This has been a fairly good summer this year for me.
About 6:30 AM in the morning, a cup of hot coffee, out to the back yard where we have our garden which we have worked on since spring of this year. Many flowers of blue and purple, some yellow, some white, and some hedges of deep green and red. Other ornaments such as a Bird bath and several bird feeders, a mirror, our Saint Francis of Assisi statue (one of two that we have), an angel or two, a couple of other concrete garden ornaments, and a bird house I recently built myself without any plans. It is a time of day that I have been enjoying with my wife each morning most mornings.
We then have been going for a walk, feeding the goats on the farm across the way. They know us now. They come running expecting the hand out of carrots, cucumber, or other veggies that we have prepared for them. Its a hoot just watching them run to us baying as they come as if to say “wait for me.”
I had opportunity to ride the Harley and we have done so. Sometimes with a purpose. Sometimes with no purpose or destination involved. We have eaten at new places, enjoyed talking about just anything, babysitting the grand baby (Jake), going tubing in Helen, and really just anything we wanted to do. That “anything” also wound up included saving a small goat from a bitter end. We are currently looking for a petting zoo or such to take her since she is now healed from her wounds and getting healthier by the day.
No, I didn’t win the lottery. No relative died and left me tons of cash. What we have enjoyed has cost very little monetarily. It was really more about the little things and quality time with each other and within ourselves than anything else. For me it was a time of personal recharging. I really needed some time off.
Why? Don’t we all? I mean that. Don’t we ALL just need some time off once in a while? I’m not talking about time off from work to do chores though I did plenty of that too. I’m talking about actual quality time off where you spend time with the ones you love enjoying their fellowship and sometimes not being with anyone doing anything. Yep… Did some real sleeping too. 🙂 Whenever I wanted. She did too.
Some of my time I spent reading. This is something that I love to do but seldom make time to do it. I finished a book I started while on vacation. It wasn’t a large book but it is fair to say that I start a lot of books and often find that I never finish them. I’ve met new friends (in the parking lot in front of Target near the Mall of GA). I’ve enjoyed their cookies and coffee, dodged their Frizbie throws and shared in their conversation. We watched a great fireworks show that evening.
Part of this time I spent evaluating myself. Self reflection, deep inward searching, to see, if I could, just what it was that might be wrong with me. Don’t take this the wrong way. I don’t feel that I am broken. I don’t feel that I am a misfit or that I have somehow failed at life. I don’t. I also don’t feel that I have made all the correct decisions. In fact… I know I haven’t. I’m not perfect. There you have it. In writing. I KNOW I’m not perfect. It is true. I’m sorry if I have let any of you down. 🙂
So… who is to blame? It is me. I know that. The decisions I have made were my decisions. The mistakes I have made were mine. If I have misrepresented myself, it was my fault. If I failed to make the grade, it was my fault. If I didn’t love someone the way I should have it was me. My fault. I’m to blame. I found in my searching that I had no-one else to blame. Yes, I could have blamed it on anyone. Many people do. They could say it was their mother or father. They could blame their circumstances. I’ve done that before. I’ve blamed others for my failures or shortcomings. I could not do it this time. Not in such a deep search of myself.
My own children have little to do with me. Is it my fault? I guess I’d have to say yes. At least some of it is my fault. I have to take responsibility for what I have done or have not done regarding their lives. I have to look at things completely and understand my portion in their attitude toward me. Yes, they have their own minds and decisions to make. Yes, they are adults and make up their own minds. Still, I have played a part in all of it.
I am not taking blame for all things. Just my portion. What I am responsible for. What I have done or not done. My decisions – good or bad. I am happy with who I am. I am happy with where I am in life and all that has happened to me. Were it any other way I would not be the man I am today. To some this may not be enough. To me it is. I may not have attained all that was possible but I have made it to where I am. To me and for me I feel that I have made progress and that is enough for me.
I’ve loved and lost. I’ve loved and lost and loved again. It would appear that I am one of those that finds it easy to love and to forgive. Well, that last part may be challenged from time to time. It is easier for me to love than it is to forgive. On an old issue of Mayberry R.F.D. I remember Gomer Pile saying “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” I took that to heart.
The point to all of this is… too many people, most in fact, do not take responsibility for their life. In fact they don’t want to take responsibility for anything. Not their life, their circumstances, what they do, how much they have or don’t have, whether or not they drive crazy, dress weird, drink too much, say the wrong thing, treat others the wrong way, make stupid statements, deceive others, steal, cheat, lie, speed, text while driving, flip somebody off, didn’t stand up for something we knew we should or stood for something we knew we shouldn’t, you name it. Parents teach their children. Either by direction or by deception. Either by truth or by lie. By what they say or by what they do. Either way they teach whether they know it or not.
I don’t know about you but I get real tired of kids blaming anyone and everyone but themselves for what they do. But hey… they learned it from us. Want to say that this group of kids is worse than we were or that the youth today are worse than they were when you were a kid? Think again. That argument has been going on since Aristotle. And if it IS true… we are to blame.
I’ve said all this to say… take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Teach your children to do the same. They are watching. Actions speak louder than words. Really they do.
BTW – Since the beginning of this particular blog (which took me some time) we have donated Sweet Pea to the Pettit Creek Farms petting zoo which is in Cartersville, GA. She is in a new, more appropriate home and doing well.