|My newest poster created just for this blog|
We're Midwesterners, taught to be polite and not make too many waves. We were both raised to always consider what the other person wants....sometimes to a fault.
As we are learning new ways of living, I decided it was time to shake up the mental part of our lives also, kind of a mental reorganization. Too many times in our lives we have allowed ourselves to be manipulated into things not of our choosing and then harboring quiet resentment.
I realize consideration of others is important and necessary to live in a civilized fashion, but a good deal of it is just bogus. Here are some examples of our new attempts to live our life this way.
Our daughter and her family had planned to attend an air show in Sioux Falls last weekend and invited us to go with them. I bowed out right away as someone needed to stay home and give medications to our aging feline and Left Brain has a strong interest in airplanes and would enjoy it more. Such a noble sacrifice! As the weekend approached he told me he really didn't want to go with them. It was just too much, too many people and we don't do well with this kind of chaos. But he was hesitant to tell her because he didn't want to hurt her feelings. How many times has THAT got you into a sticky wicket?
Being the good wife I am, I pushed him to discuss this with her. She expressed disappointment that he wasn't going to be with them and he vacillated and said he would go. However, as the time neared I could tell he was not looking forward to this. So, again I urged him to just tell her how he really felt and that she'd appreciate his honesty. So, once more he broached the subject and although she was disappointed she understood.
When the weekend arrived he had planned to go over to their house and work on the garden shed since nobody would be home and he could accomplish a great deal of work. He decided to check his email before leaving and good thing! He found out that they had decided it was just "too much" also and they were staying home to have a quiet, restful weekend. We had served as inspiration to them to make a different choice. Had he agreed to begrudgingly go with them would they have pressed on and embarked on this trip with no one being thrilled about it?
Another example of this involves our staying with some friends on the next leg of our journey. We had an offer from my cousin to use her cabin two miles away where we would have plenty of room to park the RV and a bit more privacy. Left Brain was worried that if we didn't stay right with them they would be upset with us. This had been an ongoing discussion for a long time and I finally decided to just email the wife and ask her "woman to woman" what the verdict would be. The reply was "absolutely no problem!" and I got the sense she was just as relieved as I was to know that we wouldn't be on top of one another. Now I'm looking forward to our next stop knowing I'll have some solitude that we both need so much to cope and we will have the ability to invite them over to "our place".
My last opportunity to use this new skill was when my daughter emailed me that the kids school could use someone with a green thumb to plant some shrubs and some help putting together desks. I had to let this ruminate in my brain for a while before writing a reply. I'm sure she was thinking I would enjoy this as I had done so much gardening in the past. But I've realized that my body is okay with rest and I don't need to take painkillers to get through the night. When I stopped the heavy duty gardening and dollmaking my hands stopped hurting, my neck and back are not tight...who'd a thunk!?
So I told her "thanks but no thank you" and that I really am enjoying doing absolutely nothing but my little daily activities of cooking and cleaning at this time. I'm sure (mostly sure) that I'll get bored with just this at some point, but for now it feels really good.
Likewise I'm sure Left Brain is mystified as to why I don't want to help him haul bricks, cut lumber and assist with building the garden shed for the kids. What he has failed to consider is that I've hauled tons of bricks, soil and mulch in forming garden beds, putting up fences, building steps into the yard, adding raised gardens to the vegetable bed and the like. Most of this I've done alone while he was off driving and it was fun and interesting figuring out how to make it happen and how to do it by myself with no physical assistance. But as they say...been there done that. I'm tired and just not interested.
So while I try not to be abrupt or rude with anyone, I am making an attempt at speaking my mind and choosing only that which fulfills me in some way or helps me be the person I endeavor to be. I've spent too many years putting others ahead of me and doing their bidding instead of charting my own course. I figure at sixty years of age I'd better decide who I want to be when I grow up.
Long Live the Queen of Hearts