there is no doubt that gatekeeping has a shelf life..an expiration date if you will. we all reach the point when it is best to retire. no one wants to see 93 yr old carol the gung ho nurse trot into their room attached to a walker to run their IV antibiotics thru. what a thought!
by the same token, in some not so distant point in time, I will be turning over the reins around here. it is the natural progression of things. I think quite a lot about this on how to best manage both saints and my own personal transition. nothing lasts forever, not even for a rescuer. I am a firm believer in making major changes in your life while you are still healthy and mentally with it enough to actually survive moving on to something significantly different. the worst possible thing I can conceive would be to become an obligatory burden on saints because of my past somewhat helpful to animals deeds.
there are inherent risks in gatekeeping, the biggest being egg shells. it is physically, mentally, emotionally impossible for gatekeepers to do or not do, to say or not say, to be or not be, to stand frozen and silent in utter immobility, and still not crush some kind of egg shells somewhere. gatekeepers are damned if they do, damned if they don't....it is just the way that it is. the reality of it is...the wise gatekeeper does not care, they cannot let their fear of stepping on egg shells, undermine their ability to provide for the animals care. rescue gatekeeping really has nothing to do with egg shells anyway unless there are about to be born innocent baby chicks in there. all other egg shells belong to other egg shell gatekeepers but not to the gatekeeper in rescue.
because rescue gatekeeping goes on for a very long time, it is imperative for gatekeepers to learn and understand their job description. our employers are the animals, they are the charges of our guardianship, they are the realm of reality we were sworn to serve. gatekeepers are here to serve a purpose. not any purpose..certainly not every possibly remotely conceivable purpose...just a single purpose..to protect and promote the wellbeing of the animals in our care.
I think the biggest problems that newbies to rescue seem to encounter is the need to be validated and popular. rescue has the either you are with us or against us mentality. and this is not true. there is nothing wrong with walking a different road and in walking it alone if you prefer as long as the animals have no complaints about how you are doing your job.
cuz here is the thing..we can lie to ourselves and everyone else but we cannot lie to the animals in our care. they cannot hear our great big long explanations, our politically correct mantras, or our never ending lists of excuses. they are utterly immune to being baffled by our bullshit because they are the very real recipients of our actions and care. we cannot lie to them about that and we must always remember that..the animals see only the truth of what we do.
most of the time, I like gatekeeping here. I believe that life and my personal choices have forged in me the desire and the conscious will to serve and protect. I felt this inside me as a child and I still feel it as an adult. it is not for everyone, but it suits me ok.
so you are probably wondering why I am writing all of this..well the truth of the matter is it is because we need more gatekeepers and gatekeeping is never offered at career days and it does need to be a well researched and educated choice. it is not for seekers, it is not for dreamers, it is not for the wanna-be or I will pretend I can do that.
it is for those that are and will.
gatekeeping is an odd sort of career...you make more enemies than you probably do friends. the pay is totally non existent, the living conditions are not very great, and there is no such thing as a simple 24 hour day..the days just keep adding up on each other until the years are flying past so fast, they take your breath away.
still...I think it is a pretty good way to spend ones life.
the problem for me is this...if the next 10 years go as fast as the last, I need to get on top of this...my retirement could be here in the blink of an eye and I have not really prepared for it.
and a gatekeeper is always prepared.