Addiction, the dictionary defines the word as : ad·dic·tion
the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.
"he committed the theft to finance his drug addiction"
I admit to my addictions openly, i.e. dark, organic Chocolate, especially Green and Black, dogs, horses, laughter and fine art. I am hopelessly smitten with any number of things within those categories. Cats I, unwillingly (joke!), admit to needing in my life too. And family first and always above all others, family.
I am so addicted that I make all of my life decisions based on those categories. If I can't have my horses, dogs and cats live with me I won't move. The year of 911, when my store and business collapsed, I threw everything I had at it trying to save it. My husband was right there beside me, working as hard as he could too. We lost our house and my business and retirement and we bankrupted. When it came time to move, my first criteria was that my animals had to go with us. I would have lived on the street first rather than give up my animals.
They ground me, keep me centered and connected to the earth. I can rebuild a garden anywhere but the animals are a kind of sacred trust. I promise to care for them when I bring them home. The world is a rapidly changing and frequently unfriendly place for animals, especially horses. Their wild habitats are nearly gone. If they come to live with me, they are here for the length of their lives. When you are willing to give anything you have away to keep another, that is addiction in the finest sense.
Chocolate? Ahhh, well that is pure indulgence, pure pleasure. I keep a small box in the pantry with just one or two bars of much too expensive and oh so worth it dark chocolate. John calls it the SACRED BOX OF CHOCOLATE. It has to be written in italics and caps. It's that important. Every afternoon I indulge in just one or two small squares of perfect chocolate with a big cup of english breakfast tea. But, again, that is easily moved, easily refilled, like a garden.
Dogs? I have a very few friends who are not dog people, but they are that rarity and not the norm. I have had dogs in my life since I was four years old. I have pictures of all of them and remember them, would know them anywhere, as if they were still here. They've taught me the true definition of unquestioned love. They are always at my side, sleeping next to or on the bed. I had Gypsy with me while I ran the store. She sold as much as I did, meeting and greeting customers at the door with a toy in her mouth and a big smile. All of my dogs are country dogs, living without the restraint of leashes. And every one has been happy, healthy and polite, staying on the property. Dogs are a necessity in the country, my companions and security.
Cats? They come to me just when I need them. They show up on the door step, hungry, or out in the barn or in the tree in the front yard. We always have two or three and, when the cat that shows up is a pregnant Mama, a few more until I find homes for them.
I'm an artist by trade, and designer. The Fine Art addiction is self explanatory. I started buying at auctions when I was in junior high and when it was time to declare a major at university, I gave up my pre med classes in favor of the path of the artist.
But at the top of my list, above all others, is family. I would give up everything including my life for my family. And part of my family lives in Alexandria, Virginia. If there is any other reason for us to move to Essex County, it's because we could go visit with just a few hours of driving. It's far easier for me to move my studio, computer and animals than it is for them to leave good jobs.
There is one last addiction that I haven't addressed, the land. Presently we lease a house, a couple of pastures and a barn on a preserve. Part of our job as caretakers is protecting the land. We care for the trees, restore the prairie areas, protect the wildlife from hunters. I would love to live on another piece of land, calling it our own, and care for it. I want to have it in place and healthy, leaving it for our children and their children.
My hope is that the legacy of the land becomes a pattern that is in place, ready for future family to care for. If we do our jobs well, they will carry our love of animals and wild places in to their lives, giving that to their children.