Posted by: eileenandrory | September 23, 2009

Some thoughts are too precious to share

There have been many turning points in my life, some amazing and some downright miserable.  All of them have made me into the person I am today.  I don’t regret a single one of them or I would not be the person I am today.  However, sometimes I do find it hard to live in the ‘now’ and accept some of the choices I have made and the effects it has upon my life and my family life.

I have always been outspoken, I have never been one of these party people who gets along with half the world.  That’s simply not me.  I have strong opinions that tend to polarise people.  In my younger years I was free and loose with these opinions letting the world know what I thought.  As I have grown I have realised that some thoughts are too precious to share.  Some are like little gem stones to only be shared with those who can see the beauty just like you can.  I am reminded by a scene in ‘Atlas Shrugged’ when Hank Rearden gives a bracelet of his new metal to his wife and she rejects it as being ugly and offensive.  He has spent years perfecting this metal and it should revolutionise the world.  He has poured his heart and soul into it and as a gesture of love he presents a bracelet of it to his wife.  Her rejection just confirms what he should know, she does not understand him and never wants to.  However, when he gives the same bracelet to Dagny Taggart she handles it like it were a diamond bracelet worth millions.  She sees the value that he places upon that bracelet, and she respects the magnitude of such an offer.

I have moved on from the world of Ayn Rand, there are elements of her philosophy that I still hold dear to my heart, but a lot of those years were spent in a wholly destructive relationship that was built upon a shared love of Rand.  However, the episode of the bracelet is an evocative piece for me.  Too often I have presented people with ‘bracelets’ to have them cast back at me, so now I am more careful about whom I give them to.   What this means is that I have compartmentalised much of my life.  I am sure many people live this way and find it easy, but I don’t find it terribly easy.  It’s like I have to hide different parts of my body to fit into certain circles.    Some would say this is what having a circle of friends is like.  It’s like a pot pourri and you get different flavours from different people and the synergistic effect is greater than the individual parts.  I get that, and on some days that is how I feel.

However there are other days where I want to wallow, and just want to talk to someone who ‘gets it’.  I wish to be appreciated for being me in all my contradictory glory and I wish to expound all of the amazing beliefs and ideas that make me burn to do more and more things.  Unfotunately for so many people we don’t take the time to slow down and get to know each other any more.  We do have people who just exist for us as adjuncts to a certain part of our lives.  For me there are many different groups.  The parents of the children that play with my children, my family (both extended and immediate), my colleagues in volunteering, my old friends, my new friends and my facebook buddies.  Unfortunately for me, I have discovered that the people I have most in common with (aside from my gorgeous husband) live miles away and more often than not in another country.  These people provide such rich soul food that their mere presence and rambling thoughts on Facebook can on fantastic days inspire me, and on other days just help me to get from sun up to sun down.

My value system has meant that I have become isolated and compartmentalised and whilst I cherish it to bits, sometimes it is too large a cross to bear.  Sometimes I wonder what life would be like ‘IF’.  What would my life be like IF I put the kids into daycare all day and went and earned money enough so that we could have a bigger house so we could grow more food and the kids would have space to run around.  What IF I stopped caring so much about what I and my family ate and just let the kids eat what all the other kids ate?  What IF I gave in and let my kids watch Ben 10 and Barbie?  What IF I gave up all my volunteering and had time for me, you know, just to paint my toe nails and watch TV.  What IF I didn’t care so much about religious indoctrination and just let my kids be exposed to it all.

What IF indeed.  Sometimes it’s lonely to make these choices.  Sometimes you feel like you are the only person in the world who cares about these sorts of things.  But there are moments, shining moments, that you can squirrel away to add to your collection of gemstones and bracelets when you and people who understand can marvel over their beauty.

Moments like when my son resolutely refused to drink the bottled juice at a children’s party because it would make holes in his teeth and drank from his water bottle instead.  Or when I taste the amazing flavour of home made bread, ice cream and cakes.  Or when I see my children’s beautiful faces as they play together and learn all about each other in the comfort of their own home.  Or when I hear of or see other volunteers doing truly amazing things and having ownership of things that they wouldn’t get in their day to day lives.  Or when my son says the karakia (prayer) before a meal at his preschool is to say thank you to the person who prepared the food for them.  Or when I can buy produce from the people who made it at the Farmers Marker and I can taste the difference when I cook it.

So yes, I might feel ‘alone’ in so many of the choices I make.  But I take pride in the fact that I don’t make these decisions lightly.  I also constantly remind myself that I am not really alone in so many of them.  That even though I can’t pop down the road to see the people who inspire me, that they are there with me in spirit and that I can share my joy with them whenever I want to.  That those very same people hold me up and inspire me to do better things and more amazing things when I feel I am sagging.

It is hard to live with some choices, and every day I have to remind myself of the big picture, the long term dream.  The dream for my family, my kids, and to make their world a better world.   I don’t want to live just in the present when there is so much we can do in the future.  I see too many people living for today and hoping that we can pay it back tomorrow.  We can’t.  Start paying it back today, and pay it back every day.


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