Monday, January 4, 2010

Catch Up

Not possible.
I'm too far behind. (A warning: this is one of those self-indulgent, not entertaining, unamusing introspective posts. Do move on to your next blog, without a second thought, and with my blessing.)

First, happy new year, happy new decade to you all. I have never been so happy to leave a decade in the dust of the past. That sounds short-sighted, I suppose. Certainly good things happened, and I built a lot of character from the bad.

The worst times help my writing: characters acquire depth; scenes fly from life into fiction; dialog becomes believable.

So, yeah, I'm grateful for everything that has happened in the last ten years. But. BYE!!! SEE YA!!! TOODLE LOOO!!!!

My goal for the next decade is to have more influence on my own life. (Oh boy, I said it out loud.) I watch my husband direct his life. I watch in awe. Stupefied. Dang. All the while I let my own self be buffeted by events that blow around me. I feel impotent. I'm an expert at feeling "done to". Not so good at feeling "hey, I'm in charge here."

That - allowing life to direct me, instead of vice versa - can lead one into the most unattractive role. The role of [ick] victim. "Poor me," she wailed. "Look at what life has done to me!" [Puke.]

Nope. This is the decade where I take charge. It dawned on me that my dogs can't finish their championships unless I show them. I can't get my novel published unless I finish it.

Goodbye to the ought decade. You know, two thousand ought nine. I ought to blah blah blah. I had made some take charge decisions already. I decided to go back to hospital nursing. At first I was confused. It felt a little like life did that to me. And it has been, without exception, the absolute hardest thing I have done in my life. As in most difficult. As in for a while there, swallowing all the pills in the medicine cabinet looked like a better plan. Much better. It would be a kindness to Bill, the dogs, everyone. (I got hung up on Laurie and Heather, and my sister Martha.)

The Bad Voices can sing so loud.

I drowned them though. I drowned them by singing Hallelujah with four guys from Norway at the top of my lungs. I drowned them by going back to the hospital the next morning, when I thought the amount I had to learn was impossible. By asking my little saint of a preceptor to show me one more time, and by trying to believe her when she said really, you are doing fine. By saying you're welcome to the patient who looked into me and said thank you. By deciding not to run for re-election to the Board of the American Whippet Club. That was hard. But when the contents of your medicine cabinet tell you that you have too much on your plate, hey, maybe it's time to scrape something off.

By deciding to stop being a ninny.

It feels pretty good. I like life in the non-ninny lane so far. I'm looking forward to it.

hug your hounds


  1. Francarrich from WWJanuary 4, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    But Patience, life does do things to us but it is how we move on after that shows if we have any control over any of it. In the last decade I've had to cope with my father, mother-in-law, three dogs, my dearest friend, several other friends & my husband all dying, when before I'd hardly had anybody that mattered to me die (except my Mum in 1981 & we weren't that close). Each has been hard in a different way but we manage & hopefully gain something from it even if it is only the thought that thank goodness it wasn't me, it could have been me! Sometimes these happenings, either good or bad, can actually lead or push us into new or different actions, different decisions, a new path.
    Only an hour ago a friend was saying to me "If I hadn't met you I wouldn't be doing this, wouldn't be able to do this". My husband's death actually pushed me into doing something new, something that I enjoy & would never have believed probable, Also I've had to improve my DIY skills around the house to get things done & I have achieved a great deal of satisfaction from my efforts.
    Also, like you I've had to take decisions not to continue with things, sadly, owning more whippets is one of them. Because I have nobody to take on any animals if anything happens to me I've decided that Banjo will probably be my last whippet, I am no longer able to afford to show dogs so that has now gone by the board but I can still love my dogs to pieces until their or my dying day.
    Life batters all of us & we all get blown around & buffeted here & there but in the end we triumph even if it is only in small steps taken each day.
    Happy New Year to you & Bill & the Waggle, bring on the Century's teenage years, we can cope with 'em!
    Wags from Banjo & Aida.

  2. Happy New Year back to you and Bill and the Waggle. A word of caution...two (attached) people who are both "in charge of my life" can lead to some rough times - at least until both learn to compromise, consider and complete. Been there. Done that. Have had a rougher time NOT being the one in charge than I ever did before. On the more medication for blood pressure.

    Hoping for your continued success in your endeavours.

    gussie n muzzzer

  3. You are not now nor have you ever been a ninny, Patience. Or if you are or were, then I've had a ninny as one of my major inspirations and role models for the last 30 (?!?!?) years. You are a true heroine of your life story. And what a life it is! Keep writing, keep nursing, keep whippeting, and keep following Bill's example. He's one of the wisest, most centered men I have ever known. (And I KNOW that Bill would never marry a ninny.) :-)

  4. Oh Patience that was a lot coming from you. Good for you. I am dealing with a mentally ill 33 year old daughter that is about to break my heart. I called NAMI and begged for someone to help me. I cannot deal with this feeling, I must get myself straight. You are not a ninny. I am not a ninny Life is shit and just like a good nurse you clean it up and go on to the next job.

  5. Patience, like you, I sometimes feel absolutely no control over my life. Part of it is my chosen profession, part of it is my upbringing. I do think that part of living is learning to accept that which we can not control (death of fathers and friends for eample), and respecting the impact those events have on our lives. On the flip side, we have to take control of those things we can change.

    Despite your concerns, I feel quite confident that you are an AWESOME nurse. Tell that to the BV's (bad voices....I would not give them the respect of capitalizing their name). You are one awesome force in life!

  6. Rock ON Patience! Go get what you want and let me know if getting it requires mailing a box of poop to someone because I REALLY want to do that!! I mean, I am JOE STAINS.

  7. I agree with Joe!
    Do... what you want to do! It feels good!
    Kisses and hugs

  8. Wow... What deep voices I hear here... Patience with the ought decade, Fran and Queen MMM with your words of experience...

    Fear in both new and awful situations leaves me with reactions that I never thought I would have. Some of this stuff is scary! Losing those so dear rips us into pieces. Only after looking at those peices for quite a while do we see the possibility of quilts... or paint by number whippets... or a strong, though gently shaking hand offered in care.

    Man, coming out of the familiar cocoon is scary... but that is the only way we can fly with new wings.

    I appreciate you with your scary times and your humbling times... as you speak for us all.

    Sending our love and grit,

    Kathy and Flynn

  9. Self indulgent posts attract me. Sometime I need to write about that...I know why but it is too long to put in a comment. But it is also good that you whined it all out. And you did it with such good style.

  10. Hi Patience, May the new decade bring you what you hope for: more control and less buffeting. But you're not a ninny, and if you WERE a ninny it's been delightful knowing you and I would rather you didn't change a whit.

  11. Thank you all for such thoughtful comments! Carol, you are an absolute wonder. Barb, I'm delighted that you've goten rid of the BP meds! Vee, your hugs are appreciated, my good friend.

    Alison, I laughed and gasped at the notion of me being an inspiration to you! Ha! Ha ha! DOCTOR Alison. Cancer slayer. Good grief! Talk about being in charge of your life... you are my hero. Period.

    QMM, adult children can break your heart. Thank you for sharing, I will hold you in my prayers.

    I don't feel like life is shit. Life is what it is: laughing, hard, tragic, joyful, sunny, cloudy, random, kind, cruel. It's that feeling that I'm not up to the task - that I'm a disappointment at best, a burden at worst - those are the Bad Voices' lyrics. By recognising my choices, my ability to make conscious decisions, I am able to silence that silly song.

  12. Celeste - I feel such a sisterhood with you. It truly is about living the Serenity Prayer, isn't it? Thank you for your confidence in me.
    Joe Stains, you go ahead and mail ME that box of poop! I will mentally forward it to the Bad Voices and laugh and laugh and laugh at them, which is the ONE way to SHUT THEM UP!
    Thank you sweet Lorenza!
    Kathy, you are always so generous and thoughtful in your comments. How I've come to treasure them! Give Flynn a kiss right on his lucky nose for me, please.
    B & B, I know I have a lot to learn from you, and I am excited that we met through Barry. Auspicious-ness. Yes?
    Kerry, you made me smile! Thank you for your kindness.

  13. Connie B/WhippetWomanJanuary 5, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    P - life can be so difficult, but I found/find inspiration in your words. Thank you, and no, you're not a ninny!! or no more than the rest of us...

  14. Wow, I'm not alone. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post.

  15. Connie, I have long respected (okay and envied a little) the path you have been wise enough to have chosen. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here; I sure felt like an enormous ninny during that last discussion on the gallop! Gheesh!
    TCW: The Bad Voices screamed NINNY NINNY NINNY at me for publishing this post. It was hard. I'm glad - so glad - that it made you realize that you are most definitely NOT ALONE. Go to my newer post and sing GONE AT LAST at the top of your voice and know I'm singing it with you!

  16. patience - i am so glad it is not just me that feels overwhelmed by life at times. although joker always manages to make light of the tricky times, i often wonder what life will throw at us next. what i am eternally grateful for is good friends who give me strength and warmth.

    and i bet you are an amazing nurse; i haven't forgotten the piece you wrote about the beaten woman and your therapy dog and the compassion you showed. that is the stuff that makes a good nurse.

  17. I agree with you that it's time to make life happen rather than life to happen to us. I'm trying to keep that mantra in front of me as I enter this new decade as well. Even though I'm not half as talented as you. Waiting to hear if I get into NC State's PhD program.


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