Copeless…At the End of My Ropeless

My personal messSometimes life gets messy. My personal mess began with a leaking ceiling during a triple digit heat wave. The restoration company demolished the wet plaster, set up an industrial fan in the living room and the adventure began.

The reconstruction impeded my ability to move, actually walk, through the house. The only way to get from the bedroom to the kitchen was by going outside. Saws, roof noises, pounding hammers and strange people – our dogs were constantly barking and pretty annoyed.  I was…no, I felt… greatly inconvenienced and life became discombobulated. Oh, yes, that is a word; the perfect word. Discombobulated.

To make matters worse, the construction guys knocked off at 2:00 Friday afternoon and I asked when I could expect them back. Monday. To me, that looks like 2 ½ days of lost production. Not everyone has a sense of urgency just because I do (click to Tweet). I am repeatedly reminded of that.

Sometimes change feels hopelessAs I stumbled through the ruins of my once orderly domain, I became increasingly copeless. Okay, that’s not a word, but I like it. It sounds kind of like “hopeless” so it makes sense. An hour before I wrote this chronicle, I got locked out of my kitchen (first draft said my OWN kitchen, geesh)  and I couldn’t access the garage (my OWN garage). I seethed. I’m sure before the ordeal is over someone will get hurt. Pretty sure that someone will be me.

As a self-fulfilling prophecy I proceed to unravel myself and focus on every little irritation. The noise of the saw cutting the supports for the roof. The shaking, confused old dog. I can’t get to the rooms toward back of the house. The guys make a colossal mess (they’re working!). I know better, but I decide to choose that road anyway, because after a week of mess and noise and uncertainty, I don’t have the “skill” to take the other road, the road I hope is more frequently traveled. To make it all worse…I know better. But, I am copeless. At the end of my ropeless.

Isn’t this the way change goes in our lives? We rail against it. We twist and we fight, sometimes even when the change is something we wanted or know will improve our lives or businesses. We KNOW we can choose to see it differently…but, sometimes, we intentionally choose not to. Sorry, that’s just…well…a stupid choice.

What are you choosing to view in a copeless light?

In 2 weeks, I can guarantee you, it will all be water under the bridge. Yesterday’s news. (Insert your own cliché here). I’ll be enjoying a clean and comfortable room, with lots of lovely, natural light.  I’ll also be be carrying the mantel of shame for my poor behaviour. Knowing I could have chosen another way of seeing things. But, we all do it, we’re human. We do all do it, don’t we?

The art of choice is a daily, spiritual practice (click to Tweet).

So what’s messy in your life? In your business? Are you handling it like a skilled adult…or like a 2 year-old child? Here’s the short plan to restore grace and joy into my well lived life:

  •    Focus on gratitude, in the moment, every day.Change can lead to life improvement
  •    Extend forgiveness – others are not trying to dance on my raw nerves – that’s about me!
  •    Visualize the outcome – I know I am working toward something     better.
  •    Take care of myself – know when to ask for a break and make sure I eat and sleep well
  •    Be patient

I’d love to know I’m not alone in my little stumble from grace. Please feel free to share a story, ask for help or just point at me and laugh at the link below.

It’s ALL Good!

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Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who teaches creatives business behaviours that boost their productivity and happiness…all the while honoring their unique and artsy selves. Follow her on Facebook on Twitter

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10 Replies to “Copeless…At the End of My Ropeless”

  1. Ms. Andres:
    I think you are very HUMAN. I wish I could follow your advice, but doesn’t it seem like half the people you come in contact with are clueless and the other half brainless? These frustrations are annoying, we have to at least try to get through them, but what you did should leave you with NO guilt. As I mentioned, you are HUMAN.

    1. Thank you for the reassurance, Josephine. When you know there is another way, but make a choice to take the “hard way” it is hard to feel good about the choice. Your acceptance of my humanity is kind and I thank you!

  2. Great post Michelle. My own ceiling has scraped plaster from where fire sprinkler decided to leak 2 years ago. I figure I’d fix the cosmetic damage next time the living room is painted. I’m used to it now. No big deal. My pool pump has a leak. My car is old and since i have no employment getting a car loan will be a challenge. What I’ve learned is that each day’s challenges are enough so why spend time worrying about a future I cannot control? Following that sage and Biblucal advice is the biggest challenge of all. But I’m commutted to it. I love what you said about forgiveness…no one is intentionally trying to mess with me. I’m learning to “practice” kindness no matter what. Keep the wisdom coming.

    1. Darlene, thank you for your thoughtfulness and your wise words. Life is sometimes imperfect, but almost always we have an opportunity to find it “sweet.”

  3. Pointing, Laughing, Sending Hugs, and it all reminds me of the time when…well lets just say I cannot wait to tell my ‘fish in the bathtub’ story, Thank you for your strive and perspective! Love “The art of choice is a daily, spiritual practice’…Nice & so true, Daily & Moment by Moment

  4. Michelle, I know you don’t want to hear this, but your 2 weeks could easily become 2 or 4 months. This is the time you need to stand firm: NO 3 DAY WEEKENDS!!! Demand a schedule or work from the contractor and KEEP HIM TO IT!!! I have gone through this same ordeal 3 times now and if you are of the faint of heart …. move out of your house! You need to take command and be in charge of all work done in your house…. or the contractors will walk all over you. Set scheduled (With penalties for not meeting scheduled), demand that they respect your privacy and right to access, Inspect the work DAILY!!! Do not accept poor workmanship that will eventually be hidden…. It will come back to haunt you. It is YOUR HOUSE and YOU ARE IN CHARGE. You write the checks!

    Hope you get through this ordeal with less anger and frustration than I had. PS- tell the contractors that, while they are working, your house is NOT THEIR TRASHBIN!!!

    Really, good luck

    1. Rick, thanks for having my back! Things are coming along pretty nicely…once my attitude changed. You give some great advice for keeping projects on track! Cheers! ~Michelle

  5. The UNIVERSE recently reminded me in a similar manner of my need of what I call “Generosity of Spirit”. I had been grumbling about the lack of said “Generosity” in the people around me, with none of them taking the hint. After a week or two it finally dawned on me that I was actually the one who needed to be “Generous of Spirit” with them. Things haven’t changed much, it’s just that the end of my ropeless seems a lot farther away. A big THANK YOU to the UNIVERSE and keep sending the reminders as needed…….

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