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Suicide by Life…


Suicide.  A mortal sin or a personal right?  Either way one approaches the subject, the word stands out like a neon sign and people either delve into its reality or shun away from all its emotional rawness.

 

I retired 4 years…The first 2 weeks were idyllic with no set schedule for work or play.  A “sit on the porch with a cup of coffee” day, followed by well-deserved R&R.  But, as time slowly progressed into the first year of retirement, that idyllic feeling changed drastically.  And it was a journey into a world that spiraled down and ended on the brink of a final act of self-determination.  I still visit this place occasionally, though I have learned my limitations and my visits are short.

 

When one bases their worth on the work they do and not on their inner selves, the feelings of “worthlessness” and all that word encompasses, can be overwhelming at times.  I have survived that challenge, but not without scars.  The following 2 years I threw myself into renovating some properties to flip and for 7 day a week, busted my ass.  Hard work creates feelings of purpose, of meeting challenges and sleep came easy for me.

 

Since then I have moved to a very rural area, hoping to reconnect to all those things that supposedly creates inner peace and enlightenment.  I thought by living a solitary lifestyle, the first ingredient of my life that I would lose would be the stress of existing.  To sit comfortably and enjoy all that life has given me.  To watch and hear the mountain winds push the clouds around a radiant sky.  And to watch the sun rise and to enjoy colorful sunsets.

 

I have discovered that even though one’s environment is a major factor in finding this peace, it isn’t necessarily the most important.  Having all this time gave me the opportunity to think.  And thinking can be dangerous, especially when one’s mind is constantly running at full speed.  And my trains of thought are like trying to survive a fast-paced maze. Bouncing between extremes of self-loathing and acceptance.  Anger and contentment.  Cynicism and acceptance.

 

My first stop was to discover how angry I am.  I find that I am angry at so many things.  I am angry at all the greed, violence, ignorance, apathy and exploitation that thrives in today’s global population.  I am angry at inefficient, self-serving political leadership who care little for anything but their own personal dysfunctions and their financial future.  And I am angry that no one seems to care.

 

But most of all, I am angry at myself.  For the hurt I caused others, for all my failures and for not giving 100% always. I am angry that I have no more dreams that once allowed me to be excited for the future.  And, I am very angry for allowing myself to be angry at all those things I cannot change.

 

“Let it go”, I have read, studied and preached for such a long time that such a concept now sounds like total bullshit.  I am angry that I have yet to find the key to open that dark recess of my mind and empty out all those shitty feelings and thoughts. To make matters more fucked up, I can become very frustrated in that I can see, in my mind, that world of peaceful contentment.  And fleetingly, feel that peacefulness at times.  Then, the darkness returns.

 

“What the fuck.  I don’t want to die angry.”

 

I want my passing to be a peaceful transition between life and death.  I want to smile at all the gifts I have been given throughout my lifetime.  I want to feel good and know that I have done my best and have no regrets that darken those final moments.

 

And most of all, I want to do this alone.

 

 

WTF Happened?…


As winter is now officially here, a bit God damned early in my most humble opinion, the chores and repairs that kept me busy all autumn have either been completed or went on hiatus, which leaves me with time to kill.  I shouldn’t complain about sitting on my ass next to the wood-stove, but I am not one to sit for long.  Neither am I very good at “small talk” type conversations, so my interaction with others is somewhat limited.  Not that I mind greatly.  As I read all the asinine shit going on in this country, I am happy to be where I am.

I went back through this blog, reading the crap I wrote years ago.  Some of those posts were so bad I instantly shit canned them and then looked over my shoulder to make sure no one had read any of it.  But what I came away with is that over the years, I have changed.  Not just gray hair, wrinkles and achy joints, but the way I see the world today.

For a subtle description, I morphed from “How are you feeling today?” (when first began facilitating groups) to, “You need to make some choices with your life that aren’t so fucking selfish and take care of your family.” , to “What the fuck is the matter with you?  Grow some fucking balls, get off your lazy ass and be a responsible adult.”   Yes, I know……not very therapeutic.  But I don’t give a fuck.  I got tired of whiny weak ass people who wouldn’t survive any challenge, let alone a natural disaster or emergency.

Today’s antics caused me to think of the history of this country.  Our ancestors kicked butt.  They kicked British ass back to London…twice.  Fought everyone and their brothers for God, country and Manifest Destiny.  Industrialized the world, fought 2 World Wars and saved Europe…twice.  These same people built the country’s infrastructure with blood, sweat and tears, and for many, their lives.

And now look at how society exists.  And it is really sad and disgusting.

Now my only question is: What the fuck happened to this country?

 

White Shit…


Winter finally dumped its load and now everything is pristine white. A heavy, wet and sticky blanket of snow.  The beginning of a 6 month period of plowing roads. shoveling roofs, lugging wood and trudging snow.

At times I wonder…

On the flip side, there is such a silence.  During the recent storm, there was very little activity out on the main dirt road.  Besides not being plowed, people stayed home.  Smart people…unlike all the dumb shits I have been reading about lately….

One of the things I did to maintain what is left of my sanity was to stop watching and listening to the national news.  I do keep up with print, but even then the media needs to be used like salt.  A pinch here, a pinch there.  There is very little I take for honest truth when it comes to reporting all the crazy shit going on today.  I hear about right wing conservatives, left wing socialist democrats, elected leadership (and I use that term very loosely) and see how lost and inefficient they have become.  I hear about all the snowflakes who’s need for a “safe place” outweighs growing a pair.  Violence, ignorance and apathy seems to have over flowed and drowned the traits of common sense, moral decency and honor.

Am I cynical?  After watching the spiraling down of social norms for the past 60 years, fucking right I am  Does my cynicism overshadow all the positives in my life?  Not in the least.  It is what it is…

But I digress…back to the white shit.

Now, I have the temporary opportunity to romanticize the images of falling snow, the dead quietness of the mountain and the solitude winter affords.  To sit and watch the flame shadows dance and to enjoy my hot coffee without interference.  I figure by springtime I will have either become one with this mountain or batshit crazy.  Time will tell.

I do know that the plowing, shoveling, lugging and trudging will become damned old, damned fast.  No matter how much spin I give it, winters are long, cold and dark.  Good for vampires.  For me…not so much.

So, here’s to now….

 

 

 

 

 


Here’s the surprising answer of a 6 year old child.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that dogs’ lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said, ”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The six-year-old continued,

”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay for as long as we do.”

 

 

 

 

 

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

• When your loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
• Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
• Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
• Take naps.
• Stretch before rising.
• Run, romp, and play daily.
• Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
• Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
• On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
• On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
• When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
• Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
• Be faithful.
• Never pretend to be something you’re not.
• If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
• When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

That’s the secret of happiness that we can learn from a good dog.

by Bill Overton

Finally Home…


I am working harder now, than I have for years. It feels good. Began clearing brush and inspecting the woodlot. Also began realizing I am not all that young anymore. And sadly, it won’t get any better… As they say….”It is, what it is.”

There are advantages of living remotely, besides the peace and quiet from the rat race one experiences here in the woods.  There is also a learning curve involved.  It takes time to shed all the drama, noise and routines of everyday life that one has lived for decades. This is all the shit you carry with you along that road.  This shit needs to disappear.

The one important thing I learned is to not let your work identify who you are. One’s work is just a temporary extension of a multi-faceted lifestyle. If you do not separate your work from who you are, there will be a sense of loss once you retire. Just be forewarned…

Another benefit…or not… of solitude is the opportunity to engage your brain into a new level of thinking. Not that superficial brain activity that people do to get through the day, but something slower…deeper…more tangible. Thinking that asks pertinent questions of one’s self. Thinking may elicit moments of regret, or melancholy or bring a smile, a sense of accomplishment or a feeling pride in that you lived a good life as a good person. Here one can get a deeper sense of who one really is.  It is a time to unclutter and rid oneself of all that shit I carry, make choices of priorities and reconnect with my environment. It is a place and time to truly enjoy the awesomeness of mother nature and to give thanks to all the gifts one is given throughout one’s life. I have many…people I still carry in my heart and mind, a great family, many good friends and life accomplishments. The latter being something that validates the importance of our existence within our own minds…

Hiked up the back acres to mark trees for next year’s firewood and stopped to check on the well. Three tiles deep (12′ deep)and spring fed. The well is almost an 8th mile from the cabin and sits at a much higher elevation…hence, gravity feed water system. Clean spring water and no pump….

Spent the last week cleaning 40 years of grime off the log cabin and barn. Once cleaned and dried, the sealer went on, followed by new chinking. Chinking is an ongoing process, but I will have it done before winter. There is nothing major for projects, other than felling next years firewood.

The gardens are ready for next year’s planting and in a few weeks, I will be preparing all the flowerbeds for winter. I still need to power up the workshop so to be able to work out there during the winter months. The forge is in and working, and I am now scrounging scrap steel to practice the art of the blacksmith.

 

 

 

 

My Mountain….


Having finished the labor of moving and stacking this winter’s firewood, I began exploring the back country….or 16 acres of it anyway…I wanted to cruise the woodlot and see what I could cut for next years warmth.  Managing the lot is first priority as I hope to need firewood for a few more years.  My primary heat is a wood-stove located in the basement and I also have a wood burning cook-stove to feed.  I put up two and half cord and will see what happens.

Moving to the mountain has afforded the luxury of solitude.  It has also benefited me in that I can now say that the world ends at the nearest road.  My mountain, my exile and my world.  I rarely listen to the news media’s biased reporting and now pay little attention to the growing divided this country is experiencing.  Alt. right, alt left, antifa, ineffectual governments, dirty politicians, violence, racism, hatred and all those other problems do not exist here.

One may wonder if I care and I will tell you that for the most part….No.  I do not care. Not as much anymore.

I will explain why.  I grew up believing in this country.  I do still believe in it’s ideals though many of those have fallen by the wayside.   I served my country during the Vietnam war and my thanks was to be spit on.  No big deal but I remember the atmosphere of dislike for those in the military.  It is something I will always remember.  I served my community as a member of town government for numerous years and I have served society in general as a Substance Abuse Counselor in a prison system until I retired and as a foster-parent to many children.

I decided that it is time to serve me.  To allow me to live out the remaining years doing what I want.  Taking care of me and eliminating the unrelenting bullshit that the world has created for itself.  Selfish? Yes…maybe….Apathetic?…Not so much…

I truly hope the world finds peace and good will but my faith in humanity is about zero.  We have developed mind boggling technologies, medical breakthroughs and hundreds of scientific discoveries but in the areas of enlightenment, spirituality, empathy and emotional intelligence we have yet to leave the cave.  Intolerance of everything we don’t agree with is the norm and I have chosen to look out at this  world and say “Fuck you, I’m outta here”, until people come to their senses…

 

 

My Mountain…


For as many years as I can remember, my one constant was believing that one day, after I retired from the rat race, I would spend my days sitting on my porch, listening to the wind songs and staring contentedly at the mountains.  I even used this scenario in the groups I facilitated, designating this dream as my (for lack of a better term) “happy place.”

I finally retired.  Now, as I sit on my back porch, somewhere in the mountains in New Hampshire, I am still in awe and wonderment that I ever made it.  The quiet peacefulness is beyond awesome, the sounds of nature; inspiring and the view….

There are somethings that I should have realized when moving into the mountains.  Things like chinking the log cabin, prepping the gardens for winter, putting up several cord of firewood to keep myself from freezing and putting in a good supply of food stuff…just in case I can’t get into town.  The Farmer’s Almanac says it will be a bitter winter season with above average snow.  Average here is about 100″.  Enough to make things interesting.  Bring it on….I am finally home…

 

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“Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house a world; and beyond its world, a heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you. For you is the phenomenon perfect. What we are, that only can we see. All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do. Adam called his house, heaven and earth; Caesar called his house, Rome; you perhaps call yours, a cobler’s trade; a hundred acres of ploughed land; or a scholar’s garret. Yet line for line and point for point, your dominion is as great as theirs, though without fine names. Build, therefore, your own world.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson