Yesterday, in one of our marathon phone conversations which meandered from one topic to the next, we eventually landed on the topic of family and friends. At that point I informed mom that should any relatives begin inquiring of my whereabouts and/or well being in the upcoming months it would be because I’ve stopped making it a top priority to check on them on a regular basis. Why? Because I’ve drawn a line in the sand and it’s been long overdue. You know what she said? “I don’t blame you?”
Someone told me once that I care too much and I was shocked that those words were said about me. I don’t know how to NOT care — it’s the way I was made. I always go above and beyond and it’s just the way I am. My clients have said how much they appreciate that quality, but for some reason family and friends take advantage of my kindness or simply don’t appreciate it. But with age comes wisdom and I’m now understanding what that individual meant, which leads me to the new-found explanation of those words heard so long ago:
It’s not that I care too much but that I need to be more wise about the things and people I care about.
Hmm… why didn’t I understand this years ago? Perhaps because I spent so many of those years trying to make everyone happy not realizing the impossible task with which I burdened myself.
Caring takes a lot of energy and emotion. It forces one to put oneself in another’s shoes to truly understand, if only slightly, what that person is going through and what they need to feel better if down or to share in celebration of the good times. For some reason I’m good at that, and many folks have often asked if I am/was a nurse. (I actually thought of becoming a nurse once, but later discovered I was trying to fulfill my mom’s dream not my own. But that a whole other post!!!). No I’m not a nurse, it’s just a God-given gift I guess, just something that comes naturally.
So, now I’ve begun the task of eliminating those folks who fail to understand that emails, phone calls, what’s app, viber, text messages, Facebook messenger and all other modes of communication WORK BOTH WAYS!!! I am no longer going to be the only one to reach out, I’ve done it that way for too long and now it must stop. If the thought never crosses their minds to say hello and actually do so then I too will not do so. A friend recently reminded me how awful it is to “give to the point of resentment “. Yes I know, I know, God loves a cheerful giver, and all these years I HAVE been cheerful about the care and consideration I gave to others. I didn’t care if those folks reciprocated, I was just happy to remember their birthdays, anniversaries and delighted to check in to see how they were doing. But how come they never remember to inquire about me? And that right there is the problem and why “the line” needed to be drawn.
I’m not the needy type; I don’t ask for anything; I’m independent and never in trouble (not much anyways) so I’m wondering if folks automatically think I’m OK and there’s no need to check on me. Well I’m not gonna sit here and speculate, I don’t have time for that. As I get older I’m less tolerant of the lack of consideration shown by others and as such have drawn a line to signify my decision.
Wow, I just reread the above and boy do I sound angry! Well I am. It’s time to worry about my needs after all these years of neglect by others and sadly by me.
I messaged a very dear lady whom I was fortunate to meet during a very dark period of my life a few years ago. I’ve been so grateful for her support that I always check in with her from time to time. She actually got angry with me for speaking mostly of my kids and not of myself. She said,
Everytime I hear from you, you go on and on about the kids, about how well they’re doing and how much they’re thriving but what about you? How are you? How is your personal life? Are you dating? Are you working on a life separate from your kids? I hope you’re not locking yourself away from love? Please know that you deserve love too!
At first I got upset that she had somehow set a timetable for my life without my permission. Here I was thinking my personal life was my own! (Aside from WordPress of course). I knew fully well that I’m not ready for all that, and unsure as to when or if I ever will be. I’m still learning to trust again, terrified of failing as a parent — a single parent — and only capable of worrying about one day at a time given everything else I have on my plate. Dating and new relationships take time, and I’m not ready to invest such a valuable asset (my time) without adequate returns. I know my dear friend means well so I’m not angry that she was stern but I need to spend a little more time weeding my garden so the beautiful flowers can bloom and be seen — I’m gonna spend some time pampering “me”.
So here’s to laying the dead to rest to make room for the living — new life — new beginnings! Here’s to moving on at my own pace, one step at a time.
Thank you Ms K for caring enough to be stern. I’m not mad. Happier updates ahead I promise! ((Hugs)) ^_^
Contents written July 15 2015 | Edited: July 18 & 21 2015 | Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises