Summertime in Antar...
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Summertime in Antarctica

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Posts: 949
Managing Ambassador
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Noble Member     United States of America, Virginia, Front Royal
Joined: 5 years ago

"Summertime, time, time,
Child, the living's easy.
Fish are jumping out
And the cotton, Lord,
Cotton's high, Lord, so high.

One of these mornings
You're gonna rise, rise up singing,
You're gonna spread your wings,
Child, and take, take to the sky,
Lord, the sky.”

Janis Joplin (Gershwin)

Ah, summertime…. The midway point in the year. The time to relax, take stock of the progress we made on our New Year’s resolutions, and maybe a bit of relaxation. You do remember the New Year’s resolutions you made….. As for the relaxation part, maybe enjoy some of the mini-bucket list stuff you came up with for the year. Not the life-long bucket list, just the one for this year. The ‘this year I wanna…’ one’s like going to the beach, or starting some new project. Not the ‘I want to visit Antarctica’ one.

The last thing you would want to do is rush a trip to Antarctica. There is a lot of preparation required for that one. Research the gear you will need. Spend countless hours in a walk in freezer. That one is going to take a lot of convincing of the local meat packing house I think. But, then again, anything worth doing, is doing right. And to do it right, you need to educate yourself and take things step by step. You know the saying, ‘nine women can’t have a baby in one month’.

And it is also true with our daily lives; the one’s we churn through starting each morning. Whether it be going to school to learn something to prepare us for our life’s career and vocation, or actually being the active part of that career or vocation. All things need to be done step by step, in a timely and orderly fashion. Otherwise, the recipe will be a disaster, never to be tried again.

I mean, you surely wouldn’t show up in Antarctica in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and flip-flops any more than you show up at a formal social event in your bathrobe. You’d do what is appropriate for the occasion and know ahead of time what to expect. Shouldn’t the same be said for all aspects of your transition?

Wouldn’t you learn all you can, from every source you can get your hands on? That was my thinking when I started many years ago. Wow, that sounded ‘interesting’. I remember when I would have said ‘last year’, or a ‘couple of years’, or even a ‘few years’; but time does fly when you’re having fun. Anyway, I remember when I started; I sat and thought about things I didn’t know, that I knew I needed to know. And that process begat finding even more things that I didn’t know about.

And then I started hunting for the answers to all of those questions. And once I had an ample supply of answers, I figured I’d put them all into some kind of sequence. I mean, you don’t start putting a roof on until the walls are up. So, off I went in putting things in a nice line. And that in itself brought up even more questions and learning.

Then just as my ‘line’ was in place, it dawned on me that I couldn’t do each of these things one day after another. Some of them took more time than others, and some of them required more time in between the next one. So the timeframe kept getting longer. But I never lost sight of what I had decided was the end goal. The end goal of what I decided I would be okay with. Not the perfect end goal, or an end goal that mimicked someone else’s; but mine. All mine. Me.

Once I was armed with all this information, and a plan, it was off to the races. Well, sort of. I was fully aware that there would probably be some derailments along the way. But knowing those were not only possible, but likely, allowed me to do some planning ahead of time in order to have an idea of how I would address things to get back on track. Did it take me longer in the end? Yes it did; but I knew and expected it, so I was prepared.

And in the end, here I sit, no not in Antarctica listening to Janis Joplin singing ‘Summertime’; but somewhere far better. In my own skin, being comfortable and confident in the ‘me’ that all that work got me. And this strategy works across the board, even if you do want to be sitting in Antarctica listening to Janis Joplin singing ‘Summertime’.

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Posts: 78
Trusted Member     United States of America, Indiana, Bloomington
Joined: 12 months ago

In spite of the fact you kind of cheated to get me here and read your post, I have to agree with everything. I spent several years in therapy learning to deal with depression, and learned that I have two very strong genetic issues, an unusual type of bi-polar and Seasonal Affective Disorder. After therapy, I spent many more years auditing psychology classes and reading everything I could to learn to control these diseases without using medication. It was all that other research and learning about myself that taught me the biggest trigger to the other issues was dysphoria, because I had been living a life that I knew I didn't belong in when I was 5 and buried for over 40 years, mainly because of cultural conditioning I learned in the 1950s and early 1960s. Once I began to understand that those feelings of the child in my past still existed as strong if not stronger now, I was finally able to deal with everything that supported or encouraged all the depression I'd dealt with over the years.

Granted, every new thought or idea lead to another dozen or more questions needing more research, which led to still more questions. It was a long and sometimes uncomfortable experience, because learning and accepting assumptions about myself made in the past were 100% wrong isn't easy to deal with. It's not easy to learn and then integrate facts that are diametrically opposed to core beliefs about one's self. So yes, it took me a lot of learning, mainly about myself, to get to the place I am today, which is a happier place than I I spent most of the previous 50 years in. I also learned a lot about delayed gratification, and while frustrating sometimes, I've learned patience and that it's not all going to happen at once.

About the cheating comment, I have a friend that spent two six month tours in Antarctica.and I've always been fascinated by the continent, and that's what I expected to read about when I first got here. 🙂

Posts: 949
Managing Ambassador
Topic starter
Noble Member     United States of America, Virginia, Front Royal
Joined: 5 years ago

Well, thank you Elli. I guess life itself is full of the hooks, sudden turns, and gotchas.... But in the end, we all learn something; and that is a very important thing in my book. Hugs


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