When do my choices become an abdication of my power? My therapist says that as a rule, women's work is power and men's work is relationships. This is, of course, a generality and as with all generalities, subject to major exceptions, but I have found that overall it does seem to ring true. And my work is certainly to keep from becoming invisible and retreating in the face of threats, imagined or real. I do live with a lot of fears, fears that I'll do the wrong thing or fears that someone will challenge me or yell at me, etc., and I know where these fears come from and while many are no longer true, some still are legitimate.
Nevertheless, I am an adult now, and so reacting as I did when I was a small child isn't always terribly helpful. Of course that small wounded child still is a part of me, but I need to be reassuring, being the adult for her that she never had when she was growing up. These thoughts popped up today as I was doing my online shopping for pet needs. I have recently found a brand of canned cat food that the cats and I have agreed on. Wellness cat food comes in small cans, has no meat byproducts, fillers, etc., and it is a pate which does not look like any "body parts" so I, as a vegan, find it less horrific to feed. (And personally I'm thrilled that because of Chauncey's allergies, the dogs are on a vegan diet, but I do know dogs differ from cats in this as well as many other ways).
And I was thrilled when I thought that I could obtain this cat food from my local organic market through their buyers club, so that I would be supporting an on-island business and one that I wasn't afraid to go to. However, today, when I tried to get my first order ready, I found out that they don't carry the small cans. Ok, big disappointment. Went to Amazon.com (my fall back for a lot since I don't leave the island), and they had it but only if I ordered from one of the big pet chain stores and I'm anti-them also.
The apparently simple solution is to buy it from our local and lovely on-island pet store, Pandora's Box. So what's the problem? One of their clerks had treated me very badly on two separate occasions and I'm just afraid to run into her again. The adult me knows that in this instance the power of the consumer is all-encompassing, but the child in me doesn't want to be berated, criticized, etc. This clerk doesn't listen and she'd brow-beat me into what she said was the "best" cat food without listening at all to my needs and I was horrified to find that I could see parts of fish in the cans when I opened it. I gave the food to a friend who has cats but is not vegan, but the experience was not pleasant.
Since then I have been back--got my courage up one day when I absolutely had to have cat food, and I then was treated extremely well by two clerks there that day who did listen, and who gave me a variety of options and explained them all very carefully and even took into account smell factors as well as looks. And I did very gently mention my previous two encounters and they took that seriously as well.
So there should be no problem going back there to buy my cat food (and cat litter when that is needed because shipping that is absurd), and I will give it a go, especially since I will be headed that way on Thursdays now for summer tutoring at the library, but it will be with fear, and I suspect it will become easier each time I do it and I think that this is not only good for an island business but good for me, not to abandon myself and my principles because of one person, but it will stretch me.
I don't know if I will always have this issue going new places or going where I've not been well-treated. It is one reason why I prefer to stay home, in my space, out of the line of sight of much of the world. Some days even crossing the street for my mail is a challenge, and I always think several times over before I walk very far into my backyard because I had a neighbor yell at me several winters ago for a landslide which in fact was her yard's issue, not mine. For the most part, that works fine, but I suspect that I am giving up lots of my power to those who shouldn't have power over me. And on my better days, I forge ahead, at least with small challenges. Today is a nice cool sunny day and all my windows are open and I'm feeling reasonably well, so the idea of buying my cat food at Pandora's Box on Thursday seems most do-able. I am hoping it will seem just as do-able when Thursday rolls around! Have a wonderful day wherever you are!
Saturday, June 25, 2011
It has been quite a week! First, Happy Pride Weekend to all who celebrate! My rainbow flag has been rehung with a new bracket and it is flying proudly in my driveway. Anyway, the last couple weeks have been unusually eventful for me. My sinus surgery went well, according to my surgeon whom I saw yesterday for my first post-op visit, although I'm still stuffy, wishing I could blow my nose, tired and exhausted, etc. But he found a bone growth which he removed and it proved to be benign and the sinuses have been cleaned out, etc., so hopefully this will all make a big difference to my health. I still have the splints, but those come out next Friday. So that's the update there.
|Oliver, Daphne, and Poosa|
|Poosa, Oliver, and Chauncey at Breakfast|
On other fronts, Eric ran another 100 mile race last weekend and it was fun for me that he was running it near where one of my blogging friends lives so she could update me on weather, etc. I think he did really well, coming in 60th/115 finishers in 29 hrs., 51 min. 46 sec. And then he posted a photo of his new gorgeous green Brooks running shoes which he'd worn the weekend before when he visited me. The shoes were totally unrecognizable after the 100 mile trail run! Today Kelly, his wife, is running in the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon and I hope she will also do very well. Personally, I get tired just thinking about that much activity, but they love it. And Pamela has texted me several times and I'm learning about the life of a conductor. It is wonderful to hear from her and I am now trying to be much less cell phone challenged, sometimes with more success than others!
|Oliver and Daphne|
|Oliver in His New Bed|
|Oliver Loves His New Bed!|
I've been enjoying all the activity in my yard. I cannot believe how many hummingbirds, crows, juncos, black-capped chickadees, and butterflies I have! I have planted more flowers, but even so, I suspect they were always here, but I just wasn't in a place to notice them. My haiku writing has trained me well to stay in the moment and observe what is going on around me. This morning in my shower I had fun watching a couple slugs. At first I thought there was just one and it was really a swift mover, but then I realized that there were actually two. It was lovely to watch them waving antennae and exploring their world. Then I was amused by three crows around my backyard pond who obviously were enjoying the day. Soon a fourth swooped in to join them, as a butterfly drank from the flowers surrounding the pond. It was really very lovely. The dogs and I then went out to pick strawberries. I love this time of year because I can get a handful or more of fresh strawberries each morning from my strawberry patch. Last year they produced all the way through until nearly November! Anyway, it was lovely picking the strawberries while watching the dogs capering around the front yard. These are precious moments and I'm glad I've gotten to the point where I can notice and enjoy them.
So that's the update from Vashon! Our island is perking along well overall and we also are doing fine. I hope everything is lovely for you wherever you are.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
|Eric, Kelly, and Josie|
What a week or two it has been! Last Sunday I had a wonderful visit from Eric, Kelly, and Josie and I was so very grateful that they were able to fit that into their busy schedule since this week was big for both Eric and me. I had sinus surgery on Wednesday, which I am still trying to recover from, and Eric ran the Bighorn 100 mile trail endurance run Friday and Saturday, finishing 60th out of 115 finishers, with a time of 29 hours 51 minutes 46 seconds, and I would imagine he is going to be recovering from that over the next few days/weeks! Congratulations Eric!
|Eric, Poosa, Kelly, and Josie|
And then I heard from my daughter, Pamela, first time in 14 years, and we are now texting! I'm having to learn how to text and also how to keep my phone charged and how to discover when I have text messages other than tweets, but I am learning and there couldn't be a better incentive! Reconnecting with Pamela has definitely brought me a joy beyond all belief!
|Oliver and Poosa|
I'm not sure what trauma Oliver went through before he came to me. His teeth were so bad that Dr. Nell had to remove most of them (he now has only 12 teeth, out of the 42 most dogs have). There was mention from the foster mom about Oliver living with toddlers who were allowed to terrorize him, but I think there must have been much more to his early life, as he is not only very shy, another scared little rabbit in our family, but he doesn't feel entitled to anything!
|Poosa and Oliver|
Then for the dogs, we have Chauncey who was a rescued dog found at the side of the road when he was about 1 year old, but he lived on a farm in Eastern Washington for another four years and then his family went through a divorce, and I was fortunate enough to be able to adopt him. He fit in right away and has ruled the doggie world in my home now for 8 years. He also knows he is entitled to care and he definitely sees to it that his needs are met. Poosa lived her first 5 years at a breeders and then I adopted her last year. From the beginning it was clear that while she was a timid soul, jumping at loud noises (she still runs every time my steamer turns off!), and while she'd never known a dog bed or a dog toy, she certainly had not been mistreated as she also is excellent at feeling entitled and getting her needs met--just ask anyone who comes over as Poosa makes sure she gets lots of extra loving.
I know that we are a good fit, Oliver and I, and that we can help each other to heal. And I know that the other two dogs as well as the cats will help us as well. Our family has grown and another injured soul has been rescued! We now consist of one human, three dogs, and three cats, 4 female, 3 male (hey, we females have to keep the upper hand!). This is a perfect time for Oliver to settle in as my calendar was already cleared off because of my surgery and my schedule is much quieter in the summer anyway, so Oliver will get settled in nicely now and never again will he be hurt or mistreated. He can learn that he is definitely worthy of having his needs met, he is entitled to all the love and care we can show him and he will give that love back doubled in spades! Welcome, Oliver, to our family!