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.