Sometimes I wonder if I am the only person in the world trying to hold down the fort. I wonder if my hardships are the same hardships that others face. I wonder if they think my hardships are less than theirs or if they think they’ve pretty much got it together after talking to me and hearing of mine. But truth of the matter is, we’ve all got our hardships. And just like everything else in life, hardships are relative. What’s not hard to you might be hard to me and vice versa. But when we open up and talk about our hardships, something magical happens. We feel better. We feel more understood maybe. We feel less isolated in what we're going through. We feel like things will get easier soon or things will change for the positive. This is why I blog. I blog to hopefully make the reader feel just a little bit better about themselves, the rotten day they might be having, the rocky circumstances they are enduring in their life at the present, or maybe just to pull out a heartfelt smile if I can inject a little humor into this complicated thing we call life. I blog because life can be downright crappy sometimes and we need to know there’s someone out there going through the same thing. I blog because I want to be real. Okay, and yes, sometimes I blog because I just need to vent. There, I said it.
I’m gonna be honest. Life has been a bit difficult lately. Now, this is where the “relative” part comes in. I know compared to some lives I see where there is always hardship in the form of abuse or hatred or moral or financial decline, my life is wonderful. I have love in my life. I have a great family and great friends. I have a measure of comfort when it comes to daily needs, daily pleasures, and the ins-and-outs of what we Americans consider “the norm.” I am just plain blessed, so I really can’t complain. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to see myself in a totally different light. I’ve begun to meet myself in the middle. What do I mean by that? I mean where I fall short sometimes, I am more gentle with myself where in the past I would bring myself to the total brink of emotional meltdown before I’d wave the white flag of surrender and admit that I wasn’t able to do something or think a certain way or measure up to what others expected of me. As you get older, you realize that to be your best possible self you have to have borders. Borders are a good thing. Borders are where you walk right up to the door and, even though technically you could go through because you have all the necessary paperwork, you realize you are not willing to go there or do that and you decide to honor that deep-down inside voice that says, hey, wait, this is not what’s best for you. Borders keep in the things that are private and sacred and necessary for life and growth and keep out the things that are unnecessary, unproductive, or life-threatening as opposed to life-giving. And those borders will keep those life boundaries clean and clear and precise if you maintain them.
So today I will share with you the things I need in my life and will not compromise and the things I will not do in my life and not compromise. I’ve narrowed it down to five in each category. Here they are.
I do take time for myself. I take it when I need it and when I want it and when I am able, which is most times when I want it and always when I need it. And I no longer feel guilty for doing it. I make time for doing nothing at all if that’s what I need or want. I get enough rest. I just say yes – yes, to time for me. Yes!
I do say “no”. I don’t always say no, but many times now I do. No, I will not keep your animals. I don’t keep animals. I mean, I am a woman who gave her cat away, so I have no problem telling you that I will not keep your animals. I am an animal "liker," not an animal "lover." I love you, I just don’t necessarily love your animals. Just ask my close friends and my kids.
I do something every single day that brings me happiness. I have learned life is entirely too short to not be happy. So if it is a movie I want to see, a book I want to read, a walk in the park I want to take, a cookie (or two or three!) I want to eat, or a little retail therapy I need, I just do it. I also love decorating magazines. I am a decorating magazine junky.
Decorating magazines bring me happiness.
I do tell myself most days (still working on this one) that God made me just the way I am and I’m okay with that. This one has taken me a lifetime to learn. But I am who I am, warts and spider veins and all... and it’s all okay. This doesn’t mean I don’t try to grow and improve, I just have accepted myself in its imperfect form in the process.
I don’t always answer the phone or go to make-up/Tupperware/jewelry parties. If you call me, you might not get me. If you invite me, I might not come. Immediately answering the phone every single time it rings or going to a party for items I don’t really want to buy is not something I do on a regular basis. And this is the very reason I don’t host make-up/Tupperware/jewelry, etc. parties. Plus, other people don't really want to go them either, so then I feel bad if only two people show up. If possible, I don’t let others dictate how I spend my time or money. If you leave a message however, I will almost always return your call and I will very politely RSVP (in the negative usually) for your party. Sorry. But if you wanna just get together and hang out, I’m your girl.
I don’t let others make me feel guilty. Now, if I have wronged you or crossed a moral line, please give me a stern talking-to. But you’re just wasting your time if you try to make me feel guilty because I don’t think, believe, look, dress, or act the way you think I should. You’re not the boss of me.
I don’t do things just to please others. Now, I might do something for another because I want to and it pleases me to please them, but I don’t do things for others just to please them alone. Unless I want to please them. But I have to want to please them and in turn that pleases me as well. Does that make sense?
I don’t lift heavy furniture. Or semi-heavy furniture. And I definitely for sure do not haul said heavy furniture up any steps. Will someone please tell my husband this? He keeps forgetting.
I don’t burn bridges and take relationships for granted. If I have a disagreement or a misunderstanding with someone, I don’t rest well until it’s fixed. All my do’s and don’ts rest squarely and heavily on the shoulders of this moral rule. I do not like to have confrontations, be confrontational, or have to settle confrontations. So I try to avoid them. Don’t ask me why I’m this way; I just am. I would’ve made a terrible litigator.
So…in one short blog entry, you have learned my life mantra. It's what's helping to keep me sane at this season in my life. It’s a formula I’ve calculated over many years of saying and doing things the way others expect me to, but losing a bit of “me” every time I haven’t been true to myself. Not willing to do that anymore. Nope.
And you gotta love me for that, right?
After living out of a suitcase for a month, there is hope that this is my week to settle in with real furniture and all the comforts of home!
"Life doesn't have to perfect to be wonderful..."
- author unknown (but it totally could've been me!)
Posted by CC
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