Giving up control

I believe in leaving a man better than he was when I found him. And likewise, I love to learn from the encounters I make in life. One of the answers I found with my life partner is the answer to control. I used to be someone who would meticulously plan and organize everything and everyone. Now I am practicing surrender.

“Good morning, how are you?” I wave at my Doctor friend. But he’s too busy pottering to even look up and acknowledge me. So I decide to let him be today. Whatever it is that I urgently wanted to discuss with him will have to wait for another day. Give me some more time to sleep on it. Allow my dreams to process it over once more.

Life used to be roller coaster ride to me. And trying to maintain control in this is a like trying to stay in control on a roller coaster. The ride has its own logic and is going to go its own way, regardless of how tightly I grip the bar or how loud I scream. I found there is a thrill and a power in simply surrendering to the ride and fully feeling the ups and downs of it, letting the curves take me rather than fighting them. When I fight the ride, resisting what’s happening at every turn, my whole being becomes tense and anxiety is my close companion. When I go with the ride, accepting what I cannot control, freedom and joy inevitably arise.

Love,

Fiona

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I am blonde

When I dumb myself down, I sell myself short and lose out on opportunities.

“In fact you could be Francis,” I eye the Doctor suspiciously. “The blog is well written, talks about anxiety and depression, about taking off the mask and welcoming change.”

I am talking to him as I am talking to him as I am nonchalantly skimming my mails. One mail in particular catches my eye and I start jumping up and down excitedly. “Oh my God! Google is offering 150k annually. That’s worth thinking about. Paid holiday, paid sick leave, benefits. Still a slave, but a star slave with a lot of visibility.”

“Yes indeed,” the Doctor nods approvingly, his smile reaching almost ear to ear. “Worth the security I would think. Exec salary. In fact you could employ me.”

“I could,” I look at him with pure excitement shimmering from every part of my body. “Would need a great mentalist on board. Any questions I should be asking? What do I need to negotiate?”

“Would be wiser to ask Wim,” the Doctor cautions me. “But to get you thinking. Length of contract with penalty clause if they fire you. Perks like car, med insurance for the family. Share options. Pension contribution. And scope.”

What I admire the most in my friend is his ability to go into any social situation and sense the level of consciousness in that situation. His friendship is a gift. It enables me to move considerately in a world that holds all kinds of people. Although I am unable to shift my energy to accommodate people, I have caught myself out dumbing myself down to a regrettable degree. Sometimes, when I get into a particular social situation, I feel pressure to play it small in order to fit in. These are situations where everyone is drinking or smoking excessively, engaging in gossipy small talk, or complaining bitterly. I notice this and modify my expectations, but never entirely join in.

Where do you fit in, do you know?

Fiona

Fit and fierce milf

I am 42. I don’t like sitting around wasting time. In fact, I would like to be done with my workouts in less time than it takes to check a couple of emails? I have no patience to sit around longer than an hour to have my nails done. And the hairdresser? That really pushes me to extremes of utter despair. I want all of this fast self-care to give me the results as if you’ve spent all day doing yoga and a strengthening, toning, tightening cardio-type exercise at the gym like Britney Spears. I need to step it all up a notch. Not only do I want to look and feel fit and fierce, on a professional level I also want to feel more empowered in far less time. No one believes the amount of online courses I take each year. More importantly, want to be strong, fit ànd happy.

“Good morning,” I beam at my blurry friend. “I’m reading the psychology of persuasion. Think I need it. BNP won’t raise my fee. And I didn’t get that new client.”

“No they have a budget,” Doctor Who encourages me not to give up. “Who is the author of persuasion?”

“Robert something,” I answer short and confused. “So what next? So ‘because’ won’t work with BNP? What about Google? Already had 3 virtual interviews.”

“I see,” Doctor Who continues on the first line of thought. “You found him on YouTube?”

“Amazon,” I correct him.

“Sadly there is no easy road,” Doctor Who shakes his head. “Google ‘mentalist’.”

“Mentalist? Evangelist you mean. Sounds nice,” I go on telling him about my ongoing job application for the world’s largest search engine. “Wondering about pay. You see now I am out of the deep mess I was in but I’m still only just managing. I need to find something great again. It used to be great. I need to find that back. And then even better than that.”

“I understand,” the Doctor nods.

“I don’t,” I shake my head. “What went wrong?”

“You might have hung onto the past for too long,” the Doctor suggests. “Just a thought.”

“Possible,” I ponder. “The past in work? Hmmm. Like not learning new stuff?”

“Yes,” the Doctor nods mysteriously.

“I’m doing that now though,” I tell him defensively.

“Ok good,” the Doctor nods at me again with a twinkle in his eye. “It will take a little time to make the change.”

“A lucrative one. I hope,” I smile relieved my Doctor friend still believes it will all work out in the end. “How are the sarnies? Ever been to Oban? Scotland?”

“How is Wim progressing?” the Doctor evades my question.

“5 of the 12 treatments done,” I give him an update on the chemo treatment. “He’s doing quite well. Working 80%. We went to the solicitor’s yesterday. Sorting out marriage contract. And register that if anything happens to me, Wim will take care of Willem. Don’t want him going to an institution. Or worse, to my family. No way. Au-pair is still stuck in administration. Heleen will have had her baby by the time she gets here.”

“Cancel the au-pair if it’s a problem,” the Doctor tells me shortly. “Use a reputable agent.”

“It’s Belgian administration. Not the agency’s fault,” I tell him frustrated. “And I’ve already paid.”

“I see,” the Doctor nods only half listening to what I’m saying. “Well use them both to do analytics.”

“And social. It’s a great plan,” I feel a false sense of enthusiasm here. Mainly frustration. The Doctor doesn’t seem to know that it’s not all that straight forward. “But I need customers. Big plans and doing and learning stuff but need clients. So bummed I didn’t get that other client. Was counting on that to meet this month’s target. I’m not going go make my target. How common is the name Francis? Francis liked my latest blog post. Francis also happens to be the name of the young camera man. Francis is also the name of president Frank Underwood in house of cards…”

Instead of faffing about, I am going to get started on my Digital Psychology course today!

Lovingly moving forward,

Fiona

Are you standing in front of a closed door?

Where I am in my life right now is a result of all the doors I have walked through, all the decisions I have made. My continued self development depends on my willingness to keep moving into new spaces. My grandmother used to tell me that when you find yourself in a space where all the doors are closed to you, God will always open a window…

“What’s wrong with Doc Oz?” my best friend asks me bewildered.

“Doc Oz is cat on a cloud,” I explain my need for change. “I like you being Bakerman for some time. Like the song. I want to come out of lala-land. Dorothy has gone away. Daily bread is closer to Jesus. But bread makes me fat. Oh come on, be a sport.”

“Ok,” my friend shrugs his shoulders and looks at me expectantly of what is to come.

When an opportunity presents itself to you, welcome it. Walk through that open door. Trust that everything happens for a reason and you have been guided to it. Sometimes I have a tendency to overanalyze or agonize over the decisions I have made, but it is a waste of time to second guess yourself. It is much more beneficial to simply go through the door and discover what’s there. Even if it doesn’t seem right at first, opening this door may lead to another door that will take you where you need to go. Nothing is written in stone. Mistakes can be corrected. Contracts are made to be broken.

I have passed so many doors in my life, leading me to new relationships, jobs, friendships, and creative inspirations. Every time I walk through an open door, I create my memory encourages me to move into the new fearlessly. When I enter a new space, I feel a thrill of confidence. I love stepping across the threshold into a new life. What about you?

Fiona

Do you know who your real friends are?

How many friends do you have? I have many acquaintances myself, and a few people I would categorize as close friends. Over the past years, I have been confronted with losing friends too. Or more realizing that the people I thought of as close friends didn’t turn out to be real friends after all. The revelation only happens in moments when you reveal your true self, your true troubles and suffering, that the masks drop and you figure out it was more a relationship of convenience than one of true friendship.

“You know, in Normandy it finally dawned in me that life really does begin at 40,” I tell Bakerman as I am poking around nosily in his baking atelier that afternoon.

“Oh how come?” Bakerman looks at me quizzically. He then shoves a plate with a huge sarnie under my nose.

“Can anyone fit that in their mouth?” I ask him eying the huge monstrosity with big popping eyes. “Reflecting back on life, poor circumstances and poor choices. But not anymore. Now I’m in command. No use crying over spilled milk. Life starts at 40.”

“I am sure you will manage to bite it,” Bakerman winks at me. “Go for it. You are 100% correct. But be aware of bad habits that will hold you back.”

“Oh am I going to try one?” I greedily accept the plate with the deliciously smelling sandwich. “Taste it I mean. Which bad habits?”

Maybe we’ll never quite figure out who our true friends are. Maybe it will take us until old age to realize who we truly loved and who we felt we could completely be ourselves around. I wonder which cues actually indicate when I am pretending to be someone I am not… maintaining relationships just for the sake of it. Maybe the real question is: am I happy this way?

Love,

Fiona