It’s All About Me

At least that is the plan. My New Years experiment.

 

Why you ask? Why today, December 26, 2011?  Because I can and because it is time. The kids are old enough to feed themselves, dress themselves, drive themselves. Tom and I are old enough that we aren’t creating a new life but mingling our existing lives. My friends are “lifers” so we trust each other to be there even if we don’t see each other often. And after planning, preparing and executing my family’s thirty-first Christmas, I am tired. Very tired and a bit ornery.

 

My problem is I am the queen of relationship. For me, relationships always take precedence. I choose others before myself. I come by this honestly. My mom taught me well, both through her words and her actions. It was all about her. Her lesson was, “If you don’t please others they will leave you.” The truth was if I didn’t please her she emotionally left me. I could count on it. As a result I learned to pay more attention to her, to what she needed and wanted, than to my own needs. Truth be told, during my childhood years, what I needed was her attention and love, so learning how to give her what she needed was how I got what I needed. In a distorted way it worked for both of us.

 

It just doesn’t work so well anymore. No one in my life today, except mom, excepts or needs this from me in 2012. I just end up feeling tired and resentful referencing this old belief system. So my New Years resolution is to practice self centeredness. (I know you think this is a bad idea, self centered people are not fun to be around.  Keep reading and see what you think of my idea.)

 

Here is my plan:

1. I will say “I don’t know” more often, instead of coming up with the plan, the solution, the idea.

 

2.I will sit more. I used to knit. I quickly noticed when I sat to knit no one asked me to get them anything. I made a ton of scarves!         My mother also told me if I knitted when I traveled no one would abduct me, rape me and then murder me (if you can figure this          one out let me know). Sitting and knitting had its advantages.

 

3. I will slow my reaction time. I can pick up something Jena has dropped and hand it  back to her before she realizes it has hit the        floor.

 

4. I will be less efficient. Being efficient becomes something others come to rely on.

 

5. I will move slower. This adds to less efficiency.

 

6.I will care less…about what others think…about getting it right…about being good… about figuring it out (whatever “it” may be at    any given time).

 

7. I will be quieter…so I can hear more of me.

 

8. I will not work so hard. I will be satisfied with myself more easily.

 

9. I will do one thing at a time.

 

10. I will say NO more. And tolerate my guilt and/or disappointment when I do.

 

*Fine Print: I am making the distinction between self centered and self absorbed. Often a fine line, but one I will pay close attention to…so I don’t become my mother! I will keep you posted on the results of my experiment. If you want to join me I would love the company. Let me hear from you.

 

So in the spirit of #6, I will stop editing this article and just post it-this is my 5th revision and it is now Dec 28th, some habits die harder than others.  Also, I know there are spaces in some sentences where there shouldn’t be, but for the life of me I can’t fix them. I think my experiment has begun.

9 thoughts on “It’s All About Me

  1. Pat, This is brilliant! I just realized that I too started this new attitude in the last couple of months, but never put words to it. I have to tell you my Christmas was mellow, though I had a tinge of guilt from day to day as I said “no” to family members. My brother commented that I can’t do this, I’m “the rock of the family.” Something that was always taken for granted. I’m my own rock now…

    • Bonnie, I get it, the good news and the bad of changing how we show up or not. Hope you keep me updated on your experiences, they will inspire me!

  2. Nicely stated Patricia. I’ve found myself feeling this way for the good part of the last year but you’ve done a nice job of putting it in words – and that makes it both more acceptable as well as justified! Like Bonnie, I have been looked upon by my family (and boss) as the one who doesn’t waver nor make mysTaKeS. Frankly it’s pretty tiring! Perhaps it’s a maturity (or “coming of age”)thing but I think I’ve proven myself enough and I just don’t WANT to care about getting everything perfect anymore. I have to force myself to accept myself doing an adequate (not perfect) job sometimes as well as to just say “no”.

    You have validated my new approach – and besides – these are resolutions I might actually keep! 😉

    • Thanks Dan. Keep me posted. I am finding it harder than I thought. I can be my own harshest critic…although I would like to say it is every one else : )

  3. Boy did that bring back a blast from the past! The times spent at your house playing when we were kids. I mentally rehashed those days from a different perspective, observing the dynamics and the current results. We were happiest when we choose to “run”. Out from the wing of wants and demands even if it was to ride our bikes to unknown territories. Yes, you were expected to be “perfect”, it was obvious, and it gave your mom the ability to brag on you. She needed that. Did it get you to where you are now? Probably… both good and not so good. I can say that the change you are seeking now does not surprize me. It is time as it has been for me. There are few good reasons for this that we share very closely. The first being our fire spirit of the Dec. born Sag.. You were never born to be held down. Second, is the aspect of pleasing others because it is expected and keeps the peace. That has been an issue of mine and a true learning experience for where I am now. It was the most debilitating of all behaviors I had through my life causing depression, neg. self talk and problems in relationships and marriage. It was learned from our parents.
    Yes, “Your” time is now, it is not a matter of being self-centered or stuck on your own needs as you have experienced in life, but “centering within”, honoring your spirit and passions. Igniting your fire and allowing all that is good to flow to you, and from you. Taking the time to feel what is good for you first will lead to gratitude for all that is surrounding you. Without effort you will bring to you all that is good, less stress and a healthier life. Knit if you want to knit, play loud music and dance with yourself…just let it go! Ride that horse with the wind in your hair and LET YOUR SPIRIT SOAR!
    Namaste ~♥~ Carol

    • I am inspired…and validated by your memories and your shared experience. Thanks Carol. I remember us walking from your house to mine and being at the crest of Signal Hill-which seemed like such a big hill at the time- and seeing the sun come through the clouds in a way I thought I was seeing God. I remember that, and you, each time I see it today.

      Did my mom brag on me?

      • Did my mom brag on me? Too funny as you ask that question. I say this because, yes she did, a lot, and it does not surprize me that you were unaware of it. Like I said before, we share a lot in common and the challenges we face today are similar. Your mom like my dad, told everyone how great we were at the stuff we did. Unfortunately, it was never told to us. Instead the words we heard still haunt us today as not good enough. Today that causes us to question every thought we have, even the ones that would bring success because we don’t trust ourselves to do right. It was not until talking to a cousin of mine that I became aware of how proud my father was of me. I am now working really hard to be aware of self judging thoughts and not judge myself negatively because of it. Accept the thought and move forward anyway. Now knowing where it is coming from. Have a Great day!

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