Monday, November 23, 2009
WHAT I'M THANKFUL FOR...AND WHAT I'M NOT
Upon reading a few blogs today, I see a lot of 'Thanksgiving' posts going up. This is the time of year where people seem to realize just how much their lives--and the people in it--truly mean to them.
I'm no exception to that.
I have been on 'Blogspot' since June. Not a very long time.
I am, admittedly, a work in progress. I don't know the in's and out's per se of 'blog etiquette'. As I've stated before, I only post what I know, what I think and what I feel to be my truth in my moments here.
Too many times, I have been accused of 'whining'--so much so that I have lost some followers and, as I discovered today, one even wrote a post about me on her blog.
In trying (but not succeeding) to be 'subtle', she excluded my name and the name of my blog. However, she repeated word for word what she blasted me for on here.
Subtle as a train wreck.
I stopped by in the hopes of 'damage control': to wish this person--who once was so kind as to send me a handmade item as a sweet gesture and reaching out--a 'Happy Thanksgiving", 'no hard feelings' and such.
Upon reading that, all my 'peace and good will for mankind' seemed to fly right out the proverbial window and my heart feels positively deflated coupled with very hurt feelings.
She said that I really don't have it that bad and that I should 'stop whining'.
Then she got personal--and putting me on full blast--mentioning my cable and Internet service that we pay for, insinuating, of course; 'How bad can it be if you have money to pay for those things?'
First of all, we have one of those deals with our cable provider where we get phone, cable and Internet for X amount of dollars per month, as a package deal instead of paying for them separately.
We also downgraded our cable to meet our new financial requirements. Now, I am not going to sit here and tell you, her or anyone that I don't enjoy my Internet. I do--more on that in a moment....
But with a son just starting college, Internet is handy--darned near mandatory--for his many projects and homework.
I do financial handstands every month to make sure everything gets paid. We're not starving, but nor do we eat like we did before. Long gone are the days of 'Swiss Steak' and Chicken breasts--but we have food on our table, although not fancy by any means, we're making it.
I've had to forgo my vegan items such as: 'Veganaise' and 'Smart Balance' margarine, not to mention faux breaded chicken breasts, soy ice cream, etc.
Other personal items I'm missing are: My 'Clean And Clear' facial cleanser and moisturizer, pumice stones, and Miss Clairol hair color--just to name a few.
We prioritize so we can have things like Internet, etc.
As I've said before, if it gets to the point where we cannot, then we will downsize once again.
Everyone does what they have to do--we're not above doing so nor do I feel I have a sense of entitlement--to these things nor to anyone's empathy.
I began this blog when I looked around and realized it was getting harder and harder to take that first step every morning. Getting out of bed was becoming a chore and with Ed working so far from home and B in school, I realized I spent an awful lot of time by myself.
Sometimes 15 hours plus...
I keep company with my Mom by phone several times a week (and the occasional lunch/dinner date with her--but she likes her privacy and alone time)--but mostly I felt very isolated.
I also started this blog when B was back east for the summer with his girlfriend.
I was missing him terribly and the camaraderie of his friends who would frequently stop by.
I joined 'Facebook' to reconnect with friends and family--but, truth be told, the camaraderie and closeness of some of my family members--accompanied with pictures of their good times--made me feel even more isolated.
My loneliness at times felt palpable and I could feel a depression coming on.
I had no outlet--enter 'Blogspot'.
Losing my job and home all in one year (2008) was much to bear. Not just for myself, but for Ed, as well.
No doubt anyone who has gone through the same thing, can empathize (again--not to be confused with sympathize).
Now, to put it in perspective--I read a lot of blogs where women have husbands deployed overseas, and a new blog I'm following has this woman's husband gone (for work) for about ten days at a time with only a day or two in between to visit.
These women truly deserve my empathy and respect and I in no way compare myself to them--many of whom have young children.
So, I started this blog to share my stories of bankruptcy and loss and how we cope--to try and find some hope and light at the end of the tunnel and to read others' experiences.
Do I whine?
This is my outlet--the co-title of which is; 'Confessions Of A Bankrupt Life'.
People can choose to read it, agree, disagree or move along. I can't control any of that and no one person can please everybody.
However, let me be clear that I did not start a blog so I could say; "Hey, I think I'll whine on here. Sounds like a groovy plan to me."
Again, it is hard to convey emotion through here.
But for people to be so downright personal and ugly is something I cannot fathom.
I'm paraphrasing here but this person stated something along the lines of (in addition to my 'whining') that I 'can dish the shit but I cannot take it'.
The ONLY time I can recall me dishing out 'shit' in my blogs is when I posted about no longer following someone.
I did NOT mention their blog name, nor their name--nor did I write them and make a big stink.
It's their blog, they can certainly write what they please. I'm very pro-honesty. I may not like it or agree--as others may not like or agree what I write--but it's their blog to do with as they wish.
I saw no reasoning in writing them for the sole purpose of humiliation--therefore, I did not humiliate them on their own blog as this person--and her friend--did to me.
That serves no one.
I simply let it be, stopped following them and asked others, on my blog, if they had similar experiences.
I am flesh and blood and bones. I have a heart and I have feelings and today, those feelings got hurt.
My life is made up of a myriad of mistakes and bad choices. I have to live with that--and I pay for it every day. I don't always react well or say and do the right things. Again, I'm a work in progress.
But I know my heart.
All I want to do is give--and receive--enlightenment.
For those of you who are still with me, I thank you and wish you a happy holiday.
As for my 'Thanksgiving': it's my least favorite holiday--for many reasons (see my 'Thought Or Quote Of The Day' towards the bottom of my sidebar for more) but it provides us a chance to be with what little family we have--usually only seven or eight of us--but that's seven or eight more than many people have (like my friend, Jo--see post two below this one) or my friend, Scott (see post below). I'm thankful for the family I do have.
I'm also very thankful for the donation we received today for the 'MS Walk 10' (for my friend, Scott)--it's the first donation this Walk season! :)
So, in spite of what some may think, I'm thankful for what I do have and don't take any of it for granted.