Someone (on ravelry) wrote the other day, "We don't always get to choose the path we have to travel, but we do get to choose how we will travel on it".

This so appeals to me and my sense of people having responsibility for their moods/lives/feelings.  The population of folks I work with so often blames the system, their families or society in general for all of their problems when sometimes the responsibility falls directly on their shoulders.

Do I believe people can help it if they have a mental illness?  Of course not.  But I do believe they can make choices on how they deal with it.  I don't talk about this often but I was abused as a child by an uncle who babysat my sister and I as my mother worked.  I figure I have some options in how I deal with this.  I can blame all my issues and problems on this (and stay stuck in that place)  OR I can choose to deal with said issues and problems and move on (which I did).  I don't throw this information into conversations because it is personal and I find it makes people look at you differently.  And I am really not a hero, nor am I any different from most people around me.  I am just a person trying to get by as best I can and help as many others do the same as I move through life.

I don't believe that all problems are created equally, nor do I believe all people have the same resiliency.  I have met people who have suffered unimaginably horrible things and yet are at peace with themselves and their world.  And on the other side of the coin, I have met folks who have crumbled when faced with minor setbacks.  I have no idea what makes the difference in how people face adversity.  I think having to deal with problems as a child makes you more able to deal with them as an adult.  When we don't allow our children to deal with their problems, when we fix all the things for them, they never learn how to do it for themselves.

I have no earthly idea where this all is coming from this morning.  I am fighting off a head cold/sinus thing and have been living on cold medicine and excedrin for the intense headaches.  Maybe it's working in my brain.....

I do know that I believe firmly that we each make choices every day that determine how our day will go.  There are a lot of things out of my control but I can choose how I will react and therefore how things will ultimately flow.  I have a tendency to hit some things head on and to let some things simmer for a bit.  Just like stew beef, sometimes a bit of a simmer softens things up and makes them easier to chew on. 

That's not a bad image to keep in my mind.  A giant stew pot on the back burner, bubbling away.  I can toss in problems that are too complicated or tough at the moment and let them simmer and then lift them out later and see if time has made a difference.  Most of the time?  The tough issue will have been broken down by my subconscious (which seems to be very good at coming to solutions while I'm not paying attention) and is now in palatable sized bits. 

New year, new ways of dealing with things.  I am trying to clean out, clear out and get rid off things that I don't need, don't use or things that don't work.  This includes strategies for my life.  So far I have cleaned out one drawer in one piece of furniture.  It felt good.  I'll start with drawers and work my way up to closets and then the attic.  By the end of the year I hope to be lighter and have less clutter.

Speaking of less clutter, Pk has decided he wants to make another change before he sheetrocks the ceiling.  He wants to get rid of the totem pole in the middle of the room and replace the ceiling beam with something called "microlam" which I think is extra strong wood-like material which will not need the support in the middle.  I am letting him run with this because it's important to him.  The totem pole doesn't bother me but I am not wedded to it anyway (since I can't carve penguins into it).

The Christmas things are put away and we have arranaged the furniture in a comfortable manner.  People in the living room can swivel the chairs around to see into the kitchen so I can have company while I cook.  This is cool. 

I had begun to spin the roving Joan dyed for me but had to put it down in favor of some crocheted Christmas trees that Em wants for her engagement party this weekend.  I am up to 8 so far (and oh my god these are boring) and hope to finish at least 12 by the weekend.  I can get 2 done in a night IF I work steadily and don't stop.  I bought an ergonomic crochet hook so it's not too hard on my hands.  I am looking forward to getting back to the spinning.....

I hope things are well where you are and that life is treating you kindly.


Rose Red said…
I agree - to a large extent, we are able to determine exactly how we respond to anything that happens to user in our lives. Mostly, we can decide to be happy or angry or whatever, and I try to be always conscious of this, although I must say I have many failings at it...especially when tired and a small person is pushing it with me!being a good example for him is another driver for me as well.
I'm sorry about what happened to you as a child but I am so glad for you that you were able to deal with the issue and move on.
Saren Johnson said…
Childhood issues are the worst.
Bells said…
there are days when just logging in to your blog calms me because the title of your blog is a mantra I need reminders to keep clearly in my mind. And then there are days when you add something extra with your general life reflections, such as this one.

Thank you.
DrK said…
its funny that you should write this today. im going to write the story myself later, but im dealing with an old friend today who has been faced with a difficult circumstance and has reverted to old patterns of dealing with it. its most frustrating to watch, given the person really once was an inspiration, as far as my own recovery goes. and now here i am, giving advice and support. and its very much like what you are saying here. as an adult, you have a choice about how you handle things. you cant choose what happens to you a lot of the time, and lots of times things arent your fault, but at some point you have to take responsibility. i was abused by an uncle too, and am still conflicted by my parental neglect, sometimes i blame them for everything. but every morning i get out of my own bed in my own house that i pay for with my own money and i have a life beyond anything i ever dreamed possible, and i have no one to blame for that but myself :) loved reading this today, thanks for sharing xx
Olivia said…
I am a fan of the 'stew pot' method for difficult decisions. Sometimes it's too hard or tiring to keep thinking about it consciously, AND the subconscious can do a better job if you leave it alone for a bit.

The best thing my parents ever did for me was to teach me to take responsibility for my own life.
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Roxie said…
No one has a perfect childhood. You are very wise in knowing that kids need to solve their own problems. But I already knew you are very wise. And, as Abraham Lincoln said, "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be." I love that you choose peace and joy.
Roxie said…
WHAT are these anonymous comments you got here?

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