I love fire, as evidenced in pretty much all of my gravatars of late. Honestly, I would set fire to my house if I could, but won’t–although I get yelled at all winter when manning our wood stove and being accused of potentially burning our house down.
Nonetheless, it was quite a treat to be able to go to a controlled burn where the local fire departments were burning down an old condemned house a few months back. My partner got the more professional pictures that I can’t share, but I got some good ones on my phone that are actually pretty decent for a non-camera. Here’s my favorite:
Started this blog 2 1/2 years ago, and spent much time thinking about what I wanted to write since them, but obviously not actually doing it. Granted, I am usually not in a position to write at the time I’m thinking (since I’m working, driving, cooking, or whatever), but still means I’ve left much unsaid.
What’s basically transpired is . . . nothing. Just going through the motions, completing the daily routines, not really knowing what else to do. No growth, and really no desire to keep doing what I’m actually doing. Well, OK, maybe some growth–realizing that repeatedly doing things I hate doing doesn’t make me like it more or get used to it. Same as getting a focus on what is important, and finding a lot of things aren’t important and wondering why I am waiting time and money on useless things . . .
What would I like to actually do? What I think about, or at least write about what I think about. Guess that’s the purpose of my post. To at least get writing. Get my thoughts out of my head, especially since many of my thoughts cannot be shared with others close to me. Not that I want or seek support or kudos or anything like that, but I just don’t enjoy being told how wrong I am because my thoughts and beliefs are not theirs. I want to express myself and be heard out whether one agrees with me or not.
Anyhow . . . just having a rambling rant to collect my thoughts . . .
I must admit that I never viewed love as the perfect “happily ever after” depicted in the movies. Relationships are hard, just as life is hard, and that perfect ending in the movies doesn’t exist. Doesn’t mean that one can’t be happy, just that there will be good and bad and ups and downs.
With that said, I didn’t expect at age 41 to be both the breadwinner and housewife along with caregiver of my partner (who is 49) for going on 15 years. My partner became permanently disabled within a year of us entering our relationship and has battled chronic pain, an autoimmune disease, and decreased mobility for most of that time. More recently, she has been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (an Alzheimer’s related disease than can potential end in Alzheimer’s but will hopefully be curbed by meds). And this week we find she could have early stages of Parkinson’s. Needless to say, medical problems and hospital visits have long been routine and just a way of life.
As a result, I feel like I lost my voice along the way. Long days are spend working at my “day job”, taking care of my partner and our menagerie of pets and rescues, taking care of our home, and running our animal welfare group. When I finally sit at my computer for “me” time, I’m at a loss. In exhaustion, I can no longer remember my prior thoughts that will express myself. What, really, are my opinions? What do I believe? Am I passionate about anything anymore, or am I just a machine doing the physical tasks that need to be done.
So, here I am, finally beginning to express myself again . . . time to have my voice heard once again.
“Taking things personally makes you prey for predators. They can hook your attention with one little opinion, and feed you whatever poison they want.” ~ don Miguel Ruiz
My aunt first introduced me to The Four Agreements about 10 or so years ago. She referred to don Miguel as her teacher and mentor, and his teachings were life changing. While his teachings were life changing for me, they also mirrored many of my own personal beliefs that I already had, but had allowed our culture and society to bury. When I first read the Four Agreements, I was reminded that I placed too much emphasis on what others say to me and what others thought of me and my beliefs. At the time, I would still feel guilty for not believing what I was “supposed” to (i.e. not belonging and/or practicing any sort of organized religion, even though I did not believe in many of the basic principles). I would also base my self worth and feelings on how I was being treated in my relationships with family and my partner. Reading don Miguel’s words reminded me that I alone determine my self worth and how I feel and that I should not allow others to influence or poison me.
Strong words. Words that made me stronger and helped me get through some of the toughest times of my life, consequences that were brought on by some horrible choices that snowballed (that may be another story for later).
Unfortunately, in the past couple years I’ve been forgetting don Miguel’s words, and have been taking things too personally in my relationship–one of the hardest Agreements for me to remember and practice. I have no problem not taking things personally at work (I’m a customer service rep for a health insurance company, so that’s a necessity in my line of work), but not so in my personal life. As a result, seeing his quote today reminded me that I have to again get on the path, to remember that when hurtful things are said, it’s usually not directed at me personally (even if the words appear to be directed at me). My partner, for example, lives with chronic pain and illnesses and can be easily angered, and as a result she tends to say hurtful things whether she means to or not. When I take her hurtful remarks personally, then I let that affect me, and it affects my self esteem and confidence, and I cannot be or do my best. Granted, I can do a lot. But I cannot be my best and I cannot feel good about myself.
So, it’s time once again to read the Four Agreements and remind myself what I already know.
Welcome to my WordPress.com blog. Yes, keeping the cheesy obligatory first blog post, but at least I’m getting a little more respectable and moved from blogger to wordpress. Plus, I can be lazy and post from my blackberry thanks to the wordpress app lol. I spend too much time promoting my animal welfare site and work that I ignore my personal work, so here we go . . .