Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vector splatter v. my elusive one thing

I've always been a generalist, often adventurous, especially in my younger days.  I have tried many things over the course of my first 60 years on planet Earth - various kinds of educational programs, work and alternative lifestyles.   Since computers and technology have taken over our lives (what, 15 years maybe?) my multitasked attention deficit personality has been kicked into high gear.  Lately, I feel as if I am multitasking to the point of not getting anything done.  I guess the reality is that I get things done in such small fragments on various projects, it takes forever to have any sense of accomplishment on anything.  I've never been very patient with projects that are pending for many months or even years, although I admit I have several of those on my own list right now.

I guess age is a factor, as a friend said, "As we age, we get more busy, but with less interesting activities".  I agree - just errands, chores and life maintenance seem to take up way more of my time than they used to.  Or as another friend put it, "I don't get as much done in a day".  

I'm also conflicted on my life purpose - my dharma, my "kuleana" (Hawaiian term) - I've thought for many years that mine was to live a life of service.  As I look back, if I had to put the things I've done in a broad category, service to others would be it.  As I look ahead, and try to find a common thread among all my interests and talents, service of some sort also comes to mind.

While this is not a bad thing by any means, my personal bottom line tells me that I am not exactly prospering from this philosophy lately.  Surely this feeling is shared by many many souls in this lingering economic recession.  Since I have little discretionary income for a "real life" I spend probably too much time online.  I have been making a little study lately on some friends - virtual or IRL - and how *they* spend their time, how they dedicate their lives to a purpose.

I've concluded that people who are self centered do better, and that they concentrate on one thing basically.  Not that they can't walk across the room and chew gum, but they aren't generalists.  They are specialists.  And they concentrate on what *they* are doing, first and foremost, not what others' needs are.  They charge high rates for their services because they feel they are worth it.  (I've been discounting mine, due to temporary insanity I guess.)   It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm a cat person.  I need to get over whatever erroneous messages about money and work that still float around in my value system and refocus my professional efforts to my one -- profitable -- thing.  And that would be asap, before I get even less done in a day.

I saw a $4 refrigerator magnet that I didn't buy, but it magnetically stuck in my mind for free - "If you settle for less than you're worth -- you'll get even less than you settle for."  Hmmm.  I can sure buy into this intellectually and see the dynamic in my own life.

So how to push past this latest identity crisis and rebrand myself as a power player in this complicated Universe, not an underemployed part timer and freelancer helping everybody out with life's dreary responsibilities while they go out and live a life I can't afford.  Wearing too many hats lately, need to let the wind blow through my hair and clear my brain on this subject.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

What a revolting development...

I've always tried to have nice feet...probably this little vanity comes from living for 10 years in Hawaii and 27 in San Diego.  I've always done my own nails, manicures and pedicures.  Back in the nail polish days, I was pretty good at it, and always took pride in my nails.  This past week, I dealt with a painful ingrown toenail.  It had bothered me for about a week, just slightly.  So I tried to "fix it" with my nailfile which really screwed it up.  I couldn't put my weight on my foot for several days.  Or even wear slippers, anything with a closed toe was painful.  Argh!  What about all my chores and errands?  All require shoes and bearing weight on the afflicted paw! 

So I did a quick Google search on treating this little self inflicted wound, and launched into my first aid program.  Saw some shocking pictures of toenails I did not want to have, and got the main message - don't fool with it, just clear up the little skin infection.  I soaked my feet in a little dishpan of boric acid, I used peroxide, bacitracin and a bandaid.  I put the dishpan under my computer keyboard, to the endless fascination of my three cats!  I wore slipper sox with treads which I had from yoga classes in the winter.  And I stayed off my feet as much as possible.  THIS was the hardest part!  Mobility we take for granted - being unable to race around multitasking doing chores, etc. was sobering.  I of course had desk work to do, so I caught up a bit on things like bookkeeping and indulged in more Web surfing than usual.

After a couple days of sort of dragging my right foot around, I had a pretty big muscle pain in the right calf, from altering my gait.   This totally minor thing is having a noticable impact on my life.  Not to mention my to-do list.

Being a caregiver for elders, I am always cautioning my clients to be careful of falls, etc.  This week I reflected in a very personal way on how important mobility is in a person's life.  We never consider that accidents and setbacks can happen to US.  That person limping or using a cane, walker or wheelchair, is always someone else, not US!

I'm glad to report that by today, while not 100% perfect, my toe is feeling much better.  I'm still wearing sandals and pacing (instead of my normal racing) myself, but I was able to catch up on some errands and a couple of chores.  Today is a work day, and I'm not full speed, but I am grateful to be recovering from this minor mishap.

I'm also grateful for the reminder that good health is number one.   And grateful for mobility.  And cognizant of the reminder that things CAN happen to me.