As I enter my 40th year of life there are some things that I have come to realize. First, I don’t give a shit. And I mean that in the best possible way. There are so many things that used to bother me that I really could not care less about now. It has become very freeing. I really don’t care about what others think of me. I mean I never want to hurt anyone and I would very much take into consideration if you have a personal gripe or concern. I am open to changing my ways for the greater good. However, I can’t be hurt by other’s opinions of me. They are entitled to it and I respect that. And hey, they may be right! It is not my call. But at the end of the day I can put my head on the pillow and fall right to sleep.
Often times other’s criticisms are more a reflection of them than of who they are judging. Judging is another thing I can’t be bothered with anymore. Don’t get me wrong, there are times I still find myself judging another. But I am learning that you really don’t know where another person has been in their lives or how they got to the point of being that bat-shit-crazy person standing in front of you. To people that are mean, nasty or disrespectful, I am learning to walk away from with a “Good luck and God Bless.” I can not let that into my life. This is an easy process if I don’t know you that well, but when it is someone who I know well or am related to, it takes a special kind of strength that I am still working on. As far as the “I don’t give a shit” statement made in the first paragraph, this is where I have to learn how to do that with people in my inner sanctum!
I do believe that I have stopped worrying about things that are out of my control. I can not control the way others feel. Period. I can not control the way others act. Period. The only control I have is how I react to situations, people and events. I have the power to respond in a negative way or a positive way. There are still many times that I do not react the best way possible but I am working on it. I have to start working in my own best interest. Not in a selfish or greedy way, but in a healthy boundaries sort of way. When I don’t want to do something that everyone and their mother seems to be telling me to do. I don’t have to. If they then want to throw in an “I told ya so,” so be it. It is no skin of my back that they have obsessed over MY decision until the outcome arrives. As a matter of fact, that makes them kinda crazy, not me.
The constants in my life, my family and very close friends are my hub and my joy. When I allow people into that space I do not take it lightly. People that are close to me are my ‘safe zone’, that I do not extend to everyone. In a general sense I like people, and I feel compelled to listen to their stories and share some of mine (obviously!) Sometimes the person and I just “click.” Other times there is no connection, but I no longer feel the obligation to find a connection. I usually walk away from them with a better sense of who I am or what I want in my life. And that can not be bad thing. There are others who are just plain coo-coo-ka-choo and I will write an entire blog about them later!
I have learned that being nice to people is really easy and it does not mean sacrificing who I am or what I want. My doing something for someone does not have to directly affect a return to me. I am learning to do things for others because I WANT to, not because I expect praise, recognition, love or appreciation in return. When I do things for others with this in mind it is more fulfilling and freeing than I ever imagined. Because once you have given to another, it is done. You feel good and you can move on. You don’t have to wait for the return or even the reaction. If you do for others with your best intentions and they don’t appreciate it, that is fine. They don’t HAVE to appreciate it, because you did it out of love and nothing else.
I guess what I am getting at is those old cliches of “life is too short,” “carpe diem,” “live life to it’s fullest,” etc. etc. No one really knows when things will change or end or become different. I was in a horrible car accident in 2006. My injuries were extensive and life altering. I had initially had a lot of sadness, anger and frustration mostly because my son, who was only 2 at the time, was deprived of his mother as he knew her for at least 6 months. My husband was also deprived of his wife and had to assist me in everything from getting me in and out of bed to shaving my legs to wiping my ass, literally. I just wanted my life, as I knew it, back. I was going along happy with my life and in an instant it was all taken away from me. I wanted to blame something, someone. I no longer feel that way and am extremely thankful. Now I can focus on what the accident taught me. It can all be taken away. Yes, It can all be taken away too quickly and without warning. There is no room for drama when you look at it like that.
I am trying to learn that have to make my own happiness and it is not dictated to me. Kindness matters and the more you give the more you will get. Maybe not directly or immediately but it will come. So these are some of the things I have learned in my 39 years and 6 months on this earth. Now if I could just figure out how to maintain my laundry.....