A Year of Thanks

1 post a day for 365 days showing gratitude

the good, the bad, the UGLY…it’s time to get REAL October 13, 2012

Filed under: self-discovery — courtsbrogno @ 11:06 am

Warning: this is not an upbeat, happy post.

My life sucks right now. Or, maybe it’s been sucking for the past few months. Really, since summer I guess. Here’s why:

  • I had to move this summer. To be more honest, I was kicked out of the home I lived in for 8 years. My home. I was devastated. And I didn’t get kicked out because I couldn’t pay rent or didn’t take care of the property. The reasons are really unimportant. the point is: I had 30 days to find a new place to live, which is incredibly difficult in my town unless, of course, you have gobs of money. Which I don’t. The upside: My amazing, wonderful, caring, and generous aunt Linda helped immensely by paying for a moving company to help facilitate the move as well as giving me money to pay for a huge deposit. And this is what my life looked like:

Not much. Well, yes, there were more boxes, but as far as I could tell, the most important things in my life were my books. I really own nothing of value, which is fine, but I kept thinking, ‘Shit. I’m 36. Shouldn’t I have something really great by now?” The answer was–and still is–my books. This is both enlightening and completely depressing.

  • I was lucky (or so I though) to find a place to live. The owner was an acquaintance and so she basically let me rent the house without jumping through a million loopholes and having to compete with students who have very wealthy parents backing them. Plus, she allowed dogs so we didn’t have to get rid of Baily (how could we? She’s our family!) . Furthermore, we were blessed with amazing neighbors. Of course, the rent was $400 more than what I paid before and the house was smaller, but oh well, I still felt happy. For about a day. Then I realized the sole purpose of my landlord is to torture me everyday and make living there seem like a making a deal with the devil. You think I’m being hyperbolic? Case in point: the other day she stopped by (she stops by unannounced all the time) to tell me that when my lease is up she’s raising my rent “a whole bunch.” She did put in a new fence and lawn in the backyard, which is nice, but it has also made my monthly water bill $150. Gee. Thanks Grim Reaper Landlord.
  • Luke’s father and I finally moved up to the 50/50 time split, which means two things: I miss my son terribly when he’s not with me and my child support went down to $147/month. $147 /month! I don’t even know how to comprehend that small of an amount of money. Luke’s father owns a house in the most desired part of town, him and his wife drive new cars, they go on vacation to exotic places (China, New Zealand), but his job has taken a hit to part-time, and working part-time he makes about the same amount as I do working full-time. He’s been at part-time for about a year now, and as he said to me, “There’s no real incentive to make more money when it’ll just go to you.” Awesome. Thanks Grim Reaper Ex-Husband.
  • Maddie is a teenager and as such, she mostly hates me. Which is fine. Which is normal. But it doesn’t make it any easier on ME, who is, according to her: the worst mom, totally unfair, way too strict, completely uncool, never understands, etc. She mopes around the house and barely talks to me. She lies and breaks simple, simple rules all the time. She is, in essence, mostly a stranger to me. This is incredibly difficult even though it is normal, and the real problem is that I don’t have anyone to help me with this (i.e. a spouse). If only someone could help me through this, or take part of the brunt of this, the situation would seem more bearable.
  • While I love my job, I feel like I’m always up against a major roadblock. Not my students, mind you. My bosses. being in academia and being on the lowest rung of the intellectual order can be quite demoralizing. Ugh. I can’t even get into it.
  • I feel in love. Well, I’d been in a relationship for the past year and a half and I never even wrote about it on this blog because it felt too precious and special to share. I gave wholeheartedly, I was vulnerable, I loved unconditionally, I shared my family. All to have my heart completely broken. Leaving all other things aside the relationship ended because as he said: “I did love you though I think this was the wrong time in my life to be involved.” Amazing. Thanks so much Grim Reaper Ex-Boyfriend.  And another thing, for God’s sake, I’m 36! Should this still be happening????
  • Because of all this, my anxiety is at record high levels. Boom. I’m like a walking, shaking mess.

Now the good:

  • My career’s going well. I’m involved in a bunch of new committees that are extremely exciting for me, and I have a ton of new ideas that I’d like to research and explore. Plus, I’ve met some incredible people throughout the university from all different departments, and that makes me happy.

Moving on from here: Well, I can’t just curl up in a ball and cry. I can’t throw myself over a bridge. I’m not going to pull a Sylvia Plath. All I can do is put one foot in front of the other and continue on as best I can. And try to keep this in mind everyday:

Go through life everyday acting as if you’re the only unenlightened person in the world and everyone else is fully enlightened and see what you can learn from them.–advice from my friend Neal.
I’m thankful for that!

UPDATE: Neal emailed me the correct quote:  “Imagine that everyone you see and encounter is enlightened–everyone except YOU. And all those people are buddhas, there to teach you something you need to know.” by Jack Kornfield


regret…oh how i love to cling to it October 2, 2012

Filed under: self-growth — courtsbrogno @ 11:26 am

and yet, I shouldn’t.

I love this video. It’s so true:


But how to actually put these words into action? Tell me that.