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Honored Advisor

Re: perfect lives

Night riding on a bike is a very dangerous way to travel...deer just make it too much so for us to even think about it here.  I am so sorry for this guy and for all of you who care about him.  The first few days will tell you which way this is going to go.  I hope he was at least wearing his helmet?

With the HS kid heading off for the military to make a man out of him, you will be wearing yourself to a frazzle until you can find help, I am sure.  Any colleges with ag programs anywhere nearby, or anyone in animal science degree pursuit home for the summer, until you have time to find someone more permanent? 

Also, for the farrowing house, I know a lot of people prefer female workers.  Any chance you could fiind someone who only wants parttime work when you have batches of pigs to process?  Maybe your vet would know someone who has vet tech experience, for example. 

Try to make your decision when you aren't so upset...so you make the right one. 

I know you will miss Maggie, but you did right by her.  We went there (on insulin) with Murphy, and I wish I'd had the strength to let her go sooner. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: perfect lives

I have kind of seen this from two ways.....some people really do float through life with very few difficulites and it seems unfair to those of us who don't have the perfect life AND those of us who know we don't have the perfect life work pretty hard to protect what is left of our pride in the face of disaster.

 

When my marriage to my first husband ended, about 2100 people in our small town of 2100 fell over in disbelief.  To many of them we were the "perfect" family.  We had a lovely home, three healthy beautiful children, we were financially secure, active in our community and church.  To all outside eyes and ears, we were the perfect family and I did nothing to dispel that belief.

 

First, I always had hope that our marriage and family life would become normal;  Second, I kept our problems to myself because I didn't want my kids to be hurt by gossip (once one person knows then everyone knows in a small town); Third, I can admit now that I didn't have many close friends in whom I could confide....if I let someone too close then I risked that they would find out the truth and; Finally, I had my pride....like you I assumed that most other folks had the perfect life and I was embarassed that my life was not....so I kept on pretending that everthing was okay.

 

What I learned from this was that NO ONE has a perfect life no matter what it seems on the outside.  And I learned that when you have friends you love and trust you learn directly from them that they bleed just like the rest of us.  When my life began to crumble, I found friends I never knew I had and it made it easier to let down the facade I was hiding behind. 

 

A perfect life is nothing more than a peaceful life.  It is a life that centers on values and beliefs and a genuine faith that, no matter how bad things are or how bad they get, there is always good to be found and there is always someone who is worse off.

 

Today, I still struggle with this who concept, not for myself but for my kids.  Over their lives, I have seen them working hard, being honest and trying to live as good community members.  And when they had financial difficulty I hurt for them.  When they got mistreated at work or taken advantage of by others, I hurt for them.  When they got hurt in relationships I really hurt for them....When their father died last month I really hurt for them.....But you know what?  Going through tough times made them and me better people for it....

 

I'll bet you are a better person for your adversities.  Those people who seem to have a perfect life, and let's admit there are SOME who just sort of fly along under the radar screen with no major issues while the rest of us look on, tired of the daily drudge, may actually lack the character that comes with overcoming a tragedy or a serious issue. 

 

If I take all the good and all the bad in the past 52 years, it amounts to a life.  My life.  It may not be perfect, but I sure would not trade with anyone.  My guess is that you feel the same. 

Senior Contributor

Re: perfect lives

If you haven't set aside on a calendar an appointment with yourself, DO IT! And keep it! If you don't have the energy for yourself, you will be of no help to anyone else.

Stay away from those who sap energy from you. You know, the ones who constantly complain about the littlest things or try to manipulate sympathy from you. They're toxic. If you cannot stay away, try to keep a boundary of what you're willing to put up with and stand your ground when the ____ gets too deep. Your daughter is an adult and she has to deal with the results of her decision. Most of us have at least a 50% chance of getting a major decision wrong, but deal with the consequences according to what is known at the time. She will learn more from this experience than she ever would if the business would be going great.

Those that cannot understand that livestock emergencies will interrupt dinner plans are not friends. They are acquaintances. Friends would be willing to change plans because they know how important a dead cow or sour milk is to you and your business.

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Honored Advisor

Re: perfect lives

You mention peacefulness as perfection, and I think I always ask for peace when I am in the process of contemplating what would make my life better, too.  Then, I realize that for some people, not enough turmoil is tantamount to a walking death.  Each person has to define what makes life perfect for him or her....

 

The folks I know tend to let you know their life's story along a spectrum of stories that range from perfection to purgatory...and a lot of each extreme is perception, pure and simple.  From my experience, the ones who represent a picture of a perfect life are control-oriented; the ones who think that everything is gloom and doom tend towards a victim mentality, as though they have no control over their lives at all. 

 

That may be an oversimplification, but I think it is pretty close to the mark.  It is a lack of balance...no yin-yang.  I have learned a lot about balance, mostly from reading about Eastern religions philosophies. 

 

Everyone recognizes the yin-yang symbol, but few realize that there is a small dot of black in the white half, and a white dot in the black, which some mistake for an "eye" in each side.   This fleck of oppositeness is to remind us that you cannot comprehend light except as a contrast to darkness, and vice versa. 

 

I have taken that thought pattern further, to help me accept that I cannot comprehend happiness except as it is contrasted by sadness.  If you are never sad, you do not truly know what it means to be happy.  I do not really like being sad, but I do not take it as some sort of failure on my part to make myself happy anymore. 

 

One more thing I notice as I grow older...disruptions that I cannot plan ahead for (or to ward off) tend to upset me - perhaps depress me - more, or at least I am more cognizant of it now.  Maybe this was always the case, and I only thought  I thrived on chaos.   In my thirties, I fought depression and a lot of days, lost the battle.  Maybe hormones drove that whole dynamic, or much of it, since it's gotten better with the passing of time. 

 

 Now, I win way more days than I lose, but I still have blue funks to deal with occasionally, don't you?

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Senior Contributor

Re: perfect lives

I will definitely keep you and yours (including the gentleman who was injured) in my prayers.  With the heat and the stress and the extra work please just try to stay safe. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: perfect lives

Indeed, I do.  But way, way less frequently than when I was younger.  I agree with you on several points....that spectrum of victim mentality to the control oriented picture perfect perception.  I think most of us fall somewhere in between but also tend to lean more to one side than the other...It is a rare person who is pretty balanced on that continuum.  Because I simply despise (pretty strong word for me) a victim mentality, I think I tend to do whatever it takes to achieve control over my own happiness.  If its bad, then fix it or quit griping about it is my motto...

 

The other point you made is that of th'ose who live in constant drama.  I deal with 108 "victims" who thrive on drama every work day.  If there is not one in their life, they create one.  For most, that is all they have known and unwittingly they are exposing their children to the same state of upheaval.  This on one hand, while all the time, crying and complaining about how someone else is "victimizing" them....a boyfriend, a step parent, the authoirities, their PO, their landlord, the guy who sold them the car that now won't fun.....so they are upset about the upheaval but their own choices in many cases creates it....

 

I can tolerate it at work but I simply have no room for it in my personal life.  I spent too many years, wasted, frustrating years, living from crisis to crisis.  All I had to do was take control of my own life and peace amazingly followed....Today, when I am comfronted with family or friends or colleagues who are always upset about someone or something I no longer have the patience for it...

 

 A very wise older gentleman once told me that in that situation, he learned to sit down and ask (then really, really listen) to what the other person needed or wanted from him to move the situation from upheaval and stress to one that was tolerable....He told me that what he learned over the years is that, given the opportunity to articulate what was really bothering them and posit a solution, most of this type of person could not do it....they were very good at complaining and hositity and whatever, but could not provide a solution.....that told him that there are those who really don't want to fix the problem they just want to perpetuate it....

 

Once I processed that thought (as I was in the middle of dealing with a very difficult family member at the time) I began to change how I deal with those people.....I now try to ask sincerely for them to tell me 1) what is wrong; 2) how have I contributed to the problem; and 3) CONCRETE ways that I can help to correct the situation.....I try hard to listen carefully to what they need to move forward....

 

Nine times out of ten.....they can't focus on a solution....they prefer to dwell on the problem....at that point it becomes their problem, not mine......life got a lot more peaceful...

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Senior Contributor

Re: perfect lives

I feel for you having done that work myself. Aren't hog prices on the rise? With good health and a crop looking good, you do have much to be thankful for. Maybe after the shock wears off things will look better.

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Honored Advisor

Re: perfect lives

True balance of any kind seems to be very rare in this lifetime.  If we were able to figure that one out, we'd be rich women, but would not care....

When Mike and I first moved our family from Virginia to North Carolina, fifteen years ago this summer, one of our first observations was that "these people will tell you anything."  We found it truly shocking to encounter working people who would both have so many problems and talk so openly about them.  (Ethnically, on the surface, the two places look almost identical; but, if there is any real difference, I think there are more English descendants where we hailed from, and far more Scots-Irish ones here. )   

It was a routine conversation between us about their lack of pride...such a standard of living is considered "trashy" where we come from.  Maybe at least part of what Linda is noticing is people with a similar social sense, who are afraid to start revealing anything, for fear of going too far.  That can happen, too. 

Now, the kids have taught me to use the phrase "TMI," for "too much information."  It usually means someone is telling you things you would really rather not know.  I would imagine, given your description of your workplace, that you suffer from constant "TMI overload."  I sometimes think that people such as you describe have nothing but drama in their lives - self-generated or otherwise - and if they lose that, they truly have nothing to define themselves as alive.

For almost any circumstance, there is an equal but opposite one.  Virtually every type of behavior falls along some sort of spectrum like the one I described here, and is not too noticeable unless or until it moves too far to an extreme. 

Either the victim or the perfectionist is chanting a mantra, in hopes of perhaps creating a truth, or actually believing what they are saying IS the truth.  If your lif eis perfect, then you are doing everything right; and, if you are a victim, then everyone else is doing everything wrong...which is not the same thing, but to some it's close enough.  (Linda, are your feeling me here, girl????)  I have not figured out if they are trying to convince themselves, or the rest of the world...probably both!

This discussion is really helping me to quantify (and thus understand) a lot about life. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: perfect lives

I found two quotes yesterday on blogs that I think are worth posting here.

 "The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the most of everything."

"Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen!' Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

There is no doubt in my mind that adversity makes a person much stronger and wiser, if they allow it to happen. Both my DH and I lost our fathers before we were 16 and then I had two life threatening illnesses. It's like steel going through fire and coming out much stronger.

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Honored Advisor

Re: perfect lives

You are right about adversity making us stronger...heat tempers steel, and it anneals glass, to make it almost unbreakable. 

I really liked the two quotes your found.  The second one is going to go into my list of keepers, because it is so true.  Until you make a desicison, nothing can really progress.  Once you do, everything falls into place, or at least it seems to....

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