I don’t spill much more of myself than the illness side. I rarely dig deep. Not for lack of wanting to, because there are many drafts sitting here that have been started but not finished. Just for sheer lack of guts, really. I wimp out when it comes to digging deep. Easier for me to keep stuffing it all into compartments that are already overflowing with unwanted junk. But, I’m going to share a bit with you today.
Since I can remember I have tried to make everyone around me happy first. I have put their needs, wants, wishes and ambitions ahead of my own. A lot of people do this. There actually is a word for it: – Altruistic or Selfless. Meaning: giving to others without looking for personal gain.
I gave of myself to my Parents, my ex-husband, my children, siblings … I gave of myself. I have given so much, to so many people, for so long, that I don’t even know that I have any me left for me.
Frankly, That sentence alone is frightening ….
I’m not the only one out there that is, or ever has, felt this way. So, this is how I’m going to change it. If people can teach an old dog new tricks then you can certainly teach this old goat a new one or two. I’m going to reclaim me and my time with myself.
How? Like this!
1. Be Selfish Once in Awhile.
Now, I’m not saying you revert back to a toddler and claim the whole mat “MINE“. But, you do belong to you. You’ve done your time. You’ve raised the kids. Stood by the man while he climb the corporate ladder. Perhaps you were the one climbing that ladder as well, along with raising the kids. Either way, you deserve some much needed ME time. That can be whatever you want it to be. Some suggest bubble baths, reading a good book or a nice glass of wine while listening to your favorite CD. But, that’s for those that are still dealing with the little’s at home and can only afford to steal an hour or so. I’m speaking to those of us that have raised our kids, are done climbing and we’re settling in toward retirement, if that word will still exist by the time we reach that age. I’m talking
- Long weekends at the beach
- Turning that stereo up load to what YOU like to listen to instead of Wiz Khalifa (unless he’s your jam – then Wiz on with yo bad self!).
- Dance, Momma!
- Ride that motorcycle
Catching what I’m throwing out there? It’s our time now!
2. It’s Okay to say “No”!
Don’t want to go to the Flea Market with Norma? Don’t go! Changed your mind about dinner out with the Ladies in the Book Club? Stay in! But, don’t go making it a habit of saying you’ll be there then not show. Definitely do NOT RSVP and be a no show unless you’re in the hospital. Mind your manners, ladies! But, every now and again … just say “No”. It really does feel good.
Question: What if I have that one friend that just won’t take no for an answer?
Answer: If you have a really difficult person who seems to always be passively aggressively manipulating you into a “yes” even when you’ve told them “no” countless times, perhaps it is a good opportunity for you to go for a coffee and express how their inability to accept “no” as a complete answer makes you feel. It’s a thought …
2. Do What You Like to Do Too!
Why are you always at the Botanical Gardens with Martha if you hate plants and flowers? And those Zoo trips with Bill if you are so allergic? Speak up and suggest something you like to do once in awhile. You have a voice, use it! You never know, they may actually enjoy that you’ve finally suggested something. It may become the new routine. Wouldn’t that be just the bees knees? Something you like to do becoming a routine?
3. Set Your Sights On Those Goals
Always wanted to go back to college? Thought about taking that photography class? What’s stopping you?
Get in there and go get em Tigress! Set time aside to achieve those goals you set for yourself long ago and never achieved for various reasons, or they may be recent ones. Either way, get in there and show em what you got. You’ll be surprised the spark it will ignite inside you and your grown children once they see you so renewed about your future.
4. They Will Survive Without You!
You raised them all these years to do just what they are doing right now … surviving without Mom. Give them a chance to implement your teachings. They will forever need Mom. Because, well … we’re Mom! But, stand back and watch your handy work …. well, work. They are going to make mistakes. We did. Remember? Who was only a phone call away to lift us up and listen to our mistakes? That’s right, Mom. That’s what we are going to do as well. That phone is going to ring and no matter what we are doing we’re going to answer because those human beings are the better parts of us all rolled up in nice, brand spanking new young adults. And we couldn’t be more proud of them!