Do you ever find yourself starting your thoughts or sentences with “I wish so and so would…..”? Is it usually when you are frustrated with that persons behavior or communication. I’ve found myself saying this a lot lately, more specifically, “I wish she would self-assess and focus on her development” I find often I am helping other people to take those internal views when dealing with a problem, but this one person I can’t help. I wish I could change her. I wish I could give her the help she needs. I wish she was able to look inside for the problem she needs to solve.
I have a hard time understanding people that believe everyone else is at fault for the way things are in their lives. I struggle to contain my frustration and anger that they don’t realize if they just worked on one little thing about themselves, things might get better. A friend of mine once enlightened me that most people aren’t like me. To this I replied, “I don’t want people to be like me, I want to be more like people”. Now wouldn’t that solve all my worlds problems?!
What she meant by her statement was that I’m hyper sensitive and aggressively yet positively critical of myself (For the most part, I’m no Mary Poppins of positivity all the time). I listen when you speak to me. I accept your differing view (to an extent, let’s be honest you aren’t always a genius). I want to be a better person. I know I’m not the best version of myself right now. I accept that some days, I really don’t care if I’m the best version of myself. Sometimes being the best version, is down right exhausting. And trying to be the best version, but not succeeding, is just depressing if you go on too long.
I tried. I mean, I really dug in. I was breaking myself with 100+ hour work weeks. I was coming home as fast as possible just to get a few minutes with Peanut before bedtime stories (Sometimes running through the front door as the last page was turned) I was struggling to keep my eyes open and give Bacon the attention he deserved. I was driving north for all the family events I could make when I wasn’t working. I was doing…doing..doing….all the while I kept saying, “I can make it work. It has to work. everyone can get everything they need.”
And I didn’t see it coming.
I failed in my career for the first time in my life. And you should know, when I do something, I do it full tilt. So this was not a minor fail, this was epic, turn in the keys to the castle, you’re going down for this one, failure. All those hours, all that time in the car, all the sadness and stress and time away from my family, the precious little time with my family: for nothing. To fail.
I spent 3 days straight in bed after that. I could hear Peanut asking if I was ok, was I going to play today, what was I doing, can she come in by me. I struggled to get out of bed for 20 minutes just to have dinner with my family, and I only made it 2 minutes before I had to walk away. I was rapidly falling apart at the seams. I had nothing holding it all together; my drive was gone.
Now why am I telling you this depressing sob story and being dramatic? Because I learned an important lesson, one that I will need to remind myself of frequently in the next few years. You must always take care of you. You are useless to anyone else, if you don’t take care of you. You may be super woman, and carry on that way for months, even years. But super woman is not sustainable. You are a real woman, and real women need a time out. We need to be kind and loving to ourselves not just everyone around us, otherwise its all going to come undone in the end. I could not remember the last time I had done anything, just. for. me. I’d done enough fun things that involved other people, but was it ever just for me? Such a strange position to be in, thinking you’ve been killing it. You are successful. You’ve got it all together. Everyone is happy. Everyone is having their needs met by you. And then turning the view inward and realizing, you do not have it together. You are not killing it. You are killing you.
Every once in awhile, when you are rocking the schedule, making the dinners, packing the lunches, folding the laundry, picking up all the dog poo that’s accumulated in your yard; stop and ask yourself in all this, what is just for me? And when you come up short, don’t beat yourself up, just put down the pooper scooper and go for a run. It’s time to take back your happiness, even if it’s only for a couple miles.