Monday Babble and Dhammapada

The rain does something to me.  It opens me in grand ways, makes me feel really alive, creative, refreshed.  It rained all weekend and I have to admit I loved it.  In contrast to the grey sky, everything looks so vibrant, even in the post-snow haze of variant shades of brown grass and mud, it was so refreshing to have a gentle rain with some warmer temps.  I reminded myself several times, that if the temperatures had been a little lower, we would have burried in snow.
My energy was low this weekend, with Ma Monthly coming on strong, so I decided to listen to my body and just take it easy.  I feel guilty when my husband wants to go do stuff and I don't, but I just didn't have much gas in my tank.  I felt like writing but spent a good deal of time on my phone, mostly looking at Facebook, joining in multiple threads on an optician group I belong to, and commenting about some local stuff too.  Nothing earth-shattering at all.  Sometimes that is what I need. 
I did cook tacos for the family, and it was OK.  I think I had too many taco salads this spring, I am still not a huge fan of the beef substitue I have been using.  While I figured I could just make that my dinner this week, I have a feeling I will end up using refried beans as my protein source.  The thought of eating more of the beef sub is not appealing to me right now. It is a texture thing, it tastes fine. 
Oh, did I have some active dreams over the weekend, too.  I'm the type of person who believes there is a purpose or meaning to most things if we look deep enough, so I have been stewing on them.  My husband gets really deep messages in his dreams, but he has a proven system of analyzing the symbolism from dreams, so he is quite successful.  I asked him a few questions about how to get started developing my own system.  He is not one to freely guide someone, he would rather have you find out things on your own.  It frustrates me because I am the type of person who, at the very least, likes guidance.  I can waste a whole bunch of time reading books I don't agree with or that don't speak to me, but I would give up way before that.  So he gave me one little piece of advice, to deepen my study of Buddhism and see how that feels as a system.  So I am going to do that.  I am reading a small piece of The Dhammapada each day, and using that to focus on as a thought or concept for my day.  The smaller pieces are easier for me to focus on and remember, to get the meaning from. 
Today was the first day, and the first little piece of wisdom is this:
     "Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.  Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follw the oxen that draw it."

I had experience with this on Friday.  A customer of mine is losing her vision to Macular Degneration.  She and her husband are understandably upset, but they have a very caustic way of expressing it.  They have yelled and sworn at me, and assumed that I have made the glasses wrong and that I "Don't know what the Hell you are doing."  When they'd come in a couple weeks ago, having had a history with them that goes back from before I started working here 6 years ago, I tried to be polite, but when they began to get accusatory and degrading, I had had enough and I did not let them talk to me that way.  I started talking back to them, telling them the way she kept twisting and moving them around she was the one causing them to get out of adjustment, and when he told me I don't know what I'm doing I said, "Oh, and you do?" 
The husband was complaining that her glasses were not adjusted properly and that's why she can't see.  He knows she's losing her sight and it has nothing to do with the glasses, but he made a big scene and threatened to sue if we didn't give his money back.  I aThey returned this past Friday to have the doctor double-check the prescription.  She affirmed that the prescription was not only unchanged in the chair, but also that the glasses were made correctly.  This must have frustrated them further.  They complained and complained about me to the doctor and her nurses, and the doctor would only say, "That doesn't sound like our Amy."  So after they left her office they decided that, while she felt her glasses were improperly adjusted, they do not want me touching them, and they only want to work with the manager.  So, while I was fully preparing myself to just suck it up on Friday and handle it the best I could (by being silent and ignoring their drama) I ended up not having to deal with them at all, and may never have to deal with them again for that matter.  I wanted to be really happy about it.  It was Friday and I didn't have to deal with these unreasonable people, but it chewed at me all day as I stewed in the previous shouting match.  Their condescending attack on my skill level took me to a childish place.  I chewed on their emotions and spit them back at them without any consideration of them as human beings.  She is losing her vision.  They are very upset about this and want someone to blame.  I, they thought, was an easy target.  I did not give them satisfaction, nor did the doctor or her staff.  Yes, it is ultimately their burden to bear.  Handling it the way I did didn't make me feel better.  Even though most people who meet me find me pleasant and warm and easy to work with, it's still really hard for me to accept when people don't feel this way about me.  I am well-qualified, licensed, nationally certified and have 16 years experience behind me in this field, but that doesn't make me handle situations like that with grace.  And, everyone who has mentioned them has not had nice things to say about them, so I know it's not just me, they are just the type who need to complain, they are miserable so they want everyone around them to be too.  But, if that's all the farther we examine things/people we never get anywhere do we?  Why are they like that?  Has life handed them shit-pie?  Have they had horrible parents or no parents?  Are they sick and know they don't have much time left and feel bitter about it?  Maybe it's not for me to find out.  I'm OK with that.  I'm not saying I want to work with them and get to know them and run through a field of daisies with them, I just noted it on Friday, that not having to work with them didn't mean I didn't stew over the whole situation anyway, and it didn't make me feel better. 
Maybe the message is as simple as the passage above.  I created my suffering by looking at their situation from my own perspective and allowing myself to become so emotionally attached to it that I acted unprofessionally and incompassionately.  I'm not sure where the invisible boundary is between being a compassionate person and standing up for myself, but I know I am the type of person to put my gloves up a lot quicker than people I respect, who handle things with more grace.  So there is one instance that proves to me that I need to continue growing. 
As far as my plan to do things that make me feel better, I did a LOT of stretching over the weekend, it had been way too long and I was really stiff.  It took so much more time to work out some of the really tight places like my hips and lower back, but it felt really good!  I also did a light upper body strength session with a resistance band.  It was a perfect place to start because my muscles felt warm from getting the blood in them but not murdered, weak and shakey.  I only used the resistance band because since our move, I can't figure out where I put the dumbbells we have.  lol.  It felt good to do something, and I did it in a tank top so I could see my arm muscles.  I have always wanted to have a nicer upper body so watching my arm/shoulder muscles working usually inspires me.  I think it will be enough to have me sore tomorrow, but it's a good kind of sore.  Maybe tomorrow I'll work my lower body.  Also, there are other things that make me feel good that don't have to do with exercise, like painting my nails, facials, baths, writing, reading a good book, meditation, interacting with my kids or dog or husband...the list is endless really, but almost all of them involve getting my face out of my phone, which can be entertaining but is also a huge time waster and also makes me detract from my world instead of engaging in it. Plus, as a bonus, I realized over the weekend that I really enjoy being outside.  Don't you think their is a much richer sensory experience outdoors?  Then again, ask me once the bugs and bees return.  haha. 
So it's Monday and I am feeling OK.  Ready to see what this week brings. For me, a rock concert and dental work and I guess I get to make the rest up as I go! 


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