The Edge


In my experience as a blogger I have been upset and bothered enough to stop only twice. Today was one of those days. Today I felt like I had a Facebook experience honestly, not my usual warm and friendly ‘community’ feeling of the blogging community.

I made the mistake of commenting on a blog recently and was rewarded with a barrage of answers from the blogger, and someone related to her, that was…well, more than I bargained for shall we say. It left me stunned. The thing I commented on actually, if found anywhere else, most likely could have been considered edging very close to a hate statement (in my opinion anyway)–and that is why I commented on it. I said something far more tame than I could have in fact.

In most instances what I saw on the blog, and might have been seen elsewhere, might have been taken down on other sites as offensive. It certainly was to me. But WordPress seems pretty lax about things. They don’t monitor much. And, worse than that, they don’t allow us the ability to block harassing people. So we must endure their comments, no matter how mean they get–self-righteous as these people think they are.

WordPress feels this is an open forum so buck up. Take it. And if you can’t, get out of the game. Make your site private (which can be very tricky).

Well, I guess I understand. But I don’t have to play.

I’ve been thinking for some time about a break anyway. The ideas have been coming hard. One of my favorite bloggers told me maybe to stop writing every day. This seems like a good idea. I just had my five-year anniversary on the site. Five years seems like a good time to try something different. So I may just write when the mood strikes me instead of forcing it all the time, every day.

Sometimes the Universe directs you a certain way. That blogger that won’t go away has directed me. If she won’t go away, then I will–at least now and again. So I say to her: thank you for helping to push me towards this decision that has been hard to make. You tipped me right over the edge…

Merry Eostre


So my dear and diverse readers in blogging land, I’m going to diverge from my normal protocol (well mostly) and stick my toe into the potentially controversial topic of religion.

Today as most of you know is Easter here in the US. And some of you may also know, because I have mentioned on my blog before, I am not Christian– although I do tend to be a very spiritual (and respectful) person. But there is one thing that I have found over the years perplexing (and maybe slightly tiresome) that I’m going to put out to you all.

Why do people–like almost everybody I bump into–feel compelled to wish me a Happy Easter and assume this has meaning to me? This has been going on for days leading up to today and each time I hear it, I just wonder what they think when they say it. Do they think that I too am Christian and celebrate this particular holiday or is it just something to say instead of: gee, it’s a nice day out?

To me it would seem the more appropriate thing to say might be: Do you celebrate Easter? And then this might open a conversation. Or they could even discuss their Easter plans and say: What a great day for Easter. Then it leaves the other person open to speak of their plans if they have any, or just listen if they don’t.

If someone is a completely different religion, say Jewish, wishing them a Happy Easter, is not particularly relevant to them. At Christmas time these phrases (Merry Christmas!!) happen too, although folks seem sometimes to be a bit more aware and sometimes offer a ‘Happy Holidays’ just in case.

I understand that people aren’t trying to be rude or anything, but it’s more about awareness of ones interactions with people and who they might be. Like the adage: don’t assume. Just because you believe something and it has meaning to you, doesn’t mean it does to someone else (even if it has meaning to a large population). It’s maybe not a big thing really. Just a small politeness. A tiny way to say: hey, I’m me, but maybe you’re you and it’s OK. We can all live here together with our own beliefs, traditions and truths. A way to keep trying to connect our world on a more individual level and not lump everyone into a category. Maybe if we tried this and took the time to get to know each person we met rather than treat them as a reflection of our own insecurities, there wouldn’t be so much hate and fear.

So what if I said to you: Merry Eostre. What would you say and how would you feel? Would you take the time it hear what it means to me? Or will you remain in your own story till the end…??

I hope you all had a wonderful, peaceful and blessed Sunday.

wpid-IMG_20130623_193618.jpg

Invisible


While I don’t like to admit it, I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older (and have embraced my gray hair) I’ve become invisible. In my younger life, I was never, ever an invisible person. Even when I felt then (unbeknownst to my then introverted self) that the crowds were getting a bit too much for me. Somehow I still stood out shall we say. My personality was somehow bigger than my small frame… even when I didn’t want it to be.

It was my big mouth I suppose: always standing up when I felt injustice was happening, or whispering an irreverence at inopportune moments. Or when I felt someone (preferably someone of authority) said something I felt stupid and needed to be put straight. Yep, I never held back, and usually got in trouble, bringing attention to myself and therefore was definitely not invisible.
Plus I was never, ever a follower. And in fact, usually a leader. Starting a trend maybe, like the first one to wear hot pants in my high school. To me, they were just cool. Or to bring cloth bags to the grocery store 40 years ago when everyone thought I was nuts. Or becoming a vegetarian about the same time because it simply made sense. And being the ‘class clown’ and ‘most inclined to argue’ also put me in the class of calling attention to myself–just like George Carlin so aptly said…Hey, look at me!

Did I need attention? I don’t know? I just know that I was an only child and loved school and my friends and loved to get into it with anyone who would participate in good debate or humor. Or I did some things simply because they made good sense to me and I believed they were right. It never occurred to me that not everyone felt the same way. In fact, it might be better if they didn’t.
So now that I’m 60, and suddenly a senior citizen–it seems so odd to say that because I still feel like a kid–and part of the class of people who most ignore. It feels crazy. Me, the person that most folks used to gather around and laugh with, or got yelled at, or who got sent to the principal’s office because I was so disruptive. Now I can’t even mange to worm my way into a conversation because it’s assumed I have nothing of value to say. It’s utterly amazing to me.

At least this is what I find among the folks where I work. It’s a mixed crowd of both young and middle aged…not too many my age. I’m in the hub where people come and go and I could just be a chair really. When they bring new people around, most times I don’t even get introduced. I find it rude really. The new gal that does my job in the evening is 27, pretty and has far more attention from folks (men and women mind you) fluttering around her in a couple of months than I do in nearly a year there.

Is it because our society doesn’t value age and wisdom? Certainly I have become less in need of the attention I once did. I’m more subdued and quiet and more observant. Maybe I don’t draw the attention any longer.

It’s quite interesting to watch the squabbles, the dances and cruelties. I’m proud to have joined the ranks of the wise ones actually. There’s humor sitting back while seeing those that make fools of themselves as I once did or listen to tales of woe and know how unimportant these things really are in the grand scheme of life.

I only hope I’ve taught my own daughters to treat their elders better than I am treated at work. And I hope I never acted in this way. We can certainly choose moments to be invisible, but no-one should make  someone feel that way. We all have the same rights to be equally colorful, vibrant and brilliantly seen.

Resignation


Well, today was the last straw at work. Someone that I thought was a nice person and sort of a friend (I don’t know anyone really well enough to call them a true friend), did something pretty yucky to me today. So now, after being pushed and soul searching, I’ve decided to resign tomorrow. And what better day than April Fool’s day.

image
I’m no fool!

After hearing about those two sad young men yesterday and their tragic stories, and listening to myself complain for three months, I decided enough is enough. Life really is just too short. While there are some very nice people there, the bulk of the energy is negative. I’ve learned (and accepted) enough about myself, that I am really an emotional sponge. One can’t simply say to me: Oh don’t let it bother you. No, it’s not possible. I take in all that is around me: the yelling, the gossiping, the mean talk, the shaming, the crabbiness, the rudeness and the direct negativity pointed at me.

image

I went into this job with high hopes and a good attitude and now I can’t sleep, have anxiety chest pain and feel exhausted every night when I go home. It’s simply time to walk away. This is a hard decision because I feel very guilty about leaving after only 3 months and letting the nice people down, not fulfilling obligations etc., but it’s not worth it in the end.

image
On to greener pastures…..

I’m toying with the idea of becoming a home health aide. Yes…yet a new career and more training at almost 60! But I love senior citizens, it’s a short class and there is a huge call for it down here. The pay is low, but I think the rewards might be great. I’d be back to actually helping people and maybe not being treated like a second class citizen. For me it’s about giving back. Feel free to put your two cents in….??

image
I seriously think you are doing the right thing Mommy!

On a good note: I got this wonderful ‘post card’ from one of my best blogging buddies today. He sent it like four weeks ago from England…he’s originally from there, but lives in NZ now. He’s on a 5 week trip all over the place. It took forever to get to me, but it couldn’t have come at a better time. I needed it today. It’s called a ‘Timbergram’ and is made out of wood! I’ve never seen anything like it. 🙂 Thanks…(you know who you are!!)

image

image

Bleeding Heart


image

 

Some time ago I read an article about women my age going through a realization point. It said basically that by our ‘past middle age’ crone point, we have realized that we can stop trying to please everyone else and that we can begin concentrating on ourselves and what might us happy. Over the past year or so, and certainly since my awful car accident, this certainly has been the case with me.

I probably started this process way before this when I began to realize that not everyone had to be my friend. When I was much younger, I was the type of person that seemed to gather every soul to me.  It was important to me to be nice to everybody possible and befriend all types and listen endlessly to their stories. This, obviously, can be a huge energy drain as most people don’t usually give back what they take.

Over the years I began to realize that I didn’t need to have a million friends in order to be OK, so instead only kept the ones close to me that provided quality friendship back. This was a huge step, but so uplifting. But I was still really a ‘pleaser’ in many ways. At work I gave almost everyone a holiday gift, no matter how many co-workers I had. And I used to send about 60 gifts around the country at holiday time too! No, I did not get that many back.

In my marriages/relationships I think I tried too hard and expected too much in return and therefore was always disappointed. That’s why they all failed. And, of course, I gave and gave to my three daughters also as a mother should. When one is by nature a giving person, it’s hard not to be in every role we play: wife, friend, co-worker, employee….whatever we do.

But in this role, it is easy for others to take advantage of one’s good nature. And this has happened too often to me. I have been hurt more times than I can count: by friends, bosses, husbands, boyfriends and now my kids. And it’s to the point now where my heart bleeds.

I am much, much older now. And I have been through a lot. My business as a paramedic also has slammed home the importance of living life to the fullest and reaping the most joy from one’s OWN life that you can. When one is spending time trying to please someone else all the time, you lose yourself in the meantime. And before you know it: poof, your life is gone.

The really sad part too is that many of the people who expect me now to continue to ‘yes’ them (like my kids or ex-husband) are incredibly disrespectful of me! They, apparently, have become so accustomed to me simply putting my own feelings aside, that this new woman they face has turned them into mean and rude people themselves. They do not like me having an opinion or a feeling that doesn’t agree with what they want, or for me to say NO. They don’t like me finally standing up for myself. They feel I’m too ’emotional’.

I am very conflicted though, don’t get me wrong. Two of my kids aren’t talking to me right now because I’m standing my ground. And my ex and I aren’t either (no great loss there). But I will no longer tolerate rudeness or disrespect. I’m not at work either from my boss. Even my mother said something hurtful and I told her. She got very angry and yelled endlessly. It was amazing! It was scary to me to tell my mother I wouldn’t accept behavior from her!

So I guess people don’t like to see change in someone. I’ve tried to remain calm as they all rage around me. Maybe I’ll end up with no family or friends? I have no idea. But I feel inner peace now. It seems the whole world would rather fight and rage and everyone has forgotten to communicate. I have tried speaking calmly to all that fight with me. It’s funny but my middle daughter told me a man who lived here with me said that I was hard to live with after he moved out. This coming from a man who yelled every time there was a discussion about anything! And who continues to stalk me on my blog.

Maybe I will never understand people. Or maybe they will never understand me. I surely hope my daughters come around and get it someday before I’m too old. My mom and I just avoid everything and so it will remain. But I do know I will continue to stand up for myself. It feels right now. I have only myself now to please. If I don’t do it, no-one else will.