My parents didn’t realize the importance of teaching me, a daughter, to care for myself. They taught me to be kind, thoughtful, and take care of others. My parents and I came from separate sources. It seemed to me as if we were as different as salt water and fresh water.
As society changed for my parent’s generation, they were still swimming in their saltwater tank. From the viewpoint of my culture, saltwater can kill you. Structure. Rules. Binding contracts.
I’ve learned to celebrate discovering my needs, all of them–for comfort, happiness, and safety. It started when I was feeling abandoned. I needed to GIVE and GATHER for myself–not wait and allow resentment to build when another doesn’t come through for me. Being polite wasn’t helpful anymore.
Caring for yourself
Once I was hanging out with a guy at his friend’s house, (boring) which was to be a short visit. After an hour, I NEEDED to eat. I took some initiative and told him I’d be back in a few minutes. I was going to grab a bite to eat (tacos.) It upset him, surprising him a little, but my needs were dire. Blood sugar issues are more important than a man’s ego. Quite honestly, I realize now that I was having a panic attack. But this taco moment is when I realized I had power.
Keep your power. Reclaim any scraps you find along the way–any.
Every breath I take has been taken before
Every note’s been sung………
Who can I sing them all again for? Baba, Baba Baba….
Please don’t give up - please don’t lose that sound
So many people fought to gain that ground
Please don’t give up – please don’t hide your voice
So many people did not have that choice. - Bellow/Unzip The Horizon, lyrics from a song released on April 7, 2018, Moira Smiley
Sometimes when I’m in the bathroom, my cat will sit on the floor and stare at me. It’s creepy. You may ask why I don’t lock my cat out. I feel guilty. She is home alone all day, so I think I shouldn’t limit my time with her. But, I resent her stare.
Games we play
This game we play, you may recognize it. My cat stares, and I feel guilty. I pet her and allow her to rub around my legs. There’s only so much I can take with all that attention. We both mean well.
The funny thing about it, when I am with her, as in overextended vacations, she still meows when she doesn’t see me in the room with her. If I step outside to take out the trash or run an errand, it’s no different. She still wants the same amount of attention as she did when I’m home for a few hours. So in my great reasoning, I don’t think it’s because she misses me. I read somewhere that a cat’s memory is only a few minutes. Cats don’t know how long it’s been.
This guilt I feel is hollow. I am projecting how I would feel in her shoes (paws). So why am I feeling so miserable? What do I want? I like it when we snuggle up on the couch together. I love it when she greets me in the morning. Even when I come home. The time when I’m in the bathroom and staring at me is my fault. I let it happen. If I want to be alone at that time, I need to close the door. A simple thing.
How often do we do this? We yell at people unnecessarily instead of metaphorically and physically closing the door. Have you ever said, “Yes, I’ll do that for you,” when you feel like vomiting at the thought of doing it? We go along with things when we have other plans. We say yes to their idea even when we disagree. It’s not necessary. We think our actions are kind. All we’re doing is building up a reason to hate someone we usually love. That’s what resentment does. It builds a wall of hate. If enough resentment builds, what happens? We yell. We scream. We blame. We walk away in anger. Is this what we want? Is it inevitable?
A study was conducted. There was one playground with a fence and one without any borders. The children without a fence clustered towards the center. If you place a fence around a playground, the children used the entire area to play. I found this to be interesting. Boundaries in life are giving freedom. Ironic.
Right here and now
I have the right to close my bathroom door. I have the right to ignore my phone. I feel freer knowing I can fence off my time, declaring ownership. I can put up a barricade and stick my flag in the ground. It’s my time! Right here and now. Kings do it, presidents do it, astronauts do it in their country’s name, and so can you. If it helps, you can make yourself a flag and put it in the middle of your room or outside your closed door. Name your kingdom. Just remember, you’re the enforcer. Tell everyone you will call them later.
If this hasn’t been part of your life before, people may not honor your boundary. But if you continually tell them, they will learn to respect your fence. With cats, children, spouses, or parents, it’s no different. They learn what we teach them. If we teach them that it’s okay to call us names and hurt our feelings (by allowing it), that is what we will get. Some people in your life will need retraining. I like thinking of it as an experiment. Who is the easiest to teach? How long did it take? How did they react in comparison to a different person? Be firm, but not rude. repeat the same line 30 or 40 times if necessary. “I can’t talk now. I’ll call you at 5:00.” Don’t explain. Don’t vary. I’ve used this technique several times, and it’s like magic, but you have to state it firmly and without emotion.
I follow trends. Fashion is a hobby of mine and in my blood. As far back as I can remember, my very reason for getting out of bed was to pick my outfit for the day. The magazines influenced me on the colors I liked and the amount of brightness. It’s subtle. Soon after indulging in the magazines, I’d forget who I was. Do I like lace? Why am I suddenly craving, needing their product? I’ve been swept into a river of marketing.
Do I remember who I am?
There were terrorists on the news. Now, it’s politics. I watch stories of sickness, epidemics, murders, crime, and war. Can I hide at home? I can’t stay this way. I don’t want to be swept into the kinetic frenzy of herd mentality. How do I handle my life?
I remember me.
I have made it through many rough times and difficult trials. Victorious. I know am strong enough to make it through the dark night. There’s light. But in the dark moments I still feel hopeless. I had to find focus on a good thought and remind myself of it over and over again. Sometimes it helped to have a physical token as in the movie Inception. Recently, I started listening to positive podcasts and guided meditations. Brain Software With Mike Mandel: Dealing With Disaster is a good episode. I also like Tracks to relax: I Am Deserving Sleep. I’m trying to laugh and do silly things. I know it’s one day at a time. It will get better.
Sometimes after bad things happen, after the storm, it takes time to find footing. I’m still finding mine. My surgery left me weak. Our nation, this world, we as a whole will need to find our strength again. It will get better. Remember who you are. You are strong. You are funny.
Alpha males are not accustomed to being called out. That feeling of being vulnerable is something non-alpha females and men know too well. We fear the dark alleys. It already scares us to be accused, which is why we avoid scrutiny.
We sit when we want to stand. We let others speak, and we are screaming inside. Our truths are valuable. They sound flimsy when we say them because they are weak and pale from being underused.
Learn to bristle. Fight back. Resist a little. Say things like, “I’m not sure.” Even better, “I want more out of life.”
We won’t become Alphas, but we don’t need to be anyone’s bitch either.
Women talk. They tell me about their relationships, their spouses, and sometimes how incredible their husbands are. Maybe it’s just in the game of connecting, and I’m not playing it right, but I feel I’m left with a gap, uncertain of how to respond other than with a pat response of, That’s wonderful. You’re a lucky lady.
There was a time that I would have been envious. But I’ve surprised myself lately. Their life looks more like another variation of the same old song. That tune’s overplayed and I already turned the dial on my radio. No envy, desire or lust for eventually having it all someday.
It reminds me of the Caroline Myss story of the old shoes. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post called,Old Shoes. Do you want the old shoes under her bed? Most of us want the envelope she has that contains the money, but no one cares about the old shoes that she keeps beside her bed. They’re ready for the trash bin. They’re dirty, worn, faded, and there’s a hole where your toe will stick out. Your desires don’t go out for them. Nothing draws you to them. No clamoring or yearning. They sit there, and you don’t give a damn. That’s how we know if we’re losing our power to someone or something. If it has a hold on us, we feel that tug. We yearn. We desire. Our door is unlocked, and we don’t own our power. When we look at that other person’s life and what they have feels like old shoes, worn full of holes, ready to go in the trash, then we know we hold our life. No one’s life is better than yours. Hold your own power and slam your door shut.
On a side note
I think it’s bad juju to be flashing your stuff for all to see. That’s just my opinion. But throwing it all out there in the wind is just inviting trouble, I think. Why advertise if you’re not selling?
I remember my first favorite pair of shoes. I was about ten years old, so it was sometime in the early 2000’s, and they were Skechers sneakers. They were shiny black patent leather with sparkling silver glitter and chunky white platforms….
Does anyone else find the whole flirting – connecting thing just a bit awkward? Here in the Southern United States, we tend to be friendly. Just like we sweeten our tea, we sweeten our language and everything around us. Lace, Doilies, Please and Thank you. And there’re a lot of friendly talks, even during a business transaction.
What I’ve noticed about myself.
When I’m at work, I can be friendly, joking around. It’s harder everywhere else. I know the people at work. I’m at home. What gives with that? Then I wonder am I confusing people by being too friendly?
When is it inappropriate?
What about the other side of the coin? Some people can’t turn the flirting off. They use their seduction to get what they want. They have affairs or sexually harass their coworkers. I once had a manager who creeped me out. He told my friend and me that we’d look cute in cheerleader costumes for Halloween.
What makes it flirting?
Here’s the problem. If you’re a bubbly personality, you might always be seen as flirting. I’ve had to deal with it. I smile, listen, laugh, and joke. I care. Real flirting is reaching out and connecting.
Some forms of flirting are more likely to be done in private, when no other observers are close enough to hear or see, suggests Elizabeth Bernstein, an award-winning columnist for the Wall Street Journal, in her article, “The New Rules of Flirting.” If someone asks a direct question such as, “Are you seeing anyone?” that person will likely ask that question privately. Beyond what a person says, a person may also communicate her attraction to you via a combination of vocal signals and body language. A seemingly simple line such as, “It’s nice meeting you,” can take on a romantically charged connotation if the speaker drags out the last word, while simultaneously raising her eyebrows and smiling — and if she hangs on to the handshake a few seconds longer.
Tell me what you think. Have you been accused of flirting? Or do you have trouble approaching people? It’s a cold cruel world sometimes and it shouldn’t be. Let’s try to make it a little nicer for each other if we can.
Almost everyone has a fish story and it’s usually not about the fish that got away. No, the tale they bemoan is the about the fish they caught or the one they stayed with and they probably should have thrown back. Relationships, jobs, towns they stayed at because they were familiar and they’ve always lived there. These are my thoughts today. Should we follow a whim? Take a chance? And what if it doesn’t work out? And like me, have you forgotten how to have fun?
In most towns, there’s a carnival our kids drag us to. We spend a ton of money to gorge on fried snickers, cotton candy, funnel cakes, popcorn, and we often end up carrying around a couple of half dead goldfish in a clear plastic bag. Junior won them. Way to go little tyke! So here we are in line at the superstore, the cashier’s ringing up your purchases. The tank, food, gravel, and water purifier are all yours for a grand total of $50.00. Charlie, fish number one might live through the first day. You’ve got a decision to make. Buy another fish to replace Charlie or let the whole episode die of natural causes?
Most of us, including me, are not good at taking off on a whim. Quick changes. If I have a hankering for ice cream in the middle of the night, I’ll usually ignore it and go back to sleep. But there are some people I know that would go to the extreme, beyond even the ice cream in the middle of the night. I know a person who if they felt the urge to go skiing, and if there were ski slopes available, would drive across country, just on the whim. They could ski just one day, and be good to go back to work when they came home. And here I can barely get myself out of the house to take out the garbage.
I’m really not talking about goldfish. Life is expensive. Someone once told me, having a car costs. One way or another you’re going to pay for having the luxury of driving. Whether you repair it if it’s used or if you buy it new and pay for its newness. Truthfully all of life is that way. That $50.00 will be spent somewhere, whether you spend it on the goldfish or on pizza. The choice is where do you want to spend it.
My question is, what is this costing me? Every day that I sit and not act on an urge and every time that I suppress a desire to play and I choose to work instead, what is this costing me? Sometimes when you’re just putting up with stuff, you’re only taking the easy way out. If something is continually chafing you in a situation, it’s a good sign that it’s time to change. It might be time to cut our losses and get out.
How much does it cost?
Thanks to Christi for the goldfish inspiration – if you’re reading, you know who you are!
When I was a kid you could buy discounted canned goods in a little store nearby. They were damaged. Some were labeled and some were written on with a Sharpie, and some you had no idea what was in them. But they were cheap. So you shake the can and listen to the rattle and slosh. Does it sound like corn or green beans? Maybe peas. You can compare the cans by size and shape and sometimes match them. This is so much like dating it’s ridiculous, except without the shaking. Does he dress nice? What type of car does he drive? I-I-I don’t know, she’s rude to her mom, will she be rude to me later in the relationship? When we say I love you, we sometimes think we mean the same thing or that the other person understands what we mean.
Just four months into their marriage, Pond said she became frightened for her safety and began making plans to leave. The couple separated and Pond went public the spring of 2009 with her fears that he killed his first wife. – Lucky wife, from ABCnews
The label may say love, but is that what’s really inside?
Love is just a feeling of connection to another person or object. It’s so easily misidentified as “I can’t live without this person.” There may be love inside there somewhere, but codependency is not love. Also, love doesn’t mean that this relationship is healthy. There are those I have loved that I had to get away from. I have active mirror neurons. People don’t come with labels and we can’t shake them to hear the rattle, but we can try to read the signs. Paranoia isn’t necessary but ask your friends who’ve met the person you’re interested in. Sometimes they’ll see things you don’t. Sometimes it’s only after a relationship ends in disaster that family and friends will speak up, but we need to listen to them earlier. So speak up people.
If you didn’t need them, emotionally or physically, would you want to be with them?
One of my issues in the past was romanticizing the relationship, projecting forward a future coupling of our perfect relationship and not living with the real relationship. It’s difficult to see the reality when you’re watching the fantasy. Take off the rosy glasses. Get real. Be as truthful with yourself as you possibly can then enjoy what you have. No relationship is perfect and all of them change, so it’s possible to think you start off okay and then watch it dive off of a cliff. If that’s the case, reassess and do what needs to be done. Life happens.
Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you. – Erich Fromm
Sometimes we have to become comfortable with who we are when we are alone. I was driving in my car yesterday, thinking of of all the things I’m afraid of. How I’ve tried so much to be what’s expected of me and to hide the unacceptable parts. Be more respectful, less quiet, open up and share my private thoughts. Be outgoing, win friends and influence people, stand tall and assert myself.
In the normal moments, I’m happy puttering around my house or watching a marathon of Doctor Who. I tried dating because I don’t want to become a hermit quite yet. Maybe when I’m 70. Most of the guys I’ve dated like to do things. Shopping, traveling, gambling, all those physical and crowd oriented activities. And I can do those things just like anyone else, but it makes me tired.
I remember in elementary school fluffing and enlarging my persona. No one wants to be thought of as boring. And being fearful and boring at the same time is a huge ick factor for children. So over the years I learned to say the right words when asked, what are your hobbies?What do you like to do in your spare time? Fluff. It was easy because most people don’t really care. They move on and I can go back to my book.
But that moment, while driving, I was alone. Just me and my thoughts and I was okay with them. I’ve finally accepted that they are who I really am. In that moment I was being myself. No act, no bluster, no fluff. And I liked it.
Sometimes it’s the ordinary things that don’t get your attention, but they change your life. The everyday habits of brushing your teeth and eating healthy, keep your body strong. The getting up and going to work on time keeps you with money in the bank. It’s ordinary, but it counts. Today I’m taking a bit from the greats.
The risk of skin cancer. The falling. Sand in your socks. The people hassling you for your spot on the wave. The pressure to do more sets. The other guys at the beach who don’t appreciate your style. The drudgery of doing it again tomorrow, when the weather sucks. And then every day, from now on, never ceasing.
Where would you go on vacation?
Your drudgery is another person’s delight. It’s only a job if you treat it that way. The privilege to do our work, to be in control of the promises we make and the things we build, is something worth cherishing.
“Champions don’t do extraordinary things,” Dungy would explain. “They do ordinary things, but they do them without thinking, too fast for the other team to react. They follow the habits they’ve learned.”
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. -Robert Louis Stevenson
I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles. – Audrey Hepburn
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