This I Believe

Cindy - Tipp City, Ohio
Entered on December 19, 2006

Actions and Ego’s

When I ponder the 48 years I have spent on this earth I try to understand how each experience, good and bad, has changed my life or my view of it. The one thing I always realize is that life has been good and fair to me, at least as good and fair as I have been to myself and others.

I have been profoundly affected by the actions of others and I know that my actions have affected people’s lives.

I have lost loved ones, a brother in 94, another in 96 and most recently a sister this past October. All died from alcohol related accident or illness. Their actions have had a profound affect on countless people. I grieve over the loss of my siblings and any suffering they may have endured yet, I was relieved when they passed, not only for them but for me. My father was an alcoholic. He died from cirrhosis of the liver in 1980 never having seen his children grow to adulthood or witness the birth of any of his thirteen grand children and four great grand children whose legacy this has become as they now struggle with losing a parent and grandparent far earlier than was meant to be.

My mother is a heavy smoker. Even at age 71 she still insists that she can’t quit. I think she must figure “why bother now”. She has no social life nor does she want one. That would interfere with her smoking. New York State where she resides has had a smoking ban in affect for several years. Not being able to smoke in public places has crippled her without a visible reason other than the smoke billowing around her head. All but 2 of my 6 siblings do or did smoke. My son smokes. His 2 sisters do not. They’re father quit smoking several years ago as did I.

He and I divorced in 1993 after much tribulation. It was really my doing. I could no longer live my life being treated like a second class citizen by a man who thought I should be June Clever, Mary Poppins and Pamela Sue Anderson rolled into one neat package for display. Yes. I’m exaggerating a bit, but you get the idea. Although it was not all my doing I live with a certain level of guilt, feeling the most responsible for having taken the final leap. My children, all single, are in their twenties now. Everyone survived.

These days I make my home with a man who is the complete opposite of what I would have found desirable 25 years ago. That is, of course because I’m the complete opposite of what I was 25 years ago. He probably wouldn’t have found me desirable back then. My life is wonderful now. Better than ever. There is a certain freedom and light heartedness that comes with the passing of time.

I no longer strive to keep up with the preconceived notions of society that have tampered with my thought process and played at least a small part in forming my personality and opinions over the years. I am learning to put my ego aside and in doing so have opened a brand new chapter in my life in which I have almost total control because I have let go of the desire to be in control.

This I believe.

My ego and my actions go hand in hand. I cannot acknowledge one without the other nor can one exist without the other. I control my ego which affects my actions which in turn affects other people and events. I believe I am in control by not trying to be in control at all.