I am stubborn! This may come as a shock to you, but I am!! I am also a slow learner!! Some lessons have taken me over 40 years to sink into my thick skull!! For instance, I need to apologize to Mike when I do something that he doesn’t appreciate. I don’t like to tell him that “I apologize” because it is like backing down from a fight!! I think that he should be the one to concede!! I don’t own a white flag!! Another thing, not everyone is going to like you even if you try for over 40 years to get them to!! I don’t know why this one is hard… I am the one who always feels like I gave up and didn’t do enough, but clearly they don’t feel that way!! It came to me though, in a way that makes perfect sense to me!! I now know how I am supposed to weed out the negatives and things that make me sad or hurt my feelings!! It goes something like a Marie Kondo moment!! “Does this bring me Joy or does it not?” (I Marie Kondo’d my dresser this weekend, so I am on that kick!!) If you don’t know about Marie Kondo, she’s on Netflix!! So, if it is hurting my feelings on a regular basis and I spend way too much time thinking about how it hurts my feelings, then I need to decide if it “brings me joy”. I think that the phone is an excellent way to determine one type of Joy! Marie says that you physically have to touch that item and if it doesn’t spark joy or good feelings, than you need to tell it “thank you” and put it in the “to go” pile! Well, I hold my phone a lot and when it rings, I have one of two thoughts………1. “Oh it’s so and so….. I wonder what they need!!?? (joy)”, or 2. “Oh shit, it’s so and so, I don’t want to talk to them (not joy).” (Side note: there are some variables on 2 because there are many days that physically talking on the phone is too much and takes too much of the energy that I don’t have to shuck out at the time! That doesn’t mean that I don’t EVER want to talk!!) It is always obvious, to me at least, when someone doesn’t want to talk with me! Short answers, not replying to any text except maybe a week or so later when it really doesn’t matter anyway, lack of any happiness to hear from me, not answering questions with any other words than “nope, or yep”, not saying “thank you for calling” but rather giving no closing statement, rolling their eyes so loud I can hear it through the phone, and never instigating a phone call unless they need something, you know, those hints!!! Such blatant action and yet I still wanted to ignore the obvious!! Well, this weekend, I decided not to ignore them!
I am beginning to feel very about accepting that I don’t have to continue to exhaust my energy in my attempt at “staying in touch and do better”. Actually I do feel better!! Had it not taken me so many years to realize that my feelings matter, I might have not bothered with it for so long!! As women and as peacekeepers we tend to ignore our own needs and assume that we are important to keeping things on an even keel. The fact is, I am only responsible for keeping myself on an even keel and continually being slighted and treated with indifference isn’t good for me! While I write, I am seriously not asking for sympathy or whatever, I am just giving myself and anyone reading this, who might have a similar situation, permission to toss in your towel!! You don’t have to check in, try to maintain this faux relationship, and you don’t have to beat yourself up for not being enough!! You truly can only change you and sometimes changing you means changing who you let in your gate!! I am so thankful for Mike and his calm response to my hurts!! He always just says, “it’s OK Elizabeth, what difference will it make anyway?” and we go on to the next subject. It is OK. I don’t feel like I lose anything exactly! How can you lose something you never had? I lose the “idea of having a relationship” but even that was only if I continued!! This has happened more times than I care to remember with more people than I care to remember!!!!
Apathy is a far scarier emotion to me than sadness! At least with sadness I felt something! If I am apathetic, it is passed the point of making an impact on the rest of my life! While I was talking to my mom this morning we were discussing the lack of voter turn out in Kansas. I said, “If you tell people long enough that ‘Their vote doesn’t count from Kansas’ on a federal level, they will eventually stop voting at all.” She agreed with that and I said it is like that with anything, ignore it long enough and it will go away! Say something long enough and you will believe it!! I often wish that I had been more aware of the power of my words when my kids were little! I have given them the same curse that I have……keep trying no matter what!! That’s a great life motto if it applies only to your life!! It only works a sliver of the time if it is in direct relation to other people!! Let go of the guilt and put it where it belongs!! Guilt should be laid on the person not trying, not the one foolishly coming back!!
You can teach an old dog new tricks!! This dog may take that extra time in my head to do something for me!! I am not sure what that is, but I know that it will be filled shortly and I will forget! Forgetting is easy for me now!! I may hide my own Easter eggs soon!!
until then….does it bring you JOY? or not…..touch it! It’s not hot! I promise!!