Friday, August 15, 2008

every tiny smidgen of transformation is welcome

i drive with the headlights on all the time. i heard years ago that it is a safety feature, that it makes your car more visible and therefore less likely to be hit by an inattentive driver. that may all be wrong. but i've been in the habit for a long time. get in. turn car on. buckle seat belt. check mirrors. turn on radio. turn on headlights. go.
when i stop and turn the car off, i have to remember to turn off the headlights - or else a ding ding ding ding ding goes off, reminding me that if i don't turn off the lights, the battery will go dead. that reminder is a good thing.
however, it is also extremely frustrating - because, though i seem casual, i'm kind of o.c.d. in some ways. i like to do things in order. i like my plate turned a certain way. i don't like stacks of paper and projects in my office unless they're urgent. i don't like stepping on cracks.
if i'm running errands or trying to get somewhere not to hang out but to have a meeting or get some task done, when i park and turn off the car, i'm ready to get out and move to the next thing - but i'm often also a bit flustered. i have to stop. get my sunglasses clip-on thingie. check for my backpack. look at dashboard; is car off like it sounds? make sure it's in Park. unbuckle seat belt; help it retract all the way or close enough. get cell phone and anything i need for errand/meeting. get out. put keys in pocket. pat pocket again before locking and closing door. pat pocket again to check for keys. walk off.
somewhere in there, sometimes, i'll forget to turn off the headlights.
this used to infuriate me. when some years ago i began to feel my feelings about myself and my life more clearly, and express them, if i left the lights on and that ding ding ding ding came on - if i turned off the ignition and was reaching for something, instead of turning off the headlights first - i would say "SHUT THE HELL UP! SHUT UP! I'M DOING THE BEST THAT I CAN! JEEEEEZUS!" i'd seethe. hit the steering wheel. truly bizarre, emotionally sideways stuff. think it was old voices of judgment in my head saying "you aren't doing your best" ... ? bwaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa
here is what has happened in 2008: when the ding ding ding ding comes now, i say to it, "Oh, thanks." and i mean it.
how did this happen?
maturity. letting go. resting more. naps. working on my book proposal. forgiveness. gratitude. acknowledging my fears and self-judgment rather than to stuff it. loving and receiving love with the family i am a part of, the friends i am blessed to have, the faith community i am so lucky to serve.
or maybe i'm just mellowing out ......... but i don't think so. i'm more stubborn and grumpy and hard-nosed about a lot of things - way more than i used to be.
maybe it's just another george bailey growth curve. ... whatever it is, i'll take it.


DM said...

yeah man. yeah.

nonprofitprophet said...

hmmmm... let me see.... Rick Diamond, mellow... well, no. Comfortable with himself and who he is and being authentic with those around him??? ... YES. Besides, I like your grumpy nature. Maybe it comes with age, like grumpy old men. I prefer to be Walter Matthau, just cause he's grumpy AND lumpy. Something to aspire too.... ! ~npp