I am just ONE. I cannot write something you will agree with completely (but I love you for it)

I have been following different ways of viewing the world for a couple of years now. I  have changed, seen things from the other side, and allowed the veil to be lifted…so to speak.

In particular, I have been bothered by the changes happening in our neighbours to the south (yet followed out of curiosity, and wanting to cheer for the underdog). The USA has had a lot of downs, and most of us Canadians (or at least me) cannot fathom having these things happen to us. I am talking about losing your home and your whole family living in your car for months on end. Trying to have a voice to protest how these circumstances have come about (Occupy Wall Street), yet The Man keeps you down with pepper spray and legal wrangling. Anything to keep the Fat Cat’s pockets Fat. I am reading about the HATE that is spewed between Religious groups and leaders, including leaders of said country. I read their posts as everyday people like us argue back and forth to defend their views and try to best out the other…

I am digesting all this stress from them, and attributing it to a potential future of Canada. Such future cannot be defined by me, but we all try to forecast, right? We want to be prepared? Have all our nuts in a row?

Perhaps it isn’t something I should digest. Perhaps this is one of those times where ignorance is bliss. Some will disagree with me, and I love you for it. Some of you will agree and I love you too. Some of you are indifferent and I love you for who you are. You see, as much as this internet thing has allowed us to share and express our thoughts and opinions to masses more than ever before (and the irony hits me how I am doing this as I talk about it) I can’t help but to think I am only one.

One being.

One mother.

One sister.

One friend.

I am not capable of expressing every point of view fairly because I have not experienced life more than this one way.  I am ok that I am wrong in not expressing it so you agree. 

I am not capable of helping every person or group in need in this community, town, province, country or continent. I am ok with helping someone when I can, even though your experiences tell you I could have chosen someone more deserving.

I am only one.

The funny thing is with everyONE that we have in this funny world with their own unique perspective, we CAN take care of everyONE, everything. By agreeing to disagree and allowing ourselves to be ok with believing something different from the other we actually can take care of everything. Perhaps we take too much comfort in banding together over a cause. It gives us a sense of security! We think we must be right if all these others are jumping on the band wagon! The funny thing is we let RIGHT be dictated by others’ moral compass and not our own… we need to own our own compass to be at peace with ourselves, don’t you think?

This is where the little girl in me wants you to agree and tell me I am RIGHT so I can have my ego boost, and believe I am a good girl. Did I deserve an A for this thought? A pat on the head?

The new part of me doesn’t really care because I need to love myself for who I am at this moment, and I will love you for where you are in your moment.

Sigh… At the same time I cannot help but to feel as though I have inadequately explained the thoughts I am having. Perhaps these thoughts are too lengthy for one blog post. Perhaps I go too easily off on a tangent at 11pm. Perhaps the little girl in me thinks this essay is not good enough for the teacher to praise and once again I have disappointed… but that is the lesson to learn, right? Be happy with myself in the moment, and not let other define what is Right?

In short (not good at being short, or writing – but it doesn’t matter, right?) – you take care of the polar bears, I will take care of the kids, and let’s divide up the rest of the problems between the remaining population. On the other hand, if we each take care of the neighbour to our right, we should come full circle. Or is the Earth flat again? Doesn’t matter. I’ll go on the left.

Peace 🙂

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Career Decisions

Choosing to leave a career path (yes, I consider retail a career) that one has done for 12 years isn’t an easy task. It burdened my mind with What If’s and feelings of guilt. I constantly reminded myself that any decision I make affects my family for better or worse. Regardless of what desires I have, I still am responsible for my share of the bills! A steady salary means predictability. Following my dreams could be a turbulent road, and how dare I put the stability of my family at risk! Right?

Well it turns out that stability isn’t all I thought it was cracked up to be. First, the hours affected my relationship with my kids! After saying goodnight to my kids over the phone for the third time one week, even my boss was tearing up because I was missing out on life. I also had no clue what my kids were doing at school anymore. When I was off after my daughter was born, I felt so involved in my son’s school, and cherished the relationships made with other parents. Having steady income seemed to equal living life through Facebook only. Kudos to all the parents that have figured out how to do this with a career!

My steady income job also meant I got to gas up the car at inflated rates. What a joy to watch my money disappear into the gas tank. Only a few months ago I was in tears because I didn’t even have enough left after paying the bills to buy gas to get to work so I could earn money to pay the bills!

It just wasn’t adding up – financially and emotionally.

Eventually I had to put happiness into the equation and see if income can join it. The problem is, you see, I get crazy ideas all the time, and over-excited at the possibilities of a different, magical life. For example, I once told him “Since you want to go to the Caribbean so much, why don’t we move there! Look, here’s a job site, ooh look! You can do tech support in Hawaii. Or Bahamas! What do you think?”  My hubby then looks at me as though I am from another planet when I tell him these wondrous things, and I begin to doubt myself. I realized even if I believe in my ideas they would only happen with the support of my family. For over a year I have debated on starting a Daycare in my home to meet these emotional and financial needs, but Hubby wasn’t sure if that career choice would meet his emotional needs. For example, after a long day at work how would he feel coming home to many kids running around his house? What about having our house look more like a playroom than a home? After many ‘discussions’ he has come to say “If it makes you happy, and it will pay the bills, go for it.”

Woohoo!! …. But what will make me happy?

I defined my Happiness by asking myself a few questions:

  • I feel happiest at work when…
  • I feel happiest at home when…
  • What is more important? A career (A.K.A.  adult time), or time with kids?

Simple, really. Kind of dumb, but I needed to define them… the hard part was that I tend to think too far ahead into the future. Say, 10 years. What if by deciding to stay at home with my kids damages a future career? What if I won’t be worth enough money to pay our bills? Will I regret it?

But if I am missing out on the kid’s lives that much because of work, won’t I regret that more?

Yes. Yes I would.

The funny thing is I couldn’t decide until I told myself to forget about the future and do what makes me happy NOW. Say we only had 7 years left to do that bucket list, and do what we value most. For me it would be exploring the world around us with my kids. I want to share and teach them – and others! I feel fulfilled when their faces light up with excitement through discovery! I feel loved! In 7 years if I stayed in the career, I could only experience that on weekends. Somehow there is never the time to explore the world between breakfast and school, or homework and dinner.

I guess when it comes down to it a career is only a title, and by allowing a title to define who I am I lose who I am when the title is taken away. Not sure if that made sense, but let’s put it this way. If you allow your work to define who you are, what happens when you get fired? Who are you then? Are you nobody? Of course not. You are a system of values. I think what I am realizing is that the career was merely a title and reward system that doesn’t always reward my core values. If I think of fulfilling my core values, then it is no longer work and I am happy. I don’t need a title to define that.

So who am I now that I have decided to quit my corporate retail title?

I am happy. I am loving. I am free. I am teaching. I am exploring. I am living in the moment, and I don’t want to stop! By opening my home to other children in a Daycare setting, I can be all of these things and still afford to pay our bills.

I am happy!

 

May you discover more to love today,

Barb