Cold and Indifferent vs. Wise and Exasperated

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I am, on my worst days (or best, depending on perspective), a social recluse who has no desire to be around anybody. I cherish solitude and introspection on those days and use this time to recharge my social batteries.

On the upswing, I love to be around a small circle of friends and family where humour is appreciated and laughter is the only noise that sets off the decibel meter.

I read a book many years ago that I feel was meant specifically just for me. It was called “The Highly Sensitive Person” (I can’t remember the author). I learned that about 10% of the population are highly sensitive to noise, crowds, chaos, etc. I am one of those. I get very agitated and overwhelmed in large crowds (unless people are organized into seats and aren’t moving around about me), and loud chaotic noise such as music I don’t like or people yelling, screaming, and talking over each other (I even have to wear earplugs at concerts; I only attend concerts of people whose music I LOVE).

At my age, I embrace my quirky need for solitude, peace and quiet. And I find the older I get, the more sensitive I am getting. Many people misconstrue this trait in me as indifference and coldness. Yes, I do have a low tolerance for unnecessary drama and I avoid situations where I am put in the middle of people’s recurring problems, but it’s not because I don’t care…it’s because, after weighing the situation, I realize that there is nothing I can offer to their situation that can benefit them.

I understand this about myself – I am emotionally incapable of taking on someone’s problems as my own, meaning that I feel it is sometimes best if I remove myself from situations where it is evident that the owner of the problems are the only one’s who can resolve them. If I take on their emotional burdens, it unfairly affects my husband and children, because I am immersed in something that doesn’t belong in my home. I sometimes get so riled up and excited about “fixing” something that doesn’t belong to me, that I become tunnel-visioned until that problem is resolved. Just recently, I was presented with a situation where I wanted to fix the whole problem by myself and make everything right because I love the owner of the problem. I thought about it and now know that all I can do is offer encouragement and support, and back away.

Any of my past friends and family will tell you that I was someone who was always willing to offer any help I could give and always had words of advice. I’m no psychologist or doctor, but I know that it often helps to get perspective from someone who isn’t caught up in situations, and I could often offer that perspective. That was me years ago. These days, I avoid, avoid, avoid. Not because I don’t care, but because I do…about my own emotional health, and about the peace and sanctity of my home and those in it.

I’m not indifferent. If there are problems that are presented to me where I can give a hug, a kind word, some encouragement and support, then bring it on. I just try to limit how many people I keep in my immediate circle so I can limit the amount of drama and problems that come with them. If that’s wrong, then I apologize. It’s just that some people seem to have a propensity for unnecessary drama and tend to invite ridiculousness into their lives to keep their minds occupied. It’s this I am trying to avoid. This is different from unfortunate, unwarranted, uninvited problems and situations that suddenly seem to appear that puts a wrench into someone’s life. This is different from people who don’t normally thrive on drama and chaos. This is different from people who don’t have an incessant need to know and take on every detail of other people’s life problems. These are what make me exasperated. It is experience with these people that make me wise.

Life will always bombard each of us with problems and unfortunate situations. It is up to us to choose our battles wisely and not turn everything into drama. It is up to us to understand that there is only so much we can do and to not feel guilty for giving people the space and time they need to work things out on their own. It is up to us to offer love, friendship, and support to help them through.

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Me – Auctioneer Extraordinaire?

THE PROBLEM

We moved into our new house in April.  We downsized after we closed our businesses.

I’m still staring at Rubbermaid containers and cardboard boxes full of stuff all over our house. Our garage and shed are full as well.  Our walk-in closet has 6 square inches of foot space due to all the crap in there.

I also have a surplus of items left over from our businesses, from urns to candles. We had a funeral business and a handmade gift store.

I’ve tried giving away a load of stuff throughout the summer, but believe it or not, it didn’t all go. People don’t value things if you do not attach a value to it, I guess.

So I have a problem…too much stuff, not enough space.

What’s a girl to do?

THE SOLUTION

I started an online Facebook Auction page. I love participating in these local online auctions, especially the ones that auction off antiques, but until I can get rid of my stuff, I don’t have the room for more.

My page allows others to hold their own auctions in addition to the ones I will hold.

A friend just asked me what kind of pyramid scheme I was pulling when he seen my auction page on Facebook. What? Scheme? It’s simple…the more people who get involved and hold their auction on my auction page, the more people will bid when I hold my own auctions. Other than that, there is nothing else in it for me.

Are you buried in stuff you don’t need anymore? Are you, by nature, a purger like me?

Why not start your own local auction page? Invite others to hold their own auctions, and hold your own once in a while.

If you would like to take a look at mine to get some ideas, click here. Click on the ABOUT arrow to see the rules and tips I have. You are permitted to copy right from mine to use on yours.

Go ahead…start PURGING!

“Think You Know Me?” Top 10 Lists

There are perceptions about us which we create when we present ourselves to people we just meet, or haven’t met yet, sometimes exaggerated or even fabricated.

There are perceptions people have about us based on their personal experiences with us, or what they believe they know about us.

Then there are the perceptions we have about ourselves; things we believe or tell ourselves…things we tend to hide from others so we don’t distort their much more desirable perceptions of us.

These three lists reflect these perceptions about me.

List # 1:

“10 Facts About Me I Use to Market Myself”

1. I am a biological mother of one son, and stepmother to another boy and a girl.

2. I am a former licensed funeral director/embalmer.

3. I am an entrepreneur, having owned three businesses.

4. I am a writer.

5. I am an artist.

6. I am a crafter.

7. I love to sail.

8. I love to travel.

9. I am interested in social issues and current events.

10. I love a good challenge.

List # 2:

“10 Things My Close Friends/ Family Know About Me”

1. I am from Newfoundland, Canada but have been living in Alberta for over 15 years.

2. I grew up with alcoholism in my immediate family, and have one brother who is 10 years younger.

3. I did alright in high school, went to community college shortly after, and finally completed a 2-year diploma course at mortuary school when I was in my early 30’s.

4. I like to present myself as a pulled-together, physically-attractive 40-something year-old.

5. I have been divorced once before and now I’m blissfully married to the man of my dreams.

6. I love my children and they love me but I may tend to get too involved with planning their futures.

7. I have no formal training in writing or my other artistic persuits.

8. My sailing experience has been limited to a few whale-watching trips, a couple of short trips out on the water, three sailboat shows, and several sailing magazine subscriptions.

9. All 3 of my business have failed.

10. I’m a homebody who doesn’t socialize much with friends.

List # 3:

“10 Facts I Rarely Share With Others About Myself” 

1. I have a love-hate relationship with Newfoundland. I love the culture, beauty and uniquenes of my homeland and it’s people, but I have some bittersweet memories of growing up there and moved away to allow myself a better future.

2. My mother passed away four years ago a sober, clear-headed woman who I loved deeply, but we struggled with recurring issues stemming from my childhood/her motherhood, and I have many regrets about our relationship.

3. My favorite subjects in school were English Literature and Biology. My love of biology/anatomy and a fascination with the state of death led me to become a mortician, but my love of the written word has created an intolerable “spelling/grammar police” in me. I still have plans of mingling the two to write a novel based on my experiences as a mortician.

4. I do like to put my best foot forward (physically), but most of my days are spent in jammies or sweats, no make-up, and unkempt hair. I find it botherome  –  no gruelling –  to shower, shave, lather in self-tanner, exfoliate my face, use my DermaWand, apply cosmetics, dry and flat-iron my hair everyday…so I don’t.

5. I was married to an older, religiously-fanatical, “small” man, who loved to intimidate his family while presenting himself as a humble, respectible, upstanding member of our church. I fell in love (and remain in love) with my current husband while I was still married to my ex-husband. I left the church a confused, disillusioned Christian when I left my ex. My current husband is a humanist who has respect and value for all living things, unless you impose your beliefs on others with violence.

6.  I want my children to be successful and happy. I give them too much unsolicited advice but I secretely fear they will make the mistakes I have made and will feel like they, too, are failures. I feel heartbroken and unappreciated when they forget me on special occasions, especially Mother’s Day. My biggest hope is that they will always think of me as a cool, loving, involved mother.

7. I am virtually “self-taught” in all of my interests, which I like to present as “skills”. I wish I could say that I have a degree in creative writing, or a Bachelor of Arts in the other areas I like to dabble, so oftentimes I feel insecure and seek the praise of those I love to validate my work.

8. My husband and I plan to retire to a live-aboard sailboat in Newfoundland in about 12-15 years, and have been planning for it, but we both are struggling with how we are financially going to be able to afford the cost of a sailboat, the yearly maintainance costs, and how to afford the practical training we will need before we retire. We believe in our dreams so much, however, that we are willing to sacrifice everything we have to make them happen.

9. I am terrified of having another business. I regret never going to business school, or at least doing business courses, but I insisted on trying to prove to myself that I have what it takes to be an entreprenaur, and jumped in feet first to try to bury the feelings of insecurity and self-doubt I’ve always struggled with. People tell me that you only fail if you never try. Why do I feel like such a failure, then, for having to abandon each of my business dreams?

10. My husband and I often joke that when he turns 50 next year, we are going to invite all of our FRIEND. That’s right. We have few people in our lives who we consider true friends. We have become seriously jaded and mistrusting of people, and now choose our friends wisely. We understand that friends grow apart and have their own lives, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. We love to be in each other’s company and consider ourselves each other’s closest friends. If we call you a friend, then you can believe that we don’t use that term loosely.

These lists are an exercise in writing for me. I started this particular blog to be more REAL, HONEST, AND RAW. And it starts with being honest about myself first. I promise to avoid disclosing names when I want to be completely transparent about my views on particular issues and situations I experience, but I know I can’t avoid speculation. My apologies in advance.