I almost returned a phone call this evening, but decided I preferred to enjoy my dinner in silence instead. Even as summer heats up, twilight in the east windows seemed to come soon. I held my novel against a fading light, a sip of wine, a bite of pasta, and the adventure of a well told story. Not only do I prefer the silence, but my own company as well. Maybe tomorrow I will check in before I sleep. Maybe.
Quite possibly, I may decide, I can do without the drama. The last phone call involved complaints about high blood pressure and not having the medicine needed. “What am I supposed to do, stoke out?” I almost offered some dietary change, but the monologue continued. Actually, it was a tirade against the doctor or pharmacist, or someone else who had failed to show up as she expected (for free, I might add). I am learning to listen, to limit my advice or comments, and to allow others to follow their own paths. I recognize that my mind falls to judgment when I think that others should, could, ought, might, or would be, or have better (complain less) if they just followed XYZ. I can wait to be asked. And until then, I can keep my mouth shut.
The closed mouth program is getting the best of me these days. Often moments after I have asked a question or made a suggestion, I find that neither was requested. My disdain for chat tends to keep me to myself and stepping beyond my space leads me into conversations that while I deeply appreciate, are not always welcome. Why talk to me then?
My insight today is that I am not interested in having a story to tell. There are specific reasons I choose to work as I do. I like the ease of coming to my job and leaving work behind. I enjoy working in a climate controlled environment with limited physical energy expended. I am blessed with very useful benefits which include health, dental, vacation, sick and personal leave. Once those didn’t matter, and I loved my work. Today they matter a bit more and the trade seems to be happiness. That and not having a story.
There are some jobs and professions that have stories, drama, and chaos. I have worked lots of them – social worker, teacher (elementary, high school, and corrections), nursing. Sometimes they pay well, depending on how you measure your time and worth, but mostly they take a large toll – mentally, emotionally and physically. The moments I felt useful, helpful, and purposeful fail to balance the times I felt overwhelmed, put out, and dismissed by a system that neglected real human needs and the clients we served who felt they were victims deserving of total care.
Being a mom carries all that responsibility and the added measure to ensure my children (and grandchild) grow into strong, healthy, responsible, productive adults. Compassion dictates that I believe all people deserve that same support. We have to get up and get what we desire and need, rather than expect that other people will serve us. Children grow strong and independent when given a stable foundation, adequate information, and the freedom to make mistakes in a safe environment. Those particular principles make me a different kind of mom. They shape my perspective on social services, community support programs, teaching and nursing.
I maintain my commitment to be story free, but also stress free as one seems to follow the other. This is important as I desire another job, place of work, method of earning money. I appreciate the ease that accompanies this one, yet seek a fuller expression of who I am. Or maybe, a better place to express my “I am.” I feel exhausted treading water in this sea of pretence. I understand the financial incentive that traps those around me, but find any sense of confinement brings urgings for freedom.
Today I honor what is – I have a workable job, a doable occupation, and an opportunity to be witness to what comes up. And yay! We are under a new moon. The perfect time for planting seeds of change, visioning possibilities, and expanding prospects.
Let this be my story – that I am living my life well.
So Be It.