measuring my einfuglungsvermogen

recently I took some large steps in helping myself.

it sounds stupid, really. but, I do not do that often. apparently, I beat myself up for things I have no control over. like, if you show up late to my party? I am sorry - I should have scheduled it at a convenient time. get in a fender bender leaving my apartment? my fault - I should have gone to your place instead. got lost driving to meet me somewhere? this was a terrible meeting place suggestion from me.
I cannot help it.

so what have I done to help ME?

I planned a dinner recently for some close friends who have spent the last 6 months helping me get through my divorce. they showed up at the restaurant on a week-night after a full day of work... some drove for 40 minutes + to get there, left their kids at home, and I felt terrible. but it meant a lot, and I can only hope it was worth it for them.

I bought a book, When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron which I willingly reread chapters of. it has taught me to sit in my loneliness; let myself be scared; do not scramble out of discomfort. Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look.
yes, a Buddhist said 'shit'.

I purchased pepper spray because I now value my well-being and I want to be okay. so if you are the jerk in my neighborhood that makes a move on me in the dark while I walk my dog, you better hope you have tiny eyeballs.

I completed a race - alone. with no one to pace and no one at the finish, I did it. I missed people, and held back tears when seeing hugs and hearing yells for others but I did it. and I did well.

I met someone that I enjoy spending time with... despite how many farts I have had to withhold - it is well-worth the discomfort.

I went on vacation - one that showed me mountains and air and rain & thunder and water and trees and rivers. one that included a buck, a sleeping owl, turkeys that run like velociraptors, fat squirrels, friendly chipmunks, deer that look like large bunnies, skinny lizards, and a tarantula (A tarantula, just one).

you out there who helped me, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

in other news...
...Dear Narrows, you scare me. which is why I will be back to face you again!
...for the first time ever, after laying Romeo in bed with me, he got up, jumped down, and curled up in to his own dog bed. GOOD BOY! (slightly sad)
...watching Romeo shop for bones is one of my favorite things.

*most photos courtesy of Mr. Johnson.