Category Archives: Random Life Thoughts

Not Older, Just Better…

No matter how you tell yourself

It’s what we all go through

Those eyes are pretty hard to take

When they’re staring back at you…

 – Bonnie Raitt, Nick of Time

Click the play button below to sing along! :

I’m digressing from the normal themes here for today.

It’s been a crazy, unpredictable thirty-something years. Like a roller-coaster careening out of control. My past two birthdays have been extremely hard, with a lot of pensive, morose thoughts, regrets about things in the past and fear of a dwindling future. I don’t know if that’s part of a so-called mid-life crisis or just the cranky, Maxine-like old lady version of me that sits on my shoulder and shouts rude things in my ear (for more curmudgeonly thoughts, see my post: Bodies of Work, Plastic Flowers, and the Bitch on Your Shoulder).

Personal revelation alert: my biggest fear is running out of time. Time to accomplish career goals, time to try new foods, time to learn, time to pursue passions and hobbies, time for the bucket list, time to get my pilot’s license, time to read ALL of Hemingway’s books, time to spoil my dog, time to see the world and get back to Africa, time to appreciate family and friends, time to be the voice for those that cannot speak…

With each birthday I feel my biggest fear materializing. Time is my nemesis, always hiding in a bush just outside my door, laughing quietly, waiting to pounce when I least expect it, no matter how organized and focused I may think I am (as in this post from last year: When Life Kicks You in the Ass).

When did the choices get so hard?

With so much more at stake

Life gets mighty precious

When there’s less of it to waste

– Bonnie Raitt, Nick of Time

But this year’s birthday came and went without incident. You know what? I had fun. I actually didn’t mind it, beyond the normal fretting about age and mild panic about my wasted twenties and rushing to make up for them. Maybe it’s the beginning of an acceptance of who I am and where I’ve been. Or a teensy bit of maturity. Or… a new optimism?? (Gasps, clutches chest in horror)

Whew. Happy thought passed. Thank god that’s over. Back to normal.

In any case, I kept the wolves of time that crouch in my head at bay this year. But I know they’re still there. They’ll always keep me uncomfortably aware. But that may be a good thing, in a way (there’s that disgusting optimism-thing again).

For now, I will enjoy the rest of the roller-coaster, hands in the air, screaming all the way  🙂

Happy birthday to me.

thoughtsfrommaxine.blogspot.com

 

Resolutions?

It’s already six days into the new year. The days are flying by. The month of December and the beginning of January always have me thinking about changes and possibilities and how I’d like to see the brand new year progress. Recently there have been a ton of articles and news reports about New Year’s Resolutions, or more to the point, how likely (or UNLIKELY) we are to keep them. So many of us make the same ones year after year, obviously indicating our inability to hold ourselves accountable for them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I have EVER kept a New Year’s resolution to myself. I have every intention of following through with the promises I make this time every year, but for one reason or another my focus wanes as the days go by, and over time those promises lose their prominence on my mental “to do” list. For this reason I have decided not to make any this year.

That being said, there are things I’m making priorities in my life, like paying off debt or concentrating on finishing grad school. But I’m not going to set myself up for the inevitable disappointment of not meeting those vague, often realistically unattainable resolutions. I know that I will not miraculously transform my body into Cindy Crawford’s over the course of a year. I will not surpass Oprah Winfrey on Forbes’ list of the most powerful women. I’m being slightly more realistic. For the most part, I just want to keep on the same path, and see where life takes me over the next 12 months. I am facing some major milestone accomplishments this year, and already have several conferences and exciting travels in the planning stages as well, so why not just revel in the moment as each one of them arrives? When I have a clearer idea of exactly where my career and personal life are headed I will make some hard and fast, “stick-to-’em” goals. But for now I’m going to get out of my own way and go easy on myself.

Maybe the only thing I have “resolved” to do this year is to keep SAVING LIVES. As many lives as I can, actually. But even if it’s only one, it will have been worth any hard work or frustration. Never forget: We Are Their Voice.

What about you? What resolutions have you (or have you not) made?

Welcome 2011!

Happy New Year readers!

I hope that 2011 brings you all that you hope for and more. For me, I am looking forward to finishing my master’s degree, continuing my shelter and rescue work, and possibly venturing into new realms… we shall see. I hope that you continue to follow along with me and share in my craziness. I also hope that I will, in some small way, inspire you to pursue a dream or goal you’ve been contemplating, fight for something you believe in, or take up a cause you support. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

I welcome the new year. On to greater things. I will continue to do my best to help those who cannot speak. We are their voice. Let’s hope that 2011 brings progress on their behalf – more laws to work in their favor, more adoptions and less buying/breeding, more outspoken opposition to cruelty and neglect. We can do it! And maybe one of these years, I won’t have to wish for it… it will have already happened.

Suck it up girl, or you won’t make it in this field…

Bite your lip until it hurts. Swallow that huge lump in your throat. Cough and clear your throat to explain away your wet eyes. Stuff the feelings somewhere, anywhere, until the pounding in your head goes away and the anger and frustration and sadness fade. You cannot bring emotion into this job. It will only get worse. And it doesn’t belong in a crime scene. It interferes with perspective and judgment and decision-making and besides, you are stronger than this. You are tough, so suck it up, or you won’t survive in this field.

At least, that is what I tell myself. That is what I have to do when I see what I see; the cruelty, the lack of caring, the disregard, the violence and neglect. The fact that others don’t see things like I do. That animal life just doesn’t matter to some. That they are dispensable. Disposable. Nuisances. When I see the blank stares of the people being threatened with citations for their actions. When I sense their antipathy. Their impatience at being bothered with something so trivial.

That’s when I get angry. When I fight to stay in control. When I look for reasons where maybe there are none. I’m always able to stay focused in the heat of the moment; on a call, or in an investigation. It’s the downtime afterward when I feel the knot in my stomach; that hole in my chest that started forming with the dog in the bathtub. When I watch my own dog sleep (and snore) or run on the beach and wonder why they all can’t have what they deserve. Why some people just can’t be bothered to follow the rules and regulations that were put into place for the animal’s (and their own) safety and protection.

The other officers struggle too. But they are better at coping. They’ve had years of exposure to steel their nerves. And they all have their own ways of escaping. But it never really goes away.

People are different. They grow up with divergent values. They have unique experiences. Some just weren’t raised to care. I understand all that. But it doesn’t stop my impatience, my anger, or my disgust. The only thing I can do is help where I can, and learn all I can, from my professors, my advisors, the officers training me, and the professionals already in this field. And then apply it. Seek justice for those who cannot speak. Bring attention to crimes where the only victims or witnesses can’t communicate. And hopefully, with each life saved, the knot in my stomach and the hole in my chest will become a little easier to accept.

~Until there are none, save just one~