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Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Soft Heart, Cruel World

It's not the first time I've noticed a pattern.  New years are not good for me.  January is when I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.  I don't know why.  The excitement of new days and fresh beginnings that some people experience is lost to me.  Again, I do not know why.  The end of a year simply morphs into another day with a different filing tab.

I had an amazing Christmas.  I had been looking forward to it for months and months, and it was the culmination of a lot of planning.  Many things had to fall into perfect place, and indeed, it did.  There were some blips along the way, but nothing that any family doesn't experience during holiday gatherings.  All in all, it was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be with just a few small exceptions.  I would have loved it if my sister-in-law, Beth was still here with her family.  I would have called our Christmas in Anacortes absolutely perfect if my sister Loke and my brother-in-law Phil were with us.  But, as they say, you can't have everything.

It did suck that we got sick, and that sickness followed us home.  It made the last week of Charlie and Caris' vacation pretty bad.  And perhaps, that is where my melancholy began to set in.  No new year celebration, none of the excitement of gathering with friends to see out the old and see in the new.  Just home, all of us, nursing illness. 

I tried to bask in the afterglow, and be very, very grateful for what I had been lucky to experience.  My family and dear friends around me in a place that I truly love.  I tried to remind myself to put on a smile and move into the world as if nothing was amiss.  This is always my intention.  But things don't always go according to plan, and the road to hell, so they say, is paved with good intentions.  Sometimes, despite how hard you fight, depression wins. 

Lately, I have done the work, and I have moved through the days.  I did the things I was supposed to do.  I got my mammogram done, and yes, even that dreaded lung CT.  I've done my bloodwork, I've had my spinning head diagnosed.  I've packed boxes for mailing, I've done the chores, and run the errands.  I'm going through the motions. 

Unfortunately, things that penetrate my soft heart in this cruel world make resistance difficult.  A dog that I don't know passing away guts me.  I linger on the thought of my sister-in-law, I cannot get the senseless killing of animals for no reason out of my head, a friend deciding to leave a circle over a passionate stand clips my wings, an unkind word excused as "a joke" leaves a scratch slow to heal, and then a perception of dismissiveness literally lays me out.  That was the last of it for me. 

At some point, you can take what the world throws at you while you hold up your Wonder Woman bracelets to fend off the slings and arrows.  Then, you reach your limit and you just can't hold it anymore.  You can't bite your tongue.  You can't stay silent.  You can't just sit there and pretend that you agree with offhanded cavalier remarks.  At least, I know I can't.  I think what is possibly worse, is the disappointment.  You don't always have to agree with people.  But you certainly shouldn't dismiss their passion, however unworthy that passion may be to you.  I always thought that with friendship came a bit of loyalty.  Sometimes, I guess, there are levels of loyalty.  I can't seem to find the loyalty level that prevents me from getting hurt.  You'd think after 57 years, I'd get the memo.

Again, I find that the one constant in my life is the one I come home to.  The one who is always there, always faithful, always in my corner, always listening when the cruel world is just more than I can bear.  This soft heart he knows, and he doesn't make me feel bad because of it.  He doesn't dismiss me, or roll his eyes.  He simply opens his arms, holds me and says it is the very reason he loves me so much.  Now, if I could just lift myself out of the muck as skillfully as he does.


Blogger Jess said...

Dates and holidays are artificial creations. Sometimes they lead to nice celebrations and good time with friends, but they can't change the things that really count in life. Your mention of a dog passing hit home. Today, we learned that a dog we know had passed away. He belonged to friends of ours. Over the years, we'd had him stay with us as an overnight guest. Sometimes, he visited just for an afternoon. And he was a fixture in our friends' home, of course.

He was a sweetheart. A big pit bull who lived up to the true nature of pitbulls... he was a big mush. He always wanted his spot on the couch, mostly so he could put his head on your leg and cuddle. He will be missed, and we're both feeling that deeply.

Sorry. Not looking to hijack your post. More like, nod in agreement. And as I do here, you need to look around and realize that you're truly blessed. That you have loving family and that one there to hold you is a blessing beyond words. Focus on that! *hug*

6:08 PM  
Blogger Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

I'm so sorry for your friends' loss, Jess. I know many in my world find my inability to bounce back from news like this strange. Possibly even silly or ridiculous. But it's me. It grows to be more me with every passing year.

It seems age must be the catalyst for certain amount of growth or wisdom. I used to have these long talks with Steve G. about everything under the sun. Though he is a decade younger, even when we met 21 years ago, he was so "sage". I envied him. He seemed to have a solid grasp on many things that eluded me. I always wondered what it would be like to "know" so early in life.

Here I am, 57 years old, and only recently feeling a sense of, for the lack of a better word, self-resonsibility. I never understood how I could love animals so much, but have no problem eating them. So, late as it may be, this past year, I just stopped. I had been toying around for years, saying I was "easing" my way in. But one day, I just woke up and said; "No more". And I didn't tell anyone for 6 months, and no one really noticed. Somehow, for the first time, I feel worthy. Of what, I don't know. But in some strange way, as if my heart wasn't already so ridiculously pliable, it's even more so now.

In a strange way,that almost seems unfair. I don't know how to explain it. That's just a small example. Charlie really wants me off social media. The passing of Piper, and this coyote derby I've been helping to fight is really taking a toll on me. Then, the incident that moved this post from my broken heart to this page happened. Believe me, I'm trying to focus on all the good, and be proud of accomplishments and steps forward. But some days are just really SNAFU'D right out of the gate.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

That's essentially how we switched to pescatarian. We'd talked about the possibility from time to time, but it never was a really serious talk. Then one day, after a few things motivated me, I had a serious talk with Marc and said I really wanted to do it. He agreed, and so we went cold turkey. Right then, we just switched.

We still eat fish, but that's it, other than dairy and vegetables. If it ever walked on land or flew in the air, it's not going to wind up on our plates! (As a bonus, it seems to have improved our digestion, too!)

10:01 AM  
Blogger Puamakana said...

Yes, that's pretty much the route we've gone. I didn't mention anything to Charlie, I just wanted to see what I could do, and for how long I could do it. I had already stopped eating pork a long time ago. So, it seemed it would be easier. Charlie actually noticed about two months ago, then he asked me to just cook for him, the way I cook for me. I know we won't ever be able to go vegan, but at least I feel we've moved in the right direction. Better late than never, and it's good to do it together. I would add that though I'm following the pescatarian route, I can't bring myself to eat octopus anymore...something that I used to really love. Polipo con patate. One of my favorites, grilled octopus. But, they're just too intelligent. ::sigh::
You'd think I'd have lost a lot more weight by now. The only way that's going to happen is if Cosmos suddenly evolve to become animals. ;)

11:51 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

Yeah, I never could go vegan. I actually don't believe in that approach. I'd prefer a way to not have anything killed for my food, even a fish, but I do think a certain amount of that kind of protein is needed. We have a friend who took that approach. He's an NYPD officer and very fit, but his doctor made him stop after a few years because he wasn't getting all the nutrients he needed and too many blood counts were going off.

Anyhow, this works for me/us. And no more cows, chickens, etc., are being slaughtered because we have to eat. Plus, my doctor, who finds the idea of a fat guy not being at death's door a bit of a puzzle, has to deal with more confounding results. Like my cholesterol count from a few weeks ago which was ridiculously low. :-)

9:06 AM  

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