So it’s currently 4 am and I’m sitting here doing one of the most dangerous things for me – I’m blog hopping! I’ve stumbled across an unschooling blog and several pretty awesome small farm blogs. Which of course, led me to try to find MORE. Because once I go down that rabbit hole, I can’t seem to WANT to come back up again! I love reading about people who are managing to do the things I want to do. I know what you’re thinking, now Lea….but hear me out. I’m not awake because of these blogs. I’m awake because the last few days I’ve been sleeping like TEN HOURS and waking up around 4 or 5 pm. That is SO not cool. So I’m attempting to reset my clock. If I’m going to be in this weird cycle of sleeping ten hours, then I’m going to try to reset that schedule so I go to sleep earlier. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it backfires. But I’m sick of sleeping the sunlight away. So I’m going to give it a try.
Oh, and I’m currently on day FOUR! It’s been 110 hours since my last cigarette this past Friday (yes, I had a few hiccups getting started). I’m right there at that gross stage of coughing a lot, but I’ve not really been grouchy or had cravings. That’s a good sign! Of course, I haven’t experienced any of the tests that usually throw my success off track – namely, our friends who are still smokers. Which is good. Because as much as I hate smoking – and I really hate smoking – I have no self-control and no strength of will when my poison is offered. Or even just present. But I’m hoping that my friends will come through for me and tell me no. I’m hoping. In the meantime, I’m celebrating the little victories. The hubs is still smoking – kind of. We bought the e-cigarettes to try going that path but they leave a weird taste in my mouth and never did anything for my cravings. But they seem to satisfy him, so it works. For now.
Now for a little of that philosophy I mentioned in the title. I spend quite a bit of my time understanding myself. Because I’m southern. Like grits and cornbread southern. And I’m country. Cowboy boots, running barefoot, play in the dirt country. And I love country music – but then, I like music, but still. And yet I’m a liberally minded Pagan who believes avidly in government keeping their noses out of women’s bodies, what consenting ADULT wishes to marry another consenting ADULT, and thinks that there are certain things that should not be a rich man’s privilege – like health care. I think our governmental system is broken and while Democrats aren’t heroes, they’re a damn sight better than Republicans who are mostly thugs and bullies. I think the Republican party is the rich man’s party and that they are currently waging war on everyone who ISN’T loaded.
And to just about everyone, on all sides, these things are so mutually exclusive. For the longest time, I didn’t allow myself to listen to country music. Because I’m not mindlessly patriotic and I’m not a Christian. Two things that I have been told repeatedly are requirements for listening to country music. I distanced myself, metaphorically and literally from all things southern because I don’t live up to the southern ideal. And I was miserable. Because I wasn’t being true to myself. I should know – true to myself is one of the things I’ve always been pretty good at. So one day about three years ago, I said fuck it.
I started letting myself listen to country music again. I stopped pretending that being a southern belle had more to do with who I am than just my southern manners. And I’ve been happier. Honestly, it’s gotten me through some rough spots, because I had one less internal struggle when I was tossed in the storms of emotional turmoil that have swamped me over the last few years. I’m southern. I like country music. I prefer a more simple way of life and I long for the day that I can have a closer connection to the land. I want to raise animals and know that at least some of the food I eat was grown by my own hands. And that has absolutely NO bearing on my religious beliefs nor my political beliefs. In fact, I think they easily go hand in hand with both sets of beliefs.
I’m going to do the very southern, very country thing. I’m not going to let other people tell me what I can and cannot believe or support or listen to. I’m doing authentic me, and screw other people’s perceptions of what that is. No, this isn’t overly profound. Just a bit of the philosophy that comes to me at 5 am when I’ve been reading farming blogs all day. So, be authentic, and be loving. And if those two things are incompatible, only then should you walk away from authenticity. But so long as you are loving and you aren’t hurting anyone, be authentic.