Pure, cussed orneriness! That’s my answer to the Sandbox Writing Challenge #40 this week that asks, “What makes you a survivor?”
Though that seems like a rather simple answer, it’s absolutely true. I’ve always been a person who has to pull herself up by her own bootstraps. When my kids were in elementary school I was being plagued by headaches. After a bunch of tests to see if there was something physically wrong, my doc suggested I see a psychologist. At the time my blood pressure was sky high and I was a nervous wreck. He suspected, eventually, my difficulties had to do with one specific thing that was going on in my life.
I had hit a young boy right after Drollery and I were married in ’72. He came running out from in front of an ice cream truck without looking. Fortunately for me I had stopped before starting to pull around where the truck was parked, so I didn’t hit him hard. No skid marks, no ticket. He was ok. Just had a mild concussion. But that experience left me practically terrified to drive where there were a lot of kids around.
But these headaches were twelve years later. So how could that accident have anything to do with them? The thing was, at the time I was the only stay-at-home mom in the neighborhood, and every morning I drove 7-8 elementary-aged kids to school and then picked them back up in the afternoon — in a parking lot full of kids. I was a nervous wreck all day every weekday.
The counselor asked me why I was doing that when it was obviously contributing to my overall anxiety. I said I HAD to because the kids had no other way to get to school unless they wanted to walk a mile and a half. He made the mistake of telling me I must stop doing that. My response was “bullship!” (. 😀 ) I had no choice no matter HOW I felt about it, and by criminy I was going to do it because my kids weren’t walking all that way to school! Headache or not!
You don’t tell me I CAN’T do something, because nine times out of ten I’ll say, “Oh yeah? Watch me!” (Though now that I’m getting older sometimes my resolve falters a bit more.. 😦 ) So no matter how much I whine and moan on here about retirement or finding myself or whatever the peevish flavor of the day is, I will STILL go do what I have to do for the simple reason that I’m bullheaded that way. (Unfortunately for you that doesn’t mean I won’t whine about stuff!)
So in the end it’s that orneriness that pushes me to keep on keepin’ on. It’s my red badge of courage that will always make me a survivor.