Saturday, May 12, 2018

My Life Goes On Regardless

As a woman, I have usually deferred to the men in my life. After all isn't that what we were taught? I grew up watching Father Knows Best and shows that featured the man as the head of the family and the one with the final word. I learned pretty early in life that my daddy was not the one to be feared in my family. I loved it when my mother would say she was going to tell him. I knew I would not be punished by him. She told me years later, after I was grown up that he told her he could not discipline me or spank me or even yell at me. I remember for some unknown reason as to why I did this, but my brother would be pouring milk into my glass and at the very last amount I would pull my glass away and milk would spill all over the table. I do not know what was in my head because I did it many times. My father would start to speak harshly to me, and my eyes would fill with tears and that would end it right there. He could not deal with my tears I guess.

As I have grown older, I have come to the conclusion that men are no smarter than me. Nope, I am now standing on my own. Being independent and making my own choices, without asking a man for his advice. Most of the time, my first instinct is usually the right thing to do. Why would anyone know better than me? After all I have lived a long time and have gone through a lot of stuff. Many of the men in my life have relied on me to help them, so why can't I ever just do it myself? I guess it goes back to that father daughter thing. Thinking your father has all the answers. Well, to be honest as my father got older, he actually came to me for my opinions. He valued my advice! And that made me feel good.

Yes, my life has been a series of wrong choices and stupid results. That is what life is about. Making a choice that ends up screwing up your life is something you live with and regret for years and years. Then one day you have to say to yourself, "No more! Forget it and move on." That is what I had to do. For instance, this is one of those wrong choices. When I got a divorce from my second husband he worked for the post office, so he did not pay into Social Security, but into a federal pension program. I was his beneficiary and if he died I would have gotten about $600. a month with it going up every year. The lawyer I had was not knowledgeable in the facts surrounding this pension plan. He should have gotten a court order from the judge saying I would get it regardless of whether I remarried or not. I did remarry. In the meantime, my ex-husband died at 52 years of age. I found out that because of my marriage and because my lawyer did not get that court order at the time of the divorce, I could not collect that pension. Now you say I should not have gotten it anyway since I had remarried? Well, I gave him $50,000. cash to buy a house in 1989 and I divorced him in 1994 due to him being a bad alcoholic. I did not make him pay that money back due to my feeling sorry for him and that as long as I was his beneficiary, I would just leave it as is. Now I could have used my $50,000. and he did not deserve it and the free house he had. So there I was a once again, a big time loser!

Somehow I recovered from the many foolish mistakes I made. It is how life is. You make mistakes and you make some good decisions. Some will be worthwhile and pay off and some will not. I learned many times over that if I did the same stupid things I would get the same results. Now at my age, in my sixties, I think I am smarter, but still making choices that can hinder the rest of my life. Still I have no one to advise me. Just have to stretch my own wings and do the best I can.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, May 11, 2018

Tidying Up Cleaning Up My Clutter

For the last couple of weeks I have been going through my things trying to tidy up what I have so it is useful and not just boxes and drawers of stuff. I understand that it is hard to do this, especially at my age (almost 66). Over the years I kept so much that I just moved it from one house to another. Once it is packed away, forgotten. Of course, when I moved here to Peaceful Forest Homestead in 1999, I knew much of my belongings would be packed away for a time. Indeed, they were, but still are not being used in any way since this house is limited in what I can use or do. Today I am planning on going through my cupboards and seeing what I absolutely need. If I don't use it, it will be put in the group of things that I do not want anymore. It is not an easy process and you must be hard on yourself and your possessions. Just remind yourself how much you will appreciate the outcome of this effort. Someone else might be dying for this very item and when it goes to the local thrift store in your donation bag, it is an answer to their prayer.

I won't be getting rid of my doll for sure!

Do you feel bad about that expensive pair of shoes you bought and never wore because they didn't fit exactly right and were too uncomfortable to wear? I know for myself, I got a pair of shoes at my thrift store for free, a number of years ago. They had never been worn. They fit me perfectly and they were a good brand, Talbots. I wore them as my good shoes until recently. I need to replace them soon. The trouble is all those new shoes I have bought the last couple of years, are unworn. I  have not been able to wear them at all. My feet have changed or something, as I got older, but each shoe had some issue that made them uncomfortable. I am going to give them all another chance and then if I still don't care for them, I will get rid of them. Maybe they will be an answer to someone else's prayer!

All those books you have stored on your shelves but never even look at can be re-homed too. They take up precious space that can be used for something more important that you use often. I know for me I have books that I have not read yet and keep thinking some day I will read them. Will I or will they still sit without even being opened? It is rare these days for me to open a physical paper book unless it is  cookbook. I am going to write every month on my calendar whether I opened any of those books. If I did not.........out it goes! My cookbook shelf has been weeded out over the years and I sold those books on eBay. But now the ones I have are ones I use and will be using them even more in the near future. Now I know what you are thinking, that since I eat low carbs what good are those old cookbooks? I love to redo a recipe from my old, before low carbs life, to make it into a good low carbs recipe. I am also going to make many recipes into a recipe for my Instant Pot. I will be using it much more very soon.

As you take things out of your home you will find other things that you thought you lost. It is amazing all the stuff I have found when I was removing things I did not need nor want. Living in a small space makes you remove even more of your belongings. Remember too, many of your family members will not want it either. If they are the ones going through your things after you have died, do you want them to be the ones who decide where your things go or to just put it all in a box to take to the dump? I am making those decisions  right now, because I am not leaving my belongings to anyone. It will all be sold in an estate sale and what money comes from it will be put in an account for my son or for his burial, since he is disabled and I am responsible for him. Not leaving anything to chance. Or to end up in the landfill if it is one of my most beloved items.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Sadness Or Happiness

Sadness encircles my heart today,
a feeling of which I cannot control.
Changes I make for my own well being,
hurt others, once loved by me.
No matter what roadblocks pop up,
obstacles in my quest for life,
a life created in my dreams.
Is there a reason it is not meant to be?
Or is it a life needed to be fought for,
over and over till the end of my time?
Strength fails me at times, I grow weak,
my endurance is tiring, I fall asleep.

Living so long as a shell of myself,
can it even be fixed in a simple moment?
No, I have lived too long in sadness,
agony, bitterness and anger.
I prayed for a way out, for a release,
finally it came, Started to feel happy again,
as time grew closer to my escape,
I became worried, then scared.
Instead of drawing closer to others,
I felt myself pulling away. Standing back
and reflecting on my thoughts, hopes
and dreams. When will my release come?
A prison of a life, held back by circumstance.

Will it be another passing moment in my life,
that was wrong or a disappointment?
No matter how many friends gather
to help me, I feel alone and isolated,
even in the midst of many.
I confide in few, my trust is guarded,
secretive is the way I live mostly.
Not wanting to share my pain with
the world, not needing pity or criticism,
and knowing, judging looks of people
who live superior lives, that look down
on others. I held my head high, regardless.

A friend took my hand and guided me,
encouraged me all the way to the door.
Kept me going and not letting me miss
my chance and on I marched to life,
my life, my new life. So many things
I had to do, sometimes almost giving up,
but on I went and soon it was worth the wait.
Now the day is upon me, leaving behind all my
sadness, grief and unspoken words. All those
reasons that propelled me into my new life,
and on through the door. The door to new
beginnings, my new life.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole