I woke up, this morning, having a dream about puppies. Seriously.
I dreamt that I was visiting the set of a tv show. The next day’s show was going to be about puppies. Someone showed up with a truck full of puppies and dropped them off.
Basically, the dream was me crawling around, trying to hug as many puppies at a time that I could.
I need to wake up like that more often.
She’s an absolute joy. I am amazed by her. I am proud of her.
She gets hit with the sort of empathy fatigue that sometimes hits me. I don’t know if it’s a hard hit or a soft one, but she feels it. She must. I’m not patient or indulgent enough with her sometimes. When I come home, emotionally and mentally drained, Dan knows it’s not her, but Alex can’t really know that. She’ll hear me tell her that it’s not her fault, she’ll understand the words and what they mean, but I’m sure that a part of her gets hurt by papa being short and cranky with her.
I try. I really do. But it’s so hard and she still too young to be able to fully understand it. Dad spends all day working with, helping and being patient with difficult kids, but can’t be that patient and helpful with his own, mildly difficult (not really) kid.
So where do you find the reserves? Where is it going to come from? I can’t hold back and give less the rest of the time, it just doesn’t work like that. So now what?
Here’s something that I’ve discovered…
While there’s no off switch, sometimes you can reach a point, in a relationship with someone, where you feel like you just can’t do it anymore. They’re the person you are closest to. They are the person who has become your “safe place.” She gets to see me at my lowest, and most often my highest too. I know that she’ll take me at my worst and still be there afterwards.
Unfortunately, that means she really does get to see the worst. Just as I’ll still be there after I see Dan at her lowest and worst, she still be there for me. We are both (overly) empathetic at times.
Our lowest, is usually when one or both of us have hit some kind of limit, where we no longer want or feel able to take each other’s pain in or part of us is comparing what each has gone through, thinking that it’s not so bad. In the broad view, we never stop doing it, but in these tiny, sometimes insignificant moments, we can seem to cease empathizing with each other, each of us hoping to draw strength from the other, and neither feeling like there’s anything left to give.
Dan’s well aware of how I try to take care of and feel for my friends and my coworkers and the kids I’m involved with. It must be frustrating, at times, for her to see that and then not get it from me sometimes. She must, because I feel the same way too.
The important people in our lives are often that important because they can be hit with the full strength of the shit we are feeling, see it for what it is and accept it. And still, they’re there for you.
I don’t really know where to begin or how to title this or what I’m trying to say.
I do know that this is not a poor me post. I’ve been thinking and agonizing over this post for a week or so, trying to find a way to write it without coming across like some kind of douche with a high opinion of himself. My solution is to just tell you that this isn’t what this post is about.
Empathy makes me really good at my job, especially when tempered with the well practiced cynicism and crankiness that I like to keep around. That’s the defense that I need. Why do I need that kind of defense? Well, because empathy can suck ass in a really big way.
There’s no off switch. Empathy can be like an open wound. Raw. Sometimes festering.
I use it to my advantage at work. I can even use it to my advantage in my personal life. I’m genuinely pleased when those around me are pleased. But the suck ass part is that I often take in the difficulties that those close to me have. As much as I feed off the positive, I definitely feed of the sadness and the pain. I’ve discovered that I keenly feel the pain of those I care for, and being who and how I am, I care quickly and deeply. It’s not so easy to throw up the cranky cynic in defense when it comes to them. And, let’s be honest, you can’t help everyone. The best you can do is support them. And support them, I will. At the same time, I need to find ways to support myself.
To Be Continued…
So, the well is pretty much dry. I’ve been through my photo libraries a couple times now, and this seems to be it for pictures that I’ve either done nothing with or thought needed to be re-edited.
CFS Foymount was a military radar station in Foymount, Ontario, Canada, (part of Bonnechere Valley). It was opened in 1952 as part of the Pinetree Line of NORAD radar stations. The radar itself was situated at the top of a 523-metre hill, one of the highest points in Eastern Ontario. In 1967, RCAF Station Foymount was renamed CFS Foymount with the unification of the Canadian Forces. A few years later, the base was declared redundant. The station was closed in 1974 and sold to private interests.
Overgrown basketball court
Overgrown basketball court
Yes, that’s barbed wire on the inside.
No plates on that car, no idea how long it’s been there.
So, I once again find myself thinking about and enjoying the little things. The small moments and the small gestures that can uplift an entire day. There’s definitely an actual post on the way that had to do with how the little things can mean so much and do so much, but it’s not finished yet. Finding these ‘leftover’ pictures and getting them ready and sharing them is one of those little things; the things that I find so very helpful for my mental state. I’m seriously thankful for the little things in my day to day life.
Thanks for reading.
Part 1 is here and Part 1.5 is here.
Those photographs that I either never bothered to edit or completely overlooked. Everyone needs a second chance.
Abandoned house. The porch had so many interesting and different things on it.
The foyer ceiling at the Museum of Nature
The where’s Waldo of barn cats.
Double exposure of the water at Strathcona park.
Four shots combined into a panorama. This is an old tailings pond from a mine site.
One of many pictures of Michelle. Easily the best introduction to model shooting I could have hoped for.
So I’ve been looking for them. The photographs that I dismissed or overlooked the first time around. Well, sifting through my backup drive, I found a truckload. As excited as I am to sink my teeth back into them, I gotta say, I’m a little disappointed in myself for having overlooked them in the first place.
Well, now I can fix that mistake.
See you soon.