Saturday, May 19, 2012

Finding Your Own Balance

        I am a feminine woman.  To look at me you might think that I am normal woman, who simply works as a college instructor.  Most people are surprised that I have so many children, and that most of them are grown. Then they are surprised that we and our kids converse, and go places together and sometimes work on projects with one another.  My husband is a dear, but he commutes long and hard from our hidden rural farm to the city to work as an engineer. Once he is there, little time is spent in the office, because job sites always need a review or a site survey, so he does a lot of day trips and covers a lot of ground.  Sometimes, we meet for lunch.  I am afraid though, that the things I buy, and the things I do, are probably not the things most people would expect.  Some women spend time having pedicures.  I have never once had a professional pedicure or manicure. I cannot sit still for that long, and I don't enjoy being messed with unnecessarily.  I also would have concerns as to whether articles being used on me had been properly sterilized. I don't understand why I can't take care of my own toenails.    In lieu of pedicures, I spend time at hardware and plumbing supply stores gathering articles for "Emergency Drain Plugging Kits" as discussed in a recent post.    Some women spend quite a bit of time and money at hairdressers. I wash my hair in the shower, let it air dry, and if it needs curling for some unknown reason, I wrap it in rag curlers one can sleep in, which can be purchased at any Sally Beauty Supply.  With all that time I don't spend being primped, I am out with my sons looking at varietal weapons, taking additional training courses on guns, and practicing their use at a place which looks an awful lot like the picture below.  Men used to be a little taken aback when I went in to gun shops, but after you buy ammo, and some reserve replacement parts for your rifles, and handle a couple of handguns well, they seem relieved and are pretty accepting of women in such a place.  At first glance, I don't look like a person who can manage the use of an AR-15, but believe me, I can and so can my sons.

             I am pretty good about sitting still to make sure all my dental work is done and up to date, but truth be told, I dislike sitting still, and I would rather be doing.   I try to balance days when I have to get dental work done, with days in the city where I can take a look at some of the newer handguns with laser sites. Oddly, the woman who aspired only to own one rifle and one handgun found that weapons are tools and that they each do something, but not everything, well.  For this reason, the collection grew as weaponry was purchased by family members and as we learned more about the broad range of weapons available for so many purposes.   On a farm, a different weapon might be used for poisonous snakes, than would be used on a rabid fox.  I hope I never have to shoot a lovely black bear, but certainly a different weapon and round would be correct for that purpose.  I am fond of the bears and they have never given us any trouble here.
           My mother was an avid shopper.  She would walk all over the place to locate the right scarf or pair of shoes, and I quite honestly, NEVER do this.  I pull out the trusty LL Bean or Land's End catalog, and buy one of the dresses, or slacks or sweaters.  I like casual shoes when I can get them.  I only rarely wear something formal, although I have a couple of nice things. If I have to buy something from a store, I get on the internet, identify a target price, and then make a couple of phone calls. If it's something I need to see, it's usually a question of getting in, locating the item, paying and getting out.
           When I am not doing these things, I am keeping up with continuing education requirements in order to keep my RN license current in quite a few US states.

I love all my animals, whatever variety, whatever breed.

           All I have written, is true about certain aspects of me.  This is how I have evolved at this point in my life, and the way that my own life feels balanced to me. Of course, the healthy organism is the flexible organism, and aspects of what I feel is a balanced day, could and will, change.    In telling you about what is right for me, I am not for a moment criticizing those women who feel pampered and comfortable seeing a hairdresser or a manicurist. It simply isn't right for me.  What is important, and the reason I have written the post, is that in order to come through difficult times, or times where loss of any kind occurs, we are most flexible and most successful in surviving adversity if we know ourselves.  If I know that being primped annoys me, then a trip to a hairdresser for a recharge would not be helpful to me.  We must each find our own comforts and our own bliss.

           I have a close friend who is a very educated and capable professional woman.  She too is very devoted to her adult children and is very proud of them. They go to lunch and talk fairly often.  However, my friend's bliss are her horses.  She spares no expense for them. She communicates well with them, and they are her babies. I am fond of horses but not in the manner in which she is.   Each one of us, as we prepare for the future, whatever comes, need to know ourselves well enough to know what centers us, what comforts us, and what we would really like to read.  Too many of us drink too much during major stressors, or create more drama than is there.  Some of us eat a mountain of calorie concentrated food, and this leaves us feeling empty and guilty as well.   Try to discover now what comforts you, and what you can do which nurtures your spirit. I promise that you will come through the challenges in your life, whatever they are,  better than you would have, had you not taken the time to know yourself. It's time you thought about allocating the time to do the things you really want to do.  Make the time to do the things you really care about doing, whether these are spending time with animals, reading books, or yes, even if your own bliss is having a manicure !


Gorges Smythe said...

Simple common sense, but it's not a plentiful commodity these days.

JaneofVirginia said...

No, and I am struck by how many people, often women, are living a life in which they do nothing in which they nurture themselves. They do things which might nurture others, but do not nurture themselves. The problem is, that in a disaster situation, we will need to know who we are in order to draw from the strength and courage we have. If we are chasing "the right shoes" then nothing we are doing prepares us for that new reality, and we are doomed to fail.