Saturday, January 30, 2010

Where do I go from here?

No, I don't mean "here" as in "what direction do I want this blog to take" or even "here" in the sense of "location" and the possibility of it changing. I mean "here" in reference to the direction of my life. The greater portion of my life has been spent as a caregiver - taking care of various members of my family of some other generation than my own - usually at the expense of my own desires, dreams, and even needs.

I find myself in the position now, however, of such no longer being the case. My children are either grown and gone, or living with their other parent. Of my parents, 1 is dead and the other is living in permanent, full time nursing care. I have only 1 remaining grandparent, whom I haven't been on speaking terms with for a few years now. And I would rather shoot my only remaining sibling on sight than walk across the street to piss on him, should I chance by and see him writhing in the middle of the road on fire. (Assuming, of course, that I wasn't the one who lit the match in the first place, considering his propensity towards abusive behavior towards anything female.)

For the first time since I graduated high school, I am in a position to access my own needs and wants, prioritize them, and act upon those priorities - without regard to whether it's going to negatively affect someone for whom I have responsibility. There Is no one for whom I am responsible any longer other than myself. This is a first for me, barring the 20 months (that's right, not quite 2 years) between when my oldest (handicapped) daughter was no longer my responsibility and my father (stroke victim) became my responsibility.

Seeing to the needs of my disabled family members has been my purpose in life for the entirety of my adult life. That purpose is now gone, and it's absence has left me wondering what to do with myself to become once again a productive, self sufficient, self reliant member of general society.

Do I return to college for yet another attempt at furthering my education beyond the basics? Do I instead turn my considerable experience in taking care of others, and lavish it upon my S.O.? Do I perhaps instead turn that experience into a paying job by becoming a professional caregiver?

Definitely not the last of those - I lack the patience, compassion, or empathy to become a professional caregiver at this point. Had I done so years ago, perhaps it would have worked quite well. Not now, though, after 23 years of putting myself last after everyone else's needs and wants. I could - and even desire to - go back to college for another round of educational exploits. The questions to ask myself in that regard being, "what do I want to study, this time 'round?" and "how am I going to pay for it?" Both of which are rather open ended currently, and any Productive suggestions will no doubt be entertained. That leaves, of course, the middle option - that of turning my S.O. into the focus of prior experiences habits. I doubt though that either of us could or would much tolerate the probable end results of such action. Down that path lies resentment, frustration, and burnout on my end... laziness, apathy, and the potential for self loathing on his end.

So where DO I go from here? I don't know. Yet. Finding out where the rest of this journey will take me promises to be full of surprises, though. And it will no doubt be both as adventurous and as educational as the previous years have proven to be.

Diary of a Mad Woman

So I've been thinking for a while now that I should start a blog. Part of it is that lemming-like human tendency to at least try things out that their friends are interested in. And part, of course, is simply because this venue works for me as a sort of diary that I'm more likely to actually Use than an old fashioned, hand written, lock on the outside to keep it private (as if I ever bothered to keep my various childhood diaries private) accounting of personal thoughts and experiences.

So without further ado, let us leap forthwith into the fray, shall we?

The first order of business should perhaps be defining what I mean by a Mad Woman. Am I speaking in classical terms as one who is insane, or am I referring to the anger - rage, even - which society's current woes induce? The answer is, I mean a bit of both. After all, I am more than a touch insane - that has been proven time and again throughout the course of my life, even recently. Part of the proof lays within the realm of who I live and share my bed with, but we'll save That particular topic for a different day.

Insanity notwithstanding, the older I get, the more I find myself outraged over the turn of events in the course of my lifetime, and the growing disparity between what I was raised to consider good and right and decent (in middle class, suburban/semi-rural, center of the country, 2oth century America) and how things Really Are. I take a close look at what I was taught to expect from the government, in terms of elected officials being placed in their positions to look out for MY best interests over their own. Then I contrast that with the blatant lack of concern over the best interests of constituancy displayed by today's erected reprehensibles. The results of such comparison are inevitably anger and frustration, combined with a seething desire to commit some form of unspeakable mayhem against anything wearing the suit labled "politician." Fortunately, my classical madness is not such that it would lead me to disregard my own welfare (or life, liberty, and persuite of such happiness as can be had) to go haring off to actually partaken in the mayhem that wanders fleetingly through my brain. I am, after all, a huge fan of liberty - especially my own - and am not wont towards actions that might jeapordize such in either the short or the long term.

For the moment, I'll consider this the beginning of a beginning for this blog. We'll see where it leads from here, when the mood to write strikes me, or some random thought simply will not go away until I've expounded upon it at some length. No doubt there will be days when I use this outlet as a means of purging frustration - with myself, with my other half, with life in general, with the government, with society at large. I'll try to forwarn you via post title, oh reader, when those days happen to crop up. At least that way, you'll be prepared for whatever diatribe you stumble into the midst of.