Eeegads my back has been killing me the past two days. Or honestly, it’s really not my back that is trying to murder me, it’s my kidneys. I think I’ve over-polluted my kidneys lately with wonderful Thankskgiving and holiday food…and now I am suffering. This morning is a bit better than yesterday, of that I am grateful, which I think is due, at least in part, to the big mug of celery/orange/ginger juice I made yesterday morning.
Last summer, I couldn’t choke down 2 ounces of celery juice, let alone 16 ounces, But I was able to drink it yesterday morning and I didn’t puke. It was actually good. My body thanked me for it. Later in the day I made up a snack of raw, ground, almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, carob, honey, an overripe banana and raisins. I dipped a couple of fresh bananas in this thick, sweet, chocolate mess, and I was all set for 3 hours of play practice. I froze half of the dip because it’s so rich it’s gonna take me awhile to eat all that.
At play practice my back/kidneys were really sore, which was magnified by the uncomfortable positions I found myself in backstage, and the costumes…oh the costumes. I don’t know how women survived their clothes in the 1940’s. I really don’t. For one thing, they must of been a whole lot skinnier than me because my fancy church outfit won’t even zip up in the back…and I am rather small by today’s standards. Not only that, the skirt, when pulled up as high as it is supposed to go, rests right under my boobs, and is tight around my stomach in all the wrong places. Back in the 1940’s I don’t believe women suffered aching kidneys…and if they did, they probably just passed out or died from the pain or stayed home in bed in a flannel nightgown.
The play I am working on is called “When It Snows In Miami,” and is set in December 1942 and is about a little girl who thinks her daddy will come home from the war when it snows in Miami. I play the preachers wife, Felicity Johnson. My back was hurting so bad that I forgot I had lines two times. Luckily for me my fellow cast members nudged me at the appropriate times and I woke up and spoke.
After play practice I came home and fixed dinner. Wanting to stay on the detox path, I took one bunch of cilantro, 3 cloves garlic, and 1 ripe tomato and chopped them up in the food processor, adding a little salt and vinegar. After putting it on my plate, I added one avocado and some ground pumpkin seeds and a little coconut oil. I looked at the mess I had made and figured I would have to chuck it in the pig bucket, but when I took a bite, I couldn’t believe how good it was. It was soooo DARK green. There was no bitterness at all that I could detect, and I ate the whole thing.
During the night I got up no less than 4 times to pee, but this morning, I am happy to report, my kidneys are doing quite well. Last night I couldn’t even sit on the couch without pain…I had to lay down. But this morning, it’s a much less painful world, which means I will be able to get things done today. On the agenda are shipping out soap orders and making more soap, plus felting the two boxes of soap I have sitting on the kitchen counter. Want to see my my soaps? You can check them out in my Etsy Shop.
The other thing that is going to get done today is ordering SEED CATALOGS! All my friends are already getting their seed catalogs in the mail. I seem to be the only one missing out. I have a big garden planned for spring, so can’t wait to get my heirloom catalogs so I can start deciding what I’d like to order. If you have a favorite seed, tree, or flower catalog, heirloom or otherwise, drop the name in the comments box. I only know of a few. I’d like to order about a dozen.
But for now, I am off to juice some celery for a fine morning cocktail.
I wish you all a fine and sunny day, wherever you are in the world.
Also, check me and my critters out on our other channels.
Yesterday’s peace and tranquility of a sunny and warmer Saturday was broken by deer hunters dropping off truckloads of deer hounds up and down the little country road I live on. The hounds run baying through the woods and chase deer out where any of the hunters, sitting in warm trucks strategically parked up and down the road for several miles, can shoot them. With this method of hunting, you don’t even need boots, unless ya just don’t wanna get your sneakers bloody.
Dog hunting, (my term, which might not be the term dog hunters prefer), has an old and longstanding tradition in this neck of the woods, and those hunters will tell us, (the rest of us, as I prefer to call those of us who do not hunt with dogs, and are, in fact, the majority) that if we are opposed to hunting with dogs, we should not have moved to this part of the state. One gentle-fellow even went so far yesterday on a FB post to call out us “non-native locals” as he referred to us, and pretty much said we outta stick a sock in it.
Having only lived here for 30 years myself, I guess I fall into that category of being a non-native local. But, many native locals also feel the pressure on a Saturday morning when, if you have a farm or outside dogs, it is not safe to leave because you WILL have hunters and baying hounds crossing your property, upsetting your livestock, causing your dogs to go off barking again and again, and even dogs that normally never leave your yard will suddenly take off after a pack of hounds and might not ever be seen again.
If it just happened one time, it might not be so bad….but it’s an all day thing. Up and down the road, hunters are parked all over the place, guns drawn, running back and forth across the road, waiting for the dogs to flush out deer…sometimes it’s hard to get around them. I live on a paved road. This aint no backwoods gravel road with hardly any traffic. There are houses everywhere, most are within site of each other. All are on private property and almost none have given hunters permission to hunt…so, they stick to the roadsides.
I could go on, but the subject makes me mad, and it’s Sunday morning…no hunting is allowed today, so I can stifle my anger and think about something else.
The wind has really revved up overnight and it sounds as if this old house might get picked up and carried to the next county. If it does, I hope it lands on a nice flat spot beside a babbling brook someplace where dog hunting is not allowed.
My former partner, who once lived here with me, was not a hunter. In fact, he didn’t like animals much, dead or alive. They are dirty. He wore gloves to pet the dogs. He put up with my animal habit, but barely. No dogs were allowed in the house, and a cat…ha ha, forget that.
I like animals, and I have never felt the need to hunt them. If I get hungry, I’ll just eat a tomato or something. I was a vegetarian for many, many years of my life, but once I moved to the country, and began living close to farm critters, I got a new appreciation for the cycle of life and death. I am not anti-hunting. Many of my closest friends are avid hunters. I love going out into the woods myself, but I shoot with a Nikon camera, not a gun.
This morning, I am grateful for the peace of a Sunday morning. I am grateful for a God who loves me just as I am, good friends, wonderful companion animals, my family, and the freedom to live as I choose, to be the mistress of my own kingdom and live a life free from oppression.
Have a great Sunday ya’ll.
I don’t know about you, but one of the things I love most about rustic farm living is that the indoor animals seem to get just as cold as I do, which means that I am always kept warm at night by a Pitbull that prefers to sleep on my chest, a Pomeranian whose favorite place is on top of my feet, and a half grown kitten that makes herself into a warm scarf around my neck at exactly 5:46 am every single morning. I wouldn’t notice what time the kitten wrapped herself around my neck if it weren’t for her sharp cat claws needling into my skin and the loud purr she emits as she makes herself comfy. I figured out awhile back that it’s not really a warm place to sleep that she’s after so much as it’s her soft, (but scratchy) was of letting me know that wood stove fire needs stoking and she needs feeding. And don’t get her none of that cold left over cat food out of the fridge either!
I cherish these peaceful, if cold, mornings, as I remember that not so long ago, things were not so peaceful and I usually woke up to fear. Back then, I was just glad to wake up. Or sometimes, I wasn’t.
This morning, I woke up to a schedule taped to my desk that I wrote out last night. And I am actually sticking to it! Of course, it’s only 6:51 am, but I’ve already let the roosters out. I’ll let the hens and the baby chicks out a little later after the horses have been fed.
I checked the horses and they are still munching on last nights hay piles, so feeding them does not have to be done right away.
I think today might be a good day to do some burning of things. There are two big Chestnut trees about 20 feet from the front door that drop spiny balls of hell from September through November. Inside their spiny husks are a smooth round chestnut…usually with a worm hole and one or more worms making themselves at home inside. The nuts are not worth the time it takes to try to harvest them.
Tonya, the Pitbull, eats as many of them as she can hold without puking, and I often scoop up piles of them for the pig, but most of them get burned. They sizzle in the hot fire and the resulting steam makes them pop and fly across the yard…like hot burning pellets from a gun.
Tonya likes to sit by the fire and wait for them. She will chase them across the yard and grab them in her mouth, still steaming, and eat them gingerly. She doesn’t seem to mind getting hit with them either if one flies her way. She loves rummaging through the cooling fire out the outside of the pile to grab cooked chestnuts. I have never seen a dog so mesmerized by fire. The Pyrenees cowers in fear when the chestnuts start popping and will jump the fence to get away from the sound. Yeah, I know, he would never make a good gun dog. But he sleeps on the front porch at night and barks with a deep and scary bark at any noise he hears. He’s my night watchman. I couldn’t sleep without that dog on my porch protecting me.
Well, the day has begun, and my morning writing time is over, It’s time to get started on chores. I wish you all a great Saturday! Stay warm!
Just the other day I started reading a book by Marianne Williamson called “A Woman’s Worth”. Honestly, my whole life, I never really thought about what a woman was worth. What I was I worth. Mostly, I have figured I really wasn’t worth very much. As a money-earner, the bank account never seems to stay filled. As a mother, well, lets just say I love my kids, but was never the perfect soccer mom type. And in relationships with men? Well, I must say that my lack of self-worth has always been extra-apparent in this area. I strive to be the supporter, rarely the supported. I am the understanding one, never expecting understanding myself. I accept rules that don’t suit me. I accept being the last in line…the fall-back plan in case all of his other plans fall through…men can count on me. I put myself in their shoes, trying to feel their feelings, while leaving my own shoes footless.
On page 7 of Marianne’s book, she writes, “like many battered wives, we look endlessly for love in places with no capacity to love us back. We must consciously choose to do this no longer.”
Thank you so much Marianne. This woman, with this one statement, has given women everywhere permission, at last, to stop seeking love outside of ourselves, outside of God. No person can ever love us like God does. Not even one. Not even close.
It’s a hard slap in the face though, on a cold morning, to get up alone to build a fire. To have no one to fix coffee for. No one to pack a lunch for. No one to talk about the days plans with. As women, we long to nurture, and we long to be nurtured in return.
I think about these five acres I’ve been blessed with. 5 beautiful acres just waiting for a hand to love them. To turn back the jungle of thorns and heaps of garbage left by others who once lived here who were not as appreciative of the land. During times when I have turned inward, and cried myself to sleep at night, alone, I’ve seen the jungle creep faster and further forward, threatening to suffocate this run down house and everything in it. At other times, when I’ve felt more like the queen of my jungle, I watch those choking vines and weeds recede and things become more clear. I can see what needs to be done. I can see the huge piles of twisted metal, glass, and trash, beckoning a loving hand to clear it off the land.
Yesterday I pulled a 10 foot piece of rusted barbed wire out my old gelding, Lyrik’s tail. I don’t know where he picked it up, or how it became entangled in his tail. The bad areas have been roped off, but the two geldings are allowed to roam around those areas…being trusted more around such things than the younger mares who always seem to look for trouble. Lyrik wasn’t upset about the wire. He came up near the house and stood calmly while I removed it. The barbs had been rusted dull and he didn’t have a single scratch on himself from it. I vowed then and there to get out there this winter and get the rest of property cleaned up. Right now there are fences in the way that need to be moved so I can get the truck back there to put the garbage in. There are old truck canopy’s, broken toilets, axles, tires, rusted metal, and more.
It’s all pretty overwhelming most days. And most days I usually forget that I am queen of my own life. That I have nothing to apologize for. That I am worth something, even love from another, right here, right now, just the way I am, and just the way things are.
But when I do remember, as Marianne has reminded me once again, the clouds lift, the birds start chirping again, and I take my spot back on my throne of experience, of having lived life and now know a few things…my throne of self worth, and self respect. And feel joyous in the thought that I don’t have to be someone’s last choice, someone’s last minute “hey what are you doing?”(at 11pm)..
“Why, I am laying in my comfy bed, reading Marianne Williamson’s “A Woman’s Worth”…and I know that I am worth a whole lot more than a last minute, 11pm alcohol-fueled visit that I am not prepared for and was not expecting. I am worth more. I am worth a call in the morning asking how I am doing. I am worth an invitation to dinner. I am worth a ride down a country road. I am worth a movie night. I am worth a whole night. I am worth a lifetime.
And as for this 5 acres and me? We will stay our ground. We will lean on each other for support. We will love each other in important ways. I will give to her, and she will give back to me. And we will declare our life, a life worth living.
I am a morning writer. Actually, the morning is about the only time I do anything productive. In the winter months, after outside chores are finished, I usually crawl under the covers between 8 and 9pm. The darkness comes too early. And I find it somewhat depressing. So I go to bed and wait for the dawn.
I haven’t been writing much lately. My eyes are getting tired, and my brain feels like it’s full of sawdust. This happened to me a couple of years ago in college when I was trying to learn Spanish. A big brown-colored wall grew in my mind…kind of like the wall that Trump wants to throw up on the Mexican border…to keep out immigrants…that sort of wall. It’s at least 20 feet tall and made of cement and wood. When positive, happy thoughts knock against it, it has a dull sound. They get swallowed up, and are not allowed back out. They become lost, and unable to be thought anymore. The negative thoughts bounce against it, making pinging noises. They don’t go over the wall, but bounce back and forth to be thought over and over again.
I don’t know for sure how I am going to get rid of this 20 foot wall in my head. It got a hole in it yesterday though when I talked to a friend about my life and the way I was feeling. The hole unexpectedly became filled with flowers, and some sunshine could get through. I heard birds chirping on the other side and some of the positive thoughts started getting through. That’s when I realized how much I missed writing. Talking to him, I was able to let out a big sigh and that wall crumbled just a little.
A few weeks ago my daughter moved out. She has found the love of her life and they are getting married! I am soooo happy for her. But I do miss her. And it’s made the absence of a life partner in my own life ever more apparent. And then those old feelings of being unlovable come up, and I wonder how most of my friends found someone to love them, but I never could? A few weeks ago I went to a beautiful wedding. What a happy occasion! But weddings too, drive that “you’re unacceptable” nail in even further into that 20 foot wall in my brain, and highlight those things I lack in my own life….first world problems, I know, I know. I do have food to eat, clothes to wear, no one is beating me or abusing me, and it’s warm in at least one room in my house…and I actually have a house, lots of animals, and my health. I know I should be happy with all of that. And I am. But I know it’s normal to want more. To expand in life, and that things always change.
I don’t really know if I suffer from depression. Different counselors have told me that I seem very upbeat and not at all like their normal depressed clients…so I contend that I am not depressed, just realizing a great sadness every once in awhile. I tried some alcohol for about a week. I had a few beers every night. At first that made me feel a little better, but then, I found myself crying for hours every night, and so gave that up. I think I’ll have to find something better.
But, you know what today is? It’s Sunday, November 12th, 2017, and it’s sunny outside. Cold as hell but sunny. I can appreciate the sunshine, and the cold killed the summer garden…the tomatoes and the flowers. So now I can clean them all up and plan for spring planting.
I’ve got a few eggs in the incubator. I know, I know, what am I thinking, hatching eggs in November? I have no earthly idea. I don’t know what I am going to do with the chicks once they hatch. I can only keep them inside the house for a couple of days…after that I am not sure where they are going to go. Maybe they’ll stay inside until spring.
My writing hour is up at 9am, and it’s 9:40 now, so for today, I will say adios, and I hope all the 3 people who read my blog will have a very happy week!
For me, the universe, without an overarching, creating energy force, whom most humans refer to as “God” is unfathomable. I believe in God. I believe he has a plan for my life, and its’ a good one. My problem is how the heck do I know when God is telling me to do something…like after I have prayed about it, and think I have an answer…and get to work on it, but soon find myself straying off of the path, onto another…and then wondering if God is now pulling me another direction, or if I just lost focus of my original plan and am now hopelessly lost?
Over the last few years…or really, my whole life actually, I’ve felt lost at times, overwhelmed with all the things I am trying to do, and knowing I need to cut down on something so I can focus bigger in another area. I have sooo many interests. I’ve never experienced boredom in all of my 51 years…always waaayyy too much to do to ever be bored.
Okay, so every post should have a point, or at least be interesting Right? So here it is. I have been praying fervently for direction in my life as to career choice. I have spent 9 or so total years in college, working on a degree in English and Creative Writing, but stopped short just 6 credits shy of my degree in my senior year because I procrastinated on getting forms in for my financial aid. So, there I was, having lost my regular job a few years prior and now without a degree that I had counted on, my partner left me with an old run down house and farm that I have no money to fix up. During that time I was praying for my partner to love me and realize that I loved him and that I wasn’t doing all the horrific things he constantly accused me of. He was an abusive type person, and I clung to him like glue for years until he finally abandoned me because I had put him out of the house on a restraining order…due to my fear of him and his increasingly violent and bizarre behavior that extended to threats against my friends.
That whole time I was with him and a period of time in between when I was not, I prayed to God to make me a good enough person for him. I read all the articles on how people should just keep trying harder and not give up on relationships. I tried for 15 years. I don’t know if he ever loved me. He never once, in 15 years told me he did, but he often told me he hated me and couldn’t stand the sight of me. But there I was, thinking that if I just tried harder, he would finally see that I was a good person, and treat me well. Every once in a while, if he was speaking to me, he would actually be nice, and I would think all the bad stuff was behind us. But then something would break that spell, and instantly it would revert to insanity once again.
For example. I never kept my phone locked. He often looked through it, which my counselor had advised me to let him do. I did not have anything to hide, but I had an older phone and it often lost messages. One day, in the middle of a perfectly nice conversation, he asked me when the last time I had spoken to my ex-husband was. I said it had been a long time. The kids were grown and we didn’t really communicate anymore. Then he asked me a couple more questions about my ex-husband and our contact about the kids and my grandson. (We had been divorced for 20 years). He then went livid, absolutely livid. He had been setting me up, and I fell into the trap. A few weeks prior, my ex-husband had texted me asking if I had any roosters I didn’t want..he was having a barbecue or something and they wanted to do fresh chickens. I had forgotten all about it. I don’t know if I had sent him a response text or not, but it wasn’t in the phone, therefore, my partner said I lied about not being in contact with my ex and tried to hide it by erasing my responses. I still feel guilty when I think about this scene. In a way, I was lying…although I had actually just forgotten. And I don’t know what happened to my response, or if I had responded. This was an example of how I failed him daily and how I could not be trusted. Ever. A normal couple might have laughed about this. What a dorky question my ex asked me. This, however, was one of probably 7 major cracks in our relationship that could not be fixed. Could not be talked about, except how I had failed, once again. There was never any blame put on him for setting me up to fail. For not trusting me, for expecting the worst from me and when it didn’t show up, fabricating something.
I never tried so hard to get something to work in my whole life. I never prayed so hard for God to fix something…or at least show me how to fix it. In all the Christian books I read, a woman who tried really hard would be rewarded with a good man and good husband…. And then I started reading books on abusive partners, “gasslighting”, narcissistic people, and the likes, and I realized I would not be able to have a good relationship with this person, although some online “life coaches” claimed his behavior could be fixed by certain things I could do, like going on a trip together and proving that I could use maps and people skills to get ourselves unlost…that sort of thing. It all hinged on me, and my behavior, and reactions.
And I wondered how my prayers had gotten me into such a fix. I was envious of my friends good marriages and always surprised when their husbands would talk to me like I was a worthwhile person, or laugh with their wives, or fix them dinner without drama, take them places, declare their love for them, hold their hands, etc. And I wondered what I had ever done to never have found a partner that would love me for life? Or even love me a little bit?
So I wonder about all the clues God gave me that I ignored. I wonder what it was that I missed, that I was just not paying attention to? How many good potential partners did I overlook because of one thing or another? And I wonder the same thing now, as I sit in my run-down farmhouse, broke, and worrying about how I’ll make the next house payment. How many career chances did I overlook because I was just not focused on what God was trying to tell me?
About 13 years ago I got my first horse as an adult. I grew up with horses and loved them for my whole life. I got interested in natural hoof care and horse-keeping and soon found myself doing a program to learn to barefoot trim…quite an intensive program I will say….soooo much to learn, and much of it not even about hooves, but how everything can affect horse hooves, from diet, to boarding, to training, tooth trouble, and more. I loved it sooo much! When I lost my “real” job, I used my retirement to live on while I attempted to build my trimming business into a full-time occupation. In the meantime, I had gotten dairy goats, and started a small soap making business too…then went back to school to work on my degree.
I had thought I would quit trimming horses after I turned 50. I thought it would just be too much on my body, so I tried getting my soap business going bigger. I opened a shop with a “partner” in my town, and that fell through, so I took everything back home and continued the business there. I like making soap, but the constant mess and clutter in my dilapidated house is overwhelming and discouraging. I’m never good at organization, and that business really, really needs to be organized. There is constantly supplies to buy and it seems like any money made needs to be put back into the business to grow and expand it.
So, that takes me back to where I was praying fervently for God to help me figure out a clear career path..something I can do that I love and that will bring in the money that I need to do the work that needs to be done around here. So I was sitting in a roadside deli one day, out on a hoof-trimming trip. I had noticed all the new spring beauty around me as I drove through the countryside, and it had put me in a particularly grateful mood. I saw the old men (actually they were probably my age) sitting in another booth talking about farming and hay planting, and it was as if a light from heaven descended upon me, and I suddenly thought, “I must be the luckiest person in the world to have a job where I can drive through the beautiful countryside, work with the loves of my life, (horses) and their owners, and have the flexibility to attend to my own farm and family matters when needed.
I had not been promoting my hoof-trimming business at all because I had planned on quitting when I turned 50, and was too old. Ha ha ha. So, my client base has dwindled a bit as long-term clients have moved or their horses have passed on. Some decide to shoe one or more of their horses and then I lose that client as they prefer to have just one farrier so the shoer will get the whole job. On at least one occasion I’ve lost a client to my fees, which are not negotiable…who negotiates with a farrier over a known fee after they have just worked their butt off trimming their unruly horses?
I’ve thought about shoeing. For a regular horse, it goes against all of my training. When I went through Jamie Jackson’s program years ago, I was made to sign a contract stating I would never shoe a horse. His program has gotten a bit daft, and once I had completed all of my required courses and practicums, I distanced myself from that group. There are other courses out there of course, and all have their merits. At 11 years in, I have found that I am wanting to learn more…and so have enrolled in another course that teaches much more than just hoof trimming, but more of a whole body approach to hoof and natural horse care. I have also decided to learn to shoe with Epona shoes! Epona’s are a plastic resin shoe with a very wide base…not just a rim shoe, but a shoe that will support the whole foot on those few horses that need it.
I could go on and on about barefoot horse care, but this blog post isn’t about that. It’s about listening to God when he is speaking to you, and to know when he is actually speaking to you. At times I am still feeling myself pulled in different directions. After losing a client this week because the vet wanted two of the horses in shoes, and another cancellation due to finances, (a total of 8 horses), my bank account is looking a little bare and I was getting discouraged. The devil always wants to discourage us. He wants to stop us in our tracks and take our successes and turn them into failures. I have often doubted the presence of the devil, but after taking a bible study course called “The Armor of God”, I can clearly see how the devil will try to derail us when God gives us clear answers.
God had warned me in the beginning of my failed relationship that it was not a good idea. He warned me the very first time we met after 8 years of being apart at a Chinese restaurant. I sat in my seat opposite him, scared to death of saying the wrong thing, or looking in the wrong direction. ( when we had dated 8 years prior, he had constantly accused me of looking at other men, cheating, lying, etc.) I told God I could handle this, and ignored his warnings, and didn’t, until this moment, even realize those feelings in the pit of my stomach were coming from God. I thought if I could just make myself good enough, my partner would love me. What I didn’t realize was that I was already good enough. And God loves me more than any partner ever could.
I wish you all a peaceful, beautiful day, and pray that you too, will allow God into your life, and allow that still small voice to direct you into greatness.
The rain on the tin roof is the only sound of the morning struggling to dawn through heavy, black clouds. When I checked the weather last night, I only saw brief interludes of light rain forcasted. I didn’t expect this monsoon that we’re getting. Luckily, the rain brings warmer temperatures which is always a relief from cold blustery days and nights of remembering to leave faucets dripping so the pipes don’t freeze and we’ll still have water in the morning. Too many past winter mornings were met with just air sputtering out of faucets and the ensuing panic of just how to source water for 5 horses and a herd of goats…not to mention the house and its inhabitants.
In the bad old days I met every challenge with an I-don’t-know-what-to-do-attitude. And also fear of failure, and a fear of disappointing, and enraging the person I shared my life with. I could usually incite disgust and hatred by simply waking up in the morning, but often, I could spare myself somewhat by hiding upstairs, or out in the woods until he had left for work. Round bales of hay made good hiding places, as did the pig pen, or the cluttered garage. I did not understand at the time what emotional abuse was. I am still not sure I understand how someone can create such trepidation in the heart of another without actually physically harming them. Although there were often threats of harm or death or violence.
In the old days, I might have carried that pain of rejection and failure around with me like a worn out badge of courage, but I had already spent the better portion of my adult life “getting over” something. I was ready to stop being a victim, and start being the creator of my own experience.
Last night while pulling hay off the round bale for the horses, my mind slipped back down that slope into a conversation with the person who used to share my life. Those old feelings of helplessness and futility, guilt and shame washed over me. It’s been a year and a half of living on the other side. Most days I don’t even go there. I’m not sure why I did last night. I know we can’t always have perfect thoughts. But the thing I was able to do. The thing I wish everyone could do, and everyone CAN do, is to recognize where my thought train was heading, and stop it. In its tracks. Years ago that wouldn’t have been an easy task. Now, it is much easier, and the most important thing is that I am AWARE of what my mind is trying to do to sabotage me, and I can halt it. Some people call this negative self-talk, the devil, or satan. Certainly, giving a name to it can help identify it, and rectify it. But, I think what often happens, in the negative, devil-talking-to-us-circle-to-no-where, is that we feel guilt for switching our minds to better feeling thoughts. I know I used to. Try it sometime. In the middle of beating yourself up for not being able to be the best you can be, stop, and start thinking about the flowers you want to plant in the spring, or that new puppy you’ve got your eye on, or how good a hot tub would feel right now, and notice how you feel a little guilt, like you are avoiding the problem. And you are. For good reason.
There is absolutely no reason to think negative thoughts. Ever. Even when the world is falling apart, it does no good to think of all the ways the world is falling apart. That will never make it stop falling apart, but only ensure that the falling apart will continue. Instead, we have to focus on the solution to stopping the world from falling apart. We have to focus on how the world will look when it stops falling apart. And it will stop falling apart. Immediately. Did your lover just leave you? Well, it does little good to think of your lover leaving you. He or she can only leave you once and then they are gone…unless they come back…once they’ve left, there is nothing to be gained by thinking of their absence, but everything to be gained about thinking how much better life will be now…now that there are no arguments, you can come and go as you please, there is no more jealousy, you can finally be free to be yourself…and then perhaps, when a new state of mind is achieved, one of fulfillment and contentment, another lover will appear who is also fulfilled and content, and will be a great match to your new vision of yourself.
I didn’t think I could ever live without my partner. I didn’t think I wanted to. And I don’t blame the abuse. Or him, or his childhood. Not most days anyway. But I also don’t blame myself anymore. I am no longer envious of others marriages and partnerships. I have my own life to live and I’m the only one who can live it. I stopped measuring myself against other people who were deemed by society to be more successful than me. I am who I am…a 50 year old woman pulling hay off of round bales for horses in the rain and making soap at midnight. I have a baby goat in a playpen in the living room, two dogs who sleep on my bed, and a grandson with leukemia who doesn’t let that dampen his outlandish imagination one bit. In terms of richness of life, I am richer than I’ve ever thought possible.
Some people might look at my rusty old farm house or my falling-down fences and outbuildings and feel pity for me. They might see all the work I have to do and run away as fast as they can. I used to feel overwhelmed and in despair, trying to do it all alone. Feeling lonely. But once I realized I had control of my thoughts, which control my emotions, which control the way I look at life….I realized, I had no reason to feel any negative feelings or emotions at all. Not one of them ever served me to the good. Not one…except to help me sort and sift and decide what I like and what I don’t like.
And I like my life. I like the rain. I like catching new born baby goats on clean feed sacks in a 4 by 6 goat shelter. I like squishy mud and big rain puddles. I like dirty horses, and tarping round bales. I like hauling wood, and building fires. I like making soap in a cluttered kitchen, and writing in the morning while the rain is beating down on the roof. I like fixing up this old house and making it into a warm home. I like coffee in the morning, and a hot shower at night. I like playing games with my grandson in front of the wood stove, and listening to my dog snore while cuddled up to me at night.
I am in charge my life on this five acre piece of dirt on this backwoods country road, 40 miles from Walmart. And that, my friends, makes me a very happy woman.