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Cold Warrior
07-06-2008, 08:35 AM
It looks to be another rainy day here in the World's Most Boring Place. It's rained the entire holiday weekend, although they were still able to have fireworks on the Connecticut River last evening. I had thought we would have a good view from our relatively high apartment, since we face the river. Unfortunately, they placed the fireworks just so that the Bank of America building virtually blocked our entire view. We did, however, get the noise and light, which scared all of the cats except Sable who's too deaf to notice.

We went to a comparable sized town in western MA yesterday so my girlfriend could take a look at a practice for sale. She probably won't really be buying her own practice for another 10 months or so, but I encouraged her to take a look anyway if, for nothing else, the value of better understanding the process. I spent the hour walking around the town and thought to myself, "God, who would live here!" We made the agreement to sacrifice real life for a year or two to establish her credentials, but to condemn oneself to a lifetime of small city living, or worse, a burbite nightmare, would be just too much.

This line of thought reminded me of Fitzgerald's novel of personal sacrifice and betrayal and the destruction they cause, Tender is the Night (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tender_Is_the_Night). In particular, Dick Diver, world-reknown psychologist, sacrifices both career and personal needs to nurse his patient (and then wife) Nicole back to mental health afer a childhood involving incest...


Of course it's done at a certain sacrifice - sometimes they seem just rather charming figures in a ballet, and worth the attention you five a ballet, but it's more than that - you'd have to know the story.

Diver is on the outside the perfect gentleman and host, and his parties are always successes.


To be included in Dick Diverís world for a while was a remarkable experience: people believed he made special reservations about them, recognizing the proud uniqueness of their destinies, buried under the compromises of how many years. He won everyone quickly with an exquisite consideration and a politeness that moved so fast and intuitively that it could be examined only in its effect. Then, without caution, lest the first bloom of the relation wither, he opened the gate to his amusing world. So long as they subscribed to it completely, their happiness was his preoccupation, but at the first flicker of doubt as to its all-inclusiveness he evaporated before their eyes, leaving little communicable memory of what he had said or done.

Dick and Nicole live an expat life of parties and drinking on the Cote d'Azur...


http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee88/scdiver27/BeachatJuanlesPins-1.jpg


The hotel and its bright tan prayer rug of a beach were one. In the early morning the distant image of Cannes, the pink and cream of old fortifications, the purple Alp that bounded Italy, were cast across the water and lay quavering in the ripples and rings sent up by sea-plants through the clear shallows.

Underneath, however, he is dissatisfied, has an affair which Nicole discovers, and their marriage falls apart. In the process, Nicole becomes whole again, able to resume her life as a healthy, beautiful, rich woman.
Broken by the emotional trauma, however, Dick returns to a small town in upstate New York to practice and live his days in relative obscurity. Which all leads to the ...

TOTD: Have you ever sacrificed an important part of your life -- career, goals, wants, needs -- for someone else? If so, in retrospect, do you consider it worth it?


When you are with me I'm free
I'm careless, I believe
Above all the others we'll fly
This brings tears to my eyes
Cause when you are with me I am free
I'm careless, I believe
Above all the others we'll fly
This brings tears to my eyes
My sacrifice, My sacrifice

I just want to say hello again
I just want to say hello again

My sacrifice.

jendf
07-06-2008, 08:56 AM
A humid morning here in Phoenix after another "sorta"-monsoon storm last night. I have faith that eventually real rain will come with these storms. For now, the lightening is as gorgeous and electrifying as ever.

I actually went for a run this morning! I haven't done that in over two weeks. It was hot to say the least and I didn't run for very long. But I wasn't going for mileage, speed, or a new PR. I was going to prove to my legs that they still know how to run. That was encouraging after a stressful few weeks of not wanting to or being able to physically or mentally.

TOTD: Not really. But I'm young. I'll have plenty of time to screw with my future down the road. :D

Bubba Dawg
07-06-2008, 10:32 AM
I'd like to have some of your rain down here CW, we're dry.

Interesting TOTD. Yes I have sacrificed something of vital importance to me. I had the dream to teach on the college level and practice psychotherapy. I had begun a Masters of Divinity at seminary with a focus on counseling. I planned to add a doctorate at a state university. Good plan, I thought.

I finished my BA in psychology at a state university in Florida and had just begun the MDiv when my father became disabled. My Dad and Mom's finances were quickly sinking into ruin. They were about to lose their home. Also in that home lived my disabled brother and my aged grandmother.

I was horribly conflicted. I wanted to fulfill my dream, yet my heart cried out to help my family. I was blessed with a sweet wife who supported me in whatever i choose to do. But it was a hard choice. The stress was incredible. I was working full time in the day and taking classes at night, and driving back and forth from Orlando to North Georgia to see my family. Meanwhile their finances continued to decline along with my father's health.

One morning during a church service my blood pressure spiked dangerously and I was dizzy and sick. I was taken to the hospital and my blood pressure was 240 over 160. I had a small stroke, a TIA it's called.

During my convalescence I made the decision to leave school and seek a transfer with my job to North Georgia. We moved in with my family for awhile, were able to refinance the family home and take over the payments, so their home was saved. Later, we built our own place on the same property and live there still.

It is a good life and satisfying. I got to be with my Dad for the last years of his life. I am near my surviving family. I live in a beautiful place, the mountains of North Georgia, and i am doing good work.

But really nothing is quite that simple. I suffer bouts of depression. I remember a line from a Paul Simon song:


A bad day's when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been.

There was a life that I did not lead. Yet if I had succeeded in academia and professionally there would have been another life that i did not lead, the one I chose. Both have their value and their price.

A dangerous tendency is to think that, in dealing with loss you will, or worse, should, necessarily feel one way and one way only about it. Some days are better than others. Most days I am content with my life and enjoy my work, my family, my sweet wife, and especially the place in which we live.

Other days, I get what my uncle calls, The Black Ass, and I am bitter and angry and I drink too much and I'm hard to be around. Fortunately there aren't too many of those days. But they do happen, because dealing with loss, the death of a dream, is much like dealing with the death of a beloved person. It is also like dealing with the death of a portion of your own Self. A part of your identity that will never be allowed manifest itself.

But that's reality. Reality bites.

I still have, in the back of my mind, a notion that I will resume my studies one day. I was an older student when I graduated, I was 31, so the years are racing by at an alarming rate, in fact. We'll see what those years bring.

Cold Warrior
07-06-2008, 11:25 AM
As usual from you, Bubba, an amazingly insightful response. However, you're wrong about it being too late. I will tell you that I changed my life by deciding to pursue what I wanted in my late 30s and early 40s. But, like everything in life, pursuing exclusively one's own dreams comes with a price. I have no immediate family (all dead) and no real friends in life as I've left them all behind in my pursuits. For the last several years, I've had a girlfriend, but as time passes she wants more of the normal things of life, the very things which bind you to places and people. So, when you think of the Simon lyric, remember Kristofferson's as well:



Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose

Phillygirl
07-06-2008, 11:31 AM
Yes I have, and yes it was. But like Bubba, there are days when you wonder what could have been. When I do so, however, I remember how thankful I am for what is.

Bubba Dawg
07-06-2008, 12:07 PM
As usual from you, Bubba, an amazingly insightful response. However, you're wrong about it being too late. I will tell you that I changed my life by deciding to pursue what I wanted in my late 30s and early 40s. But, like everything in life, pursuing exclusively one's own dreams comes with a price. I have no immediate family (all dead) and no real friends in life as I've left them all behind in my pursuits. For the last several years, I've had a girlfriend, but as time passes she wants more of the normal things of life, the very things which bind you to places and people. So, when you think of the Simon lyric, remember Kristofferson's as well:




True. It ain't over til the fat lady sings.

I still have plans for a little farther down the road. In addition, education does not necessarily have to be a formal process. There is the education you get in life as well as that you receive in a classroom setting. I read and study what i choose. I talk with people and listen.

I plan to return to the classroom when the time is right. Until then I am also studying the Wisdom Literature of Dylan, Kristofferson, Cash and Lennon.

The Pilgrim


See him wasted on the sidewalk in his jacket and his jeans,
Wearin' yesterday's misfortunes like a smile
Once he had a future full of money, love, and dreams,
Which he spent like they was goin' outa style
And he keeps right on a'changin' for the better or the worse,
Searchin' for a shrine he's never found
Never knowin' if believin' is a blessin' or a curse,
Or if the goin' up was worth the comin' down

CHORUS:
He's a poet, he's a picker
He's a prophet, he's a pusher
He's a pilgrim and a preacher, and a problem when he's stoned
He's a walkin' contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction,
Takin' ev'ry wrong direction on his lonely way back home.

He has tasted good and evil in your bedrooms and your bars,
And he's traded in tomorrow for today
Runnin' from his devils, Lord, and reachin' for the stars,
And losin' all he's loved along the way
But if this world keeps right on turnin' for the better or the worse,
And all he ever gets is older and around
From the rockin' of the cradle to the rollin' of the hearse,
The goin' up was worth the comin' down

CHORUS:
He's a poet, he's a picker
He's a prophet, he's a pusher
He's a pilgrim and a preacher, and a problem when he's stoned
He's a walkin' contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction,
Takin' ev'ry wrong direction on his lonely way back home.
There's a lotta wrong directions on that lonely way back home.

Bubba Dawg
07-06-2008, 12:13 PM
Yes I have, and yes it was. But like Bubba, there are days when you wonder what could have been. When I do so, however, I remember how thankful I am for what is.


That's true Philly. When I get down, I think about the good things i have. And I do have a lot of goodness in my life. Getting out on a trail also helps me. It sort of clears my mind.

I hiked on Mt Leconte a couple of weeks ago. Didn't make the summit but didn't set out to do so. We hiked to a waterfall, and just spent time in the woods. It was nice.

It had been a while since we hiked Le Conte. We gained about 1700 feet in two and a half miles. My legs were sore the next day.

But my mind was clearer and my spirit was refreshed.

MrsSmith
07-06-2008, 05:02 PM
TOTD: Being the mother of 5, I sacrificed some for my kids...but the really big sacrifice was for the last one. By that point, I knew how hard it was to pay daycare, and buy diapers and formula, along with all the other necessities of raising a child. I knew that my older 4 would have to give up a lot to keep this last one, also...and I knew that I'd never see a dime of support from her father. I even considered giving that child up for adoption, an idea that was met with horror by the other kids.


Those were the toughest 8 months of my life.


The money was just as tight as I'd feared after her birth. There was no money for anything except the most basic necessities for years. In truth, I'll be paying on the debts I ran up getting only those necessities for years and years, yet.



I have never regretted it for a moment, and I'm very happy about the fact that her siblings didn't, either.

Phillygirl
07-06-2008, 05:41 PM
That's true Philly. When I get down, I think about the good things i have. And I do have a lot of goodness in my life. Getting out on a trail also helps me. It sort of clears my mind.

I hiked on Mt Leconte a couple of weeks ago. Didn't make the summit but didn't set out to do so. We hiked to a waterfall, and just spent time in the woods. It was nice.

It had been a while since we hiked Le Conte. We gained about 1700 feet in two and a half miles. My legs were sore the next day.

But my mind was clearer and my spirit was refreshed.

That's quite an elevation gain. But the best tired feeling ever. Getting on the trail really does clear my mind and refresh my spirit. As much as I always hate the drive home, it does make the week go a bit better. The sore legs are a pleasant reminder of what I accomplished the previous day.

DarkScribe
07-06-2008, 06:08 PM
Home from work, tired, but I'll give this TOTD a shot (by the way, Bubba, very poignant and honest reply):

I want to say "not really' but perhaps when it comes to my writing, my art, I really haven't. Honesty time, folks. I've been in a bit of a slump (no excuses, because that would be the pu- well, the wimp way out) for no particular reason and I am working my way BACK to finishing the final draft of my book. But I know in my heart I could sacrifice the other things I do when I am home to spend time on my writing/book. That would be a sacrifice worth doing. The other stuff is--honestly--unnecessary albeit pleasurable. Granted, I couldn't say "honey, I can't cut the grass because I have to finish revisions on chapter 16!" but you get my drift...:cool:

Bubba Dawg
07-06-2008, 06:18 PM
Home from work, tired, but I'll give this TOTD a shot (by the way, Bubba, very poignant and honest reply):

I want to say "not really' but perhaps when it comes to my writing, my art, I really haven't. Honesty time, folks. I've been in a bit of a slump (no excuses, because that would be the pu- well, the wimp way out) for no particular reason and I am working my way BACK to finishing the final draft of my book. But I know in my heart I could sacrifice the other things I do when I am home to spend time on my writing/book. That would be a sacrifice worth doing. The other stuff is--honestly--unnecessary albeit pleasurable. Granted, I couldn't say "honey, I can't cut the grass because I have to finish revisions on chapter 16!" but you get my drift...:cool:


I write too. It is hard. Keep writing.

I try to average three pages a day. Doesn't sound like much until you try it.

Keep writing. Finish one thing and move to the next. Keep writing.

Cold Warrior
07-06-2008, 06:32 PM
Home from work, tired, but I'll give this TOTD a shot (by the way, Bubba, very poignant and honest reply):

I want to say "not really' but perhaps when it comes to my writing, my art, I really haven't. Honesty time, folks. I've been in a bit of a slump (no excuses, because that would be the pu- well, the wimp way out) for no particular reason and I am working my way BACK to finishing the final draft of my book. But I know in my heart I could sacrifice the other things I do when I am home to spend time on my writing/book. That would be a sacrifice worth doing. The other stuff is--honestly--unnecessary albeit pleasurable. Granted, I couldn't say "honey, I can't cut the grass because I have to finish revisions on chapter 16!" but you get my drift...:cool:

As you may know, Hemingway was torn in many of the same ways early in his career. He had a job as a reporter with the Toronto Star, reporting from post-War (WWI) Europe, but felt it distracted him from his true calling. He was married to Hadley, an older woman who had a regular stipend, which they were forced to live on once he quit the Star. They had a child, John, aka "Bumby," and were living in pretty impoverished conditions in Montmartre, yet he persisted. While I'm not suggesting that you might be another Hemingway (although I'm not suggested you won't), the key is persistence.

In his later years in Cuba, he got up every morning, went to the second building, typed standing up from 6:00 - 12:00 (noon) and made it a point to be drunk by 3:00. I, who also attempt to write, always keep in mind his motto: "Start with one perfect sentence."

DarkScribe
07-06-2008, 09:08 PM
As you may know, Hemingway was torn in many of the same ways early in his career. He had a job as a reporter with the Toronto Star, reporting from post-War (WWI) Europe, but felt it distracted him from his true calling. He was married to Hadley, an older woman who had a regular stipend, which they were forced to live on once he quit the Star. They had a child, John, aka "Bumby," and were living in pretty impoverished conditions in Montmartre, yet he persisted. While I'm not suggesting that you might be another Hemingway (although I'm not suggested you won't), the key is persistence.

In his later years in Cuba, he got up every morning, went to the second building, typed standing up from 6:00 - 12:00 (noon) and made it a point to be drunk by 3:00. I, who also attempt to write, always keep in mind his motto: "Start with one perfect sentence."

Ironically enough, I share the same birthday as Hemingway, July 21st. And I lived in Key West for a while when I was a kid. Never been to Cuba but I LOVE Cuban food. Thanks for advice, CW.

DarkScribe
07-06-2008, 09:13 PM
I write too. It is hard. Keep writing.

I try to average three pages a day. Doesn't sound like much until you try it.

Keep writing. Finish one thing and move to the next. Keep writing.

You are correct, Bubba. Hell, ONE good page is a sight better than 3 so-so ones. I just have found--over the years--that I hate hate hate revising. And I've come to understand a process that works for me. Too bad it took me a fair number of years to realize it. There is no tried and true method of writing...only what works for YOU. I cannot do pre-story outlining. Hate it. Gets in the way of the creative process (again, for me). Since I am not big on revision after the fact (I mean, I can do it) but I've found that I do this (revise) AS I write. I used to think--many years ago--that I wasn't "doing it" right....but after talking to a number of writers, I've come to realize that I edit as I go...and that that is just damn fine to do it like that. Again...it is what works for me.

Thanks, too, for the comments, BD!

Gingersnap
07-07-2008, 10:43 AM
TOTD: I think most people have put their own wants and needs aside from time to time to benefit someone else. I certainly have. However, I don't really view this a sacrifice. There are things we do out of love or duty or honor that don't dovetail perfectly with our own immediate desires but are still consistent with our own personal codes.

You can look at those times as a sacrifice or you can look at those times as a bit of a trial. I prefer to see them as a part of life that tests your convictions. It's less dramatic that way. ;)