I have amazing beautiful friends but one in particular is often in awe of my big heart and simultaneously terrified of what I will do next.
Today she said “I am feeling motherly and so what about the thing I said? You’ve apparently not given any thought to my earlier suggestion that you seriously invest in some single-goodness??” She said this after a long listen to some of my stories and updates about men. But I have….I have thought about it a lot and I am….I am investing in some single-goodness. She put it better when she said it weeks ago “get into you…get into amazing you mom….get back into amazing you writing.” But I am not going to just drop what I have started…I don’t do that. We ended our conversation with me assuring her that I am in a good space and I am ~ I feel open and peaceful all at the same time.
Over the course of my day I thought of a number of small but significant occurences that show how much I have shifted. All of these things happened last week alone and they all refelct self care and reaching up vs reaching out to hold other people up. This has been an important lesson for me ~ choosing good things for me vs giving all of my good to others. I have a habit of recognizing pain in others and forgetting all about myself.
These are all signs that I am finally starting to get it ~ I am starting to choose me first”
- I stopped communication without explanation in a new relationship that was moving in a predictably bad direction fast. It was a fast road to old patterns and I stopped. I stopped later than most would but much earlier than I would of months ago. I realized I did not owe anybody an explanation and I did it without guilt. I clearly made the right decision when I never heard from him again anyways.
- A client tried to reschedule and I initially started rearranging in my mind what I could shift and shuffle to accomodate. It was all about trying to say “yes” and my anxiety was building. The cost was going to be my time relaxing with my kids. In the end I said “no sorry….as scheduled or we will have to cancel”. We cancelled and I felt total relief.
- In a specific moment…vs an afterthought I looked up to a man and said “that felt bad…I feel uncomfortable…I would never do that”. I was going to leave but I did not have to because he got down on the floor beside me and said “tell me how you feel…I am so sorry”. I chose me and he in turn chose me too. Who knew?
- I had the option of hiring one of two people. One had all of the attributes that would best support me while the other really needed the job. The other I felt empathy toward but I sensed unreliability. I hired the one that would support me vs the one I would be supporting. I am tired and I chose me…in the past it would have been the one that needed me.
- I had a friend come down to help me and paid her 20 bucks for an hour because I was in a bind. The work did not pan out and she really needed the cash so I said “take it and we can square up another time”. A couple days later I asked if she wanted to put in the hour and she said “absolutely” but part way through the day she asked for a ride to the site and a ride home after. I said “no”….I said “you can help me another time when it works better for you but driving defeats the whole purpose of you speeding me along.” This was especailly tough because she is a friend but it was TRUE….I had hired her for an hour/cash job so that I could be done early. Driving her made her help pointless and I chose me.
- THIS IS THE BIGGEST ONE. On my ex husbands weekends with kids I checked in as I always do. Via text “Are you working?” and “Do you need me to come up?”….I always go up….98% of my weekend “off” are actually my weekends “on” because while they are capable of staying home alone I want to be there for them and he often ends up working. But when he said “yes I am working…and yes you need to come up” I started to cry. I am exhausted and I desparately was needing me time, and time in my own home (because I actually spend all days at his house homeschooling/then most of my nights working). I felt resentment for the assumption that my weeends are never my weekends. I felt frustration for my own inability to say “hey sorry…my weekend…your weekend to be dad…do it well”. I felt irate when I thought about the past and double standards and how I would never ask the same thing from him. It was bad….I was indirect and then reacted and created a lot of drama but good came of it in the end. A lot was said that needed to be said and I am clear moving forward. I took my weekend off and I will take my future weekends off. I needed it and it is okay for me to recharge. It is okay for me to support me. I have been supporting everybody for a very long time.
It has been a long string of lessons for me of learning my value and worth. I am learning to choose me and I am learning to choose people that choose themselves. We make better teams this way.
The metaphor of the oxygen mask is so true.