The weight of a promise

I am NOT perfect!

AH haha! I mean.. well, I was born that way, but through the years I have become utterly polluted and my filter system quite clogged.  My perfection level, which started at the very adorable 10+1 had plummeted to a very tight four with a faint hurrah, in the last few years.

clear mindI am, however, close to the age of 45, that magical era where slowly, but surely your polluted mind becomes pure again and the grog that has bunged up the system for all these years eventually begins to loosen.  (That is, if you exercise and eat properly; if not, you’re going to have a bit of a time with this clogging and the polluting of other unmentionable areas of your body as well.  Eek.) This is the charmed moment when you stop thinking of individuals as your constant nemesis and you start giving less of a crap as to what they are thinking about you, or, anything else for that matter.

It is with this hope of unclogged systems and fresh new outlook that I was able to manage to scramble up a rather rough patch in my life.  And in writing this story and posting it, I may catch crap, but I’m at that point, four years later, where it just does not matter.

IT WAS FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN YEARS AGO!!!  wait! sorry… just four, four years ago…

My mother found out she had cancer and if my memory serves, it was a tearful, scary and rather dull time.  I spent oodles of hours just staring into space, not quit understanding the rolls or lessons of this dis-ease and its effects on the barer and the people who love her… It was THE day of my mom’s second, and very evasive surgery, that my aunt, my mom’s sister and best friend, passed from her own complications with the cancer remission regime of pills she was on.  It was a heart attack that took her.

My father rarely cried, I don’t actually remember a single moment where I have seen anything more than a tear from him, and then I told him the news…  well… he had it worse,  he had the job of telling my mother when she awoke from surgery…   It was about two weeks later that a friend of mine lost his 14-year-old son to complications from cancer treatments and then shortly after that… I became painfully aware of who my true friends were.

At work, a small group of individuals had become purely unbearable.  I felt harassed and bullied at every turn.  I was constantly being hunted about being the less than perfect team member when really, all I wanted to do was get in, get my work done and go see my mother.   At this point, neither my husband, nor I, had, in the last few years, received raises and all of our bills were going up… the stress of that and pre-teen daughters was tearing at our marriage. I was terrified and miserable.  Things begin to snowball at this point don’t they?  Car breaks down, roof leaks, calls from teachers and principals..  you know what I mean.

It was a sunny day in August; I was driving back from a trip to a nearby city with my kids in tow, a nice trip away, when my husband called and told me to pull over…  the family had good news!!

In a shining moment of hope we had been notified of a major windfall to one of our family members and faith suddenly sprung up cheerily through the cracks…  OMG whoooot!!!  I wept with joy all the way home, my poor kids had no idea how to soothe a mom who laughed and cried simultaneously.

The family was happy, a state between shock and bliss.  This boon would help everyone and what perfect timing indeed.

Soon we were invited to outings and gatherings and felt very much part of a true miracle.  We watched as one family member after another leave the burdens of society behind.  It was fantastic.

EEEEERCH!

car smash woah horsey

I have two children, so I know the seriousness of broken promises and how painful they can be. (Even promises spoken as assurances; words written to give hint of any life changing event is, to me, a promise).  What I did not know was how, one broken assurance, would have shaped my life the way I live it today.

We were given a financial  ‘assurance’, which is what I will call it, only because of the caliber of its intention, and suddenly we saw light.  We began to see past the fog that had been our live’s.  We started to dream, to hope, to smile.  We felt lighter and taller, healthier and all around euphoric.  It is a feeling I weakly describe, it is really too difficult unless you are there in that moment yourself, to fully feel a true description.

newfoundlandharry potterIn our jubilation, we made promises to our girls and started planning immediately.

With this promise, our two children would be able to go to the two places on this planet they wanted to see. Just two, if you can imagine… ah my kids, they inspire me.   First to see Harry Potter in Disney World and then off to the east coast to see their best friends, who had moved away the summer before.

This feeling of happiness and joy for all ended quite abruptly, as I look back now, but while you’re living in the midst of hopeful dreams and changed lives it takes oooh about 7000 years to realize what is really happening around you.  Suddenly we were out of the loop and uninvited.  Unbelievable at first and then you realize just where you all stand in the scheme of things and you cannot believe how naïve you really were. It ages you, it causes long time stress related aches and pains to emerge, ones you never really paid attention to before and it hurts.

We, has humans, walk around this planet with constant bodily discomforts and pains, some we don’t even realize we have, a small tweak here a creak and a groan there, some are more obvious, like, for instance, the hollow pain of starvation, the never-ending battle of disease, agony of war and other unnecessary losses, mother nature’s wrath and etc., all discomforts you can name and have to deal with just the same.  And yet… it’s the silent, unbearable tension mongering burdens we heft around with us day after day, dragging them around our ankles or burdening our shoulders as we heave them to and fro.  We become immune to the slow, excruciating death they take on our constantly strained bodies.   You gain a few pounds, your cholesterol builds, you have high and low emotional days, you just cannot seem to tolerate the most mundane things and you easily chalk it up to age, stress, and etc…  Then you find your anger a bit too quick some days, you take one more glass of wine for dinner that night, you yell at your children, your spouse or partner and then there are days where crying or fighting can no longer soothe this invisible encumbrance and the deep blue funk leaves a colossal gaping hole in your heart… and your home.

Until… It is removed… with a promise

jubilationThere is not one single word I could find, in my language, on this whole planet or beyond, that even came close to how it feels to have the everyday burdens released from your body.  You are enlightened!  Everything, and I mean everything, becomes unbelievably attainable, you’re every dream, whim and thought.  You feel pounds lighter and inches taller.  Your spine straightens and your heart opens.   You laugh more and you can handle just about anything thrown in your path with the ease of a Goddess!

Until… its put back on…

burdenIt’s when that unbearable and once invisible weight is unceremoniously dumped back upon your shoulders do you realize what it has burdened you with all these years.  An assurance that would change your life course, suddenly and ruthlessly removed.

You can actually feel 7000lbs did you know?   When it is placed on your shoulders, it literally hurts physically; your lungs constrict and collapse and emotionally, you heart tightens… mentally you become less tolerant and more cynical, bitter… and then spiritually crushed.  Why believe in anything really?  Why hope?  Why dream? And why be placed in the front row as you watch others revel and grow from it when you know, you know with all of your heart, your dreams were not worth anybody else’s time but your own.

I felt bitter, vile, selfish, vomitus, tired and old for a very long time…

It took me nearly a year to begin to… well, not remove that feeling exactly, that cannot be done.  I had to work on balancing it again, strengthening my core in order to lug it about AGAIN.  And I had to work twice as hard in all areas of my life to regain that stability.  I cried often, my mom remianed sick, my marriage took the toll of its lifetime and the gals at work were eventually fired or left on their own accord but it just doesnt go away.  You can only imagine what burdens await  in that old seven thousand pound weight.

It has been four years now and even though my husband (who often times worked 3-4 jobs to get us through the low times) and myself (who maintains the house and works full-time), work very very hard, our debt remains relatively unmoved.  BUT we have a sort of, finely tuned optimism now and a drive that was not there before.  We went from burdened drones, to the Thor and Tova of the physical world hammering the crap that comes at us every day with a determination as strong as Thor’s hammer itself… (I know, lame analogy).  We know how it feels to be free, even for a short time and nothing can stop us now.

Even though we never received what would have been a gift of a lifetime, we did receive something much different.  Honestly, I won’t say it is better, but my skin is thicker, my resolve wittier, my goals are loftier.  I may not get what I want when I want it but I will get there.  What we got was independence… do you know what that is?  It’s WOW!  Throwing away the burdens that drag you down daily to just throw caution to the wind.   We now go one more trips and adventures both alone and with each other or as a family.  We narrowly scoot through financial decisions like all “middle class poor” do, knowing we owe 30 years of our life to institutions and full-time work to pay them off is only but a minor hitch on the road to personal freedom.  We got ourselves healthier, and we got ourselves happier.  It was the least we could do.  And I think I may have lost about 500 pounds, give or take, from that 7000 pound monstrosity!!!  Now that is an achievement!

You want to know?

We did take our children on their promised vacations (we could not break our promise, that would be hypocritical) and even though it set us back a smidgen, I realized I valued my time and memories with my kids and my husband far more than any financial release.    There is nothing on this planet that can take away those kinds of riches.

Now, I steal away on day trips with one or the other daughter making damn sure I stay in the loop of their ever-changing and growing lives.  I worry less about the money and, in fact, I have stopped buying unnecessarily.  This was an odd and unexpected change that kind of snuck up on me after all was said and done.  Once a Wal-Mart, Dollar Store junkie, I have eliminated my need to shop for relief… its like, I know that “things” do not make me feel anywhere NEAR what I felt then,  so why bother… sigh, now to work on the monthly chocolate cravings.  paaaathetic..

choc image

Moral of this story.  In times of great struggle, whatever yours may be, (and we cannot say whose is worse and whose is not) if you can rise above it, you become a greater human being for it.

My level 4 on the perfection rating?

I think it’s up to a 6+ now, with a Hip Hip Horray…  This will never be easy.  Not ever.  But it’s been rewarding in a weird and quirky way.  Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved to have had my eco-home in the jungle four years ago.   But I have the land now and that is a start!

Namaste my friends.  Stay childlike happy.

namaste

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