Letting go of the bitter | I found this pen

My mother taught me a lot growing up, as all good mothers do.  She worked very hard at giving us a childhood of which many would be envious, instilled a sense of independence in us and always added those special little touches that made mundane moments, sparkle.

The drive to make things special for those I care about remains my favorite “inheritance” from her, but I also recognize there is a flip side to that.  The dark side, if you will.  The grudges.  The deep seated, tenacious, must hang on to the very bitter end grudges.

The grudges are never undeserved, mind you.  In fact, they are typically rooted deeply in a logical thought process that concludes that the situation is unfair.  There is a strong sense of what’s fair and what’s right in my family.  Depending on if one situation was particularly egregious or the cumulation of many small interactions (death by a thousand cuts, if you will), the result is the same: The Grudge

Now, no one is better at holding The Grudge than my mother.  It’s legendary and well acknowledged in our family.  Lest I sound like I’m throwing her under the bus, she will also turn herself inside out to help someone or make a special thing happen (and it is always amazing).  But over the years, I’ve myself running  a close second.  It’s not something I’m proud of and was just something I had absorbed along the way.

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Something I should buy at Hobby Lobby.

In the increased amount of family interaction I’ve had as of late, I’ve been seeing the cumulative effects of things for my mother.  A wedding, months of my father’s medications resulting in him being in a drunken Parkinson’s stupor (a new doctor fixed the issue) and the general everyday annoyances in life have had her flirting with “the edge”.  She has lost some of her resilience, some of her shine, some of the life she’s always had swirling around her because she just couldn’t find enough of a reprieve.  Like me, she is quite involved with horses.  Unlike me (because I just want to ride and she likes everything else more than the riding) she helps rehab and rehome abandoned, neglected and sometimes abused horses through volunteer work.  While the ranch has been her “happy place” for the last five years, life had been so busy, she wasn’t getting enough time out there.

It’s no secret that life has been kicking me in the teeth for awhile.  I guess given how most of my life drama has been relatively minor for the majority of my life that I was probably due.  (Dear Life Karma . . . it would have been nice to spread it out some, but I can handle it.)  I’ve been holding, very tightly in a “My Precious” sort of way to some epic level Grudges.  One of those grudges was for the company that I used to work for that started the cascade of shitty life events for me (“my people” at this company are exempt – I will ♥ them forever).  But while my dating life remains a hot mess (sigh), things really aren’t so bad overall.  I’m certainly not flirting with “the edge” like my poor mother.  Let’s review . . .

My boss still seems to love me and congratulated me during my review for fitting in so well and truly embracing the values of the organization – in fact, my entire review was super positive (I’m still not sure if she got me mixed up with someone else or not) and I even got a tiny little raise.  I was completely shocked by that given that I haven’t even been with the organization a year yet and my review only encompassed 5 months.

 

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Fabio Mane

Sampson the giant pony seems to be happy and healthy (and because I wrote that, he’ll come out of the pasture lame tomorrow).  We’ve been having lovely, relaxed rides and are slowly working our way towards my goal camping together and riding a 25 mile “race” together.  We’re rapidly approaching the long, lazy days of summer where the daylight far exceeds the darkness, which means lots of time to ride.

 

I’ve been out of town so much in the last month to
glamorous places such as Palm Springs, California, Memphis and both Cedar Rapids AND Dubuque, Iowa, that my wanderlust is temporarily sated.  I’m sure it will be back in time for my week long excursion to {wait for it} Oklahoma!  I know – everyone is just dying of envy over that one.

 

The New Desk

I’ve been feathering my little nest of a house and am actually working my way towards an actual office.  Since I work from home sometimes, it seems to be a reasonable goal.  I’m having my usual angst about picking out paint colors (and will likely force someone else to pick for me), but have a lovely new desk, new and more functional furniture arrangement, a cute little trio of succulent plants in the window and have the artwork all planned out in my head.  I’ve got my plan for the back patio too – I can’t wait to pull it all together.

All these good things are good.  Happy.  Positive.  So when I pulled this pen randomly out of a tub of Sharpies I had dragged into the office this morning, my first thought was to send a picture of it to my “sorority girls”.  wp-1460427458045.jpgI didn’t find myself riding out that bitter shot of anxious energy burning through my core, with a bitter aftertaste.  I’ve let it go.  The CEO there is still an idiot, but I thought that from the first day he was in that role (and the Glassdoor reviews support me in this!).  They did make an entire debacle of things, but that’s not surprising either.  It’s sort of the norm for anything coming out of corporate there.  I realize that my team there was really and truly my experience – and they are amazing.  When I was eliminated, they were right there, crying on the floor of my office with me.  Through both rounds of unemployment they were right there, cheering me on.  They are awesome. The Grudge, for this particular case anyway, has been released.  Because, just like everyone’s favorite gone-bad hobbit Gollum, I’m only hurting myself hanging on to “The Precious”.  Somewhere along the journey of my life, I’ve left that grudge and it’s suitcase on the side of the road.

It may be that all of these urges I’ve had to purge lately have nothing to do with my overflowing closets and everything to do with the baggage I’m dragging.  I want to feel lighter.  Focus on what’s good and what I can take in a positive direction.  On what’s ahead in life.  What’s the point of expending so much energy on something that’s not benefitting me anyway?  I recognize there will always going to have bitter moments in life.  But, I’m going to use them to remind me how sweet life can be instead of letting the bitter permeate all the flavors.

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Farm sunsets are the best sunsets.

 

 

About City Chick

I am a thirty something gal living in the ultimate Mid-Western state who loves shoes, sunshine and her critters. I try to find the humor in life because I figure that laughing is better than crying - unless I'm crying because I am laughing so hard. In general, I admit to having a pretty lovely life although I've certainly hit my fair share of bumps and unexpected path divergences along the way. I worry about getting too lost in my own head and thoughts and I used to really enjoy documenting adventures in a friend's farm blog, so I thought I'd take a crack at it for just myself. This is a place where I'm thinking through things and giving my mind some freedom just to sort through my experiences. I'm hopeful one day this will just turn into a way to document my little adventures and thoughts in a humorous, slice of life way. I always wanted to write a book and I'm not sure I'll ever do it, but this satisfies that creative urge for right now.
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