I wrote a couple of drafts of my annual review for 2013 – drafts which are where they should be – in the trash. They reeked of self pity, wailing about the general ugliness that enshrouded me for most of the year.
You can thank me now for not publishing them.
See? There I go again, harping on crappy stuff.
And I could tell you about all the other crappy stuff that I never wrote about, but I think I’ll save it for a novel (and a time when all the characters involved are either dead or in prison).
In a nutshell, this is the problem. I’m seeing a lot of crappy stuff happen, and not a lot of nice things. But I know nice things are happening. I’m sure of it. I can smell it.
When I was in Toronto on my 4,000km detour of a lifetime, I was a tornado of fury and nervous energy. When I discovered that my original birth certificate had also been lost (I didn’t include that little plot twist in my post), I totally lost it. Poor Mum had to sit there with bleary 7am eyes, watching me yell and throw things.
It was not my finest hour. (Sorry, Mum).
The moments and hours after that didn’t particularly improve. (Or did they? Getting to this in a second). More dramas ensued, and regardless of how minor the dramas might have been, they were earth-shattering at the time. My ability to cope was shot.
But some really cool stuff happened too.
While I was unexpectedly in Toronto, I saw my best friends, my Mum, my Dad, and their respective partners. My Dad’s partner is dying, and while I was visiting with them, wallowing in self-pity, I was reminded that I’m sitting with my Dad (a rare occurrence since I live on the road) and enjoying a coffee.
How dare I wallow in self-pity! The two people sitting in front of me were facing dramas far worse, and they were simply happy to be there, with me, in that moment. What’s wrong with me?!?!
The Law of Attraction Gone Wrong
While I was busy reaping in the benefits of the law of attraction in years past, whistling my merry little tune, I had friends who weren’t. They struggled with weight, relationships, health, jobs, money, and life’s cornucopia of dramas.
I now realize that my advice to them at the time – said with the best of intent, along the lines of “just change your attitude! Stop focusing on the negative! Tra-la-la!” (like it was something easy to do) was probably very annoying.
I know this because as we rolled along through the years, something happened the moment the clock struck 2013 – somehow I found myself on the wrong side of the law of attraction. With every knock, I’d pick myself up and dust myself off, only to get knocked down again. I eventually found myself limping from one crisis to the next – not a fun way to be.
The thing is, the more I awoke each day cringing for fear of what stupidness might occur to throw me off kilter, the greater the chances were that stupidness would happen.
Because that’s the law of attraction.
So a lot of stupidness happened.
Then, I Read About Pickles
A few years ago, I read (and loved!) Torre DeRoche’s debut book Love with a Chance of Drowning, in part inspiring me to take to the seas for three months of sailing the Caribbean. I landed on her site by chance recently and read about her tale of burning out and unabashedly sitting in her bathrobe eating pickles.
Eating pickles sounds really nice.
I’m sort of eating pickles here in Panama. I’ve not published any particularly useful or entertaining pieces about Panama yet (sorry about that); instead I’ve been keeping my head above water and licking my wounds, while determinedly trying to force myself into a positive mind-frame to make this whole law of attraction thing work for me again.
But forcing doesn’t really work either.
Instead, what I’m really doing is looking at a pity sandwich, which I discovered on the very talented Sara Steenland’s site and I got permission to embed her sandwich below. She also had a few knocks this year and gets where I’m at – especially as I sit here writing a blog post when I should really be eating pickles.
Eating Pickles and Being Kind to Myself
Eating pickles is good. It feeds me. I like them. They’re a treat. Even a guilty pleasure.
Oh…there’s goes the “g” word again…..guilt. And guilt is part of the problem.
[Editorial Note: I just erased a small diatribe about guilt filled with pity sandwiches and other bits of self-chatter that devolved into nothingness. You can thank me later.]
I erased the above diatribe because I realized that it simply doesn’t serve me, and it attracts the wrong energy and reactions from others. We have the ability to create our story every day, based on how we define ourselves to others. Because I’m a drama queen, I like to tell a tall tale, and misadventures often make for the tallest of tall stories. But when people start to associate you with tragedy, you attract more of it. It’s a hard cycle to break.
I say all that like I know what I’m talking about, but really what happened is I got distracted by a tv show about penguins. I like penguins. Penguins are cute. They make me laugh.
I have a confession to make: I don’t really like pickles. But I like penguins. I think penguins are my pickles.
Because now that I’ve just watched a show about penguins, I’ve sort of forgotten about the crap I was writing about, or at least I’ve lost the inspiration to focus on it. I think penguins just took me to my happy place.
So I’m going to try a new form of being kind to myself (something people keep telling me to do but are frustratingly vague as to how): I’m doing the penguin thing. Not literally; I won’t be traveling the world getting shots of penguins (although that would be cool). Instead I’m just going to sit here and ruminate on penguins and other things that make me happy. This appears to be the best way to break the law of attraction: when crappy stuff edges into my reality, I will turn on the penguin-charm – and be happy again.
Note: – No pickles or penguins were harmed in the making of this post.
This is a post on the popular site Vagabondish, where years ago, I published a hugely trafficked post on free accommodation – before I even knew what I was doing! This post follows that original blockbuster up.
Travel budgets aren’t only about finessing accommodation and saving money on food. Here are seven unsatisfying but necessary travel expenses you need to budget or account for when planning your next trip.