Author Topic: 2021 Farm Log  (Read 289 times)

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2021, 08:57:59 AM »
Nothing much to share - lots of little mundane chores and lots of sleep; struggles still with figuring out "taking care o' business" stuff with local situation here.

Now is a good time to buy seeds - if you can find 'em. There are a lot of places still/just now reporting they're sold out. I can't plant out until May; March for some things like snow peas. But there's still plenty of stuff to do. Keeping my eyes peeled for canning jar flats - they are still showing non-existent or backordered everywhere I looked. I have jars and a supply of reusable flats (Tattlers). Need to get Hol a couple of canners; faster processing and twice as much put up.

Slowly but surely transitioning wardrobe & "style" to something more suited to my life here on the farm. Saved that for last this time. Still purging; making room & changes for Buck... and still no firm eta from him. I do a few things a day and then read, research ideas/questions about things going on out here, read myself to sleep.

ETA: I forgot; I did make one change with B. I did insist we needed to actually talk at least once a week - not just messages. And it's been more than once a week since. Which is good. He's been working his butt off and moving things along as fast as he can. It's something I need; otherwise I feel like I'm guessing what's going on with him too much. This feels more connected for me.  ;)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 01:05:53 PM by sKePTiKal »
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Hopalong

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2021, 05:27:02 PM »
Amber, sometimes I wish you were a reality show!
I would love to watch your life (the parts you'd want to share), because so many of my interests (sustainability, independence, back-to-land and off-grid and all that) line up. I've spent hours watching series about intensely independent people living and surviving in dire climates. So it's just fun to read your accounts of what you're doing and planning. Although the volume of your plans is overwhelming to this speciliast in doing waaaaaaaaaay less than floaty thinking.

Meanwhile, after I googled Tattlers, couldn't resist:
https://www.amazon.com/Tattler-Canning-Regular-Mouth-Boxed/dp/B08NMYR1HX/ref=asc_df_B08NMYR1HX/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=475819885347&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9456845189831691859&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9008335&hvtargid=pla-1123619574611&p

I'm glad you and B will talk at least weekly. That is much more connected, no amount of texting can match the present voice. I'd figured surely you were already, but people have different appetites for different kinds of communication. Holding big hopes for you that the delays eventually just get worked through.

It's heartening to read about your work and your progress.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2021, 09:42:57 AM »
It's important to note - and remind myself  :D - that none of this would be possible or bearable if I hadn't achieved the (probably dubious) ability to be completely FINE - emotionally, cognitively, and work-wise - all on my own. Back when I envisioned actually living here, shortly after being widowed, I believed enough in my abilities to try it out.

Found out, sometimes I really need physical strength that I just don't have - even though TRYING to have it, has increased what I can do. Sometimes I can work smarter - via powered equipment and that helps. But even with all the stuff I have to till the garden, I still need the broadfork and bending over, picking up, & tossing rocks into a cart that gets dumped on the nearby rock piles. Steps up to living, working & playing places - and the hike between buildings - all contribute to me getting stronger again.

Bodies have this elastic ability to regain some measure of what we once were, but it takes work and time and even rest, to make it so. The other direction however happens really really fast. Hol has started to notice it in herself.

The emotional & cognitive side of things are amenable to about the same process - most of the time. Yeah, I still have low level anxiety any time I have to deal with gov't bureaucracy and the absurd process changes that have occurred over my lifetime... but it no longer results in the angry hostility & frustration and feeling like to the people involved I'm just a number; not a real person. Official mail just about spikes an anxiety attack - but doesn't anymore. Defensiveness rises up.... but I've learned to take my time making sure I understand clearly what the situation is, and then figure out what needs to happen - and then work constructively to that end.

That's gonna get tested pretty soon, as I return to the financial side of the business again. The company has never had nor needed a budget; we operate pretty much on a cash basis, funded by plentiful sales. There was always surplus. But now we have to have some idea of balancing how much we spend on certain things, a better understanding of where our sales are really coming from and some better web marketing. I gather data, assess it, create a plan - and then consult my intuition (that small voice that keeps us safe) - about whether this risk has been calculated, well enough. At that point, I can stop and do more research/planning or let it fly.

Once I do the business budget, I need to go over my personal finances again. Yeah - people with my adjusted gross income can be super-frugal too. This is how I can do all the things I do. I decided a very very long time ago that security mattered. My definition of that has changed over time - and right now, self-sufficiency is the general idea. Over the 4 years I've been here - I've slowly let go all the "country club wardrobe" that was taking up space I needed for base layers, sweatshirts, jean, & overalls. My "go to town" wardrobe is much simpler & casual.

EVERYTHING around and about me, adapts to the choices I've made about what's important to me. And that's why I'm less troubled about whether or how much I matter to anyone else. Does that make any kind of sense?
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Hopalong

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2021, 12:10:43 AM »
Quote
none of this would be possible or bearable if I hadn't achieved the (probably dubious) ability to be completely FINE - emotionally, cognitively, and work-wise - all on my own. Back when I envisioned actually living here, shortly after being widowed, I believed enough in my abilities to try it out.

I don't have many words tonight...but I'm connecting the believing to the trying.

Again, thank you. I really am taking it in.

Thanks, Amber.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2021, 09:57:02 AM »
Hopsie - I believed it because I had lived this kind of life several times previously. The only thing that was different, was starting out alone. And even when this was only 10 acres, that seemed a daunting proposition. So I found solutions to difficulty & making projects easier/faster. Unlike a lot of design types who superimpose "what they envision" on the landscape - destroying it without taking into consideration the effects of their changes - I spent the first two years just looking at, sensing it through the seasons, experiencing it and LISTENING to what it wanted to be.

Learning where the water runs; where the springs are; what useful "weeds" grew here - and what those weeds told me about soil composition... which I then researched in depth. I had to overcome the first imprinted image of "beautiful farms" in my brain. The two-story house, bank barn, white board fences.... and super-tidy, lush green fields and yards and pastures etc. That is simply not possible here because the topography is too steep; soil extremely rocky - topsoil preciously thin. Pretty much like my first homestead was.

S has taken my approach a lot further - because he is trekking paths through the property and discovering lots of things in places I can't drive the ranger to - and I'm not getting up off my butt to try to climb and sprain an ankle again or worse. At least, until Buck goes with me.

Each place on the earth is different and requires a different way of living with it. It's a connection - and when a human can be sympatico with that spot - the connection gives back significantly. The previous (in the last 50 years) owners of this property didn't have that mindset or approach and I've had to spend a big chunk of time undoing the "resort" or "vacation home" aspects that become impediments/detriments or even blights on my purpose for the place.

I am just getting started after getting my house closer to being updated/more snug - still much to do, but priorities are constantly changing around here. Adding people with their ideas hasn't been THAT problematic; I still have issues with the basic habits of the supposed "green man" here - but it's Hol's job to police that not mine. Buck and I got trained early in the same habits so that's a LOT easier. But the ratio of people to land that will support them here - isn't anywhere close to where it is in the Piedmont or Valley or Tidewater. So I have to keep paying attention to that. Right now, almost all of us are happy being hermits - Hol is making the transition pretty well this time too.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 10:00:43 AM by sKePTiKal »
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Hopalong

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2021, 10:11:41 AM »
Wonderful, and I get it.
It's wonderful to get to know land and to accept what it is and go from there.

I am both fortunate and unfortunate to have a large double lot out back where so so so much could be done. I've read about permaculture and edible landscapes and organic everything for so many many years. And now here I am at that stage when I have the time, and I don't have the body. It frustrates.

But vicarious mountainside living is fun! I lived nearly an hour from Hazard KY at one point, tiny house on a very steep mountainside...folks literally coming across rope bridges from deep hollers. Had to buy my first 4WD vehicle because as winter came, I was told I wouldn't be able to get out. Wound up with a Scout that had Polaroids of dead deer in the glove box -- somebody's hunting vehicle. But it did get me home.

Oh those days. I miss the capabilities and the adventure.

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Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2021, 10:16:48 AM »
Right before Hol was born - I had a scout too. Had to have been '77; used. It was still Oil embargo days out in the midwest, and since the scout only got 8 mpg it didn't last long. But I loved that big ole International V8. Oh yes I did!!

We're not quite rope-bridge steep here; or that far off the beaten trail. So kind of the best of both worlds - IF I was a shopaholic, or required in-person social activity. Heck, I haven't even been to my closest town, this side of the mountain, this week. Rip Van Winkle-ism is settling in big time for me. Even though the days are visibly getting a little longer; even though I'm gearing up for spring; and if I'd permit myself - I could be getting excited about Buck getting here. But since he's not offering any ETA, and his D won't be able to live off campus until after this semester - I know it'll be June before he can get here again. It will be the 3rd June trip. And it MIGHT be the last one; don't know yet. I'm working pretty hard on stopping/adjusting my emotionally greedy expectations and reinforcing the feeling of being strong enough in my can-do Rosie the Riveter mentality to accomplish a lot of stuff BEFORE he gets here.

I still maintain the "relationship" hasn't really started yet, simply due to the geograhpic distance. What we have works to lay foundations for that relationship; and it DOES feel good to know he's there for me, even if he's not HERE for me; but until we have a shared energy - which requires being together - neither of really knows, beyond the week-long experiences, what that's like.

I didn't even talk to Hol, beyond the usual "in passing" stuff until Friday this week. I am keeping busy - lots of little things that only matter to me type projects. Hol is doing the same, dialing in and refining her storage/functionality too. Things are taking a long long time to order - her garage doors are 8 week out; windows won't be in until March. And they can't side it until the windows are in.

Oh... and this came up last night in my youtube rotation... and the doom atmosphere and absurdity of all these guitars playing Back's Toccata & Fugue in Dminor just hit the spot for me. Enjoy! I haven't listened to Bach in quite a while - this is my favorite piece; think I played the piano version once upon a time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqgQ7IYhvRg&feature=emb_logo
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Twoapenny

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2021, 11:41:29 AM »
I'm always in awe, Skep, you do so much and have so much going on - emotionally and mentally as well as practically.  I'll be glad when Buck gives you a definite date - waiting is hard to do.  Hopefully the weather will pick up as the days get longer again; I think longer days and more sunshine make everything seem a little bit easier xx

Hopalong

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2021, 02:21:39 PM »
LOVED that Bach, Amber. Thanks for the link.

Debbil's advocate question. Do you think there's possibly some enmeshment with his D that means B might delay and delay his move, using her entering college, then being halfway through, then just after she gets her first job, kinda thing?

I hope not, for both your sakes. Then again, it was when I moved (after my D went off to school) that things between us began to decline. She wanted me to maintain our previous 4-year home in the city she enjoyed visiting and did not want me to return to my hometown (and hers) to care for/live with her grandmother. She resented it and never really let it go. (I don't think she ever grasped how much I needed to get out of the city and return to a lovely town with mountains I felt bonded to.) I felt as though I was to maintain a shrine to her high school years but it was the wrong place for me to live. But now, I feel guilty still. She wasn't attached to my Nmother and had been through a lot of upheaval. Enough.

I hope B isn't in that quicksand, where basically, given his own dreams of sharing life/home with you, he's damed if he does (IF, and I don't know this, his D resents the idea of him "moving on") and damned if he doesn't (your patience could run out for maintaining the dream of sharing your home/future).

Aarrgggh. These things are hard but I'm mostly with Hax, who believes it's not only okay but right for adults to claim their right to human happiness, despite and along with their devotion to almost-adult children. I just think we've never really understood in our recent culture how LATE adult children in this generation mature.
Thirty is the new 15, kind of thing.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2021, 08:49:17 AM »
Well, that would be a resounding no, Hops. He DOES deal with the promises he's made in the past; and his own sense of obligation. But, I know for a fact - it's SOP at most colleges - that freshmen can't live off campus till after the first semester or first year. This kinda covers the liability issues of age disparity of freshmen who can be just 17 that first year - or even younger now. (More straightforward would be change the rule to be age defined.)

You don't want to get me started on how our society confines young adults to immaturity and dependency for a decade longer than necessary. (I was of the opinion back when 21 was "adulthood" that that was too long too.) Hol was emancipated (yeah; it's a legal term - are children property or slaves??) at 15 or 16 or so; whenever she was driving. The age does vary state to state some. Or did. She's been functionally mature & responsible (after the usual trial & error) by 18 or 20. She's still working on the emotional - but then, so am I. LOLOLOL. My ideas about child rearing still shock and horrify people who use helicoptering to assuage their own guilt over emotional unavailability (trying to keep up with the jones' types) or being so self-centered; absorbed - that they used the electronic babysitting method and never even acknowledged that the child they created IS A PERSON TOO. Much less interact with them, one on one. Children were a possession or object for them.

Parenting as intellectual, emotional, and functional "education" -- and connection -- simply has been transformed into dysfunctionality... and the surrender of responsibility for raising a "person".
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Hopalong

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2021, 09:38:56 PM »
I hear you, Amber.
And bravo, on that philosophy.
I desperately regret that I was an anxious parent; I know it didn't help her.
I was worried for years before I understood what was happening to her. And I know it showed.

I'm glad you're not worried about B on the score I fantasized. I think I understand now that he wants to remain in their home until his D makes it through freshman year, after which she can live independently (or moreso) and then he'd feel comfortable selling their house? Have I followed right?

I'm so dense.

Big hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2021, 06:35:20 AM »
Skep, I read your posts and there's always so much in them that I have to read them several times and spend time digesting it all before I reply (that's meant in a postive way, not a critical one :) ).  By the time I've done that you've written another three posts, built another shed, redesigned the garden and decided which cows to buy lol, so I'm always very behind.  But this is one of the things that really stuck out for me:

Media needs to respect it's boundaries and only report what happens; not try to make me think x, y, or z about it - and DEFINITELY not push the message that I'm a failure as a human being because I refuse to play the "ain't it awful" or "outrage" game and turn the definition of words on their heads... and blame people who aren't afforded the respect to tell their side of the story; aren't believed when they do tell it; and the only reason the Media cares - is because it makes them money.

I have had several conversations with friends in recent weeks about how much we all wish there was one fact based, reliable, objective information source that you knew you could rely on when you wanted to find out basic information about things that may effect your life (like pandemics, crime rates, business news, climate problems etc).  And how much easier it would be to make personal decisions about important things if you didn't have to constantly wade through other people's opinions and their efforts to make you feel a certain way about certain things.  We see a lot of it here; many of the people given television time about the pandemic are just people with strong opinions (and usually strong opinions that upset a lot of people).  I want to listen to doctors and scientists who know their stuff and can explain it in a way that my not particularly scientific brain can understand.  We have got fact checker but it focuses on isolated facts and I find I need a bit of context to make sense of things.  And people do seem to have redefined the meanings of words now, which makes communication difficult.  There has been a really distinct shift, I think, from reporting the news to creating the news, if you know what I mean.  I am trying very hard to avoid anything more than the bare bones of what I feel I need to know because it's just all so overwhelming now.  So yes, I get where you're coming from with that and it's a useful perspective xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2021, 11:07:25 AM »
That is one of the phenomenons, Tupp, that is kinda driving me to be "in the world, not of it" right now. Not so much to avoid being blamed or held responsible... but to refuse to participate in what I understand is an ego-based game, that has the odds stacked against me and can actually hurt me. I continue to be kind and considerate to other people, and I really don't care about their political beliefs or religion or where they came from or who they identify with - as long as they identify with being human and can acknowledge we have that in common and that kindness & consideration is the sum total "how-to" to be able to live together. It REQUIRES both parties to commit to that; not just one. Reciprocity right?

There IS clarity - stepping out of the noise long enough to hear yourself think.

But right now, I need shake my bones and go move stuff from one place to another - and if that doesn't wipe me out, load it in the car to donate tomorrow. Got a haircut appt tomorrow!! First one in over a year. My hair is below my shoulders now; full of static electricity -- and it makes me sneeze! Time to shorten, & neaten it up. It's been at least 2 months since I went over the mountain.

Hol & I just pow-wowed; might get back together again later in the studio - it's a place where we can just scream about how frustrating this year long purgatory or limbo is getting. IF, things were still operating closer to normal, it would be less annoying but it's clearly not. I mailed a bill payment on the 5th; it hadn't arrived by 10 days later. Even one of my quarterly tax payments was still showing as "in transit" - sent certified; a month ago - to my state's capitol.

So far, chocolate is keeping me still trying to do SOMETHING useful. I think I probably ought to bake some more stuff again - just not in mass quantities. Order some patterns for sewing; and fabric and notions. They might get here by summer.
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Twoapenny

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2021, 06:25:14 AM »
The difficulties with ordinary supply and demand are hard to manage, Skep.  Fortunately that hasn't seemed to be as much of a problem here - I think we're just smaller with fewer people.  I know delivery services and mail services have been extremely busy and there were delays over Christmas but for us normal deliveries now and postal services are pretty much okay so I hope that sorts itself out soon for you.  And well done on the hair cut!  I look like I live under a mountain at the moment lol, I just tie it back as there's not much else I can do for now, but I am looking forward to the time I can have a proper do done and skip around swishing it about :)  My son got fed up and just chopped all the curly bits off so he looks like drunk people have been at him lol.

And yep - I think you said before the internet has done much to fuel divisions and I must admit I have been sucked into things more than once.  But hopefully have seen it happening and avoided the curved ball too much.  I've found with all this thinking just lately about isolation, peace and quiet but also connecting with people has made me yearn more for the way things were when I was younger.  Some things are better now, obviously, and I wouldn't want to be without the internet all together, but I think my world was a smaller place years ago because I only knew what was under my nose.  And aspects of that are good, you know?  I think you can know too much and I am trying to focus now on learning about facts and useful things rather than knowing what everyone thinks about every single thing that's happening.  I think maybe that's the pit - slipping into fluff and stuff world rather than knowing more about the planet or plants or something.  It's kind of easy to get submerged.  And it's easy to waffle, which is what I'm doing now :)  Lol.  Hope you enjoy your haircut xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: 2021 Farm Log
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2021, 10:34:20 AM »
I missed your response Hops. Sorry about that.

While my parenting style was more "hands off" - and giving Hol the freedom to make her own decisions (whether I liked them or not) - I still worried myself into a serious cortisol loop of stress. And we kept our communications open between us (more or less) and I stayed engaged with her process of thinking/making decisions - intellectually. I knew her strong intuition, social networking bent, and early parenting gave her enough emotional "maturity" to fend for herself. Her older sister - not so much. Kids are ALL different. They need to be parented differently - and that sometimes causes sibling issues. Hol had to process some some heavy life crap around the mid-teens because of her sister/Dad... and she found Ex#2 and I helpful to sort it out and not get stuck there. We have been at this, a long time, Hol & I. And we're different, she and I - yet compatible in this arrangement.

The relationship between B and I, as I've mentioned a couple other times - is so completely different/new/outside the usual conditioned patterns from either POV - from anything I've experienced in the past - that that past "education" is kinda useless and a bad measuring tool. In the past, I've always "needed" something from a relationship; usually something practical. And in typical fashion, I would take the leap of faith while throwing myself over the cliff, to obtain that needed thing. Except Ex#1 (Hol's Dad) I did OK; I picked men with qualities I respected and liked... and assumed my role was to put up & shut up about the things I didn't because of the roof over my head and food on the table. I've also experienced love for some people - outside of relationship.

Some of the things that are different this time... we already had an established communication through an online friendship. That deepened, got more personal over time and more supportive as we each went through life crap. But we're both really independent and confident in our abilities to keep on, keeping on, alone. Neither one of us was looking to gain anything practical from the other, or to fill emotional holes even, by intensifying the level of the relationship. That said - I think we've discovered a few things about ourselves as a result of taking this to a more committed level.

I've done enough "work" to deal with the expectations that someone will completely meet all my needs for me. I am the only one responsible for that stuff. So the "love" I have for B - is a reaction of joy and respect for who and how he is; how his life refined into who he is now. It's not manufactured or intellectual; it's an emotional and visceral excitement energy of HIM. And I know he "sees" me, too. And understands how my life made me this way... and he also reacts to me in similar fashion. While we are compatible intellectually, lifestyle & background wise, our connection is extremely rooted in something a whole lot more non-verbal and primal than that. It's a shared sense between us that we've both remarked on how it's eluded us till now.

Neither one of us "needs" each other in those usual ways. We WANT what the other is offering or being, however, sometimes so intensely it appears to be a need. It's almost the archetypal male/female; mother/father partnership in how our energies and personalities mesh. We seldom have those "relationship conversations" - rating each other, communicating more clearly what one needs from the other, making rules for each other - and when we do drift toward that topic we've discovered the other already knows; it doesn't need to be said or explained or justified. That's been fertilizer for trust to grow. And there is none of that - "OMG, I'm taking a huge emotional risk of getting hurt again" fear beyond the fact, that one of is likely to leave the other by dying someday.

Even if we have to separate for some reason, the foundation of the relationship will remain. The few "rules" conversations that have taken place are mostly that there are no rules until we are together; then we'll figure 'em out together. It's OK that he's more of a night owl than I am... we can be happy being together or apart; working separately toward the goals around here. Roles are interchangeable as are responsibilities. "Rules" for relationships, I find are closely aligned to social conditioning, those evil "shoulds" and conditions of expectation that typically have no basis in reality; they're all fictional or Hollywood; not real humans and real life. I'm too old to mess with that crap anymore - and the truth is, it didn't serve me well when I was younger either.

So a POX on shoulds, rules, and conditioning. Change is good; different is good; and I'm not gonna take my own set of conditioning so seriously that I put myself into the "needy, clingy, waiting forever on the knight in shining armor to come "rescue me" when I can get up off my own butt and take care of myself. Then, the knight & I can dance till the sun comes up instead.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2021, 10:36:00 AM by sKePTiKal »
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.