Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Life is getting back to normal

Life has been a little challenging lately.  Retirement has been a bit different then I had imagined.   It is not that I have lost identity as much as I have lost my routine.  I am a routine driven person.  I don't have any problems getting up in the morning.   I have also loss my worthiness.

My dogs and cats are used to being fed in the morning so they wake up ready to eat around 6.  As Harry and Bob have gotten older they have been flexible enough to let me sleep until 7, but now with Ednarose, staying in bed until 7 is a little tricky.  I put food in her kennel which is too small for Bob or Harry to get into, but they don't have to "get" into the kennel as much as Bob can simply get his mouth into the kennel and he can eat her food.  This helps to explain a little bit of why Bob is getting girthy.  I have been struggling with his weight since he tore his ACL in his rear knee.  The weight is bad for his hip and leg, but weight gain and loss is as simple as calories in versus calories out.  And now that Bob does not have the exercise that he used to get he needs less calories.  But as he has been forced into a more sedentary lifestyle compared to his old life and his metabolism has slowed down, his appetite has gone up.  Even though I have lowered his calorie intake he has taken it upon himself to find the food he craves.  He counter surfs as Judy calls it.  And my idea of food and his are different so it has taken me a while to figure out that he will eat anything and everything.  Now with a puppy who does not necessarily eat more, but eats more often, Bob is a new source of food to consume.   I will just have to keep working on expanding my brain so that I can be smarter then my dogs.  And that takes a big brain when it comes to being smarter then Labradors and food.  

But other then getting up to take my chemo and feed the animals, my daily schedule is wide open.  I am struggling with finding a routine that fits me.  I am just going to have to relax and let the routine work itself out, instead of trying to fix this problem.  Flexibility is what is required here, and what I am looking for is a port in the storm.  I need to be more patient with myself.  Allow myself to set up the skeleton of the routine, understanding that as the seasons and life changes the routine will also change.  

So I have been floundering here looking for something to grab on.  I tried an Internet dating site.   This did not work out so well, even though it has only been about a week.  First of all I am a monogamous person.  So having lots of people contact me with an "interest" to get to know me, was not comfortable for me.  This is sort of the point of going onto an Internet site, is to look at lots of different people.  But as I have said before I have an imaginary boyfriend.  And so even though I only went to this site to try and learn a little bit about modern dating, it has caused emotional and physical havoc in my life.  First of all as silly as it sounds, I felt like I was cheating on my imaginary boyfriend.  A man who is gone 6 months minimum each year.  Who has never implied that there was going to be something in the future.  Someone who when he comes back will still not live near me.  He will still be 4 hours away.  Yes, yes, yes, anything can be worked out.  But neither of us have any idea that this is what we are looking for.  But, regardless of feeling guilty about hurting someone who is not yours, and not wanting to loose something that you don't even have, that is how I feel.  And as each person who contacted me I again felt guilty for responding to each person.  I wasn't even sure what I was offering or wanting out of this journey, outside of research.  

Another problem is that I have to say that most of the men who contacted me were younger then I was, which I suppose is to be flattering, but not for me.  Then I had one man who emailed me and yes red flags were shooting off like fireworks, but he was able to play me like a Stradivarius.   I am already feeling guilty about not being faithful, and trying to be more open and not being so cynical was causing me to let my guard down.  Instead of being more cautious, I kept trying to find a way to give enough information to weed out those who might not be interested in a 55 year old cancer survivor.  I didn't give out anything that could be that dangerous to myself, I don't think.  But instead of weeding out undesirables, I opened myself to those men who are on this site looking for easy prey.  Whether they are looking for someone to help them get a green card or money, they started contacting me in droves.  As I look back with my 20/20 vision I see everything I did wrong  Starting with going onto a dating internet service.  Unfortunately for these men, I have a strong support system of wonderful friends.  So I had someone when I told her about my concerns, said, "Block him!!!"  I thought about what she said, I added it all up, and I realized each mistake I was making.  First of all, thinking that I could go onto an Internet site and learn about this world I feel so out of touch.  But what if I did find someone local who would be interested in me, and I would be attracted to him.  What then?  I think that this is a wonderful option for some people.  I am not one of them.   I have closed my profile and deleted all the contacts and messages from this disaster.  

Regardless if it makes no sense, I am attracted to someone who does not live near me, and most likely never will.  I can not get involved with someone else while I feel this way about this other person.  I also can not make this happen.  I have to step back and quit wanting to be needed or wanted.  I need to accept my wonderful glorious life that I have.  If there is going to be someone in my life in the future I will have to wait for it to happen.  

Part of the problem, and please I am not looking for reassurance here.  I am just stating some facts.  I don't feel like an attractive woman.  I feel old, yes, I know I am only 55, but I feel old.  I feel that I have several physical flaws that make me OK to look at, but certainly not beautiful.  And I don't feel worthy.  Without my job where everyday I got up and worked to make a difference in people's life, I don't have what I have used for the past 25 years to feel worthy.  I see this in many woman my age.  Not feeling worthy.

The bottom line is I feel so relieved to be out of that unreal world where instead of making me feel attractive and desirable I just ended up feeling silly and unfaithful to the person I am attracted to, and to myself.  Mostly to myself.  Waking up this morning with that part of my life back under control helped.  I didn't sleep well at all last night because I just kept playing over and over in my mind how vulnerable I had been.  How willing I was to give up an important part of who I am to please others.  To not use the brain I have, the curiosity that made me a good inspector.  To not look at the patterns and see the bigger picture.  This is just not me.

Now, to fix the dog situation.  I was feeling terrible about calling animal control to come and get this sweet dog who did not have a fair chance at life.  But the dog could not stay here.  My family was in turmoil.  My animals and I were being held prisoner by this dog that kept finding ways into my yard.  And if I left the doors open so that the animals can come and go as they need, then this dog would be in the house.  So I had to keep the doors closed to prevent the unwelcome guest.  This was a hardship on Ednarose as she is learning about where she is allowed to go and where not.  So I got up this morning, one problem fixed, now to pick up the phone and call the sheriff.

I called and the woman who answered the phone asked if the dog was vicious.  I answered not towards humans, but it was a chicken killer.  She immediately said that she would send a deputy out, chicken killers are not to be tolerated.  I was grateful but still feeling a little guilty.  Within 10 minutes the deputy was here.  He also asked me if the dog was vicious.   I explained how sweet she was, but about the chickens.  The deputy immediately called animal control, "Chicken killer".  About that time the dog came out of the neighbors yard.  I called for her and she ran right up to me and started trying to win my favor.  The deputy thought she was a nice dog and would make someone a good pet, or huntin' dog.  He made sure that animal control was on its way and then left.  I put her in my front yard, fenced away from my chickens and again, within 10 minutes here was animal control.  A nice young man got out of the truck.  I limped back up to the gate for the second time this morning.  We talked about the dog and then he came in and picked her up, put her in the pen and took her off.  He promised that he would try hard to find a good home for her.  Both men were as impressed by the intelligence and sweetness of this special creature.  

And just like that life is back to normal.  I don't have strange people contacting me.  I can leave my doors open.  My life calmed right back down to my normal little life.  Sigh, long sigh of relief.   I may not have a man in my life right now.  Oh well, I don't need a man in my life.  I would like to have someone to share my life, but interned dating services are not my answer.  

I tried to help a creature that had no home, no one to take care of it.  Hmmm, very similar problems here.  Now that dog has been taken away.  People with connections are going to try and find it a home.  If not, it will not be lost and alone and having to steal and kill chickens to survive. 

So obviously one of the other big losses of being retired is not feeling needed.  Yes, I can volunteer to feel needed.  I do volunteer through the Stage Company, and the Opera House.  And instead of looking for worthiness by doing for others, I need to stop and take care of myself and my family first.  Then as I am healthier in myself, maybe I will have more time to give to others. 

Neither of these events ended up turning out like I had hoped, but they did work out.  I have learned more things about myself.  And once again, trying to make others happy instead of worrying about myself and the family I have put together, did not make me happy.  It also did not help anyone else, well until I called the animal control and turned off the insanity.  Now this dog will have a better life then it had when I first met it Saturday.   I did not get involved with anyone through the stupid dating thing, so I did not hurt anyone there.  But I did see how someone like myself can be a target for those less scrupulous.  

And my world is better then back to normal, because I faltered over worrying about hurting others, but within a short time I stood back up on my own two feet.  I think I respect myself more now then I did a week ago because I see my strengths and admire those a little more.  

My leg/knee/whatever is still weak, but it does not feel like anything is really hurt.  Just a twist that resting it will help it to be just fine.  I need to get my car fixed, I have received the check now.  To get ready for the annual St. George trip with my girlfriends.  To go to my appointment on Friday for the Hope project.  That will be one piece of the puzzle I need.  I need someone to help me know what I can do physically to get back my strength and stamina.

And Endarose will go to the doctors for her appointment for her vaccines and Bob and I will figure out how much exercise his knee can take and how we are going to get some of that weight off his knee.  Ednarose is just more and more adorable every minute.  She is a power house, that big footed little chunk of bear cub dog.  And Bob and Harry and are so sweet and patient with her.  The cats are adapting to this new child.  And my world is pretty wonderful. 

Vicki is filling better, today is Sioux's birthday and I got to talk to her.  Happy Birthday Sioux!  My universe has quit wobbling and is back in a healthy spin.  Jack and Jan are happy and safe on their trip in Europe.  They have taken their Mad Max tour to Stone Henge and beyond, and bless them, they called today to let us know that they are not anywhere near all of the craziness in England.

The week is half over and the temperatures are August hot, but I don't have to worry so much about that right now, because I am taking it easy while I let my leg heal.  I am a little wiser and realize how much I have and how wonderful my life is.  I have such dear friends, it may not be the same as having a partner to wrap their arms around you, but in some ways it is better.  For the first time in a long time, I see some worthiness in myself.  By simply realizing that  I have some pretty amazing abilities that I have always took for granted.  Actually I think I like myself more now.  Making a mistake was one thing, learning from it, is what really matters.  Now after so much loss this past year I am finding that through that loss is a wonderful gain.  A gain of a new respect of myself.  To keep that up, that will be the true gain.

1 comment:

  1. I have concluded that internet dating, at any age, is just a plain bad idea. This, after careful observation :) But it tends to just attract the crazy along with the sane, and trying to find the sane among the crazy can make one crazy themself.