image of sun rising
Dark Valley
Sunset over the Diablo Mountains in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, San Luis Obispo County, California Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

This blog post was going to be about a very different topic. While my journey from one topic to another is kind of embarrassing, I’m glad to not be writing the whine-one-one post I’d originally planned. I’m weary of dwelling in that not-happy place. Besides, you can catch the highlights on Facebook as it unfolded. Or perhaps I should call them the lowlights.

So, instead of whining, I’m going to catalog my journey from whining to d’oh, or at least try to.

So, the beginning. It all began one hot, summer day—oh wait, that’s a little TOO far back. lol

Okay, it’s a little hard to pinpoint exactly, but I gradually realized I was having some issues with, well, uncertainty. I think I forgot that life isn’t certain and never has been. It happens. It’s the name of this blog, for Pete’s sake. And we mostly don’t see Life coming. Or when it arrives, it looks different from what we expected.

I told you it was embarrassing.

But the level of uncertainty has increased a lot. The hubs and I used to be able to see further down the road. But right now, we’re kind if a spot without much view and a lot of fog rolling in. It’s not a bad spot. I just like seeing a little further ahead. Okay, I like my comfort zone.

I became aware of my, um, disquiet when my left leg started going numb while I was sitting at my desk. I struggle with TMS (I wrote about this last December), and unexplained and random weirdness is the first sign that my stress is getting out of hand. For once I stopped, looked, listened, and realized what my problem actually was: uncertainty.

That was promising. Too bad I muffed the next part.

My, um, next—I hate calling it a mistake—because the desire to do better is not a mistake—but one should be careful what one asks for.

When we want to learn something new, whether it is a skill or a character trait, it isn’t simply a matter of reading a book or, even saying, “I want this.” You don’t think, “Okay, read it, now I’ve got this.” That’s not how—I’ll call it deep learning—works. Knowing isn’t knowing until you can make it work in your real life.

You’d think I’d know this. I raised some kids, a husband, and finished raising myself after I got married (okay, I had some help from the hubs, the kids, friends, etc and maybe I’m not actually ‘raised’ yet.).

So I wanted to deal better with uncertainty, to feel at peace in the face of change, to be calm about not knowing. To not have my leg go numb because I wasn’t sure where we’ll be living in six or twelve months. And, looking back, I wanted actual calm to happen while I “learned” calm. lol

So I resolved to do better. To not react. To accept that Stuff Happens, but I don’t have to go bat crap crazy in it. Have you ever noticed the resolutions always seem to result in some push back? I have. I know this and yet, I don’t know, I still wasn’t watching for it.

And I may have gone a little bat crap crazy when this little storm hit to help me learn inner peace better.

I’m not giving up on calm, or myself. I still want this, I actually need this, and I believe I can still change. But I’ve also learned a few things about, well, learning in this little storm. Or perhaps it’s that I’ve remembered that all the important things I’ve learned while navigating this thing called Life, the stuff that really mattered, and the things have helped me the most, I’ve learned while being in the crucible, either for myself, or with those I care about.

So memo to myself: you’re not gonna learn about uncertainty from a place of certainty, or calm from a place of calm. I can try to better prepare ahead, but the learning happens IN the storms.

So what about you? Have you thought you were asking for one thing, or trying to change something and been surprised by an “opportunity to excel” that you didn’t see coming?

You know I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value).  Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.

Perilously yours,


P.S. Since none of my books are what you’d call “calm,” I had a hard time linking one, even loosely to this post. LOL It’s even hard to pick which character gets hosed the most, though I think Vi would insist that going through a category 5 hurricane ought to win her that honor. And this week, Sucker Punch is releasing (will be writing about it on Wednesday), so let’s go with Core Punch for book with Worst Hosing of Characters Ever in One of my Novels.

cover for Core Punch
“The evil he’s hunting is hunting them…”
Know What You’re Asking For
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17 thoughts on “Know What You’re Asking For

  • July 20, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Really enjoyed this post. Haven’t studied TMS but it sounds like a common ailment we have in 12 step programs. Pretty sure if you dig deep enough you will find a fear that drives the anger. The uncertainty factor is certainly intriguing. Of course I had to extrapolate. Made me realize how uncertain my life has become and is getting worse in time. Things are changing a little more rapidly every year. Our knowledge is doubling every four years and will increase exponentially. At the same time our government and economy deteriorates. Might get too exciting!

    Been in the doldrums all summer. Bored. Unhappy. Not depressed but almost. Been blaming it on super tight finances, health problems and living alone. But some readings triggered a totally different thought. Acceptance? Could it be? And then a grieving process? And then a huge deflation? It is feeling right…..

    Grew up in a rowdy, ornery family. Independent as hogs on ice. Never needed anything, never asked for anything. We take care of ourselves, thank you very much. But then I became disabled…

    • July 21, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      TMS is pretty common, more than people realize and often not treated properly. If you read Dr. Sarno’s books, he mentions anger a lot, but I don’t feel like I’m angry. LOL More like, well, frustrated with uncertainty. I’m so sorry you’ve been in the doldrums. I have more trouble in the summer, but I don’t deal with heat well. And yeah, it is natural to grieve changes you’re not happy with. Take care of yourself!

      • July 22, 2015 at 7:01 pm

        Thanks for turning me on to Dr. Sarno. Going to read up on him. One thing I have learned over the years is that stress is stress. Even doing the things we love cause stress. Which goes into the muscles. Tightening them up and causing pain and joint problems. When muscles are tight like that a fall or even sudden movements can cause damage. We need to get rid of the stress. So I turn it over to the higher power and leave it there. Which produces peace and serenity. Takes practice. Some days are better than others. Meditation is pretty great also. Sorry I am so blabby but this is good stuff and has saved my life. Hoping I can help some one else. Have a good one.

        • July 22, 2015 at 10:46 pm

          There are some videos on Youtube and there’s a big discussion group for him. I donated to a kickstarter to do a documentary about Dr. Sarno. What I love about his theories, he recognizes that you we can’t make stress go away. It just is, but we can manage how we react to it better. And yes, some days are better than others for sure! Hang in there! You have a good one, too. 🙂

          • July 23, 2015 at 6:20 pm

            Yepper, it is how we react to stressor’s, or don’t. In my youth I had a hot temper. Didn’t take much to set me off. Then I learned it was a choice. I was choosing to get angry. And anger was causing me all kinds of problems. Just made things worse. So when I catch myself doing it I stop it immediately. Life is too short. Hang in there.

          • July 25, 2015 at 5:26 pm

            Went to Youtube and checked out the Dr. Sarno videos and was just flabbergasted. He is talking the same stuff as I am only he is smart! What really shocked me was the autoimmune angle. Everybody has it anymore and it is behind all our killer diseases. Autoimmune gets worse and worse and ends up attacking itself and eventually killing us. Heart disease, diabetes, Crohns, on and on. Running rampant. So, looking forward to reading his books. Didn’t find the discussion group so if you could direct me that would be sweet. Hoping the heat is not bothering you as bad as it is me. Thanks. Only the best to ya!

          • July 26, 2015 at 10:01 pm

            (Sorry been out of town!) And it makes such great sense, doesn’t it? There is a link to the forum in this blog post: (it’s toward the bottom.) the heat is DRIVING ME CRAZY. lol I do not like being hot. I seriously feel like I’m getting shorter! lol We’re heading for cooler weather next month, so hoping to live that long. lol Best back at you!

          • July 29, 2015 at 4:11 pm

            Thank you and please don’t melt, you are short enough!

  • July 20, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Dang it Pauline, you always have the most amazing posts. I have severe blog post envy. Hey, I’m learning from you! By the way, don’t enter me in the Anabanana drawing since I won last month. I got it just last week. Thank you!

    As for resistance I think as humans we do tend to get sort of “settled” in our bad stuff, and we can even forget to be grateful for all we have. I know I have to do a little reminder to myself weekly at least because I know I’m a tremendously fortunate person with amazing abundance and yet I can still manage to think of what I don’t have sometimes that I would like. For me I have to keep up meditation, grounding and other things that I consider mind-expanding. I can sometimes get caught up in thinking I have to do twenty things in one day when I really don’t…that whole ADHD attitude even when I don’t have ADHD…the one that says, I GOTTA DO THIS ALL RIGHT NOW. So I think we all have these things we work on…we aren’t perfect but if we’re working on them bit by bit I think we’ll see enormous benefits. 🙂

    • July 20, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      So glad you got the basket, Denise and THANK YOU for your very kind words about my blog! Yeah, we do resist, sometimes in crazy ways, things that will make our lives better. I love the concept of gratitude, because, yeah, it is very grounding for the heart and soul. I’m so far from perfect, it makes me laugh, but I still want to be better. So onward into the storm. lol Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. You are such an amazing person. 🙂

  • July 20, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Change is easy, but sustaining change is a lot more difficult. I know there are a lot of things I should be doing differently, many of which would take minutes a day and greatly improve my life, but my brain is weirdly resistant to them for reasons I haven’t figured out yet. But admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? 🙂 We keep at it, and hopefully we’ll get there in the end. Hugs.

    • July 20, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Yeah, it is crazy how our brains resist even good things. I think it is rooted in a dislike of change and also, comfort with how things are. I’ve never, ever tried to change and not had some sort of pushback. lol Oh well, my plan is to get there. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. Hugs!

    • July 20, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      We fear change.

        • July 22, 2015 at 6:27 pm

          My answer to that is a personal relationship with your higher power. Have been doing that for many years and it works well. When I let it. Tend to be a take charge type of guy. LOL

          • July 22, 2015 at 10:44 pm

            I absolutely agree — and yes, I like knowing what’s coming. LOL Lots of push and pull going on inside my head, but I’m working on it. 🙂

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