Core Desires

Today I am thinking about my core desires as a Type 3 in the Enneagram. They are the things that I am always pushing towards. My positive motivations, if you will. They are what I believe deep down will satisfy all my cravings, make me feel whole and make my life complete.

Surprisingly, it’s not a man.

Here’s the list of core desires:

  • high status
  • being successful
  • admired
  • valuable
  • competent
  • accomplished

This is why I am always striving to reach lofty goals, so I get the attention, affirmation and respect from those around me.

The Desire for Money Finance Business Success  - nattanan23 / Pixabay

I look at my life and for the most part, I do not feel like success. I don’t even make my age annually. Someone told me when I was about 32 that as a woman, I should try to have my income at least match if not supersede my age times $1000 annually. So at 32 i should have been making $32,000 a year. I don’t do that. In fact, I am just now barely making enough to be able to afford to live on my own.

I am very proud of finally making it to this point. I can give you all me excuses.

I was a single mom that had to balance 2 kids, work, hobbies, friends, other family, all on my own. My ex-husband was a dead beat and it wasn’t until my kids were well into their 20s before the state decided to track him down and make him pay the back child support he owed. THAT put a strain on me. I did my best to do it all AND to make it look easy, but it wasn’t. I’m a worn out hot mess now.

My desires to Head Beyond Clouds Sky  - geralt / Pixabay

Because I was a single mom, I didn’t feel like I could climb the corporate ladder. Who was going to take care of my kids while I was on business trips? Or working later than I already was? I had the opportunity but choose not to so I could be an OK mom to my kids. They already didn’t have a dad around.

My alleged best friend, that I worked with for a while, turned into a psycho B!+@# and I couldn’t handle working with her anymore. So I left that really good job. I really enjoyed that job and wished she would have left instead. It worked out OK because I would have felt guilty leaving when…

Desire for friends

I was an idiot and followed my 2nd ex-husband every time he decided to move. OK, it was only twice over 10 years. Me leaving him was the 3rd time and each time MY work life was disrupted. I did make some great friends from those moves. Ladies I still visit with on Facebook to this day. In fact, now that I am living back in the Midwest, closer to those gals, I am going to take a trip up to spend a long weekend with them, hopefully on a quarterly basis, after this crazy COVID-19 is gone.

When my last boyfriend, whom I lived with, dumped me out of the blue, it was just the shove I needed to look around and see what I could do to step up my game in my work life. Funny thing is, I found a job at another Council doing the exact same thing I absolutely loved doing in Phoenix for $10,000 a year more. AND the cost of living is 2/3 of what it is in Phoenix. That’s how I now have my very first place of my own – ever.

So as you can see from my life’s path, these desires are what drive me to be my best, but they also make me feel my worst.

how the gospel fulfills our core desires

Here’s a little secret, that I know, but mostly always forget: God has already given all my core desires through Jesus. He did it without even looking at my actions. He did it just because I exist!

He gave me such amazing skills and I want to use them to the best of my ability to shoe Him how thankful I am for these gifts. AND even if I didn’t do anything worth writing home about, He still loves me and finds me to be amazing! What a concept, huh?

I miss you much…

Why do we miss people?

I was driving around the other day (sorry, I didn’t have internet until yesterday and so I wasn’t able to work on my blog) and I saw a Harbor Freight store and started crying.

WHY??!!

INSIDE OUT, from left: Sadness (voice: Phyllis Smith), Joy (voice: Amy Poehler), 2015. © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

In that moment a flood of memories of Mark came rushing in and I missed him. And I hated that I missed him. He dumped me. Out of the blue with no explanation, no matter how many times I asked. I should have nothing but negative feelings and thoughts toward him. But I don’t. And I got really annoyed with myself because I don’t want to miss him. It hurts to miss him. I get sad. I’m tired of being sad. It’s been 2 months for crying out loud!!!

It got me to thinking about why do we miss people?

So let me just start off by saying that there are a lot of really great songs about missing people. The Rolling Stones did Miss You in 1978. John Waite sang Missing You in 1984. In 1989 Natalie Cole sang Miss You Like Crazy and Janet Jackson gave us Miss You Much. That’s just to name a few.

So I’m in good company, missing someone, right? But WHY??

I’ll also share I miss other people too. I miss my Grandma Carter on most holidays because it’s when I usually saw her. And truth be told, it was just about the only time my family in town got together – to see Grandma, or so Grandma could see us. I miss my dad every time I have issue with my car. Though sometimes he did really odd things to fix things in general, he always knew what to do with the car. And I do not. I miss my high school sweetheart, Darin.

It was in realizing I miss Darin that made me think, do I ACTUALLY miss the person, or do I miss the events and feelings that we created together?

I can’t actually miss Darin. I haven’t seen or heard from him for 20 years-ish. I don’t even KNOW him any more. I enjoyed the feeling of being loved in a high school/college kinda way. I savored the fun we had at Westport Plaza or driving around in his cute little Spitfire convertible. I miss those feelings and experiences.

I miss the feeling of my loving family gathering together for the holidays. I miss the way Grandma made me feel like I was the most important person in the world, when I was with her. She did that my entire life!! I miss baking cookies and washing the dishes at the sink with her. I miss her telling me I was her favorite grandchild – and the sweet little smile when she said, “but don’t tell the others.”

I miss knowing my dad knew how to physically fix everything if I needed help. I miss him coming in my room at night, after we had disagreed about something, me pretending to be asleep and him telling why he saw things the way he did and how he was sorry he upset me and that he loved me.

I miss the laughter I shared with Mark about the silly day to day happenings in our life. I miss snuggling up on the couch with him, his arm wrapped about me, feeling like my rough day just disappeared, never to be seen again. I miss traveling and seeing the great southwest in our RV. It was my dream life. I miss talking about and planning our future. I miss how beautiful he made me feel.

So maybe it’s not that I miss the person. What if I am afraid I won’t ever have those positive experiences again and I am sad about that? Maybe I’m afraid I won’t find those positive experiences again. Maybe I am afraid I won’t connect with someone like I connected with them.

I turned to the great Googles, and here are some other website I found that talk about why we miss people.

These are really great articles and have some interesting perspectives. And honestly, I kinda feel a little better about missing people.

You know what’s really weird… I don’t miss either of my ex-husbands.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter too. Leave me a comment!

Crabs in the Bucket

I just got off the phone with a very wise friend. She gave me a lot to think upon.

She is the person I go to when I need to not only work through emotional things in my life, but to have myself be held accountable as well. We have known each other roughly 25 years. We are the friends that can go months without talking and then call each other out of the blue and pick up where we have left off. She’s that friend for me. There is very little judgement on either end. There are tough conversations. But in the end we know we love each other.

As you know I am on this self-discovery and improvement journey. Today was an emotional day for me. Here are some of the thing that went through my head and made me cry, in no particular order.

  • I am really good at messing up relationships. I have yet to make a marriage work. I’ve got two failed marriages under my belt. My boyfriend, whom I lived with for the last 2 years, just dumped me out of the blue and I still don’t really know why. So there’s no closure and I won’t ever get closure. And therefore never know what I did wrong so I can do better next time. This time was the best yet, but I still screwed that up. So I’m a failure.
  • I only have about 3 really good, long time friends and about 2 short time, really good friends friends – that I hope will continue to be my friends for years to come.
  • I moved here to be able to get my own place and discover who I am and what I enjoy and who I want to be but guess what? Because of this stupid COVID-19 virus, NO ONE IS SHOWING APARTMENTS and it’s making picking a place very hard. I am not even sure I can get someone to rent to me because technically, come Monday, I am on furlough! So that’s frustrating. While I’m staying with my friend, I can’t be me, I have to be what she wants me to be or I’m going to be out on the street. Technically I could probably go stay with Aunt Nancy, but that would just mean that I have failed at living here too.

So I cried about my frustrations, got some lunch at Chipotles, and decided I needed to refocus on me and what I can learn from all this.

I shared this with my friend on the phone today and she told me about a great story about Crabs in buckets. Yes, I said crabs.

So apparently, when crabbing, you collet the crabs in buckets and it’s ok to just set these buckets of crabs where ever – on the beach, on the desk of the boats – where ever and you don’t have to worry about them escaping from the buckets. Why, you ask? Because when one crab starts to try to escape from said bucket, the other crabs grab him and pull him back into the bucket. Thus, none of them ever escape.

What does that have to do with me and my crying today? Well, I’ll tell you.

Mark is an alcoholic. He just is. He drinks every night starting around 8 or 9pm. Now, if we go out for happy hour after work, he may have a few drinks there too before the witching hour, but for the most part, he only drinks at home and he drinks about 1/3 a large bottle of vodka each night. Alone. By himself. He won’t admit he’s an alcoholic either. But A) if you drink every night, even just a little, and B) you drink alone, and C) you do’t think it’s a problem to do either of those, your an alcoholic.

I am not a big drinker. On occasion I will enjoy an adult beverage too. I am not saying drinking in general is bad, but everything in moderation.

In my opinion, and that’s all it really is, being an alcoholic is sort of a form of self-hate. You hate your life so much you just want to numb yourself from it all. I will just point out, you can’t numb only the bad. When you numb, you also numb the good. So to choose to drink on a daily basis translates, you don’t like any part of your life.

What puzzles me is, if you don’t like your life, why don’t you work on changing it. Someone said once, “If you don’t like the narrative, change it. Start living your life the way you want the story to go.” It may not happen overnight, but you have to start somewhere.

Now before we get too judgy here, he doesn’t drink and drives (because he’s usually already home) and he get silly, not mean, when he drinks. So of all the issues people can have, in my opinion, that is not a big deal to me. I would take that over the thieving,gambling, drug addict ex-husband or the abusive ex-husband in a heartbeat.

The only really annoying part of that habit is, when he doesn’t have to work the next day, he stays up until midnight or 3 am and then sleeps until noon or 2 pm. Then I am stuck having to be quiet in the house, pretty much doing nothing until he wakes up. When he wakes up, he wants me to go with him to run errands. Which actually translates, me driving him around.

During this quiet time I can’t shower, I can’t cook, I can’t watch TV. I had to sit quiet. I guess I didn’t HAVE TO, but I choose to.

Now, because I don’t stay up until all hours of the night, I go to bed around 8:30 or 9pm and typically wake up around 6 or 7am. So that gives me anywhere from 5 to 8 hours of sitting and doing basically nothing. Unless it’s nice outside, in which I can go out on the patio and talk to a friend on the phone until he wakes up. I also would get work done on my computer or play on Facebook. For a while I was crocheting a blanket, but he decided he didn’t like the big pile it was becoming and I threw it all away. That’s a whole other issue.

He didn’t like me having ANYTHING of mine out. NOTHING. My stuff was clutter. His piles of paper were important papers but mine were not. He would fixate on small imperfections and try to micromanage every aspect of our life. I don’t want to say he was controlling, but he kinda was. As much as he could be with me. I have learned to be quite strong since my last husband.

He talked me into getting rid of all my cake decorating things before we moved into the last apartment, because we were downsizing by a room and I wasn’t really using them anyway. Made sense to me at the time.

He didn’t like the blanket I was making because it was taking up too much room. It was a lot of work – it was a football field with the University of Arizona “A” in the middle because that’s where he went to school and I thought it was fun to teach myself how to crochet a patterned blanket that way, and it was something we could put on the bed in the RV and it was fine – but when he expressed his appreciation for my efforts, I got my feelings hurt and threw it all away.

Truth is, he didn’t want me to have any hobbies. I resorted to playing stupid games on my phone – only because I knew he couldn’t make me get rid of them. He even asked me one time why I liked playing the games on my phone so much. I told him I actually didn’t but I get bored just watching TV and these are things he couldn’t make me get rid of.

Back to the drinking. I had started to mention to him things along the lines of me feeling like he was drinking too much. I would say things like, “I just worry about your health”, or when he was complaining he was sweating and was it too hot in our place, “No, it’s your body going through withdrawls. I’m freezing. Take your clothes off.”, or “Did you know you spend about $2400 on alcohol for the house each year? That doesn’t even include teh happy hour money spent.” He was as cheap as they come and if I wanted a behavior to change I learned I had to equate it to money being spent. He started telling me, when he as drunk, he knew he drank too much and he wanted to start drinking less. I know that’s not how it works. It’s cold turkey and done – hopefully. I wasn’t trying to be his mother and I wasn’t going to tell him he needed to quit. In my experience with another alcoholic friend, when you tell them they need to stop, it just makes them do it more.

Anyway, I had started seeing a counselor because another friend of mine sees one and hers really has great insights for her and I had started reading about the Enneagram and wanted to do some work on myself to become an even better person. I never told Mark I was seeing a counselor, but a couple times things came up and I did ask the councilor how I could better handle the situation. And it helped. I felt good about the improvements I was making on myself.

I was climbing out of the bucket. And maybe, just maybe, Mark was trying to pull me back into the bucket. Maybe when he realized he couldn’t, he decided it was time to end it with me, rather than work on himself becoming a better him and getting out of the bucket too. Anyway, that made me feel a little better about that whole messy part of my life.

So what will I work on doing differently next time I’m in a situation like that?

First, I need to realize that is not me being my healthy self. I also don’t want to just be a jerk and be loud and disruptive and disrespectful. I don’t need to be a doormat either.

I can take advantage of the quiet alone time and practice meditation and spend time in prayer. I can listen to one of my books on Audible and be productive. I can use that time to plan meals for the week. I can see the situation as a positive, rather than I negative.

Truth be told, I probably won’t spend much time with an alcoholic again either. It is a big sucker of money and well, I’m looking at retirement and saving for a fun future. And I really don’t want to have to live like that in an RV. Right?

I thought about that part where I don’t have a lot of friends and I seem to ruin relationships. This last time, I don’t really believe I did something wrong. I think I am just on a path to a better me and it’s not what he wanted for him. And that’s ok. It still hurt. But I’m surviving and moving onward and upward.

Truth be told, I finally don’t feel like I need a man to help define who I am. That’s a big step for me. My entire life I have thought I needed a man. Well, I may want one, but I don’t need one.

I also realized, it’s ok to have a small handful of friends. Who has time to maintain much more than a couple of good friends anyway? I’ll make more when I’m retired!

And about the wanting to find a place of my own. It will come. I am so thankful for being able to stay with my friend Jill. She has opened her home and her pets to me and I am so grateful to be here. The right place will come at the right time. For now I will continue to be happy right where I am at.