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Thread: Chicken lady “fixes”? Her own life

  1. #1
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    Chicken lady “fixes”? Her own life

    If anybody cares.

    so after I realized I was looking in the wrong place for help and just annoying you people, some things changed. Corona virus helped.

    I accepted that I am not as good a person as I think I should be.
    For example: I quit the food bank because the political/religious environment became unbearable. Also I realized I was investing a lot of energy reducing the service burden on people who were going to put some of their energy into creating a world I don’t want to live in - like giving someone a ride to the polls when you know they are going to vote against your candidate - noble, and in service to an ideal (democracy) you believe in, but ultimately stupid. If the person is a perfectly nice person who you generally get along with and you both believe that everyone should vote - it is still stupid.

    corollary - geography is not community. Trying to get involved in things near me just raises my stress level - the more I know my neighbors, the less I like them. I realized during corona that the higher the fatality rate in my immediate geographic location, the more likely my immediate geographic location will become a less hostile place for me to live - and my neighbors don’t want me to save them, they find my efforts annoying, so ok, live and let die. (Again, not a good person. Actually ok with that.)

    I am not a misanthrope - I have found ways to increase my support of people who are trying to row the boat in the direction I want to go. They don’t live near me. I don’t want to move. Which is fine, because I also realized:

    I am much more of an introvert than I even realized. Dh is now home all the time. I no longer interact with strangers at all. I don’t even interact with the guy who has sold me feed for over a decade beyond calling in my order and then calling to literally say “I’m here.” (I have realized that the inside of the feed store was a hostile environment for me.) Dh tries to make safe outdoor plans with friends every six weeks or so - I feel ambivalent about them.

    I get plenty of human interaction from Dh and my kids in town (seen socially distant every month or so, but talked to often) and my students. I have just enough contact with my coworkers - my job no longer involves conferences and open houses. The administration is too overwhelmed to bother me. I also get to spend entire days with my grandchild. I miss my out of town kids and my parents, but video calls make it ok.

    Dh took over grocery shopping(curbside) and cooking (because he was bored). the fitness center closed and I stopped exercising. I have gained weight and lost muscle mass, but I’m happier because I have all that time back.

    Since we never have company, I have been able to leave ongoing projects out in the guest rooms and pick at them for months without having to scoop them up and start over - so there has been slow but steady progress without stress. I also don’t worry about people (particularly some of Dh relatives) judging (out loud) my housekeeping. I enjoy never seeing them, but Dh loves them, so that won’t last. Also, I have more free time without company and activities with friends.

    other things were beyond my control - I actually increased my teaching hours, but I have far fewer high need students this year. I also have an aide to facilitate the online students who helps me with classroom set up and clean up. Two people in my life whom I love have had their lives improve such that I can now be there for them as much as they want without me being exhausted and sad. I have a grandchild who brings me great joy. Errands no longer involve getting out of my car.

    I am spending more time on my garden and farm (manual labor now provides ALL of my exercise) and sorting through and rearranging all that stuff people kept telling me to just throw out. - wandering through memories, imagining possibilities - This makes me happy. Many of the ridiculous space eating things I saved are now being used by my grandchild and that is fun to see and my child is grateful for the help to her budget. (Opportunities to safely buy second hand being scarce these days - free is even more helpful.)

    i don’t know how much of this I will be able to keep control of once the pandemic ends, but I have learned a lot. “In an insane world, the sane are insane” and apparently the current insanity of the world is a balm to my mental health.

    sorry, this is long but actually the short version. Basically, I did need help, but I apologize for asking for it here. The thread “good advice is only good if you take it” helped me realize the advice is only good if it helps you. Everybody kept trying to give me good advice, and I kept making them angry by rejecting it because it wasn’t good for me. Like me trying to keep my neighbors safe from covid. They’re happier if I don’t, and they don’t want to be safe, they want to be happy.

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    This is a cool post. So glad you have been able to find a "middle way" to dealing with the stressors in your life, and I'm glad that you have identified those stressors! COVID has had some benefit.

    I can identify with the idea of just letting the nonessential fall to the wayside during this time. I've posted earlier about my need since September (since my daughter's wedding) about my concerted attempt to step into a vacuum away from needless activity. Of course I have to work, but I have a need to just step back and literally figure out who I am. Part of this came about because of my acceptance of my daughter's request to make her dress. I was flattered and said yes. I didn't take into consideration that all I've made for 40+ years is Halloween costumes. I let my hubris carry me along with expectations that I would be able to do this wonderful, runway ready wedding dress for my daughter.

    Wrong. It came out OK, but it was like one of the many Halloween costumes I've done. Looked OK on the outside, but the inside was--not well done. It was not a part of the wedding that either DD or I are going to remember fondly. So, that, combined with all the work I was swamped with leading up to the wedding and all my various interests buzzing around my head bombarding me like black flies in June, forced me to yell, "enough!" So I have sat back and let life happen for the most part. All I have concentrated on are the esssentials, and whatever floats my boat at the moment.

    I haven't had enough of the silence yet. I'm still waiting to understand who I am! At almost-69! But it's all part of the journey. In lieu of relying on these antiquated constructs of who 'catherine' is--I've installed a meditation habit to raze my perceptions and start from scratch. It's pretty freeing, actually, to dismantle The Person You Think You Should Be.

    So I really enjoyed reading your story, CL. You sound calmer and more centered.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your update Chicken Lady. I'm glad to hear your stresses have been relieved in many areas.

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    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Thanks for the uodate, CL. Glad to hear you’re doing well.

  5. #5
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Good to hear this CL. Yes, these Covid times have been a boon in some ways to us introverts!

  6. #6
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Your experience certainly resonates with me. COVID has served as a reset for many--in a good way.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    CL: I'm glad you've been able to make some positive changes for yourself. I also derived benefit from the "down time" of Covid, but a lot of that had to do with the suspension of appointments, many of which are medically necessary, so that was only a temporary reprieve. I've always been quite good at avoiding a lot of social obligations.
    Do you have thoughts on how to make some of the benefits more permanent?
    I do think those of us who fulfill most of our socialization needs in non-pandemic times from our spouses or SOs do so at our peril, especially if we are women.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    A lot of people have been pushing to get off FB as it’s too toxic these days, etc. I get a ton of my socialization via FB. Friends, lots of diving stuff, a number of closed groups with people I’ve known online for a long time.

  9. #9
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Since I only allow discussion of Iris, lilies, and bulldogs into my Facebook feed, things are very serene in my Facebook world.


    I get my rock ‘n’ roll conflict from other sources: Reddit is fun for that.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I am very happy for you CL! Being a extrovert this pandemic has been difficult. I have always maintained a close friend group no matter if married and where I lived because I need it. Now since I have divorced my husband which is not something that I ever thought I would do I am very grateful for my friends. I also am grateful for my kids that I see every week.

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