Wednesday, June 17, 2009

If you lose something, don’t lose the lesson…

I prefer to learn from every experience. I always believe there is a reason that things happen. I drive myself mad trying to find out what it is sometimes.

When you lose something small, like an earring, you find yourself always looking down at the ground, retracing your movements over and over, sure that at any moment you’ll see a flash of light, and your earring will be returned. This posture gives the impression that you are sad, depressed, forlorn. You also find yourself unscrewing sink drainpipes at 1am in the hope that you’ll find a lost treasure in the S-bend. I would rather walk with my head high and my shoulders back – with confidence.

Is it a coincidence that a thick fog has descended upon Melbourne this week – to match my own foggy head?

My close and trusted friend Tamra visited last night, as I fiddled with my diamond earrings – ensuring they were still there - I explained the loss of my brooch and clearly remember saying ‘at least if I lost it in the house I’d have a better chance of finding it!’ She asked if there was anything that was bothering me – anything that might be left unfinished that could relate to this unfortunate event. She’d planted the seed but at the time I couldn’t recall anything else that was stressing me out.

When she left I went upstairs to get changed, and lo and behold – I was missing an earring. NO! NO! NO! I stood in the bathroom carefully checking all clothes, towels, and surfaces expecting to find it in no time.

Funnily, Tamra had spent the evening telling me about how well her life coaching business was going and how many new clients she’s signed up, whereas I was talking about my disappointment. When I called her at 11pm asking her to check her clothes in case my earring passed to her as we hugged, she told me that when she got home, she’d had another request for her coaching! It seems you really do attract what you put out.

She asked me to think about whether I feel lost about anything, or if I’ve lost something else metaphorically that could provide a clue – she also asked me to trust my intuition – my gut feeling, not my head.

A nervous thought had already begun to unfurl but I didn’t want to share it with her just yet. What if the universe is telling me that I’ve filled my quota – that I have too much and it needs to show me this by removing things from my life.

As I discovered that I’d lost my earring – I was about to put on a pair of brand new PJ’s that I’d picked up for a bargain at DFO on the way home. I stopped and looked at myself. I felt that pang of guilt and remembered my secret promise to Travis just six months earlier. Last weekend Travis made a comment he thought I’d become a closet shopper – with lots of mysterious parcels arriving. I do feel ashamed. It’s needless, pointless stuff. It seems that I have good and bad runs – I will abstain from any shopping/ eBay browsing/ magazines and be confident in my decision to live a less materialistic life for a couple of months, but give me a bit of inspiration – a book or a movie and I will start by going out to purchase one thing – for example a pair of work pants or shoes – and before long I’ve spent several hundred $$$ on new stuff.

When we were talking on Monday night, I confided to Travis that our pending anniversary and my birthday were feeling like nonevents this year. I wasn’t approaching either of them with the same vigor as I have in previous years. I hoped it wasn’t because we were now engaged and the anticipation had subsided, what about the anticipation of our wedding in 12 months?! We haven’t even taken the days off this year–as we usually do. In fact at one point we thought Travis would be at the army on June 18. Trav suggested my nonchalant approach may be because I was preoccupied about my new bicycle?

That made me think – am I spending more time and effort on things that are secondary in my life? For example – last night I just HAD to go to DFO and try to find a woolen vest because my life just would not be complete without it – and I did this knowing that I would probably not be home in time to see Trav before he went off to the army. What would I be feeling had I not seen him ever again? Was that sidestep really worth it?

Travis gave me two wake up calls without even realising. Or maybe he did. And both were very timely indeed.

This latest drama feels like my last warning – what would I lose next if I don’t change something about myself?

Change yourself, Change the world.

Is it fair? I’m starting to believe my behavior has justified this result. I must deserve it. As much as it hurts it’s just stuff.

Maybe it’s a suggestion that I can be as careful as I like but I must not rely on this. Take our cash flow for example, I spent a lot of time creating and fine tuning this spreadsheet that would ensure our continued financial wellbeing and I haven’t updated it for 3 months. It can be hard enough to work out payments a week back, let alone this far back. The longer I get behind the less inclined I am to get stuck in – it’s time to set up a regular timeslot – with treat for courage (wine, coffee, hot chocolate anyone?)

As I write this I’m waiting on 7 parcels to arrive. SEVEN. I’m thinking about returning some of the items. How many clothes do I really need? Isn’t the beauty of the French style I so admire the fact that the women don’t actually have huge wardrobes?

If I return everything will my possessions be returned to me? I’m thinking of doing a very big cleanout and putting lots on eBay.

Whatever happened to my great idea of the frugal lifestyle – one where we don’t make frivolous purchases? I have to dig out that article all about thrift chic. Living lightly?

I tested my theory on Tamra, who suggested “You can never have too much stuff - maybe it's more that you have become a little materialistic and you need to focus more on your relationships with people rather than your stuff - just a thought??” Not a bad thought at all.

I didn’t wear any jewelry except for my watch today, not even my engagement ring. Too scared.

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