Monday, May 30, 2016

Patience and poverty fatigue

A post on Corina's blog (marblemount homestead) about death & dying people and on living your dreams and Renee's responses to that prompted me to do something with that. To do a post on that.... since I can really relate to all of that.
Now where to begin?
I wrote about Jenkinson's book "Die wise". Those who read my posts on that know a little, those who read the book know a lot more on the subject. The final realisation that it could be my, our turn at any given moment made a big difference in the way I live my life these days. I try not to take things for granted anymore. Not my life, not that of my wife or our children and not that of those around us; human or not. All that we see, do or experience every new day is a gift and it has made me appreciate that so much more. Yes, I do get annoyed, angry or argue with others (well, the kids mainly. I do not bother with the rest that much anymore, really), but I also try to make sure that our ways do not part having hard feelings. I do not say "I love you", since I feel that those are mere words. I try to make them feel and understand from within that I do. An extra hug for example does so much more than words, especially if you really open up when you do it. Words are just air and sounds. Actions is what defines someone.

Now the impatience part is something I have written about and it still is an issue regularly. But I am working on it. I remembered that a colleague, who was pretty close, once told me that I am an emotional man. I live by and with emotions, I feel my way through life. Feelings dominate my being... She was so very right.
And sometimes I feel I am running out of time, that I do not have enough time to accomplish all I want to do within the timeframe that I want to do it in. And that goes for small things, like walking the dogs in a pleasant and calm way to big things like creating a fully functioning homestead with all that that implies.
And that is where the gardening comes in. I once read that gardeners grow old, because they need to practice patience to see things grow and to plan long ahead. The need to live to see their plans unfold. And it is true. I can actually be patient enough to watch a plant grow, see it develop over time and see my plans unfold over the years. So I am trying to use that knowledge on other aspects of my life as well. I picture my kids growing up, finding their own way, seeing them develop their own characters and in turn that makes me see them differently today. The same goes for the dogs; I try to see them as fully trained, happy, active dogs, plunging through a foot of snow, their tongues lolling out on one side of their mouths, almost with a smile on their face as they pull a sled. It makes me smile and it quiets my bubbling temper.
I still do get impatient and temperamental, of course. It is hard to unlearn a behavioural pattern, but I will get there in the end. I will see myself grow and develop into that wise, white bearded grandpa.... if I am given that time. if not, I will make sure the ones I leave behind will have good memories of me, until I completely fade away in time.

And than there is the issue of poverty and how it shapes you, can push you down and wear you out. Living your life for years having to flip every penny tenfold, before spending it.... It does wear you out. It really does. But is also shapes you, defines your life, colors it and makes you so much more appreciative on the things you do have; material or immaterial. Enjoying the scent of freshly cut grass doesn't cost anything and if you have nothing else, you will enjoy it so much more. Buying that wool sweater at the second hand store for a few bucks makes you enjoy its comforting warmth for years to come. That jar of homemade marmalade, made from handpicked fruit, cooked and canned in your own kitchen makes that it tastes so much better than store bought and not simply because the ingredients are better. There is satisfaction in it and there is no better flavour enhancer than that!

We have had our years of poverty and these last few months we do not have to struggle that hard any more. But it has changed us fundamentally. Now when we get our paychecks we spend quite a bit of cash. Oh yeah. But everytime we do it, it almost feels wrong. And often not even almost! We feel guilty, when we spend money on a cup of cappuccino at a café and we feel almost equally guilty when we buy "trinkets" like a "new" phone for one of the kids or something like that. Another car for instance. Now that one almost physically hurt, especially since it is not an exactly economical car.
We think and weigh, discuss and rethink..... We no longer just rush off and spend. We have become much more conscious about it. And we enjoy and appreciate the things we do buy.
So yes, it has colored our lives too.

And that's when I realised that it are things like these that give color to our every day drab lives! It is things like the up and down, especially the little up during longer downs that give flavour to the daily routine soup.

People who experience things like that..... They are the lucky ones!!!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this was an interesting read and I found myself tearing up. I still struggle but your words make me want to keep reevaluating what I'm experiencing and try to find a way to look at stuff in another light. It's not helping that the promise of Madera heat is now coming to fruition. We are in for a spate of triple digit temperature and being an outdoor person I get really sad having to stay inside because going out means roasting. If, If, If Only.... that keeps popping up in my mind but it does no good. It's like the situation where Krishna invited the demon to tea. Krishna did not fight the demon or turn it away. He invited it to tea and made friends with it. I have to find a way to view the demon of my own mind in a different light. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in a personal way. You are really helping all of us when you do this.