Saturday, February 6, 2016
Sitting here in the quasi-silence of my home, listening to the hum of the heater, the bubbling of the turtle's filter reminding me that it needs cleaned and refilled today, and the soft thuds of the kitty pouncing around wondering if Mom has become nocturnal, I am pondering.
Hubs is back upstairs trying to find a few more hours of precious sleep. I am pretty sure that he was surprised to find me in the kitchen at 4 am, cleaning up and scrubbing furiously at things while waiting for my coffee to finish brewing. He'd been awakened just a bit before by unfinished business also, he understood. He knows what rattled my sleep, he can commiserate with me.
Unfortunately, he can't walk the path for me. He can't give me the words or protect me.
Anyone that truly knows me, knows that I am a very open and honest person. I don't like everyone, and I don't expect everyone to like me. I do my level best to treat everyone with respect and empathy.
Life is hard, and NO ONE gets out alive.
It was a long week. A really long week. I rarely get sick. This in itself is a sheer miracle. I work with the public. Not just the every day public either, I often spend time in close proximity to people that have minimum access even the most basic things that will protect them and others, they often make life choices that set them up for an even tougher road. Add to that the fact that I live every day with an immune system that has been compromised. Dang bug...
This week, I got sick. I spent most of Monday night into late Wednesday sort of praying for someone to decide they needed to shoot me. I actually spent over 24 hours in my jammies, in my bed, curled up with my dogs. And the "nurse cat" lying terribly uncomfortably on top of me, trying to provide comfort, oh the irony! After the toilet and I were able to break up our close personal relationship, I spent another two days boycotting food, willing to eventually sip coffee and nibble on some nut crisps.
I don't much remember Tuesday, the fever was making me hurt so badly that I frankly just slept in tossing and turning fits trying to ignore it. I remember Hubs trying to convince to go to the hospital. Um, no thank you! Do you know what kind of things you catch in one of those places? I remember my burning eyes trying to focus on the sweet text messages from people that knew I was out sick and were worried. I remember a few short phone calls. And I remember pain. Fevers do not mix well with Fibro, ever!
Wednesday was a bit better. The fever had gone, but the tummy and I were still on the outs! I still had the darn sweats and chills to deal with. It was rather ironic. Tuesday I was so dang cold, or so I thought. I was actually burning up with a fever, but couldn't get enough blankets on me to stop shivering. By Wednesday my temp had actually dropped below where it should be and my skin felt cold and clammy. I was drenched in sweat.
It was horrid. I don't often admit to illness or pain. And I even more rarely give in and let anyone see me down with either. So between the knee (another source of endless frustration) and then the flu bug, lets just say on the health front its been fail, fail, fail.
None of that is what has me awake at ungodly hours. But it does lead up to it.
I had a full schedule at work this week. Way too many things to ever consider being ill. Evidently, a virus fails to check your calendar when planning your demise. Instead of sleeping Wednesday, instead of being healthy enough to attend an event I was looking forward to, I spent the day working on tying up loose ends. I had brought home a ton of work on Monday, planning to spend the evening catching up, instead of coming down. Thankfully, I had plenty to keep me occupied and I made the most of the miserable hours on Wednesday in the silence of Hubs man-cave, safely within running (or hobbling if you want to be technical) distance of a bathroom.
I hate to ever feel like I let people down. Even when I hate a task, and sometimes there are many that I simply cannot abide, if I am asked to accomplish something I will do so. Be it personal or professional, its important to me. And on top of being sick, I was worried about not accomplishing all of the things on my list.
The reason I am awake with all that crap eating at me is because I have allowed someone else to get into my head and "live rent free". Someone that doesn't truly know me, but feels they do. I have allowed someone else to pass judgement based on limited information and facts, and I have accepted it.
I don't like conflict. I've had enough of it in my life and it doesn't do any good. No one wins.
I don't like bullies. I know my weaknesses, I know my strengths. Just because I don't choose to engage in a battle, doesn't mean it's because I am afraid of the outcome. It's because I have weighed the pros and cons and determined that battle isn't worth using the limited amounts of energy and strength that I have. It isn't because you are right and I am wrong. Maybe neither of us is either of those things. It's because some battles don't need to be fought.
I don't like being judged. I don't at all mind "constructive criticism", although I find the very words to be harsh and "un"-constructive. I much prefer to have worthwhile conversations, to explore options and reach mutual decisions and goals. No one is better than I am, no one is worse. Frankly, we are all equal. Your paycheck might be more or less than mine. Your perceived worth might also be greater or less than mine. The reality is that we all put our pants on one leg at a time. We are all capable in our own right and way of being great!
I don't have or know all of your life experiences, nor do you know mine. I don't hold that every person must go to college to achieve greatness, some of the greatest contributors to our world never stepped foot into an "institute of higher learning". Some career paths require a deeper dive into academia, others not so much, they require life skills and alternate lessons . I don't subscribe to the idea that any one event or experience creates who we are. Reality is we are all created from millions of moments, lessons, thoughts, ideas, actions, and reactions. Each of us is shaped not by what has happened or been experienced so much as by our reactions to those very things. At least that is what I believe.
Each and everyone one of us has a reason behind the parts of ourselves that we choose to allow others to see. If I don't let you see all of me, chances are I don't trust you. If I hold back anything, it is because you have said or done something that has made me feel unsafe around you. Oh, maybe it is my perception of the "situation", that in my mind and heart has become a reality. Or maybe it isn't my perception. Maybe it is reality.
This week I had a conversation that has caused great turmoil in my heart and mind. I felt judged, I felt demotivated, I felt discarded. I went in search of support and mentoring, I found metaphors and discouragement. I discovered that the person I was speaking to didn't know me as a person at all.
Just like most people there are many different layers and facets to me. I am sometimes a highly cut and deeply defined diamond. Other times I can appear to be that lump of coal buried deep in the metamorphic rocks, being crushed on my journey to the deepest layers of the earth. Being shaped, molded, subjected to extreme heat and pressure. Those are all bits and pieces of me. Just like they are bits and pieces of everyone.
I will always share my strengths for the greater good. I am willing to allow anyone else to steal my flame to make their own
|}brighter when they need it, I only ask when I need the same benefit it is extended.
My personal life and my professional life at times intersect far too much. At others they overlap and both become blurry and distorted. There are times I fight the devil himself to keep the worlds a million miles apart. I try to never have either half of who I am overwhelm and steal from the other half. Both of them leave me feeling fulfilled and happy. When they balance.
The me that is content in silence. Blogging, knitting, gardening, quilting, wood working, painting, spinning, soap making, home making, cooking, riding on the motorcycle with hubs, photographing, creating... She is a different person than the me that shows up to make a difference for others. It doesn't mean that I am not passionate about both, it means that both are important for very different reasons. Both are parts of a greater whole. Isn't everyone like that?
That conversation is eating at me... I have to sort it out. There were interesting things posed in it. There were challenges made... It is robbing me of sleep and not in a good and powerful way.
Yes... 2016 is going to be an interesting year. It is going to be a year of surprises, changes and decisions...