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This Lady's Not Home Today...

Some years ago I remembered hearing a song by Melissa Manchester called "This Lady's Not Home Today."  It's a really great song.  It was about a woman who did everything for others.  She had a "caregiver's" personality.  So much so that she rarely had time for herself. 

Sometimes she took care of people who were sick and had no relatives.  Sometimes she brought meals to the "caregivers" who were themelves taking care of parents, or others in need.

Although she worked a full time job, every other weekend she could be found working at the battered women's and children's shelter... volunteering to take care of the children there, and teach work skills to their mothers so they could become employable.

Although there were times she barely had the energy to take care of herself... she was often seen sending what little energies she had outward... always outward... and always to the rescue of others.  Then... perhaps finding she was on the edge of disaster... she discovered that she herself needed some time to re-energize... to "heal."

Slowly but surely she re-made the inside of her home into a "healing place."  She collected natural scents, candles, supplies for healing baths, and wood for the fireplace.  An American Indian friend of hers from Albuquerque sent her a "healing talisman" to put on her mantle.

Then one day... when she finally found herself at the point of collapse... she realized that she needed time to "tend to her bruises and re-light her fuses."  After fighting off her feelings of guilt, she finally made the choice.  She closed the shutters on her windows, pulled back the lace curtains on the front door, and hung a sign on the window glass that said... "This Lady's Not Home Today... ."

Comment balloon 24 commentsKaren Anne Stone • July 23 2011 07:16PM

Comments

A sad story, Karen. I wonder if these people still live around - or there is always a sign..

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 7 years ago

Praful:  Actually, I think it is a great story... an uplifting story.  This woman... a single woman, by herself... caring for others. She finally realized that if she didn't learn to take care of her self... there wouldn't be enough of her to take care of anybody.  So... somehow... and with much help from her American Indian friend in Albuquerque... she finally learned to start caring for herself.  I think it's a very "healing" story... in a way.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 7 years ago

Karen Anne, I agree, it's very inspiring indeed! .. you wouldn't happen to know that special lady by any chance?

Posted by Andrea Bedard, M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond (Thompson Company, REALTORS®) over 7 years ago

Andrea:  I do know her... but I haven't seen her in awhile.  I think you're wondering if it is me... but no.  I wish.  She's a very special woman I knew quite well... shall we say... a few years ago.  Her name is Leah.  I have tried to follow in some of her footsteps... but she is closer to being a goddess than I'll ever be.

If in my next life I could have my choice... I'd come back as her... but I doubt that will happen.  Last I heard of her... she was either in Taos, or Tucson, or somewhere in between.  A very magical woman.

Here are the lyrics for the song:  Melissa Manchester - This Lady's Not Home Today Lyrics.  I have not yet been able to find the song.  If I can find it, I will either put in a link, or add the video to the post.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 7 years ago

Karen, Went looking for the lyrics since I don't remember the song..  The internet is a wonderful thing... all that information instantly available. 

Love your take on the song.. it is a very inspriring song.

Posted by Don Barrett (Integrity Real Estate Services) over 7 years ago

Karen, an amazing story. I didn't know what to think when I first read your post. Was it you? Who was it? Then I read your coments. We all need time to regroup, time without external influences. And inspiration from others is a great place to find that.

Posted by John M. Scott, Broker / Owner San Francisco Bay Area (BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties) over 7 years ago

Awww. What a great inspiration for sure Karen! Thank you for sharing!!! This "lady not in" sounds like someone I'd love to meet. :)

Posted by Lindsey Hasford, Bringing you home... (Edina Realty) over 7 years ago

Sounds like a few folks I know actually.  Now off to find the song.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 7 years ago

Karen Anne, there is a church lady syndrome where the caregiver volunteers so much time at church she loses her husband due to neglect of him with no time for him. We all must take time to re-energize and not be out of balance. Sharpening the axe if you will before continuing to chop down more trees. Being a saint is good as long as we don't turn into some kind of obsessive compulsive person. People go from saint to martyr and then it is a really an illness with service to others.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 7 years ago

Great story Karen, and a great reminder that we all need to refuel from time to time.  Initially, I had to learn this lesson the hard way. 

Posted by Lisa Dunham, Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate over 7 years ago

Such a sweet story Karen, so important to treat ourselves well too

Posted by Elizabeth Arduain, Lubbock Texas Real Estate (The Diamond Group @ Keller Williams) over 7 years ago

My mother was like that.  Sometimes she helped others to the exclusion of all else.  It actually worried me because she became ill early on.  She died all too young when I was in my early thirties.

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 7 years ago

You know what I love about your posts?  They are always worthy of multiple reads and each time a new nugget of something special is revealed.  All of them, from the inspiring to the kick ass take no prisoners political to the no holds barred socially enlightening (at least to those still in the dark!).

Loved Melissa Manchester and love the weaving of this song with a personal story.  Thanks again.

Posted by Mona Gersky, GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate. (MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC) over 7 years ago

Karen, No is the biggest little word in any language.  We must take care of ourselves or we are not able to care for others.  I’m getting better at taking care of myself. Especially in this business and working so many short sales … it sucks the life out of me at times.  Very inspiring story!

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 7 years ago

Karen, I have no recollection of the song, but it is evident it has had a strong impact on you.  Putting that much energy and life into others can drain a person emotionally and physically, and it is important to let others help us and recharge our batteries or we become quickly burned out.  The long run is what is important to help the most people possible.

Posted by Bruce Walter (Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana) over 7 years ago

Hi Karen...We do need to Charge our own batteries...Great Story(song) Love It!

Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Another wonderful thought-provoking post!   Just like when the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling on a plane . . .   get yours on first and THEN help others.   We're no good if we're not looking after oursselves.  A new take on looking out for number one!!   Thanks Karen Anne.

Posted by Susan Emo, Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area (Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage) over 7 years ago

The is a small book by Shel Silverstain called "The Giving Tree".  I give it to soon to be mothers because I think woman can give themselves away way to fast and then there is nothing left.  I like to close the shutters and pull back the curtains every once in a while myself.   

Posted by Liz Wallace, Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N (Century 21 Sherlock Homes) over 7 years ago

Karen Anne - a great reminder to us all - take care of the caregiver!!!

Posted by Juli Vosmik, Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739 (Dominion Fine Properties) over 7 years ago

Karen Anne ~ wonderful post and comments.  We are no good to others if we ourselves are not whole.

Posted by Dawn A Fabiszak, The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience! (Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado) over 7 years ago

Almost always women.  Time for women to take care of themselves.

Posted by Leslie G. Rojohn, GRI, ABR ~ MoonDancer Realty (MoonDancer Realty) over 7 years ago

To remain a decent and lovely lady, we all must take time to release.  Most recently I found that screaming at the top of my lungs in my car is a wonderful stress reliever.  I feel extremely silly while doing this and even laugh to myself after I'm done but oh my goodness do I feel a million times beter.  Whatever works! 

Posted by Kerrie La Guardia, Let it Rain! (ActiveRain, Community Manager) over 7 years ago

Kerrie... assuming that you have your own personal video camera... I would love to see an extended video of you screaming at the top of your lungs... while you are in your car.  Your adoring fans aniously await this video.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 7 years ago

I have 'liked' your comments on this blog to add a few more points to your total.

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