I’m going to come right out and say it; it’s been a mostly horrible year. I say mostly because there have been some delightful moments but over all a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. Being a day of thanks I wanted to write something about the delightful moments and in the process give you some perspective on the geisha household as of late.
I got “fill your bucket” from a book I bought for my kids several years ago. It inspired kids to create happiness in their lives and the lives of others. By filling the bucket of others, they also fill their own. I have a few things in my life that fill my bucket but filling it has been tough this year. Well maybe not just the filling, it was keeping it filled. There’s a hole in the bucket, dear readers, a hole.
Wonderful things have happened since we opened up two years ago, even more since joining Swingset as a writer shortly thereafter then becoming managing editor for the site a year ago last month. Unfortunately, the universe seemed bent on tearing down every good thing that was build up. Almost as quickly as my bucket was filled it would be emptied by negativity. In the last year alone we’ve struggled most with finances as my husband’s business has been seen the worst financial return ever. Then we got hit with the two IRS audits then we had to pay the fines on those two audits. I have two awesome and brilliant kids but one has ADHD and the other has just been diagnosed as borderline Aspergers. All the stress is making me sick and putting a strain on our relationship. It got to the point where every little thing seemed huge. The car that broke down, the crazy leak in the hot water heater that pressure washed a hole in the dry wall away in the garage, the breaker failure, the babysitter cancelling out, the “this will be easy” play I designed that turned into a nightmare all seem larger than life and twice as ugly.
I’ve wanted to give up more than once but I’m finding unexpected benefits to opening up. I’ve found new friends that are unbelievably loving, encouraging and supportive. I’ve also found a purpose, things that fill my bucket.
I’m always surprised when I tweet vent my frustrations (sorry about that but I have no other release valve!) that some people think it’s because I’m overwhelmed with my work at Swingset. That has never been the case. I may not always have time to do everything I want to do but the daily managing of the site has often been the best part of my day. My life this year has often been about failure and not having control. Keeping in touch with writers, putting their work into new posts, processing it then seeing it publish is an amazing feeling of accomplishment. I really enjoy working with Cooper on improving the site and helping to support new projects. I’m also putting something out there to help others. This purpose gives me hope to carry on. It fills my bucket.
Other things help too. Every Sex Geekdom LA event, every bit of help I give Kate with Sex Geekdom International, every Bawdy Storytelling LA show I help provide volunteers for, and the new panels I’ve joined with The Center for Positive Sexuality, they all fill my bucket. All these things have brought amazing people into my life who give in an unconditional way I’ve rarely experienced in my life. I have people willing to take time to talk to me when I’m down and are never ending supplies of love, hugs and support. I have friends whom I’ve known for two decades that have never been there for me like they have.
Sometimes, though, it’s hard to keep that bucket filled when I can’t socialize because I’m trying to save money or when living way out in the ‘burbs means I miss out on lots of things. It’s easy to feel disconnected. We’ve no friends locally so it’s also easy to feel isolated and alone. But I know I can count of people who don’t live in my town; hell some don’t even live in this state or even on this continent. There is a common factor in all these people: sex positive people make the best friends.
So in midst of immense challenges and potentially life changing events, truly one of the darkest times in our lives, I have some things to be thankful for. The great organizations I get to work with like SGLA, Bawdy and the Center, the ever supportive Swingsetters I have the pleasure to interact with online, all the places I write for like Evolved World and Cirillas, all the friends I’ve made IRL and online over the past two years, wonderful people like Kate McCombs, Hercules Liotard and Raven Harte who not only reach out with virtual hugs but offer their time to listen to me rant and help me feel better afterward, the amazing Swingset crew who I wish I saw more often, and the awesome Cooper Beckett who made this all possible and who is always there for me.
Filling my life with sex positive people and work definitely fills my bucket. My troubles might empty it out as quickly as it’s filled, but at least it never stays empty. As I work long hours to help keep this family going, when I worry I have to give up my dreams just to survive, when I’m worried I’m so stressed and broke that we’ve become SOP-in name only (not a whole lot of sexy times lately) I know I can chat with a friend, look forward to some uplifting texts, go to at least one positive event or just log into WordPress and start editing. Bucket. Filled.