|BWS Stories - Contest Winners|
Contest Winners - May 2010 Writing Contest - Second Place Winner!
Ruth is in the process of reinventing herself, yet again.
After a 20+year career in nursing and a 20+year career in accounting, she is
enjoying her job with an animal shelter while exploring her creative side with
digital photography and occasionally writing poetry and fiction.
May 2010 Writing Contest - Second Place Winner!
Push PLAY for Fun
I spent more than three quarters of my entire life being
‘responsible’ for somebody. When I was five, my brother was born, and I was
made responsible for him by my mother; whatever he did wrong was my fault. My
mother depended on me for a lot of things that were way beyond the capabilities
of a child who was not yet ten. I was not allowed to have fun unless it was
something approved by Mom, and she didn’t approve of much.
When I graduated from high school and went to nursing
school, I tried to have fun but didn’t really know how. Then it was marriage
and kids. I was responsible for supporting the family as my then-husband didn’t
hold a job for very long. I was still a serious human being who didn’t know how
to have fun. I even had a hard time relating to my kids. But I did, at least,
let them be kids and have fun.
As they grew up, I found I was still responsible for
someone, but now it was my husband. He was an alcoholic and drug addict who
lost his nursing license when he was convicted of stealing drugs from the
workplace; a felony. I was still the breadwinner and had no idea how to play.
Then I suffered from extreme burnout from my job. Now it’s
called compassion fatigue. Whatever it’s called, I knew I couldn’t stay in
nursing when I started having nightmares that woke me up in the middle of the
night. I would wake myself up with my screaming. It would sometimes take me
hours to get back to sleep. If I had only known how to let go and have fun.
During my marriage, we moved frequently. It’s what addicts
do to get away from the problem; take a geographic cure. So I didn’t have a
good support system and still didn’t know how to have fun.
Then I divorced my husband. The boys had graduated and were
out on their own. Now I was responsible for nobody but myself. I was scared to
death! I moved out West to go to graduate school. Almost all of my classmates
were half my age; their idea of having fun was to go out to bars. Not my thing;
so I still didn’t know how to have fun.
After graduation, I found a job where I met my current
partner. We dated for about nine months before we decided to move in together.
He was also a serious person who didn’t really know how to have fun. Together,
we have learned that it’s okay to have fun; that we can still pay our bills,
work, be responsible, and still have fun. After being together for fifteen
years, we have fun with each other, we play, we enjoy each other.
I wish there were a giant remote where I could press the
PLAY button to remind us all that it’s okay to have fun!!