in many years or an attachment to a color, style or brand. But I learned that it is better to face up to something as simple as going through old clothing and possibly giving it a new life in someone else’s closet and home.

I have to admit that some clothing did not make it out of my house. Years ago, I printed instructions on how to make a quilt out of meaningful t-shirts. I now have a full bag of the fronts of at least 30 t-shirts. This will be one of my next projects.

Just like the stately and majestic aura and history of my new dresser/bureau, each piece of clothing had its own majestic story. In no sense am leaving their stories behind or forgotten. As many will tell you I have a memory that is golden. But I am releasing their “material” physical form to hopefully find their afterlife in a Salvation Army or Goodwill store or a third world country – a small blessing to those who have less and may strengthen their being and soul.

As for my Bradlees furniture, it will someday be passed on to a second hand store or friend and I sincerely hope it will carry the spirit and aura of a twenty something girl, trying to grow up and find her individuality by replacing her white childhood furniture (which she thought burned when Furniture Transport caught fire in Milford). A young girl who felt that by buying several unfinished bedroom furniture pieces it would define her new grown up identity. I can only hope that someday, someone will feel that free spirit who not only stained each and every piece but had the perseverance of following instructions that made no sense but still tried and put pieces together, A, by B, and C, with a D thrown in to confuse things – and who felt proud and accomplished – even though she had screws and nails left over and the main doors were never really level.

With many drawers now set and organized and the spare room taking shape (but still in shambles), I glance over at my new bureau and adopted family member. It fits in perfect and doesn’t replace the tried and true but is an addition and enhancement. It has a long, rooted history in this area and an admirable one at that. It belonged to a gentleman in every sense of the word. – One that often gave to others without asking for anything in return. I just know him by the name Buddy, but I feel his name is so fitting. As Buddy’s furniture taught me so many things about happiness and paying it forward, as only ones “Buddy” and friend should do. The bins at Salvation Army are happy – the clothing is happy to be given a second chance – I am happy with my new adopted furniture – and my spare room is happy to finally be given a thorough cleaning and makeover (still in progress).

I can only hope that I can live up to the history, the caring, and the presence this gentleman projected and continue on my own mission and make him proud of where his furniture was adopted and taken in. I also hope that he is looking down and smiling … knowing that his bureau has found a new place to call home and that it helped a person he has never met have a realization that brought on action in so many senses of the word. My action plan is also still in progress as it takes patience in knowing in which drawer I placed things (especially when I am half-awake in the morning). But my action plan also includes finding those instructions on making a t-shirt quilt before the colder weather settles in, and continuing to organize and maybe finally get the spare room in shape. Many thanks to Buddy, and my new adopted bureau (which will always be in my heart and mind…my new “Buddy”).

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Are we not forever “searching?” 

Searching for something or searching for answers? 

Today when I went to leave for work, I found myself forever “searching”…Searching for my keys, then once I got in the car…searching for my phone charger (even though it is not a car charger).  St. Anthony didn’t help at that point…either he was sleeping or tending to someone else’s search for something missing.  Then searching for change when I bought the newspaper.  Once I got to work, it was another story in a sense but still searching.  Searching for an answer as to why someone’s email did not work, what was wrong with the printer in the other office down the hall, why someone couldn’t download something, searching for an answer to why when no matter what I had planned for during the morning or afternoon, that it did not ultimately work out (forgot to write a meeting in my day timer, didn’t pack/eat lunch as I thought I was going out to lunch but couldn’t because I forgot about the meeting I never wrote down)…something always came up…Then I realized that “life happens.”  We or I cannot stop it…other things got in the way.  Phone calls, emails, voice mails, last minute …”can you do me a favor requests.” 

I came home totally spent from a day of searching only to find out once again, in the comfort of my own home, I am once again searching for answers, some serious and some very trivial.

“Why are several people I care about ill or hurting and why do I feel I am powerless to help?”

“What can I make to eat for dinner as I am hungry and have nothing defrosted?”

“Where can I find that one document I know I wrote on this computer and can’t find no matter how many searches I do and under what file name?”

“How can I make my cat stop crying all night for no apparent reason?”

 Then came the realization…I cannot be the only one forever searching.  How many times have you said to yourself?

“why did this happen to me, a family member a friend?”

“how can I make ends meet and make a little bit more money?”

“why was I not promoted?”

“why can’t I lose weight, stop smoking, drink a little less, go to the gym more regularly or eat better?”

“why can’t I stand up for myself and say what I feel, mean or deserve?”

“How can I find the time to catch up, make those doctor appointments, call or visit a family member or friend?”

“why can’t I find the perfect job?”

“why did he/she cheat – what did I do wrong – is there something wrong with me?”

“will I ever be happy and content?”

“what is my purpose in life?”

I believe we are all searching for answers, time, solutions, reasons and peace of mind – no matter how trivial the internal search might be.  Unfortunately, our personal searches are not the easy searches and fixes we look for on Google or Ask.com.  They are not like an ebay or amazon.com search that brings up thousands of options.  They do not come with a nice listing of all our choices, alternatives or solutions lined up in a row where we can pick and choose.  Personal searches are a lot more difficult, time consuming and sometimes require a bit of solitude and looking deep inside ourselves, our very beings.    

During the past two months my agency has taken on the strategic planning process.  It started with the SWOT tool which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  We asked all staff members, board members, past presidents and stakeholders to look at our agency and let us know what our Internal Strengths and Weaknesses were and what our External Opportunities and Threats were.  After tabulating the results, we saw patterns in many areas.  Our goal now is to take the answers and thoughts and come up with a short term and long term plan, immediate goals and goals set with timelines.  It is a way of taking a deep look inside our agency, and realizing the problems, issues and concerns that exist today, searching for answers to these things and figuring out a game plan and assigning goals and planning for the future. Whether it be immediate, a one, two, three, five or 10 year plan….Just getting it down on record and hoping for the best…

I believe that this same process can be used in our personal searches in a sense.  Where am I/you now, where do I/you want to be, what are the obstacles, threats and opportunities – both internally and externally?  Are there ways we can make things better, are some things better left for another day, year or lifetime and can we find a way to find the ultimate things we are all searching for? 

 Acronyms….Always loved them….LOL

Seriously, think about the SWOT tool and what the real Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats are in your life.  Now, think of all the possibilities keeping in mind the original initials SWOT.…

Somebody Will Overlook This (she doesn’t know what she’s talking about)

Several Will Obsessively Think (what are my strengths and weaknesses)

Some Will Obviously Talk  (what can I/we do to improve things in my/our life)

Some Willingly Overlook Truths (am I lying to myself and others)

And lastly….

Sandy Wants Our Thoughts…

Good luck in your personal SWOT Tool and searching for the answers to the burning questions in your mind and life.

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