Such a cliche, but time is really flying by and I have no idea where it all went. Unfortunately, it hasn't been working on a revolution, although I have been feeding my babies. I wish I was doing more to feed babies who don't have enough to eat or giving shoes to children with no shoes on their feet. From time to time with my friends we discuss how to "make a difference" while being good parents. I spout the "being a good parent does make a difference" line which I do believe, I really do, but I also know I could be doing more to help others. It is a tough balance. I come from a family of people who give and give. Almost to a fault, at times...to a fault at many times. I somehow came away with much less of this trait which makes me the person in the family who takes care of myself the most which is positive in some sense, even if it does mean I'm selfish. I've mentioned before some of the amazing things my mother did in our community, but really there is no way I could ever do credit to the tireless commitment to helping others. She was also a great mother (although, me being selfish, would have preferred her home more and out feeding the babies and shoeing the children less), but at times I felt her volunteer work got in the way of her relationship with my father and definitely she did not take the time to take care of herself. At all. She died at 57, too early. Perhaps she would have died in her 50's even if she had been kind to herself. She could have been an accident, who knows, but even if her time on the Earth would have been exactly the same amount, the quality would have been better if she had just given some of the love to herself instead of giving it all away.
Balance. My constant struggle is to put my life in balance. I didn't have this modeled to me as a child. My family of origin is very unbalanced, bless their hearts. They are passionate and stubborn...two traits I did get in spades. They are also adorably insane and they take care of anyone and everyone except themselves. This goes back as far as my grandparents on both sides and maybe farther, but that is the extent of the family I know. They are "give the shirt off their backs" type of people when that shirt is the only thing that might save themselves. I've had too much therapy through the years to see this as all good.
As I was writing this blog post today (these days I rarely get time at the computer to just sit and write so any post may take from a few hours to a few days), I saw this post on Livin' Veg and it seemed like perfect timing for what is buzzing around in my mind. The Animal Activist's Handbook may have to be added to my list of books to get off my butt and read this Spring. I've met the authors while we still lived in the DC area. To catch my attention even more, if I'm not mistaken, our friends Shari and Phil's son is on the front in one of their great t-shirts loving on a sweet chicken from I'm guessing Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary (where I used to spend as much time as possible volunteering while we lived in Maryland). I have contemporary role models in Shari and Phil how one can be a great parent, successful business owner, and a great activist all at one time. I just still can't seem to swing it.