Demotion or Acknowledgment – Two Sides to Every Story – Treasure Your Life Now – vol 9-6

by Sheila Finkelstein on April 17, 2013

shades and shadows over two windows

In life I’m sure you’ve probably experienced that there are always at least two sides or more to every story we tell ourselve. In the process, if open to it, we also become aware of the often varied shades of shadows and light within the experience.

modern lamp and shadows on the wall

The following story was a huge reminder that situations are NOT always what we make them mean. I share the following story with the expectation that at some point it might provide an opening for you in one or more relationships, if not with others then at least with yourself.

Two weekends ago I, along with 6 other bright, aspiring and inspiring business men and women, spent four nights and three days in an intensive business retreat with our mentor Tom Antion. We all are participating in a year-long program with him as our consultant/trainer/business partner. Part of the program is being a guest in his estate home/office/studio for this working retreat.

Shortly after arriving I and my luggage were escorted to bedroom shown below. It was still daylight and I don’t recall if the lamp, which I grew to appreciate for its artistic elements, was on or off.

Lamp Bed and Picture in Antion Geek Room

The main thing I saw, and then focused on solely, was the “mattress on the floor” covered with red sheets. Then there was the top mattress, seemingly inches from the ceiling, with no apparent practical way to get to it.

My instant reaction, which I tried not to express out loud, was, “At my senior age, he (Tom) is expecting me to sleep on the floor and get out of bed, or climb up and down in the middle of the night…”

I won’t go into all the other things I made this mean. Nor will I expand on the ageless “sulking” I was mentally doing. I did finally complain, only a bit I think, as I requested a cot, at the very least, so I’d be able to sleep (maybe) in this room. The vibrancy of all the red around also concerned me. I was sure my sleep would be fitful.

OK, “What IS the Up Side to This Story and why am I publicly sharing it?”

So caught up in my own stories and feelings of “misery” and “degradation” I had not even really looked around me.

Poster of Bill Gates surrounded with technological gadgets

Along with all of the smiling Bill Gates images in the poster on the left, I too now smile as I share and fully appreciate the experience of the room and what I learned .

Note, if you can, all the examples of technology surrounding the picture.

That night, a few hours after we had all settled in and had a light dinner, Tom took us on a tour of the many rooms, including the bedrooms, in his working estate.

When we got to “my” room, he proudly pointed out that it was the “Geek Room,” specially designed by him. Everything in the room had been selected with care AND because I was there as Tech Savvy Sheila, building Technology for Seniors Made Easy, Tom had intentionally put me in that room, honoring me and my business choice!

Wow, what an awakening to the acknowledgment and privilege of being a guest in this, rather than all of the other “stuff” that had been in my head.

My Sleep and the Rest of the Story – Tom brought in another futon to put on the floor underneath the original, so I wasn’t quite as low down. The results were:

  • I had no trouble getting in and out of “bed.”
  • Being close to the floor, I was able to sit on the futon to take things in and out of my suitcase. No bending required. When it was to time to leave, I was able to easily pack without bending and putting any strain on my back
  • AND, I slept better and more soundly on that futon and in the room than I had in a while at home!

I am most thankful to Tom, his amazingly generous and helpful staff, and all the other participants for a unforgettable, transformational three and a half days.

Oh, if you are left wondering about the upper bunk – Although I did try to get past my fears, I never got up past the second step on the “ladder” to try out the top.

And if you are curious, I do reveal my age in years in the ABOUT page on my Technology for Seniors Made Easy site.

Also, you can see more of the room layout, including photos of a novelty item for people who hate leaving their computers. See the “The Geek Room“. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to see the latter-mentioned photos. It’s a great example of Tom’s humor, which broke up the intensity throughout the weekend.

Today’s Photos – are pretty much self-explanatory. The top photo is the blind-covered windows in the room described. Tom said that the blinds opened by remote control. I never did figure that one out.

Self-Reflecting Queries
Today’s story pretty much says it all. As you were reading and looking at the photos, did any experiences of your own surface for you?

I invite you to look into your recent life and see if there are areas where you thought you were being rejected. Perhaps you felt you were being singled out wrongly, or you were put in a situation where you felt “less than.” If something does come up for you, can you use my story to put a different interpretation on it?

Relationship Tip
If there comes a time, when you feel someone puts you in a situation, verbally or otherwise, where you may feel insulted or “put down,” check with that person to see what really is going on from his or her perspective.

Actually, check first with yourself to see what’s really happening with you, so you can understand what it is you need.

If something needs to be adjusted, then ask for it. Do this from a place of strength, honoring yourself and your needs, yet not negating the other person.

Always stay open and be willing for win-win compromise.

Please share in the COMMENTS below your experiences with these questions and your resultant actions.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous April 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I am not a Facebook person. truth is I am leery of it.
I want to compliment you on your accomplishments.
I can’t wait to get started with your help for seniors.
But I must first add that I had a situation where I was verbally abused. I took it . Now I am home and wallowing in self pity.
After reading your experience I am taking a long look at my part in it.


Sheila Finkelstein April 17, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Thanks for responding here, Peg, and taking steps being public. I can understand your being leery of Facebook. On the other hand there are all kinds of Privacy settings one can make. This is a subject I can go into more directly on the blog.

Use of it depends on whether people with whom you want to connect are using Facebook. In my own experience, I have found that women with whom I went to school, women in the senior years ages 70 and up, do not seem to be using Facebook. On the other hand my family and cousins use it, as well as friends in other groups. There also may be private, special interest groups you might find.
And, again, you can control who sees your posts.

BTW – We also have neighbors who are on Facebook, maybe even more than those of whom I am aware.


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