it wasn't exactly the calm and peaceful re-grouping day that I had envisioned. whatever, we will get there, given the alternative, we don't have much choice.
I think the biggest part of the problem is a very real lack of understanding of the reality of both myself and saints. I have invested more than 700,000 hours, $600,000.00, I gave up my marriage, I have sacrificed my retirement, I juggle a fulltime job with here to pay a crippling mortgage and I continually short change my kids and grandkids of my time to care for the animals here.
am I not freaking wonderful?
no. but I am committed.
I get that others have also invested in here...but there is a great deal of difference in the size of the sacrifices and commitments. the reality is...other folks have a full non rescue life outside of here..they have their homes, their families, their friends and their jobs. they have the full and wonderful lives that they chose to build for themselves and NO ONE tells them how to live it.
I also truly do understand that sometimes people looking in from the outside or on the periphery are sure that they could do this better. but the question for me that always comes to mind is..well why then are they not out there doing it?
I have never once in my entire life tried to take over, knock down, undermine or belittle someone else's work. I have never once told anyone in my entire life that they sucked at what they were doing. and I never once in all of my years in rescue used the "i am doing it for the animals" shield to justify tearing someone else down.
however...when I looked around me in rescue I decided that the way I wanted to help animals was different than what I saw. so I went out and did it the way that I wanted to do it...causing no harm, no foul.
I make no excuses for who I am or how I chose to do things. for me popularity comes second to meeting my responsibilities. but never mistake how serious I take this, nor how successful and competent at this I actually am. I will not be bullied, I will not be bribed, I will not be threatened or held hostage and I will not be sold into prostitution to promote an untrue airy fairy, warm and fuzzy, feel good rescue story to increase donations here.
I am truly blessed..we have a board of directors whose ethics, integrity, sense of honor and very real commitment to the rights and wellbeing of the animals and saints mirrors my own. do we sometimes disagree on the details? hell yes but we never disagree on the goal. and they all unanimously and respectfully agree that inside these gates where the animals and I live, is 100% entirely my fish bowl. the fish in the bowl that I care for so well have not floundered because of my care. I protect every inch of saints with my life. one day it will be someone else's responsibility to protect but not yet.
it is my choice on how I wish to share the experiences of my rescue life here. I have chosen to share it with the staff and volunteers, and I have chosen to share it with the public on tour days. I have also chosen to share it with folks who chose to read the blog.
I have never once lied to anyone here. I tell the stories, the heartaches, and the freaking insanely irritating shit as accurately as I can. are they my perceptions of what goes on around me, well of course they are because I am the one living them. do people always like them? no but then I don't always like living them either.
there is no doubt that I march to my very own drum and that drum has served both the animals and saints very well. I may not dance to the tune of others very well but I am ok with that because others are not doing what I am.
it took me a long time to realize that I do not have to be perfect here. I don't expect perfection from the animals and they don't expect it of me. I also have learned that most of the people who do truly value saints are willing to be fairly forgiving of me. they come here, they see us, they read this blunt and honest blog and they get that this very real life I have chosen, is not all that easy or fun.
I have no desire to present myself for sainthood, this kind of shit would be easy for saints and I really struggle most days. I much prefer to present myself more honestly... as a real life flawed human being who tries pretty damn hard every day to keep hope floating, even when it freaking well sucks.
hope floats because I am just too freaking stubborn to stand by and let it sink.