Martyr, not me

Martyr
My father died 28 years ago, more than half my life and still his words echo.  He told me never to be a martyr.  At the time I had no idea what he meant, the word not in my vocabulary.  He explained its meaning sharing vivid examples that have stayed with me all these years. His lesson, chart your own course, be yourself, resonated.

Many moments his words reverberated as I discarded the path of least resistance in search of something more.  I left a marriage that did not feed my soul, my wings effectively clipped and embraced the life just beyond.  The decision led to the opportunity of building a new home in the country, training and running a marathon and facing my fear of being alone.  Turns out, you can never be alone as long as you don’t  lose yourself.

I left a relationship that was toxic and embraced the not plus one category.    Trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole sapped my energy and my soul wilted.  This decision led to meeting my husband and the life that we would create just beyond this choice. I learned a relationship should be easy and not exhausting.

I left a job that paid well with great benefits for many reasons, not least was a toxic co-worker who worked hard to make my work life miserable, its effects spilling over into my home life.  The goal was retirement, though I realized I wasn’t ready and worked to educate myself, and build my own successful company. Work should seem like play and it is once again.

There are many moments in life where the path of least resistance seems the easy choice.  Situations where we can wrap the cloak of martyrdom around us like a warm blanket and remain in place, comfortably uncomfortable.  We can even tell ourselves that we are the better person, though in the course of a lifetime it matters little.  Inertia, chips away our authenticity and makes us less, not more.  We cheat ourselves and in many cases prevent the people we are being martyrs for from moving forward to their most authentic selves.  It is a full circle that leads to defeat.

We have only this one life.  My parents died young and working in healthcare taught me it can all be gone in an instant.  We must not waste this gift, for at the end of life no one will applaud us because our souls died for useless causes. Likely, no one will spend a second thinking of what we sacrificed.  It is the work of life to have meaning, purpose and to become our best selves.  I have much to learn, though I thank my Dad for his wisdom so many years ago.

 

 

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Backpacking luxury item

In response to WordPress prompt luxury

a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/luxury/”>Luxury</a&gt;

The plan was a week long backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains. The preparation and  planning consumed many days and sleepless nights. Each item carefully considered for its necessity and double if not triple function. 

 I read countless books on the subject and considered,  albeit briefly hollowing out my toothbrush to save weight. 

I took all food items out of their original packaging to save space and weight, marvelling at the volume of packaging rendered redundant. 

The pack weighed in at 45 lbs and only one last item remained, my personal luxury item. I chose my Olympus camera to record the journey.  I’ll never forget the freeing feeling of strapping my pack on my back and knowing that every item was necessary and I truly had all I needed. It’s odd, I felt light at that moment.  

During the trip I fantasized about any number of items that would have been nice to have, a luxury at the time. A glass of wine after a long hike, a warmer coat when it started to snow, a hamburger when I tired completely of dehydrated food and good old raisins and peanuts. 

Still, as I look at photos from that trip I know my choice was right. How blessed to hike in the back country surrounded by mountains, wildflowers, and cool mountain streams. What a luxury to be able to record the moment and freeze it in time where years later,  I am transported by those photographs and remember a cool breeze, the weight of my pack and how soothing the cool mountain stream was on my sore feet.  I remember the pine bough structure we built to keep busy during a cold, wet day, the alternative was feeling bitter and cold. How lovely our home was, warm, inviting complete with socks drying by the fire. At that moment I felt as though all my needs were met, luxury indeed!

The Sweetest days

If I Could Turn Back Time 

When I think about reliving a day in my life, at first its difficult to choose, I’ve been blessed with many great days. The day I met my husband, became a Mom, passed the registry exam, landed the job of my dreams or moved into the house I help build. All wonderful memories, each deserving a chance to enjoy it again.

Still, when I think about each of those days, it is only in retrospect that they are the greatest days of my life.

I never knew when I met my husband that we would be married 8 months later and be so happy. When my daughters were born healthy, while great at the time, it is only with the passing of time that I know what a blessing they have been in my life. When the envelope arrived advising that I passed my board exams, I was happy, though guarded that perhaps it had all been an error. Landing the job of my dreams was exciting, though working with the families and children and having a small impact in their lives had that moment pale in comparison. When I moved into the house I helped build, it was a busy day, the joy lessened by the volume of work remaining.

The memory of those pivotal moments in my life grows sweeter with the lens of the present looking into the past.

How fortunate that we are able to remember the days of our lives and at any moment relive that moment, day or period in our life all with the lens of today where we know for certain that it all turned out exactly as it should.

Lazy Me

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Lazy Learners.”

language

I’ve always wanted to learn many languages.  I dabble and can say a few words in French, Dutch, Taiwanese, Spanish and Sign language. When I travel to a new country, I learn a few simple words,  please, thank-you, adding to the  richness of travel.

Still, I love the idea of being  fluent in  many languages.  I  daydream about travelling the globe and slipping from one language to another effortlessly. I would  know when I’m being  short changed, could  haggle with the best of them, eavesdrop on conversation and know exactly what the  locals think. I could order food in a restaurant  and know what I ordered, omitting the surprise when it arrives.  I can see it in my minds eye and its perfect.

Therein lies the problem.  I studied French in school, for five  years and although I believed that I repeated the phrases perfectly, my teacher would  beg to differ.  It seemed that I never could get it perfect for her.  I’m reluctant to share my knowledge with anyone about the phrases I know for fear of being figuratively back in  French class.  This phobia seems  to have oozed into all  languages.  I’m  happy  to read and write  the words and will spell  them  out  to  people, awkward  for certain, though effective.

Seeing my excuses written down gives me pause.  The best part of getting  older is that I no longer care what other people think about me.  With  this in mind,  I  will take the time to learn another language and have my daydream become  a reality.  May-be  it isn’t too late?

Be it ever so humble…


image

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Home Turf.”

Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, there is no place like home. The word is warm, cozy and inviting. It welcomes us at the end of the day, enveloping us and keeps us safe. Our most authentic selves are revealed though our secrets are safe.

A house is merely building materials, it becomes a home by what we keep inside, what we treasure, what is true in our hearts. It is authentic and reflects our self in how we feel in the world.

Describe your space and how you feel in this space conjures up something different for each person who honestly answers this question

For me, there is a lightness, beauty, love and warmth in my home. This is the home I created.

Twenty windows frame stunning views that inspire and provide a daily dose of awe.  My husband, friend, confidante and love provides safety with a daily dose of humor and my cup overflows with love and respect.  Our menagerie of pets include two cats and two dogs, their antics rival the most popular you tube video.  Our library in the corner of our home with its comfy chair invites us to kick off our shoes and curl up with one of its many good books. We can choose between four decks or our three season porch where we can be more intimate with nature and marvel at the many animals that call our house their home too.

It has been a journey to get to this place in my life, at last, at long last, I am home.

Hurry scurry

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Style Icon.”

My personal style is hurry scurry. Whatever I do I try to do fast. I love to read but rather than relishing the words, I skim. I walk fast, talk fast, think fast. It seems as though life is a race and yet I know we are all moving to the same target, the end.

I married a man who moves slower, savours the written word, thinks before he speaks and as such is thoughtful. He lives each moment content to be in the moment and present.

As I rush along becoming more frantic, the list of must do and have to do stretching into the abyss I pause and remember why I married him, to learn. I sit down, breathe a full breath, put my feet up and for this moment I’m still