Rescue Journal

thinking again.

Alison  ·  Feb. 26, 2007

i had dinner with chris and deb last night, that always gets me to thinking. and last night we were talking about me and why i feel such a need to explain things. i don't know. i guess in reality i just like to think out loud.

it is hard having two lives; a full tme professional life and an equal amount of volunteer life, and it is even harder to try to keep the lines between them clear. but in my mind they are seperate and i am working towards truly keeping them seperate in reality too. but i don't just have 2 seperate lives, in reality and in having sanity, i should be having three. the life that i have neglected, is my personal life. i thought that meant vacations and recreation which bore me. but now i realize it is much more than that.

so i was thinking last night about all of this and how a personal life is a life that is yours and belongs to you alone unless you have chosen to share it, which i personally haven't. and you are not accountable to anyone except yourself on how you choose to live it. (with some pretty obvious exceptions, like following the law and not being utterly stupid etc), and OMG you don't have to explain it or justify or rationaize, you can just live it the way that you want to. who cares if anyone else agrees, disagrees, likes, dislikes, understands or misunderstands it either.

so, my chore for myself is to discover my personal life and seperate it out from saints. that oughta give me a headache!

thx deb and chris and good dinner too!



well i hope it plays for a few more weeks cuz i can't sit in a theatre for a couple of hours straight til i lose the cast.


Carol, you're in luck - the "Billy-Bobathon" (LOL) is playing in Mission. So maybe you'll get a movie night out this weekend or early next week?
And I hate to confess this, I don't remember the name of the last movie I went to see - but I do know it was in 1989, because it was one of my first dates with my (now-ex) husband. And I haven't been inside a movie theatre since. I'm betting the popcorn now costs more than the tickets did back then!


You two have fun at the Billy-Bobathon. How he ever managed to get Angelina Jolie to marry him is a mystery for the ages.
I want to see The Last King of Scotland, The Queen, and Away From Her. Not all at the same time. :)


The Astronaut Farmer.

There are animals in it (or, at least, in the promo stuff). But as long as you don't start plotting to start a sanctuary on the moon, it should be safe.


you're on... but no animal movies...i want to see that one with the farmer guy who builds a rocket and goes off to space. that looks like a good movie!


as to the discussion re: changing hats from family, friends, co-oworkers or volunteers. that's not any different then it is in anyone's life because everyone has different kinds of relationships and so do i.

see, i am figuring it out...that was a good truth for me to see...thx you guys.


gawd! eight below was one of the most upsetting movies i ever saw. who in their right mind leaves dogs alone in antartica! and don\'t tell me they intended to go back the next day, cuz if they really did they would have left a human there to care for them. i was just about jumping out of my seat during that show. and that is why dogs should never trust humans because humans will always look after number one first, which is fine unless they happen to have accepted the responsibility for another creatures life, then they better meet their reponsibility.
and leave it to disney to re-write history...ONE dog survived out of that pack and i bet he survived because he ate the other dogs as they died too. geez,  disney should stick to the real untrue fairy tales and quit making something warm and fuzzy and false and NOBLE out of abandonment and survival. how disrespectful is that!

anyone want to go to a movie with me?


Well, the coming to our house for dinner more often is easy enough. You couldn't pay me enough to sit through a John Mayer concert, and wasn't the last movie you saw Eight Below?
You shouldn't have to work so hard to achieve "normal", Carol. It really is as simple as saying "Everyone go home." and turning off your phone. Nobody will die, the world will go on spinning.
As for when volunteers morph into's a slippery slope, and one probably best avoided. If volunteering is professionally done, like paid work, there should be a difference between friends and certainly keeps things simpler.


geez deb, just make me think some more!
i had a plan! (and it was simple) i was going to john mayer with my daughter for my birthday (i am not sure who he is but she says i will like him), i was going to come to your house more often for dinner, omg....i was even thinking of going out to a movie some day too.
i thought if i made a life outside of saints i could be more normal. i think normal is good, it gets you off the special hook that hurts sometimes (most of the time!)

oh mo, the dogs (and ellie!)would love it. but take nicole with you, my normal life does not extend to overnights!


Ah, but Mo's invitation, and Deb's comments, point to an interesting predicament - how do you determine where one role (volunteer) leaves off and another (friend) begins? And if the expectations for those roles differ (and I think they do), then when do you know which hat you are wearing?
Marking out space and/or time for oneself is important - personal space, personal time. At SAINTS it is difficult to have personal space, at least that which doesn't include animals and into which no volunteer ever intrudes. Personal time can be as simple as putting up a "closed" sign at a certain time each day or a certain day each week.
I recall being teased one day about knocking on the door when I showed up in the evening (I don't know during the day time). Even though the sign wasn't up, I always think of evenings as "personal time" because that's when I personally try to find time for myself - guess I generallized it to everybody!


The fact that you live at the Sanctuary, which is your home but also a public space, blurs the whole private/public line. Your "volunteer life" is a 24/7 proposition; you are always "on duty" as the founder and CEO of SAINTS. Your "private life" is no longer private, by virtue of the fact that, to many, to most, really, you are SAINTS. Forget that you have a career, a family, friends; you are the Director of SAINTS, and as such, are sometimes expected to be all things to all people.
People are drawn to you, and to SAINTS, for a myriad of reasons, but mostly because of your interactions with the animals. Lots of people will never feel the depth of respect and love that you shower on the SAINTS. People want a part of that, and although you are quite clear in letting people know it's the animals that matter at SAINTS, not the people, some will still hold out, waiting and wishing for just a little of that magic to come their way. That's where your public/private persona comes into play. As a nurse, in your private life, you care for people, giving them the respect and understanding they deserve. As the Director of SAINTS, you do the same for the animals in your care, but it is not part of your volunteer job description to heal broken people, be a social worker, priest, friend or confidant. That's where never explain, never apologize comes into play, Carol.
"To thine own self be true." It is your life, however chaotic and fragmented, and really, you owe nothing to anyone, except the SAINTS


Your thinking has me confused ... not that hard to do these days ... I'd love to pack up as many of the SAINTS guys that a fit & able & go spend a week-end in a fishing cabin or something.... would that be a vacation ????

I'm sorta planning it & was hoping you'd let me take a couple guys along with me & my guys...wanna come ?