Monday, May 14, 2012
My last blog was about someone who made some comments and I ended up feeling really bad about myself. I spent some time wondering how to have them in my life and yet still protect myself from the feelings that wash over me. From feeling like I am a child again who had done something wrong.
Turns out the only way to do this is to simply speak up for myself. Its kind of funny.. simply speak up.. the truth is, it is simple, but it certainly isn't easy. Some of the hardest things to do are the most worthwhile though, kind of like getting up off the couch and going to the gym or saying no to that extra helping of your favorite food or not opening the chip bag. You just have to do it, stay strong that whatever you are doing is for you, and that you are doing it for you out of love. Love for yourself.
I think that is one of the hardest things to do. Women my age and older were often raised to put everyone Else's needs in front of our own. Certainly anyone who has ever been a mother no matter what their age knows this. Its survival of the species. Feed the children first, if there isn't enough to go around, at least the children will be ok. This is how we are. This is inbred. This is what makes it so difficult as women to believe we have the right to say.. hey, what about me? In our head we hear ancient memories, they say to us, wait a second, what are you doing? Have you cared for everyone else first? Have you fed your man so that he can go out and bring home food for the children? Have you fed the children so that life can continue on?
Then there is the more modern voice that asks if the car pool for tomorrow is arranged, if the soccer uniform is clean, if there is gas in the car and what are we going to make for dinner tonight.. wait.. dinner.. but what about my new healthy eating plan.. but kid #2 won't eat beets, and kid # 1 only wants white foods and hubby is wondering what happened to the potatoes to go with his steak and is that really chicken again?
Or there is the voices in my head. I was a single mom for 11 years. Currently my two adult daughters live with me. My oldest daughter is also the single mom of two amazing little girls. One is 3.5 and the other is 18 months.
So the voices in my head are more like a symphony. I hear my mother, I hear my sister, I hear my ex husband,I hear my old boyfriend, I hear my boss, I hear my children, I hear my grandchildren, I hear my councillor, I hear the guy at the gym encouraging me. It frankly gets confusing.
It is so hard to change, to live for me. To be an independent, strong 46 year old woman. The thing about change is, although the people who care for you want only the best for you, the truth is we are all selfish beings. What we truly want is the best for others as long as it doesn't impact our lives. That's the rub.
So, as I strike out on my journey to find me.. just Stacey.. not mom, nanny, wife, ex wife, girlfriend, worker, friend, sister, daughter or any other label. I am changing. I have to speak up and speak out. Often to people I have never spoken up to. I can tell you, the responses are amazing. Some people, and I have to include my ex husband in this.. are remarkably civil and they just back down.. things smooth out and a civil conversation of give and take follows. Wow, thank you ex husband. I honestly never thought we would have conversations like we have had lately. A calm peaceful strength washes over me.
Then there are the conversations with the people who say they want the best for you, but the response to your new found strength is not pleasant. Becoming healthy is not just about eating the right thing, drinking water and exercise. True health is a balance with mental and emotional health too. If you aren't emotionally healthy, you will in the end often sabotage your good efforts. So the tough people.. they don't always like your changes, because it makes them uncomfortable. They don't know how to deal with the new you... but guess what.. that is NOT your problem.. its theirs!!
Yesterday I had to have a conversation with the person who called me stupid several days ago. A topic came up and she wanted to know what I had done about it.. I said, I'm sorry, I don't want to discuss this right now. She looked surprised. Later, another topic came up. It was concerning my adult daughter. I said.. what she does is her decision and you shouldn't get involved. Again surprised silence followed.
I left thinking, that actually wasn't that hard. There was no fight or argument. I didn't feel humiliated or like a little kid. It wasn't a big deal for me. So.. I've changed.. just a wee bit.. but after all.. this works with babysteps.
Thank you to anyone reading my blog..I hope you have an amazing day of changes.. even if they are small. Have a great day!